Its was a solid 2012 season in my Fantasy Fan Cave (formerly known as Pirate-Pack-Heel Nation). Our commish kindly changed the name of our league as I was an MLB Fan Cave finalist this year. Before we start looking at the players and their numbers, you can check out my 2011 pitchers here and my 2011 hitters here.
I’m going to go with a little different format this year. Below are all of the hitters and pitchers who logged stats for my team during the 2012 season. These are the stats that players accumulated when I started them, not their final stats for the season. Also, don’t mind the squiggly red lines underneath the players’ names. Apparently my table in Microsoft Word doesn’t recognize any names.
After all of my hitter’s and pitcher’s stats, I’ll delve into some of my hitter and pitcher keeper options for next season. As always, in this league we have a 30-Man roster and get to keep 21. It pays to do your homework because if you can jump on an up-and-comer like Jason Kipnis right before he’s called up, you have total control of him for as long as your little heart desires. There are no salaries or limits on how long you can keep players.
To me, this makes our league a much purer form of fantasy and I love it.
Now for the pitchers.
One lesson I had to learn the hard way this season: while you can chase saves on the waiver wire, a lot of times you’re going to pay with your ERA when you have shaky bullpen arms in your starting lineup. Francisco Cordero and Francisco Rodriguez come to mind when I think of relief pitchers who killed my ERA.
Keeper Options for 2013
DL Victor Martinez, C-1B [DET] – Acquired via draft, 2008
I held onto Victor all season on my roster because we have three DL slots and I could afford to slot him in one. I’m excited to return him back into my lineup because his .300 average is something that my roster missed dearly this season.
Yasmani Grandal, C [SD] – Acquired via waiver wire, August 26, 2012
Grandal hit an admirable .310 for me over 84 at bats this season. I sorely missed Victor Martinez’s average this season (especially since Carlos Santana did me few favors in the average department), but it’s going to be tough rationalizing three keeper catchers, even in a 21-keeper format.
Update: The 50 game suspension for performance enhancing drugs has made this keeper decision a lot easier.
Carlos Santana, C-1B [CLE] – Acquired via draft, 2010
I won’t go as far as saying that Carlos was a disappointment this season. His final line in games started for me was .260/16/70 with 68 runs and even 3 stolen bases. Carlos hit a cold stretch during the middle of the season that had my team catcher’s average hovering at the .220 mark. I benched him for Grandal at one point during the 2012 campaign, which kept his average for me above his season line of .252.
Freddie Freeman, 1B [ATL] – Acquired via trade, March 4, 2012 (Joel Hanrahan for Freddie Freeman)
I could have used a little higher average from Freeman (.258 for my team versus .259 for the season). Freeman, much like Carlos Santana, had some very cold stretches during the year, which were tough to suffer through. Ultimately he finished with a .258/20/84/84/2 (AVG/HR/RBI/R/SB) final line in games started for my team, which was more than helpful. Next season I’m hoping for some production in the area of 25-27 HRs and a .270 average instead of the 23 and .259 average he provided this year.
Mark Teixeira, 1B [NYY] – Acquired via trade, June 10, 2012 (Cliff Lee for Mark Teixeira)
Dogged by injuries in 2012, I need Tex to be a top ten talent at first base for my team next season.
Adam Dunn, 1B-LF [CWS] – Acquired via trade, 2008 (Robinson Cano for Adam Dunn), Reacquired via draft, 2012
I dropped Dunn this offseason after his well documented abysmal 2011 season. All the while I was hoping to pick him up at a discount, which I thankfully had the opportunity to do in the 5th round (which would be the 26th) in our 2012 draft. I sat Dunn against a few lefties this year, and of course he mashed a couple of homers, but he still managed to hit 37 of them for me. Now, if only I could figure out how to get him to hit higher than .203…
Martin Prado, 2B-3B-SS-LF [ATL] – Acquired via draft, 2010, Reacquired via draft 2012
Prado isn’t sexy. And at the beginning of this season he only had 3B and LF eligibility, which made him expendable. However, when he was there for me in the first round of our draft (22nd round overall), I immediately jumped on him. I was rewarded with a .306 average (which my roster desperately needed), 7 homers, and a surprising 16 stolen bases. By the end of the season, Prado had obtained SS and 2B eligibility, which makes him almost a sure keeper going into 2013.
