"Yo MDS, if you extrapolate my 15 HR in September, I'll hit 90 HR in 2011!"
The Top 100 overall fantasy baseballers have finally arrived, complete with old school notes. The ranks have been adjusted since I released my Top 300 for the Draft Guide. My ranks change on a daily basis, you'll just have to get used to it. They are Closer-free because I'm not chasing Saves before Round 10. Make the jump for the Top 100 Corporate Ladder.
Not sure if you're going to post on Hamilton's injury (or if top 100 updates are coming), but I figured I'd give my take on him, which I can summarize in 6 words: Not good, but could be worse.
We know it's a nondisplaced humerus fracture, and while it's never good to fracture your humerus, it's a good thing that it's nondisplaced (meaning the fractured ends of bone haven't shifted alignment, the bone is essentially cracked through but nothing has moved). If he had a displaced fracture, he'd need surgical fixation of the bone, which entails screws and plates and such, and he'd probably miss the season. Since it's nondisplaced, they'll put him in a sling and immoblize the arm to allow the fracture to heal, which typically takes 4-8 weeks depending on the size of the fracture and whether or not he's compliant with keeping it immobilized. The arm must be kept immobilized, this is key, if he gets antsy and takes his sling off too much or tries to use his arm before the fracture is healed, he risks slowing the healing process or even displacing the fracture. Believe me, I've seen it before with younger guys, the pain starts to lessen and they think it's ok to yank the arm all over the place, then boom, the bone snaps worse or doesn't heal. It happens, let's hope he's not stupid and listens to the medical staff.
The big unknown thing here is WHERE on the humerus the break is. The timetable Rotoworld is reporting is 6-8 weeks, which makes me think it's somewhere in the midshaft of the bone. If the fracture is up higher toward the shoulder, where tuberosities (boney bumps) come off the humerus, he could be in trouble. These tuberosities are where the infamous rotator cuff muscles attach, and it's quite common for someone to break the humerus and tear these muscles as a result. Haven't heard anything like that reported, so I'm cautiously optimistic this isn't the case with Hamilton. While it sounds like he'll probably avoid the latter scenario I presented, we're still talking around 2 months just for the bone to heal. He's lucky the x-rays originally didn't show the fracture, which means it's probably fairly small, but until it's healed, not only can't he catch (VERY lucky it's not his throwing arm) or swing the bat, he really can't move the arm much period. Patients often can develop stiffness and mild atrophy/strength loss in the shoulder and elbow as a result of the immobilization, so he'll need to rehab with stretching and strengthening exercises before he begins baseball activities. Then he'll likely need a rehab stint to ensure everything is in order.
Prediction: Hamilton returns in July around the All-Star break, perhaps a few weeks before if things go well. You knew what you were getting into when you drafted him in the 2nd round, if you own him you should stand pat and wait it out. If you don't own him, I'd send a few lowball offers out now for him, nothing too cute or extravagant until we hear more specifics about the injury, but he could be a 2nd half lottery ticket if the situation remains as it stands currently and now is the time to act as his owners will be panicked and vulnerable.
Casey McGehee is back! He's not better than ever, but he's back. Neftali, Pedro Alvarez and Elvis Andrus are out!
Just read an update on Braun, his quote is so awesome I had to post it:
"I could have played [Saturday] but there's no sense in it. Honestly, I feel better than I've ever felt in my life, so I don't really need at-bats right now. There's no doubt in my mind I'm better than I've ever been at baseball, so nothing positive comes from the rest of these Spring Training games. I don't need at-bats. I feel great. So there's no reason to take a chance right now."
That's right, Braun is better than he's ever been at baseball! Haha great quote!
I'm very sorry Neftali, I'm a mean guy. His career BABIP is .209, but that's as a closer, his BABIP as a starter is closer to .300. Granted that's as a minor leaguer, his skills have evolved certainly, but there's going to be a spike there. Perhaps .299 is a bit high, I can meet you half way on that and say .280.
2.54 BB/9, however, is just way too optimistic. His career BB/9 is 2.33, and that's as a closer. You used David Price as a comparison, a young fireballer with great stuff who can utilize a plus fastball to limit the walks and hits. Well Price had a BB/9 of 3.79 his first year starting, 3.41 last year, when he truly "broke out". Neftali's pitch arsenal may in fact exceed that of Price, but I don't see how you can project it to be THAT low, I mean last season King Felix was 2.52, Lincecum 3.22, Lester 3.59, Liriano 2.72, Sabathia 2.80, Verlander 2.85, Jimenez 3.79, Kershaw 3.59...predicting Neftali to meet or exceed the likes of these established fantasy "aces" in his first year starting is totally unrealistic and makes me think that perhaps your real name is not Andrew Holm but Andrew Feliz, Neftali's long lost dad. C
Come on now, do the right thing, pump up that BB/9.
