Fantasy Baseball: Freddie Freeman bulks up, Rockies and Orioles swap hurlers

      February 6, 2012 @ 00:52:01 PDT


While everyone digests Super Bowl 46 - the plays and the food - you should take some fantasy baseball news you can use:

Colorado Rockies acquire Jeremy Guthrie from Baltimore Orioles for Ps Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom

Atlanta Braves 1B Freddie Freeman
Fly high, Freeman? Not so fast

Three hurlers have another hitter-friendly environment in their new homes. Guthrie escapes the AL East, but the fly-ball-friendly arm goes to an even worse home park. Maybe he'll see a slight uptick in K's, but not enough to make him worth more than an NL-only innings eater and deep mixed post-draft rental.

Hammel always seems on the fringe of fantasy usefulness. His new division, however, limits the optimism that he'll be a useful starter; his stuff is hammered frequently, and despite late-season improvements out of the bullpen in 2011, he isn't worth more than an AL-only buck.

Though Baltimore hasn't cemented their closer position yet, Lindstrom doesn't have an inside track to pass Jim Johnson or Kevin Gregg (or Koji Uehara, if he returns via trade).

Freddie Freeman adds muscle, per Brian McCann

Offseason workouts with "a top trainer," per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's David O'Brien, put at least 15 pounds of useful bulk on Freeman, McCann said.

The productivity of such buildup varies. Freeman, who'll turn 23 in September, has the 6-foot-5 frame to support such a development. But Nicholas Minnix made the sound point that not all bicep swelling is created equal; sometimes players lose flexibility or "become sluggish" because of it. Will it help Freeman against lefties at all, or slow his bat down?

His makeup sets up the defensively friendly Freeman to develop into an elite real-life talent. Paying $4 for him in last year's Tout Wars mixed auction bolstered my offense. Though 20 homers looks like a stable contribution, Freeman doesn't make much contact and probably will have to rely on a high hit percentage to keep his BA afloat for the near future.

Recent Mock Draft Central patrons, on average, have slotted Freeman far ahead of Ike Davis, Adam Lind and Paul Goldschmidt, among others.

Mock Draft Central 1B

725 mixed 5x5 qualifying drafts run between 01/23/2012 - 02/06/2012

Rk
Name
Tm
ADP
Earliest
Latest
10
Freddie Freeman
ATL
122.29
71
161
11
Mark Trumbo
LAA
142.95
89
-ND-
12
Ryan Howard
PHI
144.96
44
-ND-
13
Paul Goldschmidt
ARI
147.19
80
211
14
Adam Lind
TOR
152.17
102
-ND-
15
Justin Morneau
MIN
162.84
100
-ND-
16
Ike Davis
NYM
174.65
78
-ND-
17
Gaby Sanchez
FLA
198.29
130
-ND-

Even more evidence of how shaky the first base pool is this season.

I'd much rather take my chances with Davis, Goldschmidt and Lind for 2012 if this pricing pattern holds. And by the way, Trumbo (BA killer), Howard (uncertain recovery timetable) and Morneau (myriad of injuries) remain overvalued by the MDC masses.

Freeman's 2012 production probably won't be much different than Sanchez's. Don't pay for a significant power increase just yet.

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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