Archive for Player News

Fantasy Fallout: Is There Any Potential Fantasy Value from Luis Valbuena Signing with the Angels?

by Ray Kuhn

At first glance, the Angels signing of Luis Valbuena doesn’t quite make sense. Los Angeles is trying to cut costs, yet they gave the corner infielder a $15 million commitment over the next two seasons without him having a true role.

However, that is exactly the point. Valbuena happens to be a very valuable insurance policy who will most certainly have a role with the Angels in 2017.

While Albert Pujols isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, he also isn’t getting younger. Combine that with the fact that he is coming off foot surgery this winter and the distinct possibility for him not to be ready to start the season, and it is difficult to fully count on Pujols.

Last season he didn’t show any signs of slowing down in the power department as he hit 37 home runs and drove in 119, but we can’t expect to see Pujols play in 152 games again. Currently, Pujols is being selected as the 13th first baseman with an ADP of 127, and that is not a risk I’m willing to take without more information regarding his health. However, teaming up Valbuena (ADP of 535) with Pujols (at a potentially more reasonable ADP) will likely result in 40 combined home runs. Read more

Is The A’s Bruce Maxwell A Legitimate Sleeper Entering 2017?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Oakland A’s have Stephen Vogt penciled in as their starting catcher, but the lineup is fluid and it’s easy to envision him seeing a lot of time as the designated hitter.  That’s not a bad thing, as it would open playing time for 26-year old Bruce Maxwell.

Maxwell got his first taste of the Majors in ’16 (101 PA), hitting .283 with 1 HR and 14 RBI.  Those numbers aren’t going to catch your attention, but his line at Triple-A prior to his recall does:

.321 (62-193), 10 HR, 41 RBI, 27 R

Even more impressive was his ability to work the strike zone, with a 17.4% strikeout rate and 11.0% walk rate.  Those are skills that he’s shown throughout his time in the minor leagues, and while the strikeout rate did jump in the Majors (23.8%) the underlying numbers don’t give reason for concern.  Just look at the Whiff% by pitch type: Read more

ADP Watch: At His Current ADP, Is Gary Sanchez Worth Drafting For 2017?

by Ray Kuhn

When preparing for your draft and the upcoming fantasy baseball season there are many things you can, and should, be doing. One is reviewing the ADP (average draft position) results from the NFBC; a highly competitive and high stakes fantasy baseball tournament.

While these results aren’t going to directly correspond to your rankings, and they shouldn’t, it will give you the best (early) look at how we can expect drafts to transpire. As you complete your rankings, taking a gander through the ADP’s could prove to be highly beneficial in identifying both values and potential busts.

This brings us to Gary Sanchez. We ran out of superlatives to describe Sanchez over the last two months of the 2016 season, but what can we expect of him in 2017?

Based on his early ADP, the answer appears to be quite a lot. Sanchez is coming off the board as the second catcher with an average selection of 47.33, being drafted as high as 36th while going as low as 59th. With a draft position like this, it will be pretty difficult for Sanchez just to meet his value. Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Will Homer Bailey Return to Fantasy Relevance In 2017?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There was a time that Homer Bailey was viewed as a Top30ish fantasy starting pitcher.  Back in 2013 he posted a very impressive line, featuring an 8.57 K/9, 2.33 BB/9 and 46.1% groundball rate.  Since then things haven’t gone according to plan, including being limited to 34.0 innings in the Majors over the past two seasons.  Those questions, though, could lead to a buying opportunity for fantasy owners.

Obviously it wasn’t a big sample size, but the ability he showed to generate swings and misses with three different pitches is promising in regards to his strikeout rate (Whiff%):

  • Slider – 12.61%
  • Curbeball – 15.00%
  • Split-Finger – 10.17%

The split-finger was once his put away pitch (20.49% Whiff% back in ’13), and will be one of the keys to his success.  As it is opponents hit just .200 against the pitch last season, showing that the potential is still there.  If he fully gets the feel back for the pitch, he could produce 8+ K per nine innings. Read more

Fantasy Fallout: Will Jason Castro Have Value In Minnesota?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

No one is going to argue that the Twins needed an upgrade behind the plate, but is Jason Castro really the answer to their problems?  At the end of the day the 3-year, $24.5 million contract they gave him isn’t an outrageous number, but what exactly are they buying?  His 2016 numbers would indicate not too much from an offensive standpoint:

329 At Bats
.210 Batting Average (69 Hits)
11 Home Runs
32 RBI
41 Runs
2 Stolen Bases
.307 On Base Percentage
.377 Slugging Percentage
.297 Batting Average on Balls in Play

He’s a career .232 hitter who has seen his strikeout rate consistently rise over the past few seasons.  Now we are taking him out of a favorable locale, so is there anything to actually like? Read more

The Ditch List: Is It Time To Cut Bait On Aaron Judge, Tyler Naquin & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

At this time of year any injury or setback could ultimately end a player’s season.  It’s extremely frustrating for fantasy owners, especially given the uncertainty, as we decide whether to hold a player or not.  Of course simple inability could give us a quick trigger as well, as every AB or IP is vital.  With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few players we are ready to move on from (keep in mind this is geared towards those in redraft formats, and all stats are through Monday):

 

Tyler Naquin – Cleveland Indians – Outfielder
There was a time that he was among the hottest hitters in baseball, but that time feels like it’s long gone now.  He slashed just .193/.238/.351 in August and the recent acquisition of Coco Crisp could potentially lead to fewer AB if he doesn’t turn things around (Crisp did play 36 games in centerfield this season).  As it is Naquin has already showed that he’s a more of a platoon player than someone who deserves regular AB:

  • vs. RHP – .313
  • vs. LHP – .222

Read more