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That's certainly a right and just skepticism. And Cabrera's always the cautionary tale there, though it should never be forgotten that the Orioles jumped him more or less straight from the Sally League at 22 to the Majors at 23 (with a 5-start layover at AA), which...whew. Baez has already demonstrated dramatically better control at a young age than a guy like Cabrera ever did, and the reports suggest more command of body than you typically see from over-sized kids his age. Here's Will's writ-up: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_pit.php?reportid=539
I dunno that that's necessarily true, he was seventh on our pre-season org list, and he's probably top 5 now in a pretty solid Pittsburgh system? He's a good prospect with a quality big-league projection - it's not a *superstar* profile, so maybe you're picking up on an element of "he's just a boring ol' average MLB player" in your perception of him. But understated in that, a 50 Realistic (which is what Javier hung on him) is a damn good role grade, and at least as far as I'm aware he's generally well-regarded accordingly.
He is, yes. Assumption when he was originally assigned there was that they'd get him adjusted to live/game pitching again for a couple weeks there before bringing him stateside. He banged up his knee shortly thereafter, however, and missed almost all of July. Yesterday was his third game back from the injury. I'd imagine they still have designs on bringing him over for the end of Rookie ball/fall complex.
Well, realistically they don't *have* to do either of those things, right? Could just as well let him rake through August, then call him up in September to see if he can contribute to the playoff push and figure it out later.
Forgive me, for I typoed. Fixed.
Oh man, that's a great call and would've been a way better reference. I am now Mad Online at myself.
Yeah, this is pretty dead-on. When you combine the flashes of offensive production with the pedigree, it's not all that hard to see why people kept talking themselves into him through his 20's.
His sprint speed is one of the most curious things to come out of that data dump for my money, yeah. I had him as a 55/60-range present runner in the Cal, with 5 clocks averaging 4.12 from the left side. And given the athleticism I expected he'd retain a vast majority of that foot speed, even as he matured and filled out. But those sprint numbers, if correct, would indicate he's gone <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=103203">Amed Rosario</a></span> style and *added* some raw foot speed. I think broadly given his frame and expected ultimate landing spot at 1B (after occasional utility in the outfield in his early years) the presumption among most scouts was/is that the opposite'd happen: that he'd fill out further to max his power potential at maturity. And keep in mind he *just* turned 22. He's doing what he's doing quicker than most anybody expected he would, so that warps some of the future grades on his scouting reports vis-a-vis projection. That expectation may very well still come to pass. For now though, yeah, he's still reaping the rewards of his maturing frame, to where he's gotten to high-end power potential without yet compromising any of his fluidity in motion.
Weeeeeell, for one thing there are no rules, as this is a fun/silly look back at relative futility in the face of expected non-futility. But to that end, Young absolutely "qualifies." He was the consensus best prospect in baseball, destined for franchise cornerstone status, annual all-star appearances, and Best Player In Baseball conversations in bar rooms across America. Instead he generated 3.5 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=WARP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('WARP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">WARP</span></a> *for his whole career*, with no season better'n 1.2. It's an easy argument that his career was only as long as it was because he was such a touted prospect, and one who debuted as early as he did. Off of a results orientation only, he didn't deserve nearly the rope he got at the big-league level.
Perhaps you've been misled by the title, but seeing as how the content of this piece is about scouting error and unforeseen adjustments by a prospect over time, I'm not really sure what your spreadsheets have to do with anything written herein. But bully for your computer's crystal ball, and chalk another one up for the robots!
FWIW I'll have some thoughts on him up in Monday's 10 Pack. Basically if you like where <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=104938">Alex Verdugo</a></span> is at this year (and we clearly do), there's a good chance you'll be happy with where Urias is at a year from now.
Quantrill was discussed, but he's not quite there yet. The main issue with him at this point in time is that when he loses his mechanics he LOSES HIS MECHANICS. He'll go through stretches in a given start where the wheels will fall off and he'll really struggle with his timing and repetition through the drive. We'd like to see how he matures a bit in terms of righting the ship when that happens and see some progress in navigating through lineups when he starts to scuffle. Would also like to see him bump up deployment of the breaking ball and see how the pitch responds in a more prominent role before we bump him into a top 50. He's a very good pitching prospect though, and the potential for progress on both counts is certainly there. Here's a fuller report on him: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_pit.php?reportid=509
I'd be tempted to go with Harrison's upside, but would probably lean with Peters' pop & patience. I like Lee, too.
Yeah, that's much better. Given that I'd amend to suggest making a speculative add in medium-depth leagues (14+) where you're hunting for pitching. Very much the kind of guy who, if the command translates, can surprise a bit at the outset when hitters are seeing him for the first couple times.
It's broadly sort of a catch-all term to denote that he's comfortable using his entire arsenal in any situation, and he utilizes location and sequencing effectively with that varied pitch selection to upset hitters' ability to sit on his stuff. Means his combination of command, sequencing, and understanding of how to attack hitters at-bat to at-bat and inning to inning is an asset, and in this case it's what helps his ostensibly vanilla stuff play up pretty significantly.
FWIW he actually pitched perfectly fine from a results standpoint in this start - stuff was moving okay, did't give up any real ballpark-specific hits, limited damage, etc. Lancaster's lineup is overwhelmingly right-handed, however, and would like to see him again against a larger sample of lefties (and, yes, in a more neutral context would help) before slapping concrete grades on him.
Could literally be any number of things having to do with the organization's player development strategy or the player himself, none of which we're likely to ever know about. Kannapolis is in a tight race for a first-half playoff spot, could be they wanted to expose him to that, could be that given his mechanical issues last year they like having him work with the PC or catcher he's currently working with...could be a pre-set strategy that they were gonna keep him there for half a season no matter what...
"If the body and mechanical base win the day there's high-three starter potential here with above-average command, while the stuff's good enough to project at least an inconsistent-but-sometimes-dynamic No. 4 Starter at the highest level."
As noted, there's still a good deal of command-based variance here, and as I imply in the above I track towards conservative optimism he approaches his <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OFP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OFP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OFP</span></a>. Regardless, big-league 4's don't grow on trees, and this should not in any way be taken as a disappointing projection.
We're juuuuuust starting to kick the tires on that discussion, but I think it's safe to assume that his name'll be in rotation on our Slack channel.
Yes! Thanks for catching that typo
I hadn't gone back and re-read that pre-season report, but seeing as how my OFP/Realistic ended up right in line with that one, I'm not sure the profile has really changed all *that* much. Like I noted, there's enough fluidity/athleticism to project that he'll make some gains in streamlining the delivery and holding it together through full starts, and I've heard tell of him flashing that ability in other starts this spring. Any time you see a starter with a plus fastball and true swing-and-miss 7 secondary he's got the potential to provide strong fantasy value by way of the K, though, so I wouldn't get discouraged.
Only in my heart <3 Good catch, thanks.
He maintains 2B eligibility this year, and was listed yesterday at that more-valuable position: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=31951
I'd probably slot him right around the turn at the bottom of the 4's or top of the 3's for 3B.
All we can predict is that which we know, and as of this writing his primary (and only) position of eligibility when he eventually gets called up will be 3B on all four of the major host sites.
That was my role grade on him last year, and I remain skeptical that the hit tool plays enough for him to evolve into a regular 25-man roster piece. He'll have an opportunity right now though, and he certainly has the raw tools to put together some stretches of productivity.
I'm an (apparently irrational) stickler, and still prefer to be on Castellanos adjustments winning the day.
He's been pretty bad there this year, yeah. Already cost his team as many runs (3+) as he did all of last year. Sense I get just watching him play and seeing a couple of those, he's pressing pretty hard across the board right now. He's never going to be <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=28104">Brooks Robinson</a></span> over there, but especially given the team context with Miggy locked in at first and a logjam of DH types (VMart, Avila) I don't see how his isn't a fairly long leash.
Yes, intended implication was the of a 2/3. We had him as a 7 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OFP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OFP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OFP</span></a>, Role 5 likely in our 2015 Twins Top 10: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=31920
FWIW, he was working 91-94 with additional velo projection at that time. Has come out 90-93 (t94) thus far in his two starts back off the shelf, so stuff-wise it appears to be so far, so good.
I don't doubt that at all, those estimates would represent my 50th percentile guesstimate.
Thanks man, glad you found it helpful. .270/22/14 with a solid <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OBP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OBP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OBP</span></a>? Somewhere in that range? 2013-4 <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=52054">Alex Gordon</a></span> style?
Thanks as always for the extensive argumentation, MGL.
I understand the argument, I just don't believe I agree with it. We care about outs, and the pitchers who can get them - at every level. And pitchers who gets outs all kinds of different ways make it to the MLB level. We privilege strikeouts (obviously) and ground balls (for their efficiency and safety in generating those outs), but there is no "certain minimum <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=GB%25" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('GB%'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">GB%</span></a>" that is a prerequisite for an MLB career, as you state. Your 1%/10% figures are drawn out of a hat, they're entirely theoretical. It "could be" that 20% of short pitchers are good at getting grounders, to 10% of tall pitchers, too. My point was that on account of current amateur scouting and coaching biases, we have no way at all of knowing what those figures are, or rather would be without those biases.
My point was also to piggyback off Steve's comment in the piece, that being tall doesn't necessarily correlate with higher/lengthier release points, better perceived velocity, higher spin rates, or deadlier pitch movement. All of those things factor into ground ball - and, broadly, contact - rates. Taller pitchers aren't uniquely skilled as a class at leveraging their height advantage and translating it into better angles of attack, nor does a given tall pitcher's arm action and stride length result in inherently better extension. Those are case-by-case situations particular to every pitcher's unique mechanics and physicality.
Your last paragraph gets at the essential thesis of this piece: scouts *do* give that extra leash to the tall, lanky pitcher, yet the sum of available data suggests they aren't necessarily right to do so.
With regard to ground balls, it's not a question of perception, it's a question of results, right? And in the data we have, there's just not any evidence of a correlation between pitcher height and ground ball rate. That's partially due, I think, to the facts that 1) taller pitchers don't generate inherently greater plane (as I discussed, that's a product of arm slot and extension in addition to raw height) and 2) angle of attack may not be as singularly important as something like late movement vis-a-vis getting under barrels. Particularly *because* the end result of selection leaves us with a sample skewed towards taller pitchers, the evidence of a correlation between raw height and ground ball rate should show up in that end-game data if there is one, and it doesn't.
Buehler, White, and Alvarez are all on roughly 60-pitch limits early on at Rancho. I'd imagine they'll loosen the reigns a *bit*, particularly with Alvarez, but it's unlikely that we see huge innings tallies out of any of those guys this year, especially Buehler. They're going to be very careful building him back up.
Nah, he's in the Dominican currently, we don't have anyone scouting amateur ball there (though it's something to aspire to, I suppose). Best I can do is point you to a few minutes of him taking BP hacks about a month ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jy0Y-enSNu8
Yeah, I've seen him a half-dozen times now, and while I havent seen a steal attempt I will say in his favor that he has a sneaky feel for getting good releases on contact and has gone 1st to 3rd a couple times where I didn't think that would happen. Flipside, he ran a 4.55 "dig" the other day on a double-play grounder, and he needs literally every inch of instinctual advantage he can garner to rate as a 20 runner.
*Asterisk there, I'll have notes on <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=JOSE+Almonte">JOSE Almonte</a></span> next week. I assume Jeff will catch Yency at some point in Hartford, though, so stay tuned.
And the more info the merrier far as I'm concerned, we tend to limit ourselves to the 15-20 guys we do each day so we can add a little bit of color/spotlight context on them. Like you though, I certainly like having all the intel we can centralized in one place, so welcome and encouraged for folks to add addendum posts in the comments.
That'd be a bummer if true. He's been a pretty consistent tinkerer with the arsenal since signing, including adding the two-seam and cut, and I liked the three-way profile of his fastball as a selling point. Given his delivery and athleticism I've found it surprising that his walk rates have continued to hover on the higher side, really since college, and part of that is that he lacks for a consistent finishing pitch, leading to nibbling. Ultimately I think that's a bigger issue w/r/t his bat-missing and, ultimately, his ceiling than which fastball iteration he works off of, though I agree that shelving the four- entirely would limit his ability to climb the ladder and take away one more potential weapon for whiffs.
Thanks. I'll have notes up on Almonte at some point next week. Stuff's not the greatest, but mixes well with three pitches and repeats his delivery, solid command profile. Could be a back-end/swing guy.
Every day, my friend
That's absolutely right, MGL. Derek can correct if I'm in error trying to speak his words, but he's arguing that swings reach their maximum velocities (or close to them) at different points in the process. They're all driving to generally similar points of contact, but some of 'em go zero-to-60 really quickly and maintain at 60 for longer to that point of contact, and some of 'em work their way up to 60 more gradually, but still make it to 60 by that point of contact. Both have the same bat speed when barrel collides with ball, but in the former's case the bat path is longer but the velocity earlier, and in the latter it's a shorter swing path but doesn't see maximum velocity until much closer to the point of contact. I think Dr. Nathan's distinction between bat quickness and bat velocity is important here, as it's getting at the same thing with clearer terminology.
Broadly the argument here is that the former type of swing is advantageous for a couple reasons, first because the force from acceleration is generated quickly and early. To continue with the car analogy, it's easier to make quick directional and timing adjustments when you're already travelling at 60 and controlling your car's velocity than it is to make those adjustments while you're still speeding up. And then early velocity gives you a better chance to both foul off pitches when you've been beaten and delay your reaction and decision-making times ever so slightly because of that.
As Derek notes, the easiest way to create earlier bat speed is to employ a rearward trigger movement that elongates and deepens the bat path. You engage your wrist and forearm muscles earlier in the kinetic chain when you do that, which, again, gives you more flexibility to accurately position the barrel to the point of contact. Your bat travels farther from trigger, which brings risks, but you're trading that risk for an optimized ability to make in-swing adjustments.
Dr. Nathan isn't able to post, but wanted me to pass along a response he just gave me via email to this issue:
"There are two different concepts that are related and often confused. I call these "bat speed" and "bat quickness". Bat speed refers to how fast the bat is moving at the time and location of contact with the ball and is what MGL seems to be referring to in his comments. As he remarks, all things being equal, a higher bat speed will result in higher exit speed. On the other hand, quickness refers to the ability to get the bat in the right place at the right time as quickly as possible. Of course, the two concepts are related. Someone with a quick bat is likely to have high bat speed. But as a counter example, bat speed is important in slow-pitch softball whereas bat quickness has no relevance at all.
According to various studies, using a lighter bat will result in higher bat speed (which is good) but a lower efficiency for transferring energy to the ball (which is bad). Net result for many batters is a net loss of exit speed by a little bit. Nevertheless, batters seem to be willing to make that sacrifice in order to get better bat quickness from a lighter bat. In effect, they are trading exit speed for the ability to make good contact more often. The latter comes because the better quickness allows the batter to wait a bit longer before committing and to make adjustments once the swing has begun and more information is obtained."
Nats top prospect <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=104023">Victor Robles</a></span> left yesterday's game as a precaution w/ leg tightness, per source. He's day-to-day as situation is assessed
Probably 50/50, was told it's not a serious injury and he's expected back "shortly after eligible," which'd suggest a tentative/hopeful timeline of this weekend or early next week.
Well, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=106765">Brendan Rodgers</a></span> starting the season on the DL with a wrist sprain was less than ideal, haha. Beyond that not really, no. I'll see who I see when I see 'em.
He was placed on the 7-day DL prior to the game. Sprained wrist, nothing serious, expected back at or immediately after eligible.
I wouldn't give up *entirely* on the idea of him starting...<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=49127">Jered Weaver</a></span>'s their what, #2 starter right now?They did this with <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Luis+Perdomo">Luis Perdomo</a></span> last year, remember, so there's also some precedent for them to throw an immature arm into the fire and let him learn against big-leaguers.
