Tag Archives: mike stanton

Mike Stanton: Be Large and Swing a Big Stick

….Is that not the famous saying?

So I have to admit… this is a piece I sent into MLB as a sample for my winning application for the MLB fancave.  I truly believe Mike Stanton is going to have a spectacular year this year.  Read my brilliance and draft accordingly. -w

that is a very large baseball bat.

Players and fans alike should beware Mike Stanton in 2012 and going forward.  Normally I am wary of batters with such prolific strikeout potential but Stanton is different.  For all the talk of his strikeouts, his BB:K  ratio is actually a manageable  0.36 for his career.  Scouts talk about the ball ‘sounding different’ off his bat when he makes solid contact.  While I cannot claim to have been in the stadium for any of Stanton’s games, I watched many of them on MLB.com.  Any casual observer can tell you that a Mike Stanton homer looks different.  His homer run balls travel at such majestic trajectories, one might think they were designed to look that way.  But these reasons are anecdotal.  His numbers, coupled with the improvements the Miami Marlins have made this offseason, lead me to believe he will be contending for an MVP sooner rather than later.  It remains to be seen how the new Marlins Park will play (on first glance, the outfield appears quite large).  However, I would argue that with a player like Stanton, it won’t matter.  He will hit his 40-ish homers.  With an improved team and lineup in front of him, it seems his first 100 RBI season is ahead of him (Bill James agrees).  What would seem to hold him back from an MVP award, for most forecasters and fans, is the strikeouts and average.  It would not take much for Stanton’s upcoming great season to turn into an MVP-worthy season.  In the majors, his Kpercent has been around 30percent (31.1percent as a rookie in 2010, 27.6percent in 2011).  This has led to his average being around .260 and a mediocre OBP.  However, his BABIP (one of my favorite statistics) has remained an excellent .330 in 2010 and .314 in 2011.  Bill James expects this BABIP to remain about the same and so do I.  So all Stanton needs to do is strike out closer to 20percent of the time rather than 30percent.  I look to his 2009 and 2010 seasons in the minors.  With a K-rate closer to 20percent in single A , Stanton produced an OBP of .390 and an average of .294 in 2009 before getting called up to AA.  The next year, before being called up, he again kept his Kpercent down closer to 20percent and put forth a monster .442 OBP and .313 average.  If he could translate this type of success in the majors, he could easily come up with a 40-plus homer season with over 100 RBI, an above-.300 average, above .420 OBP and an OPS far over 1.  Those sound like MVP-worthy numbers to me, especially if the Marlins put together a playoff run in 2012.

-w

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Filed under Baseball, BOOMSHAKALAKKA, Fantasy Baseball, JUAN URIBE, MLB, Opinion, outfield

DID YOU KNOW THAT?!?!?!?

Woo, been awhile.  With the snowpocalypse upon us (seriously New England, WTF) and my entrapment in the house, I thought I’d throw together some random facts for my amusement.  You can read along…

 

Your leader in triples since 2008?  Stephen Drew (35).  C’mon, you knew I was coming back with a triples stat.  (I love how I write like we have regular readers)

 

Brian McCann, J.D. Drew, and Carlos Pena all reached base 100% of the time they bunted for a hit.  Seriously.  You can look it up.  Sure, they all in all attempted a grand total of… three bunt hits… you caught me.

 

David Ortiz hit a stellar .222 versus LHP in 2010 (and .212 in 2009) with just 2 homers in 200 plate appearances (6 homers in 2009)?  Yet Tito Francona seems insistent that he will bat him versus more lefties this year… we shall see how that works out (hint: I’m not Nostradamus-ing when I predict not well)

 

Since the start of 2007, Roy Halladay has completed 26.35% of the games he started.  For fantasy purposes, figuring he starts about twice a week that means he’s been throwing a CG every other week for 4 years.  Is that thinking simplistic?  Maybe, but Doc has still completed over a quarter of the games he started n 4 years.  Outstanding.

 

In that time he has 11 shutouts (32.35% of his complete games).

 

In the last 3 seasons, Jonathan Broxton has appeared in 207 games.  he has blown 21 saves in that span.  That’s 10 percent.  One out of every ten times he stepped out there, he cost his team and likely yours the game.  When I put it like that, wouldn’t you heed my warning about closers?  I hate them, for fantasy purposes, in case you couldn’t tell.

