MLB Fantasy Grapevine

by Ryan Dodson on March 16, 2007 @ 16:00:00 PDT


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.

Colorado Rockies catcher Javy Lopez

Situation: Removed from projections

Analysis: Lopez was released earlier this week after having a pretty good spring. Honestly, the move befuddles us. Newly anointed starting catcher Chris Iannetta was having a decent spring, but it wasn't good enough to warrant giving him the starting job yet. Lopez came to the Rockies as a last-ditch effort to be a starting catcher and was a big-time sleeper. He's talking to the Atlanta Braves about becoming a backup catcher. We suspect he would rather retire than be a backup. Lopez still has power, and he would have been a good player in Colorado.

Fantasy Tip: Lopez has zero value right now.

Colorado Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta

Situation: Moves up in rankings

Analysis: Iannetta was hitting .300 with a couple of RBI at the time of Lopez's release. He hit a combined .336 at Double-A and Triple-A last year and should have a good chance to produce this season. He has been anointed the starting position by default and moves into the top 10 NL catchers.

Fantasy Tip: Iannetta's stock is rising. However, you shouldn't draft him earlier than the waning stages of your draft in mixed leagues.

Cleveland Indians starter Cliff Lee

Situation: Falling in rankings

Analysis: Lee will begin the season on the disabled list with a strained abdominal muscle. He should only miss a couple of starts because of the injury. This is something that could ruin his season if he comes back too soon, though.

Fantasy Tip: Lee falls to the tail end of mixed league drafts. Take him in the final rounds.

Chicago Cubs starter Mark Prior

Situation: Falling in rankings

Analysis: Prior had an ERA over 10 before being moved to minor league camp to try to work out his mechanical problems. He is topping out around 88 mph, and one must wonder if he'll ever return to the greatness he was before the injuries. He has been projected at a lower clip because of this.

Fantasy Tip: Prior becomes potential waiver wire material in mixed leagues. You should still draft him in the final couple of rounds because the upside is still there.

Chicago Cubs starter Wade Miller

Situation: Added to projections

Analysis: Miller, now 30 years old, was one of the best young arms in the National League a few years ago. A shoulder injury has ruined the last three years of his career. He's the frontrunner to win the fifth starting position right now.

Fantasy Tip: Miller has no value right now, and Prior should come back into the fold at some point.

Cincinnati Reds starter Homer Bailey

Situation: Falling in rankings

Analysis: Bailey hasn't performed well this spring, and we modified his original projections. He's likely to begin the season in the minors, but look for him at some point in the middle of the year. 

Fantasy Tip: Bailey should only be drafted in the late stages of an NL-Only draft.

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Michael Bourn

Situation: Added to projections

Analysis: The 24-year-old speedster stole 45 bases between Double-A and Triple-A last season; there are whispers he could make the club out of camp. If the team decides to trade outfielder Aaron Rowand, look for Bourn to get immense playing time.

Fantasy Tip: Bourn shouldn't be drafted outside of NL-Only leagues. However, he could be an excellent sleeper on the waiver wire.

Chicago Cubs second baseman Ryan Theriot

Situation: Added to projections

Analysis: Theriot's name is picking up steam around expert leagues, because he could make the team out of camp. He stole 27 bases between Triple-A and the majors last year. The team is considering releasing second baseman Ronny Cedeno to make room for Theriot on the bench.

Fantasy Tip: Theriot shouldn't be drafted in anything more than NL-Only leagues as a flier pick right now.

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About Ryan Dodson

Dodson is a KFFL Contributor and has been with KFFL since 2002.

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