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THT's Fantasy Archives
Friday, May 22, 2009
American League by Rob McQuown
Rich Hill | Baltimore | SP
YTD: 9.5 K/9, 3.0 K/BB, 3.18 ERA
True Talent: 8.3 K/9, 2.0 K/BB, 4.34 ERA
Next Week Forecast: 6.0 IP, 0.4 wins, 6 K, 4.26 ERA
The bar is set pretty low in Baltimore to get a try-out. Take Rich Hill, who walked nine batters in 16 minor-league innings this season ... after walking 44 men in 47.2 IP last year. That Hill was able, in his first start, to limit his unintentional walks to one was unexpected. He still has the amazing curveball, which leads to the glowing “True Talent” prediction, but—especially in that division—expect few Ws, and lots of BBs.
Matt Palmer | Los Angeles | SP
YTD: 5.1 K/9, 1.4 K/BB, 4.26 ERA
True Talent: 6.1 K/9, 1.4 K/BB, 5.11 ERA
Next Week Forecast: 6.0 IP, 0.3 wins, 4 K, 4.68 ERA
“The past does not equal the future.” Sounds like something a motivational speaker like Jim Palmer might say. And Matt Palmer seems to be listening to the (unrelated) Hall of Famer, seeing as how Matt has a 5-0 record despite being 30 years old with an undistinguished minor-league resume. We're happy for Matt Palmer, but expect his poor K/BB to take its toll, and for him to get pushed out of the rotation over the next few weeks.
Ramon Santiago | Detroit | SS/2B
True Talent: .258/.321/.378
Next Week Forecast: 0.2 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, 0.2 SB, .262 BA
The last time Ramon Santiago played full time was 2007, as a 27-year-old at Triple-A Toledo, where he hit .263/.309/.362. Thus, we were skeptical when he posted a gaudy .282/.411/.460 line in 2008 as a reserve. Although we're even more skeptical about his .436 BABIP-aided line this year, Santiago does have a fine defensive reputation, and his recent hitting has upgraded him to “safe filler.” And Adam Everett misses a lot of time with injuries.
Kelly Shoppach | Cleveland | CA
True Talent: .247/.331/.452
Next Week Forecast: 0.5 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 0.0 SB, .238 BA
Kelly Shoppach was overdrafted in many settings after his fluky-good 2008 season. The truth, though, is that he IS a valuable player, probably superior to a dozen starters at his position. His defense won't help a fantasy team, but if he keeps out-hitting Garko and some of the various OF/1B options like LaPorta, then Shoppach should keep logging at least half-time play. His career-long tendency is to maul LHP, and he's a must-play against them in daily-move formats.
Clete Thomas | Detroit | OF
True Talent: .244/.313/.363
Next Week Forecast: 0.4 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, 0.9 SB, .247 BA
What in the name of Barry Bonds is Jim Leyland thinking? Most baseball fans outside Michigan would have about as much chance of knowing that Clete Thomas is the Tigers' No. 3 hitter as they would of winning the lottery! Leyland batted Neifi Perez No. 2 during their World Series run, so he has been known to do strange things. Expect this experiment to go only slightly better than did Piniella batting Alex Sanchez No. 3 in 2005.
Dontrelle Willis | Detroit | SP
YTD: 4.1 K/9, 1.3 K/BB, 3.27 ERA
True Talent: 5.3 K/9, 1.2 K/BB, 5.38 ERA
Next Week Forecast: 5.1 IP, 0.3 Wins, 3 K, 5.67 ERA
The shame is that the "True Talent" line may be pretty close on Willis's ERA, though many people want the popular Willis to rebound (including the Tigers, and their accountant). Willis might have reined in his control somewhat but at a cost to his Ks, so expect more hits. He's a great example of just how fickle pitchers can be. (He was taken 17th overall in a Baseball America “Dream Draft” in 2006.)
C.J. Wilson | Texas | RP
YTD: 5.5 K/9, 1.1 K/BB, 3.86 ERA, 2 Saves
True Talent: 7.3 K/9, 1.6 K/BB, 4.20 ERA
Next Week Forecast: 0.8 saves, 4.24 ERA
What's not to like? Well, Wilson is a lefty closer (already a disadvantage). In 62 IP since 2007, he has allowed 5+ BB/9, more hits than innings, and nine home runs. And he pitches in one of the best hitter's parks in baseball, for a team that won't furnish as many close games as do other teams. That True Talent prediction looks almost tolerable, but even if Francisco's return wasn't imminent, C.J. Wilson would still be among the worst 2-3 closers in MLB.
