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

I write a lot of these offseason posts ahead of time.  Stockpile ‘em then roll them out slowly.  Here’s what I wrote back in November when I originally wrote this post, “Jose Bautista is overrated.  Hey, look at me shooting fish in a barrel!  Maybe next I’ll tell you the sky’s blue or water is wet or Al Gore is a robot.  Jose Bautista hit 12 homers in the month of May in 94 at-bats.  In 336 at-bats in 2009, he hit 13 homers.  *cough* Juicer! *cough*  I’m sorry, but dubya tee eff?  Did he sleep with Brady Anderson’s sideburns in the offseason last year and they rubbed off some magical powers?  He went from a teen homer hitter to a 50+ homer hitter.  That, my friend, is insane.  Even Brady Anderson hit 21 homers before hitting 50. Want more insane?  Bautista only hit one of 54 homers to the opposite field.  It’s like he was playing in a snow globe and every time he hit the ball the proverbial little kid with pimples would turn Rogers Centre on its side.  Billy, stop turning Rogers Centre and do your homework!”  And that’s future me quoting past me!  Since I wrote that, people have been coming out of the woodwork to say Bautista is not overrated.  Okay, so let’s look at some numbers.

Bautista’s HR/FB% jumped nearly ten points from 2009 to 2010.  From 2009 to 2008, Raul Ibanez’s HR/FB% jumped like that when he went from 23 homers to 34 homers.  Then in 2010 he hit 16 homers.  Joe Mauer’s HR/FB% jumped from 2008 to 2009 when he went from 9 homers to 28.  Then he reverted to 9 homers again in 2010.  Let’s look at Ryan Ludwick from 2008 when he hit 37 homers.  His HR/FB% jumped from 13% to 19.9% from 2007 to 2008.  In 2009 and 2010, it reverted to 11.8% and 10.1% and his homers came back to earth.  Plateau, weird spike, plateau.  It’s pretty simple.

To put Bautista’s homers per ABs into historical context.  He had a home run every 10.5 ABs.  That would be the all-time best in the history of the game.  For a single season, it ranks 33rd, between Bonds and a tie of Ruth and Aaron.  Oh, okay.  Bautista’s name doesn’t look out of place there.  Bautista’s 2010 was an outlier, Gladwell.  And Bautista’s 2011 is going to make his 2010 look even odder by comparison.

  1. Tony says:
    (link)

    wow the ONLY 1 opposite field homer stat strikes me as crazy, how about a pitcher pitches him outside? Seriously no one figured that out last year? You can’t pull an outside pitch, and it sounds like if Bautista can’t pull it he can’t hit it out?

  2. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @Tony: Yeah, there is so many nutty things with his 2010.

  3. Wilsonian says:
    (link)

    Just wanted to say thanks for the Top 300 post. It’s a helluva piece! Keep up the good work, man…this site truly is the best!

    Oh, and I guess I won’t have to ask you so many questions about my draft anymore now that I don’t have to use a combo of your rankings and CBS’ – which basically made me want to slit my wrists. So thanks for that…and I guess the people who don’t like me asking you questions will thank you as well. Emoticon…

  4. Eddy says:
    (link)

    inb4 Bautista flame wars.

  5. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @Wilsonian: No problem, don’t worry about asking questions.

    @Eddy: Hehe

  6. A Hill O' Beans says:
    (link)

    @Grey: I couldn’t agree more about Bautista, and I’ve gotta say that the 1 opposite field HR is SHOCKING! Just WOW.

    Question for you. I’m planning on starting a keeper league on Yahoo and wanted to do something where you keep guys in the round you drafted them – 2 rounds. So you draft a guy in the 6th and if you keep him you lose your 4th round pick. How does that work exactly though. I mean, I guess that makes it so you can never keep a guy you draft in the first 2 rounds? Which kind of puts a built in limit on how long you can keep a guy, which is nice. Or do you just lose your 1st round pick if you keep a guy you drafted in the first 3 rounds? Never done a keeper that uses the rounds before so I’m curious how others do it.

    Thanks for any insight from anyone.

  7. sean says:
    (link)

    @Tony: He hooks the outside pitches too. The problem is whatever they are doing up there in TO and not how he is being pitched. (Though I’d love to see ridiculous pull guys like him get brushed back once or twice a game rather than once or twice a season). His OPS was a Pujols and Bonds like 1.148 at home compared to .862 on the road. He slugged .737 at home (league average on-base plus slugging is in the .7-.75 range).

    @Grey: I’ll be looking to avoid Joey Bats in all but the most ridiculous circumstances, but I was wondering if we need to look at the bigger trend in TO and realize that a Blue Jay is going to break out. ’09 was Hill and Lind; ’10 was Bautista and Uncle Vernon. I know you’re buying Hill and Lind on weakness, but is there a player on this team that can go from zero to hero with a little help from his PEDs? I could see Juan Rivera going from waiver wire schmo to 40 HR with the right needles.

  8. royce! says:
    (link)

    I remember discussing this opposite field thing a while back…did we ever come up with any power hitters that consistently pulled such a high percentage of HR? The Bautista hittracker page for last year is hilarious- the one opposite field HR must have farted. (http://www.hittrackeronline.com/detail.php?id=2010_162&type=hitter )

  9. Jay says:
    (link)

    @Grey: Based on the Top 300 post and some other stuff you’ve written, I’m guessing that Travis Snider’s getting a 2011 Sleeper Post from you.

    I can keep him for $4 in my (5×5, OPS) league, wondering if I should do it (over $11 Zobrist, $14 Oswalt).

  10. Wilsonian says:
    (link)

    @A Hill O’ Beans: from my understanding, on Yahoo you can pick players for teams prior to the draft and insert them as keepers and still do an online draft.

    In the way you’ve explained your league, you have a couple options (at least from how I see it – others may have some other ideas): if you keep someone from rounds 1-3 you automatically lose your first round pick; AND/OR you could have a term limit as well, which I’ve seen some leagues do where you can only keep someone for a limited number of years before you have to put them back in the pool.

