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Kyle Borchers
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IMPORTANT DATES - 2010

February 17th - 18th
Pitchers & Catchers report

February 23rd
Remaining Players report
April 4th
OPENING DAY!
June 7th - 9th
MLB Draft
July 12th
Home Run Derby
June 13th
MLB All Star Game
July 25th
Hall of Fame Inductions
July 31st
TRADE DEADLINE
November 2010
MLB Postseason begins

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"Opening Day In The 'Nati"
4/9/2010

 I attended Opening Day in Cincinnati. For those of you who    don’t know, it’s like a holiday there –many people call off  work and some kids even play hooky from school (guilty as charged for several years throughout my elementary and junior high days; couldn’t do it in high school because I was playing varsity ball).

 Anyway, Cincinnati has a parade downtown and it used to host the first Major League game every season (because it was the first franchise) – until MLB decided to have Sunday night games with the Yankees facing the Red Sox and games in Japan a week before all other games (remember those?). Yep, it’s all about the money. We know, Bud Selig.
 Although the forecast originally called for 75 degrees with a 50-50 chance of rain, it ended up topping 80 without a single drop of the wet stuff. My friend and I were pretty ticked that we weren’t wearing shorts! It was that hot, truly amazing for early April.
The atmosphere was great – the parade, swarms of people at bars, a packed house at the game, Johnny Bench catching the first pitch, the new Reds roster announced, a fly-over after the national anthem and so on.

 As for the game, I had high hopes, but I was also realistic. The Reds were facing a Cy Young contender in Chris Carpenter and of course, the best hitter in the world. Mr. Albert Pujols probably made the biggest splash of any player in the entire Majors on Opening Day, going 4-for-5 with 2 homers. His first jack was an absolute bomb to left-center (after Aaron Harang blew away the Cardinals’ first two hitters with 94 MPH fastballs); the second was a laser to right-center that probably didn’t get more than 12 feet off the ground, hit the top of the fence and went over. Apparently, Bench was in the broadcast booth at the time, and he said, “That looks like it should be caught.” Nope, not when it comes off Albert’s bat.

 * Images courtesy of Dayton Daily News

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Borch’s Top 100
3/29/2010

  If your fantasy baseball league still hasn’t had its draft, check out the mixed league rankings below. Every league is different, and of course, this is just one man’s opinion.

Albert Pujols 1B – Prince, El Hombre. Plain and simple, best hitter of the 21st Century.
 

Hanley Ramirez SS – All-around talent at premium position, still with room for growth.

Alex Rodriguez 3B – Imagine last year’s stats plus an extra month.

Chase Utley 2B – Consistent five-category stud at thin position.

Ryan Braun OF – Young pup with three straight stellar seasons.

Mark Teixeira 1B – Imagine last year’s stats with A-Rod protection for another month.

Prince Fielder 1B – Young power freak with solid average and mean streak.

Miguel Cabrera 1B – Watch out now that he’s taking better care of self.

Ryan Howard 1B – Huge power, but lower average puts him below previous three.

Troy Tulowitzki SS – Forget about 2008; 2007 and 2009 are similar; hot spring so far.

Matt Kemp OF – Skillzzz; ‘09 was bigger breakout; 30-30 this year puts him in Braun territory.

Matt Holliday OF – Look at career numbers and ’09 stats with Pujols in front of him.

Justin Upton OF – Ditto to Kemp.

Evan Longoria 3B – Some are very high on him; get SBs into 12-15 range and I’ll join.

David Wright 3B – Was last year the exception?  20 HRs good bet, but 30 is questionable.

Joe Mauer C – Great – better in real life than fantasy, unless he repeats ’09.

Tim Lincecum SP – Top pitcher off the board, but I usually wait a little longer on my ace.

Ian Kinsler 2B – If he gets rid of the injury bug, he’d enter my top 10.

Carl Crawford OF – Speed demon, but not enough power for my taste to put near 11-13 group.

Jimmy Rollins SS – Don’t let him slip too far. ’09 batting average was not the norm.

