Archive for October, 2013

MASH Report (10/31/13) – Cabrera and His Groin

Injury news is really beginning to come to a halt. I moved the MASH Report to just once a week and soon it may go to every other week. To keep it going  more regularly, I could look at look at specific injury types and their recovery rates. I would like to run analysis on different injuries like I did with groins today. If there are any specific injury cases you want compared, please let me know in the comments. Next week, I will probably look at pitchers who recently had Tommy John surgery, but I could use other injury types as the off-season goes on.

• The big injury news of the week was Miguel Cabrera having groin surgery which altered his game at the season’s end. He basically could not lift his front leg (source):

“The doctor said he didn’t understand how I could have played with so much pain,” Cabrera told Rojas. “It hurt so much that I almost couldn’t lift my right leg, and that was the reason I couldn’t reach the outside fastballs at the end of the season.”

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RotoGraphs Audio: The Sleeper and the Bust 10/31/13

Episode 78
Today’s episode of The Sleeper and the Bust stars yours truly and features RotoGraphs editor Eno Sarris. We discuss the impact of playoff performance on draft value and wrap up the second basemen.

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @mikepodhorzer or @enosarris on Twitter and tweet us any fantasy questions you have that we may answer on our next episode.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or via the feed.

Intro by DJ Sinton (no, contrary to popular belief, I do not moonlight as a rap star)

Approximately 41 min of joyous analysis.

Franklin and Ackley Left a Mess at 2B

The Seattle Mariners 2B situation was a disaster in 2013. As group they hit .229/.299/.340 with Dustin Ackley and Nick Franklin getting most of the plate appearances. The Mariners expected not to struggle because both Ackley and Franklin were highly touted prospects. According to Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects, Akley was ranked #11 in 2010 and #13 in 2011. Franklin was the #53 in 2012 and #79 in 2013. Both struggled in 2013 and the outlook for 2014 isn’t much better.

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Amed Rosario: Teenage Breakout Candidate

Analyzing prospects in short-season leagues can often be a confusing and fruitless endeavor. All three of pro baseball’s three large development hurdles–the jump to full-season ball, the jump to the upper minors, and the jump to the majors–remain in front of such players, and projecting how raw 17-21-year-olds are going to handle those difficult transitions years down the line cannot be done with much certainty. Still, there are plenty of relevant prospects in the short-season circuits, and today I’m going to discuss the first of a few that I personally viewed in the Rookie-Advanced Appalachian League in 2013: Mets shortstop prospect Amed Rosario.

Rosario had the distinction of being named the top prospect in the Appy by Baseball America, which immediately pegs him as someone to watch. So does his birth date: November 20, 1995. He was the youngest position player to open the year at the Rookie-Advanced level, which says a lot about how advanced he is for his age, even if the numbers he posted (.241/.279/.358 with a 43/11 K/BB, 3 HR, 2 SB, and a .941 fielding percentage in 58 games) veer closer to “problematic” than “exciting.”

But a player’s ranking on prospect lists and his raw numbers (particularly at such a low level at such a young age) do little to shed light on what sort of player he may become. For that, we have to turn to visual evidence.

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Playoff Performers Could See a Boost in Value

The World Series is a chance to perform on a national platform like no other in the baseball world. Sure, the Red Sox have a ton of nationally televised games throughout the year and a nation of faithful fans, but the Cardinals don’t always get all of the hype they deserve. With a chance to prove themselves, players can see their fantasy value boosted up a couple dollars for the following year just by playing well in front of a large audience. With the 2013 season officially over, let’s take a look at some of the players who benefited from their run in the playoffs.

David Ortiz
68 PA, .353/.500/.706
Papi’s playoff performance wasn’t a breakout or anything, but it may have assured the world that the 37-year-old isn’t done yet. Although his regular season performance likely should have assured some owners, some are just waiting for signs that Big Papi will fall off the cliff and hit like his did in 2009. There are no signs yet, other than the age on his birth certificate.

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Emilio Bonifacio Takes Off In Kansas City

Your opinions of Dayton Moore and Ned Yost aside, one of the biggest problems with the Kansas City Royals over the last few years has been that glaring hole at second base. While waiting for prospect Johnny Giavotella to develop, they’ve tried to plug the hole with names like Chris Getz and Yuniesky Betancourt and surprisingly (insert sarcastic eye roll here), it just hasn’t worked. Betancourt is usually capable of playing well for about a month, though the 30 days aren’t necessarily right in a row, Getz is incapable of staying healthy, and Johnny G just hasn’t developed past being a mediocre fielder and all-around lousy hitter at the major league level. When the prospect of making a run at the playoffs in 2013 became more than just a pipe dream, the team made a few minor deals to tweak the roster, one of which was bringing in an underachieving Emilio Bonifacio from Toronto to fill a super-utility role. There was nothing terribly exciting about the move at first and the Royals just seemed to be spinning their wheels, but once they finally handed the second base job over to the diminutive speedster full-time, Bonifacio took off and literally ran away with the job. Read the rest of this entry »

Jose Altuve: Little Player, Big Game

At just 5’5 and 175 pounds according to our data, Jose Altuve is tiny, at least compared to his colleagues in the professional athlete world. In fact, his size is so much fun to discuss that a new unit of measurement was devised in his honor. How Many Altuves are you? I am 1.03 Jose Altuves. Altuve finished the season in fairly expected fashion, earning the 11th highest value among second basemen, which is exactly where he ranked during his first full season in 2012. Can the little man take his game to an even higher level?

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Ben Zobrist Slips Down the Rankings

Ben Zobrist has been pretty freaking awesome over the last five seasons, putting up over 29 WAR and playing all over the field for the Tampa Bay Rays. Heading into the 2013 season, Zobrist was pretty consistently one of the best fantasy second baseman when receiving full-time ABs.

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Jedd Gyorko’s Quasi-Surprising Power

One of my favorite sleepers before the season, Jedd Gyorko, the Padres third base prospect with the ridiculous .413 wOBA in AAA, rocketed up draft boards when it became clear that he was competing for a spot on the Opening Day roster. While Chase Headley was actually dinged up at the onset of the season, it wasn’t the prospect of Gyorko playing at the hot corner that got fantasy owners worked up, but rather, the notion that San Diego was considering playing one of their top prospects (not known as the most mobile or fleet of foot) at second base. Yes, they were that desperate to get some offense in the middle infield outside of Everth Cabrera’s empty batting average and (admittedly copious) stolen bases. But hey, who am I to judge when defensive WAR isn’t one of my roto cats?

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Neil Walker and Walker Power Rankings

At this point, the reader should not be surprised that I claimed Neil Walker. I’ve often touched on him in the Roto Riteups — no really, I have a bit of a man-crush on him — and so it was only fitting I tackle his end of season numbers. Before we dive too deep into the stats, here are my official top 3 Walker Power Rankings, in order:

3. Walker, Texas Ranger
2. Neil Walker
1. AT-AT Walker
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