Monday, April 27, 2009

Analyzing the New York Giants 2009 Draft

The Giants made nine picks in the 2009 NFL Draft, and now I'm going to analyze them.

Round 1, Pick 29: Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina
Hakeem Nicks (6-1, 212) gives the Giants the wide receiver they needed, he can come in and start right away. Another strength is that he has a nack for making "circus catches" which is much needed when playing in the windy Meadowlands.

Round 2, Pick 45: Clint Sintim, OLB, Virginia
Clint Sintim (6-3, 256) gives the Giants the linebacker they badly needed. Sintim will come in and more than likely start on day one. He will play strong side linebacker opposite free agent pickup Michael Boley.

Round 2, Pick 60: William Beatty, OT, UConn
William Beatty (6-6, 307) brings offensive line depth, and a project. Currently David Diehl and Kareem McKenzie are the starting tackles and although Beatty will put pressure on them for the starting job, more than likely he'll stay on the bench and play "swing tackle". This pick more than likely means the end of the road for Guy Whimper on another benched tackle.

Round 3, Pick 85: Ramses Barden, WR, Cal Poly
Ramses Barden (6-6, 229) is a raw talent and has the potential to be a Plaxico Burress type player for the Giants. After playing at Cal Poly he went unnotice until the Mustangs took on the Wisconsin Badgers in which Barden had a stellar game that showed scouts he wasn't just a "jump up and get it" type wideout. I expect Barden to be the starter of the future along side Hakeem Nicks but for now he'll be the third or fourth guy.

Round 3, Pick 100: Travis Beckum, TE, Wisconsin
Travis Beckum (6-3, 243) is a god awful blocker, and will not do any of that in New York. Instead he'll play on the offensive line and just catch passes (i.e. he'll play halfback) and he's a nice compliment to blocking tight end Kevin Boss.

Round 4, Pick 129: Andre Brown, RB, NC State
Andre Brown (6-0, 124) will bring his injuries to New York as he had two surgeries in 2007 for a fractured foot, but the Giants don't seem to be too worried about it. He will compete with Danny Ware for the third spot in this year's "Earth, Wind and Fire".

Round 5, Pick 151: Rhett Bomar, QB, Sam Houston State
Rhett Bomar (6-2, 225) brings "speed" and a big arm to the Giants. I guess this is the best the Giants could do in this weak senior quarterback class but after putting up 340 yards against Kansas this season he should be a quality backup for the Giants and will compete with David Carr for that job.

Round 6, Pick 200: DeAndre Wright, CB, New Mexico
DeAndre Wright (5-11, 198) is a solid cover corner, but has a small frame and had surgery on both shoulders this offseason. Will most likely have to fight for one of the last roster spots and I personally believe he'll beat out Rashad Barksdale (practice squad guy last year) and fellow draft pick Stoney Woodson for the fifth cornerback spot.

Round 7, Pick 238: Stoney Woodson, CB, South Carolina
Stoney Woodson (5-11, 197) has poor size and poor speed and I doubt he'll make a career in the NFL. He's most likely camp foder and a probable practice squad member.

Undrafted Free Agents
New York has signed six undrafted free agents so far: defensive ends Maurice Evans and Alex Field, linebacker Kenny Ingram, safeties Sha'reff Rashard and Otis Wiley and cornerback Vince Anderson. All are camp bodies who will eventually end up on the practice squad.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rhett Bomar Chosen by Giants

The Giants chose ex-Sam Houston and Oklahoma quarterback Rhett Bomar.

Bomar brings "speed" and a weird throwing motion to the Giants, he'll compete with David Carr for the backup to the worst starter in the NFL. (I'm an Eli hater)

Although I think Bomar will end up competing for the first one cut.

Giants add three more

Sorry, I missed three, internet was down anyways, the Giants added three more guys in the draft.

WR Ramses Barden- Barden is a big physical wideout who could be a starter but I'm projecting him as their fourth wide receiver come week one and possibly number two guy come week 17.

TE Travis Beckum- Beckum is going to play halfback, meaning he'll line up on the offensive line and only catch passes, no blocking which is a role he's comfortbale in and he should help out their offensive attack.

