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July 28, 2010

Fantasy Beat

Hot Spots: Outfield

by Rob McQuown

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Value Picks 2010 PECOTA Games '10 Scoresheet
Outfield Team PA HR R RBI SB BA OBP SLG BA OBP SLG LF CF RF vRH vLH Rng
Rick Ankiel KC 87 4 11 12 1 .228 .287 .456 .266 .324 .492 0 22 0 +30 –90 2.12
Michael Brantley CLE 114 1 12 7 2 .157 .230 .206 .282 .354 .378 7 19 0 +13 –39 2.11
Tyler Colvin CHN 252 16 40 37 3 .265 .319 .548 .246 .297 .412 43 11 39 +20 –71 2.12
Coco Crisp OAK 122 3 22 17 12 .248 .311 .457 .274 .352 .415 0 28 0 –4 +10 2.17
Lastings Milledge PIT 323 3 30 32 5 .274 .340 .384 .275 .329 .415 59 0 22 –10 +25 2.10
Logan Morrison FLA 293 6 36 45 1 .307 .427 .487 .271 .355 .447 19 0 0 +24 –71 TBD
Felix Pie BAL 87 2 10 4 0 .259 .302 .420 .284 .345 .471 20 1 0 +24 –79 2.15
Jose Tabata PIT 153 2 24 15 10 .280 .344 .390 .280 .335 .420 34 9 0 –16 +40 2.10
Subscribe to Heater: Avg for Left Field .274 .342 .440   vRH = OPS v RH
Heater Magazine Avg for Center Field .269 .338 .424   vLH = OPS v LH
  Avg for Right Field .275 .348 .449   Rng = Range
  Avg for All Outfield .273 .343 .438  

A Royal Pain: In a foreshadowing of the events to soon take place, a reader asked about the Royals situation last week. Since the Royals most-frequent DH is Jose Guillen, who can also play the outfield, this opened up discussions of several positions. Little could anyone have known that within a few hours, two of the candidates for playing time would be gone – Alberto Callaspo to Los Angeles, and David Dejesus to the disabled list. The Royals wasted no time installing Rick Ankiel back in center field, with Alex Gordon patrolling right field. For now, consider Ankiel recommended, based on his huge power potential. In many ways, Rick Ankiel is much like Tyler Colvin as a hitter, now that Colvin is walking a little more than he did in the minors. Ankiel's career ISO is over .200, even including his years as a pitcher. And against righties, he's hit .255/.321/.471 for his career – and he has played his home games in two parks which suppress power. Keep an eye on Alex Gordon, but just not on your roster (yet).

A Failed Experiment: Michael Brantley should have a future as a major-league player, but its resumption will be sometime in the future as well; he was demoted after a week in which he went 1-for-10 with 3 walks. By comparison, Trevor Crowe is hitting .256/.314/.356, with 10 SB in 250 AB. Grady Sizemore will be a welcome sight in Cleveland next year.

Leading Men: Tyler Colvin collected just three RBI last week. That's noteworthy only due to the fact that he also hit three homers. As noted last week, at least he's getting lots of plate appearances. And with a homer/plate-appearance rate anyone besides Jose Bautista would envy, that's a good thing for fantasy owners. Coco Crisp and Jose Tabata have also been leading off, and Crisp stole another four bases last week, while Tabata hit .400 to go with his lone steal and seven runs scored.

Should They Stay? Felix Pie and Lastings Milledge collected just seven hits between them during the past week, with no homers or steals. For fantasy purposes, Milledge is safer, as only Steve Pearce is (indirectly) applying pressure on him for playing time. But since he was commonly available all year, it's also safe to assume he could be picked back up at any point, so he's getting the “yellow card” this week, as well, to make room for rookie Logan Morrison.

Milling Around: Many of the players who would get more playing time with the rumored trades have been mentioned in previous weeks, such as Domonic Brown of the Phillies, and if Jose Guillen or Scott Podsednik is traded from the Royals, the players who would benefit most aren't outfielders (likely Chris Getz and/or Kila Ka'aihue) or are Mitch Maier, who's been available all year anyway. How about the “backfill” if some of the other names are moved?

Brewers: Carlos Gomez is a player who had some serious fantasy promise entering the season, moving to the National League, and appearing to have a wide-open opportunity to get playing time. But unless Ken Macha is fired, the Brewers won't steal many bases, so a few extra at-bats per week won't help much. Lorenzo Cain has more on-base skills than Gomez, but that doesn't help in most fantasy formats, and he hasn't proven himself at AAA yet, and his Davenport Translation (DT) from AA is a paltry .225/.279/.312. There are many reasons to believe that's an understatement of his current ability, but even playing full time, he wouldn't be much help in mixed leagues.

Nationals: Mike Morse (.261/.315/.409) is already seeing a lot of playing time, as a Jim Riggleman fave. The Nationals don't have anyone queued up to make a difference (Heater lists Chris Marerro as being “stalled” at AA, and he's a first baseman, anyway), so expect to see more time from their numerous veteran utility types if Dunn and/or Willingham depart.

