Fantasy Baseball – Back to Earth Corner Infielders
We’ve covered the Bounceback First Basemen and Third Basemen. Now it’s time to take a look at the ones who are going to see their production dip. I won’t include A-Rod, who I think will see a slight dip in his production, because last year will be so hard to follow.
Brandon Inge (.236, 25 doubles, 14 HRs, 71 RBI)
While I think his batting average will increase, I see the rest of his production taking a major hit. With the addition of Miguel Cabrera, Inge is going to have a hard time finding at bats. Carlos Guillen is manning 1st, Gary Sheffield is holding down the DH gig. Cabrara’s at third. He’ll most likely see time filling in for Jacque Jones against lefties and giving, Cabrera a breather, and pinch hitting. Perhaps, he’ll slip behind home plate and catch a little, something he hasn’t done since 2004.
Mike Lowell (.324, 191 hits, 21 HRs, 120 RBI)
I hate to pick on such a key member of the World Series Champions, but to be fair I have to. Mike turned 34 on Sunday, and is coming off the first .300+ season of his career and produced 15 more RBIs than any other year. Plus, he signed a nice, fat contract to remain with Boston. If that doesn’t sound like a fantasy disaster waiting to happen, I’m missing something. I just hope fro .280, 20 HR, 90 RBI. Anything more would be a bonus.
Carlos Peña (.282, 99 runs, 46 HRs, 121 RBI)
He’s proven that when given the chance he can hit for power:
2002 – 19 HRs in 397 at bats
2003 - 18 in 452 at bats
2004 – 27 in 481 at bats
2005 – 18 in 260 at bats
His average, though, has never been above .260 though. Maybe I’m being a pessimist, but I see little chance of a repeat performance. Yeah, he’ll probably be solid, but I don’t see him ranking second among first basemen in RBI and third in HRs like last year.
Matt Stairs (.289, 28 doubles, 21 HRs, 64 RBI)
Sorry to pick on you Matt. Especially on your 40th birthday. Happy Birthday! OK, back to his fantasy value. He had a nice year last year, but I see little-to-no chance he repeats. I mean, he’s 40 now.
Dmitri Young (.320, 38 doubles, 74 RBI)
Call me a party pooper, but come on, .320. He’s 34 years old. I think he had his one last hurrah. He may hit around .300. He’s done it most of his career. However, I don’t see him challenging for the batting crown again. He won’t be as cozy at first base, as he’ll have to share duties with Nick Johnson. He’s going to have to play some outfield to stay in the lineup. I think that will affect his production.
Photos courtesy of Icon SMI