Archive for November, 2012

Does Your Fantasy Team Need More Kubel?

The Diamondbacks signing of Jason Kubel was widely panned, including here at the mother site. And it was panned for good reason; what in the world did the Snakes need a stodgy, stout outfielder with poor defensive skills and a dormant bat? But a furtive glance at StatCorner proved enlightening; Chase Field was a launchpad for hitters like Kubel, while Target Field was a cemetery. Read the rest of this entry »

Nationals Finally Get Their Span

Some trades are firecrackers, started and finished in what seems like an afternoon. Some are slow burns that start as an idle comment and weeks later turn into a swap. And then there are deals like the one that finally landed Denard Span in Washington D.C. that happen so gradually, watching the whole process unfold would take so long, it would be best seen as a montage rather than an actual portrayal. Span nearly ended up in the District at the trading deadline, the 2011 trading deadline that is, in a deal for Drew Storen that was sundered by whether or not Steve Lombardozzi would be included in the deal. There were likely discussions on and off about moving Span to DC between July, 2011 and November, 2012, but that’s how long it took for the Nationals to finally offer the Twins enough to get their man.  Read the rest of this entry »

Prospect Impact: Hicks, Arcia, Garcia and more

This offseason, as transactions on the big league level unfold, we’ll take a look at how the ripple effects shake out on the prospect side, focusing primarily on 2013 fantasy impact, with an eye toward the future, too.

This week: While doors open in the Twins’ and Rays’ outfields, one closes in the Tigers’, and the Pirates add some first base depth.

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Austin Jackson: Now With More Walks?

When Austin Jackson, the Tigers’ centerpiece in the Curtis Granderson trade, came out of the gates flying in early 2010, baseball was abuzz about the young gun patrolling the outfield grasses at Comerica Park. However, many savvy fantasy owners who had scooped him up spun him quickly, seeing a near 0.500 BABIP (with little other substance otherwise) was driving his gaudy rookie-year numbers, and Jackson subsequently sunk back down into the realm of average, but not spectacular outfielders. He sat there in 2011, watching some of his 2010 rates sag even further; here was the traditional case of a guy with a lot of buzz, but not a lot of early career numbers to back it up. Fantasy owners were (rightfully) wary headed in 2012. ESPN’s average draft position tracker had Jackson 18th among centerfielder, 50th among all outfielders, and 216th overall; in other words, a guy who was either selected at the tail end in most drafts or even saw some time on the waiver wire early in the season. However, most know the next line in the story — Jackson blew away his preseason valuation while seeing nearly across-the-board improvements in 2012 and climbing all the way to 19th overall (among OF) in Zach Sanders’ end of season FVAR rankings.

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Trade Your Prospects

A big fuss has been made over the Royals considering dealing their top prospect, Wil Myers, for starting pitching help. And the fuss is for good reason. On the field, Jeff Francoeur’s totally unexpected demise left the Royals with a gaping hole to fill in right field. That reality coupled with owner David Glass’s frugalness – read the second half of this excellent bifurcated piece by Rany Jazayerli – has left many wondering why the Royals would trade almost seven seasons of a potential all-star right fielder for two years of an aging pitcher with a mortgage. But, the game played on natural grass is far different from the one that requires a username and password. Today, I’m here to tell you trading your prospects isn’t only okay, it’s encouraged in many formats. Read the rest of this entry »

Mark Trumbo: Just a Slump, Or A Sign Of Things to Come?

Headed into 2012, Mark Trumbo stood pretty close to the top of the “most overrated lists” from the perspective of most advanced baseball sites. Yes, 29 homers, 87 runs batted in, and a second-place finish in the Rookie of the Year ballot in 2011 looked really nice on the surface, but you didn’t have to look too hard to see signs of concern beyond that. The ugly .291 OBP stands out, of course, but the high strikeout rate and total inability to take a walk were even more concerning. Of the 145 qualified hitters in 2011, only two had a lower BB/K mark, and beating out Miguel Olivo for anything should hardly be a cause for celebration. It wasn’t hard to think that pitchers could exploit that weakness in Trumbo’s second time around the league, especially when he would also have to contend with attempting to learn a new position. With the imported Albert Pujols and the recovering Kendrys Morales taking most of the first base / designated hitter time, Trumbo was asked to try to convert to third base.

This all made for a very uncertain forecast for the 26-year-old Angel, one that tempered many expectations… and then he defied us all by getting off to a crazy hot start. By the end of a phenomenal May, Trumbo was sitting at .348/.396/.632, and while third base hadn’t quite worked out, his bat was reason enough for the Angels to cut Bobby Abreu and minimize Vernon Wells in order to give Trumbo regular playing time in the outfield corners. Over the next two months, the average and OBP dropped as you’d expect, but the power remained, with 17 blasts over June & July along with a place on the American League All-Star team. Read the rest of this entry »

Roto Riteup: November 30, 2012

My inner (and outer) nerd is going crazy with all the recent baseball news. Oh, and the fact that IPL 5 as well as WCG 2012 is going on is great as well. Baseball is my true love, but I admit it: I cheat on it with StarCraft. I’m so sorry.

• The biggest news of yesterday was the trade that involved the Minnesota Twins sending Denard Span to the Washington Nationals in exchange for pitching prospect Alex Meyer. Span join B.J. Upton in moving from the AL to the senior circuit, and while Span may not have the same flashy name as Upton, his move also effects AL and NL-only leagues. Over the past four years, Span has average 18 stolen bases, hit .280 and posted a .348 on-base percentage. His counting — and to a lesser extent his rate stats — took a dive in 2011 when he suffered a concussion and then battled the subsequent effects. Span consistently sits amongst the top of the leader board of smallest SwStr% and K%. He makes for an okay-if-not-inspiring later round pick.
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Mike Trout: Reasons for Caution

A couple of days ago, I used comparable players to show how much regression should be expected from Mike Trout. Today, I am going to dive into Trout’s numbers from last season and see if any red flags exist.

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Choo Your Own Adventure

For the most part, I was always terrible at those “Choose Your Own Adventure Book!” It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy them, I did, but I would pick a route, then if I didn’t like where that was headed, I’d flip back and pick a different option. Unfortunately, outside of trading or straight dropping a player, we don’t have that option in the fantasy baseball realm.

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Hunter Pence: First Half Hero

It’s time again to jump back into Zach Sander’s Outfield End of Season Rankings and pull out another gem for us to discuss. And since I live in the Bay Area and have a hankering to “poke the bear in the zoo” and have my house egged next Halloween for blasphemy, it’s time to fire up all you Giants fans and dissect one of your darling World Champions. So let’s scroll on down to good ol’ number 29 and talk about Hunter Pence. Read the rest of this entry »