August 2, 2021

Clearing The Bases: Designated Hitters

March 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Most players who are playing full-time at designated hitter this season we have discussed at other positions, so for this column, we will make it short and sweet, and only discuss the DHs that we haven’t gone over at any other point in this series of columns.  The problem with selecting someone who is a pure DH is that it clogs up that spot on your fantasy roster as you can’t move that player to another position, and during interleague play, especially in those weeks where they play three games at home and three on the road you have a tough decision to make.  Do you sit the better player in order to get a full week of games under your belt, or do you take a big zero for those three games?

1.       David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox:  Ortiz was given up for dead a few seasons ago when it looked like he could no longer catch up to a good fastball or hit the long ball.  Well Ortiz have proven to be a resilient player who has made adjustments in his swing to still be a dangerous hitter at the plate.  He’s due to hit lower in the lineup this season due to the addition of Adrian Gonzalez, so he could lose a few ABs over the course of the year, but should still put up the kind of numbers you can be proud of.

2.       Adam Lind, Toronto Blue Jays:  Lind had a breakout 2009 season but saw his numbers fall off a cliff across the board last year.  Home runs went from 35 to 23, RBIs from 114 to 72, Runs 93 to 57, and AVG .305 to .237.   That’s a significant drop off and it’s safe to say that Lind is either off of your radar because you don’t believe he can rebound, or you believe he could be a steal later on in your draft.  Count me in as someone who believes Lind will have a rebound season.

3.       Vladimir Guererro, Baltimore Orioles:  Like Ortiz many thought Vlad had reached the end of his usefulness as a fantasy player last season but he proved us wrong by hitting 29 HRs, his most since 2006 and driving in 115 runs for the Angels.  That wasn’t enough to keep him in southern California however as he signed with Baltimore as a free agent.  The competition is certainly tougher in the East, but being a full-time DH without the worry of playing in the outfield seems to be working for Guererro and he should put up solid numbers once again.

4.       Jim Thome, Minnesota Twins:  Thome was fantastic for the Twins last season as he hit 25 HRs in less than 300 ABs.  He probably played more than what was planned because of the injury to Justin Morneau.  Well Morneau is healthy and the Twins have Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, and Thome who will rotate at right field and DH, which means Thome will have to play just as well as he did last season in limited ABs to be a truly useful fantasy player in 2011.

5.       Hideki Matsui, Oakland Athletics:  Starting with Matsui, you really don’t want any of these next three players to be starting for your team unless you’re in an extremely deep league or playing in an AL only league.  Matsui had respectable numbers last season as he hit 21 HRs and drove in 84 runs, but that was playing for a pretty good offensive club in the Angels.  Now he is playing for a team that is more known for their pitching than their hitting, not to mention their ballpark is not all that favorable to hitters.

6.       Travis Hafner, Cleveland Indians:  What once looked like a promising career has been completely derailed due to multiple shoulder injuries.  Pronk used to be a highlight machine for how far he could hit a baseball, but those days are long gone and he should be nothing more than a reserve on your fantasy team.

7.       Jack Cust, Seattle Mariners:  Mr. all or nothing goes from one offensively challenged team (Oakland) to possibly the worst offensive team in baseball.  The Mariners scored the least amount of runs in baseball last season and they may not even approach that level this season.  If you need HRs, Cust might be a good buy late in your draft, if not, stay away.

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