Bears

Fantasy baseball outfielder rankings

Fantasy baseball outfielder rankings

By David Ferris
CSNChicago.com

1. Mike Trout, Angels
NOTE: A Top-5 draft pick next year, easy.
2. Ryan Braun, Brewers
3. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
NOTE: Front-runner in MVP discussion.
4. Matt Kemp, Dodgers
5. Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
6. Adam Jones, Orioles
7. Josh Hamilton, Rangers
NOTE: How many teams can logically afford and fit him?
8. Mark Trumbo, Angels
9. Matt Holliday, Cardinals
10. Alex Rios, White Sox
NOTE: Nifty comeback with little fanfare.
11. Allen Craig, Cardinals
12. Curtis Granderson, Yankees
13. Josh Willingham, Twins
NOTE: Target Field isn't so bad for righty power.
14. Michael Bourn, Braves
15. Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox
16. Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox
17. Shin-Soo Choo, Indians
18. Austin Jackson, Tigers
19. Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins
NOTE: Pop returned in first week back.
20. Carlos Beltran, Cardinals
21. Desmond Jennings, Rays
NOTE: Head clearer, swing back to normal.
22. Nelson Cruz, Rangers
23. Carl Crawford, Red Sox
NOTE: Beware, not 100 percent healthy.
24. Jason Kubel, Diamondbacks
25. Jay Bruce, Reds
NOTE: Plateau years are frustrating.
26. Ben Zobrist, Rays
NOTE: Should have shortstop eligibility soon in many leagues.
27. Shane Victorino, Dodgers
28. Ben Revere, Twins
29. Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics
NOTE: Debut better than many expected.
30. Jason Heyward, Braves
31. Michael Morse, Nationals
32. Andre Ethier, Dodgers
33. Martin Prado, Braves
NOTE: Not a sexy pick, but quietly contributes.
34. Nick Markakis, Orioles
35. Hunter Pence, Giants
36. Michael Cuddyer, Rockies
37. Rajai Davis, Blue Jays
NOTE: Much better in roto than in real life.
38. Garrett Jones, Pirates
NOTE: Mashes righties, struggles otherwise.
39. Alfonso Soriano, Cubs
40. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
41. Carlos Gomez, Brewers
42. Alex Gordon, Royals
43. Justin Upton, Diamondbacks
NOTE: Hasn't looked healthy all year.
44. Josh Reddick, Athletics
45. Corey Hart, Brewers
46. Trevor Plouffe, Twins
NOTE: How quickly will thumb recover?
47. Torii Hunter, Angels
48. Alejandro De Aza, White Sox
49. Colby Rasmus, Blue Jays
50. Drew Stubbs, Reds
51. Michael Brantley, Indians
52. Nick Swisher, Yankees
53. B.J. Upton, Rays
NOTE: Desperately needs a change of scenery.
54. Dexter Fowler, Rockies
NOTE: Always seems capable of more.
55. Ryan Ludwick, Reds
56. Jon Jay, Cardinals
NOTE: Handy glove really helps, too.
57. Starling Marte, Pirates
58. Carlos Lee, Marlins
NOTE: Could be moved in waiver deal.
59. Ichiro Suzuki, Yankees
60. Juan Pierre, Phillies
61. Cody Ross, Red Sox
NOTE: Speciality player, but park fits.
62. Coco Crisp, Athletics
63. Cameron Maybin, Padres
64. Travis Snider, Pirates
65. Emilio Bonifacio, Marlins
NOTE: One-trick pony but it's a neat trick.
66. Lorenzo Cain, Royals
67. Raul Ibanez, Yankees
68. Angel Pagan, Giants
69. Carlos Quentin, Padres
70. Bryce Harper, Nationals
NOTE: Numbers have collapsed in second half.
71. Chris Young, Diamondbacks
72. Domonic Brown, Phillies
73. Howie Kendrick, Angels
74. Justin Maxwell, Astros
NOTE: Small-market bat makes good.
75. Matt Joyce, Rays
76. Norichika Aoki, Brewers
77. Dayan Viciedo, White Sox
78. Jayson Werth, Nationals
NOTE: Stay grounded off a major injury.
79. Justin Ruggiano, Marlins
80. Eric Young, Rockies
NOTE: Electric run, but will Jim Tracy stay the course?
81. Denard Span, Twins
82. David Murphy, Rangers
83. Will Venable, Padres
84. Chris Davis, Orioles
85. Jordany Valdespin, Mets
NOTE: Tremendous athlete, deserves bigger 2013 role.
86. Delmon Young, Tigers
87. Brandon Belt, Giants
88. Tyler Colvin, Rockies
89. Andy Dirks, Tigers
NOTE: Sweet swing but not a big power source.
90. Yonder Alonso, Padres
NOTE: Line drive bat, but how much power develops?
91. Brennan Boesch, Tigers
92. Mitch Moreland, Rangers
93. John Mayberry, Phillies
94. David DeJesus, Cubs
95. Scott Hairston, Mets
96. Steve Lombardozzi, Nationals
NOTE: Where does he play when everyone is healthy?
97. Seth Smith, Athletics
98. Lance Berkman, Cardinals
NOTE: Nothing guaranteed here.
99. Michael Saunders, Mariners
100. Andres Torres, Mets
101. Jarrod Dyson, Royals
102. Anthony Gose, Blue Jays
103. Gerardo Parra, Diamondbacks
104. Nyjer Morgan, Brewers
105. Quintin Berry, Tigers
106. Brett Jackson, Cubs
NOTE: Holes in his swing, a project.
107. Steve Pearce, Astros
108. Alexi Amarista, Padres
109. Gregor Blanco, Giants
110. Jeff Francoeur, Royals
NOTE: Obviously the contract was a mistake.
111. Moises Sierra, Blue Jays
112. Andruw Jones, Yankees
113. Chris Denorfia, Padres
114. Jonny Gomes, Athletics
115. Vernon Wells, Angels
116. Brian Bogusevic, Astros