Definitely one of the more interesting Rule 5 picks. I had him grouped with the relievers in our initial discussions, 'cuz if he does stick it seems a pretty foregone conclusion it'll be as a reliever for now. I'm skeptical it comes together quickly enough for him to make a fantasy impact this (or even next) year, but he got some love from our prospect team. Grant's got a very strong report on him you can find here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_pit.php?reportid=418
Don't let him talk you off that ledge, my friend. Especially if your league's an <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OBP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OBP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OBP</span></a> league, and triple-especially if you score doubles and triples, he's a really solid end-game target. Agree that he's not *quite* 101 material for a standard-league list, but he profiles similarly to <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=104718">Greg Allen</a></span> with a potential tick or two of additional power, and would be knocking a lot louder on the door as a riser in OBP/points formats.
By most accounts heading into the season, it's shaping up to be a pretty good year for the SoCal prep class. Hunter Greene's the crown jewel, up at Notre Dame in the valley, and then Royce Lewis down in San Juan Capistrano is probably 1B to Greene's 1A. Past that, Hans Crouse in that same area at Dana Hills, Garrett Mitchell at Orange Lutheran, and Calvin Mitchell down in SD are probably your consensus pre-season top 5?
The offense looked like it had at least moderate upside, but pitching is as usual the strength, yeah. Rotation's a very, very solid college rotation. And I hear you on Richards, he's really put in a lot of time and effort, and it shows.
No, probably won't see CSUF again. The prep class looks to be stronger than the college one here in the Southland this year, so I'll be all over the place as usual. UCI I'll catch in March when TCU's in town, not sure if/when I'll get Long Beach, they're schedule has a lot of travel early and the home slate isn't that strong. Their weekday games also usually start at 6, which sucks logistically coming from the northeast of LA, haha.
(It...it was ours. He was 97th)
Pssstt...look...look up. At the comment just above yours :)
Thanks! Correct, yeah, will run a correction to the intro, we're running the top 125 in 2 chunks on Monday and Tuesday, I believe.
Yep, Schebler's a good one, I like him. Him and <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=70493">Charlie Tilson</a></span> both got lost in the shuffle, they were on the initial list for this column but then got swallowed up by 3,700-some-odd words. They're both solid little -only and very deep league targets as 4th outfiedler types with fantasy-relevant skill sets who might work their ways into 450+ at-bats this year.
I'd narrowly prefer the gamble on Sanchez, I think. I see more projectable power and like his chances at a playable hit tool.
I regret to inform you that you're wrong about those prospects, and none of them will ever amount to anything :(
Brito exceeded his service time and was no longer eligible for consideration. I can't say for certain, but he probably would've been among the top two or three on the list were he still rankable.
I think that's right for the profile, yeah. Could potentially stick as a five starter for stretches if the slider keeps coming along. He's got the kind of body to hang innings on, but he's struggled to stay on the mound as a professional, so last year's workload marks a huge victory for him and the club. Stuff's okay, works off a solid fastball in the low-90s with quality sink, decent change (though as a contact pitch, not a bat-misser), meh slider. Really pounds the zone, keeps it down, good control. He's somewhere on the <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/dc/">depth chart</a> next season, I think. Wrote up one of his starts in here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=29505
De Los Santos was discussed briefly for inclusion among the "others," but ultimately he just got drowned out by the rest of the upside and depth in the system. The club's been very aggressive with him, though, and it's been warranted. Projection, very good fastball already, feel for a couple secondaries. There are ingredients there, and his is certainly a name that could find its way onto this list next year.
Lamet's a solid arm, but in a system this deep there just wasn't a lot of room at the back end of this list for his likely-reliever profile. His fastball and slider are both strong offerings with above-average vertical movement from his high arm slot. He only really added a third pitch this year, however, and the change has a long way to go before/if it develops utility. As is he doesn't have a great arsenal to attack left-handers with, and the command isn't great on account of some pretty significant spine tilt and ensuing balance issues. I wrote him up after his Opening Day start in the Cal League, still feel pretty confident in the evaluation: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_pit.php?reportid=325
Nothing would make me happier than The Great Balbino getting his crack, but I don't see the power tool playing against big-league pitching, and he's buried org depth underneath Freeman now in ATL. He's another name to keep tabs on, sure, but I'm not optimistic.
Yeah, I guess as a Puerto Rican catcher with draft pedigree he's worth mentioning among the '16 class. There's some baseline talent with the stick there, no doubt. He's another young one, but he's a strong, athletic kid with some pull-side pop already. He's watch list caliber at this stage, sure.
I have a 50/45 on him personally, I think the additional velo and slider improvement pushes him comfortably into big-league-rotation-arm territory. He's the type of player that maxes out his raw tools through intelligence and technical proficiency, and he's developed to the point where the raw tools are pretty damn good, too. Durable frame. A potential 55/6/5 guy with above-average command is a very nice package, and I don't think those are unreasonable grades for him.
Right! That too!
There's just not much to say about him that hasn't been said already at this point. He didn't make our top 10, and there were 5 (and probably more like a dozen) more interesting guys in this system to write about. And I say this as someone who's higher than many on Barnes. His defensive numbers have been consistently among the best we've measured in the minors for several years running now, and they back up the eye test that he's a very good defensive catcher. He offers some bench-lengthening versatility around the dirt, and - at least in the minors - has shown an ability to get on base. He's ready to go, and we should get a decent read on how mUch hit tool will translate to the majors across a larger sample this season.
I agree with this, I raised Oaks in our discussions for exactly those reasons. Just pounds the zone with that sinker, it's a pitch that can play to plus, and he pairs it with a very good cutter, too. I put a 45/40 on him, but those are really sturdy/high-probability grades: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_pit.php?reportid=345
Rios has one of the longest, most majestic left-handed swings you'll see, chalk full of extension. 7 raw, it's a *lot* of fun to see him get a hold of one. It's a flowing, slow-rhythm swing, and he showed as adept at dragging the barrel through the zone when he got out front against soft stuff and dumping balls in front of outvielders. He was also surprisingly adept at fighting off pitches on the hands and muscling them in for hits, and those two traits are the only reason I pegged a decent OFP on him. It's a very low-probability profile, however - most aggressive dudes with his kind of swing mechanics just aren't going to be a match for more advanced stuff. He's very probably and up-and-down bat, but there's at least a chance for more given the power and at least some semblance of barrel awareness. I wrote him up here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_bat.php?reportid=383
Bickford was discussed a decent bit, but ultimately we knocked him out of the final couple cuts. There are ongoing struggles finding consistent timing to slot, and the fastball is a deception pitch that probably needs a better hook and definitely needs a better change to play in a starting role. He'll hump it up to 94-95 a couple times a start, though, and it's a tricky pitch to time and square when he works it north-south. So there's ample opportunity for him to thrive in a relief role. But I don't think any of us felt strongly enough that he could stick as a starter for him to make a run at the top ten of system this deep. <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=David+Lee">David Lee</a></span> wrote up a report on him earlier in the season that I think sums up the profile pretty perfectly:
I can't speak to the rationales of others, but all of the things that attracted us to Reed in naming him the organization's #2 prospect a year ago remained largely intact at Triple-A, and while he obviously struggled in his big-league debut, he's 23 and has a demonstrated track record of making quality adjustments. He's going to have to earn his playing time this year, and our placement of him where we put him is a reflection of the fact that we remain reasonably confident he can do so.
I like Martin, and he did make some legitimate improvements as a very young player for the level last year at High-A. He's a solid player with across-the-board skills. The over-the-fence power isn't going to be on the level that his Lancaster numbers suggested, and there isn't really a standout tool, but he's got a well-rounded game with a path to a big league bench. Here's my report on him from June: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_bat.php?reportid=362
That's pretty borderline IMO, I'd be poking around to try and move him. Won't know his final value this year until <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/author/mike_gianella">Mike Gianella</a> runs the final SGP tallies, but as of 9/1 there were 11 hitters on pace for a $30 NL-only season, and he wasn't one of 'em ($27). And he was pretty mediocre in September, so doubtful he got there. Bottomline, you're pricing yourself thin if you're committing that kinda scratch to him, and yeah, the best case of even-up value is extremely context-dependent on him not getting traded.
Thanks for reading and for your feedback!
Sure, "store the energy they create with early momentum," I can get down with that edit.
Doug brought up the rear leg collapse in his quote, and I used it solely in the context of repeatability and balance, not velocity generation. Without putting words in his mouth, I can say that broadly I think he argues, and I (again broadly) agree that drop-and-drive mechanics are more difficult to repeat. Lowering the gravitational center in-process adds extra degrees of difficulty; it's a trade off of potentially adding more velo (if your signature is compatible) versus making it more difficult to command. Again, not saying drop-and-drivers have inherently poor command, but that it's an extra set of hurdles. Some dudes are better at bridging that extra gap than others.
I'm just not sure I agree with your third point. A primary goal of the development process any pitcher goes through is creating rigorous enough muscle memory patterns that when he's "off" on a given pitch, he's off in ways that result in "good" misses. Pitchers can generally afford to get away with most reasonably narrow misses, because hitting is an absurdly difficult physical act. And there's obviously a sliding scale there based on stuff (velo, movement) and situation. But good command comes fundamentally out of consistent timing - how sync'ed you are at the point of release - and that's why I used this article to highlight what I see as a generally binding principle (that good balance is a helpful trait more often than not) among the individually unique processes involved in getting to slot on time pitch after pitch.
Dude has hit a composite .298/.372/.453 over nearly 2,000 professional games spanning more than a dozen leagues. Still going at 39, it's a great baseball lifer story.
Yeah, that's a deeeep league. I'll hopefully have some help for you this off-season at least, when we re-launch the "Ocean's Floor" series as part of our positional rankings.
Yeah, definitely, steer the league towards your strengths. Always!
That's a pretty deep league, and if you expand to 15 MiLBers apiece in a 16-team league, that's a very deep league. Basabe should definitely be owned in that format, and the other three non-Diaz guys should be too at 240. Once you're north of 175 or so, maybe even 150, these low-minors ceiling guys are who you want to be filling out the back of your roster with. You grab 3 or 4 of 'em and hope one, two if you're lucky, makes a decent-sized leap forward in the next calendar year, then rinse and repeat.
Ask and ye shall receive...kinda, anyway. All I have's a couple warmup tosses, which were probably at about 70% effort. You can get a sense of the framework, though - aggressive leg kick, followed by ALL OF IT hurtling towards the plate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jL7U8CYZpY
The Astros' High-A affiliate is moving to the Carolina League next year :( We've actually got a shiny new scouting report up on Tucker courtesy of <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/author/james_fisher">James Fisher</a>, and then I'll have more after getting my first few looks over the next couple weeks.
Hey, apologies, I just saw this. I didn't catch Fairchild unfortunately, sorry!
I set a somewhat arbitrary filter of a 200-spot difference, and he didn't meet that criteria as a guy who was drafted around 180th. His differential is 7th-best among shortstops though, so sure, yes, he's also been very good this year and generated a bunch of surplus value. Certainly not any insidious ulterior motive or anything to not include him.
Noted, thanks for the catch.
In fairness he probably *could* be, he's got a canon of a right arm. Thanks for the catch.
The power/speed combination stands out, and that he's tapping into the latter at such a young age and in spite of a relatively aggressive approach is encouraging. The breadth of his tool box does suggest a bunch of developmental paths to the big leaues, though he's a little too far away at this stage to comfortably suggest a "high" floor.
I was impressed with his BP at the Future's Game, as the swing did indeed look more compact than anything he showed in my looks at Lake Elsinore. He still showed some inefficiency and in-between on some game swings, but I came away more optimistic about his power playing than I'd been in the past. Wrote about it here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=29802
It's definitely a proper park to take balls out of, I don't think there's much question about that. Cozens in particular has shown a stark home/away split which, coupled with some ugly platoon issues, fuel a lot of the skepticism among scouts about just how much of the game will translate against big-league pitching.
I'm sorry I let you down, boy is my face red! I value your readership and appreciate the response. Thank you for spending your morning with us, we'll continue striving to be better in the future!
I'll use this opportunity to dodge your question by teasing our mid-season Top 50, which'll be dropping manana and feature "the goods," as they say, on him and 49 other sexy prospects.
Pshh, mix up those two players in my head for the 4,364th time already this season? That doesn't seem like something I'd do more than 4,363 times, you must've read that wrong.
(I was working on an Eyewitness on Leyba last night, sorry. Will have reports up on both shortly).
Sure, here's a handful among 7,436 possibilities, haha:
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=105891">Steven Duggar</a></span> (SFG 6th Rd) is a guy that I will continue talking up, as he remains well under the radar. He's logged almost 600 age-appropriate <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=PA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('PA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">PA</span></a>'s already since signing with a .388 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OBP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OBP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OBP</span></a>, and just earned a promotion to AA yesterday. Has some pop and borderline 70-grade speed, which isn't reflected at all yet in his <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=SB" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('SB'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">SB</span></a> numbers, as he's still raw with his technique. I like him a lot though.
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=105853">Bryce Denton</a></span> (STL 2nd Rd) is one that's just now starting out after XST. He was terrible in 40ish GCL games after signing last year, but has gobs of raw power and is someone I liked heading into the draft.
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=106555">Tyler Nevin</a></span> (COL CBA 1) has power and is a Rockies prospect, so there's helium potential just off that. MLB bloodlines too. Don't love the bat as an actual future fantasy contributor, but as a dynasty asset he's interesting. He's still in complex ball, should hit Asheville very soon though, and would fit your bill when he does.
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=107172">Triston McKenzie</a></span> (CLE CBA 1) has been fancy in a couple short-season starts. He's a billion miles away, but could generate some helium this winter and give you something to flip.
Ha, just what I said next! He's the dude that rolls through the dugout pre-game and initiates 8-step personal handshakes with a dozen different teammates. He's a loose player, engages well with his teammates, seems to genuinely have fun playing the game.
Yup, I wrote up VanMeter in this very column two weeks ago. Solid bat, some IF versatility, like him better at second right now - arm strength is borderline from third, and he doesn't *quite* have all of his pre-knee surgery explosiveness back, which limits his first-step quickness at the hot corner. He's a solid player. Just finished my Cal League mid-season Top 20 and he checked in 15th with a 50 OFP/45 Realistic. Here's the Ten Pack write-up: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=29430
Yeah, it's a problem we're aware of. The linkage doesn't seem to take too kindly to guys with apostrophes in their names, unfortunately. Anecdotally I can tell you I wrote him up in I *believe* a "Notes" piece last year as a big strong kid with some notable athleticism despite his (legit) body-builder physique. I wouldn't have foreseen this level of offensive breakout, but the inredients were there for a kid who could get to a bunch of power in games even against strong competition, and it's certainly not a complete "out of nowhere" performance this season.
As luck would have it, our own Adam Hayes juuuust filed a report on Cozens: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_bat.php?reportid=323
What I'll say to that is Cleveland fans should be very happy they have both guys knocking on the door. Frazier I think has always had more variance in his game just on account of significant contact issues and questions about whether it would quite all get there in games. He's more of an "if it clicks..." guy, and it has been clicking at AA, alright. Frazier's got a more impressive across-the-board tool set with centerfield capabilities, and has just kind of hummed along in polishing them, which has been plenty to keep evaluators' opinions of him optimistic. They're both very good prospects.
Apologies, we posted this article twice by accident, and in consolidating it looks like someone's note about <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=70607">Alex Bregman</a></span> now having as many HRs as whiffs got eaten by the internet. Yeah, he's been unbelievable. He was very obviously an advanced hitter at High-A last year, and I loved his aggressiveness in attacking pitches to try and do damage to all fields. But the over-the-fence power is something I didn't see developing to this degree, and I'll be extremely curious to find out if it holds. He's an excellent hitter though, so I wouldn't be shocked it if did.
Here's my report from last August: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_bat.php?reportid=294
Yes. Also I hate your favorite team.
