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The Case for Chase

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The Case for Chase

Postby The Loveable Losers » Thu Apr 20, 2006 3:03 pm

So you drafted Chase Utley in the second round of your draft expecting the number 1 fantasy second baseman and instead got a guy that you could outproduce using Bill Mueller? Getting some trade offers that have you wondering if you should cut bait and run before getting stuck with Utley's sophomore slump?

STOP!

Breathe.

Ok...feeling better now? Not yet?

Let me set your mind at ease.

Chase Utley had a great first full season last year. He hit .291/.376/.540 with 28/93/105/16. He also struck out 109 times against 69 walks in 543 at bats. Just a repeat of these numbers would put him near if not at the top of the second baseman list this year.

Rotowire's projections for Chase Utley are even better: .299/.376/.536 with 31/93/103/16 with 106k/68bb in 576 at bats.

So why is Utley hitting so poorly? The answer is simple - he isn't.

Yes, I know he's put up .241/.311/.537 numbers with 4/6/5/0 numbers. Here's the key though - he's struck out 6 times against 5 walks in 54 at bats. Last year his bb/ab ratio was 12.7% while his k/ab ratio was 20.1%. So far this year those ratios are 9.3% and 11.1%. Yes his walks are down about 33% but his strikeouts are down almost 50%!!!

Last year Utley put 406 balls in play and had 130 hits on those balls in play (a .320 clip for BABIP). That's a bit above the league average of .300 but not unreasonably so. This year he has put 44 balls in play for only 9 hits in play (a .225 BABIP)! That's absolutely terrible luck. If we take his BABIP from last year of .320 over those 44 hits we could expect 14 hits in play which along with his 4 hr's to this point would give him 18 hits in his 54 at bats or a .333 average to go along with a .390 obp.

People watching Shelton and Pujols go off on their early season home run march might be disappointed in Utley's 'paltry' 4 hr's. But if you project those 4 hr's over just 543ab's (he'll likely get more than that this year) and the math is simple...he's on a 40 hr pace. Ditto for his doubles - he's on a 40 double pace as well.

Lastly people might point to the fact that Utley has yet to steal a base as a reason for concern. Give him some time. Most players run less in April and it's not like Chase has been on base all that much - only 9 hits that didn't leave the park along with 5 walks. Rotowire projects him to be on base about 240 times this year to get those 16 sb's so that means he averages a stolen base every 15 times on base. Looking at 14 times on base and expecting to see a stolen base already is simple impatience.

So to sum things up - there is NOTHING wrong with Chase Utley. He's still the player that he was last year. In fact he may even be a better player this year. He's even been on base 5 times in 14 plate appearances against left handers (.429 obp). ;-D This would be the perfect guy to try and buy low on but if you have him don't give him up unless you're getting full value. His average will rebound and all of his other numbers are right in line with what they should be right now.
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Postby kljsoccer18 » Thu Apr 20, 2006 3:07 pm

thanks i have him in a couple leagues and that made me feel a little better, hope you're right
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Re: The Case for Chase

Postby patty cheeks » Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:43 pm

The Loveable Losers wrote:So you drafted Chase Utley in the second round of your draft expecting the number 1 fantasy second baseman and instead got a guy that you could outproduce using Bill Mueller? Getting some trade offers that have you wondering if you should cut bait and run before getting stuck with Utley's sophomore slump?

STOP!

Breathe.

Ok...feeling better now? Not yet?

Let me set your mind at ease.

Chase Utley had a great first full season last year. He hit .291/.376/.540 with 28/93/105/16. He also struck out 109 times against 69 walks in 543 at bats. Just a repeat of these numbers would put him near if not at the top of the second baseman list this year.

Rotowire's projections for Chase Utley are even better: .299/.376/.536 with 31/93/103/16 with 106k/68bb in 576 at bats.

So why is Utley hitting so poorly? The answer is simple - he isn't.

