Who knows how to get pageviews better than me?  I mean, when people see the title Vernon Wells, 2012 Fantasy Sleeper they are bound to click on that.  Am I right, or am I right-right?!  Shoot, I imagine a lot of people will link to this article and before I know it I’ll have a castle made of all the pennies I earn from people reading this article then people will tour my penny castle in a bus and point out the room where I went mad waiting for Vernon Wells to actually hit.  The irony!  (If that’s irony, I don’t know.  Only British people know what irony is.)  Neverthehullabooloo, guys and three girl readers, Vernon Wells really wasn’t bad last year.  He was terrible!  See what I did there?  Clever with a capital K.  He hit 25 homers but batted .218 and he just turned 33 years old.  Nice sleeper, Grey, did you not want to write about Edgar Renteria?  Oh, Random Italicized Voice, you are the ball buster, aren’t you?  Yup, that’s my job.  And not understanding rhetorical questions.  Touché!  So what can we expect of Vernon Wells for 2012 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Vernon Wells led the league last year in being unlucky.  If he fell out of boat, he would’ve missed the water and hit the jetty.  He hit a whammy every time he pressed his luck.  His BABIP of .214 would have actually led the major leagues six of the past seven years in unluckiness (this wasn’t selective sampling either; it may have have been 9 out of the past ten years, but I grew bored while researching — Razzball:  Where we do just enough research to make our point!).  Basically, every time he made contact, the ball would ricochet off the 1st base bag and end up being an out.  Wells’s walk rate went in the dumper last year, but, when you have really bad luck, you try to make things happen and then the downward spiral happens.  The addition of Pujols will help the Suburb of Los Angeles Angels’ lineup and Abreu will be hurt for playing time, Wells should be fine.  Speaking of fine (hey, clunky segue!), last year Wells had 25 homers and 9 steals.  I think he can repeat those numbers and get his average up to respectable.  Say 75/25/85/.260/8 which is a solid 4th to 5th outfielder in mixed leagues and a great sleeper for AL-Only leagues considering no one (and I really mean no one) will be excited about drafting him.

  1. chata says:

    @ Grey :

    got my hands on an advanced copy of Ozzy’s new book …
    “Thoughts from Redemption Island” .

    in it , he , too , refers to conversations that he had with a random italicized
    voice .

    since it is highly unlikely that he was visited by the same voice that has been your constant companion … there was never any mention of baseball conversation … (and , yes , i am well aware of the skeptics who will claim
    “small sample size”) , there is only one conclusion to draw .

    you , sir , is haunted .

    and , speaking of which , there is not the ghost of a chance that vernon wells will end up on any of my teams in 2012 .

  2. Tony says:

    man the sleeper posts are really bumming me out grey, Rios now Vernon Wells?

    Who’s next Jeter? Soriano?


  3. VinWins

    VinWins says:

    My favorite game show story is how Michael Larson used a VCR in the 80s to figure out the patterns on Press your Luck and win over $100,000.

    Unfortunately, he didn’t have much luck otherwise in his life and died young (49).

  4. GigglesMcGehee says:

    Suburb?! Don’t think you could just sneak that by.

  5. D says:

    All i know is that an unlucky gambler never turns his luck around, eventually he runs out of money and either quits gambling or loses his house, wife and turns to god knows what just to survive.

    Wells might have been unlucky, but even if it changes favorably for him, he’s still shit

  6. sean says:

    No whammies, no whammies, no whammies, STOP!

  7. papasmurf says:

    His LD% was 12 and FB% was 48, both the worst of his career. Using the estimate of LD% + .120, that gives him an expected BABIP of .240. I don’t think we can assume that just because a guy has abnormally bad rates (compared to his career) that he was just unlucky (e.g. Aaron Hill). Maybe he was dealing with an injury. Maybe he’s just over the hill. I think he was pressing last year, but I don’t assume he would just bounce back because his rates would normalize magically.

  8. sean says:

    @Tony: Seriously. I know we here at Razzball like to be a little contrarian, but this is getting depressing. If Morneau is next, I’m out.

  9. Grey

    Grey says:

    @chata: Ha…Thanks.

    @Tony: I know, gotta play the cards that you’re dealt, unfortunately.

    @VinWins: Bright star that burned out fast.

    @GigglesMcGehee: What?

    @D: Ha

    @sean: I will.

