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Liner notes from the Razzball fantasy baseball meeting:

Grey: Hey Sky, you should do a piece on Chris Johnson.

Sky: Chris Johnson?  Tennessee Titans?  Football season’s over, why exactly would I do that?

Grey: You goof-tard, I’m talking about the Braves’ Chris Johnson.

Sky: The only Chris Johnson I’m familiar with from baseball plays for the Houston Astros.

Grey: You’ve gotta be kidding me…dude, just go back to your fantasy football hidey-hole!

Thankfully we ironed things out.  It’s true, I’ve been playing a little bit of catch up on some off-season moves (BTW, I really did know about CJ playing for the Braves and before that the Dbacks; that joke was ribbed for your pleasure) seeing as I’ve been heading up the Razzball fantasy football side of things for a while now.  That said, now that the season’s over I get to experience the joy that is trying to find a player that you most likely won’t draft and thumb your nose at and I shall ask you the all important question: can you believe it’s not butter?  And once I’m done asking that, I’ll go on to ask whether or not a particular player’s draft day discount is truly accurate or if he/she (can’t forget the former Marlin sisters, Gaby and Anibal Sanchez) are going lower than they should.   It’s with that in mind I’m going to take you on a journey to see if Chris Johnson of the Houston Astros Atlanta Braves is worthy of your draft day consideration.

First off, let’s go over the faults.  Namely Juan Francisco.  These two do truly make an odd platoon pairing given that the weakness for both is LHP (Francisco a career .190 hitter vs them while Johnson is at .255).  Well, maybe I’m still coasting high on my buy call for fantasy football Chris Johnson but I am a bit optimistic about the CJ Chop craze about to hit Atlanta .  Why you ask?  Well given that Juan Francisco could’ve easily held down the fort for Chipper whenever Chipper went down with injury but didn’t – most times they just put Martin Prado at 3rd – there’s a pretty big warning sign that Francisco isn’t the Juan that they want at 3rd, oooh, oooh, oooh.  Of course, none of this talk makes Chris Johnson interesting in and of himself.  For that, we’ve got to get statistical.

To plainly state, I’m not gonna sugarcoat this: Chris Johnson is not amazing.  Heck, over his career he’s been downright boring.  His per-162 game average for HRs over his career is 15, his RBIs 79 and his runs 56.  Someone from Boring, Oregon just called and said, “Even we’re more lively than this schmohawk!”.  But of course, CJ played plenty of his games for a boring baseball team in the Astros, so let’s peer into what he did while playing for a team with at least some modicum of offense.

While with the D-Backs, Chris put up 7 HRs and 35 RBIs in 44 games while hitting 6th or 7th most of the time.  Now extrapolate that over 162 games, you get 25 HRs and 129 RBIs.  Wow, those are awesome numbers!  And before you get excited I can promise you that will never happen!  However, it does support the idea that if you put Chris Johnson in a decent lineup that – even when he’s not the main hitter/primary guy – you could get a decent amount of RBIs and HRs at a fairly cheap price.  How cheap you ask?  Well in recent mocks, he’s going behind Jordan Pacheco of the Rockies.  Yes, the ’5 HRs in 505 plate appearances that plays half his games in Coors who may or may not even be the starting 3rd basemen for the Rockies’ Pacheco.’  That hurts my head.

Now again, I don’t believe you see those extrapolated numbers from CJ this year.  He’s too streaky and he’s not that much of a power hitter.  But what I could see if he hits in the 6th or 7th spot of the Braves lineup is a useful 18-20 HRs and 80 to 90 RBIs so long as he can hit his career .276 average or better.  So is the discount justified?  To this extent it’s not, but I also won’t strongly encourage a drafting of him in regular 10 to 12-team mixed.  Personally, I’m targeting him in my deeper leagues but I’d put him on your radar and wait to see what the first two weeks bring for the regular ones.  He could be one hot streak away from being your fantasy darling or one cold streak away from Juan Fran-whiff-co stealing at-bats away from him.  Or the Titans might try and trade him away since he really hasn’t been the same after that season of toting the ball over 400 times…oops, sorry Grey.  I got my fantasy football in your fantasy baseball again!  And they taste great together.

  1. 2 Giant rings says:
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    I worry that Francisco will win the job if Atl chooses defense over offense at 3rd base. Are you convinced that won’t happen?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Could be but again I ask the question: if Juan is a good choice at 3B for them right now, why wasn’t he when Chipper wasn’t playing last year? Don’t get me wrong, I actually like Francisco even though he’s a free swinger. He’s got pop in his bat but he’s been organizational depth for anyone/everyone his entire career. Would be surprised if ATL finally lets him run with it is all given they had opportunity to let him a bit last year.

    • Braves Fan says:
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      @2 Giant rings:

      Juan Francisco defense???? Whaaaa?

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        Yeah, wasn’t gonna go into it too much being such a small sample size but CJ is a bit of a butcher at 3rd. Might even make Mark Reynolds look good there from time to time.

  2. Wallpaper Paterson says:
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    I once had both Chris Johnsons on my football team. Double Johnson action.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Ha! I think I saw that on the internet once when my wife wasn’t home. I still kept the volume down on low.

  3. Cole says:
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    I assume when you say you are targeting CJ in deeper leagues it’s as a CI or UTL? I certainly don’t have the nads to roll with this guy as my 3B out of the gate.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Nah, like I said at the end: ‘So is the discount justified? To this extent it’s not, but I also won’t strongly encourage a drafting of him in regular 10 to 12-team mixed. Personally, I’m targeting him in my deeper leagues but I’d put him on your radar and wait to see what the first two weeks bring for the regular ones. He could be one hot streak away from being your fantasy darling or one cold streak away from Juan Fran-whiff-co stealing at-bats away from him.’ Just keep your eyes peeled.

