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
Prospectus Hit and Run... (10/24)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Fir... (10/21)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Sec... (10/26)
Next Article >>
Pebble Hunting: Baseba... (10/25)

October 25, 2011

The Keeper Reaper

Outfielders for 10/25/11

by Rob McQuown

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.

For a baseball season which threatened to have about as little drama as an episode of Emeril Live until the final week, the high drama continues in a hotly contested World Series.  For some leagues, keeper decisions need to be made by the time dessert is finished in the season, and so the other 28 teams get some attention before trading begins in earnest.  Whether a deadline looms or not, keeper advice can help make a team into a dynasty.

Shallow (10-team mixed, 3 keepers): http://pfm.baseballprospectus.com/index.php?cid=6431
Medium (12-team mixed, 4 keepers) http://pfm.baseballprospectus.com/index.php?cid=6430
Deep
(15-team mixed, 6 keepers) http://pfm.baseballprospectus.com/index.php?cid=6432
NL-Only
(12-team NL only, 5 keepers) http://pfm.baseballprospectus.com/index.php?cid=6435
A
L-Only (12-team AL only, 5 keepers) http://pfm.baseballprospectus.com/index.php?cid=6434
Super Deep
(20-team mixed, 10 keepers) http://pfm.baseballprospectus.com/index.php?cid=6433

Lance Berkman | St. Louis Cardinals
Shallow
: NO
Medium
: BORDERLINE
Deep
: YES
NL-only
: YES
Super Deep
: YES

It's still unnatural writing about Lance Berkman, outfielderLast December, he was covered in this column as a bargain for the upcoming 2011 season, with slight cautions about his inability to hit lefty pitching in the past.  He ended up surpassing all expectations and clouting 31 home runs while scoring 90 runs and driving in 94.  Expecting a repeat at his age would be overly optimistic, but he should be a strong contributor in that lineup and a force in leagues which use on-base percentage.

Lucas Duda | New York Mets
Shallow
: NO
Medium
: NO
Deep
: NO
NL-only
: YES
Super Deep
: YES

With Ike Davis due back, surprising power source Lucas Duda will be seeing most of his playing time in the outfield, though dual-eligibility will make him more valuable for 2012.  Before 2010, there was little to suggest that Duda would be able to earn more than bench play for the Mets or any other team.  He isn't a great defensive first baseman and plays outfield defense as if his primary position is first base (it is).  He was coming off a typical .281/.380/.428, age-23 season in Binghamton, but in 2010, he quickly earned a promotion to Triple-A, where he hit .314/.389/.610 in 298 plate appearances.  He picked up where he left off in 2011, hitting .302/.414/.597, and when opportunities arose on the injury-plagued Mets, he barely slowed down against major-league pitching.  He's a big guy with a big swing, and the increase in power was to be expected.  That he's been able to keep his batting average (and thus on-base percentage) as high as he did is a credit to the reduction in strikeout rate he's shown as he's progressed through the system.  With such a big swing, he may never hit lefties enough to impact then, but if he can come close to the .380 on-base percentage and over-.500 slugging against right-handed pitching again, he'll be a force.  He's still under the radar enough that protecting him in a deep league would be overkill, but he's certainly someone to target.

Ichiro Suzuki | Seattle Mariners
Shallow
: NO
Medium
: NO
Deep
: YES
AL-only
: YES
Super Deep
: YES

Ichiro has a .351 career BABIP in MLB.  Yes, .351.  He's arguably the best hitter ever at slapping the ball into play where he wants it and racing to first base before a play can be made.  Or at least he was.  His 2011 BABIP fell to a mortal .295, and he wasn't able to pick things up on demand to recover from his bad first half, as he's been able to do previously.  He still stole 40 bases despite a .310 on-base percentage, but expecting him to continue getting 700 plate appearances is risky.  Expect some rebound from his BABIP but not enough to vault him back into keeper territory in shallow or medium leagues.  And in deep leagues, trading him would be the safe play, before he loses all his trade value.

Rajai Davis | Toronto Blue Jays
Shallow
: NO
Medium
: NO
Deep
: NO
AL-only
: BORDERLINE*
Super Deep
: YES*

Rajai Davis hit .238 with one home run and battled injuries and benchings to receive only 338 plate appearances in 2011.  He'll be 31 next season and figures to be Toronto’s fourth outfielder, though he would probably be the fifth outfielder if Travis Snider and Eric Thames didn't both have options remaining.  Davis is the poster boy for “what's wrong with most fantasy baseball leagues” as he racked up $11 of value in super deep formats last season on the strength of his 34 stolen bases.  And given that he has stolen almost one full base per ten plate appearances over the course of his career, it wasn't a fluke either.  If making moves today, he's probably a cut in all formats covered here (hence the asterists above), but with Colby Rasmus in town, expect Davis to end up on a team more in need of a fast center fielder, making him a great player to own in fantasy baseball.

