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Triple Play: Chris Davis, Carl Crawford, Todd Frazier

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Triple Play: Chris Davis, Carl Crawford, Todd Frazier

Posted on 23 April 2013 by Chris Caylor

Welcome to this week’s Triple Play. Today, we’re covering a blossoming slugger, a resurgent outfielder, an inspiring home run, and more. Off we go:

pujols_angels

Who’s Hot?

Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles

Davis is just continuing to build on his breakout year of 2012, when he finally emerged as the power threat he was expected to be with the Texas Rangers (33 HR, 85 RBI, 75 runs, 121 OPS+). He leads the American League with 7 homers, 21 RBI, 49 total bases and a whopping .845 slugging percentage. Obviously, Davis will not continue this 70 HR-210 RBI pace, but he has developed into the middle-of-the-order force people envisioned when he was with the Rangers. Incidentally, what is the Rangers’ biggest need at the moment? A slugger? Interesting. Perhaps trading a power hitter for a late-inning reliever is a bad idea, particularly when said reliever is no longer even on the team. Oh, and did I mention this is Davis’ Age 27 season? I think a 35 HR-100 RBI-85 run season is not out of the question.

Who’s Not?

American League shortstops

First, it was the Blue Jays’ Jose Reyes with a badly sprained ankle. Then it was the Angels’ Erick Aybar and a bruised heel. Then came word that New York’s Derek Jeter has a new crack in his left ankle and will not return until after the All-Star break. Last, but not least, Cleveland’s Asdrubal Cabrera has missed time with a bruised wrist . The shortstop position was thin the American League to begin with, and has only gotten worse over the past week. It’s not that Jeter, Aybar and Cabrera are dominating fantasy players; it’s the mind-bogglingly massive gap between those players and their replacements on the waiver wire. It’s times like this where guys like Ben Zobrist, Maicer Izturis, and Mike Aviles really start demonstrating their fantasy value. Being able to slide of them over to the shortstop position so you can find a replacement player at a deeper position is highly preferable to picking up someone like Brendan Ryan, Jayson Nix or (gulp!) Ronny Cedeno.

Playing the Name Game

Player A: 2-1, 2.82 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 23 K
Player B: 2-1, 2.82 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 17 K

Player A is the Phillies’ Cliff Lee. Player B is the Rockies’ lefty Jorge De La Rosa. Don’t worry, I’m not going to imply that De La Rosa is as good as Uncle Cliffy. However, I am using them for comparison to illustrate why Rockies fans and fantasy owners are so optimistic about De La Rosa’s start to the season. After losing nearly two seasons following Tommy John surgery, JDLR appears to be fully healthy. The result? How about 17 consecutive scoreless innings spread across his past three starts? That includes a stellar outing this past Saturday night at Coors Field, when he limited Arizona to two hits. His walks are still a concern (after all, not everyone can have Lee’s bullseye control), but De La Rosa has started throwing his nasty slider again. If he can continue to control it, he should continue to have success.

Player A: .274/.333/.500, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 6 SB, 14 runs
Player B: .349/.414/.507, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 SB, 14 runs

Player A is Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates, a current five-category fantasy stud. Player B is the Dodgers’ Carl Crawford. Remember Carl? Back in 2010, he notched this stat line: 19 HR, 90 RBI, 47 SB, 110 runs, .307 avg. A Top-5 player if ever there was one. Then he signed that megabucks deal with Boston and fell off the face of the earth. Last season, the Red Sox shipped him to Los Angeles, glad to be rid of the contract and the ghost of the player they thought they were getting. Part of the problem was injuries, which have now healed. As a result, Crawford is off to a blazing start with the Dodgers, showing flashes of his old five-category-stud self. At 31, he should still be in his prime. As Crawford gets further away from Tommy John surgery, he should get even better.

Random Thoughts

• Following up on the Who’s Not note above, who has been the most productive AL shortstop thus far in 2013? Elvis Andrus? No. J.J. Hardy? Sorry. Jhonny Peralta? Nope, but getting warmer. It is Oakland’s Jed Lowrie, with 3 HR, 14 RBI, 14 runs, and a gaudy early-season .393 average. If he can stay healthy, 15-20 HRs is within reason. That would be fantasy gold in AL-only leagues.

