I currently live in New York, and have visited San Diego twice in my life. The first time was for a wedding, and the second time I went there on vacation. I am afraid to go there again because I know I'll never leave there a third time. So, instead of visiting I have decided to do the San Diego Padres fantasy team preview for us here at FSE.
Starting Line up
RF- Brian Giles
2B- Tadahito Iguchi
1B- Adrian Gonzalez
SS- Khalil Greene
CF- Jim Edmonds
3B- Kevin Kouzmanoff
C- Josh Bard/ Michael Barrett
LF- Scott Hairston
Ace - Jake Peavy
#2 - Chris R. Young
#3 - Greg Maddux
#4 - Randy Wolf
#5 - Justin Germano
Closer- Trevor Hoffman
Hitters to Draft
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B - hit .282AVG with 30HR, 100RBI and 100R last season, fine numbers for a first baseman. Look for him to improve slightly on these numbers this season, as he matures as a hitter. he met with HOF Tony Gwynn TWICE A WEEK this offseason, to help him work on hitting the ball the opposite way more. He is a legit top 10 1B, who is still young enough and has room to grow into a top 5 1B, despite the fact he plays in Petco Ballpark.
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B - I love looking at young players and their second half stats:
Kahlil Greene, SS - Hit .254 last season, but Ignore that, and look at these numbers, 1) He was healthy for the season, 2) hit 27 HR, 3) had 97RBI, 4) scored 89R, and played his best down the stretch, when it counted. I grabbed him last season off the waiver wire of a 14 team league last season, and enjoyed every bit of the 8HR, and 23RBI he had over the course of September and October of last season. Keep in mind, for those you in Head to Head leagues, this was the type of guy who could have carried your team into the finals. Depending on what your team needs, he could be a fine SS for your team in the upcoming season.
Pitchers To Draft
Jake Peavy, SP - After years of a being a big strike out guy, Peavy put it all together last season and added a few more wins to his previous totals and finished with 19Ws. He is one of the top 2-3 pitchers in all of baseball, even if he can't get to last season's win total.
Chris Young, SP - His numbers are better than his W total would indicate, and appears to be just hitting his stride as a major leaguer. While he only won 9 games last season, he is have an ERA of 3.12 to go along with 167Ks in only 173innings. Look for his numbers to improve a bit this season, across the board.
Trevor Hoffman, CL - I don't like Hoffman at all. He has bad stuff, blows saves in big spots, and gets beaten by good teams consistently. But, get used to this, "He is what he is." Hoffman consistently has over 40 saves and an ERA under 3.00. The fact he is 40 shouldn't scare you, his bad stuff can't get that much worse than it is. Hoffman is living proof a devastating change up, is indeed the best pitch in baseball. As much as it seems I am trashing Hoffman, keep in mind, I don't have to like a guy, to realize he is a good fantasy option.
Greg Maddux, SP - He was what he was, one of the best ever. Now, he is what he is, an average at best pitcher who can put up and ERA of 3.75 and win between 13-16 games. The numbers aren't great, but at least you know what you are getting. He will turn 42 in early April, and I get the feel Maddux is crafty enough to be able to throw under hand and still get guys out.
Players To Avoid
Jim Edmonds, CF - Before he was just old and injury prone. Now he is old, injury prone, spent all of last season battling post concussion syndrome, and has moved to the worst hitter's park in the NL. The fact he has more room to patrol in CF means he will have more running, diving and injuring of himself to do, while chasing down routine flies so he can make highlight reels.
Brian Giles, RF - Ignore his second half stats, Giles is 36, going on 37 fast. His power numbers haven't been there the last few years, and neither has his speed. Giles has a popular name, but let someone else take him who still thinks its 2002 and Giles is a good sleeper candidate.
Scott Hairston, LF - Someone has to play leftfield. He has been getting a lot of hype as being a good sleeper candidate by a lot of preseason rankings, but I am not buying it. He will hit around 20 homeruns sure, but the batting average won't be there, and he won't put up numbers that are at all overwhelming.
Mark Prior, SP - Most of the time I will tell people to avoid player who are injury prone. Especially in a Head to Head league, where the week to week stats of your players are so important, you can't afford to risk having a guy who you hope will be healthy enough to start from week to week. Prior however, had major surgery, which I believe will clean up most of the nagging injuries that have plagued him throughout his career. He is also taking his time coming back and not rushing to get healthy which, for a guy like Prior, would only injure him more down the road. Take him late and stash him in your DL spot till he is healthy.
Josh Bard, C - Pray for Micheal Barrett to suffer a catastrophic injury and knock him out of the line up for an extended period of time. Bard can hit, he just needs the opportunity to prove it on a full time basis. He is a switch hitter, who hit .285 last season with 5HR, in 389 at bats. Decent numbers for a catcher, but if he wasn't splitting time the numbers would be be even better.