Tag Archives: Sean Rodriguez

Fantasy Mustache: Shortstop

Loyalty, Above All Else: Sean Rodriguez

I cannot tell you exactly why there are so many articles and mentions of Sean Rodriguez on this silly little site.  I think some time after he broke into the league my buddy Dave and I decided he was primed to break out, given our expert opinions.  He plays multiple positions, a favorite fantasy attribute of mine, and fit the ‘Swiss Army’ profile both Dave and I enjoy so thoroughly it inspired a series of posts.  Rodriguez did not break out.  What he did was become a useful glue player, playing solid defense at 2B, SS and 3B capable of hitting an occasional XBH and stealing a few bases.  He does nothing. spectacular, despite the wishes of many here at DotP.

Bill James is so un-enthused with Rodriguez’s mediocrity that he has chopped the guy’s plate appearances to a mere 256 in 2013:

14 2B / 1 3B / 8 HR / 37 R / 32 RBI / 6 SB / .246 AVG / .328 OBP / .730 OPS

According to James, Sean Rodriguez is on a hill, and he will continue to tumble down.  These projections are one big MEH-fest.  I refuse to hear that.  Not our guy.  Not Sean Rodriguez.  The Rays are a likable team and Rodriguez is a likable guy.  And that’s the problem, clearly.  Studies have shown that nice guys, in fact, finish last (Dr. B. Armstrong et al).  Or at the very least don’t bring home that World Series Trophy.  To save his career, Rodriguez must top being nice and start getting…. evil.  Or real, I guess.  Point being, the man’s getting a villain-esque makeover

evilseanrodriguez

Evil Sean Rodriguez: Part Terminator, part Captain Hook, ALL hitting machine.  This is no mere mustache awakening, this is a hostile position takeover.  Note the glare.  The sinister eyebrows.  The dastardly twirl of his facial hairs.  This is a man fed up with being told by Bill James he will be below average.  This is a man who is going to make sure Elliot Johnson doesn’t take another ground ball at SS.  Evil Sean Rodriguez will seize the position.  He will bat 568 times.  He will prove his doubters wrong.  Haters will perish under his lazereyed gaze.  Observe the Mustache-bot 2000’s calculations:

37 2B / 9 3B / 19 HR / 73 R / 81 RBI / 33 SB / .301 AVG / .398 OBP / .963 OPS

We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to create a new Sean Rodriguez.  Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster.  MANIACAL LAUGH…. MANIACAL LAUGH… MANIACAL LAUGH!

But seriously, Sean Rodriguez.  Grow a mustache.  Play better.  Or I’m going to have to stop writing about you.

Stay groomed,

-V

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Filed under Baseball, Fantasy Baseball, MLB, shortstop, Sleepers

Shortstop ADP: The Position You Hate to Love

my favorite non-Batman movie of all time.

ADP is a beautiful, terrible thing.  We as humans love to rank things and it can cloud our judgement to see an arbitrary list.  ADP is an incredibly useful tool, as it pools and averages where others are taking players you might be thinking of taking.  You know and I know that just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t make it right.  ADP is a barometer, not law.  You know this, I know this… but that doesn’t mean every jabroney in your league knows that.  There’s at least one in every draft.  Someone who takes Chone Figgins in the 4th round.  Who asks if Martin Russell is still available.  Who tries to draft a retired player.  Even the smartest fantasy owners fall victim to ADP (Hand raised.  That sentence makes it sound like a virus).  Between the bimbos and the braniacs drafting with you, you’re all going to at one point rely on ADP as some kind of deciding/tie-breaking factor.  So here are some players not to forget about in 2012.  It’s crazy to think everyone can get a superstud to start at first,it’s a matter of numbers- everyone can’t have Pujols or Votto – just as it’s crazy chasing Amy– it’s just a matter of statistics (and gender preference, but I mean, just watch the movie.  C’mon.).  We don’t all get what we want, just ask the Rolling Stones, but sometimes, just sometimes, we get what we need.  And what you need is good value.