    @papasmurf: He’s looked done before (2009) and bounced back.

  10. CU says:

    Speaking of sleepers (sort of) which one out of Arod or Utley bounces back in 2012 to resemble old form? 12 team h2h 5×5 can keep one of them

  11. Pochucker says:

    Oh my God -Grey (put the dash in so you didn’t think I was calling you a God).
    Back to back posts about two of the most yawnstipating(your word dont want to be accused of plagerism) and underachieving players alive. Did you get drunk before you wrote these posts or after you wrote them?

  12. Grey

    Grey says:

    @CU: Slightly more faith in Utley.

    @Pochucker: As I said above, gotta play the cards you’re dealt. Wells has been known to do on again, off again years and now there’s Pujols and he should hit for a better average. I know they’re not popular picks.

  13. Pochucker says:

    lol just busting you Grey. As I have posted before I only pay attention to the analysis that you and Shandler write –the rest are wannabes.

  14. trick dad says:

    hey Grey, i’m sure you get these questions all the time but i cant find an answer. any idea when your January rankings will begin to be published? CANT WAIT

  15. tHe sHiT says:

    Morning Grey! Happy New Year! I still read almost everyday even though i dont comment much anymore. My laptop took a crap on me, now i gotta save up for a desktop Mac. Anythewho, hope all is well fellow Angeleno. I moved even closer to Dodger Stadium, literally a few blocks away. Gonna make it a resolution to catch more games this season, even if the Dodgers are gonna suck again. Maybe ill catch you at one of the games. Btw, Pizza Buona on Sunset/Alvarado, a legit must try pizza spot. Check it out. Take care, looking forward to your work as always and the upcoming season.

  16. AL KOHOLIC says:

    happy new year all,GREY yeah assuming youve already grabbed a stud (kemp) and another quality outfielder(cruz,stanton or bruce type) then rios and wells would be a nice overall outfield,i could live with that

  17. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Pochucker: Thanks!

    @trick dad: Right now, I’m thinking Monday, January 16th.

    @tHe sHiT: Happy new year! Sucks about the laptop, hopefully you can get set up with a new computer soon. I went to a bunch of Dodger games this past year, more than I had any other year. Hopefully I get out there some more. Always looking for good pizza, definitely will check it out.

    @AL KOHOLIC: Happy new year! Yeah, these guys aren’t your first outfielder or you’re in trouble. Kemp, Stanton and Wells doesn’t sound terrible, but could be an average issue.

  18. Kevin says:

    I run a fantasy baseball keeper league that is about to enter its third season. Teams are allowed to keep five players from the previous season. For the first time, I’m planning on implementing an offseason trading period from Feb. 1st to Mar. 1st (the date when teams must provide their five keepers by). The question is this:

    Does a team have full ownership of all 25 players on their roster when the season ended or do they only have ownership of the five they are legitimately planning on keeping?

    Here is a potential scenario using my own team as an example:

    I plan on keeping Joey Votto, Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Zimmerman, Desmond Jennings and Zack Greinke. I also have Yovanni Gallardo and Gio Gonzalez on my team, but am not really planning on keeping either. Would it be “fair” for me to trade say Joey Votto, Gio Gonzalez and Yovanni Gallardo to the owner that has Miguel Cabrera if both Gonzalez and Gallardo are both significant improvements over any pitchers he might potentially keep?

    While the difference between Votto and Cabrera isn’t extremely significant, it is an improvement at the cost of essentially nothing to me as technically Gonzalez and Gallardo weren’t going to be on my team anyways. On the other hand, the other team improves significantly from a pitching perspective with the only cost being the difference between Cabrera and Votto. Both teams win, yet at the same time, it doesn’t seem entirely fair.

    Like I say, this would be the first time for me as a commissioner dealing with offseason trading, so I’d like to make sure the offers are fair/legitimate as best as possible. This certainly seems like a likely scenario and I’d like to be prepared for it when/if it arises.

  19. AL KOHOLIC says:

    @Kevin: in one of my keeper leagues,all parties involved in the trade must be kept

  20. chata says:


    will you be doing player up-dates on aj ellis and matt treanor , now that we know this about tHe sHiT : “Gonna make it a resolution to catch more games this season, even if the Dodgers are gonna suck again.” ?

    also , will this kill kershaw’s chances at an mvp , or is he more likely to be a
    “lead-pipe cinch” ??

