Tag Archive | "Matt Wieters"

I’m in dead last place – Help me Wilin Rosario….

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I’m in dead last place – Help me Wilin Rosario….

Posted on 06 May 2013 by Trish Vignola

… you’re my only hope.

Colorado Rockies' Wilin Rosario (20) celebrates with teammates after hitting a two run homer against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the inning of a baseball game Friday, June 1, 2012 in Denver, Colo.. The Rockies won 13-3. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

I’m buried so far in the cellar of my fantasy baseball league there is no hope for resurrecting any semblance of a normal season.

Call me the Houston Astros of the fantasy world.

I do though refuse to back up the truck. I have a few diamonds in the rough that I’m sure members of my league would be dying to get their hands on. One of which is Wilin Rosario.

Using CBSSports.com as a metric, Rosario has averaged me about 16 points a week. In 80 at bats, he’s given me 7 home runs, has a .350 batting average and 19 RBIs. In comparison, Josh Hamilton has given me 2 home runs, has a .202 batting average and 9 RBIs in 104 at bats. Matt Wieters, who I was totally expecting to be my “starting catcher”, has give me 4 home runs, has a .214 batting average and 13 RBIs.

Rosario has shown some speed, for a catcher. On the 10th, he went 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored. He also stole his first two bases against the Giants. “I can run a little bit, and I take advantage,” Rosario told MLB.com. “Sometimes they get a little comfortable on the mound, and I get the advantage.” Rosario stole just four bases in 117 games last season. CBSSports.com reports that Rosario sees himself surpassing that number this year. “I don’t know, because the year, it’s just starting right now,” Rosario said. “Maybe 10. Maybe nine.” He might be joking; nonetheless, it cannot be denied that Rosario has gotten a pretty good start to the season this year.

His defense has improved as well. It was on display against the Padres on the 14th. He hit his 4th home run of the season that saturday, culminating in a 4-for-5 day. He drove in three runs and scored one himself. He threw out the only base runner trying to steal against him in a 9-5 win. The day before, Rosario threw out two runners. By the 14th, Rosario caught five of the first seven base runners attempting to steal a base against him this season. “That’s one of the best experiences I can have,” Rosario told MLB.com prior to that game. “I want to be a winner. Not every time are you going to hit. The only thing you can control is your glove — catching everything, blocking balls, stopping runners.”

A draw back to Rosario’s offense is his horrific strikeout ratio. On the 18th, Rosario went 1 for 5 in his team’s 11-3 win over the Mets. He drove in two runs and scored one. He also struck out twice, giving him 15 strikeouts in 46 at-bats at that point. Wilin Rosario leads all NL catchers in strikeouts. If Rosario can keep his strikeouts to a minimum and if his defense can keep him in the starting lineup, he will be a diamond in a rough for your fantasy league. If he tires out early, I’m just going to go bury my laptop in the backyard.

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10 Bargains in the Playoffs

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10 Bargains in the Playoffs

Posted on 04 October 2012 by Dennis Lawson

Cha-ching!

Spending big money on player contracts comes with no guarantee of success or even an assurance that the money will be well spent.  In some cases going big pays off (see “Yankees”), and for some teams the “less is more approach” pays off just as well (see “Athletics”).  Regardless of how much a team spends or how it distributes the spending, every team that makes the playoffs has at least 1 player turning in a big money performance for a fraction of the cost.  So, here I pay tribute to those who overproduce despite being underpaid.  Here are 10 of the “Biggest Bangs for Your Buck” players.

New York Yankees – $209,792,900 total payroll commitments.  For a lot of teams a $10M deal for a single season represents a huge chunk, but the Yankees do not fall into the category of “a lot of teams”.  The team certainly must appreciate the production from big money guys like C.C. Sabathia, Derek Jeter, and Robinson Cano, but they fall well short of Hiroki Kuroda in the “biggest bang for your buck” (BBFYB) category.  Kuroda has given the team a 3.34 ERA over 32 starts which works out to $2M per 1 WAR.  In Bronx Bomber terminology, Kuroda gives them a Sabathia season at less than half the cost of Sabathia.

