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Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch – Buys Broken Down

Posted on 17 September 2012 by Patrick Hayes

Oh yeah man!

Finishing up with the reviewing of my predictions of my fantasy stock watch predictions this year concludes with the buys. Starting with the holds, my confidence was high. After looking into the sells, I felt a little disappointed. Now, after digging into the buys, I’m just embarrassed. Let’s get this over with!

My theory of determining on who to go out and get ranged on a few different factors. I looked for players who were a little off the radar, historically finished the year well and that would be obtainable for a small price. Reyes was the only outlier, but he is under-appreciated and has had a silently solid year. With that said, I present you the ranked order of my success and failures.

  1. B.J. Upton – As of July 16, Upton was ranked the 46 overall outfielder according to ESPN’s player rater. Today he sits at 16. In the past 30 days he has nine homers, eight stolen bases and 18 RBI. He isn’t walking much still, but has hit .260 and .255 the past two months, up from where he was at .238 in July. B.J. is the definition of a second half player. My best ‘buy’ selection, by far.
  2. Erick Aybar – Erick was riding a hot streak when I piled on the bandwagon. While he has cooled a tad, he is still batting .352 with seven stolen bases and 18 runs in the past 30 days. Not too bad I say. Especially when he is most likely still a free agent in your league. He lacks power, but is getting on base and filling the stat sheets.
  3. Jose Reyes – On August 6 when I bought Jose’s stock, he was batting .434/.474/.755 in his past 14 games. While that hot streak has cooled, he finished August with .298/.350/.500 and .283/.339/.396 in September. Yes, the power is gone, but he has ten swipes and is still an overlooked impact player.
  4. Brandon Morrow – When I selected Brandon as a buy now player, I felt extremely confident. He was just coming off the DL and was poised to return to his potential. Well since then he has been mediocre at best with 23.1 IP and only 18 k’s. One of his four outings was short and disappointing. Not a great pick but not awful either.
  5. Tommy Milone – Another pitcher who I felt great in buying. Milone was rated the 29th overall SP at the time, but now sits at 40. After the day I declared his stock of value, he went and had three straight bad outings. He then got back on track but was rocked again. His strikeout production has been volatile as well, one game with two, and the next with ten. Definitely not the player he was when I bought. He should have been sold, my mistake.
  6. Clay Buchholz – And then there was Clay. Sticking with the theme of the last two players, I felt as I found a player who had struggled early on and that was finally turning it around. Nope. His ERA, already high at 4.24, has gone up to 4.33. Buccholz pitches late in to games on the regular (7+) but has a habit of allowing four earned runs. Even with these nice extended outings, Clay isn’t striking out more than five per outing. Not the type of performance I had expected. The Red Sox are truly a mess, and so was this selection.
Again, these selections haven’t provided me any justice on who to buy from a fantasy perspective. Perhaps that is why both of my teams have had terrible finishes to the end of the year (I’m stick with coincidences). On the flip side, I hope that my stock watch article have provided you with entertainment and at least assisted on some of your successes. Thanks for following along!

Reactions and opinions are always welcomed. Find me on twitter: @pf_hayes

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buy_sell_hold

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Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch – Sold In Hindsight

Posted on 11 September 2012 by Patrick Hayes

After taking a look last week on the undecided’s, this evening I’ll hopefully be finding out that I sold at the perfect time on six players over the course of two months. These three hitters and three pitchers are all players that I did not have the luxury of having on any of my teams this year, probably helped aid my decision making in cutting ties. Same format as last week (for the most part), here are the players and when I said sayonora.

So it may seem as though I didn’t take too many big risks in determining who I selected, and although that could be a fair-ish argument, these players all have had solid years (for the most part). They were probably bargains when you drafted them, so that played into my criteria on maximizing payout for your investment.

Time to rank them in order of how the selection played out. Just like golf, the lower the number the better and whoever ends up number six, well, you probably missed your window of opportunity by a few weeks. Here we go!

