Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fantasy baseball: Chicago Cubs preview


Projected starting lineup
Alfonso Soriano (LF): Talk of him hitting third, but it appears he'll stay leadoff for now. Soriano says he wants to steal 30 bases. Has 19 in each of last two seasons, but was bothered by leg injuries. I like him for this season and will go in the second round of most drafts.

Ryan Theriot (SS): Good contact rate and will steal bases. Just keep in mind his stolen base percentage was 63 percent last season.

Derrek Lee (1B): Fly ball percentage on the decline. Expect similar numbers to last season.
Aramis Ramirez (3B): Very consistent and hit a lot of fly balls last season. Hasn't reached 30 homers since 2006 but I think he could get there this season.

Milton Bradley (RF): Had a high BABIP and HR/FB ratio. His numbers will regress and he's a major injury risk. Already left a game in the spring. Now he has to play he field and can't DH anymore. Big risk.

Geovany Soto (C): Should be similar to last season.

Kosuke Fukodome (CF): Had an awful second half and couldn't hit lefthanders. Does have power and speed skills. Could adjust after first year in majors. Decent option in NL-only leagues.

Mike Fontenot (2B): Will battle Aaron Miles for playing time. Fontenot had a huge second half. I like Fontenot as a sleeper.

Projected starting rotation
Carlos Zambrano: Recently did a blog entry on his decline. Beware.

Rich Harden: I always own him every season. Has some of the best stuff in baseball, but he's never healthy. I can't see it changing now. He falls to the 10th round of many drafts. I like a lot more pitchers in that range that I could count on for 200 innings. If Harden is healthy, he's a steal there.

Ryan Dempster: Do not draft based on last season's numbers. He will regress some. Should still put up solid numbers.

Ted Lilly: Would like him more if he allowed less fly balls. Still, gets undervalued in drafts. Good selection late in drafts.

Sean Marshall: Expect him to win this spot and be a good option in NL-only leagues.

Carlos Marmol: Should be the closer, although Gregg could work his way into the spot. Marmol has great stuff. One thing that could hurt him is a very high fly ball percentage. Goes around rounds 11-12 and if he closes, I like him there a lot.

Kevin Gregg
Jeff Samardzija
Chad Gaudin

Others to watch
Aaron Miles
Aaron Heilman

Position battle
2B: Miles vs. Fonetenot
5th SP: Marshall, Samardzija, Heilman

Top prospects
Josh Vitters (3B)

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