Daily Dr. Roto—March 25
Fantasy Preview in a Nutshell: San Francisco Giants
Players to Watch
Brandon Belt — Adam Ronis has been beating the drum all offseason about Belt and I am starting to listen. Belt was on pace to hit well over 30 HR last season before he got injured and if he can stay healthy he might just get there this year. Belt has sacrificed batting average for power, which would be okay except for the fact that he plays in one of the worst hitting parks in baseball. What I like about Belt, though, is that Fantasy owners are so annoyed with him over the years that they tend to overlook him and let him slide in drafts. There’s a good chance Belt and his 30 HR potential is hanging around in Round 20 of your draft.
Andrew McCutchen — I am excited to see “Cutch” play for the Giants this season. Sadly, his time with the Pirates ended poorly and I think a trade was desperately needed for both sides to move on. Cutch still has power (although I think the park shift will negate a few home runs) and some speed (although he no longer is a threat to steal 30 bases). I would be very happy to have him as one of my top three OF and think I could win my league with him on my team.
Evan Longoria — The Giants are playing to win this season, so they went out and got themselves a professional hitter in Longoria. Longo should go about 20-90 in the middle of the Giants lineup, hitting in the .260-.270 range. As I have mentioned before, predictability can really help Fantasy owners. Longo’s numbers can be etched in stone and you know exactly what you can count on by drafting him. There is a certain value to that to help you win your league.
Steven Duggar — It seems likely that Duggar is going to win a starting OF spot for the Giants after having a terrific spring training. But as Mike Brady said to Greg Brady when he bought his first car, “Caveat Emptor.” Don’t just look at Duggar’s spring numbers (four HR and two SB) and think that he is going to replicate that in the majors. There is nothing in his minor league pedigree that shows he can hit for much power at the major league level. He also has some speed, but certainly not enough to get more than 20 SB in a season. Basically, Duggar is better than the Giants’ other options, so I would tread lightly and not select him until your reserve rounds.
Madison Bumgarner — “Mad Bum” suffered a fractured left pinky finger as he tried to field a comebacker in a game the other day. At the time the Giants were hoping for a bruise, but the x-ray showed a fracture and Bum will undergo surgery that is expected to keep him out 6-8 weeks. What does this mean for him on your draft boards? I think you must assume that he will return around Memorial Day (to be conservative). That should give him about 20-22 starts this season. Mad Bum is still one of the top pitchers in baseball and he could be dominant in those remaining starts, but I think I would devalue him about 2-3 rounds. If I could still take him in Round 5 and stash him I probably would considering I expect a full recovery.
Jeff Samardzija — “Shark” suffered a strained pectoral muscle last week and is expected to be on the DL for the next month. Although I am not a professional baseball player, I have suffered a similar injury in the past and can tell you first-hand that Shark might be feeling the after effects of this injury for well over a month, so I would be leery of drafting him at the same spot he’s been going. I would look at him more as a SP5 than SP3 when you draft just to be safe.