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Being the fantasy baseball ‘pert I am — ‘perting ain’t easy — I’ve noticed a trend I think I need to address.  There’s a whole lot of what have you done for me lately.  If someone takes a dump in their comforter in 2009, people ignore them for 2010.  If someone is terrible in 2009 and 33 years old then quite possibly they’re on the downturn of their career.  I.e. I’m not writing about Lance Berkman being a fantasy sleeper for 2010.  But when someone is only 23 years old — Chris Davis — then we shouldn’t be so quick to write them off.  Remember how well that did you when you wrote off Carl Crawford in 2009 coming off a poor 2008?  Also, don’t write off someone because they swing more than the creepy guy on Craigslist.  Remember how well that did you when you wrote off Mark Reynolds going into 2009?  Is Chris Davis going to win a batting title in 2010?  It rhymes with soap and it’s spelled nope.  But can Chris Davis be a fantasy sleeper in 2010?

READ THE TITLE!  Whoa, Mr. Caps Lock.  Chillax.  This may only be interesting in a dorky-baseball-stats-are-so-cool-type way, but for batters with 390 at-bats or more, Chris Davis had the 2nd lowest contact rate with 63.2% — for the guy reading over your shoulder who doesn’t know as much as you, that means he swung and missed a crapton.  (A crapton is more than a shizzload, but less than shizzton.)  You know who led the league?  Of course you do.  Mark Reynolds.  Carlos Pena came in third.  So we can see that a hitter can be productive and swing and miss and miss and miss and you get it.  Chris Davis actually showed a better eye in 2009 than in 2008, lowering the amount of pitches he swung at outside the strike zone. I feel your eyes glazing over so I’m going to drop the percentage-thisses and percentage-thats, focusing on the more concrete.  Doode can hit homers.  With a full season, he should reach 30 homers with ease.  The average probably won’t sniff .275, but he can put together a .260 season.  Carlos Pena will probably be drafted about 50 spots before Davis but they’re really not that different and, in fact, Davis is younger and can have a more valuable season.  Am I saying draft Chris Davis in the first ten rounds?  No, but he’s definitely a 2010 fantasy baseball sleeper.

43 Responses

  1. Bristol says:
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    This post is the exact reason why you really need to dig deep in the numbers and percenatges before you start drawing conclusions on a player. At first glance, Chris Davis is a pass, but when you dig deeper you can find the value!

  2. Tony says:
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    is davis eligibily at 3B still or not?

    i’m very glad he was hyped so much last year and i was where i was in the draft because one of my other buddies KNEW he’d have to take him where he did to snipe me, worked out well…. I could really see him performing now this year. Less hype, another year to mature.

    What did bill james predict for him last year? Something like 50 HRs? LOL

  3. Tony says:
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    Anyone interested in a MOCK?

    I joined one for 2pm today at MDC. Its called the “LATE NIGHT DRAFT” dont know why since its in the afternoon? Maybe someone in china set it up?

    I’ll be drafting like its H2H. Even tho its supposed to be 5×5. I dont know how much people REALLY pay attention to that when going in.

    My Team: Art Vandelay

    Hope to see a few razzers in there.

  4. Cain Fan says:
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    Tony’s comments made me curious about James’ projections this yr for Davis, here they are:

    .285 80R 30 HR 91RBI 146K

    he had 150K in 150 less PA in 2008, why would James project him to progress THAT much in 1 year.

    I see it more around .260 70R 25HR 85RBI 185K (he will probably hit 6 or lower for most of the season, no way he gets 80R for texas).

  5. Cain Fan says:
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    Also does anyone know if people have checked James’ projections after the yr is complete. I am curious to see if he is anywhere near as accurate as his stigma portrays.

  6. big o says:
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    davis’ adp’s :
    CM …… 185
    MDC …… 140

    my perception is that people who drafted him last year will , again , keep his value low .
    no one likes to give up their long-shot after only one race .

    also , if vlad joins that line-up , more attention will be drawn to all ranger players .

    it will be interesting to see how davis’ adp changes in the next 2 months .

