Don't be shellfish...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Mark Teixeira, Jose Bautista, Ryan Howard, Miguel Cabrera, Dan Uggla, Adrian Gonzalez, Paul Konerko.

Nice group, yeah? Those are 9 of the 10 leaders in HR from 2009-2011.

Pujols, Fielder, Teixeira, Howard, Cabrera, Uggla.

Listed there are 6 of the 7 players to hit at least 30 HR in every season from 2009 through 2011.

The player not mentioned in both groupings? It’s this week’s Creeper, Mark Reynolds. His 113 HR from 2009-2011 place him 3rd (!) in all of baseball during that stretch, and yet he’s only owned in 47% of ESPN leagues and 51% of Yahoo leagues as of Sunday (!!). While his level of ownership is higher than most players detailed in these writeups, the criteria for the column are players who are underowned and primed for a big week. A 3B with perhaps the biggest power bat at the position meets those with ease.

The Orioles have a full week of games at home for week 6 (or 5, depending on league) of the fantasy season, with three of those scheduled against LHP. Matt Harrison and Derek Holland have struggled with RHH in their careers, Holland coughing up 50 of his 57 career HR and allowing twice as many flyballs as he does to same-handed batters, Harrison surrendering 35 of his career 47 HR and also showing a flyball rate that favors righty hitters. The other starter Texas has slated to pitch against Baltimore is Neftali Feliz, who has continued to be a flyball pitcher and has also experienced a drop in his K% since entering the rotation. For the Rays, Matt Moore profiles similarly to Holland and Harrison, a left-hander who is an extreme flyball pitcher against RHH. Jeremy Hellickson has shown improvement in his groundball rate so far this season, but still allows more FB than GB. Dogs in Tampa are thanking James Shields, as he’s burning worms at a 58% clip, but he’s still prone to gopheritis, allowing over 1 HR per 9 innings. With 6 of the 7 pitchers scheduled against the Orioles having issues surrendering flyballs and/or home runs, Camden Yards should see a few baseballs land in the bleachers this week; for years, it has been one of the most generous parks in baseball for HR. Aside from merely having favorable matchups and a great ballpark for the long ball this week, Reynolds has fared quite well facing LHP in his career, launching 45 HR and triple slashing .245/.373/.519 in 640 career AB against them.

Without revealing names, let’s do a quick comparison of the last three seasons:

Player A: .266, 111 HR, 341 RBI, 306 R, 6 SB, .363 OBP, .514 SLG
Player B: .228, 113 HR, 273 RBI, 261 R, 37 SB, .331 OBP, .489 SLG

and just 2011:

Player A: .248, 39 HR, 111 RBI, 90 R, 4 SB, .341 OBP, .494 SLG
Player B: .221, 37 HR, 86 RBI, 84 R, 6 SB, .323 OBP, .483 SLG

Player A is 3rd round pick Mark Teixeira. Mystery Man is … well, that should be obvious by now. But he went in the 15th round on average. As a 3B. Sure, his average was low, but so was his BABIP (.266). If he matched his career BABIP of .309, he’d have sported a slightly less bad .242 AVG. You aren’t getting him for average anyway, but there are some signs he could reach the .240 barrier. He’s making career best contact on swings at pitches in the strike zone – Pitchf/x and Statcorner have him at 6-8% higher than his previous career best, fangraphs less friendly at 1%. Contact rates tend to be reliable by 100 PA, and they suggest his K rate is likely a bit high. He’s swinging at fewer pitches than ever before, and to no surprise he has a career high walk rate of 17%. Mark’s HR/FB ratio is less than half his career average, and with him hitting half of all his batted balls in the air, a return to his 20.7% career clip would leave many paying customers happy.

What better place than Camden Yards? What better time than this week? Mini-Donkey radio, turn that shit up. Even hell may not stop him this week.

  1. I’ve had an eye on Reynolds.

    In a 14-team roto league, I’m in a scrum of the top four teams that’s set off from the rest of the league, but I’m dead last in HR. Some of that is because it’s early season — Votto, Zimmerman, McCutchen, Boesch, and Pedroia (with Chris Young on the DL) are all on my roster, and none have hit for much power yet.

    Is it worth trading someone like Bonifacio for Reynolds as a way to bolster my team’s power (I’m in first in SB)? Or with the guys I mentioned already on the roster, do you think I’ll be OK once they start hitting?

    I really hate a BA drag like Reynolds unless it’s from the catcher slot, but with only 25 team homers to date, maybe I need to take the risk….

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
      (link)

      @Enrique, Zimmerman’s shoulder is hurt, and shoulders are bad news for power (can cut and paste with Krispie’s name). I love McCutchen, but he plays in one of the worst parks in baseball for right-handed HR hitters. Can’t count on him, Pedroia or Boesch to hit more than 20 HR, and Votto probably won’t hit much more than 30.

      I’d personally do the trade. Reynolds will crush Bonifacio in RBI, and there’s no guarantee Bonifacio hits any better than .260 himself.

  2. MIke says:
    (link)

    Parra or Allen Craig ROS?
    Standard league
    Thanks!!

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
      (link)

      @MIke, Craig

  3. smog says:
    (link)

    Who would you drop for Reynolds: Ross, Duda, or Chris Davis? (Or maybe Parker, as I could then trade Konerko or Aramis for a starter.) I’m thinking in terms of rest of season here. Thanks in advance!

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
      (link)

      @smog, Parker

  4. Jaime says:
    (link)

    Would you drop either Wigginton or Belt for Reynolds?

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
      (link)

      @Jaime, Yes, unless you’re in a dynasty league and can keep Belt penalty-free forever.

  5. BASH says:
    (link)

    Hey man 12 team H2H
    was offered Mark Reynolds Chris Sale and Drew Stubbs for my Pablo Sandoval Carl Crawford and Gaby Sanchez. I’m leaning towards accept based on the dl uncertainty factor , what do you think?

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
      (link)

      @BASH, I agree

  6. Chipper says:
    (link)

    Drop Lawrie for Reynolds?

  7. Feeding the Abscess

    Feeding the Abscess says:
    (link)

    @Chipper, Jed Lowrie? Yeah I’d do that

    • Chipper says:
      (link)

      @Feeding the Abscess, Brett Lawrie 3B Toronto. ;)

      • Feeding the Abscess

        Feeding the Abscess says:
        (link)

        @Chipper, Hold

  8. EK says:
    (link)

    Bedard or Capuano?

    • chunk says:
      (link)

      @EK, I like Cap, and I think you will too!

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
      (link)

      @EK, If you need Ks go with Bedard. They’re both worth owning

  9. Ryan says:
    (link)

    Allen Craig or Kyle Seager ROS ?
    Standard league
    Thanks!

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
      (link)

      @Ryan, Seager will be in the lineup pretty much everyday. Gotta go with him, even if I hate Seattle’s offense

  10. Ryan says:
    (link)

    Seager or Chris Johnson ROS?
    Have to pick one
    Thanks

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
      (link)

      @Ryan, Seager

      Should mention that if Craig ever gets a starting gig he’s easily better than those two.

Comments are closed.