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Chat: Marc Normandin

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday January 29, 2009 1:00 PM ET chat session with Marc Normandin.


Marc Normandin checks in to take your questions about fantasy, player perfomance, and more.

Marc Normandin: Hello all, good to be here. It's been awhile since we've had a chance to chat, so I hope you've brought lots of good questions today. The fantasy season is creeping up on us, but I'd also like to hear your ideas for future Player Profiles. Of course, we also have time for the off-topic stuff as well. Video games, music, etc. I can even pretend to be an expert on gaming now too, because I'm the video game editor over at Blast now. On to the chat!

havens (Bristol, CT): Mr. Normandin, Tough keeper league decision, need your help. In a standard 6x6 rotisserie league, we are able to keep 5 (no time limit). I need to eliminate one from the following 6: Sizemore, Hanley, Wright, Johan, Teixeira and Utley. Thanks!

Marc Normandin: Based on the keeper selections you have, I don't think you need much help to beat your leaguemates. That being said, if you could deal one of them (maybe Santana?) I would do it. Trade him to a team who needs more help with their keepers than you do. If trading isn't an option, well, I would need to know what kind of players are still going to be available at those positions in order to give you a proper response.

I also subscribe to the theory that you can fix your pitching midseason because of people who tweak their mechanics or all of a sudden "get it" (think John Danks here) so having a lineup capable of bludgeoning your opponents all year long is my kind of thing.

Aaron (YYZ): Mark! What happened to chibigamer.com ?! Was it on hiatus while you worked on the book? Will the updates start flowing again?

Marc Normandin: First, it was the work on the annual. That's obviously a higher priority than my blog, so I abandoned it for a time. In the meantime though, I ended up at Blast Magazine writing game reviews, and then they decided to separate gaming from technology, which necessitated having a video game editor, which ended up being me.

The plan for 2009 is to have more frequent updates than we did in the past, with lots of news, hands-on impressions, interviews (I'm covering New York Comic Con next weekend, if anyone is going let me know) and as many reviews as we can pump out. I'm trying to build a team of dedicated gaming writers to make that more of a reality. So Chibi Gamer, despite having an awesome title, is probably no more.

By the way, Blast is now in beta, so if you want to get an idea of what the new site will look like, go to Blast Beta.

john (ct): So what effect do you think economic conditions will have on attendance/profitability this coming season. Am I missing something here or is attending a game, with all the additional expenses, something most Americans will decide they can't afford? And what happens to TV ad revenue?

Marc Normandin: Wonderful timing! Today, Shawn Hoffman wrote up a piece on whether or not baseball is recession proof. He knows more on the subject than I do, so I would go and read that if you're looking for answers. I'm no economist, that's for sure.

Matt A (Raleigh): Does the switch from LA to Atlanta effect Lowe's fantasy stock much in your eyes? Seems to me he'll have a slightly better defensive IF but perhaps less run support.

Marc Normandin: Well, Los Angeles hasn't signed Manny yet, so I don't see why Lowe would have less run support than he did before. The Braves had a lot of bad things happen to them last year--for a time they looked like the team to beat in the NL--so I think Lowe might actually be upgrading here. I'm also big on the Braves all the time, so take from that what you will. As you said though, I like the Braves infield better than the Dodgers, and we all know that's what matters for a guy like Lowe.

mwanders (Moscow, ID): Will Furcal have a monster year this year like he did at the beginning of last year before his injury?

Marc Normandin: Probably not, but he'll still be one of the better shortstops in the game, as good as the Dodgers thought he was before he tanked with them the year prior.

Aaron (YYZ): So what kind of prep do you usually get up to this time of year for your usual leagues (as opposed to punditry)? It still feels too early to start locking in rankings and the news level is pretty slow. Unless you have to prep keeper/dynasty league decisions, I don't see a ton to be doing... maybe data listing guys hitting age27?

