2016 First Base

Hey there, I am now ready to unveil my 2016 First Base Sleepers that should not be on too many radars.

There may be a lot of owners that want the video game #’s from a Goldschmidt, Cabrera, Encarnacion ,Chris Davis, Votto, Abreu & Fielder. Let them bid these guys up. The more they spend the more it will help you in this quest to develop a deep, talented and young team!

Lets take a look…

      1. Eric Hosmer, KC – He was in the national spotlight helping the Royals win the world Series so there may be some that are willing to overpay to get him but, Hosmer is definitely a player that you want to keep your eye on during your Auction/draft. He is an excellent hitter with HR power to drive the ball to all fields. He is a patient hitter in the middle of a productive lineup. The dude is only 26 years old and has a reputation of being the most clutch player in the league. This kind of upside in the start of his prime years are what we are after. If you see a chance to get this guy. Do it. I don’t care if you already have 4 first basemen on your roster. You’ll thank me.

2. Freddie Freeman, ATL – This sweet swinging left hander was on         everyone’s wish list before last season. He started the season on the right foot (as opposed to the left)? Then injuries started to ruin things he suffered from wrist and an oblique injury. The former seemed to linger the rest of the season. He was the only bright spot in that Braves lineup. Yet, he still was on pace for an excellent season. It also didn’t help that his parents got divorced and his dog died. Ok so maybe that last bit is a lie.  Anyways, it is possible that others in your league won’t be so quick to pay for an often injured player in an anemic lineup. Seems like a great time to pounce. The Braves lineup has improved and the hot stove season is just getting underway. Hector Oliveras can only help. Go after this prime aged slugger!

3. Carlos Santana, CLE – When you think of the perfect player to go after in a point’s league, this guy is in the top handful. Santana uses an ability to wait for a good pitch to hit and drives it. He is going to walk a lot and strike out a little. It’s not easy to find a power hitter, run producer that is this patient at the plate. Luckily for you he is coming off a less productive year yet he is only 29 years old. There may be a lot of owners that want the video game #’s from a Goldschmidt, Cabrera, Encarnacion or Chris Davis. Let them bid these guys up. The more they spend the more it will help you in this quest to develop this deep, talented and young team!

4. Brandon Belt, SF – This fellow had a big year in 2015. With Sandoval signing with Boston & Hunter Pence out for most of the year it was Brandon Belt who had to assume one of the production spots in the lineup. He answered the call in a big way. His hart hit rate last year was one of the best in the league at 39.5%. You could see that it was all starting to “slow down” for him at the plate. He had a wOBA of .359 which means he was patient and did whatever it took to get on base. Heck, he even was the runner up to win the NL gold glove for 1st basemen in the NL. A 6’5” Left handed power hitter who is 27 and is going to hopefully have more people on base batting in front of him. His stats are still trending upwards. Worth the pick.

5. Lucas Duda, NYM – It pains me as a Yankee fan to advise anyone to pick a Met for their fantasy team. To me relying on a Met is like that creepy cousin you have that you only see once a year at Christmas. You don’t want to go but,  you know you’re Aunt and Uncle always give you a good gift. Lucas Duda may be that gift. He is a legitimate power threat and is a 6’4” Left handed hitter who is 29 years old and has a knack for getting on base (wOBA .359) even when he doesn’t connect (Hard Hit Rate 39%). It would be hard to find another 30 HR guy that most people look right past.

 

2 Guys in the minors that play first base and are likely the next two “Big Hitters” to keep an eye on at the position.

 

  1. J. Reed, HOU – Chris Carter and Jon Singleton’s inability to make consistent contact has opened the door for A.J. Reed. Houston might send him to AAA to start the season since he only made it to AA last year but, team controlled years should not be a top priority due to the Astros looking like a contender in 2016 again. A.J. last year had a slash line that looked like this .340/.432/.612, 34HR, 0SB, 19.6k%, 13.8bb%. He has immense power and phenomenal plate discipline. He appears to be the real deal. Absolutely worth a late pick.
  2. Josh Bell, PIT – Last Year in AAA Josh hit .320/.396/.450, 8HR, 9SB, 11.9k%, 11.69bb%. Yes, he only hit 8 home runs last year and that seems to be a big reason people look past him. Scouts do see the potential for more power but let’s look beyond that. Josh contributes in every other category to make him a very valuable commodity. Having a guy that contends for a batting average crown because he hits everything over the plate and takes a ton of walks when there is nothing good to swing at. This is a recipe for a very productive guy to own in points leagues. The Pirates have a big void at 1st base right now so you might see him start the season in the majors.

 

 

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2016 Catchers…going against the grain.

Everyone knows the big catchers that will be targeted in your 2016 Auction.

Buster Posey…$20 something dollars

Kyle Schwarber…$20 something dollars

Devin Mesaroco,  Travis d’Arnaud. Salvador Perez, Jonathon Lucroy, Russell Martin, Stephen Vogt, Yasmani Grandal and Brian McCann.

The top 10 or so come off the board. Time to panic right? No way…I’ve got your back.

While everyone else is spending on big name catchers who don’t play every day and get banged up pretty easily you can spend your money on a power hitting corner infielder or another outfielder.

Here are five guys who have the talent to produce just as much as most of the players listed above.