Detroit Tigers – $133,475,000.  It might be difficult to stand out with Justin Verlander on the roster, but Austin Jackson sticks out like a sore thumb this season.  Giving a team a .298/.376/.476/.852 line with 16 HR, 65 RBI, a 130 OPS+, and outstanding defense at the same time will do that for a guy.  A 5.2 WAR season for just $500K?  Definitely.

Texas Rangers – $120,836,000.  Tempted to think of David Murphy or Alexi Ogando for this one?  Sure, but the unsung hero for the Rangers has been Craig Gentry.  Gentry’s career year at age 30 this season certainly has helped keep the team in contention.  His line of .302/.379/.479/.858 with 15 HR and 59 RBI comes with an extremely reasonable price tag of $484.3K.

Baltimore Orioles – $84,102,333.  Matt Wieters deserves this recognition both for his performance and his handling of the pitching staff.  Consider it a small miracle that the Orioles have a staff ERA of 3.89 in baseball’s most competitive division.  Producing 3.2 WAR for $500K would be sufficient to win the BBFYB award, though.

Oakland A’s – $52,873,000.  You might think it difficult to pick out a BBFYB winner on a team full of underpaid talent.  Josh Reddick makes the decision quite easy, though.  4.5 WAR for $485K makes it a no-brainer, and I’m all about not using more brain power than necessary.

San Francisco Giants – $131,355,298.  Buster Posey definitely belongs in the MVP conversation, but he already owns the BBFYB title for the Giants.  He leads the NL with 7.2 WAR for a measly $615K.  Too bad for the Giants he reaches arbitration eligibility after this season, because that salary number should increase an awful lot.  With a substantial raise, Posey will likely lose that BBFYB title, but that is a good problem to have.

St Louis Cardinals – $111,858,500.  Up until a few weeks ago, the reigning World Series MVP, David Freese, had the Biggest Bang for your Buck title sewn up.  Then Pete Kozma happened.  Kozma has given the Cardinals 1.1 WAR in just 25 games (79 PAs).  Considering that he makes the minimum and wasn’t expected to contribute at a Major League level this season, he edges out Freese just slightly.

Atlanta Braves – $93,529,667.  The Braves have at least 3 legitimate candidates in this race.  Jason Heyward and Craig Kimbrel are worthy, but Kris Medlen has just been unreal.  Going 10-1 merits attention in just about any situation, but doing so over the 2nd half of the season when some teams fall of the pace is like a jolt of adrenaline.  From his 1.57 ERA to his 4.2 WAR, Medlen has proven himself to be worth far more than the $490K he’s getting paid.

Cincinnati Reds – $87,826,167.  Flip and coin between Todd Frazier and Zack Cozart.  You really can’t go wrong with either one.  Frazier provides the Reds with pretty good corner infield bat.  Cozart gives them a decent bat but a plus defender at shortstop.  Cozart gets the BBFYB nod for being a better all-around player, but both are really good deals at $480K a year.

Most of the aforementioned players get enough media attention that casual fans have probably at least heard of them, but I thought it worth pointing out just how much they produced without breaking the bank.

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Show Me Your “O” Face

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Show Me Your “O” Face

Posted on 13 September 2012 by Dennis Lawson

Office Space FTW!

Your mission (should you choose to accept it) consists of explaining how in the world the Baltimore Orioles reached mid-September with a statistically plausible chance at making the playoffs.  How exactly does a team that ranks 16th in runs scored, 21st in batting average, 23rd in OBP, and 12th in slugging hang with the big bad wolves of the AL East?  More importantly, how can someone explain with a straight face that the same team that sits 18th in ERA, 25th in quality starts, 20th in WHIP, and 16th in batting average against also has a tenuous grip on either the 2nd wild card spot or the division lead?

Without a crack team of researchers (or maybe a team researching crack), one might think such a thing impossible.  Below average pitching combined with sub-par hitting somehow results in a playoff contender.  If a Baseball Urban Dictionary exists somewhere on the interwebs, the Orioles’ team photo must be pictured under the section on “logical incongruity”.  Explain the anomalous nature of this Baltimore beast, or be relegated to watching Golden Girls reruns.

