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In need of explanations.

Postby Zito is God » Mon Mar 29, 2004 1:40 am

Ok, I have read and read all of these opinions on diffrent players and some are hyped and others aren't. I would like to discuss the players that (in my opinion) are VERY overated on this board.

1.Alfonzo Soriano: Ok, hes not with the yankees anymore, doesn't have great bats behind him to drive him in, will still strikeout like crazy. Also, hes the go-to guy now which will put a lot of pressure on him. I am not saying he sucks or anything but I hear many people rank him as the #3 best player in fantasy. I can name about 10 players of the top of my head that I would definetly take over Soriano.

2.Johan Santana: I have a HUGE problem with this guy. He is on a bad team with a bad offense. He has TONS of endurance problems. Hes not as proven (in my opinion) as everyone seems to think he is. Hes shaky ebfore the all-star break. I just can't see this guy bieng a Top 30 Starting pitcher like most people make him out to be. I would take people like Brandon Webb, Matt Morris, and even go as far as taking David Wells over him.

3. Eric Chavez: Ok, I like him as a player, he works hard, has a great glove, and I love his little kick when he takes swing. But the fact of the matter is that for fantasy hes just not good. He has no offense around him at all. He has no protection which means walks are easily given to him. Oakland in my opinion really just does not have an offense this season. He does not hit for a high average either. I would rather have a sleeper like Sean Bourroughs (anyone who ever seen me post about this guy knows that I predict a HUGE season for Sean, my biggest sleeper this season) and pick him up off of the FA and spend my draft pick on another position then draft Chavez.

4. Jason Schmidt: I avoid this guy AT ALL COSTS. Hes coming off of elbow surgery. Hes in a team where the offense keeps sinking every year. C'mon GM, Bonds can't do it all, he needs support, get another slugger in there for God sakes! Hes not an amazing strikeout pitcher (as far as i remmember, although I might be wrong in that category). I just don't believe in this guy. My prediction is he won't come CLOSE to the numbers he put up last year.

There ya go. I wanna hear your opinions on these comments.
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Postby Zito is God » Mon Mar 29, 2004 2:04 am

Don't tell me I typed all that up for nothing :-) , lets hear some opinions.
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Postby DominicanLou » Mon Mar 29, 2004 2:05 am

I agree with all of them. Soriano is a questionable for sure #3, but im not sure if there are 10 guys better than him, since he still has the potential to go 40/40, regardless of what lineup he is in. Texas is actually a better park to hit in, but that could be countered with the fact he is in a weaker lineup.
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Postby Lofunzo » Mon Mar 29, 2004 2:12 am

I disagree with most of your arguments. If you can think of 10 guys that you would take before Soriano, then please make room in your league for me next year. He is more valuable because he is a potential 40/40 guy at a very thin position. He is leaving a loaded Yankee lineup for a good lineup in a much better ballpark. He should also have a lot more RBI opportunities. Santana is a question mark but 1 worth taking, IMHO. His stuff is great. I'm not saying that I would take him in the first 6 or so rounds but, if you want Wells before him, please invite me into your league next year. I agree that Chavez will have some problems with the lack of protection in that lineup but saying that he's not good in fantasy baseball is just crazy. They weren't that great last year and he still did well. Finally, Schmidt is definitely a huge risk but I drafted him this year. The only reason that I did was because he was still there in the 10th round and it was a risk worth taking, IMHO.
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Postby fezzik » Mon Mar 29, 2004 2:18 am

hmm...let's see

Soriano: I think he'll have much LESS pressure this year. He's on a last place team and out of New York (the pressure center of baseball). He's moved to a hitter-friendly park, which should increase his HR output. He's batting 2nd or 3rd in the batting order, which should boost his RBI's. His runs and SB's may drop a little, but he'll make up for that in his increase in other categories.

Santana: The only question I see that you could have about this guy is his endurance to pitch 200 innings. First, I tend to look more at total pitches than IP. And with a whip around 1.00, 200 IP for him is more like 175 for a normal guy. He pitched better as a starter than a reliever last year. You say his first half was poor, yet he had a lower era before the break than after (3.00 vs. 3.13). And in both halves, batters hit just .216 off him. He K'd more than one batter per inning as both a starter and a reliever. His surrounding offense was equally poor last year as this year, and last year he was 11-1 as a starter (at least I think so).

