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January 29, 2013

Resident Fantasy Genius

Checking in on Fantasy Deals

by Derek Carty

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Justin Upton | Diamondbacks to Braves | OF
Many will dock Upton’s value for the park change, but that’s a relatively small part of my down arrow. Sure, the new home will hurt a little bit, but not as much as many expect. For one, Arizona’s Chase Field isn’t the home run haven many believe to be, and for another, Upton’s great raw power will help offset the park effects.

Just as important, if not more important, is the value dip that comes from leaving Kirk Gibson for Fredi Gonzalez. Gibson is a bit below average in terms of letting his runners take off on the bases, but Gonzalez is the third-most passive in baseball. These two things aside, Upton does figure to derive some benefit, even if we can’t quantify it, from playing next to his brother. It may not be large, or it may be huge. More likely it’ll be the former, but you never really know with these kinds of things. Additionally (and probably more importantly), he’ll benefit from an improved lineup. Gonzalez has said Upton the younger will likely bat third for him, and although Andrelton Simmons batting leadoff isn’t ideal, he’ll have Jason Heyward directly in front of him and Freddie Freeman, B.J. Upton, and Dan Uggla behind him. RBI and run totals eclipsing 100 wouldn’t be too surprising.

Jason Kubel, Adam Eaton, Cody Ross, Gerardo Parra | Diamondbacks | OF
Arizona’s outfield just got a lot less crowded. The team said their four outfielders will each get 400-500 at-bats this year. Parra and Eaton gain the most from this deal and subsequent statement. Eaton might become overhyped and overpriced, but Parra may be a nice under-the-radar NL-only pick who does a little of everything.

Jose Constanza and Reed Johnson | Braves | OF
The chances of Constanza actually starting for Atlanta were low, but some had him penciled in as the team’s left fielder before the trade. Others saw Johnson platooning with him, if Prado moved back to third. Now they’re both bench outfielders fighting each other for even less time. Constanza might be a solid $1 NL-only pick for his steals upside.

Martin Prado | Braves to Diamondbacks | 3B
Prado loses a bit leaving the now very potent Atlanta lineup, but he still figures to hit in the top-third for Arizona and gets a better home park to work with (though the road parks in the division, save Coors Field, are unfavorable). It’s a small value gain, but for those in keeper leagues, he’s sure to keep third-base eligibility past this season, which wasn’t assured in Atlanta.

Eric Chavez | Diamondbacks | 3B
I don’t know how many actually believed Chavez could still play the field 70 percent of the time, but he was slated to platoon with Chris Johnson at third before the trade. I guess maybe the Diamondbacks weren’t convinced themselves, but in any case, he’ll move to the bench now.

Chris Johnson | Diamondbacks to Braves | CI
This is a very small value bump for Johnson that I nearly declared a loss. While I think he had a shot to be starting over Chavez before long in Arizona, and while I think Juan Francisco poses much more of a threat in Atlanta, he goes from the weak half of a platoon to a chance to battle for more playing time than that. Of course, the park shift is a bit unfavorable, but this could still bump Johnson’s value if he takes advantage of the opportunity.

Juan Francisco | Braves | 3B
I love Francisco’s raw power and was expecting him to be a cheap, undervalued source in NL-only leagues this year. Following this deal, however, that’s much less certain. I still like him more than Johnson, but the two figure to be in competition all spring and all season long for playing time.

Randall Delgado | Braves to Diamondbacks | SP
Delgado moves from a situation where he’s battling another prospect for the sixth-starter spot to another. He gets a less favorable park, though, and is battling with a guy who had some brief success at the major league level and is a more refined product, so it’s a down arrow for him. Delgado may get some starts this year, and if he can develop his breaking ball, his ceiling is still relatively high.

Patrick Corbin | Diamondbacks | SP
Speaking of Delgado’s competition, Corbin loses some value with the extra arm in the mix. He doesn’t have the ceiling of Delgado, but he’s ready to be a solid NL-only-caliber starter right now.