The Orioles have exactly 3 players who have accumulated more than 2.0 oWAR – Adam Jones (4.8 oWAR) and Nick Markakis (2.4 oWAR), and Matt Wieters (2.1 oWAR).  Moreover, Markakis just went down for the season with a broken left thumb.  Of all the players who qualify for MLB’s statistical leader boards, Markakis was the batting average leader for the team at .298.  Total number of qualifying players hitting .300+?  Zero.  After Markakis at .363, the next highest OBP belongs to Adam Jones at .351.  Jones happens to have the highest OPS at .848.  For perspective, the Rangers have 3 players above that OPS mark.

The Orioles have exactly 1 starting pitcher with 10 wins or more, and that happens to be Wei-Yin Chin at 12-9.  The Cardinals have 4 starters at 13 or more wins, and they are struggling to lock down the 2nd wild card position in the NL.  So, exactly how can the O’s success be explained?  Please rationalize how a team can play 11 games ahead of Pythagorean W/L pace.

  • Opportunistic offense:  The team has hit .251/.324/.436/.760 with runners in scoring position which translates to 407 runs scored in 994 opportunities.  By comparison, the Yankees have hit .253/.350/.424/.775 with runners in scoring position, but the Bombers have only pushed across 452 runs despite having 135 more opportunities than the Orioles.
  • Doing just enough:  The Orioles lead the majors in winning percentage in games decided by 1 run with a 25-7 record.
  • Playing a hard 9….10….11:  The Orioles are currently tied with the Nationals for the most wins in extra innings in baseball (12).  The Nationals have gone into bonus baseball 19 times and lost 7.  The Orioles have gone extras just 14 times and lost only twice.  2.  The deuce.  That’s 12-2 when the number of innings hits double digits.
  • Relief work:  Combined ERA for all Baltimore pitchers in relief – 3.15.  That group has accounted for 58 “holds” and 46 saves.  By comparison, the Rangers have the best record in the AL, and their relievers have combined for a 3.29 ERA, 54 holds, and 37 saves.  The difference?  The Orioles have relied on the bullpen for 468.0 innings this season.  The Rangers have used relievers for just 388.1 innings.

Maybe the Orioles can keep it going by getting just enough offense at the right time.  After all, the team has made it 141 games using this not-so-secret formula.  Perhaps maintaining a negative run differential while staying 17 games above .500 will prove unsustainable.  Just don’t let the Orioles know that.  It would be a shame for them to realize how much of an uphill battle they are fighting (and winning).

NOTE: This was written before last night’s walk-off win that pushed the Orioles to 26-7 in games decided by 1 run.

 

 

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2012 Fantasy All-Stars: American League Edition

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2012 Fantasy All-Stars: American League Edition

Posted on 04 July 2012 by Bryan Geary

Mike Trout

The real life All-Star rosters were announced over the weekend, which means it is a great time for us to look at the 2012 Fantasy All-Stars to date. Some things that will be taken into account include: the ESPN Player Rater, Fangraphs leaderboards, average draft position, and my own personal expert (just kidding) analysis. So, without further ado, I present to you the 2012 mid-season fantasy baseball All-Stars for the American League.

Catcher

Real-life pick: Mike Napoli 

Player Rater pick: A.J. Pierzynski

Fangraphs Leaderboard: Joe Mauer

My pick: A.J. Pierzynski

For me, this was a pretty easy decision. While Mauer has certainly had a bounce back year and Matt Wieters has been solid aside from a putrid May, if you are looking at production across the board, Pierzynski has seperated himself from the pack. The 35-year-old catcher has become a power hitter in 2012, with his 14 dingers to date only 4 shy of the career high 18 home runs he hit in 2005. His power spike is evidenced by a ridiculous increase in both his ISO and his HR/FB numbers. In 2012 his ISO of .231 not only ranks 12th in the American League, but it is nearly 100 points higher than his career mark of .142. His HR/FB ratio of 20.3% is more than double his career mark of 8.9%. I have no idea if the power spike is sustainable, but Pierzynski deserves recognition for the awesome first half he has had.

First Base

Real-life pick: Prince Fielder

Player Rater pick: Edwin Encarnacion

Fangraphs Leaderboard: Edwin Encarnacion

My pick: Edwin Encarnacion

This was a very tough decision for me because Paul Konerko has been so good and Encarnacion has only played 31 games at first base this year. But the Blue Jays slugger had to be on my list somewhere, and he did so at the expense of Konerko’s excellent first half. Sorry White Sox fans. Basically, Encarnacion is in the midst of a career year in every sense of the word: he has already set a career high in home runs and is on pace to set career highs in plate appearances, hits, RBI, steals, and walks. His wOBA (weighted on base average) of .397 is 8th in American League. He is also in the top 10 in home runs, RBI, ISO, SLG, and wRC+ (weighted runs created plus). In a word, Encarnacion has been incredible.