• Going into Sunday’s games, the major-league leader in RBI was Braves outfielder Justin UptonMets catcher John Buck. Yes, that same John Buck who hit 12 homers and drove in 41 in 106 games with the Marlins. He already has seven homers and 22 RBI in 2013.

• Was I right, or was I right? Jackie Bradley Jr. is already back in the minor leagues. Meanwhile, Daniel Nava is sprinting away with the left fielder job in Boston.

• If Angels slugger Albert Pujols is actually admitting that that his left foot is hurting, then I have to believe the pain must be excruciating. The man’s pain tolerance is phenomenal.

• I’m not a big fan of the designated hitter, but one bright side of it is that we get to watch Lance Berkman mashing the ball again. Where would the Rangers be without him?

• They would be in the same boat as the Tampa Bay Rays, who just can’t score.

• The Rockies might be 13-5 after Sunday’s loss to Arizona, but it’s a mirage. Yes, the starters are performing better than expected. Yes, the lineup is battering opposing pitchers into submission. Look out for the warning signs, though. The pitching staff is dead last in the NL in strikeouts. Bullpen newcomer Wilton Lopez has been a disaster (2.14 WHIP, allowing 19 hits per 9 IP). Closer Rafael Betancourt is sporting career-worst ratios in BB/9 and SO/BB. Jhoulys Chacin is already injured. Jeff Francis has been ghastly (8.25 ERA, 2.33 WHIP). The hot start won’t last, folks. Enjoy the Rockies’ stay in first place while it lasts.

• Johnny Gomes has ordered bats with the Boston Marathon victims’ names imprinted on them, along with the words “Boston Strong.” If it’s cheesy and cliché to hope that he hits a home run with the bat, so be it. I hope he does.

• It is impossible not to get a little lump in your throat watching Todd Frazier’s home run against the Marlins last week. Actually, the best part the reaction of Reds bat boy Teddy Kremer. Kremer, you see, is 29 and has Down syndrome. Watching Kremer jubilantly hug Frazier after the home run is one of the most joyous things I’ve seen in quite some time. If you haven’t seen it, you need to look it up and watch it – now. It will brighten your day.

Follow me on Twitter: @ccaylor10

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Triple Play: Who’s Hot/Not, Playing the Name Game, Random Thoughts

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Triple Play: Who’s Hot/Not, Playing the Name Game, Random Thoughts

Posted on 09 April 2013 by Chris Caylor

Welcome to the first edition of Triple Play, a new weekly column in 2013 that combines three features from last season (Who’s Hot/Who’s Not, Playing the Name Game and Random Thoughts). Look for this column on Mondays or Tuesdays throughout the season. Off we go:

Colorado Rockies' Dexter Fowler, right, smiles as he is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after scoring on an RBI-single by Omar Quintanilla in the seventh inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks during a spring training baseball game in Tucson, Ariz., Thursday,  April 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

Who’s Hot: Dexter Fowler, Colorado Rockies

While Chris Davis and Justin Upton have gotten tons of headlines – deservedly so – for their scorching first weeks of 2013, let’s not forget about Fowler, who put together a .370/.413/.852 batting line in the season’s opening week. The Rockies’ center fielder is at that magic age of 27, when so many pro athletes hit their peak, and he is tantalizing fantasy owners with the promise of a breakout season after just one week.

Who’s Not: R.A. Dickey, Toronto Blue Jays

On the flip side is R.A. Dickey, who has not been the ace the Blue Jays expected when they acquired him from the Mets over the winter. The knuckleballer has been battered to the tune of an 8.43 ERA and 1.97 WHIP in his two starts. During his time in New York, Dickey’s ability to avoid walks was perhaps the most impressive aspect of his pitching – especially considering the knuckleball’s unpredictability. So far in 2013, he has walked six hitters in 10 2/3 innings. That has to change, or the boo-birds Dickey heard Sunday will only get louder.

Playing the Name Game

Player A: .391/.423/.696, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 1 SB, 5 runs

Here’s a 2nd baseman who is off to a good start this season, particularly when you consider that he is 34 and had multiple injury issues the past two seasons. In fact, people were wondering if his career was rapidly meeting its end. Perhaps the most encouraging sign of his improved health is the stolen base and the triple he legged out on Opening Day? Got his name yet? Sure you do: it’s Chase Utley of the Phillies.