Julio Teheran | Braves | SP
Back in Atlanta, Teheran has to be happy to see Delgado vacate. He figures to be first in line for a rotation spot should someone get injured this year. The ceiling is still there, but he’s not worth speculating on in most mixed leagues.

Lars Anderson | Released by Diamondbacks | 1B
Anderson was released by Arizona, but I wasn’t expecting much from him anyway. Who knows; maybe he’ll find someplace he can battle for playing time by midseason.

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

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Wasn't Ryan Wheeler traded to the Rockies earlier in the season? Did you, perhaps, mean Matt Davidson?

Jan 29, 2013 02:49 AM
rating: 3

I'm confused that you say that both hitters (Prado) and pitchers (Delgado) lose value from moving parks from Atlanta to Arizona. Is that just a typo, or am I missing something?

Jan 29, 2013 03:56 AM
rating: 2

I was wondering the same thing.

I'm also wondering how long we should overlook Upton's huge home/road splits. He's league average away from AZ, with 1200 away ABs to judge by.

Jan 29, 2013 08:33 AM
rating: -1


Jan 29, 2013 08:56 AM
rating: 0

Yeah, Ryan Wheeler is not on the DBacks anymore. He is now part of the Colorado Rockies organization. Their big move of the offseason....and im not sure how Chase Field is a worse park for hitters than Turner Field. Pretty sure Turner Field was one of the best pitcher's parks in the league...and its not like Prado is hitting 25-30 bombs a year anyway, so parks shouldnt seem to hinder/help his value much anyway...lastly, with Montero, Goldschmidt, Hill, Eaton, Kubel, and Cody Ross, is the DBacks lineup really that much worse than McCann(hurt), Freeman, Uggla, Simmons, Heyward, BJ Upton, and Reed Johnson?...give me Montero over McCann, Goldy over Freeman, Hill over Uggla, and Ross over Reed.

Jan 29, 2013 10:41 AM
rating: 0

ballpark confusion fever: catch it

Jan 29, 2013 12:51 PM
rating: 0
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You really should change Resident Fantasy Genius to at least Resident Roto as you make all your choices based on Roto, not meaningful stats.
Stolen bases are the most overrated part of the game. What is the best thing that can happen after a successful stolen base? Scoring a run.

Yet take an early example: 1959 Eddie Yost vs. Luis Aparicio. Batting average comparable, Luis has 50 more steals for the champs but can't score 100 where Yost does 115 for a fourth-place team.

Luis Aparicio and Bert Campaneris, both leading off and winning stolen base crowns for multiple championship teams but in their combined 37 seasons, how many times 100 runs?

Ricky Henderson and Tim Raines and Richie Ashburn are the greatest leadoff hitters in history not because of the stolen bases but the on-base percentage and runs scored.


Jan 29, 2013 14:03 PM
rating: -4
BP staff member Derek Carty
BP staff

Depends on what you define as meaningful. Totally get it in real baseball and in certain fantasy leagues, but the majority of fantasy players play in regular 5x5 roto leagues, where things like steals are important. It's hard to cater every article to every possible league type, but we will be running a survey this preseason to get an idea of the kinds of leagues (among other things) that our readers play in so we can better tailor our content to what you guys what to see.

As to the steal/run thing, I'm not arguing that steals are the most important stat in real baseball, but in fantasy, it's what we use, so it's important. Maybe getting the green light less won't change his real value by more than 3 percent, but it will, in all likelihood, change his roto value by more than that.

Jan 29, 2013 16:37 PM
BP staff member Derek Carty
BP staff

Sorry for the confusion on Wheeler and the ballparks guys. I’m sick this week and my mind is a little jumbled. I blame the meds :) Wheeler obviously isn’t relevant to this anymore, and Prado gets a small up arrow.

Jan 29, 2013 16:32 PM
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