  7. Bristol says:
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    I am in a POINTS LEAGUE keeper league where we can keep 5 players. The players can be kept for three years at discounted darft positions (meaning if you drafted Pujols in his rookie year in the 23rd, you would get to keep him for the next three years at a 23rd pick).

    I won my league last year, but now have some big decisions to make on which five to keep. Based the on the info that I gave you above, who would be the five that you would keep (I placed their round cost next to the player).

    Carl Crawford (round 4)
    Zack Grienke (round 5)
    Ryan Zimmerman (round 6)
    Javier Vazquez (round 7)
    Chone Figgins (round 14)
    Josh Hamilton (round 19)
    Ben Zobrist (round 24)
    Carlos Gonzalez (round 24)
    Miguel Montero (round 24)
    Jorge De La Rosa (Round 24)
    Yovanni Gallardo (round 24)

  8. Bristol says:
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    @Tony

    When and where is the mock? Can you send a link?

  9. Ian says:
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    Bristol –

    I would say:
    Crawford (2nd round value)
    Zobrist (5th-7th round value)
    Carlos Gonzalez (around 11th-13th round value)
    Gallardo (10th round value)
    Greinke (2nd-3rd round value)

  10. aj says:
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    But can Chris Davis stay in the LINEUP???

    Reynolds does something Davis does not: play 3B. Pena does two things Davis does not: walk, and pick it at 1B.

    If Davis doesn’t draw enough walks or establish defensive value, he will not be in the lineup.

    So my question is, can he do that?

  11. royce! says:
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    Unfortunately, the league I would like to win most counts Ks so unless I can talk them into dropping it as a category, there are a lot of power bats that I need to devalue considerably…

    But enough about me… how many craptons in a shizzload? Even google doesn’t know, which is freaking me out because I thought the internet contained all the world’s wisdom! I suppose that all I need to do is measure the capacity of a shizzloader, but I can’t even find one of those!

    Anyway, thanks for waking up my brain this morning.

  12. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Bristol: Cool, glad it helped.

    @Tony: Someone in China– ha! James predicted 50 homers and 20 steals.

    @Cain Fan: James’s projections are notoriously optimistic. To the point where I think he might want to reevaluate his system.

    @big o: I don’t think Vlad’s addition changes the Rangers lineup perception. Maybe five years ago.

    @Bristol: First, Tony’s mock is at mockdraftcentral.com — Looks like he says 2pm. I’d keep Zimmerman, CarGo, Hamilton, Zobrist and then I can go a few ways. Probably Crawford.

    @aj: Reynolds was platooning with Chad Tracy and Conor Jackson through 2 weeks last year. I’m not saying Davis is a slam dunk, he’s a sleeper. There’s upside in his risk. I do think he should stay in the lineup enough to have the opportunity to succeed.

    @royce!: 3 craptons. No problem.

  13. quimmy says:
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    Question, in my keeper league I have a chance to trade Braun ($37 and 1st rd pick) for Tulo ($9 and a 9th rd pick). Do I trade possibly the best player avail after the big 2? for Tulo who is obviously an insane value at $9 and a 9th rd pick? Thanks in advance.

  14. Critter Nagurski says:
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    What are the chances that the Rangers advance Smoak this year if Davis keeps swinging with his eyes closed for the first two months? It seems like it might wind up depending on if he has more luck with his balls on play than he did last year. This is the reason I”d be worried about drafting him as my primary 1b option. I think you make a convincing argument that his upside warrants a roster spot though, i’ll be looking to see how expensive he is.

  15. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @quimmy: How many teams? I’m asking to gauge how pricey Braun is.

    @Critter Nagurski: I think he’s a better fit at CI than 1B. All sleepers really are better at MIs or CI or UT or 4th or 5th OF. I don’t think we see Smoak until at least midseason.

