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You see how I’m segueing from the 2013 fantasy baseball rookies into the 2013 fantasy baseball sleepers.  Shizz is seamless, yo.  You’re welcome.  When Manny Machado was first called up, I compared him to Hanley Ramirez, because of his power/speed combo and his maturity beyond his years. (That’s baseball maturity, I can’t speak to Hanley or Machado’s ability to make responsible decisions; to have confidence and the capacity for self-assertion, certainly; the ability to laugh, and to laugh at yourself, not at the expense of others; to take risks and– well, other signs of maturity as suggested by Ann Landers.  I don’t know from maturity, I had to Google it.)  Unfortch, Machado no longer has middle infield eligibility.  Whatever, his power and speed at the age of 20 (!) will play at 3rd base.  Also, I love that the Orioles are going with him.  By the age of 22, he could be drafted in the top rounds.  So, what does that mean for Manny Machado in 2013 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Last year, I wrote, “In keepers and AL-Only leagues, pursue with reckless abandon.  As soon as next year, he could give you 15/15/.250.”  And that’s me quoting me!  That still sounds pretty right on.  FWIWuertz, Bill James projected him for 15/14/.256.  I gave him those other projections line prior to him getting one major league at-bat.  After seeing him for nearly a third of the season, I could see bumping his line up a little.  I worry that his walk rate bottomed out last year in his first major league go-around.  He needs to lift his 4.5 BB% by about double.  For someone who jumped from Double-A, that’s not surprising and is doable.  He saw his first batch of real off-speed pitches on an everyday basis in the majors, and he still hit seven homers in 51 games.  Once he conquers the off-speed junk, he could hit 30 homers, and climb to a mountaintop and scream, “I conquered off-speed pitches!… Hello?  Hey, anyone around?  Damn, I should’ve never used a Groupon for a sherpa.”  To give you another real-life example, Miggy jumped from Double-A to the majors at the age of 20, hit 12 homers in 87 games and then hit 31 homers at the age of 21.  Do you see the kind of comparisons I’m making?  I’m not comparing Machado to Alcides or Victorino or Headley, I’m comparing him to Hanley and Miggy.  I’m comparing him to guys that make you wanna kiss your girl on the neck to see if she’s in the mood, which she isn’t.  Sorry, she’s got a headache.  BTW, next time your girl says she’s got a headache, tell her that’s okay, you’re gonna eff her brains out.  It’s classy, chicks love that.  It wouldn’t shock me if Machado is that guy who comes (virtually) out of nowhere and puts up huge numbers.  Yes, I’m excited.  Yes, I’m gonna be drafting me some Machado.  In 2013, I’m gonna give him the line of 72/19/81/.274/12.  That’s good for a corner infield slot in all mixed leagues with upside for much more.

  1. beardcrabs says:
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    so what round are you targeting him…

    i’ll try the headache move tomorrow night, we’ll see how that one goes…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      It’ll go great! Make sure she’s not in the mood at all… I’d like to see some draft data before answering… Cause if he’s not being drafted until the 180th pick, there’s no reason to draft him until 150… I gave him projections that are around 100 to 120th overall numbers…

  2. Shitbird says:
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    I considered using the eff your brains out line but realized my wife would give me a ball ache for my efforts.

    Who do you think projects better offensively long term: Machado or Profar?

    Thanks Grey.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      She’d like you more because of it! It’s hard to say, they’re both going to be good… I’d go with Machado right now, but a man has the right to change his mind…

      • Nicky numbnuts says:
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        @Grey:

        ‘Specially after getting your brains effed out.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ha… Yup…

  3. jay says:
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    So its a 20 team keeper league. No CI spot and no MI spot. Just SS and 3B.

    My keepers so far are votto, bautista, mccutchen. Need 2 of these 3.

    Lawrie, machado or profar.

    My initial thought was lawrie and profar since machado loses his SS eligibility.