Well a .299 BABIP is six point higher than the league average from 2010, so that was pretty sadistic of you to do that. I know his .209 career BABIP isn't going to show up if he's starting, but that was mean. You should apologize. If you want to use that BB/9 and BABIP, Feliz would post a 1.30 WHIP and 3.65 ERA. My 2.54 BB/9 and .270 BABIP may be aggressive, but it's hard to say. He has such a great Fastball that he can rely on it like David Price does his and continue to limit walks and Base Hits. Now another variable is involved (the Cutter). Feliz is a tough projection. I like my numbers and will stick with 'em.
You want some numbers crunching from me huh, well that's more your arena but I'll give it a go. His BB/9 were much higher in the minors as a starter (obviously) and much lower in the majors as a closer (obviously). With the human factors I already discussed (stamina, youth, better hitters, role change, etc.), I'd predict about a 3.65 BB/9, not terrible or anything but reflective of some control issues as he grows into his role. As far as BABIP, his skill set should keep it low, and it was microscopically low as a closer, but as a starter in the minors it was fairly average and again with the factors I've mentioned I think he'll be about average, we'll say 2.99 just to make it look sexy.
I saw he added a cutter, his arsenal is ridiculous, can't argue the guy's got elite stuff. I'm just a bit hesitant to take him as soon as you would.
FYI monitor the Ryan Braun injury closely, I've got the 6th pick in my favorite home league draft next week and I've been targeting Braun, but he's had the intercostal/oblique/back strain stuff before and I hate to see that creeping up yet again. I'm all aboard your projection on him, especially the SB's (he'll be over 20 if he's healthy), but I'm tempted to take Cargo instead, hate drafting guys who are injured before the season starts, especially stuff that can be nagging all year.
The rankings are for roto purposes, as all rankings are/should be. Feliz isn't just nasty, he's buck nasty. One of the best arms in baseball. It's easy to rank him highly. Give me a projected BB/9 and BABIP (I'd say mine, but I don't want to give you an easy out by simply inflating them). It ain't eazy being greazy. I'm assuming you've read about the cutter he's added to the arsenal.
There's no denying the guy is straight nasty, but that's a bit too bullish on Feliz I think. I think your IP and K projections are right on the money, the Rangers aren't shy about letting their pitchers throw some innings, so while he probably wouldn't get that many with another club he'll probably reach 170 if he stays healthy. The ERA and WHIP projection is a bit too optimistic. I know he started in the minors, but minor league hitters don't make the kind of adjustments major league league hitters will after multiple times through the lineup. Does he have the stamina to maintain his effectiveness both during a game and throughout the season in the Texas heat? Will he make the adjustments in game and start to start as hitters get more game film and exposure to his repetoire? Will his arm hold up well enough with his innings set to increase by 100 (if your projection holds) from last season? Is he confident enough in himself start, this is a very young man we're talking about here, he's already stated he'd rather close, will he be on board with the change or will a bad outing or two make him question his role? I think an ERA around 3.15 and a whip around 1.20 are more realistic and still every good.
I think he'll succeed, his stuff is just so filthy, but I think there will be growing pains along the way. I'd feel better taking him a bit later, as in around SP 30 range instead of 20-25. He loses value in H2H leagues also, because unless they space him out down the stretch he'll likely be shut down in time for playoffs. It's hard taking a guy among the top 20-25 SP who's best case scenario only has him throwing 170 innings.
And just to nitpick, you have Feliz ranked ahead of Gallardo and Morrow in your SP rankings (that's what I mean by too optimistic) but behind them in your top 100.
You should hop on Twitter, I was hesitant at first, but found it to be very useful and entertaining. News breaks there first and it's nice to have some interaction with everyone.
I was just asking about Greinke vs Liriano to see how people are feeling about the two. I don't want Liriano on my teams after I read about the shoulder tightness and MRI. I fear Greinke could have an Ellsbury-esque season and won't be invited inside my clubhouse this year either.
Utley is on his way down. I predict he'll drop below Uggla/Phillips in two days and then even further in a week. He's following the typical injury news pattern. Soreness, followed by a "not serious" diagnosis, followed by a different diagnosis, followed by a second and third opinion and then it's surgery time.
I don't have nor want Twitter, but I saw you post a question on the Twitter sidebar thing regarding the health of Utley and Greinke vs. Liriano, time to educate!
I said it before and I'll say it again: Do not draft Chase Utley. He should immediately be moved to 7th on your list behind Phillips, and that's being optimistic. Rotoworld is reporting he's getting additional opinions for his patellar tendinitis/chondromalacia. These by themselves are not overly serious injuries, but as I mentioned earlier, they are both indicative of compensatory injuries or overuse and could be signs that something more serious is going on. His diagnosis is also tricky to predict because there are so many things that could potentially cause it, and without knowing the exact cause it's difficult to treat. If it's simply a soft tissue inflammation, he needs to rest in order to allow it to settle down, then gradually ramp up activity and participate in specific strength and flexibility exercises to solve the problem, but even then it may not work and the timetable could be weeks. Worse yet, if he's torn the cartilage significantly or has developed bone spurs or other degenerative damage under the patella, he will require a scope surgery to clean that out, which would put him out of action anywhere from 1-3 months depending on the damage.
