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Upton and Youkilis: Here to stay

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Upton and Youkilis: Here to stay

Postby Cobaltred » Fri Jun 08, 2007 5:36 pm

I read the trade/draft forum a bit and almost everyone considers both of these guys Sell high guys. This reeks to me of following what a few fantasy "experts" say and ignoring empirical evidence and player history. A disclaimer: I'm a Red Sox fan and I drafted both of these guys as sleepers before the year.

Youkilis:
This is a weaker case than Upton because there's almost no way he's gonna hit .350 for a season, but people tend to forget the following: he was just a rookie last season (albeit an older one) and before the All-Star break he hit .297/.407/.467 with 10 HR's, 60 R's, and 43 RBI. He wore down the 2nd half of the season a bit, but most of the drop off was due to plantar fascitis. Look at the guy's minor league numbers! In 2005 when he bounced between Boston and AAA he had a .459 OBP and 1.051 OPS in AAA. The guy can flat out rake and now that he has adjusted to the majors, learned the AL pitchers, and stayed healthy he is showing it. I'd be surprised if he didn't hit 325 with 15-18 HR's and a ton of RBI and runs scored due to lineup slot. That's NOT a guy who you want to sell on.

Upton:
This one really drives me crazy. Karabell keeps insisting his BA is gonna drop. I'm not buying it. And we know speed never fails as long as its healthy and he has always had some serious pop for an infielder. His runs and RBI should be ok because the D-Rays are NOT a terrible offensive team and he will always hit somewhere from 1 to 4 in the order (he'd been 8th for much of the first half, hurting those numbers). Back to BA. Look at his game logs. It's not like the guy has had a lot of 5-5 nights against terrible pitching which are distorting his numbers. He's walking a lot, which means he is understanding how to work pitchers which is what was holding him back offensively before. Again, the game logs. Would it surprise you if I said the guy had just 4 0-fer's in 26 games in May? He reached base 2x or more in 12 of those 26, and 3x or more in 5! You have to ignore his previous major league stats; every other game he was out of the lineup or being moved to a new position. He had no consistency. Before this season TB told him he was going to play everyday and be their starting 2nd baseman. Look at his minor league numbers when he was playing SS every day as a 19 and 20 year old he was a star in AAA. Players like that usually are dominating the big leagues by the time they're 23 or 24, which is what Upton is doing. Some guys strike out a lot but can still hit for average: see Abreu, Bobby (not in 2007); Ortiz, David; and Soriano, Alfonso. Everywhere Upton went in the minors he struck out a ton. And everywhere he went he hit 300 or better. It's not a coincidence.

Get your heads out of Karabell's ass guys and realize that these 2 guys really are THAT good. And trade for them while other people are looking to "sell high".
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Re: Upton and Youkilis: Here to stay (AKA FU Karabell)

Postby AmericanShipbuilding » Fri Jun 08, 2007 6:20 pm

Ron Shandler pointed out some interesting statistical warning signs on Upton yesterday: His contact rate is 66% (down 10% from his career averages), and his BABIP is over .440 (as opposed to his historical level of .340). Those two things combined suggest a falloff is coming.

That's not to say it WILL happen, but to expect any player to sustain a .440 BABIP is highly unreasonable. (Still a fantastic player, of course.)
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Re: Upton and Youkilis: Here to stay (AKA FU Karabell)

Postby Cobaltred » Fri Jun 08, 2007 6:31 pm

AmericanShipbuilding wrote:Ron Shandler pointed out some interesting statistical warning signs on Upton yesterday: His contact rate is 66% (down 10% from his career averages), and his BABIP is over .440 (as opposed to his historical level of .340). Those two things combined suggest a falloff is coming.

That's not to say it WILL happen, but to expect any player to sustain a .440 BABIP is highly unreasonable. (Still a fantastic player, of course.)


