Tag Archive | "Career Line"

DomonicBrown

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Welcome (Back) to the Bigs, Kid: Domonic Brown

Posted on 02 August 2012 by T.J. McDonald

Tuesday, the day of the MLB trade deadline, the Philadelphia Phillies traded CF Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers fo reliever Josh Lindblom and Double-A pitcher Ethan Martin. In a separate deal also Tuesday, the Phillies then sent RF Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants for RF Nate Schierholtz, Double-A catcher Tommy Joseph and Class A pitcher Seth Rosin. After the trade dusts cleared the Phillies were left with two vacant starting outfield spots, leading to the call up Tuesday of a once heralded and once-top five prospect in all of baseball, Domonic Brown. Making this his third stint in the majors, I will now go on to profile this post hype prospect and his potential value for yearly and keeper/dynasty fantasy leagues.

Domonic Brown is a 24 year old right fielder drafted in the 20th round of the 2006 Major league draft out of Redan High School in Stone Mountain Georgia. Following the draft he planned to attend the University of Miami to play wide receiver on the football team but the the Phillies offered him a $200,000 signing bonus to choose baseball instead, which he ultimately did.  He was ranked as the 48th best prospect by Baseball America in 2009, #15 in 2010 and #4 in 2011.  Baseball America also had him ranked as the Phillies best prospect in 2009, 2010 and 2011. He initially made his major league debut on July 28th 2010 and had another stint in the majors in 2011. In 280 major league ABs he has not met expectations with a career line of .236 with 7 HRs and 32 RBIs.  However in 1989 minor ABs he hit a solid .296 with 58 HR, 106 SBs and a .343 OBP%. He has added left field and center field to his resume and Charlie Manuel said he could see time at all three outfield positions. The initial plan was to have him in the lineup Tuesday night, but a delayed flight out of Syracuse meant he did not arrive until game time. He ended up pinch-hitting, knocking a single up the middle in the eighth inning to improve his batting average to 1.000. He was in the starting lineup Wednesday batting 6th and playing left field. He went 0 for 4.

Now as for his fantasy value, I know a lot of yearly and even some keeper/dynasty league owners may have given up on this once heralded prospect.  However post sleepers come along more frequently than most think. A recent example being Alex Gordon and with Brown only being 24 he has the potential to be the next one. In yearly leagues he is a somewhat a debatable add due to his past disappointing performance at the major league level. However depending on your roster strength and teams needs, he could be a valuable piece to your team for the rest of the season. If you are looking for an outfielder with good speed potential and a high OBP% he is your guy. Due to the open spots left in the Phillies outfield by the departures of Pence and Victorino, Brown should get very solid playing time for the rest of the season. The Phillies will want to know if he is the player they thought they were getting when they drafted him in ’06 and if he fits into their long term plans.  This will lead to him being an everyday player and a possibly a valuable waiver wire add for the stretch run in yearly leagues.

Now for keeper and dynasty leagues, he is a must add.  While he has under performed in the past he will be given every chance to succeed this time around as the Phillies seem to be on the verge of rebuild mode. With everyday playing time and 5 or so weeks left in the fantasy year before playoffs start.  What better time to add Brown let him boost your teams OBP% and steal numbers as well as audition for a potential keeper spot on your team. He is only rostered in 4% of yahoo, 1% of ESPN &  19% of CBS leagues.  While he is still widely available in all leagues strike while the iron is hot. If he goes on a tear in the next week or two his availability will no longer be so widespread.

Will you be picking up Domonic Brown? I did. Or has this once top prospect bright future dimmed to much for your liking?  Let me know in the comments and, as always, follow me on Twitter @FantasyzrTJ for all your fantasy baseball needs.

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The Best in MLB by Position

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The Best in MLB by Position

Posted on 21 June 2012 by Dennis Lawson

Professional hurler of round objects.

One does not simply toss out names randomly when attempting to name the best player in baseball by position.  That is sheer folly.  It would take a number of fans beyond reckoning to determine such a thing by popular vote, and the end result would simply be the outcome of a somewhat predictable popularity contest.  Instead, this goal should be accomplished via a more scientifically acceptable means of quantification.  In this case, I consider both counting stats and advanced statistics in play for this exercise.

Browse through all nine positions using the buttons below.

RF - Carlos Beltran

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RF - Carlos Beltran (Cardinals, Age 35) - The .311/.396/.591/.988 slash line probably comes as a welcome surprise, but the 19 HR and 48 RBI has to be shocking to some.  If Beltran can maintain anything close to his current numbers, he could eclipse his best season based on WAR.  Doing so at age 35 almost makes you wonder what could have been for the oft-injured Beltran.  He only played in roughly 1768 regular season games during the first 14 seasons of his career, and he still managed to make himself the only switch-hitting member of the 300/300 club.

