In the first article of this series, I looked at some of the most disappointing fantasy performers from this past season and attempted to project what should be expected from those players in 2015. If you missed it, you can check out that post here. This time around, I’m going to break down a few players who unexpectedly produced some of the best overall numbers in fantasy baseball during the 2014 season. None of these guys were thought of as core players for fantasy owners to build around prior to the season, but all of them found their way onto many championship teams due to their elite production.

Are these breakout performances sustainable going forward? Should significant regression be expected? Let’s investigate further…

Michael Brantley: 2013 season – 66/10/73/17/.284, Razzball player value – $9.9; 2014 season – 94/20/97/23/.327, Razzball player value – $29.9

Those who heeded Grey’s advice and selected Brantley in the late rounds of their drafts enjoyed #1 OF production at a #5 OF price (NFBC ADP – 220.82; RCL ADP – 215.5). How did this sleeper morph into Andrew McCutchen seemingly overnight?

The most surprising part of Brantley’s breakthrough campaign was his power surge. This is a player who amassed a total of 26 HRs with a .382 SLG and a .105 ISO across 2,162 MLB plate appearances prior to the ’14 season. His average flyball distance of 276.45 ft in ’13 ranked just 186th among qualified hitters and resulted in a total of 10 HRs that season. Doubling that previous career high by launching 20 HRs this past season must’ve resulted in a significant spike in batted ball distance, right? Not so much. Brantley’s 280.02 ft mark in ’14 ranked 130th in MLB, and was sandwiched in between Dexter Fowler and Rene Rivera. Not exactly elite company.

On the plus side, Brantley’s plate discipline and batted ball profile are in elite company. Consider these numbers: his 25.7% LD% was tied for 10th best in all of baseball among qualified players; his 3.6% SwStr% was the 6th lowest in the league, and is nearly identical to his 3.7% mark from ’13; his 8.3% K% represented the 4th lowest percentage in MLB; his 3.8% infield fly ball percentage was well below the league average of 9.6%. In short, when Brantley swings the bat, he makes contact, and the vast majority of that contact is of the hard variety. A .327 batting average would be difficult for any player to duplicate, but with neutral luck, Brantley should continue to be an asset in that category.

Another factor that is worth considering when evaluating Brantley is his career platoon splits. While he’s enjoyed consistent success against right-handed pitching throughout his career, that hasn’t always been the case against lefties. He managed an impressive .307/.378/.449 triple slash line against LHP this past season, but consider these results over the previous three seasons:

  • vs LHP (’11-’13) – 552 PA, .255/.313/.317 triple slash, .630 OPS, .063 ISO, 1 HR

During this span, Brantley was outslugged against left-handed pitching by players such as Alcides Escobar, Emilio Bonifacio, and Ben Revere. While it’s reasonable to expect a talented young player to improve on an obvious weakness in his game as he gains experience and enters his prime years, this sudden level of improvement seems to be a bit extreme.

Finally, any discussion involving Brantley should mention the speed that he brings to the table. His 40 SBs over the last two seasons is tied for 30th most in MLB, and his 88.9% success rate is the 4th highest over that span among players with at least 30 attempts, trailing only Jacoby Ellsbury, Escobar, and Craig Gentry. With results like those, Brantley is likely to approach 20+ stolen bases once again next season.

Verdict: Considering his well-rounded skill set, Brantley seems to be a safe, high floor fantasy option in the Hunter Pence mold, just with less power and more speed. The early Steamer projection has him producing a 75/13/73/14/.291 line in 2015. The power projection might seem a bit low at first glance, but the evidence suggests that there will be significant regression in that area. The runs and stolen base projections do appear to somewhat conservative though, so feel free to bump those up a bit.

In 2015, Brantley is likely to be drafted in the 3rd round area with a similar ADP to players such as Ellsbury, Yasiel Puig, and Ryan Braun, all of whom I’d value more highly due to their respective track records and high-end fantasy potential. Despite his high floor, this makes Brantley a SELL for me in that draft range. Wait a few rounds and target Charlie Blackmon or Christian Yelich instead for similar production at a cheaper price.

