Last week I provided some notes on a series of players who were most recently added to ottoneu rosters. The methodology was far from scientific (I watched that little scroll bar that lists recent adds on the ottoneu landing page and took notes). This week, we take a step towards the quantifiable and take a look at a better representation of who is hot in the world of ottoneu.
The list below shows the 11 players who are being auctioned in at least five ottoneu leagues as we speak (and by as we speak, I mean “as I type, at approximately 12:15 a.m. ET, eight hours before this thing appears on RotoGraphs”). Among these players, five have been covered by my colleagues in the past few days, so I will focus on those who have escaped our attention, although they have clearly gotten yours.
|Name||Number of Auctions|
UPDATE: As of press time, Humber was up to 14, Schafer up to 10, Lohse and Detwiler at 7, Middlebrooks up to 6, Boggs down to 5, Span and Hafner down to 4.
Ross Detwiler, SP WAS – How do you go from more than 172.1 MLB innings with a K/9 below 5.5 and a K/BB below 2.0 to 8.44 K/9 and more than three strike outs for every walk? More than likely, the answer starts with “small” and ends with “size” (and has a “sample” in the middle), but Detwiler, the Nationals and Detwiler’s fantasy owners have to hope it has more to do with pitch selection. In 2012, Detwiler is using a mix he hasn’t in the past, hurling the heater more than 70% of the time, using his curve nearly 20% of the time, and rounding things out with his change. In his three starts, batters are swinging slightly less often, and taking strikes far more often. They are also making less contact. Maybe Detwiler can keep this up and post a K% higher than he ever has at any level above rookie ball. More than likely, he’ll regress quite a bit. I think he can end up a better pitcher than he was in 2009-11, but think solid mid-rotation guy, not ace, and don’t expect the strikeouts to keep flowing.
Kyle Lohse, SP STL – Kyle Lohse is making a bid to be a rich-man’s Josh Tomlin. Last year, Tomlin managed an FIP of 4.27 and FIP+ of 4.03 with a K% of just 13.4% thanks to a BB% of just 3.2%, which led the league. This year, Lohse has outperformed both those numbers, with a 16% K% and 2% BB% in 27.1 innings over four starts. Lohse does not seem to be hitting the zone any more often than he did in the past, suggesting that the walk rate will eventually rise, and when it does, the rest of his numbers will fall. He could, and probably should, post a sub-4.00 ERA (his FIP was 3.67 last year – higher than his 3.39 ERA, but not crazy) but without more strikeouts, he is a tough play, particularly in Points leagues. Among the gentlemen covered in this article, Loshe is the least interesting to me, but if you need ERA, WHIP and Wins, he should help in all three, at the expense of Ks.
Mitchell Boggs, RP STL – Boggs has had his share of fantasy relevance in the past, primarily last year, when he was temporarily one of a triumvirate of closers trying to lock down games for the eventual World Champs. He rewarded the fantasy owners who took a shot on him with an unspectacular four saves, while striking out a7.12 per 9 IP. Coming into camp this year, Boggs promised a new approach with his pitches, including bringing back a changeup that he has practically retired. So far, the results look good – batters are swinging at more bad pitches and missing more of his good ones, resulting in 9 Ks and 0 BBs in 9 IP. Granted, his fantasy value is inflated by a sub-.200 BABIP, but if he can continue to throw strikes, and if the new repertoire really is the cause of his newfound SwStrike%, he will have value in 4×4 and points leagues. He is worth a flyer, particularly as his downside is probably his 2010-11 numbers, which are not too shabby either.
Luis Perez, RP TOR – Despite already turning 27, Perez has accumulated only 75 MLB innings, including 1.1 with 1 hit against Kansas City Monday night. He has now put together 11.1 innings with 11 strike outs and no earned runs. He has had some BABIP luck, but his FIP and FIP+ are both below 3.00, and with the injury to Sergio Santos, everyone in the Jays pen has moved up a slot, getting Perez more holds and putting him one step closer to a save opportunity every once in a while. His K-rates in the minors and last year don’t suggest he’ll keep K’ing a batter per inning, but if he can keep his ERA and WHIP down, he could be a decent $1 relief option in 4×4 and Points leagues.
Will Middlebrooks, 3B Prospect BOS – Middlebrooks was well-regarded prior to the year, and a .379/.406/.514 line with 7 HR and 2 SB in just 16 games is certainly not going to hurt his status. The Red Sox have been struggling, and while Middlebrooks isn’t close to a call-up just yet, he is well worth stashing on a 40-man roster. There are plenty of solid 3B to go around a 12-team mixed league, but there is not a ton of depth – nabbing a guy like Middlebrooks for under $4 can be a good start towards a solid, cheap option in 2013.
Travis Hafner, DH CLE – The question with Hafner has always been health. At nearly 35-years old, expecting 600 PA from the Tribe DH is probably a pipe dream, but the 350 chances you can count on will very likely yield solid results. He has only two HR so far, but they have both been absolutely mammoth shots, suggesting there is still some legit power left. If you need a Util bat, his is a good one to grab. Yes, his rates will come down from the absurd .357/.509/.571 he has put up so far, but .275/.365/.450 is a definite possibility. Enjoy the ride, just don’t be surprised (or caught without a replacement) when the destination turns out to be the DL.