Marc Normandin: It's a slow process. I've started looking at all the weird angles to kind of warm up, which is why you've been getting the Fantasy Beat articles you have, looking at team defense for starting pitchers, guys who switched leagues, the guys who may or may not be able to maintain their rate of RBI, etc. Once I have PECOTA in my hands, I'll start the actual ranking process. It's not even February yet, so a lot of teams don't even have their depth charts settled. I'll be watching carefully to see what kind of position battles crop up or are settled in the meantime, before putting those together.

On a related note, I will be increasing the size of the lists for positional rankings, as you all asked me to do my first time around. Do we have a (realistic) number in mind, for how deep you want me to go? Please remember, I have another job, and I don't want my girlfriend to leave me.

R.J. (DRaysBay/Beyond The Boxscore/FanGraphs/Tampa): What kind of shameless self promoter are you?

Marc Normandin: R.J. Anderson is a good guy, even though he wears a giant gold chain around his neck that says "R.J. Rulz".

bianchiveloce (Anderson, SC): Jay Bruce or Joey Votto? Who will have the most fantasy production for the 2009 season?

Marc Normandin: Ooh, good question. You've got the high-upside potential star who struggled and produced at random times in Bruce, and you've got Votto, who is definitely the safe pick for production out of the two. I think there's a good chance that Votto outproduces Bruce over the long run in 2009, but only because it takes Bruce some time to dig in and turn a corner. Once he turns, he's The Man.

Rob (Brighton): Hi Marc, any thoughts on the Varitek situation? Any predictions for the BoSox this year?

Marc Normandin: You know, I was actually looking forward to a Josh Bard/George Kottaras combo behind the plate (I know, I know. You try watching Varitek for a full season nowadays and see what you can convince yourself of). I'm thinking Varitek is going to reluctantly take the deal, though. Funny how the combined money for the two-year setup is supposedly for less than the single-season he was looking for, eh?

I'm ready to move on though, unless they plan on platooning Tek. He cannot hit righties anymore, so having him back there most of the time is the wrong thing to do.

Tim (Dunedin FL): Alexis Rios has been somewhat of a tease in recent years - is this the year he puts together a FULL season? Maybe 30/30?

Marc Normandin: I wrote about Rios back in September when the season was near its end. My take was basically that he's capable of hitting 25/25. 30/30 is in reach, but I feel more confident that he'd hit the lower of the two, not that there's anything wrong with that.

His problem in 2008 was an uncharacteristic issue against left-handed pitching that straightened itself out as the year went on. He also jumped his HR/AB from 1 per 90 to 1 per 22, which is more in line with what we expect. So yeah, I think this year he may just do it, and just in time for people to forget about him. Now everyone in my league, please disregard what I said.

Lily (Boston): Do you think Jon Lester will continue to improve this year?

Marc Normandin: In the sense that he won't start out pitching poorly, yes. I'm not sure that he can do much better than what he did once he put things together though. I would expect more along the lines of his excellent run from that start against Halladay onward, which will make his overall 2009 stats appear better than his 2008 ones.

tycobb (ga): should heilman or marshall start for the cubs this year?

Marc Normandin: Never Heilman. Never.

dpv ((tn)): Nelson Cruz...is he really going to bat clean-up in Texas?

Marc Normandin: This is what happens when you don't re-sign Milton Bradley. I think there's a good chance that we see Cruz put up something like, say, .270/.350/.490. Which is pretty good. I'm not sure how much of that is going to be because of Texas or because he's good though.

MannysBBQ (Pittsburgh): Could you see Ryan Spilborghs pull a Jayson Werth this yr if he gets 500 AB's?

Marc Normandin: Eh, that seems kind of high. I think he can be solid though, probably better than we give him credit for because of Coors. But his OBP more so than his power would be his source of value, at least when not above sea level.

Jim Clancy (Exhibition Stadium): How much do we bump down unsigned players in calculating our keeper lists? Adam Dunn, I'm starting at you.

