21 February 2012

2012 Fantasy Baseball Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks

Over the next month, we will be previewing all 30 MLB teams for the upcoming fantasy season.  We'll go over everything from which players are new to the team, to which ones have left. Who should you draft, who should you avoid, who should you heckle, who should you stalk and send a lock of your hair to, who should you want to throw a baggie full of your own urine at.  You know.  All the important shit to prepare you for your draft.


2011 Record: 94-68 (1st in NL West)

New Guys in 2012: P Craig Breslow, P Trevor Cahill, OF Jason Kubel, P Takashi Saito
Guys No Longer Here: OF Collin Cowgill, P Zach Duke, P Jason Marquis, OF Xavier Nady (He's still alive?), P Micah Owings, P Jarrod Parker

Thank god they brought Henry Blanco back at least.

So what about last year? Like a superpowered Toxic Avenger, the Diamondbacks fought their way from the bottom of the cesspool known as the NL West to win the division.  Under the management of RBI Baseball legend Kirk Gibson, the team purged itself of their ricockulous free-swinging ways. Seriously Mark Reynolds.  Learn to take a ball sometimes.  Unfortunately the D-backs lost the NLDS to Milwaukee and thus ended an improbable season. But last season was just the beginning as 2012 looks to be even brighter for this young squad of up and comers.

So who's playing where? Projected lineup courtesy of Rotochamp.com. Stats are from 2011.  RNK is the player's ranking at that position from our fantasy rankings.

1Stephen DrewSSARI321445454.252.317.39616th
2Aaron Hill2BTOR/ARI5206186121.246.299.35619th
3Justin UptonOFARI592105318821.289.369.5294th
4Miguel MonteroCARI4936518861.282.351.4696th
5Chris B YoungOFARI56789207121.236.331.42030th
6Jason KubelOFMIN3663712581.273.332.43471st
7Paul Goldschmidt1BARI156288264.250.333.47422nd
8Ryan Roberts3BARI48286196518.249.341.42717th

Paul Goldschmidt playing for
AA Mobile last season.
Who do I draft? First and foremost, Justin Upton is a no-brainer.  A top 5 outfielder and likely first round candidate, it's really hard to believe that he's only 24 years old.  If you got him in a keeper or dynasty league, don't let him go any time soon.  Miguel Montero had a nice bust out season last year and is poised to stake a claim at the elite fantasy catcher level this season.  Chris Young is a good OF that can be had in middle rounds.  His ability to go 20/20 provides nice value.

Who do I avoid? Aaron Hill.  There are plenty of other 2B out there who won't make you insane.  It's been 3 years since his inexplicable 36 home run season and the likelihood of matching those numbers again are slim to none. His 21 steals last year was a bit of a surprise but even that hardly made up for his sudden loss of power.  Let someone else take the gamble here.

Who do I keep an eye on? After being banged up for a large part of 2011, Stephen Drew may be undervalued a bit to start the season. If he's healthy this is a guy who has 20 homer potential at a position where that can be hard to find. Paul Goldschmidt will be the starting 1B and is said to be an absolute beast at the plate. He could be a nice late round grab that could pay off in the power department.  For deeper leagues Jason Kubel could have a nice bounce back year.  Kubel only played 99 games last year and never hit real well in his two seasons at Target Field.  A move to the desert may be just what the doctor ordered for Kubel as he should get back to his 20+ homer ways.

So who's in the rotation? Projected lineup courtesy of Rotochamp.com. Stats are from 2011.  RNK is the player's ranking at that position from our fantasy rankings.

1Ian KennedySPARI222.02142.881.091985518th
2Trevor CahillSPOAK207.212144.161.431478266th
3Daniel HudsonSPARI222.016123.491.201695025th
4Joe SaundersSPARI212.012133.691.3510867NR
5Josh CollmenterSPARI154.110103.381.071002876th

Who do I draft? I would've never guessed that Ian Kennedy would win 21 games last season.  The young hurler who was acquired a few years back in that massive 3-way Curtis Granderson trade, had a massive breakout last season and established himself as the new ace in the desert.  He would make a great #2 SP in most leagues.  Daniel Hudson should also produce once again as well.  Although with a lower K-rate and higher WHIP he's a tier below Kennedy.

Who do I avoid? If you actually draft Joe Saunders I will come to your house and punch you in the throat.  I don't even think I could recommend him in a streaming situation.  Trevor Cahill on the other hand can draw an argument here.  I for one am not sold on him.  The one plus Cahill has going for him is that his K/9 rate has gone up by nearly 1 each of the last two seasons.  But that only brings it from fucking terrible to fucking tolerable.

Who do I keep an eye on?  Josh Collmenter, I guess.  His numbers last season are OK, but the 17 homers given up in just 154 innings is a concern.

Who the hell is closing?
J.J. PutzRPARI58.022452.170.9161127th

J.J. Putz made it back from closer purgatory, a place that devours many promising relievers following a major injury (Oh where have you gone, B.J. Ryan?), and logged an impressive 45 saves with a stellar K and BB rate to go with it.  He's definitely a guy I'd consider as a first option at RP.

What if that asshole gets hurt or starts to suck? David Hernandez filled in a little last year and recently acquired Takashi Saito should be their new setup man.  I'm not thrilled with either.  Hernandez was shaky at best and Saito is old as shit. I see no reason to draft either.

Oh yeah did you hear they brought back Lyle Overbay?
Neither did I.


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