    What do u think?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Those two make sense…

  4. quimmy says:
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    Liriano to the Bucs for 2 years. He could have an AJ Burnett like resurgence?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      It could happen, Liriano wasn’t exactly in a miserable park with the Twins though…

      • quimmy says:
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        @Grey: True. I guess I was referring more to the switch to the NL than the ballpark factor. But I hear you.

  5. OaktownSteve says:
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    You got me thinking about the sophomore slump. Hosmer in 2012 and Heyward in 2011 definitely helped perpetuate the narrative of the sophomore slump. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of definitive statistical evidence as to whether or not the sophmore slump exists. There are numbers based arguments I’ve found on either side. The guy I think is the most intersting is Trout. I’m sure there’s going to be infinite chatter as the season gets close on how to value him, so I might as well get started.

    Any player who produced at his level is such an obvious candidate to talk about regression. His season wasn’t just rookie good, it was all player historically good (especially for fantasy). Seems impossible that he won’t regress even before discussing the sophomore slump.

    As far as the sophomore slump, I’ve always thought it’s hard to piece together because there’s a mixture of factors. There’s often the league catching up and figuring out how to attack the hitter. There’s also the league just paying attention to that player as someone that you have to be aware of as a pitching staff. To that later point, the quality of the line up that Trout will be playing in means that teams can’t be overly focused on him as a guy to not let beat you.

    I’m looking forward to hearing how you and the rest of your collegues treat him as the season sneaks up. The Hardball Times has an early top 300 out and they’ve got him at 3. I can’t see myself going that high. We’ll see.

    • royce! says:
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      @OaktownSteve: It’s funny, having owned him last year in one RCL, I thought that he had slowed down considerably as the season wore on, so I was going to write something trite about how perhaps he is so advanced that he fit his sophomore slump into his rookie season. Then I actually looked at the numbers and he batted .284 with 7 HR and 11 SB in August and .289 with 5 HR and 7 SB in September and October, so I guess I was just used to getting insane numbers from him. Crazily, he did not hit one IFFB in any of those months. But his K% climbed steadily, ending at over 25%. Anyhow, I don’t have a strong opinion either way, but I think that http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/mike-trout-reasons-for-caution/ sums it up nicely.

      • OaktownSteve says:
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        @royce!:

        Nice .gif’s in that Fangraph piece. Guy who wrote it mentioned he didn’t see any difference in the swing. I think I see a slight difference in the height of the leg kick as the season goes on. He seems to be loading up more on the back leg in the earlier swings. Nothing radical though.

        The league adjustment thing is notable though. It almost validates your sophomore slump in his freshman year theory. You just didn’t go back far enough in your breakdown. His early months are what elevated the season from special to unreal.

        • royce! says:
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          @OaktownSteve: Re: not going back far enough- that’s what I meant by relating that I thought he actually had not been good in the later months; it turned out he had been good, but the insanity of his early months had me used to getting better production out of him. I was extremely spoiled.

          Anyhow, if you projected 600 AB based solely on his “slump” months (Aug/Sept/Oct), he would hit .287 with 31 HR and 47 SB. Those are MVP numbers (and, save the AVG, are pretty close to Bill James’ projections). And having done that math makes me think I would draft him at 3, at least.

          • OaktownSteve says:
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            @royce!:

            I don’t know. I’m torn on this one. The guy seems so legit. The “fundamental data” as I like to call it (make up in other words) seems so good. Guy doesn’t go out, sleeps and breaths baseball, makes great adjustments, learns from coaches and veterans. Everything says he’s the real deal. But there’s that other nagging side to me. We’ve never seen a full season. We’ve never seen how he’ll respond to a slump. There are going to be blonde OC groupies for days. Doesn’t everybody succumb at some point? He’s only human.

            • JoeC says:
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              @OaktownSteve: Personally, I prefer my groupies dark-haired and cat-eyed… but to each their own.

              • Stoops Noh says:
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                @JoeC:

                I think it’s a slippery slope to base projections on things like makeup. That’s exactly why sabermetrics and the statistical revolution is now such an effective and ubiquitous presence in baseball.

