Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Totally Wired: Around the Lineup 7/22

Today's look at some players that appear to be popular adds in Fantasy Baseball today.

Catcher:

Yan Gomes

Rank: 114
Score: 48.1

He is owned in 71% of leagues so it's not that he's that big of a secret (so far he's up 3% from yesterday in ownership). If he continues to hit the way he has lately, this number should continue to go up.

If you are in one of the 29% of leagues where he is not available, you may need to swoop in and pick him up. The Zeplen Dean system projects a .268 average and 24 homers over the course of a full season at a position where it is tough to get power production.

Verdict: Buy

First Base:

Mike Napoli

Rank: 147
Score 44.2

Another player that isn't exactly that big of a secret (73% ownership) but is the most picked up first basemen today (amongst players that weren't covered Yesterday of Friday).

Napoli appears to be starting to heat up as he homered in last nights win over Toronto and has an OPS above .900 over his last four games. It looks like he's on the cusp of going on a tear over the last couple weeks. Assuming he stays healthy, his projected home run total would be 26 for the year. One thing to keep an eye on after he cools down is that the batting average could take a BABIP course-corrected hit. towards .240ish. Even with that being said, he is a trusted source to provide strong home run totals.

Verdict: Buy

Second Base:

Scooter Gennett

Rank: 51
Score 56.6

Unlike Gomes & Napoli, Gennett isn't as known of an entity amongst fantasy players (41% ownership).

When he came up late last year, he did provide an initial boost in Brewer game watch ability as routine ground balls were less anxiety inducing (as it can be with Rickie Weeks sometimes). Then he ended up having a good stretch towards the end of the season.

Coming into this year, there appeared to be a likelihood of some regression (his 2013 performance included a .380 BABIP). While the BABIP went down (still at a .339 though) there is enough indication that Gennett could end up being an above average second baseman. He's on track to accumulate double-digit home runs and possibly the same for stolen bases. Also, his batting average has stayed above .300 and shown underlying encouraging signs as he's improved his Walk Rate while decreasing is K-Rate in 2014.

Verdict: Buy

Third Base:

Casey McGehee

Rank: 205
Score: 39

Another player that i'm familiar with due to his time with the Brewers. During his time in Milwaukee, he had a couple of really solid seasons and proved to be a solid under the radar move made by Doug Melvin.

After struggling for a couple of seasons and a strong season in Japan, McGehee has found himself back in the majors with the Marlins and has enjoyed some success. The fan in me is happy for McGehee, the what do the numbers say side of me is more pessimistic due to an inflated BABIP which indicates his average would be closer to .253 controlling for this and his new found decrease in power which projects out to single-digit home run totals

Verdict: Sell

Shortstop:

Stephen Drew:

Rank: 231
Score: 35.9

Another Red Sox player that has been getting picked up today (due to contributions to last night's thrashing of the Blue Jays). Even with that, he's only owned in 4% of leagues and has an unsightly .175 batting average.

As he's only at 114 plate appearances, he didn't end up on the initial rankings for this week. I did some quick math to project the following.

.241/67 R, 16 HR, 60 RBI, 6 SB

The positives are that part of his issues are related to a extremely low BABIP and he still projects out to hit about 16 home runs. The negative part is that even adjusting for this his batting average projection still comes in at .241 which brings his overall score well below what is freely available on the waiver wire.

Verdict: Sell

Outfield:

Kole Calhoun

Rank: 57
Score 57.4

Another player that may not be a secret (72%) but is still getting momentum in getting picked up. Granted, there are areas that have caused him to over-acheive (BABIP, 15% HR/FB Ratio). But even after factoring out for these elements, he still has a solid projected line over 650 plate appearances.

.282/106 R, 17 HR, 73 RBI, 8 SB

Granted, some of this is helped by playing on one of the stronger teams in baseball but either way he's definitely worth adding if your in one of the 28% of leagues where he is still available.

Verdict: Buy

Lucas Duda

Rank: 109
Score: 48.7

Duda currently has a five game hitting streak going and is currently available in 27% of leagues. Even playing on a bad Mets team in a stadium that is not friendly to power he has already cranked 14 home runs this year. While his batting average is about what your going to get (.258) he still projects to a healthy 26 home runs over a full season. Based on ownership rate versus projection production, Duda is a very solid under the radar pick.

Verdict: Buy

Marlon Byrd

Rank: 111
Score: 48.7

Currently owned in 69% of leagues but that number could continue going up as he's gotten multiple hits in the last three games.

It is interesting to see that the ownership rates are very different for both him and Lucas Duda even though their Zeplen Dean Scores are identical. While Byrd projects out to a better batting average (.268 to .258), he has minor dis-advantages at home runs (26 to 24) & RBI (90 to 76). If both Duda & Byrd are available in your league I would pick up Duda. But if your in one of the few leagues where Byrd is available and Duda is taken, Marlon  Byrd is definitely worth a look.

Verdict: Buy

BONUS SLOT:

Chase Headley:

Rank: 55.3
Score: 58

I started working on the third base section and had this completed this morning before news broke of Chase Headley being traded to the Yankees. Since he is the most picked up offensive player in Yahoo today by a long shot (as of 12:33 PM PST). I felt the need to discuss his prospects.

In the latest Zeplen Dean ranking, he had a ranking of 166 and a score of 42.4 based on the following line

.266/65 R/16 HR/68 RBI/12 SB

His batting average has been down due to BABIP issues this year and was already projected to come in at .266. While the Yankees are not an offensive juggernaut their offense has been much stronger than the Padres (3.98 RPG versus 2.96). Assuming Runs Scored & RBI increases correlate with the improved quality of offense that increases Runs to 87 and RBI to 91. The multi-year park factor for Yankee Stadium is 101 versus 92 for Petco Park. Adjusting for this his projected home run total goes to 18 for the following line.

.266/87 R/18 HR/91 RBI/12 SB

This gives him a modified Zeplen Dean Score of 55.3 which moves his ranking from 166 to 58. Whether Headley helps give the Yankees enough momentum to make a playoff run is highly debatable but being traded to a team that at least somewhat of a clue offensively should give a major boost to his fantasy value.

Verdict: Buy


All research, numbers, etc. referenced above found on either Fangraphs.com, Baseball-Reference.com or Yahoo!