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I’m sure in a lot of leagues where people know a thing or two about a thing or two Starling Marte will be one of the things they know a thing or two about.  Since it’s still relevant, let’s see what I said last year about him, “The Pirates equipment manager, Buffalo Bill, has to start making a uniform made from Jose Tabata’s skin.  Put the lotion in the basket, Tabata!  Tabata, “I wanna go home!”  You won’t go home, ever.  Because you never get on base, that’s the first step to going home.  Tabata, “But I was a spring sleeper!”  They’re slaughtering the spring lambs.  Can’t you hear their screaming?  I call that piece, The Mash-Up of the Lambs.  In Triple-A, Marte’s hitting .286 with 12 homers and 21 steals *quieter voice* and 12 times caught stealing.  So he’s a bit raw like your fava beans.  In Double-A the year before, he had 12 homers and 24 steals *barely above a whisper* and 12 times caught stealing.  But he did hit .332 in Double-A.  I don’t think he’s going to be rosterable off the bat in most mixed leagues, but in keepers and NL-Only leagues, I’d stash him now.  He could get 7-10 homers with 10 steals.  Plus, with his speed and power combo, he could surprise with nice upside.  Now, excuse me, I’m having an old friend for dinner.”  And that’s me quoting me!  He ended up getting five homers and 12 steals in 167 major league at-bats, and cemented himself in the leadoff spot for the Pirates like he was Jimmy Hoffa.  So what can we expect from Starling Marte for 2013 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

For 2013, Bill James projects Starling Marte to get the line:  82/15/64/.297/31.  That average looks crazy like that time when you wanted to give huffing glue a chance, but the rest shouldn’t be too far from what you’re gonna get from Marte.  That’s a beautiful thing.  That’s like the New York Times review of Guy Fieri’s restaurant in its inverse.  That means Marte is going to go from being drafted as a fourth outfielder and give you second outfielder numbers.  The caught stealings still bother me.  Last year in his 12 steals with the Pirates, he was caught 5 times.  But the Pirates aren’t exactly the 1927 Yankees playing in Coors Field with aluminum bats and balls filled with helium (baseballs, that is).  What do they care if guys are caught stealing?  The Pirates’ magic number isn’t for the playoffs; it’s for whether or not they will finish with a .500 record.  Marte has shown his power can translate, and we know speed translates.  My biggest concern is his 27.5% strikeout rate last year.  If he qualified with ABs, that rate would’ve had him among the ten worst K-rates.  Out of those ten only Chris Davis hit better than .250, and Davis needed a .335 BABIP to do it.  Most guys in those ten hit below .230.  There’s a real chance Marte hits .240 or lower.  The bright side, he had a 21.1% K-rate in Triple-A, so he could o’ercome thy whilst’s biggest forsakeness.  Sorry, the monkeys that type this stuff up write Shakespearean sonnets from nine to five.  For 2013, I’ll give him the line of 77/12/58/.252/27, which chance for solid upside.

From Around The Web

  1. DrEasy says:
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    Hmmm, sounds like an excellent fingercuffing candidate, if I recall the Razzball glossary correctly… Where did the glosary link go?

    • VinWins

      VinWins says:
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      @DrEasy: It is in the dropdown menu under “Tools & Statistics.”

  2. Bob says:
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    Good article. I’m high on him too.

    Need some advice. 10 man h2h 7×7 (add hits, obp, k9, qs to traditional 5×5). League only has 1 dh spot. We keep 5 so I’m keeping Trout, The dread pirate, and hamels. Which other 2 would you go with between Beltre, Gio, Ellsbury, Zman and Mauer? Thanks

    • Tony says:
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      @Bob: i’d go GIO & ELLS, mauer would be my 1st one i’d nix, beltre because he’s getting older and an injury risk, so that leaves gio/ells/zman….. which zimmerman, just thought of that, ryan or jordan?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Bob: Thanks! Agree with Tony, which Zimmerman?

      • Bob says:
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        @Grey: Ryan. My thinking is to keep one of the 2 3b but keeping both is risky bc they are both injury prone. At least Ryan has age on his side. Then again, Ells would fill out my OF before I draft a player. Perplexed…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          @Bob: Do you have a corner infield spot?

