Never walk into your draft without at least a little bit of trivial
knowledge to impress your opponents and dazzle your competitors. Here
are some things you'll want to share while dominating your draft:
Albert Pujols is the first major-leaguer to hit at least 34 home
runs in his first five seasons. Curiously, he has done it with 590-592
at-bats in all five years. That's consistency!
Robinson Cano had more extra-base hits (52) than teammate Derek
Jeter (49) last year, despite being in the minors for the first
Whatever you do, don't give up on Barry Zito in April.
The A's have become somewhat legendary for digging themselves out of
early-season holes. Barry Zito's career ERA in April (4.89) is
more than one full run higher than any other month. Last year, he went
0-4 with a 6.60 ERA in the first month before rebounding in a big way. Eric
Chavez hit only .207 with 21 RBI total in his past two Aprils
combined before turning his seasons around.
While it's always nice to get a Rockies player on your team because of
the homer-friendly atmosphere of Coors Field, their catchers have not
always been great from a Fantasy perspective. There have only been four
catchers to hit over 10 homers in a single season in the franchise's
13-year history. By comparison, there were 22 catchers that hit over 10
home runs on major-league teams last year (and none were from Colorado).
The lesson to learn here? Don't expect too much from new addition Yorvit
Torrealba. He has never hit more than six home runs in a single
Both Mike Matheny and Gregg Zaun, more noted for their
defense behind the plate, put together career seasons in 2005 from a
power perspective. Matheny, leaving St. Louis for San Francisco, hit 13
homers in his 12th season. That's five more homers than in any other
season. Zaun hit 50-percent more home runs last year (11) than he did in
his previous 10 seasons. Both veteran backstops set career-highs in
at-bats as well, so don't expect repeat performances in 2006.
Rookie OF Jeremy Reed was caught stealing eleven times last year,
compared to only 12 successful attempts. On the other hand, Mets
speedster Jose Reyes was caught only 15 times with 60 successful
Since July 1, 2003, David Ortiz has hit 115 HR and 352 RBI. By
comparison, Alex Rodriguez has 111 homers and 303 RBI and Pujols has 107
homers and 292 RBI in that span.
Of the pitchers who threw at least 200 innings last season, Braves
starter Horacio Ramirez had only 80 strikeouts, the lowest in the
NL. And new Cleveland starter Jason Johnson had the fewest
strikeouts in the AL with 93.
There were eight relievers that blew at least eight saves last year. Of
that number, only Danys Baez and Francisco Cordero enter
2006 as their team's undisputed closers.
Victor Martinez hit 144 points higher in the second half (.380)
than he did in the first half (.236) last season.
Mark Prior has taken a lot of abuse over the past three seasons
because of his susceptibility to injuries. But you have to admire what
he's done once he returns from the DL. In 2003, he came back from a
shoulder injury to allow two hits in six scoreless innings in his first
game back. In 2004, he started the season late because of Achilles' and
elbow problems. In his first game, he again allowed two hits in six
scoreless innings. Last year, starting late again due to elbow
inflammation, he allowed four hits in six scoreless innings. Then after
his elbow was broken by a line drive, he returned four weeks later
against the eventual world champs and allowed two hits in another six
scoreless innings. That's four comebacks, 10 hits allowed in 24
The Minnesota Twins pulled off an interesting feat. Six-year veteran Johan
Santana led the majors with 238 strikeouts, while rookie SP Francisco
Liriano led all minor-league pitchers with 206 strikeouts.
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