RB Andre Brown- talented young back who will be their number three guy behind Jacobs and Bradshaw could contend for starter down the road.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Offensive tackle William Beatty is Newest Member of the Giants

William Beatty was just selected as the 60th pick in the NFL Draft by the New York Giants.

Beatty at one point was considered a late first, early second rounder but dropped due to non-physicalness on film.

He has long term starter potential but will most likely be a swing tackle this season.

This pick probably means the end of the road for Guy Whimper as a Giant.

G-Men Take Clint Sintim 45th

Clint Sintim became the latest member of the Big Blue Wrecking Crew but at a price.

The Cleveland Browns wanted the Giants second round pick in the Braylon Edwards deal and since the Giants used it, more than likely means he'll stay a Brown.

He will play strong-side linebacker and is a downhill tackler and will fill an immediate outside linebacker need. Look for him to start week one.

New York Giants Select Wide Receiver Hakeem Nicks 29th

The New York Giants have selected Hakeem Nicks 29th overall, which I think is a great pick.

More than likely he'll be the starter opposite Steve Smith or Domenik Hixon. Stay tuned as I update who else ends up in Big Blue.

Meet New York Mets' Top Prospect: Bradley Holt

Last week I profiled Antonio Bastardo of the Philadelphia Phillies and this week I'm going to be doing Bradley Holt of the New York Mets.

Holt was born in North Carolina on October 13, 1986.

The Mets drafted him in the first round (33rd overall) in the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft and sent him to the Brooklyn Cyclones.

For the Cyclones, Holt had a 5-3 record, 1.87 ERA in four games all of which he started.

He gave up 43 hits, 18 runs, 15 earned, three home runs, 33 walks and struck out 96.

He had 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings and a 1.05 WHIP.

Due his being 22 the Mets opted to keep him in Brooklyn for the whole season.

This season, Holt joined the St. Lucie Mets and so far has been subpar with a 1-1 record and 8.38 ERA in two starts and 9.2 innings.

He has given up 11 hits, nine runs all earned, three home runs, five walks and has struck out 12.

His hits per nine innings average is an stounding, 10.2, however is K/9 average in 11.2.

More than likely Holt will eventually move up to the Binghamton Mets and split time between them and St. Lucie this season.

If that transition is successful watch for him with the Buffalo Bisons next season and maybe even the Mets.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Week Four

Here is my week four waiver wire. Enjoy.

Add Them Now

John Baker, C, Florida Marlins

Baker is a quality catcher whom I have starting on two of my teams. So far in 39 at-bats, he has 12 hits, nine runs scored, nine RBI, one home run, five walks, and a .308 batting average. CBS calls him a No. 2 catcher but they're vastly underrating him. Pick him up now and make him your No. 1, especially you Ryan Doumit owners.

Nyjer Morgan, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates

This is the second week in a row that I've advised you people to get him, and with good reason. He's tearing it up right now at the top of the Pirates lineup. Right now he has 21 hits in 65 at-bats, along with 10 runs, nine RBI, four walks, and six stolen bases amounting to a .323 average.

Drop Them Now

Lastings Milledge, OF, Washington Nationals

Milledge had four hits in 24 at-bats, scored one run, drove in one RBI, one walk, and one stolen base. He was hitting .167 before his demotion. If he gets called up, don't pick him up—just leave him on waivers.

Chien-Ming Wang, SP, New York Yankees

As we all know, "Wanger" has gotten off to an awful start and because of it, the Yankees will more than likely place him on the DL. After his latest start, he has a 0-3 record, 34.50 ERA, and has given up 23 hits and walked six—clearly not the best for fantasy purposes, or in real life for that matter. Drop him like he's burning your hands.

Monitor Their Status

Phil Hughes, SP, New York Yankees

He has no major league stats this season, but has the talent to be a major leaguer for 10-plus years. His pending call-up to fill in for Wang makes his value take a leap.

Jordan Zimmermann, SP, Washington Nationals

Zimmermann, aside from playing for the Nationals, has astounding talent. In one start he has 1-0 record, 3.00 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, three strikeouts, one walk, and six hits allowed. Zimmermann is a talent, but I'd like to see him make a couple more starts before I pull the trigger.