Marc Normandin: I'm pretty positive guys like Dunn will have a job by the time it matters. They are just going to have to take a one-year deal for less money than they thought they would make in order to do so. I think if you're desperate for a tiebreaker in a close keeper race, you could use it, but I would still be afraid that would come back and bite me when he signs with someone in an offensive park or something.

Dan (Chicago): Even though Carlos Quentin hurt himself last year, do you expect the same kind of numbers from him, or was last year a fluke?

Marc Normandin: Quentin had 12 homers that are under the "Just Enough" category over at Hit Tracker. He hits a lot of balls to left field, and Chicago's park is one of the better ones out there for people who hit for power in that direction. 21 of his homers came at home, and it looks like about 14-15 of them were hit to left or left-center. As long as he's in Chicago, I think he should be capable of putting up some big numbers, but the chance is there that he won't be as good as 2008 again, yes.

Seth (LA): Jered Weaver struck out 64 batters over his last 60 innings... a meaningless sample or perhaps a sign he could end up improving in 2009?

Marc Normandin: I put a lot of stock into strikeout rates and velocity, and it isn't like Weaver has serious issues handing out free passes. I would consider him more highly than you did prior to those last 60 innings, but still be cautious about going overboard. He certainly needed that help, considering the awful things that happened to his strikeout rate before it rebounded.

Ryan V. (San Jose, CA): I love Jason Varitek. He's been one of my favorite players on the Sox for years. That said - is it a bad thing I was really hoping he'd sign elsewhere so the Sox would get the compensation pick(s)? And is it worse, when it became obvious no one else was going to sign him before June, I was hoping he'd sit it out until after June to sign? That should tell you just how little I look forward to seeing him "bat" next year...

Marc Normandin: I would say it's a bad thing, except it mirrors most of my winter ramblings on the subject.

Dan (Chicago): Is Gavin Floyd the real deal, or was last year just a fluke?

Marc Normandin: Floyd's a weird one. He had above-average strikeout rates, and his walk rates weren't all that bad when you take out the six intentional walks. That being said, he gives up a lot of homers, and he puts the ball in the air as often as he gets it on the ground, which is just asking for trouble in Chicago. I would consider thinking of him as a guy who may get you 200 innings of 4.50 ERA production, with solid walk and strikeout rates. He had a BABIP far below the average last year, and that confuses me because Chicago's defense was ranked 20th in Defensive Efficiency, which leads me to believe that whatever it was that gave Gavin extra credit last year is going to be missing this time. If that isn't the case though, then I'm hoping we can see just what it is he's doing that's helping him beat out his peripherals.

R.J. (Beyond The Boxscore): Thoughts on Seattle's off-season?

Marc Normandin: They turned a lot of nothing into even more somethings, which is the kind of thing Seattle needed to do. They aren't going to win in 2009, so loading up on inexpensive potential at a variety of positions was a good plan by their new G.M. I like him so far.

That last deal with Hendry...I don't know what Chicago was thinking. They essentially just dealt Felix Pie and Ronny Cedeno for a meh reliever that doesn't have the pitches to start, despise his constant need to do so.

Keith C (Aviat, Penn): Quick video game question: Have you had the chance to play MLB Front Office Manager yet? It looks like the type of game that would really be appealing to me but some of the reviews i've come across have been less than satisfactory.

Marc Normandin: I haven't yet, but I read some reviews when I was thinking about it. It seems like the menu interface is the biggest issue many have with the game, as in, it's a pain to move from one screen to the other, it's either difficult or impossible to track players on other teams, and you can't sort many of the player lists either. I don't understand why you couldn't do something like that, considering an actual G.M. with a working computer could do that kind of thing using Excel.

I would probably be able to get over that because I'm a sucker for that type of game, but I'll probably hold out for the 2010 edition and hope they smooth out the interface. It is a new IP after all, so there were sure to be issues.

