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The Keeper Corner #278-260

Reflection and Projections for Keeper and Dynasty Leagues

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Today we continue down my ranks I used for 2015 values in my dynasty league.  Beginning with the first players that I projected to have positive value.  As stated in previous articles, I average projections that are posted online, and then use those numbers to create my values.

Without further ado, we continue down the list, starting with #278

#278 Kevin Quackenbush, RP, SD

$0.06, 72 K, 3 W, 10 SV, 2.492 ERA, 1.200 WHIP, 3.00 K/BB

Quackenbush fell short on all of these projections, and was in the minors for a brief stint.  In the preseason the Padres actually had bullpen questions prior to the season.  Craig Kimbrel quickly eliminated all closer questions.  Next season, I'd expect him to be back in a setup role in San Diego.

#277 Ervin Santana, SP, MIN

$0.08, 151K, 11 W, 3.995 ERA, 1.286 WHIP, 2.559 K/BB

Santana missed half the season because of a PED suspension, and pitched on line with those projections.  Will be 33 years old, and knowing he'll be tested even more than normal now, I wouldn't bank on a huge career resurgence when looking at his downward trend in K rate, BB rate, and ground ball rate.

#276 Desmond Jennings, OF, TB

$0.20, 79 R, 13 HR, 44 RBI, 21 SB, .247 AVG, .718 OPS

Jennings played only 28 games due to a knee injury and a tooth infection.  Its time to accept that Jennings is never healthy, and can't be counted upon to play a full season.  He isn't even particularly helpful while on the field.  Next season he'll be 29, and he has only managed one season with 30+ steals in his career.

#275 Dee Gordon, 2B, MIA

$0.30, 78 R, 1 HR, 35 RBI, 52 SB, .263 AVG, .657 OPS

I actually need to write this out to show how off I was on this.  I was 10 runs short, 3 home runs short, 6 steals short, 70 batting average points short, and 119 points short on his OPS.  With that said, I am stubborn, and I refuse to pay up for a speed only player next season I'll be projecting a sub 300 average, and roughly a 700 OPS.

#274 Francisco Liriano, SP, PIT

$0.39, 168 K, 11 W, 3.416 ERA, 1.253 WHIP, 2.182 K/BB

Quietly had the best season of his career.  Turned 32 yesterday, happy birthday Francisco.  I expect more strong pitching as a Pirate.  Last season he had his best strikeout rate since 2006.  Liriano typically has one DL stint a season, but I believe he will still give strong ratios again next season.

#273 Marco Estrada, SP, TOR

$0.46, 115K, 7 W, 4.148 ERA, 1.195 WHIP, 3.194 K/BB

Lucked into a far better season that what he actually deserved.  Pairing a .217 BABIP with 180 innings made him valuable this season, but next year I'd anticipate him being closer to the projections above.  He's actually on a 4 year downward trend with his K% and BB%.

#272 Lorenzo Cain, OF, KCR

$0.68, 67R, 8 HR, 60 RBI, 27 SB, .262 AVG, .679 OPS

Awesome year by Lorenzo Cain.  Had a career high contact rate, and through that utilized the tools he has always had.  If he keeps hitting the ball there is no reason to expect anything worse than 10 HR and 20 SB.  Also played a career high 140 games this season, has been playing more nad more year after year since 2011.

#271 Joe Smith, RP, LAA

$0.83, 63 K, 4 W, 4 SV, 2.700 ERA, 1.029 WHIP, 3.316 K/BB

Slight changes in his strike out and walk rates, resulted in uncharacteristically large changes in his ERA.  Still a strong reliever, but there is no reason to expect him to take on the closers job in 2016.

#270 Andrew Heaney, SP, LAA

$1.04, 155K, 10W, 4.076 ERA, 1.288 WHIP, 2.818 K/BB

Our first player projected to earn over a buck, typically the minimum bid, spent half the season in the minors and fell short of all projections.  Still an above average arm and should be available at a discount after only accumulating 100 IP last season.

#269 Nathan Eovaldi, SP NYY

$1.10, 162 K, 13 W, 4.292 ERA, 1.333 WHIP, 2.824 K/BB

Nathan finally struck out over 7 per 9 last season, but only managed 154 innings.  This made him miss his projection, but he was on his way to exceeding 162 K last season.  He beat his ERA, and missed his WHIP projection, typically a recipe for poor future performance.  His FIP and xFIP were both in the 3s, and steamer projects improved strike out and walk rates.  He keeps forcing us to dream by leading the MLB in average velocity, but as of now he's just a back end starter who throws a very straight fastball.

