AL OF Stock Watch

A thousand pardons for this being late, I know you all planned your Monday’s around this.

Bullish:
Ryan Kalish – With recent sidelining of Ryan Sweeney to the 15-day disabled list with a stress fracture in his toe, the Boston Red Sox have called up Kalish to take his spot. Pre-2010, Kalish was a good prospect, even ranking in Baseball America’s top 100 in 2008. He hit well at every level and was promoted to the big leagues in late July of 2010 at the age 22. Unfortunately, injuries in 2011 to his neck and shoulder threw off his trajection of staying in the big leagues. He is now healthy and back in the majors. As for his fantasy relevance, he is currently OF eligible, but he may soon be CF eligible as well. He was never much of a power threat in the minors, but he offers some walks with gap power. He runs a little bit too, and in his 179 plate appearance performance in 2010 he managed to nab 10 stolen bases and was caught just once. Keep an eye on his strikeouts though, as his Triple-A strikeout rate has never been below 20%. If you need outfield help, or are just replacing Sweeney, Kalish could be a decent bet. I have a team that has been ravaged by injuries, so I’m taking a flier on him. He is owned in 1% of both Yahoo! and ESPN leagues.

Brandon Moss – Yesterday’s Roto Riteup contained a very good section on Moss, so I’ll try not to rehash the same thing here. Moss’ Triple-A home/road splits are interesting to me. Sacramento, despite being in the PCL isn’t exactly your typical PCL park. According to StatCorner.com, it depresses wOBA 12 points for left-handed batters and eight points for right-handed batters. The interesting thing is that the park factors for home runs is especially depressed, down at 73 and 71 for left and right-handed batters respectively. BaseballThinkFactory also corroborates the idea that Sacramento suppresses home runs, at least in part. For 2011, BBTF has Sacramento at a home run multiplier of 0.87, again, considerably depressed compared to the league norm. MinorLeagueCentral has Moss hitting 15 home runs before being called up this year with a split of four at home and 11 on the road. Given that Moss powered 23 dingers last year and has shown above average power this year, it wouldn’t hurt to pick him up. Everyone knows that the Coliseum isn’t an ideal park for any hitter, but Moss has shown that he can power home runs out of the most unfriendliest of places. His Yahoo! ownership is 19% and ESPN rate is up to 29% already. I’d pick him up now.

Yan Gomes – Okay, so he isn’t outfield eligible just yet, (he is at 8 appearances) but he should be shortly. It is a real possibility that you haven’t even heard of Gomes, as I am I ashamed to admit that I hadn’t until about a week ago. Then he clubbed three home runs in 44 plate appearances and a lot o people took notice. I don’t know how real his power is, but as a right-handed batter who hits at the Rogers Centre, he may be worth investing in. His previous home run high came last year, hitting 14 total, one in Rookie ball and the other 13 in Double-A. He knocked seven this year in Triple-A, but Las Vegas is a right-handed hitter’s heaven. I would expect some of his minor league power to translate into more doubles than homers at the major league level, but Gomes could be full of surprises. He has less than 50 PA’s at the MLB level so it is hard to judge what he can or will do, but I predict a 27% strikeout rate and a ton of doubles. He is first base and third base eligible right now, so if you need help in the corners, he could be your guy. I’d place him on my watch list. He’s still pretty far under the radar. I might give him another week or so before picking him up, but do keep an eye on him. He shouldn’t be a huge prize to own right now, as his ESPN ownership rate is exactly 0.00% and his Yahoo! rate is also 0%.

Bearish:
Nelson Cruz – Similar to his April, Cruz is currently having a miserable June. At this point in June, his triple slash is .196/.68/.373. I caught a ton of flack for rating Cruz so low in the May tiered update rankings, then he had a huge May and I looked silly. Now that I promoted Cruz a couple weeks ago, he has once again nosedived. I think he’s doing this on purpose to me. How dare he! Cruz has just five RBI’s this month. He is striking out over 30% of time too. Of course months and days tend to be nothing more than arbitrary starting and ending points, but it seems as though Cruz is just a very very streaky player. Perhaps someone smarter than I on the main site can do further research into him and his streaks. For now, be happy that you owned him in May and now be miserable that you didn’t sell high on him. But fear not! I’m sure in two weeks time this paragraph will look silly after Cruz crushes nine home runs in a five day span.

Ichiro Suzuki – I don’t mean to pile on to Ichiro, I really don’t, but his April average was .294. His average in May dropped to .250. Now over halfway through June, his monthly average is .206. I don’t catch many Mariners games so I couldn’t tell you what is wrong exactly, but clearly something is off. I’ve done this before with Ichiro, but it is a strong enough point that I feel that I should reiterate it: Over his past 1,012 plate appearances, Ichiro’s batting average is .267. He still offers speed with nine stolen bases against zero caught stealing, but we are a third of the way through the season. Just last year he nabbed 13 bags in April and May alone. There are signs all across the board that he is or already has slowed down. The best I can look forward to now is his Hall of Fame induction speech.




