Fantasy Quotient: Cleveland Indians
*See how the Tribe matches up with A.L: Central Rival: Chicago White Sox Quotient
Newly minted draft picks Kyrie Irving, and Tristan Thompson aren’t the only positive things happening in Cleveland since the ring less LeBreezy left the whole city standing at the altar last July. The Wahoo Maniacs have brought their talents to Ohio and with the Cavaliers crucial NBA draft tonight its the perfect for the A.L. Central leaders to belly up to the old bar to see how their fantasy value measures up.
Grady Sizemore used to be the toast of the town in Cleveland. His awe inspiring 5-tool skill set had fans dreaming about his limitless potential. Cruel injuries have since derailed the endless promise that once characterized Sizemore. Although Grady’s Ladies, Sizemore’s outfield bleacher fan section would crossly disagree, it’s time to look elsewhere in 2011 for proper fantasy return.
Shin-Soo Choo (no I didn’t just sneeze) has been a major disappointment so far this season. The highly touted right fielder was coming off an excellent 2010 and like a younger Sizemore he possesses all the raw skills to be an all around fantasy performer. A rough start followed by a DUI that Choo admitted has been a distraction have really tempered his numbers. With all that being said Choo is showing signs of breaking out recently and remains the all-around power, average, steals threat that can be instrumental to a long fantasy postseason fantasy run. Buy low on Big League Choo and you could be riding him to the championship you’ve always dreamed of.
Lead off man Michael Brantley has been a really nice contributor this season in fantasy and filling a void for the Tribe. His 9 steals, 5 bombs, and .274 average and whopping 40 runs scored make him a very ownable commodity.
Talented Matt LaPorta, a key component of the C.C. Sabathia has yet to get it figured out at the Major League level and is not yet a fantasy commodity. A hot streak later in the summer is not out of the question for LaPorta’s high arching talent, but for now steer clear.
Orlando Cabrera is a veteran leader in the clubhouse, and a clutch bat for the ate innings but even with his hew second base fantasy eligibility this former shortstop doesn’t have enough offense to crack your lineup.
Some were accurately making a case early in the season that Asdrubal Cabrera is an MVP candidate. If the Indians clinch the A.L. Central and Cabrera continues his hot hitting, that still may come to fruition. The all-cat contributor came out of nowhere this season to post staggering all around numbers. With 12 bombs, 12 steals, 43 RBI’s and 49 runs scored with average hovering around .300 Cabrera has done all he can to keep the Indians in the running.
I’ll let the words from the movie “Major League” Cleveland Indian manager Lou Brown regarding one of his most optimistic players, walk-on Willie “Mays” Hayes sum up Bravos third baseman Jack Hallahan’s fantasy value. “You may run like Mays but you hit like shit.” Unfortunately for Indians fans Hallahan doesn’t run like Hayes either.
Carlos Santana may have the most upside of any catcher on the market, (wait for it) including Joe Mauer. He has under performed but a hot power streak as of late has Indians fans salivating for the future. He’s also swiped 3 bags would be the equivalent of 10-15 from an outfielder.
Don’t look now but the Haf-Attack is back! After disappearing from baseball relevance for what seemed like 10 years, Travis Hafner is again producing like feared middle of the order thumper of the early to mid 2000′s. Despite a prolonged D.L. stint, Hafner has contributed 7 bombs in 37 games with an eye popping .338 batting average. Because of his track record he remains buyer beware but those numbers are very difficult to pass up.
Though this team still yearns for its ex-perennial Cy Young candidates Cliff Lee and C.C. Sabathia there is definitely still value in the Indians rotation. Carlos “Wild Thing” Carrasco has been the Indians hottest starter of late, posting a 6-1 record and a sparkling 2.80 ERA in his last 7 starts. Josh Tomlin, and Justin Masterson are both above average starters as well and worth a look as cheap, dependable back of the rotation fantasy guys.
All-Star candidate Chris Perez has done a phenomenal job shutting the door as the Indians go to guy in the ninth this season, posting a 2.54 ERA and 18 saves. Although the rest of the Tribe’s bullpen has been very reliable and important in their unexpected first half surge, they don’t effect enough categories to warrant consideration. Setup man Tony Sipp definitely deserves a mention with his 1.99 ERA and 0.85 WHIP. If you chose to forgo saves, it would be an interesting strategy to acquire three shut the door setup men to aid your starters in WHIP ERA and K’s. Under that unorthodox style Sipp would be a excellent choice.
The Indians have played above expectations and there high standing in the American League is reflected in their fantasy quotient. If it wasn’t for the sink holes at third and second their fantasy value would be slugging it out next to the Red Sox and Philllies.
Indians Fantasy Quotient: 86/100
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