Yesterday, the Twins traded Aaron Hicks to the Yankees for serial-killer-in-name-only, John Ryan Murphy. Here’s what I said earlier this year, “When Hicks first came up, people thought he was going to be better than that Pollock fella. No, not a stereotypical dumb person, but as in A.J. Pollock. In Double-A, Hicks had 12 homers, 32 steals and a .285 average. Then strikeouts enveloped his game in the majors and he hit .192 with a 27% K-rate in 2013, and hit .215 with a 25% K-rate in 2014, but this year, .277 and a 17% K-rate! That’s a huge improvement. That’s what she said! What?” And that’s me quoting me! On a side note, am I the only that sees K-rate and then tries to chop in half a wooden block while screaming hi-ya? “Today, Daniel-san, we will talk about K-rate.” No? Okay, maybe it’s just me. *Grey does a flying crane kick* “Oh, he’s been practicing his K-rate.” Still nothing? Okay, I’m moving on. One more Pollock comparison that is likely coincidental but I’m gonna throw it out there. Pollock didn’t break out until his age-27 season and Hicks is only 26. Okay, one more Pollock comparison, Pollock never stole 39 bases in the minors leagues, but just did it in the majors. Hicks never stole more than the aforementioned 32 bases, but that means nothing. Okay, fine, one more Pollock comparison! Pollock never hit more than ten homers in the minors and he just hit 20 homers in the majors. So who cares Hicks never hit more than 13 homers in the minors. That’s still above anything Pollock did. Okay, and I really mean it this time, one more comparison to Pollock. The excitement I had last year for A.J. Pollock when I called him a sleeper is nearly identical to the excitement I have right now for Hicks. Okay, okay, one final thing on Pollock! The mistake I made last year when I didn’t draft him after flagging him as a breakout won’t be repeated with Hicks. Let’s go over quickly what Hicks did last year, he hit 11 homers with a 11% home run to fly ball ratio, which is completely repeatable, so last year in 155 games he would’ve had 18 homers. He also had 13 steals and four steals in September. If he stole 4 bags every month, he’d have 24 steals. Last year, he had a .256 batting average with a .285 BABIP, which is low for him. He’s got some speed and a .310 BABIP isn’t out of the question (he had years of a .340+ BABIP in the minors). If he gets to a .310 BABIP, he’s going to hit .270. Really, that’s not a stretch, which is also a nickname no one ever called Altuve. 18 HRs, 24 steals with a .270 average on the year? If he would’ve done that, I’m not sure we’d even be talking about Hicks as a sleeper, but rather as a top 20 outfielder. And this isn’t me fighting hard to get him to these numbers. Like a migrant worker, I’m cherrypicking a little with the steals by saying he’s going to get four a month because he did that in September, except (!) he’s likely closer to a guy that could take six bags per month. When Steamer projects Hicks for 10 HRs and 11 steals with a .256 in 2016, it doesn’t worry me. It actually makes me more excited because that means most people aren’t going to be excited about him. Steamer is very conservative and doesn’t flag breakouts; that’s my job. For 2016, I’ll give Hicks the projections of 82/15/52/.274/26, assuming the Yankees find a way to get him a starting job this offseason, which seems all but assured. So, my question for you is, who’s the Pollock now? Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Apparently, it was never the elevation in Coors. It was because it was cold in Colorado. Or at least that’s what the Yanks/Tigers game looked like last night while it was played in Arctic temps (granted, a hot day in the Arctic) and snow. Other teams may get some ideas that it’s all about the cold. “Let’s get Howard, Utley, Galvis and Asche on that side of the air conditioner, and the outfield on the other side. Now go straight from the AC to the batter’s box. No, don’t stop at the on-deck circle! You’re dropping to room temp!” Yesterday, David Price gave up 8 ER on 13 baserunners in 2 1/3 IP. That reminded Yankee fans of their teams from the 1950s, or when most of the current roster was teenagers. Obviously, this is just a blip, but if you can buy Price from a panicked owner, I’d consider it, even if it did seem yesterday like Price was Rocky screaming at Mickey to cut him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ma nishtana, how is tonight different than every other night? Because there’s some G-D regular season baseball! Ah fanabla! The Padres aren’t wasting any time with bird sex or Joaquin Benoit either as they traded for Craig Kimbrel. Why do I get the sense that the Padres played 2,500 games of Strat-o-Matic this offseason and on Saturday it was 1249 to 1249 and they were like, “Nuh-uh, we didn’t pay $750 million in free agents to tie the World Series. We need to get to that twelve hundred and fifty-first win!” Then the Padres’ management patted themselves on the back saying they were Strat-o-Maticians like that wily Epstein guy. Then another Padre official even said he thought that guy’s name was Wily Epstein. So, Benoit now has the value of a film degree in Hollywood. “Well, we were gonna let Spielberg direct this film, but this guy over here has a Master’s degree!” In Atlanta, Jim Johnson or Jason Grilli could close games. A Braves official said Juan Jaime could even close games. I’m pretty sure he made up the name Juan Jaime. Grilli seems the most likely candidate, and this has all the makings of a situation where you’re so pumped to be the first one to the waiver wire to grab him until Grilli is actually closing games and giving up three runs in the one lead the Braves have every two weeks. Let’s get out of the lede to talk about the rest of the trade and actual baseball that was played last night! