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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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Jeff Weaver Sabermetrics

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Sabermetric Spotlight: Jered Weaver

Posted on 17 August 2012 by Patrick Hayes

Sabermetric Spotlight: Jered Weaver, SP, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The Reason -

Being located in the Eastern Time Zone of the US, updates on pitchers not named Felix Hernandez are slow to arrive. Whispers of Jered Weaver’s stellar year have been beginning to creep into media and radio broadcasts of games I listen to, of course after the mention of the phenom, Mike Trout. If you happen to of forgotten, Weaver through a no-no against the Minnesota Twins on May 2nd (I know I did) and also has spent some time on the DL in early June. With all that said, having fallen in love with SoCal each time I visit, I thought it would be the perfect time to look into Jered’s year and see what all this fuss is about.

Jared Weaver Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Basic Numbers -

Since Jered finished 5th in the AL Cy Young in 2010 and 2nd in 2011, lets toss those numbers in with this year for comparison purposes.

Jared Weavers Basic Pitching Stats

Why hello continued progression. A steady ERA drop of almost .8 in two years is quite incredible, especially when starting at 3.01 and tossing in the American League. It’s fairly obvious that his DL stint will hurt the overall height of some of his numbers, but even so, this man has been consistent as can be the past 2+ years. Walks and strikeouts are both down, but I can deal with that when he rattles off 9 consecutive decisions that result in a win (yeah yeah, I hate W-L, I know). While on the subject, I’m curious of the run support he had in 2010, those are Felix Hernandez type numbers!

Sabermetrics -

Since it’s shark week, I wish there was a Saber Shark, so I googled it. Bad idea, someones OK Cupid account, ha. Charty:


Besides HR/9, every single one of the stats in the upper portion of the graph have fallen from the past year. He has pin point control, that much is evident. While the K/9 of 6.91 isn’t what you were expecting this year on your fantasy team, the lower BAA (.196) and WHIP (.92) more than make up for it.

Staying in theme so far, Jered just keeps the ball down in the zone, plain and simple. GB% is up almost 5% to 37.3%, while FB% is down just under 7% to 41.5%. With the increase in ground-balls, its shocking to see that the batting average has gone down too, he has been a bit on the lucky side with a .225 BABIP, credit the above-par Angels defense for this (One can only imagine what Verlander’s numbers would be with a ranging defense behind him, anyway). Taking a look at his SIERRA numbers for the past few years, he has been out performing expectations of the statistical story, but this year takes it to new heights.

Pitch Types and Speed -

What has he done to reel in his control? Throwing his two-seamer (27.1% up 8% from 2011) almost as much as his four-seamer (28.5%) is one. To counter this, the slider (down to 12.5% from 18.2%) and change-up (13.1% from 15.9%) are each being thrown less. Velocities on all pitchers have remained just about the same, Jered’s arsenal is sick!

As you may have guessed, Weaver is throwing into contact more often. When a pitch is thrown for a strike, contact is made 88.6% of the time this year, up from 79.7% in 2010 and 84.8% in 2011. None of his other numbers really have changed dramatically, and quite honestly, I get a sense that he has been a boring pitcher to watch this year, which isn’t a bad thing. Pitches being swung and missed on have decreased, as well as his first pitch strikes, he is dictating what transpires in the game, bottom line.

Forward Looking -

His next three starts are against AL East teams in the Rays, at Fenway for those BoSox, then home vs Boston. A proverbial showdown for the Cy Young could go down on Sunday, September 9th when the Detroit Tigers are in town. Justin Verlander and Jered are both throwing tomorrow night, so lets hope that everything works out in our favor. Needless to say, the road isn’t an easy one, and if Jered wants that Cy Young, he will have to be clutch down the stretch.

Fantasy Analysis -

Jered is not the strikeout machine that he was in 2010, but he has been A++ in batting average against and WHIP. Oh and those wins don’t hurt either. He good, keep him.

Did You Know? -

Weaver is on the cover of MVP 07: NCAA Baseball, in his college uniform.