Meet Philadelphia Phillies' Top Prospect: Antonio Bastardo

This is a new series I'm starting where I'm going to go around baseball and choose one top prospect from each organization and I'll profile them. Hope you enjoy the series and this one about Phillies' prospect Antonio Bastardo.

Bastardo was born in the Dominican Republic on September 21, 1985.

He was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies and was sent to the Lakewood BlueClaws after going undrafted in the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft

In Lakewood he compiled a 9-0 record, 1.87 ERA in 15 games all of which he started. He pitched 91.2 innings and gave up 63 hits, 23 runs, 19 of which were earned, and three home runs.

He is a strikeout pitcher having struck out 98 in Lakewood and walking only 42. His WHIP was 1.15 and averaged 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings and 4.1 walks.

Bastardo was then called up to the Clearwater Threshers. In Clearwater he was less than stellar going 1-0 with a 7.20 ERA and giving up five hits and four earned runs in only five innings of work. However he struck out 12 batters in that time span and walked only three.

Obviously his K/9 average was inflated and was 21.6, the only reason I included that is because I find it relatively amusing.

Then in 2008, Bastardo made a return to Clearwater this time with more success. He went 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA in five starts and 30.2 innings under his belt.

In his five starts he gave up 20 hits, four earned runs, two home runs, and 10 walks. He also struck out a whopping 47 batters, which makes it 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings.

His great pitching earned him a callup to the AA Reading Phillies. He went 2-5, with a 3.76 ERA in 14 games and 67 innings.

During those games he gave up 56 hits, 35 runs, 28 earned, 13 home runs, 37 walks and 62 strikeouts.

So far in 2009 he has a 1-0 record and 1.50 ERA in three games. He has pitched six innings, giving up four hits, and one earned run.

He has walked only one hitter and struck out seven.

Now before the 2009 season, Bastardo had been a starter only, having never made a relief appearance. But before the 2009 season under the belief that he could become an All-Star reliever he was converted to such.

Rich Dubee, the Phillies pitching coach recently said that Bastardo has a shot at making an impact this season in the majors.

The Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Week Three

Here is my week three waiver wire. Hope you all enjoy.

Add Them Now

Nyjer Morgan, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates

I have a funny feeling that the ex-hockey player turned Pirates outfielder has a chance to be real. So far he's hitting .400 with eight RBI, and three stolen bases. His upside is his speed pick him up off the waiver wire and if he stinks please don't see me any hate mail.

Orlando Hudson, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers

Hudson is hitting .365 with two home runs, five RBI, and three stolen bases. The ex-Diamondback and Blue Jay has no competition out there on the west coast except for Blake DeWitt who was recently sent to Triple-A. Look for Hudson to continue tearing the cover off the ball.

Drop Them Now

Xavier Nady, OF, New York Yankees

Nady was hitting .285 with two RBI, and four runs scored this season which isn't spectacular to begin with but when he hit the disabled list his value hit zero. Mainly because reportedly he's been telling teammates he needs Tommy John Surgery after feeling a sharp pain in his elbow, but he's going to be tested again today so wait for the results before cutting ties with the ex-Pirate.

Alex Gordon, 3B, Kansas City Royals

Gordon was struggling this season hitting only .095 with eight strikeouts in only 21 at bats. But when it was reported that he had a cartilage tear in his hip and he was placed on the disabled list it meant time to drop the former top prospect. He's undergoing surgery today and could miss up to eight weeks, pick him up then if you wish.

Monitor Their Status

Marco Scutaro, 2B/3B/SS, Toronto Blue Jays

The journeyman utility man is having a fantastic year so far, hitting .309 with three home runs, nine RBI and an amazing nine walks. But as we all know these players are prone to fluky starts and I have a feeling Scutaro is one of those, I doubt you'll get anything for him in a trade to just monitor and see how he does.

Scott Baker, P, Minnesota Twins

Baker is arguably the best pitcher in the Twins rotation and he was just activated from the 15 day disabled list. In his first start back he got lit up giving up five hits and six earned runs, and earning a 13.50 ERA. His next start is at Boston and the knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, so hold off and see how he does, he does well pick him up.

