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MLB Notes
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 2/28/2008 6:52:00 PM
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Maybe not anymore, but Jeremy Bonderman has to be one of the most overrated players in baseball. Sure, his stuff is very good, but he’s yet to translate that into being an effective pitcher over the course of a year. During five seasons, he’s never had an ERA less than 4.00 or a WHIP less than 1.30. Because he throws so many sliders, he’s also a major injury risk. He’s dominated for stretches, has solid strikeout potential and last year’s soaring ERA can at least partially be explained by an abnormally high BABIP (.329), but he better come at a major discount at this point. His career K:B ratio of 2.56:1 is good, not great.

I really wish Adrian Gonzalez could somehow escape Petco Park. I still like him for fantasy purposes, but a would-be superstar is merely very good because of where he calls home. He still strikes out too much, but if he switched places with Todd Helton, he’d be a first round fantasy pick.

If you prorated Chase Utley’s stats from last year over the course of a full season, here’s what you’d get: 27 HR, 11 SB, 126 RBI, 128 Runs, .332 BA. He’s increased his batting average every season he’s played during his career, has three straight 100-RBI campaigns and is a very effective base stealer (84 percent success rate). He can handle southpaws, and with that lineup and ballpark, he simply can’t fall out of the top-5 of your fantasy draft.

If Joe Torre benches Andy LaRoche in favor of Nomar Garciaparra’s corpse and bats Matt Kemp at the bottom of the order I’m going to flip my lid. I’m convinced there’s a conspiracy why managers consistently go with veterans over younger, better talent. This would never happen in any other profession. Why does it in a billion dollar industry?

This is a good year to target Rafael Furcal, who is both coming off a miserable campaign and entering a contract year. An ankle injury can be partially blamed for his lackluster 2007, but if you compare his 2006 season with Jimmy Rollins’, you’ll find two very similar players. Rollins has improved since then, and I’m certainly not suggesting Furcal will be the better player in 2008, but I am cautioning you not to chase last year’s stats.

Nick Markakis is anything but under the radar these days, but that doesn’t mean he’s still not being undervalued in drafts. Prorate his numbers after the All-Star break last year over the course of a full season, and you get: 31 HR, 20 SB, 135 RBI, 113 Runs, .325 BA. He’s 24 years old. Prediction: Markakis has a better fantasy season than Vladimir Guerrero or Carlos Beltran.


Surprised Bonderman has never been under 4.0 or 1.3. Interesting. Any thoughts on whether Furcal being in a contract year will impact his stats? Not hitting so much but steals - I don't know that you can hit better by trying harder, but I think you can steal more via more effort - like Soriano did in September that year he was shooting for 40/40. I admit to having no data, though, to support my theory that base-stealers get more steals in contract years.
Posted by MPStopa at 2/28/2008 7:25:00 PM
The Prospectus doesn't quite understand what the heck they are doing out in LA in regard to LaRoche either. Maybe they need someone young and strong like LaRoche to wheel out Nomar's corpse to first and drop him off there Weekend at Bernie's style each inning.
Posted by bwitt at 2/28/2008 8:00:00 PM
Stopa - In general, the "contract year" theory is way overblown and shows little correlation to better performance. However, the one area it might, is something like steals, which is purely based on effort. A. Soriano was a good example, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if Furcal attempted a bunch this season.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 2/28/2008 8:10:00 PM
BWitt - Like the Weekend at Bernie's reference. What a fantastic film.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 2/28/2008 8:11:00 PM
Bernie's also managing the team, too.
Posted by cliss at 2/28/2008 10:09:00 PM
Were there one or two sequels to WAB's? Can't remember the important details sometimes. I do recall a dead man (literally) being wheeled to a football game this year (or was it his ashes? - not quite as good a story).

The 3B situation in LA will sort itself out, just as it did at C and 1B in recent times. Too bad we recognize what should be done long before some teams' "braintrusts" do. P.S. Juan Pierre led off yesterday and went 0-for-3. Beautiful.
Posted by vtadave at 2/29/2008 8:12:00 AM
Yes, there was one sequel to WAB's. Bernie got up and danced whenever he heard reggae music. Brilliant.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 2/29/2008 8:16:00 AM
I've gotten to the point where I can't be rational about Markakis. I'll take him too early in at least one league.
Posted by spianow at 2/29/2008 10:22:00 AM
I am thinking as long as they put the shades on Nomar, that no one will know he is a corpse. The play on the field should be similar.
Posted by bwitt at 2/29/2008 11:00:00 AM
The better story about a dead man was the one where guy's friends at the old folks home wheeled him to the bank in an attempt to drain his account before being caught. If there's a "contract year" theory, Andruw Jones and Tori Hunter were at opposite ends of the spectrum last year. Imagine if Adrian Gonzalez had just stayed put in Texas, I bet the Rangers do.
Posted by kevinccp at 2/29/2008 1:04:00 PM
Also, Buster Olney blowing up McGowan today on ESPN. Apparently he reads your blogs.
Posted by kevinccp at 2/29/2008 1:09:00 PM
At the end of the day, it's all about motivation. A new contract might motivate some guys best, while other players may respond after a bad year. Some players come up big after a perceived slight. Sometimes it's just a change of scenery. Bottom line, maximum motivation comes from different places.
Posted by spianow at 2/29/2008 5:24:00 PM
Beltran's on my avoid list, too. Name brand remains strong, but his steals could collapse at any time and he's not a plus player in BA.
Posted by spianow at 2/29/2008 8:43:00 PM
good point on players to avoid, ie Beltran, how many others agree with Ron Schandler to avoid Albert Pujols at all costs, with the risk of possible surgery any time the cardinals fall out of the race, those odds are quite high of losing out on a lot of pujols stats?

Posted by ubahero2252727 at 3/1/2008 4:37:00 AM
Pujols will end up on none of my teams this year.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 3/4/2008 3:26:00 PM

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