Written by Jonathan Leshanski
Published: 27 March 2009
Oakland is an interesting place from a fantasy perspective, but aside from a handful of sure things, this team is largely speculative from the fantasy perspective. A lot of players are either young and unproven, are coming of surgeries or carry huge injury risks, so make sure to watch the newswire for injury updates or simply pick a safer option.The Best of the Bunch (Elite Players):
Matt Holliday (OF):
Will Matt Holliday smash in Oakland like he did in Colorado?
There aren’t many players, let alone outfielders, who hold a candle to Holliday, even on a really good day. His value will take a hit because of his move to the Oakland Coliseum, but he’s only likely to play half a season there before being traded to a contender where he’ll get have a torrid second half. Plan on .290-25-99-100-10 and I don’t think you can possibly be disappointed.The Second Tier (Superior Players):
The A’s have no second tier playersThe Third Tier (Better than Average Players):Orlando Cabrera (SS):
While Cabrera will probably be overvalued on draft day he still can be a decent fantasy contributor once the bigger names are all off the board. He has the potential to hit between .280-.300 and contribute in runs scored (90+) and stolen bases (15-20). He’ll even hit 6-9 home runs.
Question Marks, Cheap Buys and sleepers:
Jason Giambi (1B/DH):
Sure he still has some power, but he’s 38 years old and hit .247 last year. That makes him far from a sure thing in 2009. He’ll hit the bombs, but probably fewer than he did last year (32). Injury concerns and bat speed should prevent you from paying a premium for him.
Mark Ellis (2B):
The fragile Ellis is capable of hitting 10-15 home runs and stealing a similar number of bases, but it comes at the cost of a .260 or so average and the likelihood that he’ll spend some time on the DL. Oh, lets not forget that he’s coming off shoulder surgery, the second one since 2004.
Eric Chavez (3B):
Chavez is just the shell of what he used to be. He’s been dealing with so many injuries that it’s hard to judge just what Chavez really has to offer. Odds are he won’t see 400 at bats (he hasn’t done that since 2006) and his power numbers are down severely. Back surgery and shoulder surgery have likely stripped the 31 year old of a good deal of his power. Without that, there isn’t much reason to stomach an average unlikely to reach .250Kurt Suzuki (C):
Perhaps the best thing about Suzuki is that he won’t hurt you. He’s pretty much a lock to hit about .270 and to contribute a handful of home runs. He’s got limited upside but it’s possible that he could manage 15 home runs in a breakout season. At age 25, it’s something to keep in mind when looking for a second catcher.
Ryan Sweeney (OF):
He’s not much of a fantasy option and probably will end up as a platoon player. Unless he starts flashing some power or speed there is no reason to gamble on him in any but the deepest of leagues.
Jack Cust (OF/DH):
Cast very much in the Adam Dunn mode, Cust is Adam Dunn light -- light in the home run category, light in the average category. So if you can stomach the possibility of 30 home runs balanced against a .230 average, you can pick Cust up on the cheap.Daric Barton (1B):
Barton is a low end first base option who might not even be able to keep his job in 2009. Don’t bet much on him; he won’t pay back much in the way of dividends.Justin Duchscherer (SP):
He’s had surgery for arthritis in his hip, he’s got pain in his elbow, he’s got a history of arm problems, he’s the A’s ace. What’s not to like? Oh, maybe the fact that his fastball doesn’t break 90, or that he’s never pitched 142 or more innings in a season. Oh he’s got upside, but he’s fragile. Dana Eveland (SP):
Eveland is inconsistent but he has solid upside. However he’s pitched poorly this spring and could even fail to start the season with the big team. Watch this situation closely and grab Eveland only if he starts showing some quality starts early in the first half. He pitched badly in the second half last year.
Sean Gallagher (SP): Gallagher is a pitcher with big upside, maybe the most of any starter likely to break camp with the team. He capable of striking out 150+ if he can develop a little more confidence and cut down on the fat pitches he throws to hitters. Late in the draft if you need a pitcher, you could do far worse.
Brad Ziegler (RP):
The sidearming Ziegler is likely to open the season as the team’s closer, but his hold on that job is tenuous at best. He’ll be pressured by Joey Devine as soon as Devine’s elbow heals enough for him to show what he can do. That being said, he’ll be among the cheapest guys to get saves on draft day.
Joey Devine (RP):
Devine is the favorite to win the closer’s gig in Oakland, but he’s no sure thing. Right now he’s battling elbow problems which have sidelined him for much of the spring and it’s possible the injury will sideline him a lot longer. If he heals enough to get the job, he’ll get a fair amount of saves. Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill and Vin Mazzaro (SPs):
These are the next generation of A’s pitching and there is a lot of hype about just how good they will be. None of them are likely to break camp with the big team, but they could be impact players somewhere about midseason.