Posts Tagged ‘giants’

@jasoncollette joins the guys (including me) on The Fantasy Baseball Roundtable Show at 9:00

Jason Collette joins the guys (including me) on The Fantasy Baseball Roundtable Show at 9:00 pm ET: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/fantasy-baseball-roundtable/2012/04/19/the-fantasy-baseball-roundtable-show.

We’ll talk closers, Giants, Indians, Dodgers, C.C. Sabathia, David Wright, Craig Stammen, Jay Bruce, Dan Uggla, Brandon Beachy, Kelly Johnson, roto, fantasy baseball and much more!

h2h Corner ~ I’m a Believer: May Edition

It struck me that this piece could be known as the twitter column…

ZobristZorrilla

Surprise, surprise, Lance Berkman is the top first baseman and my boy Zobrist is in the top 5. Expect Fielder/Pujols to replace them, with Teixeira and Howard filling out the top seven. Just a crazy deep position – I feel bad for those stuck with Justin Morneau and Kendrys Morales.

The Orioles have some buy low guys…Guerrero, Scott.

How is the human body so different from vessel to vessel: Holliday/Dunn, Bay/Morneau.

Matt Holliday – most underrated baseball player of the last few years? According to the players/Neyer, it is Shin-soo Choo. Hard to argue against that. Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry (Hot ‘N’ Cold Fantasy Baseball) All-Stars

Immanuel Kant, one of the craziest thinkers I’ve ever encounter (I hate the Critique of Pure Reason), created something called the categorical imperative. Basically, it was one tenet that would govern all actions. When you boil it down, Kant thought a person should only do something that everyone should be allowed to do, or in his words: “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.”

This got Kant into some sticky trouble when it comes to lying to save a life. The example goes: say someone runs into your house with a murderer hot on their heels. The polite murderer rings your doorbell and asks if the intended victim is inside. According to Kant’s morality, you have to respond that the person is inside because an act is moral not because of its consequences, but in and of itself. If you were to lie in this circumstance that would mean it was okay to lie in every instance of this circumstance, and, thusly, the soon-to-be murderer would know you were lying.

I’m not a big categorical imperative fan. I believe the outcome of actions should have a bearing on morality (and our rule of law, haphazard as it might be, somewhat reflects this, i.e., if you drive drunk and kill someone you get a higher penalty than simply driving drunk).

In my view, outcomes matter, I’m not as worried about how you get there. The same goes for fantasy baseball, especially head-to-head. All you have to do is win, it really doesn’t matter how. I routinely win h2h leagues with teams, that if it had been roto, would have finished in the middle of the pack.

At about this point in the year/week, you know what categories you are strong in. If Morneau zapped your power and there isn’t much to be had on the wire, it’s time to switch tactics. Look to gobble up speed demons – field an outfield of Jose Tabata, Juan Pierre and Michael Bourn and assure yourself of certain categories early in the week, and then try to focus on those you remain close in. If you go out to an early 8-2 lead in wins, it’s time to load up on relievers to massage those ratios and turn in some saves. Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ Knowing ADP – How To Win Your League Before It Starts: Pablo Sandoval

Pablo Sandoval – Current ADP 125; 12th 3b – My Rank: 115th hitter; 15th 3b

Another twitter nomination! Sandoval confounded owners in 2010 after posting an incredibly good 152 game appearance in 2009.

Given he only has 2+ years of MLB experience, it’s a bit difficult to parse whether 2009 or 2010 is closer to the real Sandoval.

He did have a, perhaps high, .350 BABip in 2009 (but he also did in 154 MLB plate appearances in 2008 and similar numbers in the minors). So was his .291 mark in 2010 an aberration? I think it is – his line drive percentage, ground ball percentages, etc. are all in line with his major league track record. Consequently, I think he can bounce back to a .300 hitter (+/- .010), which is pretty nice.

However, the other problem Sandoval had in 2010 was a decline in ISO from .226 in 2009 to just .184 last year. He hit 12 less HRs and halved his 2010 HR/FB rate. I’m going to split the difference on 2009/2010 and give him an ISO near .180 or so. If he gets 600 or so ABs, that should result in 16-20 HRs.

Consequently, Sandoval looks to be a .300 hitting third baseman with moderate pop. Think of him as a Martin Prado-lite with fewer runs and more risk in batting average. He will likely out-RBI and -homer Prado though it could be closer than you think.

