Archive for January 31, 2012

Bullpen Banter: What Are The Chances Chris Perez Loses His Job In Cleveland?

Likely Opening Day Closer – Chris Perez
Perez should be considered one of the riskiest closing options for fantasy owners in my mind.  I know the overall numbers in 2011 were fine (3.32 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 36 SV), but the underlying numbers are eye opening.

Granted, we don’t look at luck as much with relief pitchers due to the small sample sizes but are we really to believe his .234 BABIP?  If everything else remains equal, a decrease in the luck department will cause his other numbers to implode.

You then look at his control, which is borderline at best.  He posted a 3.92 BB/9 last season, but over his minor league career he posted a 5.96 mark.  I’m not about to say that he is going to regress back to his awful control, but he easily could regress in this regard and at a huge expense to his value.

Over his minor league career Perez posted an 11.99 K/9 yet in 2011 he was at a miniscule 5.88.  His fastball, which had been sitting around 94.5 to 95.0 mph in prior seasons, was down to 93.4 mph last season.  Is that enough to represent such a dramatic drop in his strikeout rate?  It is debatable, but the numbers cannot be ignored.  The fact of the matter is that there was only one month that he posted a K/9 higher than 6.75 and that was just 7.45 in June. Read more

2012 Rankings: Top 15 Third Basemen

We all know that third base is among the shallowest positions in fantasy sports.  Even with a few youngsters joining the mix (most notably Brett Lawrie), there is still a tremendous amount of risk involved in many of the options (i.e. Alex Rodriguez and Kevin Youkilis).  Let’s take a look at how things currently stand as we head into the season:

  1. Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
  2. Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays
  3. Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers
  4. David Wright – New York Mets
  5. Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals
  6. Pablo Sandoval – San Francisco Giants
  7. Brett Lawrie – Toronto Blue Jays
  8. Aramis Ramirez – Milwaukee Brewers
  9. Kevin Youkilis – Boston Red Sox
  10. Michael Young – Texas Rangers
  11. Alex Rodriguez – New York Yankees
  12. Emilio Bonifacio – Miami Marlins Read more

Would Corey Hart Hold More Appeal If He Gained 1B Eligibility?

With Prince Fielder now residing in Detroit the Brewers are currently left to open the year with Mat Gamel as their starting first baseman (barring another move).  Despite the fact that they may be without Ryan Braun for the first 50 games of the season there have been rumblings that Corey Hart could see time at first base.  It’s hard to imagine the team further weakening their outfield, but you never really know.

So, with the potential for dual eligibility, let’s take a look to see if it adds anything to his fantasy value.

In 2011 Hart hit .285 with 26 HR, 63 RBI, 80 R and 7 SB over 492 AB (130 games).  However, before we just use those numbers for our analysis, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Hart spent 256 AB hitting in the leadoff spot in 2011.  With no Fielder and potentially no Braun, there’s no way that continues.
  2. Hart has played over 145 games in a season just once in his career (157 games in 2008)

For arguments sake let’s assume that he can stay relatively healthy and play 145 games in 2012.  If that happens or not remains to be seen, but we can all hope can’t we? Read more

Making The Leap: Will Pablo Sandoval Go To The Next Level?

by Will Overton

It has been an up and down three years for Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval burst onto the scene in 2009 hitting .330 with 25 homeruns. With expectations way up for the 2010 season Sandoval was a big disappointment, playing a full season but only managing to hit .268 with 13 homeruns.

Wondering what one could expect Sandoval’s draft position was all over the place last season, but he responded with a season similar to his 2009 campaign. Sandoval put up the following numbers in 2011: 

426 at-bats
.315 batting average
55 runs scored
23 homeruns
70 runs batted in
.320 batting average on balls in play

So now Sandoval is a borderline top 50 pick who could go in any round from 4 – 7. That fear of regression is still there since we’re only a year removed from his last disappointment. However I think Sandoval has turned a corner and his days of letdowns are over. Read more

Devil’s Advocate: The Pitfalls Of Alex Avila

by Simon Jones

In the latest of my off-season series, exploring the less publicised downside of some of 2012s most hyped players, I’ll be looking into the dangers of drafting Alex Avila too early.

No matter how you look at it, Alex Avila’s 2011 fantasy campaign was an unqualified success. Going undrafted in many leagues, he managed to put up an OPS of .895 which was ranked second amongst qualified catchers (behind Mike Napoli) and in 5×5 categories, his overall line matched or bettered everyone other than Napoli and Victor Martinez. Having just turned 25 and hitting in a Tigers line up that includes Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, there is plenty to like. So why am I concerned heading into 2012?

My first concern is Avila’s 2011 workload. He started 130 regular season games plus 11 more in the playoffs, racking up 1,255 innings behind the plate. Only Yadier Molina caught more in 2011. The effects of such a workload were plain to see throughout the playoffs.Avilawas clearly troubled by knee tendonitis and only managed 3 hits in 41 at bats. Although Avila is reportedly healthy heading into spring training, you have to worry that there may be some lasting consequences further down the road. Catchers carry an inherent injury risk and you only have to look at the struggles of guys like Joe Mauer to see where this might lead. Read more

Manipulating A Season: How To Approach Counting Statistics & Cumulative Statistics In The Draft

by Thomas Callahan

In standard roto scoring there are two kinds of statistics, counting statistics and cumulative statistics. It’s important to have an understanding of how they both work independently, and how they work together.  By gaining an understanding of each you will be able to maximize your draft picks, track your progress in relation to your opponents through the season and accumulate talent after the All-Star break to put yourself in the playoffs come September.

By having a monthly strategy, you will be able to manipulate your season to your advantage. Remember, success in gambling comes not just from calculating odds or identifying talent; it also comes from having a plan of attack so that you can navigate your way through your opponents’ strategy as well.

“If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles.’’ S?n Z?; (from the 6th century writing on The Art of War) 

Counting statistics are the ones that add up. These include Ks, Wins, Runs, RBIs, Steals, Saves and Dingers, not to be confused with Zimmers, the former Yankee bench coach who got his ass kicked by Pedro in the 2003 title fight at The Stadium. Read more