Mike Siano co-hosts "Fantasy 411" on The Baseball Channel at MLB.com.
Mike Siano: Hey kids Mike Siano of MLB.com's Fantasy 411 here. Looking forward to the chat after being down in Grapefruit League for a little over a week. Let's get it started and a reminder Cory Schwartz and I will be chatting at 3pm ET today on MLB.com as well.
Tony (Brooklyn, NY): Hi Mike,
I'm relying alot on Geovanny Soto in multiple leagues this year. Do you think he's a safe pick or should I be taking Mauer, Posada, etc. earlier in some leagues (always see V. Martinez go early)? Thanks!
Mike Siano: Tony,
I think he's an OK pick if you don't get one of the top 5, but I sure would rather have Martin, Martinez, Mauer, McCann or Posada. John Marzano of MLB.com thinks Sweet Lou is a killer to catchers and my sleeper this year is JR Towels.
Steve (Chicago): At what point do you think it's ok to say "what the heck, I'll take Pujols?" I can't remember a no doubt first round pick falling so much in people's draft rankings over an injury he's had for 4 years.
Mike Siano: Steve I think if he makes it to the second round you almost have to do it. If you are sitting at #10 in the first and it's between him, Utley or Ryan Howard I pass and take Howard or Utley. In a mock draft last night I saw Utley go at #10 and Pujols go in same slot on way back. That is sweet.
akachazz (DC): Hey Mike,
My DL spot is empty. Any suggestions on guys to scoop up and stick there? (Not sure it matters, but I'm in a 10 teamer vanilla.)
Mike Siano: don't push it but feel free to roll the dice and make the cut when a guy you do want to keep gets hurt. Chris Carpenter? Don't over think it since you are in a ten teamer anyway.
Joe (detroit): Mike,
How would you order the followinf ofs for 08 only? (traditional 5x5) Do they all belonmg in the same group or tier? Much thenks.
Mike Siano: Joe,
I think you have both ends of the spectrum in a similar tier mentioned. I love Markakis this year and have concerns about Hamilton since he had a special year last year and now changes scenery which is not always a good thing. Rios/Markakis/Abreu/ Hart/Manny and Chris Young are the cream with the rest falling in line.
Ameer (Bloomington, IN): Is it ever a good idea to just pack it in from day 1 and start building for next year? In my (very competitive) NL-only standard 5x5 keeper, I had a terrible, terrible auction. I had a full $30 leftover, my best starting pitcher is probably Shawn Hill, my only hitters of note are D. Lee, Zimmerman, and Franceour, and 4 of my 6 outfield+util spots are guys who probably won't start (Rajai Davis, Nyjer Morgan, Felix Pie, and Elijah Dukes). Oh, and the closest thing I have to a closer is either Bob Howry or Tony Pena.
If you were me, would you take up the challenge of trying to compete this year through trades and fa, or just shoot for '09?
Mike Siano: Ameer,
I could never pack it in on the first day or first half in a season. One time I got done in by dial up in a crappy hotel room in Florida for a draft. Honestly part of the fun was digging my way out of the mess the auto pick dealt me. Give it the first half and embrace the challenge. After the first half is over then evaluate and decide if it's time to look to 09'.
The Grinch (Whoville): Hey Mike, here's a question that appears to be growing more and more relevant: of the following up-and-coming SPs, can you rank them in terms of value they will provide to a fantasy team THIS YEAR assuming they all get spots in the rotation? The SPs are Manny Parra, Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Ian Kennedy, Gio Gonzalez and Jonathan Sanchez. This should be relevant to most fantasy players looking to make a great WW pickup early in the season.
Mike Siano: I guess you were one of the millions to go see see Horton hears a Who huh?
Parra is making the Brewers make a tough decision but may not make the club at first. Volquez has a lot to prove. Cueto and Kennedy are arms that the Reds and yanks absolutely love and right now they are my top two of this list. I can't see Gio not being a member of the rotation this year at some point but when is up to a few factors and Sanchez like parra is nice sleeper with high upside. Solid list of names.
Taylor (Toronto): I know ST numbers don't mean much but Josh Hamilton has been on fire, what do you expect out of him this year?
Mike Siano: If Hamilton is my 3rd OF I sleep better at night. Guys have had bad years in Texas before and I'm rooting for him but not sure what will happen after last year being storybook until getting hurt. If he makes it to 450 AB's he could put up some solid numbers but a lot going against him mentally and physically.
Marc (San Antonio): Who do you recommend at SS if you can't get one of the top tier guys?
Mike Siano: If you miss out on Holy Trinity of Hanley, Reyes and Rollins don't fret too much. It's if you miss out on Jeter, Tulo, Guillen and Mike Young you may have an issue. I like Renteria but is he a good fit in Detroit and Tejada is a big enigma this year. I put Young in there because I personally feel he has a big bounce back season. He drove in 94 last year and had a major drop in power from 96'.
