FanPost

Fantasy: Giants Preview

taken from Cockcroft (yeah is a funny name).  he does every teams preview, from a fantasy baseball stand point; today he did the giants:

http://insider.espn.go.com/fantasy/baseball/flb/story?id=2776322&univLogin02=stateChanged
(must be an insider to see)

With age comes experience.

Doesn't that sound like a perfect slogan for the Giants? Consider that all but 971 of their 5,472 at-bats as a team in 2006 were accrued by players who had already celebrated their 30th birthdays, while all but 698.2 of their 1429.2 innings as a team fell into that same category. And on opening day 2007, not one of the Giants' eight projected position-player starters will be under 31 years old, and three will be at least 35. Sure, the team shed two of their oldest starters from 2006, Moises Alou (39 this coming opening day) and Steve Finley (42), but then the team's most prominent offensive additions, Rich Aurilia (35), Bengie Molina (32) and Dave Roberts (34), really aren't that much younger.

And as we all know, in fantasy, with age comes a lack of upside. The one skill that has been proven to improve with age is pitch selection, but it's not like an Aurilia, Roberts or Ray Durham is likely to amass better numbers than he did in 2006. Most Giants hitters, being on the wrong side of 30, have a far greater chance at regressing in performance, which means a lot of risk in that lineup. Really, for the Giants, 2007 will be all about Barry Bonds' chase at Hank Aaron's all-time home run record. Beyond that, this team isn't much more exciting than the one that ranked 22nd in runs per game (4.63).

Fortunately, the pitching staff is at least a bit younger than the offense, led by free-agent signee Barry Zito, a 28-year-old 102-game winner for his career. Zito crosses the bay from Oakland, and he couldn't have picked a more suitable ballpark for a pitcher making a league switch. Behind him, and perhaps even more exciting for fantasy, is Matt Cain, the youngest player guaranteed to make the opening-day roster, at 22. He had a 3.12 ERA, 1.205 WHIP and 82 strikeouts in 78 innings in his final 12 starts as a rookie, and as a pitcher who finished no lower than 13th on Baseball America's top 100 prospects in both 2005 and 2006, Cain clearly has ace-caliber upside, according to the scouts. Zito's experience should help ease the pressure on the young Cain, helping him in his quest for a breakout year.

On the mound, though, most of the questions surround the bullpen. Closer Armando Benitez is coming off a disappointing, injury-plagued season, and he spent the offseason surrounded by trade rumors. There are some intriguing high-upside relievers in the hunt for roster spots, including Jonathan Sanchez, who also is in the hunt for the fifth starter job, Brian Wilson, who had 28 saves and a 1.92 ERA in the minors the past two years, and perhaps even Tim Lincecum, the team's No. 1 pick in last June's draft. But can any of them close if pressed into duty? Sadly, none has age, and therefore experience, working for him.

*remainder removed* please respect intellectual (and in this case commercial) copyright. All hail our ESPN masters! - kenshin

This FanPost is reader-generated, and it does not necessarily reflect the views of McCovey Chronicles. If the author uses filler to achieve the minimum word requirement, a moderator may edit the FanPost for his or her own amusement.

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