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BaseballProf’s Top 100 Offseason Questions

Here’s Baseball Professor’s official list of 100 questions to answer this offseason. And guess what? We’re actually going to answer them. Read on below and make sure to subscribe to our feed or get our email updates to get the answers to each of these questions and more!

In addition to these 100 questions, we’ll also answer select questions from our readers. If you have a question you need answered, email us at or tweet us @BaseballProf!

  1. Second base seems to be a surprising hotbed for power. In standard Yahoo! leagues 12 second basemen had 18 or more home runs compared to only 11 third basemen. Will we be able to find that power again at second base next year?
  2. How much do pitchers like Tim Hudson, Hiroki Kuroda and Doug Fister (pre K-boom) hurt your team due to lack of strikeouts?
  3. Is Danny Espinosa‘s HR/SB combo worth the hit in batting average?
  4. Should we expect more than a .273 average and 12 home runs from Neil Walker?
  5. Brett Jackson posted a 20/20 season in the Cubs minor league system and should be up and ready to contribute in 2012. How much value will he bring during his likely rookie season?
  6. Brian Wilson struggled with his control (note: I mean with walks and not with his, let’s call it interesting personality) in 2011. Can he be counted upon in 2012 as an elite closer?
  7. David Price took a step back in 2011. Is he a legitimate fantasy ace?
  8. Is Ryan Roberts really a borderline top 10 third baseman?
  9. How will Clay Buchholz rebound after missing the majority of 2011 with a stress fracture in his back?
  10. Robinson Cano or Dustin Pedroia in 2012?
  11. With so many steals available on the waiver wire and with late-season call-ups making an impact every year, how valuable is a player like Michael Bourn?
  12. How should we feel about Alex Rios?
  13. Is Brandon Phillips once again a top five second baseman?
  14. Where does Freddie Freeman rank among first basemen?
  15. None of the top preseason closers finished atop the position with the exception of Mariano Rivera. Remind us again. Why shouldn’t we pay for saves?
  16. Carlos Beltran stayed healthy for all of 2011 and earned himself a trade to a contender. How much can we rely on him to produce in 2012?
  17. Which catcher should you draft first: Alex Avila or Miguel Montero?
  18. Starlin Castro batted .300 with 10 home runs and 22 steals last season as a 21-year-old shortstop. How high is the limit with this guy?
  19. Jon Lester definitely took a step backward with every bite of fried chicken. Can we expect a bounce-back season or is him becoming a top five pitcher a pipe dream?
  20. Aside from obvious names like Matt Moore (TB), Mike Trout (LAA), Julio Teheran (ATL), Drew Pomeranz (COL) and Brandon Belt (SF), which rookie might make an impact starting on Opening Day?
  21. Will Drew Stubbs rebound to hit 20 home runs?
  22. How does a full season of Jemile Weeks rank among second basemen?
  23. Anthony Rizzo couldn’t have played much worse in his debut season with the Padres (.141, 1 HR, 9 RBI in 49 games). Is he worth drafting?
  24. Charlie Blackmon has a solid minor league track record and succeeded once called up before slumping and then getting hurt. Is he worth a flier in 2012?
  25. Ricky Romero took another step forward (as I expected) in 2011. Has he hit his ceiling?
  26. Michael Morse had a breakout year this past season. Should we trust him with a repeat performance?
  27. Justin Morneau‘s career has been derailed by concussion related problems. How should we value him in 2012?
  28. Ryan Vogelsong will be a tough player evaluate entering 2012. Where should be be drafted?
  29. Will Howie Kendrick ever hit 20 home runs?
  30. Will Matt Holliday improve on his 75 RBI in 2011? Yes, but by how much?
  31. Can we expect bounce back seasons from Jayson Werth and/or Carl Crawford?
  32. In 2011, Ivan Nova had 16 wins while Tim Lincecum only managed 13. How random is wins as a category?
  33. Speaking of Ivan Nova, his second-half stats were pretty incredible (8-0, 3.18 ERA, 1.15 WHIP). Is this a sign of things to come?
  34. Is Carlos Santana the top-ranked catcher?
  35. J.J. Hardy hit 30 home runs last year, which was tied for the league lead among shortstops. What do we make of this power surge?
  36. Derek Jeter got the average back in 2011, but now can he get the power back?
  37. Why did Martin Prado bat .260?
