Market Movers (cont.)
Posted: Thursday April 5, 2007 1:39PM; Updated: Thursday April 5, 2007 2:34PM
Barry Zito (SP, Giants): The argument against the Giants' biggest offseason acquisition has already been laid out. This is a league-average pitcher getting MVP-caliber money. But let's focus on the positive. Some reasons to be optimistic about Zito include:
Kevin Kouzmanoff (3B, Padres): For some reason there's still a prevailing notion among some fans that minor league statistics mean nothing. "So what if Alex Gordon batted .325 with light-tower power last year" they'll say. "He's never been the majors. Who knows if he'll be able to handle it in the Show!" That, of course, makes about as much sense as claiming that your high school valedictorian is just as likely to fail out of college as Jeff Spicoli. Minor league performance matters, and properly adjusted, it serves as a robust predictive tool. With that in mind, here is Kouzmanoff's career line in more than 1,300 minor league at-bats: .332 AVG, .395 OBP, .556 SLG. The man can hit a baseball.
Kenny Rogers (SP, Tigers): Rogers' skill-set has aged like wine; one could argue that his last two seasons are his best pair since 1989-90, where he spent most of his time in relief and probably sported a ridiculous haircut. Sidelined until the summer with a bum shoulder, he'll spend most of his time on fantasy drop lists. Owners can only hope that Joel Zumaya doesn't get him too hooked on Guitar Hero while he's rehabbing.
Matt Garza (SP, Twins): What hurts more? A sharpened toothbrush delivered to the fleshy part of your thigh or one of your fantasy sleepers getting demoted after a solid spring? Garza's stock takes a nosedive, thanks to Terry Ryan's desire to make things interesting in the AL Central. But keep Garza on your radar -- once Minnesota outfielders recover from their Ponson-induced case of whiplash, he'll be a hot commodity once again.
Jason Giambi (DH, Yankees): A Three True Outcomes machine at this point in his career, Giambi is already limited to contributing to just a couple fantasy categories between short DL stints. Couple that with the fact that hitters with his body type and skill-set tend to age about as gracefully as Meg Ryan, and you'll understand why some owners are shedding the former MVP from their rosters in favor of first basemen with a little less upside but a lot less potential to disappear like Keyser Soze.
Jorge Cantu (2B, Devil Rays): A fine ballplayer in his own right, Cantu finds his name on the Decliners list because of circumstance. B.J. Upton needs a place to play, and that place is going to be at second base, where Cantu had formerly shined as a 22-year-old, hit for power as a 23-year-old, and impersonated Neifi Perez as a 24-year-old. Cantu's fate rests strictly with how well Upton and Elijah Dukes handle regular playing time in the majors. If the future of your fantasy season rests with him, you should probably invest in a voodoo doll or two.
Kyle Davies (SP, Braves): Once slated to begin the year in Atlanta, Davies was shipped to Rome at the end of last week, which isn't nearly as exotic as it looks on HBO. It's possible that he'll return to the big club by the weekend, but for now, owners are flipping him for Greinke.