Fantasy Notes: Ready, Freddy?
It’s been quite some time since we knocked off a couple of good, old fashioned fantasy notes, so let’s help you get ready for spring training with a couple of Bucco notes. Is this the season Pittsburgh finally snap its skid of sub-.500 years? The last winning Pirates team featured Barry Bonds. Just think about that for a second. Hell, the last time that happened, George Bush’s daddy was puking in the lap of the Japanese prime minister…on TV, no less!
- Freddy Sanchez could be poised to take his breakout season a step further this year. While asking him to win another batting title (.344 last year) might be a bit much, you have to marvel at the consistency he displayed season in which during the worst month he had he still hit .301. This was hardly a fluke of a season; I mean, 200 hits rarely is a fluke. Sanchez will hit out of the three hole again and with any improvement in the ability of the Pirates’ top of the order to get on base, he could be capable of driving in 100 runs. I also expect him to make a run at 100 runs scored this year with not one, but now two power hitters behind him in Adam LaRoche and Jason Bay. Throw in the multi-position eligibility (3B, SS, 2B), and Sanchez is a darn valuable asset to own this season.
- Bay also stands to benefit from the addition of LaRoche. Putting a left-handed power bat in between Sanchez and the fifth-place hitting Bay in the order will make it much more difficult for teams to deal with the middle of the Pirates’ lineup, especially in late-game situations. While Bay may not have quite the RBI opportunities he did while hitting cleanup, the Canadian kid is still in his prime power years, so he could make a run at his first 40-homer season. Also, he will certainly combine with LaRoche to ensure the Pirates don’t again finish dead last in home runs in the NL this season.