(Broadly, these updates are not intended to be an "every prospect with multiple hits gets a write-up!" thing necessarily, they're about highlighting interesting players from the elite on down to the org who are doing interesting things. I included Nottingham, for example, because he's often tagged as a poor receiver, and yet his framing has actually been pretty stellar per our just-released metrics and I wanted to highlight that. Crawford has certainly struggled a bit playing so young for his level, so the big game may have warranted a note. The minor leagues are vast and wide though, so sometimes we don't get to everybody in a given day. Thank you for reading and contributing to the dialogue!)
I think so, especially if his early-season approach reflects legitimate progress. I haven't seen any view of him from this spring yet to that end. He's got strong hand-eye and simple, repeatable swing mechanics with strength, though he didn't fully utilize that in his lower half when I saw him. Swing plane's geared towards line drives, and he's hit a lot of them in his career so far. There's nascent power in there given his present strength and frame, and if he can start tapping into that there's above-average offensive projection.
I was a big fan of the bat last year. Lacks some fluidity, relies on strength over bat speed, had some vulnerability on the inner-third when he was out here. Length/swing-and-miss made him a candidate to struggle initially against higher-level pitching, so the slow April isn't that big a shock. But he was advanced as an opposite-field hitter with a power stroke, swing plane's geared to drive the ball, and he has the raw strength to generate plus raw that can play pretty well to all fields. Not sure ~100 bad <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=PA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('PA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">PA</span></a>'s to start Double-A at 21 has changed anything since I saw him, and with <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Gary+Sanchez">Gary Sanchez</a></span> in the Bronx now he's on the very short list of best offensive catching prospects in the minors.
Wouldn't be surprised if that were the goal, and given the start to his season wouldn't be surprised at all if he made it.
We'll have eyes on him next week, but short answer is that yes, this is what you hope your third-overall pick does in Low-A. Asheville's a nice place to hit (like many a Sally park), and production like this is always a fine thing to see. Reports forthcoming about how he's looking while he's doing it though, soon come.
I certainly wasn't the biggest Tapia fan you'd have found last year, but he absolutely has bat-to-ball ability and the early walks are a great sign for a player with the approach he showed all season in 2015.
Matt Winkelman wrote a lot of smart words about Joseph yesterday over at The Good Phight. Basic takeaway was that he's probably going to have to earn it over a longer sample of success, but there've been some interesting early-season adjustments and he very well may force the issue sooner than later. He's a guy that struggled with the effects of a concussion and has lost a *lot* of on-field development time (barely 500 plate appearances since the end of 2012). Was relatively raw when he was drafted in the 2nd round, too, so it's a steep climb. Still just 24 though.
Increasingly I'm not sure that's going to be true. Not a star/impact player, but has a broad and consistently developing skill set that can be valuable on a major league roster if it continues to progress.
Yeah, I was at this start, will file a report on it shortly. Saw his debut start too, and this one was certainly better. Lancaster's offense has been poor so far, so take the numbers with some salt. But much better effort. Came out similarly (91-93 FB, 80-83 SL, inconsistent rhythm/timing to release, balls wandering armside) but then settled into a groove in the 4th and 5th innings that showed another gear: 93-94 crisp fastball with solid run and some sink, SL up to 85 with tight, vertical action and some two-plan bite when he wanted it. Much better mound presence (probably not a coincidence that <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=838">Gabe Kapler</a></span> was there), didn't fight <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=102205">Julian Leon</a></span>, trusted his FB more. Still very much a work in progress, and hasn't shown much at all of a third pitch, but a nice baby step in the right direction.
I'll see San Jose in a couple weeks, so will have something on him after that. Multiple "meh" reports so far, particularly on the defensive profile. Performance has certainly been there albeit in two extremely favorable offensive leagues, as you note.
Eh, you can check comps all you want I guess - and I say that acknowledging I introduced a comp - but point I was trying to make is that guys with his kind of power who learn how to stabilize their strikeout rates can have big league careers. Hundred plate appearances is a hundred plate appearances, but his performance in the first month was encouraging and if it keeps up he's going to be pushing up on the 25-man by summer solstice.
Depends some on the depth, but I'd make the play for some limited upside there, sure.
You may be trading one away, but you're getting one right back. I'd make that deal, especially given your absurd prospect depth in the outfield. Just a shift of resources, and a fine one to make.
Happ had three hits last night as well. One of my last cuts from this, but he's also out of the gate strong.
Thanks! And sure, I can do that.
Shoot, that's a Bref (listed 1997) & J2 mis-read fail, thank you.
I assume you're joking about Rizzo, but yes, I'd keep Nola at $8 over Suarez at $7.
Yeah, it's a nice pitchability baseline for a freshman. I'd expect another tick or two of velo is possible given the clean mechanics and potential for more physical development, so he's an interesting follow for the next couple springs.
Yeah, if Corbin's post-TJ command gains hold in a full season this year that's not a bad comp. I think he can control contact even a little bit better and keep his H/9 in the sub-one range he showed last year. <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=37381">Hisashi Iwakuma</a></span>'s another guy I've thought of him as being in he same vein, and even there I kinda like Nola for a slightly higher whiff ceiling. His pitchability can be outstanding, and he has a very solid, complimentary arsenal to work with.
That was Austin Bush, yeah, all 6-foot-6, 265 listed pounds of him. I took note of that launch, and he showed a decent eye spitting on a couple pitchers' pitches. Looked to be a pretty prototypical big man's swing, though: lotta leverage, can hit the ball a long way when he gets extended, bunch of holes up and in. He got tied up pretty good in another <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=AB" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('AB'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">AB</span></a> and missed some hittable velo in-zone in another. Short look, no conclusions or anything, but I didn't see a *ton* there at first glance beyond on the obvious raw strength and power.
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!
Weeeell, there's much more to it than that in this particular case, and Reed's the superior prospect (by a good bit) over the long haul. But yes, your point is taken about the depth of some of these top-end systems.
Nah. His uncle played in the majors though, and his brother was a Rays' 3rd rounder who made it to Triple-A before hanging 'em up.
Well, thing about Holds is, there's not much of a correlation between overall team performance (or even overall bullpen performance) and Holds. That's one of the many reasons projecting this kind of thing is so tricky. The top three teams in Holds last year won 76, 80, and 84 games respectively. Last year I referenced a nice study by <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=31263">Jeff Zimmerman</a></span> (linked again below) which basically found that, shockingly, talent/performance was the biggest indicator of likely holds.
That's a solid summary of the Mets' situation, and then Howell and Hatcher probably start the year off in the inside lanes in LA?
Thanks! I won't see Florida myself, but I'd imagine someone on the team will at some point this spring. Squad is absolutely loaded, you're correct.
Yep, this is more or less the perfect example I was going to cite, so thank you. The Three-Year rankings are geared more towards strict performance over the window, and meant more for standard keeper leagues with severe inflation and/or stricter "keep" rules for how long you can hang onto a guy. I agree with the general point re: three-year windows in dynasty formats, but it's also important to be up on the kind of prospect/veteran value trajectories that the dynasty rankings take into account in order to maximize your up-front chances to maintain competitiveness over that next three-year cycle.
Thanks, appreciate that a lot! As a stalwart proponent of <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OBP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OBP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OBP</span></a> leagues I find writing the column immeasurably helpful, so glad others find use for it too.
Nice, what up Ray? Yeah, saw that ranking too. It's more aggressive than I'd be prepared to go on Bellinger at this point in time, but I can see how you'd get there with him. The diversity of opinion - particularly about higher-variance guys like Bellinger - is what makes prospect evaluation interesting.
I saw as much of Bellinger as any prospect last year, and yes, his production so young for the level was very impressive. The baseline skills and body are both very interesting as well, and he has one of the more unique profiles in the minors. But I think this is a good example of why it can be misleading to look at stats vs. scouting. His K rate tumbled more on account of him getting that much more aggressive hunting fastballs early in the count as the year went along. He got more leveraged as he succeeded, and if anything the approach got worse in this sense, not better, as he tried to sell out and pummel everything he saw. Absolutely normal for a young kid having success in an offensive environment, no question. But he'll need to develop much more control to pair with his aggressiveness once pitchers with more consistent off-speed stuff begin exploiting him at AA. Also FWIW second-half numbers for guys who stay at one level for the year are always tricky to evaluate at face value, since on one hand they've presumably made some adjustments over the year, but on the other the pitching they're facing is inferior (recent promotions & guys not good enough to get promoted up). Not an apples-to-apples to weight against first-half production. So that's another reason not to lean too heavily on the stats there.
He's at the top of my watch list for Modesto this year, yes. It's a higher risk speed/low-minors <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OBP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OBP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OBP</span></a> profile, and he's been age-appropriate thus far so isn't going to get respect until he performs well at higher levels. He's got some talent though, and anyone with his speed and baseline of tools has a shot. I'd expect he'd start to at least enter this org discussion next winter if he shows well in the Cal League.
He's written up in my companion piece about names beyond the 50, linked below. Short answer: yes, still very, very far away.
My scouting report on Davis is linked below. Can't speak to the full range of reports, but I just saw *so* much swing-and-miss, especially the in-zone kind, that I question whether he can hit enough to bring his plus-or-better raw into games enough to win a big league job. Add in that yes, defensively he lacks the kind of mobility and balance that I want to see in a hot corner defender, and you've got a borderline guy on both sides of the ball. There's raw talent here to be sure, and he can get into a fastball with the best of 'em when he can catch up to it. Power plays to all fields, and he can hit the ball very, very hard. Just too many question marks for him to make a run at the top 10 in an org this deep, though there's probably enough here for him to slot into the 12-15 range.
I can't speak to any/what adjustments he made to put together the season he did at Double-A this year, but I liked his offensive game in a few looks at Lancaster last year. Solid LH swing, tracked well and hung in against southpaws, showed some ability to lift and extend. He's in that "solid if defensively-limited hitter who looks like great value for his draft slot" mold of <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Tyler+White">Tyler White</a></span>, and he's a year behind White, so we chose to spotlight the verge-of-MLB guy. Potential big leaguer though, and absolutely the kind of guy that's a testament to the depth of this system.
Ask and you shall receive, we actually just debuted this exact piece this year. <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/author/doug_thorburn">Doug Thorburn</a> and our newest writer Dan Strafford have a column in our positional series here called "<a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/column/welcome_to_splitsville/">Welcome to Splitsville</a>" that runs through the platoon guys at each spot for daily lineup & DFS players. Here's last week's on second basemen, and the piece for third basemen I believe will be running tomorrow:
Ha! Actually technically wasn't a prospect, it was <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=57163">Jordan Zimmermann</a></span> while he was down with TJ recovery (so...yay me!). Was in 2010, when the shine of Beckham's debut was still bright enough to offset his sophomore struggles, and he was DEFINITELY the headline return in that deal. He was a top-30 prospect, it wasn't my fault!
Yep, he fell through the cracks as a late cut from this list after mine'd gone to print. Certainly belongs on the Ocean Floor since he's not here, for the reasons you cite.
Yes, thanks, typo fixed
Yeah, I 100% should've spotlighted him at least in the "Others" section there, good catch. I tend to use 250 one-year and 400 two-year thresholds for data sets here unless I'm talking about a true rookie, and every now and then a player like him'll slip through. If you lower the threshold to 225, he posted the second-best total base rate at the position last year behind only a 31-year-old journeyman utility guy. And while the whiff rate isn't *good*, he at least walked enough to keep it from tanking his value. There wasn't anything particularly fishy about the batted ball profile or anything either. Presuming health, given lineup, he's a guy that arguably could bump up into the 3-Star tier in points leagues.
Well, I don't know about "plenty." Outside of a spike to 9% in Double-A his minor league walk rates were pedestrian, including a sub-six percent rate at Triple-A the following year. We're now three seasons and 1,110-some-odd Triple-A and big league plate appearances removed from him showing an average approach, I'm comfortable going with the data we have until he shows some semblance of an ability to adjust.
I don't know what defensive components go into either bWAR or fWAR, but the variance almost certainly comes out of there. By <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=FRAA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('FRAA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">FRAA</span></a> (our component measure) Dozier's defensive value has tanked spectacularly over the past couple years, taking him from the third-most valuable keystone defender in '13 (+13.4 runs above average) to 40th out of 41 last year (-8.5).
Thank you for the note. The MLB guys, several days ago, so you can feel free to disregard given the subsequent development and focus us on any of the other dozen and a half names I gave you.
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=1499">David Ortiz</a></span> is twenty-THREE spots too low, for David Ortiz transcends the limitations of numbers, particle physics, and space-time.
Duh, obviously *adjust* accordingly (nyuck nyuck)
Murphy clocked in at #28 on the top 50: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=28217
Yeah, I considered it, but in the end there's a whole bunch of slop for two buckets, and I'm not sure any of it is particularly fantasy-worthy outside of DEEP mixed & -only formats. Fernandez (obviously) and Koehler (extremely likely) join Chen, but then you've got Cosart, Nicolino, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=37412">Edwin Jackson</a></span>, Conley, Phelps, and Hand all kicking around for the last couple slots, and...woof. I like Conley the best of that bunch as a back-end NL-only guy, his change is the best secondary anyone in that motley crew can lay claim to. I'd also like to see Cosart fulfill his destiny in the bullpen already, but it's not clear yet whether this move will facilitate that either. Until we get more of a sense of what the club intends to do I'm not sure anyone's value is all that different today than it was yesterday, other than a nominally lower likelihood for each that they break camp with a job.
Glad you dig it! But...pssst...(this series debuted last year)
Riiiiiight right right. Brain fart, thanks.
I'll toss that into the workshop, and if I get another request or two for something similar I'll find a way to work it in, sure thing. The points valuations should be of some help to you in the mean time, as the guys who bump in your format will all have strong total base rates, and that's a prerequisite for a mention in that section.
I'd take Velasquez. I think his greatest obstacle is the durability, his slider took a step forward last year and with the FB/CH combo he has the potential to be a very solid fantasy SP with whiffs aplenty. I touched some on Eickhoff's solid performance in his debut at the link below, and I'm not ready to buy it at retail just yet. I've never been a huge fan of Moore's, as his persistent bouts with command make him a frustrating pitcher to own even when he's going reasonably well.
I wrote up Overton this summer (link below), and as a skinny southpaw with a light FB and solid CH I have a soft spot for the kid. Intelligent pitcher, uses his frame well in his delivery and shows command ability. But the body and stuff leave little margin for error. His velo just hadn't come back, & he'll need the command to absolutely max out to stick in a rotation. In a poorer system he may have gotten some traction for 11-15, but he wasn't really considered all that seriously.
Yeah, saw that and probably should have noted that he's exactly the kind of guy most likely to get picked up (24, success at Double-A...). He'd be an intriguing option for just about anybody as a cheap middle relief/swing option, I'd frankly be pretty surprised if someone didn't take a gamble on him.
Nope, still DHing. I'm assuming at this point we won't see him in the field in Arizona.
It's a bummer, but I don't think it changes all that much outside of probably bumping his timeline back slightly and hopefully spotlighting minor league player policies for discussion.
I haven't personally, no, I'm going off four reports I've got ranging from early season in the NYPL through this week in Arizona, and each paints a similar picture. He can show above-average movement with his slider and maintain arm speed reasonably on a change, but the command is such that neither can project as a useful pitch at present. Guys with his velocity and extension certainly get longer leashes to figure it out, so he's certainly not without his projection remaining. The heater's too much for A-ball though, so not sure how much we really learn about the utility of his secondaries until AA.
I linked right in that there blurb to Crawford's firsthand account from just this week in which he touches on the mechanical issues with Walker's swing, so I would encourage you to check that out. Pretty much every report I have on the guy notes that he can crush fastballs with the best of 'em, but he struggles with length into the zone and weight transfer consistency. Think <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=66299">Steven Moya</a></span> this time last year.
Correct, he started 3-3 then whiffed in his final two <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=AB" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('AB'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">AB</span></a>'s after I'd written his blurb. Apologies for the error.