  21. Kevin says:

    @AL KOHOLIC: Thanks! In this case, I would be keeping Cabrera and he would be keeping Votto, Gallardo and Gonzalez. Therefore, this trade would be fair in your league, right?

  22. chata says:


    one more .

    if you meet up with him at Pizza Buona , could you get an autograph for me ?
    have him sign it in brown sharpie and NOT on a dinner napkin , as the correct combination could possibly make it’s e-bay value go through the roof .

  23. AL KOHOLIC says:

    @Kevin: yes

  24. chata says:


    it is not only fair , but is also the correct strategy to employ .
    unwittingly , it seems , you have stumbled upon the perfect trading partner .

  25. byrone says:

    lulz @ chata.

    grey i just pulled off a huge trade in a keeper league where i deat cargo and my 4th round draft pick (15th-ish round after keepers are removed from the pool), for nelson cruz, jon lester, and tommy hanson. i really needed the pitching.

    i’ll also have the first pick in the draft. thoughts on darvish?

  26. Tony says:

    @Kevin: Personally that trade would make no sense, i mean is it just a hypothetical or are you seriously saying you would do this and you’re bouncing the idea around with another owner? Why you’d want to help another owner by giving him that much pitching and gaining miniscually at 1B wouldn’t make sense.

    I play in a large basketball keeper league. Trades happen in the offseason. You dont have to keep everyone traded. It depends on if you’re making a rule that you have to have a 25 man roster still etc. Then uneven trades cant happen, you’d have to throw in some garbage to make the roster right.

    Maybe that guy, if you did do that trade, would want to move the pitching pieces for something else, in a package…. i mean you’d allow that i would think? You can set the rules however, just be careful you dont create loopholes or scenarios that will cause an uproar. I’d get as much advice as you can, like you’re doing…..

  27. Tony says:

    @Kevin: chata says doing that trade is correct strategy, which it all depends on how you value the players, but personally i view it as you’re trading a basically = 1B for another basically = 1B buttttttttt giving your opponent two better keepers than obviously he has?

    That in my book is bad strategy. You’re not gaining enough to help him out that much. You should be able to couple Votto+Gallardo and get maybe a PUJOLS back from a Pujols owner that has a weak 5th keeper. It all just depends but I hope you get what Im saying. good luck.

  28. Kevin says:

    @Tony: Thanks! That all makes sense. It is just a hypothetical trade but it seems like an offer likely to occur as it seems as though the most popular offseason offer in this league with limited keepers would be one involving quantity for superior quality – potentially quantity a team never had any intention of keeping.

    And yes, were he to want to trade Votto or Gallardo or Gonzalez prior to the season in another offer, I can’t see why that would be a problem.

    I hadn’t thought of the potential for offers where rosters might eclipse 25 and whether that would or wouldn’t be acceptable considering no games are being played at the time of the “oversized” roster.

    More to think about, I suppose. Thanks again.

  29. Kevin says:

    @Grey: Thanks! I guess I would make the offer to improve from Cabrera to Votto at essentially no cost to myself. I’m assuming Cabrera will be your top 1B in your rankings since he was last year. Votto probably around fourth/fifth/sixth? Not world-shattering, but an improvement nonetheless. It’s all hypothetical though.

    I guess with the season having yet to begin, I wouldn’t be too concerned with improving another team, at least not to the extent that this trade would.

    Excellent site. Thanks again.

  30. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Kevin: Yeah, what Tony said. Trade’s not worth doing. No problem, thanks for the kind words!

  31. chata says:


    tHe sHiT’s comment (#15) that he was going to catch more games this year ,
    since he moved closer to dodger stadium , would cut into ellis’ and treanor’s
    playing time , i assumed .

    b) if you could get tHe sHiT’s autograph , in brown sharpie , on a piece of toilet paper , i think , would bring big bucks on e-bay , even if he had a
    crappy year . (social comment) .


    d) sorry i had to explain that , further .

    e) drugs are kicking in , so i’m feeling better .

    f) no word from awesome maximus , yet , but i hope we’ll be hearing from
    him soon .

  32. Grey

    Grey says:

    @chata: B) Ha! C) D) My apoligies. E) Excellent! F) I don’t think he goes under the knife until the 6th. Maybe I’m off on the date.