There are 3 Shortstops worth actively seeking in a draft, and one of them is going to play Third Base (whoops, didn’t really mention Hanley “Wah-Wah’ Ramirez in my 3B post…).  After that, there are a series of relatively boring guys who fill a position you need (Starlin Castro, Asdrubal Cabrera, Alexi Ramirez all fit the ‘usable-but-unspectacular’ mold in declining amounts of value), aging players not worth the draft position based on the past (Rollins, Jeter), and a bunch of one-trick ponies (Elvis Andrus, Dee Gordon come to mind).  For most people’s teams, shortstop is going to be a drain, plain and simple, compared to other positions.  I’m no Nostradamus, but I’m betting Asdrubal Cabrera doesn’t hit above 20 homers (there is no reason in his past to expect that).  Nor do I think Jhonny Peralta will sniff batting .300 again.  Shortstop is the best exercise in finding value.  In larger leagues, you’d consider yourself lucky to wind up with J.J. Hardy or Stephen Drew.  But really, do either of those players excite you?  And they’re already going pretty late in drafts.  When it gets down to the rinds, why take Jason Bartlett when you could roll the dice?  Shortstop’s your chance to take a, well… chance.  It’s not like most of the guys you’d draft are going to wow you anyway- you won’t be overwhelmed, you might not even be underwhelmed.  Maybe you’ll just be whelmed.

Bam. Streak alive.  You know you hate how much you love this movie.

As always, much love to Mock Draft Central, where you can get all kinds of ADP reports by signing up.

SHORTSTOPS

Shortstop is a funny position.  Since Cal Ripken Jr., there has been a revolution of middle-of-the-order hitters playing the position.  In fantasy terms, there are shortstops now who provide just as much value as, say, a top outfielder.  There was Nomar-Jeter-A-Rod.  Now there’s Tulo-Reyes- and, until recently, Hanley Ramirez.  But shortstop is also one of the most important defensive positions on the field (the other two being Catcher and Centerfield, in my opinion), so a guy like Omar Vizquel can be equally valuable to a team in terms of the runs they save.  Sadly, most leagues don’t have a ‘Web Gems’ category, otherwise Rey Ordonez would have been an absolute stud.  So we have a mix in fantasy.  At the top, there are the studs, in the middle some very solid all-around players and towards the bottom?  Defensive specialists and young, unproven talent.  When is that next trio of top-tier talent arriving?  Again, I’m no Nostradamus.  So while we wait for the next big thing, here are some stopgaps.  Who knows?  Maybe someone will surprise you.  LIKE HEATH LEDGER DID IN THE MOVIE!!! It all comes full circle, folks!

P.S. I’m perfectly comfortable admitting that scene is my favorite.

Ian Desmond (WAS) -ADP 253

#awesomesauce

I guess I have a man-crush on Ian Desmond, for fantasy purposes.  I snagged him in countless mock drafts and several of my leagues.  On the face of it, he is not really worthy of such fascination.  However, consider the rising Nationals and the power of good vibes.  Over the past two years, Desmond has demonstrated that he is very capable of hitting double digit homers and 20+ steals.  What kills Desmond’s value is the holes in his swing.  His poor OBP, high K rates, and overall lack of discipline hurt what appears to be an untapped fantasy talent.  He hits doubles, with speed for triples.  His minor league numbers suggest his untrained eye is a function of his adjustment to major league pitching (very high OBP in AA and AAA).  There is a seriously good feeling going into the 2012 Nationals.  Ryan Zimmerman will be back healthy.  Jayson Werth has to be better, it’s a borderline statistical fact.  And, of course, the inevitable coming of Bryce Harper, prospect extraordinaire.  It is not unreasonable to think the Nats offense is bound to improve, and I think Desmond is going to be part of that.  At base level, without any improvement, Desmond gives similar production to Stephen Drew (who is going over 100 spots earlier) without the injury risk.  Given an improvement, Desmond could jump up a level in fantasy shortstop value.  Part hatred for the Drew clan, part unabashed drinking of the Washington Nationals Kool-Aid, but Ian Desmond has my Fantasy Spidey senses tingling this year.  Wait around folks, don’t sell yourself short and draft J.J. Hardy.  There are more valuable players to snag while you wait for shortstop.  Either you get one early or you don’t.  Wait for Desmond, and enjoy his breakout 2012 campaign.  Mistress Cleo told me so.

