Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Player Spotlights - James Shields and Garrett Jones

James Shields and Garrett Jones March 16, 2010

Live Fantasy Baseball Mock Drafts, Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings, Player Trade Calculator, Fantasy Forums and more ! at FantasyBaseballXtreme.Com

SP James Shields,Rays, - A very consistent fantasy option during the 2007 and 2008 seasons, Tampa Bay's James Shields fell victim to an uncharacteristically substandard second half in 2009, ending the year with a disappointing 4.14 ERA, and only 11 wins. While he started the 2009 season looking like the reliable pitcher we had become accustomed to, with 6 wins a 3.42 ERA and a Whip of 1.26 through the All-Star break, his 2nd half ERA 5.16 was an unpleasant surprise for fantasy owners. As a consequence, his fantasy value has taken a significant hit in 2010, with his ADP dropping from the 7th round in 2009 to about the 11th round in most recent 2010 drafts. Shields is never going to overwhelm hitters with his 90 MPH fastball, but it's his skill in combining this pitch with his excellent 80 MPH change-up and impressive control that makes him effective. Slated to be the Rays opening day starter, Shields seems undervalued and is a likely rebound candidate to target in fantasy drafts this year.
OF/1B Garrett Jones, Pirates, - Before his breakout season last year, 28 year old Garrett Jones seemed destined to languish as a career minor leaguer. Originally drafted by the Braves in 1999, Jones was shipped off to the Twins organization a few years later, and didn't begin to show his power potential until 2004 when he hit 30 HRs for Minnesota's AA affiliate that year. Still, up until last year, Jones had compiled just a .258 average during his time in the minors, and doubts remained about his ability to consistently handle major league pitching. After a trade to the Pirates in 2009, Jones received his first opportunity of significant playing time when the team traded Nyjer Morgan to the Nationals. He responded with 10 HRs and a .310 BA during the month of July, and finished the season with 21 HRs and a .293 average in 314 at-bats. It remains to be seen if Jones can follow through in 2010, and his .208 BA against left-handers last year is a concern, but he should represent a decent source of mixed-league power at a 15th round price.

Player Spotlights By Junkyard Jake JunkyardJake.Com