    For instance, I have some friends who do a league where you have 5 keepers, but if you keep a guy for 3 years and you want him for the 4th year, you lose a keeper and only end up with 4. Make sense?

    These are just some options. Hope it helps you out.

  11. royce! says:
    (link)

    @sean: I recall seeing a video of every one of his HR and it seemed that a vast majority of the pitches were either inside or down the middle. I can’t find the video anymore though, so I have no proof.

  12. Eddy says:
    (link)

    @A Hill O’ Beans:

    I’m actually starting the same format this year (using 2010’s roster). I JUSt created my league for 2011, and in the Commissioner Tools tab, you scroll down and you’ll see “Edit Draft Order and Assign Keeper Players” as an option. For me it’s un-clickable (I’m assuming because I’m the only one in the league), but once you have your group there, it should allow you to customize it.

    The way I have it is that you can keep a player a maximum of three years, with three-round inflation per year. If someone wants to keep a 1st, 2nd or 3rd rounder the following year, they lose the 2nd round.

    (i.e. I keep Pujols for 2011 in the 1st. In 2012, I want to keep him again. In order to do so, I keep him in the 1st, but I do not pick again in the 2nd round. Instead, I get an extra pick in the very last round.)

    I think it’s the best way imo. Others like just assigning the first few rounds to keepers (the first 5 rounds, for example, are used strictly to assign keepers to each team, regardless of round value).

    ANYWAYS!

    Unless Yahoo plays with their rankings, I don’t think I’m drafting Carlos Santana in the 6th round. Ugh.

    Looks like the top 300 in the Yahoo Magazine reflects the actual rankings.

  13. Cain Fan says:
    (link)

    I am assuming you meant 3rd overall and not 33rd in HR/AB? Unless Bonds holds the top 32 seasons.

  14. Eddy says:
    (link)

    And it seems like Razzball favorites such as Tabata, Napoli and Snider are all clustered up in the 13th round.

  15. it’s nice inside the woodwork. try it sometime. snug in the winter, cool in the summer. you should consider yourself lucky i even bother coming outside to yell at you about bautista.

    i’m not sure what i can say about this that i haven’t already, but i might as well summarize since this is a whole post dedicated to bautista.

    (A) i’m not saying it’s impossible that he’ll crater. there’s plenty of risk, not disputing that. when a player changes radically, it’s always smart to wonder what’s coming next. i’m just saying i don’t think he’s the same guy he was in 2007. pitchers could still figure out how to pitch to the new guy.

    (B) but it seems clear to me that his whole way of hitting changed. you’re talking HR/FB – that’s fair enough. but look at his fly-ball percentage. that also spiked by 10%+ from what it used to be, from an already lofty 40-42 to an absurd 55. that didn’t happen with mauer. ibanez’s went up by 1%. ludwick’s went down. bautista’s K/BB also tightened at the same time.

    (C) i’ve detailed what i suspect is the explanation for what went on, with the hitting coach, tweaking his swing timing to get ready earlier and turn on fastballs, the 10 homers in september of 09. you’ve never really mentioned what you think about all that.

    if someone did revamp their approach and it worked, wouldn’t you expect their HR/FB to rise? how do you tell the difference between that and luck?

    you’ve chosen a few classic fluke seasons and looked at the HR/FB differences. but here’s another one. after 2002 david ortiz was cut by the twins, who kept telling him to go the other way or some crap like that, and signed with the red sox. the next year his HR/FB jumped from 14% to 22% and he hit 30 homers. a lot of people thought it was a fluke. the next spring i was getting him in the ninth round of drafts and giggling like a gremlin because i’d watched him do it and knew it wasn’t. i feel the same way about bautista right now, although i do wish he was slipping to the 9th the way ortiz was.

    so, how do you tell the difference between those two things?

    every scout type person i’ve seen weigh in on bautista seems to basically buy into him as a changed man. if anybody has counterexamples, in all seriousness i’d love to read them.

  16. Paulie Allnuts

    Paulie Allnuts says:
    (link)

    There is absolutely no rational explanation for Bautista’s insane leap in dingers then that he has found an as yet undectable source of P.E.D.’s. And the increased production in 2010 was not a case of a player finally living up to his potential since Bautista’s 2010 production was 171% better in HR’s, 44% better in RBI’s and 20% better than his
    career minor league averages which were established over 1,471 at-bats. (Stats borrowed from article by Joe Dorish in 10/10.) As he passed every drug test last year, one may presume that he is either lucky, uncanny, or has purchased an undectable steroid.

    As this applies to fantasy baseball – If he continues his Unidentified P.E.D. this season, and is not caught, I don’t see any reason why he can’t come close to duplicating his numbers from last year, which were faux numbers a la Brady Anderson, Luis Gonzalez, and the Bash Brothers. If he goes off them because he is scared of getting caught, then he will be the same bum that he was pre-2010.

  17. ruah says:
    (link)

    Having trouble nailing down my keepers in my final league. I have 4 solid but need to choose a 5th. It’s a 10 team, 5×5 roto. These are the guys I’m choosing my 5 from:

    Utley, Phillips, Pujols, Delmon Young, Choo, Hamels, Halladay, Weaver

  18. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @A Hill O’ Beans: What others said.

    @sean: Is Rivera a starter? Snider and Lind could hit 40.

    @royce!: Yeah, it’s insane.

    @Jay: Yeah, I like Snider. Keep him.

    @Cain Fan: No, he ranked 33rd overall for a single season.

    @Eddy: Fun round.

    @wily mo: Didn’t everyone accept Zobrist as a 20+ homer hitter? Look up Zobrist’s revamped swing and all the explanations for his power. Do the same for Mauer. People swore he changed his appraoch. Ortiz was on roids and went from 18 homers to 20 to 31 to 41, how is that the same insane leap?