Anthony Rendon: 2013 season – 40/7/35/1/.265, Razzball player value – $-5.0; 2014 season – 111/21/83/17/.287, Razzball player value – $27.0

Rendon’s sophomore season couldn’t have gone any better for the Nationals (not to mention fantasy owners). Here are his totals and National League ranks in each of the five rotisserie statistical categories in 2014: runs: 111 (1st), home runs – 21 (t-18th), runs batted in – 83 (t-13th), stolen bases – 17 (17th), and batting average – .287 (t-18th). Elite production across the board, but is it sustainable? What can be expected from Rendon in 2015?

First, let’s take a look at his power potential. His 21 HRs were tied for the 18th best mark in the NL; his .186 ISO exceeded that of proven power threats such as Buster Posey (.179), Matt Holliday (.169), and Adrian Beltre (.168); and his average flyball distance of 287.60 ft ranked 75th overall in MLB, a significant improvement over his 276.96 ft mark as a rookie in ’13. Very impressive for a player who didn’t turn 24 years of age until June of this past season.

Plate discipline typically improves with age, so how did a young player like Rendon fare in that area? His BB% improved from 7.9% in ’13 to 8.5% in ’14 while his K% dropped from 17.5% to 15.2%. His SwStr% of 5.2% was just over half of the league average (9.4%). His Contact% of 87.1% was tied for 24th best in MLB among qualified players. So far, so good.

Splits, in one form or another, are often issues for inexperienced players at the big league level. Here’s how Rendon performed under various sets of circumstances during this past season:

  • Home: 64/10/44/9/.289, .845 OPS, .187 ISO, 10.7% BB%, 14.5% K%
  • Away: 47/11/39/8/.285, .804 OPS, .185 ISO, 6.4% BB%, 15.9% K%
  • vs LHP: .313/.362/.463, .825 OPS, .150 ISO, 7.5% BB%, 13.8% K%
  • vs RHP: .278/.347/.477, .824 OPS, .199 ISO, 8.8% BB%, 15.7% K%
  • 1st Half: .287/.343/.490, .834 OPS, .203 ISO, 7.8% BB%, 15.9% K%
  • 2nd Half: .287/.361/.449, .810 OPS, .161 ISO, 9.4% BB%, 14.3% K%

These statistics pretty much speak for themselves. Home/road, lefty/righty, pre/post all-star break – it didn’t matter. Rendon was extremely consistent from the beginning of the season until the very end. Incredibly rare for any player, but particularly so for such a young one with minimal MLB experience.

Another factor to consider when evaluating Rendon’s fantasy value is positional versatility. As a result of logging 28 games played at 2B and 133 games played at 3B, Rendon should be eligible at both positions in the majority of leagues during the entirety of the ’15 season. When considering the general decline in offensive production in recent years as well as the shallow nature of both positions in fantasy, that dual eligibility would provide valuable flexibility to any fantasy roster.

Verdict: It should be pretty clear how I feel about Rendon’s 2015 fantasy prospects by now. Power/speed threat, solid plate discipline, no split issues to speak of, positional versatility, prime age. No obvious red flags here.

The main concern would be his lack of experience, but I feel that there’s enough of a sample size at this point to make a reasonable stab at his ’15 value. Barring injury or managerial tomfoolery (e.g. Matt Williams’ handling of Bryce Harper last season), I like Rendon as a high-end fantasy option in the early-to-middle part of the 2nd round and consider him to be an easy BUY as a versatile high floor player with upside.

Victor Martinez: 2013 season – 68/14/83/0/.301, Razzball player value – $13.6; 2014 season – 87/32/103/3/.335, Razzball player value – $28.4

Over the past few years, V-Mart has been viewed by many in the fantasy community as a decent role player, but certainly not among the elite performers. Solid batting average, good RBI totals, mediocre power. Nothing more, nothing less. How did a good, but not great, 35 year old player become the 11th most valuable overall fantasy performer in 2014?

The most obvious improvement from V-Mart was made in the power department. His 32 HRs, .565 SLG, and .230 ISO were well above his career averages of 16 HRs, .475 SLG, and .168 ISO respectively. As unlikely as a power spike in a player’s mid-thirties might seem, V-Mart’s average flyball distances of 286.16 ft as a left-handed hitter (91st highest in MLB) and 298.13 ft as a righty (19th best) were well above the league average, and aren’t too out of whack with his ’13 numbers (282.98 and 285.00 ft respectively). However, his home run to fly ball ratio of 16.0% was well above the league average of 9.5% and more than double what he produced during his first two seasons in Detroit, so some regression should be expected in the home run department.

