Fantasy Baseball: Team Previews

By Jason Fukao

Everyday, for the next 16 days, Sportscouch will be previewing two teams per day (one from each league) with a Player Spotlight on two guys who could make or break your fantasy team. Check back everyday for updates.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Projected Line-Up

2B: Orlando Hudson

SS: Stephen Drew

3B: Chad Tracy

LF: Eric Byrnes

1B: Conor Jackson

RF: Carlos Quentin

CF: Chris Young

C: Chris Synder

Projected Rotation:

Brandon Webb

Randy Johnson

Livan Hernandez

Doug Davis

Closer: Jose Valverde

Player Spotlights

Stephen Drew – This highly regarded prospect finally has his chance in the majors. After a mid-July call up last year, he hit .326 with 27 runs, 23 RBI and 5 HR in 209 at-bats. As mediocre as these numbers seem, the sky is the limit for this shortstop. After his first summer up in the big leagues and a position that is his to lose, Drew is ready for hitter-friendly Chase Field. If you can stomach a 25% K/AB ratio, then he can be your man.

Randy Johnson – RJ returns to Arizona after a two year run in the Big Apple.  However, he is not the same pitcher as the one who led the team to a World Series Championship. At the age of 43, the Big Unit is not getting any younger, but he can still be a contributor to your pitching staff. Expect an ERA about the same as last season (5.00), but do not count on 17 wins in 2007. He does not have the Yankee Death Squad behind him anymore. Regardless, count on him being among the league leaders in strikeouts.

Baltimore Orioles

Projected Line-Up

2B: Brian Roberts

3B: Melvin Mora

RF: Nick Markakis

SS: Miguel Tejada

LF: Aubrey Huff

DH: Jay Gibbons

CF: Corey Patterson

C: Roberto Hernandez

1B: Kevin Millar

Projected Rotation

Erik Bedard

Kris Benson

Daniel Cabrera

Jaret Wright

Adam Loewen

Closer: Chris Ray

Player Spotlights

Nick Markakis – Nick who?  This right fielder was relatively unknown until a monster August put him on the fantasy radar where he totaled 22 runs, 10 HRs, 26 RBI and struck out only 11 times while posting a .354 BA. That is not bad for a guy who is only 23 going into his second full season. He will be hitting behind two table-setters in Brian Roberts and Melvin Mora and will be protected by Miguel Tejada behind him, so expect big things.

Jaret Wright – Wright was another unfortunate victim of the big stage of New York combined with the injury bug, and things do not seem like they will be getting better. In his last eight seasons, he has pitched more than 141 innings and had an ERA below 4.00 only once. Many fantasy managers remember his 2004 campaign where he had a career year in Atlanta before bolting for the big contract of the Yankees. One bright spot is that he will be reunited with pitching coach extraordinaire Leo Mazzone, who was his coach with the Braves.

Johnson image courtesy of Ralph Hickok.
Markakis image courtesy of AP Photo.

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One response to “Fantasy Baseball: Team Previews

  1. You seem pretty knowledagable about baseball. I have a baseball message board for this season and would love for you to contribute. Check it out at http://www.activeboard.com/forum.spark?forumID=106169 . It’s really easy to make an account, and we’ve already got some good topics started.

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