    @Paulie Allnuts: Nice rant.

    @ruah: No idea who you’re already keeping.

  19. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @ruah: Oops, I realize those are all of them. My bad. Utley, Pujols, Choo, Halladay and Phillips if you have an MI spot. Hamels, otherwise.

  20. here’s what i’ve always wondered. if brady anderson was on steroids, and they worked that well, why didn’t he keep taking them? it was 1996. he could have shot heroin on the top step of the dugout and nobody would have cared.

    and you guys. steroids don’t increase your FB% by 10%. bautista’s a skinny little prick. his power comes from slashing batspeed and the pure-pull approach, not muscle. this is lazy thinking.

  21. Kelder says:
    (link)

    I would say, don’t draft Bautista. The skill is finding a guy who’s undervalued LIKE Bautista and CarGo were last year. I’m saying Colby Rasmus and Jay Bruce would be the ones who bust out in a big way. I would also predict Brandon Morrow, Gordan Beckham as post-hype sleeper

  22. Paulie Allnuts

    Paulie Allnuts says:
    (link)

    @wily mo:

    As I recall, Big Papi also used steroids.

    I don’t know anyone in the history of baseball who has had a greater spike in homers in a season then Bautista. The spike is even bigger then Ruth, whose spike was due to being a full time pitcher and part time outfielder. Since basically everyone in baseball history who has had a large spike that was not in the first several years of their career can be attributed to P.E.D.’s, I find it impossible to believe that Bautista’s unreal spike has anything to do with revamping one’s approach.

  23. RandomItalicizedVoice says:
    (link)

    PooHoles, halladay, utley, hamels, choo

  24. t-tocs says:
    (link)

    grey, thoughts on this trade, give reyes/wright for tulo/mccutchen. already have longoria to play 3b and no ci/mi slot but 2 util slots. current OF are rios, rasmus, tabata

  25. Another great article. Love the Malcolm Gladwell ‘Outliers’ reference. Never thought I’d see that in a fantasy baseball blog. Well played….

  26. Paulie Allnuts

    Paulie Allnuts says:
    (link)

    @royce!: @Grey:

    Although Bautista’s one opposite field homer all season seems bizarre, it is not without precedent. When Roger Maris hit 61 hiomers, he pulled 59 home runs, with one hit to center and one to the opposite field. In 1959, Eddie Mathews hit 42 home runs; one to center field, and nada to the opposite field. Don Baylor hit 277 homers in his career with NO OPPOSITE FIELD HOMERS! There are a number of hitters who have an incredibly high % of pull hit homers over the course of their careers, but just about all of them, like Johnny Damon (98.4%) have below average power, and don’t have the capacity of hitting dingers except by pulling the ball.
    (Stats taking from Baseball Analysts) http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2009/04/alltime_home_ru.php

  27. @Grey: i actually do still believe that zobrist’s power came from the swing changes, even now, yes. just because it went away last year doesn’t mean it didn’t. he sustained the out-of-nowhere HR/FB for 2 years; his 08 was the same as his 09 on a rate basis. what happened last year, i have no idea. maybe he lost his handle on the new swing mechanics. maybe he was hurt. maybe it really was just luck the whole time. who knows. not me. but my best guess is one of those first two things.

    as far as ortiz, i was just pointing out that there is such a thing as well-traveled late-20s sluggers with muddled hitting approaches who have their HR/FB jump 8% in one year and then keep the gains. bautista’s raw HR total has a bigger jump because, like i said before, his fly ball rate also spiked massively last year, which when your flyball and your HR/FB both jump 10% at the same time, that’s like a logarithm or something.

    anyway, if ortiz was on steroids, and you guys thing bautista’s also on steroids, then what’s the problem.

    @royce!: i posted this BP article on bautista in one of the previous bautista threads. it has a lot of location data on bautista and the strike zone last year.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=11886

    at that point in the season (september 1) he’d hit 11 homers on pitches on the inner third, 22 from the middle third, and 9 from the outside. i’m curious now how that compares to other hitters.

  28. Swagger Jackers says:
    (link)

    Yeah! Bautista sux!!!

    Everybody hates this guy including me.

    Each time he hit a homerun last season I wanted to punch babies.

  29. Smokey

    Smokey says:
    (link)

    @Paulie Allnuts: I did some digging and I found alot of what Paulie found including the same article. And did some comaprative stuff as well, the 2 biggest jumps in HR’s that jump out are Greg Vaugn’s 1998 and Richard Hidalgo’s 2000. Vaughn was established already at this point as HR hitter so he gets crossed off. Hidalgo was younger but had about the same year previous to Bautista’s and he hit all but 2 of his year 2000 44 HR’s to RF. Good discussion going on i like digging around for useless bits of baseball statistics.

  30. I’m predicting 40 home runs for Bautista this year because when George Foster came out of nowhere to hit 52 home runs at the age of 28, he followed up that season with 40 the next year :)

    Really would anyone be that surprised if Bautista hit anywhere from 15 to 60 home runs next year? We are really entering new territory with him, however the one thing that makes me think his season wasn’t a fluke, was how consistent he’s been month to month starting in September 2009 (after he changed his batting stance):

    Month – HR – OPS.
    Sept – 10 – .944
    April – 4 – .741
    May – 12 – 1.188
    June – 4 – .693
    July – 11 – 1.183
    Aug. – 12 – 1.173
    Sept – 11 – .935

    He has hit 10 or more home runs in 5 of the last 7 months.

  31. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @Kelder: True

    @t-tocs: I’d take the Tulo side.

    @sTeVeohhhh: Thanks!

    @Paulie Allnuts: That’s interesting about Baylor. He also had a huge 30 year old season then not much for a few years.

  32. saberguy says:
    (link)

    @A Hill O’ Beans:

    I’ve used a similar system in our league (12 teams mixed) for the past 5-6 years. It works really well. Here’s what we do:

    1. You keep the player at the round you pick him -2. A 10th round selection would be an 8 the following year. All players drafted, regardless of if they get dropped and reclaimed are stuck with this draft value for keeper consideration.

