Youngsters Greinke, Wainwright get lots of attention
Posted: Thursday April 5, 2007 1:39PM; Updated: Thursday April 5, 2007 2:34PM
The first few weeks (let alone months) of the season are hard for any fantasy owner, as the natural instinct to pull the plug on a floundering rookie or to shop for a rejuvenated veteran is intense. Nevertheless, smart owners know better than to submit to this dastardly urge, as the road to seventh place is paved with rash decisions made in April. Geoffrey Chaucer once wrote, after all, that "Patience is a high virtue." Of course, there's only a 20 percent chance he was referring to fantasy baseball at the time, but his point should ring clearer than a Fiona Apple vocal track: Now is the time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the return of our National Pastime. Save your wheeling and dealing for another day.
Unless, of course, you can still grab Ian Snell for below market value. Did you see that guy on Tuesday? Absolutely filthy. Trade for this man now!
Oh. Right. Chaucer. Sorry.
For a more balanced view of the MLB universe, let's take a look at who's moving on PROTRADE's Sports Stock Market (soon offering MLB team IPOs!):
Zack Greinke (SP, Royals): Greinke's backstory is about as well-known as Anna Nicole Smith's, so there's no use in recounting it here. The former first-round pick is making his way into portfolios because he's healthy and currently working in the No. 3 slot in the Royals' rotation. Superficially, his performance profile looks more similar to a non-prospect like Jeremy Sowers than a stud like Homer Bailey, but there's reason to believe that Greinke still has a bright future ahead of him, middling strikeout rate be damned. For one, the 23-year-old right-hander sports world-class control: In 334 major league innings -- including that 183-inning disaster some people call "2005" -- Greinke has walked just 2.2 batters for every nine trips to the mound. That's superb. For another, he can still get outs: Despite a soft-touch image, Greinke can hit the mid-90s with his fastball, has posted above-average K rates at every level, and is widely regarded to be a sharp student of the game who will pitch to contact, eschewing high-effort Ks for low-effort pop-outs and groundouts. Yes, he's had his troubles, but when it comes to a starter with a career strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.7-to-1, it's probably worth rolling the dice.
Jorge Julio (RP, Marlins): Unlike the Todd Joneses of the world, Julio sports an impressive repertoire when he's on. The problem is he's not always on. Handed the closer role by manager Fredi Gonzalez, this former Snake has seen his value shoot up since last week. The only question remaining is if it can stay there. Like sharks with laser beams attached to their heads, Taylor Tankersley, Kevin Gregg and Ricky Nolasco are waiting for Julio to stumble again, as he did in Wednesday's loss to the Nationals (five hits, one walk and three runs in 1/3 of an inning).
Adam Wainwright (SP, Cardinals): Making the transition from one role to another is tough enough we're you're decreasing your workload, but Wainwright has been outfitted with the opposite task, and has looked stellar in the process. Remember how Mets hitters looked last October, helplessly watching Wainwright drop the hammer like Judge Joe Brown? Expect more of that, but for seven innings a night instead of just one.
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