Clayton Kershaw has more Ks than innings. Call me a K whore all you want, but that alone is enough for me to get excited about Kershaw in 2010. Do I need to say more? Probably not, but I will. He’ll be 22 in March of 2010. A 21-year-old who threw a season of a sub-3 ERA season in 170 innings. How’s dem apples? Delicious, right? Yeah, they are. For a long time I’ve been wavering between Kershaw and Max Scherzer. Well, I’m ready to choose one now. They’re both young. (Though Kershaw’s almost four years younger.) They both strike out hitters more than a batter per inning. (Though Kershaw’s a bit better this year.) One sounds like a Brit, one sounds like a Nazi. In the morning, they both go to the local mall and walk with the seniors. Wait, I’m misreading my notes. They walk a lot of batters, not bitties. Kershaw’s walk rate was actually worse than Scherzer. So why am I choosing Kershaw? The Dodgers limited his innings towards the end of the year and the Diamondbacks abused poor Scherzer. In 2008, Scherzer threw 109 innings between the majors and minors. In 2009, he threw 164. That’s a pretty significant jump. Now I’m not saying I’d keep Kershaw over a known hitter commodity, but I would consider keeping him for the 2010 fantasy baseball season. Definitely over Scherzer. Anyway, here’s some more fantasy baseball keepers for 2010:
Psyche! Before we get into that, I wanted to point out a scheduling adjustment. Fridays used to be our weekly Buy/Sell. Well, that’s gone for the offseason and keepers will now be on Friday. As they say in Jamaica — carry on (your head)! Please, blog, may I have some more?
Dexter Fowler had a .394 OBP in almost 1300 minor league at-bats. In his first big league season, he has a .371 OBP (through whenever I wrote this). I’m focusing on OBP because you’d like to have your speedsters on base… *cough* Taveras *cough* Is Fowler capable of 50+ steals? I suppose, but I wouldn’t count on that. No Sir Ree Bob. (BTW, I like the Urban Dictionary examples for No Sir Ree Bob. I don’t remember that conversation happening between the Iraqi Information Minister and George W. Please, blog, may I have some more?
When in doubt, I like to keep hitters over pitchers, but sometimes pitchers come with such a cheap price tag, you have to take a gander, goose. Ubaldo Jimenez should fit that bill, duck. Gotta look for the sale, man (fish). (Okay, I’ll stop now.) With Jimenez’s average ADP this preseason and his egregious April, I imagine if you own Ubaldo, he’s cheaper than most guys on your team. If you throw out Ubaldo’s April when he gave up 16 earned runs in 19 innings, he has an ERA near-3 on the season. His K-rate has stayed about the same over his career (just south of 8 K/9), but the impressive thing this season is the way he’s been able to cut his walks. Coming into this season, he had around a 4.50 BB/9. That was troubling. This year, however, he has a 3.41 BB/9 while maintaining his Ks. To go along with his Ks and lack of walks is his ability to get opposing hitters to become Sparky Anklebiters, hitting the ball into the dirt. As we know keeping the ball down, striking out guys and not walking (as) many, is a recipe for… Boeuf Bourguignon? Please, blog, may I have some more?
Pablo Sandoval swings at everything. Every. Thing. 25% is around the average that a player will swing outside of the zone. Pablo’s around 43%. The amount he swings at inside the strike zone is around 82%, league average is just off 45%. Thankfully, he makes contact with over 75% of pitches outside the strike zone vs. Please, blog, may I have some more?
What Jake Peavy, Johan Santana, Cole Hamels and Brandon Webb all have in common is obvious. They all belong in the Pitchers Who Shouldn’t Speak At Next Year’s Fantasy Baseball Symposium For Fear Of Being Attacked category. To a certain respect, Ricky Nolasco is right there with them. He came out of the gate looking like a three-legged pony that wore a ribbon sponsored by Elmer’s Glue. The reason why I point out Nolasco as a potential keeper is there’s a good chance someone dropped him in your league when he was sent to the minors, so you might have him for a free round pick or very cheap. If that’s the case, giddy up, pony boy! I like Nolasco’s potential for next year. Through 147 innings, he has a 147/37 K/BB ratio, that’s outstanding. Any time a pitcher is throwing a K an inning and keeping his walks in check, he’s worth considering for next year if you have him on the cheap. He may just be my Wandy for next year, appearing on a majority of my teams. Also, the reason I didn’t like him in the beginning of this year (high innings in 2008) is the reason why he’s now appealing in 2010 (low innings in 2009). Anyway, here’s some more fantasy baseball keepers for 2010:
Joey Votto – He was dealing with some shizz earlier in the year that cost him over a month of the season. So let’s say he had his average month of 5 homers during that month off, then he’d be blowing his 2008 season out of the water and taking that natural step forward many predicted. For a player who will only be 26 next year, don’t be thrown off by the late season tailspin this year. He’s still very capable of being a 30 homer, 10 steal, .300 average 1st baseman. With upside from there. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Before I cover Adam Lind (with words, not a blanket), I want to clear something up about these Thursday keeper posts. I like Lind, but between him and, say, Hanley, it’s no contest. I’m talking about potentially marginal keepers here. Not slam dunks. I could see some people worrying that Lind may not be able to repeat his 2009 season. Contraire, Robespierre. Adam Lind took a while to get going in the majors, but he’s always had this pedigree. In five seasons of the minors, he had a .380 OBP and a .318 average. In his fist full season of the majors where he’s actually seemed to be comfortable, he’s headed for a 30/95/.300 season. Next year, he’ll be 27 and should be able to take a slight step forward. Think 35/110/.310. Also, he’s been batting third a lot recently. If he can get off to a hot start next year like he did this year, he could cement his place in the three hole for the better part of the season, which will help his counting stats. Have You Lost Your Flippin’ Mind predictions for 2010: 100/35/120/.310. No steals, which is a shame, and no great shakes on his eligibility, but those numbers aren’t far off from 2nd round-type numbers. (BTW, you’re reading a fantasy baseball site that alludes to Linda Ronstadt. Don’t you feel dirty?) Anyway, here’s some more fantasy baseball keepers for 2010:
Aaron Hill – Do I smell a theme? Please, blog, may I have some more?
This week we’re starting a new weekly column that will be here every Thursday, it will be all about fantasy baseball keepers. Since many fantasy baseball keeper leagues don’t decide on their keepers until the start of the new season, I figured I’d go over some fantasy baseball keepers from now until next spring. These aren’t guys that are obviously keepers. You won’t find Hanley or Pujols here. These are guys that you might be able to grab in deep leagues and hold onto for next year on the cheap. Who doesn’t love a bargain?! My dead grandmother loved a bargain. Her death and bargains were in no way related. Filene’s Basement was completely acquitted in that case. Though me and Grandpa we believe. We believe…
I don’t think Neftali Feliz will have much value this year as he’s currently being used. But this isn’t about this year. This is about fantasy baseball in the year 2010, when we’ll be able to take a pill that tastes like a four course dinner. The lack of Neftali Feliz value this year is actually making him even more attractive for next year. The Rangers are going all anti-Dusty up in this mug and limiting Feliz’s innings. In 2008, Feliz threw just over 127 innings. This year he’s on pace for nearly the same amount of innings. Nice. We don’t want him worn out in 2010. I see the worst case scenario being the Rangers hold him down in the minors next year until May. Best case, he’s up from jump street and gives you numbers comparable to Johnny Cueto pre-All-Star Break with more Ks. Please, blog, may I have some more?