Category Archives: Position Analysis

David Wright versus Evan Longoria

by mrCane

Only one week into the season I would like to raise a point that we may be looking at a changing of the guard in the 3rd base position.  Not that it would be dramatic, but it would definately benefit owners who took Longoria about 15-20 picks later than Wright.

What they both offer in real life is great defense, good character, young, athletic and talented.  In the world of fantasy we have two guys with very similar numbers.  Power – I would give the nod to Longoria.  With 27 bombs in 4 months last year he displayed what he is capable of on the Major League level.   Speed – This goes to Wright who should steal 5-10 more bases annually than Longoria.  Average – This goes to Wright, only because Longoria has yet to bat .300 in the Majors, but I do feel this gap will close rapidly.  RBI and RS – I would have to call a draw because they both hit on good teams in similar spots of the lineup. 

Ultimately the decision comes down to HR and SB, who offers more.  My intuition tells me that by year ends their numbers will look something like this

Longoria  .292  36hr 104rs  117rbi  9sb  Wright .307  27hr  108rs 113rbi  17sb  With numbers like these the slight bump goes toward David Wright and his +8sb.  If that gap were to close to say 5sb then my edge goes toward Longoria.

For what its worth, right now I would trade Longoria to acquire David Wright straight up.  My reason being that Wright has better numbers left and Longoria will not continue at a pace of 145hr.  No matter who you choose, you won’t be wrong.

In other news….

  • Elijah Dukes now has a starting position in Washington.  His combination of speed and power makes him an intriguing pick up in roto formats.  With the addition of Dukes comes the subtraction of Lastings Milledge who was sent to the minors.
  • Ryan Franklin closed the game last night and its likely he is going to get some opportunities in St. Louis.  If your looking for saves, he could be a nice pick up.
  • Jon Lester took another beating last night at the hands of Oakland.  Pitchers usually take longer to shake the cobwebs than batters do.  If you can you might want to bench him next start until he rights the ship; but you always run the risk of missing a gem.
  • Some other pitchers who had rough outings are Randy Johnson and Chien-Ming Wang.  In fact neither has thrown well since the season started.  It’s not time to throw the towel in, but monitor progress.  It should be noted that Wang is down 6mph on his power sinker.
  • I recently added Dexter Fowler in a 15 team no bench roto league, and I’m excited about that pick up.  First, I don’t see Seth Smith holding Fowler off for playing time.  Second, Fowler has batted leadoff for the Rockies, can run and has a little pop.
  • Josh Johnson is rewarding owners who drafted him as a 3rd starter with ace numbers.  I for one feel that Johnson will be excellent all year and if someone wants to sell high, this is a guy you can buy because his stats wont sink.
  • Mark Teixeira missed another game and could be in danger of landing on the DL.  Wrists are tricky business, just ask Derrek Lee, Nomar Garciapara and Big Papi all good hitters who suffered a major wrist injury.  Right now Tex doesn’t have a major injury and a DL stint may help to keep it that way.
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Week 2 Two Start Pitchers

By nichols33

For those of you planning your lineups in leagues where you set your lineup on a weekly basis (Mon to Sun), here are the two start pitchers for next week (April 13th to the 19th):

Must Starts: Scott Kazmir (vs NYY; vs CHW), Jon Lester (@ Oak; vs Bal), Chad Billingsly (vs SF; vs Col), Yovani Gallardo (vs Cin; @ NYM), Edinson Volquez (@ Mil; @ Hou), A.J. Burnett (@TB; vs Cle), Zack Greinke (vs Cle; @ Tex), Gavin Floyd (@ Det; @ TB), Ted Lilly (vs Col; vs StL), Chris Carpenter (@ Ari; @ ChC), Javier Vazquez (vs Fla; @ Pit), Kevin Slowey (vs Tor; vs Ana), Mike Pelfrey (vs SD; vs Mil)

Start under most circumstances: Chien-Ming Wang (@TB; vs Cle), John Danks (@ Det; @ TB), Matt Garza (vs NYY; vs ChW), Ubaldo Jimenez (@ ChC; @ LAD), Randy Johnson (@ LAD; vs Ari), Chris Volstad (@ Atl; @ Was), Kyle Davies (vs Cle; @ Tex), Glen Perkins (vs Tor; vs Ana)

Worth a gamble if you need a 5th starter for the week: Max Scherzer (vs StL; @ SF), Jamie Moyer (@ Was; vs SD), Vicente Padilla (vs Bal; vs KC), Zach Duke (vs Hou; vs Atl)

