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My Dream Fantasy Connie Mack World Series Lineup

I play in a couple of fantasy baseball leagues, and with just a third of the season left, my team in the Denslow Cup, a league that Mike, Griff, and I play in alongside many of our friends from college and high school, is tied for first place.  Because the last two pieces I have written have been a little intense, and since I’m about to head to Opening Night at Ricketts, I think something a little more light-hearted is in order.  So, without further ado, here is the CMWS fantasy team that I’d like to own if there ever was a CMWS fantasy league and the only restriction on eligibility is that players have to have played in at least one CMWS.

 

Catcher: Mike Matheny

Matheny won a national title with Midland in 1989 after which he took his talent to the University of Michigan, where he captained.  He played 13 Major League seasons and is currently the manager of the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals.  He won four Golden Gloves and an N.L. pennant.

 

1B: Eric Hosmer

Hosmer played in three CMWS (with Florida in 2006 and Midland in 2007 and 2008) and won the 2007 MVP following the Redskins earning of yet another title.  He was taken third overall and is currently starting at first for the Royals in his second Major League season.

 

2B: Jemile Weeks

This one is tricky because a rule that I just made up is that the player must have played the position during the CMWS.  That comes into play here as certain players have played short in the CMWS and now are at second professionally or collegiately.  Weeks was a member of the 2004 Florida Bombers and was taken 12th overall by the A’s after a stellar career as a Miami Hurricane.  He debuted with Oakland 13 months ago and should stick around the Big Leagues for along time.

 

3B: Sean Burroughs

Burroughs was a member of the Orange County Dodgers, 1997’s runner-up.  He went 9th so San Diego the following year, won an Olympic gold medal in 2000, and debuted in the show in 2002.  He was one of baseball’s top prospects for years, had a lot of off-field trouble, and has recently been released, but he was really, really good as an amateur.

 

SS: Stephen Drew

Drew was a member of the East Cobb Yankees in 2001, the eventual champions.  Because of his bloodlines, there was a tremendous amount of hype surrounding him.  Shortstop is a tough position to really select just one guy.  Even in recent years, Manny Machado, Deven Marrero, Gordon Beckham, and Danny Espinosa have played short at Ricketts.  Drew went 15th overall, was an All-American at Florida State, and is currently in his seventh season with Arizona.  Cal Ripken Jr. was left off of the team primarily because he went in the second round and was not regarded as highly as a teenager as he is now.

 

OF: Ken Griffey Jr., Cameron Maybin, Manny Ramirez

Griffey is arguably the best outfielder of the last 50 years, so he needs no explanation.  Ramirez is the same way but for left fielders.  Maybin won an MVP with Midland and went 10th overall.  He currently plays for the Padres and is in his 6th MLB season.

 

Utility: Gordon Beckham

Beckham won the MVP at the 2005 CMWS as East Cobb’s SS.  He was an All-American at Georgia and went 8th overall in 2008.  Since this is a fantasy team, and since he currently plays 2B for the White Sox, the added positional flexibility he gives my team makes him all the more valuable.

 

P: Roy Halladay

P: Barry Zito

P: Dylan Bundy

Since he’s the only one without a long and illustrious MLB career on my list, I think this video says where he’s headed pretty clearly.

P: Zack Greinke

P: Duane Ward

Had to get a local guy in somewhere.

 

I think I’d win with a team like this.

Planting My Flag

Fantasy analysts are always talking about players that they are “planting their flags in” (Am I supposed to feel dirty when I type that?) each year.  I used to think this was a bad idea, as it might lead to poor draft day decisions.  Now that I am more seasoned I realize that we all develop an affinity for certain players each year.  I’m not talking your studs though.  Anybody can tell you to draft Albert Pujols, Ryan Braun, or Roy Halladay.  For me, planting your flag requires you to step out on a limb of sorts.  These are the players that you feel, for whatever reason, are going to be big hits for the upcoming season.  For this article, I want to take a look at three players in which my flag has been metaphorically planted.

Mike Morse:

Last week in my live-blogged mock draft I explained how excited I was about getting Morse on my squad.  I referenced this video clip, and talked about how much I liked his swing.  Well I decided to take it a step further and look to see what his numbers said.  The numbers that caught my eye were his increased line drive rate, coupled with his decreasing ground ball rate.  Match those with an 85% contact rate and I see no reason why he can’t sustain a BABIP similar to his 2011 average of .344.  I predict a .290 average, 30 jacks, 90 RBI, and 70 runs scored.

Bud Norris:

Yes, he pitches for the lowly Astros.  Yes, he probably won’t accumulate many wins.  But if you’re chasing wins as a fantasy strategy, this might not be the website for you.  Not only can you snag Bud late in drafts, you will be getting an amazing bargain when you do.  He lowered his walk total last year, while actually increasing his innings pitched by 33. His 2011 ERA of 3.77 matched perfectly with his xFIP of 3.73.  His k/9 rate sits right at 8.5, and with a swing and miss rate right around 30% I see potential for a true breakout year.  I think Bud finishes the year with 197 IP, 205 K’s, and an ERA of 3.78.

Yoenis Cespedes:

I know, I know, we haven’t even seen him face big league pitching yet.  And to be honest I have no statistical evidence to support this pick.  Sometimes though, you just have to go with your gut.  Blind faith is counter-intuitive to almost everything I believe, but I am also a fan of legalized gaming.  Thus, I have no problem taking a gamble on Cespedes.  I might even reach a few rounds early just to get him.  To win your fantasy league you have to hit at least one grand slam on an unknown player.  For me, this is the guy.  No prediction here.  Just going with my gut that he completely outperforms the value of the draft pick I get him for.

You can follow Griffin on Twitter- his handle is @sp_flips.  Feel free to support, harass, or share any thoughts you have and he will be sure to reply.

Top 50 Prospects: #27 – Travis d’Arnaud


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