MLB Team News & Rumors: San Francisco

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San Francisco Giants

Our expert from,Shawn Childs, helps you prepare for your big fantasy baseball draft.

San Francisco Giants Team Projection

Check out my player profiles of the San Francisco Giants pitching staff below to help you with your fantasy baseball draft prep.

1. SP Madison Bumgarner

Madison Bumgarner fantasy baseball

Bumgarner has been rock solid over the last 3 seasons. He is 49-39 in his major league career with a 3.08 ERA and 677 K's in 735.3 innings. His K rate (8.9) was a career high for a full season, but his command (2.8) was the worst of his career. He allowed 2 runs or less in 22 of his 31 starts and pitched much better in September (1.80 ERA) after struggling in 2012 (5.47). Madison was electric against lefties (.161 with only 6 walks allowed in 161 at bats). While he has success against RH batters (.215), he issued 56 of his 62 walks to righties. His AFB (91.4) was slightly higher than 2012 (91.1), but only threw his fastball 38.5% of the time (career low). His slider is really his best pitch (.217), but his curveball (.222) and changeup (.224) are also tough to hit. His velocity improved over the last 3 months of the year, especially on his changeup. Last year, the Giants scored 2 runs or less in 14 of his starts, which led to a 1-7 record with a 2.78 ERA. Bumgarner is an elite arm that will have even more upside if his walk rate returns to its previous form. His name isn't sexy as a fantasy ace, but he is more than worthy. His only weakness could be wins if San Fran's offense doesn't improve in 2014.

2. SP Matt Cain

Matt Cain fantasy baseball

For the first time in his career, Matt Cain was drafted as a fantasy ace in 2013. He pitched great in his first start of the year (6 shutout innings with 8 K's), but had 4 disaster starts in his next 11 outings. Over a 7 start period from mid April to early June, Cain allowed 13 HR's in 69.7 innings (1.7 per 9 innings). His velocity was down slightly on his four seam fastball in April and May. At first, it appeared he may have an injury, but he was able to make it through the season healthy, other than a 2 week DL stint in late August due to an elbow injury as a result of a batted ball. After June 1st, he allowed 3 runs or less in 17 of his last 18 starts (3.19 ERA) with 10 HR's allowed in 110 innings. Matt was more dominant against LH batters (.215), which was a nice improvement from 2012 (.257). Furthermore, he allowed 17 of his 23 HR's to righties. His K rate (7.7) was a step down from 2012 (7.9), but it was above his career average (7.5). His strikeout rate also declined in each of the last 4 months (June - 8.6, July - 7.8, August - 7.2, and September - 5.8), while his walk rate (2.7) regressed after having the best command of his career in 2012. His AFB (91.2) was identical to his previous 2 seasons, and he threw his slider (#2 pitch) at the highest rate of his career (28.2%). His curveball was his 3rd pitch, followed by a changeup. Cain's fastball % (48.8%) has declined over the last 3 years. Overall, it looks like Matt just lost command of his fastball early in the year, which resulted in 8 of his 13 HR's allowed early in the year. Prior to last year, Cain had a plus ERA in each of the last 4 years with over 200 innings in 6 straight years. Solid SP2 with possible upside in K's if he repeats his 2012 success.

3. SP Tim Lincecum

Tim Lincecum fantasy baseball

After going 69-41 with a 2.94 ERA during his first 5 seasons in the majors, Lincecum is 20-29 over his last 2 years with 4.76 ERA. His command (3.5) was much better than 2012 (4.4), but it was well off his career best in 2009 (2.7). His K rate (8.8) was a career low along with his AFB (90.2), which has faded for most of his career. His changeup continues to be his #2 pitch, followed by a slider and curveball. His value against RH batters (.260 -.433 SLG %) is fading. While Tim had success against lefties (.235), he issued too many walks (45 in 362 at bats). Last year, he never had an ERA under 3.60 in any month, and only allowed 2 runs or less in 14 of his 32 starts. Batters still have a tough time hitting his changeup (.157), slider (.237), curveball (.204), and sinker (.245), but his four seam fastball now has no value (.347 with a .564 SLG %). The Giants signed him to a 2-year, $35 million contact in October. His value has bottomed out where he is just about free on draft day. While his K ability remains strong, the value of his fastball is no longer elite. He has been unable to improve his command to help take advantage of his swing and miss secondary pitches. Overall, Lincecum really needs to throw more first pitch strikes. I don't love him and he won't be a target in 2014, but I can't ignore him if he is given to me on draft day. I'll take the possible 200 K's and hope for improved command and a possible 3.75 ERA. Tim is a double jeopardy pitcher, meaning he'll either crush your ERA and WHIP or he'll bounce back and help make a good pitching staff special. It's all about price point with him. In a way, I hope he pitches great in spring training to raise his value so his success will remove his name from my decision making process.

