Two Start Pitchers to Avoid

Michael Pineda delivers a pitch in the first inning.
By Arturo Pardavila III on Flickr [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Rather than try and predict which potential two-start pitchers you should try and use this week we thought we would simply tell you some of the fringe pitchers to avoid.

Robert Gsellman, SP Mets

Many will look at the match-ups Robert Gsellman has this week, Atlanta and Philadelphia, and think they should add him. That is a trap. Thought Gsellman does look like he has easy match-ups he has struggled against both those teams already this season. In his previous starts again the Braves and Phillies he went 11.0 innings and gave up 8 earned runs. Do not fall for the match-ups, avoid him this week.

Matt Boyd, SP Tigers

Matt Boyd was supposed to be a two-start pitcher last week and that didn’t happen, not a surprise for this time of year. Now Boyd is scheduled for two starts this week, facing the Twins and Royals. Because I am doubtful that he will actually make two starts I would advise you stay away. A one start Matt Boyd is not worth it if you have a better option available. Especially since Boyd faced Minnesota his last time out and lasted 3.7 innings and gave up 7 earned runs. Even if he had two starts this week he is likely in for rough outings as he hasn’t fared well against Kansas City either this season.

Other two-start pitchers you should avoid; Kevin Gausman, Michael Pineda, Joe Musgrove, Edison Volquez and Matt Garza.

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Hitters to Avoid in 2017

Yesterday we highlighted pitchers that, due mostly to injury concerns, we will be avoiding in 2017 drafts. Today we thought it only fair to pay attention to the other side of the game and name some hitters we won’t be drafting.

Yasiel Puig, OF Dodgers

There is a big hole in the outfield when it comes to quality fantasy players, one of the slimmest crop of usable players in a while. Even with that we will be avoiding Yasiel Puig. It is highly probably Puig will be traded in the offseason and a lot of people believe it will be to the Brewers, we agree with that by the way. Even if that happens and opens up his playing time we still believe he is too risky. He has not shown that he can be consistent nor stay healthy. He won’t go high in drafts likely, but still we want to stay away.

Jay Bruce, OF Mets

Again, we know there are not a lot of great outfielders to choose from, but Jay Bruce is not someone you want next year. Since his trade to the New York Mets Bruce had been horrible. In 36 games he has a slash line of .192/.271/.315, with only 4 home runs. Question has been asked is he trying to prove too much to his new team or is this simply regression to the mean for him. We believe it is that latter. Last time Bruce his over .250 was in 2013 and it is clear to us that his hot season in Cincinnati was not the new norm for him, but just an extended hot streak.

Jose Bautista, OF Blue Jays

Maybe we should have tried a little harder to find players outside of the outfield, but it is just where we found players we don’t want for 2017. Jose Bautista has his lowest batting average since 2005 when he hit .143. Next year he will be 36 years old and has progressively been showing signs of aging with declining performance and increasing time injured. He is still valued by most fantasy players as a high end option, but is not returning what you have to pay for him. He is likely going to finish the regular season with his first sub-25 home run season since 2009. If he isn’t knocking the ball out of the park, isn’t hitting for a good average and isn’t driving in 100+ runs then he just doesn’t provide enough value for where he will be drafted.

Daniel Murphy, 2B Nationals

Finally, a non-outfielder and probably a pick that has you scratching your head. Daniel Murphy has been a major break out star in his age 31 season and has given owners plenty to celebrate. However, is it really something he can do again next year? We predict that many fantasy owners will be drafting Murphy in the first three rounds and he will not return that value. It is very unlikely that at 32 Murphy will be able to repeat his 2016 season. He has made it known that he made changes to his batting stance to increase his power production, but even if that sticks next year he will more than likely fall off in batting average as he has his highest BABIP since 2008 at .350 that is not going to be repeated. He will be a very useful fantasy player in 2017, but not worth where you will have to draft him.

There are without a doubt a lot more players that will be on our do not draft list for 2017 like Miguel Sano, Joe Mauer, Mark Trumbo and Billy Hamilton, but we didn’t have room to talk about them all here. Be on the lookout during the offseason however for more on why these players won’t be on any of our fantasy baseball teams in 2017.

Is Teixeira HOF Worthy?

Originally Posted August 5th, 2016

Mark Teixeira
By Keith Allison (Flickr: Mark Teixeira) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Today we learned that the 2016 MLB season will be the last season Mark Teixeira. Teixeira held a press conference this afternoon to announce his retirement. Now we begin asking the question, and we are not alone in starting to ask, is he hall of fame worthy?

