Best Pitcher: Edinson Volquez
According to FanGraphs ZiPS projections it looks like Corey Luebke, Edinson Volquez and Joe Wieland are expected to be the Padres' best pitchers in 2013. Luebke and Wieland both underwent Tommy John surgery last season, so their seasons will be abbreviated. TJ surgery usually requires 12 months of rehab, so Luebke should be back sometime around June 1 and Wieland around August 1. Wieland may not pitch at all, since his rehab takes him so close to the end of the season.
FanGraphs doesn't see much reason to be optimistic about the Padres pitching staff:
Extreme park effects might mask it, but ZiPS suggests that there is trouble afoot within the Padres starting rotation — insofar, that is, as the most optimistic projection among their number (Cory Luebke‘s, at 1.7 WAR) is still shy of what we might consider an “average” mark.
For now the team is pinning all of its hope on Volquez, so we should too. Bud Black awarded him the Opening Day start earlier this week, due to his dependability. If someone asks you to name the best Padres pitcher, tell them it's Volquez then run away before they have a chance to argue.
Only 18% of Fantasy Owners picked up Volquez.
Best Hitter: Chase Headley
Chase Headley, Yasmani Grandal and Cameron Maybin are poised to be 2013's best hitters. Headley and Grandal will both miss the start of the season. Headley with a broken thumb and Grandal with a 50 game PED suspension.
Grandal was a player Padres fans could really get excited about until his drug suspension. Now we can only hope he's able to ride out the remainder of the 2013 season with some residual elevated testosterone levels in his system. With any luck he'll continue to hit well but the suspension will still have an affect on his numbers.
Grandal’s suspension likely calls for his WAR projection to be approximately two-thirded
Maybin had a decent yet underwhelming 2012, but don't be surprised if he has a breakout year. Look for him to be a difference maker on this year's club.
Headley's thumb is hooked up to a bone stimulator and is already healing nicely, so he shouldn't miss too much of the season. He is a boss and few will argue that Headley isn't the team's best overall player.
I have Headley on my Fantasy Team. I'm his owner. I own him. He appears in 96% of Fantasy Leagues.
Sleeper: Nick Hundley
After last year's dreadful season it's hard to have any expectations for Nick Hundley. I'm thinking now that he's healthy he can fly under the radar, crawl under the barbwire, get behind enemy lines and do some real damage. He's had a really nice Spring which doesn't mean a whole lot except for how he ranks in a blogger's team preview. Go Nick.
0% owned on Yahoo!. I told you he's a sleeper.
Bust: Andrew Cashner
I really don't want to pick a player to be a bust, so I asked Dex to pick one. "Cashner" says he. The Padres still want to convert Cashner into a starting pitcher. I don't think either of us are really confident that's going to pan out. I'd explain but the reasoning would sound really sloppy, like Bar Refaeli's GoDaddy.com kiss.
Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball supports SBNation and fantasy league families everywhere. Get better experts, better tools, and better stats with the #1 free fantasy baseball game. This season also features a brand new iPad app, so sign up now. Get ready for opening day with better play on Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Baseball.