Well, we had him in the top 30 in our mid-season update, and I'd imagine he'll still be comfortably inside the top 50 this winter. I don't mean to overstate my concerns, as he's still a high-probability major leaguer thanks to one of the better pure hit tools in the minors and a nice physical baseline. It wasn't a great season from the standpoint of developing his game for primetime, but he still posted an above-board <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OPS" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OPS'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OPS</span></a> as one of the youngest players in his High-A league. His stock is probably more stagnant than down, which is disappointing relative to the helium he'd generated heading into the season but certainly not a worst-case scenario. AA will be an appropriate and important challenge for him next year.
Can't say definitely without running a report out, but I wouldn't expect that at all, no. While I acknowledge there's something advantageous in the element of surprise and being able to attack hitters without them having seen a lengthy pile of tape and numbers on your tendencies, you still have to execute pitches. And the majority of rookie pitchers are volatile and inconsistent in their execution. So identifying ones that have shown an ability out of the gate to execute I think is a helpful exercise.
As for adjustments, they're are a part of baseball regardless of initial success or failure. In most cases with young pitchers that means adjusting to what isn't working for you against the best hitters in the world. Ultimately it's obviously up to each of these guys to make appropriate ones, but again I think it's worthwhile to look at some of the cases where that initial burden of adjustment is on the hitters.
Man, I like Tropeano in theory, but it's a leap of faith to trust him for two. He certainly pitches in a solid ballpark for a dude with his FB tendencies, and Texas has actually been a pretty tough park for left-handed hitters this year (and it's probably unlikely they'll be running a full starting lineup for that start). He's on the table in AL-onlies and deeper mixed leagues I think, though I wouldn't count on a ton of innings or Win potential.
Not sure what you're asking for, like a list of guys who've been shut down?
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It's borderline I think, probably a strong consider, but certainly one to lean towards. That Cubs start is a tough read, high risk, high reward. One of the best offenses in baseball in the second half, they walk a lot, but they also strike out a lot. Depending on how the weekend shakes out, the Cubs are unlikely to be resting guys as soon as Monday with homefield for the Wild Card game still unsettled.
I show him getting extra rest and running on Wednesday, with <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=57473">Matt Moore</a></span> the only two-start guy for the Rays. The Wednesday start is against the Marlins though, so there's some nice potential for a strong final turn.
Brinson's not going to walk as much, he's a significantly more aggressive hitter. But tool-wise they're cut from similar cloth.
Owens showed what he's capable of when he keeps his walks in check in his last start, but he's not the kind of guy I'm generally confident investing in for a start where an opposing lineup just saw him. It's not a terrible set of matchups in a vacuum, so in AL-onlies and deep mixed leagues maybe you take that risk.
Far as I'm aware the White Sox are rolling with 6 next week after a Monday DH, so Quintana doesn't get a second start. FWIW I don't like his start @DET on Tuesday. The Tigers have been one of the best lineups in baseball against lefties all year and they've knocked him around specifically across four starts.
Yes and yes. Sorry, should've noted that in the intro as per usual. Miami, San Diego, and Seattle are all scheduled to line up six starters next week.
ESPN still shows him in the Tuesday/Sunday slot, but yeah, trying to predict the Mets' rotation plans for the next week is a trying exercise these days. He'll at least have the one matchup with Atlanta on the docket, which makes him a solid play regardless.
There's certainly something to that split, as behind Coors Progressive Field is the most hitter-friendly park in the majors this year, and Carrasco has given up harder contact, more line drives, etc. at home throughout his career. That said, he's pitching to a 3.63 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=FIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('FIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">FIP</span></a> with a whiff an inning at home, and the more dangerous of his opponents, Kansas City, has put up a collective .603 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OPS" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OPS'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OPS</span></a> against him in a not-small 172 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=PA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('PA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">PA</span></a> sample. Run him.
Yeah, that appears to be the case. Much to my chagrin, this physical specimen of unrivaled durability finally apears to be breaking down. Th extra rest directive was warranted: his release point this month has dropped to its lowest point in any month since 2008, and his Weaverian fastball is now barely scraping 84 mph. He's usually as close to an absurd auto-start for me as logic will allow on account of his reliable innings volume, but he's just not right right now. Boston has continued to swing it of late and has always hit him well, and I wouldn't gamble on him holding up outside of deep AL-onlies where you need to hit an inside straight to make a run.
I've written a lot about Shoemaker in this column this year, a) because it feels like he's been scheduled for approximately 46 two-start weeks somehow, and b) because I have no idea what to do with him. For a long time in the first half his <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=cFIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('cFIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">cFIP</span></a> values painted the picture of a strong buy-low candidate who'd gotten supremely unlucky through his early struggles, but that's evened out now to where Shoemaker profiles as an exactly league-average starter. I think that's probably right for evaluation purposes. The matchups are an appropriate mixed bag. The Mariners have been hitting lately and have hit Shoemaker in the past. The Twins have NOT been hitting, and have been absolutely owned by Shoemaker in the past. So I'd say he's a pretty straight-up "consider" depending on your needs. I'd lean towards running him in more leagues than not, though.
That's probably right, yeah. Pena commendably survived the PCL this year, but he's more of an org arm and he's not particularly stretched out or likely to give you much more in the way of combined innings than you'll get out of a good one-start option.
Unfortunately for Tomlin owners, Kluber is scheduled to return and jump back into that rotation slot. If he has a setback or something and Tomlin does end up holding onto two-start status I'd run him as a nice stream. The <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=HR" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('HR'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">HR</span></a> rate is alarming, but he's been legitimately terrific ball in his six turns through the rotation.
Well, a couple things there. One, the questions about his future position heading into the draft had nothing to do with practical organizational issues. He doesn't have plus range or arm strength, and that combo is usually a red flag for evaluators in projecting MLB-caliber shortstops. I think he does enough else well to assuage those concerns and player himself into a solid SS, and the high-end makeup is a significant mark in his developmental favor. But then more broadly, you cross that bridge when you come to it re: positional adjustment to accommodate organizational need. There's just absolutely no sense in changing an A-ball player's trajectory on account of the present big league roster construction. These things work themselves out, and if they don't you'll have that much more of a valuable finished product in Bregman and the best kind of problem to have.
Yep, Sale bumps back to become an auto-start, Rodon kicks to next week.
Yeah that's my bad, I meant to include a note on him that he's on his last legs for the demarcation. He's been a staple in the top 20 per <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=cFIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('cFIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">cFIP</span></a> all year (and 25 in <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=DRA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('DRA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">DRA</span></a>), but the control issues lately have derailed a lot of that mojo. His velo's dropped, and with the command it's a troubling tandem. Schedule's solid enough that I'd still run him this week, but watch him like a hawk when you do.
GLad Corbin worked out for you. Yeah, looks like on the heels of that <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=CG" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('CG'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">CG</span></a> the Dodgers pushed Kershaw (and everybody else) back a day to roll with Bolsinger tonight. Greinke slots in as an auto-start where Kershaw was supposed to.
I didn't see any evidence of that across the first three months of the season, no. Certainly possible he's made some strides in the couple months since, however.
Yeah, that's an ugly draw @DET and @TOR. He probably gets the benefit of the doubt for a start on his own merits, but I'd pause and think hard about the downside risk to your ratios that the second of those starts in particular can pose. That Blue Jay offense is unconscious right now.
For a left-handed hitter like Fisher a 4.0 is 70-grade speed, 3.9 & below would translate to a 80 speed. I recently put a 65 on Fisher's speed tool, and that may have been a half grade light. With recent clocks his average is down down to 4.01 for me, and he gets good utility on the bases. Full report: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_bat.php?reportid=284
Kinda dig the option, though that might just be an indictment of my judgment, as I've always been a fan of Medlen. Velo's back with an extra tick, which is amazing. He's throwing from a pretty significantly lower and wider arm angle, and the sample's still awfully small to talk about movement and command, but the results have been there so far. Matchups skew a bit more difficult than I'd like, and he's not a good bet to work deep enough into games to get you Win help. As an AL-only or deep mixed ratio play he's a mid-range "consider."
Well, the rest of your (very good) staff doesn't factor into this decision. Despite the stinker against STL and his impending return engagement I'd still side with Corbin. I like Karns, he just hasn't worked deep into games consistently enough and I don't like the feel of that KC matchup. Corbin's been very good and very legitimately good by advanced metrics outside of this last start. The Cardinals are still not very good at hitting lefthanders, and the A's are still not very good at hitting anybody.
In Williams' defense, I will say he's been nails on my <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/hm/">HACKING MASS</a> squad this season. Outside of that or a similar razz format he doesn't really belong on your radar regardless of matchup.
Honestly, he's been terrible lately. His release point has migrated all over the map this season, and he's been tinkering pretty dramatically (and thus far unsuccessfully) with his pitch mix by working in a whole lot more cutters and moving away from his problem-child four-seamer lately. Basically there's a ton of volatily in his profile right now, and both opponents this week have been top-third in offensive efficiency over the past couple weeks. He'll line up @TOR in his next start as well, so I'd just as soon save the FAAB dollars and leave him to the wire until he shows something in a couple starts in a row.
Correct, he's an auto-start across the board.
That's a whole bunch of ugly options right there, that's what that is. I'd frankly be tempted to take the couple of hopefully ratio-boosting innings from Storen. Santana's been all over the map and has ugly matchups, he's a no-go. And I'm not as big a fan of Chi-Chi as some on the staff here, especially in the short term. Seattle's been hitting lately, and while the Tigers have not they've Miggy back now and have been one of the best offenses in baseball at home all year. I guess if you need Wins and can sacrifice your ratios a bit to chase 'em he'd be a defensible play, but I'm not enthusiastic about it.
Yep, Cleveland moved everything back a day since this ran, he'll get their two-start slot and I'll be running him wherever I have him.
Yeah, they re-shuffled after they kicked Fister out of the rotation. I like Ross in an NL-only or deeper mixed format. He's done nothing but pitch well thus far, <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=cFIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('cFIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">cFIP</span></a> is on board for it to continue, and while it's a slightly more difficult draw than ideal it's not disqualifyingly so.
As things stand now he' supposed to go Sunday/Thursday, with Weaver slotting back in on Tuesday.
Well, he's a good not great pitcher, basically. The velo's down a tick and a half from the beginning of the season, and he's not getting as much cut on his primary weapon cutter. He gives up a bunch of hard contact, so his above-average <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=BABIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('BABIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">BABIP</span></a> isn't necessarily the product of poor luck. I think he's fine if you're valuing him correctly as a back-end mixed league guy in 14-plus leagues and an SP4-type in AL-onlies. He's not the kind of starter I'd comfortably trot out for a two-start week unless the matchups decidedly favored him, and that's not the case here.
Yep, post-trade shuffling. Looks like Folty will line up in that slot instead, and I'd slot him right around the same spot. He's a significant <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=WHIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('WHIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">WHIP</span></a> liability with some K potential to offset it. I wouldn't consider him outside of NL-only leagues and very deep mixers.
It's a high ceiling. Raw stuff to pitch towards the front end of a rotation, showed flashes of ability to command it to that level but raw and inconsistent delivery execution pitch to pitch. It's a very interesting arm, albeit one that still requires a good bit of projection. Higher maintenance body type too, so there'll be some additional question marks there.
I can't speak to the biometrics of injury risk, but I will say that he showed an ability to repeat and command from both slots. Definitely wasn't a case where his arm just inconsistently wandered around willy-nilly from pitch to pitch, he showed distinct and clean arm actions from each angle.
Not as relevant in Toronto (Dome), but an interesting split to be sure, yeah.
I'm not sure I agree with that, we're talking about a 2-month rental of an impending FA where the selling team had approximately a 0.0% chance of re-signing. Getting a potential starting catcher of the future and a relatively polished MLB-caliber arm with at least a chance to start doesn't feel like a particularly light return at all.
He's slated for a Wednesday return, so if his arm doesn't explode in the mean time he'd line up for two the following week.
That's the guy, yeah!
That's called a good problem to have if your weakest 1-starters are those two. Given what I can only assume are top-shelf ratios I might consider Gio over JFer. He's a solid play against struggling/bad offenses, some potential for nice bulk accumulation.
Just answered above: "If it works out that Heaney does go against MIN and TEX he's a start for me. He's looked great since his promotion, and both of those offenses are poor road teams and poor against left-handed pitching." I'd wait for final confirmation on BOS vs. MIN, but he's a definite start if the latter, still a likely start if the former.
He probably could've gone into the "consider" bin for NL-onlies and deep mixed, but beyond that his volatility is tough to bet on for any two-start week. Don't let the Giants' rep and home park fool you, they were the best road offense in baseball in the first half. He's handled their hitters well in the past, but it's not a gimme.
In theory that's right, in reality until a team announces who's taking the ball it's really not a confirmed piece of information. There were rumblings heading into the All Star break, for example, that Detroit may consider bumping Simon from the rotation. Greene's probably a safer bet to be vs. SEA and @BOS, and I would sit him, as he was pretty atrocious down the stretch and that's not a gimme pair of matchups. Seattle's starters are already included above (Walker & Happ).
As far as Boston goes, I haven't seen Johnson confirmed for Monday, just that he'll go either Monday or Tuesday with a TBA still for the other slot. He's probably a "sit" for me either way with Detroit looming on the back end, but there's enough of a difference in the potential strikeout calculus between Anaheim and Houston to warrant waiting for clarity.
Similar situation in Anaheim, where I haven't seen Shoemaker confirmed for Monday yet, and even if he is it's unclear (and will likely remain so until after Weaver's sim game Monday) if he'll get two starts. If it works out that Heaney does go against MIN and TEX he's a start for me. He's looked great since his promotion, and both of those offenses are poor road teams and poor against left-handed pitching.
The <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=BABIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('BABIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">BABIP</span></a> numbers don't jive with the type of contact he's been giving up, which has been average-distance fly balls and a below-average line drive rate. I'm much more inclined to point at the BABIP number as an "unlucky" outlier in cases like his.
Hmm, that must've been a transcription error, he's pitching at Lancaster currently. Will update. Musgrove looked very good at Lancaster earlier in the year as well, mid-90's with a hammer. I know he dealt with a shoulder injury, but it does seem something of a peculiar decision by the Blue Jays to bail on him so early. The Astros have proven very adept at snagging guys like him in deals over the past few seasons.
I've had conversations with other scouts about this, and I absolutely think there's something to it, particularly for guys like Bellinger who are significantly young for the level and experience some offensive success early in the year. It's a conundrum though. Yeah, it might be good for a guy to get roasted by advanced arms to reinforce weaknesses. That's case by case for each player though, and on balance I'm not sure you're going to reap much reward for over-aggressively pushing guys to AA when they're nowhere near ready. I think in most cases you're probably best served going along with a guy's natural developmental timeline and working within the context you've got to work within.
He's listed for a two-start now, yeah. He's an auto-start regardless of how many starts or what opponent, though.
Yeah they'd originally listed him for a two-start, had a feeling they might push him back though.
Yep, cautious optimism for Iwakuma. If healthy he's a top-25 starter, and reports from his rehab were solid. Tough matchups, and in shallower formats I may be conservative, but everywhere else I'm starting him.
That's a typo, I discussed him in the body. Apologies.
Listed and discussed as a casualty of his terrible schedule in the AL "sit" section.
Well, I mean I still put a 6 on the hit even with my concerns and projected him to become a Major Leaguer, so it's not like I think he sucks. I'm just not sure hitting an on-the-empty-side .280 would be enough to turn him into a quality regular given the concerns I have with the rest of the profile. There's a ton of projection left, even by the standards of a kid in High-A, and that's where the high variability comes in.
I wrote up a full report on him recently, linked below. He certainly CAN, the big question is whether he will. The raw bat-to-ball is pretty special, but his approach remains aggressive both out of zone and within it. He'll get himself out on pitchers' pitches too often, and hasn't shown much growth or development in that area since the beginning of the season. He's building a highly batting average-dependent on-base profile, and it means that much more volatility in predicting how his hit tool will eventually play. There's no denying the hitting ability, more a question of its ultimate utility for me.
No, that's right. I like him as a wily veteran against a Baltimore offense that can get a little trigger-happy, and then I think his flair and moxie will serve him well against a boring Angels squad.