Ricky Romero, P, Toronto Blue Jays

Romero only made the Blue Jays opening day roster because they needed a fifth pitcher but the rookie has impressed so far. As of today he has a 2.57 ERA, and given up on four earned runs.

But in two starts he's given up 15 hits but counters that with seven strikeouts. I'm not really sold yet so hold off on picking him up. Next start comes on Sunday where he's home to Oakland and Dallas Braden, if he does well pick him up.

Trade Them While They're Hot

Nick Swisher, OF/1B, New York Yankees

With Nady out, Swisher's value takes an immediate jump but even though he's already hitting .406, with four home runs and 11 RBI you have to deal him now.

Why you ask, because Swisher is not this good, he good but not this good and right now his fantasy value is at an all-time high. Trade him now fill one of you biggest holes and trust me it will work out for you in the end.

Emilio Bonifacio, 2B/3B, Florida Marlins

Bonifacio began last season in the Diamondbacks organization before getting traded to the Nationals who then dealt him to the Marlins. And boy is that trade paying dividends for the Marlins, Bonifacio is hitting .386, with one home run, five RBI, and four stolen bases. As of now all of you who picked him up are ecstatic.

However, you should trade him now for the same reasons as Swisher. Because as of today Bonifacio has never played like this except for this season, maybe it's real I don't know but I highly doubt it. Trade him while he's hot.

Monday, April 13, 2009

On the Farm: Austin Jackson and Andrew McCutchen Tearing Up Minors

This is my second minor league player focused article, and this as some of you know is about minor leaguers you should be targeting.

Now keep in mind for this week and the following I will not include guys such as David Price and Matt Wieters who we know will come up any day now.

So, I don't want comments saying "Where's David Price," "You forgot Matt Wieters," cause I know I forgot them.

And before you ask any questions after each player I'll have the CBS Standard Weekly Scoring score for the week (i.e. if he was in the majors how many points he'd have).


BBI - Walks Issued -1 point
BS - Blown Saves -2 points
ER - Earned Runs -2 points
HA - Hits Allowed -1 point
INN - Innings 3 points
K - Strikeouts 1 point
L - Losses -5 points
S - Saves 5 points
SO - Shutouts 5 points
W - Wins 7 points


Neftali Feliz, Oklahoma City RedHawks (TEX)

Although it's early on in the season it never hurts to have a good ERA. And after one four inning (ignore that they're protecting his arm) start his is 0.00. In his start against the Memphis Redbirds (STL), he gave up four hits and registered four strikeouts.

The only problem is that he gave up six walks which could push back the date the Rangers were targeting him for, however watch for him in the big leagues at some point this year.

CBS Standard League Weekly Score: 6 points

Aaron Poreda, Birmingham Barons (CHW)

Poreda took the loss in Birmingham's game against the Chattanooga Lookouts (LAD) but that was his only blemish. In four innings (again the arm thing) of work, he allowed three hits, gave up one earned run, and then another unearned run. He also have up four walks and struck out four. His 2.25 ERA is stellar but I wouldn't expect to see him in the majors anytime soon, most likely around late June, early July.

CBS Standard League Weekly Score: 7 points

Chris Perez, Memphis Redbirds (STL)

Perez is the only reliever listed on here and with good reason. In three innings of work over the course of two games the only other stats he got were a win, a save two walks and three strikeouts. He didn't give up a hit, he also never gave up a run.

CBS Standard League Weekly Score: 22 points

1B - Singles 1 point
2B - Doubles 2 points
3B - Triples 3 points
BB - Walks (Batters) 1 point
CS - Caught Stealing -1 point
HP - Hit by Pitch 1 point
HR - Home Runs 4 points
KO - Strikeouts (Batter) -0.5 points
R - Runs 1 point
RBI - Runs Batted In 1 point
SB - Stolen Bases 2 points


Gaby Sanchez, 1B, New Orleans Zephyrs (FLA)

Yeah, yeah I know the season just started but this top notch minor league first baseman is batting .450 in four games. In 20 at bats, he has nine hits, scored five runs, a double and a home run. He has also driven in five RBI. Also only four strikeouts to his credit only strengthen his numbers.

