Fantasy, reality converge with rising Rockies

For
better or for worse, there are some who dismiss fantasy sports as a fringe game
played by pimple-faced, backward-hat-wearing, comic-book-reading, bazooka-chewing
dorks.

And
that is totally offensive because I quit chewing bazooka years ago.

The
truth of the matter is that fantasy and reality often converge.

I
was reminded of this while watching Rockies highlights during Labor Day
weekend.

As
Colorado emerges as the National League Wild Card favorite with four
consecutive wins to improve to 18 games above .500, more of its players have emerged
as viable fantasy options. Or maybe it’s vice versa.

Two
years ago, Matt Holliday led the Rockies to their surprising postseason berth.

Now,
the team is flooded with options, starting with Holliday’s replacement in left
field, Seth Smith. Despite prolonged slumps from Brad Hawpe and Clint Barmes,
the Rockies have soared thanks largely to a little-known surge from Smith, who
sports a scorching-hot .519 average with four homers and 10 RBIs in seven September
contests, leaving him with strong overall numbers (.318 AVG, 15 HR, .573
SLG).  Yet he remains available for the taking in many leagues, probably
even yours.

The
same can be said for utilityman turned starting third baseman Ian Stewart.
Remember when Garrett Atkins carried Colorado’s offense? Neither does Stewart,
who unseated Atkins at the hot corner earlier this season and has only gained
steam since, connecting for four homers in six September games. He’s also not
getting nearly enough attention as he should, taking his eligibility at second
base into consideration.

NL
Rookie of the Year candidate Dexter Fowler goes on the 15-day disabled list? No
problem, just plug second-half surger Carlos Gonzalez into center field. The
reinvigorated Huston Street goes down? Don’t worry, go ahead and replace him
with former top prospect Franklin Morales, who’s converted four saves in as
many tries this month. Rotation anchor Aaron Cook needs time off? There still
might be room on the Jorge De La Rosa bandwagon.

Meanwhile,
Ubaldo Jimenez has established himself as one of the NL’s top starters, while
rotation mates Jason Marquis and Jason Hammel appear on their way to career
years. And that’s not even mentioning comeback campaigns from Troy Tulowitzki
and Todd Helton, the heart and soul of Colorado’s offense.

If
you asked savvy fantasy owners months ago about the Rockies, most would have
given you a dose of reality: There’s no shortage of young talent out in the Mile
High City.

–Alex Cushing,
MLB.com

1 Comment

The only problem is that many of these guys platoon or semiplatoon, and 3 that don’t are hurt.

BTW is Tulowitzki a top 5 ss next year? What round draftee is he for 2010?

Alex

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