Speedsters are the theme of this week's outfield VP with Revere and Brantley joining the crew.
Despite booting Dayan Viciedo and his .381 week with two home runs, the Value Picks outfielders hit a composite .295/.390/.477 this past week with five home runs and five stolen bases. With the three leadoff hitters combining for two runs batted in (neither Jarrod Dyson nor Denard Span had any), the group still managed 18 RBI while scoring 28 runs. Obviously, results may vary from week to week, but this is the sort of “found money” that can be realized when Value Picks work out.
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Ibanez, Reddick, and Dyson get the VP label this week
There was a common perception that Jayson Werth is injury prone, but he went almost four years between stints on the disabled list (his previous being May 23, 2008). His loss hurts fantasy owners, though not nearly as much as it is likely to hurt the on-base-challenged Nationals. Meanwhile, mixed-league afterthought Rick Ankiel becomes a much better risk; the team really needs his power, even if he brings little else to the table offensively. In the fantasy realm, however, owners can do a lot better when searching for a replacement in most league formats, which is where Value Picks comes in...
Yu Darvish unveiled a previously unseen pitch in his masterful starts against the Yankees on Tuesday night.
As I was watching the Yu Darvish start against the Yankees, it dawned on me that the Japanese hurler might have more pitches than I was originally led to believe. Those who read this site are aware that I’ve been watching Darvish since his first intra-squad game back in early March, which makes me a Darvish hipster, and an unapologetic one at that. Because of my familiarity with the pitcher, I’ve been able to identify his deep arsenal, one that features both a two- and four-seam fastball, a cutter, two type of curveballs, a slider, a splitter, and a straight-change, but up until tonight’s game against the Yankees, I hadn’t noticed that he was throwing what I’ve seen described as a shuuto, or a reverse slider.
It's early, but as a group, Derek's value picks have picked up value.
I received an e-mail earlier this week from a Baseball Prospectus reader congratulating me on the early-season success of my value picks from my Fantasy Tier Rankings. While celebrating the success of these players in April is akin to celebrating a new American Pie movie before experiencing the disappointment of actually seeing it (read: premature… see what I did there), it’s still kind of fun. And hey, combined, my value picks have accrued 669 plate appearances—roughly a full season’s worth of at-bats. So today, I’m going to take a (very early) look at which of my picks are panning out and which aren’t.
I’m going to ignore the Four- and Five-Star Value Picks because, well, most of them weren’t really values. Everyone knows that Albert Pujols is a good player, so I’m not going to bother going over him. Instead, I’ll focus on the one-, two-, and three-star guys that you likely acquired on the cheap. These are going to be the moneymakers of a fantasy team, the guys that you’re hoping to make big profits on.
The A's make a Moneyball move with Manny Ramirez, the Yankees round out their bench with Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez, and the Red Sox finally get what was coming to them for Theo Epstein in Cubs reliever Chris Carpenter
A series that will feature spectacular pitching may come down to the tiniest advantages to decide the winner.
So, let's see, for an initial checklist for maximum LCS entertainment potential, is there anything missing? Record-wise, the two best teams in National League? Check, even if we allow for the fact that the Giants weren't one of the top two teams in Clay Davenport's adjusted standings. The two best rotations in baseball? Check. Heck, it even features two of the three best defensive units in the league (via PADE), with only the already-vanquished Reds separating the Giants and Phillies. And the offenses are... well, OK, this whole clash of the titans thing only goes so far, because they're not both among the best in the league. The Phillies are, tying for third in the league in team-level True Average, but the Giants finished back in ninth place, even with Brian Sabean's ticky-tack trades to accrue incremental improvements.
The Phillies must determine if Jayson Werth is worth keeping and how to free up money to do so.
When the Philadelphia Phillies acquired Jayson Werth prior to the 2007 season, few seemed to notice. The former first-round pick had displayed all the makings of a solid performer, but injuries had kept Werth shelved for several seasons. In fact, it’s safe to say that a good portion of Phillies fans had never heard of Werth and thought the acquisition to be as meaningless as a Greg Golson-for-John Mayberry, Jr trade. Fast forward to the present and the impending departure of the All-Star has made a fan base rather nervous. Over the course of this article, the three of us will dissect the Phillies' financial situation now and into the future, the production components of the key players in this saga, and the economics of the matter, referring to what Werth will cost to retain and how the Phillies can pull it off.
Handing out awards for the best same-handed pitcher/batter and opposite-handed pitcher/batter combos.
Earlier this month, we added several new statistics reports to the site, a few of which specialize in performance splits, compiling batter performance against righties and lefties, pitcher performance in platoon splits as well, and the numbers accrued for each group at home and on the road. I outlined how to use the reports and the types of information they contain last week, but with awards season in full bloom, it felt like the perfect time to delve into the various facets of platoon splits and crown a few winners of our own. Some of the numbers I will use here are not yet on the actual reports, the same of which can be said for the handedness of the individual subjects being split, but they will certainly be incorporated in the near future.
How much of the phree-agent phind's early-season slugging exploits have been matters of luck, or doing just enough?
Performance Analysis: While it was no surprise that Raul Ibanez would see a boost in production due to his move from the American League to the weaker National League, his first two-plus months have been far better than anyone could imagine. Ibanez' line stands at .322/.380/.678 with 22 home runs, just one fewer than he hit all of last year, and 11 off of his career high from 2006. Despite just turning 37 earlier this month, he is in the midst of the best season of his career, and would more than likely finish the year that way even if he reverted to his career norms from here on out. That last point is the central question regarding Ibanez though: What exactly is it that we should be expecting out of him at the plate for the remainder of the season?
Bio: My name is Tyler Hissey, a 22-year-old baseball fanatic from Connecticut. My love for the game started young, as I was born into a big baseball family. Unfortunately for me, most of the athleticism and talent went to my cousins, David and Peter, a fourth-round selection of the Boston Red Sox in the 2008 draft. I played my first two years at Eckerd College down in the Sunshine State Conference, but I fell on the wrong side of Value Over Division II Replacement Player. After an arm injury and the lack of secondary skills ended my collegiate career, though, I began reading and writing about baseball in order to help me cure my baseball fix. Luckily, the Internet has given me the opportunity to voice my opinion on the sport to the world. After reading Moneyball for a business course, I begin to get into sabermetrics. I pretty much learned more reading Baseball Between the Numbers than I did in my 12-plus years as a serious amateur player. My experiences in baseball journalism coincided with my improvement as a student there, and I finished my career reaching the Dean's List in my final four semesters while graduating with honors. I was also nominated for the school's Writing Excellence Award during my junior year, an honor that would have never been bestowed upon me if not for my interest in baseball blogging and desire to improve as a writer as a result.
A rundown of some of the hitters who have switched leagues, and how it might affect their value.
One of the more intriguing situations for fantasy owners each offseason is keeping tabs on the players who have switched leagues. For teams that play in AL- or NL-only leagues, players you normally could not acquire have become available to you, or those who you're used to taking a chance on have moved on to greener pastures (though in this winter's baseball economy, "different" pastures may be more accurate).