Yes, I know he's put up .241/.311/.537 numbers with 4/6/5/0 numbers. Here's the key though - he's struck out 6 times against 5 walks in 54 at bats. Last year his bb/ab ratio was 12.7% while his k/ab ratio was 20.1%. So far this year those ratios are 9.3% and 11.1%. Yes his walks are down about 33% but his strikeouts are down almost 50%!!!

Last year Utley put 406 balls in play and had 130 hits on those balls in play (a .320 clip for BABIP). That's a bit above the league average of .300 but not unreasonably so. This year he has put 44 balls in play for only 9 hits in play (a .225 BABIP)! That's absolutely terrible luck. If we take his BABIP from last year of .320 over those 44 hits we could expect 14 hits in play which along with his 4 hr's to this point would give him 18 hits in his 54 at bats or a .333 average to go along with a .390 obp.

People watching Shelton and Pujols go off on their early season home run march might be disappointed in Utley's 'paltry' 4 hr's. But if you project those 4 hr's over just 543ab's (he'll likely get more than that this year) and the math is simple...he's on a 40 hr pace. Ditto for his doubles - he's on a 40 double pace as well.

Lastly people might point to the fact that Utley has yet to steal a base as a reason for concern. Give him some time. Most players run less in April and it's not like Chase has been on base all that much - only 9 hits that didn't leave the park along with 5 walks. Rotowire projects him to be on base about 240 times this year to get those 16 sb's so that means he averages a stolen base every 15 times on base. Looking at 14 times on base and expecting to see a stolen base already is simple impatience.

So to sum things up - there is NOTHING wrong with Chase Utley. He's still the player that he was last year. In fact he may even be a better player this year. He's even been on base 5 times in 14 plate appearances against left handers (.429 obp). ;-D This would be the perfect guy to try and buy low on but if you have him don't give him up unless you're getting full value. His average will rebound and all of his other numbers are right in line with what they should be right now.


great point but Utley's sophomore slump? I don't think hes a sophomore anymore.
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Postby nuggets » Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:48 pm

I think there is a point in a person's fantasy sport experience where they realize, if they drafted the way they wanted to, you should make very few roster changes during the first month or two. Doing anything but giving a player like Utley the same or better value than what you did preseason at this point is a good way to set yourself up for a bad move, provided they player doesn't incur some injury or you get word of some inside info.
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Postby The Loveable Losers » Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:52 pm

nuggets wrote:I think there is a point in a person's fantasy sport experience where they realize, if they drafted the way they wanted to, you should make very few roster changes during the first month or two. Doing anything but giving a player like Utley the same or better value than what you did preseason at this point is a good way to set yourself up for a bad move, provided they player doesn't incur some injury or you get word of some inside info.


Absolutely! ;-D
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Re: The Case for Chase

Postby LooseCannon » Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:11 pm

patty cheeks wrote:
The Loveable Losers wrote:So you drafted Chase Utley in the second round of your draft expecting the number 1 fantasy second baseman and instead got a guy that you could outproduce using Bill Mueller? Getting some trade offers that have you wondering if you should cut bait and run before getting stuck with Utley's sophomore slump?

STOP!

Breathe.

Ok...feeling better now? Not yet?

Let me set your mind at ease.

Chase Utley had a great first full season last year. He hit .291/.376/.540 with 28/93/105/16. He also struck out 109 times against 69 walks in 543 at bats. Just a repeat of these numbers would put him near if not at the top of the second baseman list this year.

Rotowire's projections for Chase Utley are even better: .299/.376/.536 with 31/93/103/16 with 106k/68bb in 576 at bats.

So why is Utley hitting so poorly? The answer is simple - he isn't.

Yes, I know he's put up .241/.311/.537 numbers with 4/6/5/0 numbers. Here's the key though - he's struck out 6 times against 5 walks in 54 at bats. Last year his bb/ab ratio was 12.7% while his k/ab ratio was 20.1%. So far this year those ratios are 9.3% and 11.1%. Yes his walks are down about 33% but his strikeouts are down almost 50%!!!