Marlins: Logan Morrison (AAA stats shown above) is being added to the list this week, under the assumption that Chris Coghlan is going to be out. Morrison won't help a lot in a standard fantasy format, and he was playing first base until this season, when Gaby Sanchez made it clear that he had that position under control and Morrison got 19 games in left field before his promotion. In formats where the walks can help and the defense doesn't hurt (e.g. fantasy leagues which use OBP as a category), he could help in 2010, and he's a fine hitting prospect for keeper leagues, as the home-run power should re-emerge with experience (he has 27 extra-base hits in AAA in 238 AB, a good ratio). Cameron Maybin is back from his injury and should get another chance in center field if Cody Ross is traded.

Athletics: Gabe Gross is still a semi-regular starter on this team, so it's difficult to recommend anyone too highly, but Travis Buck can still hit, and he's reportedly healthy now. He's another guy who won't wow a fantasy scoresheet, even when he's going well, since he won't homer or steal a lot, nor hit .300.

Rob McQuown is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Rob's other articles. You can contact Rob by clicking here

Related Content:  Logan Morrison,  Jose Tabata

10 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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Swingingbunts

Logan Morrison had 36 HR's in 293 AAA AB's? That can't be right.

Jul 28, 2010 07:34 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Rob McQuown
BP staff

Fixed, thanks. Got the R/HR columns reversed.

Jul 28, 2010 08:37 AM
 
OTSgamer

After Magglio Ordonez went on the DL, I picked up Gaby Sanchez to play in my utility spot to replace him. Should I stand pat with Gaby Sanchez, or take a chance on Domonic Brown instead? Also, if needed, I could release Ty Wigginton to make room for him and keep Sanchez.

Jul 28, 2010 14:46 PM
rating: 0
 
OTSgamer

Also, Jason Bay is now available.

Jul 28, 2010 14:49 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Michael Street
BP staff

OTS--

I'll chime in here and say that Sanchez is a better option than Brown, since Sanchez has PT locked down, and Brown could sit when Victorino returns. Plus, Sanchez has more pop than Brown, whose value seems better for keeper leagues, despite looking awfully good tonight.

For a UT player with five tools, Brown offers a bit more upside than Wiggy, but PECOTA also predicts much more power for Wiggy, which I believe is more important in your league, while the SBs Brown can bring don't matter.

Last, Bay could hit the DL with a concussion. Until he's healthy--and concussions are always dicey--he's not someone you want on your team, unless you have an open DL slot and can add him there (if/when he is DLed).

I don't see Brown as an upgrade in your format, though he's a tempting target in standard roto, and is a must-add in keeper leagues of nearly every kind. Rob is likely to have his own opinion here, but that's my perspective, given what I know of Sanchez and your league format.

Jul 28, 2010 18:13 PM
 
BP staff member Rob McQuown
BP staff

Good comments by Mike, with Ibanez heating up in July, Brown would probably have to kill the ball to avoid becoming Ben Francisco II. (Phillies insight courtesy of Heater writer and Phillies fan Brian Joseph)

If you're in a gambling situation, I might consider replacing Wigginton with Dom Brown. Brown's Davenport Translations from AAA are huge (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/pageINTyear.shtml), and indicate a big step forward from preseason PECOTA levels. Obviously, Wiggy brings positional flexibility, but he's not a very good hitter, all things considered, and if guys like this are available on waivers, I think you'll be able to get someone comparable back even if someone else picks him up and Brown doesn't work out.

I don't know what's up with Bay, but without the concussion, I'd be sorely tempted by him, though I can be a sucker for career stats, and his career stat line is .278/.374/.508, and he's been pretty durable.

Jul 28, 2010 21:49 PM
 
pobothecat

A really useful discussion of options today. Thanks.

Jul 28, 2010 16:21 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Rob McQuown
BP staff

As a P.S.: In the wake of the Pods trade, two players become semi-interesting on the Royals: Chris Getz, for steals, and Kila Ka'aihue, for everything else. Keep on ear on what comes out of the Royals, but both could help a fantasy team down the stretch.

Jul 28, 2010 21:53 PM
 
dscala

Hello Rob,

I've found the Fantasy Beat blog posts very helpful this season, especially for starting pitching. (Randy Wells sure has come in handy.)

Any thoughts about buying low on Ryan Braun? Any warning signs that 2010 may be more than just an off year?

DJS

Jul 29, 2010 07:25 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Rob McQuown
BP staff

Yeah, I agree about Wells. As a Cubs fan, I really had to work hard to be unbiased about him, but I really thought people were selling him short. Learning to pitch takes time, and he's a converted position player... I admit to having somewhat of a preference for such guys, as they have avoided being abused during their younger years as a pitcher.

Anyway, wrt Braun, this may be overly simplistic, but I think sometimes too much analysis can be poured into a player's recent samples. Guys have up and down seasons, and I'd be downright shocked if Braun didn't rebound strong in 2011, and perhaps even enough in 2010 to "fix" his stat line for the year. If you can find someone panicking, especially if you can lock him up, I'd go for it. He's 26, and has a career batting line of .302/.357/.553 - it's not like you need him to improve on that to be a superstar.

Jul 29, 2010 13:44 PM
 
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