Archive for Rotoprofessor

Fantasy Throwdown: Ben Revere vs. Shin-Soo Choo: Who’s The Better Target?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Can Shin-Soo Choo rebound in 2015?  There’s no doubt that his 2014 was a miserable campaign, even more so than anyone expected, and it has certainly impacted his ADP (he’s currently the 46th outfielder coming off the board with an average ADP of 167.5).

On the flipside Ben Revere enjoyed something of a career year, hitting .306 with 49 SB.  It’s an appealing line, but does that justify an ADP of 138.8 (38th outfielder being selected)?  Does it make him a better selection than Choo?  Let’s take a look:

 

Ben Revere
When healthy there is no arguing that Revere is an impressive stolen base option.  Of course last season was the first time he played over 124 games in a season so thinking that he’s a lock for 40+ SB would be a mistake.  If he gets 500 PA sure, especially in a lineup that’s in transition, but it’s not a given.

He also makes contact consistently (9.1% career strikeout rate), and with his speed he should be able to maintain an elevated BABIP (.344 and .330 the past two seasons).  That will consistently put .300 in the conversation.  However, that’s about all he brings with him.

We all know he has no power and no RBI upside.  You would think that he’d bring the potential for significant runs scored, but he’s never scored more than 71 and the Phillies’ lineup is filled with questions.  Can Ryan Howard and/or Chase Utley produce like they did in their prime (or will they even stay on the team)?  Will Domonic Brown rediscover his 2013 success?  Can Maikel Franco or Cody Asche emerge as a viable threat?  It’s a mess an expecting them to score a significant number of runs would be a mistake.

So you have a player who can steal bases, though is an injury risk, and little else.  What exactly are we buying?

 

Shin-Soo Choo
We all knew that there was a potential for regression in 2014, but .242 with 13 HR and 3 SB over 529 PA?  He’s better than that and we all know it.

He needed surgery on his ankle in September (and also had an elbow issue), which helps to explain the lack of stolen bases.  Obviously he’s not in Revere’s class, but he swiped 20+ bases in four out of five seasons from 2009-2013.  There’s no reason to think that he can’t return to at least the 14-17 range.

Choo also brings the potential to hit for power, unlike Revere.  Part of the problem was obviously the injuries, as his strikeouts ballooned in the second half (31.0%).  He also saw a drop in his average distance on non-groundballs:

  • First three months – 268.266
  • Final three months – 260.886

In 2013 he was at 267.854, so we know which is closer to the truth.  He had 9 HR in 90 games in the first half of the season.  Simply prorating that out to 150 games would give us 15 HR for the season…  That’s not overly impressive, but he also hit just 5 HR at home.  Given the home ballpark, we all know he should hit more than that.

Given the lineup he has more potential to score runs, especially if he’s penciled into the leadoff spot, and he also brings 65+ RBI potential.  While he’s not going to blow you away in any category, he is a potential five-category performer.

 

Conclusion
Revere could be a star in one category, but he’s no Billy Hamilton.  It’s not to say that Choo is a lock to produce, but he’s shown the ability to produce in all five categories and has proven capable of putting up a 20/20 season.  While some seem to favor Revere, I’d much rather wait and grab the guy who can chip in everywhere.  Speed is going to be able to be found, whether it’s Leonys Martin (179.8), Denard Span (174.8) or Rajai Davis (246.5) among others.  Don’t overdraft Revere, who won’t win you the category, just for his SB.

Sources – Fangraphs, Fantasy Pros, Baseball Heat Maps

Make sure to check out all of our 2015 rankings:

*** Make sure to order Rotoprofessor’s 2015 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide and be entered to win an autographed Noah Syndergaard baseball!  The guide comes complete with projections of over 600 players, expended rankings, sleepers, Top 50 prospects, Top 40 “New” dynasty prospects and so much more (including constant updates up until opening day). For just $6 you will get everything you need to dominate your fantasy league! For more information and to place your order, click here. ***

Stat of the Day: Could Arismendy Alcantara’s Strikeouts Keep Him Out Of The Lineup?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Did you Know:
The Cubs’ Arismendy Alcantara owned the highest strikeout rate in September:

  1. Arismendy Alcantara – 41.4%
  2. Javier Baez – 40.7%
  3. Ryan Howard – 39.1%

Thoughts:
The issues of Baez and Howard are well documented, but Alcantara’s strikeout problem has flown relatively under the radar. He has a chance to win the second or third base job, and he brings both power and speed, but can he make consistent contact?

He did post an overall 31.0% strikeout rate in the Majors, so it shouldn’t be shocking. The more troubling thing may be the breakdown of his strikeouts and the pitches they came against:

  • Hard – 17
  • Breaking – 14
  • Offspeed – 5

In other words, it wasn’t that pitchers were simply throwing him breaking balls or offspeed pitches to exploit an aggressive young hitter. They were simply able to beat him with fastballs.

