Get A (Fantasy Baseball) Grip On Reality: Blog Series Part 1

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Saturday May 18, 2013

Like Dale Doback, I too manage a baseball team --kootation.com.  Lucky for me, I was able to secure a steal 113th overall in a keeper league.  You have to read the post in order to find.  Now that I am done, I am going to attend a Catalina Wine Mixer nearby!!

Like Dale Doback, I too manage a baseball team  Lucky for me, I was able to secure a steal (113th overall) in a keeper league. You have to read the post in order to find out who that player is. Now that I am done, I am going to attend a Catalina Wine Mixer nearby!! kootation.com

By Derek Jackson (MLB Reports Fantasy Expert): 

I am happy to be joining the fantastic writer’s and leadership at MLB Reports, bringing you full coverage of Fantasy Baseball. If you’ve never won that elusive fantasy title or you’re the five-peat dynasty, we can all share our knowledge of players, outlooks, and advice in an open forum.

I urge any and all of you to leave me comments ripping apart my thoughts, giving me a firm but reassuring pat on the ass, or just to tell me how great of a fantasy player I must be – Now let’s roll out two player’s who have started out very differently in 2013. This will give you some insight into the stats I use and rely on in my own decision making. all thoughts are welcome.

Obviously those numbers look quite conservative at this point but are we seeing a mirage of Segura or is this a star blossoming in front of us? It's a bit of both. His BB% (6.5) and K% (12.3) are in line with his career numbers in the majors and minors (approximately 7.2 and 13.1, respectively) so he's still the same hitter at the plate. Which means his numbers are propped up by ridiculous, unsustainable rates once the ball jumps off his lumber.

Are we seeing a mirage of Segura or is this a star blossoming in front of us? It’s a bit of both. His BB% (6.5) and K% (12.3) are in line with his career numbers in the majors and minors (approximately 7.2 and 13.1, respectively) so he’s still the same hitter at the plate. Which means his numbers are propped up by ridiculous, unsustainable rates once the ball jumps off his lumber.

Jean Segura, SS, MIL – I won’t sit here and prop myself up on the fact that I selected Segura 113th overall in my keeper league draft this year. I saw the speedy Brewer shortstop as a capable full season middle infielder who would provide steals and potentially runs if he ever made his way to the top of the lineup. I penciled him in with a projection of .278, 58 R, 5 HR, 46 RBI, and 30 SB.

The former Angels prospect has a career .337 BABIP (in an incredibly small sample size, admittedly) but in 2013 he’s posting a .376 rate. His HR/FB ratio is an unbelievable 20.6%.

For perspective, his protection batting 3rdRyan Braun – has a career rate of 19.0%. And his ISO power rate is .232 – tied with Adrian Beltre and ahead of quality hitter’s Buster Posey (.220), David Wright (.216), and Alex Gordon (.199).

So will Segura be a top 5 fantasy player for the next four and a half months? No. Would I sell high right now? No. The steals are elite (he stole 44 total last year between MiLB and MLB), he bats in front of Ryan Braun, and has job security with a team who has already begun contract talks. I’d even go so far as to ship out my higher-drafted SS to fill another hole and ride out Segura.

Fearless Forecast, Final 2013 Numbers: .292, 92 R, 12 HR, 62 RBI, 42 SB.

Cole Hamels, SP, PHI – Why oh why have you forsaken your fantasy owner’s Cole? Up to this point you’ve given us a career 3.37 ERA in more than 1400 innings while striking out close to a batter per. How has your K% dropped (19.8 in ’13 vs. 23.2 career) and your BB% jumped (10.1 in ’13 vs. 6.3 career) before you even hit 30? Your BABIP (.250 in ’13 vs. .280 career) worries me that your worst days aren’t even behind you yet this season.

Look, I get it. The Phillies came into this season as fringe contenders to some and trade deadline fodder for others. Hamels is in the prime of his career, playing on an aging roster with declining defensive skills, and quite a few miles on the tread of their superstars.

 He's typically been a strong second half performer according to ERA (1st half 3.59, 2nd half 3.08) and none of his stats produce bolded outliers that point to his struggles. His HR/9 rate has jumped from 1.08 in his career to 1.22 through 51.2 innings this year and most Phillies phans will point to the home run ball as the kryptonite.

Hamels has typically been a strong second half performer according to ERA (1st half 3.59, 2nd half 3.08) and none of his stats produce bolded outliers that point to his struggles. His HR/9 rate has jumped from 1.08 in his career to 1.22 through 51.2 innings this year and most Phillies phans will point to the home run ball as the kryptonite.

