Team Joy Squad 2011: #25 – #21

This is Team Joy Squad for 2011, introduced a mere two hours ago.

#25 – Robinson Chirinos, C, Tampa Bay

Chirinos was one of five players who went Tampa-ward this past offseason — along with pitcher Chris Archer, outfielder Brandon Guyer, shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, and Smartest Guy Sam Fuld — for Matt Garza and two prospects. If you ask this guy, the trade was a no-question win for the Rays. Archer and Lee are the prospects, but Chirinos’ story — combined with his talent — makes him the most notable. Chirinos converted to catcher in the middle of 2008 after stalling out as a middle infielder. For reasons that only Nostradamus and/or Robinson Chirinos know, the latter’s bat has been revived by the move. He posted a ZiPS Major League Equivalency (zMLE) of .271/.347/.451 (.289 BABIP) in 318 PA last season and, by conservative estimates, will be the best player in history.

#24 – Cameron Maybin, OF, San Diego

Rarely in my long and action-filled life have I seen a top prospect so dismissed with so little evidence as Cameron Maybin. A 10th-overall pick by the Tigers in the 2005 draft, Maybin appeared on Baseball America’s top-100 prospect list for the next four consecutive years, ranking 31st, 6th, 6th, and 8th. Just 24 this season, Maybin has played in 168 major-league games, amassing 610 PAs over that period and a 1.7 WAR — a.k.a. not bad at all, really. Yet, he’s apparently become the sort of player who the Marlins don’t mind trading to San Diego for relief pitchers. The contact rate is a problem, yes. But the glove is probably worth +5 runs in center and the bat is good enough. And, like I say, he’s only 24.

#23 – Jordan Zimmermann, RHP, Washington

What a lot of people don’t know, but what I’m prepared to inform you of now, is that that extra -n- in Jordan Zimmermann‘s surname is on account of all the nasty he possesses. What people may also not know is that, when he’s been healthy, Jordan Zimmermann has been one of the best pitchers in the baseball leagues. Regard: in 122.1 IP in the majors, Zimmermann has posted a 8.75 K/9, 2.87 BB/9, and 45.0 GB% — good for a 3.57 xFIP. Nor did he appear to suffer at all from a Tommy John surgery that saw him return to the mound — and pitch well — 11 months after the procedure. That his ERA is a less appealing 4.71 is actually an argument in favor of sabery types’ appreciation of Zimmermann.

(Note: Attentive readers will notice that Zimmermann appears below in what seems to be the area reserved for relief pitchers. It’s hard to explain why this is so; and yet, it is.)

#22 – Mitch Moreland, 1B, Texas
#21 – Gaby Sanchez, 1B, Florida

Moreland and Sanchez occupy a similar space in the world of baseball — namely, as the sort of player who’s never failed at any level and yet, for one reason or another, has never captured the imagination of talent evaluators, either. Neither ever appeared on BA’s top-100 list and both seem to have been afterthoughts for the first base positions with their respective organizations. And yet, both Moreland and Sanchez (a) enter the season as their team’s starter at first and (b) appear entirely capable of posting a two- or three-win season in 2011. No, there’s probably no upside for anything greater than that, but two or three cost-controlled wins is nothing you should sneeze at (not that you should sneeze at anything, really).

Team Joy Squad 2011 (w/ Picks #21 – #25):

C
1B	Gaby Sanchez, 1B, FLA
2B
3B
SS
LF
CF
RF
DH
B
B
B	Mitch Moreland, 1B, TEX
B 	Cameron Maybin, OF, SD
B 	Robinson Chirinos, C, WAS

SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
P
P
P
P
P
P	Jordan Zimmermann, RHP, WAS


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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Telo
Guest
Telo
5 years 5 months ago

Really regret not being able to grab Zimmerman at the end of my auction draft. Total blunder.

Brad Johnson
Member
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Chirinos has to be at the top of my list for fantasy baseball reasons. He’ll be catcher eligible and has an outside shot at gaining shortstop eligibility too. I think that would be a first in fantasy baseball history…

jaywrong
Member
jaywrong
5 years 5 months ago

kinda hard when getting sent down to aaa. but yeh, when he gets called back up, will be a nice pickup.

Paul
Guest
Paul
5 years 5 months ago

This, and I keep seeing the shortstop eligibility thing in these pages and it baffles me. He played there like 8 years ago, then was moved to… catcher.(!) IF they are able to find a place for him on the roster, which is unlikely, they would play him at SS over Rodriguez and Elliot Johnson why?

Brad Johnson
Member
Member
5 years 5 months ago

I did say outside shot, no? That means 1-5% to me, which in and of itself is extremely unique.