Chris Heisey | Cincinnati Reds
Shallow
: NO
Medium
: NO
Deep
: NO
NL-only
: NO
Super Deep
: BORDERLINE

Many fantasy owners seek values from players who put up an impressive dollars-per-plate appearance rate while playing less than full time, the logic being that when said player is inevitably given full-time work, his value will skyrocket.  And that might actually be the case with Chris Heisey, as he was discussed in positive terms in this column before.  The problem with Heisey is that while he has very good power, expecting him to double his 18 home runs with double the playing time is overly optimistic, and the expected batting average gains won't make up for it.  Besides, he's not currently in line to receive full-time duty, despite entering his age-27 season.  Too many risks here to take the chance, unless he receives a firm commitment to receive playing time over the offseason—a scenario which is extremely unlikely.

Andy Dirks | Detroit Tigers
Shallow
: NO
Medium
: NO
Deep
: NO
AL-only
: NO
Super Deep
: NO
(included only for the benefit of owners in very, very deep leagues with many keepers)

Like Duda, Andy Dirks has the arrow pointing upward after some good performance at Triple-A over the past two seasons.  Unlike Duda, Dirks can play some defense, a good corner outfielder who can cover center field without much drama, and his speed also translates into valuable stolen bases.  He’s only had 265 Triple-A plate appearances (albeit good ones), however, which were aided greatly by BABIP, and he hit like the fourth outfielder he is when he was given time in the Tigers outfield.  If a decision had to be made today, Dirks wouldn't be a keeper, as Brennan Boesch will be back and Delmon Young is under contract as well.  It's a long offseason, though, and if the news indicates that Dirks will get more time, he could find himself in a situation like Chris Heisey, and while he's far from a star, he could have some value in AL-only leagues or super-super deep mixed leagues.

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:  Chris Heisey,  Chris Davis,  Andy Dirks

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

BP Comment Quick Links

JamesP469

"(included only for the benefit of owners in very, very deep leagues with many keepers)"

How deep would you consider a 12 team league with 18 keepers (3 of which must have been considered either a rookie or prospect in the previous season).

Oct 25, 2011 09:44 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Rob McQuown
BP staff

Well, I doubt I'd be eyeing Dirks all that closely until some news breaks that suggests the OF won't be Young, Jackson, and Boesch. But he plays better defense than Delmon and could also spell Boesch against tough lefties. Are those 36 rookies/prospects only players who played in 2011? If those guys include pre-MLB prospects as well, I would certainly try to get someone with more upside on which to use one of those slots.

One of my fantasy leagues is a 12-team AL-only league with 40-man rosters (25 active), where we can keep a lot of players (winner keeps 25, last place team keeps almost all 40 [I'd have to look, it may be all 40])... in a setting like that, you'd keep Dirks, especially since 5 outfielders need to be active to be legal. I think he'll go for $2 (instead of $1 or undrafted) in some [12-team] AL-only leagues next year. These are the sorts of environments when you'd be thinking about Dirks, barring some surprising news this offseason.

Oct 25, 2011 11:55 AM
 
JamesP469

Rob - you have to keep 18 of the following 34 players (3 of which must have been either prospects or rookies the previous season). 7x7 w/ OBP,SLG, QS, and K/BB. Any difference between your list and the ones I have asterisks next to?

Jesus Montero*, Edwin Encarnacion, Eduardo Nunez, Adrian Beltre*, Darwin Barney, Danny Espinosa*, Mike Carp, Alfonso Soriano, Austin Jackson, Mike Trout*, Peter Bourjos, Shane Victorino*, Mike Stanton*, CarGo*, Mark Trumbo*, Russell Martin, Jeff Francoeur*, Tyler Pastornicky, Kendrys Morales*, Colby Lewis*, Rafael Betancourt, Brandon McCarthy, Tim Hudson*, Alexi Ogando*, Jeremy Hellickson*, Andrew Bailey, Craig Kimbrel*, Brandon League, Matt Cain*, Bud Norris, Andrew Cashner, Johan Santana*, Tommy Hanson*

Nov 04, 2011 16:25 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Rob McQuown
BP staff

First, I only see 33 names here.

With two caveats (noted), I think these 16 are clear keepers:

Jesus Montero*,
Adrian Beltre*,
Mike Trout*,
Mike Stanton*,
CarGo*,
Craig Kimbrel*,
Matt Cain*,
Tommy Hanson*
Shane Victorino*,
Danny Espinosa*,

Andrew Bailey, - assuming you can bench him if he's injured. And yes, I realize closers aren't worth nearly as much in 7x7.