Perhaps the greatest skill that Martinez possesses is his strike zone awareness. Since joining the Tigers in 2011, he leads MLB in BB/K ratio among all qualified hitters (1.10), which means that he walked more often than he struck out during that time period. Only five other players have managed a ratio of greater than one during that span (Carlos Lee, Ryan Hanigan, Jose Bautista, Marco Scutaro, and Alberto Callaspo are the others). This is a player that does not chase many pitches that are outside of the strike zone.

With the possible exception of teammate Miguel Cabrera, V-Mart might be the player who’s most likely to lead the league in batting average. He’s hit over .300 in 8 out of his last 9 full seasons, and his .321 BA since 2011 is the second highest mark in MLB, trailing only Cabrera. His 3.4% SwStr% from this past season was the 4th lowest in all of baseball, and his 3.7% mark since ’11 is tied for the 9th lowest over that span. He boasts a 91.4% Contact% since becoming a Tiger (7th best in MLB), which is more than ten percentage points higher than Cabrera’s over that same time period (81.3%).

Much like Rendon, there are no alarming split issues in V-Mart’s profile. He hits LHP (1.123 OPS in ’14, .868 since ’11) and RHP (.923 OPS in ’14, .868 since ’11) equally well. He’s been successful at home (.928 OPS in ’14, .860 since ’11) as well as on the road (1.015 OPS in ’14, .875 since ’11). Pre (.991 OPS) and post (.954 OPS) all-star break? No problems there either.

Verdict: It’s understandable to be skeptical of a 35 year old player who produces a career year with a surprising power spike, but Martinez has been an extremely consistent and productive player for over a decade now.

Baseball reference lists players like Robinson Cano and Chase Utley as some of Martinez’ best comps from a hitting standpoint, which seems appropriate. However, the comp that springs to mind for me is Danny Trejo. Before you go off and search for his statistics, Trejo never played professional baseball. I’m referring to their respective career arcs. Throughout most of his acting career, Trejo was considered to be a solid character actor who would complement a variety of casts very well. It wasn’t until later in his career that he started getting more prominent roles, including a leading role in the movie Machete. 2014 was V-Mart’s Machete. He finally became a headliner for the first time in his fantasy baseball career.

As entertaining as Machete was (arguably) and as great as Martinez was in his late-career leading role last season, both Trejo and Martinez are better suited for supporting roles rather than starring ones, I believe. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all. Draft a few elite young studs with your first three picks, then confidently select Martinez and his .310/24/95 production in the 4th round in a supporting role for your team. I consider him to be a BUY as a high floor option and a borderline top 40 player.

What do you think of these evaluations? Want to discuss the cinematic masterpiece that is Machete? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading.

 
  1. Monkeymike says:
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    Long term keeper league

    Who would you keep?
    C Santana(no C Eligability)
    B Hamilton
    H Pence
    J Soler

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Monkeymike: It depends on your league format. How many teams? What are the starting positions? Scoring categories? How many keepers? A case can be made for all of these players depending on the specifics…

  2. Grey's Stache says:
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    Rendon!

  3. Wake Up says:
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    Would Rendon be a solid MI option for last year?
    *Drops nachoos all over his lap…looks for a sale on New yoga pants*

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Wake Up: See below. And to answer your first question – yes, yes he would be. Could go either way though.

  4. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:
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    Is that where Nacho’s been? Must be the yoga pants!

    • Wake Up says:
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      @Big Magoo: I don’t want to buy a ticket for Machete and have to sit through Machete Kills…

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
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        @Wake Up: But the regression is already factored in. C’mon, Wake!

        • Wake Up says:
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          @Big Magoo: HaHa…as you said, same distance in 2013 w only 14

          • Big Magoo

            Big Magoo says:
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            @Wake Up: He saw a bump in average distance from both sides of the plate. I just mentioned that it doesn’t seem to be too unsustainable going forward. But no, he’s not hitting 30+ HRs in ’15…

            • Wake Up says:
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              @Big Magoo: Makes sense. Great column, Champ!

