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How did I GET here?  Did Grey open a magical portal and whisk me away from my fantasy football world like he was Dr. Who?  I don’t remember stepping into his TARDIS.  The last thing I do remember was some guy with a mustache, free candy and a windowless van but he said he wanted to step into MY TARDIS.  I don’t think I’m remembering that last word right.  In any case, just like Eddie Munster and him being a public notary, I’m also a fantasy baseball writer so I’ve got that going for me too.  That last sentence was a Simpsons reference that only the cool – read ‘forever alone’ – kids are going to get.  But of course, none of this filler is what I came here to tell you about which you no doubt knew from reading the title because you’re clever like that.  Nay, we’re here to talk to you about a catcher north of the border whose game travels down my treasure trail and warms my southern hemisphere.  We’re talking about none other than the starting catcher for the Toronto Blue Jays, J.P. Arencibia, and whether or not his current low value at mock draft central is justified or not.  Hence the title ‘Discount Double Check’ which is also a reference to Aaron Rodgers and fantasy football.  See how clever that was and how it all ties together?  They don’t just keep me around here for my looks is all I can say.  But enough of that, on with the show.

To start this love parade, let’s go over why he’s being so hated by the fantasy baseball playas out there.  After smacking 23 homeruns in 2011 with a miniscule .219 average, JP was still considered in near starter territory in 12 team leagues for 2012, as January Grey from last year proves.  So what changed from then until now?  Well a broken hand and about 100 missed ABs in 2012 is what happened and in this fickle fantasy baseball world, that’s just enough to go in the ‘ignore’ category the next year.  But let’s check the stats at the MLB level.  Career ISO: over .200.  Career K%: ugly terrible awful over 27%.  Career average: Well under .240.  Why does all this matter?  Because I’m going to give you a reverse of the comparison I gave you last year when I told you to draft Wilin Rosario.  Don’t be fooled by the Jay Buhner avatar and the ONC moniker in that last link, it really is me.  I’m both a man of many hats – I’m currently wearing a fedora…and nothing else - and many names.  Last year it was Rosario that was being neglected because he carried with him a high K% and low BA expectations with a high HR potential.  Well, thanks to a stretch from August through the end of the season with an inflated BABIP, Rosario finished the year batting .270.  The other months?  Rosario’s highest average was .265, with months of .194, .217 and .246 surrounding that and finished the year with a .289 BABIP.  Arencibia finished with a .281 BABIP and a .233 average.  So here’s the part where you tell me: all things being equal, why is Rosario nearly 100 spots higher than Arencibia at this point?  Now here’s where I tell you that last question was rhetorical because there is no good reason, just like there’s no good reason you switched from looking at naked pictures of Bea Arthur to naked pictures of Holly Peers.  You say potato I say…holy manga melons that last comparison doesn’t fit at all!  What does fit is Rosario is to Arencibia what sex is to chocolate.  At least that’s what women tell me.  The women who only ask me for chocolate.  So make JP your Nestle bar this year and leave the sexy Rosario to others.  Yes, I’m going out on that sentence to make it as awkward for you as it was for me.

26 Responses

  1. Sky

    Sky says:
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    Forever alone was clearly not just a metaphor!

    • Steve says:
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      @Sky: Grey gives away candy and has a windowless van?

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        @Steve: At least he did on that day is all I can say…I kinda don’t wanna talk about it…

  2. Foxy says:
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    I’m here for you Sky!! Although I have no idea where the hell TARDIS is?!!!!!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Foxy: Clearly not with Grey, I can tell you that much! And thanks for coming along!

    • Principle Blackman says:
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      @Foxy: Time And Relative Dimension In Space

  3. Steve says:
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    I’m in the southern hemisphere and you’re making me feel uncomfortable.

    Kidding!

    I drafted JP in the RCL last year, and while some of his barren spells could suck the life right out of you, the power binges more than made up for it.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Steve: Something went near my southern hemisphere and it made me feel uncomfortable too!

      Yeah, I really think people going nuts over Rosario are going to be mad they didn’t just wait for JP. I’m not going to predict a breakout year but I’d rather just wait for him if I want power from my catcher position. And since I want power from every position, I want JP.

  4. Foxy says:
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    Another good thing about Arencibia … he is a pretty funny guy. I live just west of Toronto and hear him on sports radio. Quick witted.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Foxy: Nice! He seems like a laid back guy on the field, glad to hear that carries over.

    • Steve says:
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      @Foxy: He’s a good mimic too, isn’t he? There’s that baseball Tonight promo of him doing Tim Tim Kurkjian I think.

  5. royce! says:
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    I was going to build an extremely interesting comment on Arencibia’s ADP at MDC being 210, and then saw that Yadier’s ADP was 29…so I got nothing. Liked the column, though.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @royce!: That’s…that’s…that’s just not right. That makes Mauer look like a bargain and that should never really happen. I almost went with Flowers but since most won’t draft JP and he’s already proven he can hit 20+ HRs he made the most sense to me. My keeper is a 12 team, 2 catcher league so I refuse with every fibre of my being to buy into a catcher in the top 12 on general principle.

