CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

World Series time! Enjoy Premium-level access to most features through the end of the Series!

<< Previous Article
Premium Article On the Beat: The Uncle... (01/31)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Sta... (01/31)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Sec... (02/04)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (02/01)

February 1, 2013

The Keeper Reaper

Outfielders for Feb. 1, 2013

by Paul Singman

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Carlos Beltran | St. Louis Cardinals

Shallow (30 Keepers): No

Medium (60 Keepers): No

Deep (90 Keepers): Fringe

NL-only (60 Keepers): Yes

Super Deep (200 Keepers): Yes

After a couple of years in the shadows, the 35-year-old Beltran reentered the fantasy spotlight last season, thanks largely to his good health. He accrued 619 plate appearances and collected 32 homers and 13 steals; toss in a .270 average and impressive run and RBI totals, and you get the 44th-best fantasy line, as ranked by our newly updated and improved PFM

To be sure, Beltran's impressive renaissance came with a few caveats. For example, his first half was significantly more productive than his second half, as shown by the table below:

  Runs Home Runs RBI Steals Average
Pre All-Star Break 50 20 65 8 .296
Post All-Star Break 33 12 32 5 .236

After sprinting out of the gate, Beltran slogged his way to the finish—though it should be noted that he had a productive postseason with three homers and three steals in 12 games. Even for a player of Beltran’s age, I wouldn’t read too much into half-season splits. If Beltran’s lackluster second half causes people to dock him a few more dollars than they otherwise would, I’ll gladly accept the value opportunity that creates and focus more on his overall totals.

Beltran also saw his contact rate drop to around the league-average mark of 80 percent, which in turn brought a five percent rise in his strikeout rate. He still showed solid plate discipline, mitigating his batting-average risk, but his days of batting near .300 are likely in the past.

When it comes to production, there is very little to be concerned with regarding Beltran. He may have been slightly fortunate to hit homers at the same rate as he did in his prime, and the steals total will likely regress a bit, but one should be confident in his ability to hit 25 home runs and steal 10 bases. Where you can’t show confidence, though, is in Beltran’s ability to stay on the field. Last year, he managed to avoid the disabled list, but still dealt with nagging pain in his knee, back, and fingers. Next year figures to be another struggle to stay healthy, and if Beltran misses any time, he will have a hard time justifying a top-90 selection.

Jay Bruce | Cincinnati Reds

Shallow (30 Keepers): Fringe

Medium (60 Keepers): Yes

Deep (90 Keepers): Yes

NL-only (60 Keepers): Yes

Super Deep (200 Keepers): Yes

If you’re in the market for a batter who can chip in 30 homers, a .260 batting average, and 100 RBI, your list of options (with their projected draft rounds listed in parentheses) is slim:

(Had Corey Hart not undergone knee surgery, he also would have found himself on this list, and he was generally going in the seventh round of mock drafts.)

I think that compartmentalizing players like this is a good way to get a feel for the universe of players, which helps to explain why some of them come at a premium. For example, I don’t believe this suggests that Bruce is overpriced; if anything, it shows the opposite. Compared to the other hitters in this grouping, Bruce is on the high end of homers hit, with 32 and 34 in the past two seasons, respectively. He’s more proven than Reddick and Davis, and comes without the age-related concerns of the soon-to-be 34-year-old Willingham or the injury risk that you would assume with Morse. All told, it should be quite obvious why Bruce goes early in drafts. In spite of this reasoning, you’re likely to come across some form of the statement, “Why pick Bruce in round three when you can get the similarly-skilled Willingham five rounds later?” The answer should be no mystery, as explained above.

Using the multi-year capabilities of the PFM, we see that Bruce has been the 50th-best player over the past three seasons. He’s been both consistent and improving, and although he’s never quite lived up to his third-round price tag, he’s never been far away from it either. 

Shin-Soo Choo | Cincinnati Reds

Shallow (30 Keepers): Fringe

Medium (60 Keepers): Yes

Deep (90 Keepers): Yes

NL-only (60 Keepers): Yes

Super Deep (200 Keepers): Yes

As Derek Carty explained at the time of the trade, Choo gets a solid green up-arrow for his move to the hitter-friendly Cincinnati confines. We know the move was good for his value; now, the question is, how early are you willing to pop him in your drafts?

A prototypical Choo season goes something like this: a .290 average, 20 homers, 20 steals, and about 80-90 runs and RBI. He put up this sort of line in 2009, 2010, and 2012. By the PFM, these were ranked 46th, 30th, and 62nd, respectively, with the 2012 version lacking a bit in RBI. In Cincinnati, leading off for an improved lineup, Choo should have no trouble accumulating the necessary run totals to match his previous lines. Great American Ball Park will also help ensure that he reaches 20 homers again, with the potential for 25-30 if he adjusts his approach to hit fly balls on more than 27 percent (last year’s rate) of his total balls put into play.

Choo should have little trouble replicating his recent outputs in the amiable Cincinnati environs, and his five-category production makes top-30 value attainable. 

Related Content:  Jay Bruce

4 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article On the Beat: The Uncle... (01/31)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Sta... (01/31)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Sec... (02/04)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (02/01)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Minor League Update: Games of Thursday, Octo...
Pebble Hunting: An Illustrated Guide to the ...
Raising Aces: Ghosts of World Series Past
Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and Game 3 P...
Playoff Prospectus: A Decade of Planning an ...
Playoff Prospectus: Never-Wrong Ned?
Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and Game Fou...

MORE FROM FEBRUARY 1, 2013
Premium Article Prospects Will Break Your Heart: St. Louis C...
Premium Article Overthinking It: If I Had My Brothers
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: Standing Pat in San Francisc...
Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush League: Jameson Taillon a...
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Friday, February 1
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Pronk's Tale

MORE BY PAUL SINGMAN
2013-02-20 - Fantasy Article Pre-Season Positional Rankings: Top 15 Fanta...
2013-02-14 - Fantasy Article Pre-Season Positional Rankings: Top 15 Fanta...
2013-02-05 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Fallout
2013-02-01 - Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Outfielders for Feb. 1, 2...
2013-01-25 - Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Outfielders for 1/25/13
2013-01-18 - The Keeper Reaper: Outfielders for 1/18/13
2013-01-11 - Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Outfielders for 1/11/13
More...

MORE THE KEEPER REAPER
2013-02-06 - Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Corner Infielders for 2/6...
2013-02-05 - Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Relievers for 2/5/2013
2013-02-04 - Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Second, Short, and Catche...
2013-02-01 - Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Outfielders for Feb. 1, 2...
2013-01-31 - Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Starting Pitching for 1/3...
2013-01-30 - Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: First, Third, and DH for ...
2013-01-29 - Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Relievers for 1/29/30
More...