  5. SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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    Hey Magoo – 10 team roto keep-forever league (with CI, MI, 5OF’s + Util etc). I need to select 10 of the following. Who would you go with? Again, can keep forever, and players are not kept in any round or at any $. Thanks!

    Perez
    Ramos
    Napoli
    Pedroia
    Arenado
    Baez
    Bogaerts
    Edwin
    Avisail
    Gordon
    Adam Jones
    Kemp
    Marte
    Singleton
    Gallo
    Machado
    Tulo

    Fister
    Gausman
    Hamels
    Kenley Jansen
    Janssen
    Porcello
    Scherzer
    Taijuan Walker
    Wheeler
    Heaney
    Latos

    • Hawk says:
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      @SheriffMcRawDawg:

      Arenado
      Edwin
      Machado
      Tulo
      Jones
      Kemp
      Gordon

      Scherzer
      Hamels
      Kenley Jansen

      In general, protect quality hitting because it’s tough to come by. You’ll find a lot of pitchers who produce what Latos, Heaney Gausman etc…in the draft

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @SheriffMcRawDawg: In a keep forever league, I’d go with Edwin, Tulo, Arenado, Marte, Jones, Machado, and Scherzer for sure. Bogaerts is a near-lock as well. I’d probably go with Kemp and Hamels for the last two spots.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @SheriffMcRawDawg: Which Gordon are you referring to – Dee or Alex? I assumed Alex for some reason, but if it’s Dee, I’d probably use one of the 10 spots on him.

      • SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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        @Big Magoo: sorry – Alex, and thanks.

        here’s what I was thinking w/ my original 9:
        Arenado
        Baez
        Bogaerts
        Edwin
        Adam Jones
        Machado
        Tulo
        Scherzer
        Hamels (depending on whether he goes, possibly)

        and then either kemp or marte ….

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
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          @SheriffMcRawDawg: I would definitely keep Marte. He’s basically Carlos Gomez lite, and I think that he still has some power upside as well.

          I’m not much of a Baez fan. He has solid power already (especially for a MI) with upside for more, but he had a 41.5% K-rate last season which led to a .169/.227/.324 triple slash line. That was across 229 PAs too, which isn’t a terribly small sample size. If you preferred to keep him over Kemp or Hamels, it’s understandable though.

          • SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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            @Big Magoo: can’t argue with that. just salivating at the thought of a young 30-15 MI locked up FOR-EV-VER. probably a little lofty but a girl can dream!

            thanks for the input man – I look forward to reading more of your work!

  6. kingforaday151 says:
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    Brantley or Alex Gordon this season…?

  7. J-FOH says:
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    Machete? Sounds like a sell column to me

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @J-FOH: How dare you! Machete is like the Commando of this generation…

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        ‘Machete don’t tweet’ – Is he your idol? I’m pretty sure you don’t either.

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
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          @Sky: Magoo don’t tweet either. You might have something there…

        • J-FOH says:
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          @Sky: we need to get Magoo on twitter, I pimp out his articles and have people RT them and yet he is not there to reference. Damnit magoo, get a Twitter, it takes 2 minutes and is filled with untraceable pics of hot women for your phone.

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Big Magoo: bold statement, if I was doing an arnold comp I would go running man for the sheer ridiculousness of the opera guy. tough to compare trejo movies to arnold movies. I’m thinking trejo’s Machete falls in line better with kathleen turner in VI warshawsky

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
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          @J-FOH: I can see the Running Man comp. That’s only if you just liked Machete. If you loved it, it’s more like Commando. I’m not even going to dignify your last comp with a response.

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Big Magoo: I shouldn’t talk because I never saw machete. only bits and pieces. But arnold action in the 80’s is sacred ground for me.

            • Big Magoo

              Big Magoo says:
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              @J-FOH: I’m a big Commando/Terminator/Total Recall fan. Machete is the same kind of mindless yet very enjoyable action flick. You should check it out.

              • J-FOH says:
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                @Big Magoo: what no love for predator? conan the barbarian? twins?

                • Big Magoo

                  Big Magoo says:
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                  @J-FOH: All good choices. Predator might be at the top, or at least right there with Commando and The Terminator. Twins is at the bottom of that list, but I enjoyed that one too. Had a big crush on Kelly Preston back in the day.

