Chris Coghlan has battled numerous injuries over the years, but his biggest hurdles he's had to overcome to once again find success have been in his head.
This piece originally appeared on BP Wrigleyville, Baseball Prospectus' local site for all your Cubs needs. And be sure to visit BP Boston and BP Bronx for Red Sox and Yankees analysis as well.
Not many people believe in Chris Coghlan. From everything we know about his history, nobody would blame the non-believers. He’s generally considered a poor defender, and that’s in left field. He’s only played over 100 games twice in his six-plus year career. From 2011-2013, he posted WARPs of 0.5, -0.9, and 0.7, respectively. He’s had both a major knee injury and back issues that have taken out large chunks of seasons for him. This is not the type of profile one looks at and says, “Yup, that’s the guy I want to rely on to help my team make the playoffs.”
Examining a handful of players who might pique your interest in deep leagues.
Introductions are for strangers. Let’s get right to it.
Trevor Bauer, SP, Indians
In last week’s Deep Impact, I was all like, “guys, you should totally pick up Marcus Stroman because he’s going to get the call soon.” Then he did. This week, I implore you to totally go pick up Bauer, because it’s going to be his turn in very short order. Yes, the Indians have turned to Josh Tomlin over Bauer in the interim, but the odds of Tomlin pitching well enough to stay in the rotation long-term aren’t great. Add in that the Tribe could look to replace Danny Salazar soon, and there should be plenty of opportunity for Bauer in the majors moving forward.
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It's a special, September call-up edition of the Watch, with eight players who could offer a boost to your fantasy roster this month or in 2014.
Welcome to a special September call-up edition of the Free Agent Watch. Rather than focus on players for specific formats, this week Bret and I thought we would take a look at eight recent call-ups who might or might not help your fantasy squads down the stretch… or possibly next year.
Jemile Weeks, 2B/SS/OF, Oakland Athletics
In 2011, Weeks was a fantasy force, particularly in deep leagues. He stole 22 bases and hit .303 in a mere 97 games. While Weeks’ game was one-dimensional, that dimension (stolen bases) made him fantasy viable. The cracks showed in 2012. Weeks’ batting average dropped to .221, and while his walk rate improved considerably, a .305 on-base percentage doesn’t cut it for a speedster, even if that speedster plays second base. The A’s decided to send Weeks back to Triple-A this year and turn him into a utility player. The good news was that Weeks got on base at an even more prodigious rate; the bad news is that what little power he had disappeared, and he didn’t run as much as he did in 2011. Weeks is a stretch of a pick-up in start-over leagues. He could be one of those players who steal a bunch of bases in September, but with the Athletics in the heat of a pennant race, he might simply get buried. Weeks could be a useful SB asset in deeper mixed leagues if he got an opportunity, but at the moment it looks like he needs a trade. —Mike Gianella
Morrison played in his first minor-league rehab game this season with High-A Jupiter on May 20. He has played in six games for Jupiter, and he served as a designated hitter in three of those games and played first base in the other three. He took the next step in his rehab assignment by moving up to Double-A Jacksonville on Tuesday. Morrison is recovering from surgery on the patellar tendon in his right knee, the second time he has undergone that type of procedure on it. In the spring, I wrote about him being worthy of a disabled-list spot. At the time, I was optimistic he'd be playing for the Marlins at this point, but alas, he is not. Morrison doesn't have an exact target date for his return, but Joe Frisaro reports that it could be around June 10.
Age 27 is often thought of as the time when players peak, but sometimes it's just the opposite.
Eight months ago, I wrote about the saddest age-27 seasons in recent history, the idea being that age-27 is, if not the panacea that turns every player into his best self, at least the last year that we pay attention to post-hype sleepers. Or, as I wrote,“It’s the year when, if you hit .253/.289/.418 in the PCL, smart people will probably quit writing spring training love letters calling you the comeback kid.” That was about Brandon Wood, who ended up hitting .259/.313/.409 in the PCL. I can’t tell you how happy I am that nobody has identified a year of my life when I’m supposed to stop feeling good about myself.
But if baseball's age 27 lasts just one season for each player, it lasts forever for us—we get older, but 27-year-olds stay the same age—and so this year there was a whole new group of age-27s. Here are 10 potential nails in coffins, ranked by dispiritability.
It’s been a rough, rough ride for Coghlan ever since his 2009 season, when he hit .321/.390/.460, riding a .372/.472/.523 second half right to the National League Rookie of the Year Award. In 2010, Coghlan had slipped to just .268/.335/.383 in 91 games, then hurthimselfattemptingtohitWesHelmswithapie after a walk-off win, missing the rest of the season. In 2011, he slipped even further, then in June was sent down to Triple-A, where he spent the remainder of the season, He opened 2012 with Miami, but wasn’t taking any time away from Logan Morrison, Emilio Bonifacio or Giancarlo Stanton, hitting .118/.143/.147 in just 36 plate appearances before Monday’s demotion.
Do early-season phenoms fade once the rest of the league learns to stop giving them pitches to hit?
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.
Despite facing divisional heavyweights in the Phillies and the Braves, the Marlins might have what it takes to play in October.
In the world of fantasy baseball, stars and scrubs is a viable fantasy strategy in auction leagues. Take a large chunk of the dollars you have and allocate them toward the league’s finest, then use the remainder of your cash to fill out your roster as best as possible. In real baseball, this strategy falls apart. There has to be some level of complementary talents for the team to win. The most recent example might be the Mariners, who had Ichiro and Felix Hernandez, but finished with the league’s second-worst record in 2010.
The Marlins certainly have the star portion down. Hanley Ramirez is arguably the best shortstop in baseball and one of the game’s best players overall. Josh Johnson shares a similar distinction for starting pitchers. It’s hard to find too many teams who have better one-two punches in star and performance value than the group assembled in South Florida. Where the Fish stood to improve heading into the offseason was the rest of their roster, and despite trading Dan Uggla, they did just that.
Jason took part in a slow mock draft with other fantasy experts and is now here to share what he learned from the experience.
I recently had the pleasure of doing a slow—and I mean slow—mock draft over the past four weeks with a few of my friends and colleagues in the fantasy baseball industry. That group included most of the mlb.com folks, Fernando DiFino, and the legendary Joe Sheehan. The draft started on February 17 and survived a few lost weekends, DiFino’s nuptials (congrats!) and several copy and paste issues from some of us that are still using not-so-smartphones.