Fantasy Baseball – Back to Earth Middle Infielders

Feb 28, 2008

So we’ve profiled the Bounceback Middle Infielders.  Now it’s time to bring on the negativity.  Here’s a look at some players who will have a hard time matching the bar they set last year.

Orlando Cabrera (.301, 101 runs, 192 hits, 86 RBI)
Long known for his defensive prowess, Cabrera had two outstanding offensive seasons for Anaheim.  He’ll bring that glove with him to Chicago, but I don’t see the stick coming.  He had a career high in hits, runs, and average.  Although I have a spot for him in my heart for being part of the 2004 Red Sox team, I think he’s due for a return to the reality of .280, 75 runs, 65 RBI.

Khalil Greene (.254, 89 runs, 155 hits, 44 doubles, 27 HRs, 97 RBI)
Considering the pitcher friendly park he plays in, these numbers really stand out to me.  Sure, he’s in his prime at 28 years of age, but I don’t expect him to repeat his numbers.  His previous highs were 67 runs, 132 hits, 31 doubles, and 70 RBI.  He hit 15 HRs each of his three previous years.  I think he’s good for .260, 140 hits, 35 doubles, 22 HR, and 75 RBI, which is good, but still a drop in production from last year.

J.J. Hardy
(.277, 89 runs, 26 HR, 80 RBI)
There weren’t many players better than Hardy in May last year.  He hit .325 with 9 HR and 26 RBI.  He was horrible in June and July only to finish solid. However, while his average came back (.292 in August, .280 in September), his power didn’t.  He had 8 HRs and 20 RBI combined in the last two months of the year, which is about what he averaged the first two months of the season.  I expect a solid year from him, and wouldn’t be afraid to draft him, but I’m putting him on a .280, 80 run, 20 HR, 70 RBI season.  Still good numbers, but not quite last year.

My man has a melon.

Placido Polanco (.341, 200 hits, 105 runs, 36 doubles, 67 RBI)
I fully expect Placido to have another stellar year.  Their offense only got stronger with the addition of Miguel Cabrera and Edgar Renteria.  However, I think Placido set the bar a little too high last year.  At 32 years of age I don’t expect another .340 year.  I’d say .310 would be more accurate.  He’ll probably see a dip in runs scored to the 80-90 range.  These are still solid numbers, but not the Baseball Stars type numbers he put up last year.

Brian Roberts (.290, 180 hits, 103 runs, 42 doubles, 50 SBs)
I’m expecting a little fallout following the Mitchell Report findings.  Not to mention, I don’t expect him to stay healthy all year like he did last year.  Plus Baltimore stinks.

Jose Vidro (.314, 78 runs, 172 hits, 59 RBI)
Before last year Vidro hadn’t played in 140 games since 2003.  He’ll turn 34 in August.  I’m guessing he breaks down at some point this season.  Sure, he’ll be productive when he’s healthy, but I don’t see him getting more than 150 hits (which also happened for the first time since 2003 last year) and I see an average around .285.  Again, decent numbers, but a dip from last year.  If you get Vidro, you’ll want a decent backup.

Although I think Edgar Renteria will have solid numbers, I don’t see any chance he hits .332 again.

Images courtesy of Icon SMI

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