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THT's Fantasy Archives
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Two weeks ago, I posted a 2010 fantasy baseball mock draft here. Obviously, it’s a little early to be talking about next season, but one thing that stood out to me is that Joe Mauer went in the third round.
I feel this is much too low for the Twins backstop. In fact, I believe he deserves serious consideration as the top pick overall. After all, he might be this season’s fantasy MVP.
Whether you find this statement ridiculous or not may depend on your view of weighting value according to position. Over the years, positional weights have been measured in various ways (VORP, WARP, Win Shares, etc.) but in terms of fantasy, here’s how I’d describe it: If your catcher outproduces your competitor’s catcher by 10 HR, your competitor has to field a lineup that outproduces your lineup by 10 HRs at the other positions just to stay even.
As of Sunday, here’s Joe Mauer’s line on the season: 25 HR, 79 RBI, 77 R, 3 SB, and a .367 AVG
How extraordinary is this?
Well, let’s compare Joe Mauer to the 11 other most-owned catchers in CBS Sports fantasy leagues: Victor Martinez, AJ Pierzynski, Mike Napoli, Kurt Suzuki, Jorge Posada, Brandon Inge, Miguel Montero, Bengie Molina, Russell Martin, Matt Wieters, and Ryan Doumit.
These 11 players averaged these totals as of last Sunday: 13 HR, 52 RBI, 47 R, 2 SB, and a .271 AVG
Joe Mauer has outproduced the average catcher in a 12-team league by 12 HR, 27 RBI, 30 R, 1 SB, and 96 points in batting average.
Ask most people who is the fantasy MVP in 2009 and undoubtedly the answer is Albert Pujols.
I also compared Pujols’ numbers to these 11 first baseman: Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira, Kevin Youkilis, Justin Morneau, Adrian Gonzalez, Derrek Lee, Joey Votto, Carlos Pena, and Lance Berkman.
Pujols outproduced his peers on average by 12 HR, 22 RBI, 28 R, 11 SB, and 32 points in batting average.
Close, but Mauer has got a very slight edge.
Consider the fact too that all of Pujols’ peers were owned from day one this season. In contrast, many fantasy teams didn’t get the best from Brandon Inge, Miguel Montero, and Kurt Suzuki. Instead, they suffered through disappointing returns from Geovany Soto, Chris Iannetta, and Ramon Hernandez. Mauer’s edge over the average catcher in a fantasy league grows.
Even more extraordinary is the fact that Mauer didn’t play his first game of the season until May 1. But owners of Joe Mauer probably were playing someone else, and even if that temp produced a modest line in April like 2 HR, 9 R, 9 RBI, these are stats that can be counted towards Mauer’s owner’s ledger.
Many people involved in fantasy baseball tend to dismiss catchers the way that people involved in fantasy football dismiss kickers. But to see a player outperform his positional peers to this degree demands notice.
Joe Mauer may be the most valuable player in baseball this year, and so it raises the forthcoming question—why wouldn’t you take this player entering his Age 27 season with one of the first few picks?
Posted by Eriq Gardner at 3:35am
Opposite to last week's "Bigger in September" Part 1 and Part 2, this week we are looking at some players who figure to lose some of their fantasy relevance.
The Rockies are immersed in another fingernail-biting playoff race and Chris Iannetta seems to be moving forward at such a slow pace with his development, he may have stopped moving altogether. With patience running thin at Iannetta's continued struggles, Yorvit Torrealba figures to receive a large potion of the starts at catcher.
Iannetta can basically be cut in most leagues if he has not been already. See you next year, Chris.
Geovany followed his Rookie of the Year winning campaign with this year's disaster of a season. Since Soto is batting .212 through 300 plate appearances, the Cubs are looking to give backup Koyie Hill his fair share of playing time over the final stretch.
However, as Aaron Gleeman points out, "a struggle for Soto is more or less Hill at his best" so expect any playing time loss for Soto to be relatively transient as he regains at least some of his former self.
This young, "athletic" pitcher transitioned well to the leap from Double-A straight to the majors, pitching worthy of a 4.12 xFIP in 150 innings. Those 150 innings are a career high and A's management does not want to lean too heavily on their promising young lefty, especially as they sit in fourth (out of four) in the AL West.
Expect him to receive only a couple more starts until getting shut down for the year. Same goes for Trevor Cahill, by the way.
When the White Sox took on Rios' $60 million contract, I am sure they did so with the intention of playing him. However, 50 at-bats later over which he has only 10 hits, it is looking likely Rios will split time with a man the White Sox signed early in the season for near league minimum: Scott Podsednik.
Now, do not exaggerate my words; Rios will still see plenty of at-bats. But Rios is looking like a prime example of what Eriq was talking about in this article last week. Scrutinize your roster and consider making the possibly tough decision of cutting Rios a la J.P. Ricciardi.
After being rushed to the majors due to a slew of injuries to the D-backs outfield, the 22-year-old Parra turned some heads batting .320 at the end of his first month in the majors. Parra has since come down to Earth with his hitting numbers, but his current .285 average, five home run, five steal batting line is solid nonetheless for NL-only leagues.
Sometimes it is about being in the right place at the right time—as Parra was at the beginning of the season—however, now he is in the wrong place in the crowded Arizona outfield. With Chris Young, Justin Upton, Ryan Roberts, Trent Oeltjen, and Alex Romero vying for playing time, Gerardo Parra may be squeezed out of enough of his own playing time to warrant his dropping in most leagues.
Over to you
Any other players primed to lose playing time? I won't be offended if you tell me in the comments.
Posted by Paul Singman at 1:11am
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