Monday, March 17, 2008

Cleveland Indians 2008 Fantasy Team Preview

The Cleveland Indians boast two of the best starters in the AL at the top of their rotation, a bullpen that improved throughout the course of last season, and a lineup that can thump with anyone. Let's take a look at what the talented young Indians have to offer fantasy owners in 2008.

Projected Lineup

CF- Grady Sizemore
2B- Asdrubal Carbrera
DH- Travis Hafner
C- Victor Martinez
1B- Ryan Garko
SS- Jhonny Peralta
3B- Casey Blake
LF- Dave Dellucci
RF- Franklin Gutierrez

Projected Rotation

Ace- C.C. Sabathia
#2- Fausto Carmona
#3- Jake Westbrook
#4- Paul Byrd
#5- Cliff Lee/ Aaron Laffey/ Jeremy Sowers

Bullpen

Closer- "Stunning" Joe Borowski
Set Up- Rafael Betancourt, Rafael Perez, Masahide Kobayashi, Thomas Mastny, Jensen Lewis,
Aaron Fultz, Jorge Julio

Hitters To Draft

Grady Sizemore, CF - Hit .277 with 24HR, 33SB, 78RBI and 118R. This was considered to be a down year by many. Still very good numbers for a guy who won't be 26 until August.

Victor Martinez, C - Elite catcher, who got into better shape this off season than he has been in previous years. Look for him to continue his elite status this year, 30HR and 100RBI are a lock for him.

Travis Hafner, DH - HD had a down year last season and needs to rebound in 2008. He is the difference maker in this Cleveland lineup, and can make it go from good to great. Draft him if you want, he has the potential to make you forget is in a DH, but he also has the potential to be mediocre like he was last season.

Ryan Garko, 1B - Landed the gig as he everyday 1B last season and looks to blossom out further from his 2007 numbers.

Casey Blake, 3B - Veteran had a career season last year won't be able to repeat his success in '08. He is a nice player, and is worth drafting much later as a 3B option. I do like him more than guys like Scott Rolen.

Pitchers To Draft

C.C. Sabathia, SP - Showed himself to be an elite ace last season, and enters this year in a contract season. He should be good for at least 15W this season with near 200Ks.

Fausto Carmona, SP - Came out of no where to put up huge numbers in 2007 and should continue to be pretty consistent in 2008. He throws a power sinker, so while he should continue to get outs consistently, he won't strike a ton of guys out.

Joe Borowski, CL - Despite all the negative publicity he gets the bottom line is, more often than not he get the job done. His stuff isn't electric, he gives up runs, but at the end of the day he'll have 30+ saves.

Players to Avoid

Jhonny Peralta, SS- Can hit for a bit of power, for a SS, but does nothing else worth noting. Doesn't steal bases, doesn't hit for AVG, and needs to show some consistency from season to season.

Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B- Don't be fooled, there is a difference between being good, and being better than the guy you took the job from. He is a decent player but not a good fantasy option.

Sleepers

Franklin Gutierrez, OF - Once an elite prospect is still only 25, and has 20/20 potential going into 2008. He needs the everyday at bats to show he can do it consistently on the Major League level.


Rafael Betancourt, Setup Man - Betancourt had a dominant 2007 out of the Cleveland bullpen accumulating 31 holds to go along with a miniscule 1.47 ERA and 0.76 WHIP. Betancourt enters 2008 as one of the best setup men in baseball; however, should veteran Joe Borowski get hurt or struggle excessively, Betancourt would be next in line to close.

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