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Ten Lists of Ten: Fantasy Baseball Edition

June 17, 2011

ESPN’s Matthew Berry does this every once in a while: ten lists of ten players, facts, statistics, etc. that give fantasy advice and what not. So here we go.

  • Ten guys I was right on this year
  1. Matt Kemp – Kemp dropped from a first-round pick in 2010 to a third-round pick (26th overall, according to ESPN’s live draft results) in 2011 due to a “down” year last year in which he set a career high in homers and contributed positively in every 5×5 hitting category except average. But now, Kemp is the No. 1 player on ESPN’s player rater and is on pace for 46 homers, 37 steals, 129 RBIs and 108 runs.
  2.  Jered Weaver – Selected 67th overall and 15th among pitchers in drafts; ranked eighth among every player on ESPN’s player rater.
  3. Justin Verlander – I targeted him in my main draft and was able to get him with the 56th pick – 17 picks after he was selected in ESPN drafts. However, he’s the 9th rated overall player so far this season. Verlander’s steady as they come and is usually had at a discount in drafts.
  4. Jay Bruce – Bruce had progressively gotten better in each of his first three seasons, and if anyone paid any attention to him last year in the second half you could easily see his breakout coming this year. On pace for 39-111-106-11.
  5. Shaun Marcum – I almost pegged him as the NL Central Cy Young in the pre-season but opted to go with his teammate Zack Greinke. Oof. But I knew Marcum would be good and targeted him in all my drafts, where he was going on average at pick 119. His player rater ranking is 37 now. Seven wins, only two losses, a 2.68 ERA and 1.o1 WHIP shouldn’t be surprised to anyone who knows how to spot good pitchers.
  6. Derek Jeter – Now we’ll spotlight a few guys I pegged for bad seasons and have lived up to the billing – The Hangover 2 of fantasy baseball players. We’ll start with 4-3ter, who was the fourth shortstop selected on average in preseason drafts, and was drafted 56th overall. Now he is the 14th-ranked shortstop and 188th overall, behind Antonio Bastardo and Eduardo Sanchez, both of whom are middle relievers, if you didn’t know. That’s like J.J. Barea being better than LeBron James. Jeter has hit a home run on only one day this year, when he hit two against Texas on May 8. Since that day, all his slash stats have dropped.
  7. Jayson Werth – Besides dominating the Cardinals lately, Werth had been pretty much worthless this season. After he signed his deal with Washington in the off-season I told someone I wouldn’t draft Werth with their team, which isn’t true because I would want him to be on my opponent’s team because then he would be hurting my opponent’s team and helping me win, but I’m rambling so where were we?

Ah, anyways: Here’s what I said in the pre-season about Werth:

“Werth’s put up two great seasons in a row, but he’s never had a 100-RBI season, and before the last two years his career-high in games played was 134. He was in a great situation in Philadelphia – winning team, great lineup – and now he’s in Washington where he’ll be asked to carry the offensive load along with Ryan Zimmerman. Werth’s never done that before, and after signing for $119 million in the offseason he won’t feel the need to play through any major injuries this year and could possibly miss a good amount of time. Even if he does play close to a full season, his numbers should dip because of the lineup around him. Instead of drafting Werth at pick 48 wait a while and take Mike Stanton, Jay Bruce or Chris Young.”

8. Clay Buchholz – He’s ranked 70th among pitchers on the player rater, but was drafted 29th among pitchers and 119th overall. Here’s what I said about Buchholz before the season, and most of it is spot on:

“Buchholz’s win totals and ERA were elite last year, but his WHIP (1.2) and strikeout (120) numbers weren’t. Win totals are fluky, so you should not draft a pitcher just because his win totals are good while his other stats aren’t; if you’re smart enough you can find relievers off the waiver wire to get 5-10 wins a piece for you. Also, fourteen AL pitchers won at least 15 games last year, so even wins are easy to come by with starters. Buchholz will have to face his AL East counterparts many times this year, which means he’ll be facing four powerful lineups multiple times. Since he doesn’t strike out too many guys he relies on his defenders getting to balls put in play and if a few more balls fall in for hits his ERA and WHIP will go up. Buchholz is being drafted ahead of guys who are either better than he is already (Lilly, Kuroda, Wandy) and guys who have a lot more potential than he does (Bumgarner, Morrow, Marcum, D. Hudson). The earlier group of guys will give you more K’s and a better WHIP than Buchholz, while the latter group has better potentiall all around.”