Johnny Tuttle (Battle Creek, Michigan): I just traded Porcello & Chris Marrero for Jake Peavy in a keeper league. I've got some serious seller's remorse on Porcello, but overall, I kinda, sorta like this deal. What you think, Marc?

Marc Normandin: I think if you need the pitching, then Peavy is a good one for you, as long as he stays in San Diego. If he gets dealt to a park that isn't going to help him while he loses velocity and strikeouts, then I hope you didn't get too attached to Porcello.

Generic Padre Fan (San Diego): Hope? Any?

Marc Normandin: I've pushed hope aside and decided that what I am going to enjoy about the 2009 Padres is the assorted positional battles. There are so many bodies and just a few jobs to fill. Here's hoping we see a lot of Will Venable out there this year. I figure if we just collectively punt the idea of contention as a fan base, we can still enjoy the season without feeling misled or misguided.

Ryan V. (San Jose, CA): Hope (apparently) springs eternal here in the Bay Area. This week I heard a Giants fan predict (on talk radio - go figure) that the Giants were going to win 100 games this season. Now, I think the Giants are likely to be pretty okay this year (I was going to say pretty decent, but that might be a bit too optimistic...). But, if everything breaks right for them, I would guess somewhere around 83-85 wins, and the NL West title. So my question: What do you think that fan was on? I'm going with something like PCP laced with mescaline.

Marc Normandin: You know what I love? When you can legitimately say "lol" because you did, in fact, laugh out loud.

Also, he was cheesing out of his mind. My vote is for cheesing.

ericmilburn (San Francisco): I can't decide if Matt Cain is going to end up a #1, 2 or 3. What do you see for him in '09 and beyond?

Marc Normandin: I think Cain is a great #2 capable of putting up occasional #1 performances. The walk rate, even when you take out the IBB, is a little high for my liking if we're ranking him like this. For 2009 and beyond, a lot more of 2007-2008, which is nothing to complain about. He tends to be one of those people that someone in your league inevitably grabs way too soon though, thinking this is the year he whiffs 10 guys per nine all of a sudden.

MA (Athens, GA): (Had to look up "cheesing" on Urban Dictionary; eww. Well, there's another fun search for the logs...) What's your opinion of the Wii? Was thinking of getting one, mostly for Wii Fit; seems like a very "social" gaming system.

Marc Normandin: I'm a big fan of the Wii. It has its strengths and weaknesses, just like any other system, but my nerdy brethren tend to inflate the Wii's drawbacks more than necessary. Just because the great games aren't advertised all the time doesn't mean they don't exist.

If you want me to recommend you a lot to play, shoot me an e-mail and we'll figure out what kind of games would suit you.

metfanaaron2001 (Fantasy Land): Is 1 month of Mystery Catcher X and five months of Matt Wieters worth drafting MW as your starting catcher? Does it depend on the round he's taken in?

Marc Normandin: Yeah, the round is the key. Wieters long term is going to be awesome. Wieters in 2009? That I'm not as sure of. I'm very interested in seeing what PECOTA thinks of him.

And for everyone who is asking, I don't have a definite day that PECOTA is dropping that we're all hiding from you.

Johnny Tuttle (Battle Creek, Michigan): As a follow up to the Porcello for Peavy deal, am I crazy to think that getting two to five years of Peavy's peak is worth escaping the risks associated with a still 20-years-old Porcello? Or am I the Tigers in 1987?

Marc Normandin: Depends on where you are with your team. If you're in "win now" mode, then it's acceptable. If you're rebuilding, then we need to have fantasy tutoring sessions. I charge by the hour.

Henry (ATL): Mike Gonzalez, barring any setbacks, will be the Braves closer. If that's the case, could he be one of those closers that sneak up and have a monster year?

