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THT's Fantasy Archives
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Looking for more prospect info? Find out where every prospect fits into the The Hardball Times ongoing Top 100 Prospects List.
New Player Breakdowns
Michael Saunders / OF / Seattle / Triple-A / 11/19/86 / ETA: 2010 / High: #26 / Low: #49 / This Week: +7
Saunders has come back masterfully from a shoulder injury that had sidelined him for the first month of the season. Look for a call up sometime this summer.
Average Year Projection:
.271 / .336 / 18 HR / 33 2B / 6 3B / 86 RBI / 86 R / 61 BB / 112 SO / 13 SB / 5 CS
Prime Year Projection:
.282 / .362 / 22 HR / 34 2B / 7 3B / 95 RBI / 93 R / 71 BB / 102 SO / 16 SB / 6 CS
6/13/09 - Saunders is one of the few true potential 30/30 players in the high minors. He has the potential to hit .300 too. But I need to see more development before I believe any of it. I love his ability to recover from injuries, but his injury history is of concern heading forward. I don't think he'll reach his ultimate potential, but he has a bright future ahead of him.
Jhoulys Chacin / SP / Colorado / Double-A / 1/7/88 / ETA: 2010 / High: #33 / Low: #35 / This Week: +1
Don't expect Colorado to be too aggressive with Chacin. They haven't been so far, and it has paid off. He may get a taste of Triple-A, but the Rockies certainly want to see even more success before he gets a glimpse of the majors.
Average Year Projection:
Too early to tell.
Prime Year Projection:
Too early to tell.
6/13/09 - Chacin's utterly dominant Advanced-A performance from last year hasn't exactly translated, but he is experiencing another strong season. He is still very young, and with another all-around uptick in his development he will join the absolute elite pitching prospects in the game.
Jeremy Hellickson / SP / Tampa Bay / Double-A / 4/8/87 / ETA: 2011 / High: #34 / Low: #35 / This Week: +1
I anticipate that Tampa will keep Hellickson in the high minors for the rest of the year so they can play it easy with his sprained shoulder. Tampa has that luxury due to their outstanding organizational rotation depth.
Average Year Projection:
190 IP / 3.79 ERA / 1.29 WHIP / 13 W / 11 L / 180 SO / 180 H / 65 BB
Prime Year Projection:
199 IP / 3.33 ERA / 1.21 WHIP / 16 W / 9 L / 204 SO / 181 H / 59 BB
6/13/09 - Hellickson is well on his way to returning to the mound after sustaining a shoulder sprain in early May. He is not in David Price's class, but he sports three strong pitches - a low-90s fastball along with a changeup and curveball that have the potential to be plus pitches. Everything could eventually add up to Hellickson dealing like an ace. His great minor league career seems to indicate as much.
New Prospect Notes
Tommy Hanson / SP / Atlanta
6/13/09 - The Braves couldn't hold back any longer. Hanson has made two major league starts, neither one all that impressive; although, in his latest outing he was able to overcome five walks on his way to allowing only two runs over five and two-thirds innings. The strikeouts are there and, long-term, I have zero worries about two tough outings to start his career.
Matt LaPorta / OF/1B / Cleveland
6/13/09 - LaPorta is back in Triple-A doing his thing. Expect him to be back with the Indians sometime this summer.
Madison Bumgarner / SP / San Francisco
6/13/09 - His Double-A stint has been every bit as dominating as I expected. Keep it up, Mad Man.
David Price/ SP / Tampa Bay
6/13/09 - His four-game big league stint has been a mixed bag. He has shown tremendous competitiveness and tenacity, resulting in only five earned runs in nineteen innings of work. But his control issues are still there, and, frankly, they scare me. Stay tuned.
Travis Snider / OF / Toronto
6/13/09 - Snider was sent down to Triple-A Las Vegas in late May. He put up some lackluster stats over the period of a week before heading to the DL due to a bad back. Right now, it's hard to get a gauge on the extent of the injury. Here's to hoping that some news is on its way.
Jarrod Parker / SP / Arizona
6/13/09 - A recent bout of walks brought some of his stats back to human level. Hopefully his most recent outing, where he didn't issue a walk and K'd nine batters over six innings, is a sign that the roadblock is behind him.