Second Base

Real-life pick: Robinson Cano

Player Rater pick: Jason Kipnis

Fangraphs Leaderboard: Robinson Cano

My pick: Jason Kipnis

Another tough decision here, but what may have swayed me is the average draft position: while Cano’s ADP was 7.6, Kipnis’ was 183.3. Cano’s power numbers are undoubtedly more impressive and he would be a deserving selection, but with the value Kipnis owners are getting based on expectations, I had to give him the nod. Another thing that separates Kipnis has been speed. His 19 steals are good for second in the American League behind only Mike Trout. When you pair that type of speed with possible 20-25 home run power, you get a player that is incredibly valuable for fantasy purposes. His overall line of .275/.335/.426 is nothing to scoff at either. It looks like Kipnis has crashed the elite second basemen party, at least for the first half of 2012, and he deserves to be recognized.

Third Base

Real-life pick: Adrian Beltre

Player Rater pick: Edwin Encarnacion

Fangraphs Leaderboard: Brett Lawrie

My pick: Miguel Cabrera

This was an incredibly tough choice. If fantasy leagues had a way to quantify and score defensive contributions, the easy answer would be Beltre. But the reality is that defense does not count here, which means I am giving the nod to Cabrera. One big question coming into the season was whether Cabrera would stay healthy playing a more demanding position. He did nothing to ease the minds of fantasy owners after he took a ball off of the face in Spring Training, but he has been out there every day for the Tigers, doing what he always does. According to his standards, this has actually been a bit of a down year, especially when it comes to getting on base. His walk rate of 8.4% is way down from his 15.7% mark last year, likely due to the addition of Prince Fielder in the Tigers lineup. But when .315/.376/.541 with 16 HR and 62 RBI is a down year, you are looking a potential Hall of Famer.

Shortstop

Real-life pick: Derek Jeter

Player Rater pick: Elvis Andrus

Fangraphs Leaderboard: Elvis Andrus

My pick: Elvis Andrus

I understand why the fans picked Jeter — he has had an excellent year and he is Derek Jeter — but for fantasy purposes he does little for owners outside of average. With Andrus, we are seeing the maturation of young hitter, particularly with his ability to get on base. The key for base stealers, of course, is maintaining a high OBP. Andrus has improved in this area every year of his career and this year he is getting on base at a .381 clip. Though he will never be a source of power, that high OBP means increased chances to steal and to score runs in that high-octane Ranger offense. To me, Andrus is clearly the best shortstop in the American League at this point and not too long from now everyone will start to see that.

Outfield

Real-life picks: Josh Hamilton, Curtis Granderson, Jose Bautista

Player Rater picks: Josh Hamilton, Mike Trout, Adam Jones

Fangraphs Leaderboard: Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton, Adam Jones

My picks: Josh Hamilton, Mike Trout, Jose Bautista

With all due respect to Granderson, Jones, and surprise contenders Mark Trumbo and Josh Reddick, they come up just short for me. The great thing about the three players that I selected is that they have all had a month in which they went absolutely bonkers. Trout’s big month is fresh in our memories, as the 20-year-old hit .372/.419/.531 with 14 steals in June. Bautista also had an insane month of June, going for a .271/.408/.750 mark with 14 home runs. For Hamilton, his big month came in May (though you could argue March/April) when he hit .344/.405/.781 with 12 home runs. All three guys have carried fantasy rosters for an extended period of time, which is not something that you can say about too many players. They are also your respective AL leaders in home runs (Bautista – 26), RBI (Hamilton –  73), and steals (Trout – 22). A pretty impressive group to say the least.

