A look at some players who might be available to provide a late-season boost to your fantasy team, depending on the format in which you play.
Nick Franklin, SS, Seattle Mariners
You’re forgiven if you bailed on Franklin in standard mixed. A prolonged slump pushed Franklin’s slash down to 220/291/395. The power has been terrific, but everything else in Franklin’s game has been terrible. His strikeout rate skyrocketed, suggesting that Franklin was overmatched after the pitchers adjusted to him. Franklin seems to talented not to improve, but the Mariners don’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to guys like Franklin. If you really need the power jolt, stick Franklin in your line-up, but I’d stay away from him in mixed unless it’s a keeper. –Mike Gianella
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The A's bring up a power-hitting outfielder, though his window to contribute meaningfully may not open until next year.
The Situation: After posting a strong .302/.390/.445 slash line in 132 games at Triple-A Sacramento, Choice has received his first call to Oakland. It’s a true September call-up, as Choice isn’t being brought up with the expectation that he’ll receive regular at-bats in the club’s chase for a postseason berth. As reported by A’s beat writer Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Choice’s call “is a reward for a solid season by a high-profile prospect.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean Choice can’t make an impact or work his way into some playing time. Oakland’s outfield situation is tenuous at present, with Chris Young and Seth Smith underperforming while Josh Reddick is on the shelf for at least another week. As a result, regular first baseman Brandon Moss has taken over in right field––filling in for Reddick––with Daric Barton and Nate Freiman working the first-base platoon. While the unstable situation could yield a slight window of opportunity for Choice, it’s more likely that his first serious look comes next spring.
Michael graduates his first VP of the season, but he still points out plenty of undervalued corner infielders to be found on your league’s waiver wires.
For our nation’s scholars, graduation is just around the corner, but we start things early here at Value Picks, bidding adieu to our first departee. He leaves the list after quickly exceeding ownership thresholds, but I’ve got lots of other players ready to prove themselves to VP readers, including several bubble candidates in Playing Pepper.
Which men of misery prevented their teams from escaping the murky waters of suckitude?
My semiannual Replacement-Level Killers series spotlights the worst holes in contenders' lineups, as well as the possible remedies they might take to avoid letting such subpar production destroy their post-season chances the next time around. I make no claims for this companion series being so noble in purpose. Because bad baseball so often makes for good copy, it's more fun to hunt the fish at the bottom of the major-league barrel to find the positions where players' contributions could be considered the worst in the majors. What follows is an "all-star" team of players who have produced tornado-level disasters amid their lineups, often at salaries that represented far more than just a soft breeze running through their team's bank account. Once again, I present the Vortices of Suck.
How the Cards can cope with the abdication of Prince Albert (and its implications for his payday), a Barton in hand becomes one in the bushes, and the D'backs, Braves, and Giants pursue blasts from the past for their benches.
Michael Street swaps out third basemen in his Value Picks list, and looks back on his first month's choices.
This week’s Value Picks list graduates one third baseman from the top, drops another from the bottom, and adds in two hot-corner denizens to replace them.
I told you last week to grab David Freese quickly, and his ownership shot up by 70% in ESPN leagues, thanks to his .333/.419/.556 week. This produced the tastee Freese line in the table, though a 891 OPS ain’t exactly soft-serve. Freese will certainly melt back to earth at some point, but you won’t find him on your league’s waiver wire until he does.
Taking a look at a hitter's discipline and pitch sensitivities; the numbers on who's more inclined to do so may surprise you.
Ever since Billy Beane wrote Moneyball (right, Mr. Morgan?) in order to prove that the true path to success involved only seeking the services of high-OBP employees, analysts of several varieties have worked diligently to discover market inefficiencies worth exploiting. One of the areas that has risen to prominence recently, likely due to the increased availability of the data, focuses on plate discipline on both sides of the spectrum-for hitters, or induced by pitchers.
The AL Central will be a dead heat, according to the BP staff, with the East and West showing more separation.
Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff predictions for the division standings and the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year) in the American League. The National League predictions will follow, along with the staff picks in some fun miscellaneous categories.
Each staff member's division standings predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results. In each table you'll find the average rank of each team in their division, plus the results of our preseason MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year voting.