#268 Joakim Soria, RP, DET

$1.15, 67K, 3 W, 6 SV, 3.436 ERA, 1.036 WHIP, 4.786 K/BB

Soria became the closer for the Tigers and pitched quite well.  He lost his grasp on the closer role when he was traded to the Pirates.  This year he will likely look for a closer job in free agency, and looks to be ready to have another strong season of relief.

#267 Dalton Pompey, OF, TOR

$1.17, 70 R, 8 HR, 40 RBI, 28 SB, .260 AVG, .727 OPS

Despite what projection systems were coming up with, I was not a fan of Pompey.  One of my earliest articles was about him, and my doubts that he could keep up the miraculous ascent he had through the Blue Jays minor league system.  Once the season began, what I gathered from my own research was proven true as he struggled into a demotion to AAA and then down to AA.  While still very young, you hope he can learn from his down year.  Next season he'll be 23, and hopefully he'll be able to create more value with his legs and contact ability.  I do not see a power hitter going forward.

#266 Vance Worley, SP/RP, PIT

$1.32, 117K, 10 W, 3.787 ERA, 1.287 WHIP, 3.000 K/BB

The Pirates turned Worley into a swingman, and it didn't do him much good.  His control and command deteriorated.  Next season I'd expect a full time shift to the bullpen, in a low leverage role.  He doesn't have the wipe out stuff to be deserving of a bigger role, and shouldn't be owned in fantasy leagues going forward.

#265 Steven Souza, OF, TBR

$1.42, 51 R, 12 HR, 57 RBI, 17 SB, .262 AVG, .765 OPS

The official sabermetric darling of 2015 shows up at #265.  Certain systems had him as a 20/20 player in his first full season, and since I had him for only down for 390 AB, I can't say I was much different.  What Souza did was put up an average offensive season with a ton of strike outs.  Investing in someone who strikes out over 30% of the time is not how you have a good time.  I haven't don't much research in this, but I believe high K players have steeper declines to their aging curve.

#264, Kyle Hendricks, SP, CHC

$1.45, 114K, 9 W, 3.66 ERA, 1.247 WHIP, 2.923 K/BB

What Hendricks did was unusual last season.  His 3.95 ERA was not good, his 1.16 WHIP and 3.88 K/BB were both very good.  You can argue this either way, but as an owner of Kyle Hendricks in this league I'm obviously a believer.  My reasoning is this, every offseason, I take the K/9, BB/9, and GB% of every pitcher to have at least 130 IP.  This season there were 119 pitchers to do that.  Then I find out who was in the top third of the league in each of those statistics.  Pitchers who were only in the top third in one stat or no stats are mostly average or worse, the two stat guys are mostly strong performers or guys with very high floors, the guys with 3 stats are fantasy aces, and guys who are almost guaranteed to be fantasy assets in the next season.  Only 8 pitchers accomplished being top third in all 3 stats, and Kyle Hendricks was one of them.  For comparisons sake, the three guys with a similar WAR totals to Hendricks 2015 last year who were three category performers were Marcus Stroman, Carlos Carrasco, and Hisashi Iwakuma.  I expect Hendricks to be closer to his FIP at 3.30, than his ERA next season.

#263, Jenrry Mejia, RP, NYM

$1.50, 77K, 4 W, 20 SV, 3.240 ERA, 1.333 WHIP, 2.962 K/BB

Got suspended, came back and literally two seconds later was suspended again.  Thank god this allowed the world to see Jeurys Familia as a closer.

#262 Wil Myers, OF, SD

$1.60, 72, 18, 75, 10 SB, .241 AVG, .704 OPS

Had a wrist injury and only played 60 games.  Still has big power, still is wasting it in a pitcher's park.

#261 Wilson Ramos, C, WAS

$1.60, 41R, 17HR, 65 RBI, 0SB, .275AVG, .752OPS

Played a career high 128 games, and beat my AB projection by over 100.  In those 500 ABs Wilson packed in some of the crappiest hitting you can manage while still successfully holding onto your starting job.  Next season I'd say I'm souring on Ramos.  He's shown blips of power in the past, but two consecutive seasons of below average hitting is not cutting it for me.  I think the Nats lineup will be improved next season, but I don't expect Ramos to be much of a threat besides the occasional bomb because he definitely has punch in his bat.  Maybe being placed in the 8 spot and being forced to take walks would do him some good.

#260 Adam Eaton, OF, CHW

$1.64, 90 R, 4 HR, 37 RBI, 20 SB, .271 AVG, .724 OPS

I love you Adam Eaton.  I dealt for him early, and he turned out to be the #55 player in the league.  The best part is that he managed that while falling short on the stolen base projection.  For every cent that seemed wasted on Jeff Samardzija this season, Eaton paid them back in the first year of his 5 year deal.

40 down, 259 to go.  I'll be back with more tomorrow.