Archive for First Base

2014 First Base Tier Rankings: August

Since I took over the first base beat a few weeks ago, I haven’t done rankings. Today, though, I’m going to attempt to do so.

First base has been a weird position this year: Paul Goldschmidt was awesome – less power than last year, but still awesome – and then he got hurt. Miguel Cabrera has looked more human than years past. Chris Davis has returned to being who we thought he was before he became an animal, I guess? Anthony Rizzo has been awesome, though, so that’s fun!

The last updated consensus rankings done by the team can be found here. Admittedly, I play solely in OBP leagues, so I’m going to do my best to strip out my thoughts on that because I know most of you probably play with batting average. I won’t be including guys like Todd Frazier, Jose Bautista, and Buster Posey, because you’re probably playing them elsewhere. I’ll use tiers. The names within them are pretty interchangeable, in my opinion. Read the rest of this entry »

Last Month’s Contact Rate Surgers and Laggards

One thing we know about strikeout and contact rate is that the stats stabilize quickly. In other words, those stats tell us more about future work in those categories quicker than other stats. But players make changes all the time, and it’s not just the first month of the season that we care about.

So who’s changed the most in the last month? Let’s look at the biggest differences in contact rate over the last month, and it what might tell us about these relevant players.

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All Aboard The Duda Wagon

Notes: All stats below don’t include yesterday’s games.

Nick Swisher is done helping you. Lucas Duda might be the heir to his…throne, though. It’s probably more of a nicely upholstered chair that you’d find at a restoration shop where you know what it’s worth, but the person selling it does not. Enough with poorly thought out metaphors, though. To the stats!

Nick Swisher (2009 – 2012) 83 26 87 0.268 0.367 0.483 0.370
Lucas Duda (2014 + Steamer ROS) 68 27 83 0.255 0.350 0.476 0.360

The resemblance is startling. You could even make the case that Duda’s a little undersold going forward, considering how different his approach has been this season. (more on that in a bit) It’s usually best to trust the projections, but I’m expecting a better line going forward than the one Steamer projects (.334 wOBA). Basically, I’m not taking my own advice, because Duda. That’s why. Read the rest of this entry »

Nick Swisher’s Done Helping You

For nearly a decade Nick Swisher has been a beacon of consistency. From 2005 until 2013, he posted a 119 wRC+ mark, and averaged 25 home runs per year. He manged to swat 20 home runs again, but he wasn’t quite as good as he was in 2012. Which makes sense: He was a year older, and beginning to enter his decline phase. This season, though, has been a disaster. His walks are down, his strikeouts are up, and his power has evaporated into uncharted territory. Read the rest of this entry »

Kennys Vargas Gets His Opportunity

Yesterday morning, the Twins dealt Sam Fuld to Oakland for Tommy Milone, in a trade that I feel is getting somewhat unwarranted criticism. I’ve seen the term “highway robbery” thrown around, often with the addendum that the Twins “won the trade.”

In a vacuum, yes, Tommy Milone for Sam Fuld is kind of ridiculous. Milone is a 27-year-old lefty with a career 3.84 earned run average who could anchor the back end of the Twins rotation for years. Fuld is a 32-year-old fourth outfielder with a career .240/.323/.337 slash. However, Milone didn’t really have any value to Oakland as their No. 8 starter, and Fuld fills an immediate need as a platoon partner for Jonny Gomes.

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Mike Napoli’s Alright, Isn’t He?

If you were/are depending on Mike Napoli to provide your fantasy team with power, chances are, you’ve been disappointed. As of now, Napoli’s hit 12 home runs in 353 plate appearances, and has an ISO of .172 – the lowest of his career. So, what’s the deal? And is there anything to look forward to down the stretch?

First things first, Napoli’s had some injury woes this season that have undoubtedly led to his meh numbers. He dislocated a finger on his left hand in mid-April; he never went on the DL, but still…that’s a rough injury to play through if you’re having to swing a bat. And then, on May 24, he sprained his right ring finger, which cost him a trip to the DL. Perhaps some fingers are worse than others – Napoli’s teammate, Dustin Pedroia, hasn’t been the same since his thumb injury, even though his power may have already been in decline – but either way, it’s not hard to make a case that injuries have hurt Napoli a little this season, from a playing time perspective, at the very least. Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Johnson & Jordany Valdespin: Deep League Wire

Isn’t it fun playing the free agent pool merry-go-round? Ya know, picking up another player seemingly every week to fill that one roster spot you just can’t find a permanent player for. Between injuries and demotions, that describes about half my Tout Wars roster. Awesome. Here are two options for deep leaguers, one is almost guaranteed to be temporary, the other could potentially become permanent.

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J.P. Arencibia & Sam Fuld: Deep League Waiver Wire

Our journey this week into the waters of the deep league waiver wire brings us to two familiar faces, AL-only players who have shown flashes of their talent in the past and quite possibly stand to benefit owners in the short term.
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Dropping Allen Craig for Lucas Duda

These are dark times for Allen Craig owners.

It’s not just that those of us who drafted him realize he’s having a bad season — that fact became shriekingly apparent months ago — it’s that there aren’t a lot of signs that he’ll turn things around, and worse, such word is spreading throughout the fantasysphere, eroding his trade value.
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Jon Singelton Has Been Disappointing Thus Far

It has only been 155 plate appearances since his call up, but not much about Jon Singleton’s first 38 games in the majors has been impressive. He certainly has power, as evident by the six homers he has hit and the strength he has shown on those homers, but even his ISO of .176 is uninspiring.
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