I hope everybody had a wonderful holiday break. Here are some good fantasy baseball articles I saw this morning and over the weekend.
- First off, Chris Cwik of Fangraphs asked if Grady Sizemore is still worth your time.
One of the reasons behind Sizemore’s unusually high BABIP early in his career may have been his ability to use his speed to beat out hits. A look at his infield hit percentage confirms that Sizemore is no longer able to beat out these ground balls. While he experienced somewhat of a rebound last season, it’s unclear if he’ll ever reach the heights of his prime when it comes to infield hit percentage. Another reason for Sizemore’s declining BABIP could be his increased infield fly ball percentage over the past few seasons. By overcompensating for his injuries, it’s possible Sizemore could have altered his swing — producing more infield fly balls.
Sizemore’s upside is definitely worth a gamble. At the price he’ll be available in most drafts, the risks strongly outweigh the rewards. He may no longer offer speed, but he’s still shown the ability to hit for some power when healthy. If the power comes back, he might have some value in fantasy leagues. While he won’t hit for a high average, Sizemore has the potential to be a poor man’s Carlos Beltran this season (the 2011 version of Beltran, of course). His speed may be gone, but there’s a chance he can recapture his hitting skills. It’s a risk worth taking late in most drafts.
Avoid Grady unless your fairly desperate.And by the way, Marc Normandin said pretty much the same thing about Grady the other day at Roto Hardball.
- Howard Bender wrote in defense of fantasy closers at FanGraphs. I can think just last season of a guy in my keeper league who had no bullpen guys on his roster and guess what, his team sucked. It's certainly an interesting experiment if your league counts wins (I'm sorry if this is the case, I join you in your misery) you'll certainly get more points from a low level starter than from a closer. However, as Howard points out, closers have a lot to offer.
so many back end starters barely outproduce top closers in strikeouts with another boatload coming up short. Sergio Santos had 92 K’s last year, a total better than that of Jeff Francis, Jair Jurrjens and Randy Wells. Of those top 20 closers from 2011, six had 70 or more K’s while a total of 12 had 60-plus. Jason Marquis, Nick Blackburn and Tyler Chatwood all threw in excess of 130 innings on the year, none of them topped 80 strikeouts, and all of them had ERA’s sitting above 4.40.
The bottom line is that by drafting decent closers, you are bolstering your pitching staff on multiple levels. With the right guys, you can worry less about your ratios while watching your saves total completely offset the potential difference in strikeouts.
- Fantasy Baseball 365 has had a pretty good series up all off-season ranking their top fantasy players for 2012. The whole series is worth your time, the most recent projection they've posted is on Derek Jeter.
All indications are that Jeter is in teriffic shape and there is certainly a precedent for players succeeding at his age (in addition to failing). Even at his age, he is a safer play than many of the up-and-coming players.
80 R 10 HR 62 RBI 14 SB .288 AVG .348 OBP .752 OPS in 550 at-bats.
- Also at Fantasy Baseball 365, Josh Shepardson looks at some pitchers and hitters who overachieved in 2011.
- At Razzball, Grey Albright says to avoid Anthony Rizzo in mixed leagues but to grab him in NL-only leagues.
- We all know Brett Lawrie is awesome and should be universally owned (if you didn't know that before, now you know) but Rotoprofessor explains why that's the case. Basically, it comes down to speed and average.
We all know that third base is among the weakest positions in all of fantasy sports. Now, you get a young option with the potential to go 20/20/80/80, at the worst. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him surpass the projections and entrench himself as a Top 5 option by year’s end, either. It’s a no-brainer to get your hands on him and consider him one of the better options in the league for 2012.