Seriously, how underrated were Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch?! When it comes to the top Hip-Hop artists of the early 90’s, how many were better than these guys? Basically none of them. I mean, god damn, Good Vibrations is so good. Amirite? No? Oh okay. That’s probably true, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch were actually pretty awful. Although I
won’t can’t lie, Good Vibrations is pretty damn catchy. Luckily for Marky Mark, he moved on to bigger and better things like this, and this. Come on, who doesn’t wanna be Dirk Diggler when they grow up? Ahh, the American Dream… Anywho, I’m going to cover a couple players who have recently also moved on to somewhere new and should be on to bigger and better things. How about that segue (not to be confused with segway)? Yep, nailed it! Anyway, if you’ve already drafted, it may not be too late to try and make an offer for these guys before the word gets out. Well, I guess if your league-mates are smart, i.e. reading this, then its probably too late and they are onto your plan by now. Au Shizz!
As always with these points leagues posts, remember that the information mentioned here should be of use to you not only in points leagues, but in other leagues as well, because a great player in points leagues will probably be a great player in other leagues and vice versa.
Welp, lets get this party (possibly NSFW) started!
The player I’m most excited about changing teams over the winter, for the sake of fantasy value, very well could be Mark Trumbo. While Trumbo has averaged a little over 30 bombs each of the past three years, I expect this number to rise, as he gets the pleasure of leaving a home environment that heavily favors pitching and heads to one that is much much friendly to hitters, especially power hitters. And if there is one thing we know that Trumbo can do, it’s hit the long ball. Shizz, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he hits 40 or more dingers, playing half his games in the desert at Chase Field. To put his power into perspective, over the last three years, only four players have hit more home runs than Trumbo’s 95. These players are Miguel Cabrera, Jose Bautista, Adrian Beltre, and Jay Bruce. That’s pretty good company. It is especially so when you consider that the latest any of these other 4 players are getting drafted, on average, in the middle of the 3rd round and Marky Mark Trumbo isn’t typically taken until about 3 rounds later. That sounds like good value to me. Yeah, I know he strikes out with the best of them and doesn’t provide a whole lot of batting average to go along with an almost complete lack of speed, but I don’t care. If I were in a 5×5 league, these things might matter more to me, but in points leagues, I couldn’t really care less. Homers are king in most points leagues and there aren’t many guys who can provide that better than Trumbo. On top of that, there are reasons to suggest that Trumbo may improve in other areas as well, most notably, batting average. Trumbo’s average was awful last year at just .234. However, if you dig a little deeper into the peripherals, you will see that he had a BABIP of just .270, well below league average (~.300) and below his career BABIP of .286. Although a return to the mean for Trumbo wouldn’t increase his average a ton, he would be able to at least put up a BA of around .250. In fact, most projection systems have him right around .260 for his average. I would certainly take that to go along with 35-40+ bombs. When you add in extra value for his positional versatility (1B, OF), I wouldn’t hesitate taking him above other players going in the same range like Allen Craig (health), Matt Kemp (health), Ian Kinsler (look at his numbers away from Texas), and Eric Hosmer. When actually looking at the numbers, is Jay Bruce all that much better than Trumbo? Maybe if you squint just right?
As far as pitching goes, another guy who recently switched teams that I have an eye on is a starting pitcher for the Padres. I’m not talking about everyone’s popular bounce-back pick, Josh Johnson, but rather his teammate, Ian Kennedy. I know, I know, his numbers last year are worse than awful. And as a Kennedy owner last year, you’d think I had have learned my lesson. I guess not. His sparkling 2011 season keeps me hanging on. Seems like so long ago… However, there is reason for optimism. I know it was a small sample size, but his numbers as a Padre (roughly 60 innings) do provide us with a glimmer of hope. Before arriving in San Diego, his ERA on the year was a dreadful 5.23. His ERA after becoming a Padre was 4.24. Combine that all together for a rough 4.91 ERA. Ouch. But… While a 4.24 ERA isn’t great, it’s certainly an improvement. Kennedy’s old home, Chase Field, as discussed above regarding Trumbo, is a favorable environment for hitters, while Petco Park in San Diego is arguably the most favorable environment in baseball for pitchers. This is particularly important flyball pitchers like Kennedy. It does appear that once Kennedy moved to San Diego, his numbers we closer to his career averages. In addition, Kennedy’s peripherals were much better than his stats. His xFIP was 4.19, compared to his season ERA of 4.91. All of this leads me to believe that Kennedy is primed for a bounce-back season (ceiling of a top 35 SP, in my opinion) and he couldn’t have a better ballpark to help him do that. The projection systems also seem to think that Kennedy is in for a rebound this year, with ZIPs (courtesy of FanGraphs) projecting a 3.49 ERA with about 173 K’s in just under 200 innings. All other projections have him with an ERA under 4.00. I’d love that from a starter that I can get towards the end of the draft or off the waiver wire in more standard formats with an ADP of 266. He won’t be an ace, #2, or even #3 starter on most/all teams, but, at the very least, is an innings eater (top 20 among SP in IP over the last 4 years) that can get the strikeout. There are definitely worse options to round out your staff.
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