Last year Utley put 406 balls in play and had 130 hits on those balls in play (a .320 clip for BABIP). That's a bit above the league average of .300 but not unreasonably so. This year he has put 44 balls in play for only 9 hits in play (a .225 BABIP)! That's absolutely terrible luck. If we take his BABIP from last year of .320 over those 44 hits we could expect 14 hits in play which along with his 4 hr's to this point would give him 18 hits in his 54 at bats or a .333 average to go along with a .390 obp.

People watching Shelton and Pujols go off on their early season home run march might be disappointed in Utley's 'paltry' 4 hr's. But if you project those 4 hr's over just 543ab's (he'll likely get more than that this year) and the math is simple...he's on a 40 hr pace. Ditto for his doubles - he's on a 40 double pace as well.

Lastly people might point to the fact that Utley has yet to steal a base as a reason for concern. Give him some time. Most players run less in April and it's not like Chase has been on base all that much - only 9 hits that didn't leave the park along with 5 walks. Rotowire projects him to be on base about 240 times this year to get those 16 sb's so that means he averages a stolen base every 15 times on base. Looking at 14 times on base and expecting to see a stolen base already is simple impatience.

So to sum things up - there is NOTHING wrong with Chase Utley. He's still the player that he was last year. In fact he may even be a better player this year. He's even been on base 5 times in 14 plate appearances against left handers (.429 obp). ;-D This would be the perfect guy to try and buy low on but if you have him don't give him up unless you're getting full value. His average will rebound and all of his other numbers are right in line with what they should be right now.


great point but Utley's sophomore slump? I don't think hes a sophomore anymore.


I think he means, a second year of full playing time and following good stats..
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Postby The Loveable Losers » Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:16 pm

Exactly. This is his second full season...I don't think people considered him to be an established player at the beginning of the year last year...he was more of the Ryan Howard - you knew he was good but he was still unproven in a full season.

Oh, and I gave unqualified agreement to nuggets post earlier but there's one part I would slightly disagree with:
I think there is a point in a person's fantasy sport experience where they realize, if they drafted the way they wanted to, you should make very few roster changes during the first month or two


I agree that you shouldn't be panicking after a few weeks or even a month. On the other hand if you can deal a surplus closer to pick up a slumping Ichiro or Utley then you've got to jump at that chance. Take advantage of the owners that don't show patience and jump on the slumping guys with high upside (especially when the component numbers indicate their 'slumps' are nothing more than bad luck).
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Postby pokeyjoe » Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:21 pm

Just wanted to say that there have been some great posts in this thread so far. Keep it up.
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Postby nuggets » Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:23 pm

The Loveable Losers wrote:
I think there is a point in a person's fantasy sport experience where they realize, if they drafted the way they wanted to, you should make very few roster changes during the first month or two


I agree that you shouldn't be panicking after a few weeks or even a month. On the other hand if you can deal a surplus closer to pick up a slumping Ichiro or Utley then you've got to jump at that chance. Take advantage of the owners that don't show patience and jump on the slumping guys with high upside (especially when the component numbers indicate their 'slumps' are nothing more than bad luck).


Ahh yes, I made the assumption that one would not be able to take advantage of others insecurities due to an assumed manager quality, but those possibilities always exist and should be explored. ;-D
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Postby The Loveable Losers » Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:31 pm

Yeah, you just never know until you've tried. After I ran these numbers I took a closer look at 7 of my 8 teams (the ones that I don't already have Utley). The first thing I was surprised to find was that my second basemen were primarily either Polanco, Mueller or Ellis. :-t I must have ignored second base in all of my drafts this year (actually I went for Kinsler in several drafts !+) ).

The next thing I did was send trade offers...whatever offers I could justify as being at least close to fair...to every single Utley owner in my leagues. Did the same thing in reverse with Shelton...offered deals that help round out the team that I have him on. That's a really fun team to have so far this year - Shelton is my Util guy because Pujols is the first baseman. My team had 30 hr's as of yesterday with 19 of them coming from two players. :-D
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