Archive for December, 2012

RotoGraphs Ridiculously Early Mock Draft: Rounds 1-5

You’re drafting if you’re a hardcore head like me. I’m finishing up my third mock draft and have two more scheduled in the next two weeks. So we’re drafting.

RotoGraphs thought there wasn’t any time like the present, so we got going on our mock draft. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be referencing this mock — done for a standard twelve-team 5×5 roto league with one catcher — as well as some other industry mocks around the web, as we try to find early risers, fallers and sleepers. You can find these things later by using the “Mock Draft Analysis” category tag on the bottom right.

Because not everyone drafts on March 28th.

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Stephen Drew Goes to Beantown

The perennially blah Stephen Drew is packing his bags again, this time heading to Boston after signing with the Red Sox last week. Drew was limited to just about a half season worth of at-bats after a long recovery from an ankle injury that cut his 2011 season short. It ended up being his worst offensive performance, as he mustered just a .291 wOBA. Now taking his craft to New England, let’s find out if park factors will help him at all.

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The Legend of Bagging Vance

When preliminary announcements suggested the Twins had acquired two pitchers for Ben Revere, you’d have to understand my immediate worry. I figured the big piece of the trade might be Tyler Cloyd — he of the 87 mph fastball — and maybe the Twins would nab Kyle Kendrick for good measure.

I was wrong. Read the rest of this entry »

Young Pitchers and Complete Games

A couple of weeks ago, I was helping fellow writer, Chris Cwik, look for possible reasons James McDonald fell off the cliff in the second half of the 2012 season. As Cwik pointed out, the 27-year-old McDonald started falling apart after he threw 122 pitches for his only complete game (CG) of the season. I decided to see how young pitchers performed after throwing just one complete game during a season.

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How Will the Pieces Fit in Seattle?

Coming into the 2012-13 offseason, the Seattle Mariners had one absolute mandate: improve an offense which had finished last in the American League in runs scored in each of the last four seasons. But after striking out on Josh Hamilton, Nick Swisher, and every other offensive free agent with a pulse (unless they become the unlikely landing spot for Michael Bourn), this is the sum total of the new bats Seattle has been able to add so far this winter: Robert Andino, Jason Bay, Raul Ibanez, & Kendrys Morales.

Setting aside Andino for the moment, the trio of Bay / Ibanez / Morales would have been a fantastic group to have in 2009, when all three had career years, each hitting 34 or more homers with a wOBA at .378 or higher. Unfortunately for Seattle, it’s 2013, not 2009, and all three have fallen off markedly over the last few years due to age, injury, or both. While you can make an argument for taking a chance on any of the three, compounding the situation of collecting the entire set is that designated hitter is arguably the best position for each of them. That’s going to be complicated on a Seattle roster which already has two catchers who are around more for their bats than their gloves in Jesus Montero & John Jaso, a first baseman who hits like a middle infielder in Justin Smoak, and out-of-options 1B/DH Mike Carp. Read the rest of this entry »

2013 Pod Hitter Projections: Wil Myers

Welcome to the first edition of the Pod hitter projections for the 2013 season! If you are unfamiliar with my process, you can read the introduction I published last January. As a reminder, these are not computer generated where I input the data and a spreadsheet spits out a projected batted line. I manually project every category that has fantasy relevance.

The first projection I’ll make is for Wil Myers, the top ex-Royals prospect who was recently shipped to Tampa Bay for James Shields.

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Jon Niese: Consistently Boring, Therefore Useful

Jon Niese has turned into a steady, decent fantasy play. While he is not one of the biggest names in the league, he has given consistent results over his short career. He is a nice addition to fill out a fantasy pitching staff as a draft progress.

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Nick Swisher Thinks Cleveland Rocks!

Of course Nick Swisher thinks Cleveland rocks. He just signed a four-year, $56M contract that has a fifth year vesting option that could push the total to $70M. Who wouldn’t think Cleveland rocked for that kind of dough? But obviously the real question is how Swisher will play in Cleveland and what does the move do to his fantasy value. Leaving the friendly confines and short-porch in right of Yankee Stadium doesn’t sound like a positive move, particularly when 19 of your 24 home runs comes from the left side of the plate, but in looking at his overall numbers through the years, he should be the same ol’ Swish this year. Read the rest of this entry »

The Rangers Center Field Situation

This season, center field innings in Texas were primarily split between Craig Gentry and Josh Hamilton. But, Hamilton is now gone and the team has not signed a free agent to replace him in the field. They still seem to be in the market for an outfielder, but it’s conceivable they head to spring training with Gentry and Leonys Martin atop the depth chart. Assuming they find their everyday center fielder from an interal option, would either of these two be attractive fantasy targets?

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Can the Amazing Pierzynski Do it Again?

Among the many surprises we witnessed during the 2012 season, the ridiculous year that A.J. Pierzynski had is probably one of the biggest. Based on the decline in his overall numbers over the last several years, a season in which he posted career-best totals in nearly every offensive category (including nose hair), after being a relative afterthought on draft day had fantasy owners completely baffled. Appreciative, yes, but baffled nonetheless. And now that he’s signed on to play for the Texas Rangers in 2013, the big question on everyone’s mind is whether or not he can do it again. Read the rest of this entry »