With things getting busier the closer we get to the start of the season, let’s get right to some baseball news …
Adam Jones has never stolen more than 16 bases in any professional season. But, so far he is a perfect 7-for-7 in stolen bases in only 38 spring training at-bats. The Orioles look like they are going to be running a lot this summer and with an average draft position in the 18th round, Jones is definitely going to be moving up my cheat sheets.
Why isn’t anyone worried about
Albert Pujols’ elbow this season? Back in October Pujols had relatively minor surgery to transpose a nerve in his elbow, but his medial collateral ligament went unrepaired. If spring stats are any indication, it’s looking more and more like I’m going to have to pass on Albert this season. With a .294 batting average and only one home run in 51 at-bats, I’m thinking “better safe than sorry.”
Although, Chicago White Sox 3B
Josh Fields is currently going undrafted in many leagues, I can guarantee you that won’t happen in any league that I’m in. Not only did Fields have knee surgery in the fall, but he also had LASIK surgery to improve his vision. So far this spring, Fields is hitting .415 with three home runs and five RBI in 41 at-bats. Although Fields has only been successful in one out of his three steal attempts this spring, the important thing is that he is running. Sox manager
Ozzie Guillen has thrown out the possibility of using Fields in the leadoff spot. With that in mind he did steal 26 bases at AAA Charlotte back in 2006.
Chris Davis has somehow worked his way into the fourth round, which means that he will not be on any of my teams. In 53 spring at-bats
The Los Angeles Dodgers are doing everything they can to showcase
Juan Pierre’s speed. He leads the league with nine stolen bases in only 43 at-bats this spring. There is speculation that the White Sox may be interested in dealing for
According to Mock Draft Central,
Fausto Carmona has an ADP of 288. Expect that number to drop as the season approaches. Carmona has been stellar so far this spring with a 1.69 ERA in 16 innings. Given last years 8-7 record and 5.44 ERA, Carmona will definitely out-perform his draft status this year.
Kelly Shoppach has three home runs in 34 spring at-bats. Couple that with the 21 dingers that he hit in 352 at-bats last season and you have a cheap source of home runs from the catcher position. Shoppach is currently being drafted one spot ahead of his battery mate Carmona at number 287.
For those in deeper leagues keep an eye on Padres minor league first baseman
Kyle Blanks. A 6’6″, 270-pound behemoth, Blanks is having a great spring hitting .328 with four home runs and 13 RBI in 58 at-bats. Blanks has 44 home runs and a .300+ batting average over the last two seasons. With the Padres looking at a last-place finish it would only make sense for them to get Blanks up to bigs ASAP.
Zach Duke is having a very impressive spring with a 1.83 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 19.2 innings. Compare that to his 2008 spring stats consisting of a 3.32 ERA and nine strikeouts in 19 innings. Very similar, but if you look a little deeper you’ll see that last spring he allowed a .288 batting average to opposing hitters as compared to .197 batting average against this spring. After posting a 5-14 record last season along with a 4.82 ERA, Duke will come dirt cheap and may just be ready to turn his career around.