Marc Normandin: Gonzalez would be the kind of guy I would wait on in the draft until I didn't know who else to pick. A late pick, but not one of the last few rounds. I never force a closer draft pick if there's something else of value on the board. If he's gone before I want him, then the other person picked him too high ;-)

birkem3 (Dayton, OH): If Wieters isn't available at the start of the season (Yahoo does some weird things) and I will have one of the top waiver spots, is it a bad idea to just wait on whatever catcher you can get at the end of the draft?

Marc Normandin: If you have one of the top waiver spots, you abuse it for all its worth. I held on to my own waiver spot until Clayton Kershaw came up.

I also may have used a press release from the Dodgers to pick him up before my friends saw, but we don't talk about that much out loud.

SGreenwell (Charlestown, RI): Hey Marc, what video game release are you most looking forward to in the coming year?

Marc Normandin: The most? Oh my. MadWorld or Sin & Punishment 2. I can't post a video of MadWorld here for you to see, but I suggest you go and find an uncensored trailer for it if you don't know about it. It's a game show like the Running Man, and the last one standing wins. The announcers for the game show are Greg Proops and the voice of Bender from Futurama. I'm going to play it at Comic Con next week, I hope.

jaysbluejays (PDX): I'm thinking about where to allocate my $ at a middle infield spot in a 12 team auction league. It's NL only w/ a $285 team salary cap. What is the the best bang for the buck between H-Ram at $45, J Reyes at $40, Tulo at $25, Drew at $20 or Utley at $30-35 (depending on health at draft time)? Thanks

Marc Normandin: Ugh. This is a tough question off the top of my head, because I like to see what other people are doing with their own teams while I think of my own plan. If you're going to spend big, get Hanley. If you're going to try to save some money to use elsewhere, I'd take Drew. Drew is the most bang for your buck, but Hanley is one of the best in the entire game at any position. As long as you pick up a big guy elsewhere, then picking Drew isn't a mistake.

Stan (Chicago): Last year Pujols dropped to late first round in a few of my drafts because of the injury rumors. This year, after minor surgery, will he fall below, say, the third(A-Rod, ?) pick in your mind?

Marc Normandin: Despite the surgery, I think people will remember the MVP he just won most of all.

Stephanie (DC): Do you think there's any worry about a "sophomore slump" from Longoria, or can we expect to see a steady improvement from him?

Marc Normandin: I'm not worried too much. His 27 percent strikeout rate is a bit much, the kind of thing that if exploited could cause issues, but overall nothing that he wouldn't be able to overcome through adjustments. He's really, really good. The David Wright comps are pretty spot on, as far as I'm concerned.

bianchiveloce (Anderson, SC): Who will be that improbable, unexpected team that makes a serious run at contention - ala Tampa Bay last season?

Marc Normandin: None of the big losing clubs from last year made the kind of significant steps towards progress that the Rays did over the 2007-2008 offseason. The closest thing we have might be the Giants, but since they outperformed expectations last year riding on Lincecum and Sanchez, I'm not even sure they count.

I mean, unless Will Venable turns into Grady Sizemore, I think we can count the Padres out :-)

Aaron (YYZ): How nervous would you be about rolling with Rickie Weeks as your starting 2B this year?

Marc Normandin: I think I'm on a Rickie Weeks strike until he proves to me he can be useful for more than six weeks at a time. I'm not sure there's a guy out there who drives me nuts as much as him in fantasy leagues.

paulbellows (Calgary): Wouldn't it benefit the Mets if they would trade Billy Wagner? I would think he will not throw another pitch for them and if another team would give something up and take over the rehab they may get themselves a closer for next year.

Marc Normandin: Probably, assuming Minaya pulls in something good for him. But what are you going to get for him, especially in this market? We've got guys who you know are going to help more than a rehabbing closer who have lower price tags that are jobless. Maybe during another offseason this would go off without a hitch.

jphan44 (boston): what do you expect from soto next year? is he worth keeping?

Marc Normandin: Soto is easily one of the best options at catcher, but unless you have a lot of keeper picks, I think I would try to reacquire him through the draft. Assuming you have other options, of course.