Seek better options: Fausto Carmona (@ KC; @ NYY), Koji Uehara (@ Tex; @ Bos), Jesse Litsch (@ Min; vs Oak), Todd Wellemeyer (@ Ari; @ ChC), Zach Minor (vs ChW; @ Sea)

You are crazy to start: Dallas Braden (vs Bos; @ Tor), Ricky Romero (@ Min; vs OAK), Doug Davis (vs StL; @ SF), Daniel Cabrera (vs Phi; vs Fla), Carl Pavano (@ KC; @ NYY); Walter Silva (@ NYM; @ Phi), Brian Moehler (@ Pit; vs Cin), Carlos Silva (vs Ana; vs Det), Shane Loux (@ Sea; @ Min)

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Filed under Pickups, Position Analysis

Closer Developments

by mrCane

Some interesting news regarding save situations has developed.  The cubs announced that Kevin Gregg will start as the Cubs closer with Carlos Marmol setting him up.  This is a blow to owners who drafted Marmol, hopefully those same owners added Gregg to the roster in case a situation such as this arose.  It doesn’t come as a surprise because Cub skipper Lou Pinella does like a veteran arm closing games. 

Fantasy Advice:  If you have Gregg, look for Marmol if he is available and see how the situation plays out.   I feel that Gregg will hold the position for some time rendering Marmol useless in all but large mixed leagues and deep NL only leagues.

Another story was Brandon Morrow announcing he will in fact move back to the bullpen for the Seattle Mariners.  Owners who drafted Morrow in the later rounds of drafts now might have stolen a top 10 closer. 

Fantasy Advice:  Count on Morrow for 30 saves and a sub 3.00 era with a ton of strike outs in all formats assuming his forearm situation clears up.

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Wieters being sent down…

by mrCane

According to CBSsportsline.com Matt Wieters is being reassigned Sunday to Triple A.  This doesn’t come as a shock to fantasy owners.  People have been drafting Wieters in spite of the fact that the catcher would possible miss the first couple months of the season.

Fantasy Advice:  Depending on the type of league your in, Wieters should be taking as a top 10 fantasy option.  Keeper leagues he is an absolute must.  Leagues with deep benches that would allow you to wait on him he is a great option as well.  He could make an Evan Longoria type impact at the catcher position by the end of the year.

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Filed under Draft Position, Position Analysis, Uncategorized

Spend Your Money Wisely

by mrCane

The idea of every draft is to get players at optimum value.  You don’t want to draft a player too soon.  You don’t want to waste a 2nd round pick on a guy you can grab in the 4th round.  Many times while drafting you begin to notice that the position is becoming vacant.  The top guys are going off the board, your pick is coming up and because all the magazines have Mr.X rated high you reach and take him while gritting your teeth.  In this list I’ve included there are guys with some counterparts at their positions and the recent ADP(Average Draft Position).  You can be the judge of who you want and what your willing to pay for the player.

C  Ramon Hernandez, ADP 277 vs Ryan Doumitt ADP 140     What this says is if you wait over 100 spots you could have the exact same stats for much cheaper.  Doumitt had some great hot streaks last year and has climbed the rankings because of the success.  But, Hernandez should match him in every offensive category so why pay extra?

1B  Billy Butler, ADP 246  vs  James Loney,  ADP  125     Loney has proved himself a little more but tops out at about 20hr.  Both guys will hit for the same average but Butler has the ability to hit for more power, as he did in the minors.  Butler has great plate discipline and its only a matter of time.  After the big dogs are gone at first take a careful look at what Loney can give you and ask yourself if its worth it?

2B  Aaron Hill, ADP 301  vs  Robinson Cano, ADP 97     Even after a huge bust of a season last year Cano is still top 100?  He doesn’t hit for power, doesn’t steal bases and proved he is capable of batting under .300.  He has always struck out a lot and continues to be drafted high.  Hill, if recovered from post concussion syndrome, is capable of a 20 hr season; 200 picks later!  Just monitor his health.

3B  Brandon Wood, ADP 332  vs Edwin Encarnacion, ADP 163     Ok, so Wood hasn’t panned out yet, well that is going to change.  If he bats .250 with 25hr isn’t that the same as Edwin?  For half the price? 

ss  Michael Young, ADP 98 vs  Derek Jeter, ADP 71   This isn’t a huge gap but because it is so early in the draft it is imperative to get these picks right.  These guys have the exact same numbers!  But Jeter is about two rounds earlier?  Jeter is a big household name, but average in the world of fantasy.

OF  Chase Headley, ADP 331 vs  Justin Upton, ADP 181    Another case of a big time name getting in the way of what actually happens on the field.  What is going to happen, their numbers will be the same.  Headley was a monster prospect that everyone has somehow forgot about this year.