The synapses of the brain work in fun ways sometimes. Chi-Chi goes on Sunday, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=45618">Wandy RODRIGUEZ</a></span> is their two-start guy for next week @BAL and vs. LAA, and I'd keep him in about the same spot of the consider pile. He's actually, somehow, pitched pretty good ball, and he's done it in sustainable fashion. The match-ups tilt negative, though. The Angels generally struggle against lefties and haven't been hitting lately, but the Orioles have been crushing, always crush at home, and crush against lefties. I'd lean against running him given that potential landmine of a start, but he's an option in AL-only formats where innings and bulk stats reign.
Good catch, thanks. Should be fixed now.
Fiers definitely has some separation, as his results have been below-average to date and <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=cFIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('cFIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">cFIP</span></a> has long projected him to be a great play on account of the K/IP and K:<span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=BB" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('BB'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">BB</span></a> components. I'm bearish. I just recently wrote him up in a Starting Pitcher Planner, and I'll refer you to that, as not much has changed since:
"...his 18.2 pitches-per-inning is tied for the least efficient rate among all starters, and coupled with the 29th-ranked offense by <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=TAv" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('TAv'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">TAv</span></a> “supporting” him, he’s a genuinely poor play in win-based leagues. He’s also given up more than his fair share of hits, and opposing hitters have earned their bases by making the hardest contact they’ve made against any starting pitcher in baseball thus far. It’s been enough to offset a walk rate that has whittled away to next-to-nothing over his past few starts, but he’s a <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=WHIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('WHIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">WHIP</span></a> liability as well."
He's also poor at holding baserunners. The whiffs are nice, and keep him relevant in most formats. But I wouldn't overpay for him as a buy-low or anything.
I've seen a whole bunch of Davis this season, and I think the next step if/when he plays himself off third is to try him in right, not left. He's got a canon of an arm - I give it a 65 - that would play easily. And he shows enough athleticism that I agree he'd at least warrant a look out there before relegating him to first, where his best defensive asset is buried. For what it's worth I don't like his chances of staying on third. He's got soft hands and fields balls he can reach well, but he lacks quickness in his actions. The lateral range isn't great, and he's half a step slow charging balls on the grass. Presents as a hard-working guy, but I'm not convinced he can overcome the physicality.
Yep. Rather than try to parse it out for you I'll instead point you to <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/author/jonathan_judge">Jonathan Judge</a>'s primer at Hardball Times:
Sorry, hadn't seen this. I would be inclined to sit the rook this week. Toronto and Atlanta have been two of the three hottest offenses in baseball over the past two weeks, and they're both bottom-tier strikeout teams. Thor's shown some rookie volatility over his past couple turns, and I'm not at the point of trusting him unequivocally yet.
Yeah, yunno what, you're right, that was a note mix-up on my end. I was writing up an Eyewitness Report on <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=70972">A.J. Reed</a></span> at the same time I put this piece together. Apologies. Regardless, as you say, the arm strength he boasts at third is outstanding. Definite asset for him as he works on the rest of the defensive package.
I'll take Volquez. Both get Boston and a terrible offense, but Volquez gets the Sox on the road. There's a longer track record, better likelihood of working deeper into his starts, and less control-based volatility.
I think the Teheran --> Sanchez/Hutch move is fine, and it's really close as to which of those two guys I'd prefer. I think I narrowly lean Anibal in a re-draft, Hutch in a keeper. I wouldn't be as quick to dump Bauer, though, especially heading into a tasty two-start week. Noth WW guys should be owned, though, so if there's another weak link you can lose to snag both I'd do it.
I'll take May, the metrics are outstanding and he's thrown enough innings at this point to where it's not easy to dismiss 'em.
Ah. Yeah, outside of the velocity part you can pretty much cut and pate everything I wrote about Lorenzen after he was first called up into a blurb about Moscot. Solid arm but lacks command and the ability to take a breaking pitch out of the zone, and that's not a good combination on paper to generate enough whiffs or avoid enough MLB barrels to warrant even NL-only investment at this point.
Yeah, I just can't buy into the profile as a valuable fantasy starter. Better as a real-life innings-eating rotation piece than someone to target in our game.
I'm not even sure it's DL-related, honestly. Joe Maddon's been quick with the hook, and that seems to be more of a trademark of his style than anything related to Wada's stamina. Nothing's changed regarding Wada's potential to help get you per-inning whiffs, though the Win potential and overall ceiling to those whiffs probably knocks him down a few pegs on the "consider" ladder.
Tough in-between situation, and a lot of it depends on whether you're competing right now or not. Desmond's trade value is so low right now, same time you can probably still get a bigger haul back trading on his recent performance/name value than you can for Alcides. Would definitely be shopping both to see what kind of returns are out there; your best move may be to target other veterans from the same ADP neighborhood as Desmond who've disappointed as well but show signs of greener pastures ahead. You can cross-reference <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=cFIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('cFIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">cFIP</span></a> for starting pitchers with their DRA- numbers so far to find guys who project better than their production to date:
My initial takeaway was a hit tool projection somewhere in the 55 range, but I need to catch a few more glimpses before I'm comfortable hanging the number on him. His approach was impressive; worked himself into nice situations, appeared to track reasonably well, and had some nice elements in his swing mechanics along with some of the rough edges I pointed out above.
Yeah, it's a pretty sweet draw for ol' AJ, alright.
Well, a pitching machine throwing 82'd probably be a suitable replacement for the production you got from Stras before he went down. I like Perez's match-ups for the next couple weeks, and he's shown enough intrigue in his moxie and execution that yes, he makes for a nice WW grab in an -only league that deep.
I wouldn't go nuts. He'll get at least one more turn on Wednesday, and he'll be a nice stream for it in 12 or 14ers, but there's nothing guaranteed beyond that. In keeper formats he should be a nigh-on 100% own at this point though.
Borderline, but I'd lean towards starting him across all formats, yeah. The @WAS matchup isn't the best, but it's balanced out by a date with MIA, as they've been struggling mightily of late. Hammel's <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=cFIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('cFIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">cFIP</span></a> is 21st overall among starters, so it does look like his solid performance thus far should be assumed sustainable.
I'd make the waiver claim, yeah. I don't expect Hahn to be a frontline starter, but he'd be a decent upgrade over Frias.
Consider, no way I'm advocating him as a definite two-start. <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=cFIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('cFIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">cFIP</span></a> loves him as a top-20 starter, but it's worth noting that a significant chunk of his value per that metric is tied to pacing all right-handers at controlling the running game. And that's been significantly more a function of <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=55951">Sandy Leon</a></span>'s fire hose than anything Buch's doing right. The match-ups grade out as roughly average, but Buchholz has been terrible at Fenway this year (and significantly worse there for the past five years running). I'd don't like the idea of being tied to him for two, but he probably makes sense in most AL-onlies and deeper mixed formats. I'd hedge and lean towards benching at 12-teamers and shallower, 14 if my pitching staff is deep enough.
He was an oversight, sorry. I don't know if I'd go quite that high on him, but he does belong in the top half of the "consider" pile as a solid NL-only play and nice stream target in deeper mixed leagues on account of the match-ups. His velocity and movement on the signature cutter are both down half a grade, and with the lost velo he's not getting hitters to chase outside the zone. The contact rate's up, and the nature of that contact is harder & more line drivey. Both opponents are poor homerun-hitting teams, which is helpful, but with the lousy whiff rate and hard contact patterns he's a <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=WHIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('WHIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">WHIP</span></a> liability without a ton of added potential counting-stat value in a two-start week.
Yeah, he gets bumped up a couple notches towards the top of the consider pile, especially since the Dodgers can't hit water falling out of a boat right now. He appears to have fixed whatever was ailing his curveball over the past couple starts, and his command in general was the best it's been all season last time out. I'm not all the way bought back in, but another strong week in two starts that should grade out to his advantage would go a long way.
I don't have a problem starting him, but committing to two road starts against one of the hottest and best offenses in baseball and a park he's traditionally struggled to pitch well in seems an unnecessary gamble to take. It's important to note he's not getting "unlucky" on <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=HR" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('HR'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">HR</span></a>'s either, this version of him has given up and is going to continue to give up a lot of dingers.
Well, as I noted in the intro it's entirely possible that all or most of the Dodgers' weekend series with Colorado will get washed out, so there's a bunch of uncertainty tied up in that in addition to the lack of an actual 5 starter. Bolsinger's on the 40-man and would probably make the most sense out of the crew they've gone to so far, although it's certainly possible they could turn to <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=68440">Zach Lee</a></span>, who's pitching quite well at OKC.
Sorry for the delay, just saw this. Unlikely we're going to change the ol' production schedule on this column, but in general only a handful of rotation probables at most are going to change between my Thursday night deadline and Monday lineup locks in a given week. When they do you're always welcome and encouraged to note it and ask questions in the comments section. When appropriate I'm usually pretty quick about providing updated information and recommendations accordingly.
Yeah, that looks right. I'm bearish on Hendricks in general - he's a sinkerballer with below-average velocity and movement on his sinker (and the rest of his stuff). Same time, his results have been consistently solid - good control, limits baserunners, and he's generated a ton of groundball contact thus far. The St. Louis matchup is a tough one for him - they've been a top five offense over the past two weeks and particularly effective against righties thus far. For what it's worth the Brewers have at least shown signs of life in the past week, creeping up into the middle of the pack offensively. Between match-ups and general projection as a back-end starter in even deeper legues I'd lean towards staying away from him unless you're dying for innings.
Well, since you asked so nicely, dtothew...
The Giants' offense has actually been a sneaky solid one over the past couple weeks. Matchup-wise the schedule shakes out about even for Phelps. As far as his own value, he's been kind of all over the map relative to his arsenal and results in previous years. He's become much more four-seam heavy in his attack, while he's dialed his curveball usage way down. And then he's giving up a ton of hard line drive contact and getting way fewer grounders, but he's induced a whole bunch of weak flyball contact on the flipside. Nobody's chasing his stuff out of the zone, and his swinging strike rate is way down, yet he's been much more effective at mixing his pitches and working consistently in the zone.
Basically the net takeaway from all of that is he's not moving towards a profile that generally suggests sustainable performance, but it's worked for him thus far as the league hasn't quite adjusted yet. His 107 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=cFIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('cFIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">cFIP</span></a> (93rd among starters) indicates as much.
In deeper leagues I'd probably lean towards rolling the dice to see if you can cash in some more value before he turns back into a pumpkin. Shallower formats he's probably not worth the risk.
I mean, that WAS his bag for like the last 2-3 seasons. But he was successful with a relatively stable arsenal during that run. We're in uncharted territory right now, and that means a bunch of additional risk in his profile.
Yeah, something's not right with him. His velo was down even farther yesterday to an average of just 91.2 on the four-seam (vs. 95.7 last year & 93.5 in his first start). He's clearly not all the way back from the flexor tendon surgery, and I'd be hesitant to ride him if I had better options at this point until we see a couple more starts and figure out a) if this is a new normal and b) how he manages it if it is. I'd downgrade him to a "consider," with a recommendation to lean against starting him in shallower leagues and really anywhere you can help it.
That's a (weird) typo, sorry about that. <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Roberto+Hernandez">Roberto Hernandez</a></span> is the Hernandez that has those match-ups, and he's appropriately listed in the "sit" section because he's not a very good starting pitcher. I think Felix being on there to begin with was a copy and paste error from my template, so apologies.
Yeah, the Commissioner's Office should hand down some penalties before you have to set your lineup for next week, and then in all likelihood the affected players will ask for a hearing anyway, so it wouldn't affect their respective availability for this coming scoring period.
You're right, it's now looking like he will. NYM & PHI at home is an excellent set of draws, I'd run him as a "Start" next week." I don't love Cosart on balance, but the match-ups are right and there aren't really any early-season red flags in Cosart's profile that warrant a scare.
9 times out of 10 I'll slot the starter with solid matchups in there, and that's the case here. Definitely cause for concern with Fister's missing velocity, but he's been able to walk the rope so far and these are a couple tasty match-ups. I'd ride him for the time being given everything, though I'd watch these starts closely.
Yeah, he's one where the early season scouting reports will be very informative as to whether the jump in contact rate at the outset is sustainable or just small sample noise. He's extremely young for the level and the aggressiveness is still there, so it'll be interesting to see how he adjusts as the league gets a look at him.
Yeah, I'm not aaaaall that hopeful he's turned a corner, his swing still looks like he's imitating a robot on fire and he's whiffing at his standard rate. But given the name recognition and pedigree there's always the chance that he keeps up the hot start for another week or two and provides a small window of trade value in a deeper league. Regardless of potential value though, it's also always nice to see "dud" prospects take a couple steps back towards relevance even if it turns out to be only a brief return engagement on the stage.
Yep, he's a good'n too. Almost wrote about him, but generally leave everything Brewer-related to J.P.
Eh, outside of the possibility of him getting crushed by a stray comet or something that's really one of the last things you should be worried about at this stage of his career. He's likely a full season of mashing AA away from being ready for a shot in the Show, and lots of things can and will happen between now and then, be they trades or other players getting crushed by stray comets. Good players will play. If Vogelbach keeps hitting he'll be a good player, ipso facto he'll play.
Seems to be a situation in flux, unfortunately. ESPN's got Cleveland skipping McAllister and running Carrasco Tuesday/Sunday, Sportsline doesn't list any two-start options for Cleveland. Don't see any definitive comment from the club anywhere. When in doubt, assume one start and decide accordingly.
As of right now he's still scheduled for Tuesday & Sunday. White Sox are skipping Noesi to keep Quintana & Sale on schedule.
Correct, standard Monday-Sunday scoring period.
Yeah, entirely NL park/Opening Day-related. Perfectly legitimate to be concerned about PT with Napoli given the storied injury history I cited, but performance-based benching is unlikely.
In a 30-team I'm assuming the FA pool is a tiny little kiddy pool, in which case Hatcher may make some sense. I might hold off a couple days to see if Mattingly tips his hand at all. Peralta looked solid on Opening Day, and if he's healthy that may be the direction Donnie goes. I do like Hatcher for ratio potential though, crazy predictions aside.
Listen, I'm not here to talk about the past. These are bold predictions...(squiggly fadeout)...of the future
This ended up sixth on my list when drawing up this article. I think Middlebrooks seizes this job, and Solarte's versatility makes him a strong utility guy for San Diego. He's seen multiple starts at second and first already this spring, and I still like him as a bench target in NL-onlies because none of the Padres' infielders project to be ironclad every day guys. Middlebrooks has looked solid this spring, staying back and using the middle of the field more than he has in recent efforts. Obviously a small ST sample, so I don't think he rockets up draft boards if he does end up winning the job as I expect. But his pop makes him interesting in the late rounds, no doubt about it.
As a general baseline I'd put the range for a "standard" league around 12-14 teams and a "deeper" league at 16+. There's some variability there depending on roster construction, eligibility settings, keeper/minor league settings, etc.
I wouldn't get too excited, certainly for 2015, though agree he's a guy to keep an eye on as there's some raw material there to suggest he *could* become a late-blooming super-utility type. The Astros are already trying him in center this spring, and with Lowrie signed for the next couple years while Correa gets ready it's unlikely barring injury that he starts regularly any time soon in Houston.
Far as consistency, he got eaten alive by FB/CH combos last year. Ton of swing and miss in his game, and once pitchers figured out their sequencing against him he was overmatched. That's the kind of thing that takes regular reps to overcome if you're going to overcome it, though, and it's unlikely he gets a shot at those this year.
I'll point you in the direction of Craig's piece about him last fall: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=25003
I watched him play a bit last year trying to figure out whether to make a move for him in a dynasty league, and he showed himself as a pretty passive hitter. Took a lot of quality pitches, got himself into bad counts, that kind of thing. I like the power, but not sure it'll play any time soon without a more aggressive approach. And that's obviously a fine line for a young hitter. I'd remain in wait-and-see mode with him outside of crazy deep leagues for now.
