December 13, 2012
The Keeper Reaper
First, Third, and DH for 12/13/12
With the Winter Meetings in the rearview mirror, the Hot Stove League continues to crank up, and big deals seem to appear every day in Transaction Analysis. To start our own Hot Stove League, I’m playing Keeper Reaper catch-up by looking at some of the bigger deals that went down during our postseason fantasy hiatus. Each of the keeper league designations is linked to a PFM page with 2012 dollar values for that size league.
If you’re interested in hearing about a corner infielder or designated hitter, please leave a suggestion in the comments section.
I caught some flak last year when I seemed to rank Wright at the same level as Lonnie Chisenhall in Keeper Reaper; I was actually expressing my skepticism that Wright would be properly valued in most leagues. In fact, Wright ended up rebounding nicely in 2012, and his average ADP of 31 ended up being very similar to his medium-league value of 29th overall. Will he continue his keeper-worthy performance, as the Mets expect given the $122 million extension they gave him?
In 2012, Wright looked better than he has in years; more importantly, he stayed healthy, missing just four games due to injury. Even a spring training ribcage muscle tear and an early season broken finger couldn’t hold him back, as he recorded a .312 TAv, his best since 2008. Moving in the fences at Citi Field did seem to help his homers, with Hit Tracker rating eight of his 12 home runs there as “Just Enough.” Despite this improvement, his .492 SLG and .186 ISO didn’t approach his pre-2009 levels, thanks to a 35 percent fly-ball rate, his lowest since 2005. His peripherals remain solid, however, reaching those earlier levels of greatness with a 17 percent K% and 12 percent BB% that combined to create the solid contact exemplified by his 22 percent line drive rate.
A sound batting eye tells me that his concussion issues— one of the reasons I was skeptical about him in 2012—are past. Until he returns to launching home runs well over the Citi Field fences, however, I would expect him to complement his high average and high OBP numbers with just middling power and decent steals. Still, even this relative mediocrity would place him in the top tier of fantasy third baseman due to the weak competition, but his production isn’t good enough to put him into the top tier of all players.