OF  Adam Jones, ADP 266  vs  Andre Ethier, ADP 133     I’ll put it in very simple terms, Jones is better.  There, I said it.  He will have just as many homers, about 25 more SB and the other numbers should be about the same.  Why double the price?

OF  Fred Lewis, ADP 310  vs  David DeJesus, ADP 180  Here is another head scratcher, Lewis has better numbers.  The only difference between these two guys is Lewis will steal more bases.

SP  Chris Volstad, ADP 260  vs  Fausto Carmona, ADP 164     Fausto had a big year a two years ago.  Last year he was injured so he gets a pass.  But, regardless of the injury these guys are clones.  Non-strike out pitchers who will have good ERA’s.  One you pay for some name recognition, the other you don’t.

RP  Joel Hanranhan, ADP 282  vs  Brian Wilson, ADP 140      Why anyone would draft a closer with a near 5 ERA that high is beyond my thinking.  Joel is going to have a better ERA and more K’s than Wilson.  I know in a 5×5 those innings aren’t so great where the ERA hurts you, but whats better, a 4.00 or a 5.00?

How are you going to spend your money when it’s crunch time?

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Position Depth Scarcity

By nichols33

Any experienced fantasy baseball player will tell you that they take into account the depth at certain positions when drafting or placing an auction value on a player. Stephen Drew’s .291 avg. last season with 21 HRs was far more valuable than Derrek Lee’s .291 avg. with 20 HRs because Drew plays shortstop and Lee plays first base. Lee is an average 1B at best while Drew is arguably a Top 5 SS. How can that be you ask? It all comes down to the options available at each position and the difference between the top producers over the non producers who are forced to start due to lack of options.

My colleague tallkid1 wrote a great piece, Third Base, The New Second Base, where he asked the question which position has the least depth or most depth scarcity. This inspired me to try and put some analysis together and attempt to solve this question for the upcoming fantasy baseball season.

I based my analysis on a 12 team Head-to-Head Points league that starts 1 C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, U/DH, 3 OF, 5 SP, 2 RP. I took the average points scored for the season for the top “starters” at each position. So I averaged the top 12 scoring catchers, the top 36 scoring OFs, top 60 scoring SPs, etc. The data rolled up like this:

Pos Avg Starters Pts
C 321.7
1B 488.4
2B 418.0
SS 417.4
3B 412.0
OF 439.4
SP 411.5
RP 236.3

This analysis obviously assumes that the top 12 scorers at 1B are all on different teams and also does not factor in the U/DH spot but directionally this data proves very helpful.

As you might expect the top 12 scoring catchers are greatly outscored by the top scorers at other positions. MLB teams place great emphasis on defensive minded players at the catcher position and even the best catchers sit roughly every 5th game. What is rather telling is tallkid1 was onto something. 3B was actually lower scoring than SS and 2B.

Surprising no one, 1B is the deepest position but by how far ahead it was over OF was quite shocking to me. OF felt a little weaker than normal going into last season but some breakout seasons (Kemp, Quentin, Hamilton, Victorino, Ethier, McLouth, Ludwick) really added to the depth of that position.

When drafting or placing auction value on a player you must keep in mind the position depth scarcity. You can be sitting pretty after 5 rounds with Mark Teixeira, Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee, Adam Dunn and Vladimir Guerrero but after round 15 you’ll feel nauseous looking at Bengie Molina, Alexi Casilla, Miguel Tejeda and Melvin Mora in your starting lineup.

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Utley or Kinsler?

By nichols33

It’s your pick in the draft. You’ve decided to go 2B, and all are still on the board. Who are you taking, Chase Utley of the Phils or Ian Kinsler of the Rangers?

Most rankings I’ve seen have Ian Kinsler as the #1 2B. At first I thought this was due to Utley’s offseason surgery and the lists possibly generated before the news came out that Utley will probably be ready for opening day. But I’m seeing mock draft after mock draft where Kinsler is going off the board first.

2008 Stats:

stats

For me, so long as Chase is healthy and playing, I’ll take him over Kinsler. Kinsler has yet to put up a full season with no injury. Last year he did not play after Aug. 19th and the year before Ian missed all of July. Kinsler has the edge on speed and could possibly steal 30 bags this year, but Utley is good for double digit steals and his power is SICK when healthy.

Chase was on his way to an MVP season last year hitting 25 homeruns before the all-star break. Then he ran into some hip problems that severly reduced his power numbers in the second half because he could not turn on the ball. If Chase shows that he is healthy in some spring games, he should be the first 2B taken and he could go get the MVP award he was working on last season before the hip.

Who are you taking?

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