Chavez: He started slow, but had an excellent 2nd half. That's a good sign. If he started strong and finished poorly, you might attribute it to getting fatigued. But finishing strong implies to me that he developed into a better hitter as the season progressed. As far as protection, he didn't have any last year either. He hit 4th behind Tejada, but had nobody backing him up in return. Durazo? Please...he still has little to no protection.

Schmidt: Ya, I'm worried about him too...but he didn't faulter all season last year and was remarkably consistant. He throws 97 and pitches in a pitchers park. He plays for a winner (hard to say, since I'm a Dodger fan). Because of his surgery and bad spring, I haven't been drafting him as high as other people. Schmidt is the only guy of this group that I am not 95% convinced will put up excellent numbers.

I guess that's what I think...
Last edited by fezzik on Mon Mar 29, 2004 2:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Elf » Mon Mar 29, 2004 2:19 am

1.) Which 10 players? I was proud to take him 3rd overall in one of my drafts. He's not with the Yankees, but Texas is a better hitters stadium anyway. Sure, Blalock, Tex, and Young aren't Jeter, Giambi, Sheff, etc, but they aren't chumps either. And he may strikeout like crazy, but in most leagues, strikeouts aren't counted. And anyway, Soriano provides help in 5-cats at one of the two thinnest positions in FBB. Seems like a top pick to me.

2.) I like Santana. He may not be as proven as he could be, but he did really well as a starter in the second half. His first half was shaky because he was stuck in the pen. He's not on a good team, which will hurt wins, but he gets K's. Webb or Morris may end up doing better, but all 3 are good picks. I wouldn't take D. Wells unless your league counts K/BB, and even then...

3.) Oakland's lack of offense is a concern, but I still think he'll get his numbers. Maybe not as high as last year, but it shouldn't be a huge drop. Heck, if he walks more, he may even break double digits in steals. Doubtful, but you never know. His average may not be high, but it won't hurt you. If you think Burroughs will have a big year, you can't go wrong with picking someone else instead of Chavez and relying on him later.

4.) I agree at avoiding Schmidt, at least early. His elbow problems will a concern all season, and will probably lower his stats from last year. His low ERA will help him get Wins on a lesser offensive team, but it won't be last years 2.34. He had over 200 strikeouts last year, though he probably won't get that this year. He averaged just over a strikeout per inning last year (and barely at that: 208 in 207.2). Still if he's available later in the draft, he could be tempting.
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Postby DEF » Mon Mar 29, 2004 2:25 am

I think you make some valid points, but go a little overboard in reaction to them. Here's my take on the guys you listed:

Soriano: You can name 10 players better than him? Maybe, though I think 10 is a stretch. But how many of those guys play 2B, the weakest fantasy position this season? Position scarcity plays a big role in ranking him so high. So does his rare combo of power and speed. Who else is a legitimate 40-40 condidate? Beltran maybe (though he hasn't even hit 30 yet). Vlad if he runs again (doubtful). Either of those guys qualify at middle infield? Soriano doesn't have the Yankee lineup around him any more, but he's got M. Young and Blalock to get on base in front of him and Teixeira behind him. That's not too shabby. I don't think it's even that far off from the pre-A-Rod, pre-Sheffield Yankee lineup he played in the last few years (Jeter's good but painfully overrated, plus he, Giambi and Bernie were either out or banged up much of last year). He's also in a MUCH better hitters' park for righties now (should increase his power numbers) and he'll be batting third instead of leadoff (boosting the RBI). I doubt the Rangers will give him the red light so the steals will still come. As for the pressure of being "the go-to guy", if he could handle the pressure of playing in NY, I doubt any added responsibilities in Texas will bother him.

Santana: "Bad team with a bad offense"? No, average team with an average offense in a BAD division where he'll see some truly bad offenses and his hitters will face some really bad pitchers. And "shaky before the all-star break"? Where are you getting that from? I just checked his numbers:

career - pre-break 10-5, 4.14 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 197 Ks in 200.1 IP; post-break 13-7, 3.80, 1.27, 201 Ks in 194 IP
2002 - pre 4-1, 2.45, 1.21, 51 Ks, 40.1 IP; post 4-5, 3.31, 1.24, 86 Ks, 68 IP
2003 - pre 4-2, 3.00, 1.13, 81 Ks, 72 IP; post 8-1, 3.13, 1.08, 88 Ks, 86.1 IP.

