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Yankees Fantasy Picks

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I'll give you my best fantasy baseball advice - mind you, I've never actually won a fantasy baseball league - but that doesn't matter, because I'm going to keep trying.

Best hitter: Robinson Cano

It's a toss up between two lefties, but I'll have to go with the more consistent producer. Grandy was better last year, but I think that was more of an anomaly than a new level of production. Cano is all but guaranteed to post numbers similar to 2011. I just don't have that same confidence in Grandy, who's more likely to regress after an MVP-caliber campaign (which, by the way, was only a little better than Cano's).

Best pitcher: Please

This is too easy. There's one man who stands above the rest, literally. No Yankee pitcher's had as good a season as CC's 2011 since Andy Petitte's 1997. He gets wins (59 the last three years) and strikeouts (624), stays healthy (705 IP), and has a dynamite ERA (3.18).

Breakout: Mark Teixeira

Not that he hasn't been great before, but relative to 2011, he's due to bounce back. A career low .239 BABIP suggests 2012 will be a more Teixeira-like season. He maintained a solid 18% line drive rate and peripherals (K, BB, GB and FB rates) right in line with his career averages. I could easily see him putting up a line far closer to '09 than '11.

Disappointment: A-Rod

Will the controversial surgery A-Rod had in December keep him healthy? Even if it does, I still have doubts he won't disappoint in 2012. You might say, "But didn't A-Rod disappoint in 2011?" Yes, but '12 could be even worse.

Prospect to Watch: David Phelps

Phelps was named a potential "Next Michael Pineda" because of his fastball velocity (92 MPH) and control (4.4% BB rate). He throws a variety of pitches, and despite not having eye-popping numbers, seems to have a knack for preventing runs. Despite a good-but-not-great 1.18 career WHIP and 3.7 K/BB rate, he's never had a season ERA higher than 2.99. I think the scouts would say, "He just knows how to pitch." If A.J. Burnett gets traded and injuries occur, Phelps - due to his advanced age (25) and minor league success - will probably be the first call-up to the rotation.

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