06 March 2012

2012 Fantasy Baseball Preview: Boston Red Sox

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.

BOSTON RED SOX

So what about last year? Cut and paste what I wrote about Atlanta. Boston had a bad April, kicked all kinds of ass from May - August, then got drunk and ate too much fried chicken in September and missed the playoffs on the final day of the season.

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.


PlayerPOS2011 TeamABRHRRBISBAVGOBPSLGRNK
1Jacoby EllsburyOFBOS6601193210539.321.376.5524th
2Carl CrawfordOFBOS 50665115618.255.289.40523rd
3Dustin Pedroia2BBOS 635102219126.307.387.4742nd
4Adrian Gonzalez1BBOS 630108271171.338.410.5484th
5David OrtizDHBOS 5258429961.309.398.554NR
6Kevin Youkilis3BBOS 4316817803.258.373.45913th
7Cody RossOFSF4055414525.240.325.40592nd
8Jarrod SaltalamacchiaCBOS 3585216561.235.288.45023rd
9Mike AvilesSSKC/BOS2863173914.255.289.40926th

Who do I draft? Take your pick. Ellsbury is a first round pick. Pedroia usually goes in the second. Ortiz is good for 25-30 homers even in a bad year. 

Who do I avoid? Injury concerns about Youk and Crawford aside, I'm going to go out on a limb and say Adrian Gonzalez. Obviously in a keeper league you keep him and don't give it a second thought. But in redraft leagues, he's going way higher than I like. Homers were down last year, and Boston isn't actually too friendly to left handed power hitters. His insanely high BABIP is going to drop, bringing his average to about the .280 to .300 level. Coming into his second full season after shoulder surgery, there's a chance he goes bananas and hits 40 homers like everyone expected last year. But if he only hit 25, it wouldn't surprise me. Now a .300 average, 25 homers and well over 100 RBI is nothing to sneeze at, but that's not what you want out of the 6th or 7th pick in the draft.

Who do I keep an eye on? SALTY! Dude hit 10 homers in the second half last year. He's got a chance at 15-20 with an average that won't murder you too much every week. As the 23rd catcher off the board, you could do a lot worse.

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.


PlayerPOS2011 TeamIPWLERAWHIPKBBRNK
1Jon LesterSPBOS191.21593.471.261827516th
2Josh BeckettSPBOS 193.01372.891.031755225th
3Clay BuchholzSPBOS 82.2633.481.29603158th
4Daniel BardSPBOS 73.0293.330.96742471st
5Alfredo AcevesSPBOS 114.01652.611.11804293rd

Who do I draft? Pencil in Lester for the same stat line as last year: ERA between 3.20 and 3.50, 180 - 200 K's. The only thing that seems to fluctuate is wins. Beckett won't be as awesome as last year, but he'll certainly be better than he was in 2010.

Who do I avoid? If you think Aceves can be a full-time starter this season and still have an ERA under 3.00, there's a money league I'd like to invite you to. There's no way he repeats the insanely low BABIP (.231) and he doesn't strike enough hitters out to be as dominant as he was last year. I call it luck. I also call maybe 15 starts over the season with an ERA between 3.80 and 4.20 (Heh...4:20, mannnnn...). Avoid Bard too, at least at the position he's being drafted in. Reliever-to-starter transitions are always risky, especially in the first year. If he drops to you late, go for it. otherwise let him be someone else's problem.

Who do I keep an eye on? Clay Buchholz had a stress fracture in his back last season. The year before he was not too shabby. Keep an eye on him in Spring Training.

Who the hell is closing?
PlayerPOS2011 TeamIPWLSavesERAWHIPKBBRNK
Andrew BaileyRPOAK41.204243.241.10411212th
Mark MelanconRPHOU74.184202.781.22662651st

Andrew Bailey gets hurt more than a 12 year old girl's feelings. Keep Mellonballer as a handcuff if you draft him.

What if that asshole gets hurt or starts to suck? Melancon, duh.

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