by Howard Bender
One of the most important aspects to maintaining your place at the top of the standings is your knowledge. You need to know team rosters, hitters AB/HR ratio, pitchers BABIP, all the way down to how many stolen bases you need to gain 3 extra points in the standings. And all of these things keep changing, so you need to stay on your toes. You need to be paying attention to everything, every step of the way. Keeping current with all the relevant fantasy information is vital to your success.
How many times have you see a quality team in your league die form neglect. Not that the owner is totally MIA, but that he/she just isn't paying enough attention to be making the right adjustments. You need to stay ahead of these people. And one of the best ways to do so is to keep your fantasy radar tuned in.
There is plenty of player movement these days. Whether it's a slumping hitter demoted to the minors or a long term injury, there are new names and faces popping up everywhere. Now when I say new names and faces, I, of course, mean new to the layman -- not to the savvy and shrewd fantasy GM. They are the names we had notes next to in the Prospects section of out favorite fantasy magazine. They are the potential call-ups we thought could make a big splash out of Spring Training. We haven't forgotten them; we're just biding our time waiting for them to arrive.
And I'm not just talking about guys like Matt Wieters and David Price. Your radar needs to be a little better than that. It needs to search deeper. Those are great guys to have, but the competition is all over them too. You need to braoden your search for hidden talent. Before you know it, teams are going to be making moves and these guys are going to be outed to the masses. You want to be the guy who anticipates their arrival. Be proactive in your waiver pick ups. The reactive guys always tend to fall behind.
And just in case you're still not sure....just in case the blips on your radar are too fuzzy to make out, here's a little list of some names you should be keeping tabs on:
1. Tim Alderson, SP SF -- a 6'6" righty who was just recently promoted to Double-A Connecticut last week who has some dominating stuff. He responded to his promotion with 6 2/3 innings of one hit ball with 10 Ks. If Jonathan Sanchez gets traded or doesn't perform to task, Alderson coul dbe the first call up.
2. Madison Bumgarner, SP SF -- The 19 year old has even better stuff and more raw talent than Alderson. He just might need a little more minor league seasoning. He could provide some serious late season help if the Giants go younger towards the end.
3. Josh Whitesell, 1B ARI -- It might be alittle late to grab this kid sonce he's already in the process of taking Chad Tracy's job away. The lefty has improved his power each year on every level and could be an interesting source for HR and RBI if the D-Backs ever get it together.
4. Neftali Feliz, SP TEX -- It's always difficult to recommend a Rangers starter, let alone a 21 year old who's already hindered by a sore shoulder in Triple-A. But keep an eye on him. His more than a strikeout per inning stuff will be a nice late season addition if he can get healthy again.
5 Chris Coghlan, 2B FLA -- Another one that might be tough to grab since he's already up in the majors. He's being given the chance to win the left field job and cracked his first major league dinger yesterday.
6. Nolan Reimold, OF BAL -- Act fast since he's coming to the bigs any day now. With Adam Jones and Luke Scott banged up, Reimold could be getting some sweet PT. He was hitting .394 with 9 HR and 27 RBI in 31 games down in Triple-A and if he can continue, the O's would be psyched to give him a job.
7. Andrew McCutchen, OF PIT -- We've been calling his name for a couple of years now, and really, this should be the season for him. The Pirates aren't going anywhere and if the speedy McCutchen can make a bigger impact than Brandon Moss or if Nate McLouth gets dealt, he could be a solid leadoff guy to own.
8. Mat Gamel, 3B MIL -- One of the reasons it was so easy to move Ryan Braun to the OF was because the Brewers knew they had their third baseman of the future here with Gamel. He's getting pinch hit ABs right now and should stay up with the club through interleague play. If he hits well enough, we could see Bill Hall moving to the bench.
9. Gordon Beckham, SS CHW -- Whote Sox manager Ozzie Guillen thinks Beckham needs another full year in the minors, but the problems in the bigs could force a change of heart. The Sox are still having center field issues and the rumors of Alexei Ramirez moving out there aren't dead. Beckham could be a candidate to come up if he continues to hit well in the minors.
10. Buster Posey, C SF -- More of a longshot here, but if the Giants are competing, Posey could become a deadly bat off the bench. He's got tremendous skills and could provide better back-up capabilities than Steve Holm. Posey is fantastic in long term keeper leagues. Think Craig Biggio.
Looking for more names to throw onto your radar? Need some advice on how to fix your team? Come over to RotoBuzz.com and see where we can help you.
Howard Bender is a freelance fantasy sports writer and champion in both rotisserie and head to head leagues. For questions, thoughts or comments, you can email him at Howard.Rotobuzz@yahoo.com.