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I had a whole lot to say about Ian Desmond when he was first called up.  I rambled for a few sentences about Bowden on a Segway and how old youngster, Esmailyn Gonzalez really is.  He’s a Latin 20-something.  He’s also known as Carlos Lugo now.  This is brilliant.  How cool would it be if at least once a year a retired player tried to make a comeback under an alias?  Have you seen this new Dominican prospect for the Braves? His name is Julio Phranco.  He looks vaguely familiar. Last September, I said in my never duplicated, always imitated way, “Desmond has a decent blend of speed and power (think The Big FraGu at shortstop).  The “at shortstop” thing is the clincher.” It’s all about the clincher, ain’t it?  So what can Ian Desmond do for 2010 fantasy baseball is he, dare I say, a sleeper?

Since we’re friends, I’m going to tell you that I’m on the fence with how much I want to push Ian Desmond on you, loyal Razzball reader. On one hand, he can be FraGuish.  On the other hand, how much ‘ish is he?  Is he 97% FraGuish?  Is he 55% FraGuish?  So much anGuish!  Then when I look at the numbers a different way, I think he might be more FeLopezian.  So let’s see what we know.  His stealing percentages in the minors were dreadful at times.  In Double-A in 2008, he stole 12 bases and was caught 8 times.  In 2009, 13 for 17 in Double-A then 8 for 9 in Triple-A.  When he reached the Nats, he stole one base in 21 games and the Nats don’t steal that much. So I think Desmond has 25-plus steal speed, but may only steal 15 bases.  Now for the power.  In his first major league game, he hit a 434 foot bomb. Though its true distance is less. (Still not clear on what true distance is.  I like to think it’s measured in unicorns because that would ironic.  BTW, if you wanna lose three hours of your life, play around with this site.) So Desmond can generate power, but he’s not a really a power hitter.  Ten homers seems like a lot to ask of him, but he could get to 15.  Hmm… That brings me back to FraGuish.  So I guess we’ll settle on 10/20 for Desmond with the hope of more and the fear of less.  Though, because the shortstop position is so shallow, 10/20 is a great sleeper for 2010 fantasy baseball and definitely someone to look at late in drafts.

  1. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    whats up turkey eaters?grey hope you had a great thanksgiving,do you know how to make a guy appretiate california more?send him to the cold dreary days of kentucky in december,been looking over my keeper list fot next year,got it down to 10 guys and we can keep 6,when the season gets a bit closer i`ll have you narrow it down,kemp is one raja another,enjoy the warm holidays for us

  2. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @AL KOHOLIC: Happy Thanksgiving to you too! Who are your ten guys you’re thinking about?

  3. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @sean: Ha!

  4. DrEasy says:
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    So are you saying the distance of his home run was a reverse-Latin 434 feet?

  5. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @DrEasy: If you can figure out true distance in layman’s terms, I’d love to hear it.

  6. DrEasy says:
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    @Grey: It looks like basic ballistics to me (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trajectory_of_a_projectile). If you have an estimate of the initial angle at which the ball was hit, the time it took the ball to reach the point where it left the park, the coordinates of that point where it left the park, you should probably be able to estimate where the ball would have landed if there had been no obstacles in its way (i.e. the “true distance”).

    It might even be possible to determine the true distance without knowing the initial angle. There should only be a limited number of trajectories for the ball where it would leave the park at the point it does, and you can probably eliminate most of them knowing how long it took the ball to get there.

    It looks like they also refine their calculations by taking into account atmospheric conditions (wind speed and direction etc.).

