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Maybe I’m a little superstitious.  Maybe I’m just like my father — 2 bold.  Whatever the case is, last year I kicked off the fantasy baseball sleeper series with Eric Hosmer after he absolutely ripped my heart out of my chest like he was Mola Ram and I was Short Round in the Temple of Doom.  This year, I’m taking on the same tactic.  I’m starting the fantasy baseball sleeper series with a guy that rained on my parade, then pushed aside my umbrella and whispered in my ear that it’s not raining, but I’m standing under a Port-A-John that has no floor.  P to the erhaps, I’m just being a fool with Mike Moustakas.  A lamb being led to the slaughter.  But if I were a lamb being led to the slaughter by Moustakas, I’d end up shawarma, which is tasty.  I can’t get past one big number from him last year — and, brucely, he only had one big number — 16.1%.  That number sticks out to me.  I’ll loop back to that number.  Come with me, and you’ll see a world of pure imagination, where we imagine Moustakas not defecating on our teams.  So, what can we expect from Mike Moustakas for 2014 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

He will never be confused with a SAGNOF’er.  He doesn’t have much speed at all.  Picks ‘em up and puts them down.  Maybe he’ll get 4-6 steals in a very good year.  You don’t come to him for speed.  There’s no reason to even talk about his speed except…Again, with emphasis…EXCEPT his lack of speed means he has to make solid contact to get on base.  His BABIP last year was .257 and in the first half when he hit for a .215 average he had a .228 BABIP.  His line drive rate was pretty bleh in the first half at 16.4%.  His 2nd half BABIP, average and line drive rate respectively were .302, .259 and 22.6%.  All numbers that you can live with, if they were over the course of the season.  His homers per fly balls in the first half was 5.7%.  That’s nearly half of his rate from 2012 and in that year he only hit 20 homers.  He ended 2013 with a 6.9% HR/FB, which is comparable to such guys as Jon Jay and Brandon Crawford.  That’s silly.  He shouldn’t be in their company.  Moustakas was struggling, making adjustments, unable to find his groove, went to Jamaica, had an affair with Taye Diggs, found his groove and looked much better in the 2nd half.  Okay, back to that 16.1% number.  That’s his strikeout rate.  Only one guy hit for a lower average than Moustakas with a strikeout rate that good (Darwin Barney, who is a slap hitter with no speed — a bad combo).  Usually if a guy hits .233 like Moustakas did, he strikes out at least 20% of the time and likely 25+% of the time.  Moustakas isn’t a .230 hitter.  He isn’t a 12 homer hitter.  So, what is he?  He’s still only 25 years old and has plenty of time to break out in a big way, or at least in a way that would make him well worth drafting late as a sleeper.  For 2014, I’ll give him the line of  71/20/76/.251/3 with room for upside.  Or I’m shawarma.

73 Responses

  1. bossmanjunior says:
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    Two other factors to keep in mind are his fly ball and infield fly ball rate. Due to his swing, Moose hits a lot of infield fly balls (18.1% career) which is evidence of weak contact. The fly ball rate will unfortunately keep his BABIP low.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @bossmanjunior: He did some better things in the 2nd half and should hopefully carry that into this year… You are right though, his IFFB rate is poor and he won’t hit .300 any time soon…

      • Furious says:
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        @Grey: As a Royals fan, watching Mousse routinely hit infield pop ups with runners on base is maddening. If he comes close to your prediction the Royals should be in great shape.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Hopefully…

  2. The Strolg says:
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    When I saw this post I thought it was April 1

  3. Count de Monetball says:
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    Hi my name’s moth. has anybody seen a flame? Here is to a) Mike to changes his last name back from most suck ass; and 2) I don’t draft him so I don’t have to worry about him. I agree grey he is a good sleeper candidate!

  4. PublicEnemy#1 says:
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    Just got him at pick number 290 in my slow NFBC draft. This is what a sleeper looks like. Stay bold, Grey Albright!

  5. The Thumb says:
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    Just did some pondering at rotochamps way too early top 300. Some odd standouts;
    Fielder (4)
    Cliff Lee (17)
    Bruce (19)
    Hosmer (31)
    Victorino (32)
    Crisp (46)
    Simmons (65)
    Gray and Cole (71,72)
    Cobb (92)
    EYJ (97)?????? Leonys is 187
    Bogaerts (114)
    Craig (132)
    Kemp (143)
    Kinsler (155)
    Starlin (197)
    Headley (351)

    Here’s the link in case anyone else wants to waste some time http://www.rotochamp.com/baseball/PlayerRankings.aspx

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @The Thumb: Yeah, it’s too early for that to mean anything…

    • Fungazi says:
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      @The Thumb: @The Thumb: There are a lot more standouts than just those. That list is junk.

  6. gareth says:
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    Moose is a fringy platoon bat. His usefulness would possibly depend on your league format.

    He may be passable in a daily league where you can mix and match him with a right handed 3rd baseman who kills lefties. In a weekly league – if for example he was facing four lefties that week – he would basically crap on your 3rd base stats for that particular week.

