KFFL answers important fantasy baseball questions for each Major League Baseball team as spring training approaches. What must fantasy baseball players know about the San Diego Padres?
Why should fantasy baseball managers still look at Edinson Volquez?
New uni, less optimism for Alonso
The Friars have more luck than most with reclamation projects on the mound because PETCO Park is a tough place to hit and a fly-ball pitcher's paradise. The ballpark isn't a cure-all, however, and Volquez's issues go beyond those baseballs that he allows to leave the yard.
Still, at Fangraphs, David Golobiewski touched on several statistical trends of Volquez's that should or could turn around because of his relocation. First and foremost is the potential large reduction in ding dongs dished up. The right-hander has had problems with left-handed batters in particular, and his new digs tend to be much harder on that group.
San Diego's staff is first-rate. Volquez's stuff is of that ilk, too. It may take some time, but he's only 28 years old. Many have written him off, even in light of the possible positives and his talent. There's no reason that Volquez isn't still worthy of a deep-mixed stab or a several bucks in an NL auction.
Where is the value in the Friars' fresh faces?
Most of the players that the Padres acquired this winter won't be notable roto contributors in 2012. Nevertheless, owners shouldn't forget the names of Yasmani Grandal, Brad Boxberger and Andrew Cashner for the long term.
On the other hand, Yonder Alonso, whom the club acquired from the Cincinnati Reds in the Mat Latos deal, is essentially penciled in as the everyday first baseman. The left-handed hitter brings a rock-solid foundation for a quality batting average to a position that contributed virtually nothing to an SD offense that floundered even more so without Adrian Gonzalez.
The expectation has been that the 6-foot-2, 240-pound will improve his power output as he approaches peak age. The 24-year-old appeared to display that promise when he launched five balls into the seats in his 88 major league at-bats last season. Thanks to Death Alley, however, Alonso won't be developing that ability in AFC.
In mixed leagues, that makes him, at best, a bankrupt man's Billy Butler, with first-base eligibility intact. In extremely deep mixed leagues, Alonso should provide value as a depth play, but one of the Reds' top prospects for the past few years will most likely be strictly an NL-only asset.
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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