Tag Archive | "Carlos Quentin"

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Better Late Than Never: Chris Carter, Oakland Athletics

Posted on 14 August 2012 by T.J. McDonald

In Better Late Than Never, I will be profiling 25 year old Oakland A’s post-hype prospect Chris Carter. In this profile I will give you some background on his career in the minors, his past struggles in the majors and his surprising emergence this year at the major league level as well as my recommendation, fantasy-wise, for the rest of the season in yearly and dynasty/keeper leagues. Unlike another famous Cris Carter, where all he did was catch touchdowns, all this Chris Carter does  is hit home runs.

Chris Carter is a 25 year old first basemen for the Oakland Athletics.  He was drafted in the 15th round of the 2005 MLB draft by the Chicago White Sox. During the 2007 offseason Carter was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Carlos Quentin.  Two weeks after he was traded to Arizona, Carter was traded to the Oakland Athletics as part of the package to bring Dan Haren to Arizona.

In four previous stints with the A’s prior to this season, Carter was a major disappointment. Once considered the club’s top prospect, he struggled mightily. In 2010, he hit .186 with 3 Hrs and had 21 strikeouts in 24 major league games.  Then, in  2011, his performance was even worse, hitting just .136 with 0 Hrs and 20 strikeouts in 15 major league games.

However, the tools and talent have always been there. In 2009, he seemed destined to become an impact power hitter. He produced 28 hrs and 115 rbis in 544 at-bats in season, splitting time at both the double-A and triple-A levels and also appeared in the Future Game. In 2010, he produced  31 Hrs and a .258 avg with 94 RBIs in AAA.

While prior to this season, he had never been able put it all together at the major league level, the talent was evident at the minor league level. In his last four minor league seasons, he was good for 122 home runs and 399 RBI.  While putting up good numbers in the minors, he had fallen off most “top prospect lists” and many insiders were beginning to label him a Quad-A player (a Quad-A player is a player is one who has enough talent to dominate in Triple A but continually fails in the Majors). Was this who  Carter was destined to become?

Enter 2012. It now seems he has arrived. The now post-hype prospect has hit . 272 with 10 HRs, 22 RBIs and only 33KS in 103 ABs this season.  While he could still work on lowering his strikeout numbers some, it’s a major improvement from his high K-rate in much less ABs in his short stints in the majors in ’10 and ’11.  Plus, the power is definitely there. His 10 Hrs in only 103 ABS in a pitcher-friendly park is nothing to scoff at. Finally receiving consistent playing time, it looks like the late-blooming  25 year old Chris Carter may have finally arrived.

Now for his fantasy value. Chris Carter is only owned in 5% of Yahoo!, 7% of ESPN and 33% of CBS leagues. While I know his past struggles had him off most fantasy owners radar early in the season, why the reluctance to roster him now, gamers? He has hit 10 HRs in 103 ABs. That’s virtually one home run for every 10 ABs. And with just 28 total hits, 35.7% of them have been home runs.

In comparison, a very disappointing Eric Hosmer has 10 HRs in 408 ABs and is 68% owned in Yahoo leagues. That’s a 63% ownership difference between Hosmer and Carter. I know a lot of ownership levels are based on name alone but if we could all get past what we thought Carter was and see what he is doing and becoming,  he’d be a very valuable pick up and commodity for anyone needing power in general, specifically at the first base position. I understand your trepidation, gamers. I really do. I was leery of picking him up myself but needless to say I finally did and have been reaping the benefits ever since. Now is the time to pick him up. Under 10% owned in Yahoo and ESPN is criminally low.

It has come to the point where he’s in my lineup over guys like Brandon Belt and Yonder Alonso, both with a slightly higher ownership percentages. The one and only thing going forward to keep a close eye on is playing time.  He has played on a regular basis during the month of August and it looks as if the A’s management now realizes they have finally found their first baseman of the future.