CBS Standard League Weekly Score: 13 points

Austin Jackson, OF, Scranton W/B Yankees (NYY)

Jackson is hitting even better than Sanchez, sporting a .500 batting average. In 22 at bats, he has 11 hits, scored four runs, driven in another six, he also has a triple. One stolen base and three walks improve his stats. But he's a strikeout machine registering six.

CBS Standard League Weekly Score: 15 points

Andrew McCutchen, OF, Indianapolis Indians (PIT)

McCutchen is batting .278 in his 18 at bats. In those he has five hits, he's touched the plate three times, hit a double, a triple and driven in a run. He also has three walks and only two strikeouts. Two stolen bases only help him. With a thin Pittsburgh outfield, don't be surprised to see him in the majors by at least mid May.

CBS Standard League Weekly Score: 15 points

The Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Week Two

Here is my week two waiver wire. I'm publishing it earlier than I'd like to since I'm going away this weekend.


Koji Uehara, Baltimore Orioles

The Japanese import has had a fantastic start for the Baltimore Orioles, leading them with a 1.80 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP, giving up only five hits and a walk. However, Uehara failed to record a strikeout, though as long as you get a good start from a pitcher, this should not hurt you. His next start will be on Monday, making him a two start pitcher this week.

Jordan Schafer, Atlanta Braves

Schafer shocked the world by hitting a home run in his first ever MLB at bat. And since then he has hit another home run to go along with, two runs, three RBIs, three walks, and only two strikeouts. All of this in 13 at bats—if he's available, pick him up—you'll be glad you did.


Joey Devine, Oakland Athletics

This is not a shocker as he has hit the 60-Day disabled list and will likely undergo Tommy John Surgery. Even if he lucks out and doesn't need surgery stay away, because the A's have up and coming Brad Ziegler who they will probably opt to use over Devine.

Troy Glaus, St. Louis Cardinals

Glaus is on the 15-Day disabled list but the Cardinals said he will be out until June, so stay away.


Kevin Millwood, Texas Rangers

Millwood has had an amazing opening to the season, with a 1.29 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 5 K's, and only one walk in seven innings. Also, he gave up only five hits and one earned run. He needs run support to stay where he is; watch him in his next start on Sunday against the Detroit Tigers and Edwin Jackson.

Trevor Cahill, Oakland Athletics

If you don't have this kid, you don't know what you're missing. Cahill posted a 3.60 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP in five innings in his debut. He also had only two earned runs, he did have five walks however and only recorded one strikeout, but, like Uehara, that shouldn't hurt you. His next start will be Monday against Jon Lester and the Boston Red Sox so even though he's a two starter I suggest you stay away for this week.

Why Are The Washington Nationals So Bad?

We all see the young talent the Washington Nationals have such as Ryan Zimmerman and Scott Olsen along with Jordan Zimmermann and Shairon Mathis.

So why are they so bad?

Is it the rotation?

Is it the batters?

Is it the bullpen?

Is it the front office?

Well, all of those are a resounding no, having lived under one day of the Syracuse Chiefs (my local team) being affiliated with them, I know the answer.

It's the amount of money they spend on washed up major leaguers to play in the minors to make an impression on the city.

Out of the Chiefs opening day roster former major leaguers who probably have no more hope include: Josh Towers, Kip Wells, Gary Glover, Brad Eldred, Alex Cintron, Pete Orr, Joel Guzman, Ryan Langerhans, and Corey Patterson.

Now, there are some shocking names in Syracuse such as Jason Bergmann and Garrett Mock who were sent down after awful springs.

Also, there are some top Nationals prospects with Jordan Zimmermann (not needed by Nats due to days off), Collin Balester, Craig Stammen, Luke Montz, Kory Casto, Roger Bernadina and Justin Maxwell.

Plus, the Chiefs pitching coach Steve McCatty who was the Detroit Tigers pitching coach in 2002, called the current staff one of the best he's ever gotten to coach, no disrespect to the Tigers '02 staff.