  1. Drew Stubbs – When I visited him on August 6 he was riding a very nice hot streak. Talking to the likes of .362/.415/.660 in the 14 days prior with 4 homers and 5 stolen bases. Since that deciding day I have looked like I know what I’m doing. In the past 30 days from now, Drew is batting .169 in 89 at-bats with 0 homeruns, 2 stolen bases and only five walks. This pick makes me feel good inside.
  2. Starlin Castro – I wrote about Starlin just a few days after he signed a mega contract extension and I predicted gloom for the rest of the year (his slash was .280/.311/.428). Since then, he has been proving me wrong, but only slightly. Castro has started seeing the ball a lot better and has had his average bounce back up to where he normally hits. He hasn’t provided much fantasy stats, other than average, even with hitting .350 for the month of September thus far.
  3. R. A. Dickey – The knuckleballer who stole the attention of the first half of the season. When I decided to push sell, Dickey was in a stretch where he allowed 20 earned runs in his last five appearances. In his last 30 days R.A. has thrown just under 36 innings while allowing 9 earned runs and accumulating 29 strikeouts. Good enough for a 2.27 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. Needless to say, he has been back on track for the most part. Check swinging strike for my decision here.
  4. Ian Desmond – This shortstop, who is having a career year, was in the midst of getting injured and missed some games after I sold on July 16th. Ian was riding a hot streak where he smacked four homers, knocked in nine and had five swipes in his last 15 games. In his last 30 games he is batting .329 with four more homers, 11 RBI and two swipes. Yup, I clearly missed here. And he was a free agent in my league but I passed. I regret both decisions.
  5. Gio Gonzalez – Before I sold on the 27th of August his K/9 was returning to his career average, almost as an indication that the NL has caught on to him. Well, that doesn’t appear to be the case. In his three starts since he has thrown 22 innings, allowed one run and struck out 23. All three of his starts have resulted in wins. He has been clutch down the stretch for the NL East leading Washington Nationals. I whiffed here.
  6. Ryan Dempster – Selling on August 13, just a few starts into his AL stint, I felt real good about this call. His ERA was a low 2.65 but his SIERRA had him at 1.18 higher. Playing in the heat of Texas, I thought this was a no brainer. Well, since then, Ryan has thrown 26 innings in four starts (all leading to wins), struck out 28 and has allowed five earned runs. Dempster is my worst case scenario because of how confident I was, especially after the way he get all pissy when news of being traded to the Braves leaked early. Ugh.

So there you have it. I was actually pretty awful in figuring out who to sell. I hope you didn’t take my advice for all of them, but if you did, hopefully you got some good value in return!

Reactions and opinions are always welcomed. Find me on twitter: @pf_hayes

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Ruth Gehrig hold

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Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch – Holds Reviewed

Posted on 06 September 2012 by Patrick Hayes

Ruth Gehrig hold

Well well, time is rapidly dwindling down in this 2012 year and we have reached the point where I review on my decisions to buy, sell or hold. This week I’ll gloss over all of the “holds” I issued. Since these, in theory, are the less sexy picks and less risky, might as well get them out of the way immediately. First, let us remember the blessed souls I decided to take an indecisive stance with:

Seems like an All-Start lineup for yesteryear, right?

I’ll now rank them in order of performance of falling in line with their “hold” designation. Not sure if this will makes sense, but hey, lets roll with it. One being a great hold (think Kate Upton), six being an awkward hold (think Oprah [?!])

  1. Yovanni Gallardo – He has been rock solid and should have been a buy candidate. Gallardo has assumed ace of the staff with Grienke gone and has posted a 6-1 record since my article posed on July 23. He had two bad outings with seven earned runs each, but bounced back nicely with  a minimum of seven innings pitched in all his wins. The consistency is still a hesitation from deeming him among the elite, maybe in 2013.
  2. Cliff Lee – This pick was pretty much a no-doubter. I mean come on, he had one win heading into my article post on August 13. Since then he notched two more wins vs zero losses with four quality starts. In these 28.1 IP he has struck out 31 and only walked two. Yup, definitely along the lines of his expectations on the year. Be glad to own him down the stretch.
  3. Tim Lincecum – Seems I completely rock the pitchers on this, huh? To be fair Lincecum only had one appearance since my post on August 27, but he was solid, to the tune of 6.1 IP, seven K’s and three walks. It is apparent that Tim still hasn’t completely rediscovered his CY Young caliber, but all signs point to a big sigh of relief. I’m still holding and waiting on him.
  4. Desmond Jennings – Following up his breakthrough 2011 year with shattered dreams. As of August 20 he was batting under .250 and was getting dropped all together in many formats. Since that article he has brought his average above .250 and is hitting .318 in the past 14 days with three homers and two stolen bases. The Rays are heating up as well (think Evan Longoria means anything to this team? Should he be in the MVP discussion?), and Desmond has been a benefit and not a liability along the way. Expect to see the Rays in the postseason (just have that feeling) and we will really see the type of player Jennings will be heading into 2013.
  5. Chase Utley – God bless your heart. You are still out there playing on fragmented knees and glimmers of the golden years. Yes, since August 6 you have had your ups and downs, but of late, it’s mostly down. August was a solid month, but your average on the year has gone down since I posted, but you have hit seven more homers and knocked in 23 (that’s a positive, right?!). You, more than any other, are what you are. Your name in a fantasy lineup still demands glance backs and some fear in opposing managers, however, that luster is almost off as well. Will an off-season of rest help your health? Time will only tell, and the Father is not on your side. (
  6. Justin Upton – You should have sold him when you had the chance this year. Prior to my post on July 16, Justin’s slash line was .264/.351/.393 and today it sits at .271/.350/.405. Still completely lacking sex appeal. The only hope for owners of the younger Upton is that this 2012 year is an outlier and Justin will bounce back in 2013 motivated and rejuvenated. Heck, I might even buy him off you for nickels on the dollar.

