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Fake Teams Hits the Fantasy Baseball Links

Good morning.  You owe it to yourself to check out the last link on this page today.

Maybe Miguel Cabrera ISN'T overrated | High Heat Stats

My eye is drawn immediately to the comparison between Cabrera (#8 above) and Frank Robinson (#10 above). At this point of their careers, they have essentially identical stats, with virtually the same OPS+, games played, plate appearances, and all 3 rate stats.

Mat Latos: Love Him or Hate Him | Roto Hardball

As the season wore on, [Latos] was not only throwing harder, but he was being more effective. The whiff rate he was producing on his slider went from about 21% over the course of the season to over 25% in the last month and a half. I could throw in another chart about WHIP, but I'll just tell you that his WHIP before the break was 1.34 and after the break it was 1.00. He finished the month of September with a 0.90 WHIP.

Mike Leake: 2012 Steal? | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

Mike Leake has been a great story and is definitely a serviceable fantasy pitcher. I believe that his talent peaked in 2011. He may be able to maintain this level of production for a few more years. I would not give my shirt off my back for any improvement on his 2011 season besides seeing an IP increase.

2012 Projection: Can Freddie Freeman Emerge As A Top 10 First Baseman? | Rotoprofessor

An improvement in the strikeout rate should not come as a surprise. If you couple that with an improvement in the power department and there is reason to believe that he could approach, or surpass, a .300 average moving forward. Throw in hitting in the middle of the Braves lineup, giving him plenty of opportunities for RBI, and there is a whole lot to like. In fact, Freeman spent 91 AB hitting third in 2011, a spot in the order that could make a lot of sense for him moving forward (depending on the moves the Braves make this offseason). If that turns out to be the case he should score plenty of runs as well. He’s not going to lead the league, but 90+ could be realistic with Brian McCann, Dan Uggla and others hitting behind him.

Brandon Beachy, a Top Flight Starter | Roto Hardball

The relatively high ERA in comparison to the league average combined with the low win total will provide you the ability to draft Beachy much later than he honestly should be drafted. I predict that Beachy is the best starter in the Braves' rotation this season, even better than Tommy Hanson, Tim Hudson, and super-prospect Julio Teheran. Be smart and target Beachy on draft day, and remember that reaching a bit to overdraft him is a better move than waiting back and watching him get scooped up by your bitter roto rival.

Mike Trout, 2012 Fantasy Outlook | Razzball

[Trout’s] never had an OBP lower than .388 at any stop in the minor leagues, so I don’t think the bottom is going to fall out on that in 2012. If he’s getting on base, he’ll be stealing bases and scoring runs, whether he’s slotted leadoff or ninth.

Mark Trumbo Player Projection No. 153 | Fantasy Baseball 365

The alarmingly low on base percentage (.291), the low line drive rate (15.9%) and high percentage of infield flies (17.3%) are all factors that make you want to look for a power threat somewhere else, but a good ISO, a below league average BABIP and a team that is committed to improving their offense are silver linings. If Trumbo can’t improve his OBP, I would proceed with caution in leagues that use OPS despite the gaudy power numbers.

Is Gordon Beckham Done? | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

Because second base is so shallow, Beckham is going to be a late round "sleeper" at the position heading into most drafts. Based on his poor stats from the last two seasons, it’s unclear whether he really deserves a spot on your team. Beckham may have experienced success in his initial run, but it’s clear he has regressed the past two seasons. There’s always a chance that he rediscovers the magic of 2009, but let someone else deal with the headache next season.

2012 Outlook: Should Anthony Rizzo Be Written Off? | Rotoprofessor

Would I draft [Rizzo] as a starting option under any circumstance? Absolutely not. Would I write him off? Absolutely not. The scouts saw something in him and it’s possible that he takes 2011 in stride and learns from his struggles. In deep formats I would have no issue drafting him for my bench and hoping that he figures things out. Otherwise, monitor him from the waiver wire. Don’t expect much, but it is way too early to write off a 22-year old with that type of potential.

A Duda Day in Queens in 2012? | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

An increased HR/FB ratio will also help his batting average since some of these balls had previously been caught. That should help him maintain positive value in the batting average category and make him a pretty good three category contributor. With reports telling us that his headaches have disappeared after colliding with the wall in late September, Duda has a good chance to earn a profit for his fantasy owners next season.

Sleeper Spotlight: Will Lucas Duda Be A Viable Option For 2012? | Rotoprofessor

Would it surprise you if he posted numbers around .275 with 25 HR, 85 RBI and 80 R? That’s the type of upside he has, making him well worth targeting in five outfielder formats. With the potential to be even better, he should be on all radars. The Mets are a team going through a lot of changes, but all that means is that Duda will be given ample opportunity to excel.

Jim Thome's Fantasy Value Goes Kaput | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

There’s a reason that Thome was splitting time at DH and giving way to younger, stronger right-handed bats. Over the last three seasons, Thome’s average vs southpaws was .233 with a very un-Thome like .331 OBP over 253 at bats. It’s not that he can’t hit them, it’s just that, at this stage of his career, he can’t hit them very well. If the Phillies were even thinking of giving him regular playing time, Thome’s twilight years shortcomings will certainly put a stop to that.

Transaction Analysis: The First Free Agent Signings of the Fall | Baseball Prospectus

If the White Sox and Twins had thought [Thome] capable of playing first without hurting himself or his team, they would have had him do that rather than forfeit his bat during interleague play. They never did, and it’s unlikely that the Phillies are any more optimistic about the odds of his filling in at first than his former teams were.

Senior Circuit Scoop: Finding Value in Part-Timers | Roto Hardball

AFL Update: 2011 draft’s top two picks are cruising | The Hardball Times
Did anybody see the Future Stars game this weekend? Danny Hultzen was very impressive.

Improving Starting Pitchers | Roto Hardball

@freeptigers | Twitter

Martinez will be fulltime dh and Tigers will seek back-up rh catcher, Dombrowski said.

It's November, so there's still time for this to change, but it appears that Martinez will not be eligible at catcher in 2013.

Mark Svartz is the funniest person I know. He did this. | Flip Flop Fly Ballin'
Second funniest video in today's post.

Future Shock: Yoenis Cespedes: The Showcase | Baseball Prospectus
This is one of the funniest things I've read in a long time, and then the video was even better. Seriously, take the time to enjoy this. You even get to learn about a guy who might be playing in the majors next year.

It gets better from there, as Cespedes moves to a training room, where he performs an eye-popping 45-inch vertical jump that has to be seen to be believed. In the background? Brown continues to rap about various girls being on his genitals and how he's even amazed at himself for rapping about girls on his genitals. Forget about Cespedes's bonus; I'd give seven figures to watch ten front office people of my choosing view this video for the first time with the volume turned up.