  33. OaktownSteve says:

    I draft the Vernon Wellseses of the world all the time. I think the harsh reaction here means that you stumbled upon some actual sleepers. Guys nobody wants that might have value for your team.

  34. Grey

    Grey says:

    @OaktownSteve: I think you’re right. As I said in the post, no one at all wants these guys. What better place to find value.

  35. OaktownSteve says:

    If Wells produced those numbers you gave he would be comfortable inside the top 150. Everybody wants sexy upside guys all the time. Those guys have short track records and a lot of time playing time risk. Wells contract says with reasonable production he gets his 550 ABs.

    I think there were about a dozen or so guys with 20+ hrs and 10+ steals last year. Show me a guy with that potential in the back half of the draft and I am definitely interested. Plus, I love guys like this in the OF because I can be more confident in filling my infield with high round guys and still find useful parts later.

  36. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:

    Chicago White Sox 2011 Slogan: “We’re All In!” ; Chicago White Sox 2012 Slogan: “We Fold…”

  37. Steve says:

    Still ****-all sunshine here.


  38. Steve says:

    Nothing like a Vernon Wells sleeper post to blow the clouds away though (emoticon).

  39. royce! says:

    Hodgepadre alert! I’ve been reading lately that the Padres are interested in Maholm. Apparently one Moseley is not enough, so much so that they’d be willing to part with something like 6 times as much to have a second.

  40. tHe sHiT says:

    @Grey: Last recommendation i made to you, dont know if you remember, was to check out The Airborne Toxic Event. Dont remember if i told you i saw them all (minus Anne) in my terminal at LAX a few months ago. I got the autograph of Steven and Mikel. They were really koo. And very surprised that i recognized them. Anyway, you better check out that pizza asap, cuz ill be back soon to ask you about it.

  41. A2K says:

    I know you’re going all Vanessa Williams on us with these first two ‘sleeper’ posts.
    Honestly though, good examples about how perceived values vary.

  42. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: Ha!

    @royce!: That would be a great addition… Who are we kidding, just about any pitcher in Petco is a great addition.

    @tHe sHiT: Ha…Okay, will check out the pizza soon. Trying 800 Degrees this week then yours is next. I love Changing by ATE. Should probably listen to the rest of the album, which I have.

    @A2K: Vanessa Williams? Like how she was in the sleeper hit Soul Food?

  43. Steve says:

    @Grey: And just grilling a flattened chicken on the BBQ. The outlook is improving all the time!

    Rankings on the 16th? Jesus. Better start getting interested in fantasy again. Perhaps my new Cubs and Athletics t-shirts will help.

  44. royce! says:

    @Steve: Well a Cubs or Athletics shirt is certainly not going to help you get interested in real baseball! Hey-o!

    @Grey: It would be a great addition, but only if they could get him for 2011 Harang money, not what Maholm’s been making lately (6 million in 2011, I think the Pirates had a 10 million option on him in 2012). I just thought it was funny that his #s are nearly identical to Moseley’s: low Ks, middling BBs, and high GB%. Could be great insurance against Volquez not working out.

  45. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: Not sure if they’d help you get interested in fantasy either. I think Jake Fox would approve of a Cubs/A’s combo jersey.

    @royce!: Can’t believe Maholm was making that much. Volquez should be a lot of fun in Petco — 12 baserunners, 2 earned, 10 Ks….

  46. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:

    What do you guys think? Prince to the Nationals? I think that would be amazing if they got him. Leave no space for LaRoche though.

  47. Wake Up says:

    For some reason, I can’t look at Vernon Wells without thinking liar.

    PS When not looking at him, I often think that maybe his missing right hand’s replacement only lasts for one year, yet, he only replaces it every two years. Stupid Mr. Igoe!

  48. Mike says:

    Would you keep Jimmy Johnson in a AL only keeper league for $10. 12 teams and I only have 7 keepers other than that, so it’s not like I have other choices. The other one I’m sure about is Felipe Paulino $6, I feel he has upside with a nice dom.

    Thanks in advance

  49. Steve says:

    @Grey @royce!: Without a team to support (though I do have a small soft spot for the A’s) it’s a bit hard to know what to choose. I have to admit I chose the Cubs one cos it looked good.
    Couple of crappy teams though. Maybe I’m turning into a hipster.
    Perish the thought.

  50. Steve says:

    Isn’t Maholm Murray Chass’ poster child for everything that’s wrong with these ‘new-fangled’ statistics?