  1. Blake Swihart, BOS – This guy can flat out rake! When he got the call last season there was an adjustment period. Somewhere around late August Blake started to make solid contact. He is a switch hitter who will be in a very productive lineup and home stadium. In fact most stadiums in the AL East are hitter’s parks. I am going to have him as my #1 priority at catcher in all my leagues.
  2. J.T. Realmuto, MIA – J.T. has gone pretty much unnoticed by most baseball fans. He played for the Marlins last year but not many people watched the “Stantonless” Marlins, He has a quick bat and a patient approach at the plate which has led to some consistent contact. This quick bat produces a lot of line drives and doubles. Pretty good pop and he is very savvy when on the base paths.
  3. James McCann, DET – I know what you are thinking and the quick answer is “no”. James is not the brother of Brian McCann. They are not related. Funny coincidence that they are both catchers though. James had a break out season last year as he took the Tigers starting catcher spot away from Alex Avila. He was a very productive player adding a lot of counting stats as far as hits, RBI’s, and runs. He has some pop and will probably slug some more as he gains more experience.
  4. John Ryan Murphy, MIN – John (formerly J.T.) was just traded from the Yankees where he was blocked by Brian McCann to the Minnesota Twins where he should not have a problem winning the starting role over Kurt Suzuki. He is a solid defensive catcher and at the plate he really has flourished all be it in a once a week role with the Yankees. There is a lot of “pop” in his bat so he will be a good one to keep an eye on.
  5. Tom Murphy, COL – last season Tom did so well in the minors and then in a call up at the end of the year that the Rockies decided to go ahead and release Michael McKenry. Tom had a BABIP of .362 in his time with the Rockies last season. Some will say it is “lucky” or “unsustainable” but, he is regarded as a very good hitter who was a high draft pick and…well…he plays in Colorado. If Nick Hundley slumps or gets hurt which pushes Murphy into the starting role I don’t believe Hundley would ever get his starting role back.

These guys can be very sneaky pickups at the end of your drafts as you are adding more depth in the middle rounds.

There are 2 guys everyone should keep an eye out for who will be the top catching prospect waiting for a call up. Jorge Alforo, TEX. Texas refused to give him up in the Cole Hamels trade last season and for good reason.  This guy is a monster at the plate. He will most likely start the season in AAA Tulsa as he is a bit too aggressive at the plate and needs to learn how to be more selective. Gary Sanchez, NYY just demolished pitching in the Arizona Fall league as well. He should be watched as Brian McCann’s backup just in case an injury pops up there. These two guys have game changing raw power so be on the lookout.

On to look at first base options for the next post. I hope this helps.

Scott

Waiting…

Welcome to Zig Zag Fantasy Baseball! My name is Scott and I am interested in changing the way I play and draft my fantasy baseball teams in an effort to stand out from the pack. Too many times have I targeted the same guys as everyone else in my league. Too many times have I overspent at an auction to get the same type of production I could have gotten from a guy I picked up of the waiver wire.

This is why I am working on a spread that should have enough information in it to isolate some really good alternative options come draft day.

My main league is a bunch of guys that used to be my coworkers. They have the same love for fantasy baseball.  There is a rather nice sized pot of soup on the line so, needless to say it gets even more competitive when there are those kinds of rewards. I have found in my last two auctions for this 12 Team H2H points 5 man Keeper league every player that I REALLY want is on the top of the list for a majority of the other owners as well. In the Auction this drives up the price so if you stick to your plan it only allows you to get ½ of the guys you really want.

If I can dig deep into the pool of players and all of the statistics maybe I can isolate a few sleepers or just guys that are flying under the radar right now.

I am also trying to do this earlier than a lot of “experts” so that maybe you and I can get a jump on our league mates. Things will change with free agents and Trades during the “Hot stove” months but, it’s never too early to study. Besides…it gives us something to do while we wait for the spring.

I am hard at work on the spreadsheet and I hope to have the first section of catchers in the next couple of days.

Scott

 

 

Spring Fever

Ok. It is now time to stop wasting my energy with fantasy football. I am convinced that FF Is mostly luck. Whichever team that stays mostly healthy wins. It is fun to have a winning team but, when I lost Jamaal Charles…I knew I was toast.

I have started compiling data for my 2016 baseball spreadsheet. Starting with catchers I am just about ready to figure out my grading system.

I believe I am going to focus my attention in our auction to building a team based on three key stats. 

The first being age. Last spring I spend to much money on Chase Utley. Nothing against Chase Utley but, he has been running on fumes for a few years now. I believe after my team hit a wall in September when I was dominating my league that baseball has become a young mans game. If I want steady point production throughout my lineup all season I will need to start spending on players in the beginning of their prime years this can help my stats and help me with buying players before big breakouts so their keeper price should be low as well. I am going to try and build my team with mostly players in their twenties. Sure there will be a few exceptions but, this gives a platform to start on.

Second will be a stat referred to as wOBA. Weighted on base percentage. This stat gives you more of an “all things considered” look conserning on base percentage especially for my points leagues.

The third will be hard hit rate. This stat was becoming a fad a last year but has been discovered to not always being a precursor for a great player. With home runs an extra base hits being so important to my points leagues I feel I would be a fool not to incorporate this as well

I will give a short list of my catching targets once I get this going.