                Sophomore slump is usually a product of small sample size more than league adjustments. When have you ever seen a transcendent star have their best season their rookie year? Trout is on that level.

                Where you draft Trout should depend on his eV relative to other players’ eV. If you believe Royce, that the dropoff is not a huge risk, and we can all agree the upside is pretty enormous, I’d say he should be a consensus number one.

                People will play it conservatively with him though and likely he will most often be drafted behind Braun and Miggy. This is all a product of loss aversion.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loss_aversion

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, he’s going to be an interesting case because he can’t possibly produce at his level… It’s just absolutely impossible… YET, he’s got top five speed, so even if he regresses to, say, 15 homers and 40+ steals with a .290 average… Are you miserable with that? I think he’d be tough to get fully behind if he had to hit 30 homers… He stole 50 bases in 5 months… If he goes 12/55, I wouldn’t be shocked or that disappointed…

      • OaktownSteve says:
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        @Grey:

        I think the thing is, there’s probably a couple guys in any league you’re going to be in that are going to pay for last year’s numbers. I mean THT has him at 3 overall. He very quickly gets into that category of yeah I’d love to have him but the price is almost for sure going to be too high.

        I mean I’ll give you an interesting comp: how about Jacoby Ellsbury? His 2011 compared perhaps even favorably to Trout’s 2012. Harball Times early 300 has Ells at 43 overall. Trout at 3 overall or Ells in the 4th round, I ask you…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ellsbury has two of three seasons where he’s disappointed, and is riding the good vibes and bad farts from one huge year… Trout hasn’t disappointed (yet)… Ellsbury is also, what? Seven years older? 29 year old whose speed has been trailing off, and has been injured… I’d prefer Trout by a lot, as of this preseason…

          • OaktownSteve says:
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            @Grey:

            I don’t know, man. Like I said he’s one season removed from a year better than Trout’s year, he’s basically a career .300 hitter. He’s got a 50 and a 70 steal year on the books. He’s got a 30 homer season on the books. And 29 is actually still within the band of “prime years”. His injuries have been catastrophic rather than chronic. I’ll point you back a couple of years to where folks had slapped the “injury prone” label on Ian Kinsler and he’s given you back to back years of basically 730 PAs. I really see no reason why Ells couldn’t give you 15 hrs and 30+ bags and have numbers close to a regressed Trout season. Yeah, all things being equal you like Trout. But given the likely draft slots, just putting it out there.

            I’ll give you another guy coming off a down year. Matt Kemp. You taking Trout before Kemp?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              I hear ya… Ellsbury had a great year one year ago… He’s also never approached that sort of power anywhere ever… He’s nowhere near the guy that stole 70 bases… I’m taking Trout over Kemp… Kemp has a shoulder injury that he’s still recovering from, so I don’t trust him to be 100% in April…

  6. Carnac says:
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    December 21, 2012 and not a single mention of the end of the world on Razzball.com? Maybe the Mayans were right and Grey’s been raptured. Wait, huh? But to that [excellent] point, if Grey is raptured will all that’s left be his sneakers and disembodied mustache in front of his computer? Or maybe the chances are better that Mayan Jesus is more interested in the kicks and the ‘stache than the rest of Grey.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I read from a very reliable source* (not reliable), that the world is going to explode when Eric Hosmer hits his 30th homer (in one season; they specified)…

      • apoxonbothyourhouses says:
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        @Grey:

        thought that was Man Boobs’ left implant.

      • OaktownSteve says:
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        @Grey:

        Funny how many FBBers seem to be emotionally scarred by Hosmer. Emotional response not withstanding, he appears to be an ideal Razzball sleeper for 2012. Hosmer is a victim of the recency phenomenon. His SABR numbers were basically in line with 2011 except the BABIP. There was a shoulder injury in the mix. All things being equal, I would expect to be seeing a Hosmer sleeper post from you.