Player B: .500/.567/1.000, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 7 runs

These stats belong to a shortstop who has always been a good hitter, but has had trouble staying healthy. Troy Tulowitzki? Good guess, but no. This player is on his third team in as many seasons, and all of them now play in the American League. It’s the Athletics’ Jed Lowrie (who started last year for the Astros).

Random Thoughts

 If it weren’t for bad luck, Brian Roberts (and his fantasy owners) would have no luck at all. At age 35, after missing nearly three seasons with his horrible concussion issues and other injuries, Roberts was looking like an above-average option at a tissue paper-thin position in fantasy. So what happens? He strains his right hamstring in the third game of the season and is slated to miss about a month. The Orioles are a fun team to watch. They would be even more fun to watch if Roberts could stay healthy.

 From two grizzled veterans to an overhyped youngster: Jackie Bradley Jr. will be back in the minors by the end of April. He might be a major league talent, but Daniel Nava is the player to own.

 A’s pitcher Dan Straily pitched a beauty Friday night against the Astros, striking out 11 and permitting just three baserunners in 6 2/3 innings. His reward? A ticket back to Triple-A Sacramento so Bartolo Colon can take his place in Oakland’s rotation.

Jeff Samardzija leads the majors with 22 strikeouts after two starts, but the guy is 2nd place is surprising: the Pirates’ A.J. Burnett. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates haven’t scored a run in either of his starts. Yikes (for the Pirates’ offense, not Burnett).

 The Mets took a lot of heat for not making any big-name additions to the team, particularly after trading Dickey to Toronto, but the cupboard is not bare. Matt Harvey, 24, flashed ace-like potential in his debut (10 Ks, three baserunners in seven innings). Outfielder Collin Cowgill can flat-out hit. He will turn 27 this season and won’t even have a better opportunity to seize an everyday job than right now.

 Re: “42” – I haven’t been this pumped to see a sports movie since “Miracle.” After reading how pleased Rachel Robinson is with it, I am more excited than ever to see it. If she thinks the filmmakers did well, then I don’t much care what the critics have to say.

Follow me on Twitter @ccaylor10

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Playing the Name Game: Spring Training edition, Part Two

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Playing the Name Game: Spring Training edition, Part Two

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Chris Caylor

This is the 2nd of a two-part Spring Training edition of Playing the Name Game. In Part 1, I listed some infielders for you to focus on during your AL-only or NL-only drafts or auctions. As a reminder, I am not advocating that Player B is better than Player A; I am simply pointing out some players that may produce elite numbers at a less-than-elite cost. Now, let’s take a look at some pitchers and outfielders:

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista is brushed back by a pitch in the third inning against the New York Yankees in their American League MLB baseball game in Toronto August 23, 2010. Bautista homered on the next pitch.  REUTERS/Fred Thornhill  (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Outfielders

Player A: .303/.371/.510, 22 HR, 85 RBI, 20 SB, 89 R, 119 OPS+

Player B: .283/.373/.441, 16 HR, 67 RBI, 21 SB, 88 R, 131 OPS+

Player A is Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies. Player B is the Reds’ new centerfielder, Shin-Soo Choo. CarGo suffered in 2012, along with the rest of the Rockies (and their fans), clearly missing Troy Tulowitzki to protect him in the lineup. However, it remains questionable whether Gonzalez will reach the mid-30s in home runs again, as he did in 2010. Choo, meanwhile, bounced back from in injury-plagued 2011 season and to post solid numbers for a mediocre Cleveland team. Now that he is leading off for the deep, talented Reds, Choo could post career-high numbers. Projections I have seen have Choo virtually equaling Gonzalez in home runs, stolen bases and batting average, while besting Gonzalez in runs scored. Gonzalez will retain the edge in RBI, but Choo is being drafted 3-4 rounds later and is going for much cheaper in auction leagues.

Player A: .241/.358/.527, 27 HR, 65 RBI, 5 SB, 64 R, 137 OPS+

Player B: .242/.305/.463, 32 HR, 85 RBI, 11 SB, 85 R, 110 OPS+

Player A is Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays. Player B is the Athletics’ Josh Reddick. Joey Bats’ 2012 season was marred by his wrist injury, which disabled him in July and eventually required surgery. Before that, he led the AL in home runs two consecutive seasons. Reddick came out of nowhere to mash 32 homers for the A’s in 2012. At age 26, his prime years are ahead of him. Bautista might – I repeat, might – drop of the 2nd round in some leagues due to fears about his wrist sapping his power stroke, but he won’t fall much further than that. Reddick, meanwhile, is ranked 20+ spots lower in ESPN leagues. Don’t that let deter you. The power is real and still developing. If Reddick played in a park other than the cavernous Oakland dump, he might threaten for the league home run title.