4. SP Tim Hudson

Tim Hudson fantasy baseball

Hudson didn't pitch at an elite level last year, allowing 2 runs or less in just 10 of his 21 starts. His season ended in late July when he broke his right ankle on a play at first base. San Fran signed him to a 2-year, $23 million contact in November. Tim is expected to be ready for spring training. While his command (2.5) remains very good, his K rate (6.5) has been short over the last 12 years. However, it was above his career average (6.1). His AFB (89.7) was the 2nd lowest of his career, and his cutter continues to be his #2 pitch, followed by a resurfacing split finger fastball and curveball. Hudson has been a high % GB pitching (55.8%) during his entire career. Last year, batters had a tough time hitting his four seam fastball (.192), curveball (.184), cutter (.186), and split-finger (.204). Tim had the least value with his sinker (.305). Hudson is 205-111 during his major league career with a 3.44 ERA. He has won more than 15 games 8 times during his career. Solid major league arm with upside in wins whose K's may surprise due to the addition of his split finger fastball.

5. SP Ryan Vogelsong

Ryan Vogelsong fantasy baseball

The real Vogelsong finally showed up in 2013, evidenced by him being drilled over his first 9 starts (8.06 ERA). He had his best start in his next game (5 shutout innings), but was hit by a pitch while batting. That HBP broke his right hand (required surgery). The injury ended up costing him 2 1/2 months of the season. He pitched much better in August (2.93 ERA) when he returned, but he had a real short K rate (5.3). Furthermore, Ryan had no value in September (6.41 ERA with 3.0 K rate). Vogelsong was crushed by RH batters (.327 with a.525 SLG %), and his AFB (89.0) was almost 2 mph less than 2012. His cutter took over as his #2 pitch, followed by a curveball and a changeup. Batters had success against his sinker (.375 with a .527 SLG %), changeup (.317 with a .533 SLG %), and curveball (.339 with .554 %). As you can see, there's not a lot to like here. Overall, he's a pitcher with a declining fastball and his secondary pitches really don't have any upside value. His bad pitching earned him a 1-year, $5 million contract in 2014, so he is nothing more than a backend gamble if he is showing more velocity this spring.

6. SP Yusmeiro Petit

Yusmeiro Petit fantasy baseball

Petit was drawing some interest in the early draft season due his late success with the Giants last year. He allowed 2 runs or less in 5 of his 8 starts with a strong K rate (8.8) and elite command (2.1). Yusmeiro has had elite command (2.0) during his entire minor league career with a solid K rate (9.0), but his success never translated into a full time major league job. Petit has a career 3.68 ERA in the minors with 972 K's in 967.3 innings. He has a short fastball (88.1), but it is stronger than his earlier years. He throws a slider and curveball about the same % of time, followed by changeup. Yusmeiro doesn't have high upside, but he may be a better option than Vogelsong in 2014.

7. SP Kyle Crick

Kyle Crick fantasy baseball

The cupboard is somewhat bear at the higher levels of the minors for the Giants. Crick is still a couple of years away from the majors, but he has a plus arm (12.5 K rate). However, he lacks command (5.1). His fastball can reach the mid 90's and he throws a plus curveball as his 2nd best pitch, followed by a changeup. Crick has tried to throw a slider and also a split finger fastball. He has a short pitching resume and won't have success at the higher levels in the minors until he defines his approach with his secondary pitches. He should start the year at AA, but could move quickly if his command makes a big step forward. Kyle has career 2.31 ERA with 231 K's in 187 innings in the minors.

8. CL Sergio Romo

Sergio Romo fantasy baseball

Romo has an intriguing skill set. He has had elite command (1.8) and a plus K rate (10.3) during his career, but his K rate (8.7) was a career low in 2013. Opposing batters are only hitting .197 against him during his career. While Sergio was dominant against RH batters (.183), he lost value against lefties (.279). Romo has allowed 16 of his career 22 HR's to righties. His AFB (87.7) tied his career low, while he throws a slider as his #1 pitch (49.2% of the time) with an occasional changeup (also added a cutter in 2013). His GB rate (40.7%) dropped by over 8% points in one season. He has a plus arm, but he won't pitch plus innings for a reliever which limits his upside in K's. His declining fastball is also a concern, but he has the skill set to close due to a plus, plus slider. He has battled an elbow injury in the past and his decline in K's is a slight concern. Overall, solid 2nd tier upside with some injury risk.

9. RP Santiago Casilla

Santiago Casilla fantasy baseball

Casilla battled an knee injury early in the year, which led to surgery in the 3rd week in May. The injury forced him to miss almost 2 months of the season. His K rate (6.8) was a career low and he had poor command (4.5), while his AFB (93.4) was a step back from 2012. His #2 pitch is a slider, followed by a curveball and an occasional changeup. Casilla had success against both RH (.224) and LH (.217) batters, but he walked (16) more righties than he struck out (14). Casilla doesn't have great control and his first pitch strike % has been weak during his entire career. Santiago has a 2.21 ERA over the last 4 years with the Giants with 35 SV's. His skill set looks shaky, but Casilla will most likely get the first chance at saves if Romo has an issue.

10. RP Heath Hembree

Heath Hembree fantasy baseball

Hembree has stalled at AAA over the last 2 seasons (4.34 ERA). Heath has 87 career saves in the minors with a 3.15 ERA with 206 K's in 162.7 innings. His walk rate (2.6) was much improved last year (3.4 during his minor league career). Hembree finally had his chance at the majors late in the year, pitching 7.7 shutout innings with 12 K's and 2 walks in 9 appearances. His AFB was 92.1, while he threw a slider as his #2 pitch (followed by a low level changeup). Possible flyer if Romo has a problem.


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