I could see Sandoval passing Chase Headley, Michael Cuddyer, and Scott Rolen in my rankings, but am not sure he has top 10 upside. I think he is being a tad overvalued in drafts and would much rather secure a top flight third basemen or wait and pick up the scraps. Sandoval’s upside is not really worth a 10 – 12 round price tag.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

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Maximizing every drop of value in every pick is hugely important. Taking a player in the fifth round that you could just as easily have taken in the sixth round is a major mistake. To avoid this, you need to know all about Average Draft Position (ADP).

While no two drafts are identical, knowing where a player typically goes gives you a general idea of where he will go in your draft. That said, be sure to do homework on your league mates subjective tendencies. For example, if there are Red Sox fans, be sure to snag guys like Lester and Youkilis a bit earlier than you normally would. In addition, you should talk up your sleepers before the draft (discretely of course) to see if anyone is on to them. If you don’t, an opponent with an itchy trigger finger who hasn’t done his ADP homework might snag one of your sleepers a round before anyone else is typically taking him.

Now that you know WHY ADP is important, I want to show you HOW to exploit it by highlighting those players who are going too low compared to players with similar ADPs. You can grab an ADP report at Mock Draft Central.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

h2h Corner ~ Knowing ADP – How To Win Your League Before It Starts: Gio Gonzalez

Gio Gonzalez – Current ADP 178th; 49th SP – My Rank: 49th Pitcher; 42nd SP

I was on the Gio bandwagon hard last year and don’t see any real reason to jump off now.

Sure he benefited from an impressive A’s bullpen (78% strand rate) and had a little luck on balls put into play (.274 BABip – he did lower his line drive rate to 15.4%), but his FIP* was only 3.78 and his xFIP* rested at 4.18.

*From Fangraphs, Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) measures what a player’s ERA should have looked like over a give time period, assuming that performance on balls in play and timing were league average. Expected Fielding Independent Pitching (xFIP) is a regressed version of FIP. It’s calculated exactly the same as FIP, except it replaces a pitcher’s homerun rate with the league-average rate (10.6% HR/FB) since pitcher homerun rates have been shown to be very unstable over time.

The real important thing about Gonzalez’s 2010 is that he posted a 7.4% HR/FB rate – something he had struggled to get into single digits throughout his professional career. The other surprising stat from his 2010: a 7.67 K/9 – a number much lower than most expected.

I think he will give up a handful more home runs, likely have his strand rate go down a tad (although the A’s bullpen again appears to be excellent) and post a BABip around .300. However, I think those will all be small regressions and he will get back to striking out a batter an inning.

Consequently, Gonzalez is a 4.00 ERA/1.35 WHIP guy with 200+ Ks. The more I think about it, the more he should be at least 10 spots higher and close in value to Jonathan Sanchez.

Sanchez, like Gonzalez, posted a banner 2010 year – Sanchez had a 9.54 K/9 rate, lowered his HR/FB rate to single digits and benefited from a fierce bullpen (79.5% strand rate) and a little luck on balls in play (.252 BABip). I see both guys putting up similar numbers – I do give the nod to Sanchez to post an ERA in the 3.75 range, but their WHIPs should be identical and both should hit around 210 Ks if they get to 200 IPs.

While I love Sanchez, I love Gonzalez and his price a little bit more.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

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Maximizing every drop of value in every pick is hugely important. Taking a player in the fifth round that you could just as easily have taken in the sixth round is a major mistake. To avoid this, you need to know all about Average Draft Position (ADP).

While no two drafts are identical, knowing where a player typically goes gives you a general idea of where he will go in your draft. That said, be sure to do homework on your league mates subjective tendencies. For example, if there are Red Sox fans, be sure to snag guys like Lester and Youkilis a bit earlier than you normally would. In addition, you should talk up your sleepers before the draft (discretely of course) to see if anyone is on to them. If you don’t, an opponent with an itchy trigger finger who hasn’t done his ADP homework might snag one of your sleepers a round before anyone else is typically taking him.