Brandon McCarthy,
Tim Hudson*,
Jeremy Hellickson*,
Johan Santana*, - sort of a risk, but the name should make him a must-keep
Colby Lewis*,

I'm leaning toward Bourjos and Ogando for the next two. Ogando's clearly a keeper if he stays in the rotation and is healthy, but his late-season struggles, and the way he was used late in the year and in the postseason have me worried. Bourjos is a very odd case - before the year, I didn't see his offense developing the way it did, but with his defense, it's hard to see him leaving the lineup for a decade now. He involves some risk, but getting to play every day makes his playing time more slump-proof than a lesser defender, and I still think he has some SB upside, in addition to his natural growth as a hitter (in OBP/SLG).

Some guys I wouldn't keep that have asterisks by their names:
- Trumbo/Morales: I don't fully get the Trumbo fascination. One could compare him to Dave Kingman, perhaps, but Kingman was a first overall pick who played (or tried to play) some 3b and OF early in his career. Trumbo hits the ball a country mile, but he's stuck to first base, seems like his high-water mark for OBP won't be much above .300, has contention for his playing time (in Morales), and plays in a park that's now playing much more like a pitcher's park. Morales is good enough to keep, but I think I'd roll the dice and try to redraft him, I think he'll slide in drafts/auctions below some of these others... though Trumbo won't help his situation any, either.

- Francoeur: Seems a shame to cut him, too bad you couldn't trade him before the deadline. Still, he's a .270/.313/.433 career hitting outfielder with about 7 steals per full season. The best thing he has going for him is that his defense (and management's love of him) all but insure his playing time. But all that's true of Austin Jackson, as well, and he's 3 years younger and might have more upside left in his game.

Two other comments:
- Encarnacion seems like he'd be pretty good in your format, being qualified at 3b. Of course, if he doesn't see regular PT in 2012, it's all for naught, but he has hit .260/.336/.453 for his career, and while that's not Mike Schmidt, and you already have Beltre, that's still going to have a lot of value to someone (if he plays regularly).

- Russell Martin - no, I'm not just living in the past here. But if your league requires that two catchers be active, I might consider him. If not, forget it. But, especially with Montero on your squad, I'd give him a long look.

Nov 05, 2011 08:16 AM
 
Sharky

Can you compare Lucas Duda to Garrett Jones a couple years ago (his first season in the bigs seems comparable... .300 TAV, SLG around 500, but 21 HR for Jones vs. 10 for Duda). Is Duda's bat any more real than Jones's?

Oct 25, 2011 11:15 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Rob McQuown
BP staff

I thought about including a reference to Garrett Jones, but he's really just not as good as Duda. His age-28 season was his monster (vs RHP at least) partial season, compared to the age-25 season for Duda. And the year before Jones had such a big year, he'd hit just .279/.337/.484 in Triple-A. or, to use TAv:

Jones, 2008, age 27 AAA - .275 TAv
Jones, 2009, age 28 AAA - .292 TAv
Jones, 2009, age 28 MLB - .302 TAv

Duda, 2010, age 24 AA - .308 TAv (197 PA)
Duda, 2010, age 24 AAA - .324 TAv (298 PA)
Duda, 2011, age 25 AAA - .332 TAv (157 PA)
Duda, 2011, age 25 MLB - .309 TAv (347 PA)

Posting a .285-ish TAv at AAA at ages 27-28 (Jones) isn't really suggestive of a starting MLB corner player. Posting a .325+ TAv at AAA at ages 24-25 (Duda) is a lot more convincing. He may never exceed his 2011 rate stats (it would take more growth and/or luck and is possible but shouldn't be banked upon), but his 2011 rate stats were quite good as they are, and there's little reason to expect a Jonesian collapse.

As an aside, given his lack of pedigree, and relative success against right-handed pitching, if I was in a league where I didn't own Duda, and he started off slowly in 2012, I'd view him as a great trade target. I say this because coaching staffs are going to work hard over the winter to device a plan for right-handed pitchers to use against him, and it wouldn't be surprising if something works for a while, but baseball is a game of constant adjustments and there's no reason to assume Duda won't adjust. But if he starts out slowly, there will be owners selling cheaply in some leagues.

Oct 25, 2011 11:48 AM
 
dodgerken222

One thing that jumps out is that Duda was 25 this year and Jones was 28 when he broke in with 21 HRs in 2009.

Oct 25, 2011 11:37 AM
rating: 0
 
dodgerken222

As an aside, it sounds as if the Mets will be moving in and lowering the fences at CitiField next year.