          • Bob says:
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            @Grey: no. c,1,2,3,s,3 OFs, util, 5sp, 2rp 5 bench.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              @Bob: Beltre and Gio then…

    • Jack Full of Hate says:
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      @Bob: Id keep Ells and Beltre, keeping pitchers sucks and with those new categories you can get better values for lesser valued arms. I would not give up on Belroido just yet. I have been playing QS for years and all i have to say is Jair Jurgens was a top ten QS guy one year. And when it comes to K’s per 9 bullpen is the key to that. The more important question for strategy is what are your innings limit or starts limit, that will help determine your values as much as the categories.

      • Bob says:
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        @Jack Full of Hate: There are no limits except for pickups which is set for 70. It’s a weekly league and you aren’t allowed to start a starter in the RP slot (5 starters and 2 Rps on starting roster).

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          @Bob: BTW, I’m leaning towards Beltre and Gio…

        • Jack Full of Hate says:
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          @Bob: then I would go with beltre and gio like grey said, btw, that league does not sound fun. i hate weekly changes and I really hate moves limits. good luck

  3. Swaggerjackers says:
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    What kind of Obp do you project?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Swaggerjackers: Small uptick in BB% and a .325 OBP… Not great, obviously…

  4. Colt .45 says:
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    12 Team Keeper league up to 7 players, but I will be compensated in keeper round draft picks if you dont keep the full 7. (example I keep 5 player all of the other teams keep the full 7, I will have keeper comp picks in overall rounds 6 & 7, then the real drafting begins in round 8).

    Players to choose from are Matt Wieters, Adrian Gonzalez, Paul Goldschmidt, Jason Kipnis, Desmond Jennings, Jason Heyward, Mike Moustakas, and David Price.

    I am thinking about keeping Agon, Kipnis, Heyward, and Price, and take my chances in the compensatory rounds. Thoughts?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Colt .45: A-Gon, Goldschmidt, Kipnis, Jennings, Heyward, Price…

  5. L-Boogie says:
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    Just got the first “baseball is almost upon us” e-mail from the commish of my long-standing, highly competitive, big $$$ league. He wants to know if any teams will not be returning. This past season I dropped from first to third with 2 days left to the season. TWO DAYS!!! It broke my heart, crushed my soul, and destroyed my hopes of purchasing a new home theater system. It was so devastating I’m starting to think it’s not worth the pain and agony. I could use a hug. Any words of wisdom that’ll inspire me to get back on the horse and saddle up for another season?

    Thanks dude.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      You’re two days away from winning your big money league and now you’re going to quit? Why not run the Boston Marathon for 26 miles then stop at Dunkin Donuts with two-tenths of a mile to go and watch some Kenyan beat you?

      • L-Boogie says:
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        @Grey: I ran my ass off for 26 miles (ok, I had to pee in the woods at one point) but the end of the race was being blocked by Votto, Dread Pirate, Bruce, and Kinsler staging an anti-RBI rally.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          @L-Boogie: And this year you’re going to see those players go 100-for-101 in the final ten days and carry that Kenyan to another marathon win?! (I’m so lost in my own metaphor.)

        • JoeC says:
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          @L-Boogie: Close losses should just inspire you to try all the more. If you were consistently finishing in the bottom of the standings despite your best efforts, well then maybe it would be wise to take up fantasy curling instead. :)

          But yeah, c’mon… buck up and snap on that chin-strap… there’re rings to be won.

  6. Squidblob says:
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    Grey- your moustache is full and enviable. I’m in a 10-team league w/ 8 keepers. I’m keeping Kemp, Hanley, Kinsler, Granderson, Price, and Verlander, so I need 2 more of the following:
    Rollins, Victorino, Ortiz, Prado, Revere, Kipnis, Rizzo, Frazier, Rosario

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks! It is beautiful, right? Rizzo… Then it’s a toss up between a few guys… I’d probably just go with Rollins and play Hanley at 3rd…

  7. Jack Full of Hate says:
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    besides owning the dread pirate i dread owning any other pirate offensive player this year. the outfield is unclear and full of platoon potential, and not the good kind with two kick ass fathers in barnes and elias, walker is frustipating with his good 6 weeks out of the year potential and the rest of the time questioning why I owned him for three years straight. Kinda like dating a girl that is around only for the reason of not being lonely all the while knowing you can upgrade at any time but too lazy to put on some pants and going outside. Sanchez is, well Sanchez. Jones is a split stat junkie and I just don’t ave that kinda devotion anymore. Russell Martin has some upside, if you are looking for a replacement for your regular catcher who is out for a couple of weeks and the only other option is John Buck in the free agent pool. And lastly, there is Pedro from Pittsburgh, who I equate to a really hot junkie, good to look at, fun to bone, but always having that she does heroin thing going on.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha, that’s awesome… But remember, Starling’s not putting on pants to go outside lazy… Starling’s putting on your pants to go outside to try and get laid while your friends eat dinner at Friday’s while wearing sweatpants…

      • Jack Full of Hate says:
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        @Grey: hey, wait a minute, I wear sweatpants when I go to Friday’s, or Chili’s, Applebee’s and the Red Robin. That hurts when it comes from someone else. On the flip side though, I follow my corporate dinner with a trip to the strip club, so I guess it makes sense.