    I’m really not a fan of the guy.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @gareth: Ha, I can tell…

      • gareth says:
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        @Grey:Aside from his splits, the pitchers park be plays in doesn’t help his cause at all. In the central, the only real hitters ballpark is Chicago’s.

        So he’ll be playing a ton of games at kaufman, target, comerica and the neutral progressive.

        I’ll pass……….

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          If he’s around 200+ ADP, he’s worth the flyer…

  7. gareth says:
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    Look out AL Central!

    The royals have signed dayton moore the a 2 year extension and inked Jason Vargas to a 4 year contract.

    The twins have given Phil Hughes and Ricky Nolasco sizable pay checks to fortify their rotation.

    Aside from the AL central, The rest of baseball must also be shuddering with fear at the though of facing these teams now.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @gareth: Yeah, huge money being thrown around in that division…

    • Swagger Jackers says:
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      @gareth: The tribe could use a veteran pitcher to round out their staff. Perhaps that hillbilly Arroyo?

      • gareth says:
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        @Swagger Jackers: noooo Arroyo. I’d rather take my chances with carrasco, tomlin and bauer………

  8. gareth says:
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    With all these mediocre players getting bloated contracts (in cost and years) in a free agency it way be wiser and more cost effective for teams to improve a ballclub through trades for cost controlled talent. Having surplus at a particular position / having a good farm system seems more important than ever.

    The non tender deadline tonight also seems like a good opportunity to take a flyer on some guys. Some of whom may provide more value than those over priced free agents.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, be hard to develop a team strictly through free agency…

  9. gareth says:
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    If you’re a GM, I wonder if you can go into a KFC and order a bucket of Non Tenders?

    Anyway, here are some guys that would be worth a roster spot and may thrive in a new environment on a different ballclub if they are non tendered tonight:

    John axford, garrett jones, travis snider, seth smith, drew stubbs, esmil rogers, daniel hudson, jerome williams.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Maybe Hudson and Axford, rest are fringe players…

  10. gareth says:
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    This may Interest J-FOH as I know he’s a huge football fan.

    A local guy called Al “bubba” baker is going on “shark tank” this Friday to pitch his patented boneless rib product.

    AL is a former NFL player who runs a BBQ resturant in the neighboring town of Avon, Ohio. My wife and I have been there a few times and had a good time. The food’s good, there’s sports memorabilia everywhere and AL himself is usually there serving and greeting the guests.

    He told us once that he uses a special technique on the ribs. I asked him what that was and he said “I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.” Coming from a large and imposing former NFL player, that was both frightening and hilarious.

    • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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      @gareth: i thought the shark tank was where the hockey SJ sharks played? in san jose.

  11. gareth says:
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    Ok, I’m taking a kitty nap now……………

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Night

  12. Oppo Taco says:
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    Hey grey I need two keepers out of boegarts/profar/Kimbrel/holland/Bautista thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Bautista, Bogaerts… Tough call though with Kimbrel…

  13. Sky

    Sky says:
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    Definitely a target for my deeper leagues. I can’t wait for your Tyson Ross sleeper post that you hadn’t thought of writing until I said it here. I want Royals and royalties in 2014.

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Sky: I would think you would save a buck by walking to work and having only one household car, but nope, you so greedy Sky……damn, I am so pissed about my football debacle yesterday that I’m taking it out on everyone and anyone, I’m even coming over to baseball to bitch because I don’t want the football kids see me cry. My eye sockets are a leaky faucet

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Tyson Ross, you say? Hmm, now I’ll have to walk that fine line between forgetting you said that but remembering someone did…

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        @Grey: I’m pretty sure every time you make a good reference in your articles that starts ‘I can’t remember who said this but it was true’, you are talking about me. It’s ok, some day you’ll remember who I am…maybe. Unless you’re the Guy Pearce of fantasy writers or something.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I have a tattoo on my body that says, “Don’t credit Sky for sleepers.” No idea how that got there…

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            It’s the same one you put on that said ‘don’t discredit Sky sleepers’ after my Niese call in 2012. Then you covered ‘dis’ with duct tape and sharpied in a carrot and ‘for’ after my Dan Uggla one in 2013.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              I have a post-it carrot ready to go at any moment with my Sky tattoos…

          • Terrence Mann says:
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            @Grey: Admit it. You also have a Polaroid of Rudy “You can trust him. Just don’t let him take a pitcher in the first three rounds in our public leagues.”

            • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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              @Terrence Mann: nice memento references.