Another thing is the Nationals' front office promised to bring winning baseball to Syracuse after we had our hearts ripped out when the Mets opted to head west to Buffalo, which is why they spent so much money on these minor leaguers.

But, shouldn't they being using this money to get major leaguers not washed up ones?

I think so.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

On the Farm: Minor Leaguer Who Could Make a Major Splash

If you're a talented fantasy player you are monitoring the minor leagues for the next Ryan Braun or Evan Longoria who pop up in May or June and become studs, then first round picks next season.

Well here are some guys who are in the minors who I believe can have a chance to become that guy.


Jon Niese, Buffalo Bisons (NYM)

Niese has four minor league seasons under his belt, in which he has put together a 34-26 record, 3.72 ERA in 459.2 innings. He has given up 458 hits, 231 runs, and 190 earned runs. The best parts about Niese is his 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings over those four years, along with only 3.3 walks per game.

He also has only given up only 26 home runs over his four minor league years, the highest was at Triple-A, last season. In his only major league experiment, Niese compiled a 1-1 record, 7.07 ERA in 14 innings last season which is why he's starting this season in the minors.

David Price, Durham Bulls (TB)

We all know about Price and we know what he can do but let's take a look at the statistical side of the string armed lefty. In his only minor league season he had a 12-1 record, 2.31 ERA in 109.2 innings.

Price had only 92 hits against him, 30 runs, 28 of which were earned. Seven home runs finish off a talented minor league year. Now for his major league stats, and to put it mildly, it went better than it went for Niese.

He a 0-0 record, a 1.93 ERA in 14 innings. Only nine hits, four runs, three earned came from Price during his single stint with the Rays. Not only was he a staple for the Rays' postseason run but he can be the staple for your postseason run.

Phil Hughes, Scranton W/B (NYY)

Hughes who we all remember from his astounding rookie season in 2007, is in the minors once again. However in his five minor league seasons he has compiled a 28-8 record, 2.35 ERA in 310.2 innings pitched. He has also racked up, 348 strikeouts and 77 walks.

During his two major league stints, he has a 5-7 record, 5.15 ERA, 81 strikeouts and 44 walks in his 106.2 innings. Now he has some injury history, but I think that he's going to get over it.


Matt Wieters, Norfolk Tides (Bal)

Wieters has already been compared to fantasy stud Geovany Soto. Just like Price he only has one year of minor league stats under his belt. During the 130 games he played, he hit .355, had 155 hits, 27 home runs and 91 RBIs.

Oh and to top it off he had two stolen bases, which ties him for eighth in most steals from catchers, if he played in the majors last season. Wieters also had 76 strikeouts and 82 walks in his 437 at bats. Only negative is that he hasn't played above Double-A, which is probably why the Orioles opted to send him down.

Austin Jackson, Scranton W/B (NYY)

Jackson just like Jon Niese, has four years of minor league service. During those four years he has hit .284, had 481 hits, 26 home runs, 189 RBIs, and 98 stolen bases in 432 games and 1,696 at bats.

During his minor league career, Jackson has 398 strikeouts and 180 walks. He is currently ranked as the Yankees top prospect in a slowly rebuilding farm system, but the Yankees' have an extremely crowded outfield which might keep him in the minors.

Jose Tabata, Indianapolis (Pit)

Tabata who is a former Yankee farm hand was traded to the Pirates in the Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady trade. In four years in the minors he has hit .296, had 379 hits, 21 home runs, and 186 RBIs, with 70 steals. He also has only 217 strikeouts and had 114 walks in his 1,280 at bats.

Tabata who is only 20 looks to storm through to the Pirates since they have virtually no one else. His only minor league competition is fellow top prospect Andrew McCutchen but unlike McCutchen, Tabata is on the 40-man roster.

Stats are courtesy of the fine people at

Jason Hammel Traded to Colorado Rockies

The Tampa Bay Rays finished off their pitching situation Sunday by trading away Jason Hammel.

Hammel had been competing with Jeff Niemann for the fifth spot in the rotation, which is most likely going to be taken by David Price when he gets his call up.

Colorado in return for Hammel sent minor league pitcher Aneury Rodriguez to Tampa.

