Posts Tagged ‘second base’

h2h Corner~ You’re Killing Me Smalls: Ben Zobrist

Ben Zobrist, average draft position: 116.

5×5 rank 175

Ownership 87%

12/60, 10 runs, four HRs, seven RBIs, two SB.

I have never been Zobrist’s biggest fan. However, I did see value in him in walk and OBP leagues. For a middle infielder, a .350 OBP is nothing to laugh it. He also posted that sublime .405 OBP in 2009.

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h2h Corner~ You’re Killing Me Smalls: Chone Figgins

Chone Figgins, average draft position: 101.

5×5 rank: 916

Ownership 65%

9/60, four runs, one HR, three RBIs, one SB.

Good golly.

Even modest projections for Figgins coming off a down 2010 had him stealing 35-40 bases and outpacing last year’s .259 average.

Now, if you look at ZiPS Updated projections, we’ve got a .243 average and 30 steals. Yikes.

So is he hitting a signed Babe Ruth ball over the fence when Denis Leary is your step-father bad?

Not quite yet.

Clearly, his dwindling walk rate is a concern, but I can’t imagine it stays mired below 5%. So he will get on base more via the base on balls and presumably run.

Further, he isn’t swinging and missing a ton: 10% K rate and 4.2% swinging strikes (totally comparable to other seasons in his career). He is actually making more contact this year than last year (albeit in a tiny sample and only by 0.1% more).

Figgins is just doing horrible on balls in play (.148). He has been around .300 before, but never below that mark. I do worry that he is hitting more fly balls for some reason (38.5% this year compared to 33.8% for his career). He owns a career 1.27 GB/FB rate, yet his line drive and ground ball percentages are down this year. Combine that with more fly balls and you have a 2011 GB/FB rate of 1.10.

I’m going to side more with the ZiPS (ROS) projection, a .255/.342 line with 30 SBs. I think there is a bit of upside going forward if he can correct his fly ball hitting ways. I also wouldn’t be shocked with a .265 average and 35 stolen bases.

Obviously, it’s a far cry from two years ago (and, to some extent, last season), but he isn’t killing you…yet.

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h2h Corner ~ Keep, Trade or Drop: Elvis Andrus, Gordon Beckham, Alexei Ramirez?

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