A year ago today I did my first Fantasy Baseball post and I recommended that you draft six A’s players for your team. I actually did pretty well, I think, as 4.5 of the players I told you to draft fared pretty well last season. What I am trying to say here, is if you want to win, you’ll listen to me. (I kid).
If you’re anything like me you probably won’t draft an A’s player in fear of jinxing them (ahem… Jemile Weeks last season), but I know many of you like to get that one (or several) homer pick. This is strictly my personal opinion, and if you listen to me and I tank your season, I’m truly sorry.
Just like last season I am going off of standard leagues and using the following stats: BA, Runs, HR, RBI and SB for offensive categories and Wins, ERA, WHIP, Saves and SO for pitching categories. This is my once a year post where I pretend like batting average is an important stat, so enjoy it while you can:
Yoenis Cespedes: Last season he was a sleeper pick, this season I feel pretty confident about telling you to draft him. He had a .292/.356/.505 slash line and had 23 HR, 82 RBI and stole 16 bases. ZiPS projects a .273/.338/.452 slash line with 23 HR and 84 RBI. I tend to agree that Cespedes will not be a .300 hitter, but I do think if healthy, he could be a 30 HR player.
- What he’s good for: HR, RBI, a few SB
Coco Crisp: I hesitate to put him on here, but for deep leagues he might be worth picking up. Last season Crisp had a .259/.325/.418 slash line with 11 HR, 68 Runs and 39 SB. ZiPS projects a .263/.325/.400 slash line with 8 HR, 63 Runs and 32 SB. He has a history of injuries, so it’s hard to really gauge how his numbers will be, but like I said, he would not be a bad bench player for deep leagues.
- What he’s good for: Runs, SB, the occasional HR
Brett Anderson: Anderson was recovering from Tommy John surgery last season so he didn’t pitch in his first game until August. Then he suffered an oblique injury on September 13th and missed the rest of the regular season. He pitched in only six games for the A’s last season, but over 35 innings he had a 4-2 record with a 2.57 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 25 strikeouts. ZiPS projects he only starts in 15 games for the A’s this season and has a 5-5 record with a 4.00 ERA and 57 strikeouts. Like Cespedes, Anderson’s success will really depend on his health. I would like to think he will start in more than 15 games next season and have an ERA in the low 3.00′s. (Do keep in mind that all stats from last season are from a very small sample size).
- What he’s good for: Wins, ERA, WHIP, SO
Jarrod Parker: I picked Jarrod Parker as a sleeper last year and he did nothing but impress in his rookie year. In 29 games started he had a 13-8 record over 181.1 innings pitched and had a 3.47 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 140 strikeouts. ZiPS projects a 12-10 record with a 3.77 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 153 strikeouts.
- What he’s good for: Wins, ERA, WHIP, SO
Grant Balfour: Balfour might start the season on the disabled list, but he’s worth picking up and stashing on the DL, especially in deep leagues. I said it last year and I still stand by the statement that the closer position can be the hardest to fill, especially if you have an opponent or two who likes to hoard relief pitchers. Balfour wasn’t the only closer for the team last season, but in 26 opportunities he had 24 saves, a 2.53 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP.
- What he’s good for: Saves, ERA, WHIP
Josh Reddick: I don’t really think “sleeper” is the proper term for him, but maybe keep him in mind as someone to keep a close eye on or stash on your bench. Reddick had a career season last year (he’s actually had a very short career, but still a career best nonetheless) carrying a .242/.305/.463 slash line with 32 HR, 85 RBI and 85 Runs. ZiPS projects a .243/.303/.430 slash line with 22 HR and 63 RBI. I tend to agree with ZiPS on this one, I think a big dip in production is possible, so I would not draft him to start in the outfield.
- What he’s good for: HR, RBI
Tom Milone: Again, probably some to keep a close eye on, especially in deep leagues. Milone was a pleasant surprise for the A’s last season, pitching in 31 games for the team and going 13-10 with a 3.74 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 137 strikeouts. ZiPS projects a 10-10 record in 29 games with a 3.95 ERA and 130 strikeouts. Do not expect a lot of strikeouts from him because that’s not the kind of pitcher he is, but if he comes close to last year’s numbers he will have a decent ERA and WHIP. Like Reddick, I do expect a some regression from Milone, so would not draft him right away in smaller leagues.