Jared Weaver No Hitter Face

Conclusion and Projection -

After having time to let the story waft its way to me, I’m not shocked that Jered’s year isn’t one of national relevance. He isn’t doing anything overwhelmingly sexy, he is just dominating with control and defense. Could a bit of a regression be coming? Perhaps, but not too likely, even with the difficult upcoming schedule IMO. The inquiry when I started revolved around the AL CY Young talk, and you can’t dismiss it. I do think the DL stint might play a minor, minor factor, but if he didn’t win it the past two years, I feel like that this year may finally be his time. Just not of the unanimous variety.

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

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R.A. Dickey, New York Mets, sell his stock!

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Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch: R.A Dickey…Buy?

Posted on 23 July 2012 by Patrick Hayes

Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch – R.A. Dickey, Tommy Milone and Yovani Gallardo

Welcome back to another edition of Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch. This week I am featuring three starting pitchers who have had varying levels of success in this 2012 year. I want to prefix by making note that I currently do not own any of these three, but I wish I did for the reasons below. On with the stock watch!

R.A. Dickey – SP, New York Mets

R.A.  Dickey, New York Mets, sell his stock!

#2 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for SPs

R.A. (Robert Allen, in case you were wondering) has been one of the most surprising and intriguing stories of the year thus far. With an ADP of 298, he has been your waiver-wire goldmine to date. His WAR ranks 5th of SPs at 3.4, t-1st for wins with 13, ERA of 2.84 for 10th and a WHIP of 1.01 for 5th overall. Needless to say, he has been stellar thus far.

On the flip side, his season K/9 of 8.91 is considerably higher than his career average of 6.01 which indicates he is playing with house money at this point. His last 34 1/3 IP have been of the rocky-road variety, and I’m not talking about the delicious ice cream. Yielding 20 Earned Runs in his last five appearances (ERA of 5.24, WHIP of 1.37), it seems that a switch may have been flipped. Couple this with the atrocious Mets defense and an ugly skid of losing 9 in 10 games and you are left with a glimpse of reality that doesn’t have a favorable future. Now is the perfect time to include him in a trade to an owner that will gobble up his stats so far this year while hoping the past few outings are just a hiccup in a stellar year.

My verdict: Perfect Sell High Candidate

Tommy Milone – SP, Oakland Athletics

Tommy  Milone, Oakland A's, buy this pitcher!

#29 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for SPs

Tommy Milone on the other hand, has been stellar of late. In his last 32 IP he has only walked two batters, while striking out 34 and yielding four earned runs. He also has been a key ingredient to Oakland’s still-baffling success this year. While he doesn’t fair quite so well outside of The Coliseum (5.69 to .91 road to home ERA), his BABIP is down this year to .282, which is closer to his career average. However, four of his next six starts will be at home.

Bottom line, I love how he isn’t giving many free passes to base runners and being effective in his outings (could throwing his change-up more often be part of this reason?). Don’t expect him to fan 10 each time he goes out, just like he did versus the Yankees, but play him with confidence knowing that you will get six of seven innings pitched while giving up a few hits, but your ERA and WHIP will be lower because of it. In my eyes, he would be a good player to secondarily target in part of a bigger trade, or while positioning yourself next year if you are out of the playoffs and are looking for a bargain keeper in dynasty leagues.

My verdict: Buy Low Candidate

Yovani Gallardo – SP, Milwaukee Brewers

Yovani  Gallardo, Milwaukee Brewers, must frustrating pitcher ever?

#40 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for SPs

Mr.Galalrdo has been a frustrating pitcher to many owners throughout the course of this 26 year-old’s career so far. The only consistent aspect to his pitching each year is the inconsistencies, seemingly without reason. This year is more of the same, brilliance one start(7 IP, 14K’s, 4 H, 1 ER vs PIT on July 15th) and then aggravation the next (5 2/3 IP, 1 K, 9 H, 4 ER at CIN on July 21st).

He has all of talent in the world (career K/9 north of 9.05) but continues to struggle with his control (career BB/9 of 3.49). Because of this, he may never grow into the ace pitcher role on any staff, but will always be considered a solid number two option in any rotation. Taking all of this into consideration, he is still a pitcher on your team, but will require patience and tempered expectations. If/when he ever turns that corner and increases his control, you will be glad you have him on your staff.

My verdict: Hold while crossing your arms in anxious angst.

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

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