I recommend a Chris Carter pick up in all leagues right now and even recommend him as a borderline keeper. If he is fully endorsed as the A’s starting first baseman heading into next spring (which I do expect to happen), I’d then give my full endorsement on keeping him. Keep a very close eye on this situation next spring.

In summary, it looks like Carter is reaching his full potential this year and, with his low ownership numbers, is out there for the taking in all leagues. While it may have taken him longer than most highly-rated prospects to finally become a fantasy factor, like they say, “It’s better late than never”.

Will you be picking up Chris Carter or have you already? Do you feel he is finally for real and here to stay or are you still not buying into him? 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 Hump Day Look See – The Friday Edition!

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The Hump Day Look See – The Friday Edition!

Posted on 08 June 2012 by J. Ellet Lambie

The Hump Day Look See is your weekly Wednesday foray into all things fantasy baseball. Sneaky stat lines, rapid risers, trends and tricks to help maximize your roster are all celebrated here. Equal parts analysis and common sense with a splash of humor, served fresh every Wednesday morning right here on Full Spectrum Baseball.

Well kids, I’m a little tardy this week, but we’re back to get you through your fantasy weekend with the adds & drops and diamonds in the rough. As with the actual baseball season, it’s reaching the point where it isn’t early anymore, and you need to sure up your lineups and rotations for the long haul.

We’ve seen enough to have a better feel for who’s real, and who isn’t. Sure, the odd mid-season star will emerge, but odds are he’s already made some noise at one point. The flashes in the pan have mostly sizzled out, the Mike Trout‘s and Bryce Harper‘s of the world are on big league rosters and playing everyday. So who’s movin and groovin the last two weeks? Glad you asked.

Top 10 Added Hitters in ESPN Standard Leagues – Last 14 Days:

Player % Add/Drop % owned Notes
Dexter Fowler COL – OF +62 97.8 Loads of talent, starting to materialize. Power has been above projections. You likely missed your window, but if he’s out there, make him yours.
Justin Smoak SEA – 1B +47.1 53.6 5 HR, 14 RBI in in his last 15. Smoakamotive is picking up steam in a big way. Still available in nearly 1/2 of leagues.
Gordon Beckham +40.9 53.4 On a 10 game hitting streak, 16-47 with 3 HR in that span. Tread lightly here, Beckham isn’t known for long-term consistency.
Carlos Quentin SD – OF +35 96.5 .481 with 5 bombs in his last 15. He’s a serious trade candidate next month, watch where he lands. IF he stays healthy, he’ll be key.
Quintin Berry DET – OF +29.8 33.5 27 yr old career Minor Leaguer found work with Austin Jackson hurt, has played his way into a job elsewhere in the outfield even after AJAX comes back.
Michael Brantley CLE – OF +28.5 78.5 #10 last week, 16 hits, 14 RBI and 3 steals in his last 15 games. He has the tools, won’t be under the radar much longer.
Paul Goldschmidt ARI – 1B +26.6 61.7 Kid has some serious power, 5 HR in his last 15 including a 481 ft bomb. Keep an eye on his platoon situation.
Allen Craig STL – OF/1B +26.1 93.8 Picked up where he left off upon returning from the DL. Dual eligibility and everyday playing time make him the real deal.
Jared Saltalamacchia BOS – C +23.1 49 Still sitting against lefties, still mashing against righties. .294 with 4 HR, 8 RBI in last 15.
Marco Scutaro COL – SS/2B +17.9 68.7 Steady and versatile across 5 categories with dual eligibility, 3 of his 6 steals in his last 15 games.

