10 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers For ‘10 Final


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10 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers For ‘10 Final

  1. 1. 10 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers for ‘10<br />An advanced approach to winning your fantasy league<br />Michael Bonzagni<br />
  2. 2. Statistics Glossary<br />The following statistics can be useful in looking for value in drafts. Learn them, use them, love them.<br />OPS – On base Plus Slugging Percentage- A terrific stat that helps gauge the overall contribution of a hitter to his team. It basically shows how good a hitter is at not making an out. An .900 OPS is great, and anything below .700 is nearly worthless. <br />FIP – Field Independent Pitching – a very complicated stat that creates an adjusted ERA that only takes into account factors the pitching can control (like walks) and takes away factors the pitcher cannot control (like errors). It’s great to use when trying to find players that performed better than their popular stats signify. <br />
  3. 3. Statistic Glossary<br />BABIP – Batting Average on Balls In Play - This is a wonderful statistic used to gauge how “lucky” or “unlucky” a player was in previous seasons. League average of BABIP hovers around .300, so if a hitter has a high BABIP last year, expect a bit of a dip in his BA this year. Conversely, if a pitcher has a particularly high BABIP, he was a bit unlucky, some of those hits probably won’t get through the defense. Understanding BABIP can really help you snag value in the late rounds of your draft. For a more in-depth look at BABIP check out ESPN’s Tristan Cockroft’s wonderful primer on the subject. <br />Strand Rate (LOB%)– This handy stat measures how many runners were left on base, or “stranded,” by the pitcher. League average hovers around 72 percent, so if a pitcher is only stranding 60 percent of his runners (and the rest are scoring so his ERA is inflated) expect a correction this year. <br />
  4. 4. Carlos Gonzalez<br />AP Photo<br />[OF] – (COL) ADP 121.09 <br /> It’s hard to believe that this guy is already on his third major league team, but he seems to have found his home in Colorado. In only 278 ABs, Car-Go belted 13 HRs and swiped 16 bags. He’ll be turning 24 and has the left field job locked up, so we can expect more of the same from him this year. ESPN’ Dave Hunter, the Answer Guy himself, believes that, “Car-Go should see an increase in his contact rate as he develops, thus cutting down the high strikeout rate he had last season. The 24-year-old youngster is my 2010 ‘jackpot!’ pick of the draft.” Get him late and reap the rewards. <br />
  5. 5. Ian Stewart<br /> [2B/3B] – (COL) ADP 119.82<br /> Hitting in the high altitude of Coors Field and a locked up starting third base gig instantly makes Stewart a player to target in the later rounds. Couple that with his unnatural power, 2B qualification, his pedigree (drafted 10th overall in the 2003 draft), and Stewart will produce well above where he is drafted. He still whiffs too much, striking out in 28.1 percent of his plate appearances last year, but ESPN projections state that “As a 25-year-old with a firm starting commitment he has plenty of breakout potential, though. Fantasy owners might be most pleased by his second-base eligibility.” <br />AP Photo<br />
  6. 6. Howie Kendrick<br />AP Photo<br /> [2B] – (ANA) ADP 132.55<br /> Kendrick has inspired many bromances in fantasy circles for a few years, but his putrid performance last year no doubt soured many to the hard hitting righty. He was sent down to AAA in June for all around stinkiness, posting a putrid .198 AVG in May. He seemed to figure out his problems, posting a .351 AVG in 188 ABs in his return. This guy has always hit on every level of the minors (he hit .360 in 8 seasons split between all levels), and Yahoo’s Brandon Funston believes, writing that “Old man-crushes die hard, especially when they have batting title talent and are approaching their age 26/27 season having hit over .350 in the past 50 games.”<br />
  7. 7. David Oritz<br /> [UTIL/DH] - (BOS) ADP 206.36 <br /> His decline last year was well documented (1 HR in April and May! Ouch). But did you know he hit the most homeruns in the Majors after June 1(27)? That combined with his low BABIP (.262) last year, and we have ourselves a bounce back candidate! He still hits in Fenway in the middle of a strong Sox lineup, so RBI opportunities should be ample.<br />AP Photo<br />
  8. 8. Chad Billingsley<br /> [SP] - (LAD) ADP 123.73 <br /> For the first three months of the season last year, you would be hard-pressed to find a pitcher better than Billingsley. He posted a 3.15 ERA for those months and had an impressive 110 Ks. The bubble burst a bit in in the second half, but his 3.82 FIP. Remember, he’s only 25 years old and this was his second full season as a big league starter. This kid will only get better. Grab him late at a bargain price and reap the rewards if I were you. <br />AP Photo<br />
  9. 9. Brett Anderson<br /> [SP] - (OAK) ADP 157.18 <br /> This guy is a stud, pure and simple. If you don’t believe me, just ask ESPN’s Keith Lipscomb, who wrote, “This kid is mature beyond his years, and I love the progress he showed as the season went along in 2009 (3.48 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 8.8 Ks per 9 after the All-Star break).” 95 mph cheddar with two quality secondary pitches from the left side will befuddle hitters on any level. He just turned 21 and pitches in one of the best pitcher’s parks in baseball so the sky is the limit for this guy. Keeper and dynasty leaguers take notice! Years of greatness ahead. <br />AP Photo<br />
  10. 10. Daisuke Matsuzaka<br /> [SP] - (BOS) ADP 220.27<br /> Dice-K’s bad year was not a surprise to many, including yours truly, but even I was surprised just how awful he was. He went 4-6 with a 5.76 ERA in an injury-riddled ’09 campaign. He was also the victim of some bad luck, as he had one of the highest BABIPs in the league at .382. The fact that he hid an injury explains much of his suckiness, and word out of Boston is that he is working out like a mad man to regain his championship form. This guy has the pedigree and the skills to be a dominant major league pitcher. Don’t forget that he went 18-3 in ’08. Expect the ’08 version this year.<br />AP Photo<br />
  11. 11. Kevin Slowey<br />[SP] - (MIN) ADP 213.18<br />Slowey still managed a respectable 10-3 record last year, despite only starting 16 games. When he did pitch, he was also the victim of some bad luck (.349 BABIP). Slowey is wonderful for your WHIP as he rarely walks anyone (his career BB/9 is 1.4 – awesome). He doesn’t strike too many people out, but he should be a great source of quality innings and wins as the Twins battle for another AL Central crown. 15 wins and great peripherals are not out of the question.<br />AP Photo<br />
  12. 12. Ricky Nolasco<br /> [SP] – (FLA) ADP 96.45<br /> This guy may as well change his name to Murphy. He was by far the unluckiest pitcher last season with his .336 BABIP against and a ridiculously low strand rate. His FIP was 3.35, a difference of 1.71 from his inflated 5.06 ERA. This guy will bounce back in a big way, and SI’s Jon Heyman even picked him to win the NL Cy Young . AND in just 30.1 innings this spring, he has a 28:1 K:BB ratio and has allowed just 19 hits. Draft him. Now. <br />AP Photo<br />
  13. 13. Asdrubal Cabrera<br /> [2B/SS] – (CLE) ADP 147.36<br /> The .360 BABIP might seem high, but not when you factor in the 22% Line Drive Rate last year. This guy makes solid contact , and his average will be high as a result. He’s batting leadoff this year in front of a sneaky good Cleveland lineup so he’ll have plenty of opportunity score and run. <br />AP Photo<br />