  16. quimmy says:
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    @grey: 10 Teams – (speaking of relevant positions) we can start 1 SS and 1 MI and 4 OF

  17. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @quimmy: So that’s not that expensive for a 10 team star. I’d keep Braun.

  18. quimmy says:
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    @grey: thank you sir

  19. Mudhens Madness says:
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    Beckham or Stewart in a long term keeper league?

  20. Antrim Warriors says:
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    Grey, your website has provided me with my most informative and entertaining baseball offseason ever. thanks!

  21. Eddy says:
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    What line would you drop for Davis?

  22. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Eddy: 65/28/85/.255/7

  23. Ian says:
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    Interesting that you bring up Berkman. I was thinking he’d have good value at his draft slot this year. I think he could bounce back to a .285/30/100/100 year if he plays 150+ games. Or is that the concern? 33 is aging, but its not that old for a slugging 1B.

  24. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Ian: I’ll touch on him in length during the rankings next week. I will say I have my doubts on the rebound.

  25. big o says:
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    @Grey:
    david freese is apparently going to be the everyday starting 3rd baseman in st. louis .

    i see he posted a .23 in december while operating his acura .

    any projections ?

  26. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: He is an Acura Legend.

  27. GopherDay says:
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    @Grey: @Ian: Coming from a houston fan, the problem with Berkman is that he was just out of shape last season. The years he has been great was when he really worked hard to get in shape. So I’ll be monitering his Spring Training and base whether I draft him or not on that.

  28. Big Mike says:
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    Andre Ethier > Nelson Cruz or vice versa … esp. if you use OBP instead of AVG in 5X5 (which we do).

  29. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: Sir, what are your thoughts regarding Kendrick’s PT this year? On the plus side, with Figgins gone, Izturis may get his time filling in for Wood. On the minus, Scioscia seems to like to occasionally sit Kendrick. PASB Kendrick was pretty well-rounded hitter. I like him. Just don’t like the idea of him sitting once or twice a week. ??

  30. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Simply Fred: Hard to say what his playing time will be. He should get 500 ABs, but Scioscia is one of the more unpredictable managers.

    ******THERE’S A NEW POST FOR FOLLOWUPS*****

  31. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: Yeah, a tough one to get a true read on. Scioscia’s smart, so you would think if Kendrick continues to perform he would sit less. I guess where Kendrick is going in the mock’s, he might be worth that minor risk.

  32. Tony says:
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    @Bristol: sorry i didnt get back, it was at MDC, i posted that but MDC = Mock Draft Central. I’m doing the draft right now, some dufus just took nick blackburn with his second overall pick, gimme a break… Mocks are great but that totally screws things up if someone is going to draft some REtard team… i’ll see how the rest of it goes.

  33. Frank Rizzo says:
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    oh no you don’t. forget that shizz! don’t want him, won’t touch him, he’s a headcase.

  34. curly q. link says:
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    Grey, keeper question. I can keep Ellsbury and give up my 9th round pick, or keep Kendry Morales and give up my 23rd rounder. Which should I do?

  35. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @curly q. link: Damn, tough question. In a vacuum, I’d go for Ellsbury.

  36. curly q. link says:
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    Thanks, that is the way I was leaning. I can keep 1 player from rounds 1-5, and 2 from 6-23, 10 team league. I was torn between braun in the first round and utley in the second, but I figure I’ve got a chance to get braun back, but no way Ut lasts to the second. My later round choices were Ellsbury in the 9th, Tulowitski in the 17th, and Morales in the 23rd. So I would start with Utley, Tulo, and Ellsbury, hope to get braun or a similar power in the 1st, and hope to sneak Morales back in. Where do you see Morales getting drafted?

  37. KMAN says:
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    @Grey – So, if Davis falters would Smoak be the replacement?

  38. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @KMAN: I wouldn’t count on that, but it’s a possibility.

  39. cnote says:
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    Though they do appear in his handbook, Bill James isn’t responsible for coming up with those projections.

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