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Fantasy

Master Of The Twitterverse: How Much Fantasy Hype Does Dee Gordon Deserve?


@ad—ey: Should I unload Rollins for D Gordon

@allinkid: no, but would grab Dee anyway

Look, Dee Gordon is enticing, but we’ve been here before. Gordon has seen chances in the majors and hasn’t produced. Things are looking better this time around, but he is still a speed/Runs guys and not much else. It’s doubtful Gordon will ever hit for a high average, so he’s a two-category guy. Jimmy Rollins is what he is at this point of his career. Light power, mid-20s stolen base ability and decent Run and RBI numbers. You can’t drop a talent like Rollins for Gordon; don’t get caught in the hype. As said though, Gordon needs to be owned in most leagues.

@ny—rr: thoughts on Rickie Weeks this season?

@allinkid: waiver fodder in shallow leagues, MI (not starting 2B) in most others at best

Obviously, not everyone knows my disdain for Rickie Weeks the Fantasy player. I’ve never understood why Weeks receives so much love. He won’t help in average (career .249 hitter), but the 20-HR power and mid-teens SB ability have people rushing back every year. The only two seasons since 2008 where Weeks posted 20-plus HR and double-digit SB involved 754 and 677 PAs. See, we’re also talking about a player with just two seasons of full health. And even then, Weeks barely cracks the 20/10 threshold. Weeks will hurt your average and be fortunate to register a 15/10 season at this point.

@mn—er: u like Kemp/Strasburg or JUpton/Shields side in a trade? h2h, 10 team redraft league

@allinkid: 1st half bc the values are very similar, but 1st side has potential to be greater – selling low on them, so at worst equal trade

That sound you hear is gallons of water being dumped on Justin Upton. Don’t catch my drift? The man has cooled off considerably since April 27. Upton’s AVG and SLG% have dropped 29 and 146 points, respectively. Meanwhile, Matt Kemp is on the uptick since April 29, but without the power improving. Kemp’s power will come around; he is too talented. Right now, give me Upton, but only by a small margin. The real kicker comes with the pitchers. Don’t let the 1-5 record for Stephen Strasburg sway you. No, he hasn’t been Strasburg-equse, but he still has 51 Ks in 49.1 IP. Meanwhile, James Shields has 53 Ks, but in 58.0 IP and an extremely low .250 BABIP. For reference, Shields’ career BABIP is .296, which points to regression. There is nothing in Strasburg’s metrics that suggest much change, but with Shields, a step back should be expected. Today, the second side is certainly out-performing the first, but if I want the most upside, I’m taking the elite talent duo that’s underperforming.

@ch—oa: Is Jordan Zimmerman a must start against everyone in a HTH format? (for instance…Detroit)

@allinkid: pretty much. Any SP inside Top 20 is an always start for me

For years now, Jordan Zimmermann has been one of my favorite undervalued pitchers. Now, it appears everyone is seeing why. Let’s not kid ourselves though, Zimm is not going to post a sub-2.00 ERA, and in fact, he’s been helped by a extremely low .209 BABIP. However, Zimm is capable of a mid-2.00 ERA. The main knock on his value is the ability for just 140 or so strikeouts… but let’s back up. The question was about Zimm being a “must-start.” If you are a Top 20 pitcher, and Zimmermann now cracks the Top 15 for me, you start every single time, matchup ignored. You don’t bench your studs in Fantasy Sports, and Zimm is a stud.

@Ca—tB: Dee Gordon or Erick Aybar for the rest of the season?

@allinkid: if upside, I’d take Dee

Dee Gordon and Erick Aybar are actually fairly similar players. Both provide value via stolen bases, and where Aybar has a bit more pop and AVG support, Gordon has more speed. I actually think Aybar’s 10 HRs in 2011 will be his career best, so we can cast aside the debate over power. Gordon struggles to hit for a high average, but Aybar is only a .270s guy. At worst, you have one player losing 10-15 points in AVG, and there is a chance Gordon could need or equal Aybar if he gets it all together. So it comes down to speed, and Gordon has the wheels to steal 50-plus over a full season. With regular playing time, I’m taking Gordon, especially since Aybar appears headed for just 20 SB at best.

@dz—ms: Cespedes/Dickey worth giving up for Dempster/Marte? Feel like selling low and buying high?

@allinkid: you are, Cesp alone makes me say no

Trading Yoenis Cespedes and R.A. Dickey now is the worst time to do so. I actually am leaning towards Ryan Dempster a bit more than Dickey now, given Dickey’s continued struggles. Dickey certainly has more upside, but Dempster is perennially underrated. The real problem I have is including Cespedes with Starling Marte. Cespedes is a four-category guy (won’t help in AVG) who can hit 30 HRs, steal double-digit bases and score 80-plus Runs while driving in 80-plus RBI. Marte will see a decrease in his AVG, as he currently has an unsustainable .422 BABIP. Marte is more of a .270-.280 hitter with 10-15 HR power and 25-30 SB ability. Cespedes is power with a dash of speed, Marte is the opposite, but I like Cespedes’ power potential more. It’s easier to find SB as the season moves along than it is to find power, and when Marte’s luck reverts to the norm, his average won’t look so enticing.