Now that you know WHY ADP is important, I want to show you HOW to exploit it by highlighting those players who are going too low compared to players with similar ADPs. You can grab an ADP report at Mock Draft Central.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

h2h Corner ~ Knowing ADP – How To Win Your League Before the Season Even Starts: Madison Bumgarner

Madison Bumgarner – Current ADP 143; 37th Pitcher – My Rank: 94th Pitcher; 76th starter

Clearly, I’m pretty down on Bumgarner given that he is barely in my top 100 pitchers and would be a sixth starter at best in a 12-team league.

I‘ve never been one to go after the young heartthrobs and with just 121 MLB IPs, Bumgarner certainly qualifies. I also think that last year was a bit lucky and am concerned that MLB batters will catch up to him, requiring an adjustment period.

In 2010, Bumgarner posted a decent 6.97 K/9 rate – and, if he keeps his velocity, there’s some room to grow (eventually). However he did have an 83.6% contact rate so there wasn’t an overwhelming amount of swings and misses. In addition, the Giants bull-pen, which was dynamite down the stretch, really helped him out as he had an 81.7% strand rate – something completely out of his control – and with the variance that bullpens experience it’s hard to project that to continue.

Basically, I see Bumgarner as a .3.50-ERA pitcher with a decent WHIP (1.25 or so) and about 130 Ks. That’s useful, but definitely not anything special. For example, I think Ted Lilly eclipses those numbers quite easily and he is going around pick 210. In addition, there are guys like Jonathan Sanchez (151), Brett Myers (155), and Gio Gonzalez (165) who are going a bit later and have better upside in my opinion.

Bumgarner is a nice pitcher who could develop into something special – 2011 is not the year though and he shouldn’t be chosen inside the top 20 rounds.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

_____________________________

Maximizing every drop of value in every pick is hugely important. Taking a player in the fifth round that you could just as easily have taken in the sixth round is a major mistake. To avoid this, you need to know all about Average Draft Position (ADP).

While no two drafts are identical, knowing where a player typically goes gives you a general idea of where he will go in your draft. That said, be sure to do homework on your league mates subjective tendencies. For example, if there are Red Sox fans, be sure to snag guys like Lester and Youkilis a bit earlier than you normally would. In addition, you should talk up your sleepers before the draft (discreetly of course) to see if anyone is on to them. If you don’t, an opponent with an itchy trigger finger who hasn’t done his ADP homework might snag one of your sleepers a round before anyone else is typically taking him.

Now that you know WHY ADP is important, I want to show you HOW to exploit it by highlighting those players who are going too low compared to players with similar ADPs. You can grab an ADP report at Mock Draft Central.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Don Slaught

slaught back slaught frontLet’s just hope Don Slaught has a better speech writer than the writer he had for his baseball card…could you imagine trying to incorporate that sentence into a speech? You wouldn’t say “I spend my off-season in Arlington where I’m member of Rangers’ Speakers Bureau.” Very Phil Hartman like!

There are a couple of words missing there – “a member” of “the bureau” would sound a bit better.

Putting that aside, at most we’re talking about 40 Ranges players — how many of them are members of the bureau? Was Nolan Ryan a member? Did he perform a moving soliloquy about the Robin Ventura tragedy? That’d be kind of cool actually – someone should turn the incident into a one-act Greek play and have Ryan act it out.

For all of his speaker’s bureau membership, Slaught would spend just three uneventful years in Texas before being traded to the Yankees. Regardless, Slaught is most known for his days with the Pirates. Before going to Pittsburgh, Slaught, from 1982-1989, posted a .269/.317/.408 slash line. For the Pirates he would go .305/.370/.421. Sure the slugging isn’t there, but a .370 OBP in 1,434 ABs is nothing to scoff at. He’d finished with 20.7 WAR for his career, 9.6 of that accumulated with the Pirates. Unfortunately, like the rest of his teammates in the early ’90s, he’d perform worse in the play-offs. While he got only 40 ABs, he’d hit just .225.

When I think of the Pirates of that era, I think of Slaught and Mike LaValliere. I was a catcher in little league so I naturally gravitated toward backstops. I always thought the duo was a tad underrated and it seems like they were. LaValliere, with the Pirates, posted a .287/.364/.351 slash line. Sure the power was absent but at least he got on base.

Regardless, I’m sure Slaught is a hit a parties with all his stories – he must have some doozies about Bonds and Bonilla. Thanks to the Rangers’ Speakers Bureau he received the training to address parties of all sizes.

Follow h2h Corner on Twitter (http://twitter.com/h2h_Corner)

For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.

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