Thursday, October 30, 2008

Post-season bumps

Now that the book on the '08 season has officially closed, let's talk about some guys who may get a bump in average draft position next year thanks to their postseason play.

David Price was already going to be drafted too high next season. It's probably going to get ridiculous now thanks to his memorable showing in the ALCS. But how 'bout we don't go staking our entire 2009 season on 2.1 innings pitched, okay? Yes, the hype is incredible on this kid, and, yes, the brief glimpses of him we got in the playoffs and late in the season seem to indicate that Price is the goods. (In September, he notched 12 strikeouts and only four walks in 14 innings.) Still, in non-keeper leagues, he'll be drafted earlier than he should be. Almost every rookie pitcher hits speed bumps when they first face major-league pitching; you just can't count on them to anchor your fantasy rotation and carry you to the promise land. Yet people will be counting on Price to do just that. Don't be one of them. (Be the guy who doesn't draft him but then trades for him when he struggles a bit in May.) Obviously, he's more attractive in keeper leagues.

Matt Garza followed his breakout season with a postseason where batters hit only .216 against him. I like him better than Kazmir and Shields next year. (And he'll be drafted behind both of them.)

B.J. Upton blasted seven home runs during the playoffs after hitting only nine during the entire regular season. Stats like this are why Jesus invented the letters WTF? Just make sure you remember that he can't play second base next year.

Evan Longoria hit only .194 in the playoffs, but he did smack six home runs and drive in 13. I can't officially talk about it yet, but next year I'll be playing in a for-now-super-secret startup dynasty league, where real-world salaries count against fantasy team salary caps. Longoria's got to be a top five pick under those conditions, right? Top three?!

Ryan Howard hit three home runs in the World Series. The Phillies championship makes him a little more attractive to the casual players in your league who want a name-brand superstar in the first round. Dude might go third overall in some leagues.

Same thing could happen with Cole Hamels. Fantasy experts always knew he was a beast. But now that guy you let in your league just to get up to 12 players might take him two draft picks before you planned to. Don't get too upset. You don't need to be drafting starting pitchers in the third round, anyway.

Brad Lidge has officially exercised the demons of Albert Pujols.

Jayson Werth had a nice postseason: .309 AVG, 9 runs, 4 SB. He's a free agent now, as is Pat Burrell. It'll be interesting to see what the Phillies do. Werth will be starting (and worth owning) somewhere.

Jason Bay hit .341 and drove in nine runs in 11 playoff games. I love him in Boston next year. (But I always loved him in Pittsburgh, too, so I'm kind of biased.)

Jon Lester struggled in the ALCS but was lights-out in the divisional series -- 14 IP, zero earned runs. For the entire playoffs, he struck out 26 in 26.2 innings. I'd rather have him than Dice-K next year.

Manny was Manny: .520 postseason AVG; 1.747 SLG. That's just retarded.

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