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It’s time to start looking ahead to the 2013 fantasy baseball season. With that in mind, this column will hope to shine a light on players who are noticeably affected by OPS:

David Ortiz – Exciting, huh? No matter how boring picking a 37-year-old designated hitter might seem, it still doesn’t change the fact that he’s an anchor in OPS leagues. No, that doesn’t stand for Old Player Skills, though he’s definitely got those. Ortiz is one of the anomalies that appears to somehow get better as he ages. It seems strange, but it’s not unheard of, right, Paul Konerko? Big Papi finished last season with a 1.026 OPS. Let’s all take a minute for that to sink in. If you don’t quite have a grasp of what that means, here’s a general baseline: anything over an .800 OPS is solid and anything over a .900 OPS is fantastic, while anything over a 1.000 OPS usually indicates you were one of the best hitters by this measure.

So what can we expect from him next year? Well, I’m not going to project a 1.000 OPS because I wouldn’t do that for anybody, but there’s no reason for me to believe that he can’t top a .900 OPS. That’s extremely valuable in any league. Sure, it hurts a little to not have the flexibility of your utility spot, but Ortiz is probably going to be more productive than anybody else you were going to use in that spot. He also typically goes several rounds later than I think he should in drafts, due to the designated hitter label. If he qualified as, say, a first basemen or outfielder, I don’t think he’d make it out of the third round in OPS leagues, even with the lingering injury concerns. For 2013, I’ll give him an indulgent .290/.390/.530 line.

Josh Willingham – I was infatuated with him since the beginning of last season. Despite having mentioned him several times in 2012, would you let me throw his name out there again for 2013? Really? Thanks, you’re all too kind. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like people are reluctant to have this guy on their team and I don’t get it.  Sure, he’s not young (unless you’re comparing him to Ortiz) and he occasionally gets injured, but he’s established himself over the last couple years as capable of hitting 30 homers for your team in less than a full season. With 30 home run power feeling scarcer than ever, I’ll gladly welcome him on my team. Not to mention that he walks at an excellent rate and hasn’t let his strikeouts hinder his performance. The thing I most like about him is that he’s maintained a higher home run to fly ball rate since August 2011, so there is no reason to expect his home run power to disappear going forward. For 2013, I’ll give him a .260/.360/.500 line, which he is more than capable of meeting. Add that to his current average draft position that is past pick 100 and you have the potential for a very valuable outfielder.

10 Responses

  1. JoeyBelle says:
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    Whats with the annoying audio-video adds on this page. what, am I on some pirate site watching mad men illegally or something?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’m not getting them, and they shouldn’t be on the page… If you point me to where they are coming from I’ll remove them immediately… Sorry about that…

      • JoeyBelle says:
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        @Grey:
        on this exact page lower right, theres one from something called aucienceTV, this morning it was for glade or resolve

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Okay, when I get home in a few hours I’ll look into it… Sorry about that… Can you tell me how low on the page? Three ads down? Two?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          @JoeyBelle: I think I removed it, let me know if it’s still there… Thanks!

          • JoeyBelle says:
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            @Grey:
            seems to have worked, now theres some truck video. but no audio, so it doesnt bother me at all. Ill keep refreshing a few more times to see if it comes back or not

  2. Big AL says:
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    Had Josh last year and was more than happy with his production. He was a 5th OF late pick.He took the place of my 3rd OF pick in May and stayed in my starting lineup till August.Then I needed a SP and traded him for it. Talk about value.

    Never had Big Papi,but wished I had him many times. What round do you think he’ll go in a H2H 12 man 5×5 league. Even if he gets hurt,he’s so valuable while he’s in there.Talk about consistency Big Papi is that and more. I,m gonna try and get him this year on a couple of teams.

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Big AL: Cool, you played it perfectly with Willingham. Big Papi has an average draft position of 104 on MDC right now and I doubt he’ll go earlier than the seventh round in the majority of 12 team drafts. I could see him still returning value if he’s taken as early as the fifth round.

  3. I am a huge backer of Willingham. Really did not pursue him in drafts last season, and regretted it all season long. Ortiz has the impediment of only having DH eligibility, but where you can get a Utility player with his production, you take it and run. Or in the case of Ortiz, trot.

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