The short answer is yes, they are. Michael Jong did a nice quick and dirty study of closer performance over time last summer looking at this. Basically, for closers (i.e. ostensibly a sample of the most effective relievers in the game) the attrition rate of worsening performance over a three-year margin was something like 75%. In other words, if a guy pitched well for a couple seasons three in four pitched worse the following year. Extrapolate that out for less good, even more volatile middle relievers...you get the idea.
Yeah, see? You know the score.
Thanks! 2015 only? Stroman, gap, Salazar, Paxton, smaller gap, Hahn. I like Hahn more as a 2015 trial balloon with potential to morph into a nice, undervalued longer term asset if he takes another step forward (and I think he will). Other three are basically gloves off, ready to go for this season. Stroman's awesome, he's head and shoulders tops on that list.
He was supposed to be in the "others" section as a Low-Three to High-Three guy, not sure where in the process of submitting the article he got chopped off, so thanks for the catch. I wouldn't expect a repeat of last year, either in terms of walk rate or HR rate, though by all accounts and anecdotal evidence he made legitimate and significant progress in both areas. I worry his draft day price will be inflated beyond the appropriate range in leagues like this based on last year's return, but he should still be viewed as a low-end to solid SP3 in 12-team leagues (top 30-35 SP).
He did make some nice strides last year, yes. The 3.5 BB/9 was, somehow, an extremely encouraging number given his 4.5/9 career minor league rate and the disaster that was his first 33 MLB innings prior to last year. And the numbers do support your eye-test, in that his walk rate was 4% higher out of the stretch. The overall walk rate still has a ways to go before he's not a liability in BB-negative formats, though. I'd keep him as a wait-and-see for this year in re-draft leagues.
Yeah, for 4x4's the biggest change is that relievers -even middle men - end up with a significant boost in value because they're not penalized for deficiencies in bulk strikeout accumulation. But in the realm of starters, yeah, it's exactly who you'd suspect who earn higher: guys with more modest whiff rates that control contact well and keep guys off base. I didn't highlight 4x4 specifically because the overlap with the BB section above for SP is pretty well identical (since low whiff, high walk guys tend to not be very good pitchers). The three you mention are case in point, along with the Fister's and Lohse's of the world.
Yep, exactly the plan of attack for RP next week.
Thanks for the kind words, glad it's been a helpful series.
From your communique dated to January of aught-twelve, you stated, and I quote, "I've been thinking a lot about who my cut-off players are...the guys who would change it from the hall of great to the hall of very good. I figure my hitter mark is somewhere around Larry Walker." Slander indeed!
And while yes, my effort here was not of championship quality, it was not my fault: I got Plouffed. Also I still beat Bret, and sometimes it's about the small victories in life.
Yeah that Pads were an 03-04 Patriot-esque squad with a gigantic middle class but no truly elite, stand alone talent. Their cumulative effort was special though, yeah. At short, for example, Everth Cabrera (25th) and Alexei Amarista (30th) combined for a 109 ESPN that, far as I can tell from a cursory glance, was the worst cumulative effort for any one position on a team.
I believe the plan is to keep it rolling to infinity and beyond, yes!
(Matt Carpenter plays third base)
All the Matt Carpenter love you can handle is conveniently located in the 3B article in this series here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/a/25453
Yeah, Yelich's OBP-AVG didn't crack the top 20 of qualified OFers last year, though it was close. The nigh-on 11% walk rate he's posted thus far in his young career is awesome and extremely promising moving forward, but we've already got him ranked 21st overall as a standard league outfielder and there isn't quite enough there to warrant boosting him up into the mid-four star tier in OBP leagues just yet. I agree he's a strong play in OBP formats, but the valuation difference is +/- a couple spots at best between formats.
In a standard format I think it's an easy call to go Freeman, Seager, Davis in order of preference. But OBP & OPS swing things quite a bit IMO and I'd strongly consider keeping Davis over Seager. Really comes down to how much risk you want to take. Davis' ceiling is significantly higher than Seager's in this format, but the downside/collapse risk is astronomically higher. Given the limited keeper format the upside play's probably worth making. FWIW, Seager likely has some fringe trade value that's worth exploring, so I'd shop him hard to see if you can't upgrade a draft pick or something before you make your decision.
That's the plan! Catcher, 1st base, and 2nd base articles are linked in the intro, and SS and OF are still to come. I'll also be doing similar pitcher adjustments for leagues that factor QS and walk rate.
Yeah, Pedroia was in the running for discussion in both formats, but at the end of the day he's a really hard guy to peg and his overall value probably doesn't migrate much from his high-three star ranking regardless of format. From 09-11 he posted double-digit walk rates and OBP-AVG splits of .75 or greater, but he's been markedly more inconsistent over the last three seasons. I believe our initial cut of PECOTA projections had him bouncing back towards a near-double-digit walk rate, which would probably bump him from our 8th overall standard ranking to 6 or 7 and a borderline 4 star for OBP leagues. In points formats he's traditionally posted strong whiff rates and elite doubles power, but both took a step back last year under cloud of injury. His upside in those formats is that of a top-5 and mid-4 star guy, but the injury/age concerns have to be considered legitimate enough to knock him a couple spots re: max investment. Basically there's potential for significant surplus value here regardless of format if a) you can get him as the 8th 2B off the board and b) he stays healthy all year. Those are obviously two big if's, though.
Good catch, forgot about the oblique. Specific point withdrawn, general point that both guys had terrible years remains.
Thanks! For specific statline adjustments you can always create customizable rankings for your league with the Player Forecast Manager as well:
Awesome, thanks for the kind words and glad they've been helpful
Thanks, glad it was helpful
No, he qualified, really just a case of him not having anywhere to move up to. We had him as a high-four star guy ranked sixth for the position in standard leagues. The silly whiff rate does indeed give him an additional boost in overall value (relative to the entire player pool), but among first basemen I still wouldn't take him over any of the standard five stars (Cabrera, Goldy, EE, Abreu). I'd have him neck and neck with Pujols for the top of the four's, and Gonzalez probably deserves to still be in that conversation as well. So at most it's a +/- 1 spot change in relative value.
Glad the series is helpful, thanks for the feedback!
Vogt's probably the closest thing you'll find that late, yeah, but I don't think it's likely he has everyday AB's coming to him even with the multi-position deployment. So that sort of defeats the purpose of your strategy. Grandal would've been the guy I'd have targeted if he'd remained in SD, but there's no room at the inn for him at first base in Dodger Stadium. Unfortunately unless you're willing to pay for Gattis (and his OBP drag) it doesn't currently look like there's a low-tier guy that'll be in line to seize the Ryan Doumit championship belt this year, sorry.
Depending on how deep your league is I'd probably target a guy like Iannetta, who's a sneaky valuable OBP guy that's likely to be kicking around the FA pool deep into the night on draft day. He should see the overwhelming majority of time for the Angels and post a top 6-7 OBP at the least among catchers.
There you go. Counter-intuitive to how I suspected, but the lower separation of value makes some sense when explained like that. Mike may be best-suited to speak to this definitively, as he's our resident dollar-and-cent guru.
Yep, fear not, Scoresheet will have a full column of dedication again. Those pieces will run on Fridays throughout the positional series.
Sorry, could've been more clear. It's a question of scale. Your example assumes equal plate appearances, and that was far from the case last year, as catchers took far fewer walks to the dish than any other position player grouping. Should've spelled that out, my bad.
Here's the basic math for their performance to this end compared with, say, first basemen. Note that I'm just going to use H and BB for computing a rough sketch of OBP, these aren't the actual correct positional totals:
Catchers hit .244 with a 7.7% walk rate in 21,255 plate appearances last year.
.077*21,255 = 1,636 walks, which leaves 19,619 AB's. At a .244 clip that produces 4,787 hits. Their rough collective OBP would be (6,423 H+BB)/21,255 PA's = .3022. The differential between their AVG and OBP would be .3022-.244, or a total of .0582.
Contrast that with first basemen, who walked at a 9.2% clip over 27,000 plate appearances and hit .252:
.092*27000 = 2484 BB, .252 in 24,516 AB's = 6,178 hits, 8,662 H+BB/27,000 PA's =.3208 OBP, .3208-.252 = .0688 differential.
Does that make sense?
Awesome, glad it's helpful. Consider it our first collective baby step towards one day living in a world where OBP leagues ARE standard leagues :)
Thanks. The short answer is kind of, but the difference isn't *that* big since the goal is still to get the best option you can at the best value possible. The pressure to get quality production out of your one and only starter ramps up in those formats, but replacement level options are also easier to come by. So basically I'd nudge the relative value of the 3- and 4-star guys up slightly more in one-C formats, but nothing too extreme.
You're in luck, my good man! Tomorrow we'll be debuting a complimentary series called "The Adjuster" where I'll talk about some guys who gain or lose value relative to their standard league ranking if you play in an OBP or points format. Cervelli didn't make the cut as someone I wrote about, but I agree with you that he'll be an interesting end-game option for most deeper mixed and NL-only OBP leagues.
Yeah, this is always a tricky area in making projections for ballpark change like this. HITf/x data still isn't available to the general public, so conclusive numbers on batted ball distance and velocity by park aren't all that easy to come by. The closest I've seen to a comprehensive study, which I still reference frequently and did take a peek at before writing what I wrote above, is Dr. Alan Nathan's look at early-season homerun data from 2009. According to his findings Atlanta actually rated as a tougher combination of atmospheric context and ballpark dimensions in which to hit homers than San Diego. I certainly don't hold that to be an immutable law - the study was limited to the first six weeks of that season, it was 6 years ago, etc. - but I think it's valuable as a reminder against jumping to anecdotal conclusions re: ballpark effects on that level. There's a lot we still don't know about these kinds of conditional effects. The more general point was that Upton is an elite power-hitter in his prime, so the move to a nominally more difficult ballpark context shouldn't necessarily impact his playable power to the same degree as it might for a guy with fringe-average power.
Yeah that was a glaring omission, he'll definitely be in the mix at some point next summer. Not necessarily based on scientific evidence at all, but I'd bet the Padres would like to get a good long glimpse of what they've actually got in Spangenberg this year. He was a top-ten draft pick who hasn't really garnered a ton of respect from scouts, but he's always hit. He'll be 24 and I think he's a clear MLB roster spot out of spring training.
As for Peterson, Bud Black recently suggested the team was interested in giving him some reps in the OF, which makes a bunch of sense since he was a by-most-accounts solid DB at McNeese St. It shows a super-utility projection, given the versatility he's already flashed on the dirt. He benefited from some strong hitting environments coming up, and he's struggled with his stolen base efficiency in the high minors. But the OBP/speed combo is intriguing, especially given the vast potential positional eligibilities. He was pretty completely overmatched in his MLB debut last year, and especially if they're serious about OF reps it's highly likely he'll head to AAA to start the season. If he hits in the first half and an avenue to playing time does open up come summertime he could be an interesting guy to bid on in a whole bunch of formats.
There you go. So basically swap Norris & Sanchez's names in my write-up. Norris still benefits from the thinner depth chart, while Sanchez obviously sees a significant bump with the revelation that Toronto does indeed intend to start him. I'd still caution against making any rash decisions re: the value of either for 2015, as I'm not convinced we won't see the Jays make a FA play for another starter. Sanchez owners should certainly be happy about the stated intent, though.
Yeah, that's a good catch of a notable omission. As you mention he was already sort of lost in space between the rotation and bullpen, and I'd toss a "down" arrow on him certainly for fantasy purposes in the wake of this deal. He's still pre-arb and his reverse split makes him a nice arm to keep on a roster regardless of role, so I wouldn't necessarily expect him to get dealt anywhere. My guess is he'll still have the opportunity to compete for a rotation spot in Spring Training, but there are now two more arms with legitimate shots to lay claim to the (temporarily) available spots as Parker/Griffin work back into the mix. Jesse Chavez is in the same boat. Obviously if a Shark or Kazmir trade comes next it'll open up more options, but for now Pomeranz and Chavez face longer odds of breaking camp in the rotation, making them less appealing flyers in AL-onlies and deep mixed leagues.
Yeah I went back and forth about whether to include Baldoquin because I suspected there'd be interest about him, but ultimately decided against it because I just don't see a plausible way he's in the big leagues this year. The Angels obviously see something they like, because they blew their international bonus cap on signing him. But scouting reports are all over the map about him, specifically whether he can stick at short and what he can do with the bat. His Serie Nacional performances weren't particularly noteworthy, and I don't think there's much reason to speculate on how his game will translate until we see him stateside against minor league pitching. My guess is he starts in A+ if the Angels are aggressive with him, but yours is just as good. I wouldn't plan on any 2015 ROI if you're looking at him in a draft this winter.
He has similar value to Cowgill, which is to say not a ton for fantasy purposes. He's always hit pretty well throughout his minor league career, and he held his own in his debut last year. There's a bit more to squint and see here as he does have some speed, though he struggled against Major League batteries. Decent batting average with a few steals in limited AB's is the upside here is he wins the 4th OF job from Cowgill, so he could sneak into AL-only relevance. I wouldn't be surprised if the Angels brought in a couple more cheap guys like this to compete for the role.
I think longterm he's probably somewhere in the fifth starter/swingman range. His season was statistically exceptional, but it's worth noting that he did the bulk of that work in the pitching-friendly Florida State League while being slightly old for the level. He's a relatively finished product who doesn't offer a ton of projection at this point. Delivery's easy and repeatable, but reports don't point to a particularly exceptional off-speed arsenal to balance out his fringy fastball. His command may turn out to be good enough that he surprises us a bit with a slightly higher ceiling, but I'd say at this point expecting any more than a potential AL-only or deep league matchup streamer is wishful thinking until he shows us otherwise.
Yeah, I probably shouldn't have been SO quick to dismiss the chance of that happening. Cecil's interesting because he actually has a rather severe reverse split, which makes Toronto's usage patterns of him in situational/less-than-one-inning appearances all the more curious. The walk rate makes him a less-than-ideal candidate, but as you note given the likely lack of resources Toronto will have to address that back end with external options he'd certainly make sense to garner some consideration from the club.
I went back and forth about this very question when I started including this particular exercise in my annual end-of-season itinerary a couple years ago. The way I came down on it is that HR rate as a variable is something I'm more interested in looking at secondarily with these pitchers. I've never entirely loved xFIP as a blanket stat because certain players are more consistently prone to homeruns than others, and it's an element of pitcher performance I like to look at on a case-by-case basis rather than normalizing. Ultimately this is only meant as a quick and dirty starter activity in the long process of a compiling an off-season target list. It's been helpful for me, and hopefully using it (or similar baseline derivatives like xFIP or FRA) can help jumpstart the offseason for others as well.
Matzek is unlikely, the Rockies bumped him in order to get Flande back into the rotation for a couple more looks before season's end. The Petco start's still a solid play as a one-start, but Colorado will be a six-man outfit for the final week.
Yeah it looks like they'll line up for a double-header on Friday now, which just about locks that in. Especially since he's probably bullpen-bound once the post-season begins he's probably a decent wager at this point. I'd start him without reservation for the home-and-home with the Mets and Marlins, those are strong match-ups.
Yeah, looks like he is, I missed him in my sweep. He's a case-in-point of the difficulties of predicting the final week. He's pitched reasonably well for a back-end AL-only starter in his five starts, but with Detroit in a playoff spot dogfight that appears destined to go down to the wire I can't imagine he'll have a very long leash for either start next week. The uncertainty makes him a marginal-at-best upgrade over any decent one-start option you have, because the reality is he could very well only give you one start's worth of combined innings. So I think I'd treat him as you would a mid-tier one-start "consider" and start or sit him accordingly depending on your other options.
Sweet, happy to be of service. It actually looks like the White Sox have adjusted their rotation this morning to bump Danks up to Sunday, so he'll no longer be a two-start guy. Who - if anyone - will for the Sox sounds completely up in the air. So you're down to Martinez or Nolasco, and the biggest issue I see with Martinez for your particular conundrum is the need to emphasize W/IP. He's gone no less than five but no more than six innings in any of his last ten starts, and he has shown a particular penchant for getting blown up when batters see him for the third time in a start (.315/.387/.556 over 124 PA's). He's actually pitched reasonably well against both opponents, though he's lived dangerously. It's a tough call, though I think I'd probably lean Nolasco on account of the reasons I laid out above.