Steve (Bismarck, ND): Hey Mike, just wanted to say I love listening to the 411. It's nice hearing you be an analyst a little more since Casey came on. My question is, how did you get into the whole radio business in the first place?
Mike Siano: Thanks Steve,
Long story short I hated college except of course the partying part. Figured what the hell I'll drop out and get a job in baseball. Went to Connecticut School of Broadcasting (Jersey Campus) got an internship at sports radio WFAN in NY and met my future boss at MLB.com. I did the 08 Pujols route, high risk really high reward. I do recommend staying in school though.
Steve (North Dakota): Tell me I'm not screwed with these two catchers please: JR Towles and Dioner Navarro. I know they were on your underrated list but I couldn't get one of the top 4 guys so I decided to wait until the last two rounds to get catchers.
Mike Siano: you could do a lot worse, don't make a trade just because you hate your catchers, give them time and take from there.
RollingWave (Taiwan): I know that ST # are not that important but Barry Zito's "performance" so far sure raise a eyebrow (if not a full fledge panic train)
Mike Siano: the only people that should be panicking are Brain Sabean and Giants fans, they may lose even more game then projected if Zito stinks it up again. He's a pitch or ditch guys at best in a mixed which is amazing to me based on his performance in Oakland back in the day. Pitchers, cant trust em!!!!! (imagine flavor flav saying that)
Tony (Brooklyn, NY): So you can't live with Khalil Greene at SS if it lets you draft better elsewhere?
Mike Siano: oops
forgot khalil, nice catch Tony. Must be that whole park thing on my mind.
akachazz (DC): Hey Mike. Diehard 411 fan. I focused on position scarcity this year in my draft and didn't take a 1st baseman (Jackson) until the end of the draft. So I wanted to ask you this:
I did take Nick Swisher, who should be a solid OF, but are his stats good as a 1B? In a 10 teamer, no less?
P.S. And should I be worried that Dusty Baker is going to bury Edwin Encarnation this year?
Mike Siano: I think Swisher will have a fine year on South Side so yes and I like Jackson as well.
Please Dusty don't do it!!!!!!!!!!!
Zapp Brannigan (The Nimbus): Brannigan's love is like Buchholz's fastball: hard and fast! He has been getting beat up a bit, though, and Boston's pitching coach said he has mechanical issues. Does Clay start the season in AAA? How many starts do you think he will make this year?
Mike Siano: he probably does but I expect him to be part of this teams run to defend. Sounds like they will cap him at 180ish innings and will want him more in September then April. I still think he has value and actually saw him out pitch Liriano last week and he looked good. Not too worried.
Do we really believe Bartolo can hold him off all year?
Nate (State College, PA): Adam Jones or Conor Jackson as a more likely breakout or potential keeper going forward?
Mike Siano: Jones is 3 years younger plays a more valuable position and has the higher ceiling. Jackson may out perform him this year but it's probably his last chance if he does.
Taylor (Toronto): Chipper Jones and Carlos Pena fell to me in the 7th and 8th rounds in a 13 team league, can I expect close to the same production they had last year?
Mike Siano: Looks like you got Chipper right about where he should be and even though I don't think Pena sniffs his numbers from last year you still got him at a good value since he is going in the 4th and 5th in 12 teamers.
Hombre X (Parts unknown): When doing an auction do you like to name players you don't want to burn money and have other teams fill up their rosters, or stick to players you really do want?
Mike Siano: If I am locked up in a position then yes I will throw them out to burn money and spots. If I have my 1b, 3b and CO filled then ill throw out a guy at that postion since i cant have them anyway. if my utility is open I'll hold some names back just in case. I try to mix it up here and there so I don't show a tell. I have a terrible poker face. I'd wear shades at auctions if it didn't look so stupid.
Steve (North Dakota): First of I love the 411, but Siano come clean: how did you get to do a chat over one of the college basketball guys the day after the bracket comes out?
Mike Siano: great question I just realized that. My guess is these guys and girls are writing with bloody hands and fingers right now and shouldn't chat until they have poured over the field. Don't you want the best info you can get so you can win your pool?
Vernon Wells (Toronto): Do you see a bounceback year for me? Would you rather have me or Josh Hamilton in a dynasty league?
Mike Siano: I'd rather avoid both to be honest but gun to my head I take Hamilton I guess which isn't saying a bunch.
dogtothedog (toronto): what do you expect out of james looney this year. would you take him over Overbay?
Mike Siano: Love Loney this year. I have him as my underrated 1b this year with .300 25 90. I think he has a nice year along with Kemp and the Dodgers scare some people offensively. Scare in a good way btw.
