Friday, July 18, 2014

Waiver Wired: Around The Field 7/18

A sampling of same players commonly being picked up by position and whether they warrant a look:

Catcher:

Kurt Suzuki:

Current Rank: 250
Current Score: 34.6

Yes, he looks to be having a good season on the surface (.309) average and stumbled into more RBIs than usual. Much of this is being fueled by a higher than average BABIP (.328 versus .274 career). Going forward, his projected average is .247 which comes with minimal stolen bases and single digit home run totals.

Verdict: Pass

First Base: Conor Gillaspie

Current Rank: 156
Current Score: 43.5

Also eligible at third but he was one of the first names coming up when filtering to First Base eligible players getting picked up on Yahoo. His .326 batting average is inflated due to a .370 BABIP. His average is likely to be closer to .268 with no speed upside and would project to about a dozen homers over a full season.

Verdict: Pass

Second Base:

Arismendy Alcantara

Current Rank: 144
Current Score: 44.6

Didn't make it onto the initial list as he's only had 25 plate appearances so far with a .444 BABIP.
I looked at his minor league data from this year 366 PA, 62 R, 10 HR, 41 RBI, 21 SB, .380 BABIP to do some quick math.

Using the assumption of an average BABIP of .320 for minor leaguers, I projected an initial 650 pa line of:

.260, 18 HR, 73 RBI, 37 SB, 110 R

Assuming a 15% increase in the talent curve for AAA pitching and MLB pitching, I adjusted the numbers accordingly:

.221, 15 HR, 62 RBI, 31 SB, 94 R

While I think, he is a part of the Cubs bright future (he is only 22) his BABIP is not going to stay high forever and he's going to have some initial struggles on the batting average front though I still think he can contribute some home runs and stolen bases. This gives him a Zeplen Dean score of 44.6 which would have tied him with Mike Aviles for 144th place.

Verdict: Yes, but only because its tough to find power at second. Keep an eye on BABIP, average as there may be eventual struggles in this category

Third Base:

Chris Johnson:

Current Rank: 195
Current Score: 39.7

His modest batting average (.277) is held high by a .360 BABIP. Interestingly enough, this is pretty much in line with his .361 career BABIP. I normally wouldn't even somewhat consider a BABIP along this line as sustainable but he has done this over 2,238 plate appearances.

Even best case scenario gives us about a .280 average and home run totals that should get into the double figures but unlikely to get past 15.

Verdict: Pass

Shortstop:

Johnny Peralta:

Current Rank: 123
Current Score: 47.2

In doing research for this, I was surprised to see that he is owned in 60% of Yahoo! leagues, my guess is that this total would have been higher. As usual, he has provided double digit home run totals and he should be able to get this total into the 20s. His perceived value may be dragged down by a .253 batting average but this is dragged down by a lower than usual BABIP (.275 this year versus .312 career)

The Zeplen Dean system projects out .279 average and 22 homers over a full season for Peralta. At shortstop, i'll take that any day of the week.

Verdict: Buy

Outfield:

Kevin Kiermaier:

Current Rank: 144
Current Score: 44.7

Yes, Kiermaier has been to a surprisingly scorching hot start in his first 48 games. This ranking says more about me needing to make further tweaks to how i'm projecting players. (Currently it's a mix of this year's data and data from 2010-2014). Initially, he was ranked 27th before I made modifications specific to his data.

For the most part, it seems to work but for players such as Kiermaier where this year is all that there is to work from and his numbers are much stronger in his first 48 games than they were in the minors, I may need to modify things.

His BABIP currently sits at .345. Assuming he ends up around .300 in this measure, his batting average would be closer to .270. Currently, his HR/FB rate is at 20%, assuming this moves closer to 10% that would put us at 4 home runs per every 170 plate appearances.

This puts his projected average/home runs at .270/15 which still may be a bit generous. I also divided his projected runs & rbi by 1.15 (this is what I got when dividing his current .345 BABIP by .300). He may be worth a speculative pick up to see if he keep this hot streak up for awhile but wouldn't bank on him as a long term option.

Verdict: Pass

Chris Carter:

Current Rank: 122
Current Score: 47.4

Definitely very hit or miss with Carter. He may be on the cusp of a hot streak as he had a couple multi-homer games in the week leading up to the all-star break. His power is definitely a plus skill (he projects out to 37 homers with a full season of at bats.

The thing holding down his value is that he is a one-category contributor (even if that category is impressive). His batting average while barely above the Mendoza Line, still projects to improve due to a .237 BABIP. But even at a projected .241, he isn't exactly helping in this category.

Verdict: Buy if you need the home runs and are able to absorb somewhat of a hit in batting average category

Rajai Davis:

Current Rank: 31
Current Score: 61.3

Another outfielder that ranked a lot higher than I expected. Most of his value is tied to his stolen base ability (60 projected over 650 PA). Though at his age (33), the stolen bases could fall off at any time. He's not going to hurt too bad with batting average (.276 projected) and may provide the occasional home run. Davis' ranking shows one of the shortcomings in my projections in not downgrading numbers based on playing time (it currently projects all players to 650 but he's only had one season with more than 500).

While his ranking his high, Davis should only be targeted if your doing good with power but need a nice boost in the stolen base department. That being said, his ranking of 31 says more about me having more work to do then Davis' actual fantasy value.

Verdict: Buy if your good on power but need some stolen bases