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend for fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
How different could the National League West look this season after the offseason the Padres had? Only Yonder Alonso and Jedd Gyorko will return from the Opening Day lineup last year, as there are many new faces in SoCal…
Want to take me on in a Razzball Commenter League? Join my league here!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Here’s what I didn’t say in June, but could have, “With the promotion of George Springer and Gregory Polanco, Mike Trout and Mike Trout’s father, Tim Salmon, should make room in their mini-van that’s designed to look like a submarine because there’s new top hitters in the major leagues of baseball. Put down your periscope, Trout, no need to look any further. You have the new challenger for your supremacy. Polanco is especially intriguing due to his blend of speed and power, and inability to hit for a low average. There’s just no chance he hits below .280. No chance. Also, on August 25th play the Powerball numbers 37-08-32-11-09-38.” And that’s me quoting what I could’ve said! Of course, I didn’t say it exactly like that, but that was generally my feelings. As it started to appear like each was overmatched, I told you to sell both of them before they bottomed out. Springer’s got his strikeout problems, that I’ll go over at some point in the offseason, but Polanco got a raw deal. He had 6 homers, 12 steals in 64 games. That’s a 15-homer, 30-steal guy next year. The Pirates demoted him yesterday as some kind of neg designed by pick-up artist, Mystery. Polanco’s K-rate wasn’t terrible, his walk rate was fine, he was done in by a .241 average. A .241 average with the aforementioned strikeout rate that wasn’t bad. So what happened? He was unlucky. That batting average was being grounded by a .277 BABIP. With his speed, Polanco could easily have a .320 BABIP and a .290 average. For this year, you can lose him, but I’m still going to like him in 2015. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you take enough shrooms, you start to dream about how Rick Porcello is from the magical land of Zeranok, where Buehrles and Moyers can cruise 15 MPH below the speed limit. Off shrooms, you just see Zeranok as zero ERA, no K. Yesterday’s 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 0 Ks was solid, great, adjective. Hard to not get excited about a complete game shutout, but I’m gonna try. Heard a lot made of the fact that Porcello only needed 95 pitches to finish off the A’s. That’s wonderful. Somewhere, Greg Maddux smiled, then he tried to go behind the counter at his local post office to show them how they can be more efficient and nearly got arrested. “Can we all just form a two-person line as we wait for Wet Willie’s Wild Slide?” That’s Maddux at a water park with his kids. I hear ya, Greg, when people are grouped together in a party of six in an amusement park line it drives me crazy too. The worst is when they get up to the front and suddenly they have 25 other friends that were with them. Any the hoo! A 95 pitch CG SHO is great IRL (you like how I was illustrating efficiency with acronyms; though this parenthetical defeats that purpose), but Porcello’s efficiency doesn’t do a whole lot for me in fantasy if it comes with no Ks. His K-rate is 5.2 and his walk rate is 2. That’s pretty blehtastic. I’d own him, since he gets the Rays next. He’s not suddenly shooting up to ace status for fantasy. I know, I know, that Porcello is one funghi, but he’s actually pretty close to borderline for 12-team mixed leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Every major leaguer knows that there is absolutely no crying in baseball. Then there’s Hall of Fame speeches. I’m preparing mine right now for the DFS Hall of Shame for last week, and believe me, there’s plenty of wet spots on the notecards. After an abysmal call on Kazmir as my top choice last week I’ve had to take my lumps, swallow my pride and get back out there. I apologize to all of you and shed a tear on your behalf if you listened to me last week. No reason to stay attached to the whipping post so I pushed harder with my most active week on Draftkings to date and I’ve been able to regain some of the swagger with a 70% gain in bankroll since that fabled day.