    2. The latest you can keep a player is Round 16. This helps limit some of the craziness if you snipe a guy off waivers that was never drafted (like someone did with Bautista in 2010). This also helps keep the players cycling. by effectively limiting keepers to 2-4 years.

    3. For every additional year past the first you keep a player, the penalty goes up 1. So as an example, I drafted CarGo last year in R18. I have him as a 16 in 2011, a 13 in 2012, a 9 in 2013, and a 4 in 2014 if I decide to keep him that long. Also, if I keep CarGo in 2011, 2012, and 2013, and then trade him during the 2013 season, the new manager can keep him as a 7 (9-2) as if he drafted him. We added this wrinkle to keep players moving as well, helping teams establish times when they really go all in or sell for next year.

    I really like this system as it lets the yearly elite players constantly change hands, and rewards savvy drafting.

  33. royce! says:
    (link)

    @Paulie Allnuts: Wow, interesting stuff, thanks for posting it.

  34. Rabbit says:
    (link)

    @wily mo: I just want to express my appreciation for you taking the contrarian viewpoint on Bautista (for this website, at least) and making your argument as strong as you can with stats, examples, etc. I’m not sure I buy your view at this point, but I find it worthwhile to think hard about the arguments. I play in a league with sophisticated owners, so no one in that league is going to pay for last year’s Bautista numbers, but the question is What does it make sense to pay for with Bautista? 30 homers or 18 homers? A 3B who hits 30 homers is valuable, especially if you think that Bautista’s average may actually rise in 2011 because of a low BABIP in 2010. And in my league, if you pay for Bautista as if he is a 30 HR 3B, you may get him. Before reading your comments here over the past few weeks I would not have paid for Bautista as a 30 HR guy, but now I’m considering that as an option, if all the other owners dismiss his 2010 as a complete fluke and figure him to return to being a teen homer guy. Anyway, just expressing my appreciation to Wily Mo and the other Razzball commenters here who give me a lot to think about (and of course, props to Grey for the best fantasy site out there, bar none).

  35. royce! says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey- I know that you’re not targeting Sabathia based on the decline in his peripherals, but would you grab him later, say at 57, where Yahoo! ranks him? Seems like a steal to me, but I may be biased, having drafted him in the RCL last year due to everyone taking everyone I was targeting.

  36. Paulie Allnuts

    Paulie Allnuts says:
    (link)

    @Smokey:

    Ha! Yes, I am hooked on useless statistics!

    One of the reasons I have a minor obsession with Bautista is that I was the first in my RCL last season to notice that he was on a dinger binge. I picked him up off waivers; he hit several for my squad, then quited down for about 10 days. I figured that he was just “Custing” along for a bit, pulling a Scottie, and with his average hovering around the Mendoza line, I had gotten out of him about all he had to offer at that time. I can’t berate myself for cutting him, as he had no pedigree, but it ate at me like a cankor sore all season, seeing how many points I coulda picked up if I had kept him, rather then going from schmohawk to schmohawk. Thats the thing about fantasy. I still kill myself for bonehead moves I made four years ago.

  37. @Rabbit: that’s exactly the question i’m still struggling with, what do you actually do with him. i’ve gotten so caught up in arguing the minutiae of his swing and his HR/FB% that i haven’t really had a chance to really sit down and compare what i think is a realistic projection for him and what the value of that is compared to, like, youk or dan uggla.

    i’m also still not at all sure where he’s actually going to get picked once the rubber really hits the road with real drafts. it’ll probably vary a lot.

    by the way, everyone, i really don’t want to get pegged as “that guy who thinks bautista’s going to hit 54 homers again next year,” because that really isn’t what i’m saying at all.

  38. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @wily mo: I agree with Rabbit. Contrarian is great. Fuels discussion which is good. I don’t think steroids are the reason. I mean, they might be, but that’s not an excuse to avoid a guy. I think his year like other outliers before him was so absurd it doesn’t have people thinking clearly. He’s currently being drafted 45th overall. Right in front of Dunn. Dunn who averages 40 homers a year for his career. That’s silly. Uggla’s behind Bautista. Uggla averages 30 homers at 2nd base. Also, silly. I thought Cliff Lee’s first season of greatness was an outlier compared to the rest of his career, but he proved me wrong. Bautista can be like Lee, but for where he’s being drafted, I’m avoiding Bautista no matter what anecdotal evidence people tell me about changed swing mechanics.

    @royce!: 57 isn’t bad value.

  39. Eddy says:
    (link)

    @Grey:

    In an OBP league where I’m going to have Miggy, Wright, CarGo and Weaver guaranteed on my team, which of these would you draft in the 3rd round of a 12 team H2H league?

    Dunn, McCutchen or Lester/Kershaw?

  40. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @Eddy: McCutchen

  41. NewBVick says:
    (link)

    Bautista will be working the Rodgers Centre Foghorn this year with his Bautista Bombs. I’m thinking 35 Foghorns this year.

  42. Jon says:
    (link)

    @royce!: Another decent value on Yahoo is Manny Ramirez at #275, Grey has him ranked at #120. Let’s split the baby on this and draft him around #200. From that draft spot I can live with his shortcomings.

  43. BKK says:
    (link)

    @Tony: Sparrow has the league invite out already. Go register!

  44. as long as it doesn’t devolve into people trying to prove how much smarter they are than everybody else, arguing about stuff is really useful for understanding it.

  45. royce! says:
    (link)

    @Black Beard: Damn, still painful to watch.

  46. royce! says:
    (link)

    @Jon: Iannetta at 895. Not sure if I should grab him or Arencibia with the last pick.

  47. floridamach1 says:
    (link)

    @Grey: Grey, you hit it on the head with regards to Bautista. He might not be all that bad but not where he is being drafted. I am in a slow draft 20 team league with OBP instead of average and K/BB and Holds. How does my team look so far and where does it need work?