Jesus Montero / C/1B / NY Yankees
6/13/09 - Montero was promoted to Double-A recently, to mixed results. Essentially, he has been catching then DHing off and on all year. It will be interesting to see whether that trend continues or if he will slowly get more playing time behind the plate. It's the hope that he will stay at catcher that has him riding this high on my board.
Mike Moustakas / 3B / Kansas City
6/13/09 - Moustakas' game has stagnated a bit over the last few weeks. Most importantly, his plate discipline hasn't progressed the way I was expecting. Last year's breakout came during the second half of the year, though. We'll see what happens this summer.
Tim Alderson / SP / San Francisco
6/13/09 - Alderson has been downright dominant over the last month. He gets a boost accordingly. All he is missing is the premium strikeout numbers. They may not be far away.
Angel Villalona / 1B / San Francisco
6/13/09 - Where is your plate discipline, Angel? He was showing signs of a dramatically improved approach at the plate in April, but things have dropped off since then. He needs to get his focus back on track.
Jordan Zimmermann / SP / Washington
6/13/09 - Zimmermann's big league performance has fallen off, but not off the cliff. His strikeouts and strikeout to walk ratio have been impressive. Look for his ERA to catch up.
Gordon Beckham / SS/3B / Chicago White Sox
6/13/09 - Beckham has pushed himself all the way to the big leagues in a short period of time. Unfortunately, his 28 at-bats have only resulted in two hits. Even more concerning, it looks like the White Sox might be serious about keeping him at third base.
Michael Stanton / OF / Florida
6/13/09 - It's time to start really paying attention. Stanton is getting his shot at Double-A pitching. So far his bat has been quiet, but for how long? It's exciting seeing his huge power potential on display against good secondary stuff.
Logan Morrison / 1B / Florida
6/13/09 - Morrison is back, and it looks like he hasn't missed a beat. Watch his Double-A development closely.
Neftali Feliz / SP/RP / Texas
6/13/09 - His walk rate is starting to slow, but so is his strikeout rate. Feliz is always unpredictable. Combine that fact with his electric stuff and you have one of the more exciting pitchers in minor league baseball. In Feliz's case that's not a good thing. Pennant-chasing Texas wants consistency before they hand him a slot in their rotation.
Brian Matusz / SP / Baltimore
6/13/09 - He has been the most dominant Advanced-A pitcher in recent weeks. When is the promotion coming? I'm salivating.
Hector Rondon / SP / Cleveland
6/13/09 - Rondon's bullpen assignment didn't last long, but his last two starts have been lackluster. Is it a bump in the road or a true trend?
New Players Added to the Bubble
Posted by Matt Hagen at 9:42pm
Yesterday, Boston SS Nick Green went 1-for-3 to raise his average to .293. He now has a line on the season of 293/.344/.442.
Those numbers are unlikely to last. Entering this season, Green had a career line in the majors of .240/.309/.347, and he hadn't appeared substantially since 2006. As a 29-year-old in Triple-A last year, Green batted .233/.285/.373; his career Triple-A line is .268/.318/.434.
Key number: 22%. That's Green's K/AB, and it bodes ill for a healthy BA. I looked at all player-seasons from 2006-08 of >200 AB and K% between 20-25%. The aggregate BA is .270. And the batters in this group were collectively stronger than Green (192 IsoSLG for pool vs. 149 IsoSLG for Green), which suggests that Green's BA would fall on the low side of that .270.
Heater has a YTD OPS rank for Green (among AL SS) of #7 but a "True" rank of #14 (and True BA of .242). It would be ideal to sell him now while he is getting regular playing time.
Posted by John Burnson at 10:15am
Now's about the time of the year when, if you stand on your tippy-toes and squint into the distance, you may see a distant competitor running far ahead of you in saves (or home runs or wins). You're sitting in last place, or close to it, in a particular category, and you're thinking about dumping it (I'll keep referring to saves here, but feel free to replace with your chosen stat). Life would be so much easier if you only had to care about nine categories instead of 10. You could stop trolling the waiver wire for distant princes who are waiting to be promoted to kings of their bullpens after their betters lose their heads. You could trade Mike MacDougal and plug that gap in your outfield that has been leaving you with a itch at night because it mars what would otherwise be a flawless set of batters.