        Speaking of Starlin in some pants, he might be that chick that looks great in the pants and then her ass falls to the floor when she takes them off, been there. Does that analogy make sense?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          @Jack Full of Hate: Ha… It makes sense… But his ass his tight and can balance a six pack of Schlitz.

          • Jack Full of Hate says:
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            @Grey: where can you find a six pack of schlitz?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              I’d hope in any respectable store…

  8. Tom says:
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    Wishing you all a healthy and prosperous 2013!

    Keeper Question:

    Keep 7, 10 team 5×5 Roto;

    Erick Aybar Jose Bautista Shin-Soo Choo Pedro Ciriaco Josh Donaldson Adam Dunn Todd Frazier
    Carlos Gonzalez Howie Kendrick Ryan Ludwick Miguel Montero Albert Pujols Carlos Quentin Aramis Ramirez Mark Reynolds Jimmy Rollins Justin Upton Eric Young Clay Buchholz Alex Cobb
    Gio Gonzalez Jeremy Guthrie Joel Hanrahan Edwin Jackson Casey Janssen Jim Johnson
    Ian Kennedy Cliff Lee Paul Maholm Kris Medlen Fernando Rodney Travis Wood

    I’m thinking JUpt, Joey Bats, Cargo, Phat Albert, Gio, + 2.

    Thoughts?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Tom: Happy New Year! J-Up, Joey Bats, Cargo, Albert, Gio, Cliff, Choo…

      • Tom says:
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        @Grey: Thanks Grey! I was wondering if I should load up on bats, so I hesitated keeping two pitchers, but I really don’t have any other obvious keeper hitters. I’m curious, why Choo?

  9. Brian says:
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    Hi Grey,

    I am looking to make a trade in a keeper league with minors. Not to go over the whole trade but part of it would include Christian Yelich. The other owner is not comfortable giving up Yelich so I need to pick a replacement out of the following:

    Jedd Gyorko, Jean Segura (still qaulifies as minor), Gary Brown, Carlos Martinez or Jake Odorizzi.

    Would you mind advising who you would replace for Yelich in order?

    Thanks a lot.

    Regards,

    Brian

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Brian: Segura, Odorizzi, Gyorko…

  10. OaktownSteve says:
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    Have you ever heard about the Pirates minor league conditioning program? It’s like a combination of the World’s Strongest Man competition and Navy Seal Training. You stay awake for 72 hours then try to pull a Greyhound with a harness while some guy with a crew cut screams angrily about your manhood and the loose morals of your mother. I’m only half joking. And then they wonder why nobody they bring up from their farm system knows how to play baseball. Alex Presley stole 9 and was caught 7 times. Tabata had 8 steals and was caught 12 times. McCutchen had 20 and was caught 12 times. Pittsburgh led the majors in caught stealing with 52 and was by far the worst in percentage having successfully only stolen 73 bases. According to SABR guys you need to be successfully stealing at least 70% of the time or your hurting your offense. Pirates at a robust 58%. One of the many reasons they stink.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @OaktownSteve: I know about the Pirates minor league system, I just saw Zero Dark Thirty and Alex Presley was the one who got UBL. That’s interesting about their stealing percentage… What a mess…

  11. If he can hold down a lead off spot and get the PAs, he may be a decent late pick up in 12 man Yahoo mixed if you need speed on a flyer…. You can be brilliant if he succeeds or dump him when he stalls or runs into a brick wall- because there is always a big puddle..