Pitchers

Finally, we come to the pitchers. In over 20 years of playing fantasy baseball, I have found it much more challenging to consistently build a good pitching staff than to construct a strong lineup. Is it because so many pitchers are one wrong pitch away from a trip to the disabled list? Or is it more that many pitchers who succeed one year struggle the next? Or is it something else entirely? Perhaps a combination of all three?

In any event, I subscribe to two theories when it comes to fantasy baseball and pitching: 1) pitchers with a solid WHIP rarely steer you wrong, and 2) do not punt the saves category. That is not to say that you should spend excessively on saves, but judiciously. Example:

Player A: 3-1 W-L, 42 Sv, 116 K, 0.65 WHIP

Player B: 2-1 W-L, 42 Sv, 69 K, 1.16 WHIP

Player A is Craig Kimbrel of the Braves. Player B is Rafael Soriano of the Nationals. Obviously, Kimbrel put together one of the most dominating seasons we have seen from a closer not named Mariano Rivera in many years. If you put aside the staggering difference in strikeouts, however, Kimbrel is not much more valuable than Soriano in standard fantasy baseball leagues. They compiled the same number of saves. The wins total is negligible. Both WHIP ratios are outstanding. But would you rather have Kimbrel (whom you would have to select in the early rounds of a draft or pay Rivera-like prices for at an auction), or would you rather use that early draft pick/big auction money on a starter like Cole Hamels or Johnny Cueto, knowing you can pick up Soriano several rounds later? I’d take the latter.

Player A: 20-5 W-L, 2.81 ERA, 142 K, 1.02 WHIP

Player B: 8-14 W-L, 3.81 ERA, 165 K, 1.28 WHIP

Player A is Jered Weaver of the Angels. Player B is Josh Johnson of the Blue Jays. Weaver has finished in the Top 5 in Cy Young balloting each of the past three seasons. Johnson was acquired as part of that massive trade between Toronto and Miami. Although the transition from NL to AL is typically more difficult for pitchers, that in this case is cancelled out by Johnson moving to a much better team. Forget the win-loss totals from last season; Johnson is still getting plenty of swings and misses when he pitches. Weaver missed almost a month in 2012 with back pain. Johnson is an injury-risk himself, but he is a year younger than Weaver and offers ace-like potential at No. 2 starter value. I’ll take my chances here.

Opening Day is rapidly approaching. If you’re like me and have your draft or auction coming up in the next 7-10 days, I hope this article proves helpful to you.

Follow me on Twitter: @ccaylor10

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Jair Jurrjens And The 2013 Orioles

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Jair Jurrjens And The 2013 Orioles

Posted on 20 February 2013 by Will Emerson

Against all, or at least most,odds the Baltimore Orioles flew on into the playoffs  in 2012. It defied logic really. I mean on paper they had no business being there. They were not picked by, I would go ahead and say anyone, to even finish higher than fifth in the A.L. East, let alone make the playoffs. They even managed to take the New York Yankees to five games in the League Division Series before their season ended.  It was unexplainable to say the least, but it has to now have hopes a bit higher in Baltimore for 2013. Or does it? If anything the 2012 Orioles showed the world , or at the least the part of it that pays attention to baseball, that in baseball just about anything can happen over a 162 game season. As much I may still wonder how exactly the Orioles really got it done in 2012, I am scratching my head at how they are going to get it done in 2013.

