It’s that time of year again – sure, opening day for baseball, but more importantly, opening day for fantasy baseball leagues. The industry has been growing steadily, especially over the past decade. It has grown into a multi-million dollar industry and has also cemented the game into the minds of its fans.
As this new season approaches, millions will be scouring over reports of players and compiling lists in order for there final preparations before their drafts.
And it is interesting to note that several Marlins are hot commodities for these cyberspace GMs.
According to Yahoo.com, Josh Willingham, the Marlins young catcher in the rough – who will also be splitting time in LF – is one of the top 5 in their ‘Buzz Index’. With 2,092 adds, he is #5 on their list and has been added to many rosters. One of the reasons is he is catcher eligible, but also because of a very strong spring and his stats from his minor league career. All indications show that Willingham is going to hit in this league.
Another hot commodity is Jeremy Hermida. The young RF put up very good numbers in his rookie campaign with the Marlins – making a strong first impression with a grand slam homerun in his first AB. He hasn’t been spectacular this spring, but the potential in undeniable. He is a potential 5 tool star, in the long Marlins tradition of Miguel Cabrera and…Gary Sheffield.
All joking aside, some scouts and others around the league have taken notice of Hermida as well. A former teammate noted that he feels this kid is going to be a 30/100 guy for many years to come – even as soon as THIS season.
Let’s not forget about Mike Jacobs either. Coming over from the Mets in the barrage of deals this offseason, the Marlins are penciling him in as their starting 1B. And he has been impressive in stints – he batted only .275 with 2 homers in 69 ABs, but had a .357 OBP and had 9 K’s vs. 8 BB’s. He shows pretty good plate discipline and the power is there (Jacobs belted 11 home runs in 100 ABs last season with the Mets). One Met scout really likes his potential hitting at Joe Robbie Stadium (oh yeah, ‘Dolphins Stadium’…) and towards the RF porch.
In fact, both Jacobs and Hermida are listed as ‘rookies to watch’ over at Yahoo.com.
Then there is the intrigueing talent Hanley Ramirez. A highly touted prospect in the Red Sox system, he is going to be starting at SS and has all the physical tools to excel at the position. Now, he just needs to play – and play he will. Hitting .319 with 3 home runs in the spring, he has quickly impressed his coaches. With all the playing time ahead of him, he may prove to be a very smart gamble in later rounds of your draft.
Also, Dan Uggla has some potential – he is playing 2B and has demonstrated over his minor league career that he has some power. He had 2 bombs this spring.
Along with the “crusty old vets”, Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, the Marlins have a ton of talent that will play tough and should put up pretty strong numbers over the course of the season. And fantasy GMs are already taking notice.