The Rockies rotation currently has semi-experienced pitchers Ubaldo Jimenez and Franklin Morales along with veterans Jason Marquis, Aaron Cook, and Jeff Francis.

However, with Marquis struggling to get his feet under him so far in Spring Training and Jeff Francis hitting the 15 day disabled list, the odds Hammel makes the rotation are higher in Colorado than they were in Tampa Bay.

Commenting on the move Hammel said, "I'm definitely appreciative of the opportunity they gave me—wish there was more. It seemed like I never really had a solidified spot, I was bouncing back between starting and bullpen. But it happens. This is part of the game, the business side and a great opportunity to go to the Rockies."


Tampa Bay

In Aneury Rodriguez, the Rays get a possible long term prospect, who at 21, has never played above Single-A Modesto for the Rockies. In his four minor league seasons, he has a 25-27 record, 4.82 ERA in 85 games all of which he started.


Hammel brings to Colorado some experience, having been in both the rotation and bullpen during his tenure in Tampa. He's also out of minor league options, with that being the main reason the Rays were looking to trade him. In three seasons in the majors he has a 7-15 record, 5.90 ERA in 73 games, 28 of which he started.

The Top Five Fantasy Baseball Sleepers for 2009

Every year, numerous people release their "Top Fantasy Sleepers," and now it's my turn. These players can make or break your team.

Say your stud pitcher gets hurt and all you have are these guys. You need them and you know it, now find out my top five fantasy sleepers and win your league.

Some names I've been throwing about are Orlando Hudson, Dexter Fowler, Jordan Schaefer, Daryl Thompson, and Dewayne Wise, but I've decided to go with five other names who can really help you out.

Whether they are minor leaguers or major leaguers, these guys will be the players fantasy owners overlook now, but they will soon become the most wanted guys in every league.


5. Matt Wieters - C Baltimore Orioles

The 22-year-old Orioles' top prospect is considered by many to be the next big thing in Baltimore and was ranked the No. 1 overall prospect in baseball by Baseball America.

Which I obviously agree with, since in one minor league season, at Double-A Bowie, he hit for a .355 batting average, with 27 home runs and 91 RBI. He has also tallied 155 hits.

Another upside is that Wieters has only struck out 76 times in his only minor league season.

4. Tommy Hanson - SP Atlanta Braves

Hanson was recently sent to Triple-A Gwinnett, but is still in line for a call-up once someone gets hurt.

In three minor league season, Baseball America's No. 4 overall prospect has put together a 20-15 record and a 2.74 ERA in 64 total games.

Now his downside as a pro is that he has only thrown in 64 professional games and he's 22, which means the Braves might want to keep him in the minors in order not to "stunt his growth."

The biggest highlight of his career came in 2008, when he was named the MVP of the Arizona Fall League.

3. Orlando Cabrera - SS Oakland Athletics

Yeah, yeah, he's not really a "sleeper" in the technical sense. But he has gone undrafted in two of my leagues and went for $1 in one of those new ESPN auction drafts.

So, to me he is vastly underrated. Why, you ask?

Well, first, he is a veteran of 12 major league seasons. And during his time, he has hit .274 with 105 home runs, 684 RBI, and 1,632 hits.

Not flashy but not awful either, plus he's coming off a down year with the White Sox but now he's recently signed with the Athletics, meaning he has something to prove.

2. John Baker - C Florida Marlins

Yep, the second catcher on the list.

He has only played one major league season since being drafted by Oakland in the fourth round of the 2002 draft.

And in that season, which came last year with Florida, he played in 61 games and hit five home runs with 32 RBI. A .299 batting average rounds out a solid season from Baker.

Now one year isn't much, but in seven minor league seasons, he played in 615 games, hit 45 home runs, 312 RBI, scored 305 runs and hit for a solid .276 batting average.

1. Johnny Cueto - SP Cincinnati Reds

This is my sleeper from last year, which didn't really pan out, to say the least.

But the upside from that is in 2007 my sleeper was Arizona SS Stephen Drew, and he was awful, and his breakout year was last season, so now he's a hot commodity.

If this works out the same way, then 2009 will be Cueto's breakout year, hopefully.