That is not an encouraging notion and helps to explain why the Cubs made moves seemingly to remove him from the regular lineup. Obviously there’s potential, but he needs to do a much better job of making contact if he wants to utilize it.

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

*** Make sure to order Rotoprofessor’s 2015 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide and be entered to win an autographed Noah Syndergaard baseball!  The guide comes complete with projections of over 600 players, expended rankings, sleepers, Top 50 prospects, Top 40 “New” dynasty prospects and so much more (including constant updates up until opening day). For just $6 you will get everything you need to dominate your fantasy league! For more information and to place your order, click here. ***

Fantasy Training Room: Have Circumstances Surrounding Wainwright Created A Perfect Buy Candidate?

by Jeremy Tiermini

Fantasy baseball players know that the pitching market is volatile. When I first began playing fantasy baseball I tried to target two true “#1’s” on all of my fantasy teams, trying to get an advantage in the pitching categories. While pitchers have had an increased risk of injury compared to the average player, this was exacerbated last season with the “Year of the Tommy John Surgery”. With those in mind, how should fantasy baseball players look at the ace, workhorse starting pitchers?

Cardinals’ ace Adam Wainwright posted a career best 2.38 ERA in 2014, won 20 games for the second time in his career and has made 30 or more starts in 6 of the last 7 seasons. Safe bet as your fantasy ace, right?

In my research multiple sources are considering Wainwright to be a bust in 2015. First let’s address the injury concerns. He battled issues with his right elbow for much of last season, dealing with tendinitis throughout the season, and had surgery to trim torn cartilage after St. Louis was eliminated from the playoffs. This was the second surgery on his elbow, as he had TJ surgery in 2011.The team has announced they were going to limit Wainwright’s workload during spring training. Manager Mike Matheny, in an interview with ESPN.com, announced: “It will just be him continuing to get the work, but it just might not be the work on the game field.” Read more

2015 Fantasy Rankings: Top 15 Relief Pitchers

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Spring Training has barely started, but our relief pitching rankings have already been significantly impacted by injuries.  Three of the potentially elite options, Kenley Jansen, Jake McGee & Sean Doolittle, are expected to miss the start of the season and their exact return dates are unknown.  In fact, with suitable replacements on the roster (Brad Boxberger & Tyler Clippard, most likely) two of relievers likely won’t be rushed back and may not even be able to reclaim their jobs when they do (though that seems unlikely).

So, who of those left standing are the best options for 2015?  Let’s take a look:

 

1. Aroldis Chapman – Cincinnati Reds
2. Craig Kimbrel – Atlanta Braves
3. Greg Holland – Kansas City Royals
4. Mark Melancon – Pittsburgh Pirates
5. Dellin Betances – New York Yankees
6. Koji Uehara – Boston Red Sox
7. David Robertson – Chicago White Sox Read more

Spring Battle: Which Tampa Bay Rays Reliever Is Worth Targeting? (Boxberger, Jepsen & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With Jake McGee likely to miss the start of the season, the Rays’ closer job appears to be wide open. Lucky for the team they aren’t short on potential substitutes… Unlucky for fantasy owners they aren’t short on potential substitutes.

Who is most likely to prove worth the flier? Could McGee, a lefty, lose his job completely while sidelined? Let’s take a look:

 

Brad Boxberger
Even last season we speculated that Boxberger could actually prove to be a better fit for closing duties so it’s hard for us to argue against him. He was dominant last season, with a 14.47 K/9 and 2.78 BB/9 leading to a 2.37 ERA and 0.84 WHIP.

Control has always been the biggest question facing Boxberger. He owned a 3.9 BB/9 in the minors (including a 3.7 over 137.2 innings at Triple-A) and bloated marks of 5.86 and 5.32 with the Padres in 2012 & 2013. Is it possible that he simply found it as a 26-year old? Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Is It Time To Give Up On Eric Hosmer?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Royals’ Eric Hosmer is one of those players that is often hyped as a breakout candidate, yet we continually wait for him to actually put it all together. Last season was no different, as he posted the following disappointing line:

503 At Bats
.270 Batting Average (136 Hits)
9 Home Runs
58 RBI
54 Runs
4 Stolen Bases
.318 On Base Percentage
.398 Slugging Percentage
.312 Batting Average on Balls in Play

His production fell across the board but, as a first baseman, it’s obviously the power that’s the most alarming. From a position that’s supposed to yield significant home runs, Hosmer has never hit more than 19 in the Majors. The first question has to be, is there hope? Read more