Yeah I can't disagree with that, but if he hits 290 instead of .330 he's still a top 3 2B with 3B and OF eligibility to boot. Hardly a guy I'd consider a "sell high".
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Re: Upton and Youkilis: Here to stay (AKA FU Karabell)

Postby GiantsFan14 » Fri Jun 08, 2007 6:53 pm

a contact rate of 66% corresponds to a batting average in the .265 range, even with his plus speed i doubt his ability to hit .280 once his BABIP crashes down to earth

also his HR/FB is very high right now and thus he has 9 HRs despite hitting a pretty low amount of fly balls, i would expect this to drop as well unless his contact rate is just an indicator of him 'swinging for the fences' ...either way i would expect either a large drop in batting average or a drop in power and either of this will mean a drop in run production as well
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Re: Upton and Youkilis: Here to stay

Postby Noggy » Sat Jun 09, 2007 5:23 am

Cobaltred wrote:Some guys strike out a lot but can still hit for average: see Abreu, Bobby (not in 2007); Ortiz, David; and Soriano, Alfonso.



Those three guys strike out 22.3%, 21.5% and 21.4% of the time respectively over their careers. Upton has been striking out 34.2% of the time so far this year. Ortiz and Abreu average about 120 strikeouts per year, Soriano about 140..... Upton's on pace to strike out about 220 times this year if he gets 650 at bats.

This has already been mentioned, but his BABIP which was .451 heading into today (the next highest in .411 by Derrek Lee). Just make comparison, Jeter in 2006, Ichiro in 2004 and Jose Hernandez in 2002 are the only 3 guys have had a BABIP over .385 going back to 2002. Ichiro struck out 8.9% of the time and he hit .372 that year. Jeter 16.4% of the time and hit .344. Hernandez's .406 BABIP is the highest of the bunch and he only hit .288 that season because he struck out as much as Upton.

So at the end of the day, I'm thinking that a .285 batting average is the absolute best case scenario for Upton, but I'm expecting something in the low-mid .270s. Still great production out of 2B considering he has some pop and will steal bases but his trade value will never be higher.
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Re: Upton and Youkilis: Here to stay

Postby ilan27 » Sat Jun 09, 2007 8:12 am

...and what if you had traded Upton for Youkilis last week? I admit that I've been expecting a dropoff from Upton.
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Re: Upton and Youkilis: Here to stay

Postby dclark0699 » Sat Jun 09, 2007 11:19 pm

How long has BABIP been around? Prior to this year I knew nothing of it...and now everyone speaks of it like it is the all-decisive wonder stat.

I'd have to say that people who rake line drives are going to have a BABIP of like .380-.400. Instead of labeling this as preposterous and due for a collapse, maybe look at the quality of contact the player is making on their balls in play instead of whether or not they are hits.
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Re: Upton and Youkilis: Here to stay

Postby BJSFAN123 » Sat Jun 09, 2007 11:23 pm

Upton was a 2nd overall pick, the guy is suppose to be good :D
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Re: Upton and Youkilis: Here to stay

Postby KR » Sat Jun 09, 2007 11:54 pm

To the original poster in this thread--Find a casual fantasy owner that doesnt look at stats like BABIP etc and get yourself a stud for Upton.

He is very marketable, and you should get a great offer for him. Coming to sites like this give you a great edge in situations like this.

His average is going to come down ALOT--On a long enough time line ever the luckiest players in the league's highest BABIP is around 320 if there fast. With his low contact rate AND his CRAZY BABIP your looking at the best production you may ever get from upton right now.

You might want to parlay this knowledge into someone on the opposite spectrum. Right now you can probably get a Juan Pierre and another upgrade/player for Upton. Pierrie has always been a solid fantasy source with a great contact rate, and a high BABIP of around 310 if im correct because of his speed.----Right now Pierre contact rate is 91 percent, but BABIP is way low for his career. Not only is Pierre still doing decent right now in fantasy but we should see all of his numbers rise big time.
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Re: Upton and Youkilis: Here to stay

Postby A Fleshner Fantasy » Sun Jun 10, 2007 12:01 am

dclark0699 wrote:How long has BABIP been around? Prior to this year I knew nothing of it...and now everyone speaks of it like it is the all-decisive wonder stat.

I'd have to say that people who rake line drives are going to have a BABIP of like .380-.400. Instead of labeling this as preposterous and due for a collapse, maybe look at the quality of contact the player is making on their balls in play instead of whether or not they are hits.


This is true to an extent, and also ppl like Ichiro's will be higher due to speed leading to infield hits. A stat I like is LD/FB/GB ratio.
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