JairJurgens

The Orioles have had a very subdued offseason which, to me at least, says that the front office does not see the 2012 season as a fluke. Be that as it may, it can’t hurt to try and improve, especially whilst playing in arguably the toughest overall division in baseball. The other surprise American League playoff team from 2012, the Oakland Athletics, has not made too many eye-popping moves, but they have filled some major holes and look to build on last season. Let’s face it if you were compare the Oriole and Athletic organizations I think you would say Oakland was already in better shape. Now, I am not saying there is anything wrong with not making a big splash in the offseason. It seems, like I said, that the Os front office is thinking they have the pieces pretty much in place to make another playoff run. While it is good to show confidence in your team and all, being realistic can be useful as well. The possible addition of Jair Jurrjens in your rotation is hardly causing league opponents to shake in their cleats

Jurrjens could, if he stays healthy be the newest piece in the Orioles rotation. Wow. Is that supposed to excite Orioles fans? Are they already printing Jurrjens tees, jersey and other knickknacks and tchotchkes? Is a Jurrjens bobblehead already in the works? Okay, okay, I know, I know, there’s no reason to bad mouth Jurrjens. In fact, I do like Jair, but in the same inexplicable way I like Chris Volstad. I don’t necessarily think he is underrated or necessarily good, I just like him. Unfortunately my like does not a good pitcher make. It could be considered low risk high reward, or could it? In the last two seasons he had a K/9 below six and his career high in the majors is 6.65. While his career ERA is a respectable 3.62, his FIP is 3.99 and his xFIP is 4.31. His best xFIP season, which is what I am guessing the Os are hoping for, came in 2008 when he posted a 3.92. Oh, that is also the only season in which he posted a sub four xFIP. Now of course all xFIP does is give us an idea of around where a picther’s true ERA should be not where it will be, so really Baltimore is looking for that incredibly lucky 2.96 ERA Jair posted in 2011. Jurrjens posted that ERA with a 3.99 FIP, but was helped by a .269 BABIP and an 81% LOB, by far his career high. Hey, if he is able to reproduce that kind of luck he will be a great deal. But I am guessing in the A.L. East he will be like me in high school and rarely, if ever, be getting lucky. We may be getting off track a bit here, I mean Jair just needs to be mediocre to be a worthwhile pickup for Baltimore. Jurrjens does not need to be an ace of the staff that’s why they have ummm, uhhh, errr…well, I have no dang idea? Who will anchor the 2013 Orioles rotation, exactly, Wei-Yin Chen?

While he is no Bruce Chen, Wei-Yin did prove serviceable in 2012, but what we can expect from Chen and the rest of the Baltimore rotation in 2013? First off they have eight pitchers, aside from Jurrjens who could start in ’13. Let us take a quick look at those potential SPs and some 2012 numbers.

Brian Matusz – 6-10, 4.87 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 4.38 SIERA, 4.95 xFIP, 7.44 K/9
Tommy Hunter- 7-8, 5.45 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 4.34 SIERA, 4.37 xFIP, 5.18 K/9
Jason Hammel- 8-6, 3.43 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 3.53 SIERA, 3.46 FIP, 8.62 K/9
Wei-Yin Chen- 12-11, 4.02 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 4.14 SIERA, 4.34 xFIP, 7.19 K/9
Zach Britton- 5-3, 5.07 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 4.11 SIERA, 4.05 xFIP, 7.91 K/9
Jake Arrieta- 3-9, 6.20 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 3.59 SIERA, 3.65 xFIP, 8.56 K/9
Chris Tillman- 9-3, 2.93 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 4.17 SIERA, 4.34 xFIP, 6.91 K/9
Miguel Gonzalez- 9-4, 3.25 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 4.40 SIERA, 4.63 xFIP, 6.58 K/9

Wow, take your pick, anyone of them could be your ace, right? Sheesh, only two starters with sub-four xFIPs? On the bright side, other than Tillman and Hammel, everyone else should have better numbers in the future. I mean not much better, but better. Now, you could argue that there was no pitcher really out there that they could go after, although Kyle Lohse is still hanging around. I think Lohse is overrated and not worth whatever he is asking, but he could easily step in and be the ace of this staff. Heck, Ryan Dempster could be the ace of this staff!  Well, clearly it was not really the starting pitchers that got the Orioles to the playoffs in 2012 and why should it be what gets them there in 2013? Their bullpen was what worked for them, right?

Their pen was anchored by Jim Johnson who is a bit overrated because of the 50 plus saves, but rather than get into that now, you can read this. The Os basically used four other relievers in front of JJ and used them a lot! Five relievers threw over 55 innings and four of them threw over 66 innings. Not one of those pitchers had an xFIP under 3.38 and only one of them had a K/9 over eight. Which is fine for starters, but as a high to highish leverage reliever, you should be striking guys out. Wait a minute! Time out! Why am I even harping on their pitching? This a slugging team that will outscore other teams, so the pitching does not have to do much to keep them in games.

