You always have to take Bill James rookie projections with a grain of salt; he thinks they're all....what's the word gnarboots used?...bonerrific. Smoak does have the disadvantage of playing in Seattle, but you have to give him a more forgiving adjustment period because of his rapid rise to the majors. Just because he sucked last year doesn't mean he'll suck this year. I think this year they'll be about even, though Smoak will do better if you make park adjustments (not fantasy relevant though). Long term, Smoak is more likely to produce at a high level because of his great walk rate and acceptable K rate.
Rocinante2: you know Rocinante2: its easy to dismiss the orioles as a bad team ofanrex: go on Rocinante2: i'm done Rocinante2: lmao
I don't like the ballpark that Smoak plays in so I think his value his always going to be surpressed.
Freeman has excellent MILB numbers for his age at each level (nearly matching Heyward and Jesus Montero), so I think I like his upside quite a bit more. I think he will develop into a 25-30 HR guy with good average (.290ish), so I'd pick him over Smoak longterm. He's projected to bat 8th according to MLBDEpthcharts.com and 7th by Rotochamp, so he's not going to put up great counting numbers this year.
However, I think Freeman eventually moves to the 3-hole and Heyward to cleanup next year or 2013 and his value will skyrocket. Great keeper selection, but he's probably already taken in keeper leagues.
I think Smoak is the better overall talent, the park is tough but it's more neutral for lefties so I don't think it effects him as much as people think it will. That said the M's need to keep developing hitting talent to be around him or it may never come to a fruition there. Freeman is very nice as well, the team makes me have a bit more faith in him ... however I'd still likely go w/ Smoak long term.
I'm not sure this is even a problem or a thought for the Braves but Chipper Jones emphatically needs to move to 1B. Now, pride will likely prevent that from happening but the smart move for the Braves would be to move him. He's already reporting tendentious in his surgically repaired knee but him moving to 1B would drastically limit his wear and tear and allow him to help the team more. Now, I don't foresee Chipper moving but if the slim possibility happens Freddie Freeman, even though he was drafted as a 3B, will likely find himself in LF. Seriously, Chipper Jones is a future HOF player but it's going to come down to him attempting to play 3B and then getting hurt once again, not helping the Braves, and retiring or potentially moving to 1B, limiting his risk to injury, being productive, and squeezing out a few more productive years.