Fantasy Baseball Week That Was: Week 8
Guys like Martin Prado, Xander Bogaerts and Mark Reynolds are all having successful seasons. Who will be able to sustain their start and who will flame out?
Sell high candidates highlight this week’s Week That Was.
Martin Prado: I always like Martin Prado as a player. He is the consummate professional who can play a bunch of positions and help a team in many ways not reflected in the stat sheet. Unfortunately, fantasy baseball is all about the stat sheet. Well, not unfortunate thus far for Prado owners as they have to be pretty stoked about that .326 average. Slow your roll Prado owners! A correction is coming and you may want to get off the Prado train before it is too late. Prado’s results have been propped up by a bloated .364 BABIP. To make matters worse, Prado is hitting fewer hard hit balls and going the other way less frequently. Oh and do not forget that there will be an infield glut when Dee Gordon returns. In my view, Derek Dietrich is the better and younger player and thus will likely beat out Prado when Gordon returns. It is high time to sell high here.
Xander Bogaerts: Don’t get me wrong, he is a very good player. However, he is over his head right now with a .351 average and six dingers in 208 AB. Six HR you say? Xander hit seven all of last year. Why do I see a correction? Well, his BABIP is an unsustainable .401and his HR/FB rate is actually more than double of that a year ago. Still just 23 years old, the future is quite bright for the Sox SS. My point is that if you are in a redraft league and someone is going to pay for this player – a power hitter approaching .350, you will get a big windfall. In a month, you will not be able to get nearly as much. Do not abandon ship but consider selling at the top of the market.
Kole Calhoun: The Angels OF is hitting .295 despite a three year average drop that culminated in a .256 last year. What is going on? Calhoun is a good player but not one likely to hit near .300. That .355 BABIP is surely part of the reason he is outperforming his baseline. Also, it appears that Calhoun is giving up power for average as his four HR on the year can attest. I see Calhoun going for more power as the summer wears on – a reversal that may result in a few more dingers, but likely will drag that average down as well. If you own Calhoun, consider what stats you need and act accordingly.
Mark Reynolds: If you own Reynolds, good for you. If you think this will last, well, I take back my congratulations. On the year, Reynolds has been out of his head with a .308 average. Again, good for you but there is NO way that .422 BABIP can hold up and when it corrects, the batting average will tumble with it. Why am I so confident? Well, Reynolds has hit over .240 only once since 2007. Harp about the Coors effect and get out while the getting is good.
Daniel Murphy: Murphy continues to confound me. On the year, the Nats second basemen is hitting .387. Yes, you read that correctly, .387. Is Murphy a good player? Heck yeah. Can he keep this up? Heck no. His inflated average is a result of a VERY inflated .414 BABIP. Given that Murphy’s career BABIP is 100 points lower than what he has put up thus far and given that his strikeout rate is up and contact rate down, a big time correction is coming. I would not be surprised to see Murphy hit .285-.290 on the year. However, that would mean a pretty mediocre last four months. Just sayin.
Ben Zobrist: Of all the good that has come out of the north side of Chicago this spring, Zobrist may still top the list. On the year, Zobrist has paid off his current and former manager’s faith by posting a sweet .351 average. Will Z continue to be a really good player who can play all over the diamond and do all the little things that help teams win? Yes. Will he hit anywhere near .350. I doubt it. First off, Zobrist has not hit over .280 in any of his ten years in the show. Second, the current batting average seems to be a product of the .374 BABIP – a number 75 points above his career mark. If you were managing a real world team, you would not dream of moving Zobrist. If you are managing a fantasy team, you should think long and hard about it.
Drew Pomeranz: Pomeranz is through May and has an ERA sitting under 2.50. Nice work Drew! That said, if you are a fantasy owner, you need to sell and sell now. The .247 BABIP and 80 percent strand say he has been lucky. Oh, and did I mention that Pomeranz has never thrown more than 100 major league innings in a season? I will say it again, now is the time to sell.
And now the moment you well, may or may not be waiting for, the Baron of Bottom of the Page pontificates -- a/k/a Schultz says: “This weekend in Queens, the New York Mets celebrated the 30th anniversary of their 1986 World Series title. Unlike the 20th anniversary, this commemoration no longer sends Red Sox fans into apoplectic fits of self-loathing as they can now crow about Big Pah-pee and repeatedly blurt out "Brady Brady Brady" like Irish versions of Hodor. Presuming the Clayton Kershaw one-man-juggernaut steamrolls over the Mets on Sunday night, the real stars of the weekend will all play for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
From a roto-perspective, the biggest news outside of the upcoming Noah Syndergaard suspension was the debut of 19-year-old phenom Julio Urias. Although his roto-stats were unimpressive, Urias demonstrated major league stuff and he will be coming to the Big Show to stay sooner rather than later. Why should you care? In keeper leagues, snagging a talent like Urias early - and more importantly cheaply - can be an integral building block towards the construction of a roto-dynasty. Instead of breaking the bank for the Kershaws, Sales and King Felixes, with some patience you can have the Uriases, Bundys, Manaeas and Berrioses of the world by cherry-picking them now while the naysayers are naysaying and waiting for the rose to bloom.
Schultz is willing to wager that the team atop your keeper leagues' pitching standings holds a relatively inexpensive Jose Fernandez that they grabbed last year and stashed for the entire 2015 season. With Yu Darvish making a triumphant return, it's worth noting that Alex Cobb will be back in the Rays rotation before the end of the summer. Redraft leagues don't permit or reward foresight. Keeper leagues do. The greatest weapon in any keeper league is vastly undervalued pitching - it's there for the taking. Be shrewd and prosper.”
Response: Yeah, what he said.