Jason Kipnis, 2B [CLE] – Acquired via waiver wire, July 12, 2011
I fell in love with Kipnis’s swing after watching a video of him mashing in Akron. He has a sweet, sweet swing that’s made to have a little pop, which makes Kipnis an invaluable fantasy resource.
Alexei Ramirez, SS [CWS] – Acquired via trade, August 13, 2011 (Starlin Castro, Drew Stubbs, and Mark Trumbo for Alexei Ramirez, Chris Young, Gio Gonzalez, and Mat Latos)
I still regret trading one of the hottest commodoties in Starlin Castro and Alexei Ramirez hasn’t done a whole lot to alleviate that pain. You know what you’re going to get with Sexy Alexei and by the end of the season, he put up nearly what I’d expected. However, those numbers came at a price, which was a middle of the season slump that crushed my overall production at short stop. This season may have been Alexei’s last on my roster as I now have a few other options with a little more upside (Lowrie) or consistent production (Prado).
Jed Lowrie, SS-3B [HOU] – Acquired via trade, May 30, 2012 (Matt Adams for Jed Lowrie)
Fortunately I didn’t have to give up a lot to acquire Lowrie, which is good because what looked like was going to be his breakout year [finally], ended with a huge stretch on the DL and more underwhelming numbers. A potential keeper, depending on how my short stop situation shakes out, Lowrie will more than likely end up back in the draft pool.
David Wright, 3B [NYM] – Acquired via trade, 2008 (Brett Myers/Miguel Cabrera/Josh Hamilton for David Wright/Matt Kemp/Jake Peavy)
He’s the old faithful of my roster. Having consistent production at 3B is a commodity that not a lot of fantasy owners get to experience. Wright contributes a little in every category and his .304 average is nearly impossible to replace at the hot corner. He’s an annual mainstay and that’s not looking to change anytime soon.
Chase Headley, 3B [SD] – Acquired via trade, August 5, 2012 (Josh Reddick for Chase Headley)
I’ve liked Chase Headley for a while now and felt that he underperformed last season. While Headley’s periferals didn’t really change this season (LD %and FB%), he displayed the power that a lot of fantasy owners had been expecting. The 2012 power coupled with shorter fences at PETCO make Headley a very intriguing 3B option in ’13. My journey to acquiring Chase started on June 26 of this season when I picked up Ben Revere off of the waiver wire for some extra speed. I trade Revere to the [eventual] league champion for Josh Reddick, who I was then able to flip for one of, if not the hottest, players in baseball down the stretch. In two months with my team, Headley played in 52 games, hit .313 with 17 HR, a mind numbing 57 RBI, scored 42 runs, and swiped 5 bags. A definite lock at keeper, I’m hoping Headley builds off of his success at the end of this season next year.
Starling Marte, LF-CF [PIT] – Acquired via waiver wire, July 26, 2012
It would be great to be able to hold onto a talent like Marte because of his speed/power upside, but on my roster, he’s probably going to end up being thrown back into the draft.
DL Carl Crawford, LF [BOS] – Acquired via draft, 2008
Crawford is worth the keeper spot if he can produce at the level that everyone has come to expect from him.
Matt Kemp, CF [LAD] – Acquired via trade, 2008 (Brett Myers/Miguel Cabrera/Josh Hamilton for David Wright/Matt Kemp/Jake Peavy)
Matt Kemp was a solid contributor when he was healthy. I needed a healthy Kemp all season to make another run at first place however, and that wasn’t in the cards. I had a variety of center fielders fill in admirably in Kemp’s wake (Revere, Gomez, Parra, Marte), but obviously none of them can do what a potential MVP-caliber Kemp can do.
Carlos Gomez, CF [MIL] – Acquired via waiver wire, July 30, 2012
Another waiver wire darling in the mold of Ben Revere, Gomez provided the speed that my team needed to hang towards the top in stolen bases, but with an added bonus that we hadn’t seen from Gomez until this season: power. While Revere hit zero home runs this season, Gomez hit a surprising 19. In 49 games for my team, Gomez managed to hit 8 homers and swipe 15 bags, making him a dark horse candidate for a keeper going into next season.
