Catchers are just so blech. Unless you are trotting Joe Mauer out there, they can be the millstone around a fantasy team’s neck. They get injured, they miss games; in deep leagues, you typically just want someone who doesn’t kill your batting average. That said, thanks for stopping by to check out my catcher evaluation. For full rankings, check here. Continue reading
Posts Tagged ‘keeper’
This article comes on the heels of my worst fantasy year in history. Sure, I won my most competitive, long-term, keeper h2h league and my free agent fantasy league, but I finished last in my two NFL leagues, got smoked in Survivor, and I lost my College Football Bowl Series league (hey, I drafted two suspended players). Continue reading
I didn’t love Alexei Ramirez going into last year. Still, he wasn’t really that bad, or at least not as bad you would think. Ramirez had a highly touted 136-game campaign in 2008 (21 HRs, 13 SBs and a .290 AVE). However, he was caught stealing nine times in 2008, which would give any team pause before sending him. Furthermore, he managed to post a paltry .317 OBP, which would further limit his SB upside. In 2009, his HRs (15) and average (.277) dropped. However his SBs (14) and OBP (.333) went up. While you’d think Ramirez had a bad year last year, it really wasn’t that much worse than 2008. You can continue to see some improvement this year, particularly in SB and HRs. However, he will be 29 in September, so he isn’t as young as you think. Continue reading
By most accounts, Gio Gonzalez didn’t have a great 98 IPs last year (5.75 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP). Still he did rack up 109 Ks (9.9 K/9). So there was value there. He was, probably, the best source of strike-outs on every league’s waiver wire. It’s hard to fathom how someone who strikes out so many batters can be so bad when it comes to base runners allowed. Well, one reason for this would be his abnormally large BAbip (.363). When that corrects itself to the historical norm of around .300, his WHIP and ERA will come down markedly. Gonzalez has pretty much torched the minors (3.58 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 783 Ks in 684 IPs), so there is some optimism in the young lefty, who won’t turn 25 until September 19. If Gonzalez can find his way to a rotation spot and a little luck, he might be a real bargain.
Much like Gonzalez, Luke Hochevar was probably one of the best sources of Ks on your waiver wire. He did strike out 106 batters in 143 IPs and his ratios weren’t that much different either: 6.55 ERA and 1.49 WHIP. Hochevar also struggled with a high BAbip (.323). Of course, it wasn’t as high as Gonzalez’, but still Hochevar will likely be better in 2010. Hochevar will be 27 on September 15, so he has about two years on Gonzalez. This makes Gonzalez a more likely fantasy keeper than Hochevar.
Bud Norris will be 25 in March and only has 55.2 Major League IPs to his name. In those innings, Norris compiled a 4.53 ERA and 1.51 WHIP, while striking out 54 batters (8.7 K/9). In so few innings, it’s not unlikely to see an uncommon BAbip (Norris’ was .318). Norris also has a pretty good track record in the minors: 3.67 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 361 Ks in 340.2 IPs.
I think it’s pretty clear you should keep Gio Gonzalez. He is the youngest, is left-handed and has a tantalizing strike-out ability. I’d trade Bud Norris in this instance. I think you can easily make the argument that with a little seasoning, Norris could be a very cheap source of Ks for the next few years. Hochevar is simply too old to hold his ground in this competition. I do like him as a deep league draft filler or a $1 buy in auctions for his K-upside, but nothing more.
Keep: Gio Gonzalez
Trade: Bud Norris
Drop: Luke Hochevar
Reading this column guarantees that you will achieve fabulous wealth and success in your fantasy baseball league. That’s right, you guessed it: it’s time to debate Keep Trade or Drop (KTD).
While there are tons of player rankings available, they are all for 2010 and nothing more. So, if you are drafting in a start-up keeper league, how do you decide who to take? For example, if they’re both on the board, do you go for tried and true Carl Crawford, or do you roll the dice (but only barely) and select the slightly less proven Justin Upton. Read enough of these columns and you might just get your answer.
The KTD series focuses solely on giving keeper league advice. It poses the question: if you are in a keeper league, which player would you rather keep, which would you rather trade and which would you be forced to drop. Rarely is the decision easy to make, but it might just decide whether you compete and win your championship, not just this year, but for years down the road as well. It will also help you make a snap decision when three similar players are on the board and the clock is ticking.
Much like Adam Lind, Nelson Cruz destroyed his AAAA label in 2009 (33 HRs and 20 SBs). Sure he smokes the ball, everyone knows that. What has held him back (and in the minors) until his age 28 season was his inability to make contact. He has 265 Ks in 1,019 major league at bats, so every four times up, he is sent back to the dugout without putting the ball in fair territory. Another red flag is that, down the stretch last year, he saw fewer and fewer fastballs, which saw his contact rate drop to about 68 percent. In addition, his batting average dropped in the second half and his K-rate rose to about 30 percent (it was about 21 percent in the first half). There is no doubt he has 40 HR potential, but will he do so without crippling your team’s batting average? Cruz is also no spring chicken (he turns 30 in 2010), so he is closer to ending his prime than being in the midst of it. Continue reading
On paper, this appears to be a tight one. I feel if you surveyed 100 Americans, they’d be split evenly. Cain gets to pitch in a pitcher friendly park, division and league. Garza and “big game” James are better known, given the Rays’ success of late. However, they do have to face the Yankees and Red Sox consistently, and it’s not usually fun to pitch in Camden Yards. So how does it shake out? Let’s go to the tale of the tape. Continue reading
It’s become scary how many baseball players are now younger than me. That’s no different for Travis Snider, who just turned 22. Snider has only had 101 major league games and 356 plate appearances, so it is a bit hard to judge what kind of pro he will be. Still, if we project out his career (so far) over 162 games, he averages about 18 HRs. That’s not bad for a 22-year old. The real exciting thing about Travis Snider is his minor league track record: 1,506 Minor League ABs resulting in a .304/.382/.533 (AVE/OBP/SLG). Snider does strike-out a lot, so slumps will be common. However, when he is hot, he has the potential to put up monster power numbers as soon as this year. For someone you can get later in drafts, he is a sneaky 25+ HR candidate. Continue reading
I really thought Neftali Feliz would be the keeper in this one, which means of course he isn’t. What do I find wrong with a 1.74 ERA, 0.68 WHIP and an 11.3 K/9 rate? Well, for starters, that came in only 31 major league IPs. It’s an incredibly small sample size that we can’t anoint as gospel just yet. What’s that you say? Oh, his minor league track record (276 IPs, 3.03 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 10.6 K/9). Yes that is all well and good, but there is a chance Feliz ends up a reliever ala Papelbon. While Papelbon is certainly valuable in fantasy formats, he is no frontline starter. Continue reading
A few facts I know:
• Drew Stubbs only played in 42 games last year, but he didn’t disappoint. He smacked eight HRs, stole 10 bases and batted .267. In 423 minor league games, Stubbs hit .269 with a .364 OBP, while hitting 28 HRs and stealing 121 bases. Stubbs will turn 26 in October. Continue reading
This is some loaded young pitching talent. They were sleepers last year, some (Brett Anderson) are major sleepers this year. Continue reading