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

Rob Neyer put Torre’s potential lineup as this:

(S) Rafael Furcal, SS
(R) Russell Martin, C
(L) Andre Ethier, RF
(R) Manny Ramirez, LF
(L) James Loney, 1B
(R) Matt Kemp, CF
(S) Orlando Hudson, 2B
(R) Casey Blake, 3B

That, folks, is not a long shot.  Torre loves lefty-righty combos like I love Pepperoni Combos.  Damon, Jeter, Abreu, A-Rod…  Always separated guys like O’Neill and Tino Martinez.  This is how Bernie Williams became a #4 hitter.  So let’s assume the above lineup is what it is.  Matt Kemp is now your 2009 Los Angeles City of Los Angeles Dodgers number six hitter.  How does this effect him for fantasy baseball?

Matt Kemp might be hurt for Runs now in the sixth spot, but he’ll be better for RBIs and he’ll have more opportunity to steal.  I don’t see his value taking a big hit if the above lineup comes to fruition.  Not to mention, this may not be the lineup.  Let’s say, Furcal gets injured, Hudson moves up to 1.  Or Martin and Kemp switch and then Kemp gets more Runs and less RBIs.  Or Manny hurts his neck on the Wild Toad ride at Disneyland and Kemp moves to 4.  Then Blake squeezes into two, Martin drops to eight because Torre thinks a catcher should bat there and Andre Ethier, who’s neither good for power or speed — let’s call him Andre Neithier, isn’t a number a number three and moves to 7 and Hudson moves up.  OR SOMETHING?!

In the end, the Dodgers lineup is not only stacked, but is extremely flexible.  It’ll give Torre and Lasorda something to think about on Wednesday pasta night.  All this bodes well for Kemp.  So no fear for anyone, except, well… Pierre will hit 10th during T-Ball games.

  1. Freak says:
    (link)

    “and then Kemp gets more RBIs and less Runs.”

    Other ways around, methinks.

  2. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @Freak: Right, my bad. Changing it.

  3. Kevin says:
    (link)

    Let’s hope Furcal stays healthy this year.

  4. bostonaccent says:
    (link)

    If Kemp gets 650 plate appearances again this year, the only way he won’t be valuable is if he wakes up one morning in one of those body-switching movies turned into Brian Giles. In which case, I hope Brian Giles wakes up as Meagan Fox, or else I still won’t care about Brian Giles.

    Better bet for 30/30, Kemp or B.J.?

  5. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @Kevin: I can’t imagine his PT is better than a 100 game over/under.

    @bawstonaccent: Kemp.

  6. papasmurf says:
    (link)

    If I was the manager I would put Hudson at 2 (at least against righties), but you’re right. Kemp does look like a number 6 at this point.

    But then that’s why I am sitting in front of a computer working an office job and Torre is managing in the Bigs and writing about AFraud.

  7. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
    (link)

    @bostonaccent: Kemp will be valuable but I’d be willing to place a very large wager that neither Beej nor Kemp makes 30 dingers. They combined for 27 last year, don’t forget.

  8. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @bostonaccent: @Baron Von Vulturewins: BBTF has Kemp at a 6% chance for 30 HRs. Upton’s probably close to that percentage too. I’m a huge fan of Kemp this year. I have him at 24 HRs. I’d give him a +/- of 2.

  9. Tom says:
    (link)

    As an LA guy myself, I love Ethier. In fact, I am not ashamed to say I have a slight man-crush on the dude, and didn’t mind at all when he eye-flirted with my wife and gave her an autographed baseball (that sits on MY shelf).

    But when it comes to Fantasy Baseball, that guy means nothing to me. I’m glad he’s a Dodger, but that’s my only team he’ll be on this year. I’m glad you guys can recognize that he got a little hyped last year.

  10. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
    (link)

    @Grey: This isn’t a bad problem to have, though not sure why you just focused on Kemp here.

    This actually has me interested in Ethier a smudge more, and Loney moves from the “Loney = CoJack” category to “Loney > CoJack.”

  11. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @Tom: Did he write on it his phone number?

    @IowaCubs: Ethier’s being overrated this year. Loney and Jackson are very close.

  12. TEEJ says:
    (link)

    Pasta night, ha! so, would you say that Kemp COULD actually go up in value because of the flexibility in the lineup?

  13. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
    (link)

    @Grey: I agree, though how much of Loney’s August 08 was the doing of Mannywood? He’s going to see a ton of hittable pitches if he’s batting 3rd.

