Fantasy Baseball: Top 5 Colorado Rockies Keepers

Fantasy Baseball: Top 5 Colorado Rockies Keepers

Knowing the best players to keep on your fantasy team can be difficult. That's why I'm here. So, you've picked up a few Colorado Rockies and wonder if you should drop some or keep them. Well, I'm going to provide for you a short list of the top Rockies players that you should keep. If the players you have aren't on the list, you might as well get rid of them.

#1 Garrett Atkins – Colorado Rockies Keepers -Fantasy Baseball 

We start with Garrett Atkins. This guy played 155 games last year, getting 99 RBI (runs batted in), 21 home runs, and batting a pretty nice .286 average. A great choice as he plays most games and is a solid third baseman.

#2 Matt Holliday – Colorado Rockies Keepers -Fantasy Baseball 

Matt Holliday is a no-brainer. This all-star caliber player batted .321 last year with 88 RBIs, a must have.

#3 Brad Hawpe – Colorado Rockies Keepers – Fantasy Baseball 

Brad Hawpe is not as well known as a Holliday but still a solid choice. 85 RBIs and a .283 average, a solid pick up.

#4 Ubaldo Jimenez – Colorado Rockies Keepers – Fantasy Baseball 

Need a pitcher? Ubaldo Jimenez is your guy with 172 strikeouts in 32 games, I think you pick this guy up.

#5 Aaron Cook – Colorado Rockies Keepers – Fantasy Baseball 

As for another pitcher, Aaron Cook pitched 211 innings in 32 games and threw an impressive 3.92 ERA.

If I had to pick 5 Colorado Rockies keeper players, these 5 would be it.

Major League Baseball Records for Allowing Home Runs

There are several Hall of Fame Major League Baseball players that have achieved some notoriety for all the wrong reasons, such as surrendering home runs. Of the top ten pitchers at allowing home runs to fly out of the ballpark all time, half a dozen are enshrined in Cooperstown. Robin Roberts, the career leader in allowing the long ball, served up over five hundred homers in his almost twenty years in baseball, while the single season leader, Bert Blyleven, while not a Hall of Famer, managed to eclipse Roberts' single campaign standard of 46 when he turned and saw an even fifty balls leave the grounds after he threw a pitch in 1986.

Roberts stands alone on the career homers allowed roster, with a 21 dinger cushion on the number two hurler, the long time Cubbie, Ferguson Jenkins. Roberts toiled mostly for the Phillies of the Fifties and early Sixties, leaving baseball after the 1966 campaign. He was a power pitcher with great control, with a 2.61 strikeout to walk ratio, leading the senior circuit in this statistic five times. Roberts also led the National League in giving up the long ball five times, with his 46 in 1956 the gold standard until Blyleven came along and threw his 50 in 1986, a span of thirty years. Roberts entered the Hall of Fame in 1976, a six-time twenty game winner with 286 lifetime wins.

Third behind Jenkins, who pitched for a number of squads for 19 seasons and led his leagues seven times in home runs allowed, is the knuckleballer Phil Niekro, who fell just a pair of homers short of Fergie with 482. Niekro four times was the culprit when it came to giving up the highest homer totals in a season. Fourth all time is Don Sutton, who in 23 campaigns never once was a league leader in this category, despite watching 472 men circle the bases after clobbering one of his offerings. Lefty Frank Tanana is the first southpaw on this list, as the man with the 240-236 career won-loss record allowed 448 homers in 21 seasons.

Sixth all time at this not-so-wonderful endeavor is Jamie Moyer of the Phillies, who is the current leader among active players. Moyer depends on his pinpoint control, and when he is off just a little the result can be very bad, as in 439 men hitting the ball a long way. Moyer is a handful of homers in front of Warren Spahn, with Blyleven in eighth place all time with 430 given up, but not for a lack of trying.

Bert's prominence in this department was odd, given that prior to 1986 the most home runs he had allowed in one year were the two dozen he threw in 1975. Then came the record-shattering season, a year in which Blyleven, at the age of 35, actually went 17-14 for the Twins, even though he permitted homers at an alarming rate. Even more remarkable is that he gave up almost ten less base hits than innings pitched that year, 271 innings to 262 hits. The same was true but even more so in 1987, when he was reached for 249 hits in 267 innings, with 46 of them being home runs. Blyleven would be one-two, tied with Roberts for that second big homer campaign, if not for Jose Lima, who came along and was bombed for 48 home runs in his 7-16 2000 season for the Houston Astros. Moyer's 44 given up in 2004 rounds out the top five.