Roy Halladay SP – Not scared about move to bandbox; was in AL EAST. Good bet for 20 W’s.

C.C. Sabathia SP – Consistency and great lineup for run support and W’s.

Grady Sizemore OF – Needs bounce-back, but remember ’05-08? And he’s only 27.

Ichiro Suzuki OF – Same old, same old. Mark him down for .320 BA on 205 hits and 25 SBs.

Jacoby Ellsbury OF – If steals are your thing, cha-ching. 70 of those bad boys last year.

Adrian Gonzalez 1B – Stay classy San Diego, and pay this man his money.

Joey Votto 1B – Full season of last year’s stats figure to about 30-100-100 with shiny BA.

Dustin Pedroia 2B – Useful for everything, but especially BA and runs.

Brandon Phillips 2B – Better power and speed than Pedroia, but lower average and less runs.

Pablo Sandoval 1B/3B – Panda primed for power spike with better lineup, plus high average.

Mark Reynolds 1B/3B – Awesome 44 dingers and 24 swipes. If repeated, you can gamble on BA.

Ryan Zimmerman 3B – Coming into his own. Average over .300 would look really nice. Only 25.

Kevin Youkilis 1B/3B – Boring version of Sandoval. Consistent, but not much upside.

Victor Martinez C/1B – ’09 and ’07 stats almost match. C eligibility is huge with his playing time.

Zack Greinke SP – Huge last year, but not as high as C.C. because of woeful team.

Derek Jeter SS – Don’t buy ’09 stats, but The Captain will still have nice numbers.

Jose Reyes SS – Classic risk/reward. Hit the jackpot and 50 SBs, or go home broke like ’09.

Jayson Werth OF – Two straight 20-20 seasons. 36 bombs last year.

Felix Hernandez SP – Stud, but I’ve been burned with his WHIP too often. Wins should be nice.

Dan Haren SP – Here for overall consistency, but second-half yo-yo will drive you nuts.

Adam Wainwright SP – Good pitcher on good team; still pretty young at 28.

Justin Verlander SP – Love the K’s and pitcher’s park.

Ben Zobrist 2B/OF/SS – Versatility, especially if he qualifies at SS in your league. Was ’09 real?

Curtis Granderson OF – 40 homers reachable at new Yankee Stadium.

Robinson Cano 2B – Should get lots of RBIs behind A-Rod. Could be batting champ. Only 27.

Johan Santana SP – Could be a major bargain, but stats have trended down last few years.

Justin Morneau 1B – Really not THAT big of a difference between him and Adrian Gonzalez.

Brian McCann C – Personal preference on how much you value 135 games at C or 155 at OF, e.g.

B.J. Upton OF – Paging some consistency from this 25-year-old. Would like 20 HR-40 SB-.275 BA.

Andrew McCutchen OF – Looks like real deal. I can see 20 dingers and 35 swipes with lots of Rs.

 

Jon Lester SP – Nice K’s, good team, might take next step forward at only 26.

Chris Carpenter SP – Pray for 175 innings. Argument can be made he should’ve won Cy Young.

Josh Johnson SP – Looks to be a horse, but would like to see repeat of ’09 stats first.

Cole Hamels SP – Higher ranking than most experts, but could be worth gamble; check ’07-08 #s.

Jake Peavy SP – Similar to Santana and Hamels, could be monster, but new home/league setup.

Jason Bay OF – Read a study saying his HR total shouldn’t drop that much from Fenway.

Bobby Abreu OF – Just double-checked his career consistency. Could pick ahead of B.J. Upton.

Shin-Soo Choo OF – Need another 20-20-.300 season to make me firm believer.

Nelson Cruz OF – Late bloomer? Show me another season like ’09.

Carlos Lee OF – Only below previous four because SBs have diminished. Hitting skills still there.

Adam Dunn 1B/OF – You like power, draft the Big Donkey and pencil in 40 jacks.

Torii Hunter OF – Was on pace for career year before injury. If defense counted, he’d be higher.

