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will the real hank blaylock please stand up?

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will the real hank blaylock please stand up?

Postby duckbillgates » Sat Jan 08, 2005 6:16 pm

OK, so i'm leaning toward keeping hank blaylock next year, as are a lot of people, i'm sure.
But i've been combing the stats, and i'm wondering what to expect.
For the second year in a row, he's gone way south after the all-star break.
He improved against lefties and took a dip against righties.
Most importanly for my purposes, his strikeouts went from 97 in 2003 to a whopping 149 in 2004. Our league counts batter strikeouts as a category, which puts a huge dent in blaylock's value.
i've always read of blalock as being a guy who will contend for batting titles. The scouting report on him last year was pretty much "if he figures out left-handing pitching, watch out!"
Well, he's come into his power more quickly than i was expecting, but the strikeouts and late-season struggles are troubling to me.
i realize he's just a pup and we don't have a lot of stats to go on, but does anyone care to offer their two cents?
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Postby cartman1_24 » Sat Jan 08, 2005 7:38 pm

Hank basically appears to get a little tired in the second half of the season. His overall batting eye is improving and I think you're seeing his K's bump up last year was a result of that. He's gaining more confidence and seeing balls better so he's cutting it loose more regularly. Everyone gets fooled sometimes. He'll soon find the median in his approach. From everything I've ever read when he was coming up he was a talented, disiplined kid. That being said his conditioning should improve as he puts in the time and works through the curve. All-in-all for a youngster he is unquestionably one of the best young 3B.
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Postby ramble2 » Sat Jan 08, 2005 8:05 pm

Good question. Let me preface this by saying that I really like Blalock. He's signed to be on my team through 2005, when he becomes a free agent in my league. But 3B is deep.

Consider the top 15 3B from last year in a traditional 5x5. Overall rankings in parentheses:

1 (6). Beltre
2 (12). Rodriguez
3 (20). Rolen
4 (24). Mora
5 (33). A. Ramirez
6 (35). Teixeira
7 (39). Cabrera
8 (51). Castilla
9 (55). Hank the Tank
10 (60). Guillen
11 (65). Huff
12 (86). Batista
13 (93). Lowell
14 (96). C. Blake
15 (116). Chavez

Wow. And to think last off-season some of us had to argue FOR the claim that 3B was really deep! Strictly based on end-of-year-value, the top 10 3B should have been taken by the end of the 5th round in a 12 team draft last year.

Teixeira, Cabrera and Guillen will no longer have 3B eligibility next year. Castilla is going to stink. Mora, well, I'm not fully confident about him yet, and realize he's pretty controversial around here. He's not going to be as bad as some think, nor is he going to be the 4th best 3B (or 24th best player) again next year. But he should be more than adequate.

The questions you have to ask is where you see Blalock in these rankings in 2005, and who you are likely to get as a replacement if you don't keep him. Here's how I roughly see things.

Beltre is going to come down. Rodriquez and Rolen maintain (though Rolen's HRs could drop a little). Mora drops off slightly. Ramirez, I don't know, but doubtful we'll see a lot better. Castilla - buh-bye! Chavez returns to form, could hit 40. Huff is strong. So you have the following clusters:

tier 1:
A Rod
Chavez (puts up 2004 Ramirez #s)

tier 1a (higher risk than tier 1, potentially as good or better):

tier 2 (riskier/less potential than 1a):
Huff (could be 1a)

tier 3:

tier 4:

do not draft:

So, back to the questions.

1. Where do you put Blalock? I put him in 1a. Beltre has shown how frustrating young players can be, but also how talented some of them are. I believe Blalock has the potential to put up the kind of numbers we saw from Beltre this year. Will he do it next year? I doubt it. But I want him on my team when it happens. The advantage he has over pre-2004 Beltre is that Blalock won't kill you while you wait.

2. Who are you likely to get at 3B if you don't get Blalock? Will you be able to re-draft him? It's unlikely you'll get A Rod, Chavez, Rolen or Beltre. Is there another 3B you'd rather have in a keeper than Blalock? Not me.
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Postby so0perspam » Sat Jan 08, 2005 8:07 pm

Very good analysis ramble, props. ;-D
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Postby trevisc » Sat Jan 08, 2005 9:13 pm

nice job Ramble although i'd probably put him in Tier 2 and i'd only put A-rod in Tier 1

Good job on the post though

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Postby Rico The Retard » Sat Jan 08, 2005 11:37 pm

nice job at breaking that down except i would take batista off the tier 4 and put him on do not draft since he will be playing in japan this season

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Postby nikku88 » Sun Jan 09, 2005 4:16 am

Rico The Retard wrote:nice job at breaking that down except i would take batista off the tier 4 and put him on do not draft since he will be playing in japan this season

Hey, if Japan counts, Bastista might actually have a good year. ;-)
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