In his only major league season for the horrible Reds, Cueto went 9-14, had a 4.81 ERA and gave up 178 hits in 174 innings pitched.

However, he was a stud in his three minor league seasons, posting a 29-15 record, a 3.28 ERA, and 300 hits allowed in 348.1 innings pitched.

One thing that could hurt Cueto is the Reds' being awful; if they pull of a miracle and make something out of this season, Cueto could become a hot commodity.

Cleveland Indians' Ten Cent Beer Night: The Worst Idea Ever

On June 4, 1974, the Cleveland Indians held "Ten Cent Beer Night."
The club intended to offer as much eight-ounce Stroh's beer as fans could drink—and for only 10 cents a pop.

Now some background from before the Indians played the Texas Rangers that night.
Six days earlier there was a bench-clearing brawl between the two teams at Arlington Stadium in Texas.

In the fourth inning of that game, Texas player Tom Grieve was walked. Lenny Randle hit a single, and the next batter hit a ground ball to Indians third baseman John Lowenstein, who stepped on third and threw to second, but the play was disrupted by a hard slide from Randle.

Milt Wilcox, the pitcher for Cleveland in the eighth inning, retaliated by throwing the ball behind Randle's head. Randle bunted, and as Wilcox retrieved the ball and tried to tag him, Randle forearmed Wilcox.

Indians first baseman John Ellis then proceeded to punch Randle, resulting in a brawl that featured Texas fans pouring beer on the Indians players.

Okay, now on to "Ten Cent Beer Night."

Early in the game, the Texas Rangers had a 5-1 lead.

Meanwhile, the intoxicated crowd continuously misbehaved.

This included a woman running onto the Indians on deck circle and flashing her breasts and trying to kiss the umpire, and a naked man running onto the field and sliding into second base as Grieve hit his second home run of the game.

Also, a father and son ran into the outfield and mooned the fans in the bleachers.

The ugliness of the game took a turn for the worse when Leron Lee of Cleveland hit a line drive that hit Rangers pitcher Ferguson Jenkins in the stomach, causing him to fall to the ground.

Fans in the upper deck of Municipal Stadium chanted:
"Hit em' again! Hit em' again! Harder! Harder!"

As the game continued, the fans continued to cause problems, including throwing hot dogs and spitting at Texas' Mike Hargrove, and firing fireworks at the Texas dugout.

Hargrove was also almost hit by a gallon jug of Thunderbird.

In the bottom of the ninth, Cleveland tied the game up at five.

However, after nine innings of consuming amazing amounts of alcohol, the situation took a turn for the worse.

In the ninth inning, a fan tried to steal Rangers player Jeff Burroughs's hat, and confronting the fan, Burroughs tripped and fell to the ground.

Texas manager Billy Martin, believing that Burroughs was attacked, charged onto the field with his players right behind him, some wielding bats.

But most of the intoxicated fans had knives, chains, and portions of the stadium's seats that they had ripped off.

Ken Aspromonte, the manager of the Indians, realizing that some of the Rangers' players lives were in danger, told his players to grab bats and help them out.

Rioters then began throwing folding chairs, one of which hit Cleveland reliever Tom Hilgendorf in the head.

Hargrove was involved in a fist fight with a fan, and had to fight another one when making his way back to the Rangers dugout.

Among those involved was Rusty Torres, who was on second base at the time of the riot, and was the winning run.

Torres already had brawl experience, having been in the brawl during the Yankees-Senators game, which was the Senators last in Washington.

The bases were stolen and never returned, and rioters pelted the players with cups, rocks, bottles, hot dogs, radio batteries, popcorn containers, and the folding chairs.

Joe Tait and Herb Score, who called the game on Indians radio, noted the lack of police protection, and a riot squad eventually showed up and ended the brawl.

Umpire Nestor Chylak called the game a forfeit in favor of Texas.

Chylak himself had been cut in the head with a stadium seat, and also suffered a cut in his hand from a flying rock.

Lee McPhail, the American League president said of the game, "There was no question that beer played a part in the riot".

The Indians, who had scheduled three more of these beer nights, changed it from unlimited beer to four beers per person for the rest of the promotions.