Adam Frazier & Chris Coghlan: Deep League Wire

Get out the pom-poms, it’s the first Pod deep league wire of the season! As a reminder, I’ll discuss two players that are owned in 10% or less of CBS leagues.

Adam Frazier | PIT OF | CBS 9% Owned

You no doubt heard the shocking news that Starling Marte has been suspended for 80 games for PED use. The biggest immediate beneficiary is Frazier, as Pirates GM Neil Huntington stated that top prospect Austin Meadows is not ready:

That should have been fairly obvious after a quick glance at his Triple-A stats. He posted just a .335 wOBA at the level in 145 plate apearances last year, and sports a sad .222 mark early on to begin this year. Top prospect or not, ya gotta earn your call-up!

Frazier, on the other hand, has quietly posted a .379 wOBA, while continuing to maintain a batting average over .300, thanks to an inflated BABIP. Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be. That’s because he actually led my xBABIP spreadsheet in my newest xBABIP last year, with an insane .386 mark. Of course, much of that was fueled by an unsustainable 33.1% LD%, but he also hit few fly balls and pop-ups, was rarely shifted against, and displayed average power and above average speed. Since he’s gotten time at four different positions, and six if you count each outfield spot as different, he’s going to play often, even if they do find a long-term replacement for Marte…like Meadows.

Obviously, you won’t get much power here. His career high in home runs in a season is a whopping two, and while he has some speed and has stolen double digit bases each year since 2014, he’s been a pretty terrible basestealer. But he makes good contact and makes for a perfect stopgap solution in a deep league. Just don’t go nuts and think he’ll help much in a shallow format.

Chris Coghlan | TOR 2B/OF | 0% Owned

He’s back! You know your league is deep when you’re upset that you didn’t land Coghlan in FAAB. That’s exactly how I felt when I wasn’t quite aggressive enough in the bidding in AL Tout. With Josh Donaldson on the DL and expected to miss two to four weeks thanks to a calf injury, the Blue Jays are left with a whole bunch of unappealing options like Darwin Barney and Ryan Goins. These two have proven to possess an inability to hit, which especially hurts coming from a corner infielder.

Of course, Coghlan didn’t hit last year either, posting a pathetic .269 wOBA, but that was driven mostly by a career low .235 BABIP. xBABIP suggests that he deserved much, much better though, as it calculated a .300 mark, not too far off from his previous seasons. Since he owns some speed and power, and even walked more than 10% of the time the past two seasons, there’s obvious potential for a nice rebound. Stick him in one of the best hitting environments in baseball and the opportunity for some playing time and you got yourself a nice deep league target.

What happens when Donaldson returns though? Well, if you hadn’t noticed, the Jays have gotten literally nothing offensively from their left fielders. Steve Pearce has posted a .170 wOBA, while Ezequiel Carerra is sitting at .236. Pearce is 34 and swinging far more frequently than usual, and although the sample size remains too tiny to conclude anything, you never know when a player’s time is just up. Carrera’s lack of hitting can’t be considered a shocking twist as he sports just a .293 career wOBA. Bottom line, there is opportunity in left field as well if Coghlan performs well leading up to Donaldson’s return.





Mike Podhorzer is the 2015 Fantasy Sports Writers Association Baseball Writer of the Year. He produces player projections using his own forecasting system and is the author of the eBook Projecting X 2.0: How to Forecast Baseball Player Performance, which teaches you how to project players yourself. His projections helped him win the inaugural 2013 Tout Wars mixed draft league. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikePodhorzer and contact him via email.

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dudley
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dudley

What stats do you think are the leading indicators that an older player is done?

tramps like us
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tramps like us

Defining the skills base that make up his value can help. By that I mean if a player has always had a speed-based game, age won’t allow his value to last long. But a power-based game has better staying power. We don’t worry so much about Miggy at 34 losing value because his hit skills won’t suffer, nor defense much, and he never had speed anyay. When Carl Crawford’s demise was in high gear at only 29 and he out of OB at 34, his speed-based game had disappeared and he had nothing to compensate. In his case it was triples, doubles, stolen bases and range factor in the outfield. But, this answer covers only a small number of players and is not very helpful otherwise.