It is definately convenient that Young and Atkins are both 26 years old, allowing both bighOrt and me to play the “probability of improvement” card (which, contrary to popular belief, is not produced by Donruss). However, anyone who selects Chris Young over Atkins in the draft is, as bighOrt said, “banking” on improvement. At 26 years old, what kind of a statistical leap can the giant hurler realistically make? Mr. hOrt projects 158 k’s for Young, and I think that sounds pretty close to what I expect, so I won’t be contesting it. He didn’t mention WHIP a whole lot, but I imagine it’ll be similar to last year’s mark of 1.26. So, I am going to focus on wins and era.
Winning with Chris Young
As difficult as it is to project wins, I certainly don’t see why anyone would “bank” on improvement in that category for him. He won 12 games last year pitching for Texas while the previously mentioned Jake Peavy won just one more (13) while pitching for San Diego. I doubt that bighOrt is projecting a line for Young that resembles Peavy’s from last year (although it was hinted at). Yet, if Peavy (in all of his rotoglory) only managed 13 wins for the ‘Dads last year, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would “bank” on Young achieving such a feat.
Cashing in on an improved ERA?
Young’s home ERA (4.35 in 2005) will certainly benefit from moving from Texas to San Diego. But as bighOrt so graciously pointed out, Young’s era on the road last year was not particularly good (4.17). In fact it wasn’t all that much worse than his ERA at home. A major contributing factor is Young’s penchant for allowing flyballs, as Mookie so eloquently pointed out. I won’t belabor the ground ball to fly ball ratio, as I feel Mookie already pointed out the necessary numbers involved there. However, I will point out that Young has never been someone you’d count on for a low ERA as his career minor league average is a modest 3.42 and that’s including 42 games started in A-Ball. To expect improvement in Young’s era is fine. To expect it to be any less than 3.90 would probably be a mistake.
So, now that I’ve given some evidence that suggests Young isn’t going to give a fantasy team much help in wins, and supplied you all with a realistic ERA projection, I would like to return the focus to good ole’ Garrett.
Let us take a look at what bighOrt said to discourage a fantasy owner from drafting Atkins:
bigh0rt wrote:As for Garrett Atkins, one number and one number alone jumps out, and gives me the universal sign for 'stear clear!' unless he's your 2nd option; and that is his anemic .238 Road batting average of 2005. As with nearly every Colorado Rocky not named Todd Helton, Atkins is a produce of his environment, and nothing more. With that .238 average comes packaged a .301 OBP, .649 OPS, 4 HR, and 39 RBI, all in 4 more games than he played at Coors. Are these the types of numbers you want from your starting 3B for more than half a fantasy season? I didn't think so.
As he said, “one number alone” jumps out. bighOrt, and Mookie before him, are both very concerned about Atkins’ road batting average. My response? Who cares!?!?
If you are in a rotisserie league, then the only things that you need to be concerned about are the numbers at the end of the season. We still eat hotdogs when we go to the game, even though we might not like the way they are made.
H2H owners benefit even more because they have the option to platoon Atkins. Owners lucky enough to own Atkins in a H2H league can take the good without the bad by using any other mediocre fantasy 3B (like Lowell or Encarnacion) when Atkins is on the road. By doing this, they will get primo production out of that position in their fantasy lineup. However, with an ADP of 230 (according to ESPN.com), Garrett Atkins is typically available at the start of the 19th round of a 12-team draft… I would assume that most owners would have their starting 3B by then, and Atkins would not have to be your primary option.
bighOrt, I won't contest your claim that Atkins is a product of his environment (Coors). It is, undoubtedly, his environment that makes him a valuable fantasy asset. I am a bit confused though, as to why you would make that the focus of your criticism, as a new "environment" (Petco) also seems to be your main reason for liking Young so much.
Now, let us take a look at what bighOrt didn’t
He didn’t say that Atkins wouldn’t hit .300.
He didn’t say that Atkins wouldn’t hit 20 HR.
He didn’t say that Atkins wouldn’t hit 100 RBI this season.
And when you consider how little Atkins’ road numbers will actually impact your fantasy team, regardless of your league format -
He didn’t say much at all, did he?