Found March 31, 2012 on Fantasy Baseball Tools:

One of the readers of the site had sent in a question asking for my biggest, boldest prediction for the 2012 fantasy baseball season. Answering that question is tough to do with so many different story lines playing out this season. Instead, I decided to take a look at each team to see what one big thing I could realistically see happening this season. Here is a look at my bold predictions for the National League East.

Kris Medlen wins 10 games (ATL) – with Tim Hudson out to start the season and both Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson experiencing injury issues in past seasons, it is not out of the realm of possibility for Medlen to grab a rotation spot at some point and collect double-digit wins this season. People may forget what type of season Medlen turned in back in 2010 before he had Tommy John surgery when he posted a 3.68 ERA and 1.20 WHIP with 6.9 strikeouts per nine innings.

Hanley Ramirez is a top 10 player at season’s end (FLA) – each season 40-60% of the players picked in the first round do not return first round value. Knowing this, we need to look for players that would be able to move into the first round despite not being drafted there. While Ramirez was not healthy in 2011, all signs point to him be back to normal this season and despite early grumblings, he has seem to take to third base. There is no reason not to expect a return back to 2009-210 levels.

Ike Davis hits 30+ home runs for the Mets (NYM) – he close to his type of pace last season before going out with an ankle injury so this may not be too much of a bold prediction, but given what the Mets have to work with on offense, Davis is the hitter that is most likely to exceed expectations this season. The fences being moved in at Citi Field should help all of the Mets hitters in the power department as well.

Vance Worley wins 15 games for the Phillies (PHI) – given the pitchers they team has ahead of him in the rotation, he should be spending every waking minute he has picking their brains for pitching tips. He won 11 games for the team last season in 131 2/3 innings and he is still young and learning with only 578 career innings pitched between the major and minor leagues.

Steve Lombardozzi gets 400 at bats for the Nationals (WAS) – second basemen Danny Espinosa continues to struggle making contact with 24 strikeouts in 67 at bats and has yet to drive in a run in spring training. Espinosa struggled the second half of last season with a .227 average with 82 strikeouts in 247 at bats. If he continues to scuffle into the end of May, the Nationals may be forced to make a change.


Jason Heyward finally feeling comfortable

His stride was short and his head stayed down as his eyes followed the pitch toward the plate. Jason Heyward extended his long arms, starting his picturesque swing, and propelled his bat through the strike zone at precisely the right time. The bat met the ball at the perfect place and sent it flying toward left-center field, too far for any outfielder to track down. It bounced...

Grading future Braves talent (part-3): Outfield

By Jim Pratt Editor’s note: In part-1 of his evaluation of future Atlanta Braves talent, BravesWire’s Jim Pratt graded the Braves’ young pitching talent. You can see part-1 here and part-2 here.  The weakest link in Atlanta’s pipeline from the minor leagues is undeniably the outfield. With seemingly no immediate help on the way and possible vacancies in both left and center...

McCann the Braves new leader

This is Brian McCann's team now, but can the Braves keep the hometown kid around for the long-term?

Braves and Reds Strike a Minor Deal

The Braves and Reds made a minor deal on Sunday. The Braves sent right-handed minor league pitcher J.J. Hoover for Reds third baseman Juan Francisco. Francisco was out of options, and that likely played a role in this dealing taking place. Hoover has yet to pitch in the majors, and reached Triple-A in the middle of August. Let's take a look at the fantasy impact of this deal...

Prospect Teheran struggles, Braves tie Phils

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- Cliff Lee allowed one run over four innings in his final Grapefruit League start, and the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves played to a 7-7 tie in nine innings Sunday. Lee, who is set to pitch Saturday in the Phillies' second regular-season game against Pittsburgh, allowed five hits and walked one. Julio Teheran, is a tight battle for the final...

Hanson sharp, Braves lose in rain out

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- Justin Verlander tuned up for opening day with a crisp outing in his final spring start and the Detroit Tigers beat the Atlanta Braves 2-1 on Saturday in a game called after six innings due to rain. Verlander, who won the American League Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards last season, allowed four hits in six innings to finish the spring with a 2.02...

Meet the Braves: Eric Hinske invites you to meet the Braves as we continue a month-long look at our team, player-by-player. We'll revisit 2011 and project what 2012 might look like. Eric Hinske Position: OF1B Height: 6-2; Weight: 235 BatThrow: LR Hometown: Scottsdale, Ariz. Experience: 11th season 2011 in review: Hinske again provided left-handed power off the bench, hitting 10 home...

Braves send pitcher Hoover to Reds

The Cincinnati Reds traded third baseman Juan Francisco to the Atlanta Braves for right-hander J.J. Hoover on Sunday. The 24-year-old Francisco was competing with Todd Frazier to back up Scott Rolen. Francisco was signed by the Reds in 2004 and was out of minor-league options. Francisco has played 81 games in the majors. The lefty hitter has a career batting average of .284 with...

Meet the Braves: Kris Medlen invites you to meet the Braves as we continue a month-long look at our team, player-by-player. We'll revisit 2011 and project what 2012 might look like. Kris Medlen Position: P Height: 5-10 Weight: 190 BatThrow: SR Hometown: Norwalk, Calif. Experience: Fourth season 2011 in review: Medlen pitched in only two games in September after missing the rest of the...

Reds acquire RHP JJ Hoover in a trade with Braves

The Reds acquired RHP JJ Hoover for Juan Francisco today in a deal with the Atlanta Braves. Scouting report and some thoughts coming soon.
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