    C- Chris Iannetta
    1B- Joey Votto
    2B- Danny Espinosa
    SS- Alexei Ramirez
    3B- Mark Reynolds
    IF- Ike Davis
    LF- Jason Bay
    CF- Adam Jones
    RF-
    OF- Drew Stubbs
    U-

    SP- Zack Greinke
    SP- Dan Hudson
    SP- David Price
    RP- Jonathon Papelbon
    RP- Frank Francisco
    RP
    P
    P
    P

    I am trying to get good power/speed combo guys as you can see

  48. Cain Fan says:
    (link)

    Grey – I know you strongly dislike Ichiro (as do I) but when would his draft value equal his actual value? I am in a keeper league (3OF, 1UT) that has OBP and Ks for offense and Ichiro should be available around pick 90. Others available would be guys like M. Young, Victorino, or Rios (maybe). Who is the pick and how far would you let Ichiro fall?

  49. mikey boy324 says:
    (link)

    grey im in a keeper league where you can keep 1 pitcher and 1 pitcher from the 10th round on in which i get to keep cargo and liriano thanks to some great advice as always from you last year.. which hitter/pitcher do you see being drafted from the 10th round on this year that can have the same impact they did last year?

  50. CG says:
    (link)

    Two fun points:

    1) Which home run was his ONE opposite field home run? His 54th, his last one, in the final series of the season

    2) Already mentioned, but don’t forget he hit 10 home runs in September of the prior season, which is when this surge started – so the storyline that he spent the offseason juicing and then showed up in 2010 and started hitting like crazy out of nowhere doesn’t suffice. It started in September 09 – Jays fans who were following were like ok hmm this is fun, this Jose Bautista utility player that we’ve decided to give regular playing time to has all of a sudden decided to go nuts here. And this was right after his swing was restructured/retooled in August 2009. It’s of course crazy to think that a tweak or whatever can turn a utility player with modest power into a 54 homer monster – but I just wouldn’t dismiss it entirely. I definitely think he’s still a 30 HR guy

  51. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @floridamach1: You’re going to have Runs issues and OBP. Pitching looks solid for that deep of a league.

    @Cain Fan: Around pick 90 is good value for him.

    @CG: 1) Yeah, saw that. 2) I said 25 homers in my projections so 30’s not that far off. He’s still being drafted before he should and is overrated.

  52. Jerome bishop says:
    (link)

    My third round pick is at pick #42. If I don’t take Bautista I’m probably taking Kinsler. Drafting Kinsler is just as uncomfortable in the gut as drafting Bautista.

  53. Steve says:
    (link)

    Arrrgghhhh!!! The invite to my Yahoo H2H league just arrived.

    I got royally screwed over by the vagaries of H2H last year and swore never to go back…

  54. ThE sHiT says:
    (link)

    Just joined my first mock on Yahoo. Sucks I wasn’t able to be home in time for any of the Razzball mocks Eddy was conducting.

  55. Tony says:
    (link)

    @BKK: im in like flint

    @Jerome bishop: ha at least you KNOW kinsler has talent, he just needs to stay healthy….

  56. Giggles McGehee says:
    (link)

    Grey,
    10 team standard league. I have the choice to keep Kershaw at $18 or Latos for $1 for this year (the salaries adjust based on performance next year). $260 budget. Kershaw, yes?

  57. Tom Thumb says:
    (link)

    “So we look at the track record, the potential for growth/decline, any change in scenery and all those other intangibles, throw them all into the hopper, then decide between Jose Bautista and Ryan Howard, between Dan Uggla and Ian Kinsler, between all those Player X’s and Player Y’s out there.” Between BAUTISTA and HOWARD??

    And then the article goes on to say that Bautista got 9 votes for top 3rd baseman while Longo only got 1. Thanks ESPN.

    Thank God that ESPN is the site of choice for my leaguemates. The checks are coming in right now and I may as well cash them as my own if any of them even come close to following these tankings, err, rankings.

  58. Jerome bishop says:
    (link)

    Wilsonian, ask all the questions you want but if I were you, I’d feel compelled to send a couple of drinks to the staff. Unless you are very poor. In which case make it up next year.

    This is the only site where I never miss any of the comment threads. I compulsively read them all.

  59. royce! says:
    (link)

    @Steve: I did to. Which reminds me of something I’ve been criticizing my wife, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law about. They did a 60 mile charity walk earlier this year. From what I could tell, they were absolutely miserable for the entire time, and they had one of the worst arguments of their lives- one of those “I’m not sure if I’m going to talk to her again” sort of arguments. Oh yeah- it was also pouring rain.

    A week later they were already talking about next year’s 60 mile walk (and how they maybe want to go to Seattle for it).

    My point is… h2h is like walking 60 miles in the rain while arguing with a parent and a sibling, except there is no charity benefiting from your suffering. Unless of course if you count myself and some of the other guys here who enjoy your witty complaints!

  60. duder says:
    (link)

    @Tony:

    When you stand ON THE PLATE like Bautista does, it’s tough to pitch a guy outside. Couple that with his kick-ass batting eye, and he’s a pretty tough out.

  61. Wilsonian says:
    (link)

    @Jerome bishop: haha, thanks for that…I’m not loaded (I’m a public defender), but I have sent some daiquiris Grey’s way, and will do so again at the end of my draft, or possibly before then if the government would feel so inclined to send me back the money that has been on loan to them for the past 13+ months. And I will gladly donate some funding to Grey for the hard work he puts in on this site…it is definitely very much appreciated!

    I don’t feel like going to a fantasy baseball site and asking for advice should get some chastised, that’s all, when that’s basically what this site is for (that, and some funny and intelligent posts/comments). And it seems like there’s been a lot of that going around this year. I don’t remember seeing it last season (I didn’t get on here until probably mid-April of last season), so if I missed it, then I’m glad I did.

