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Reviewing Some Preseason Advice

Before the baseball season starts, all fantasy owners are reading and getting advice from multiple sources. If you’re reading this, one of those sources is me. I said all kinds of things before the season started, and it’s about time that we reflected on some of the advice I gave. Don’t worry, I’m not just going to show you the things I got right. That wouldn’t be fair. Below is a list of players, the advice I gave at the time, how they are performing thus far, and a quick comment.

Tony Gwynn, Jr.
“If he can get ample playing time, a .270 average with 15 steals is not out of the question”
162 PA, .210 AVG, .248 BABIP, 9 SB (2 CS)
He may not get the average up this year, but I feel pretty good about this one.

Rafael Furcal
“When someone in your league drafts Furcal, look at them, point, and laugh.”
157 PA, .294 AVG, .339 BABIP, 9 SB (1 CS)
Who’s laughing now? Not me.

Juan Pierre
“A .290 average with 45+ steals is completely reasonable to expect in 2010.”
256 PA, .257 AVG, .276 BABIP, 14.8 LD%, 23 SB (6 CS)
How did I know he was going to stop hitting line drives?

Johan Santana
“CHONE projects his strikeout rate to be at 8.11, while FANS and Marcel project it to hover around the same mark. But what proof do we have that his strikeout rate should rise back towards his career average (even if it is only a slight bump)?”
78.1 IP, 6.55 K/9, 2.38 K/BB, 2.79 ERA, 4.49 xFIP
I didn’t see the K-rate falling this far, but it doesn’t surprise me. His fastball velocity is below 90 mph for the first time.

Stephen Strasburg > Aroldis Chapman
“Chapman is currently the 70th pitcher off the board (284), with Strasburg as the 73rd pitcher off the board (301). Why is Chapman going so early? Strasburg is more polished and will be in the majors sooner, so I’d much rather have him…Strasburg is not a bad selection in the slot he is being drafted in”
Chapman in minors: 54.2 IP, 61 K, 34 BB, 4.11 FIP
Don’t need to list Strasburg’s numbers because, well, you should have heard about them already.

Javier Vazquez
“Vazquez’s strikeouts will drop down a touch in 2010, but 17 wins, 200 K’s, and a 3.50 ERA are all reasonable to expect next season.”
56 IP, 5-5, 8.36 K/9, 1.93 BB/9, 1.77 HR/9, 4.56 xFIP
How did I know he was going to start walking people? He’s struck out 16 and only walked 5 in his last two starts.

Brandon Inge
“I see a .250 average with 22 homers next season, with another 75+ RBI year”
229 PA, 6 HR, .242 AVG, .288 BABIP
Not shocked to see the HR rate drop, and his average is held up by a significantly increased LD%.

Jason Hammel > Jeff Niemann
“Why is Niemann being drafted so much higher than Hammel? For one, I would venture a guess that the old stigma behind Coors Field is catching up to Hammel. His numbers are very similar to Niemann’s, although his stuff graded out lower according to our Pitch Value data. Hammel at 362 is an infinitely better value than Niemann at 213, and I think Hammel may move up some boards as the season draws nearer. Hammel isn’t an ace, but neither is Niemann”
Niemann: 80 IP, 6-0, 5.74 K/9, 2.32 K/BB, 2.48 ERA, 45.1% GB .226 BABIP, 4.43 xFIP
Hammel: 51.2 IP, 3-3, 7.32 K/9, 3.00 K/BB, 5.23 ERA, 46.6% GB, .347 BABIP, 3.74 xFIP
Got criticized about this in the chat a few weeks ago, and I’m still feeling good about this prediction.