Fantasy 411 Q&A: Feb 2, 2009

Zach back with you,

Some game last night, but “best Super Bowl ever?”  Far from it.  I can think of four in the past nine years that were more captivating from start to finish: Giants-Pats, Eagles-Pats, Rams-Pats, and Rams-Titans.  This game was a total bore for 50 minutes.  Last 10 were outstanding, but that doesn’t make up for the other three and a half quarters.

Anyway, the end of the Super Bowl means we can focus all of our attention to the diamond.  A very interesting discussion surfaced over the weekend on this blog concerning Cory’s pick of Eddie Encarnacion in the 10th round of our mock draft, which led to a comparison between Encarnacion and Alex Gordon.  I’m making this the question of the day, inserting Cory’s breakdown below.



Q: Why would anyone take
Edwin Encarnacion over Alex Gordon? Just makes no sense. EE has proven nothing.  Alex has POTENTIAL!

A: Wow, the knives are out now! A few comments on my picks as mentioned above:

* I like Gordon’s future very much but to say it makes no sense to take Encarnacion over him, is just ignoring the facts:

1. EE’s fly-ball and HR/FB rates have increased for three-years running, showing increased power;
2. He’s entering his age-26 season in one of baseball’s most favorable
HR parks, making last year’s 26 HR’s look like a baseline for this year;
3. His BB/PA rate also improved last year along with the HR’s… he’s developing more of a take and rake approach;
4. His hit rate last year was flukishly low, such that his xBA was about 15 points higher than his actual;
5. Unlike Gordon, who is utterly useless against lefties right now, EE can actually hit RHP;
6. While EE had only one SB last year to Gordon’s nine, EE had 14
steals total the past two years and showed in the minors that he is
capable of more in a season.

To me, EE over Gordon is not only defensible, it’s a no-brainer.

One more thing re. EE vs. Gordon… projections don’t prove
anything, but I’ve been working on the composites tonight and 5 of the
7 I have so far have EE with better numbers than Gordon in ’09, with
one being a wash… so one out of the seven objective projections I
have projects Gordon as being the more valuable fantasy player in ’09.

On the average, EE outstrips Gordon in all categories but SB’s, which is a 12-4 edge for Gordon.

None of this proves anything, but it does show I’m not alone in my preference between them for ’09.


***Finally, a reminder that the fantasy preview is set to launch today, and the first 411 chat of ’09 is set for tomorrow (Feb 3) at 2 pm ET.  There will be a link on the homepage through which you can access the chat.


***UPDATE   Here’s the link to the fantasy preview.  Should keep everyone busy for the next week or two!


Hey Cory, I have a keeper question for a 6×6 roto league. I have D Wright already and I have to keep 3 of these 4? McCann, Beltran, BJ Upton and Markakis. Also I will be drafting in 2nd last in the first round of the draft. Thanks

Say hey Mays, I think Beltran and Upton are slam-dunk keepers, so it comes down to Markakis vs. McCann. Markakis is probably the more valuable player overall and is probably going to go before him in scratch drafts, but working in McCann’s favor is that he’s #1 or #1A at a weak position, and you already have two OF’s. So your options are keep Markakis and try to make McCann your first pick, or just keep McCann since you already have the OF depth. Roster balance vs. best available: I don’t think there’s a wrong answer here.


Thanks for the quick response, Cory . I have one more for you… I have to keep 2 of these 5 pitchers. Peavy, Harden, Big Erv., Nathan, Soria. I was thinking Nathan and Peavy! Thanks again.

Will there be a link in the Blogs to the fantasy preview when that is released?
TAmpa Pete

The fantasy preview has been released. You can find it on the fantasy homepage or with this link.

I will post the link to the fantasy preview right now at the end of this blog. There were some errors on that page earlier but I see it’s been fixed.

Mays-ways, I agree with Peavy and Nathan. Very tempting to hold onto both of those closers, but Peavy’s obviously a legit ace.


so cory are we still targeting Feb. 15th for your compiled projections??

Cory, Mike, or Zach,

Every year, the Fantasy 411 talks about players who are in a walk year. Is it possible to get a list of those players for 2009? Along with Cory’s combined projections, this also helps me in my draft prep.
Tampa Pete

Tampa Pete…we’ll work on it. Thanks for the suggestion.


Tampa Pete

Hope that is useful,

“I want you to be nice until it’s time to not be nice” -Dalton

Question for Cory. I have seen a very rosy projection for Mike Jacob on another site, namely a .285 BA. When I asked for some depth behind their reasoning, it was a three part answer. One, the mound in Florida is higher than other stadiums, leading to more strikeouts. Two, Jacobs road BA was .270 last year. And three he has had an xBA (sorry that probably gives the site away) higher than his BA. So moving out of Florida should mean lower strikeout totals for Jacobs (i.e. more balls in play), a better BA away from Florida in his history (skill he owns) and trend with xBA that usually means a re-version to the mean. All this leads too a much higher BA. Two questions. One, have you heard the theory about the mound in Florida leading to higher strikeout totals? And two, what do you think about the reasoning on Jacobs BA projection for this year. Thanks. Jeff in Minny

I have always been a fan of Jacobs but his AVG always scared me, so after reading Jeff’s post I had to do some digging. This is what I cam up w/ as far as K rates go…

2006 – Away 19% K Rate / .256 AVG
Home 22% K Rate / .247 AVG

2007 – Away 23.6% K Rate / .276 AVG
Home 20.1% K Rate / .256 AVG

2008 – Away 19.2% K Rate / .258 AVG
Home 26.9% K Rate / .238 AVG

I don’t know if the mound down in Miami is consistent throughout the years or if this was something that was done just last year, but in 2007 his K rate was better at home than on the road, but still had the lower average. It was pretty extreme in 2008. Also from what I can find Jacobs has not had an official AB in Kaufman Stadium so there is no way to look at that angle…

Guys (Cory,if possible)

I decided to step up my level of competetion this season. I joined a 12 Team NL only Keeper League,auction format with 23 man auction and a non snake 17 rd reserve draft. I am the new guy in an established league. Normally the keepers are( 5min/10max). As the new guy,I have the option of starting fresh at the auction with $260(Which i plan to do!). What are some tips you can give me for this type of league. Yes,i have done the #s. I imagine getting Johnathan Mayo to come with me to my draft is not an option

Scott G

Thanks for the Free Agent LINK!!

Ah yes, the Preview has arrived! Thank you baseball gods!!!

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