Derrek Lee 1B – Great hitter, but power can be inconsistent.

Kendry Morales 1B – Give me one more year, Kendry, before I buy high.

Billy Butler 1B – See above, Billy, Billy, Billy.

Brian Roberts 2B – Nice runs but will stolen bases continue to slide?

Aaron Hill 2B – Dan Uggla’s long-lost brother with higher average, or was ’09 a fluke?

Dan Uggla 2B – Adam Dunn’s cousin – no defense, no average, but chicks dig the long ball.

Hunter Pence OF – Expecting him to come close to putting it all together.

Adam Jones OF – Was having massive year until injury bug bit him in the butt.

Shane Victorino OF – Might not have as many runs or steals with drop in lineup, but still worthy.

Andre Ethier OF – Looks like he could be future batting champ, but will take HRs jumping to 31.

Aramis Ramirez 3B – Injuries scary, but absolutely rakes when healthy.

Michael Young 3B – Underrated, but power will likely decrease, and has lost SS eligibility.

Chone Figgins 3B – Will rapidly gain 2B eligibility. Great speed, but still no power.

Clayton Kershaw SP – Huge upside, awesome strikeouts, nice team.

Tommy Hanson SP – Likewise.

Yovani Gallardo SP – Super in K department; banking on talent and new pitching coach. Only 24.

Josh Beckett SP – Can’t argue with last 3 years, especially WHIP. Potential 20-game winner.

Jonathan Broxton RP – Ridiculous stats last season; 114 punch-outs in only 76 innings.

Mariano Rivera RP – Reliable old vet, but Broxton’s K’s put him second on my closer list.

Jonathan Papelbon RP – Elite stats four straight years.

Joakim Soria RP – Overlooked and often underrated. 72 saves last two seasons on bad team.

Cliff Lee SP – Shady offseason and now likely DL stint with abdomen issue.

Nick Markakis OF – Took a small step back last year. SBs dropped from 18 to 6 last three years.

Adam Lind OF – We shall see if 35-homer power continues.

Manny Ramirez OF – Mystery man. Pure hitter could hit .320 with 40 HR or .290 with 30 HR.

Lance Berkman 1B – Solid producer may come cheap with knee concern, or is he goin’ downhill?

Nate McClouth OF – Pretty good last few years. Wish he would get his average up.

Gordon Beckham 3B – 2B eligibility coming soon. Upside limitless; just 23.

Matt Cain SP – Kind of like Felix Hernandez. Do you truly trust last year? Only 26.

Ricky Nolasco SP – Sweet second half. Forget bloated overall ERA.

Javier Vazquez SP – Don’t pay for last year’s stats. His AL numbers not nearly as pretty.

Ian Stewart 2B/3B – Great power for 2B, but needs to get BA at least close to Uggla’s.

Carlos Gonzalez OF – Power-speed combo at Coors Field, period.

Jay Bruce OF – Could hit 40 homers. Seriously. Turns 23 two days before Opening Day.

Josh Hamilton OF – The Natural needs to stay on the field. ’08 seems more like 5 years ago.

Alfonso Soriano OF – Manny’s mystery twin. Healthy: 30 HR-15 SB-.275 BA; or keep sliding?

Matt Wieters C – If he lives up to billing, he might be more in McCann territory.

Alexei Ramirez SS – Call this one a hunch. Power-speed in nice lineup. High on ChiSox. Could’ve gone with several thieves – including Bourn, Span, Borbon and Pierre – or a few closers. Depends on your league.

  Take these rankings as you will. However, I have won the title five of the last six years in a non-keeper mixed league with a $40 entry fee – just the facts. Drafting is only the first step. Injuries happen; breakouts and slumps occur. Rookies like Stephen Strasburg could change the fantasy landscape, much like Tommy Hanson did last year. Stay on top of your team; you can accomplish a lot with only 10 minutes a day. Draft well and manage well and you could bring home the bacon.

Photo by: Delco Times Blogs

 

More baseball related material coming soon!

- Kyle Borchers


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