Hello, Everybody! (Hi, Dr. Nick!) As y’all have probably noticed, a lot has happened since I last stopped by, one short week ago. Jay got a belly button ring, 17 more pitchers had Tommy John surgery, Guru bedazzled his turban, Aroldis Chapman was drilled in the face with a line drive and will probably be out until June, and Grey shaved his mustache. Although I can’t vouch for all of those things, I know one of those things (I think) didn’t happen… all you ladies can relax now, Grey didn’t shave his mustache. I’m sorry, I know I scared you. Shizz, I, myself, panicked just thinking of the possibility of Grey without it. Anywho, something else happened in the last week. Our fine Razzball Podcast host, Nick, announced the launch of Razzball Radio. Along with Razzball Radio, Nick is in the process of coordinating Razzball’s inaugural #32in32in32.
Now, I can’t speak for my cohorts, wait, yes I can, and we couldn’t be more excited about it. I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it! I’m about to lose control and I think I like it! Yes, I’m that excited… I’m more excited about this than Katy Perry is when she sees her cat, Kitty Purry (yep, a real thing). Don’t ask me how I know about this… I’m more pumped about this than Billy Butler is when someone touches his moobs. Like for realz guys, I am more aroused about the announcement than Grey is when his cougar throws on her Yordano Ventura jersey. Too far? Maybe… Don’t mean it isn’t true. But seriously though, it’s gonna be a hoot. Literally, Sky will be hootin’ and hollering’. You probably don’t wanna miss that. By the way, what exactly are you wearing in that picture, Sky?
You know what else is a hoot? Hitting in Rangers Ballpark. You know what isn’t a hoot? Hitting in Comerica Park. You know who is making a move from Rangers Park to Comerica Park? Ian Kinsler. I guess Kinsler wasn’t thrilled with the deal that sent him to Detroit, referring to his former GM as a sleazeball. I mean if I had to go from hitting in one of the best hitter’s park in baseball to one not so great, I’d probably call my former GM some pretty mean things as well. “Grey, you are a big fat meanie head!” That’ll show him… But I digress, or is it regress? Digress, I think. But wait, I think Kinsler will regress this year and it may not be pretty.
First, let’s just look at this guy’s injury history. He has only played in 140 or more games just 3 times in his 7 year career. That’s less than half of his career. See, Rudy’s math and stuff ain’t got nothin’ on me. As you can see, Kinsler hasn’t exactly been the picture of health. When you add in the fact that he isn’t a spring chicken anymore, almost 32, his ability to stay healthy is a concern. However, the major concern I have with Ian going forward is his career home/road splits. At home, in the cozy confines of Rangers Ballpark, Kinsler has slashed 304/.387/.511 over the course of his career. To go with his slash line, he has a home ISO of .201, a BB% higher than K% (10.8:10.5), and a wRC+ of 132. Those are some fantastic offense numbers. But…. Kinsler’s career numbers away from Arlington are vastly different, with him owning a career .242/.312/.399 line on the road; along with an ISO of .157, 8.4:13.2 BB%/K%, and a wRC+ of 91. These are some startling numbers. If Rangers Ballpark wasn’t such a hitter’s paradise, I would be less concerned. However, I can’t help but wonder how much of an impact it had on his numbers. To go one step further, if you look at his career numbers (albeit small sample size) in Comerica Park, they are even more disturbing. His BA in Detroit is a paltry .193 with only 3 HR in 162 ABs. I completely understand that Kinsler is just 2 years removed from a 32/30 season coming from 2B, but given his health questions and concerning home/road splits, I don’t feel comfortable drafting Kinsler in the top 75, let alone to 40 of any draft (current ADP of 36 at ESPN). In fact, there are at least seven 2B I would consider drafting ahead of Kinsler. I think it’s safe to say, given his current price, that I won’t own him on any of my teams this year.
One pitcher that concerns me going into the year is Reds’ southpaw, Tony Cingrani. Yes, I realize that he came up last year and thoroughly dominated the competition. And yes, I realize that if he pitched enough innings to qualify, he would have been 2nd among MLB starters in K/9. I mean, the K’s are fantastic, and everything else (ERA, WHIP, W’s) were just fine. So what’s not to like? For one, Cingrani, almost literally, is a one-pitch pitcher. Aside from the crazy knuckleballers, only one pitcher threw a higher % of any pitch than Cingrani threw his fastball last year (81.5%). It would be one thing if his fastball was overpowering, but that isn’t the case, averaging 91.8 MPH on the heater. I seriously doubt he can have long term success in a starting role without developing another pitch or two in order to give hitters a different look and keep them off balance. In addition to being a one-pitch pitcher, Cingrani’s peripherals show he was actually pretty lucky last year. Going by FIP, Cingrani’s ERA should have been nearly a run higher than what it was (2.92 vs. 3.78). When looking deeper into the numbers, two other stats really pop out. His BABIP was a ridiculously low .241. League average BABIP is right around .300 and, given the role luck plays in this statistic, most pitchers typically gravitate toward league average over time. We should expect some regression here. Along with a rather low BABIP, Cingrani also produced an insanely high LOB% of 82.1%, meaning he stranded 82.1% of the base runners he allowed last season. To put that number into perspective, his LOB% would have 2nd among all MLB SP last year. Pitchers tend to regress toward league average (70%-72%) with this statistic to some degree, as well. While Cingrani was borderline excellent for fantasy owners last year, with regression likely coming it may be foolish to think he will do the same this year. I do think Cingrani will have success this year, but I don’t think he will live up to his draft position as the 36th SP off the boards, ahead of guys like Jeff Samardzija, Sonny Gray, and previous points league spotlight CJ Wilson.
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.
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