CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

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

<< Previous Article
Premium Article On the Beat: Ninth-Inn... (04/08)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Focus: Clash o... (04/06)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Focus: The NL'... (04/11)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Collateral Damage: Cuf... (04/08)

April 8, 2011

Fantasy Focus

Don't Believe the Hype, 4/8

by Marc Normandin

On Monday of this week, we introduced the column Don't Believe the Hype, a weekly look at add/drop trends in fantasy baseball. The idea is to provide a way for you to find out if you should be following the wisdom of the crowd, or if that so-called wisdom doesn't have much substance to it. The thing is, it seems like you folks want this thing to run on Fridays, so that you have the weekend to ponder moves. So, here we are: Don't Believe the Hype will now run on Fridays instead, starting right now, and Mondays will see fantasy-oriented prospect coverage instead.

Since we're running two of these this week, some names are going to overlap—Matt Harrison, for instance—so I'll take the opportunity to go a little further down the list than normal in order to bring you some new information.

Jordan Walden, Los Angeles Angels (61 percent owned, +50 percent)

It's amazing how valuable a player looks once he is able to rack up those saves. Walden took over for deposed closer Fernando Rodney on Tuesday, which magically transformed him into a pitcher worth owning. By the way, I hate saves.

Walden has the potential to be an impact reliever in the bigs, regardless of whether he is closing out ballgames or pitching in front of an inferior guy like Rodney in the seventh or eighth. For fantasy purposes, though, saves are king—that's how Rodney, who shouldn't even be trusted to pitch in real baseball given his track record—ended up on more than half of CBS's fantasy rosters when the season started. I wrote about the reasons why you should pick up Walden earlier this week—he's gone from 18 percent ownership to 61 percent in those few days, so get moving if you need saves and would like a closer who can contribute in more than one category.

One more note: Rodney leads the way among dropped players, with a -23 percent showing in the last week. That is deserved, so follow suit if you have him. Also, draft better.

Zach Britton, Baltimore Orioles (51 percent owned, +29 percent)

From Monday's Don't Believe the Hype:

Guthrie is a bit of a risk—I would be more inclined to jump on rookie teammate Zach Britton to give him a shot, considering he is a groundballer, whereas Guthrie is a flyball pitcher. Sure, Britton is a temporary fix unless one of the other baby birds gets bumped for him, but if you require a full season of Guthrie in anything other than an AL-only league, your pitching is already in a bind that Guthrie won't be able to fix.

Guthrie's bout with pneumonia probably helped, but it looks like everyone followed the advice above. (Even the people who didn't read me followed it! This is powerful stuff.) I'm a huge Britton fan—I don't think he'll be punching out a batter per inning, as he's more of a league-average punchouts guy, but hooray, grounders!—so scoop him up if you can. He has become much more popular since Monday, despite having just the one appearance, but he may spend as much time this year doing his Brandon Webb impression as Webb will spend being himself, so it's no wonder the people are excited.

Ben Francisco, Philadelphia Phillies (43 percent owned, +26 percent)

With Domonic Brown out, Francisco is the man in right in Philly. Brown's pre-season popularity is bleeding over to Francisco, as more people realize that a strong performance from Francisco lessens the chance that Brown will make a fantasy impact in 2011. Francisco has just 27 plate appearances thus far, but he's made the most of them with a line of .320/.370/.600 that includes a pair of homers, seven runs, and five RBI. He's more like a 2.5-category outfielder than a four-cat guy, and even that is only possible because of the playing time he is getting. Still, that is better than the one-star rating I handed him back in February. In the month following that rating, he hit like crazy in the spring, Brown injured his hamate, and Francisco became the guy to look for—it's no wonder he made his entry in the fantasy rankings obsolete.

If you need outfield depth, Francisco is intriguing, but he's not going to single-handedly win you a league, despite his hot start.

Sean Burnett, Washington Nationals (36 percent owned, +25 percent)

Burnett is just one more reason why spending $20-plus or an early draft pick at auction for a closer is a silly endeavor. For one, saves just appear out of nowhere throughout most of the season, and at a cost of your waiver priority or some FAAB money—notice we led off with Walden? Second, Burnett was barely mentioned in the discussion for closer early in the spring, as it appeared to be Storen's job to lose, and maybe Tyler Clippard's job to take over.

Burnett started the year with majority control of the ninth, though, and has made the most of that: three strikeouts in four innings, no runs, no walks, and a pair of saves. As Mike Petriello noted, as long as Burnett is allowed to retain the role—and pitching well will keep it his, despite Storen's long-term presence on the club—he'll pick up saves, so point your waiver claims this way. He's not the Sean Burnett of Pittsburgh any longer, so having him on your team won't sink your pitching stats.

Kyle Drabek, Toronto Blue Jays (88 percent owned, +20 percent)

It looks like this will be the final weekend for adding Kyle Drabek, as he is becoming a mainstay in standard mixed leagues. He struck out seven batters in his first seven innings this year while allowing just the one run and three walks, and that was enough to get owners to jump all over him.

I'm a bit more cautious—sure, you should acquire Drabek if you can, but you don't necessarily need to start him every time out. That strikeout rate isn't reflective of his actual whiffs talent, and he has problems with his walk rate, meaning he may damage your WHIP as well.

I'm a big Drabek believer in the long term, but until we see a few more starts out of him in 2011 that clearly separate him from his 2010 production—remember, the highest level he pitched at before last year's 17 major league innings came at Double-A—I wouldn't be very liberal with my use of him unless you're dying for counting stats. Scoop him up, but play matchups until you trust him to perform each time out.