Ben Zobrist | Tampa Bay | SS/OF
True Talent: .256/.338/.433
Next Week Forecast: 0.3 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 0.2 SB, .259 BA
Like Matt Palmer, Ben Zobrist has been old for his leagues. Unlike Palmer, though, Zobrist did some fantastic work in the minors, including a .428 composite OBP. Zobrist has long been considered a man without a position: not good enough "D" to patrol up-the-middle, not enough bat to man the corners. However, a .505 slugging in 227 PA last year, and his hot start this year, are starting to dispel the latter notion.
National League by Michael Street
Dave Bush | MIL | SP
YTD: 6.5 K/9, 3.5 K/BB, 3.74 ERA
True Talent: 6.2 K/9, 2.8 K/BB, 4.23 ERA
Next Week Forecast: 6.1 IP, 0.4 Wins, 4 K, 4.15 ERA
With a career 1.3 HR/9, Bush must keep his walks down to succeed, and he has done so during the Crew’s recent surge. His 2009 1.9 BB/9 is right in line with his career 2.0 BB/9, and True Talent says that he is pitching only slightly above expectations. Bush won’t shut anyone out—he has given up 2+ runs in 7 of 8 starts—but he’ll give Wins and a few Ks without completely embarrassing you.
Mat Gamel | MIL | 3B
True Talent: N/A
Next Week Forecast: N/A
Interleague play gives Gamel near-term DH value, but his long-term outlook is hazier. As the Brewers’ top hitting prospect, he'll get his swings for as long as he’s up, but his path is currently blocked. Recent Milwaukee moves (like the signing of Frank Catalanotto and acquisition of Jody Gerut) hint that a trade is in the works that would clear a spot for him, so grab him for the near term. Keeper-league owners should already have him on their rosters.
Kris Medlen | ATL | SP
YTD: 9.0 K/9, 0.6 K/BB, 15.00 ERA
True Talent: N/A
Next Week Forecast: N/A
Atlanta wants to look at Medlen (5-0, 1.21 ERA at Triple-A, with 44 K and 10 BB in 27.1 IP) while they wait for Glavine to return. Medlen strikes out guys, but not consistently, and major-league hitters won’t flail at his slider the way that Triple-A hitters do. Medlen struggled in his first start, suddenly losing control after a strong first two innings; that tells you all that you need to know about this low-ceiling gamble.
Ross Ohlendorf | PIT | SP
YTD: 4.3 K/9, 1.9 K/BB, 4.31 ERA
True Talent: 6.3 K/9, 2.1 K/BB, 4.68 ERA
Next Week Forecast: 6.0 IP, 0.4 Wins, 4 K, 4.38 ERA
Ohlendorf’s peripherals look decent, and his current performance suggests that he could be a buy-low opportunity. However, he has two problems: lefties (.978 OPS Against, vs. .671 OPS against RH), and away parks (6.02 ERA and 1.60 WHIP, vs. 3.78 ERA and 1.29 WHIP at PNC). If you can afford to roster Ohlendorf in order to start him at home against RH-heavy line-ups, you might reap some benefits ... but if your roster is that deep, you're probably not looking for waiver-wire help.
Nyjer Morgan | PIT | OF
True Talent: .277/.337/.352
Next Week Forecast: 0.1 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, 1.4 SB, .274 BA
Morgan’s 10 SB are already a career high, but more are on the way. He sits on some waiver wires because of a strained hammy that had him out for a few games, but he looks fine, and the OBP that he has racked up demonstrates his improved batting eye (0.65 BB/K this year, vs. 0.31 in 2008), which should lead to even more SB. Just keep that True Talent projection in mind—he’s no .300 hitter.
Gerardo Parra | ARI | OF
True Talent: .264/.315/.385
Next Week Forecast: 0.3 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, 0.8 SB, .264 BA
Parra won’t hit like this all year, but his early trends were alluring. In his first 14 PA, he had zero Ks, with two triples and a HR. He has scuffled since, with 5 Ks in his last 17 PA to go along with four hits, all singles. In Arizona, Parra will get time to prove himself, and that SB projection makes him worth a look in many leagues, especially since we think that he'll beat his True Talent BA.
Cody Ross | FLA | OF
True Talent: .254/.315/.460
Next Week Forecast: 0.9 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, 0.2 SB, .252 BA
After starting the season 2-for-23, Ross went 9 for his next 20, and then slid back to 14-for-78 before going 7-for-12 last week with two HR and three 2B. That’s typical Ross, whose overall numbers are still right in line with his projected ratios. If you can hang with his cold streaks and be sure to play him against LHP (career .950 OPS against LHP, vs. .728 OPS against RHP), Ross can deliver some low-BA pop.