I guess I'm just missing the early-season shakiness. If anything, I'd be worried about his late-season effectiveness, as he'll be throwing more innings this year as a starter all season. You're right that he's not as proven as the true elite established aces, but at least in my drafts he's also lasted a lot longer than those guys. I grabbed him in the 9th and 10th of my drafts and love the idea of having him as a No. 2 or 3 starter in both of my leagues (I have your boy Webb in both leagues as well, and I'll be glad to call them 2 and 2a though Matt Morris and Randy Wolf might have something to say about that too). David Wells, however, is no where near the class of any of those guys this year IMO.

Chavez - I agree with the lack of protection. That's the main reason I wouldn't overpay for him in my drafts this year. I wouldn't take him in the first 3-4 rounds where he went in both my drafts, but I wouldn't ignore him if he slipped a few rounds lower. He's a guy I'd advise caution with, but wouldn't avoid. I also like Burroughs as a sleeper if you wait until very late to get your 3B. Chavez will still outproduce him by quite a bit IMO, but probably not the difference between a 3-4 round pick and a someone you got at 20+.

Schmidt - The elbow worries me as well, but again I would drop him in my rankings, but not "avoid at all costs". If he slips far enough, you have to take the gamble. I just wouldn't use a top 4 round pick on him and count on him being the ace to anchor my staff.

In short, I don't think our assessments of these guys aren't that far off, but our interpretations of how to utilize those ideas in forming a team vary greatly. AN interesting discussion to kill some time at the very least.
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Postby eli81k » Mon Mar 29, 2004 2:59 am

2.Johan Santana: I have a HUGE problem with this guy. He is on a bad team with a bad offense. He has TONS of endurance problems. Hes not as proven (in my opinion) as everyone seems to think he is. Hes shaky ebfore the all-star break. I just can't see this guy bieng a Top 30 Starting pitcher like most people make him out to be. I would take people like Brandon Webb, Matt Morris, and even go as far as taking David Wells over him.


1. Bad team with a bad offense?

First off, you're just wrong here. When did two time division champions become bad? The AL Central is the worst division in all of baseball, but the Twins aren't a bad team. They'd still be a winning franchise in another division (winning as in above .500 :-)).

As far as the bad offense, I don't think they're bad their either. They won't lead the majors in homeruns, but they were 5th last season in team batting average. They were also 10th in the majors in runs scored. Since when does being in the top third of the league in runs scored make your offense bad. I think you need to do a little more research before making claims like that.

Furthermore, you neglect the other half of the equation. The Twins are easily one of the best defensive teams in the majors. Hunter and Mientkiewicz are the best in the bigs defense wise at their respective positions. Jacque Jones was a center fielder coming up in the minors, and has fantastic range as well. With the exception of Shannon Stewart in left (perhaps worst arm on any OF in the majors) the Twins are above average at every position. That, and the Twins defense has gotten stronger with the addition of Joe Mauer. Some scouts say he's the best receiver behind the plate since Bob Boone, and he's thrown out over half of the people foolish enough to try and steal on him so far in his professional career (has been clocked at 91mph throwing off a mound).

2. He has TONS of endurance problems?

Says who, you? Why does he have endurance problems? He hasn't been a starter for a full season in the big leagues, this is true. Do we know how is he going to handle throwing 200 innings? Not yet. You could certainly question how well he will handle the second half of his first full season as a starter, but again like with your bad team and bad offense crack, there isn't any evidence that says Johan has endurance problems.

Johan was kept in the pen because the Twins are cheap. Pure and simple. He was the best pitcher on their roster heading into 2003. The frontn office saw what happened to Javier Vazquez in his arbitration case before the 2003 season. A low ERA and a lot of strike-outs don't get you as much money as wins do. Unfair, but that is how it works. What is the best way to keep Santana from notching a lot of wins in 2003? How about making a guy who next to Randy Johnson had the best K/9 out of any pitcher to throw at least 100 innings in 2002 pitch middle relief to start the year. Yeah, there's a logical move. But it worked, from the Twins' front office standpoint. Santana did end up losing his arbitration hearing this season.

3. He's not proven as everyone seems to think he is.

There is a reason Santana delievered in 2002 on the potential that made the Twins keep the former rule-five draft pick on their roster through his rough rookie season and average sophmore campaign. He developed his best pitch, a change-up he throws from two different grips for two different kinds of break, before the 2002 campaign.It not only sets up his low mid ninties fastball and hard slider, but has become his out pitch. His K/9 and the rest of the numbers since 2002 are a testament to it.