Assuming that everything is structurally intact and Cole is pitching relatively injury free, the first quarter of his 2013 has been abysmal for fantasy owners and worse for the Phillies organization.

He’s probably one of the few player’s RAJ won’t put on the block at the deadline if the Phightens are out of it so we can do nothing more than strap in and ride it out. So goes fantasy sometimes.

I wouldn’t target him if I didn’t own him in case there is something physically wrong but I also wouldn’t shop him if I was a disgruntled owner either. He could find his way just as quickly as he lost it with Miami, Washington, and Boston on the docket.

Fearless Forecast, Final 2013 Numbers: 12 W, 190 K, 3.95 ERA, 1.29 WHIP

Quick Hits: I’m not going to throw stats at you as to why you should pick up James Loney right now. Scrap every traditional thought that corner guys have to be power guys. Ride him while he’s hot…Dump, dump, dump Carlos Villanueva.

If you picked him up and even got two good starts, consider yourself lucky. His number is up to head back to the ‘pen with Garza returning.

Believe in Domonic Brown like it’s 2010. If the big names get moved at the deadline (like they should, but with RAJ at the helm – who knows), Brown is in a cushy spot in the middle of the lineup. 25 HR – 85 RBI potential shouldn’t sit on the wire.

Mini-Marlin Christian Yelich went deep twice on Wednesday night making him 14 – 37 in his last 10 games with 12 runs, 5 homers, 12 RBI, and a steal just to top it off. Dynasty leaguers know he’s long gone but keep him on the radar in shallow keeper or even deep re-draft leagues. My colleague Sam Evans went into more detail here

If the Reds send down Tony Cingrani, I think the fantasy world may riot. Dusty Baker has played his hand in enough fantasy leagues over the year’s that it can’t come as a surprise but we still have the right to wonder why.

Sure, his peripheral stats show a guy who will eventually come down to earth but why not ride the wave while you can? Oh, that’s right, Mike Leake is knocking on the door. No hate for Leake – I’m a Sun Devil alumnus myself – but he isn’t the established vet the Reds are making him out to be. If Cingrani is sent down upon Cueto’s return, my guess is as good as yours on what you should do.

If you have the space to leave an NA player kicking around on your bench, swallow that pill with every curse word about Dusty you’ve got. If your bench is shallow, cut him loose and pray you snag him when he is inevitably called back up.

Final Thought: As much as it pains my fellow Bryce Harper owner’s over what happened in Los Angeles Monday night, sometimes we have to remember we aren’t strictly moving assets with names attached in the fantasy world. As much as a box score can tell you, watching a player gives you twice the insight.

Anyone who has seen Bryce play even one inning can tell you the all-out, throwback player  he is. It comes with the territory. And as much as we hate hearing the truth – this probably isn’t the last time either.

 Real baseball comes before fantasy and Bryce cared as much about it being a 6 – 0 ballgame in that moment as he did about grabbing a beer in Toronto last season. I'm not going to cut him down for his hustle because it makes him who he is. It might be that extra infield single he beats out, that extra base that leads to a run, or the heady steal off a pitcher who forgets about him but his baseball instincts  provide us plenty of fantasy value. And let's for once all celebrate a 20 year old kid who plays like he was born 40 years late. Far too many guys are going 50% most of the year and can barely get it in that next gear when they need to. We never have to worry about that with Bryce...

Real baseball comes before fantasy and Bryce cared as much about it being a 6 – 0 ballgame in that moment as he did about grabbing a beer in Toronto last season. I’m not going to cut him down for his hustle because it makes him who he is. It might be that extra infield single he beats out, that extra base that leads to a run, or the heady steal off a pitcher who forgets about him but his baseball instincts provide us plenty of fantasy value. And let’s for once all celebrate a 20 year old kid who plays like he was born 40 years late. Far too many guys are going 50% most of the year and can barely get it in that next gear when they need to. We never have to worry about that with Bryce…

***The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***

Derek Jackson is a mid – 20’s young professional living in the BAY Area.  He likes the teams in the area – and especially clubs that feature prominent use of Sabermetrics when evaluating players.  He will be writing a couple of articles a month – and is available on twitter here. 

Like Dale Doback, I too manage a baseball team --kootation.com

Like Dale Doback, I too manage a baseball team –kootation.com

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker

Posted on May 18, 2013, in Players: Fantasy Baseball Articles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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