Archive for September 30, 2011

Two Years Later, Has R.A. Dickey Emerged As A Viable Fantasy Option?

At this time last year we were left wondering if R.A. Dickey could replicate his 2010 success and entrench himself as a viable fantasy option.  One year later, we have gotten our answer:

8 Wins
208.2 Innings
3.28 ERA
1.23 WHIP
134 Strikeouts (5.78 K/9)
54 Walks (2.33 BB/9)
.278 BABIP

It was impossible to draw conclusions off just his 2010 year, given the lack of a history  we had on Dickey.  While he’s been around for a long-time, he only recently re-established himself, now as a knuckleball pitcher.

However, given the 2011 numbers above, there are a few conclusions we can reach:

Dickey offers great control for a knuckleball pitcher, helping him become a source of WHIP
It’s hard to believe, but Dickey actually has proven to be a good source of WHIP for fantasy owners.  He has now posted BB/9 of 2.17 and 2.33 over the past few seasons.  That definitely gives him an advantage to posting good numbers, especially considering his realistic BABIP over the past two years (.276 & .278).  At this point, there’s no reason to think that this is going to change any time soon. Read more

Rankings Professor Looks At The MLB Playoff Teams

Last week I spoke about our new site, www.rankingsprofessor.com.  Today, the first “real” article for the site has been posted and should help to give you just a small taste of what you should expect from the site moving forward.

The first article looks at the MLB playoffs and ranks them according to chances of winning the World Series this season.  Who has the best chance?  Our answer may surprise you!  Make sure to check out the rankings by clicking here.

I hope you enjoy the new site and I appreciate any feedback you have!

Around the Majors: September 28: Evan Longoria, Stephen Strasburg & More

Talk about an exciting finish to a season!  The Red Sox and Braves completed their collapses, each blowing chances to force a 1-game playoff.  It was an unbelievable end to an unbelievable 2011 campaign.  Let’s take a look at all the important news from around the league one last time:

  • We can call Evan Longoria’s year a disappointment if you want, but he showed last night why he is considered one of the best 3B in the league.  With the Rays season on the line he went 2-5 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R, including a 12th inning walk-off.  He finishes the season with 31 HR, 99 RBI and 78 R.  Yes, he did hit .244, but does anyone believe in the .239 BABIP?  He had been at .309, .313 and .336 the prior three seasons, so I wouldn’t worry too much.  With the power back, he remains one of the better selections in the league.
  • Craig Kimbrel blew his eighth save of the season, allowing 1 R on 1 H and 3 BB, striking out 1, over 0.2 innings.  It was a tough finish to his season, allowing runs in three of his final four appearances.  Don’t let it skew what he proved was possible prior to this bump in the road.  He clearly has entrenched himself as one of the best closers in the league. Read more

Preliminary 2012 Rankings: Top 10 First Baseman

Before we get into the rankings, let me put in a little disclaimer.  These are extremely preliminary rankings for 2012 (prior to my projections being done) and have a lot of room for movement as the offseason progresses.  They are done just on the surface, so as you look at them keep that in mind (and all numbers are prior to yesterday’s game):

  1. Albert Pujols – St. Louis Cardinals
  2. Adrian Gonzalez – Boston Red Sox
  3. Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
  4. Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
  5. Prince Fielder – Milwaukee Brewers
  6. Mark Teixeira – New York Yankees
  7. Ryan Howard – Philadelphia Phillies
  8. Paul Konerko – Chicago White Sox Read more

Around the Majors: September 27: Prince Fielder, Ian Kinsler, Madison Bumgarner & More

As we head into the final day of the season (possibly, as there appears to be a good chance of at least one play-in game), let’s take a look at a few notes from yesterday’s games:

  • With the rest of their catchers hurting the Red Sox were forced to start Ryan Lavarnway behind the plate.  It turns out, he may have saved their season.  He went 2-4 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R, his first two home runs of his Major League career.  Lavarnway split time between Double & Triple-A this season, hitting .290 with 32 HR in 435 AB (after hitting at least 20 each of the previous two years).  He’s not likely to win the Red Sox’ catching job in 2012 over Jarrod Saltalamacchia, though time will tell.  If he does (or ends up the DH), playing regularly in that lineup will make him an intriguing option for sure.
  • For as bad as Delmon Young was in Minnesota this year, it appears that he has rediscovered his form in Detroit.  He’s hit 8 HR and 32 RBI in 164 AB since the trade after going 3-5 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R last night.  It’s a name to keep in mind in five-outfielder formats in 2012, especially if he sticks in Detroit, as he certainly will come at a discount. Read more

Prospect Report: Can Travid d’Arnaud Make An Impact In 2012?

The Blue Jays J.P. Arencibia has made a statement at the plate this season, showing that he has more than enough power to hang in the Major Leagues.  He entered play on Monday with 23 HR in 435 AB, helping him also deliver 78 RBI.

Of course, the risk was always that he could struggle in the average department, something that he’s delivered on with a .221 average.  It has come courtesy of a 27.4% strikeout rate.  If that wasn’t enough, it appears like he is swinging for the fences every time up with a 50.0% fly ball rate (helping to a .256 BABIP).  With numbers like that, does he even have a chance to hit for a strong average?

Couple that with a lot of concerns with his ability behind the plate and could he be long as the Blue Jays’ regular catcher?

Lucky for them they actually have another young catcher who could be on the precipice of making an impact.  Drafted in the first round of the 2007 draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, Travis d’Arnaud was acquired by the Blue Jays as part of the Roy Halladay trade. Read more