Posts Tagged ‘Reds’

Zack Cozart, Fantasy Baseball Sleeper for @razzball

Zack Cozart, 2012 Fantasy Sleeper for Razzball:

http://razzball.com/zack-cozart-2012-fantasy-sleeper/

A look at a sleeper shortstop for fantasy baseball and roto.

Baseball Daily Digest Radio with Joel Henard and Albert Lang will air at 7:00 PM ET

Baseball Daily Digest Radio with Joel Henard and Albert Lang

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thefantasyinsiders/2011/10/24/baseball-daily-digest-radio-with-joel-henard-and-albert-lang

We’ll talk the World Series, replay and umpires, the DH-rule, the Arizona Fall League, take a quick look ahead to 2012 and free agency, Ken Griffey Jr.’s historic award and Brooks Robinson’s statue, Theo to the Cubs, White Sox and Robin Ventura, the Red Sox locker room, and much much more.

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

Players get hot and cold over a seven-day period, it’s as sure as the samples are small.

That is why Katy created the Hot ‘N’ Cold All-stars.

‘Cause you’re hot…you’re yes…you’re in…you’re up

Austin Jackson – Action Jackson (Ajax for short) over the last seven days flashed 2010’s brilliance: 11/29 with a home, a steal and seven RBIs. That brought his yearly RBI total to…16.  But no one owns him for those numbers. To date,Jackson is just 4/6 in SB attempts, after going 27/33 last season. Clearly his speed pace is way down, mostly do to his complete inability to get on base (.227 average, .284 OBP). Not surprisingly, his .396 BABip last year is being replaced by a somewhat more human .327. A large portion of that has to do with more ground and fly balls and less line drives. He is being pitched roughly the same as last year and isn’t swinging and missing more or making demonstrably less contact. Is the last seven days a sign of resurgence? Sort of, I think. He’s not this bad of a hitter; he’ll get to .260 with his typical seven percent walk rate (i.e., .315 OBP). He’ll get 22-25 steals. In a lot of leagues, that is useful.

Continue reading

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 ~ Knowing ADP – How To Win Your League Before It Starts: Drew Stubbs

Drew Stubbs – Current ADP 156; 42nd OF – My Rank: 41st hitter; 17th OF

Let me start with a caveat: the batting average risk with Stubbs should knock him down your board a bit in roto leagues – however I’d still be comfortable taking him in the top 100 picks.

Meanwhile, in h2h, he should go near the top 40. Given his ADP, I think Stubbs is as close any player will come to matching the return on investment Carlos Gonzalez gave owners last year (and remember I called CarGo an 8th rounder last year).

You know the good with Stubbs – the ability to combine power and speed in a wayx that made Grady Sizemore look like a god (until they smote him). The bad from 2010 was an escalating K-rate – he struck out 32.7% of the time. He also swung at balls outside of the zone more often, made less contact with balls thrown inside the zone and traded line drives (down six percent) for fly balls (up four percent).

I think his K-rate can come down a good margin – it was 27% in 196 plate appearances in 2009 and never that close to 32% in the minors. Consequently, I can see his average inching up ever-so-slightly – he’ll probably hit a bit over .260. However, if he keeps trading line drives for fly balls, he has no average upside – but who cares? Everyone digs the long ball!

He could, legitimately, go 20-40, or 20-50. I think the floor is 20-30 (which he did last season). At only 26, Stubbs sure seems to have a bright future ahead of him. Given his ballpark and batting mates, he has good run/RBIs upside as well.

Quite simply, Stubbs should be the biggest bargain in h2h leagues in 2011.

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: Jay Bruce

Jay Bruce – Current ADP 75; 20th OF – My Rank: 47th hitter; 21st OF

Most recently, I’ve compared Jay Bruce’s early career to Colby Rasmus, without exactly talking about Bruce and his 2011 prospects. Thankfully, TwitterStar @Dorman06 asked me to provide my thoughts on him relative to his ADP.

It seems like I’m with the crowd on this one – and perhaps a tad lower on him relative to other positions.

In three somewhat up-and-down years, Bruce has averaged 119 games, 63 runs, 23 HRs, 60 RBIs and a .257 average. Clearly, in going .281/.352/.517 with 25 bombs in 2010, Bruce eclipsed his career norms and took a massive step forward to being the long-term power threat everyone thought he could be.

Bruce will be 24 in April, so there is still a ways to go, and you have to like his escalating power numbers. Of course, that’s cheating a little as 2010 was the first time he played more than 108 games – so his ISO was actually a bit lower than 2009.

So did Bruce take a step forward in 2010? And, if so will he continue?

I’ll tackle the first question first with an equivocating answer: sort of. He struck out a bit more than he did in 2009, however his 26.7% mark is not much different than previous years or in the minors when he was hitting .300+. So I’m not too worried about his Ks. He did have a slightly improved BABip (.334) as it had never touched .300 before. But that too is in line with his minor league track record and he did post a decent line drive percentage and cut down on fly balls. In summation, Bruce took a slight step forward, the kind of step forward a 23-year-old on his way to stardom should take.