  14. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
    (link)

    @IowaCubs: I meant to say Ethier, not Loney.

  15. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @TEEJ: Nah, I have him at 2009 Projections: 95/24/80/.295/30, so some RBIs and Runs could flip-flop, but he’s still about that.

    @IowaCubs: I can’t imagine he gets more than 150 ABs in the three hole and he’s still not the hitter he was at the end of last year.

  16. James says:
    (link)

    I knew this was going to happen! I am a huge Kemp fan, and had him on all my teams last year. He really should be hitting 2nd and Martin hitting 6th.

    Kemp really took off when he started hitting up in the lineup. I remember last year that he started a small slump, Torre moved him down, and he slumped even more. It was almost like a sulking type attitude that Kemp had. I hope this isn’t the case by him being moved to the 6th spot from his leadoff position.

  17. bostonaccent says:
    (link)

    The Beej had a torn labrum last year (hmm, that seems like something in the headlines…), whereas Kemp seems to be unable to hit homers on the road for some reason. (27/8 split over three years). I’ll have to check… does he get benched in favor of Pierre at Chase and Coors?

  18. Ian says:
    (link)

    I, too have fallen hard for Kemp this year. I was worried he might not hit in the top half of the order, but you make great points that hitting 6th might actually be a good thing for his value.

    Any chance Kemp hits 2nd and Martin hits 6th? Torre probably prefers Martin’s superior on-base skills in that spot though I suppose.

    I plan on taking Kemp as my 1st OFer, but there’s a decent chance Bay might be there too. Is Kemp’s upside and added SBs too much to ignore or should I go for the “sure thing” Bay?

  19. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @bawstonaccent: Kemp will only sit occasionally for rest.

    @Ian: I’d prefer Kemp to Bay.

  20. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
    (link)

    @bostonaccent: There’s quite a bit of convincing analyses with fancy numbers about FB rate that persuaded me 30 donks aren’t in the Beej’s immediate future. Sure, he was hurt last year, but then, he went on the postseason dinger tear with the same bum shoulder he’d had all year. (Got it fixed in the offseason.)

    Caveat: I drafted the bum second round last year expected 30/30. Got 9/45 instead. Not a viable trade-off.

  21. Tom says:
    (link)

    @Grey: I wish!

    Ok, I read somewhere that Matt Holliday (and two other Rockies, maybe) had interesting splits on the road. Their stats gradually got better throughout their roadtrips, suggesting that they struggled with the initial adjustment but could eventually play just fine on the road. Whoever wrote this suggested that Holliday might not be headed toward such a down-year after all, away from Coors.

    Given his so-so year last season, his new home, plus the fact he wont steal as much in Oakland, I’ve seen people pass on him in drafts. Is there a slight chance he could be a bargain? I wouldn’t pick him right now, but I’m curious.

  22. Colin says:
    (link)

    Kemp batting 6th? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! What the hell is that? He’s the second best hitter in the lineup and they project him 6th? CRICKY. I expected big things from this guy, I have kept him 2 years straight for him to breakout this season. Hopefully Torre will shuffle that lineup more than not.

  23. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @Tom: I think the study had a major flaw. In Alameda, these are not road games. These are home games in a really poor hitter’s stadium. Acclimate to it? He might. He still hit only 15 home runs in almost 300 ABs at Coors. Let’s say Alameda sucks only 5 HRs away from him. That’s potentially a 20 HR/10 SB guy.

  24. James says:
    (link)

    @Tom – I read any interesting write up on Holliday somewhere. The premise was that in COL pitchers don’t have the movement that they do away from COL, which will allow for better hitting numbers. The author did a study that showed Holliday got better (.AVG), on road trips, from start to finish. Thus, he acclimated, and from that was can assume he can do that in OAK.

  25. James says:
    (link)

    @Grey – I am confused by some comments you have made about Holliday. It seems you like him, but then you make comments like the one above, which I take as a knock against him. Do you like him as a 3rd round pick?

  26. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @James: Sure, I like him, just not as a power hitter who will take a big step forward b/c of a study I don’t buy into. I was just pointing out that that study was flawed. It was saying Holliday wasn’t bad on the road as he got used to it. That may have been true, but the real problem was what he did *in* Coors last year and now Alameda will be Coors.