In review, I feel pretty good as to the players I picked. A few bounced back big time and some just disappointed. Current day, I would now buy two of them, keep holding two and sell two. What are your thoughts?

Reactions and opinions are always welcomed. Find me on twitter: @pf_hayes

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Tim Lincecum

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Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch – Come on down, Timmy!

Posted on 27 August 2012 by Patrick Hayes

It’s that time again. We are racing towards the end of August (HOLY CRAP) and some fantasy leagues have already started their playoffs. This edition will be the last one with a focus on the current year. Next week (depending on if I push one out for Labor day) I plan on writing with an eye on next year, with an emphasis for keeper leagues. I will also end the year with a recap of how my buy, sell and holds have played out. So that will be neat, eh?

Tim Lincecum – SP, San Francisco Giants

Tim Lincecum

#152 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for SPs

I write this knowing that Lincecum is throwing live on ESPN right now, but I’m not watching (still no cable) so the results shouldn’t be factored into what I’m about to write. Any-who, Timmy has had quite the wild ride of a year. After seeing the wheels completely fall off the train in the first two months with an ERA well north of 5.00, he has regained some of his magic of late. Post All-Star break he has an ERA of 3.10.

So what has changed? Actually, a lot, and not for the better. He is walking more batters (3.5+ BB/9) and is striking out batters less (15.3% from his avg of 22-24%). However, he isn’t giving up the long ball as he was in the first half of the year (HR/FB of 6.3% in August, 17% in July). After seeing these numbers, and knowing that he is allowing a lot of base hits still (30 hits in last 29  2/3 IP), I am still holding him. Going in I was solid in buying, but I’ve just changed my mind. He isn’t a keeper for your team next year but he still can provide a boost for your championship run.

My verdict: Hold,  just like that pile of clothes you keep meaning to give to Goodwill.

Gio Gonzalez – SP, Washington Nationals

Gio Gonzalez

#13 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for SPs

Gio Gonzalez started the 2012 year lights out for his new team in the National League. He is a great example of a steal in the draft for where you picked him up at (134 ADP). The first two months saw him have an ERA near 2.00 and fanning batters at a rate in 10+/9. The case could be made that these numbers, along with a BABIP of near .230, that the NL opponents simply haven’t had a chance to adjust to seeing Gio for their first time.

That isn’t the case anymore, hitters are becoming very comfortable with Gio now. His ERA during the early summer months ballooned to above 4.00, but have now regressed to near 3.oo-ish. It seems that the hitters got to Gio the 2nd time through and he as made adjustments to end up somewhere in the middle of the two extremes so far. The downside is that his K/9 rate has fallen to under 8.0 the past two months and his BABIP has rebounded to near the league average. He still is a solid play in all formats and should be inserted into your lineup with confidence, just know that the beginning of the year is a distant past and to have reasonable expectations.

Side note, Gio might have the most hilarious face when he releases the ball out of any pitcher I’ve seen.

My verdict: Selling! His value has maxed out and now is the best time to try and capitalize on it.

Brandon Morrow – SP, Toronto Blue Jays

Brandon Morrow

#51 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for SPs

After a bit of time on the DL, @2morrow23 has only made one appearance, and it was a short one (struck out 7 in 4 2/3 IP). Sure he plays on a team that has been playing with half of its firepower, not to mention completely cemented in the basement of the AL East. That won’t stop me from pursuing him on my team though. When he is on, his K/9 is on the front page of the leaderboard of all MLB. His 2012 year has been a little step back as far as K’s go, but his ERA is sitting nicely at 3.06. He has simply stopped walking as many batters as he used to (2.73/9 down from 3.46/9 in 2011).

