While there were plenty of April surprises—good and bad—to fill a dozen pieces such as this one, here's a look at six hitters off to better-than-expected starts.
John Buck, C, Mets
Buck played better than a perceived placeholder traded twice in one winter is supposed to play. Fueled by nine home runs—including a six-homer barrage over his first 40 plate appearances—Buck showed his raw strength in quantity and quality. The quantity may have been unexpected, but the geographical spread of the home runs jived with his past, as only three of the home runs qualified as true pull jobs; the other six landed beyond the left-center or right field walls.
The tater trots for June 20: John Buck tries to injure his way to the top of the list, Big Papi races him, and an inside-the-parker from Ryan Roberts.
In yesterday's post, I almost made a comment about the heat wave affecting so much of the country and how it didn't seem to be causing any more home runs. Boy, I should learn to keep my mental mouth shut. On Wednesday, when it seems the heat got worse for so many people, there were 42 home runs hit across the league. In three of the four early games—Braves at Yankees, Mariners at Diamondbacks, and Blue Jays at Brewers—there were a combined 22 home runs. The Marlins and Red Sox add six more in Boston.
Buck, Pierzynski, Murphy, and Furcal join the VP ranks this week
Last week, a number of readers pointed out that some of the PECOTA ranks for the Value Picks series did not match up well with the ADP listed based on the name “Value Picks.” It should be noted that we do not necessarily fully agree with PECOTA and do rate players higher or lower depending on their prospects for the 2012 season, including any bonus (or potentially lost) playing time in addition to their skill set. Having said that, this week we bring players whose PECOTA ranks are higher than their respective ADP, with the smallest difference being four ranks.
In case you missed Mike Fast's extraordinary research into quantifying the heretofore hidden contributions of catchers, we're moving it back to the top of the list for the weekend.
I Was Framed Catchers play a central role in the game of baseball through their involvement with every pitch that their pitchers throw. One of their key tasks is receiving borderline pitches without discouraging the umpire from calling strikes.
Two Royals graduate from the VP list, but a backstop from Florida and one from Washington step up to replace them.
After last week's tumultuous Value Picks turnover, one week of baseball has passed and the VP portfolio has mostly remained steady, with a few changes. This week, a couple of middle infielders leave VP in favor of a plethora of catching options.
Baseball's trio of dugout noobs have followed very different paths to their skippering slots, but what does the future hold?
Yesterday's column and my comments about the increasing importance of staff management are my cue to touch on what we do know about the three genuinely new skippers. The first of them is an ex-pitcher with no managerial experience, but someone who will be coming to the job with plenty of management experience.
Hot Spots begins its offseason moves coverage with three Marlins-related names.
As fellow Hot Spotter Rob McQuown alluded to yesterday, Hot Spots is back in the offseason to cover some of the various moving parts of Hot Stove season and how they might affect your fantasy teams. Moving parts means more to fantasy players than just a new team name in front of their favorite stars. It also can bring more (or less) playing time, increased opportunities for success, and all sorts of other considerations that fantasy players should keep in mind. We hope that we can provide that for you this offseason.
With the Fall Classic now upon us, the staff at Baseball Prospectus shares their most memorable World Series moments.
Every baseball fan has a special World Series memory, whether it's Willie Mays' catch, Bill Mazeroski's home run, Brooks Robinson's defense, Kirk Gibson's limp around the bases, or Derek Jeter becoming the first-ever Mr. November. With the World Series opening tonight at AT&T Park in San Francisco with the Giants facing the Texas Rangers, many of our writers, editors, and interns share their favorite memories of the Fall Classic.
Value Picks graduates one player and drops another while welcoming a speedy prospect.
Not much in the way of changes this week, as fantasy players begin finalizing rosters for their upcoming playoff runs. Dropping from the list J.P. Arencibia, the young Toronto catching prospect. Arencibia was not able to match his ridiculously hot opening game, and now it appears the Blue Jays will not be giving him an extended look over incumbent John Buck, who recently returned from the DL. Though Arencibia still warrants a hold in keeper leagues for his future power potential at a premium defensive position, he wil not do much stuck behind Buck and backup Jose Molina.