  27. James says:
    (link)

    Gotcha – ha, I just glossed over Toms post before, and didn’t realize until reading your post that I wrote the same thing. Sorry about that…

  28. bostonaccent says:
    (link)

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: I just wonder how much of the postseason was the result of fewer games and so a better rested shoulder. Who knows?

    Kemp feels like playing blackjack with a Ellis Burks (at Fenway) payout. Upton feels more like putting it all on double-zero and getting breakout Carlos Beltran. Risk/reward and all that…

  29. Colin says:
    (link)

    Speaking of Manny, Grey I posted in the forums about a trade offer I got. I was wondering if you could clear things up about your opinion. The deal was I give Manny for McLouth plus I get his 4th rounder and I give my 6th rounder (he drafts 1st and I’m last – we’re 7 teams) in our NL-only league whereby we keep 8 players each. So 56 players are gone before the draft starts. If I do this deal, I can replace Manny with McLouth and Scherzer with Victorino. My 8 keepers will look like this going in:

    Braun, Kemp, Upton, Doumit, Gonzalez, Bruce, McLouth, Victorino. If I keep Manny and Scherzer, it allows me to draft Beltran and Fielder. But if I do the deal, I can’t draft Beltran as I will have no OF room. So I’ll be looking at drafting Fielder and I guess Peavy or Billingsley…the two top pitchers available. If I keep Manny and Scherzer, I can draft Beltran and Fielder back to back and have a VERY strong offense, and hopefully grab some pitching gems in the 3rd and 4th round and beyond and be middle of the pack in pitching at the end of the year.

    This all said, do you still think it wise I do this deal?

  30. Lou says:
    (link)

    Off Topic Alert! In your experience, what is the standard NL and AL only format? Still 14 batters/9 pitchers?

  31. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
    (link)

    @bostonaccent: Very nice analogy, though he reminds me of a spry Enos Slaughter.

    Interesting that Baseball Reference names Burks as one of Kemp’s closest comparables, and Markakis as his most similar comp.

    “On the ball field he is perpetual motion itself. He would run through a brick wall, if necessary, to make a catch, or slide into a pit of ground glass to score a run.” – Arthur Daley, NY Times describing Enos Slaughter.

  32. Pops says:
    (link)

    Due to keepers and current draft order, I’ve targeted this group as potential first outfielder. Most likely to exceed their ESPN ADP and keep their owner (the royal) me happy?

    Markakis (21)
    Beltran (24)
    Holliday (26)
    Kemp (31)

  33. Pops says:
    (link)

    Due to keepers and current draft order, I’ve targeted this group as potential first outfielder. Most likely to exceed their ESPN ADP and keep their owner (the royal me) happy?

    Markakis (21)
    Beltran (24)
    Holliday (26)
    Kemp (31)

  34. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
    (link)

    For the record, it’s nice to see so many new people posting on this site this year.

  35. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @Colin: Do the trade and draft Fielder and Peavy.

    @Lou: Yup.

    @Pops: I’d take them Beltran, Holliday, Kemp then Markakis, in that order.

    @IowaCubs: Yeah, it is.

  36. Colin says:
    (link)

    Grey, what is your reasoning? Am I more balanced? We are a 6×6 league and use Avg. and OBP. I would be taking a huge hit losing Manny and that .300+ average and .400+ OBP.

  37. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @Colin: Scherzer isn’t worth keeping in a league as small as yours, McLouth and Victorino are more balanced in other ways, Manny’s getting up there in years and his motivation isn’t always there, McLouth and Victorino are in their prime. Though I didn’t know your league was OBP from your above comment. In the end, it’s your team and the trade isn’t a slam dunk. I’d do it, but you don’t have to if you don’t want.

  38. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
    (link)

    @bostonaccent: Your gambling analogies are about right. Consider: every postseason there’s some player who goes on a tear (no pun intended). I wouldn’t jump to project it out over 162 ’09 games.

    Obviously it’s good strategy to target a few guys who should/could improve. But don’t count too much on maybes and possiblies. I got stung hard last year by betting wrong on a bunch of “break-outs”, including Beej, Rios, Zimmerman and (ugh) Frenchy. Just make sure to look at what they’ve recently done and think, “If they simply do that again, could I live with that at this draft position?”

    Hamilton in the 11th last year was the steal of the draft. Hamilton in the first this year is simply even money, like betting $100 to win $100.

