Archive for November 30, 2011

A Tale Of Two Half’s: The Story Of Danny Espinosa’s 2011 Season

by Will Overton

Going into the all-star break it looked like we were watching a surefire top ten second baseman who could easily turn himself into a top five in a year or two every time Danny Espinosa stepped on to the field. He was fast, he had power, he scored and scored often, Espinosa was a rookie of the year frontrunner. At the break he had the following numbers: 

.242 Batting Average
45 Runs Scored
16 Home Runs
52 Runs Batted In
12 Stolen Bases

By the end of the year Espinosa had been dropped in several leagues, was no longer considered a top ten second baseman and was leaving many of us asking many questions about the long term prospects. Espinosa rebounded slightly by hitting .274 in September, but he still finished the season with the following numbers despite the strong start:  Read more

Draft Day Decision: Josh Hamilton vs. Andrew McCutchen: The Comparison Is Closer Than You Think

This may not be a comparison that many people think about much.  Josh Hamilton vs. Andrew McCutchen?  It seems like an absolute no-brainer, doesn’t it?  If asked most people would probably pick Hamiltonwithout even a second thought.  However, is that actually the case?  Let’s take a look:

Average:
Hamilton Many people will want to point towards his .359 average in 2010 and believe that he could really bolster your team.  However, you have to realize that it came courtesy of a .390 BABIP, making the number extremely unrealistic.  In 2011 he coupled realistic luck (.317 BABIP) with a reasonable strikeout rate (17.3%), which led to a .298 average.  If you go into 2012 expecting a number somewhere between .290 and .310, you are not going to be disappointed. 

McCutchen –He has struggled in the average department thus far in his career, with a .276 career mark.  After hitting .259 last season there are definite reasons to be concerned.  It’s possible that the increased power (23 HR) helped to lead towards him trying to hit the ball over the fences a little bit more, because it definitely showed up in his strikeout rate.  He whiffed a career high 126 times last season, good for an 18.6% rate.  He hit .286 in both ’09 and ’10 and with his speed you would expect him to post a .315+ BABIP (he was at .291 last season).  Still, it’s hard to enter 2012 expecting him to hit much more than .285.

Read more

2012 Projection: Why Brett Lawrie Should Already Be Considered A Top Option At 3B

Brett Lawrie was supposed to be the next great third base option for fantasy owners to lean on.  We all anxiously anticipated his debut with the Toronto Blue Jays, only to see a broken hand delay his arrival for a few additional weeks (before a knee injury ended things prematurely).  However, when he was on the diamond he showed that the talent lived up to the hype:

150 At Bats
.293 Batting Average (44 Hits)
9 Home Runs
25 RBI
26 Runs
7 Stolen Bases
.373 On Base Percentage
.580 Slugging Percentage
.318 Batting Average on Balls in Play

If he’s that good or not is an interesting question, but it has become abundantly clear that Lawrie is a player that all fantasy owners need to take note of.  Acquired in the deal that sent Shaun Marcum to Milwaukee, Lawrie clearly is a player on the rise. Read more

Last Chance To Pre-Order The Rotoprofessor 2012 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide For $5!

Like in past years, the guide will first be released between January 1 and January 15 (I will know a more solid date as we get closer) and you will then receive updates about every two-to-three weeks from the release date until the start of the season.As I’ve said there will be new features added this season. The first of which will be Top 5 prospect lists for 2012 for each team, in addition to the Top 50 overall prospect list that has been included in years past.For those who have never experienced the guide, it is delivered through e-mail as an Excel spreadsheet and also includes:

  • Over 500 player projections
  • The Rotoprofessor’s quick take on every player projected
  • Expanded Rankings (i.e. Top 30 Catchers, Top 100 Starting Pitchers)
  • Top 300 Overall
  • Projected lineups and rotations
  • Top 50 Prospects for 2012 list (on the website, I will only be releasing a Top 20 list)
  • Top 5 Prospects for 2012 by team (New for 2012)
  • Auction Values (including NL/AL-Only)
  • Multiple Position Eligibility Chart
  • And more

If you pre-order the guide this weekend (through November 28 at 10 PM EST), you can get it for $5 (the regular price this season will be $6). Make sure you keep checking back for more details and be sure to reserve your copy of the guide early!

Our Black Friday sale has officially come to an end.  You can pre-order the guide for $6 by click here!

 

Player Analysis: Can James Loney Become A Viable Fantasy Option In 2012?

According to Mel Antonen (via Twitter):

“Ned Colletti says on MLB Network Radio that James Loney will be at 1B for LA next season. Says 20-25 HRs possible.”

If you agree with the decision to retain Loney as the first baseman or not (which I am not in favor of), the second half of that statement just seems preposterous.  Outside of his explosion in 2007 (15 HR in 344 AB), has Loney done anything to make us think that he could even come remotely close  to reaching 20+ HR in a season?

Look at his numbers over the past four years:

  • 2008 – 13 HR (595 AB)
  • 2009 – 13 HR (576 AB)
  • 2010 – 10 HR (588 AB)
  • 2011 – 12 HR (531 AB)

Just to further drive the point home, in 2,203 minor league at bats he hit a robust 36 HR.  So, after years of mediocre power numbers, at best, why exactly should we believe that he is suddenly going to develop a power stroke? Read more

Regression Risk: Avoiding Bruce Chen Would Be A Smart Idea

In previous season’s Bruce Chen was considered an easy pitcher to ignore on draft day.  After all, he hadn’t posted an ERA under 4.00 since 2005.  In fact, from 2006-2009 he had made just 62 appearances (21 starts).  In 2010 he was inserted into the Royals rotation and was decent (4.17 ERA, 1.38 WHIP), though unspectacular.

In 2011, however, he opened a few eyes, doing enough in his 155.0 innings to get a two year, $9 million contract to come back to Kansas City.  The question is, does he now actually hold fantasy appeal?  Before we answer that question, let’s look at the numbers:

12 Wins
155.0 Innings
3.77 ERA
1.30 WHIP
97 Strikeouts (5.63 K/9)
50 Walks (2.90 BB/9)
.278 BABIP

Right off the bat, the strikeouts make him a borderline option at best.  You can argue that he’s posted a career 6.82 K/9, meaning that there is upside for him to improve.  You can even point to his 6.29 K/9 from ’10 and hold out hope that he can at least be a little bit better.  Let’s put it in perspective, however. Read more