    Think his speed/mini-power would make him a solid to super 16 team mixed lower end outfield pick up …. 23 man roster style… Non Keeper league here… Value goes up in keeper leagues – dah

    Think the James BA is a misprint … He is a 270 BA ( forecast ) player tops… K-rates Smay-rates… He just needs to cut down his HR swing a bit… Leadoff will mandate that he listens to his coach – is my thinking – If coachable, he will do that… Then if he isn’t??? Get out an ocean of lotion!!!!…

    Glad you brought him up… As an A.L. only fan… I tend to focus there too much and allow my – BIG DEAL – THE DOUBLE SWITCH – WOWY ZOWY – THAT WOULD GIVE ME A HEADACHE TO MAKE THAT KIND OF A BIG MOVE IN A BALLGAME!!! – prejudices to get the better of me…

    By the way, this guy is a much better sleeper that Frazier was the other day.. Grats

    You are a fount Mr. Gray… Have you ever dabbled in sonnets – hear they are ready to make a big come back right after reality TV falls on its face next season… America is ready for a reawakening and you could scribble it …

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @t moore: Ha… Thanks! I’m working on the next great sonnet!

  12. ON James projections… Sometimes it seems, he is using the same algebra ZIPS does… A nutty one pops right out at you…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @t moore: Yeah, I think it’s from putting through a computer rather than looking at every player…

  13. quimmy says:
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    Grey, any chance we can get an eta for the first 2013 rankings post? Its like 2nd Christmas for the kid in me. Thanks

    • quimmy says:
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      @quimmy: just to clarify, by “kid in me” I am totally speaking metaphorically….

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @quimmy: Not this Monday, but next Monday… The 14th…

      • JoeC says:
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        @Grey: Damn. January Grey is late! You sure you’re not preggers?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Last year started on Jan. 16th… I’m popping out preemies this year!

          • JoeC says:
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            @Grey: You mean I went through the same pain last year? Ah… I think I get how women can have more than one child now: they forget the pain!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Ha… Exactly!

  14. Jon says:
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    So do you have a computer-based projection system you work off of and adjust with your gut, or is it all gut?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I go off of the players’ stats…

  15. beardcrabs says:
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    if there’s anyone interested in a slow mock draft on couchmanagers.com (it’s free) for a Dynasty League there are two spots left… 15 team, rosters are deep sort of like a NFBC, and 8 hour time limit…

  16. Jon says:
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    I’m in a CBS keeper league and we’re looking to revamp our keeper system. I won’t get into how we’ve determined values in the past because it’s a pretty stupid system, to be honest, based off of CBS’s rankings.

    We’re a 10-team H2H, mixed league, and usually one owner turns over every year and I’d say there are 6-8 of us who are always competitive. How would you recommend setting keepers from year to year? Simple number? What do you think works best? We’re used to keeping 10-15 guys.

    5×5 stats, C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, MI, CI, OF, OF, OF, OF, DH, 3-8 SP, 0-5 RP plus 10 reserve players, 4 injured, 5 minors

    Thanks for any help/advice!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Jon: I prefer keepers that turn over rosters more so there’s no teams that dominate for many years at a time… My keeper is five keepers in a auction draft and the player’s salaries inflate $5 every year…

      • Wallpaper Paterson says:
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        @Grey: My league had that system before it fell apart due to owner fighting. Players kept their auction value for two years. If kept for Year 3, the salary would then escalate $5.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Two years seems too long prior to price escalation… Nothing wrong with players being sent back to auction for rebidding…

          • Wallpaper Paterson says:
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            @Grey: As it turned out, I found two years too long too.

  17. pubscout says:
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    Grey-

    Adam Jones/Anibal/Ackley/Brian Anderson v. Aaron Hill/Gardner/Fowler. Which side do you like and is it close?

    Thanks, as always…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Jones side… Not that close…

  18. EWV says:
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    Hmmm – both guys got mentioned in the comments…I can keep Rizzo @ 10 or Marte @ 1 …NL 5×5 with OBP instead of AVG…

    What are your thoughts?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @EWV: I’d go with Rizzo…

  19. MAOooohLaLa says:
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    Why is no one mentioning Justin Ruggiano? Was he absurdly lucky or something last year? Are there playing time issues? .313 38R/13HR/36RBI/14 steals in limited time looks awfully juicy…Am I missing something here?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      He was absurdly lucky and he’s a journeyman who got lucky for half a season…

  20. MAOooohLaLa says:
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    appreciated.

  21. MAOooohLaLa says:
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    sorry, Grey, one last question…

    how do you feel about kipnis? is he Ian Kinsler jr? he started off ridiculously last year, faded for a long stretch there in the middle, and got a little hot at the end. Finished up third on the 2b player rater. Any insight as to how he’s gonna follow it up?

    I’ll leave you alone as soon as you stop giving good advice.

    -OooohLaLa

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      He isn’t nearly the base stealer he was in the first half last year… He’s around a 15/17 guy overall…

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