|Kouzmanoff Catching Flies (Icon/SMI)|
Kevin Kouzmanoff | Oakland | 3B
2009 Final Stats: .255/.302/.420
2010 THT Projections:: .266/.311/.447
Using the new handy-dandy tool to visualize batter hit distribution in an alternate park, it doesn’t appear that Kevin Kouzmanoff will benefit much from Oakland Coliseum.
Feel free to give the tool a try and see the key for the various colors as well, but suffice it to say that blue is good. The lack of ballpark aid really doesn’t come as a big surprise, and he’ll further be facing
Felix Hernandez better American League pitching as well. At least his career Interleague stats are robust (.309/.344/.559), and he’s hit well in the Coliseum (14 PA, 1.000 OPS), but he won’t get to feast on Oakland pitching anymore (.348/.400/.522). He’s not a high-walk player, so he’ll rack up lots of at-bats, and while that should be somewhat neutral in bigger leagues, it’s something to watch out for if he’s snagged as a cheap power source in shallow leagues.
Jason Frasor | Toronto | RP
2009 Final Stats: 8.7 K/9, 3.5 K/BB, 2.50 ERA
LIPS ERAs (2006-2009): 4.22, 4.01, 5.44, 3.62
2010 THT Projections: 8.1 K/9, 2.1 K/BB, 3.80 ERA
We gave a rosy prediction for him to have a 1-in-3 chance to keep the closer’s role after the season, and he kept pitching very well and the Jays upped it to “50-50”, but then brought in Gregg. We are pretty sure that Gregg will get first crack at closing, with Downs and Frasor picking up scraps based on matchups. Tough division, bad team, some good pitchers vying for saves, and it all adds up to Frasor being an unappealing pick at this point, despite the great arm.
Scott Podsednik | Kansas City | LF
2009 Final Stats: .304/.349/.412
2010 THT Projections:: .271/.325/.363, 16 SB
At the risk of over-editorializing, Scott Podsednik is the sort of player who gives fantasy sports a bad name among any right-thinking Sabermetrician. Even if you think standard valuations undervalue speed (which this author believes, though things have improved in recent years), the outs that “Pods” racks up on the basepaths drive everyone from Ozzie Guillen to Ken Harrellson to John Dewan crazy (we’re guessing, since we didn’t track Mr. Dewan down and ask him). And he can’t hit. And his throwing arm is terrible. And he’s not nearly as rangy as his speed would suggest. [steps down off soapbox…] Anyway, the steals projection is low, as Podsednik will likely approach his 30 SB from 2009 again if he manages to hit enough to stay in the lineup, though it’s easy to understand why a projection system would assume that his manager would be smart enough to give him the red light more often. We’re going to bank on the light staying green, however, and he should be a cheap source of steals.
David Dejesus | Kansas City | LF
2009 Final Stats: .281/.347/.434
2010 THT Projections:: .271/.337/.404, 2 SB
Dejesus is moving to RF, and the Royals are hoping his back problems are a thing of the past. He attempted 13 steals last year, so expect him to get more than 2 SB this season, even if it means a lot of outs … see Pods commentary. It also wouldn’t be shocking to see him exceed his projection, as his career stat line is .286/.358/.425 and he was playing hurt for most of 2009 and is just entering his age-30 season.
Luke Scott | Baltimore | DH/OF/1B
2009 Final Stats: .258/.340/.488
2010 THT Projections:: .248/.330/.458
Scott has big-time power, as can be seen from his ISO and projected ISO. He’s popped 48 HR in the past two seasons, playing only about 2/3 of the time. While people will say that spring training stats don’t count, Felix Pie‘s spring training stats have to be considered to count against Luke Scott at this point, as he’s a much better defender than Nolan Reimold, who would end up as the primary DH if Pie wins the job. For now, Luke has a hold on another 2/3 of a season (vs. righties), but it’s tenuous. Not for the shallow (leagues) or the faint (of heart).
Delmon Young | Minnesota | LF
2009 Final Stats: .284/.308/.425
2010 THT Projections:: .289/.323/.421
Delmon Young is being drafted in barely 10% of mock drafts. This is a serious mistake in judgment unless your league uses OBP, and even then it’s unlikely to be wise to disregard him.
|Check Out Delmon Young (Icon/SMI)|
We won’t pretend he’s going to be a superstar still; he was always overrated as this author has pointed out since his minor-league days. But he’s still a talented hitter whose power should improve as he matures. He’s been healthy over the years, and Gomez won’t be around to push Span over to LF this year. He posted full-season highs in ISO and FB% in 2009. While he’s not a particularly valuable MLB player, fantasy ball is primarily about playing time, and Delmon rates to be useful in fantasy leagues. Not worth more than a very late pick pick, since he’s not being drafted in most leagues, but worth rostering.
2009 Final Stats: (played in minors – 15.2 IP)
LIPS ERAs (2006-2008): 4.97, 4.24, 4.21
2010 THT Projections: 7.1 K/9, 2.5 K/BB, 3.79 ERA
Shaun Marcum has been cleared medically, and looks healthy. He’s slated—somewhat shockingly—to start opening day and is being taken in only 12.8% of mock drafts. Here’s what we wrote on July 17, none of which has really changed: “Marcum is a strike-thrower (99 BB in 310 IP in 07/08) who allows too many home runs to be a truly top-notch starter. Don’t expect much ERA help, and the IP should be low as he’s coming off an injury, but he could be a nice boost for WHIP in any format and pick up a few wins. “
Carlos Santana | Cleveland | C
2009 Final Stats: .290/.413/.530
2010 THT Projections:: .243/.338/.422
Probably not worth it for 2010, though AL-only 2-catcher leagues would make for enough positional scarcity to consider the upside.
Austin Jackson | Detroit | CF
2009 Final Stats: .300/.354/.405 (AAA)
2010 THT Projections:: .254/.308/.366 – 9 SB
Austin Jackson gets scouts excited a lot more than Statheads, but few in either camp think he’ll be ready to do much in 2010. Detroit is a tough ballpark, and the lineup rates to be weak; look elsewhere.
Rob McQuown is a lifetime Cubs fan, longtime SABR member, and former STATS, Inc. employee. He also writes for Baseball Daily Digest and other sites and can be reached via email (
; baseball email is always welcome) and followed on Twitter (robmcquown).