Friday, May 2, 2008

Fantasy Errata: April's All-Sleeper Team

Was it just me, or was May 1st one of the most ho-hum baseball days ever? Nothing particularly notable around the league to report, so intead, let's look at the "All-Sleeper Team" through April. To qualify, the player must have been drafted no earlier than the 1oth round in most mixed leagues and have a reasonable chance of actually continuing his production throughout the year.

C: Ryan Doumit is completely deserving. A free-agent pickup/last-round bench player in just about every league, it's a shame that he's merely the runner up to Jesus Chri... I mean, Geovany Soto.

1B: Joey Votto and Casey Kotchman are very deserving, but Conor Jackson has elevated his game to the next level.

2B: Is there any doubt? Mark DeRosa and Jose Lopez, just sit back and enjoy The Riot. Ryan Theriot is making a lot of people look foolish for reaching on middle infielders in the early rounds.

SS: Anyone who's 2B eligible probably isn't playing shortstop in your league, so Yunel Escobar and Ronny Cedeno are out. Jeff Keppinger, on the other hand, was free in just about every league after draft day. He's currently outperforming Jose Reyes.

3B: Sorry Jorge Cantu, you didn't make the cut. Neither did you, Mark Reynolds. Edwin Encarnacion, come on down. I'd say he's much more likely to keep up the pace than Reynolds.

OF: Josh Hamilton is a damned stud and may be the draft day steal of the year if he stays healthy.

OF: There was no room for Carlos Quentin in the Arizona outfield. Chew on that for a moment.

OF: I don't think Xavier Nady can keep it up, so the final spot goes to Josh Willingham -- the heart of the astoundingly productive Florida offense.

SP: Ervin Santana. Oh, how I hate him for arriving a year too late.

SP: Edinson Volquez. After Jhonny Peralta, this is the most annoying name for me to type.

SP: Micah Owings isn't getting much press, but I think he has a good chance to keep this up all year.

SP: Zack Greinke finally sorted out his personal issues and looks poised for a gigantic sleeper season.

SP: Adam Wainwright has a few good years on his resume and pitches in the right league.

RPs: There's about a zillion choices, but in terms of actually keeping it up all year (and without a looming injury risk), I'd go with Joakim Soria, Matt Capps, Brian Wilson, and Jon Rauch.

And the busts of the season thus far? If we limit these to the first four rounds and remove players who have had significant injuries (injuries are a part of fantasy baseball, I don't think of injured players as "busts"), there are only two that seem like potential season-breakers for their likely frustrated owners: Ryan Braun and Vladimir Guerrero. Two guys I really didn't like going into the year, by the way.

In terms of the worst projected value as compared to players available much, much later, it has to be Derek Jeter. You could have picked up half a dozen shortstops in the first week of the season that look like they're going to eclipse his numbers. No home runs and no stolen bases through April? Wow.


Russ said...

Break down Braun being a bust so far for us. As far as sophomore slumps go, this is nothing to get too worried about.

Mike Bock said...

God damn it. I accidentally deleted several comments while trying to delete my own (to fix some typos).

Sorry Don Ford and Bob.

There's only three outfield spots. It's a loaded field. McLouth has a lifetime batting average (before this season) of about .260, and he hit 13 home runs last year in 325ish at-bats. He's not that young. This is completely unexpected, and assuming there's no funny business going on, unsustainable.

At this point, I would be surprised if Braun outperformed the following third base eligible players (assuming no injuries): Miguel Cabrera, David Wright, Aramis Ramirez, Garrett Atkins, and Chipper Jones. For a first round pick to end up lumped in with the Adrian Beltres and Alex Gordons of the world is pretty disastrous.

Braun has struck out 23 times in 115 at-bats, and his splits in 2007were preposterous. What did he bat against left-handed pitchers? Something like .450, IIRC. With the exception of Braun's strikeout rate, he's gone down in every indicator of value. His walk rate has fallen from 6.0 to about 3.0, and his home run rate has dropped from 7.1 to closer to about 3.3 (actually, it may be lower now).

Plus, he's on pace to steal six or seven bases this year.

Anonymous said...


Mike Bock said...

Damn that McClouth/McLouth character!

Also, I apparently cursed Josh Willingham.