  38. With Ramon Hernandez done in Cincinnati, will Devin Mesoraco become the team’s top catcher?
  39. Five players could all legitimately finish the season as the top-ranked first baseman: Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Joey Votto, Prince Fielder and Adrian Gonzalez. Which will it be?
  40. In what order should Dan Haren, Matt Cain, James Shields and CC Sabathia be drafted?
  41. Adam Dunn. There’s no question needed here. But in all seriousness is he even worth a mid-to-late round flier next year?
  42. Will Andre Ethier be the 30/100 player he was in 2009?
  43. Outfield is a very top-heavy position with players like Jose Bautista, Ryan Braun, Matt Kemp, Carlos Gonzalez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Justin Upton, Curtis Granderson and Matt Holliday all potential top 20 draft picks. But how deep is the outfield position compared to others?
  44. How legit is Michael Morse and is he a top 10 OF next year?
  45. What happened to Michael Young’s power?
  46. Madison Bumgarner was probably one of the more undervalued starting pitchers in 2011. Who would you compare him to so that his value is recognized?
  47. How much value does Pedro Alvarez have?
  48. Will Curtis Granderson continue to hit lefties?
  49. Which Francisco Liriano will we see?
  50. Brett Lawrie looks like the real deal. Is he destined to be one of the next great third basemen?
  51. Dustin Ackley struggled once pitchers adjusted to him. Can he make the necessary adjustments in his sophomore season to become a top 10 second baseman?
  52. Now a full season removed from Tommy John surgery, what can we expect from Joe Nathan?
  53. C.J. Wilson is a free agent this offseason after pitching like an ace in a hitter’s haven. How should we value him in 2012?
  54. Craig Kimbrel struck out 127 batters, which was more than Jordan Zimmermann, Jeremy Hellickson and Johnny Cueto. How valuable is this guy?
  55. Do you know who Zack Cozart is?
  56. Jacoby Ellsbury jumped from eight and nine home runs in 2008 and ’09 to 32 in ’11. Is his power sustainable?
  57. Jose Valverde didn’t blow a save in 49 opportunities. Should he be considered a slam dunk as one of the first closers off the board in 2012?
  58. David Ortiz‘s status in Boston is uncertain at best as of October. What kind of value does he have in 2012 (obviously pending the team he ends up with)?
  59. Will Jhonny Peralta repeat his .299/21/86 line?
  60. Jason Kipnis torched AL pitching during his 36 game stretch with Cleveland in 2011 before hurting his hammy in mid-August. Seven homers in 36 games is a bit much, but what kind of power does he have?
  61. J.P. Arencibia was a borderline top-10 catcher in 2011, but with 23 home runs he should have ranked higher. Will he improve upon his .219 average?
  62. With hitting on the decline across the league, are save chances on the rise? If so, what does this mean when you’re drafting your closers?
  63. Lance Berkman was a terrific comeback story in 2011. Can we expect a repeat in 2012 now that he’s on the wrong side of 30?
  64. Jose Bautista batted .334 with 31 home runs before the All-Star break. After the break he hit .257 with 12 home runs. Should he still be drafted first overall?
  65. With Sergio Santos emerging as the White Sox closer (reinforced by the three-year deal signed in October, 2011), Chris Sale will be heading to the rotation. Can he succeed?
  66. Kelly Johnson rebounded to hit .270 in his 33 games with Toronto after a disappointing season in Arizona. After ranking 14th among second baseman in 2011 (ranked fifth in 2010) where does he fit at the position in 2012?
  67. How close will Michael Pineda come to being a fantasy number one in 2012?
  68. From 2008-2010, John Danks was as consistent as any starter in the league. His 2011 season was easily his worst since his ’07 rookie campaign. What gives?
  69. If Kendrys Morales returns to the Angels next year fully healthy, where does that leave Mark Trumbo?
  70. Dee Gordon batted .304 with 24 steals in just 56 games for the Dodgers, playing well enough for LA to jettison oft-injured Rafael Furcal to St. Louis. Even without the power, where does Gordon rank among MLB shortstops?
  71. 2011 was a disaster for Hanley Ramirez. With another shoulder surgery to recover from in the offseason will Hanley regain his form and become an elite shortstop once again?
  72. Team Desmond Jennings or Team Mike Trout for 2012?
  73. Ryan Dempster‘s ERA, WHIP in batting average against all rose significantly this past season. Is age finally catching up with the Cubs right-hander who’ll turn 35 one month into the 2012 season?
