Posts Tagged ‘Pirates’

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.

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h2h Corner ~ Knowing ADP – How To Win Your League Before It Starts: James McDonald

James McDonald – Current ADP 295; 82nd SP – My Rank: 116th pitcher; 93rd SP

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h2h Corner ~ Knowing ADP – How To Win Your League Before It Starts: Pedro Alvarez

Pedro Alvarez – Current ADP 83; 7th 3B – My Rank: 148th hitter; 21st 3B

Every year there is at least one hot young player that keeps getting pimped like he is Mary Magdalene. Like Chris Davis a few years ago, Alex Gordon, Brandon Wood and Dallas McPherson before that, people tend to spend top 10 round selections on guys that do way more to hurt their fake team than help (we’re talking the cost it takes to acquire the player plus potentially negative statistics).

I’m not sure Alvarez is that player this year, I believe in him from a power standpoint – however he is going way too high, especially relative to established guys at his position.

Across AAA and the majors last season, Alvarez hit 29 HRs. That’s some real and awesome power – he also paired it with a .256 average in the majors.

However, in the majors, he struck out 34.3% of the time and posted a .341 BABip (which isn’t unsustainable but seems high for someone like him). He also hit grounders 45.7% of the time last year which might limit him from getting massive power numbers.

I’m reticent to spend a top 10 round pick on a guy who will strike-out near 30% of the time, did the bulk of his damage in September/October (.306/.355/.577) and, even in the best of circumstances, will not help in average or stolen bases.

I don’t think he’ll be a bust, but for that price tag, I’d rather have Colby Rasmus, Alexei Ramirez, Aramis Ramirez and others.

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 ~ 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.

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

h2h Corner ~ Keep, Trade or Drop: Travis Snider, Elijah Dukes, Garrett Jones?

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

h2h Corner ~ Keep, Trade or Drop Adam Jones, Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Gonzalez?

This one has personal bias written all over it. I’m an unabashed Baltimore Orioles fan, ergo Adam Jones. While I may lie, numbers won’t. In his first two “full” seasons, Jones averaged 72 runs, 14 HRs, 10 SBs, and 64 RBIs, while posting a .274 AVE. I put full in quotation marks because Jones has been a bit banged up, playing 132 games in 2008 and 119 in 2009. Still, Jones won’t be 25 until August and we should see a good increase in numbers across the board in 2010. Continue reading