    So Beej in the 2nd round means he pretty much has to improve on last year to make him worth the pick. That, to me, is too risky. I hope he’s better this year; I like him. I just won’t own him.*

    *Last year he was much more attractive to me as a 2B. As the 4th or 5th OF off the board? Before Beltran or Carlos Lee? No, thank you. Take Beltran, then take Kemp in the 4th.

  39. Colin says:
    (link)

    Thanks Grey. Always appreciate your Roto-wisdom.

  40. Ethier is being drafted, on average, 164.8 in Y! mock drafts in 2009. Last year, the player who was 165th in standard Y! leagues had stats like this: 79 R, 19 HR, 64 RBI, 4 SB .280 AVG. That seems doable for Ethier in 2009, right?

  41. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @DrGravitee: I have him projected at: 80/17/75/.290/5

  42. big o says:
    (link)

    upton’s power surge during the play-offs last year could very well have been aided by a cortisone shot .
    i’ve been huge on him from the start of his career .
    now , i’m going to skip a year .
    a premier talent , no doubt , but shoulders take a long time to heal … and even longer to get strong .

    obviously , manny’s presence will increase the fantasy value of nearly everyone in that line-up .
    i’m not suggesting that ethier is a better hitter than kemp .
    but i do think his value increases more , if he sticks in that 3rd spot .
    a whole lot more .
    but , he will have a built-in excuse to not run .
    so , in the final analysis , he’s still going to be required to put the bat on the ball …. and , increase his walk rate .

  43. johnson says:
    (link)

    orlando hudson was interviewed this afternoon on mlb on xm. he said torre told him he would be hitting second in the lineup. i guess that means martin hits 5th and kemp down to 7th. that is until may 1st when furcal gets hurt and is out for the season. then maybe kemp moves to leadoff. but anywhere he hits he should produce given the strength of the lineup.

  44. man kemp is one of those guys i am coveting, but i just hope he’s not Corey Hart in disguise? Whats wrong with corey hart? Oh he was just hyped about this much last year and yeah he did go 20/20 but the .268 batting average was not something to write home about…. I jsut dont see how torre could bat a guy this talented and speedy in the 6 hole. I know the post is speculative, but it also could very easily happen. Its kinda crazy thinking my 4th round pick could bat 6th in a NL west line up????? Seriously? KEMP should bat 2nd or 3rd, and if Eithier is batting 3rd is that not saying he should be bumped way up? Seriously with manny behind him?

  45. someone needs to talk to torre, fantasy baseball depends on it…

  46. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @big o: I think it was cortisone shot-fueled.

    @johnson: Hmm… That’s interesting. Thanks for that. So that could mean…

    Furcal
    Hudson
    Manny
    Loney
    Kemp
    Ethier
    Martin

    Which would leave Kemp batting 5th.

    @Tony Y: He’s not Corey Hart. Kemp doesn’t have great plate discipline, but Corey Hart is atrocious.

  47. Steve says:
    (link)

    That’s gotta boost Loney’s value, no?

  48. BigFatHippo says:
    (link)

    @Steve: No, Loney is what he is, which is to say, blahtastic. He’ll hit lots of doubles, won’t hurt your team, won’t help your team.

    Can ya tell I had him last year? And what the hell am I doing giving you advice? You’re a rival now, spend 40 bucks on him, go ahead I dare you.

  49. Steve says:
    (link)

    @BigFatHippo: You can do a lot worse at CI. At the right price of course.
    Go easy on the new guy ;-)

  50. BigFatHippo says:
    (link)

    @Steve: True that, got him for 7 last year. And more telling of his value, out of 25 players I drafted last year, only 9 were on my final roster. Loney made the cut.

    Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Sherlock.

  51. bostonaccent says:
    (link)

    @IowaCubs: Baseball reference, yes; I only crib from the best. Ellis jumped out at me as a true comp from watching him in Boston. Let’s hope Matt’s speed doesn’t disappear as suddenly.

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Similar ceilings, but admittedly the floor on Upton is a lot lower. I suppose Kemp is just a spring “worked out with UltraSuper ProSports in the offseason” story away from being a mortal lock for 30+ homers. But if he becomes boring in a Carlos Lee sort of way, sign me up twice as fast…

    Meanwhile, the big five atop the draft is down to the big four. And someone please convince me that Reyes couldn’t easily put up Upton ’08 numbers in that big park and with a slightly balky hammy/back/asdrubal?

Comments are closed.