Frank (NJ): Where do you read most of your video game reviews?

Marc Normandin: IGN is usually great, though occasionally you get a review that reads like the reviewer had an axe to grind, and then you have no idea what to think about the game. Kotaku is wonderful; they're very honest about their feelings, and they don't score games either, leaving you to figure out what bugs you or doesn't bug you from what hey tell you. I'm also a big fan of 1UP, though they just had part of their staff gutted after they were purchased. Gametrailers is a site that is in love with concepts for new ideas and more of the outside-the-box stuff, so they are good sometimes too.

ashitaka (long beach, ca): What's your feel on Eric Chavez this season. He'll at least be returning to a lineup in which he won't need to be the savior.

Marc Normandin: Eric Chavez is another one of those guys that I won't go near with someone else's draft picks these days. I like to take risks during the draft, but not on guys who consistently have lower reward than the risk is worth. He should be fine if he's on the diamond, but you've heard that before.

Charlie (Bethesda, MD): You think there's a bigger sleeper this season than Chris Davis?

Marc Normandin: I haven't delved into sleepers too much yet--there will be plenty of that in February--but he's definitely up there. I snagged him in my league last year and used at my Utility spot for a bit, since I had Pujols at first.

Rob (Alaska): Brandon Wood?

Marc Normandin: I may be unfairly tough on Brandon Wood. I want to see him reduce the strikeouts a bit and show some more patience at the big league level. I know he has the patience in him somewhere, but major league pitchers are going to eat him alive if he doesn't adjust. If he was around late I would grab him just in case, but I wouldn't center any of my 2009 plans on him. Remember that I like him less than most though.

Greg (NYC): With a 4x4 keeper league team that's a year or two away and has Mauer($15) and Wieters($3), I'm trading Mauer, right? What kind of big bat do you think I can get for him?

Marc Normandin: Definitely trade Mauer. He's still great, so you can probably get something solid for him. Either a great #2 pitcher (assuming that your league mates are all smart, here) or another big time prospect from a team in win now mode.

mhixpgh (Pittsburgh): Ever been to PNC Park?

Marc Normandin: I haven't been, but I always hear that it's amazing. It's on the short list of venues I want to get around to seeing.

My last non-Fenway stadium was RFK, which made me wish for the new park to be built faster.

RJ (Pittsburgh): All else being equal, is it better for a pitcher to post a, say, 3:1 K:BB with 9 K/9 or 6 K/9?

Marc Normandin: Great question. I like the guys with the 9 K/9 in this instance, but as far as fantasy goes, you'll notice that guys striking out 6 per nine are the ones who are underrated by everyone.

chris (bklyn, ny): marc - give us a breakdown of the video games you enjoyed most last year, regardless of system.

Marc Normandin: I right before the calendar turned over, actually. I hate making lists like that, because I always want to just add one more. My top 10 turned essentially into a top 15, and I would have been fine with going 20 deep.

Dave (Chicago): What do you make of Matt Holliday's comments about Bobby Crosby swinging the bat well after work out with Mark McGwire? Do the A's still bring in Cabrera (costing them a 2nd round pick) or just go with some combination of Crosby, Pennington, and Petit?

Marc Normandin: I'll believe it when I see it. That's not to say I don't trust Holliday, it's just that you hear those kinds of stories all the time, and people seem to still be willing to give Crosby the benefit of the doubt.

I don't think Cabrera is worth the pick. Maybe the A's should just call the Cubs, and send over one of their non-prospects in exchange for another middle infielder they don't want to use.

mhixpgh (Pittsburgh): Your favorite ballpark food? Drink?

Marc Normandin: The Italian sausages outside of Fenway are amazing. Don't be fooled into getting one of the ones inside, because they are nowhere near as tasty.

bothedog (The desert): I drafted Brandon Wood and Rickie Weeks in my Scoresheet continuing league with my last two picks. Should I draft a backup shortstop (Khalil Greene) or a backup 2B (Orlando Hudson) next?

