Get A (Fantasy Baseball) Grip On Reality: Blog Series Part 1
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Saturday May 18, 2013
By Derek Jackson (MLB Reports Fantasy Expert): Follow @djaxmlbreports
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.
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 3rd – Ryan 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.
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.
***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. Follow @djaxmlbreports
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Posted on May 18, 2013, in Players: Fantasy Baseball Articles and tagged @djaxmlbreports on twitter, adrian beltre, alex gordon, boston, bryce harper, buster posey, carlos villanueva, christian yelich, cincinnati reds, cole hamels, dale doback, david wright, derek jackson, Domonic Brown, dusty baker, fantasy baseball, james loney, jean segura, johnny cueto, miami, Mike Leake, miller park, milwaukee brewers, philadelphia phillies, ryan braun, sabermetrics, sam evans, tony cingrani, washington. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.