  74. What will the Yankees do with Jesus Montero and what does that mean for his fantasy value?
  75. I have to ask it, is B.J. Upton underrated? He’s a borderline 20/40 player!
  76. Jeremy Hellickson‘s strikeouts per nine dipped from 8.17 to 5.57 in 2011. Will the strikeouts come back?
  77. Is Ryan Braun the number one overall pick in 2012?
  78. How well do pitchers come off Tommy John surgery? Should we feel confident about Adam Wainwright‘s return next year?
  79. Ike Davis played just 36 games in 2011, but they were a very good 36 games. What should we expect from him?
  80. Everyone’s asking it, so how good is Doug Fister? Can he repeat his 7.29 K/9 with Detroit?
  81. How much value does Colby Rasmus have now that he’s in Toronto?
  82. Cory Luebke pitched great as a starter for the Padres (3.31 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 111 K in 100 2/3 innings). When should you think about drafting him?
  83. After having an ERA under 2.00 in 2010, Joakim Soria‘s ERA last year was over 4.00. Is this a one year blip or a sign of things to come?
  84. Chone Figgins never hit for power but at least he stole 40-plus bases. After stealing 11 bags last season, is there any hope for him in 2012?
  85. The Royals had an All-Star trio in the outfield in 2011. Who between Alex Gordon, Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur will repeat? Who is most likely to bust?
  86. Logan Morrison hit 21 more home runs in 2011 (23 to 2), but will he be the complete package in 2012?
  87. Gio Gonzalez lowered his ERA (3.23 to 3.12) and increased his strikeouts (171 to 197) last season in about the same number of innings. Is there still room for improvement or are his 2011 stats the best we’ll see?
  88. Matt Moore definitely showed flashes of what he’s capable of, will anyone compete with him for baseball’s top rookie pitcher in 2012? Julio Teheran? Drew Pomeranz?
  89. After a down year and some major injuries from big names at first base, has third base caught up?
  90. Alexei Ramirez had a career-high 614 at-bats last season but saw his per-game production and overall numbers fall across the board? How much should we expect him to improve?
  91. Asdrubal Cabrera looked like the second best shortstop for the first half of the year before faltering in the second half. Which Asdrubral will show up in 2012?
  92. How much does losing third base eligibility affect Alex Gordon‘s value?
  93. It’s easy to forget about Buster Posey, but you’ll be kicking yourself if you do it on draft day. Where does he rank among all catchers?
  94. Is Carlos Gonzalez a top five outfielder?
  95. Is Stephen Strasburg (on an innings limit) a top 20 pitcher in 2012?
  96. Have we seen the end of Ichiro Suzuki?
  97. Paul Goldschmidt hit eight home runs in 157 at-bats last season, a rate which would have him pushing 30 dingers over a full year. With a high strikeout rate and some speed (4 SB), when should you think about drafting Goldy Knocks?
  98. Vance Worley, everyone’s favorite spot starter, will look to prove that his 11-3 record and 3.01 ERA were no fluke. Will he do it?
  99. Eric Hosmer had a terrific rookie campaign in 2011. Is he primed to jump into the top tier of first basemen?
  100. Chase Utley isn’t the player he used to be, but where does he rank among MLB second basemen?

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Updated: March 23, 2012 — 12:14 pm
  • Zach Pincince

    In response to question number 46 – “Madison Bumgarner was probably one of the more undervalued starting pitchers in 2011. Who would you compare him to so that his value is recognized?” Here is a blind resume: Player A: 13 Wins, 8.44 K/9, 2.02 BB/9, 3.21 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 2011 ADP of 151st player picked. Player B: 14 Wins, 8.55 K/9, 2.58 BB/9, 3.47 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 2011 ADP of 29th player picked. Player A is Bumgarner and Player B is 2010 AL CY award winner Felix Hernandez. Madison Bumgarner is way better than most people think and will be a big sleeper pick for next year.

    • Stop writing my article, Zach! As for your comparison that’s dead on and a perfect example of why we wrote that question the way we did.

      • Zach Pincince

        Haha, thanks! Also, another question that you should have added is: Which Francisco Liriano will show up next year? The 2010 version or the 2011 one?

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