Thursday, July 24, 2014

Totally Wired: Around the Lineup 7/24

A quick look at some players and whether they are worth a shot:

Catcher:

John Jaso:

Rank: 207
Score: 46.8

Jaso has been red hot over the last few days with six hits and four rbi over the last threee games. I think he's worth a play short term (currently owned in 17% of leagues) as the A's have one more game against the Astros, a series with the Rangers then another one with the Astors.

For a long term play, it is a bit more debatable. Currently his average is doing nicely at .289 but he also has a .337 BABIP (compared to .295 career total) projecting himself out to a hitter in the .250-.255 range. Also, the power numbers this year are higher than his baseline as he has a 9.9% HR/FB Ratio (Compared to 7.6% for his career). After adjusting for this, his projected line over a full season is something like:

.254/ 71R/ 12 HR/ 65 RBI/ 5 SB

Verdict: Short-term buy due to weak schedule but not recommended long term

First Base:

Lonnie Chisenhall

Rank: 175
Score: 50.5

At this point he's a player that people are changing their minds on one way or another. While primarily a third basemen he has been one of the most picked up (and most dropped first basemen today).

He is definitely in a cold snap as he has one hit over the last four games. It appears this is the start of his numbers regressing back to normal after a very strong first half. His projected numbers over a full season are as follows:

.266/ 67 R/ 21 HR/ 66 RBI/ 4 SB

While he's not a .300 hitter he's not going to be an albatross in this category either. While his BABIP numbers have been over the norm his HR/FB rate this year (10.1%) is actually smaller than his career total (10.9%). While he's not going to provide much speed, he is capable of hitting 20 homers per year.

Vedict: Sell (First Base), Buy (Third Base)

Second Base:

Danny Santana

Rank: 274
Score: 39

Yes, I realize Santana has a nice .325 batting average, is eligible in two positions (second base & shortstop) where options are limited and even steals bases on the side.

What I also realize that his BABIP is at .407 which ain't going to stick around forever and he has single figure home run power. Under the assumption that his base-line babip is at .300. That moves his average to a whopping .230 while still leaving single digit home run power (is it worth the stolen bases at that point?). I say no.

Verdict: Go in the opposite direction, then run

Third Base:

Josh Harrison

Rank: 184
Score: 49.3

Harrison had a big Wednesday getting two hits & two rbi's in a key win over the Dodgers. He's also appeared to sort of be in the right place and the right time to get big game-winning moments.

He's also been more lucky than good in some respects and would expect him to regress at some point. His current average (.291) is projected to be .262 going forward. The only upside is that he does provide stolen bases (22) but otherwise nothing stands out that he is a must aquire.

Verdict: Sell

Shortstop:

Erick Aybar

Rank: 84
Score: 61.7

Not exactly a sleeper with 73% Yahoo! ownership but he has been added to 785 teams today (as of 12:12 PM PST).

What he lacks in power (7 home runs projected), he makes up in the other categories. He's projected to have a decent average (.290), and lucky enough to play on a strong Angels team which will lead him to be an asset in runs & rbis while also providing about 20 steals. If your in one of the 27% of leagues where he is available, go ahead and get him.

Verdict: Buy

Outfield:

Denard Span

Rank: 137
Score: 54.4

Whether to pick him up or not depends on your particular needs. I see him as a two category contributor (Runs & Stolen Bases) while having an okay impact on batting average (.278). However, if your looking for power, its better to look elsewhere. Granted he's going to do better than 1 home run per 379 plate appearances ( he has a 1% HR/FB rate versus 3.8% for his career) but he's not a contributor here.

Verdict: Buy (Runs, Stolen Bases), Sell (Home Runs)

Corey Dickerson

Rank: 161
Score: 51.4

Yes, Dickerson has had a nice season so far but I currently think his value is over-rated. That shiny, .336 batting average was brought to you by a BABIP of .399. That number's likely to go down to the .250's going forward. That power he's displayed? Yes, he's going to have an advantage as long as he's with the Rockies of getting the Coors Field effect, he's also had the benefit of a very high 20% HR/FB rate.

Verdict: Pass

Christian Yelich

Rank: 221
Score: 47.7

After looking at the numbers closer, i'm taking more of a conservative approach on Yelich. He has shown hints of being one of those players able to maintain a high BABIP over the longterm (.380 in 2013 & .348 this year) but we still have less than 1000 PA sample size. If he turns out to be one of those players thats always able to maintain a high BABIP, his average should stay in the .280 range, if not its closer to .243.

The same goes for his power. He's had a HR/FB rate over 16% his first two years. If this holds great, if it regresses to around 10%, he could project to single digit home run power. If both of these regressions apply, he's someone to pass on.

With this ranking, I do run the risk of being totally wrong, looking like an idiot and regretting giving this low of a ranking. However, i'd like to see a larger sample size with the above trends before looking elsewhere.

Verdict: Sell (with higher than usual risk of being very, very, wrong)