In the top 20 2nd basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball post January Grey mentions that there will need to be an overrated post for Matt Carpenter written at some point. Way to pass the buck, bucko! Well, two can play that game, Morris Chestnut, so I’m going to copy some of the shizz January Grey spewed at ya and vomit it right back, “Last year, Carpenter scored 126 runs. That’s the third highest runs total since 2008. To give you an idea of what the guys who beat him did the following season: Granderson scored 136 runs in 2011 and 102 the following year and Trout scored 129 in 2012 and 109 last year. No one scores 120 runs in back-to-back years without a crapton of steroids. Do I smell an overrated post coming for Carpenter? I can’t smell due to a build up of cerumen that’s made its way into my nasal passages, but it sounds about right. (BTW, the Wikipedia picture for cerumen is so nasty. Don’t look, seriously. And now that just made you want to look. Suckers!)” And that’s me quoting January Grey! So, what makes Matt Carpenter overrated for 2014 fantasy baseball?
I wanna talk generally about stat projections that plays into that quote above from January Grey (you bastard!). Homers and steals are a lot easier than batting average, runs and RBIs to project. Runs and RBIs are directly connected to the lineups around them and where they’re placed in said lineup. If the guys behind Carpenter are in an 0-for-30 slump, it doesn’t matter if he’s hit 30 doubles in a row, he will sit at 2nd base. If the guys in front of him can’t get on base, he won’t drive in anyone without hitting a home run, something he only did 11 times last year. Batting average is very dependent on luck. Carpenter makes solid contact, but even solid contact can be caught. His batting average last year was .318. If ten balls that went for hits last year were caught (that’s one hit every 16 games), Carpenter would’ve hit .302. Steals are obvious to predict — guys either have speed or they don’t. Something Carpenter doesn’t have a whole lot of (3 steals last year). Power is obvious — can’t hit homers without it. Carpenter’s 11 homers last year wasn’t good when you consider a very important number — 717 plate appearances. That’s more PAs than Michael Bay had on his last film. Since 2000, there has been 90 players that have notched 717 plate appearances. Of those 90 players, 25 players had less than 11 homers. That’s actually a larger number than I expected because I forgot something. You need to be at the top of a good order to get 717 plate appearances, and who’s usually at the top of a good lineup? A fast player. Of the 25 players with at least 717 plate appearances and less than 11 homers, no one comes within spitting distance of only 3 steals. NOT ONE SINGLE PLAYER. Anyone that has around 3 steals with that many plate appearances usually has 35+ homers. The best comparisons for Matt Carpenter’s 2013 are Craig Biggio in 2003 (15 HRs, 8 SBs), Michael Young in 2006 (14 HRs, 7 SBs) and Derek Jeter in 2012 (15 HRs, 9 SBs). Quite the exciting group, huh? Yeah, and those guys were much better than Crapenter when eliminating runs, RBIs and average. I’m actually being generous when I project Crapenter for 94/12/69/.304/4. One DL stint and he doesn’t even reach those numbers. Don’t trust me? Our Steamer projections have Crapenter down for 92/12/65/.289/5. I have him ranked 102 overall, ESPN has him at 68 and Yahoo has him at 52. As our podcast host, Nick, would say, “You have been advised.”