Baseball Prospectus Signing and Discussion

I went to the Boston University Barnes & Noble last week for a book signing and talk with Kevin Goldstein and Marc Normandin of Baseball Prospectus (Steve Goldman was unable to fly into Boston because of the rain).

It was a lot of fun. Kevin and Marc took questions and talked for just over an hour and hit all the big topics: Adrian Gonzalez (would be even better in Fenway), Jesus Montero (heck of a hitter but a bad body for a catcher), Dayton Moore’s time with the Royals so far (some good small moves, strange big league decisions), and how many 20 year olds will be on the opening day roster for the Mets (probably one depending on how Jose Reyes is doing).

All in all: fantastic book, great website, and having a back-and-forth with those guys made for a fun night. I’ll definitely be back next year.

Now it’s time to get ready for my fantasy drafts and then the real season on April 4th.

Red Sox Bullpen Preview

I took a look at the Red Sox bullpen for the upcoming 2010 season over at Sports of Boston.

With two weeks remaining until the the official start of the season, the Red Sox added old friend Alan Embree, signing the lefty to a minor league deal. While Embree can opt out after April 15th if he has not been added to the major league roster, he may be the new second lefty for Francona.

2010 Fantasy Baseball Second Basemen Rankings

Next up on the docket for the Sports of Boston fantasy baseball was Second Base. A much deeper position than even a few years ago, today’s second basemen have power, speed or both.

  1. Ian Kinsler
  2. Chase Utley
  3. Dustin Pedroia
  4. Aaron Hill
  5. Brian Roberts
  6. Brandon Phillips
  7. Ben Zobrist
  8. Dan Uggla
  9. Rickie Weeks
  10. Robinson Cano
  11. Asdrubal Cabrera
  12. Ian Stewart
  13. Kelly Johnson
  14. Howie Kendrick
  15. Orlando Hudson
  16. Jose Lopez
  17. Luis Castillo
  18. Polacido Polanco
  19. Scott Sizemore
  20. Clint Barmes
  21. Akinori Iwamura
  22. Kazou Matsui
  23. Felipe Lopez
  24. Macier Izturis
  25. Skip Schumaker

A much deeper position than even a few years ago, today’s second basemen have power, speed or both.

2010 Fantasy Baseball First Basemen Rankings

For the next fantasy baseball primer, the folks at Sports of Boston tackeled the Top 30 First Basemen. Here are my rankings:

  1. Albert Pujols
  2. Prince Fielder
  3. Miguel Cabrera
  4. Adrian Gonzalez
  5. Mark Teixeira
  6. Kevin Youkilis
  7. Joey Votto
  8. Carlos Pena
  9. Ryan Howard
  10. Justin Morneau
  11. Adam Dunn
  12. Lance Berkman
  13. Nick Johnson
  14. Todd Helton
  15. Chris Davis
  16. Billy Butler
  17. Adam LaRoche
  18. Derrek Lee
  19. Kendry Morales
  20. Nick Swisher
  21. Garrett Jones
  22. Conor Jackson
  23. Paul Konerko
  24. Matt LaPorta
  25. Jeff Clement
  26. Daric Barton
  27. James Loney
  28. Russell Branyon
  29. Garrett Atkins
  30. Jorge Cantu

I’m not a believer in Garrett Jones, but if he’s your second 1B or DH or a guy off the bench he’s a great pickup. On the whole, first base is deep. Pujols is still top of the class, but Prince Fielder, Mark Teixeira, and Joey Votto are going to be right on his tail, depending on which categories you use in your league.

2010 Fantasy Baseball Catcher Rankings

Over at Sports of Boston we started with the Top 20 Catchers for fantasy in 2010. Here are my picks:

Joe Mauer
Victor Martinez
Brain Mccann
Miguel Montero
Matt Weiters
Mike Napoli
Jorge Posada
Chris Iannetta
Yadier Molina
Geovany Soto
Kurt Suzuki
Ryan Doumit
Carlos Ruiz
Russell Martin
A.J. Pierzynski
Kelly Shoppach
Nick Hundley
Bengie Molina
Carlos Santana
Gerald Laird
In a 12 team league with one catcher, there is a lot of value here. If you are in a two catcher league, things don’t look quite as nice.

Fantasy Warmup

With the 2010 season approaching it’s time again to think about your fantasy team. As part of that I’m looking forward to my own drafts and trying to determing the most valuable players to target. Over at Sports of Boston I’ve been contributing fantasy positional ranking each week during out fantasy preparation series. As they are posted, I’ll put my picks up here and link to the full series.

Enjoy your drafts and good luck!

Nerd Troops Can Show Geek Pride

When I was in elementary school we had a speaker come in telling us about this incredible group we could join. All we had to do was convince our parents to bring us to another school across the town on a weeknight and ours would become lives of adventure, intrigue, and various animal names. And so I became a Cub Scout (Wolf, Bear,  & two years of Webelos). I missed out on Tiger cubs apparently, though I lack any memory of their mention until I was already a Wolf scout.

As a child of the 80s and 90s I cut my teeth on the scouting idea from the prominent media of my time: cartoons. DuckTales stars Huey, Dewey, and Louie were members of the Junior Woodchucks, holders of the Junior Woodchucks Guidebook(a magical book of ingenious inventions and wisdom – almost as powerful as Penny’s computer book) and collectors of merit badges. Unfortunately there were more belt loops to be earned than merit badges in Cub Scouts, those were held out for Boy Scouts, where I never made it past First Class (maybe I was still in coach?).

However, in the way many of my problems have been solved recently, the Internet provided the solution. Enter Nerd Merit Badges. In addition to badges of their own creation, Nerd Merit Badges has partnered with FourSquare to bring your virtual loot to life. Each badge is sold (on the honor system) when you have completed or mastered a certain task or skill. Visit 50 places on FourSquare? Buy the merit badge! Practice Inbox Zero? Again, merit badge available. You can even buy a sash for your laptop to take you back to those glory days of Boy (or Girl) Scouts.

Nerd Troops Can Show Geek Pride

When I was in elementary school we had a speaker come in telling us about this incredible group we could join. All we had to do was convince our parents to bring us to another school across the town on a weeknight and ours would become lives of adventure, intrigue, and various animal names. And so I became a Cub Scout (Wolf, Bear,  & two years of Webelos). I missed out on Tiger cubs apparently, though I lack any memory of their mention until I was already a Wolf scout.

As a child of the 80s and 90s I cut my teeth on the scouting idea from the prominent media of my time: cartoons. DuckTales stars Huey, Dewey, and Louie were members of the Junior Woodchucks, holders of the Junior Woodchucks Guidebook (a magical book of ingenious inventions and wisdom – almost as powerful as Penny’s computer book) and collectors of merit badges. Unfortunately there were more belt loops to be earned than merit badges in Cub Scouts, those were held out for Boy Scouts, where I never made it past First Class (maybe I was still in coach?).

However, in the way many of my problems have been solved recently, the Internet provided the solution. Enter Nerd Merit Badges. In addition to badges of their own creation, Nerd Merit Badges has partnered with FourSquare to bring your virtual loot to life. Each badge is sold (on the honor system) when you have completed or mastered a certain task or skill. Visit 50 places on FourSquare? Buy the merit badge! Practice Inbox Zero? Again, merit badge available. You can even buy a sash for your laptop to take you back to those glory days of Boy (or Girl) Scouts.