@ja—ll: Ball or Bell ppr? Do you see Doug Martin type of numbers from either rookie?

@allinkid: as long as McG gone, Ball, but also assuming Ball improves pass blocking. If doesnt by season, Bell

@allinkid: No. See maybe 3-4 starter worthy this year total

It’s football question time! Seems we have to include one every week. As long as the Broncos send Willis McGahee packing (expected), Montee Ball is my top rookie this season. Check out my Rookie Breakdown on the site for the full 411 (yes, I just used a 1998 saying… deal with it). I have my concerns with Le’Veon Bell, but I still like him given the opportunity. Bell struggled to break tackles against tougher competition. As for either RB, or any rookie for that matter, I don’t see any doing what Doug Martin did last season. The talent in this draft was on defense and the offensive line. There are no QBs that will come near to QB1 value, about 2-3 WRs who could be starter worthy and a handful of quality RBs, but none will rank in the Top 10 at any position.

@do—sh: Bautista or Ellsbury ROS? D Jennings or Venable?

@allinkid: all depending on need – power, Joey; speed, Ells – DJ easy

We already knew Jacoby Ellsbury wouldn’t hit 30-plus HRs ever again, and it now appears that 10-15 is the best we can expect. Now, we’re looking at a decent Runs and AVG contributor with 30-plus SB ability. As for Jose Bautista, no one expects him to help in the AVG department, but we do expect 40-plus HRs. Bautista is a bit under that pace, but started slow and looks to be gaining momentum. It all comes down to need. I have both ranked very closely, and if you need power, it’s Joey Bats. You need SBs and someone to not hurt your AVG, it’s Ellsbury.

Desmond Jennings is someone else who will never help in the AVG department. What Jennings can do is swipe 25-30 bases, hit mid-teen HRs and score a good amount of Runs. As for Will Venable, he’s been hot, but let’s not kid ourselves and rank him alongside Jennings. Venable can provide a 15/25 line, but his AVG will be in line with Jennings’ and he won’t score the Runs Jennings will. If anything, sell high on Venable.

@se—79: Best sell high hitters and pitchers right now?

@allinkid: have to check out my column this Monday

I wasn’t trying to be coy, but there many players and with the added explanations, there was just too much to tweet. For hitters, Carlos Gomez, Starling Marte, Chris Johnson and James Loney are all great sell-high candidates. Pitching wise, Matt Moore, Hisashi Iwakuma, Travis Wood and Jeff Locke are the top names.

I’m going back to my ol’ stomping grounds of BABIP focus (Inspector BABIP being a weekly piece from last year) with these players. Current BABIPs: Gomez .435, Marte .422, Johnson .403, Loney .402; Moore .196, Iwakuma .198, Wood .198, Locke .214. For reference, last year, the best BABIPs were .390 for hitters (Dexter Fowler) and .241 for pitchers (Jered Weaver). Even if these players matched those marks, there is still significant regression coming.

Gomez has a career BABIP of .311, plus his SLG% and ISO are worlds above his norm at .650 (SLG%) versus .395 (even after a career high .463 mark last year) and .276 versus .141 (also a career best .202 mark in 2012). I mentioned Marte’s luck earlier. Johnson’s BABIP is 52 points over his norm and still shares time with Juan Francisco. And Loney hasn’t topped .288 for his AVG since 2007, and the BABIP is nearly 100 points over his average.

Moore has great ability, but in addition to that BABIP, his LOB% is a ridiculous 96.1 percent. Plus, he still walks too many with a BB/9 rate of 4.9. Those two reasons are large factors in his Expected Fielding Independent Pitching (xFIP) of 4.23 – over two runs higher than his ERA (2.14). Iwakuma has a better K/BB ratio, and his LOB% isn’t unsustainable, the BABIP simply is. That is why his xFIP isn’t as drastically different as Moore’s is at 3.16 to 1.74. Wood has reduced his walks and home runs allowed, but again we have an abnormal BABIP and even concerns of that HR rate increasing as the temperatures do. Locke is by far the most worrisome with a xFIP nearly two runs higher than his ERA (4.84 to 2.95) based on not only the BABIP, but also his terrible K/BB ratio. Locke strikes out just under five batters per nine but walks 4.3 per nine as well. That equals a miserable 1.16 K/BB. Couple that with the low BABIP, and you have a pitcher screaming for a downfall.

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