Friday, March 6, 2009

Player Spotlights - Justin Verlander and Geovany Soto

Justin Verlander and Geovany Soto March 6, 2009

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SP Justin Verlander,Tigers, After winning AL Rookie of the Year winner in 2006, Justin Verlander had an even more impressive campaign in 2007, with 18 wins, a 3.66 ERA and an improved WHIP of 1.23. Certainly he looked like one of the elite young pitching talents in the league by the beginning of last season, but he inexplicably retreated into mediocrity finishing 2008 with only 11 wins while his ERA and WHIP ballooned to 4.84 and 1.40. In accordance with his newfound label as an underachieving enigma, Verlander will probably be available in about the 10th or 11th round of your fantasy draft, where he is well worth the risk. He still has one of the best arms in the league, is only 26, and if he can work out the mechanical problems he suffered from last year, mostly related to pitching with men on base, Verlander should be a nice value pick.
C Geovany Soto, Cubs, - Expectations were high for Geovany Soto coming into last season, and the Cubs young catcher did not disappoint, finishing the season with 23 HRs, 86 RBIs and a .285 average and walking away with NL Rookie of the Year honors in the process. Not surprisingly, you will probably need to expend about a 5th or 6th round draft pick on Soto in 2009, as only Russell Martin, Brian McCann and Joe Mauer command higher ADPs at the catcher position. Of course, no young player is without risk, and Soto is no exception, especially considering that he only had one standout year in the minor leagues (2007 -.353/26HR/109RBI) before his emphatic arrival last year. However, considering the relative scarcity of talent at the catcher position in 2009, Soto may be worth the steep investment, as he has a great chance of outperforming the most proximate best options, which will likely be Victor Martinez and Ryan Doumit.

Player Spotlights By Junkyard Jake JunkyardJake.Com