          • OaktownSteve says:
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            @Grey:

            I went into a bar on Dec. 2 and have no recollection of anything that happend until Dec. 7th, so I missed that most excellent post.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              You must’ve missed the new design too… We got a new design! (Hmm, probably obvious at this point)…

  7. He is on my radar as one of the best sleepers in Yahoo or CBS style mixed league play… You are right to warn folks not to reach for him… As the Orioles have had little patience with struggles at 3rd over the past few years… A host of guys have moved through that position for them… I’m betting this kids sticks as do the Birds with him… In AL Only keeper play – he is worthy of a big dump deal if you are in building mode

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’d be shocked if he didn’t stick… The bigger gamble is how well he sticks… Guys like Hanley and Miggy stuck the landing and didn’t look back for six years… (at least in Hanley’s case)… While other great players have struggled early on then built on successes…

    • OaktownSteve says:
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      @T Moore:

      T Moore, I commented back on the Donaldson thread. Still completely disagree with you, but appreciate the back-and-forth.

  8. otisbird says:
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    with the position eligibility changes, I have Miggy (1yr), Beltre (2yrs), and Machado (2yrs) as probable keepers (AL only). I guess I can put them at 3B, CI, and UT, but that would seem to limit my draft day flexibility. Would you try and trade one of them for a pitcher (i have maybe one pitcher worth keeping)?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, trade one for a pitcher for sure…

  9. Commish Cauda says:
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    20-team, H2H dynasty points league with $70 cap

    I have loads of power, (Joey Votto, Chris Davis, Jay Bruce). Trade Giancarlo Stanton $4 for Andrew McCutchen $5?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      It’s fair… You can’t move one of the other guys?

  10. Hats for Bats says:
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    Grey . . . do you watch The League? I bet you’re a chronic rosterbator

  11. Cole says:
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    So this is a 12 team keeper league, h2h points. Who is getting the better deal? Votto and Harper vs. Trout and J. Upton. Because of pick-up rules Trout and Harper are on unfavorable contracts and there is an incentive to move them.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Trout side… But it’s fair…

  12. Brent says:
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    Hey Grey,

    This is my first post. Love the site.

    How much would you pay for Machado and Profar in a standard head to head 12 team mixed auction? The catch is we put all the players on contracts before the season with a max of 4 years (1 exception of 5 years). So if I paid 10 bucks for one, I’d have them at that price for the next 5. Here are my current keepers in case that helps.

    1B Pujols $39 (2 more years)
    3B Wright $22 (2 more years)
    SS A-Cab $14 (Only one more year)
    OF Trout $5 (3 more years – I know, we just started this format last year)
    OF Harper $8 (4 more years)
    Of Jennings $22 (2 more years)
    UT Goldschmidt $4 (3 more years) We start 2 Utilities so I could play Machado at Utility.

    SP Price $24 (3 more years)
    SP Bumgarner $20 (2 more years, Kept bidding based on your man-crush, thanks for that)
    SP Haren $25 (2 more years, trying to trade him, what do you think?)
    SP M Moore $13 (3 more years)
    SP Scherzer $5 (1 more year)
    RP Jansen $2 (1 more year)

    I have 57 bucks going into this year and I really only need a C, 2B, SP and 2 RPs (We start two. Thanks for any input.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks for the kind words! I’d put $7 for Machado and $5 for Profar…

  13. KO says:
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    Keith Law recently commented that Machado has the potential to be a MVPNNT. That is MVP not named Trout. Think about that. I agree with your complete assessment, which is rare. Nice blog.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Cool, thanks for the kind words!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      That’s a shame…

  14. beardcrabs says:
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    who would you rather have as an alternate keeper: Hunter Pence or Chris Davis…

    10 team, H2H, keeper…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Davis

  15. actually, releasing endorphins into the bloodstream is shown to reduce pain. orgasms and laughter both release endorphins. so you’re actually helping by giving her an orgasm or having her laugh at you for asking.

    Machado’s awesome, too.

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