    And I also appreciate that you aren’t here to pick on me, someone likes me takes a beating by the State’s Attorney way too often in the courtroom and I don’t need anymore here! Ha!

  62. royce! says:
    (link)

    @Wilsonian: What state are you in that they haven’t paid you for 13 months? I thought that CA’s IOU situation was a hassle, but that’s just theft.

  63. Steve says:
    (link)

    @royce!: I’m here for you, man.

    BTW, after your question in the previous post about CC, you’ll be glad to hear that according to Twitterland, he’s in – you guessed it! – the best shape of his life.

    Dropped 30 pounds apparently. Not sure how you’d notice, but there you go.

  64. royce! says:
    (link)

    @Wilsonian: I think I read your comment wrong. Disregard my prior comment.

  65. royce! says:
    (link)

    @Steve: I’m not sure how they determined his weight in the first place. They use Kepler’s Third Law?

    Seriously, though, CC always seemed to be one of those pitchers that benefited from being, well, not in the best shape of his life. But I suppose it would help prevent injuries to his legs.

    I wonder what kind of shape Sandoval is in right now? I’m guessing the best of his life as well.

  66. Wilsonian says:
    (link)

    @royce!: haha, yeah I live in Illinois, so if you’ve read anything about our cheating state, it would make sense. I was more referring to the federal and state loans stemming from the money they’ve borrowed from me since January of 2010.

  67. Giant JJ says:
    (link)

    Royce!, Sandoval is definitely in the best shape of his life. But that wasn’t his problem in the first place. Not with the bat anyway. I’m more hopeful about his strike zone work with Barry Bonds in the off season. A guy who has more strike zone judgement than anyone alive. I’m not sure the Panda will ever get it. but he got worked this off season. I saw him at Fan Fest. He looks significantly smaller and stronger. I will fearlessly draft him at a discount this year.

  68. RemDog Whisperer says:
    (link)

    Whether he was on PEDs or was just totally “locked in”, really doesn’t matter. The point is he won’t repeat. Does anyone really disagree with this?

  69. JoeC says:
    (link)

    @Wilsonian: Yes, I am pleased.

    Carry on…

  70. Giant JJ says:
    (link)

    Whisperer, I’ve never heard anyone say he will repeat. That’s not in anyone’s dissenting opinion.

  71. wilsoniam says:
    (link)

    grey, im in a keeper league with 2 utils for the position players…and we count k/9 in the SP cats.

    we can keep 6, and i already have 5 position players as keepers (i dont want to post them – b/c my league mates read the site! and i dont want to be found out!).

    i currently dont have any SP keepers, but im thinking i can put together a good staff without a true top SP b/c of all the depth we saw last year/this year.

    i can trade for any of these guys as my 6th.

    cliff lee, dan uggla, jer weaver, andre ethier, mccann, posey

  72. Rabbit says:
    (link)

    @RemDog Whisperer: I don’t think that is the point. Everyone agrees that Bautista won’t repeat the 54 HRs. The issue at hand is what will he do this year (as far as HRs are concerned, e.g.). At the risk of ovesimplifying, let’s call the possibilities: (a) teen HRs; (b) 21-27 HRs; (c) 28-33 HRs; (d) 34-39 HRs; (e) 40+ HRs. I think those are the live options on the table (I have not seen anybody predicting 50+ HRs.) From my perspective, the received wisdom among many on this site (including Grey, I believe), is that the likely outcome is (a) or (b). The issue I am grappling with is whether it makes sense to draft Bautista as a guy who is likely to give you (c) with the possibility of (d)–if that is the approach you take, then I think you can get Bautista in a lot of leagues with owners that pay attention (i.e., in non-public leagues with sophisticated owners who don’t overvalue the prior year’s stats). If there is another owner in your league that is drafting Bautista as a likely (d) or (e) guy, then I think everyone (even Wily Mo) would say, Let that owner have him, he’s overpaying for a guy with too much risk to underperform (d) or (e). But if you can have Bautista as a guy rated at the (c) level, do you pull the trigger? That, to me, is the issue.
    And by the way, Wilsonian, congrats to you for doing the difficult work of being a public defender. I have known people who have been public defenders, and it’s not easy work. At least it’s highly paid [insert sarcastic emoticon here].

  73. Rabbit says:
    (link)

    Here’s another take on my last post, and the reason why it makes sense for the Bautista discussion on this site to be more involved than will he/won’t he repeat 54 HRs. For me, I don’t play fantasy baseball to beat the idiots out there who simply look at ESPN or CBS’s top 300 and draft accordingly. I play to beat the Smart Guys: the guys who do their homework, who look at the peripherals, who pore over sites like this one (though hopefully not this exact one), and who know their stuff. Beating the idiots is shooting fish in a barrel–Hooray, you won your ESPN open league where 8 of the 10 owners stopped playing by June 1st. It’s much more interesting and gratifying to beat the Smart Guys, because they know their stuff, so winning that league means something more. That’s why I find Bautista facinating this year–the received wisdom of the majority of the Smart Guys, I think, is that Bautista will revert to being a teen-homer, maybe low-20s homer guy. But is that right? I’m not sure, but ultimately it seems to me that that is one of the various decisions in a competitive league that can end up making the difference a money finish and crying into your beer.

  74. Wilsonian says:
    (link)

    @JoeC:

    Not so sure what you have against me. Also, “wilsoniam” with an “M” is not me. We are two different people. I’d like to think I have provided some decent conversation in the past year and provided the commenters with lineup adjustment info during the fantasy playoffs last season, so I’m not quite sure why you have decided to single me out as the one guy on this site who can’t ask fantasy baseball questions.

  75. Phileee says:
    (link)

    @ Grey

    I rarely take the time to respond or write anything (even the stuff I am supposed to).

    I love fantasy baseball, but my eyes hurt from all the information I try and gather.

    Thanks for making this **** readable !

  76. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @Jerome bishop: I’d prefer Kinsler.