 

Both Michael Stanton (hmm, duno why I got all formal there) and Mark Reynolds (my homeboy this year) are ranked lower than Carlos Lee (who I won’t even link to) in terms of ADP (via MDC).  Stanton: 131 Reynolds:132 Lee? 130.  Am I missing something here or is that bananas?  Reynolds is a safe bet for 35 bombs or more.  Stanton conservatively could hit 35 homers (BJames has him for 38!).  Carlos Lee is, well, Carlos Lee.  The Astros offense kinda stinks and Lee is on the decline.  Sure, Stanton might not hit .270 and Reynolds might not crack .260, but when you’re at that spot of the draft, don’t you go with upside?  Maybe I’m alone in this…

 

Ted Lily induced a fly ball 52.6% of the time.  This resulted in him giving up 32 gopherballs.  If these numbers seem high to you, they are.  In fact, he was 3rd in baseball in homers allowed, but only because Rodrigo Lopez (who recently signed to play with a real live team) gave up an astounding 37 homers (followed by James Shield’s slightly-less-ridiculous 34).  How in the world Lily managed a sub-4.00 ERA is beyond me.  Dude’s got (fly)balls.

 

Mark Ellis batted .405 in September and October.

 

Sin Soo Choo had a 20-20 season with a .400 OBP.  Why isn’t he talked about more?  Is Cleveland that far gone?

 

 

As always, Mark Reynolds had a 42.3% K rate…sigh… and I drafted him.

 

Carlos Gonzalez scored a run every 5.73 plate appearances.

 

Jonny Venters‘ ADP is 308.  He will likely be closing in ATL.  These are not stats so much as alerts.

 

 

 

There’s lucky-number 13 facts.

That’s all.  If nothing else, I have proven that given time, you can make the numbers say anything.

Go out and treat yourself to a mock draft, you’ve earned it.

 

And as always, enjoy the Black Keys.

 

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Filed under DID YOU KNOW THAT?, Posted, Random Thoughts

2011 Favorites: Outfielders

The outfield is a wonderful place.  Playing center most of my <ahem> illustrious career, I have an appreciation to the boredom coupled with rapid excitement that comes from playing in the space past the infield diamond.  But before I start digressing about outfield arms and covering ground, let’s talk fantasy.  No one cares about outfield defense in fantasy, we want power.  Or speed.  Or power AND speed.  The fantasy outfield landscape is vast and varied.  So let’s jump on in…

 

YOUNG STUDS

 

Mike Stanton

Mike Stanton can MASH.  That’s actually the scientific term used by physicists when describing his swing.  He hit a homer every 18 times he stepped up to the plate and had a stellar .248 ISO.  He hit 21 homers in AA then then jumped and hit 22 more in the majors.  The kid’s got serious power.  CAIRO, for some reason, has him down for abbreviated AB and only 21 homers.  This is still a good ratio considering they have him down for only 418 AB.  Slightly more realistically, RotoChamp has him hitting 34 in 562 AB and GUESS WHAT?  The usually stingy Bill James has Stanton hitting a whoppin’ 38 homers in 2011 (and an improved ISO of .288).  Sure, he’s going to strike out a ton but how many young studs are out there?  Actually quite a few, but not many who are very very likely to hit 35+ homers and doubles and knock in near 100 runs.  He’s not going to hit .300 next year, but with 40 bombs and 100 RBI, you better be able to stomach a .270 average.  Stanton is a stud, and is here to stay.  Get him.

very artsy shot here

Desmond Jennings

Jennings is one of the many young players I could have thrown into this space.  However, he distinguishes himself in one of my favorite areas: speed.  While there are questions about his power developing immediately, his speed is the real deal.  Call him Crawford 2.0.  He tore up the bases in the minors, stealing 45, 37 twice and 32 in rookie ball.  No one seems to think that will change in the majors.  CAIRO and RotoChamp seem to fear that he will lose AB’s to Damon and Manny, keeping him under 400 AB, yet both have him stealing 20+ bases.  Now it gets interesting.  Bill James, notorious for conservatism about rookies has him down for FIFTY-FOUR STEALS!  That’s instant stud-dom!  Jennings has always had a pretty good eye, but you gotta figure that, as a rookie, it is unreasonable to expect a .300 average.  Look for .275 and be thrilled when he does better.  As I said, his power is still (allegedly) developing, so don’t expect more than 10 homers.  But 10 homers, 20+ doubles, 5 triples and FIFTY-FOUR STEALS sounds like a pretty good ‘low’ expectation to me.  Jennings has enormous (read: the next Crawford) ceiling, but temper your expectations- he is a rookie, after all.

Domonic Brown

Great name, right?  And we all know that’s the first step towards stardom.  And the general consensus is just that – Browns headed to stardom.  He looks like a player, standing (or towering) at a lanky 6’5” 200, he projects to hit for nice power but is also fleet of foot.  He’s the whole package, basically.  Now in my thinking about his 2011 season, I figured a safe starting bet was numbers similar to Jason Heyward’s 2010 campaign… good, very good even, but really just a teaser for the NEXT season.  Again, I’m no expert, but this seemed reasonable.  So imagine my surprise when I got to Domonic Brown’s Fangraphs page and saw Bill James’ projections.  Apparently he likes the kid – 26 homers, 33 doubles, 4 triples, 94 RBI, 84 runs (breath), a .288 AVG AND 28 steals?!?  Bill James gone wild!  Ew.  Gross.  Seriously, though, is that a projection or what?  Even if he doesn’t reach James’ lofty projections – and I expect he will not – somewhere between the low end (my theory) and the astronomical (James’) is a happy medium.  20+ homers and 20+ steals is ownable right there, throw in some other stats and it’s all gravy, baby.  Tasty, tasty gravy.

