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It’s time to start looking ahead to the 2013 fantasy baseball season. Here are a couple players noticeably affected by OPS.

Kevin Youkilis – Sigh no more, fantasy owners. I’m expecting a rebound for Youkilis in 2013. I’ll admit that I was worried about The Greek God of Injures at the beginning of this year after his slow start, especially since he’s past his peak years and has a storied injury history. Youk fact of the day: he has never played more than 147 games in a season. Worse yet, he hasn’t played in over 140 games in a season since 2008. Meanwhile, he only graced us with his mediocre presence in 122 games this past season. Despite it sounding like time to jump ship, I’m going to advocate steering back towards the old man. On a side note, how weird will it be to see him on the Yankees? Although this wouldn’t be the first time a Red Sox player moved to the Bronx…

I’ll quit my babbling and say that Youk’s second half alleviated my concerns and I’m willing to trust him, at least for one more year. This is because I don’t see many red flags, since his contact and batted ball statistics were all right in line with his performance in 2011. Additionally, I’m assuming that his price will plummet as a result of his down year in 2012 and the always lingering injury concerns. Where will people take him? Outside the top 150 players? Outside the top 200 even? As for the move to Yankee Stadium, I don’t expect it to have a significant effect because he spent last year split between Fenway and U.S. Cellular Field, which aren’t exactly settings for hitters’ nightmares. Still, I’m counting on an improvement in his walk rate and BABIP to pave the way for him to approach his 2011 line of .258/.373/.459. That’s solid for a third baseman, but he’s no longer the elite option he once was. The one caveat I’ll give is that I wouldn’t count on him for more than 120 games or so. Who knows? Maybe the Mayans predicted that he’d stay healthy all year next season…Which would mean he will?…Or won’t?  Hmm…

Todd Frazier – Double D is another third baseman that I’d consider gambling on and should be available for relatively cheap. Earlier in the year I said, “I actually like him quite a bit for next year. His BABIP might decrease, but his home run to fly ball rate could increase, resulting in a similar slugging. He should again have an OPS above .800.” To properly express my narcissism, I agree with myself. Yay for consistency! One reason I’m optimistic is because he somehow hit much better on the road than at home, despite playing in a hitter-friendly park, so there could be room for improvement at home next year. Though, his minor league numbers don’t hint at him having tremendous upside. For 2013, .260/.330/.470 looks like a reasonable baseline. Dude could hit 25 homers with decent counting stats… Although there’s one catch: Dusty Baker. I don’t know exactly what I mean by that, but I tend to worry about every non-Votto Reds player I own because of him. Maybe it’s just me.  Thanks for letting me air my grievances. Happy Festivus Y’all!

From Around The Web

  1. JoeG says:
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    Brett Lawrie , maybe .285/.340/.450

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @JoeG: Yeah that looks very reasonable.

  2. Big AL says:
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    We’ll see about Youk. Let’s see if he make’s it out of spring training first.
    I have a really good feeling about Todd Frazier though.Had him on 2 of my teams and he was doing well and Dusty puts Rolen back in. I mean Rolen was happy.His Social Security check was kicking in some extra cash. But no,back in he goes.
    Frazier is 6′-3″ 220 LBS. proto type 3B. He’s in a hitters park and he’ll be a bargain draft day. He may be my target 3B on all my teams.I can pick up a extra SP or quality OF on a earlier pick,because he’ll go later.Well my man crush is showing,better get that last minute shopping done.Happy Festivus for the rest of us right back at ya Jack.

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Big AL: Thanks! And i hope Frazier goes where we’re hoping he will. You can always get yourself a poster of him for your room while you’re out shopping. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

  3. marti says:
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    Keeper league Help

    I can keep 6, 3 of them imo are no brainers

    Jose Bautista Round 28
    Allen Craig round 25
    Madison Bumgarmer round 10

    Who would you keep as your other 3

    Justin upton round 5, andrus round 9, a rios round 16, todd frazier round 31, jeff smardzjia
    round 29, f rodney 31, billy hamilton round 31

    Standard 5 by 5 rotisserie dynasty league can keep players as long as you want they go up 2 rounds each year so if i kept billy hamiton round 31 this year next year he would be round 29, which 3 would you keep.

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @marti: I’d go with Frazier, Upton, and Andrus.

    • costaricanchata says:
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      @marti:

      upton is borderline keeper , imo , since next year he will cost you a 3rd round pick and in 2014 a 1st .
      maybe , you keep him and hope he starts hot …. and then trade him , asap .

      no way on God’s green earth do you not keep hamilton , as he could win you the SB category and could so for many yeas ….. besides , he’ll only cost you a 23d round pick … in 2017 !!

      • Tom Jacks

        Tom Jacks says:
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        @costaricanchata: I’d have no problem with trading Upton if he starts hot, but either way I expect him to improve from last year. As for Hamilton, he might lead the league in steals, but he could really hurt you in other categories. The more I read about him, the more I’m concerned about his ability to consistently hit major league pitching. Though I’ll admit that i tend to not value minor leaguers as highly add some others.

        • Tom Jacks

          Tom Jacks says:
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          @Tom Jacks: *add = as. My phone strikes again!

  4. airweino says:
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    Totally unrelated to OPS, but any opinions on Wade Miley and Jarrod Parker for 2013?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @airweino: I think they’ll both be solid next year, but am not expecting either to be significantly better than they were last year. I’d slightly prefer Miley next year, but Parker long term.

  5. Bob says:
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    I would think J-Up is a no-brainer, too.

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Bob: Agreed.

  6. TheNewGuy says:
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    Thoughts on Encarnacion, Butler and Craig for next year. Can they keep their OPS as it was, even improve it? What do you expect from them.

    Might look like I plucked those guys outta thin air but they are 3 of my 4 hitting keepers (Hamilton other) in my salary keeper league.

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @TheNewGuy: I used to not trust Encarnacion at all, but the more I’ve looked at him, the more it looks like he’s made a clear improvement. I don’t expect him to improve, but don’t think he’ll regress much either. I’m thinking something like a .270/.370/.530 line. I think Allen Craig has shown he is who he is and will produce roughly the same numbers in 2013 as he did in 2012.

      Butler confuses me. I see a lot of the improvement in his numbers coming from an increase in his HR/FB, but his home runs weren’t hit harder or farther than previous years, so he may see regression there. That said, he was able to maintain a significantly higher HR/FB from month to month than previous years, so it could very well be something he continues. Also, I really liked seeing his increase in line drives and, since he’ll only be 27 next season, there’s no reason to expect him to fall apart. I could see him repeating 2012’s number with slight upside from there.

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