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Fantasy Tips (3/30/2011)

Posted by BaseballHQ on March 30, 2011

What follows are two pieces of sample fantasy advice from Baseball HQ, just like readers would receive during the course of their BHQ subscription. Get a competitive advantage in your league by subscribing today!

Nick Richards: Esmil Rogers was named the Rockies' 5th starter, and you might think 'who cares?' given that he had a 6.13 ERA and 1.667 WHIP last year.  But look deeper and you see part of the cause of those terrible numbers was a batting average on balls in play (BAbip) of .390 (!).  That's such an outlier of a number, you can expect it to return to normal levels.  Given that Rogers had a SO/9 of 8.3 (excellent) and a BB/9 of 3.3 (fine), Rogers has skill.  Take away some of that bad luck from last year where hits that should have been outs became part of his damaging WHIP instead, and you might have a halfway serviceable 5th starter in 2011.  It helps to look deeper than the surface stats to see where those surface stats came from.

Josh Paley: One of the most common questions that we see on a forum is about pricing an injured player for an upcoming season.  Threads that ensue seem to follow the following thinking:

  • What is the value of the player for this year?
  • What do we expect the player to be worth in subsequent years?

So, we look at skills and the player's injury history and the nature of the injury and so on, but we miss a really important item:

A player can have value even he never produces stats for your team if you can trade him.

Consider Chase Utley as a case study.  If you have a league like NFBC, the book price is probably about right and there is considerable downside because of his injury.  However, in a league that has trades, you could acquire Utley at an attractive keeper price with the specific intent of trading him to a rebuilding owner. Because it may be hard to predict what Utley's condition will be a year from now, it may not be that hard to say, "He's a $25 second baseman" to another owner.  Who's to argue?  It's all about that owner's perception.

So, if you can acquire Utley for $10 or less this year, you may have a high likelihood of flipping him for a $25 non-keeper for this year.

4 Responses to “Fantasy Tips (3/30/2011)”

  1. John Autin Says:

    Whenever I see a good K/9 with a high WHIP, I take the K rate with a grain of salt, for two reasons. One, that guy isn't striking out the same percentage of batters faced as someone with the same K/9 but a lower WHIP. Two, the more batters you face, the better your chances of getting to one who are easiest to strike out.

    Additional reasons to be wary of Esmil Rogers:
    -- His 8.3 K/9 in 2010 came in a relatively small sample, 72 IP. His career minor-league K rate is 7.1 K/9 (along with a 1.40 WHIP).
    -- We all know it's easier to compile a high K rate as a reliever than as a starter. Rogers pitched 33.2 innings as a reliever last year, with 9.9 K/9; but as a starter, he averaged 6.8 K/9 in 38.1 IP.

    In sum, I'm not impressed with the quality of this tip.

  2. Doug Says:

    John Autin you are completely on the money. He has a very small sample size to take a shot on. It really is a very high risk very hi reward. He's a dollar player and he may wind up hurting whip and era more than helping. He lacks an out pitch against lefties; they have .363/.411/.481 Maybe a shot on him in NL only leagues but if you don't have any other options or just want to pray for some upside.

    I have my fantasy auction draft tonight. Wish me luck.

  3. John Autin Says:

    Good luck, Doug!

    My only words of fantasy wisdom, learned at great pains over the many years that I did fantasy baseball:
    -- No matter how prepared you are, many things will happen during the draft and during the season that you will kick yourself for not anticipating.
    -- All fantasy outcomes are 99% luck ... even when you win.

  4. Mr. Dave Says:

    The guy I've been all over in fantasy leagues is Brad Emaus. Double digit power/steals in the minors, as well as having more walks than strikeouts. He's not as obscure as he was a week and a half or so when I had my draft, but considering he will be starting for the Mets at second base, not too many people seem to know who he is. If it's late the draft, take a shot on him. He's got a lot more upside than most of the players that would go in the last couple of rounds.