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The Braun Curse

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The Braun Curse

Postby freeling_prideful » Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:03 pm

Has anyone else noticed that rookies coming up this year have been met with disproportionate hype/high expectations? I think a big part of this shift has been caused by Ryan Braun's freak rookie season, but so far what we've seen is that--as we ought to have expected--rookies perform in accordance with their minor league resumes. For the year:

Johnny Cueto - a power pitcher with extreme flyball tendencies in Great American, who has been shelled with a ridiculous homer rate. I actually liked him to put up a 3.5 ERA/1.25 WHIP type season, in about 170 IP, and have been pretty far off thus far, though he is improving. Judgment: overhyped.

Evan Longoria - a 3B who had very little experience beyond AA, and actually had pretty big strikeout rates in the minors. Hyped as the "next Ryan Braun" thanks to playing the same position, he has actually come to closest to living up to the billing: .275-.348-.513 makes him a legitimate rookie of the year candidate. Peripherals do not look like they are due for a large correction, though his 16.8% HR/FB may be a tiny bit high, and I'd expect that to tail off to closer to 14% by season's end. Judgment: Meeting expectations.

Clayton Kershaw - OK, so we've all seen the Kershaw vs. Casey YouTube video. We know his curveball breaks like two feet. Unfortunately, we all knew about his ridiculous control problems as well (and in A/AA ball, not even against AAA hitters). But people were talking up this guy as a definite No. 1 waiver pick. Personally, I thought there wasn't a single player in the minors worth the No. 1 waiver this season, and Kershaw certainly proved me right in his case. Judgment: Overhyped.

Jay Bruce - Here's the toughest one to judge. His scorching first 2 weeks brought the hype levels even higher, but then his peripherals caught up to him. A 27% K rate and 46% GB rate will continue to limit him in the second half, especially his weakness for the breaking ball. I thought he would finish around .270-15-65 for the season, and he's pretty much on that pace. Judgment: Overhyped.
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Re: The Braun Curse

Postby MashinSpuds » Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:16 pm

Good points, but Braun was one of those miracle batters like Pujols who came up and just started hauling on pitchers. If the hype was due to what people thought the players would do this year then yeah, certainly more hype than they deserved (though the season isn't over, y'know). However, if the hype was based on what the players would do in their careers then I'd believe that all of them earned it and will do well in time. Any keeper leaguers out there were definitely thrilled to use their high waiver pick on these guys.
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Re: The Braun Curse

Postby J35J » Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:45 pm

I'm not sure its really the Braun Curse....this happens every year. People jumping on and off bandwagons at a blink of an eye is the norm around these parts. You usually just get used to it, at least I have.
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Re: The Braun Curse

Postby LostInTheSauce » Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:48 pm

You were right on pretty much all of em dude. You should like work for ESPN or something.
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Re: The Braun Curse

Postby Yoda » Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:08 pm

freeling_prideful wrote:Has anyone else noticed that rookies coming up this year have been met with disproportionate hype/high expectations? I think a big part of this shift has been caused by Ryan Braun's freak rookie season, but so far what we've seen is that--as we ought to have expected--rookies perform in accordance with their minor league resumes. For the year:

Johnny Cueto - a power pitcher with extreme flyball tendencies in Great American, who has been shelled with a ridiculous homer rate. I actually liked him to put up a 3.5 ERA/1.25 WHIP type season, in about 170 IP, and have been pretty far off thus far, though he is improving. Judgment: overhyped.

Evan Longoria - a 3B who had very little experience beyond AA, and actually had pretty big strikeout rates in the minors. Hyped as the "next Ryan Braun" thanks to playing the same position, he has actually come to closest to living up to the billing: .275-.348-.513 makes him a legitimate rookie of the year candidate. Peripherals do not look like they are due for a large correction, though his 16.8% HR/FB may be a tiny bit high, and I'd expect that to tail off to closer to 14% by season's end. Judgment: Meeting expectations.