Related Content:  Sean Burnett

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

BP Comment Quick Links

dalbano

If you have a team full of underachievers at this point like I do, I would suggest sending this clip out to any league-mates who are heckling you for being at the bottom of the standings right now. It is properly queued for an immediate response. It could also be the theme of this column.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCQGP36-4GM&feature=player_detailpage#t=210s

Apr 08, 2011 09:09 AM
rating: 0
 
hessshaun

So quick question for you. Does the story change on Francisco if he gets 550 ABs? I'm not implying that he will be a juggernaut, just asking if he will be worth more than about the median owned fantasy OFer?

Apr 08, 2011 09:15 AM
rating: 0
 
prs130

Ben Francisco CAN NOT HIT A CURVEBALL. He can hit lefties and righties who groove a fastball. Here's his season so far:

http://bit.ly/ez46s7

Notice hits against the like of Aneury Rodriguez and Jeff Fulchino and 0fers against every half-decent righty: 0/3 v Brett Myers, 0/3 v Chris Young, 0/2 v Mike Pelfrey.

Apr 08, 2011 09:33 AM
rating: 0
 
Marc Normandin

Well, that's why I said he's more like a 2.5 category player. He's worth owning if he plays all season, for sure, he's just not going to be anything special.

Apr 08, 2011 09:51 AM
rating: 0
 
prs130

I guess what I'm trying to say is... he might not be getting the PAs once his potential platoon mate (who is coincidentally an elite prospect) gets off the DL.

Apr 08, 2011 12:01 PM
rating: 0
 
hessshaun

Well one would hope and I agree. Werth had similar issues before he went full time.

Also, there is no way Ibanez is in the lineup all year and Victorino will take a tour or two. I think he can get the ABs.

Apr 09, 2011 10:50 AM
rating: 0
 
CongoHammer

What do you make of Trevor Cahill's hot start? He was K'ing more people than usual in spring training and it has carried over into his first two starts, do you see this trend lasting? Has his stuff improved at all?

Apr 08, 2011 09:44 AM
rating: 1
 
xavier

Francisco may not win your league single-handedly, but hedging in guys like Burnett sure could, especially in 4x4 NL leagues. Would you guys like to take a stab at some other unheralded, potential closers that could come out of nowhere?

How about Kameron Loe? Chad Qualls? Michael Dunn?

Apr 08, 2011 11:30 AM
rating: 0
 
Marc Normandin

Pinging Mike Petriello...

Apr 08, 2011 12:18 PM
rating: 0
 
xavier

Love these, but guys on those lists are long gone, even in only leagues! Would love some input on the more obscure names, where a $1 FAAB bid now could pay off HUGE for years!

Apr 08, 2011 13:02 PM
rating: 0
 
Marc Normandin

What kind of format do you play in? Because the players are picked specifically because they are *not* long gone. 20% ownership.

Apr 08, 2011 14:38 PM
rating: 0
 
xavier

I play in a 10 team NL 4x4, but we start 10 pitchers and have a 15 round reserve, so most of these guys are gone. In fact, most anyone with a pulse and a chance at closing is gone. All projected setup men. I was able to snag Loe in the first FAAB, and Qualls is still there...

Apr 08, 2011 16:38 PM
rating: 0
 
mikedee

I'd be interested in your take on Nick Hundley ....

Apr 10, 2011 05:32 AM
rating: 0
 
darts1

I would also agree with Xavier, lots of these guys are good recommendations for mixed leagues, but for those of us in AL and NL only leagues these guys were drafted weeks ago.

Apr 10, 2011 08:39 AM
rating: 0
 
You must be a Premium subscriber to post a comment.
Not a subscriber? Sign up today!
<< Previous Article
Premium Article On the Beat: Ninth-Inn... (04/08)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Focus: Clash o... (04/06)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Focus: The NL'... (04/11)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Collateral Damage: Cuf... (04/08)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Fantasy Rounders: The Slump Buster
Premium Article What Scouts Are Saying: July 1, 2015
Premium Article Going Yard: Futures Game: USA Bats
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Tuesday, June ...
Premium Article What You Need to Know: July 1, 2015
Premium Article Notes from the Field: July 1, 2015
Premium Article The Call-Up: Miguel Sano

MORE FROM APRIL 8, 2011
Premium Article Collateral Damage: Cuffed Around
Premium Article On the Beat: Ninth-Inning Newbies
Baseball ProGUESTus: The Rookie Effect
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Value Picks in the Rotation
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Weekly Planner #2
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: April Stolen Base Trends
Premium Article Prospectus Profile: Parnell Adds a Weapon

MORE BY MARC NORMANDIN
2011-04-11 - Premium Article Collateral Damage: More on the Core
2011-04-11 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Focus: The NL's Rookie Outage
2011-04-08 - Premium Article Collateral Damage: Cuffed Around
2011-04-08 - Fantasy Focus: Don't Believe the Hype, 4/8
2011-04-06 - Collateral Damage: Minor Threats
2011-04-06 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Focus: Clash of the First-Timers
2011-04-06 - Premium Article Collateral Damage: Dunn Undergoes Appendecto...
More...

MORE FANTASY FOCUS
2011-04-25 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Focus: Waiting in the Wings
2011-04-18 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Focus: The Road to Hellickson Is Pav...
2011-04-11 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Focus: The NL's Rookie Outage
2011-04-08 - Fantasy Focus: Don't Believe the Hype, 4/8
2011-04-06 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Focus: Clash of the First-Timers
2011-04-04 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Focus: Don't Believe the Hype, 4/4
2011-03-30 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Focus: Down the Rabbit Hole
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2011-04-15 - Fantasy Article Don't Believe the Hype: Buyer Beware