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  1. its a decent play. not expecting the final season stat line to read 21HR 36SB .287 (any of those)

    you can flame me if i am wrong 110 games from now.

    Comment by johngomes — May 16, 2011 @ 10:07 am

  2. Any chance that the White Sox have just faced an unusual amount of strong pitchers.

    Their whole team is struggling.

    Comment by donnie — May 16, 2011 @ 10:07 am

  3. I agree that Rios is a good buy low candidate, but a lower FB% does not lead to lower HR/FB. That is a logical fallacy.

    Comment by Caleb W — May 16, 2011 @ 10:26 am

  4. “Rios has also hit more ground balls this season, which should lead to a higher BABIP. This has come at the expense of fly balls, however, which could explain why Rios is currently posting the worst HR/FB rate of his career.”

    Why would hitting more grounders decrease your HR/FB?

    Sometimes I wonder who is writing for fangraphs these days.

    Comment by J-Lo's Anus — May 16, 2011 @ 10:37 am

  5. That’s true.

    I guess what I should have said was he might not be getting a lot of loft on the ball right now.

    That’s a guess, though. I see your point.

    Comment by Chris Cwik — May 16, 2011 @ 10:43 am

  6. Why on earth is Rios a buy low candidate and Markakis is cut? Their lines on the year are identical, as is their potential.

    Comment by B — May 16, 2011 @ 11:15 am

  7. Not be a dick, but if dave cameron is reading this, please vet your writers a little more thoroughly, the quality of writing and certainly analysis has really fallen off on what is far and away the best site for intelligent baseball discourse.

    Comment by Brad — May 16, 2011 @ 11:26 am

  8. Your *sole purpose* of posting that was to be a d!ck.

    (Not unlike when someone says, “I’m not a racist, but…” then inevitably follows that up with the most god-awful hateful thing you could ever wanna hear.)

    Comment by Jason B — May 16, 2011 @ 11:32 am

  9. I agree Markakis should not be dropped, but comparing him to Rios is ridiculous. Markakis has been in the league for 5 years now and while his rates have been getting better, his numbers have been getting worse. That’s actually really concerning since his numbers aren’t good this year. You gotta stop talking about his potential at this point.

    Aside from a poor average in 2009, Rios has been a solid fantasy contributor for 4 years. Through his struggles, he has still managed very good stats for fantasy. Way better than Markakis for the past couple of years.

    Comment by SKob — May 16, 2011 @ 11:44 am

  10. Sure, I agree you gotta stop talking about potential. But they’re comparable players in a lot of ways. Rios a bit more power and speed, Markakis usually higher rate stats.

    The one thing this article doesn’t mention is his toe injury, which some thought was screwing up his batting stance. I don’t see any signs in his numbers other than BABIP, but it’s possible that won’t correct if he’s injured.

    Comment by Ben — May 16, 2011 @ 12:11 pm

  11. If you can pick him up as a free agent with nothing to lose, it may be worth it, but I wouldn’t trade anything of value for Rios. I am biased because I hate him, but he’s the kind of player who seems to kill my fantasy teams, has good seasons when I don’t draft him but sucks whenever I hold onto him. He likes alternating good and bad years.

    Comment by Pat — May 16, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

  12. Sometimes you guys need to watch some baseball before you write an article. I’m a Blue Jays fan, and while Rios has always tinkered with his swing constantly, I hardly recognized him when I watched a white sox game a few weeks ago. He was swinging with much less force. He’s starting with his hands extremely low, he has this weird weight shift as he raises his hands, then he swings using mostly his upper body. His swing has always been mostly upper body, but this is ridiculous. Whoever is the hitting coach there should be fired.

    Anyways, just because someone is hitting more grounders than fly balls and a few more line drives I don’t think we should expect their BABIP should increase, I’m no expert but when I play I seem to get more hits on well squared up fly balls than weak grounders and soft line drives. The few games I did see Rios play, his groundouts were soft. He just didn’t seem to hit anything with authority.

    I don’t think anyone should ever cite BABIP when making a case for a hitter. Everyone said Aaron Hill would rebound last year because he had a historically low BABIP. Anyone that watched him knew it was because all he was hitting were popups, lazy fly balls, and weak grounders.

    Comment by Rylan Stolar — May 16, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

  13. You can, however, look at rate stats in combination with BABIP in order to make that determination. My panning of Aaron Hill was not as a result of his historically low BABIP. It was his terrible LD%, terrible swinging strike rate and terrible IFFB%.

    Like most other statistics (and this is where sabermetrics writers sometimes fail, and where the application to valuation and earnings in terms of fantasy fails), BABIP needs to be read in context.

    Comment by Toz — May 16, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

  14. Bought Rios 2 weeks ago for Jorge De La Rosa. Still waiting for the breakout. Although I’m still happy with the trade.

    Comment by Scott — May 16, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

  15. The loft question is an interesting one. I have been thinking a bit recently about the fact that the league difference between BABIP on GB vs. FB is actually not that large if we change the definition of “in play” to include HR, and what this means for Ryan Howard or Bautista, huge HR/FB guys. For those guys, trading GB for FB would actually INCREASE the number of PA that result in hits (though it wouldn’t affect BABIP due to the exclusion of HR from the definition). So, as a measure of luck, BABIP remains useful, but as a measure of performance, not so much.

    Sorry if that comes out a little rambly.

    Comment by Caleb W — May 16, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

  16. I dumped Rios 2 weeks ago for Jaime Garcia. I’m happy with my trade too. The guy (Rios) has always been streaky though. I’m sure he’ll go on a hot streak soon enough.

    Comment by JohnnyComeLately — May 16, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

  17. Just received Rios in a trade the other day actually. I traded Markakis, Lowrie, and Putz (fourth closer) for Alex Rios and Michael Young.

    I’m tempted to trade him for a closer but maybe I will keep him for another couple weeks.

    Comment by SF 55 for life — May 16, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

  18. Well, I kept Rios for a whole extra month after this article. Guess what? Today, I’m going to sell LOW. Later, Alex.

    Comment by That Guy — June 30, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

  19. he’s batting cleanup today! I’ll take a double double in HR and SB ROS.

    Comment by moosh — June 30, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

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