What say you, baseball villagers armed with pitchforks and corked bats?  Agree?  Disagree?  Ready for a verbal/written battle royal to push your pick(s)?  Bring it, because all my picks bring the challengers to the yard.

 

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Bad Bets: Joe Mauer

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Bad Bets: Joe Mauer

Posted on 07 June 2012 by Dennis Lawson

Polamalu and Mauer

The Twins have already paid over $57M to Joe Mauer since he started playing for them in 2004, and the team just reached the 1/3 mark of the 2nd season of the mega-contract that pays Mauer $184M over 8 years.  For approximately the first $30M of the contract extension, Mauer has played in just 134 games and hit .292/.379/.388/.767 with 6 HR and 55 RBI.  Even if Mauer picks up the pace significantly, will this contract turn out to be a bad bet?

Odds certainly appear to be against the 3-time Gold Glove award winner and 1-time American League MVP.  He has played in more than 140 games in a season only once.  Granted, he plays the most physically demanding position on the field, but the Twins have always had the option to play him at DH for a pseudo day off.  If the team wishes to get the best return on its investment in Mauer, perhaps that option needs to come into play more frequently in the future.  While he likely will not post anything quite like the .365/.444/.587/1.031 line he posted in his MVP year of 2008, he could benefit from fewer catching duties.

Keep in mind that Mauer has only hit more than 15 HR in a season once (28 in 2008).  He has a career slugging percentage of .468 and an OPS of .872.  Despite a solid RBI total in 2012 of 25, Mauer’s slash line currently lags his career line just slightly.  His 2012 numbers are .298/.407/.419/.826 which falls well short of his career line of .322/.403/.468/.826.  While the perceived declined could only be a small divot for a guy in his age 29 season, the lack of power numbers has to be a concern.  The Twins have Mauer signed through his age 35 season in 2018, and he needs to deliver more production to earn his $23M per year salary.

That seems quite unlikely, and Mauer’s performance may lead others to question the sagacity of paying a catcher $20M+, unless that catcher hits for power.  If a highly paid catcher does not hit for power, then moving him to 1st base or DH later in his career creates a bit of a power vacuum.  Given the limited upside projections for the Twins’ budget, the thought of Mauer and Justin Morneau eating up $37M a year for both 2012 and 2013 obviously limits the team’s ability to make a splash in free agency or even trade either of the 2 players.

Based on salary constraints and market size, it appears that the Twins have backed themselves into a corner for the near future.  Maybe Mauer will turn out to be worth every penny and then some, but the early returns look shaky.  Granted, hindsight should be something close to 20-20, but some warning signs appeared before the contract extension came to pass.  If you look only at his full seasons from 2005-2010, Mauer averaged just above 5.0 WAR per season which by itself helps make a case for the extension.  However, He only scored 489 runs, hit 75 HR, and drove in 455 during that stretch.

The contract extension was basically structured for a slugging 1B, but it was offered to a catcher who hits for average.  Regardless of where you stand on Mauer’s potential value over the coming years, that generality seems like a bad bet in principle alone.

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DOs and DONTs:  San Diego Padres

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DOs and DONTs: San Diego Padres

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Mark Sherrard

When fantasy leaguers generally think of the San Diego Padres, they think “avoid the hitters and draft the pitchers”, mainly due to the ballpark affect.  However, as with every rule, there are exceptions.

Here is an analysis of the fantasy Do’s and Don’ts and they pertain to the Padres roster:

DO draft Nick Hundley as your primary catcher.  He hit .288/.347/.477 with 9 homeruns in just 281 at bats last year, a pretty good line for about a half season’s work.  If he can duplicate that over an entire season, he could quickly move into the upper echelon of fantasy catchers.

DON’T draft Orlando Hudson.  His numbers have been in steady decline the last 4 years and what little value he provides with his steals (19 in 2011) is offset by everything else.

DO take a chance on Yonder Alonso in the mid-to-late rounds.  He has a career line of .293/.370/.466 in the minors.  While he might not have the power you expect from a first baseman and Petco Park will dampen that even more, he should hit for a good average and a bunch of doubles.  He shouldn’t be your starting first baseman, but would fit well in the corner infielder spot.

DON’T roster Jason Bartlett.  Like Hudson, he is another guy who may give you some steals, but little else.  He will be a drag on your batting average and will not provide you with many runs or rbis, so he is best left for your bench or better yet someone else’s team.

DO expect better things from Cameron Maybin.  After struggling in his first few years in the majors with the Miami Marlins, Maybin finally got an opportunity to really show what he could do and literally ran with it.  He stole 40 bases in his first full year and has the potential to steal even more if he can cut down on his strikeouts and draw a few more walks.  I expect him to top 50 steals this year and add 10-15 homeruns.

