The Best of The Bunch:
Hanley Ramirez (SS):
Written by Jonathan Leshanski
Published: 01 February 2008
With apologies to Troy Tulowitzki, Jose Reyes, and Jimmy Rollins, Hanley could be the very best fantasy shortstop in the game today. He has power, he has speed and he hits for average and scores some runs. He won’t however drive in the RBIs that some others might. Last year’s numbers (.332-29-81-125-51) were impressive but he might be due for a small fall off with the subtraction of Miguel Cabrera from the Marlins lineup. Still he’s a real top tier option.
The Second Tier:
Jeremy Hermida (OF):
Here is a guy who’s almost certain to be undervalued on draft day due to an injury filled season last year. Still his limited duty .296-18-63-54-3 (in 429 AB) wasn’t bad for a 23 year old. It’s a safe bet he’ll take a great stride forward this year if he can just stay healthy.
A .300-25-90 season is a realistic goal but it could be even better.
Dan Uggla (2B):
Uggla could end up playing at third rather than second this season with the absence of Miguel Cabrera but he’ll qualify at second and that’s where he’ll be most valuable. He does have some weaknesses which could be a problem but after last seasons’ .245-31-88-113-2 campaign it’s obvious he offers more power than almost any other player at the position.
The Third Tier:
Josh Willingham (OF):
Willingham is a solid enough outfielder but at 28 he doesn’t have a lot of upside and to boot he missed the last half of September with a herniated disk in his back. How well he’s recovered from that could push his numbers higher or lower than the .265-21-89-75-8 he posted last year. If you can get a comparable player for the same price let someone else take the risk on Willingham’s back - despite he’ll bat in the heart of the Marlins linup.
Mike Jacobs (1B):
Jacobs missed six weeks last season and has struggled with injuries ever since coming up the to bigs. He’s got great power and a nice swing which makes you think that the 27 year old still has a lot of upside. If he can stay healthy and approach 500 AB he should build on last year’s .265-17-54-57 by a wide margin.
Kevin Gregg (CL):
It’s likely that Gregg will get a few less chances to close this year but even so he’s a solid looking closer who should retain his job and ring up 25-35 saves with decent peripheral numbers.
The Question Marks:
Matt Treanor (C):
So who’s the catcher? The young inexperienced and unknown quantity Rabelo or Matt Treanor? Treanor is the only one with fantasy value and even that isn’t that all that high. In a best case scenario he is a .270-12-60 guy and even that may be a stretch.
Scott Olsen (SP):
Olsen is a middle or end of the rotation type pitcher who will be forced to match up with the staff aces of just about everyone else. It will cut into his win totals but its his 2007 ERA (5.81) and WHIP (1.76) which should have you concerned. They are way out of line with the .404 and 1.30 we saw him put up in 2006. Now it’s time to ask which one is real - especially in deeper leagues when you get towards the bottom of the barrel.
Anibel Sanchez (SP):
Injuries sidelined Sanchez from May 2nd of last year until recently but he’s just begun throwing again and may be able to rejoin the team towards the end of spring training or Opening Day. He might be the very best pitcher the Marlins have if he returns to form. That might make him a solid sleeper pick in the later rounds.
Eulogio De La Cruz (SP/RP):
This youngster could end up in the Marlins rotation at some point - maybe right out of spring training. That might make him a real sleeper candidate based on his growth during the 2007 season between AA and AAA in the Detroit system. He probably could use a little more time at AAA but he’s a very good prospect.
The Great Debate:
Cameron Maybin (OF):
Is Maybin really ready for an everyday job? Maybin a true all around player who can help in all categories if he’s ready to play at this level. The question is, is he? No one really knows so watching what goes on in the spring will probably determine the situation - but don’t go it with the expectation of an easy season with no rough patches.
Andrew Miller (SP):
This left hander could have been a number one overall pick back in 2006 but financial issues pushed him down to the sixth slot since the teams who would have liked to have signed him couldn’t afford to do so. However since Detroit paid the bonus money and Miller is making league minimum he’s a perfect fit in Florida, or he will be when he’s ready to pitch at this level. At just 22 years old and with just 74.1 innings of experience at the Major League level where he has been less than dominating he deserves more time in the minors (where he’s had a total of 85 innings experience (only 6 at AAA). Still it’s likely a sink or swim situation in Florida.