Clayton Kershaw - OK, so we've all seen the Kershaw vs. Casey YouTube video. We know his curveball breaks like two feet. Unfortunately, we all knew about his ridiculous control problems as well (and in A/AA ball, not even against AAA hitters). But people were talking up this guy as a definite No. 1 waiver pick. Personally, I thought there wasn't a single player in the minors worth the No. 1 waiver this season, and Kershaw certainly proved me right in his case. Judgment: Overhyped.

Jay Bruce - Here's the toughest one to judge. His scorching first 2 weeks brought the hype levels even higher, but then his peripherals caught up to him. A 27% K rate and 46% GB rate will continue to limit him in the second half, especially his weakness for the breaking ball. I thought he would finish around .270-15-65 for the season, and he's pretty much on that pace. Judgment: Overhyped.


Most of these guys will be overhyped there is no question about it. Everyone is trying to get something for nothing but keeping your expectations realistic is the key with these prospects. Most of them take a long time to develop since they are so young/inexperienced (Kershaw was pitching in high school just two years ago for instance) and only a handful that actually exceeds expectation. The good thing is, most of the time when you acquire these guys you are not really giving up much (i.e. waiver priority and bench spot).
"Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that." ~George Carlin
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Re: The Braun Curse

Postby The Artful Dodger » Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:19 pm

I think it's a bit unfair to say Cueto, Kershaw, and Bruce are overhyped. Maybe in the sense of a redraft, but beyond that, they do carry substantial value for possible future returns. Of the three "overhyped" prospects, I like Cueto the best down the stretch. He's always been an extreme flyball pitcher but Cueto still possesses great movement on his diverse array of pitches; I think he could have a Hamels 2006 2nd half-like stretch.

As for "the Braun curse", a Ryan Braun breakout rookie campaign isn't extremely rare, but of course, it's the exception in most cases. A good deal of managers who missed out on Braun are probably more likely to scour for "the next big thing", which isn't uncommon, but there should always be tempered expectations too, especially on a pitcher that has had control run-ins (i.e. Kershaw) and a hitter who historically posts a relatively high K rate (i.e. Bruce).
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Re: The Braun Curse

Postby Inukchuk » Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:41 pm

The Artful Dodger wrote:As for "the Braun curse", a Ryan Braun breakout rookie campaign isn't extremely rare, but of course, it's the exception in most cases. A good deal of managers who missed out on Braun are probably more likely to scour for "the next big thing", which isn't uncommon.


Not to totally change the subject, but I can see similar things happening with Darren McFadden in football leagues this year due to Peterson's ridiculous season last year.

I think in both cases (especially auction leagues), astute owners can really bid these types of guys up because of the mindest referred to by Dodger.
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Re: The Braun Curse

Postby MotorCityKitties » Thu Jul 17, 2008 6:22 pm

J35J wrote:I'm not sure its really the Braun Curse....this happens every year. People jumping on and off bandwagons at a blink of an eye is the norm around these parts. You usually just get used to it, at least I have.


Yep. Heading into last season you'd think Alex Gordon was already a Hall of Famer. Some rookies live up to the hype and most don't right away.
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Re: The Braun Curse

Postby RyeWhiskey » Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:23 pm

What are our thoughts on Kershaw for the remainder of the season and into next? Is he worth a bench spot in a keeper league should one have enough pitching to compensate? In other words, is he worth holding onto and keeping into 2009?

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Re: The Braun Curse

Postby bigh0rt » Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:24 pm

AngryMonkey wrote:What are our thoughts on Kershaw for the remainder of the season and into next? Is he worth a bench spot in a keeper league should one have enough pitching to compensate?

- Monkey

It really depends how many players you get to keep. I think he could have a productive 2nd half, with bumps along the way, and anticipate being very high on him next season. If you have strong pitching already, I have no problem stashing him and spot starting him for the rest of this season if the roster spot could not be otherwise more appropriately used.
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