Among active hurlers, Moyer has a safe margin over rotund David Wells, as Jamie has seen 439 home runs show up in the box scores and credited to his name after his games while David has allowed 402. Arizona's Randy Johnson's recent back surgery now may make it possible for him to be caught by the Yankees' Roger Clemens, as the "Rocket" is just five behind Johnson's 363 homers allowed. After those two certain future Hall of Famers comes Mike Mussina of the Yankees with 359, Curt Schilling of Boston at 344, and the Mets' Tom Glavine with 340. The youngest pitcher in the top fifty active home run tossers is the White Sox's Jon Garland, who at age 27 has given up 181. To reach Roberts record, Jon would have to be good enough to stick around for ten more seasons and bad enough to give up 33 home runs each of those years, not likely since he has only once allowed more than 28 in his eight seasons in the bigs.

Baseball Gems: Five of the Greatest First Round Draft Selections by the Atlanta Braves

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The Atlanta Braves have been one of the most successful Major League Baseball franchises of the past 25 years. Here is a look at five of the most fruitful first round draft selections in the history of the Atlanta organization.

Dale Murphy (1974 – 5th selection – Woodrow Wilson High School – Portland, Oregon)

Making his major league debut in 1976, Dale Murphy is one of the most beloved sports figures in Atlanta history. Winning back-to-back MVP honors in 1982 and 1983, Murphy was a seven-time All-Star as well as the recipient of five Gold Glove awards. Departing from the game in 1993, Murphy had his number (3) retired by the Braves in 1994. Six years later, Murphy was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame.

Bob Horner (1978 – 1st selection – Arizona State University – Tempe, Arizona)

Making his MLB debut the same year he was drafted, Bob Horner was always a fan favorite in Atlanta. Playing both first and third base, Horner earned 1978 Rookie of the Year honors, edging out one of the greatest shortstops in history, Ozzie Smith. Voted to the All-Star game in 1982, Horner is one of only 16 MLB players to hit four home runs in a single game.

Chipper Jones (1990 – 1st selection – Bolles School – Jacksonville, Florida)

Arguably the greatest player in the history of the Atlanta baseball franchise, along with Henry Aaron, Chipper Jones is an iconic sports figure. Initially signed as a shortstop before moving to third base prior to his rookie season in 1995, Jones is regarded, statistically, as one of the most prolific switch-hitters in the history of professional baseball. Earning National League MVP honors in 1999, as well as the National League batting crown in 2008, Jones, an eight-time All-Star, finished his career with a .303 batting average. Honored with the retirement of his number (10) by the Atlanta organization, as well as induction into the Braves Hall of Fame, Jones, per many experts, will likely be a first ballot MLB Hall of Fame inductee.

Adam Wainwright (2000 – 29th selection – Glynn Academy – Brunswick, Georgia)

The Atlanta Braves drafted Adam Wainwright, thus making him eligible for this list. What the Atlanta organization did next, many Braves fans would likely choose to forget. After spending roughly three years in Atlanta’s minor league system, the Braves traded Wainwright to the St. Louis Cardinals in 2003. To the dismay of the Braves, Wainwright has gone on to become one of the most consistent pitchers in all of baseball.

Jason Heyward (2007 – 14th selection – Henry County High School – McDonough, Georgia)

Making his MLB debut in 2010, Jason Heyward hit a three-run home run during his first major league at-bat. The rest, as they say…is history. Considered an offensive and defensive stalwart in the Atlanta lineup, Heyward has proven his worth as a solid professional player. Named the 2010 Rookie of the Year by both the Sporting News and Baseball America, Heyward was a 2010 All-Star selection as well as a 2012 Gold Glove recipient.

Fantasy Baseball Draft Bust: Trevor Cahill SP Oakland A's

As much as we prepare for our annual fantasy baseball drafts, everyone usually winds up drafting a bust or two. Its almost unavoidable that someone you targeted failed to meet your expectations for some reason or another and really your goal is to minimize these choices for your roster so that your team is not sunk by June. With being said lets take stock of another fantasy baseball draft bust in my view and that individual is Oakland A's SP Trevor Cahill. Cahill no doubt shocked the baseball community last season when he posted a 2.97 ERA with a 1.11 WHIP while winning 18 games. No doubt those who jumped aboard this bandwagon were rewarded with ace-like numbers. With 2011 almost upon us, lets see why I think Cahill cant go anywhere but down and ultimately will turn out to be a fantasy baseball bust.

The biggest issue that jumps out about Cahill is the the insanely low strikeout rate as he punched out only 118 guys in 196 IP in 2010. That was among the worst rates in the major leagues and so right off the bat Cahill will not be a help in your strikeout category. Those of you in innings capped leagues should be even more leery of Cahill as its generally recommended you try and get your team to collectively average a K/IP if possible. Cahill will destroy this plan no doubt.

