Fantasy Baseball: Team Previews

By Jason Fukao

San Francisco Giants 

Projected Line-Ups

CF: Dave Roberts

SS: Omar Vizquel

2B: Ray Durham

CF: Barry Bonds

1B: Rich Aurilia

RF: Randy Winn

3B: Pedro Feliz

C: Benji Molina 

Projected Rotation

Barry Zito

Matt Morris

Matt Cain

Noah Lowry

Russ Ortiz

Closer: Armando Benitez

Player Spotlight

CF: Dave Roberts –.After a few seasons as a backup with the Cleveland Indians, the Los Angeles Dodgers gave Roberts a full-time gig in center field in 2002, and he took full advantage of it by promptly stealing 45 bases. It’s too bad he can’t do anything else. He is a one category monster, averaging 39 bags over the last 5 seasons, including a season-high 49 for the San Diego Padres last season. He will definitely get you the steals, but he won’t contribute anything else to your team. If you can afford a hit to the other categories, pick up this jackrabbit.

RP: Armando Benitez – Right now, Benitez is penciled in as the closer for opening day. However,  there are reports that the Giants are shopping him. The Cincinnati Reds and Florida Marlins are showing interest, and the Giants seem okay due to a capable Brian Wilson in the bullpen. Frankly, from a fantasy perspective it doesn’t really matter who Benitez is playing for, as long as he is healthy and closing games. If he does get traded, make sure you pick up

Toronto Blue Jays 

Projected Line-Up

CF: Reed Johnson

RF: Alex Rios

CF: Vernon Wells

DH: Frank Thomas

3B: Troy Glaus

1B: Lyle Overbay

2B: Aaron Hill

C: Gregg Zaun

SS: Royce Clayton 

Projected Rotation

Roy Halladay

A.J. Burnett

Gustavo Chacin

Tomo Ohka

John Thomson

Closer: B.J. Ryan 

Player Spotlight

DH: Frank Thomas Thomas will now look to bring the big hurt across the border to Toronto. After his MVP-caliber year last season with the Oakland Athletics, Thomas was rewarded with a fat two-year, $18 million contract from the Blue Jays. He brings his bat to an already stacked lineup, alongside sluggers Vernon Wells, Troy Glaus and Lyle Overbay. If he produces anywhere close to last year’s numbers, the Jays should be a formidable force in the AL East. He probably won’t hit 39 homers and drive in 114 runs as he did last season, but anywhere around the high 20s is realistic, especially with the production he will receive around him in the batting order. It will be interesting to see what this 38-year old can do as an encore.

SP: A.J. Burnett – Once again, Burnett battled injuries last season and was limited to only 135.1  IP, but he was still able to rack up 10 wins and 118 strikeouts. He seems healthy and ready to go this season, so it should be exciting to see him attempt to replicate his 2005 numbers. He is pitching in the AL East and will be facing the Yankees and Red Sox a handful of times, and that cannot be friendly on the ERA or the WHIP. Expect him to be among the league leaders in strikeouts, if he can stay healthy.

Images courtesy of AP Photo.


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