Archive for Player Analysis

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

Breaking Down The Top 5 AL Fantasy Rookie of the Year Candidates

by Ray Kuhn

New is more exciting than old. That is true in many facets of life, and fantasy baseball is one of them.  What is the thrill in drafting a dependable, veteran outfield option with a track record like Melky Cabrera or Alex Rios when for essentially the same investment at draft day you can acquire the potential of Steven Souza or Joc Pederson?

Yes the new, shiny player is more exciting, and this article hits on five of them, but fantasy baseball is all about value. While each of the below players have value this season, and beyond if you are in a keeper league, be careful not to overdraft them.

I am also aware that I completed this list without either of the Minnesota Twins’ prospects. Had Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton not had injury issues last season, they would, at a minimum, have two of these five spots. For me, it is just an issue of projected Major League at bats in 2015 and the fact that both players, especially Buxton, have something to prove.

Joey Gallo is another prospect that I like, and we cannot dispute his power, but again I don’t think 2015 is the year for him. However 2016 will be a different story, especially if he can harness the strikeouts. Read more

Fantasy Fallout: Francisco Rodriguez Returns to Milwaukee, But Is He A Trustworthy Closer?

by Ray Kuhn

It is not even March yet and our closer rankings already need significant revising. After how things have been going the past few seasons, should anyone really be surprised? Rafael Soriano is still unsigned and trade rumors continue to surround Jonathan Papelbon. In reality this is the next of many events that will cause turmoil to fantasy bullpens throughout 2015.

If anything, the shock should be that it took this long for the inevitable reunion of Francisco Rodriguez and the Milwaukee Brewers. So now, let’s take a look at the fantasy impact of the move.

For those of you that have already drafted, that sound you heard was Jonathan Broxton’s value crashing. He does have past experience with the job, three seasons of 20-plus saves, but at this point in his career no one is going to confuse him with Wade Davis and other top set-up men. 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

Spring Battle: Looking At The White Sox’ Second Base Competition (Micah Johnson & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It would be nice if the White Sox’ second base job was Micah Johnson’s and everyone else could just go home, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately that’s not the case and this appears to be a wide open competition to open up the season. Is there someone fantasy owners should be pulling for, outside of Johnson and his speed potential? Let’s take a look at the candidates:

 

Emilio Bonifacio
Splitting time between the Cubs and Braves, Bonifacio hit .259 with 26 SB over 394 AB last year. He’s now stolen at least 26 bases in four straight seasons, but he certainly isn’t your prototypical leadoff hitter. Just look at some of the numbers:

Year
OBP
Strikeout Rate
Walk Rate
2012.33019.0%9.1%
2013.29522.3%6.5%
2014.30520.0%6.1%
Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Why Jorge Soler Will Likely Fall Short Of The Expectations In 2015

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There is a lot of hype and expectation regarding the Cubs’ Jorge Soler as we head into 2015. He made quite the splash in his first taste of the Majors last season, hitting .292 with 5 HR over 89 AB. There’s no questioning the power or the potential pedigree, but does that alone make him a lock to be a Top 20-25 outfield option? Let’s take a look.

First the power, which is expected to be his carrying tool. Can we anticipate him replicating the 20.8% HR/FB he posted in the Majors? He posted a 20.7% HR/OFB in the minor leagues and an average distance on non-groundballs of 284.114, so there’s definitely support for the number.

That doesn’t mean we simply pro-rate out last year’s success and pencil him in for 30+ HR. Sure that’s not out of the question, but around 25 is a much more believable expectation. Read more