Yep, this is the swan song. Thanks for the kind words, glad it helped out.
I'd roll with Hutch. I don't LOVE his match-ups, but I like them considerably more than Peralta's and he offers more in the way of K upside.
Yeah, I just can't see that as a viable option. The @NYM match-up isn't the worst one-shot stream option in the world, but it's more than offset by the WAS start if you're a weekly league. Fister and Greinke both have favorable match-ups, and the odds that you get more positive net production from one of them + two Eovaldi starts just aren't strong enough to warrant benching one of the top 25 starters in the game even as a reach play.
Yeah I'd go right ahead and start McHugh, and it's not particularly close for me. I just wrote a piece extolling McHugh's virtues over at Dynasty Guru, and the match-ups are just fine.
I trust Matzek more than Peacock at the moment, but given the additional counting stat emphasis of your stat line and the volume you can run out there I'd start both. Will give you a very strong leg up in W, K, and QS.
No, it looks like Cleveland has now bumped him to Wednesday, with an unnamed starter Monday. So just Kluber appears likely to line up for two next week.
I'd start Vargas, I think. Your format with the added counting stat category tips the scales in exactly the manner I alluded to in the Vargas write-up towards quantity. It is indeed a "bleh" decision, but probably narrowly worth the risk of that Boston start for the possibility of added bulk to your stat line.
I like Santiago quite a bit as a reliable mid-rotation arm. This all depends on what you need. If you're looking for bulk counting stats (W, K) I'd run Santiago, probably at the expense of Shoemaker. That's tough to stomach given how well Shoemaker's pitched lately, but Texas isn't a big strikeout team and Cashner has a very strong career track record against the Dodgers. If rate stats (ERA, WHIP) are more important to you I'd probably lean more towards the one-starts. Both Shoemaker and Cashner have strong match-ups overall and are the better pitchers, and I think I narrowly like the odds of those two producing strong ratio value over 13-14 innings more than what I'd expect Santiago plus one to do over ~20 innings.
I prefer Stroman there. Despite the MLB record run Petit's a tough guy to bank on start to start. He's taken a legitimate step forward over the past season and a half with his curveball, and he's both deploying it more often and getting significantly better results with it as his top secondary. But he's still far too prone to leaving balls over the middle of the plate, and when he gets hit he gets hit hard (see his last start). Stroman's hit or miss enough to warrant standard rookie concerns about consistency in a two-start week, but his match-ups are very solid and I like what I've seen out of him the past two weeks against poor offenses.
Man, talk about a young pitcher doing frustrating young pitcher things. His velo has ticked up a notch over his last two starts, but all the added oomph has done is straighten out his slider and make him more hittable. He's pitched well in two starts against NY this season, more of a mixed bag over five looks at Toronto. I'd probably roll with him given the uninspiring other options, though if WHIP is a danger zone for you and you can afford the one less Win opportunity Kennedy's a legitimate fallback option.
Yeah, the O's rotation lines up a little wonky, as they play a double-header against the Yankees on Friday. They haven't named a starter for the second game yet, but it would make some sense to bump Norris up a day and, in turn, line Tillman up for Sunday. I'd start him easily over the Shields @DET one-start, especially given your particular needs. Even if he stays a one-start guy I'd take his @BOS start over that Shields match-up regardless.
Also re: the Brewers they haven't set anything in stone. Per our resident Disciple of Uecker J.P. Breen the six-man option has been discussed 'round the campfire, but nothing has been decided as yet.
Nothing would make me happier than Charlie riding in on his white stallion for a two-start wek next week, but it doesn't sound like that's likely. Latest I've heard is that he's not all the way healed, though Pitt has him scheduled for a side session Thursday and another sim game next Tuesday for a hopeful return the following weekend. That may even prove optimistic, however, given how the injury is lingering.
Fair question, and it gets more to general philosophy than the specifics of Carrasco in particular. I'm on board with what he's doing. He's all the way back from TJ now, and as you note he does appear to have made legitimate adjustments that have unlocked his velocity and altered how his pitches move. I don't love the match-ups in tandem, though in the grand scheme they make for a fairly moderate degree of risk. Still, he's only made four starts, an despite the positive early returns and signs pointing towards sustainable success I'm always generally more conservative with guys in his position. The uncertainty makes for a legitimate reason to think a bit before pulling the trigger and definitely committing to the guy for two starts. He is towards the top of that pile, which hopefully reflects my confidence in him as a strong option, and one that probably gets the nod in more league contexts than not.
Of those options I'd run Gausman, Paxton, Roark, McHugh, Shoemaker, in that order. I'd don't trust Rubby D enough for those two starts to comfortably assume a higher floor of return value than what you'd get from starting any of those one-start guys given how well the three of them have pitched lately.
Hard to say. I'd wager the "two short(er) starts" path would be the more likely, since it gives him that extra repetition of a start and the Rays seem like an org that'd place a value on process like that, but that's just speculative on my part. Regardless, he's been pitching so well that unless you have another surefire two-start guy that you'd be benching to accommodate I would take the risk and run him anyway.
I would, yes.
Yeah, simple typo,apologies. He is indeed of the fairer-handed and us southpaws are pleased to count him among our ranks.
Yup, so he is, @HOU and @LAA. I'd run him if you got him despite the ugliness of his last start. There weren't any red flags with velocity, excessive missed locations, etc., the Mets just hit him.
Mercy killing. Looks like possibly Doubront slotting in his place? If so my Red Sox biases prevent me from recommending him unless you've got a ton of WHIP wiggle room, but the match-ups would be highly intriguing if you happened to be looking for an NL-only streamer.
Yeah, and he's looked very good in two starts since coming back. His velocity's back to where it was in April and he's getting great movement on both his fastballs. It's a tough slate of road match-ups, and I can understand his owners wanting to see a bit more before trusting him for two in a row, but I'd lean towards running him. You've waited this long for a contribution from him, might as well try and make some money off of him while he's finally healthy and flashing a strong arsenal.
I'm firmly in your camp of skepticism with regards to Gee, and I was kinda hoping nobody would ask me about him this week, because hell if I can figure out what to do with him. He's been entirely uninspiring of late, to the degree that even the tasty schedule probably isn't enough for me to recommend starting him over even a similarly mediocre one-start option. The risk in committing to Gee for consecutive starts is probably more trouble than it's worth until he shows some consistency.
Well, he's a one-start guy this week, and that one start is a very difficult match-up @PIT. He's got a career 4.88 ERA and 1.42 WHIP against the Pirates over a not insignificant 66 inning sample, and current Pirates in the non-Andrew McCutchen division have hit a combined .290/.368/.514 against him over 171 plate appearances. Lynn's been pitching very strong ball of late, including a quality start against the Pirates in early July. I'd certainly be leaning towards starting him, but if you've got other options he's not a guaranteed run by any stretch this week.
I'd slot him into the upper portion of the "consider" bin if indeed he does get the nod for both turns. The White Sox have been one of the best offenses in the 2nd half, though they've tapered off a bit of late. The Cubs are not good. Norris has been pitching like a perfectly competent mid-rotation starter in AL-only leagues of late, and given the general neutrality of the match-ups he's certainly someone to take a look at.
Yes, as I note explicitly in the disclaimer above pitching match-ups are obviously subject to change. And this column has a Thursday deadline for the following week, so sometimes injury or re-shuffling news breaks to late to adjust. It looks like Alfredo Simon will slot into Bailey's turns, and he's a "Consider" who I'd be skeptical of. After defying the FIP gods for most of the season he's pitched pretty poorly in three straight starts, allowing almost two baserunners an inning and giving up 12 earned runs while failing to record an out in the sixth inning in any of them. Neither of his opponents generates a tremendous amount of fear, but I'm still skeptical of his performance right now. The Dodgers still haven't ruled Ryu out officially, despite all but acknowledging he's likely to miss at least his Tuesday start. That'd likely go to Kevin Correia, who I would not bother with if he does because a two-start pitcher in the even of a Ryu DL stint.
Man, that's a reeeaally tough call. I suppose it depends on how many points you get for innings, as the volume of negatives in the format you describe would seem on the surface to cancel out the value of two-start innings. If the value is great enough from bulk innings I'd go with Lyles anyway, as the match-ups couldn't be much better for him, despite the shaky return.
Yeah, Smyly's another one where workload issues will be playing an increasingly prominent role in decision-making for his owners. He's 35 innings over last year's tally already, and with the Rays' playoff odds growing increasingly long (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/odds/) it's reasonable to expect the Rays to be careful with him down the stretch. The stuff doesn't appear diminished as yet, and the match-ups are relatively neutral. He's a straight "consider" for now, somewhere in the Verlander/Hutchison range.
I'm actually not sure if a team can place a player with a full no-trade clause on irrevocable waivers. I would assume not, since the binding nature of those claims would seem to run into an inherent conflict with the player's no-trade rights. But perhaps someone more versed in these things can chime in. For what it's worth for several years now I've referred to Jeff Aberle's spectacularly comprehensive examination of waivers here:
Miller's in an awfully interesting place right now. Since returning to the rotation on the 26th he's strung together three strong outings for the first time in...well I can't remember at this point. Most notable about the stretch is the grand total of one walk he's issued over 18 2/3 innings. On the flipside, he's still not striking anybody out. I didn't think it was possible, but he's actually become even MORE fastball-dependent, and is now throwing his four-seamer a staggering 77% of the time. I still question how viable that is going forward, but his match-ups are pretty decently in his favor this week, and for the first time in a while he's a legitimate consider.
Awesome, thanks for the kind words
Yeah, I touched on him above. I don't much like him (or Danks), but they both share a highly attractive two-start schedule for the White Sox this week. It's the kind of situation where he's pretty much only viable because of that schedule though, so keep your expectations in check. You could certainly do worse as a streamer to buy you a week while you figure out if you have any other options for a longer term fill-in.
I'm skeptical of Gee at this point, and he's pitched pretty poorly in his last three turns now. I don't really trust him with a two-start week and the match-ups are a mixed bag. The Phillies have owned Gee throughout his career; current Philadelphians have posted an .895 OPS against him over 158 plate appearances and knocked him around to the tune of a 7.11 ERA and 1.56 WHIP over 63 innings. The Giants are a better draw, as they've struggled to score runs for a while now. I'd lean in favor of sitting him, but if you're n an NL-only and need Wins I suppose there's an argument to be made for giving him a go.
Yeah I think that's about the only context in which he's viable, I wish you good luck.
Ah! I love it. Burnett is my anti-Liriano, a guy for whom my trust is every bit as irrational as my inherent distrust of Francisco. I'd run him if I owned him, especially in the NL-only leagues. But the match-ups, while on the good side of neutral are not so overwhelmingly favorable as to suggest he should be started across the board.
My thoughts on Liriano...how much time you got? He is what he is at this point in his career, and what he is is a wildly inconsistent starter. He's certainly figured out the Dodger lineup, but that's about the only feather in his cap this season. He's got four quality starts in seventeen turns now. It's quick and dirty, but that gives you an idea about what you're getting. At his best he's a guy that'll give you strikeouts over five or six innings at the expense of WHIP drain. At his worst he's a guy that eats your pitching staff's soul. I'll look at him as a start-by-start steamer if I'm hard up for whiffs, but committing to two straight - even when the matchups are reasonable like this week - is too rich for my blood.
Seconded. We're fortunate to have a deep bench here to help us overcome Craig's persistent #slack
Yeah he's put on a bit of good weight and has impressed in each viewing this year with his ability to use it in transfer and create leverage to drive the ball. Agree that given the home park/league context it's unwise to jump to any results-based conclusions. But the present swing mechanics are enough to suggest at least some optimism for future power utility. And if it does come to play in game with his strike zone command and approach it'll make for an awfully interesting offensive profile.
I still see Zimmermann listed as the probable, but if it's Roark I'd avoid. It's one thing to consider rolling the dice on a top-25 starter in Colorado, it's another entirely to bother with a down rotation option. I like Roark well enough, but I wouldn't run him in Coors. If the Tuesday start is correct that would put him on pace for a two-start week with Miami and Philly the following week, and that's a much more interesting proposition.
I like Porcello a lot, and his placement in the "consider" queue is pretty much entirely on account of the Angels being one of his draws for the week. That offense is terrifying right now. If anyone can tame it an elite groundballer like Porcello is a solid bet, but I still don't like it. So I'd say it's all about your particular team context and how much risk you need to be willing to assume. If you need the innings and Win potential and he's your only multi-start option, then you might as well. If you're in a position where you don't need to gamble, then just as well to sit him
Yeah that was sloppy editing on my part, I re-wrote that sentence a couple times and didn't swap in Byrnes. Thanks for the catch.
Yeah, I'd definitely run Sanchez for sure, and then Shrk and Porcello probably both make the cut, leaving you with one other two-start play between Peralta and Morton. I personally am a huge Morton fan given, as he's made significant adjustments this season that I discussed above, and they've really been paying off. He's struggled a bit away from home, so the road-road will be a challenge for him. Peralta's been a bit more hittable of late, with a 1.6 WHIP over his most recent three turns. Basically either's defensible, and they're very close IMO. I'd lean Morton myself, but ultimately your call.
He's not anymore. With the short week on account of tomorrow's holiday I had to go off probable starter data almost a week out. Especially with it being the last week before the All Star break I have no doubt there will be more rotation shuffling, guys getting rested, etc. Definitely pay close attention to Twitter, etc. to keep tabs on your guys before setting your lineups.
Yeah, he's seriously teetering on the edge of auto-starting at this point, and probably should already have been downgraded. At the least I should've included comment above. His stuff has been progressively flattening out for a the past couple seasons now, and right now his cutter and curveball in particular are real problem pitches. The swinging strike rate is well off where he needs it to be, and the vast majority of the reason for that involves the lessened movement on pitches in the zone. I'd be exploring some trade options while he has the name value going for him, as the trend lines definitely aren't the most encouraging.
It's a fair concern. And he's not a guy who was pitching deep into games during his stretch of goodness, either. I'd be trying to move him yesterday, as the future value's not that great for ROS.
That *is* a tough call. I think I'd agree with you though and lean Skaggs. As a moderate flyball pitcher whose success this season has in part been due to holding down his homerun rate to date below his career norms Kennedy's a really tough one to advocate in Coors. And the Dodger Stadium start is no picnic either - the Dodger offense knocked him around for 20 earned runs over his last five starts (27 2/3) since the start of last year. The K potential is greater with Kennedy, but so's the chance of a meltdown start. Skaggs it is.
I caught Law for two consecutive games and a BP session at the end of May in Lancaster and then most recently two more games in a row this past Thursday-Friday at Inland Empire.
Yeah, one of the occupational hazards of a production deadline. No word I can find as yet on who the rotation replacement will be, so TBD for now. Can't imagine whoever it is will rate higher than a low "consider," though.
Real mixed bag there. Neither offense is particularly scary, either in general or moreso at home. Masterson's pitched by and large better baseball of late, but he's been absolutely dreadful on the road this season, and that hasn't changed with his recent warmer streak. He's worth consideration on account of the recent trend lines and match-ups, but I wouldn't feel confident trusting him away from home for two straight. I'd toss him towards the bottom of the consider pile and seek to avoid if possible, unless you're in need of gambling on some Wins in an AL-only.
I like Stroman quite a bit overall, but he's not an ideal two-start gamble at this stage of the game. That said, the match-ups aren't terrible: the White Sox are strong against right-handed pitching, but a relatively mediocre offense away from home. And the Yankees are a pretty neutral draw as well. He probably slots in around the bottom of the "consider" tier, slightly north of Hutchison and Whitley. An interesting upside play, but not for shallow leagues or teams who aren't in need of hitting on a few reach plays.