 

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DON’T FORGET ABOUT THESE GUYS

Shane Victorino

I should admit that I’ve always been partial to the Flyin’ Hawaiian.  I admire the speed in which he plays the game and the hustle he shows.  That said, he was a major disappointment last year… or was he?  Yes, his average slipped all the way down to .259 but the dude still swiped 34 bags and hit 18 homers!   He is more than capable of producing a 15 homer, 35 steal, 100 run, 10+ triple season, making him at the very least interesting.  But what do I know?  Let’s see what the projectors say… just as I thought.  CAIRO, RotoChamp, and Bill James all have similar numbers: .280 average, 90-100 runs, 15-ish homers, 30-ish steals… and that wonderful threat of the triple.  I’m not saying go out and reach for Victorino in drafts – quite the opposite.  I’m suggesting that when he drops (and he WILL drop), be mindful of letting him by in the later rounds.

Grady Sizemore

How’re you gonna forget a face like that?

Easily, actually.  Sizemore is a serious red-flag injury risk at this point.  But for the bold, all signs seem go.  Bill James seems to think he can play 150+ games but RotoChamp and CAIRO have him at limited (mid 400’s) at bats.  It’s really a matter of how much faith you have in his health.  I happen to think he’ll break down again, others are very optimistic.  James has him for 23 homers, 105 runs, 81 RBI, and 23 steals in roughly a full season, hitting .265.  Given a full year, this seems about right to me.  There comes a time in every draft you take a player you’re scared of, and I’ll say that when you get to it, you might as well take a flier on a healthy Grady Sizemore.  You remember healthy Grady Sizemore… right?  He was a fantasy dreamboat.  Good luck if you snag him, and I hope he does well – he seems like a good dude.

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THE INCEPTION PLAY(s)

Matt Joyce

Do you know Matt Joyce’s ISO off the top of your head?  That’d be incredible, rain man, but let me just tell you – it was .227.  He hit 10 homers and 15 doubles (3 triples too, woot.) in just 261 plate appearances.  That’s good for an extra base hit every 9.32 AB, a delightfully high rate for a guy who just needs a chance to play.  Joyce has real pop – it’s just a matter of whether the Rays will let him use it.  He figures to split time on the corners, so I’d hope for 500 AB and be happy with 400.  Why?  Well, let’s once again go to the projectors:  RotoChamp has him at 21 homers in 444 at bats, an amazing amount and Bill James thinks 18 in 388 AB (with 28 doubles to boot).  Point is, his power projects.  Now if only it would come out on a regular basis… put him on your watch list or stash him while you monitor his playing time.

Travis Snider

So, first off, yes I’m including him because I want him to follow us on twitter (@duckfromthepond).  But more than that, this is the year for Snider, who is only 21 (actually his birthday is coming up so 22), to make a big step in his progression.  With an improved batting eye, Snider could be a late-round power bargain.  He put up two very promising months, May and September, which are hopefully indicators of what might be.  Now the 24:2 K:BB ratio isn’t going to cut it, but that’s easily improved marginally.  What sticks out in those months are his 6 homers in September and .543 SLG.  Bill James doesn’t seem to think he will get regular PT, so I’m ignoring his projections (16 homers in 311 AB).  CAIRO and RotoChamp, however, have him at 19 homers in 466 AB and 23 homers in 521 AB, respectively.  These numbers are a better base if you look back at Snider’s power potential from the minors.  Plus, the dude just looks like he can swing the lumber (link evidence of a BOMB).  Snider is a great guy to take a flier on this year at the end of a draft, as, once again, he’s only 21.  He’s improving every year and could pop off at any time.  He was a major prospect who has since cooled in the majors so grab him before he heats up again.  And see if he’ll follow us on twitter, damnit.

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There we go, the outfielders to keep an eye on this year in drafts.  With the exception of Sizemore, I would readily own them all (and I’d take Grady, just knowing that the injury bug could burn me).  Outfield is a funny position in fantasy, as you can play it fast and loose with guys like Juan Pierre and Raja Davis, you can go for boppers like Snider, or you can play it safe with guys who emerge like Pagan or Torres.  Only the season will tell, and it is fast approaching!  Two weeks til Spring Training starts, so get ready.  DotP is taking off so be prepared – fantasy baseball excellence is at the tip of your finger.

Later, ducks, and happy drafting.

-w

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Filed under Fantasy Baseball, MLB, offseason, Opinion, outfield, Pickups, Posted, Sleepers