  7. DrEasy says:
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    The wiki link above should work if you remove that last bracket…

  8. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @Grey: $300 payroll,high spending league,albert cost 61 last year,crawford 41,heres some of my options,v martinez-c=$15,adrian gonzalez=$31,pedroia=13,2b-lopez=$10,raja=$5,garrett jones=$5,kemp=$20,abreu=$19 this is 7×7 league r,ave,obp,hr,rbi,sb and k`s,pitchers=wade davis ,neftali brett anderson and tejeda $6,nolasco=$10,harden=$14,gallardo=$15 and vazquez=$19,pitching cats,games started,wins ,losses,k`s,era,whip,saves, i was down to pedroia,raja,kemp,abreu,lopez,neftali,vazquez,lilly,nolasco and gallardo any thoughts at all will help,remember my sp kill me every year,i usually fall for young phenoms ,ive had gallardo and jaba for 3 years now

  9. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @Grey: it came down to the last week with 3 of us within 2 or 3 points,so i dropped a lot of offensive guys to try and help in the era and whip area,in the end i finished in the money but 3rd place barely out of 1st

  10. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    v martinez-15
    a gonzalez-31
    pedroia-13
    lopez-10
    raja-5
    garett jones-5
    kemp-20
    abreu-19
    neftali-5
    anderson-5
    tejeda-5
    nolasco-10
    lilly-$6 left him off the list above
    harden-14
    gallardo-15
    vazquez-19

  11. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @DrEasy: That makes sense now. Probably could’ve figured it out if I would’ve just read their explanation. Thanks for taking the time!

    @AL KOHOLIC: Wow, you guys put a big emphasis on starters. Okay, as of right now, I’d go with V-Mart, Pedroia, Lilly, Rajai, Kemp and ugh. Lots of different ways I’d go. I’d like to go with Garrett Jones for $5, but with the way your league is set up I’d probably have to go with Vazquez. Nolasco, Gallardo and Anderson are in the mix, as well.

    EDIT: Word.

  12. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    thanks,im wanting vazquez ,jones i can probably get at a decent price and nolasco gallardo for around 10 and 18

  13. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @AL KOHOLIC: I agree, that’s why I leaned towards Vazquez. Jones, Nolasco and Gallardo you can always get back.

  14. Steve says:
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    @AL KOHOLIC: Just remember, I’ll be a year wiser in 2010.

  15. I expect Ian Desmond to be my starting shortstop in my 20 team keeper league next you – dynasty keeper league

  16. sean says:
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    Pitching will be really interesting this year. After Lincecum, your guess is as good as mine. I can’t say that I’d be itchy to pull the trigger on Greinke, Haren, or even King Felix in the third round.

    Early ADP out of some SPs that are on my radar for 2010. Obviously this list doesn’t have the stability of a real front end guy and has some risk, but it looks like there are a lot of bargains to be had without taking a pitcher in the first half of the draft.

    Beckett (96)
    Nolasco (110)
    Jimenez (121)
    Shields (122)
    Garza (125)
    Billingsley (130)
    Baker (159)
    Wandy (163)
    EJackson (170)
    Floyd (191)

  17. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @mrbaseball: I think you’ll be good there.

    @sean: As I mentioned in the forum on Sunday (and on the blog before), last year I had some combo of Haren, Wainwright, Wandy, Cain and Wolf on all of my teams. Only Haren was in the first half of the draft. There’s always pitching bargains.

  18. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @Steve: youve got a good group of keepers already,pure power hitters cost to much to keep,so im hoping to grab a couple in the auction,and as grey has stated pitching is inpredictable

  19. royce! says:
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    I think that the name “true distance” is strangely misleading… As I understand it, Desmond’s first HR was hit 428 feet (it’s True Distance (distance it would have traveled had there been no obstacles)). Had he hit it “with no wind, in 70 degree air at sea level,” (it’s Standard Distance) it would have traveled 434 feet. Perhaps it feels misleading because in the sabermetric the word “true” seems to get employed in the same way that “standard” is being used here, i.e., “truth” is used as a term describing what we would expect if all the variables were standardized.

    Apparently his last HR of the season went 445 feet (https://secure.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?mid=200910036989655&c_id=was). Funny, cause it looked like his first HR went further…which I guess justifies hittracker’s existence.