If he can remain healthy for the rest of the year he could be a real nice piece to have for your fantasy baseball stretch run. Although I don’t have him right now, I’m mentally placing him on  my targeted list of starting pitchers I like for next year. As far as acquiring him this year, work the health angle with the current owner. His upcoming slate of starts is somewhat favorable too – vs TB, @ BAL and vs SEA. Go and get him!

My verdict: Buy and stash under your bed just like that guitar you purchased but never play.

Reactions and opinions are always welcomed. Find me on twitter: @pf_hayes

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Starlin Castro Chicago Cubs

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Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch: Starlin Castro Must Go

Posted on 20 August 2012 by Patrick Hayes

It’s really interesting writing this Stock Watch update each week. I start off with no clue of who I want to write about. After digging through the data and looking at a few different statistics, the story of what I want to write about lays itself out for me. Getting to this point is a test of patience and gets harder as the weeks progress, especially because the available players to write about dwindle. Adding to the difficulty is that all trade deadlines have passed, so I’m not even sure of the relevancy, but nonetheless, read on for your enjoyment!

Starlin Castro – SS, Chicago Cubs

Starlin  Castro Chicago Cubs

#3 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for SSs

Starlin Castro just signed a hefty contract extension, to the tone of 7 years and $60 million in total. This alone is part of the reason why I’m selling Starlin from this point on. Watching the 9th inning of the game against the Reds yesterday afternoon led me to the other reason. Castro could have scored on a blooper in the outfielder which was booted to the wall but completely ignored the 3rd base coaches windmill motion and stopped, he would have scored easily. To me, from just that one play it was apparent that his head isn’t in the game (for whatever reason) and was enough for me to sell on him. This is a gut instinct pick.

Although holding one of the best names in baseball is a plus, the 2012 year been one of a bit of regression for Starlin Castro. His slash reads .280/.311/.428, down in all three from 2011. He is striking out at a rate north of 15% and is only walking just a clip above 4%. Not the type of numbers that are inspiring at all. He has hit his career high in HRs with 12 and should eclipse last years RBI total of 60 by the end of September. From a fantasy perspective his best asset is the amount of games he plays, and he should continue to get better over the next four years, as he is only 22. Man, the Cubs are bad.

My verdict: Sell immediately like a hot pancake

Erick Aybar – SS, Los Angeles

Erick  Aybar Los Angeles Angels

1# on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for SSs in the past 15 days

Erick Aaybar had just returned from a quick trip to the DL and has been on fire since. Eight multi-hit games since August 6th, in fact. While his year in a whole has been subpar compared to last, this recent hot streak is the perfect time to get on board. His last 14 days have him at a rate of .391/.471/.652 along with 3 HRs and 4 stolen bases.

Although the Angels have been struggling of late, and can’t get a lick of decent pitching, the offense has all the potential to explode at any second. Erick’s .295 BABIP is 10 points lower than his career average of .310, which indicates that the ball could be taking a few more bounces his way. Looking at his career numbers, August is typically his 2nd worst month, so he is bucking that trend as well. September and October see him at a pace of .290, which is just what we want as confidence when we buy him for the stretch run. I feel confident about this one.

Side note, Aybar has some of the best images I’ve seen when searching too. Hilarious.

My verdict: Buy now like a manager special at the grocery store

Desmond Jennings – OF, Tampa Bay Rays

Desmond  Jennings Tampa Bay Rays

 

16# on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for OFs in the last 15 days

Raise your hand if you were suckered into believing the hype on Desmond Jennings last year and ended up keeping him for 2012? My hand is waving hello. The entire year has been one of frustration for owners of Jennings and only lately have we witnessed some of the production we have been salivating for. Hitting .372/.426/.558 in the past 14 days is a breath of fresh air and a glimmer of hope that the production will remain throughout the remainder of the season.

I’m sure you have toyed with the thought of dropping him earlier in the year, especially while he was on the DL, but I have an inkling that the patience will pay off. The Rays are smoking hot right now and will be in the thick of the AL Wild Card race to the end. Desmond is still batting under .250 for the year, so don’t get too confident just yet. Expect another drought or two where the struggles resurface, which is why he is the ideal hold candidate right now. He’s close to becoming a buy but not quite yet.

My verdict: Hold while shaking your head at a frustrating year of aggravation and seeing him get dropped to 7th in the lineup at times.

Reactions and opinions are always welcomed. Find me on twitter: @pf_hayes

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