Sunday, April 13, 2008

Managing Your Season: Active Managing & Keeping an eye on Prospects

Although I still think it is too early to be making any big moves in your fantasy league (in case you missed my earlier post, you should make any drastic moves until after a least at month, just to give players and teams a chance to set their season in order—unless of course a player gets a season ending injury, at which time you will have to find a replacement), there are a few things you need to be doing to help your team in the future.

The most important thing you need to do for fantasy success is that you must keep an eye on your team and actively track your players. This means that you need to find out how your players are doing by checking the Yahoo news blurbs and also going to a baseball news website (I prefer ESPN and, both of which I check daily). Yahoo and ESPN do a good job providing information about players during the course of the season, but I have found they are both a little slow and leave the same info listed as a new item for extended periods. Because you always want to know what is happening at this moment, rather than a few days from now. The earlier you have information, the sooner you can act upon it. The best case for this can be found with injuries. Nothing is more annoying than finding out after the game has started that your star player has an injury and will not be playing in the current game, while a perfectly good player who is playing wastes away on your bench and hits a grand slam.

The second thing you should do is keep an eye on future prospects. There are always a handful of players going on the DL, getting benched for poor play, or getting themselves into trouble and being benched. Now, I am not going to give you a list of prospects because you can get that from any of the experts, and frankly they have a lot more time to hunt the minor leagues than I do. Heck, we don’t even have a minor league team in close proximity to Atlanta. There is one is Rome, but it isn’t easy to get to one of their games (especially since tickets to the Braves are so cheap and the stadium is within walking distance to my house). But what I will do is direct you to a great website to find out important information about prospects in the minors. Minor League Baseball dot com ( is the website in question. Like, it provides information about minor league teams and players. Since it is run by MLB, they focus a lot of their attention on the players identified as the best prospects waiting to be called up to the big leagues. This slant gives you an easy way to keep an eye on up and coming players, but more importantly they sometimes give better clues that a player is about to be called up than the Majors focused media. In fact, I knew about Longoria being called up on Friday, April 11th, because of MiLB, while Yahoo and ESPN did not run the information until Saturday, April 12th. That crucial jump in time gave me an edge over my competition and made it possible for me to pick him up in most of my fantasy leagues.

And now, although I said I wouldn’t give a list, I am going to do so anyways. I compiled this list of prospects from several expert lists (so I apologize for any crossovers).

Jay Bruce, OF, Triple-A (Reds) - 11/33, 5 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 SB
Colby Rasmus, OF, Triple-A (Cardinals) - 8/35, 5 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SB
Fernando Martinez, OF, Double-A (Mets) - 7/31, 6 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SB
Cameron Maybin, OF, Double-A (Marlins) - 9/23, 4 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 SB
Andrew McCutchen, OF, Triple-A (Pirates) - 6/31, 6 R, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 1 SB
Matt LaPorta, OF, Double-A (Brewers) - 5/22, 3 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 0 SB
Brandon Wood, 3B, Triple-A (Angels) - 8/36, 5 R, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 0 SB
Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Triple-A (A's) - 7/24, 4 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 0 SB
Chase Headley, 3B/OF, Triple-A (Padres) - 5/27, 2 R, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0 SB
Elvis Andrus, SS, Double-A (Rangers) - 10/29, 2 R, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 1 SB (and 3 CS)
Matt Antonelli, 2B, Triple-A (Padres) - 5/21, 4 R, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SB
Ian Stewart, 3B, Triple-A (Rockies) - 10/34, 7 R, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 2 SB
Jose Tabata, OF, Double-A (Yankees) - 7/28, 1 R, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 3 SB
Reid Brignac, SS, Triple-A (Rays) - 7/30, 7 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0 SB

Clayton Kershaw, SP, Double-A (Dodgers) - 3.38 ERA, 8.0 IP, 4 BB, 12 K
Jake McGee, SP, Double-A (Rays) - 2.25 ERA, 8.0 IP, 4 BB, 11 K.
Homer Bailey, SP, Triple-A (Reds) - 0.71 ERA, 12.2 IP, 2 BB, 9 K (not really unknown)
Gio Gonzalez, SP, Triple-A (A's) - 3.00 ERA, 3.0 IP, 2 BB, 3
Nick Adenhart, SP, Triple-A (Angels) - 0.82 ERA, 11.0 IP, 5 BB, 8 K
Max Scherzer, SP, Triple-A (Diamondbacks) - 0.00 ERA, 5.0 IP, 2 BB, 7 K
Luke Hochevar, SP, Triple-A (Royals) - 3.97 ERA, 11.1 IP, 4 BB, 7 K

This short list should give you a small group of players to start watching, although there are many more out there (especially at pitcher). The great thing about prospects is it gives you insight into another level of Major League Baseball; it gives you a head start in terms of finding good players before they reach the BIGs; and, it gives you a chance to tell people that you’ve been watching guys like Braun and Longoria since they were in the minors.

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