If you want to talk about proven, look at his 2003 stats as a starter:

11-1, 2.85 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 109 K, 27 BB in 18 GS

That's an 8.89 K/9 with over a 4/1 K/BB and on top of that, for every hit or walk given up, he rung someone else up. In fact, he gave up 110 hits & walks combined in 110.1 innings pitched, so that 1.00 WHIP rounds up from 0.996.

Again, go back to 2002 where of any pitcher to throw at least 100 innings, only Randy Johnson had a better K/9.

That, and this will be his fifth season in the majors coming up. You're going to fault a team for bringing a guy along slowly. I'd say there is much less potential for collapse here than with Webb, not that I think either will fail.

4. He's shaky before the all-star break?

You call a 2.80 ERA pre-all-star break over the last two seasons shaky? I'd love to see your definition of good. Anyone with an ERA over a buck-fifty isn't a top 30 fantasy pitcher? Want to talk about post-all-star break then? Santana was put into the rotation permanently last July 11th, when the Twins losing ground in the Central could no longer afford to keep him out. The last time he lost a decision was on July 23rd, finishing 8-0 from that point out until the end of the regular season.

You take David Wells over him. He won't beat Santana in any category in a 5x5 league.

Not top thirty? Are you kidding me? Johan is getting hype because he has pitched great for the last two seasons. You can't blame him if his organization didn't let him start in years past. I can tell you one thing, he's starting now.

Edit: I took so long in writing this some people already said what I had to say.

Edit #2: I was at the Metrodome last season when Santana beat Zito head to head in a 3-2 game.
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Postby Zito is God » Mon Mar 29, 2004 1:12 pm

First off, you're just wrong here. When did two time division champions become bad? The AL Central is the worst division in all of baseball, but the Twins aren't a bad team. They'd still be a winning franchise in another division (winning as in above .500 ).


Thats the point, they are in a bad division. Any other division they wouldn't come close to the division title in any year. Ok, so the offense of that division is weaker then the rest, what happens when he starts pitching vs the yankees and red sox?

Says who, you? Why does he have endurance problems? He hasn't been a starter for a full season in the big leagues, this is true. Do we know how is he going to handle throwing 200 innings? Not yet. You could certainly question how well he will handle the second half of his first full season as a starter, but again like with your bad team and bad offense crack, there isn't any evidence that says Johan has endurance problems.


I read scouting reports so I hear what the scouts see. He DEFINETLY has endurance problems.

Also, I would like to clarify what I meant by taking the 3 pitchers (Morris, Webb, Wells) instead of him. I would not take them the same round , but I would rather avouid Santana, take another position player, and then grab one of the 3 pitchers listed below in a later round.
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Postby AcidRock23 » Mon Mar 29, 2004 4:01 pm

1) I like Soriano at second as the hitting there is such a bump over the other guys. Plus he's young and the THEORY anyway is that he should continue to improve with experience. Obviously, learning how to spot stuff going for the outside corners would be the biggest thing but, as a gambling activity, I like my chances w/ him.

He did drop to the second round in our league though and I could not resist. I had him last year and ended up trading him for Wood and Giles after the break which also worked out well. I was not sure I wanted him and was thinking of punting 2B but, when I saw him in the second round (I was picking 7/10 snake draft...) I couldn't pass it up...

2) Santana I'm a bit dicier on due to the abysmal reports from spring training. At the same time though, that might not mean crap. I got him as well, although I can't recall what round but I think he was after Vazquez, Zambrano, Livan Hernandez (another gamble...) and was about the best still out when I got him. I don't like Wells as a sub but he might turn out ok. More age discrimination. Plus, w/ Santana, there's a couple of people in the league who are VERY hot for him so I think I may be able to dump him, if necessary, and get somebody like Brett Myers on waivers or something....

3) I like Chavez as a player too but the not hitting lefties at all hardly is too much work. Nomar did the same thing on the road last year, dropping .1 away from Fenway. I did try to shop for more balanced players than that. Chavez' really stunk it up at first though. I'd rather have a guy who drops after the break so you can reap their harvest and then trade them.

Re Chavez though, you'd think he'd benefit from having Zito pitch to him in practice or something, to get a better feel for hitting lefties!

4) I TOTALLY agree w/ Schmidt. I have a trashed ankle which, while not the identical to an elbow, is no fun at all and will crop up most of the time. I'd say he may end up sitting until August and then going back in for a tune up. I don't have any evidence though, just a 'feeling'. That's all it takes though!!
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