Mike Aviles (BOS) – ADP 244

no one sits by Mike when he doesn't change his 'lucky' socks...

I’m going to keep this one brief because I don’t want to waste space when Bobby Valentine inevitably pushes Jose Iglesias into the shortstop void in Boston.  That’s an entirely different story, and my personal feelings are that Jose should get one more (partial, maybe) year to refine his offense before being unleashed on the big-league diamond.  The kid was imitating MLB players’ swings for chrissake!

Anyhoo… Mike Aviles was impressive in limited time with the Sox in 2011.  Defensively, he doesn’t hold a candle to Iglesias.  Offensively, he strikes me as a good line-drive pull hitter who could benefit ENORMOUSLY from batting towards the bottom of a potent Boston lineup.  Will he hit .325 as he did in his rookie year, 2008?  No.  But given the time (with utility-wunderkid Nick Punto) in a good lineup, it seems like Aviles could be a sneaky source of a .280-ish average with 80 runs (and double digit steals).  Saltalamacchia scored 53 runs in 386 PA last year and he hit .235!  Aviles, as is the case with the following players, will be on a sliding scale of value in 2012 based on playing time.  His versatility adds value, the opportunity adds numbers.  He’s definitely one to track through spring training to see if Valentine loves or sours on him.

Forgive the ADP disparity but these two are in very similar situations…

Eduardo Nunez (NYY) – ADP 309.17  &  Sean Rodriguez (TB)- ADP 261.46

both of the baseball players are pretty ugly. real weasel faces. so here's a dramatic picture of the awesome Craig Ferguson, on weeknights @ 1235 on CBS

Both of the men mentioned above have value in versatility.  The could get time at second, short and third (in addition to the outfield), depending on team needs.  But they’re elligible at SS and that’s what matters for our purposes.  Where they play for their ‘real’ team is not nearly as important as where you can plug them into your virtual lineup.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  Where they play on their real team does matter, and here’s why; the Yankees are old and the Rays’ alternatives are underwhelming (what a useful word).

Nunez gets to play the ‘super-utility’ role on a New York team that has A-Rod and Derek Jeter.  Both need rest.  On top of that, at their age, and with A-Rod’s history, it is highly likely that either one or both is shut down for a period of time due to injury.  Enter Mr. Nunez.  Now you may be saying, ‘that already sort of happened last year, why’s he of value?’  The man stole 22 bases in only 338 plate appearances and only got caught 6 times.  That’s nice.  In the dwindling rounds of a draft, Nunez could be an absolute steal (pun intended), especially if due to circumstance he gets 400+ at bats.

Sean Rodriguez is a favorite of Dave’s, which makes me dislike him as a player.  But I am putting my bias aside for your benefit.  Rodriguez demonstrated excellent power as a prospect for the Angels but has not seen the same production in the bigs.  I’d blame a lot of that on his inconsistent playing time, as he has had strings of games where he has contributed as a useful power/speed combo.  So what’s holding back Rodriguez this year?  Defense, I guess.  Who is he competing for playing time with in 2012?  Reid Brignac and Elliot Johnson?  Rodriguez might be the perfect storm of sleeper for 2012 (unlike, say, the premature sleeper in past years…).  He’s turning the magical age of 27, has crappy competition at the position for now, plays all over the field and is in his 3rd year of any semblance of regular playing time.  It makes a lot of sense that things could click for him in 2012.  And at his ADP and with multiple elligibilty, a guy who could hit 15 homers with 15 steals sounds like a good grab for your hole at short (WORDPLAY!)

Yup.  That’s all I’ve got.  Shortstop can be a very frustrating position folks.  That’s an understatement.  But I think I’ve laid out several players above who could greatly outperform their ADP at the position, if not break out.  And honestly, unless you have Reyes or Tulo, you may be forced with that kind of compromise.  Or there’s always Willie Bloomquist…

Always, awlays, beware the Bloomquist.

