Covering all the fantasy angles of a swap whose impact goes well beyond the two traded players.
The fantasy impact of the Prince Fielder-Ian Kinsler trade go well beyond the two players involved, so we’re going to tackle its effects one-by-one and with lots of arrows. Who doesn’t love arrows? Let’s start with the Rangers’ side:
With Ivan Nova landing on the disabled list, Phelps gets his opportunity to prove his stuff can work from the rotation, too. So far, he’s been working out of the bullpen as a long reliever and done a good job of missing bats with 22 strikeouts in 17 innings. However, he’s also been quite hittable and fairly wild, allowing 17 hits and eight walks, which has led to an ERA above 5.00. Still, some of that can be attributed to poor luck, and historically he’s shown great control in the minors, so Phelps has the potential to be solid fourth starter. In AL-only and 14-plus-team mixed leagues, he’s certainly worth owning. In shallower formats, I’d at least start him for his first attempt against the Astros tomorrow and go from there.
Mike Trout stands alone at the top, and two White Sox appear in the group of value picks.
Today we continue our positional tier rankings. Last offseason, Derek Carty tackled the tiers by himself; this spring, we've decided to attack them as a team. Players at each position will be divided into five tiers, represented by the number of stars.
Five-star players are the studs at their respective position. In general, they are the players that will be nabbed in the first couple of rounds of the draft, and they'll fetch auction bids in excess of $30. Four-star players are a cut below the studs at the position. They will also be earl- round selections, and they're projected to be worth more than $20 in most cases. Three-star players are the last tier in which players are projected to provide double-digit dollar value in auctions, and two-star players are projected to earn single digits in dollar value in auctions. One-star players are late round sleepers and roster placeholders. As was the case with our positional rankings series, the positional tiers aren't simply a regurgitation of the projected PECOTA values.
David Murphy gets full-time at-bats and Andy Dirks returns from the DL in this week's VP.
Departures Sam Fuld(Yahoo! 0%, ESPN 0%, CBS 1%) barely received any playing time this week, putting the fan-favorite into an at-bat-less reality he’ll have to accept while the rest of the Rays outfield enjoys good health. If injury strikes, Fuld should be a useful AL-only player, but until then, it’s safe to forget him.
Which players are the most likely to go the longest before their first walk of 2012?
No one personifies this better than Angels’ shortstop Gary DiSarcina. DiSarcina went deep into April of the 1998 season before drawing his first walk, and proudly stated that it was a goal of his to not walk all season. He believed he was a better hitter when hacking away and being "aggressive". DiSarcina’s career OBP of .291 and five full seasons of .294 or lower haven’t deterred him, or moved the Angel coaching staff to dissuade him of the notion. So in honor of our misguided friend, I’ve elected to establish the DiSar Awards.
—Joe Sheehan, 2000
On Friday, with one out in the eighth inning of the Braves' 9-8 victory over the Rockies, Kris Medlen threw a 3-1 fastball up and in to Ramon Hernandez, and the Rockies catcher took it for a ball. It was Hernandez’ first walk of the season, in his 67th plate appearance. That is the longest stretch without a walk by any player to start this season, which means Ramon Hernandez is the DiSars leader in the clubhouse.
Berkman, Ichiro, Duda, Heisey, Rajai, and Dirks make the Keeper Reaper's list this week
For a baseball season which threatened to have about as little drama as an episode of Emeril Live until the final week, the high drama continues in a hotly contested World Series. For some leagues, keeper decisions need to be made by the time dessert is finished in the season, and so the other 28 teams get some attention before trading begins in earnest. Whether a deadline looms or not, keeper advice can help make a team into a dynasty.
The tater trots for May 23: one of the more memorable days in home runs in the last couple of years.
I'm not sure I've ever had a day with such a tight competition for the Home Run of the Day. Here in Milwaukee, Corey Hart hit his first, second, and third home runs of the year in the Brewers' 11-3 rout of the Nationals. In San Diego, Albert Pujols hit his first home run in over 100 plate appearances (that didn't stop him from admiring the blast). Jose Bautista continued his torrid pace of making obnoxious sportswriters say inane things with his 19th home run of the season. In Detroit, Andy Dirks hit his first career home run. Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz returned to the Rangers' lineup down in Texas and proceeded to each hit a home run to celebrate their return. For a day with only twenty-one home runs hit, it certainly seemed like every one of them was meaningful.