Marc Normandin: Yes, please do that. The last questions we had referring to those two players were answered uneasily.

I have to run to work in a few everyone, so let's hit the lightning round.

Aaron (YYZ): What is the one upcoming DS game you're most looking forward to in the first half of the year?

Marc Normandin: First half? Sands of Destruction. Second half? Phantasy Star Zero.

Aloysius (Warsaw): Anything on Billy Beane's new computer game?

Marc Normandin: I still want to try it, I'm just not sure I want to $60 try it. I think I'll hold off until next year.

Aunt Jemima (Atlanta): Is Johan Santana still a Cy Young caliber pitcher? Who do you think it better?

Marc Normandin: He seemed to stop giving up all of those extra home runs that had me worried prior to his coming to NY, so I think until that comes up again, he's still a Cy Young caliber starter, yes. Watch out for those homer rates though, because those will be his downfall.

Jim Clancy (Exhibition Stadium): Heading into prospect drafts for keeper leagues, how would you rank the 2008 draft class? Would you have Wallace over Alvarez? Is Tim Beckham the guy to take first?

Marc Normandin: I wish I could help you with that, but until they hit Double-A I try to keep my mouth shut without the use of my foot shoved in it.

mike (chicago): ryan theriot. in a league with obp over average, can he be your SS?

Marc Normandin: He was a member of the "Marc Normandin Rotating Shortstop Parade" in 2008, so he's probably up for the task in 2009 as well.

DS (Monterey Park, CA): Hi Marc, thanks for your great work. I'm in a league where the only pitching stats that count are innings pitched and runs allowed. Who is better to target: Kevin Slowey or Joba? I think Slowey will throw more innings, but Joba will probably allow fewer runs. Thanks!

Marc Normandin: Hit the upside there and go with Joba. I like Slowey, but if Joba does what we expect him to, you win.

Quentin (Minn): Of course Mauer is still great... is there any doubt? He's 25 and has won 2 out of the last 3 batting titles. Mauer will be able to help anybody for at least the next 5 years.

Marc Normandin: I don't think anyone questioned his greatness. It had more to do with the fact that he had the inexpensive and even younger Wieters around, and needed a place to recoup or use the funds allocated to Mauer.

Mike (chicago): The cubs off-season of moves has left me kind of puzzled. Fantasy wise, about where, in a 12 team league, would you think milton bradley would be a value? Should Mike Fontenot actually get drafted?

Marc Normandin: I think people will always be worried about Bradley breaking down, and heading back to the NL where he will need to be an outfielder will add to that. Take advantage of that if you can, just don't overdraft; he's going to be awesome when he's in the lineup.

Jim (Chicago): How is this a great question: RJ (Pittsburgh): All else being equal, is it better for a pitcher to post a, say, 3:1 K:BB with 9 K/9 or 6 K/9? Why wouldn't you always want more strikeouts?

Marc Normandin: Because on the other hand, you have fewer walks. He's balancing two of the statistics that are most central to a pitcher's success.

Dennis (Monterey Park, CA): Also, how valuable of an offensive SS do you think Jed Lowrie will be over the next few years? Looks like at the very least he's patient. Do you think Wilson Betemit might be a surprising offensive contributor this year (esp. with SS eligibility)? Thanks!

Marc Normandin: I'm not a fan. He was over his head last year, and easily overmatched. We'll see how good he is in 2009 though.

deadmonkeyhead (CA): Woo! Only on a BP chat will you find a reference to cheesing!

Marc Normandin: We do what we can.

Marc Normandin: With that folks, I need to go. Sorry to everyone for the questions I didn't get to--it looks like everyone is raring to go with fantasy season--but there will be other chats, and I will be posting my positional rankings as soon as I can to help you prepare for draft day.

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