  20. bob says:
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    What do you think of this deal;

    Braun/Verlander/Nolasco/T. Snider
    or
    Halladay/Holliday/Danks/I. Stewert

    keeper league.

  21. Mark says:
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    Not nearly in the young player category that Beckham, Andrus, or even Coghlan are in but someone to watch nonetheless.

  22. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @Steve: steve,did you get in to your house yet,or are you still cooking for mom?

  23. Steve says:
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    @AL KOHOLIC: Nah – still at the in-laws. Don’t move into the new one til December 18.

  24. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: You’re gonna love the new house, you get to poop with the door open while browsing your fantasy baseball magazines………………….

    Or that could just be me.

  25. Steve says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Ha! Unlike the French Quarter, our can is actually inside the house.

  26. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: Cool, then you don’t even need a door!

    I’m trying to bootheel this place up so I feel more at home………..

  27. Steve says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Stripper pole?

  28. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: You had to ask?

  29. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Yeah, I saw that homer too when I was researching. I also read somewhere he hit the longest homer at home for the Nats all year and included that tidbit in a daily roundup during the year, but I couldn’t find where I originally read that to verify it again.

    @bob: I’d take the Braun side.

    @Mark: Agreed

  30. sean says:
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    @royce!: true as the sabermetricians seem to use it refers to neutral distance… or park/weather independent distance. basically, as i understand tHR, it’s used to determine the quality of the contact a hitter makes when he blasts a homer — you want guys that hit “no doubters” because his near misses may actually leave the park whereas a guy with less power flies out.

  31. royce! says:
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    @sean: That’s precisely my point. The whole thing gets confusing because what you define as “tHR” is “Standard Distance” on Hit Tracker. From their Glossary:

    Std Distance (Standard Distance) – The estimated distance in feet the home run would have traveled if it flew uninterrupted all the way down to field level, and if the home run had been hit with no wind, in 70 degree air at sea level. Standard distance factors out the influence of wind, temperature and altitude, and is thus the best way of comparing home runs hit under a variety of different conditions.

    And what Hit Tracker defines as “True Distance” is actually just, and I’m paraphrasing, “how far the ball would have traveled given the atmospheric conditions if some fan [or in the Nats case, seat], didn’t get in the way.”

    So, as I said, the word “true” is being used differently on Hit Tracker than sabermatricians tend to use it. It probably has something to do with fantasy baseball managers having a liberal concept of truth. I, for example, think that my 2009 h2h team was truly better than the guy’s that knocked me out of the playoffs. And no one can convince me otherwise. But I wouldn’t consider myself a sabermatrician. More like a stubborn ass.

  32. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I was slightly disappointed there weren’t any monkey judges.

  33. Steve says:
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    @Grey: You’re a hard man to please.

    I don’t feel quite right about it, but it is without doubt one of the best clips I’ve ever seen.

  34. Freak says:
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    So is his name Ian Desmond or Carlos Lugo?

  35. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Freak: His Wikipedia page doesn’t even know. Get his Moms on the line.

  36. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Freak: Hmm… No, Esmailyn Gonzalez is Lugo now. Desmond’s always been Desmond. I think.

  37. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @brett: Don’t sell yourself short, I liked the bears better.

  38. AJ says:
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    So what are the odds that the Nats actually open the season with him at short, and he garners 400+ at-bats? If a 10/20 season is a realistic possibility, then I’m guessing that it must be a legitimate option for them at this point? Hmm, interesting.

  39. bourquer says:
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    how late do you think he will last in the drafts? do you think there will be much hype about him come spring?

  40. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @AJ: The Nats are supposedly moving Guzman to 2nd for Desmond, so he should get 400+ ABs.

    @bourquer: Maybe a little hype, but he’s still a Nats player. Depends on your league, but I see him lasting to the end rounds of a draft.

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