The merits of Jason Kipnis, Ian Desmond, and Brian McCann as keepers are debated in this week's Reaper.
Brian McCann| Atlanta Braves Shallow (30 Keepers): No Medium (60 Keepers): No Deep (90 Keepers): Fringe NL-only (60 Keepers): Fringe Super Deep (200 Keepers): Yes
McCann had a down year in 2012 but still managed to reach 20 home runs for the fifth straight season. He retained his plate discipline but finished with an ugly .230 average. His BABIP was well below his career mark, yet his batted ball data fell right in line with his norms. This would seem to indicate he was unlucky last year and should rebound this year, but it isn't that cut and dry.
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Old standbys Neil Walker and Alexei Ramirez join young studs Starlin Castro and Jurickson Profar in this week's Reaper.
Neil Walker | Pittsburgh Pirates Shallow (30 Keepers): No Medium (60 Keepers): No Deep (90 Keepers): No NL-only (60 Keepers): Yes Super Deep (200 Keepers): Yes
Walker won't find his name mentioned with the elite at the second base position, but he's a solid option at the keystone. He brings a well-rounded 5x5 line to the table, though he's not an efficient base-stealer and shouldn't be counted on to steal more than a handful of bags.
BP Fantasy content returns to help with your keeper league decisions.
BP Fantasy kicks back into gear today as the football season begins to wane and attentions begin to turn back toward baseball. For the next few weeks, the BP Fantasy team will spend time examining the keeper league value of various players that may be on the fringe of keepability in certain leagues. We know that every keeper league is different, so while we’ll talk in broad strokes, we’re happy to answer questions specific to your league or cover a particular player if you ask nicely :) The analysis, of course, will be focused on each player’s 2013 prospects, so even if you’re not in a keeper league, this should still prove valuable to your draft preparations. We've got some exciting things in the works for the coming season, and I'm happy to be able to kick it off today. —Derek Carty, Fantasy Manager
Matt Wieters | Baltimore Orioles
Shallow (30 Keepers): No Medium (60 Keepers): Fringe Deep (90 Keepers): Yes AL-only (60 Keepers): Yes Super Deep (200 Keepers): Yes
Josh looks back on his VP picks that panned out and those that floundered in the final VP of the year.
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
Jed Lowrie is healthy and Gordon Beckham is hot again, leading to stretch-run VP stints for the pair of middle infielders.
If he played a different position, Manny Machado(Yahoo! 29%, ESPN 38%, CBS 67%) would be an easy departure. Shortstop is a wretched offensive position this year, though, earning Machado a bit more leash as the season winds down. He recorded zero extra base hits this past week but did manage to steal a base. His strikeout rate is down this month, and his line drive rate is up. He has enough thump in the bat to put a charge into the ball, so deep mixed leaguers and AL-only owners should refrain from dumping Machado.
Kurt Suzuki and Manny Machado join the VP crew for the stretch run in this week's edition.
Since the last Second, Short, and Catcher Value Picks article (on break last week for Labor Day), Zack Cozart(Yahoo! 23%, ESPN 22%, CBS 59%) has slumped, and more importantly, he has been bit by the injury bug. A strained oblique has Cozart riding the pine, and it's unclear when he'll return. A player can't accumulate stats if he isn’t on the diamond, so cut bait with Cozart.
This week's VP welcomes both power and speed helpers in Ryan Lavarnway and Everth Cabrera to the mix.
A trade from the Diamondbacks to the A's pushes Stephen Drew(Yahoo! 18%, ESPN 14%, CBS 31%) to the “Departures” section. The trade means that Drew will be moving from a home ballpark that plays slightly in the favor of left-handed hitters to one of the worst in baseball for them. He also moves from an offense that is 11th in runs scored in Major League Baseball to the team ranked 25th. He is still an option as a middle infielder in large mixed leagues, but he shouldn't be starting at shortstop in anything other than AL-only leagues.
Catchers dominate the Arrivals section of this week's VP with Rosario, Grandal, and Jaso joining the group.
It should come as no surprise that as a much-ballyhooed prospect that got off to a hot start, Manny Machado(Yahoo! 50%, ESPN 84%, CBS 79%) saw his ownership level rise to a level that disqualifies him for continued inclusion in Value Picks. Even with a couple of 0-fers over the weekend, Machado has made about as seamless a transition as the Orioles could have hoped for from a guy jumping from Double-A to the majors. His strikeout rate is right in line with his minor league levels, but his walk rate is way down. Don't let the walk rate fool you, though; his chase rate headed into Sunday was at 33.3 percent, just a bit above the league average of 30.5 percent. We aren't talking about a total hacker here. He's still really green, and he's hitting in the bottom third of the Orioles lineup, so if someone wants to overpay in a redraft league, let them. Otherwise, ride out his hot streak and hope Machado is able to take advantage of expanded rosters and perhaps some weaker pitching opposition in September.
Breakout rookie sensation Manny Machado joins the VP crew this week.
Finally: a big week from Stephen Drew(Yahoo! 21%, ESPN 17%, CBS 35%). His batted ball data and plate discipline rates pointed to brighter days. This past week he raked, going 5-for-19 with one home run, five runs scored, and three runs batted in and a five-to-five walk-to-strikeout ratio. Drew is a good enough hitter to start at shortstop in mixed leagues, and his ownership levels will rise from fringe middle infield-worthy to match his starting shortstop talent level.
Zack Cozart and Ruben Tejada form this week's VP middle infield tandem.
The non-waiver trade deadline came and went, and Chase Headley is still a member of the Padres. That means no path was cleared for Jedd Gyorko(Yahoo! 1%, ESPN 0%, CBS 10%) to receive regular playing time in the majors. Gyorko has done plenty to earn a look this year, and I fully expect he'll get that shot, but without guaranteed steady playing time when he reaches the bigs and an uncertain call-up date, he can safely be cut loose in most redraft leagues.
Chris Iannetta, George Kottaras, and Steve Lombardozzi get examined in this week's VP.
My optimistic outlook for Gordon Beckham(Yahoo! 10%, ESPN 13%, CBS 46%) resulted in a 4-for-23 week at the dish with no pop or speed. He's making contact, with a contact rate of better than 90 percent in the last two weeks, but it hasn't been hard contact; he’s posted a paltry 8 percent line drive rate. Stephani Bee discussed Beckham as a change of scenery candidate in Wednesday's Lineup Card. Perhaps that is what it will take to get Beckham right, or perhaps there is no fixing Beckham, but for now, he doesn't need to be rostered in fantasy leagues.
Josh looks at rookie middle men Jean Segura and Josh Rutledge as potential AL- and NL-only picks in this week's VP.
My desire to feature someone else as this week's AL-only VP spelled the end for Brian Dozier(Yahoo! 2%, ESPN 1%, CBS 7%) being included in the column. Of course, he has done himself no favors to remain either. In the last seven days, Dozier has hit an ugly .185/.214/.185 with zero home runs and zero steals. The last 14 days weren't much better, as he hit .200/.263/.286 with one home run and zero stolen bases. That type of production, or better said, that lack of production simply isn't going to cut it, even in AL-only leagues.