Archive for November 30, 2012

Players to Avoid: Why Ivan Nova Poses Too Big Of A Risk In 2013

After posting 16 wins in 2011 there were many owners who believed that big things were in store for Ivan Nova in 2012. However, it’s funny how wins have a habit of distorting the truth. If you looked at the numbers (like the lack of strikeouts), there was some definite cause for concern. However, I am not sure anyone saw numbers this poor coming:

12 Wins
170.1 Innings
5.02 ERA
1.47 WHIP
153 Strikeouts (8.08 K/9)
57 Walks (2.96 BB/9)
.331 BABIP
72.5% Strand Rate

Now, the question facing fantasy owners is exactly what should we expect for 2013? First of all, while I wouldn’t consider it a given that Nova is part of the Yankees rotation all year long, there definitely should be ample opportunities for him. Andy Pettitte is likely going to need at least one stint on the DL, CC Sabaia showed signs of breaking down in 2012 and has thrown a lot of innings and Hiroki Kuroda is no spring chicken. Throw in Phil Hughes and his potential to struggle (though that’s a conversation for another day), plus the mystery that is Michael Pineda, and you know Nova is going to get his chances. Read more

Rookie Review: Why Wilin Rosario’s Power Bring More Questions Than His Average

Fantasy owners have become accustomed to catching options who provide power and little else. Recent examples of J.P. Arencibia or Mike Napoli (though he did provide average in 2011) are often viewed as feasible targets, despite the threat of hitting .250 or below. That’s what happens when the allure of 25+ home runs are waved in front of our faces.

Now, the question facing fantasy owners is if Wilin Rosario will simply be the next all slugging catcher, draining your team elsewhere, or does he hold the potential to be more well rounded?

Over his minor league career he hit .270, based on a .309 BABIP, so right off the bat you have to think that it’s possible. Last season’s .270 isn’t going to hurt you, and it was based on a .289 BABIP. Even the strikeouts, which are on the higher end at 23.2%, are reasonable (21.4% in 405 AB at Double-A in 2011).

In fact, the strikeout rate improved as the season went on:

  • April – 36.4%
  • May – 25.8%
  • June – 23.3%
  • July – 18.0%
  • August – 19.0%
  • September – 23.2% Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Has Carlos Gonzalez Become A Fantasy Platoon Player?

We all know that, when healthy, Carlos Gonzalez is one of the elite players in te game. In 2,166 career at bats he has posted a .299 average to go along with a .371 OBP and .518 slugging percentage. Throw in 20+ stolen bases each of the past three seasons and what is there not to like?

Obviously the health, which always seems to be a issue. However, you also have to start wondering how much of his value stems from playing half his home games at Coors Field.  Just look at his numbers from 2012:

  • Home – .368, 13 HR, 58 RBI, 58 R
  • Road – .234, 9 HR, 27 RBI, 31 R

Of course there was some luck involved, with a .425 BABIP at home compared to a .272 mark on the road. To an extent it’s not a surprise, as hitters at generally more comfortable at home where they are used to the sight lines. However, can it make that big of a difference that he holds a 25.7% line drive rate at home and a 17.3% mark on the road? Read more

2013 Projection: Can Mark Teixeira Return To Elite Status? Not Likely…

Once one of the dominant first baseman in the league, Teixeira’s stock has taken a major hit in recent years. The real question is if his 2012 line was rock bottom, or if a renaissance could happen?  Let’s first take a look at the numbers:

451 At Bats
.251 Batting Average (113 Hits)
24 Home Runs
84 RBI
66 Runs
2 Stolen Bases
.332 On Base Percentage
.475 Slugging Percentage
.250 BABIP

There were injuries at play, which certainly factored into his struggles. It also would be easy to point to his BABIP as the reason for some of his other poor statistics, but unfortunately is type of number is indicative of his recent time in Yankee pinstripes:

  • 2010 – .268
  • 2011 – .239

The problem isn’t a inability to make contact (15.8% strikeout rate in 2012). What had happened prior to 2012 was that he simply had been swinging for the fences, with fly ball rates of 45.5% and 46.8% in the previous two seasons. What actually is lost in the numbers is that he reduced his fly ball rate back down to 39.5% in 2012. Read more

Top Five Hitter Groundball Rates: Can These Players Produce Enough Other Numbers To Be Viable?

Recently we looked at the hitters with the  Top 5 fly ball rates in 2012 to try to determine how it impacted their future value (click here for the article).  Today, let’s take a look at those hitters who continually bury the ball int the ground and their potential value:

1) Ben Revere – Minnesota Twins – 66.9%
Since 2002 only two players have come close to this mark, Luis Castillo in 2007 (66.7%) and Dere Jeter in 2010 (65.7%). That’s it… Is it a bad thing? That certainly is up to debate, but it obviously limits his potential in a variety of categories.

Not that anyone would be expecting big power numbers from Revere, but you can basically be thankful if you even get one home run.

However, there is something to be said about putting the ball on the ground and using your speed to generate base hits. We can’t consider a big average a given, however. In 2010 Jeter hit .270. In 2007 Castillo hit .301. Last year Revere hit .294.

In other words, using your speed is one thing but you also need to hit the ball with authority. Over Revere’s Major League career he has posted a 67.7% groundball rate and a .278 average. If I am going to draft a stolen base only option, we would all like to see there at least be more upside in the average department.  For me, he’s a late round flier and nothing more. Read more

Late Round Target: Why Juan Pierre Has Returned To Being A Viable Fantasy Target

Obviously, a player like Juan Pierre isnt going to be intriguing to all fantasy owners. He’s more or less a one trick pony, filling a specific need and little else.

However, even at 35-years old (he will turn 36 during the season), he performs that trick extremely well. Last season Pierre was supposed to be a bit player for the Phillies. Instead he ended up with nearly 400 AB and stole 37 bases. Now imagine if he had even more freedom to run out of the leadoff spot (he spent 254 AB hitting second in 2012)?

Obviously Pierre is not a complete player. He has never hit more than three home runs in a season, nor has he had more 55 RBI (and that came over a decade ago in 2001). That alone tells you he is going to fit a specific niche. If your team is already short on power, he obviously would be a poor selection.

However, now that he is in Miami once again with regular AB at the top of the order awaiting him, you have to wonder what could be possible. Just look at his stolen bases totals from the past five years: Read more