Another aspect about the low strikeout rate that is a concern is the fact that without the ability to get outs without putting players on base, Cahill runs a very big risk of having those players score runs and inflate his ERA and WHIP in the process. That brings up to the BAPIP that is almost impossible to repeat this season for Cahill and was one of the major reasons for the low numbers he posted last season. Plain and simple, the .238 BAPIP he recorded last season will likely not come close to being replicated when you consider the league average is .300. That means more balls will fall into play which gets more opponents on the basepaths who than will score more often bringing up the ERA and WHIP also. On top of the BAPIP, Cahill also had a 76.5 percent strand rate which once again is going to be tough to replicate.

Finally, the Oakland A's are not a juggernaut by any means and if Cahill is getting knocked out of games earlier than last season due to the BAPIP and strand rates correcting themselves, the wins will drop without a doubt. Those 18 wins of 2010 will be a distant memory in this scenario and so once again the stats of Cahill will plunge.

Basically there is nothing good going on with Cahill going into the 2011 season when you rate him based on last season's stats. Look for a decent-sized rise in both ERA and WHIP, with poor strikeout totals, and a drop in wins. Leave him for someone else.

2011 PROJECTION: 14-9 3.79 ERA 1.15 WHIP 129 K

Retro Sports Gaming: RBI Baseball

Game Name: RBI Baseball

System: Nintendo Entertainment System

Publisher: Tengen

Developer: Namco

History of Franchise: The game began as a series as Namco Baseball games in Japan under the name "Family Stadium" or "Famista" for short. Having yearly installments on the NES from 1986 to 1994, the series was practically the Japanese NES Baseball equivalent of the Madden NFL games. One of those games, the 1987 version, was reworked into RBI Baseball. RBI Baseball itself would spawn two sequels on the NES reworked with new sprites and more teams, and both the Japanese Famista and the American RBI Baseball would reappear multiple times on the Super Nintendo and other platforms.

League Licenses: It lacks the MLB License, with eight of the ten playable teams noted by only city name (while the other two were All-Star teams). The game did feature the MLBPA license, allowing full use of player names and statistics.

Gameplay: The game features three playing modes – player vs. CPU, player vs. player and CPU vs. CPU. Player one will always technically be the "road" team. As such, the player will always bat first. When Player two is involved, that player is always the "home" team, batting last and the only one capable of winning a game in walk off fashion.

When batting, the player is able to move to any part of his side of the batter's box. Swinging the bat requires holding down the A button all the way through; stopping midway will allow a batter to set up a bunt. Should contact be made, the player can try to run for extra bases by using the B button along with a proper direction button (ex: Up for 2nd base, left for 3rd base) to run for that base. If the player has second thoughts about advancing, pressing A with the corresponding base direction will get the player to head the other way. Bases can also be stolen by using B and a direction during an at bat.

Pitching is mostly simple. When throwing the ball with A, pressing it alongside a direction will change the type of pitch (down for fastball, up for a knuckleball, left/right for a curved pitch). Pressing B along with a direction will allow the pitcher to attempt to pick off base runners. Once you get a hang of what hitters will swing or won't swing at, you can start piling up the strikeouts.

Defense is something that takes time for many players to become accustomed to. The game gives the player control of multiple defenders at once while forcefully controlling the others. If getting the ball on a hop, the player can toss the ball at a base by pressing A and a corresponding direction, though if a player is right next to a base, pressing B instead will have that player just run to the base. Otherwise, should a ball get by, the running speed of the fielders is very slow, though usually the doubles and triples that result from a hit in-between outfielders is mostly realistic regardless. Sometimes its possible for a player to try to grab a ground ball with the shortstop, miss, then find the left fielder as the only controllable outfielder who is too far to the left to quickly reach the ball because he moved left just like the shortstop did. It's an odd quirk that a player can adapt to after a few playthroughs.

Season/Playoffs Mode: The player vs. CPU mode allows a player to play against every team aside their own in consecutive fashion, though there is no way to save progress midway through. The two player mode allows for a best-of-seven format between each player. Otherwise, there is no mode that determines a champion.

Other Features: You can also substitute in four bench players on offense or three other pitchers for relief by pressing the start button to pause the game and then pressing A.

Bottom Line: I've been mostly technical thus far when discussing the game, but let me assure you that this is one of the best baseball games available for the NES, despite the limited team selection and shoddy defense. If you can get past those minor setbacks, you'll find a lot of fun contained within this game.

Other articles in the Retro Sports Gaming series:
Tecmo SuperBowl (NES)
NHLPA Hockey 93 & NHL 94 (Genesis, SNES, Sega CD, PC/DOS)

Have a favorite sports game from the 80s or 90s? Message Rick D and he may feature the game in an upcoming article as part of the Retro Sports Gaming series.