Baseball Stocks Rising: April 2015

So the first month of baseball is technically over, but because the season started so late the first month hasn’t really finished yet. I looked into some players off to great starts to the season and I used fangraphs for all the stats mentioned in my post.
he's on seattle now yeah, but look how cool he looks in this photo!

Nelson Cruz – Well it’s official, I was dead wrong on Cruz. Seattle is where hitters go to die! Cano couldn’t even get to 15 HRs last year and Cruz moving from the hitter friendly Camden Yards to Safeco was supposed to reduce his power, not increase it! He’s hitting fly balls 14% more than last year and his ground ball rate is down by 8%, so the spike in HRs makes sense. Those rates usually don’t stabilize until ~170 PAs and he’s only half way to that mark. His HR/FB is high, but if he can keep generating this many FBs then he might even eclipse last years 40 HRs…he only needs 30 more to go. His walk and strikeout rates look right around career average and he’s swinging a little less outside the strike zone while increasing his contact rate. His age, injury history, and home park gave me concern going into the season, but the stats show there’s little to dislike.
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Baseless Bold Fantasy Baseball Predictions

matt harvey...may have used this photo already

Do you know how much easier it is to make fantasy predictions with almost no research to back it up? ESPN posted 53 bold predictions with almost zero facts explaining them, and it included the bogus Troy Tulowitzki will remain healthy for a majority of the year fact! It’s total BS and it’s beautiful, unlike the new ESPN format, but maybe I just hate change. I’m going to make a bunch of fantasy baseball predictions with very little facts to back me up and a ton of bias! Some of them might even be underlined instead of bolded!

Matt Harvey is a bust
He’s on an innings limit and if the Met’s aren’t in the playoff hunt I can see him getting shut down earlier than expected. He’s coming back from Tommy John surgery and I know he’s looked excellent in spring training, but spring training doesn’t mean too much. He has to carry the weight of all of New York’s expectations now that the Yankees stink, that’s too much pressure! He’s getting drafted in the 3rd/4th round now, so people are expecting ace numbers, but he hasn’t pitched a real game in more than a year. Also the Mets can’t have nice things.
Joey Votto finishes as a top 5 1B
He was a top 1B before and I like the Reds’ offense this year with Billy Hamilton likely improving, Todd Frazier and Marlon Byrd providing reliable power, and Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips can’t possible play as bad as they did last year. He’ll provide Freddie Freeman like numbers but for a 3 round discount. Bring on those sweet walks baby!
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What to do with the Zimmermen(n)

Ryan-Zimmerman-GlovesI was never a fan of Ryan Zimmerman going into the year and have him on none of my teams, but that doesn’t mean I can’t help the dumbos who drafted him. He went and got himself injured early in the year, but now he’s coming back tonight and apparently at a different position. I kind of like how the Nationals are trying out Ryan in LF, but then again they’re sort of delaying the inevitable when Harper returns, but I guess this team will do anything to keep Ryan out of hot corner defensively. If the Nationals are serious, I think Ryan should get enough playing time to get OF eligibility, where he only needs 5 starts on Yahoo! and 10 starts on ESPN. What I’m more worried about is that maybe they’re doing this because Harper’s injury could be more serious than what they’ve let on. In 2013 Ryan got a majority of his useful stats during the last month of the season, where he had 11 HRs, so he gets his power numbers in bunches and could go on a similar tear again. I would try to sell Ryan as soon as he’s accrued any value, but every leagues different and it may be better just to hold onto him. Why did you draft this guy!
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Aprilish Reactions: Pitchers Edition

Somehow Clayton Kershaw is the 135th ranked overall player on Yahoo! After only 3 starts…which is somehow higher than Stephen Strasburg, Cliff Lee, and Madison Bumgarner. I know Kershaw is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but come on, he hasn’t been the one of the most valuable players in the fantasy game when he’s been sidelined for most of it. Give him at least a couple more starts before we crown him the prince of baseball again.
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April Reactions: Hitter Reactions

justin-morneau-and-standeeWhat a great start for Justin Morneau, good thing I recommended him as much as I could on this website that nobody reads! I’ll give myself a pat on the back for that one. Todd Helton was able to play 1B for the Rockies for 40 years, Morneau should be able to do it too. Also those two studs on the left look like twins…too soon?

I’m really glad I held on to Rajai Davis in all my leagues I drafted him in and didn’t drop him for let’s say either Matt Lindstrom or Jose Valverde because I needed saves. I couldn’t have been that stupid right? Right?!

Elvis Andrus has 9 SBs already, he’s so fast because of all those peanut butter and marshmallow sandwiches he eats. The King and the Prince are roaming around the Texas infield.

Chris Colabell-who? Somehow he has 27 rbis playing for the Twins and I’ve never heard of him before this year. Somehow the Twins have one of the best offenses in baseball, if only they had just one major league level pitcher…
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My Starting Pitching Draft Strategy

I’m writing this looking at both the Yahoo! and the ESPN rankings. League settings should change your respective strategies. If you’re in a Roto league I’d value SPs a little higher than in H2H. Points leagues really depend on the scoring, but in my limited experience I found SPs provided me with a ton of points. It really depends on the settings though. I can’t really help with auctions too much because every draft is different. I can only recommend spending the extra dollars on the guys you like, it’s better to get to as close to $0 as possible and at the end of the draft extra money is useless money. This piece will cover how I would draft in a snake format for a 12 team standard scoring league.
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Looking at Sophomore Slumps: Hitter Edition

The only players more hyped on draft day than top prospects expecting to break into the Big League are rookies coming off their hot debuts. Specifically, I’m looking at sophomores Yasiel Puig and Wil Myers, guys about to play their first full year. A day will come, when these hitters are elite, but it is not this day…or this year actually. People assume that because a player is young that he’s bound to improve, they also think old players are bound to regress, this way of thinking is a fallacy.

Let me start with Puig, who is generally ranked higher than Myers and ranked 28th overall by ESPN and 19th overall by Razzball. For starters, Puig sported a 36:97 BB:K rate, which isn’t exactly a good sign. Let’s also note that the Dodgers were hitting historically well after Puig got called up and he went on one hell of a hot streak, 19/7/16/4/.436 during his 1st month, which was amazing, but also likely unrepeatable. Puig had an 11:8 SB:CS ratio, which is actually terrible. I’m not saying Puig will be a bad player, I’m just saying his high ADP (average draft position) says that people expect him to improve on his numbers from last year, but history would disagree.
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