    @Steve: Every time I try to get out…

    @Giggles McGehee: Kershaw

    @Tom Thumb: Yikes

    @sean: I could see them moving him. Really, how many hackers can one team have?

    @RemDog Whisperer: Yeah, I don’t think anyone is thinking 50+ homers. 30+ is what I’m having a hard time seeing.

    @wilsoniam: Uggla, assuming no 2nd baseman keepers. Then Lee.

    @Rabbit: Any time anyone hits 50+ homers out of nowhere, they become fascinating, for sure.

    @Phileee: Thanks for the kind words!

  77. royce! says:
    (link)

    @Wilsonian: Wilsonian and Wilsoniam? What intrigue! This is getting interesting!

    Seriously, why is Tuesday television so boring that I am on the edge of my seat over this?

  78. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @royce!: You need to start watching The Biggest Loser.

  79. royce! says:
    (link)

    Oops. Spoke to soon- channel 4 in San Diego is replaying a 2010 matchup between the Padres and the Orioles!

  80. @Rabbit: yes – exactly – you get what i’m saying. i’m glad someone does. (sort of kidding – i’m sure grey gets what i’m saying too, he just doesn’t agree with it – which is also fine.)

    also, related – to nitpick what grey says in the original post – my primary argument is that bautista was “not a fluke”. not necessarily that he’s “not overrated”. it’s possible he could not be a fluke and still be overrated.

    also, totally unrelated – you guys want to hear my crazy idea for a rays closer sleeper?

    matt bush!

    think about it. their entire bullpen left. the job’s open. the leading candidate right now is kyle farnsworth. bush throws 98 with other good pitches. everybody talks about how electric his arm is. they put him on the 40-man. it’d be a great story. mcgee’s left-handed, lefties always get screwed out of closer jobs.

    i realize it won’t happen. but what if it did?

  81. royce! says:
    (link)

    @Grey: I’m on a fantasy baseball blog commenting on the sorry state of Tuesday television. So I’m quite concerned that the Biggest Loser could be me.

    Just kidding, I’m livin the freakin life! The wife has a class tonight so I got to cook for myself- steak with bacon (and spinach somewhere in between)! Huh, maybe I should watch the Biggest Loser.

  82. JoeC says:
    (link)

    @Wilsonian: As I said, carry on.

  83. freak says:
    (link)

    White Collar and Tosh.0 were on tonight. Waddya want, the days can’t all be Thursday or Monday.

  84. royce! says:
    (link)

    @wily mo: I’m going to have to disagree with you about your argument.

    You state, “my primary argument is that bautista was ‘not a fluke’. not necessarily that he’s ‘not overrated’. it’s possible he could not be a fluke and still be overrated.”

    Of course, if he was being drafted #1 overall, he could still be “not a fluke” and “not overrated.” But your argument, that he is not a fluke, implies that he will hit somewhere around the same amount of HR next year. If that is true, he should be drafted very early, especially because he’s qualified at 3B.

    I mean this in the friendly way possible, but it seems that you believe that he will hit near the same amount of HR in 2011, but you don’t want to really say it.

    Or maybe I don’t understand your definition of “fluke.”

  85. royce! says:
    (link)

    @freak: So defeatist…I’m declaring my candidacy for president right here, right now, on razzball. My platform – if you elect me president, every night will be Thursday night!

  86. freak says:
    (link)

    @royce!: But Thursday’s have too many good shows. My DVR can’t handle it. Maybe you should just spread things out so there aren’t more than two good shows on at once.

  87. royce! says:
    (link)

    @freak: Yeah, that’s probably a better idea than kidnapping most of NBC and making them perform new episodes on a daily basis. Cheaper, too. Thank goodness for razzball!

  88. Wilsonian says:
    (link)

    @Grey: I finally had to quit the Biggest Loser cold turkey this season. It really was starting to take up too much of my life. I’m assuming that this season, of course, is the best…especially with Rulon Gardner on it.

  89. royce! says:
    (link)

    I take it all back. If there had been anything entertaining on television I would’ve never found this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-B63Wy7i5U&feature=player_embedded#

    I also would have never took place in a Yahoo! mock draft in which someone picked Mariano Rivera at #6. So I guess we’re even, universe!

  90. @royce!: i actually think i’ve been going into, if anything, too much detail about what i mean, so. i don’t know what to say.

    by “not a fluke” i basically mean that the hitting coach / swing tweak is what enabled him to hit the homers. that he was a different hitter in 2010, because of things he was doing differently at the plate, than he was back when he was hitting 16 homers in partial seasons.

    i believe that he’ll continue to do those things differently at the plate next year. but (a) that belief could be wrong. he could lose focus or forget what he learned or try to tweak something else and screw everything up. and (b) the same process doesn’t necessarily guarantee the same results. the pitchers are involved too. they thought he sucked last year. this year they might find a new way to attack him and neutralize him. that’s the merit of grey’s focus on players who have done what they do year after year – they’ve proved they can repeat their process and get their results, and they’ve been tested by the major league ecosystem over a long enough time that if they had a fatal flaw it probably would have been found by now. that isn’t true of bautista.

    nobody in the history of baseball has been able to hit 54 homers reliably every year. i certainly don’t think jose bautista will be the first.

    but i -do- expect him to do some good things. grey is a little more skeptical. but i think the degree to which we’re actually disagreeing has probably gotten a little exaggerated. grey projects 25ish, i’m thinking maybe 35-40. if he hits 32 we’ll probably both say we were right.

  91. royce! says:
    (link)

    @wily mo: I think I understand what you are saying. You think Bautista is not the same hitter as he once was, that whatever change that occurred is more likely to stick around than fade, and therefore that he’ll continue to hit a bunch of HR.