Jay Bruce, RF [CIN] – Acquired via trade, 2009. (Pablo Sandoval/Brian Wilson for Brandon Inge/Jay Bruce)
What is there to say about Jay Bruce that hasn’t already been said. A mainstay on my roster, Bruce continued his consistent reign as one of the league’s premiere power hitters by posting a .252/33/96/87/9 line when he was in my starting lineup (.252/34/99/89/9 overall).
CC Sabathia, SP [NYY] – Acquired via trade July 14, 2012 (Shin-Soo Choo for CC Sabathia)
Sabathia and Haren must have chatted at the dry cleaner about how unhappy they were about being traded to the Meekrats, because after trading for the both of them this season, they under-performed due to injuries in 2012.
Here’s to hoping for a healthy elbow in 2013!
Brandon Morrow, SP [TOR] – Acquired via draft, 2008
The upside is ticklingly ridiculous. The downside is that when Morrow isn’t looking like he’s about to throw a perfect game, he looks like a player that just learned how to play baseball a couple weeks ago. I still blame Seattle for jerking him around between relief and starting, but Morrow is so tantalizing that it makes it difficult to part ways with him.
Mat Latos, SP [CIN] – Acquired via trade, August 13, 2011 (Starlin Castro, Drew Stubbs, and Mark Trumbo for Alexei Ramirez, Chris Young, Gio Gonzalez, and Mat Latos)
Latos underwhelmed at points throughout the season, and at other points, seemed to shine like the staff ace Cincinnati thought they were trading for. With too much upside to let go, Latos will be a keeper in 2013, almost for sure.
Gio Gonzalez, SP [WAS] – Acquired via trade, August 13, 2011 (Starlin Castro, Drew Stubbs, and Mark Trumbo for Alexei Ramirez, Chris Young, Gio Gonzalez, and Mat Latos)
An ace in every sense of the word, Gonzalez was the centerpiece in my Starlin Castro trade last season. I’ll continue to look for improvement in his command and control, but he’s a keeper without question.
Jake Peavy, SP [CWS] – Acquired via waiver wire April 17, 2012
One of the best waiver wire pickups for me this season, Peavy showed his lat is definitely still attached and will be a keeper going into 2013.
Dan Haren, SP [LAA] – Acquired via trade, March 7, 2012 (Elvis Andrus for Dan Haren)
My SS woes stem from a desire to build a pitching Dream Team. I thought Haren would round out my pitching staff nicely which, at the beginning of the season, featured Cliff Lee, Gio Gonzalez, and Mat Latos. What could go wrong with a guy who’s pitched over 200 innings for the last 8 season and had never visited the DL?
Haren had a very pedestrian 4.33 ERA and lingering health problems all season long. Hopefully an off season of rest will help him get back to his low three ERA and 200 inning career pace.
AJ Burnett, SP [PIT] – Acquired via waiver wire, June 10, 2012
Hey Yankee fans: How’d that season from Burnett feel?
Jason Motte, RP [STL] – Acquired via trade, May 20, 2012 (Alex Gordon for Jason Motte)
With a crowded outfield, I saw my opportunity to make a move to acquire a closer. While trading a bat for a closer goes against my general philosophy of never paying for saves, I could see the writing on the wall early on in the year that my team was going to need a top flight closer to rack up some saves. So Gordon went off to team Chupacabra and Motte joined the Meekrats, logging 35 saves and 68 Ks over 56 innings.
A definite keeper for 2013.
Chris Perez, RP [CLE] – Acquired via waiver wire, June 14, 2010
Closers are keepers when you have 21 keeper spots. Even if they’re crazy.
Tom Wilhelmsen, RP [SEA] – Acquired via waiver wire May 26, 2012
Closers are keepers.
Luke Gregerson, RP [SD] – Acquired via waiver wire, August 10, 2012
A nice little midseason pick up, Gregerson logged 8 saves for my roster and nearly a K an inning. Sadly, unless something goes haywire in SD, he probably won’t be named the closer and thus, will be thrown to the wolves.
Jason Grilli, RP [PIT] – Acquired via waiver wire, May 11, 2012
Grilli put up unparalleled numbers in 2012 and could be a sneaky keeper if rumblings of shipping Hanrahan somewhere in the offseason prove true.