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25 Responses to “AL OF Stock Watch”

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  1. lester bangs says:

    Excellent stuff, useful and informative. Bravo.

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  2. JR says:

    Do you think Kalish could do enough in the next 2-3 weeks to take over everyday PT, at least until Ellsbury returns? I’m wondering if the best that could be hoped for is to start everyday against RHP.

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    • Wiersnraf says:

      I am a believer in his bat to some extent. I think he plays everyday unless he proves he can’t hit at the major league level.

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  3. Brian says:

    Just traded Trout for Konerko as my OF was stacked and Lind imploded as my 1B. And I have a big lead in SB’s. Picked up Kalish. My hopes are high for him.

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    • Wiersnraf says:

      For the love of cake I hope that wasn’t a keeper league. Even in a redraft I don’t like that deal.

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      • Brian says:

        Well, I love cake as much as the next guy but… its a redraft league.

        And its hard for people to understand the trade without context. If you saw my particular spot in the standings, my team and how my league mates value rookies, you would have made the deal as well.

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      • Bob says:

        Does that mean my trout for agon trade isn’t something I should have done? Of course, league has 10 offensive stats. And Trout is 20 and has to regress.. unless he’s Arod 2.0

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  4. wfporter says:

    Ichiro’s xBABIP is around .326, so below career norms but largely to blame for the exceptionally low BA — don’t expect him to hit .330 any more but certainly would expect 280-290

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    • Wiersnraf says:

      Is that in the same time frame? I just went by last year and this year, put through a weighted mean calculator.

      A good point though.

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  5. Pops says:

    Thoughts on Ben Revere? He’s been getting on base and stealing bags at a decent clip. Is he worth a roster spot over Boesch or even Cespedes?

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    • Wiersnraf says:

      Cespedes is nursing an injury, he isn’t playing tonight again, but I still like him more than Revere. Boesch vs Revere is closer, and I guess Revere.

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  6. Sabermetric Solutions says:

    Is there hope for Chris Young (the outfielder)? It appears that he is repeating 2011 where he started off strong, before injuring his thumb which affected his swing for the rest of the year.

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    • Wiersnraf says:

      I’m on my phone right now, but I’d say hand on to him. His walk rate is fine. He never had a great BABIP though, so little room for error if he isn’t hitting for power.

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  7. GoHabsGo says:

    Um…RE: Ichiro – see: “xBABIP-BABIP Leaders and Laggards”

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    • Wiersnraf says:

      You would really trade for Ichiro right now? I know I wouldn’t. The past 1000 PA’s scare me.

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      • GoHabsGo says:

        Absolutely – and I’m not even Oriental.

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      • This Guy says:

        David, I think there are very much two camps on this,

        1. The group that says “ya, but he’s Ichiro!”

        and

        2. The group that see’s a declining star who looks lost at times and plays for a miserable team.

        In my money league, a team was looking for a top of the line starter and said “I’d even move Ichiro if the arm was big enough.”

        I wouldn’t draft ichiro in an ichiro only league right now.

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      • David Wiers says:

        This Guy, that last sentence made me spit take.

        If I had a vote for “Comment of the Year” you would get my nomination.

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  8. This guy says:

    David, I’m glad I could make your long day a little better!

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  9. Scott Urista says:

    Wow – I can’t imagine I’d ever trade a legit 5-category monster for a 1B – it’s such a deep position, there are always usable stiffs on just about every waiver wire. Moreland is batting .270 with 10 HRs. Duda has about the same numbers. I’d be shocked if ownership was over 60% in all but the deepest of leagues.

    Hope it works out for you – I know what you mean about some leagues valuing rookies differently. I managed to work some trades and the waiver wire pretty well this and last year: I now have Braun, Hamilton, Trout (23rd round keeper!) as my OF slots, Hosmer, Kipnis, Castro and Longoria as my infield, and Wieters behind the plate. Yes, I am *crushing* my league.

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    • David Wiers says:

      Basically this.

      Also, your team is stacked. You SHOULD be crushing your league. That being said, Longo just hit a setback, but I don’t think that affect you much.

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      • Scott Urista says:

        To add insult to injury, I have Dunn in my UTIL spot, and Stubbs has basically been on the bench the entire year. I didn’t even realize he was on the DL for a few days .

        I lucked out and picked up Middlebrooks early on – he’s been a great fill-in at 3B, although he’s not necessarily on the field every day. I wish Boston would just bite the bullet and pay someone to take Youk of their hands. No way Longo is on my keeper list next year, so I was trying to move him, was about to close a trade when the setback was announced. Bummer; now I’ll have to wait a couple more weeks at least before anyone will want to pay more than 80 cents on the dollar for him.

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    • Brian says:

      This was an AL only league. Every 1B is gone. Geez, you would think Paul Konerko is some sort of waiver wire fodder.

      Everyone should just calm down about Trout. I agree he is a stud but last time I checked it has only been six weeks.

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  10. I’d take Larry as my Yahtzee partner before I would take Ichiro on my fantasy team.

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