Imagine for a moment, a scenario where Zobrist, Brignac, and Rodriguez are injured, Lee is struggling in the minors, and Elliot Johnson is predictably blah. Let’s also imagine Robinson is playing well with whatever team he is assigned to.

In such a scenario, is it not possible that Chirinos receives 5 starts or pinch hits for/replaces Johnson in 10 games? That’s yahoo’s positional eligibility standard. Is that scenario likely? No. Is it 1-5% likely. Probably yes.

Paul
Guest
Paul
5 years 5 months ago

But you are describing a scenario of which the odds of occurring is nowhere near 1%. You have six variables there that must occur all at the same time. Your probability is essentially that some disaster will befall the entire MLB team, which is thankfully much less than a 1% probability. Not to mention that even if it happened, they would just sign Wilson Valdez out of AA and run him out there for a few games, since as crappy as he is, he can actually play shortstop.

Brad Johnson
Member
Member
5 years 5 months ago

YOU’RE RUINING MY DAY PAUL. There is no JOY in this nonsense you spout!

And Wilson Valdez is/will be on the Phillies 25 man roster. Ha!

Joe
Guest
Joe
5 years 5 months ago

Come on Brad, you don’t play Fantasy College Baseball? Buster Posey did that just a few years ago for Florida St. Get on it! But the roster pool we play in is only BCS conference teams + traditional powers like Rice, Fullerton, Long Beach St., Wichita St. otherwise it gets too obscure.

bcp33bosox
Guest
bcp33bosox
5 years 5 months ago

Team Joy Squad, lol…Great name, great read. Definitely looking forward to the next 5 tomorrow. I went back and read the Nava article from last year…good call! He was a joy to watch, for sure. I am not sure if Saltalamacchia qualifies, but I am hoping that if healthy and used properly in a platoon, he could put up pretty solid numbers and surprise quite a few people…I am certainly an optimist though and the two *ifs* are key.

Neil
Guest
Neil
5 years 5 months ago

As a Nats fan, Zimmermann was the guy we all had high hopes for before
Stras was in the bag. His stuff is legit, he just needs to get experience pitching against the best hitters in the world. Just for example he’s faced Pujols more than a few times and has no idea how to fool him, though he’s got the stuff to get him out. He’s got serious stones and mound prescense for sure. I think I read his jaw was broken by a line drive while in school, and insisted on pitching in a tournament with it still wired shut, against the advice of his doctor and coaches.

Neil
Guest
Neil
5 years 5 months ago

By the way I hope you have Danny Espinosa on your squad somewhere. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he puts up a Nintendo-number UZR/150 this season.

Paul
Guest
Paul
5 years 5 months ago

Speaking of guys who will not make the Rays roster in favor of guys like Casey Kotchman, I’m sure that he is already on your list, but if not I just want to give you a “heads-up” about Elliot Johnson. If we were chattin’ over wings and brews and I wove a tale about an undrafted, freakishly athletic white guy who can jump really high, spends 8 years in the minors, then makes the team of a former Wall Street Exec, you probably wouldn’t believe it (or Roller Derby on the big screen distracts you enough to not fully consider it). But all of this would be true.

More importantly, voodoo. Does the TJS have the power to propel these worthy players onto their rosters in a completely benign way of course (like Kotchman winning Powerball)?

Sky Kalkman
Member
5 years 5 months ago

I like to call these guys “Man-Crush All-Stars”. And Maybin/Chirino/Zimmerman make my team, too.

doug K
Member
doug K
5 years 5 months ago

Love the concept, love the team name, love the writeup, love Mr Nasty too – what a steal he’s gonna be for the Nats and wonderfully wise fantasy owners.

But count me among those seeing Maybin as the 2012 version of the 2011 Brandon Wood. Fine line between too easily dissed and overhyped prospect and pitch recognition is usually the dividing factor.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
5 years 5 months ago

I’ll spare everyone my multi-paragraph rhetoric on Maybin, but …

Rarely in my long and action-filled life have I seen a top prospect so dismissed with so little evidence as Cameron Maybin.

He may have 5-tools, but unfortunately his 2 skills are [1] striking out, and [2] hitting ground balls.

I’ll leave it at that. *grin*

Basically, this (nice graph).
http://www.bullpenbanter.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=250:two-takes-maybin-to-the-padres&catid=18:articles&Itemid=11

by conservative estimates, will be the best player in history.

*chuckle* Good one.

JJBellomo
Member
JJBellomo
5 years 5 months ago

Already on the Chirinos band wagon! Got him for $1 in my Ottoneu draft. Can’t pass up a catcher with that type of OBP potential.

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