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
The BP Wayback Machine... (03/11)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Nationa... (03/10)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Five to Watch: America... (03/12)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Fan... (03/11)

March 11, 2014

Five to Watch

National League Hitters

by Mauricio Rubio


Anthony RizzoChicago Cubs
Rizzo’s 2013 season boils down to a lack of singles. He notched 65 extra-base hits and generated a healthy 11 percent walk rate, but those types of things get mitigated in a big way fantasy-wise when you hit .233. His ADP is typically in the 100 range, and I think he can outperform that position this year. He has his issues with left-handed pitchers, but he also posted a .258 BABIP, which I think points to at least a bit of bad luck. If he gets the average in the .260 range, he makes a big jump in value considering the power potential. I think it’s a jump he can make considering the plate discipline and manageable 18.4 percent strikeout rate.

Rizzo is being judged off of what can only be described as a disappointing 2013, and that’s fair. But that assessment also creates an attractive value pick in the middle rounds of drafts.

Jayson Werth Washington Nationals
Werth’s ADP is all over the map, as I think owners are unsure what to think about a 34-year-old coming off of what can be called a career year. Werth missed 28 games with a right thigh strain, yet he still posted a .318/.398/.532 slash line with 25 HR and 10 SB in 11 attempts. Werth’s plate discipline is a known commodity, and it’s doubtful that it’ll disappear on him this year, so he will still have tons of value in OBP leagues. The main question regarding Werth is whether you can believe in the average. If you do, he’s a .300 hitter with 25-plus HR and 10-plus SB potential. If you don’t, he’s closer to .270 with the same power/speed potential.

There’s a slim chance he repeats the 26 percent line-drive rate he posted in 2013, so I think the average comes down a bit but not enough for me to drop him much below the sixth or seventh round. Werth provides a lot of help in three categories, and he can pitch in for SB and AVG. This is a guy you want to keep in mind when the first wave of outfielders is off the board.

Jay BruceCincinnati Reds
Bruce never turned into the superstar we were all hoping for back when he was the no. 1 prospect in baseball, but he has put together valuable fantasy seasons the past two years. There are a few warning signs that might scare some owners off—his walk rate has been in decline the past three years and his strikeout rate has been inching up during that same time—but I think he’s still going to be a valuable play this year as a second outfielder.

Bruce hits for power, and he’s in a good hitters’ park, so I would expect another 30-plus HR season with good R/RBI stats mixed in. Per 162 games, Bruce has produced an average of 90 R, 33 HR, and 105 RBI over his last three years. He’s a bit of an average drag, as he’s hit .257 in that span, and he’s no longer super-valuable in OBP leagues, but he’s still got a lot of value.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

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

6 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
The BP Wayback Machine... (03/11)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Nationa... (03/10)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Five to Watch: America... (03/12)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Fan... (03/11)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Pebble Hunting: An Illustrated Guide to the ...
Baseball Therapy: The Truth About Butterflie...
Pitching Backward: How To Get A Hit Off Madi...
Minor League Update: Games of Tuesday, Octob...
Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and Game Two...
Moonshot: The Royals, the Strike Zone, and a...
Playoff Prospectus: The Other Royals: World ...

MORE FROM MARCH 11, 2014
Premium Article Draft Ten Pack: March 11, 2014
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: A New Challenger
Premium Article Minor League Update: Spring Training Games o...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Fantasy Platoon Options
The BP Wayback Machine: Rick Ankiel and Guil...

MORE BY MAURICIO RUBIO
2014-03-19 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Picking Fifth
2014-03-19 - Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Episode 11
2014-03-12 - Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Episode 10
2014-03-11 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: National League Hitters
2014-03-07 - Fantasy Article Graphical Fantasy Rankings: Relief Pitchers
2014-03-07 - TINO (There Is No Offseason): Ep. 9: You Sou...
2014-03-04 - Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Episode 9
More...

MORE FIVE TO WATCH
2014-03-17 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: American League Prospects
2014-03-13 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: American League Hitters
2014-03-12 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: American League Starting Pitc...
2014-03-11 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: National League Hitters
2014-03-10 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: National League Pitchers With...
2013-09-20 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: The Save Rush
2013-09-16 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Hot Corner Conundrums
More...