Skip Schumaker | STL | 2B/OF
True Talent: .295/.349/.402
Next Week Forecast: 0.2 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, 0.2 SB, .287 BA
St. Louis skipper Tony LaRussa has been sticking with Schumaker at second base, where Schumaker's stat line plays very well—you won't find many .750 OPS qualifying 2Bs on the wire. Note how well True Talent matches his current numbers. Schumaker is steady and unspectacular, but he will give a low-power BA boost while scoring runs as the Cards’ lead-off hitter. As long as he keeps starting for them, he should be starting for you.
True Talent and Next Week Forecasts courtesy of Heater Magazine.
Posted by THT Staff at 1:20am (8) Comments
Welcome to THT Fantasy's Roster Doctor. If you'd like your team to be analyzed by one of our fantasy baseball experts, please send your full roster to this address. Also be sure to include your league's player pool (mixed, AL-only, NL-only), number of teams, scoring format (roto, head-to-head, points, etc.), categories, whether or not it's a keeper league, and any other pertinent information. If your roster is selected it will be analyzed in a future Roster Doctor column.
The streak of traditional rosters continues...
Player Pool: Mixed
No. of Teams: 12
Categories: Traditional 5x5
Scoring Type: Head-to-Head
C - Pablo Sandoval
1B - Ryan Howard
2B - Chase Utley
SS - Jimmy Rollins
3B - Jorge Cantu
OF- Matt Kemp
OF - Alex Rios
OF - Jacoby Ellsbury
Util - Joey Votto
BN - Corey Hart
BN - Jhonny Peralta
BN - Alexei Ramirez
SP - Dan Haren
SP - Adam Wainwright
RP - Chad Qualls
RP - Ryan Franklin
P - Fernando Rodney
P - Scott Downs
P - Josh Johnson
BN - Jered Weaver
BN - Wandy Rodriguez
DL - John Lackey
First off, this person told me that she picked Ellsbury off the waiver wire—great addition! Let that serve as a lesson to all of you impatient people out there who are thinking about using your priority on a mediocre player now because you do not foresee any great names getting called up in the near future that are not already owned. Most of the time great waiver pickups come from drops by other teams, particularly after the first month of the season. Someone like Ellsbury might not be dropped in your league, but a valuable player like David Ortiz or BJ Upton might be.
A noticeable aspect of this team is its Phillies infield minus Pedro Feliz at third. Normally I would think that was intentional—i.e. the owner is a Phillies fan—but the owner noted in their submission (info like this is helpful) that they recently traded Jay Bruce and Jair Jurrjens for Rollins and Josh Johnson. This trade is a good example a smart owner making use of a surplus in one position (outfield) to bolster a lacking one (shortstop) where you previously had Peralta starting.
One of the bigger disappointments so far this year, Peralta, is struggling and I think it was a good idea to find a suitable replacement for him. And kudos to not buying high on the replacement; instead Rollins was a nice buy-low at this point since he figures to start raising his production level imminently (four for six last night). Johnson won't keep up the sub-three ERA ratio much longer but with his ability to strikeout batters out, limit free passes, and induce ground balls, he should post an ERA in the mid-3s the rest of the way, which is of course valuable. Nice trade.
With the shortstop hole plugged, the rest of your lineup is strong and filled with players myself and many other people would love to own like Kemp, Votto, Utley, and even Cantu. I am not saying Rios, Howard, and the others are bad players, but if at some point in the future you are looking to upgrade your hitters, those would be the guys I would like to upgrade. Howard is in that list for the flexibility he offers if included in a trade since you could get anyone in return for him, because Votto could slide from utility to first base. And his name does supersede his numbers somewhat.
Your pitching is excellent, both starters and relievers. There is no reason to mess with your corral of dominant starters and it is apparent you have been active on the waiver wire by the grouping of recently anointed closers you own. Not much else to say about your pitching except just make sure you strategically bench pitchers towards the end of the week if you've got enough victories locked up.
I know you would like to keep Alexei because he could break out of his slump and provide value either in a trade or starting for you, but if a player with some potential hits the wire soon, I would not let Alexei prevent me from adding him. His roster spot is one I would consider pretty expendable right now if the right player comes along. I say this especially in a league where Ellsbury was magically dropped. Good luck the rest of the season!
Posted by Paul Singman at 1:17am
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