    I think I was probably just getting too wrapped up in semantics. But I was reminded of what Brady Anderson said to defend his 1996 season- it wasn’t a “fluke,” it was an “aberration.” ( see http://cmdr-scott.blogspot.com/2004/03/lessons-of-brady-andersons-magnum-opus.html )

  92. @royce!: wow, that brady anderson article is actually fascinating. i’ve never been able to find good information about that, any theory that i could get behind.

    the steroids thing seems too easy, and, like i said earlier (and they say the same thing in this article), why would he stop.

    some great lines in that baltimore sun article, though.

    ‘Anderson usually kept a container of Creatine in his locker, but the supplement, which serves as an energy reserve in muscle cells, is legal. “That’s here to stay. It’s a legitimate substance. It’s found in food,” he said.’

    steroids are found in food, if you put them in your food

    ‘They remember Anderson as a man obsessed with physical fitness, someone whose training methods were seen as outrageous for a baseball player. They remember him working out privately on the back fields at Fort Lauderdale Stadium, where he would squat 200 pounds while balancing on an exercise ball.’

    holy crap

    …but, you know what, i sort of believe him. or, at any rate, his explanation is at least slightly more believable to me than any alternate explanation i can think of.

    is that what happened with bautista? a magnum opus, the stars aligning? bautista is streaky. maybe next year the streaks don’t last, or don’t come at all. but his eye makes me doubt that. anderson doesn’t mention working on his swing, per se. he says his swing was different that year, but he makes it sound like the new swing just came to him, like, in a dream or something, and then left again at the end of the season, like clarence the angel in it’s a wonderful life.

  93. DrEasy says:
    (link)

    I have to jump in and support wily mo. I’ve also been one of the ones thinking Bautista is for real. I’m a Jays fan so I watched a good number of Jays games last year. First of all, as wily mo said, he’s been doing this for a number of months, starting his supposed changed approach. Also, that’s when he became a full-time player.

    Yes, he pulls every pitch to left field. Pitchers tried to adapt to him, but he showed a great eye at the plate, and he let those outside pitches go for balls. His BB rate is great and supports this.

    Then, there’s the fact that the ENTIRE Jays team hit HRs like crazy (John Buck, EE, Hill, Alex freakin’ Gonzalez, even John McDonald hit them more than usual: highest SLG% of his career at age 36!). Can they all be flukes? I can claim it’s the new approach (which has its downsides too: with all the HRs the Jays still ended up only 9th in runs scored), you might say it’s roids. It doesn’t matter, the fact is that they’ve all been hitting HRs.

    Is he overrated? Yes, if you think he’s going to hit 54HR. If you think this, I have some nice property in Detroit for you. And some Nortel stocks (<- Canadian joke). But will he revert to the old Bautista who hit HRs in the teens? No way. I see 30HRs minimum, 40HRs definitely possible, as long as he has fully recovered from his off-season hernia surgery.

    Now bear in mind (or bare in mind if you're a nudist <- Grey joke!) the new coach wants them to run a bit more, so not only he should hit more HRs than Ethier, but he'll steal more bases too (9 last year).

    I wouldn't draft him in the first round or anything, but then again who is? Grey has him at 79th overall, I see him in the same tier as guys like Mini-Donkey (47), Michael Young (55) or Ethier (59). This means someone will probably draft him ahead of me too.

    Maybe it all comes down to semantics. Given my projections, maybe Grey will say that I'm not overrating him either. The Yahoo guys put him at around 40, which doesn't seem excessive to me.

    The other Jay to watch: EE. If he has eligibility at 3B in your league (I think he does in Yahoo!), grab him as a late flier (flyer?) and expect 25 to 30HRs.

  94. Doug Ault says:
    (link)

    Jose Bautista should choose Tom Petty’s “Even The Losers” as his intro music for next year.We could all have a good chuckle as he descends back into mediocrity

  95. Francis says:
    (link)

    Is $13 a good price for Bautista (3B eligible) this year (in a $260 league)?

  96. Francis says:
    (link)

    @Francis:
    Or would you keep D. Wright at $35?

  97. Tony says:
    (link)

    @DrEasy: @wily mo: You guys can very well be right about Bautista, but if you’ve gotta take him and the risk in the 3rd or 4th round…. its not worth it. Every year there’s these guys that have a great previous year and guys will SWEAR they’re going to do it again…. and they dont. If Bautista was 24 or 25 and coming into his prime, OK, but he’s 30. I mean call my crazy, but wouldn’t a guy with THIS MUCH talent, this much power find a way into a line up before last year? I know he corrected his swing yada yada yada…. Its just an unnecessary risk in the early rounds. But you have convinced yourselves and others its not so have at Mr. Bautista….. If you’re right, BRAVO! if you’re wrong? ewwww…..

  98. Nuke LaLoosh says:
    (link)

    @Francis: Forgive me for cyberstalking your JB question (I posted a more analytic response in another thread), but to cut to the quick, I wouldn’t pay a cent more than $35 for Wright or $13 for JB, because I’m a pessimist. With Wright, at least, you’ll much more assured of at least 25 HR, plus you’re a great bet for getting +0.025 in AVG and at +0.020 in OBP relative to JB.

    In my opinion.

  99. M.D. says:
    (link)

    i love ya grey (in a total hard-ass, chicago style, boondock saints sort of way) – but i just gave in too the bautista craze. Im in a 12 team AL only 5×5 dynasty keeper league. I was in need of power, and some salary relief ($260 cap). so i traded.

    Paplebon (last year of his contract) $16
    Swisher (2 years left) $23
    Buccholz (2 yrs left) $18

    and got

    Bautista (last yr, but can be extended up to 3 yrs for $5 per year) $10
    Joe Nathan (2 yrs left) $7
    Brayan Pena (2 yrs left) $1 (for a decent backup to round out my 15th keeper).

    What do you guys think. Did i give up to much? I got salary relief, a decent replacement for paplebon, and the upside in Bautista. I figure, worst case scenario, bautista matches swisher’s output, nathan comes half way close to paplebons save total, and i only lose out on buccholz.

Comments are closed.