Archive for First Base

Kennys Vargas is Walking a Fine Line

I was searching through depth charts the other day, trying to find an interesting tidbit or interesting name. I stumbled upon Kennys Vargas. He was covered here by Scott Strandberg upon his arrival. Of note in that piece: he’s a large human with large power; also there’s a Big Papi reference, which was purported by others. And then he was covered by Mike Podhorzer in a searching for power piece.

It’s been a little over a month since those pieces. Vargas has accumulated nearly 200 plate appearances; not a huge amount, but a substantial one upon which to at least look at what’s taken place. He’s still huge. And his power, evidenced by his ISO, is also pretty damn large-and-in charge, too. Also of note, though: a huge swing rate; a pretty large strikeout rate, and a miniscule, nearly unidentifiable, walk rate.

Read the rest of this entry »


Paul Goldschmidt: Same As He Ever Was, Kind Of

Not too long ago Paul Goldschmidt’s season ended. The event that caused it resulted in a little retaliation, that may or may not have taken Andrew McCutchen out for a little while. In the aftermath of the McCutchen injury – and the Diamondbacks’ overall bad year – Goldschmidt’s season sort of became lost, carried away in the tide of Tony La Russa’s press conference, and the Pirates’ anger and sadness over losing their best player in the midst of a push for October. We aren’t here to debate unwritten rules and the policing of the game, though. It’s become a cumbersome topic that I don’t really care enough about to debate, but we needed some background, and my lede writing is below replacement level.

Read the rest of this entry »


Andrew Wilkins & Ryan Rua: Deep League Waiver Wire

Monday wasn’t just Labor Day, it was an exciting time for fantasy leaguers and baseball fans alike. It was roster expansion day! Yesterday, Eno discussed a whole bunch of names that were recalled, but concluded that none of them were very intriguing for this year given playing time concerns. However, two players called up before Monday are of interest.

Read the rest of this entry »


Has Freddie Freeman Been Worth His Cost?

Note: All stats are as of August 31, 2014; Labor Day stats are not included. Although, considering the Braves were collectively no-hit by the Phillies, there wouldn’t be much to change, anyways. 

Let’s back up a few months: In March, Freddie Freeman was a borderline third round pick, according to ESPN’s draft data. He was coming off a fantastic season, in which he set career highs in batting average, on base percentage, and RBI, while tying his career high in home runs by swatting 23 home runs. Freeman’s power ceiling was in question: How many home runs is a reasonable expectation? Can he possibly get near 30? His contact ability wasn’t, though. The latter has been fine; the former, not as much. But maybe that’s alright.

In Freeman’s first 114 plate appearances – taken from March 31 through April 30 – he hit six home runs, posting a .416 wOBA. In the 492 plate appearances since May 1st he’s left the yard only 11 times, posting a .370 wOBA. Make no mistake about it, Freeman has still been good. But his power – which was already in question compared to his peers – has taken a step back. So, the question is: What should we do regarding Freeman next year? Read the rest of this entry »


Early 2015 Projections: Adjustment for Position

Earlier this week, Jeff Zimmerman presented Early 2015 Hitter Projections using Steamer and/or ZIPS averaged ROS projections. The main contingency at this time: all values are set to 600 plate appearances. If I had all the time in the world, I would go through the list and manually adjust the PA based on lineup position, career PA/G, etc, but I’m not that much of a Mensch.

The next day, Mike Podhorzer highlighted some of the surprises ranked in the top 30. Again the 600 PA contingency is clear as Rajai Davis, Jarrod Dyson and Corey Dickerson make the list although if Dickerson doesn’t get platooned, I (and Mike) think he’ll surpass expectations. His splits page tells us there is no good reason to platoon him.

In Mike’s intro, he also referenced that there is no adjustment for position in Jeff’s SGP rankings. That’s where this post comes in.

Read the rest of this entry »


Anthony Rizzo’s Answered Your (My) Questions

It’s probably safe to say Anthony Rizzo has silenced skeptics this season. After showing tremendous amounts of promise upon receiving a call up in 2012, he struggled in 2013, but the sky didn’t fall; his peripherals were still good, even improving a little. Still, questions remained, and they were fair. The two largest questions, to me, were: could he hit fastballs? and can he perform versus lefties? Read the rest of this entry »


Yusmeiro Petit & Alberto Callaspo: Deep League Waiver Wire

It’s the last week before September call-ups, that frustrating nook of the fantasy season when playing time for DLWW candidates is subject to change. But in cases of our two veterans this week, one has just received what could be an extended opportunity to make an impact in NL-only leagues, while the other’s hot bat could make him an option in the junior circuit.
Read the rest of this entry »


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.

Read the rest of this entry »


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!

Player R HR RBI AVG OBP SLG wOBA
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 »