Indians Fantasy Primer: Postion Players

I have had some time to calm down now, and I feel a lot better about life (Sorry to everyone, I was having a bad day on Friday).

So today I’m going to do a quick Indians fantasy primer on the position players. Keep in mind that I’m generally a terrible fantasy player, so use my advice at your own risk. We won’t get too in depth here. Unless you’re in a league with a bunch of Tribe fans (or some really shrewd players), there will probably be only three Indians in high demand on draft day. They are:

Grady Sizemore

Asdrubal Cabrera

Shin-Shoo Choo

Sizemore is obviously the most known of the three. I have him ranked as a mild sleeper in my leagues. Because of his injuries last year, there’s a good chance people will overlook Grady as a top-tiered outfield option. Don’t make that same mistake, but know what you’re getting into with Sizemore. Depending on the style of league you play in (I play with OBP and SLG % rather than Avg.) Sizemore’s value will vary. He’ll give you your steals and home runs, but look for his OBP to drop (and therefore likely his average) and his RBIs to rise with the drop in the lineup.

Cabrera hit .308 (.361 OBP) with 6 home runs, 17 steals, and 68 RBIs. Look for the steals to go up with a new manager and Asdrubal leading off. I wouldn’t expect too much improvement in the home runs or RBI’s categories, so hold off on drafting him until the later rounds. But he won’t kill you as a starting shortstop.

Choo will probably be in high demand on draft day due to his stellar 2009 season and the fact that he hits for both power (20 HR) and average (.300), not to mention his 21 steals and 86 RBIs. He will be hitting third in the order, and I really don’t see any reason for any of his numbers to fluctuate too wildly. Try and see if you can steal him in the late-early to middle rounds.

Then there are guys like Jhonny Peralta and Travis Hafner, two former fantasy heavyweights who are now most likely waiver wire fodder. I’ve given up on Hafner and wouldn’t even draft him right now, but I think there could be some potential for Peralta, given that it’s a new manager that might be able to light a fire underneath his ass. That’s all purely speculation though and you may just want to go off of last year’s stats (.254 AVG, 11 HR, 83 RBI).

Next up are some sleepers, guys who could be good but you shouldn’t draft them over a sure thing.  Matt LaPorta figures to get major playing time this season but has been bothered by injuries and doesn’t really have a set position. Still, I’d try to steal him in the later rounds as he was an uber prospect just last season. Michael Brantley seems destined for AAA to start the season (due to the signing of Russell Branyan), so hold off on drafting him and just wait to pluck him off the waiver wire whenever the Indians decide to call him up. Finally, another guy who probably shouldn’t be drafted but you should definitely keep an eye on if you’re in a keeper league is Carlos “Smooth” Santana. People are calling him the next Victor Martinez, and any fantasy player knows the value of a good hitting catcher.

There’s a quick primer on the important Indians for fantasy play. I’ll do the pitchers the beginning of next week. Should be hilarious. 21 Days till Opening Day!

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera Carlos Santana Grady Sizemore Jhonny Peralta Matt LaPorta Michael Brantley Shin Soo Choo Travis Hafner

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