Bears could develop “twin towers” personnel package at WR with Robinson, White

Bears could develop “twin towers” personnel package at WR with Robinson, White

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – Coaches are loath to give away competitive information, which can cover just about anything from play design to flavor of Gatorade dispensed by the training staff. But Matt Nagy offered an intriguing what-if personnel grouping that his offense could confront defenses with in 2018. It’s one that has been overlooked so far, for a variety of reasons.


The what-if personnel pairing is Allen Robinson and Kevin White as the outside receivers, a tandem that would put two 6-foot-3 wide receivers at the disposal of quarterback Mitch Trubisky. The Bears have not had a tandem of effective big receivers since Alshon Jeffery (6-3) and Brandon Marshall (6-4) averaged a combined 159 catches per year from 2012-14.


White’s injury history has relegated him to found-money status in many evaluations, and he has typically been running at Robinson’s spot while the latter was rehabbing this offseason from season-ending knee injury.


But Nagy on Wednesday cited Robinson’s ability to play multiple positions and clearly raised the prospect of his two of his biggest receivers being on the field at the same time.


“The one thing you’ll see here in this offense is that we have guys all over the place in different spots,” said Nagy, who credited GM Ryan Pace with stocking the roster with options at wide receiver. “Ryan did a great job of looking at these certain free agents that we went after, some of these draft picks that we went after and getting guys that are football smart, they have a high football IQ and they’re able to play multiple positions.


“When you can do that, that helps you out as an offensive playcaller to be able to move guys around. Is it going to happen to every single receiver that comes into this offense? No. But we do a pretty job I feel like at balancing of where they’re at position wise, what they can and can’t handle, and then we try to fit them into the process.”


The organization and locker room can be excused for a collective breath-holding on White, who has gone through his third straight positive offseason but whose last two seasons ended abruptly with injuries in the fourth and first games of the 2016 and 2017 seasons.