                  • J-FOH says:
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                    @Big Magoo: kelly preston boobs in mischief…mmmhhh

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      +1

                    • Big Magoo

                      Big Magoo says:
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                      @J-FOH: Mmmmm. Indeed. +2

  8. Kid A says:
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    Masterful Magoo.

    Your articles are the lit matches that clear the turd-stink that T-Hole drops every week here on razzball.

    I have questions – but don’t want to tip my hand as we’ll be in leagues together this year. I’ll just keep monitoring the gems you produce and hopefully be able to pick your pocket a couple of times on draft day.

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Kid A: right? I feel like a proud foster brother as I read the gold he produces.

      • Kid A says:
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        @J-FOH:

        Seriously. Magoo was a great get for the site. Guy plays crazy smart angles.

        I think I’m going to pop over to T-hole and talk a little shit.

        • J-FOH says:
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          @Kid A: I’ll be honest it took some serious prodding and a lot of phone calls , but at the end of the day the content he brings is spot on. It’s good to see one of the good guys get his due and share the wealth.

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
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          @Kid A: Hey man, meant to thank you earlier for the compliments you sent my way. I’ll be sure to split my fast food coupons with you.

          But I’m still coming out guns blazin’ in the FCL this year! Redemption time…

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Kid A: C’mon, Kid. I’m showing my hand. Out with it! It’s only fair…

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Big Magoo: is this a will you show me yours because I shoved mine in your face kind of thing….cause I’m next

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
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          @J-FOH: Bring it! Uh, your fantasy baseball opinions, that is…

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Big Magoo: donging for dollars: how homeruns will help you win your money league

            • Big Magoo

              Big Magoo says:
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              @J-FOH: Shhhhh… Don’t spoil your next post before it’s published….

  9. Hawk says:
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    I love this kind of breakdown. Well done!

    What’s your opinion of Devin Mesoraco? Is he likely to repeat the decent average, 20+ HR / 80+ RBI performance?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Hawk: Thanks, Hawk!

      I think that Mesoraco could put up 20/80, but I’d probably take the under on those numbers. He had a 20.5% HR/FB rate which was more than double what he produced over the previous two years. As a catcher in the NL, he’s unlikely to play in more than 120 games or so which caps his plate appearances at around 475-480. Tough to project 80 RBIs over that limited number of PAs even though he was able to accomplish it in ’14.

  10. TobiasFunkeAnalRapist says:
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    I’ll gladly keep my Brantley as my 3rd of for an 11th round pick in my keeper league. I think he will regress a bit, but I still think he will be a real good player this year.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @TobiasFunkeAnalRapist: Don’t get me wrong, I like Brantley. I just think that there are better fantasy options available in his draft range. He’s a great value in the 11th round.

  11. Dave says:
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    I am in a 6×6 keeper roto (no limit on # of years) (OPS & holds). Standard roster except we have two utility spots. We are able to keep six players. Who would you recommend to keep?

    Keepers
    Stanton
    Dickerson
    Harvey
    J. Zimmermann
    Soler
    Cobb
    Calhoun
    Heyward
    Mesoraco
    Iwakuma
    Baez
    Bryant
    Verlander

    Thank you sir!

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Dave: I like the first five players that you have listed there – Stanton, Dickerson, Harvey, Zimmermann, and Soler.

      The 6th keeper is tricky. I’d probably take a chance on Bryant if he makes the team out of Spring Training (not sure when your deadline is). I should mention that I’ve never been much of a Heyward fan, and Baez has too many red flags for my liking. Hope this helps.

  12. Colonel Angus says:
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    Who would you keep in a 12 team dynasty league (6×6) with 12 keepers?

    (OBP, SLG, HR, SB, R, RBI / W+S+HLD, K/9, WHIP, ERA, IP, QS)

    Pujols, Wong, Donaldson, Sandoval, Kemp, Cespedes, Trumbo, Vargas, Scherzer, Shields, Fernandez, Chapman, Cain, Carrasco, A Wood?

    Also, I’ve been having trouble with deciding on a trade offer. Another owner really wants Kemp ad he gave me the choice of either Christian Yelich, Wil Myers or Francisco Lindor. Do I take any of these players for Kemp or hold?

    Thanks for your help!