  4. Jake Stone says:
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    It looks like Johnson and Francisco will bat 8th. I think this will be much closer to a 50/50 timeshare than a lefty/righty platoon.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Looking back to last year when Francisco could’ve played a lot, he played very little. I guess I don’t have faith in him because no organization has shown faith in him. I do like him, would overall like him more for his power than CJ if I thought they’d really give him a chance. We’ll just have to see how the season plays out.

  5. TJ says:
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    any chance Evan Gattis could man up and play 3rd? obviously not, but I figured this comments section needed an outrageous question….”it’d be a lot cooler if you did man….”….

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I’ll take outrageous. Honestly, it’s not like either guy ahead of him have proven much at the MLB level so I’m not going to take a hard stance and say no. Chris Johnson is 28, Gattis 26 and Francisco 25. He actually probably does have a small shot if both guys ahead of him fail and he’s raking in the minors but I’d bet on a trade if that happens before he’s up and actually a FT starter.

  6. Jack Full of Hate says:
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    I wanted to share a musical you tube clip i posted in Gray’s article. As a music lover I thought you would appreciate it….I left the text for context

    knock knock

    .”Hi, ma’am, my boss sent me over, he told me you are all wet and needed me to fix your leak”

    ” please come in and I will show you were it’s wet”

    “”that’s quite a mess, it looks like it got your carpet all moist, I think I’m going to have to lay some fresh pipe to handle all this”

    “oh, please, lay all the pipe you want”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8c_STKjrN_g

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Nice…I had to go listen to ‘cramming for college’ afterwards. Feels like something I should make a ringtone out of if I weren’t worried a co-worker would hear it.

      • Jack Full of Hate says:
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        @Sky: i just listened to cramming for college, that was awesome. I have used obscure funk songs as ringtones and people would ask me if it was porn music and I proudly said ” you damn right, honky!”

        I think i have seen this album on cd before, I need to get it

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Might have to itunes this, it’s pretty awesome. Or just create a youtube playlist because I highly doubt the original artists are even making money off of it.

          • Jack Full of Hate says:
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            @Sky: you can download the mp3′s from amazon….I’m so giddy

  7. The Fridge says:
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    Keeper time – 13 team 5×5 OBP auction. Please pick 4 of these keepers:

    Sale – 5
    Niese – 4
    Jennings – 14
    Altuve – 6
    Rizzo – 11
    Wil Myers – zero against the $260

    • Jack Full of Hate says:
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      @The Fridge: why is sale 5 and rizzo 11?

      I think sale is going to crash and burn this year. Niese, altuve, rizzo and jennings

      • The Fridge says:
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        @Jack Full of Hate: Thanks Jack! You’re a fan then of trading Sale for Goldschmidt at $19?

        • Jack Full of Hate says:
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          @The Fridge: faster than sky in reverse cowgirl

          • The Fridge says:
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            @Jack Full of Hate: Ha! So assuming that I make that move, how does it change your response to the first question? Replace Rizzo?

            • Jack Full of Hate says:
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              @The Fridge: how many util? do you have CI?

                • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                  @The Fridge: then i would because even if you get others to fill that spot you can run a nice platoon with someone like LaRoche or Garrett Jones, Rizzo, to me, is still in that upside pick territory that could fly or fail.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I’d probably be a bit more adventurous and keep Myers over Altuve due to it being a keeper league but I’m with Jack on Sale. Pitching’s too deep to take a chance on him even at that price.

      • The Fridge says:
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        @Sky: Sale will cost me $5 out of the $260 budget. I’m apt to agree with you guys. Would you trade him for a chance to keep Goldschmidt at $19?

        And Wil Myers will cost us nothing against the $260 budget since we can start him on our minor league roster. Then we’ll promote him when he arrives in June (hopefully)… So keep him over Altuve at $6?

        • The Fridge says:
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          @The Fridge: Myers keeper value for 2014 would be $11…(if that matters)

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            That’s 2014, I just don’t think that highly of 2B in general this year. Rather just throw Altuve back and see if I can get him or another one. It’s really a bland pool this year. HOpefully a big rook steps forward like Gerko and you can nab him.

        • Jack Full of Hate says:
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          @The Fridge: why would he be 11?

          might work, i like Myers but don’t love him. Altuve at 6 is a steal and can allow you to pay a little more for guys you think are going to breakout and you want the jump on.

          • The Fridge says:
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            @Jack Full of Hate: It’s a little confusing but minor leaguers that are kept do not count against your $260 budget but inherit an $8 value when they are promoted. Then he would cost $3 more, so $11 to keep in 2014. Then $14 in 2015.

            • Jack Full of Hate says:
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              @The Fridge: I just think you could get a better player for $11 on draft day that will help you for the full season. Besides being OBP league, Myers might kill you and he sits on your bench. I agree with sky about 2B, but Altuve is just so cheap. I always play to win this year and never worry for next, i will deal with what I have to work with. Altuve’s OBP could be a nice complement to Rizzo’s streakiness. (I’m assuming he has a better OBP than Rizzo)

  8. Matt says:
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    What stats do I need to win 5×5 15 teamer?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Aim for power early and often and don’t draft speed high. Also, dont worry about average, you’ll be able to work through a bad average easier than you can by missing counting stats. On the pitching side, try not to spend too much on closers and don’t look at pitchers win totals as a focal point for drafting them. It’s an arbitrary stat, focus on the other 4.

      • Matt says:
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        @Sky: If my team projects to surpass all of your guys 15 team espn projections does that mean I will win?

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          It simply means you had a good draft. Season is 162 games long. With injuries/ineptitude that is bound to happen, you still have to play the game to win it.

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