Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ups and Downs: 03/08/2011

Ups and Downs is a regular column that I wrote during last season (and will continue to do so this season) identifying the players being added and dropped the most over a particular time frame but I thought it was time to write one about what's going on this Spring and target a few players whose stock is either rising or falling as we get closer to Opening Day.

Stock is Rising:
  • 1B Freddie Freeman, ATL is doing everything he can so far this Spring to catch the eye of fantasy owners looking for a late-round or cheaper auction option at first base. He's currently hitting .458 (11/24) but has yet to hit a home run.
  • 3B Pablo Sandoval, SF dropped a reported 20-30 pounds in an effort to rebound from a disappointing 2010. He's hitting .333 (9/27) this Spring with two home runs and currently has an ADP of 139.97 on Mock Draft Central.
  • SP Gio Gonzalez, OAK has started two games, pitched a total of five innings, hasn't given up a hit or run, only walked two batters while striking out 10. Mr. Gonzalez, you have my attention!
  • C Jesus Montero, NYY was slated to start the season at AAA but Francisco Cervelli's broken foot will keep him out for more than a month and Russell Martin is still recovering from his injuries. All this means that he should break camp as the backup catcher and maybe even the starter if Martin struggles.
Stock is Falling:
  • 2B Chase Utley, PHI is listed as day-to-day while dealing with tendinitis in his right knee.This could be a serious blow to all if this turns out to be more than the Phillies are reporting. Even Keith Olbermann is tweeting about it.
  • 1B Kendry Morales, LAA still isn't running at 100% as he works to returning from his fractured left leg, putting his return for Opening Day in jeopardy. I wouldn't drop him too much in drafts. 140-plus games of Morales are worth a lot more than 162 games of, say, James Loney.
  • OF Corey Hart, MIL suffered a setback on March 5th with his strained rib cage muscle and is out indefinitely. Some fantasy owners were already questioning whether or not his 31 HR/102 RBI season was legit and I am sure this injury will do nothing to inspire confidence that those numbers will be back.
  • OF Domonic Brown, PHI was battling to take over right field for the Phillies as Jayson Werth's replacement but a 1/16 (.063) start this Spring and now a fractured bone in his right hand all but ended those hopes. The job looks to be Ben Francisco's to lose (Stock Rising) now.
I know there are many other players whose values or ADPs are rising and dropping but these players stood out to me as the ones most people are discussing right now. I plan to do one of these each week until Opening Day, so keep an eye out for more and please use the comments section to discuss the fantasy impact these players (or others) are having in your drafts and the way you view their stock.

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