The keystone features a terrific trio, but questions cloud the dozen players that follow.
In the coming weeks, the fantasy team here at Baseball Prospectus will be rolling out our positional rankings. Each team member assigned to cover a position will create an initial top 15 (more for outfielders and starting pitchers) on his own. He will then send that list to the rest of the team for discussion, at which point we will debate the rankings, both in terms of each player’s specific placement and the merits on which he was included in the top 15. This back-and-forth debate will yield the final list, which will be presented by the original author with notes on the pertinent players. We encourage you to bring your opinions into the fray using the comment section below.
Today, we continue the rankings with a look at our top 15 second basemen.
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What can a closer look at Carl Crawford's shifting approach at the plate tell us about his likelihood of success in Los Angeles?
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.
Max crunches the numbers and comes up with the top 10 catchers of the 2012 season based on overall value both at and behind the plate.
The season has reached its midpoint, so this seems like a good time to take a look at some rankings. I debuted here at Baseball Prospectus with a series on evaluating catchers defense, so catchers are the subject of the top-10 list that follows.
The catchers will be listed with four numbers beside their names. The first three cover batting, baserunning, and defense. The fourth is the sum of the numbers pertaining to each of those areas.
In this week’s Value Picks, Michael shows you how to love the players that other owners hate, including Carlos Pena, James Loney, Mat Gamel, Brent Morel, and Chase Headley.
Over the last twoweeks, I’ve looked at several players that are easy to love based on their history and PECOTA’s projection for a resurgent season. As a result, for many of those players—such as Albert Pujols, Joey Votto, and David Wright—their ADPs tended to closely match their PECOTA rankings. What about the players you (or opposing owners) love to hate? These guys have an ADP below their PECOTA rankings because they’ve disappointed in the past or are just misunderstood by most fantasy owners.
So this week, we get into the real Value Picks—those players outside the Usual Suspects which you can squeeze some value out of. Just like bad medicine, you may find some of this hard to swallow come Draft Day, but it’ll be good for your fantasy team if taken in the right doses. Let’s face it: sometimes it’s good to be hated.
By looking at pitches per plate appearance and BABIP, we might be able to predict which players are most likely to have batting average rebounds.
We now have less than 70 days until pitchers and catchers report, so our long national past-time nightmare will not last as long as it already feels. That also means that drafts are even closer, both the local drafts that all of us do and the national competitions that others add on top of the spring mix each year. For me, that means a return to New York City in late March for a sixth run at a Tout Wars title, a big bar tab at Foley’s, and more time with some of the brightest baseball people I know who let me tag along and soak in the knowledge.
Again, it is extremely difficult for this author to remain completely objective when it comes to Ramirez, who is perhaps the face of the (soon-to-be Miami) Marlins franchise. Ramirez's performance in 2010 was disconcerting but still well in the range of excellence for shortstops. Ramirez's 2011 performance, on the other hand, was an abject disaster. Not only did he post his worst batting line by far (.243/.333/.379), but he did so while suffering through his most injury-riddled year ever after going through two seasons of creeping minor injuries.
The presently uber-hyped Desmond Jennings joins VP this week along with the formerly uber-hyped Cameron Maybin.
With several outfielders involved in trade rumors, it's a week for fantasy owners to stay on their toes. Carlos Beltran, B.J. Upton, Colby Rasmus, and even Carlos Quentin could be playing elsewhere next week, and that opens up playing time for their replacements.
Michael welcomes a toolsy young shortstop and a rugged veteran with a history of quality hitting (and injuries) to VP this week.
Departures Orlando Hudson, San Diego Padres (Yahoo! 4%, ESPN 2.3%, CBS 16%)
Hudson was conspicuously absent last week despite not being officially removed from the list, but this week he receives his pink slip. The concern is that Hudson will not steal enough bases to be worth his currently poor batting average, and unlike fellow Padre and Value Picks member Jason Bartlett, he does not have the history of stolen base attempts that would support him continuing to grab bases. For now, we'll look at more interesting names here at Value Picks.