This trio saw its home run totals drop precipitously, but is there reason to hope for a rebound?
In any given year, you are going to be saddled with players who fail to come close to reasonable expectations. It’s frustrating, but it’s the nature of the game. The only upshot is finding the players who had a fluky down year, and those who are truly in the midst of a mid-career collapse. Last season, there were three players who stood out to me as disappointments, especially in the power department. Whether you’re in a dynasty league and trying to figure out how to view these players moving forward, or already looking for good buy-low players in re-draft leagues, the following players may be of some interest in 2015.
There aren’t many good things to be said about Wright’s 2014. After entering the year as a top-25 pick, he finished with a dismal .269 batting average, just eight home runs, and 63 RBI. While the average was surely disappointing, what really killed his line was his utter lack of power. While he’s typically been a 25-plus-homer threat throughout his career, he finished this past season tied in ISO with Billy Hamilton. He had a career-low 5.1 percent HR:FB rate, and though that may sound like he suffered through some bad luck, it’s not that simple. For one thing, his average fly ball fell from 291 feet (right behind Edwin Encarnacion) in 2013 down to 261 (right being Nate Schierholtz) in 2014. The biggest reason for this dip could likely be his shoulder. He battled injuries to it throughout the season, costing him a total of 27 games, and it’s an injury that is notorious for sapping power. That injury is something to keep an eye on this winter, but if he’s fully recovered by Opening Day, he could see a big comeback, especially with the fences being moved in at Citi Field.
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The Sox end a streak, Bckett throws a no-no, and Springer explodes, plus much more from the weekend and what to watch today.
The Memorial Day Weekend Takeaway
If you’re going to compile a 10-game losing streak, you’ll need to find some innovative ways to give away games. Like, say, batting around and scoring five runs in the first inning against David Price, then getting shut out for 14 offensive frames before going down with a series of defensive misadventures:
David Wright and Jay Bruce anchor Alex's ideal Roto offense, while Felix Hernandez and Madison Bumgarner do the heavy lifting on the mound.
On Friday, Mike Gianella released his latest mixed league Bid Limits, which spurred an idea from Bret Sayre called Model Portfolios, wherein the fantasy staff (and anyone else on the BP roster who wants to participate) will create their own team within the confines of a standard 23-man, $260 budget. The roster being constructed includes: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, OFx5, UTx2, and Px9 along with the following standards issued by Sayre:
In the debut edition of this series, the fantasy team looks at players who could outperform their PECOTA projections in batting average.
One of the fun ways we all try to outsmart our opponents in fantasy is by searching for hidden value in players who, for one reason or another, we suspect have the ability to outpace their projections (and, relatedly, their draft cost). Our Darkhorses series features staff picks for players who could very well outpace their PECOTA projections for the year and finish at the top of one of the standard five-by-five categories. We’ve all picked one player currently projected by PECOTA to fall just shy of the top 10 (in the 11 to 25 range) and one longer shot player currently projected outside of the top 25. We’ll take a look at offense this week and pitching next. To kick things off here is a bounty of hidden treasure in the batting average department:
A look at how the hot corner stacks up for Scoresheet leagues.
As you probably guessed, this week we’re tackling the hot corner for Scoresheet players. Below, you’ll find our rankings, general thoughts on strategy for third base, and some deeper looks at players we felt were important to single out. Tune in to our podcast for more thoughts on the position and to hear us answer listener questions on drafts and keepers. As always, we’re happy to answer any Scoresheet-related questions you might have, on the record or off. Also, in case you missed it, you can check out a compilation of our rankings (please note that rankings for positions we haven’t yet covered are still subject to change).
Here’s how we rank the third basemen in Scoresheet:
This week's showdown features a couple of third basemen from our four-star tier.
In this week’s “Tale of the Tape,” we take a look at a pair of upper-echelon third basemen who have combined for 10 All-Star appearances and 384 home runs, Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria and New York’s David Wright. Longoria, 28, is a former AL Rookie of the Year award winner who once barehanded a foul ball to save the life of a reporter in a commercial for Gillette; Wright, 31, is a seven-time All-Star who once made a barehanded catch in fair territory to rob the Padres’ Brian Giles of a base hit. Both can be found in Mike Gianella’s four-star tier in the battle for next best after Miguel Cabrera, but only one can win this week’s “Tale of the Tape.”
Wright is the owner of a career .301 average. Excluding his rookie debut, the Mets third baseman has provided fantasy owners with a .300-or-better average in seven of nine seasons, including a high of .325 in 2007. Following an injury-plagued year that saw his average sink to a career-worst .254 in 2011, Wright has put up marks of .306 (2012) and .307 (2013). His batted-ball profile is as consistent as they come, and there’s no reason to doubt that another .300 average is coming. The same can’t be said for Longoria, whose batting average has fluctuated from .244 (2011) to .294 (2010). More recently, Longo has recorded averages of .289 (2012) and .269 (2013). Somewhere in-between is where I see Longoria finishing in 2014, but a strikeout increase of almost four percent and a batted-ball profile that included fewer line drives and more fly balls in 2013 could keep him in the .260s. Wright is the easy choice.