Author Archive

To Buy or Sell: McGehee and Donaldson

The not terribly accurate “second half” starts today. If you’re anything like me, the All-Star game doesn’t do a helluva lot to satisfy the need to fill up those multiple box scores and follow the ridiculous number of rosters I have in fantasy baseball. So thank goodness the break is over and we can move on to more important things other than whether a pitcher not-so-gracefully curtseyed to a living legend. Who cares, we have titles to win here.

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Line Drive Oddities: David Freese and Josh Donaldson

Head over to the leaderboards, sort by third basemen over the last 30 days and filter by line drive rate and a really unexpected thing happens. There are 29 qualified third basemen on that list. Dead last is the leading All-Star vote getter at the hot corner in Josh Donaldson, who has a 6% line drive rate over the last month. Six percent. If that didn’t surprise enough, at the top of this list is none other than maybe-back-from-purgatory David Freese, who has hit almost 35% line drives over the last month. Go figure.

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Buy and Sell: Starting Pitchers

Earlier this week, I suggested some names to buy and sell at third base and today I’ll turn my attention to the bump. There are actually a lot of pitchers who occupy my “sell” list, but a couple names jump out as prime candidates that you might want to jettison before they turn into pumpkins.

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Buying and Selling at Third Base

I can’t say definitively that third base has been more volatile than any other position this season, but it certainly feels like third base has generated more of a roller coaster ride than normal. We’ve seen All-Stars reduced to fringe fantasy players and we’ve seen no-names and retreads act like budding stars. To the objective fantasy baseball observer, this should provide you with opportunity. And sometimes, that requires you to kill your darlings.

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Moustakas Clawing Way Out of Irrelevancy

This season was going to be different. Not only was Mike Moustakas entering the 2014 season as a best-shaper, but if you read through that link, he put in an inordinate amount of time to fix a swing which at one point in his career was thought to be a sure thing. Spring training arrived and all Moustakas did was hit .429/.522/.768 with four home runs, seven doubles, and 18 RBI through 24 games. He even stole a base. No, this season would be different.

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Martin Prado Lurks

Martin Prado had a lot of things going for him headed into the 2014 fantasy season. His projections weren’t difficult to accept given a solid, if unspectacular, body of work since 2009. He had position eligibility at second base, third base, and the outfield. And given the dearth of risk, the cost to acquire him was relatively low. And then Martin Prado went out there and tossed up a stinker in March/April, hitting just .263/.317/.342 with no home runs, and demonstrated an uncharacteristic 17% strikeout rate and miserable 20% infield fly ball rate. He even started appearing on the occasional waiver wire.

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Existential Crisis and Kyle Seager

Kyle Seager is having a terrible season.”

I heard that at the bar three times last night. From three different sources. “Is he?” was my response.

Now, most fantasy enthusiasts would likely posit that Kyle Seager isn’t having a particularly great season. If you drafted him, you probably feel that way. Heck, if you’re a Mariner fan, you probably feel that way. And there was a period of time at the beginning of the year where one might have ventured to argue that he was just totally useless. Because inasmuch as the term “use” equals “doing something,” well, he was pretty useless.

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The New Miguel Montero

Coming into the season, the catcher position didn’t look too awful. There were the typical names atop draft lists in Buster Posey, Joe Mauer, and Carlos Santana and then there were a few I was targeting in later rounds in Wilin Rosario, Salvador Perez, and Jonathan Lucroy — the latter being better bargains in my mind. And yet in every draft I participated in (which will remain unpublished in case my wife is reading this. It’s three honey, just three leagues…) I was shut out, left to “punt” catcher, taking one in either the last round or for a flyer buck.

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Third Base Rankings: May

Third base continues to be a source of frustration for many owners featuring injury (Ryan Zimmerman), ineffectiveness (Pablo Sandoval, Mike Moustakas) and sometimes injury and ineffectiveness (Chase Headley, David Freese), among others. Third base has also featured a bit of a coming out party from a few players which has been a magical salve for those of us hurting at the hot corner. But then again, it is just May, so I’m not particularly motivated to move the needle too quickly on shaking up the regular royalty when it comes to the tiers.

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Shiny New Plate Discipline: Trevor Plouffe

When I think of Trevor Plouffe, I think of two things: His otherworldly June in 2012 and the Brasserie D’Achouffe. Only one is really relevant to our conversation here today, although I’ll tell you that I’ve got a hankering for a Belgian ale now. I digress.

Trevor Plouffe has been doing something interesting over the last month, and it’s making me raise a curious eyebrow as to whether he might just be worth not only picking up, but hanging on to. Truth be told, I’ve been riding him in a couple leagues ever since I had injuries strike guys like Ryan Zimmerman and Will Middlebrooks, although I never planned on keeping him around. But Plouffe has had a fine little start so far — fine like a Fiat 500t, not say, a Subaru Justy. In his first 26 games, Plouffe has managed a .277/.383/.436 slash line with a home run, 20 runs scored, 19 RBI and 11 doubles to boot. Now that’s not the kind of power that Plouffe has previously put on display, but that’s pretty usable in most formats. And the power should come.

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