  14. J-FOH says:
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    Brucely Moosely

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      The Spruce Moose…

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: I think it should be the Spruce Moobs….He’s so big he can’t get up high enough to fly, “excuse me sir, you are going to have to get two extra seats if your Moobies are going to hang over into the two seats on your sides”

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Could just pay the extra $45 and get an exit row so his moobs can hang forward with space…

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Grey: he might knock someone out with those

  15. scottsteelers says:
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    I know its super early, but football season ended for me. Ha. 12 team H2H 5×5 categories. I need to pick 5 keepers. If same rd obviously one is forced to earlier rd. Out of these
    Mccutch 7th
    Puig 11th
    J. Fernandez 11th
    Segura 11th
    Machado 9th
    Adams 11th (assuming he starts first and craig goes OF)
    Wacha 11th
    Matt Carpenter 11th
    Bailey 11th
    Latos 14th
    Whatcha think Grey? Thanks man

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Jo-Fer, Puig, McCutchen, Segura, Machado… Great group, could see going a few different ways…

  16. scottsteelers says:
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    Yea that is my gut as well. Then I thought about the possibility of removing segura for Adams or Wacha possiblym do you trust Segura next year? Decent drop off 2nd half. I know adams had about 5 morw Homers than Craig in half the at bats at one point. And wacha looked like a king on the mound in playoffs. Latos and bailey drive me nuts. I could reach a little and take carpenter if I wanted him back

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I trust Segura… If anything, I could see removing Machado if he has a setback due to his knee and putting in Carpenter or Latos… Adams and Wacha don’t factor in…

  17. gareth says:
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    So kazmir’s off the board. A year after the guy plays independant ball for the sugarland skeeters he gets a two year 24 million dollar contract. Remarkable.

    At this rate, ubaldo jiminez gets a 5 year, 100 million dollar contract.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, yup…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Nice callback…

  18. Gareth says:
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    Tommy hanson and Daniel Hudson are non tender candidates.

    If they are let go tonight, could they be Possible Kazmir’s for 2014?

    The Hanson comparison may be apt – Like Kazmir he was a Top prospect, was traded to the Angels where he proceeded to be abysmal. Hanson is still only 27!

    Hudson – So Talented, So unfortunate with injuries. He’s 26!

    A team could also trade for Brett Anderson now the A’s have Kazmir in the fold. He earns 8 million in 2014 with a team option for 12 million for 2015.
    However: 175, 112, 83, 35, 44. Those numbers? His innings pitched each season for the last 5 years.
    Anderson is still only 25 though! If Jed Lowrie can stay healthy for a year………

    A Toast to the new market inefficiency – LOTTERY TICKETS!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’d be surprised if Hudson is non-tendered… Hanson could be, but he has a long way to go to come back… Hudson’s journey back wouldn’t be as surprising…

  19. Wake Up says:
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    What does it sound like when Doves Cry? A lot like one hand clapping at Mikey the Moose queefing…

    (it wanted me to type queening)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha

  20. SteveNZ says:
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    Rosenthal saying Fister heading to the Nats.

    That’s Ken, not Trevor…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Nice… That helps his value a tad…

      • SteveNZ says:
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        @Grey: Krol, Lombardozzi and a minor leaguer going the other way (it says here).

        • SteveNZ says:
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          @SteveNZ: Robbie Ray is the other geezer. As friend-of-Razzball Jason Collette just said on the Twitter, if MLB was a fantasy league, there would be 28 veto emails being sent to the commish right now.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Ha, totally… Yeah, not sure why the Tigers are dumping Fister… They’ve done some strange moves so far this postseason…

            • SteveNZ says:
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              @Grey: Don’t think even a MR B would do that deal.

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Not sure Steve Lombardozzi’s mom would do that deal…

  21. gareth says:
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    Fan dabby lombardozi!

  22. gareth says:
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    “Beep beep beep.” What’s that sound?

    Its the sound of 29 GM’s running through their contacts list looking to sign the non tendered john axford and daniel hudson for a combined 7 million dollars for the 2014 season.

    Yes please!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Hehe

  23. gareth says:
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    Oh and the tigers have now essentally traded fielder for castellanos, fister for smyly, replaced infante with kinsler and retired Leland for a rookie manager.

    As an Indians fan, I can live with that.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yup

  24. Public Enemy#1 says:
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    Think O’Day closes in Baltimore now or do they go shopping for a 9th inning man?

    • Public Enemy#1 says:
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      @Public Enemy#1: Or maybe Tommy Hunter makes more sense.

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @Public Enemy#1: that would be the shit since I have no closers but do have o-day on the 30 team dynasty league i just inherited.

  25. Slim

    Slim says:
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    I have Moustakas in an almost Dynasty keeper league. Right now Moustakas is NOT one of my 20 keepers in a 16 team league. 6×6 OPS,Holds. H2H. 25 active roster plus 3DL, 3NA.

    I think I will keep…
    Ramos, Rizzo, Gyorko, 3B ???, BMiller, Cespedes, AJones, Stanton, Yelich, Hosmer, Springer(Bench or NA)
    Mad Bum, Matt Moore, Minor, Gray, Harvey (DL, Err do I have to keep him?), Ubaldo, Cingrani, Kenley

    There’s 18 out of 20 I think are definite keepers…

    Possibilities… Moustakas, Davidson, Cody Allen, Clippard, Gregerson, Alex Meyer (NA), Pineda, Quintana, Tyson Ross.

    Does Moustakas make my team, essentially leaving next years 5 round draft being relegated to pitching? This team won 1st place last year and it should be better this year.

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