  6. james d says:
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    Sure I’ll be friendly.

    Allowed 6 keepers in a 5×5 12man league. Standard yahoo rosters.
    If you keep two players from the same round, you designate one to slot up a round (e.g. 2 r10? One becomes r9. If this creates another conflict then designate one r8 etc…).

    I have a collection of useful bodies and another dude has Trout and nothing.

    My keeper-consideration players:
    Kemp r2 1year left
    McCutchen r3 1yr
    Strasburg r9 1yr
    Rizzo R10 2year
    Medlen R10 2year
    Desmond R10 2year
    Motte R11 2year
    Kipnis r14 2year
    Chris Sale r16 2year
    Alex Gordon r17 1year

    Without a trade I probs keep Kemp/McCutchen/Stras/Rizzo/Kipnis/Sale. That seems fine and likely will be hard to upgrade, but I may as well float something out there.

    His Keepers:
    Trout r11 2 years
    Jordan Zimmermann r12 1year

    Trout obviously won’t come cheap but I’m interested in what you’d lead with. I figure a Kemp/Strasburg for Trout is terrible for me but that sort of shizz may be the only thing he accepts…

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @james d: With both Medlen and Sale sitting out there for you in terms of arms, that offer wouldn’t be terrible and it would definitely get the job done if the other guy is reasonable and not a Trout adorist. Could try Medlen and Kemp to see if he bites, though. Like Medlen but pitching is always deep in some way/shape/form and you don’t seem like you’re keeping him.

      Not that you asked but your keeper selection is what I would do, BTW.

      • james d says:
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        @james d: @Sky:

        Oh I’m dumb you were agreeing with me. Grey agreed too when I asked something like a month ago, so huzzah for that.

        And I too think Medlen is a bro (I grabbed him for his first start because I’ve had a thing for him for years) but I just can’t keep him at essentially round 8 value, especially given alternatives.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          @james d: Ha, no problem. Had to reread what I said to make sure I said what I meant, though!

          Agree about Medlen and your reasoning. So if you can sell him and Kemp for Trout, you’re doing yourself a favor.

  7. james d says:
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    oh, you’d pick a different six?

    Do share :)

    • Paddyman says:
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      @james d:
      Does your keeper league allow you to draft according to their rankings? In ours we keep 5 but end up having to draft them as our first 5 picks regardless of whether they would be drafted there anyway.

      • james d says:
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        @Paddyman:
        Yeah my league lets you keep the player at the round they’re attached to rather than the (to my mind more common) treatment your league uses.

        This raises the issue of having one good pick stay as a bargain for a long time. Many leagues use some sort of year over year price inflation to address this, while my league just uses limited duration contracts. It was a compromise to screw with player valuations enough to keep things interesting while allowing teams to compete most every year similar to a redraft league.

  8. Peter says:
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    What do your SABR-HagenMetrics say about freezing C. Santana @ $25 in a 15 team 5×5 mixed?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Peter: It’s not a bad value but in all honesty, I’d be inclined to pass. I’m the guy who catcher punts in your league and gets Russel Martin circa 2007 and Rosario last year. Not braggin, just these are guys I got with my draft strategy in my deep two catcher keeper league in the after 20 rounds. Feel in a one catcher I’d rather just ride the C wave from season to season.

  9. JoeC says:
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    Plus there’s the fact that the Blue Jays traded away their best catching prospect, Travis D’Arnaud. I would assume this is a vote of confidence for JP.

    As for Ms. Peers, I was not aware of her. All I can say is, thank you, good sir!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @JoeC: Oh yes indeed. I’m sure Toronto would’ve liked to hold onto Travis but they’re pushing for the playoffs with that Dickey trade. JP will probably be the cheapest 20 HR catcher on the market unless Flowers can figure out how to put the bat to the ball.

      Ha, no problem on Ms. Peers! As you can read from my author’s description, I know about the finer things in life.

  10. Voidoid says:
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    Rosario did have a significantly higher ISO (by around 50 points) and HR/FB ratio (by 6-10 pecentage points) in both 2011 and 2012. I wouldn’t expect much more average out of Rosario than Arencibia (though Arencibia does hit a lot more flyballs), but he does appear to have a lot more power. Maybe Rosario’s HR/FB ratio of 25% (basically top 10 material for that stat) is the product of small samples, but at least it’s a little bit exciting (like, say, Chris Carter at catcher exciting). And maybe Rosario is overvalued due to his .270 batting average last year, but that still doesn’t make me very excited for Arencibia, inexpensive though he is.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Voidoid: That ISO discrepancy is heavily weighted by Wilin’s home/away splits (.312/.206) but you’re going to find that with almost any Rockies player with even a decent power stroke.

      That all said, I think you’ve kind of hit the nail on the head of why I wrote this. I’m asking you to look at it from a discount perspective and specifically ended with choosing the boring nestle chocolate bar over going with the sexy pick analogy. You pointing out Rosario gets you excited and JP just proves that fact. You may get a couple more HRs from Rosario – let’s say 22 vs 26 – but the end result is a low average risk at C. Personally, I’ll take the cheaper option. Don’t forget, JP was sexy once too.

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