With all that said, there is one thing becoming true that we all can’t ignore: The San Diego Padres are the most pathetic offense I have watched in my 10+ years of analyzing baseball. They are the living embodiment of AAAA. Chase Headley, Jedd Gyorko and Carlos Quentin were supposed to be the only guys who busted them out of that mold and they have been the worst of the bunch. When Seth Smith is your best offering, you have no offering.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Sciosciapath gave Ernesto Frieri the dreaded vote of confidence the other day, so, of course, he wasn’t there when a save presented itself in the 10th inning of a 3-1 game. Cam Bedrosian entered the game with his 10+ ERA. He’s the one guy I would trust less than Frieri, but not to worry, The Sciosciapath had Frieri come in once Bedrosian was in a jam, and Ernesto promptly gave up a grand slam to Nick Swisher, who is batting .200 this year. Joe Smith would seemingly be used to get all future saves, but The Sciosciapath ties his shoes with Crazy Glue and uses the non-pronged side of the fork to eat and thinks Alan Hunter was better than Martha Quinn and once bought Styrofoam peanuts to snack on and his voicemail is “Siri, how do you leave an outgoing voicemail message?” and he thinks arithmetic is the work of witches, so I have no idea where he’s going the next time the Angels have the lead in the ninth. He says they’ll go to a committee, but I’d own Smith. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
One of the main reasons I enjoy writing for Razzball is that I haven’t encountered another fantasy baseball site where the commenters are this active and generally friendly with each other. Another great thing is that even the comments are worth reading because there tends to be some nice insight. Example A is Principal Blackman, likely a pseudonym for Charlie Blackmon, who said this last week, “How about a little love for Shin-Soo Choo’s .432 OBP & .929 OPS? Both would be career highs (the Arlington effect?), but they are not wildly (unbelievably) out of line with his career averages (.391/.858), and they are right in line with the advances he made last year… ZiPS and Steamer both foresee some regression on the way for him, and indeed a .392 average on balls in play would blow his career BABIP (.352) out of the water. And at the same time, his K% has dipped below the league average, but, on the other hand, he has maintained the improvements he made last year to his already stellar walk rate, and since the beginning of the 2013 season he only has one infield popup (none this year).” Since then, Choo has slumped a bit and had his OPS dip below .900. I expect to see him around that level all year, while maintaining his ~.420 OBP. Anyway, here are some other players on my mind in OBP leagues:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ah yes, David Price. I like to think of Price as a great pitcher who flies under the radar. He’s like the Spinal Tap of baseball. Feel free to call me out on this, I did five minutes of research/thinking in the shower for that simile. Sure, we all know his name, but how often does he come up when you compare him to his peers: Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez, Adam Wainwright, and Stephen Strasburg? Price is looking to dominate in what looks like his last year with the Rays. If he plays well, I fully expect the Yankees to offer him a $400 million, 10-year contract.Please, blog, may I have some more?