White was leading the Bears in with 19 receptions through less than four full games in 2016, then was lost with a fractured fibula suffered against Detroit. The injury was all the crueler coming in a game in which White already had been targeted nine times in 41 snaps and had caught six of those Brian Hoyer passes.


White’s roster status has been open to some question with the signings of Robinson and Taylor Gabriel together with the drafting of Anthony Miller. All represent bigger deep threats in terms of average yards per catch than White (9.2 ypc.) at this point: Robinson, 14.1.; Gabriel, 15.1; and Miller, 13.8 (college stats).


But Trubisky’s budding chemistry with White was evident throughout the offseason. And the second-year quarterback has studied what Robinson has been and seen some of what he can be.


“We know he has great hands, he’ll go up and get it,” Trubisky said. “Explosive route-runner. The more reps we get, it’s all about repetitions for us, continue to build that chemistry. Just going against our great defense in practice is going to allow us to compete and get better.”


Folding in the expectations for an expanded presence at tight end (Trey Burton), “targets” will be spread around the offense. How often the Bears go with a Robinson-White “twin towers” look clearly depends in large measure on White’s improvement as well as his availability.


Opportunities will be there. The Kansas City Chiefs ran 51 percent of their 2018 snaps, with Nagy as offensive coordinator, in “11” personnel (one back, one tight end, three receivers, according to Pro Football Focus. Whether White earns his way into that core nickel-wideout package opposite Robinson is part of what training camp and preseason will determine.


“[White] has had a good offseason and just like our team, he needs to carry that momentum into camp,” Pace said. “He’s playing with a lot of confidence right now, he’s very focused. The real expectation, just be the best he can be. Focus on himself, which is what he’s been doing.”

Cubs bolster pitching staff with minor trade, foreshadow more moves coming

Cubs bolster pitching staff with minor trade, foreshadow more moves coming

The Cubs didn't wait long to make Joe Maddon's words come true.

Roughly 5 hours after Maddon said the Cubs are definitely in the market for more pitching, the front office went out and acquired Jesse Chavez, a journeyman jack-of-all-trades type.

It's a minor move, not in the realm of Zach Britton or any of the other top relievers on the market.

But the Cubs only had to part with pitcher Class-A pitcher Tyler Thomas, their 7th-round draft pick from last summer who was pitching out of the South Bend rotation as a 22-year-old.

Chavez — who turns 35 in a month — brings over a vast array of big-league experience, with 799 innings under his belt. He's made 70 starts, 313 appearances as a reliever and even has 3 saves, including one this season for the Texas Rangers.

Chavez is currently 3-1 with a 3.51 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 50 strikeouts in 56.1 innings. He has a career 4.61 ERA and 1.38 WHIP while pitching for the Pirates, Braves, Royals, Blue Jays, A's, Dodgers, Angels and Rangers before coming to Chicago.

Of his 30 appearances this season, Chavez has worked multiple innings 18 times and can serve as a perfect right-handed swingman in the Cubs bullpen, filling the role previously occupied by Luke Farrell and Eddie Butler earlier in the season.

Chavez had a pretty solid run as a swingman in Oakland from 2013-15, making 47 starts and 50 appearances as a reliever, pitching to a 3.85 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 8.2 K/9 across 360.1 innings.

"Good arm, versatile, could start and relieve," Joe Maddon said Thursday after the trade. "I've watched him. I know he had some great runs with different teams. 

"The word that comes to mind is verstaility. You could either start him or put him in the bullpen and he's very good in both arenas."

It's not a flasy move, but a valuable piece to give the Cubs depth down the stretch.

There's no way the Cubs are done after this one trade with nearly two weeks left until the deadline. There are more moves coming from this front office, right?

"Oh yeah," Maddon said. "I don't think that's gonna be the end of it. They enjoy it too much."