So what does this mean for 2011? I think he’ll take another slight step forward, so I’m going to temper expectations somewhat. I believe he’s a .280 hitter – no worries there. However until he converts more of his fly balls intro homers, I’m concerned he won’t reach 30 HRs. I think he’ll hit around 25-27 and add a few more RBIs to his 2010 total.

In all, while some think Bruce is due for a break out (and he has gone as high as 50th overall in some drafts), I see 2010 as closer to his 2011 output. That’s still quite a fine player.

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 (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 ~ 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.

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Tim Stoddard & Dennis Rasmussen

stoddard back

The Yankees had one dynamic and athletic pitching staff in 1987. Tim Stoddard started on the North Carolina State team, which, in 1974, beat Marquette and effectively ended UCLA’s run of seven consecutive NCAA basketball titles.

Ras BackNot to be outdone, Dennis Rasmussen played ball (basket variety) at Creighton. While he was there he played against the immortal Larry Bird (who played for Indiana State) and with Kevin McKenna. McKenna would log 243 NBA games and score 1,320 points. Definitely no slouch.

So how did the pitching staff with the best basketball acumen do? They’d throw 1,446.1 innings, give up 1,475 hits, 542 walks, and 179 HRs. They would also strike-out an even 900 batters, and post a 4.36 ERA and 1.39 WHIP. That’d be good enough for 89 wins and the sixth best ERA. Unfortunately the Tigers and their 4.02 ERA would take the division that year.

stoddard frontStoddard would be a decent help to the cause in 1987, logging 92.2 innings out of the bull-pen and posting a 3.50 ERA and 7.6 K/9 rate – both better than his career average. Apparently, not too long ago, relievers were men who pitched nearly 100 innings a season. In addition, Stoddard is the only man in history to win an NCAA basketball title and a World Series (he did so with the Orioles in 1983).

Before being traded, Rasmussen started 25 games, pitched 146 innings and would post an unfriendly 4.75 ERA. A tall guy at 6’7, Rasmussen would go on to have a fine 1988 campaign (200+ IPs, 3.43 ERA) for the Reds and Padres. However, that’d be his last relatively useful season in the majors.
Ras front
Still, before he got traded, I hope he had a chance to post up the 6’7 Stoddard.

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.

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Kerry Wood

Wood back Wood front

I must admit that I’ve always scoffed at Kerry Wood — especially when he came to the big boy league. However, when he was traded to the New York Yankees and I pulled the above card, I simply had to write about him.

In baseball, there are revered names — one of the biggest in George Herman Ruth – otherwise known as the Babe and a litany of other sandlot nicknames. Outside of boozing and chasing skirts, if you are linked to the Babe you are linked to baseball immortality. Quite simply, legends never die.

Anyway, it was shocking to me that, in the history of baseball, Wood and Ruth are the only two players with at least 1,200 innings while allowing fewer than 1,000 hits. Of course, like Wood’s career, all good things must come to an end. If you look at the card closely, you’ll realize that Wood finished the 2009 season with 995 hits allowed. And sure enough, he allowed a few more hits this year to inch over the 1,000 threshold to give the Babe back another solo record.

Regardless, Wood was a real good pitcher for a few years – the heir apparent to Roger Clemens who was the heir apparent to Nolan Ryan. In three of his first five healthy seasons in the majors, Wood had a K/9 rate in double digits. In the 2002 and 2003 seasons, Wood would post a 3.34 ERA, 483 Ks and a 1.22 WHIP. Not bad.

Will his career resemble a glorified Kelvim Escobar? Sort of – but so what. For a couple of years he was absolutely unhittable and he happened to share a record with one of the most hallowed names in all of sports.

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.

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Dale Murphy

dale murphy back dale murphy front

This card reminds me of that annoying, yet funny, GEICO commercial with Andres Cantor. I know people like chess, gamble on chess, play chess, etc. but to be enthusiastic about chess? That’s usually reserved for hoity toity intellectuals, not professional ballplayers.

Then again, Dale Murphy was a heckova special ballplayer. Murphy won back-to-back MVP awards in 1982 and 1983. From 1980-1987, Murphy averaged 100 runs, 161 hits, 33 HRs, 96 RBIs and a .284/.374/.517 slash line. That’s a pretty darn good peak. Of course, starting in 1988, he would never bat over .245 for the rest of his career, which ended with a whimper in 1993.

If only he would have petered out like an Eddie Murray, we’d be looking at a sure-fire Hall of Famer. Unfortunately, he didn’t. Through 1987 he accumulated 40.7 WAR, he’d finish his career with 44.2 – tied with Carlos Delgado. He isn’t that far behind Nellie Fox or Kirby Puckett and is ahead of Thurman Munson and Phil Rizzuto, but his peak precluded something greater.

That’s the thing about baseball, you never really know. Murphy did make nearly $20 million in his career. Here’s hoping that bought a really nice chess set that can take his mind off of what might have been.

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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