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September 24, 2012
Second, Short, and Catcher Review
With just over a week left in the season, BP’s Value Picks writers will be taking a look back on the season. They’ll be looking at the players they hit on, the players they missed on, and what went right or wrong. Thank you, readers, for your support throughout another great season here at BP. —Derek Carty, Fantasy Manager
I was late to the Baseball Prospectus Value Pick party, joining the staff in early June. During my abridged tenure, I’ve had my share of hits and misses. In an attempt to keep things organized, I'll break my season highlights down into “Duds,” “Contributors,” and “Studs.”
My biggest flubs were Gordon Beckham and Stephen Drew. Drew was initially mentioned as a disabled list stash option on June 14, and he wouldn't depart the column until August 27. Beckham had a solid week after his inclusion on June 4, and he was pushed off the list the following week because of a jump in his ownership rate. His ownership would eventually drop as he cooled off, allowing me to include him amongst the Value Picks again on July 16, where he would stay until getting the boot on July 30. Always a glutton for punishment, I gave Beckham one last look last week. He responded by hitting .250, but at least he found the seats with one of his four hits. The line drive rates of each player were an intoxicating elixir that impaired my fantasy judgment and drove me to preach patience with both players. Neither proved worth waiting on.
Originally appearing as an NL-only VP on June 11, Everth Cabrera would reappear in the mixed league section on August 27. He has lived up to his one trick-pony billing as a stolen base option, and that is good enough to qualify as a “Contributor” here.
Stephen Drew wasn't the only disabled list stash suggestion I made this year; thankfully, Salvador Perez got a recommendation in the same column on June 4. Owners that stashed Perez have been rewarded with a .300 batting average, 36 runs, 36 RBI, and 11 home runs in 271 plate appearances.
Another catcher was featured in my inaugural Value Picks article. That man was Wilin Rosario, and boy has he been good. He entered play on June 4 with a slash of .238/.275/.545 with eight home runs. He now owns a slash line of .274/.314/.537 and has added 18 more home runs, bringing his season total to 26 round-trippers.
Another trio of catchers were hits, albeit to a lesser extent than Perez and Rosario. Yasmani Grandal and Ryan Doumit were first written about here on July 2, and Chris Iannetta was first highlighted on July 30. Five of Grandal's home runs came after I wrote about him, and he has hit .280/.387/.463 overall on the year in 194 plate appearances. He's been no slouch in runs or RBI either, with 27 and 29 respectively. Doumit has been even better, tallying 28 runs, nine home runs, 33 RBI, and a .271 batting average in 251 at-bats since the start of July. After the calendar flipped to August, Iannetta has received 130 at-bats, scoring 15 runs, hitting five home runs with 16 RBI and a .277 average.
Looking back at my middle infield prognostications, Erick Aybar, Josh Rutledge, and Jeff Keppinger all earn tallies on the positive side of the ledger. Aybar went on the disabled list in July, but beyond that hiccup, he has been an outstanding source of average while hitting six of his seven home runs and stealing 13 bases since virtual ink was spilled on canvas touting him. My reluctance to buy into Rutledge's hot start prevented owners from enjoying the full effect of his solid rookie season, but a big August hopefully earned me forgiveness from readers. On August 6, I talked up Keppinger's ability to hit for a hollow average. Since then, he has hit .349 in 149 at-bats, adding 18 runs, three home runs, and 14 RBI as gravy.
I hope you all enjoyed the fantasy season and found my suggestions to be helpful. I got a great deal of pleasure from interacting with readers, and I look forward to doing more of that in the future. Feel free to reach out via e-mail with keeper questions and other fantasy inquiries throughout the offseason.