Otocinclus (NYC): Is Saltalamacchia a viable catcher in a 12 team mixed league roto? Is he even going to be with the club when the season starts?
Mike Siano: Vote Pitts in 09. Like him in 08 only if they trade Laird or Laird gets hurt.
paulbellows (Calgary): What type of playing time are we looking at with Lopez, Guzman, and Belliard?
Mike Siano: Guzman and Belliard should man the middle to start the season. If given the chance I could see Lopez wrestling away one of the jobs at some point and not give it back. If I had to pick one to falter it would be Guzman.
dogtothedog (Toronto): I got Evan Longoria in the 13th round of a 12 team league. With Glaus and Rolen still availible was this a good pick for me?
Mike Siano: in a non keeper i think you reached by about 5 rounds.
ok everyone I have about ten minutes before I get in trouble because I'm blowing off everyone coming by my desk. Lightning round it is.
Leon (Maryland): Knock on wood, but John Patterson is healthy this spring. I have recently read that his velocity is topping out at 86-87 mph. Should I consider him a sleeper or just stay away? He was once on the verge of becoming a fantasy ace.
Mike Siano: sleeper. Took a chance on him in BP Kings.
Eric (Tampa): Akinori Iwamura is better than his '07 numbers, right? I recently drafted him in my league and will be slotting him at the MI position once he gains eligiblity. I am hoping for 10-15 HRs & Steals with 100 Runs. Am I crazy?
Mike Siano: I don't think you are crazy.
Phil (Scottsdale): Do you think Stephen Drew finally breaks out this year? I was really high on him until his brutal performance last season. He did give me some hope with his playoff performance.
Mike Siano: there are at least 15 SS I take before him in a mixed draft this year.
Gray (Chicago): Let's get a little deeper, can Chris Perez contribute to the Cardinal bullpen this year? Is he the next closer in St Louis?
Mike Siano: Gray I went to Jonathan Mayo for this one so you would stop hounding me (jk).
closer of the future, nasty, nasty stuff, loves pitching the 9th. think he helps them this year. has command issues.
Otocinclus (NYC): Alex Gordon or Hank Blalock?
Mike Siano: gordon way higher upside.
euqubud (Seattle, WA): Trying to find a last-round pitcher to add to my bench. Should I go safe (Scott Baker), daring (Gio Gonzalez) or somewhere in between (VandenHurk, Duchscherer)?
Mike Siano: dont mind baker or gio but baker first due to safety. he is after all the twins "ace".
Ken (Inglewood): True or false, Kuroda will be one of the Dodgers' best SPs this year.
Mike Siano: not sure if that would be good or bad. good if he teams up with healthy penny, bad if he is only one healthy so he wins by default. they are high on him for sure.
Harry (Athens): With an entire season of Big Tex hitting behind him, can Chipper have an even better fantasy season than last year? (health permitting of course).
Mike Siano: yes
guy can flat out hit
dogtothedog (Toronto): Should I take Marmol or wood for the closers job in Chicago or avoid them both
Mike Siano: take only one if they are your third closer.
Thomas (Myerstown, Penn): Up until his last ST start, Jair Jurrjens was lights out. Although his K rate isn't great, it seems he has a knack for getting guys out. Could he be a valuable fantasy contributor this year or better for keeper leagues?
Mike Siano: Braves like him but right now he is 5th starter as best. I like him as a potential keeper.
Taylor (Toronto): I put off drafting a 2B until the end of the draft and ended up with Iwamura and Hudson, what's the difference between those two and say, Rickie Weekes?
Mike Siano: week's biggest year would be much better then aki or hudson's. I'd rather have weeks.
3 more questions.
Rick (Chicago): Fukudome mania is running wild! Is a 20/20 season realistic?
Mike Siano: I think yes for many reasons but the most important reason is that he wants to so trust the mania.
Tim (Lansing): In your crystal ball, do you see Bonderman finally having a good 2nd half? I am worried about his mechanics and ability to shake off the elbow issues.
Mike Siano: Bonderman is stumbling into YPNM land.
aquavator44 (Minneapolis): Do you see Granderson regressing much this season?
Mike Siano: I think Granderson is going to be one of the best players on a team full of great players. He's a target of mine this year so I'm putting my $$$$ where mouth is.
Thanks everyone this was a bunch of goodness. If you liked it thank Sheehan and if you hated it blame whoever you want.
The Chat madness continues at 3pm ET on MLB.com where I will be joined by co-host of the MLB.com Fantasy 411 Cory Schwartz who is way more succinct then I am but I'm cooler.
You can catch our live show Weekdays at 2pm ET on MLB.com's Baseball Channel. Be good.
Mike Siano: read above