Should you dump that category and free your mind? There are several things to consider first. However, it bears writing right now: this isn't about playing for next year. This is about playing for this year, and I'm assuming that you didn't start the season using a strategy which neglected the stat. This also mostly concerns rotisserie leagues. Points leagues and head-to-head leagues involve different kinds of calculations (it doesn't really even make sense to talk about "dropping a category" in points leagues—points are points)
How far behind are you?
Obviously, the further behind you are in the stat, the harder it will be to catch up. I've left the question intentionally vague though: perhaps one or two competitors are not that far ahead of you, but the pack (the peloton if you're riding a bike) is further.
Why are you in last place?
Did you place your hopes on Kerry Wood and have been a victim of bad luck? Has the injury bug bitten you and your Joakim Soria? Are you stuck with some lemons like B.J. Ryan? Much as in running long distances, it is tempting to feel yourself slowly falling behind more and more (note that this is a statement about your velocity, the rate at which you acquiring saves, and not about how far back you are), and give up hope of ever catching up.
With way more than a half season left to play, though, there's a lot of time for luck to turn. Now, just because you've had bad luck, it doesn't mean you're due for good luck. So if you have some Wood-ies or Sorias on your team, you should just count on them returning to their expected rate, perhaps 1.5 saves per week or so (on the high end). Is this enough to bring you back into the pack or perhaps catch a few stragglers? The key here is to figure out whether you have the pieces on your team already. In other words, do you have Soria or do you have Ryan?
Are there other teams with spare parts or needs?
If you decide to dump saves but you have a reliever or two of some value, is there a team (or, much better, several teams) that needs saves? Does that team have a player that can help you in some other category that you think you could get in a trade? Clearly it would be better to sell your unwanted items on Ebay rather than simply put them in the trash for anyone to find for free.
On the other hand, while you are deciding whether to dump saves, you should also see if there's a team that would be willing to give you saves for one of your spare parts (or someone that you could afford to trade). Maybe another team just got Soria back from injury but already has enough closers or maybe another team is also thinking of dumping saves.
How are you doing in other categories?
Say, for example, you are leading in all the other categories but are last in saves. The only possible gain from dumping saves would then be to increase your lead in some of these other categories. But there are no rotisserie points to be had. Dumping saves in this instance isn't particularly helpful.
Obviously the flip side is if you're in the pack in, say, wins and a few extra could land you many points.
How will dumping saves affect your other categories? Will you be trading a reliever who helps (Jonathan Broxton) or hurts your ERA (Matt Capps)? The collateral damage from dropping home runs on your RBI and runs stats would probably be huge. But dumping wins, if done carefully, might help you with strikeouts, ERA and WHIP.
What category is it?
I haven't much differentiated between categories yet, but there is a difference when it comes to dumping (besides knock-on effects). If you're dumping saves and you get rid of all your relievers, you are not going to get any more saves for the rest of the season. So if you are in last place now, in last place you shall stay.
When it comes to dumping, say, batting average, things are slightly different: there's passive dumping and active dumping. Passive dumping means that you stop actively trying to catch up in the category. You're a bit or more behind in batting average but you decide not to trade for Kevin Youkilis in order to catch up. Active dumping means trading away a Kevin Youkilis in exchange for an Adam Dunn or Jay Bruce, explicitly eating the lower average in exchange for better power production.
For saves, passive dumping doesn't make much sense. If you're way behind and it isn't due to bad luck, then you aren't likely to catch up by playing your same, poor relievers. However, with the average stats, passive dumping and active dumping may each have their own logic. If you're sitting at .265 on the season, passive dumping probably means staying about there, whereas active dumping might mean going down to .250. If you're at .265, other teams might pass you on their way down, but that's a lot less likely if you've already fallen to .250. Unlike saves (sort of), standing still can sometimes mean moving up.
Posted by Jonathan Halket at 2:58am
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