Mailbag: May 17, 2011
Here are the answers to some of the questions that I have recently received at the BaseballGuys' Twitter account.
Martin Prado vs. Howie Kendrick – how close is it? – @kevingilmore3
I love this question. It's kind of like asking – Kim Kardashian or Sofia Vergara? You really can't go wrong either way. In fact, let's be honest, you'd take either one home to meet mamma and feel pretty good about it.
Eligibility M. Prado: Qualifies at 2B, 3B and OF Kendrick: Qualifies at 2B. In most leagues he is also 1B eligible, and possibly OF (he's played six games there this season).
Career Numbers M. Prado: .305/.354/.454 Kendrick: .296/.331/.431
Pretty darn close, eh?
Career Numbers (per 500 ABs) M. Prado: .305-11-60-76-3 Kendrick: .296-9-61-66-12
Pretty darn close yet again.
2011 Numbers M. Prado: .305-6-27-28-1 Kendrick: .310-6-17-29-4
I know I'm supposed to be the expert and have all the answers, but in this case there may not be a definitive answer. Like I said, how do you choose between Kardashian and Vergara?
Ah hell, give me Vergara and Kendrick.
Jed Lowrie or Mike Aviles? Looking for a David Wright replacement. – @itsthejohnes
I bet it would surprise a lot of people out there to learn that Aviles has more homers (five to three), RBI (26 to 18) and steals (eight to zero) than Lowrie. Don't overlook how significant that difference in the steals department is either, it makes up for the massive gap in their batting average right now (.243 to .320).
Lowrie hit .368 in April. He is hitting .259 in May. Lowrie had a .389 OBP in April. That mark is .317 in May. Lowrie had a .574 SLG in April. That mark is .407 in May. Lowrie had a K-rate of 16 percent in April. That mark is 28 percent in May.
You get the point.
A middle infield option who is hitting .320 is a fine addition to any squad, but what if that same player hits 12 homers and doesn't steal a single base? That's the pace that Lowrie is on for those of you who haven't been keeping track.
Aviles owns a career .292 average, so where did those extra .050 points go? His BABIP is .253, only .067 points below his career level, as he has struggled to hit the ball on the screws. Aviles has posted line drive rates of 20.2, 18.9 and 18.8 percent the past three years which seems to strongly suggest that he won't continue to struggle along at 11.6 percent. The problem right now is that he has jacked up his fly ball rate by 13 percent. Aviles would do well to remember that he is a 12-15 homer bat. If he continues to hit 50 percent of his balls sky ward success could elude him.
Lowrie is second base and shortstop eligible while Aviles is second base as well as third base eligible in almost every league, so there is no advantage there for either player. Given that Aviles is the only one who runs, and that he owns a .292 career average (Lowrie is at .266), I'm going with Aviles if I have to choose one.
Is it time to cash in on Curtis Granderson's hot start? – @rickyhelsel
If it weren't for the ridiculously hot Jose Bautista, Granderson would be leading baseball in home runs as Granderson has 14 homers through 39 games putting him on pace to obliterate his career best mark of 30 long balls. Granderson is already roughly 40 percent to his carer best of 74 RBI with 31. Toss in a .993 OPS, .080 points clear of anything he has ever done before, and you should be considering selling high on the Yankees' outfielder.
Granderson has a 53 percent fly ball rate. Not only would that be a career-high, it would blow past his 44 percent career mark. Granderson also has a 25 percent HR/F mark. He's never posted a mark above 14.5 percent in a full season, and his current mark is nearly double his career rate of 13.2 percent. Can we reasonably expect both of those trends to continue? Not in my world.
All of the extra fly balls also create an issue in the batting average category. After hitting .249 and .247 the past two years the inclination when you see his .280 mark this year is that he has figured things out and is back on course. However, the data doesn't really support that position. Granderson is within a percentage point of his career walk rate, and his current K-rate of 25.9 percent would be a five year worst. He's also, partially because of the extra fly balls, posting a career worst 15.1 percent line drive rate. Putting all of that data together would seem to suggest that Curtis will have a hard time hitting .280 this season unless he changes his approach.
So would I trade him? I trade anyone on my roster if the right offer came along so I'm certainly not going to say you should hold on to a guy who it would seem is in line for a reduction in production the rest of the way.
Mark Reynolds or Brett Wallace the rest of the way? – @gregory671
On the surface this seems like a preposterous question since Wallace is hitting .323 and Reynolds .191, but when you look a bit deeper, it's a fair question – and no, I'm not faded from pulling back four Mai Tai's this morning. Look at the other four fantasy categories.
Wallace: two homers, 12 RBI, 20 Runs, one steal Reynolds: five homers, 19 RBI, 17 runs, one steal
You're probably still skeptical. How about we look at how each guy has done in the month of May.
Wallace: .200-1-3-5 with a .600 OPS Reynolds: .229-3-5-7 with a .800 OPS
Still not convinced, right? Does history mean anything to you? Obviously you can't directly compare Reynolds to Wallace in that respect since Wallace has never played a full season, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't mean something when it comes to Reynolds. Yes, he is a dreadful option the batting average category, perhaps a debilitating one, but don't forget these facts.
1- Reynolds has produced an average of 35 homers, 95 RBI and 88 runs the past three years. All told he was first amongst third basemen in homers, fourth in RBI and second in runs from 2008-10.
2- Reynolds has hit 37 homers with 104 RBI and 96 runs since the start of the 2010 season. Those numbers place him second amongst third basemen in homers, sixth in RBI and sixth in runs scored.
Do you take a chance on a guy who seems destined to hit 30 homers while struggling to hit .240?
As I warned back on April 28th in 2011 Player Profile: Justin Smoak and Brett Wallace, I'd be wary of overestimating the hot start of Wallace. That doesn't mean he is waiver-wire fodder, but the fact of the matter is that to this point of the season Wallace has really been nothing other than an empty batting average producer. If I needed batting average on my squad I'd take Wallace, but if I was looking at rostering the player who will have the most fantasy value from this point forward, give me Reynolds.
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive, 5-8 PM Eastern, on Sirius 210 and XM 87.
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Fri 7-10 PM EDT), Ray also hosts his own show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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