I'd frankly be looking for a better return than any of those packages for Hamels. He's been a top 15 starter over the past month, and while that may be overstating his value slightly, it's not far off either. For argument's sake let's conservatively call him a top 25-30 starter. In a 16-team league that's a solid #2 starter, and those don't grow on trees. Any prospect-based package for him has to start with a top 10 pitching prospect. Urias is that in real life, but for fantasy purposes he's 17 and not someone I'm looking at as the lynch pin of a trade like this.
Baltimore only has six games, and Chen is the scheduled Monday starter. The O's actually haven't named a starter for Gausman's ostensible slot yet, but if he does continue on the MLB squad his turn woul be in line for two starts the following week. And then similar situation for Buehrle: he's scheduled to start Wednesday this week, leaving him on pace to go twice the following week. Stroman's the two-start option out of Toronto this week, and I like him a good amount.
That's a tough one because I do like Kennedy, but Niese probably gets the nod. He's really been quite good all year and was really a borderline start/consider for me. The Cardinals just haven't handled lefties this year, at all. They don't get on base against them, they don't slug against them, and Niese already handled them much once. The start @MIA is more of an eyebrow-raiser, but even there the Fish offense has finally colled off a bit over the past couple weeks. I think Niese has probably done enough at this point to earn the two-start play.
I really liked what I saw out of Santiago in his return to the rotation against Oakland last start. He really got eaten alive by porous defense and general bad luck in his first couple months. The Tribe has been a hot offense lately, and they're a strong club at home. But they've struggled to hit lefties all year. The Rangers for their part are a tough squad against southpaws, and they've hit significantly better outside of Arlington this season for whatever reason. Match-ups are definitely tougher on balance for Santiago, but I think I like his strikeout and win potential more than I trust the likelihood of Cumpton posting a better ERA/WHIP combo.
That was a mistake, yeah. He's been the best pitcher in fantasy baseball this season.
It's a risky roll for sure. The O's may be cumulatively mediocre at home, and the Twins may cumulatively be the Twins, but both have been top-10 offenses over the past couple weeks. And while Happ has indeed added velocity and effectiveness with his fastball, his secondaries have been pretty rough cross the board so far this year and that's resulted in a crappy walk rate and even crappier HR rate. I probably would've avoided if possible, but same time if W's was a primary goal for you any time you can ride a Blue Jay tarter twice in a week at this point it's not a bad gamble.
If getting bumped out of two-start status were a baseline statistic Charlie Morton would be working on the '99 Pedro season.
Ha, I understand the impulse. Had a little fun with A.J.'s write-up, but the moral of the story is if he's not going to help you this week he's probably not going to help you period, and it's time to allocate the roster spot more effectively. His control just hasn't been there, and per the usual assortment of under-the-hood metrics he's earned every bit of his struggles this year.
Well, I wrote up Stults above, though he had his last start bumped up to Sunday so is no longer a 2-start guy this week. I still like him as a streaming option against the Nats later in the week, incidentally. I liked Morton a ton for this week based on his perfectly solid (if Win deprived) performance to date, and so far so good for him after his gem against the Padres last night. Wheeler's absolutely getting there. I watched most of his last start and his mechanics were much cleaner than the last start of his I caught. Certainly showed in the results. I like him tonight against the Cubbies, less sold later in the week against a sneaky Giant lineup. Would certainly have leaned strongly towards starting him this week, but I can also see being hesitant given how he looked for a stretch in the first half of May.
Like Hutch a lot, but it's a tough slate for him this week, especially given he's coming off such an ugly clunker in his last start against a relatively benign offense. Both the Cardinals and Tigers have struggled with their offensive efficiency over the past week, but both have been strong enough against right-handed pitching this yer that I'd probably lean towards sitting him in most mixed leagues.
I don't think he is? The Pirates only play six games next week and Morton's lined up for the Monday-Sunday tilts. Cole should be in line for a two-start against the Cubs and Miami the following week. And I don't think I'd run Kuroda over any of those guys, though it's more about my like of those three than anything against Hideki. He's another one that's pitched better than his numbers show. But Kluber's a must-start at this point, Hamels gets a really weak Cincy lineup, and Fister's looked very good off the DL.
I left out a Garza comment partially due to space, but also to see how quickly before one of his frustrated owners asked about him. Garza's topline numbers haven't been great lately, but with a 3.72 FIP he's theoretically pitching about a run better than his ERA right now. The biggest cause of his struggles appears tied to a 60% strand rate that is the second-worst of any qualified starter. Garza's never been exceptional at pitching out of the stretch, but this a whole new level. Beyond that, there isn't a whole lot that sticks out in his profile as outlying from his normal under-the-hood peripherals. His velocity's down slightly but not enough to warrant panic. He's not struggling to generate swings and misses, and he's actually getting hitters to chase out of the zone about 3.5% more often than usual. Basically, the match-ups are neutral and I'm not convinced I need to give up on him yet. It's a softer "start" recommendation than most, but I'm still comfortable rolling with him in a two-start week for the time being.
Yeah, I mean it's a best case scenario to face them on the road. They're still a scary crew in anycontext. Hamels probably gets the nod for that start.
Thanks. Yeah, unclear as yet who's going to end up with two-start status for the Clevelanders next week, though as of right now it appears it'll be Tomlin. I like him, but the match-ups @CHW and home vs. COL make for a no-go IMO for anyone outside of a top 30 starter, give or take depending on your league depth.
Yeah, I was bummed when they DFA'ed Wandy yesterday, I really thought I'd nailed my "sit" blurb for him. But yes, it sure seems like the Pirates are leaning towards Cumpton over Locke, which I approve marginally from a fantasy standpoint. Not a huge fan of either option as anything more than a streaming option, though Cumppton's produced some excellent results all year at both AAA and in Pittsburgh. He's not going to strike guys out, but he's worth a monitor to see if something's clicked this year. For now I'd sit either, at least 'til we get a couple more looks.
Not entirely buying it, though I do see him as a decent #5 starter in mixed leagues and maybe a 4 or very weak 3 in NL-onlies. His velocity has returned post-injury, which is a good sign, but he's having trouble fooling people out of the zone and is working in the zone a bunch more. Despite a higher contact rate and more contact on pitches in the zone the league's managed just a .225 BABIP against him (career .290). That's the result of a ton more infield pop-ups than he's ever gotten and a dramatic decrease in hard-hit liners. The major difference in his scouting report so far is a significant ramp up of curveball usage, and the league is hitting just .111 against his deuce. That number's on par with his ACE years when he was throwing 96 and beating the world, and I wouldn't expect it to continue as the league adjusts to his new approach. He's got a solid schedule upcoming, with Miami at home next week and then he'll be set up for a decent two-start the following week @NYM and @PHI. Probably worth starting both weeks in most formats.
Depends on your league settings, he's a consider for me despite the road-road. He's pitched well thus far and Baltimore's offense is still a paper tiger. The Sox have been much better against LHP since Victorino got back and Pedroia moved into the leadoff spot. In AL-only and H2H leagues where bulk stats are valuable I'd consider him as a moderately risky but viable option.
Yeah, was sorta surprised by that given the lack of depth to cover that slot. Shoemaker and Alvarez are really their only options on the 40-man, and they're maxed to the full 40 currently. So unless they make a move it's probably one of those two? Regardless I wouldn't invest in either for a two-start week.
Wood got lit up last time out as you well know, but has pitched quite well overall on the year (3.42 FIP). He's been getting unlucky on balls in play, with a BABIP 70 points above his career norm. And he gets one offense that's been mediocre recently and against left-handed pitching (MIL) and one that has been absolutely atrocious against left-handed pitching.
Ramos has a walk rate over five, a mediocre whiff rate, and both a FIP and xFIP knocking on the door of five. He gets two road starts, one against a Seattle offense that's finally showing significant signs of life over the past week, and one against Anaheim, which is a terrifying offense. I don't like those odds one bit.
Ah! That error tells you three things: 1) I haven't written about Kuroda in the nine month lifespan of my current laptop, likely because of his boring consistency. 2) My auto correct is a racist. 3) I should be more thorough in editing my pieces, what with a racist auto correct and all.
Discussed above, recommended starting.
Yeah, the Pirates shifted their rotation yet again to keep Morton on his originally scheduled turn Sunday, so he finally, mercifully gets his two-start week this week. Cole gets the tough draws @MIL and @NYY, but he's an aut-start far as I'm concerned.
Nats still haven't made it official, as they haven't named a Tuesday starter yet (Fister's return is gonna jumble things). But presumably with the Monday start he'll be on track to make a second start on Sunday regardless of how the week shakes out, so he'll have LAD and @OAK. Tough matchups, but he's an AUTO-START based on cost and performance to date.
I continue to be intrigued by Cosart longer term, and it's a fine point re: performance to date. Will be curious to see if the league starts adjusting to the dramatic increase in cutters he's throwing thus far and what that means for his output. Certainly a name to monitor in mixed leagues over his next several starts.
Nope, we had some technical difficulties over here and the column didn't run this week. The fantasy staff did a run-through of match-ups on Twitter yesterday instead, which you can find by searching the hashtag #Week4Planner. Apologies, we'll be back up and rolling like normal on Friday.
Yep, some late-breaking news. So scratch that option off the ol' docket.
I'd go Dickey there. If you don't start him against the Twins there's no real point in owning him, and the + match-ups for Nicasio aren't enough to outweigh the on-paper tastiness of that start for Dickey.
That's about right, yes. I'd probably slot him just north of Morrow.
Yeah, Seattle hasn't officially named their Tuesday/Sunday starter yet, but it's looking like that might indeed be the case. He'd be @TEX and @MIA. I don't generally like the idea of two-starting a guy coming off an injury to make his first starts of the year, so I'd probably avoid him in shallower leagues. For AL-only and deeper league scenarios he's someone to certainly consider. Obviously Arlington's a tough "Welcome back!" match-up, Miami is more favorable, so depends on how much risk/reward you're willing to tolerate.
Oversight, but he's very much a product of his matchups this week. The Bronx is always a tough draw and Toronto's largely returning intact the lineup that hit the 4th most homers in baseball last year. He's a danger to your WHIP and very possibly - if not probably - your ERA this week, but he's a play to consider if you're in the market for strikeouts.
Yeah I'd probably leave Erlin on the bench this week. I actually like him a bit as an intriguing upside option for the back of an NL-only rotation, but that's a pair of tough matchups.
No, Perez will start Tuesday, and then their off day on Thursday pushes his next start to the following Monday. So he should be set up for two starts in Week Three. Scheppers, however, is a late add. He'll go Monday at Boston and Sunday at home against Houston. I'd probably put him in the "Consider" category given the one strong play and one very week one. Better option for AL-onlies.
Good luck! I love me a good underdog story, I'll be pulling for you.
Lol, sorry sir. You have to do your own dirty work, unfortunately.
Correct, standard Monday-Sunday scoring/roster setting period for weekly leagues.
Yeah, the one hazard of running this article in advance of the week is that probable match-ups are subject to change. The Tigers probable rotation updated this morning to bump Scherzer into two-start status after yesterday's rainout. He obviously slots into the "Auto-start" bucket, with a tough matchup in LA followed by the reward of a trip to Petco.
See, I think I've done a pretty good job to at least remain competitive even with the Hamilton teams out of the gate. Per PECOTA my squad projects to around 170-180 bags as is, and I see >10 upside to Myers' 5 bag projection and possibly another 10 on top of Heyward's projection of 12. I might not win steals outright against a Hamilton team, but with the diversity and depth of speed on my squad I think I can make the case that I'll be one of the stronger squads on the bases. And worst case scenario, I can trade in my Trumbo UTIL spot for a guy like Leonys Martin or my V-Mart for an Aoki type to give myself an in-season boost on the (relative) cheap.
Weiss actually has hinted about an intention to do just this even early in the season. I was having some fun with this piece, as predicting closer save totals can be like predicting the weather three weeks from now. That said, I do think it entirely possible if not probable that Hawkins pulls down the lion's share of Rocky Mountain saves this year.
Thanks, appreciate the kind words!
Yeah, Burns is another excellent call. He was the last guy I cut off my list to highlight here, as I wanted to get at least one arm on the list and my love for Donnie Jospeh, while perhaps irrational, desperately needed an outlet. Burns' OBP/speed combo is extremely intriguing, particularly as a flier in AL only's for the time being. If he can work his way into regular AB's this summer he's got the type of speed and elite SB efficiency to be immediately worthy of mixed league consideration.
Yeah, it probably would've been worth a line of mention. I think Houston gives him a pretty long leash on that end because, well, why not. But he was pretty terrible last year.
He's always had plus raw power, but last year once the calendar flipped to June he started pulling fastballs in and driving them to center with authority rather than just hitting the ball the other way. Check out his spray chart splits from last season (courtesy ESPN, link below). I think that with the maturity in approach he's shown he's got as good a shot as any young slugger to convert his raw power into sustainable game power, and what we saw over the last four months of 2013 was a preview of coming attractions. His biggest issues right now are hitting too many balls on the ground and posting a pedestrian HR/FB rate on the ones he does lift. I think there's plenty of room for improvement in both areas given his demonstrated hitting skills to date. He may very well be "only" a 25 homer guy at his peak instead of a 35 homer guy, but when you consider he's got the goods to deliver .300+ AVG's, double-digit steals, and 200+ R+RBI, the whole package adds up to top-15 potential.
Per Fangraphs it's lowest at a 94 to the 95 that those three rate. So I guess it depends on methodology. The point about ballpark advantage holds, though.
I'd still lean Romo in that scenario on account of risk, though it's very close. Nathan's got a whole bunch of risk factors swirling around him, and while they didn't come together and cause a collapse of his surface stats last year they're magnified all the more with another year of mileage on him. Romo's diminished whiffs are cause for some concern to be sure, but the package of concerns I have about Nathan add up to more potential for trouble.
Yes, at that price there's definitely value to be had. You're paying basically 10th round/low OF3 prices at that point, and that's a fine bargain for Marte even if he puts up 75% of last year's value.
Appreciate the feedback. As their ADP's and rankings attest I think it's a pretty close argument regardless of how you want to slice it up.
I'd agree with buddaley though that I'm not sure Middlebrooks is a particularly valid comp for Myers. He posted whiff and walk rates of 25.6% and 7.5% respectively for his minor league career, where Myers' rates were 21.2% and 12.2%. And that includes about 500 more plate appearances for Myers in the high minors than Middlebrooks had over a comparable career sample size.
Beyond that, an aggressive approach is always going to be much more of an issue for Cespedes, and it caught up with him last year. He saw a notable uptick in sliders, and that likely played a role in the significant 4% increase in his O-Contact%. More contact on balls out of the zone + less contact on balls in it = less hard contact, fewer line drives, and less hits without luck. And now that Major League pitchers have found some success with that approach against him you have to figure he'll see more of the same going forward.
While Cespedes did indeed light it up in September he did it on the back of a .356 BABIP and in spite just 2 unintentional walks in 89 plate appearances. That's not a sustainable model for success over the course of a full season. I expect his true talent probably lies somewhere in between his first two years, but given approach issues (and injury concerns) I think he's probably closer to last year than 2012.
Yeah, that's a pretty substantial commitment for a league that shallow. Holliday returned the 10th most value among NL hitters last year, 15th overall. And as stated I like him to deliver a similar value this year. But unless he'd rate as your #1 ranked keeper, tying up 12% of your budget on him given the likely relative depth of your league's FA pool is a tough pill to swallow.
Thanks R.A. And I definitely didn't mean to imply Hardy was a worse overall shortstop in real life. Over the same 2007-2013 span I cite a couple times in the article he's 5th in SS fWAR, he's a much better overall player than he is a fantasy one. But within that he's actually a slightly below average offensive player in real life, and to that end a more solid one in fantasy baseball. His last three seasons he's finished 13th, 11th, and 8th among shortstops for fantasy value, but his wRC+ during that span is 14th. The homeruns are a little more valuable in fantasy and the poor OBP skills significantly less damaging.