HOUSTON - AUGUST 21: Wandy Rodriguez #51 of the Houston Astros looks on from the dugout during a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants at Minute Maid Park on August 21, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Happy Veteran's Day. We have a ton of articles asking if older, underachieving players can bounce back today:
In time, [Hosmer] should be a 30 homer guy. Next year, I’d hope for 24 homers and expect 22, but as previously mentioned on the aforementioned tip, he’s not going to kill you anywhere and will be in the heart of the Royals lineup. Let’s say 80/23/95/.280/10. That makes him a definite keeper.
Someone in your fantasy league will be betting that Cruz can overcome his injury woes and put together a monster season. Don't be that guy. There is a good chance we've already seen the best of Nelson Cruz.
[Goldschmidt] should end up being a 30/100 guy every year, plus he has the tools to hit for average too. He has great patience at the plate at times and as long as he works on cutting down the strikeouts, he will be just fine. He's young and will be around a long time.
So in Rodriguez we have a fairly durable arm that posts strong strikeout totals and keeps the walks in check. He’s also better than average at inducing grounders which also help him to remain fairly consistent – not necessarily from start to start, but from season to season.
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After a rise in line drives and a drop in BABIP, Sanchez should get some help in the luck department in 2012.
The big difference between Floyd with the bases empty and Floyd with men on is his fastball. Floyd has thrown his fastball in the zone 53 percent of the time with the bases empty, and 46 percent of the time with men on. Aside from missing the zone more often to the arm side, he also elevates the fastball more with runners on base.
[I]f he can even just return to the form we saw in 2009 and 2010, he would give you a positive return value. A guy who tosses nearly 200 innings, has a K/9 that sits between 6.5 and 7.0, a low 4.00-range ERA, and 10 wins for a buck is a solid back end of your rotation kind of guy. Even Zito’s peripherals looked good then with a solid walk rate, LOB%, and an FIP that was fairly close to his ERA totals. The numbers certainly aren’t gaudy but if those are the totals coming from your fifth or sixth starting pitcher, then you’re probably doing ok.
Prospect Report: Can Eric Surkamp Be An Appealing Sleeper In San Francisco? | Rotoprofessor
Barry Zito has already been given the #5 spot, but Surkamp will be waiting in the wings and could be an interesting sleeper.
AFL pitchers have been able to take advantage of Adams a bit this fall as he's managed only a .733 OPS with a 28-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Don't let that scare you off as Adams is still a work-in-progress and his power is for real; his .391 wOBA and .266 ISO in AA was fully supported by a .308 BABIP and a 0.44 K/BB rate that should improve as he makes adjustments to better pitching. That said, I simply think he's being too eager this fall with more mature pitchers taking advantage of his aggressiveness.
The competition should be fierce as both are more than capable hitters. Rizzo is probably the better defender, but Guzman’s maturity and added experience might just be enough to give him the edge. You probably won’t want whomever wins the job as your starting fantasy first baseman, but the guy who ultimately wins the job could turn into a solid corner infield option.
ESPN, CBS, and I all agree that Derek Jeter should be taken prior to Alexei Ramirez. Jeter’s skills are obviously declining and he will be 38 this coming season, but from a fantasy standpoint, Jeter is the safer and better pick.
Although his performance and the team he plays for makes it tempting to keep Madson, his age, injury history and HR/FB rate tell me he's not a keeper.
[A]ny long-term planning regarding Nathan should wait until he settles on a team, but he’s worth keeping on your radar for cheap saves. I think the velocity issues he had last year will be less problematic for him in 2012, especially if he can use his curveball as a strong set up pitch for his wipeout slider.
Overall, it's pretty hard to get excited about a 36-year-old who has hit the DL in each of the past two years and has a career OBP in the .280s. Plus, Barajas' one strength -- his power -- may be mitigated in PNC Park, which decreases home run production for right-handed hitters by 27 percent compared to a neutral venue.
So when you're in hour three of your mixed league draft, you're tired and you need to reach in and grab a final starter or two to round out your staff, don't look to Jurrjens for help.
Player Profile: Ryan Howard | Baseball Guys
Even at a discount, I don't like Howard in 2012. What do you think?
It's possible the power rebounds slightly, as he's still only 28. [Markakis'] ISO reached a career low of .122 and he plays in too many hitters parks for it to stay that low for another full season. Weak contact could be the biggest issue going forward; his contact percentage outside the strike zone has topped 82% the past two seasons while his strike zone contact percentage has fallen to career lows of 45% in the same time frame. Obviously, making hard contact is much harder when you're swinging at pitchers pitches
Unless Dunn simply lost his ability to identify pitches — doubtful — I don’t see him having the same issues again next year. Whether he was pressing because of his new contract or for some other reason, I find it somewhat hard to believe that it’ll be present again next year. If he’ll challenge for 40 HR again, I can’t say, but with his BABIP bouncing back and a little better pitch selection, there’s no reason to believe Dunn can’t get his OPS back into the .850-.900 range.
Even if [Wells] does turn things around, it’s possible that he’s a .260ish hitter (.274 for his career), with a little pop but not much else. He’s not going to bring speed. He’s not likely to score many runs, no matter where he hits in the lineup. He has driven in 80 runs or less in four of the past five seasons.
Senior Circuit Scoop: Middle Relief Gems | Roto Hardball
I believe the middle relief ace is a huge market inefficiency. Here are some candidates for NL-Only leagues.
Moustakas, Chisenhall and Hacking | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball
Quick would-you-rather: Moustakas or Chisenhall?
The Lineup Card: Buy Me Some Wontons and Crackerjack: 11 Foods That Should Be Available As Ballpark Concessions But Aren't | Baseball Prospectus
Of course Jason Parks would say "Communal Fondue." Of course he would.