See if you can guess who this is: After a move to a tougher league, he lowered his ERA by almost two full runs. His FIP was more than a half run lower than his overall ERA. His name is in the title of the post. If you guessed Edwin Jackson, you’re a quick-witted rapscallion. On the Diamondbacks, Jackson’s K/9 was 6.98. On the White Sox, his K/9 was 9.24. In 2009, he was solid on the Tigers. Coming up in the Dodgers’ system (read: NL West), he couldn’t get his act together. What’s up with the contrarian attitude towards pitching in the NL? I don’t have a clue, Professor Plum. If it’s any consolation, he wasn’t so great on the Rays either. Okay, enough of the history lesson, you’re the man now, dog. So what can we expect of Edwin Jackson in 2011 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?Please, blog, may I have some more?
I went over Daniel Hudson for a 2011 fantasy sleeper in my head, then, frequent commenter and occasional contributor, Simply Fred caught my mind’s eye and stole my thoughts like we were in some straight-to-cable, sci-fi movie. I was wearing leather chaps, he was wearing a pith helmet. Definitely weird stuff. Anyway, before I could post this sleeper article, he sent me the following, “In three minor league seasons, Hudson had 310 1/3 IP with a 2.90 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 10.6 K/9. On the D-Backs (ranked starters w/min 60 IP):
1st in the NL in ERA (1.69)
1st in the NL in WHIP (0.84)
1st in the NL in BAA (.183)
27th in the NL in K/9 (7.91)
The twenty-eighth ranked pitcher was Roy Halladay (7.86). Hudson was fantastic at home (1.87 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, .195 BAA). Hudson was untouchable on the road (1.49 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, .168 BAA). He was fabulous against lefties (2.04 ERA, .85 WHIP, .174 BAA). He was untouchable against righties (1.42 ERA, .83 WHIP, .190 BAA).” And that’s Simply Fred stealing my thunder! Actually, it’s not. He just made my life easier. So what can we expect of Daniel Hudson for 2011 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?Please, blog, may I have some more?
You know the Sciosciapath on the top step of the dugout down there in the Los Angeles Suburb of Los Angeles? He loves these players. These Peter Bourjos players. I’d argue — or at least state, as I’m about to do — that he’d give one of ‘these players’ 500 plate appearances even if they’re hitting .220. Erick Aybar saw 589 plate appearances last year just for rolling out of bed and getting to the ballpark on time to walk The Rally Monkey around the grounds so it didn’t shat in Scioscia’s office. To go further, Bourjos’ glove will keep him in the lineup. Like Michael Bay on a movie set, he’ll have his 500 PAs. So when Bill James gives Bourjos 281 plate appearances and 6 homers and 19 steals, I shake my Magic Eight Ball and it says, “My reply is no.” True fact: If Napoli stole 15 bases and hit .240 with zero homers, he would’ve played every day. So what do I think we can expect of Peter Bourjos for 2011 fantasy baseball and why is he a sleeper?Please, blog, may I have some more?
In May, Max Scherzer got dunked in the Triple-A holy Toledo water. Before that spiritual awakening, he had an ERA of 7.29. In 23 starts after that trip, 2.46. Before that trip, a 5.6 K/9. Afterwards, 9.3 K/9. Before, he was hitting 91.8 MPH on the speed gun. After, 93.5 MPH. Before, his fastball was put into play 16.1% of the time. After, 13.7%. Praise the Lord! Scherzer was cured. When he returned from Toledo, the Tigers should have had him punch through one of those life-size, Biggest Loser finale cutouts to fully appreciate the Before and After. You know what year major league pitchers tend to peak? Their third season starting. Know what year Scherzer will be in? His third full season. You old goat, you made me fall in love! Someone get me a handkerchief because I’m going to put it to my forehead and faint. So what can we expect of Max Scherzer in 2011 fantasy baseball?Please, blog, may I have some more?