Oct 25, 2011 11:39 AM
rating: 1
 
69wildcat

That's all well and good but their opponents get to bat with the fences moved in (and lowered) as well. I know that there is a lot of anecdotal evidence pointing to the move to Citi Field hurting Mets' hitters, especially David Wright. I don't know enough about this to know for sure. I do know that tinkering with the fences seldom works out the way a team plans; the way it usually works is that moving the fences in increases offense across the board. Any increase for the home team is offset by increased production for the visitors as well. Be careful what you wish for.

Oct 25, 2011 12:34 PM
rating: -2
 
delatopia

You are assuming here that moving the fences is being done for strategic reasons. My reading of this situation is that moving the fences in is being done to generate offense ... and therefore put people in the seats. 7-6 ballgames are, according to the planners, more attractive than 3-2 games. They may or may not be correct, I don't know, but I think that on-field concerns are not at the top of the list of reasons for doing this. They may cite Wright's power or whatever, but that's just mouthing the words.

Oct 25, 2011 17:14 PM
rating: 0
 
dodgerken222

Do you think that Jerry Sands' September (.342/.415/.493) was something to get excited about or just a flash in the pan? I see his home/road splits at Albuquerque were pretty extreme, but he sure looked impressive to the naked eye the last month.

Oct 25, 2011 12:06 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Rob McQuown
BP staff

You know, the player cards now have oppAvg/OBP/SLG, and TAv on them - these are the composites of the pitchers faced by said player. Combined with BPF, it really does indicate that Sands had a very easy time of it in 2011 in Triple-A. And, while Sands posted only a .269 TAv in Triple-A, and .265 for the Dodgers, I still like him a lot. He doesn't have much experience, having barely played much full-season ball in 2009, and then skipping high-A ball in 2010, and then he continued his season with a torrid AFL. It's a bit early to start comparing him to Richie Sexson (an underrated player in his own right, slugging .499+ for nine straight years - though some seasons were partials), but he could hit like that in time, perhaps as soon as 2012. Though I think highly of his chances, I wouldn't give much thought to keeping him in any but the deepest leagues, but he's certainly someone to keep an eye on.

Oct 25, 2011 13:11 PM
 
dodgerken222

Just for the record, I don't agree with the Mets moving in their fences. Their pitching has been pretty mediocre the past couple of seasons in this alleged "pitchers' park", and I think the Mets are not going to win any championships leaning on offense. I only mentioned it in regard to Duda's potential value.

Oct 25, 2011 12:40 PM
rating: 0
 
You must be a Premium subscriber to post a comment.
Not a subscriber? Sign up today!
<< Previous Article
Prospectus Hit and Run... (10/24)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Fir... (10/21)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Sec... (10/26)
Next Article >>
Pebble Hunting: Baseba... (10/25)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: All's Well That Ends W...
Premium Article Pitching Backward: How Offense is Created
West Coast By Us: California Stars
Eyewitness Accounts: May 21, 2015
Premium Article Raising Aces: Debut Ante: Noah Syndergaard
Premium Article What You Need to Know: Ump Show!
Premium Article Release Points: How Bryce Harper Beat The Bo...

MORE FROM OCTOBER 25, 2011
Premium Article World Series Prospectus: Mixed-Up Confusion
Premium Article Future Shock: Tuesday-Morning Ten-Pack for 1...
Premium Article On the Beat: The State of Instant Replay
Divide and Conquer, NL West: What are the Pa...
Pebble Hunting: Baseball's Brief History of ...

MORE BY ROB MCQUOWN
2011-12-06 - Premium Article The Keeper Reaper: Outfielders for 12/6/11
2011-11-15 - BP Unfiltered: Managing New Stats
2011-10-25 - Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Outfielders for 10/25/11
2011-10-18 - BP Unfiltered: Final Stats in PFM and Cards
2011-10-18 - Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Outfielders for 10/18/11
More...

MORE THE KEEPER REAPER
2011-10-28 - Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: First, Third, and DH for ...
2011-10-27 - Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Starting Pitching for 10/...
2011-10-26 - Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Second, Short, and Catche...
2011-10-25 - Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Outfielders for 10/25/11
2011-10-21 - Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: First, Third, and DH for ...
2011-10-20 - Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Starting Pitching for 10/...
2011-10-19 - Fantasy Article The Keeper Reaper: Second, Short, and Catche...
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2012-10-29 - Fantasy Article Resident Fantasy Genius: The Ones We Got Wro...
2012-03-20 - Fantasy Article Resident Fantasy Genius: Fantasy Tier Rankin...
2012-02-17 - Fantasy Article Preseason Value Picks: Outfielders for 2/17/...
2012-01-20 - Premium Article The Keeper Reaper: Outfielders for 1/20/12