-w

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Filed under Baseball, MLB, Opinion, Posted, shortstop, Sleepers

2011 Favorites: Second Base

Look at that form. Just perfect. What a guy.

Unless you have a man-crush on one of them (hand raised, Pedroia jersey present), second base is a wholly unexciting position in fantasy.  While first base gets the likes of Pujols all the way through knuckleheads like Adam Dunn, Second Base has the likes of Pedroia, Utley and…. Rickie Weeks?  Martin Prado?  If Rick-A Weeks excites you, or you trust him immensely, good for you.  I’d like a prescription for whatever happy pills you’re on.  So pay attention!  One position can make or break you in fantasy.  If you miss out on Utley or a top second bagger, you could wind up with the likes of Felipe Lopez.  If you’re starting Felipe Lopez, you’ve probably already conceded the season… Here are my thoughts to help ya’ll out this upcoming season at a decidedly uninspiring position.  Take note:

YOUNG STUDS

Gordan Beckham

This is what Second Base leaves you with- writing blurbs advocating Gordon Beckham.  He had a down year, for sure, but even at his best, he is a necessary and boring player for your team.  However, one stat in Bill James’ projections really stuck out for me: 41 Doubles.  If Gordon Beckham, as James predicts, hits around .275 with 15-20 homers and 40+ doubles he suddenly goes from Placido Polanco to, well, an above average second baseman and very nifty piece to have on your team (especially if you snag him in the later rounds as I have in a few early, early drafts).  I expect an upturn in production from Beckham and that White Sox lineup is ready to mash in 2011.  So I’m taking him in all formats and setting the bar low.  Here’s to hoping I am pleasantly surprised.

 

Neil Walker

I feel as though I could write the same blurb about Neil Walker: 40+ doubles, .270-ish young’n yadda yadda yadda. But I am an honorable man and will dignify Mr. Walker with his own blurb.  Seemingly out of nowhere Walker was a top-flight second baseman last year, which is to say he actually contributed to wins in fantasy rather than being a vacuous hole of a position (can you tell I kinda think it’s Pedroia and everybody else at this position?).  But honestly, Walker was kinda a pickup stud.  Did you realize he hit 12 homers?  Walker could easily put up comparable numbers to Kowie Hendrick Howie Kendrick and I’m betting you can get him later- like I said, kid seems to have this under-the-radar thing figured out.  I’d value Beckham more based on the lineup and team, but the point of the post is this: Neil Walker will do more to help your fantasy team than hurt in 2011.  Draft accordingly.


 

DON’T-FORGET-ABOUT-THESE GUYS

Dan Uggla

Dan Uggla had a phenomenal year last year.  I tried to pry him from my buddy all year and, to my credit, I knew exactly what I was doing.  He had been one of those players I tended to stay away from due to his low-ish average and high K’s, as I had trouble justifying drafting someone as high as him for 30 homers.  Don’t misread that, he is pretty much a guarantee to hit 30+ homers, I’m merely saying I tended to think one could score 30 homers much later in the draft.  But not this year.  Uggla had a MONSTER of a year, catapulting himself into serious 2B discussion, above the rest of the turds in fantasy.  30 homers, 30 doubles, a .280 average, 100 RBI, Uggla put on a clinic.  The move to Hotlanta should do nothing to change these numbers, so long as Uggla keeps his K’s relatively low (say around 150), his walks up, and his BABIP doesn’t dip too far below .300.  Draft him like a notch-below-Pedroia second baseman, someone who will bring serious thunder to your team.

 

THE INCEPTION PLAY(S)

Sean Rodriguez

We, and by ‘we’ I mean ‘Dave,’ at DotP like Sean Rodriguez a lot.  It’s the way he wears his socks.  No but honestly, the same stuff we’ve said about Rodriguez for 2010 carries into 2011… except now he REALLY figures to get some playing time.  With Crawford and Pena gone, as well as Bartlett, the Tampa infield will take a very different look.  Brignac is at short, Zobrist could play some first, I see Rodriguez getting some serious plate appearances.  And though I feel like Bill James shorts him in that area of his predictions (419), I like where his head’s at with some of the other production for Rodriguez.  How does 16 homers, 22 doubles, 2 triples, and 12 steals sound in 419 plate appearances?  Let me tell you how it sounds- it sounds like a late-round steal is what it sounds like.  And with a crapshoot position like 2B, sometimes ya gotta dig deep (hence the upcoming SECOND mindbending Inception pick).