DON’T expect much from Carlos Quentin.  He is moving from a hitters park to a pitchers park this season and, after his career year in 2008, has only averaged about 24 homeruns while hitting below .250.  Petco will sap his power and drag down his average even more, making him a player to avoid in mixed leagues and shallow NL only leagues.

I DO like Cory Luebke, a lot.  After spending the first half of the season coming out of the pen, Luebke was outstanding after joining the rotation at the end of June.  With an ERA of 3.29 and 154 strikeouts in 139.2 innings pitched, you would think that Luebke benefited from pitching his home games at Petco.  However, he actually had a better road ERA, 2.55, than his home ERA of 4.04.

I DON’T trust Clayton Richard.  Sure he had a fine 3.88 ERA in 2011, but his lack of strikeouts (just 53 in 99.2 IP) and his 1.42 whip are reasons for concern. Roster him at your own risk.

I DO believe that Tim Stauffer is a product of the Petco effect, but I don’t care.  He had a 2.57 ERA at home and a 4.95 ERA on the road in 2011, but if your league allows you to play matchups, well you know what to do.

DON’T sleep on Andrew Cashner.  He has a power arm and will work as the setup man for Huston Street.  Given Street’s injury history, Cashner would make a good late round pick and could become this year’s Rafael Betancourt.

Finally, given the Padres ballpark, I DO think that the Padres will continue to run.  Six players finished 2011 with double digit steals, including Chase Headley (13), Will Venable (26) and Chris Denorfia (11).  But, at the same time, I DON’T expect much power from any of the Padres hitters.  In 2011, Ryan Ludwick led all Padres with just 11 homeruns and I would be hard pressed to pick a hitter who will top 15 homeruns in 2012.

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DOs And DONTs: Chicago Cubs

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DOs And DONTs: Chicago Cubs

Posted on 11 February 2012 by Mark Sherrard

The Chicago Cubs are in the midst of rebuilding their roster this year, but that does not mean you should overlook them when it comes to building your fantasy team.

Here is a look at the Do’s and Don’ts regarding the Cubs roster and their fantasy impact:

DO draft Starlin Castro.  He is the Cubs star and a fantasy star in the making.  He is still young and has yet to reach his full potential, so I wouldn’t go overboard and take him in the first round. But those of you in keeper leagues need to jump on his bandwagon before his price skyrockets.

DON’T expect a lot of wins from the Cubs pitchers.  Let’s face it, this team is not going to be very good.   They finished 71-91 last year with Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster leading the team with 10 wins apiece.  Do not expect more than 10 wins from any of the Cubs starters.

DO take a chance on Bryan LaHair in the end game or late rounds.  He hit .331/.405/.664 with 38 homeruns in just 456 at bats at AAA Iowa in 2011.  Yes, at 28, he is old, but there have been other late bloomers, such as Casey McGehee and Ryan Ludwick.  After holding his own in 59 at bats with the Cubs late last season, he will be given a chance to prove he belongs.  But, at the same time…

DON’T forget about Anthony Rizzo.  He is the Cubs future at first base and could get a mid-season callup if LaHair does not hit the ground running.  Rizzo struggled in 128 at bats with the Padres last season, hitting only .141/.281/.242.  But he is a career .296/.366/.514 hitter in the minors.

DO look at Tony Campana as a source of cheap speed.  He stole 24 bases in 143 at bats last year and will be used as a 4th or 5th outfielder for the Cubs.  He also showed the ability to hit for average in the minors, posting a career line of .303/.359/.353 .  Just do not expect any power from him.

DON’T be fooled by Darwin Barney.  After hitting .306/.334/.374 in the first half last year, he struggled in the second half, hitting only .238/.286/.328.  There are rumors that the Cubs consider him a utility player and recent addition, Adrian Cardenas, could compete with Barney for the starting second base job this spring.

DO draft Brett Jackson for your reserve or bench.  The Cubs top prospect has 20/20 potential and although he will start at AAA this year, he could get the call should Marlon Byrd or Alfonso Soriano be traded.  His strikeout totals are somewhat concerning, but his ability to draw walks helps to make up for it.

DON’T rely on Carlos Marmol as your main source of saves.  He struggled last year with a 4.01 ERA and has been the subject of trade rumors this offseason.  He could end up as trade bait come July, which means…

DO hedge your bets.  If you draft Marmol, make sure you look at Kerry Wood and/or Jeff Samardzija as a backup plan.  If Marmol is ineffective or traded, one of those two could take his place, with rookie Chris Carpenter as a possible dark horse.

Finally, I DON’T know what to make of Ian Stewart.  Is he the capable of bouncing back after a truly awful 2011 campaign or is he washed up?  The Cubs are hoping that a change of scenery will help him return to form and he might be worth a late round flier.  Just don’t expect much from him and you could be pleasantly surprised.

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