In this week's column, Michael looks at how injuries and inconsistencies have created some big keeper question marks
One of the toughest calls in keeper leagues come from players whose values have been diminished by injuries or shaky play. Does a strong September erase the memories of a weak season? Did that long cold streak come from injury or diminished skills? Will a delicate player finally put together a healthy year? As we know (and Collateral Damage analyzes) remaining healthy is a skill, while other skills neither evaporate entirely, nor do they suddenly improve. I’ll try to answer some of these question marks in response to reader requests; as always, feel free to offer suggestions of your own in the comments field.
Our latest Keeper Reaper twist provides links to BP’s PFM dollar valuation for 2011 player performance, courtesy of our own fantasy/programming guru, Rob McQuown. You’ll find those values linked to the names of each league depth next to the player’s name below, for easy reference.
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Michael examines fantasy trade-deadline swaps and how fantasy owners are valuing some prominent corner infielders.
Though it’s late in the season, our new Trading Post tool (explained at its unveiling by Derek Carty) can tell us a lot about how owners make pennant-drive trades, whether it’s keeper owners dumping big names for future success, or contending owners chasing specific categories. As Derek and Michael Jonghave already shown, Trading Post can show us whether owners believe in certain player performances, both year-to-date and during the season’s final month. BP writers can also look at the fascinating back end of the TP engine to see the specific trades involved and look for dump trades or category-chasing. Since corner infielders and designated hitters are my Value Picks beat, those are the positions I’ll be looking at here—a selection of overperformers, underperformers, and players with different long- and short-term expectations.
The tater trots for July 22: another pitcher home run and a big game in Toronto.
Apologies for not putting up Thursday's trots yesterday. There were only twelve home runs hit that day, but the day was too busy to fit them in. The times are included below. There were a few more hit Friday night. Fans in Cincinnati even got to see back-to-back home runs hit in two different innings, once by the Braves and once by the Reds. That doesn't happen all that often.
David Freese, Colby Rasmus, and Mark McGwire discuss their approaches to hitting.
David Freese and Colby Rasmus will play key roles for the Cardinals this year, as will their hitting coach, Mark McGwire. Both players will be counted on to provide offensive punch, while Big Mac will be entrusted to help the young sluggers surpass their 2010 production. Rasmus is coming off a season where he hit .276/.361/.498 with 23 home runs. Freese hit .296/.361/.404 with four home runs before having his rookie campaign derailed by an ankle injury after just 80 games.
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.
Michael Street covers some undervalued players, including the Marlins' Gaby Sanchez, the Angels' Brandon Wood, and the Cardinals' David Freese.
Fantasy owners can find roster value in overlooked younger players and continuing position battles, and this week’s Portfolio shows a little of both. I covered Daric Barton (less than 1% ownership in ESPN leagues) a few weeks back and, despite his line thus far, he doesn’t have a first baseman’s pop. If you’ve got power elsewhere, however, his BA value and lack of competition make him a good mixed-league CIF play and a decent AL-only 1B play.
Gaby Sanchez (owned in 3% of ESPN leagues), on the other hand, brings both patience and power, and he has a chance to cement himself in the bigs as Logan Morrison continues developing in AAA. Sanchez had a 14% strikeout rate and 12% walk rate in the minors, while averaging 12 HRs and 25 doubles to produce a tidy .485 SLG. He needs to reach his 80thPECOTA percentile to deliver good power for his position, but his BA brings value in just his 60th percentile. He’s been hitting lower in the Marlins’ order, suppressing his counting numbers, but continued production will certainly move Sanchez up.