Players We Wish We Drafted

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By slgckgc on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Last week I wrote a post about three players that fantasy baseball analyst missed the mark on by over valuing them coming in to the 2016 season. Today we look at players that everyone wishes they would have seen coming this season because they way over performed their draft day value.

Daniel Murphy, 2B Nationals

During the offseason the Washington Nationals shopped the market and added what at the time didn’t seem like a big piece to their team in Daniel Murphy. Murphy was coming off a hot stretch in the playoffs for the Mets where he found his power stroke to the tune of seven home runs in 14 games and hitting .328. As a whole, however, 2015 wasn’t all that different from any other year for Murphy finishing with 14 home runs, 2 stolen bases and a .322/.449/.770 triple slash line. Who would have thought that at 31 in 2016 he would have the break out season he has had? He came in to 2016 as the consensus 181st ranked player, but is currently ranked 5th. His power outburst that started in the playoffs has been followed up this season with 25 home runs and a career high .594 slugging. By the end of the year he should also set career highs in doubles, runs, RBIs, home runs and walks. Question will be for 2017 can he replicate this year’s performance.

Jonathan Villar, SS Brewers

Talent runs rampant in the Houston Astros system and because of that they had no place to play Jonathan Villar. That was good for the Milwaukee Brewers who traded for Villar in November. Coming in to 2016 he was ranked as the 414th player, more than likely not drafted in all but NL only leagues. Especially because he was seen as merely a place holder for the Brewer’s shortstop of the future Orlando Arcia. As the 6th ranked player so far in 2016 Villar has done nothing but impress with a full time role. He has played so well the Brewers delayed bringing up Arcia until much later in the year then we all expected. He is second in the majors, to Billy Hamilton, in stolen bases with 52 which has driven much of his value, but has also hit 13 home runs and is getting on-base in 38% of his plate appearances. Even with the promotion of Arcia, Villar is still seeing regular playing time at third base and is a staple at the top of Milwaukee’s order.

Jean Segura, SS Diamondbacks

In 2013 Jean Segura appeared to be on his way to a great career with a breakout season. He hit .294 with 44 stolen bases that year and fantasy owners thought they had their new great steals source. Then came 2014 and 2015 where his batting average dropped by 40 points and his stolen base numbers were cut in half. Those same fantasy owners were surely thinking what could have been. Coming in to 2016 Segura was fighting to make the opening day roster of his new club the Arizona Diamondbacks and on draft day no one was giving him much of a chance to do anything special as he was ranked 224th in preseason rankings. After an April where he hit .333 with four stolen bases and 4 home runs many owners began to take a second look at him on their waiver wire, but could he be trusted? The answer so far has been yes. He is hitting .317 on the season with 12 home runs, 30 stolen bases and 83 runs batting at the top of Arizona’s lineup. He is in the top 15 on the player rater for the season and looks to be the Segura of 2013. Many lucky fantasy owners who took a chance on this waiver wire pickup are jumping for joy with what he has done for their team.

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What can we expect from Yoan Moncada? — AL MELCHIOR

By now you probably know that Friday is Yoan Moncada Day. There is always some buzz in Fantasy circles when rosters expand on Sept. 1, but having the minors’ top prospect come up for the final stretch just adds to the level of excitement. More often than not, September callups don’t justify the hype, so […]

via What can we expect from Yoan Moncada? — AL MELCHIOR

An Open Letter to the Red Sox

We originally posted this in June of this year, but in honor of Moncada being called up on Friday here it is again.

 

moncadaIf you are a Red Sox fan or an avid fantasy baseball player who tracks prospects then you are likely familiar with Yoan Moncada. Moncada is a Cuban born 2nd baseman currently playing AA Portland for the Red Sox. As the number one prospect in Boston’s organization there is a lot of optimism about what Moncada will do for the team’s future. In Single-A this year Moncada played 61 games and had a .307/.427/.496 slash line with 36 stolen bases in 44 attempts. Now at Double-A he has played in seven games and has a .281/.281/.406 slash line with 1 stolen base in 1 attempt.

Nearly every analyst feels the future is bright for this 21 year old middle infielder, but when will his future with the big league club happen? I believe it should happen next year.

With David Ortiz retiring at the end of the 2016 season Boston will have an opening at the DH spot that they haven’t had in many years. In addition they have a first baseman who would be better as a DH in Manny Ramirez. My suggestion is this, after 2016 move Ramirez to DH. That opens up first base for Travis Shaw who currently plays third. With third open you could bring up Moncada and let him play there as scouts have said he can play second or third.

Not only have you improved your defense by getting Ramirez off the field, but three fourths of the Red Sox infield would be 26 or younger.

It is unlikely that Moncada starts 2017 with the big league club, but if the Red Sox are reading this they really should give it some thought.

An Underdog Story Re-Visited

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By EricEnfermero (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
If you haven’t been paying attention you may have missed out on the new Mighty Mouse in baseball. His name is Jose Altuve. Though he may not be tall enough to ride all the rides at your local amusement park he is tall enough to stand with the big boys in MLB. If you only pay attention to what he has done on the field you are missing out on much of the story.

Altuve was not suppose to make it to the big leagues. He showed up for an open tryout for the Astros and after the first day was told to go home. Luckily for us as fans, he didn’t listen. He came back for day two of that workout and ultimately impressed the scouts enough to be signed.

We have seen Altuve over the years be a good on-base and batting average guy, not to mention he can steal a base whenever he wants to. This season however he has taken it to another level. He leads all of MLB in batting average and hits. He is second in second in total bases, top ten in stolen bases and third in Wins Above Replacement (WAR). On top of all that he has 21 home runs as of August 29th and is one of only five players with a 20/20 season to date.

Even with all of these impressive stats if you ask people outside of the main baseball fan base, and likely residents of the Houston area, they would have no clue who Jose Altuve is. He isn’t even the most well known player on his team thanks to last year’s Rookie of the Year Carlos Correa. He is by far the most underrated player in baseball and is making a very strong case to be the American League MVP. If I had a vote he would be my hands down MVP.

Byron Buxton, Prospect or Bust

Originally Posted on August 10th, 2016

On Sunday the Minnesota Twins had to make a roster move in order to make room for Trevor Plouffe. Their decision was to send down former number one prospect Byron Buxton. This wasn’t the first time the Twins felt the need to send Buxton back to Triple-A this season and it’s not the last we will see of him in the majors this season. Now we ask though, is Buxton a prospect or a bust?

Since turning pro at age 18 Byron Buxton has been a top prospect in the Twins organization. He was ranked the number one prospect in baseball for multiple years and was compared to superstar slugger Mike Trout at times. Problem is at this point that

Byron Buxton
By Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA (Byron Buxton) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
has yet to live up to the hype. After two partial seasons in the majors he is hitting .209 with three home runs and 11 stolen bases. He strikes out 31.9% of the time and only walks less than four in every 100 at bats. In each of these two major league seasons Buxton has more strikeouts than walks and hits combined. He truly has looked over-matched in the big leagues.

Is it really Byron Buxton’s fault though or should we be looking at the Twins? Buxton has played in only 306 games in the minors, only 43 of those games came at Triple-A Rochester. Could it be that this 22 year old center fielder was pushed to the majors too soon? Does he need more seasoning after not playing a full season at any one level due to injuries or promotions? We tend to side on the it’s too early to tell. Buxton appears to have all the talent in the world and has thrived at Triple-A, but now he needs to develop as a major league hitter. He likely has more chances to prove himself with the big league club coming and when that happens we will get a better idea if he can make it long term.