Thursday, May 31, 2012
Three climbing up the ownership ladderPosted by Mike Silver at 1:44am
What a difference a year makes!
After failing just about everyone’s expectations in 2011 (one home run in 113 plate appearances), Viciedo has finally made good on his power potential, clubbing 11 homers in 166 plate appearances. With a .280 average to boot, Viciedo has rocketed up the ownership list and is now approaching 100 percent ownership.
While his play to date certainly merits the faith owners are giving him, he’s outstripping his abilities and his opportunity to produce.
The positives for Viciedo are his propensity for hacking (which offsets his poor contact abilities) and his plus power. The negatives are his sky-high groundball rate, his average BABIP, and his batting seventh in the White Sox order.
Those three negatives will make it very difficult for Viciedo to become a fantasy star. Since he rarely steals, he needs to make up a lot of ground in the remaining counting stats and batting average. The low BABIP will depress his batting average and batting seventh will prevent him from piling up runs and RBIs.
While he’s certainly got a good set of skills, he’s unlikely to ever become a significant asset as a fantasy outfielder. I’ve got him putting up a 74-24-81-1-.267 line over 162 games in the No. 7 hole, which places him at an underwhelming 0.528 points below average in 12-team leagues at FantasyPlayerRater.com. Moving up the order would help things, but he’s got an uphill battle to get anywhere past A.J. Pierzynski in the six-hole.
If someone in your league is willing to give you a good return on him, deal him while his star is on the rise.
For the first time since 2008, Chris Davis is a useful fantasy player. Sitting pretty with a .315 average and nine home runs in 174 plate appearances, Davis is starting to reclaim the confidence owners once had in him.
Whether it can continue is a whole other story—but he is showing some signs of a sustainable improvement. If he can continue along at a .340 BABIP and sustain his improved Z-Contact rate, he will continue his resurgent season. Davis’ major potholes from recent seasons have been a revolving door of low BABIPs, low homer-per-fly ball rates, and high strikeout rates. This season, he has brought the first two under control, while an improved Z-Contact rate has been at the heart of a falling K-rate.
Applying estimates of a .340 BABIP, an 18.0 percent HR/FB rate, and 84.0 percent Z-Contact rate, Davis could deliver a very useful fantasy season. Projecting him from the seven-hole, Davis could be expected to deliver a 77-26-77-2-.2856 line over a full season. And no, that batting average is no mistake.
At FantasyPlayerRater.com, that line is good for 0.126 points below average at first base in 12-team leagues and 1.055 points above average at third base.
If you can acquire him, do it. He still carries some risk, but he’s got a lot of upside for what he’ll cost.
After years of false starts and flashes followed by failures, Homer Bailey is again trying to convince fantasy owners that he’s worth rostering. With a 3.73 ERA and 1.26 WHIP, owners are looking Bailey’s way again.
But is he worth it?
I wouldn’t say so. While he’s showing some slight improvements in most of his plate discipline indicators, they are minimal at best and don’t amount to much.
Unfortunately, this year looks to be similar to others in the past, albeit he should be ownable this season as a fringe rosterable pitcher. I see a 3.99 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 152.8 K (7.098 K/9), and 12.3 wins in 193.77 IP. That’s good enough for 0.99 points below average in 12-team leagues according to FantasyPlayerRater.com.
If you’re in dire need of pitching help, feel free to add Bailey. Otherwise, you can probably do better.
Returning from a brief hiatus, Mike is excited to be back at THT.
Mike's former writing homes include FireBrandAL.com and StatSpeak.net, while his content has appeared on Fangraphs.com, ESPN.com, and others. A lifelong Red Sox fan native to New York, Mike loves to blend baseball and statistical analysis.
Feel free to email him at mjasilver AT gmail DOT com.