I have a confession, there’s no easy way to do these sleeper posts. A sleeper in a 15 team league is undraftable in a 10 team league. A sleeper in a 10 team league is muy obviousmente in a 15 team league. Last year, I got some guff for calling Carlos Gonzalez a sleeper because everyone in anything deeper than a 10 team league knew about him. In a ten team league, people were excited to know about him. I mention this because I feel Drew Stubbs is in the same boat this year. Last year, he put up a line of 91/22/77/.255/30. To think a guy who went 22/30 is a sleeper is laughable in some leagues. If you’re in a 15 team league and you don’t know about Drew Stubbs, well, to paraphrase Walter Sobchak, you’re out of your league, Donny. So if you know all about Drew Stubbs, skip ahead to the comments and compliment me on the fullness of my mustache. If you’d like to know why Drew Stubbs is a 2011 fantasy baseball sleeper, read the next paragraph.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I tend to go for safe starters in the front of my staff. Last year, I had F-Her and Oswalt anchoring my pitching staffs. Then I’d grab a guy like Jonathan Sanchez around pick 200 because he had upside. He had downside too. Wild, can’t-hit-the-broad-side-of-a-barn downside. I mention this because Edinson Volquez can have the same downside as Filthy Sanchez. Doesn’t really matter to me. He’s also got the Ks that I crave. If I’m in an Italian movie, the subtitles under my mustache read, “Mama mia, those Ks!” So what can we expect of him in 2011 fantasy baseball?Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yes, I will continue to call Brandon Allen a fantasy sleeper every year until he breaks out. I will also continue to say his name sounds like a furniture store. I’m just having a hard time writing off this mollywhooping, two-hundred and thirty-five pound behemoth that had an OBP of .405 in Triple-A last year. The OBP won’t translate into a great average; he’s more in the Adam Dunn mold. He strikes out, walks and hits homers. There’s even a few surprising steals in his game. That sounds downright donkeyish! No wonder I like him. Since he’ll already be 25 when the 2011 season opens, the D-Backs have to give him his shot soon. They just gotta, man. Seriously, please don’t play Parra or Nady over him. In Triple-A last year, he had 25 homers, 14 steals and a .405 OBP. If that doesn’t get your blood flowing, check your pulse. You might be dead. So what can we expect of Brandon Allen for 2011 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?Please, blog, may I have some more?
If Sean Rodriguez didn’t have 2nd base eligibility, he wouldn’t get this 2011 fantasy sleeper post. Keep that in mind. I like him, but he doesn’t have a secure enough spot in the Rays’ plans to warrant his own post without that eligibility, which, of course, is much prettier at your middle infidel spot. Last year in part-time duty (hehe, I said duty), Rodriguez had a line of 53/9/40/.251/13. Yawn all you want, but that’s in only 343 ABs. There were probably times when you owned him. Say exiting Spring Training (.460 average, .873 SLG) or maybe you owned him from June to August (7 homers, 10 steals in 211 ABs). Maybe you owned him because you remembered he was some kinda Baldwin in the minors — 30 homers and 9 steals in 2009. That woke you up, huh? How about this — in 744 minor league games, he has 127 homers and 104 steals. Before we start gazing into each others’ eyes and whispering sweet-nothings, Sean-Rod put up those numbers in hitter-friendly parks.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Me no happy Ryan Raburn doesn’t have 2nd base eligibility across all formats. He missed starting 20 games at 2nd by two games. Deuces are wild. Or as they say in LA nightclubs, douches are wild. If Leyland wasn’t out having a smoke, Raburn would’ve got those last two games. Switch to Vapor Pro! (Which reminds me… Recently, I went to visit a friend who runs one of these posh rehab clinics — He used to be so much fun! Oh, well.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Alcides Escobar stole 42 bases in 52 attempts in only 109 games in Triple-A in 2009, so what the effin’ eff in the eff hole happened last year? How did he only steal 10 bases in 145 games? Did he mind-meld with Prince Fielder and think he had a four-hundred pound torso? For those of you who have Google, you can see Alcides was a fantasy baseball sleeper last year and he’s going to be one again this year. Alcides had a Speed Score of 6.4. For qualifying players, that’s the highest Speed Score with the lowest stolen base total. The Speed Score of 6.4 sits right between The Dread Pirate at 6.5 (33 steals) and Scott Podsednik at 6.2 (35 steals). In Triple-A, his Speed Score was 8.4. Carl Crawford led the majors last year with a 8.5, Brett Gardner was 2nd with 8.1. Escobar also has no fear of losing playing time because he’s excellent with his glove and he’s now on the peasant Royals. If Web Gems were a category, Alcides would be a two category performer. Right now, SAGNOF! If Alcides Escobar doesn’t steal at least 25 bases next year, my name isn’t Grey “Is This Thing On?” Albright. In 2011, I’m sticking my neck out with a line of 70/3/40/.275/30.Please, blog, may I have some more?