Giants pitching to become valuable in Fantasy Baseball

By Raymond Ayala

The San Francisco Giants are an average team right now. Currently if you check most keeper fantasy leagues, most people do not have any of the Giants hitters on their rosters. Kung-Fu Panda, or Pablo Sandoval, who is a 22-year-old power hitting infielder, who also is catcher-eligible in some leagues. Other then the Panda there is not a lot of hope for the Giants on the offensive front.

Pitching on the other hand is a different story. Currently the Giants are home to two of the best pitchers right now in Major League Baseball. Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain are going to be fixtures in the Giants rotation for years to come, since both are respectively aged 24 and 25.

Tim Lincecum has already proved himself as one of the most valuable pitchers in fantasy baseball keeper leagues. Sure some may argue that Zach Greinke is having a better season this year, and therefore he should be the best young pitcher. While I respect what Grienke is doing, Lincecum has already done what Grienke is doing last year. In his first full season with the Giants, the “Freak” led the NL in Strikeouts, finished second in ERA and second in Wins. This season, Lincecum currently is leading the league again in Strikeouts with 95, and is pacing his strikeouts with a solid 2.96 ERA. So far Lincecum has shown he is capable of keeping this pace going for the long haul and should be considered a top pick in any keeper league draft.

Matt Cain may be a surprise to those on the East Coast, but any Giants fan will tell you that he is probably just as valuable to the team as his rotation-mate Lincecum. Another fact that people do not know, is that Cain is younger then Lincecum, and he has been successful his past two seasons posting back-to-back sub four ERA seasons. This season Cain is off to a hot start leading the league with wins (7), and he is second in era (2.27). Cain has shown he was this special before, but now that he is getting run support, he is really showing what he is capable of. Cain may not be worth a first round pick, but he should defineitly be considered in round 3-5.

The Giants pitching staff will presumably welcome two more potential aces to the staff during the 2010 season. Left-handed prospect Madison Bumgarner, and right-handed power pitcher Tim Alderson have been off to hot starts on the Giants AA-team. I’m sure your asking why draft them now? Well by the time the end of the 2009 season comes around; it may be too late to get these guys in the late rounds. Alderson is a twenty-year-old righty, who has the build of Joe Blanton, but the stuff of Derek Lowe. Madison Bumgarner is the top-pitching prospect in all of baseball, and is blowing away hitters double his age in AA ball. The nineteen-year-old Bumgarner has been compared to a former Dodger great Sandy Koufax, and his fastball is only getting better. Both these young pitchers could anchor one of the best staffs in baseball history over the coming years. Grab these guys now and build your staff around the Giants pitching staff. The Giants front office will reward you, by fitting the team with offensive players of the same level.