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Colonel Angus: I like Yellich to compliment your other bats

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Colonel Angus: Not Cain or Vargas. The last spot is between Wood and Trumbo. Who to keep there depends on your opponents’ keepers and what they tend to value in that format. I’d probably keep Trumbo though.

      I like Yelich, but I’d probably try to counter to a 2-for-2 kind of deal. Maybe Kemp + Shields for Yelich + an upgrade.

      • Colonel Angus says:
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        @Big Magoo: In that situation, his pitchers are Teheran, Gray, Bumgarner, Minor & Harvey with Giolito and Bradley in his minors. Pretty sure that Bumgarner and Teheran are untouchable. Help me construct something….

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
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          @Colonel Angus: You could try Kemp + Shields for Yelich + Harvey. He might not go for it, but I would like that deal for you and it’s a reasonable offer.

  13. J-FOH says:
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    kelly preston brrrritsky will be my team name in FCL

    • Wake Up says:
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      @J-FOH: What the eff? I confess my crush last week and now everyone in Razzra is coming for her??? Bring it!

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
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        @Wake Up: There’s blood in the water and the Razzra sharks are swarming

        • Wake Up says:
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          @Big Magoo: Well, if it’s that time, I’ll wait a week…

          • Big Magoo

            Big Magoo says:
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            @Wake Up: She’s 52 and in prime cougar territory. Shouldn’t be a concern…

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Wake Up: like I told grey or someone else last week, tell me something you want and I immediately want it. Little brother syndrome. If someone brings up alien then I might be inclined to go with Sigourney weaver saggies.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @J-FOH: Brrrritsky!

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Big Magoo: did you go look at mischief gifs?

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
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          @J-FOH: Of course. Always brings a smile to my face and a… uh, nevermind.

          • ben says:
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            @Big Magoo: enjoyed her in For love of the Game…. thanks for the tip on Mischief…

  14. RandomItalicizedVoice says:
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    Big Magoo! Great work, as per usual.

    Allow me to pick your esteemed brain a bit. 4 keeper keep forever league. I’ve got the following choices: Felix, Trout, JUpton, Branley, Hanley. This 12-team roto league (uses OPS in place of AVG) only has 3 OF slots. I’m figuring so far on Felix, Trout and Upton….but having a hard time deciding on #4. I’m a bit hesitant to keep a 3rd OF, but I think I like Brantley a smidge better than Fenway Hanley.

    Praytell, what say you…who would you keep in this situation?

    Cheers.

    RIV

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @RandomItalicizedVoice: RIV! Thanks, and good to see you.

      Wow, Brantley vs Hanley. That is a tough call. Brantley is four years younger and is more of a five category asset (SBs) than Hanley at this point, I think. Hanley has SS eligibility for at least one more season, and probably has an edge in the OPS category (@ .850 for Hanley and .800-.820 for Brantley). Hanley should wear that Monster out in Fenway. Great lineup around him to accumulate lots of counting stats too. I think I’d prefer Hanley as the 4th keeper in that format.

  15. jal179 says:
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    Big Magoo I think I love you. Hot damn that was an insightful, spot on, objective summary.

    We need MOAR of this!

    Gotta love Rendon, but I’m not sure I’m ready to spend a second rounder on him yet. A Kipnis like regression seems possible but I’ve got nothing numbers wise to support this–that’s why we’ve got people like you.

    Vmart is a true professional hitter buried in a potent lineup–I’d be fine with him around 4-5th rd (non-keeper redraft leagues obviously) but I’m not sure he’ll last that long.

    I’m really liking Donaldson or Rizzo in rd 2 (I’m concerned Rizzo’s stock jumps to the first as we get closer to April) with Kolten Wong around 8thish rd.

    Keep up the beauty summaries– I’m like a diabetic at Popeye’s, I gobble this shit up

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @jal179: Thanks for the kind words!

      I completely understand your stance on Rendon. It’s always better to be safe than sorry in the early rounds and save the risky upside picks for the mid-late rounds. I just don’t see many, if any, red flags in his profile.

      I like Rizzo as a 2nd round option as well. Donaldson? Not quite as much. I can see the argument for him, but I’d probably pass on him at that price. Wong is an interesting player, and I think he’s a decent option in the 8th. Any earlier than that would probably take the value out of the pick though.