There was a time when Teixeira was one of the best, if not the best, first basemen in the game. In 2009, his best season of his career, he had a slash line of .292/.383/.565 with 39 home runs, 103 runs, and 122 RBIs. Over his 14 year career Teixeira has 1,836 hits, 1,281 RBIs, and 404 home runs with a career .269 batting average.

None of Mark Teixeira’s statistics are eye popping or numbers that make you say he is an automatic for the hall of fame. If we compare the average statistics for hitters who are already in the hall of fame we can get a better picture of where Teixeira falls. Hall of famers average batting average is .302, he falls well short of that. Average number of hits 2,402 he will fall around 500 hits short of that. Average number of home runs is 216, Teixeira is well over that. In fact he would have the 28th most home runs in the hall if he doesn’t hit another one this season. And finally the average number of RBIs and runs is 1,219 and 1,326 respectively, which Teixeira falls somewhat in line with considering he has 1,281 RBIs and 1,085 runs to date.

If you just became a baseball fan in the past five years you probably would not say that Teixeira is hall of fame worthy, but for those of us who saw him at his prime and can look at his whole body of work I think would agree that though he won’t get in on the first ballot he will be a future member of the baseball hall of fame.

Look Out Story, Here Comes Sanchez

Gary Sanchez

New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez has done something this season that no other rookie has done since, well since Rockies’ shortstop Trevor Story did to start the season. Sanchez has hit nine home runs in his first 21 games. He is only one of nine players in MLB history to have 15 or more extra base hits in 21 games and only the second Yankee to do it. Let’s not forget those 21 games include two games in 2015 that he was called up for and one games on May 13th this season before he was sent back to Triple-A.

Though Story and Sanchez do share this honor of being two of a very few hitters to have nine home runs in their first 21 games they both are very different hitters. Story has produced a lot of power this season, but he is not the all-around hitter that Sanchez is showing to be. Story’s home runs are wall scrapers, with an average home run distance of 327 feet, while Sanchez hits not doubter and averages 409 feet. In 2016 Story has an average exit velocity of 91.5 mph as compared to Sanchez’s 94.6 mph. Don’t take my word for it though let’s dive deeper in to what these two rookies did in their first 21 games in the big leagues.

In his first 21 games with the Diamondbacks Trevor Story was putting balls over the wall like it was going out of style. He had ten home runs, one more than Sanchez, but he was prone to the strikeout. Through those first 21 games Story had 35 strikeouts in 97 plate appearances, he was striking out in 36% of his plate appearances. He had a .253 batting average, a .320 on-base percentage and nine walks (only walking in 9% of his PAs).
Sanchez on the other hand has not shown so far to be an all or nothing player. He is hitting .389 with a .450 OBP, only striking out 15 times in 80 plate appearances (19% of the time he strikes out) and walking 10% of the time with 8 walks so far.

Comparing two players strictly based on a 21 game sample size is far from fair and when you look at their minor league numbers these two players do look more similar than they do different with Story having a minor league slash line of .263/.348/.469 and Sanchez .275/.339/.460, but what they will do in the majors long term is still yet to be seen. What is fair to say is that both Sanchez and Story have shown they belong in the big leagues and love to put on a show for the fans. Only thing not enjoying their promotions this year are the baseballs.

(Photo Credit: By Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA (Gary Sanchez) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

How to Discount Players Based on Injuries

With the recent injury to Giancarlo Stanton I began to ask myself how I would value him in next year’s fantasy baseball draft? This lead to me thinking about how to value injured players in general when they are coming off of injuries.

Some of the players that come to mind are Clayton Kershaw, Michael Brantley and Matt Harvey. All of these players are coming off of injuries that have caused them to miss significant time in the 2016 season. So, when it comes down to draft day in 2017 where do we pick these players?

Every player is different. Obvious right? It is so true though when it comes to how you judge a player based on injuries. Kershaw for example has missed time because of his back over the past two seasons, but even with that there is no one who would not take him as the number one pitcher off the board and there is no way he should go past the second round.

Stanton and Harvey, however, are both very different. Both of them have a history of injuries and have missed significant time because of those injuries. To properly rate these players you have to take their history in to consideration and in the case of Stanton I would likely drop him from a first round pick to a third or fourth round pick because of his history.

Even though history is not a perfect forecaster of the future when I comes to predicting if a player is likely to miss playing time due to an injury the best resource we have is to look at their past history. Keep that in mind when you sit down and draft in 2017.