Welcome to the 2007 MLB Draft Guide Fantasy Grapevine. In this feature, we'll
detail what has gone on over the last week to cause our projections to change.
Whether it's an injury, a platoon circumstance or a breakout performance, we'll
keep you "in the know" in this report.
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam
Situation: Full-time starter
Analysis: We went into spring training assuming Wainwright would be
a backup plan for the Cardinals' closer position. However, Wainwright has dazzled
as a starter in the spring, and after setup man Josh
Kinney (elbow) succumbed to Tommy John surgery,
Braden Looper will probably be put back into
the bullpen. Looper was battling for the fifth starter spot, but the Cards have
no choice but to put him back in the setup role. We docked Wainwright's saves
and re-projected him as a full-time starter.
Fantasy Tip: This didn't hurt Wainwright's value, and he's a hot topic
on draft day. Look to secure him in the late rounds of your draft.
St. Louis Cardinals reliever Tyler
Situation: Added to projections
Analysis: Originally slated to be a left-handed specialist, Johnson
will have to be leaned on more with the loss of Kinney, who is out for the season.
Johnson was added to the projections, while Kinney was removed. Johnson has
good strikeout numbers, but his ERA and WHIP are still developing.
Fantasy Tip: Johnson isn't draft-worthy material at this stage.
Atlanta Braves starters Mike
Hampton and Mark Redman
Situation: Strained Oblique
Analysis: Hampton will miss two months with a strained oblique muscle,
and the team quickly signed Mark Redman, who
has the best shot to win the open starter slot. Hampton's numbers were reduced,
and Redman's were too. We projected Redman to catch on with a team and be a
regular starter, but it looks like he'll be in the bullpen when Hampton returns
or released. Therefore we projected Redman for an adequate amount of innings
to spot start.
Fantasy Tip: Hampton has very minimal value and isn't worth being drafted.
Redman could have success with Atlanta and have value in NL-Only leagues, but
it's too early to forecast that kind of transformation.
Oakland Athletics outfielders Mark
Kotsay and Travis Buck
Situation: Back surgery; Buck added to projections
Analysis: Kotsay will miss most of the first half of the season due
to back surgery. His numbers have essentially been cut in half. We have also
added rookie Travis Buck to the projections
as insurance in the outfield.
Fantasy Tip: Kotsay had very minimal value before the injury. He has
zero right now. Buck could have value later in the season.
Oakland Athletics first baseman Dan
Situation: Open spot in lineup
Analysis: Johnson was originally projected to back up Nick
Swisher at first base due to the crowded outfield. With Kotsay out, Milton
Bradley will shift to center field and Swisher will move to right field.
This opens a spot for Johnson. He's out of options, and this is a make-or-break
season for him.
Fantasy Tip: Johnson's value should rise as we get closer to the start
of the season. He has good power and can hit for a good average. He's a late-round
flier right now.
Kansas City Royals relievers Joe
Nelson and David Riske
Situation: Nelson injured; Riske added to projections
Analysis: Nelson (shoulder) is expected to miss a couple of months due
to a labrum injury in his shoulder. We feel his value is next-to-none now. As
closer Octavio Dotel's insurance policy, Nelson
had value, which has transferred to Riske.
Fantasy Tip: Neither Nelson nor Riske have fantasy value. Riske will
have value if Dotel gets hurt, but neither of these setup men should be drafted.
Dodson is a KFFL Contributor and has been with KFFL since 2002.