In shallow formats, potential alone isn't enough for a player to warrant a roster spot.
If you do something for long enough, you start to get complacent. As a fantasy baseball “expert,” for me this complacency came in the form of assuming that there are certain, self-evident truths that “everyone” who plays fantasy baseball simply knows and need no further discussion. However, the reality is that based on some of the questions I receive, this clearly isn’t the case.
One of the biggest misconceptions out there is something that I call The Upside Fallacy. Typically, the concept rears its head when I recommend a boring, stable, yet productive veteran over a rookie or second-year player. The younger player typically has a path to playing time, so to some it seems like the better play is to choose the player with the high ceiling over the player with a more narrow range of options.
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Petco Park can turn most any pitcher into a fantasy asset, but the Padres' position-player depth limits the appeal of their bats.
The best thing the Padres have going for them in real life is depth. Of course that just clouds the picture when it comes to fantasy. Still, the Padres have a reservoir of talent at the minor-league level, with enough of it bubbling toward the surface that they are of interest to deep leaguers. They have enough useful pieces at the major league level to be of interest to shallow players as well, with Chase Headley’s resurgence and Carlos Quentin’s good health being the keys to a lineup that struggled to produce counting stats in 2013. While one of those things will be sure to fail us going forward (Quentin’s health), the other has a good chance of staying true.
A relatively quiet offseason means that the Padres aren’t drastically different than they were before. The additions of Joaquin Benoit and Seth Smith add depth (there’s that word again), but lack impact. There were no waves made about the closer role, and the outfield picture only got murkier. Health will be paramount though, as a seemingly inordinate number of position players, pitchers and prospects have seen the disabled list in recent years. Still though, this Padres team seems the same as previous incarnations, with much of the talent (and fantasy value) being provided by the pitching staff.
The Padres are off to a horrible start, so a housecleaning might be forthcoming. Who stays and who goes?
The San Diego Padres, perhaps predictably, have gotten off to a miserable start in 2012. Although expectations were not high coming into the season, almost nothing has gone right for the club. Between injuries and ineffectiveness, not to mention ongoing ownership/television deal issues (I live 15 minutes from Petco Park and cannot watch the team on TV in my home, which might qualify as “charmingly retro” if it weren't so annoying), the Padres are staring at their worst-case scenario only a month into the campaign.
Last week, Kevin Goldsteinsuggested that a “housecleaning in San Diego could be coming.” Reader pobothecat wondered what such a housecleaning might look like, and so did I.
Will Venable is entering his prime years, but his career numbers leave people guessing as to whether he is extremely overrated or underrated.
There is some sentiment in the analyst community that Padres outfielder Will Venable ranks among the most underrated players in baseball. The theory is that Petco Park stifles his offensive game, while Cameron Maybin's presence in center field pushes Venable to right field, depressing his value further.
Is this a fair assessment of Venable? Is he a miscast corner outfielder whose abilities aren't being maximized due to external factors? Or is he a gifted athlete whose baseball skills never developed as well as they might have if he'd committed to the sport earlier in life?
Rob McQuown wonders if there's a "Curse of the Value Picks", as Carlos Guillen makes the 3rd outfielder to hit the DL after being featured. Two new players join the list and risk the curse.
Carlos Gomez wasn't pushed off stage last week, despite being relegated to a platoon situation with Jim Edmonds. And anyone who “trusted the process” (or at least had a desperate “need for speed”) was rewarded with a useful .318/.423/.409 week with 3 steals and 6 runs scored. Of course, the historically epic beat down that the Brewers continued to put on the Pirates was responsible for these numbers being so fine in spite of Gomez being on the wrong side of a platoon, so he gets dropped this week along with Carlos Guillen, who fell prey to “Curse of the Value Picks” by hitting the DL shortly after being spotlighted.
Replacing los Dos Carlos, a couple platoon players join the list this week, Jeremy Hermida and Will Venable. Also noteworthy is the fact that Austin Jackson has not been featured here, as he has a .520 BABIP and 61% contact percentage (32 K in 83 AB/91 PA), suggesting he's soon to go off the precipice into a steep decline. He has a lot of job security, as he's a rangy center fielder on a team with old side outfielders and no other viable options for center field, but he's one of the best “sell high” candidates among outfielders now.
A system without much upside got some help in the 2006 draft, but it's still a long way away from making an impact on the big league club.
None Very Good Prospects
1. Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3b
2. Cesar Carillo, rhp Good Prospects
3. Cedric Hunter, cf
4. Matt Antonelli, 3b Average Prospects
5. Nick Hundley, c
6. Chase Headley, 3b
7. Paul McAnulty, 1b/3b/of
8. Will Venable, lf
9. Kyler Burke, rf
10. Chad Huffman, lf