  51. Grey

    Grey says:

    @The Talented Mr. Dope Man: Sounds like that’s where he’s going. Would be huge for the Nats.

    @Wake Up: Ha! Indeed…

    @Mike: Johnson for $10 is okay, nothing great. But if you have no other options then that’s that…

    @Steve: Hipster? You have dark-rimmed glasses and a hemp seed kaftan?

  52. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: Is he? I didn’t hear that…

  53. Steve says:

    Didn’t he win one game in 2010? Then got a pretty decent raise last year? Number of wins not reflecting the quality of his performance was key to the discussion apparently.
    You can see why Murray went off on one.

  54. polczek5 says:

    10 team 5×5 keeper

    Pedroia vs. Phillps + VMart

    been reviewing the off-season posts to get my fantasy baseball fill, and they still make me laugh…

  55. royce! says:

    @Grey: Yay! A low scoring, long game. What fun. (I do like low scoring games, and thank god for that considering I’m in SD, but the low scoring, high baserunners games I’ve been to have kinda sucked.)

    @Steve: Ha! I agree– A’s and Cubs have great visual brands, which may lead to hipsters liking them (also, there are a lot of hipsters in Chicago and the Bay Area, and rooting for the Giants is like listening to a band that people have actually heard of). I will keep this in mind next time I’m accused of being a hipster. I’ll be all, “but I’m a Padres fan!” (then again, I am on board with them bringing back the brown in their color scheme, which is pretty hipster. Oh well).

  56. Steve says:

    @royce!: You also need to start drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon out of cans and listening to all those bands people have never heard of on cassette.

    Or so I’m told.

  57. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: Ah… Gotcha… Yeah, that would get Chass chafed.

    @polczek5: Thanks! Pedroia…

    @royce!: That usually take 4 hours and still don’t have any runs…

  58. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:

    @Steve: all cubs fans are hipsters… at least that’s what us SouthSiders say… Go Sox!

  59. royce! says:

    @Steve: Uh, start? I actually recently stopped doing those things. Well, at least the music part– I just got rid of my 89 BMW with a tape player, so now I’m joining the 21st century and listening to CDs.

    Not down with the PBR, though. I’m into beers you’ve never heard of! So hip!

    @Grey: The Padres players should eat more ballpark food. That should give them plenty of runs…[pinkie to mouth]

  60. royce! says:

    @The Talented Mr. Dope Man: Some Sox fans are hipsters too- I know for a fact that the guys in Walter Meego (http://www.waltermeego.com/) are Sox fans, and if they ain’t hipsters, I don’t know what a hipster is.

    Of course you’re right that there are probably more hipster Cubs fans than Sox fans, like Wilco.

  61. Steve says:

    Just so we’re clear. – the foregoing is not an endorsement. of hipsters or their lifestyle. They annoy the hell out of me.

  62. royce! says:

    @Steve: Spoken like a true hipster!

  63. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:

    @royce!: @Steve: I 2nd’ Royce.

  64. Grey

    Grey says:

    @royce!: Hehe

    @Steve: I hope no one’s condoning the hipster lifestyle here.

    @royce!: Ha!

  65. chata says:


    hold on there .

    i might be a hipster .

    back in the day , when every team looked forward to the A’s coming to town , and when our most optimistic preseason projections went something like this ==> “the A’s have a chance of NOT losing 100 games this year” ,
    at least we had this going for us :

    so , is this still hip s(t)ir ??

  66. Steve says:

    To be more specific, the hipster-haters featured in the piece.

  67. royce! says:

    @Steve: That article just left me confused about what a hipster is. Maybe I’ll read the copy of n+1 about them. Speaking of n+1, The Art of Fielding was great. I highly recommend reading it, if only to take your mind off of all the hate (emoticon).

  68. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: That’s awesome…. I like the blog, hipster or hobo.

  69. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:

    @Grey: @Steve: 9th, actually. This will probably be the last entry I follow until late next week.

    I getting rid of Zambrano the best move Epstein has made thus far? Only semi-rhetorical.

    I was practically floored when I found out recently that Pabst is now a “cool” beer to drink. I’ve been drinking it since middle school, when I heard Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet proclaim, “Heineken? F*ck that sh!t! Pabst Blue Ribbon!” I won’t let the hipsters ruin it for me, though… PBR4Life.

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