Young and Carp: Waiver Wire

First things first: While he isn’t really a fantasy-relevant player anymore, congratulations to Jim Thome for hitting his 600th home run. PEDs get too much credit for their role in the power explosion of the “steroid era,” but to accomplish such a tremendous feat without even a hint of controversy is a testament to Thome’s longevity and raw power.

Onward to the Wire!

Delmon Young (Yahoo: 42 percent owned, ESPN: 37 percent owned)

Before Thome’s pair of bombs stole the spotlight, the story out of Detroit was Young hitting a home run in his first PA as a Tiger off of former teammate Francisco Liriano. Young’s movement out of pitcher-friendly Target Field would seem to work in his — and by extension his owners’ — favor. However, as a visitor, Young hit a rather pedestrian .272/.329/.360 at Comerica Park with just 2 HR in 140 PAs, so it isn’t as though he’s about to be playing a lot more games at a personal launching pad. If Young gains any scheduling advantage, it’s minimal and comes from the fact that he’ll face Twins pitching instead of Tiger pitching, but the two teams have fairly similar opponents remaining.

So Young isn’t adding much value in his move, but does he have enough intrinsic value to pick up anyway? Young’s last two weeks might give you that feeling. In addition to hitting three of his five home runs since August 1, Young has posted a solid line of .303/.410/.576 and in the month since he came off the disabled list, he has hit .294/.363/.461. While success in July is par for the course for Young, his effectiveness so far in August is somewhat counter to his career norms. For his career, Young’s OPS falls from .899 in July to .733 in August, so if it feels like Young is walking on air ala Wile E. Coyote with his recent performance, you’re not far off.

If you’re looking to replace someone like Logan Morrison in mixed, Young isn’t a bad play, but don’t make the mistake the Twins made and expect the world from him. He’s not going to kill your average and has a little power upside, but that’s about it. If you need consistent power, look elsewhere.

Mike Carp (Yahoo: 21 percent owned, ESPN: 62 percent owned)

In his 106 PAs prior to this season, Carp had hit one home run in the majors. Since August 1, he has hit four as part of a month-long hitting streak that has given him a line of .389/.421/.685 for the month and has raised his season OPS from .792 to .920. Carp hit 21 HR in 66 games for the Triple-A Tacoma this season after hitting 29 at the same level last year, so the power isn’t a mirage, though I somewhat doubt he’ll continue at quite this pace.

It isn’t just the power that’s making Carp a compelling option, as he has just two games without a hit since the All-Star break. He’s contributing solidly in three categories and even adding a few runs.

Even if Carp cools off a bit — a development that shouldn’t come as a surprise when it comes; his second-half BABIP is .435 — his move from the bottom of the order to the clean-up spot should help him continue to get RBI chances, something he didn’t see much of in June or early July. He’s definitely playable in AL-Only and deep mixed, but because he lacks a major league track record, it would be wise to keep a close eye on him if you choose to roster him. His regression could come swiftly and with little warning, but for now, it’s worth riding the hot hand.



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Mark
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Mark

Which big ballpark, weak offense, hot hitting, former fringe prospect who used to play in the Mets farm system, 1B and OF eligible, current major league cleanup hitter do you prefer: Mike Carp or Lucas Duda (and yes I know for the season the Mets have a respectable offense, but with Beltran gone and Reyes and Murphy on the shelf, their current lineup is pretty Marinerish)? I understand its kind of apples and…well…apples…Duda has the better plate discipline numbers, but Carp’s roto numbers so far are a bit better, but if you had to take one who would it be?

Luke
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Luke

I recall Carp getting more respect as a prospect than Duda the last couple of years, but I’m also partial because I’ve been riding Carp in my deep roto for the last month. I haven’t heard anything that tells me Duda can be solid contributor. As long as he’s hitting, I think you have to go with Carp.

Luke
Guest
Luke

Carp has also spiked his LD rate over 30% (from ~20%), thus the higher BABIP. I’ve noticed he’s been increasing his power (ISO) every year as he’s developed in the minors, though that’s not exactly reflected in his MLB numbers.

Mark
Guest
Mark

My memory of both of them, as a Mets fan, was that they were pretty similarly regarded as prospects overall–first baseman with questionable offensive ceilings, blah defense, and were a bit old by the time they conquered the upper minors. Neither was ever a Top 100 guy, both were viewed as potential Quad-A guys but neither was every off the radar completely. Carp’s path was a bit more of a linear, traditional improvement, where Duda had a late power surge in Double-A/Triple-A in 2010 (it actually began a bit in late 2009). They’ve also been quite similar since the break. Carp: .376 / .411 / .634 and Duda .341 / .437 / .600. The difference is Carp has a huge BABIP and an extra homer, while Duda has the advantage with a 13/13 BB/K while Carp’s is 6/26.

I used to follow the Mets system quite closely. Carp was a guy who was consistently on the radar but not very high up on it. I was disappointed he was never really given a shot, but it just wasn’t clear if he had enough of an offensive package to make it as a first baseman and the Mets were pretty convinced he wasn’t an outfielder. I was a bit down that they traded him for Putz, but even as Putz’s season collapsed, Ike Davis’s offensive explosion eased my concern, as it quickly became clear he was the first baseman of the future and Daniel Murphy was a swiss-army knife of a backup for him. The other thing to remember about Carp was that when he was traded, he went from the more pitcher friendly Eastern and International Leagues straight into the PCL, so its difficult to interpret whether he improved after being dealt or just found himself in a better offensive situation.

Duda, on the other hand, was really just on the fringes of the radar early in his career. He was a large human being who wasn’t hitting for much power, but he walked a ton and didn’t whiff too much, and had the excuse of hamate bone surgery as a possible reason his power was so underwhelming early on. My feeling had always been that he had a chance to be a quality major leaguer if his plate discipline stayed intact in the upper levels, but more importantly if he ever turned his size into power in a meaningful way. He did in 2010, hitting .304 / .398 / .569 across Double-A and Triple-A with 23 HR in just under 500 PA, so even though he was already 24, the fact that the power finally showed up had me pretty optimistic.

Long term, I do favor Duda a bit, especially in real life. I think the two have pretty similar raw power, but Duda has the better eye at the plate, swings and misses less, and is a borderline passable outfielder, while Carp is more of a pure 1B/DH and probably more of an all-or-nothing hacker who will be prone to both red hot and ice cold streaks.

Short term for fantasy purposes, I don’t see a huge difference. Carp is probably a bit more volatile, he has an unsustainable .419 BABIP while Duda’s is .309, but Carp has been almost off the charts since his promotion while Duda’s been a touch less than that. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of way or another they wind up with almost identical end of season lines, either from Duda getting even hotter and catching up with Carp, or Carp cooling off and falling back to Duda’s pace, or something in between.

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