      • jal179 says:
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        @Big Magoo:

        I shied away from Tanaka and Abreu everywhere last year… obviously pays to gamble sometimes and Rendon’s breakdown suggests progress going forward.

        One thing that worries me a bit with Donaldson is if he hits in the 5 hole behind Joey Bats and EE– maybe the argument is he sees more pitches but something tells me his RBI totals might take a BIG hit if the other big bats in front keep cleaning things up. Whoever settles into the Jays 2 hole is poised for a major boost… I thought Melky was such a perfect fit but Rogers got cheap again.

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
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          @jal179: Sometimes it’s a good idea to roll the dice on a mid-round high ceiling player like Abreu or Tanaka. Certainly in the late rounds. With a top 60-75 overall pick, it’s usually a better idea to go with a proven commodity though.

          Donaldson is in a great situation. I wouldn’t be too concerned about having a couple of 30+ HR hitters directly in front of him. The stronger the lineup, the more counting stats there are to go around, generally speaking. Bautista and EE are both high OBP players too, so that could mean more RBI opportunities for Donaldson. I’m just concerned about the Rogers Center turf leading to potential durability issues for him (just ask Reyes, Lawrie, and many others). Also, he’s not a base stealer or a high average player, so he basically needs to hit 30+ HRs to return 2nd round value. A bit risky.

        • goodfold2 says:
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          @jal179: where abreu went in drafts last year it wasn’t gambling.

  16. Mike

    Mike says:
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    Great work Magoo!

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Mike: Thanks, Mike! I’m hoping to be as good as you one day, but I’d settle for 70%.

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        Dang. A charmer too. Remind me never to trade with you haha ;)

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
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          @Mike: Haha. I’m never swapping any prospects with you!

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Mike: thanks for saying that, your check is in the mail

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        you’re welcome…I mean SHHHH…

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
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        @J-FOH: If you’re getting compensation off of this deal, I expect to see some decent coupons coming my way…

        • J-FOH says:
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          @Big Magoo: I’ll send some Chipotle coupons your way

          • Big Magoo

            Big Magoo says:
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            @J-FOH: Eh. The local Chipotle is dangerously close to being added to the banned list after serving me a pathetic looking burrito the other week. I’ll take Chick-fil-A coupons though.

  17. Ante GALIC says:
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    Dear Big Magoo,

    This is prime time material, gripping and EPIC. It was thoroughly enjoyed. Sry for the late entry.

    Keep up the good work.

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Ante GALIC: Thanks for the kind words, Ante!

  18. JeF With 1 F says:
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    Good stuff Brotha

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @JeF With 1 F: Thanks, JeF!

  19. Jigboy22 says:
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    Great read!

    12 team league, 4 keepers, who do you take as your fourth keeper, Brantley or Dickerson?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Jigboy22: Thanks! I’d go with Brantley there, assuming that your league features the standard scoring categories. I like Dickerson, but Brantley is a much safer option.

  20. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    Somehow this article took me parts if two days to finish, but good stuff as always Goo. Look forward to other giblets of fantasy goodness from ya.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Smokey: Thanks, Smokey!

  21. mauledbypandas says:
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    Excellent work BM. Sorry this is a few days late. I think you have done enough research and should take a break until the season. You don’t want to tire yourself out!

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @mauledbypandas: Thanks, Pandas! There’s no need to act like you’re not doing the exact same thing…

      • mauledbypandas says:
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        @Big Magoo: haha, well you can’t blame a guy for trying eh?

        I agree with what Kid A says down below… so much good info in this post

        • mauledbypandas says:
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          @mauledbypandas: hit the comment button too soon but I wanted to say that these kinds of stats are the ones that can help you find breakout players and draft steals. The middle rounds are where leagues are won and lost.

          • Big Magoo

            Big Magoo says:
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            @mauledbypandas: Yeah, I agree with you. I’m always interested in trying to figure out why some high draft picks perform poorly (outside of an injury) and why some mid-late rounders (and undrafted players) put up monster numbers. Those steady, reliable players are always important to fielding a winning team as well.

  22. Kid A says:
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    There’s no reason why an article this great shouldn’t have 100 comments.

  23. J-FOH says:
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    101!

Comments are closed.