Fantasy Baseball Round Table: Review and Preview - C, 1B, 3B

by Todd Zola, MastersBall.com on September 12, 2012 @ 13:37:31 PDT

 

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Cincinnati Reds 1B Joey Votto
Should get back in swing, eh

First off, I would like to express my extreme gratitude to the knights for their time and effort. Without their contributions, this space would have been pretty boring, not to mention empty the past several months. You guys can take the rest of the season off.

In lieu of the standard roundtable, I will be going around the league by position in an effort to give a sneak peek as to what to expect next spring. We'll begin by reviewing my top ten, then project the actual top-ten finish for 2012 and conclude by prognosticating who is most likely to jump into the top ten next season and who is apt to be bumped out.

We'll do catchers and the corner infielders today, middle infielders and outfielders next week with pitching the week after. We'll conclude with a review of this season's top 25 and perhaps ask the knights for one last opinion, requesting who they think is most likely to enter next season's top 25 overall rankings and who they replace.

Catcher

Preseason Top Ten

Mike Napoli
Carlos Santana
Brian McCann
Buster Posey
Miguel Montero
Joe Mauer
Alex Avila
Matt Wieters
Yadier Molina
J.P. Arencibia

Projected Final Top Ten

Buster Posey - amazing recovery, looks like the transition to first base is on hold
Joe Mauer - should finish with low double digit HR
Yadier Molina - showed last year's power spike was no fluke
A.J. Pierzynski - if I had a nickel for every time I wrote "the homers will slow down"
Miguel Montero - .302 with 13 HR and 61 RBI since June 1
Carlos Ruiz - injured before regression kicked in
Wilin Rosario - finally a Rockies catcher lives up to the hype
Matt Wieters - the fact he didn't break out might be disappointing, but still solid
Ryan Doumit - high average expected, but 16 HR in Target Field is a big surprise
Carlos Santana - much better since the break, or perhaps once he recovered from early season concussion

Most Likely to Enter 2013 Top Ten

Mike Napoli - don't be shocked if he plays half his games in Fenway Park
Victor Martinez - the fact he did not play at all in the Majors or Minors will mean he retains his catcher eligibility in most leagues
Salvador Perez - prorate his 2012 numbers to a full season and he is the fifth best receiver
Brian McCann - injuries cut into production but he is still a solid option and could come at a discount next spring

Most Likely to Leave Top Ten in 2013

A.J. Pierzynski - big conundrum in keeper leagues, no way power repeats
Carlos Ruiz - obviously not a .340 hitter
Ryan Doumit - everything went right, including getting a lot of playing time

Sleeper

Yasmani Grandal - has the power to overcome PETCO Park

Overrated

Jonathan Lucroy - he's a nice player but hand injury masked the inevitable regression

First base

San Francisco Giants C Buster Posey
Posey not a poser

Preseason Top Ten

Albert Pujols
Miguel Cabrera
Joey Votto
Prince Fielder
Adrian Gonzalez
Mark Teixeira
Michael Cuddyer
Paul Konerko
Michael Young
Mike Morse

Projected Final Top Ten

Miguel Cabrera - next season, third base only
Edwin Encarnacion - Jose Bautista, the sequel (keeping in mind the sequel is usually not as good as the original)
Albert Pujols - kind of like pizza, even when he's bad, he's still pretty good
Prince Fielder - quietly got the numbers where they should be
Corey Hart - injury to Mat Gamel and emergence of Norichika Aoki forced position change and Hart adjusted nicely
Adam LaRoche - not a bad consolation after losing out on Pujols and Fielder
Mark Trumbo - late season slump could depress 2013 value
Adam Dunn - welcome back
Adrian Gonzalez - everything but the power
Paul Goldschmidt - better contact (and a high BABIP) led to a better than expected average

Most Likely to Enter 2013 Top Ten

Joey Votto - duh
Eric Hosmer - skills actually better than last season but results did not translate
Freddie Freeman - improved contact but low BABIP curtailed average

Sleeper

Anthony Rizzo - not a sleeper in the classical sense but also not expected to hit for such a high average, will need to continue to maintain huge gain in contact to crack top ten

Overrated

Mark Teixeira - so much for the concerted effort to go the other way to improve the average - will be 33 next season and begin to show his age

What about the hot corner?

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About Todd Zola, MastersBall.com

Focusing primarily on the science of player valuation and game theory starting in 1997, Todd Zola and Mastersball carved out an important niche in the fantasy industry. In 2006, Todd became the Research Director for fantasybaseball.com, and in 2009, he relaunched Mastersball and is now a managing partner.

Todd competes in Tout Wars and the XFL, and has been a multiple-time league champion in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has been a contributor to the fantasy content at MLB.com and SI.com, is a frequent guest on Sirius/XM and Blog Talk Radio and is an annual speaker at the spring and fall First Pitch Forum symposiums.

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