Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Bradenton kid on your fantasy team?

How'd you like to have a Bradenton kid on your fantasy baseball team?

I'm not talking about drafting your Little League son with your final pick as a gag. Chris Perez, a Holmes Beach native and Pendleton School grad, is a 100-percent legit fantasy pick this year. Perez is the front-runner to be the Cleveland Indians' closer on Opening Day this year, as my colleague John Lembo reports.

Regular Indians closer Kerry Wood has never been the picture of health, and now he's set to miss up to 6-8 weeks with a strained shoulder muscle. That created an opening for Perez, a hard-throwing 25-year-old the Indians picked up from St. Louis last year, presumably as their closer of the future. That future is now, and if Perez takes to the closer's role, he might make Wood obsolete. I was already considering our local boy as a fantasy sleeper this year as Wood's set-up man, but now he's a must-have.

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