9. Joe Mauer – Why anyone still drafts a catcher early is beyond anything I can comprehend. Mauer’s 2011 should stave off fantasy owners from drafting him or any other catcher higher than, say, pick 100.

10. Ichiro – I actually have been looking to trade for Ichiro recently, but that’s only because I *should* be able to get him for a discounted price and have him help my team because he still steals bases, walks and doesn’t strike out. But since his name is Ichiro Suzuki and not Joe Suzuki, his value is still well overpriced and inflated. But I wasn’t going to draft Ichiro this year because, to get him, you’d have to spend an early pick (~44) on him while he is/was really only a two-category contributor, when you could get any number of four/five-category outfielders later in the draft.

  • Ten guys I was wrong on this year
  1. Roy Oswalt
  2. Brandon Morrow
  3. Brett Gardner
  4. Pedro Alvarez – But there’s still time
  5. Dan Uggla – I projected 40 homers and 120 RBIs for him. Blech.
  6. Adam Dunn – 45 homers? Not even close so far.
  7. Brandon Belt – Looks like he’s in for a good year, I said. Yeah right.
  8. Derrek Lee – Thought a bounce-back was coming, but I don’t think so.
  9. Jose Bautista – I didn’t think a 54-homer repeat was possible, but he’s got 21 homers already and looks like the real deal.
  10. Jose Reyes – His injury history scared me off, but he’s been one of the best so far this year. I hope he can keep this up for the next few years cause he’s fun to watch.
  • Ten Celebrity Crushes
  1. Reese Witherspoon – That red dress is just killer. Sorry Owen Wilson had to be in the picture, but it’s the only good pic of her in the dress.
  2. Aimee Teegarden
  3. Kendra Wilkinson
  4. Brooklyn Decker
  5. Emma Stone
  6. Elizabeth Banks
  7. Leslie Mann
  8. Rihanna
  9. Minka Kelly
  10. Michelle Beadle
  • Ten players with the most at-bats with runners on base
  1. Adrian Gonzalez
  2. Torii Hunter
  3. Hunter Pence
  4. Matt Kemp
  5. Ryan Howard
  6. Carlos Lee
  7. Jeff Francoeur
  8. Adrian Beltre
  9. Casey McGehee
  10. Starlin Castro

I put these guys on here because so far they’ve had the most RBI opportunities, and most of them have cashed in. If you’re looking for some buy-low types, Hunter and McGehee fit the bill; both are batting under .240 with runners on but you shouldn’t have to spend too much to get them, and they come with a good reward/risk ratio.

  • Ten pitchers who are getting a little lucky, with a little help from fangraphs. I’ll be using some relatively unknown stats so I’ll link to the fangraphs glossary when I need to.
  1. Josh Beckett – He’s stranding 83 percent of runners, a career-high, and has only allowed home runs on 3.9 percent of fly balls, seven points lower than his career norm.
  2. Jeremy Hellickson – A less than 2:1 K:BB doesn’t usually predict future success. Plus, his K-rate is down from his minor league years and his BB-rate is up. His ERA is 3.09, but his xFIP is 4.27. 
  3. Alexi Ogando – We kinda already saw this earlier in the week when Ogando gave up six runs in 1.2 innings to the Yankees. But Ogando’s already doubled his innings from last year; is only inducing ground balls at a 37 percent rate, which is one of the worst in the majors; and his xFIP is a whole run higher than his current 2.7 ERA. There’s a chance Ogando will get shut down/see a DL stint/move to the bullpen later in the season, so I’d try to deal him before it’s too late.
  4. Clay Buchholz – He’s regressed from last year although there’s been a slight increase in K’s and a decrease in BBs. But his HR/FB rate has normalized (up from 5.6 to 10.3 percent) and his FIP and xFIP are over 4 while his ERA is only 3.59 so far.
  5. Phillip Humber – Humber has the second lowest BABIP among starters, his HR/FB rate is ridiculously low at 5.8 percent, and once teams get second and third looks at him, it’s expected that his numbers will rise. Plus, his K’s are exactly elite.
  6. Dustin Moseley – Normally a 1.29 WHIP doesn’t equal a 3.16 ERA. He’s only striking out 4.32/9 as well.