Eric Young Jr.

The man is fast.  That should be enough for the inception play and it kinda is.  The quote from an MLB.com blurb read “could steal 40 bases given significant playing time,” and this seems to be the general consensus among baseball-types.  With Jose Lopez in the fold, who knows how many AB’s he will get but then again, we’re talking about Jose Lopez… so I’m not overly concerned with him getting enough at bats to be relevant.  Neither is the baseball Nostradamus, Bill James.  In 482 plate appearance, James has him stealing 46 bases.  I could leave it at that, but I like to research and type.  No I’m kidding, I’m leaving it at that.  If a steal every ten and a half  times he steps up to the plate isn’t enough to make you draft him in the last couple of rounds, I have nothing to offer you.  Sorry.

 

That’s it, my thoughts on a tough position to speculate in fantasy.  Enjoy the snow if you have it and  Happy Festivus to all.

 

-w

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Filed under Fantasy Baseball, MLB, offseason, Opinion, Pickups, Posted, second base, Sleepers

DID YOU KNOW THAT?

One of my most favorite shows growing up was Bill Nye the Science Guy (or his site).  My favorite segment was always the ‘DID YOU KNOW THAT?’ bit that ended with the same crazy voice echoing, ‘KNOW YOU KNOW….’

Long and short of it, the show was truly the only reason many of us thought science was cool, and that segment always hit the spot.  Knowing this, and knowing I’m always looking for a gimmick (like, say, letting one of our friends write instead of me… don’t judge our back catalog ladies and germs, I was n ‘sabbatical’), I think you know what’s coming:

DID YOU KNOW THAT…

… Roy Halladay, the notorious control king has an excellent K:BB ratio of 6.61.  Cliff Lee is just being ridiculous this year.  His K:BB?  14.833.  CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT WOULD BE GOING ON IF HE HAD STAYED IN PHILLY?! @#$%&*!

… in 85 at bats (entering tonight) over the past month Cliff Pennington, yes THAT Cliff Pennington has 6 doubles, 4 triples, and 5 stolen bases?  And a .436 on-base percentage to boot?

… Scotty Podsednik has 6 sacrifice flies (4 the past month).  He has 10 sacrifice bunts.  He has been caught stealing 10 times.  You do not want this man on your wiffle ball team.

… We were kinda right about this Sean Rodriguez guy?

and he wears his socks high. much respect.

Russell Martin, the bane of my fantasy existence at catcher, has a BB:K ratio of 40:48.  He’s having a decent season, by most accounts.  His OPS?  .684.  Would you like to know who has a higher OPS?  My grandmother (drum rollcymbal crash).  Gosh I’m like butta’  I’m so  a roll.

…Ricky Nolasco has given up 20 homers.   That in and of itself is a stat to look at.  He has given up 115 hits.  I will do the math for you:  that is 17.39% of his hits surrendered going over fences.  AND 9 of the last 42 hits he has given up were homers (21.43%).  Ricky, just hit the guy!

… but Randy Wolf (who had a 5 homer-allowed game) has him beat.  Over the past month (30 innings) , Wolf has surrendered 14 walks and 27 hits.  How many for long john silverbombs?  9.  That, ladies and germs, is 1/3, or 33.3%  Wow.  Hopefully, you have benched him accordingly.  And have prayed to the trade gods.

… Speaking of trades, J.J. Putz hasn’t given up a run his last 12 and 1/3 innings- Will someone please let him close?  Or can the Red Sox trade for him?  I just watched Hideki Okeydokeyjima give up a laser to Crawford.  The other Sox don’t need him.  Please?

Joey Votto leads the NL in runs created.  He has 21 homers and 59 RBI’s.  His OBP is .395.  He has 751 total bases.  His middle name is Daniel.  And he might not be an All-Star.  This is sad.  And infuriating to all Votto owners.   But also a sad commentary on the voting system for the game and how it is treated by the MLB

… Over the last month, your #4 and #6 leaders in hits?  Gaby Sanchez (39) and David Dejesus (38).  This is interesting to me, sorry.

