Top fantasy prospects among those switching leagues
Posted: Saturday February 4, 2006 5:43PM; Updated: Monday February 6, 2006 8:17PM
Troy Glaus takes his 37-homer power north of the border.
Having played in enough keeper AL- and NL-only leagues, a major part of the early scouting for the draft is figuring out who's available to be picked. And all the offseason movement means there's a bunch of new fish in the sea to fill out your roster.
Just beware that with this movement, some of the bigger-name players may see their prices inflated a bit because of the new attention. On the other hand, some of the lesser names or potential sleeper material could go at a discount once all the the new guys are bid up.
I'll look at each league with the biggest name to enter the pool at each position, plus a few other players worth considering.
1B: Jim Thome, White Sox: Injuries limited him to 59 games and seven homers for the Phillies last year, but if he's healthy, he could be a 35-40 homer guy again as a DH in Chicago. He's not over the hill just yet, so don't be afraid to bid up on him, although it was a busy offseason for former NL first basemen coming to the AL.
Others to consider: Lyle Overbay, Blue Jays: Not a superstar, but good for reliable stats like .280-18-80.
2B: Mark Loretta, Red Sox: After two great seasons in 2003 and 2004, Loretta slumped to just three homers and a .280 average in a 2005 campaign marred by a thumb injury. Moving to Fenway should give him better opportunities to get his numbers back in order -- possibly back to a .300 average with 15 homers and 75 RBIs.
Others to consider: Luis Castillo, Twins: He can still hit .300, but he's not a huge base-stealing threat anymore. Mark Grudzielanek, Royals: He can help your batting average, but not much else. Rob Mackowiak, White Sox: Nice utility player with double-digit potential in homers and steals.
SS: Alex Gonzalez, Red Sox: Loretta's new middle infield partner also had two big years in 2003 and 2004 (41 homers, 156 RBIs) before injuries hit him hard in 2005 (five homers, 45 RBIs). He could match Loretta's power and run-production numbers but won't come anywhere close to his average or on-base.
Others to consider: Not much else to see here.
3B: Troy Glaus, Blue Jays: Glaus returned to health in 2005 and hit 37 homers in his one season for the D'backs. He could do it again in Toronto, although he won't help you with his big strikeout numbers and relatively low average. But you've known that for years.
Others to consider: Edgardo Alfonzo, Angels: He might not even win a starting job. Tony Batista, Twins: In some ways, he's a poor man's Glaus, although the power isn't as consistent. Mike Lowell, Red Sox: Not sure what happened in 2005, but going to Fenway should get him back to at least double-digit homers. Andy Marte, Indians: Former Braves prospect could supplant Aaron Boone sooner than later.
C: Ramon Hernandez, Orioles: Despite a handful of injuries, Hernandez was rather sharp in his time with the Padres, hitting 30 homers in 210 games. Going to much friendlier Camden Yards should get the power numbers back up.
Others to consider: Kenji Johijima, Mariners: If healthy, the Japanese import could be on Hernandez's offensive level.