Below are four other low-BABIP guys with unsightly ERA-FIP-xFIP combinations:

7. Paul Maholm

8. Michael Pineda

9. Johnathan Sanchez

10. Jair Jurrjens

  • Ten guys who can be had in a lot of leagues who can provide you with plenty of stolen bases
  1. Alexi Casilla – 7 steals in last 30 days
  2. Adam Kennedy – 5
  3. Andres Torres – 5
  4. Chase Headley – 5
  5. Peter Bourjos – 5
  6. Ben Revere – 5
  7. Alcides Escobar – 5 in last 15 days
  8. Charlie Blackmon – 5
  9. Dee Gordon – 3
  10. Jason Bartlett
  • Ten guys who have been hot in June and should be able to help your team from here on out
  1. Marco Scutaro – .379 average and if Jed Lowrie goes on the DL he’ll see all the playing time
  2. Nick Swisher – having his best month of the season with a .441 OBP
  3. Aaron Hill – batting .283 in the last 15 days; he’s been unlucky for the past year and a half, so it’s gotta come around sometime
  4. Alexi Casilla – .339 and five steals
  5. Jemile Weeks – The A’s rookie has three triples, two doubles and a steal in his first 32 at-bats
  6. Angel Pagan – Finally getting it altogether after returning from the DL
  7. Miguel Olivo – Six homers in June, and the power is for real
  8. Austin Jackson – Another slow-starter who’s hitting .333 in June
  9. Andres Torres – Only batting .229 in June but has a .373 OBP with more walks than K’s
  10. Cody Ross – Nine doubles and a .327 average in June
  • Ten pitchers I want from this point on
  1. Daniel Hudson
  2. Wandy Rodriguez
  3. Gio Gonzalez
  4. Ted Lilly
  5. Hiroku Kuroda
  6. Jordan Zimmermann
  7. Erik Bedard
  8. Max Scherzer
  9. Jaime Garcia
  10. Johnny Cueto
  • Ten products I am thankful for
  1. Donut sticks
  2. Citrus-flavored toothpaste – It tastes like orange soda
  3. Hands-free paper towel dispensers
  4. Nacho Supremes
  5. Camera phones
  6. Smart phones
  7. Open bars
  8. Free buffets at Dave and Buster’s
  9. Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Ten viewpoints on my main fantasy team
  1. Even though I’m in last place in my division, things could be a lot worse. I draft Matt Kemp in the second round, but it wasn’t clear-cut. I was thinking about Shin Soo Choo and Nelson Cruz at the same spot. If I had drafted either one of those guys, chances are Kemp wouldn’t have gotten back to me and I’d be in last place in the entire league.
  2. I’ve made a few moves lately that will hopefully help my team. They are:
  3. Traded Nelson Cruz for Nick Markakis. Cruz’s 15 homers were nice, but his 3-27 weeks with 11 strikeouts weren’t. I’ve never been a big fan of Markakis, but I’m hoping he can turn it around and give me a solid average, a lot of hits and walks and fewer K’s than Cruz.
  4. I picked up Scott Rolen and Marco Scutaro recently. Both should help me in multiple categories, and now I can bench B.J. Upton and have a good OBP guy in his place.
  5. I need Ted Lilly to keep up his recent hot stretch (Last 7: five QS, three W’s, only seven walks) to have any shot at contending.
  6. Don’t pay for saves: I got Joel Hanrahan late and he’s been one of the best relievers in the game.
  7. Ike Davis, can you please get back soon?
  8. I thought Evan Longoria was supposed to be good.
  9. Thankfully I picked up Eric Hosmer, or else I would’ve had some scrub at first for the past month-plus.
  10. Thankfully, I traded Zach Britton for Jhonny Peralta, who has hit nine homers and knocked in 24 in his last 36 games.

From → Fantasy Baseball

  1. Vin Reich permalink

    Good stuff.

    Ichiro has 2 hits for the 6th straight game tonight. Olivo hit another HR. Marcum probably headed to DL.

    I think everyone was mostly wrong on Alvarez, Dunn, and Uggla.

  2. Your best blog yet.

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