Designated Hitter

Real-life pick: David Ortiz

My pick: David Ortiz

The Player Rater does not have a category for DH-only players and the Fangraphs Leaderboard includes guys like Joe Mauer, so I skipped them here. Besides, this is a pretty easy choice anyway. As much as I love the seasons that Adam Dunn and Billy Butler are having, Ortiz is the clear choice here. He seems to have slimmed down noticeably and as a result he is having perhaps his best season since 2007. He ranks 2nd in the AL in runs (57), 4th in OBP (.397), 6th in home runs (21), 7th in RBI (53), and 12th in average (.305). Ortiz has been a stud across the board this year and ranks 14th overall on the Player Rater, which is a great value consider his ADP was 74.9. What a year it has been for the 36-year-old.

 

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nolan-reimold

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The Waiver Wire: Nolan Reimold

Posted on 23 April 2012 by Daniel Aubain

Baltimore Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold may be one of those early-season waiver finds savvy fantasy baseball owners salivate over grabbing in deeper mixed league formats. Virtually undrafted in most standard formats in ESPN, Yahoo! and CBS leagues, the window of opportunity to grab him off waivers is closing quickly.

Reimold has put up a robust standard 5×5 line of .370/9/5/10/1 in 11 games and is currently riding a 10-game hitting streak since opening the season 0-for-4. He’s missed the last two games with a neck injury but is still worth picking up off waivers if your outfield is in need of a spark. Just be sure not to overreact on which player to drop when deciding whether to pick him up or not. You surely don’t want to bail this early on a highly-ranked player simply off to a slow start.

ESPN’s Player Rater tool currently ranks him 18th overall while Yahoo! ranks him 22nd. His ownership numbers are rising to the tune of 69.7% in ESPN league, 69% in Yahoo! leagues and 80% in CBS leagues. Again, you may have missed your opportunity to pick him up in any quality fantasy baseball league worth participating in but double-check for sure.

Here are some other fantasy baseball players worth a look who may still be available on your league’s waiver wire:

OF Jordan Schafer, Houston Astros: Schafer has produced a .263/13/2/7/6 5×5 line and is worth owning for the stolen base potential alone if your team is lacking in this category already. As long as he stay healthy (big IF), there’s no reason to believe he won’t continue to be the Astros starting center fielder in 2012. His ownership numbers are on the rise to the tune of 54.5% in ESPN leagues, 51% in Yahoo! leagues and 59% in CBS leagues.

C A.J. Pierzynski, Chicago White Sox: Pierzynski has a history of being a decent enough offensive catcher to be owned in most fantasy baseball leagues (career .285 BA with 14 HR per 162 games played), so I was surprised to see how widely available he is this season especially since he’s off to a hot .348/6/4/14/0 start. With all the talk about Yadier Molina and Matt Wieters hot starts, A.J. is actually the 2nd-ranked catcher behind Mike Napoli on ESPN’s Player Rater tool.

SP Bartolo Colon, Oakland Athletics: Colon is off to a hot start with a 3-1 record, 2.63 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and three quality starts. His 6.26 K/9 ratio isn’t much to get excited about unless you look at his 19/2 K/BB ratio. At one point in his last start against the Los Angeles Angels, he threw 38 consecutive strikes. If you’re looking for a pitcher to fill an early-season void on your staff, give Colon a serious look. He’s only owned in 38.8% of ESPN leagues, 55% of Yahoo! leagues and surprisingly, 85% of CBS leagues. Oh, and be ready to bail if things go south quickly.

RP Henry Rodriguez, Washington Nationals: Rodriguez is currently sharing save opportunities with Brad Lidge (yes, THAT Lidge) but it’s hard to imagine that last much longer if Lidge continues to have shaky outings. HROD is now 4-for-4 is save opportunities and hasn’t allowed an earned run in 7.1 innings. Oh, by the way, he’s only allowed one hit and batters are hitting just .o43 against him with 9 strikeouts for a 11.05 K/9 ratio. Negatively, he’s issued six walks in just those 7.1 innings but the overall results are hard to ignore. Grab him now if you are in need of saves and maybe even holds, if your league uses this stat as a scoring category. He’s only owned in 32.7% of ESPN leagues, 55% of Yahoo! leagues and 51% of CBS leagues.

That’s all I have for you now. Be sure to stay aware and active on your leagues waiver wire as this is the time of year owners make foolish decisions on which players to drop when making a move. I was able to grab B.J. Upton in one league just days before he was to be activated from the DL and promptly scooped him up and clipped him in a trade.

Be sure to leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @DJAubain to continue the conversation.

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