The Orioles were sixth in the American League in runs scored in 2012, so they had no trouble getting people across the plate. This was in large part due to the long ball, as they were number two in the league in that category. But is this run scoring sustainable? They do have some promise in their lineup, but can you expect them to duplicate 2012? Take Chris Davis for example. Davis crushed the ball in 2012, socking 33 home runs. This was a career high sure, but totally unforeseen? Well, not entirely, since many people have been waiting awhile for this Chris Davis to make an appearance.  So maybe Davis can do this again. I mean he is only there to slug after all. The amazing thing is Davis did not drive in 100 runs. Not one Oriole did in 2012. It was a balanced attack. Plus they will hopefully get a full season of Manny Machado who is still developing, so they appear to be in good shape with the bats. Their offense should be as good, if not very close to as good as it was in 2012, but is it enough to get back to the playoffs? I would lean towards no. No, it is not enough.

At the very least the Orioles will have to beat out two teams in their own division to dip their toes in the 2013 playoff waters and that in itself is a tall order. Looking at the A.L. East going into 2013, every team in the division should be able to put up runs. Well maybe not the Rays, but they pretty much have the best pitching in the division, maybe the American League, and that will compensate plenty. The Blue Jays, Red Sox, and even the “in-danger” aging Yankees should be able to hit with the Orioles and I would argue that they all have better pitching than Baltimore. At least two teams in the A.L. East are not making the playoffs and I have a feeling the Orioles will be one of those teams. Sorry Baltimore fans, but enjoy Jair Jurrjens bobblehead day!

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Three AL Players To Hate in 2013

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Three AL Players To Hate in 2013

Posted on 18 February 2013 by Patrick Hayes

We all have them, players we despise, that we wish to see fail, and 99% of the time for no apparent rhyme and or reason. That’s what this post is all about today. From a fantasy baseball perspective I’m placing this target on the back of three unsuspecting American League players. As I write this I have no idea who they will end up being, or what reasons I will come up with, but I guarantee that you’ll be with me by the end. Pitchers and batters alike, I’m playing no favorites.

Michael Bourn, Cleveland Indians, OF

bourn

Face it, no one outside of Greater Cleveland wants to see this team do well. Their outfield no consists of three newcomers who were castoffs from their previous teams due to better acquisitions, continually failed expectations or just ugly mugs. Statistically speaking, Bourn sees his greatest success derive from his fleeted feet. He is a motor on the bases, stealing 40+ bases the past 5 years but that’s about it. Michael hits the ball into the ground over 50% of the time and will drive you bananas hoping for some stroke of power to emerge, it never will though. The main reason I’m hating him this year is because he reminds me of an outfielder that Cleveland had in their run in the 1990s, Kenny Lofton.

Jarrod Parker, Oakland Athletics, SP

parker

For starters, the spelling of his name, although unique, provides a solid foundation to build your dislike on. Jarrod is coming off a season in which he was a major contributor to an A’s team that overachieved greatly.  Although he spotted an appealing 3.47 ERA, his BB/9 ratio of 3.13 and is preventing him from reaching another tier of success. He strikes out a decent-ish 6.95 per 9, but face it, his whole repertoire is boring. He and the A’s will lull you to sleep when they play at home and do nothing to add excitement when they are visiting your home ballpark. It’s time for Parker and the A’s to step out of the spotlight and let the Rangers and Angels be the teams that tickle our fancy during the late Autumn Pennant Races this year.

Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees, 1B

bigtex

Picking Mark was a bit of a surprise for me too. On the surface there isn’t too much to hate. He doesn’t cause a ruckus in the clubhouse, he stays out of the media frenzy in the Big Apple and comes off as a “good guy”. However, on the fantasy front, you won’t get anything out of him that resembles his production from a few years ago. His batting average has been a sliver of what it was in 2009 when he hit 39 HRs and batted in 122, hovering below .260 the past three years. Perhaps the short porch in right has become a distraction? Or is it his smug face that just beckons to have you shaking your fist at him? Either way, playing on “America’s Team” provides the deciding factor as to why I’m hating on him this year. This year he will be the second best first baseman playing in New York, Ike Davis, your time is now.

What say you? Do you agree or disagree? Stay tuned for my National League version later this week.

Follow me on twitter: @pf_hayes

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