 

And the Yang of failure, also known as the 10 most dropped:

 

Andy Dirks DET – OF (DL) -70.1 19.4 Hit the DL at the worst possible time, but expected to return 6/15 after minimum stay. Kid can hit, and will.
Nick Markakis BAL – OF (DL) -34.5 65.5 Still 2-3 weeks away from returning (wrist surgery), keep him on your watch list. A strong 2nd half very likely in the cards.
Raul Ibanez NYY – OF/DH -27.7 58.2 .229, 0 HR, 3 RBI in his last 15. He ain’t getting younger, but then again, right field in Yankee stadium ain’t getting shorter. Expect the streakiness to continue.
Yonder Alonso SD – 1B/OF -26.3 19.9 Since his 10 game hitting streak ended 5/28 – .143 (7/49) with 3 RBI. Kid has big talent, but still plays for the Padres, and in Petco.
Carlos Lee HOU – 1B/OF (DL) -13.6 61.4 Eligible to return 6/18, unsure if he will. Should get healthy just in time to be traded.
Alex Avila DET – C (DL) -20.9 62.2 Tight hamstring shut him down, been banged up all year. Expect a minimum stay and a strong bat upon return. Was making solid contact to the gaps before his hiatus.
Brennan Boesch DET – OF -20.2 34.7 Has looked lost lately, 8-49 with 0 HR in his last 15. Might lose his starting job with Quintin Berry emerging.
Elliot Johnson TB – SS -18.8 10.3 Was a high riser, now with 5 hits since May 25th he’s just another middle infielder to shrug your shoulders over. Minimal power, XBH, RBI – you can do better.
Luke Scott TB – DH/OF -18.2 60.2 1 HR in his last 15, and let’s face it – if he’s not hitting bombs and driving in runs, he’s about useless.
Mitch Moreland TEX – 1B/OF -16.2 71 Had 2 hits last night, which doubled his total for the previous 10 games – enough said.

It’s garage sale season, and boy do I love me some bargains! Here’s the equivalent of a $1 alarm clock in this week’s   Five Under 50 - five players owned in less than 50% of ESPN standard leagues that can help your roster right now.

Quintin Berry DET – OF 35.4%: Berry became the first Detroit Tiger EVER to score 11 runs in his first 10 games in the bigs. EVER. I didn’t expect that either. He doesn’t have the pedigree, but he has the wheels and has produced in his injury induced audition. I expect he’ll not only stick with the big club, but in the top of the order in front of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. Too bad you don’t record points for defensive gems, or else this kid would be the steal of the century.

Zack Cosart CIN – SS 26.4%: While he’s seen some peaks and valleys, this young man can flat out play. He won’t be straight line consistent, as rookies rarely are, but he provides a versatile set of tools that can enhance your entire 5 x 5. Contact hitter with an eye for the gaps, will swipe his fair share of bags and has some sneaky power. It’s getting warmer in Cincy, and the bandbox is gonna start rocking.

Doug Fister DET – SP 45.5%: He technically can’t help your team right now, as he’s still about a week away from rejoining the team (DL oblique strain). However, he’s out there in more than 1/2 of leagues and has dynamite stuff. He could return to the hill as soon as June 13. Remove his 2 outings impacted by injury and what do you have? 4 quality starts, 19/6 K/BB ratio. Twisted Fister was a beast in the 2nd half last year, I expect more of the same this time around.

Barry Zito SFG – SP 31.0%: I’m as skeptical as you are. I’ve seen him flounder, I’ve made the jokes. But the numbers are what the numbers are. Find me another guy with an ERA under 3.00 and 5 wins through 66 IP owned in less than 1/3 of leagues. The 39/28 K/BB ratio isn’t great, it ain’t even good, but it isn’t terrible. If he continues to move the ball and throw strikes there’s no reason he can’t continue this little renasaince.

Sergio Romo SFG – RP 20%: 3 saves since June 2nd, and it appears he’ll get the lions share of opportunities for now at least. 23 K’s in 16.2 innings pitched with a 0.54 ERA and 0.78 WHIP. Nursing a sublexed knee, but seems to be available tonight and going forward.

J. Ellet Lambie covers Fantasy Baseball and Card Collecting for Full Spectrum Baseball, and opines on the Detroit Tigers for Motor City Bengals. You can follow him on twitter @lembeck451. 

 

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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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