Carlos Santana is VERY good. (9 2B’s and 5 Homers good.)

… That Wilson Betemit is still in the Majors?

BACK OFF I'M STARVING

OK that was mean.  But NOW YOU KNOW!

-w

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

Sean Rodriguez Sighting

Interesting update. The Rays rolled out their starting lineup today with a few tweaks.  Longoria took the day off. Zobrist moved to second. Kapler in RF. Guess who was at 3B? Sean Rodriguez. No offense to the Hebrew Hammer, but I don’t see him in the starting lineup.  Looks like Maddon is serious about getting S-Rod playing time.  And, who knows, maybe he will play some 3B this year too.

4/22 UPDATE: Even though Rodriguez is splitting time with Brignac, his value took a major boost with his production last night against the White Sox.  I am still a fan. Stay tuned.

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Ducklings about to Blow up- Ultimate Sleepers for 2010

Everyone knows Chris Davis hit over .300 with 6 dingers  and a decreased (though still ridiculous) k-rate when recalled to Arlington last summer.  If prospects like Strasburg and Heyward are what you consider sleepers, this will take you to a whole new level.  In this post we will cover the guys you can target late in drafts and get huge bang for your buck.

Kyle Blanks- OF Padres                                     

Good news.  Blanks dropped 15lbs this offseason and really worked on becoming a more athletic outfielder. The thing is those 15lbs brought him down from a whopping 285lbs to a slim 270lbs.  Before you starting calling him Dimitri Young, the guy is 6’6″ and has 2 triples and 2 steals this spring.  Blanks will man left field for the Pads for now but a shift to his natural position at 1B is a guarantee with the likely trade of  Adrian Gonzalez.

O, and did I forget to mention this guy can mash? Manager Bud Black is already sold on Blanks hitting ability and has penciled him in the cleanup spot between Adrian and Chase Headley.  Blanks is a career .304 hitter in the minors with power to spare. He will whiff a ton but that comes with the pop.  Before being slowed with a minor foot injury (which he has fully recovered from), he mashed 10 homers in 104ab with a 1.028 OPS after the break.  And if you think Petco will cause problems, don’t worry.  The average distance for Blanks’ homers in 2010 would have put him in the top 10 in the majors if he had enough ABs to qualify.  This kid is legit. Get him.

Sean Rodriguez- 2B, SS, OF- Rays   

Rodriguez qualifies at OF for Yahoo for now but that will soon change.  ESPN recently came out with an article saying that S-Rod could be  Ben Zobrist 2.0.  Guess what? I said that over a month ago to my co-editor so I had to write about the guy in this post.

Rodriguez is “battling” for a roster spot this spring but it’s been completely one-sided.  Matt Joyce (RF) is having trouble throwing from 90ft and he’s not about to be the DH for a team that just signed Hank Blalock and has Pat Burrell. Reid Brignac is competing for a shot at a MI position, but his bat is not nearly at the same level as Rodriguez’s. Rodriguez will make the team.  He will likely start a 2B with Zobrist in RF.  Luckily, Rodriguez’s natural position is SS so he can also spell Bartlett (hopefully those 10 precious times).

So not only will Rodriguez qualify at multiple valuable positions, he has a monster bat.  A key piece in the Kazmir deal last summer, Rodriguez has been working out this Spring with A-Rod who has had nothing but amazing praise for the 24 year old.  Sean Rodriguez is a career .281/.380/.501 hitter in the minors.  His time with Salt Lake in 2009 was just silly, hitting 29 homers in 365 abs with a .299/.400./.616 line.  Watch the position battle in Tampa.  If he gets a job, you want him.

But wait there’s more. I got tired of typing. Click for More 2010 Sleepers

P.S. Blanks and Rodriguez are also in this podcast which I recorded 3 weeks ago.  Notice the Ben Zobrist reference WAYYYY before any other site was hyping him.  As Will said, we are ahead of the curve.

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