Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Fantasy Baseball: Who are the Miami Marlins?

If you’re sitting in front of your computer on draft night and Jose Fernandez or Giancarlo Stanton are sitting there on the board you need to hurry up and take them. Obviously if you have the first few picks in the draft then maybe you want to stay away but other than that you need to take these new perennial fantasy baseball superstars. This much you probably already know though and I doubt you clicked on my post because you needed guidance whether to take one of these superstars or not. No, you clicked on this post because you want to read about the sleepers and who should be taken around Round 15 and beyond. You know, the sleeper picks that more times than not win or lose you your draft. Don’t fret, I’m here to help.

The Marlins are an intriguing team because even last season they had so much talent on the ball club and despite the talent lost far more games than they won. Not many people saw the miraculous season that Dee Gordon had at second base or the season that Adeiny Hechavarria quietly had at shortstop for the Marlins due to all the losing and the distrust of owner Jeffrey Loria. The Marlins have quietly assembled one of the better young teams in the league but the talent there needs to trust their talent before they can truly succeed. That’s where veterans and key players like Wei-Yin Chen, Carter Capps and Christian Yelich come in.

Chen specifically should benefit from the move from the AL East to the NL East and should especially benefit from pitching in the park, Marlins Park, which has allowed the second fewest home runs in the Major Leagues since its inception in 2012. Even if the team decides to move the fences in a bit like they are discussing this winter pitching in Marlins Park will never be like pitching inside Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park three or four times a season and it won’t be like facing that powerful Toronto Blue Jays lineup in his old league. Chen should see a spike in all his major stats except for obviously his strikeout numbers which have never been truly high in his career. Chen is a winner and can pitch like an ace despite pitching to contact and limiting his walks to get by.

Yelich got a big contract extension last season much like Giancarlo Stanton did and Yelich went out and did what Yelich does, he hit for a high batting average and he stole a lot of bases. Yelich is not a huge home run threat, even if they move in the fences down in Miami, as he hits the ball on the ground more times than not but he could jump up to a 10-20 home run guy as he matures and grows into his body. If you need average, stolen bases and runs scored than Yelich is your man. If you need power you’re probably not going to get it, although you may be pleasantly surprised by September.

Finally you have Carter Capps who is likely to start the season as a setup man for closer A.J. Ramos but will not likely stay there for much of the season. Ramos struggles with his command and has for much of his career making a huge stride in that department unlikely, although not impossible, in 2016. The difference between Capps and Ramos though is that Capps can be had around the 20th round or so while Ramos is still a Top 20 closer in the league even with his command struggles. Capps would be the smart pick and easily put back on the waiver wire or traded if Ramos somehow finds the zone more consistently this season. You can always pull the “he may take over for Ramos if he continues to walk guys” card and get something valuable out of him. Plus his strikeout numbers are great anyway so you may just want to keep him.

There you have it, those are the Miami Marlins that could help you win your Fantasy Baseball league this spring. Also be on the lookout for any and all pitchers that make impacts in camp or are signed by Miami because Edwin Jackson’s value to the team is more as a reliever than a starter even though he is listed as the team’s 5th starter currently. That can and likely will change before the end of the season so be on the lookout. 

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