Best case scenario: he gets another injection, rests, gradually ramps up activity and is lucky to be back and playing in April. If I had to guess, I'd say they try more rest and rehab, he doesn't respond to treatment and ends up having an exploratory scope surgery, returning to action in June or July. Even if he miraculously responds to treatment now, this is something that could easily crop up all season long, and the Phils will protect him so you can forget about any significant SB contributions and likely more days off. He could be a 2nd half lottery ticket to trade FOR around the All-Star break, but I don't trust him enough to draft him, even at a reduced price.
Greinke vs. Liriano, both health and performance wise, the nod goes to Greinke. Greinke's injury was a fluke injury. It's in a tricky area, no doubt about it, but if allowed to heal it will be fine. He'll need to shake off the rust and limber up a bit once he returns, the muscles of the ribcage, back, abs/obliques, etc. that will stiffen up while he's healing can be problematic for a pitcher (ask Cliff Lee) but I would think that by late April he'll be pitching without much hinderence from the injury, these guys have the best doctors and therapists money can buy I'm sure they'll rehab him appropriately. Could he be rushed back and risk injury to said obliques? Could his mechanics be thrown off by the discomfort or lack of movement in his torso, causing undo stress to his arm? Yes and Yes. But again, if I know this, the medical staff there knows it to, I'm fairly confident he'll come back fine. I'm be more worried about his psyche than his physical health frankly.
Liriano I am a bit more worried about, which is terrible as a Twins fan. He has shoulder tendinitis because he was too damn lazy to complete his off season exercise regimen. If his shoulder is weak that means his elbow will compensate and be put under additional stress (or vice versa). "Shoulder tendinitis" is fairly vague, most likely it's rotator cuff tendinitis, which can usually be rehabbed conservatively, but it can also be indicative of structural damage if it doesn't respond to treatment. Liriano is off to a terrible start in spring training, and he's been known to have confidence issues throughout his career, and he certainly doesn't sound confident after today's beating from the O's, saying "I feel like I'm a little behind, I feel like I have to start all over again". That's just great. Liriano was a confident ass kicking machine last year after dominating in winter ball. This off season he sat around, didn't take care of himself, is battling a nagging injury and now is getting shelled. Yikes.
As a Twins fan I want to draft him because I'm rooting hard for him, but the realist in me is pessimistic that he'll be up to last year's standards. My hope is that the Twins trainers will put a stop to his shoulder woes quickly so he doesn't develop faulty mechanics and risk further injury and/or poor performance. He might be just fine and pitch like a fantasy ace. He might blow out his elbow again. He might blow out his shoulder. He might revert back to 2009 form. I don't know. Give me Greinke instead, he's safer and you'll get a small discount for a few missed starts in April.
Wow that was really really long sorry, perhaps I need my own blog haha
@donnypump You should do a piece for MDS.com every now and then. The Adam Wainwright call has me intrigued to see more of your thoughts. I also just graduated as an Athletic Trainer so, medical insight + fantasy baseball = WIN-WIN!
@NewBVick It's MDS's blog, I haven't seen any outside contributors besides the Starbonell Station and I'm not sure he's really looking for his own "injury expert" ala Stephania Bell to his Matthew Berry.
It's an interesting idea, I love fantasy sports and I'm a licensed and practicing physical therapist at the University of Rochester. The combination has allowed me to do pretty well as a fantasy owner. My statistical prowess pales in comparison to MDS, however, which why I frequent this site, he does all the work of projections and stats searching for us.
I frequent the blog enough that should an injury issue arise I'll probably comment on it.
I find myself drafting Kinsler fairly often in mocks this year, especially drafting in the middle spots of a snake he seems to land there in the 3rd round (I prefer to auction draft, but I make exceptions for baseball). I love him back in the leadoff spot and ENTERING the season healthy, which makes a huge difference. With the 2B depth as strong as it is, being able to draft a Hill or a Raburn, who could easily end up as top 10 options, in the late rounds of the draft means you can take a chance on a guy like Kinsler, at least IMO. There are few guys who can light up the fantasy scoreboard like a healthy Ian Kinsler. I should probably have my PT license revoked for endorsing him...
Yes, he is their everyday Left Fielder.
I don't believe in "slow starters" unless we're talking about Alexei Ramirez or a fat guy who needs to get greazy before the results start to show. Brennan Boesch = one good season (in AA). People need to get over him. It took Boesch three years to get out of single A ball, where he showed little power.
I am concerned about Rayburn's playing time, Boesch is still there, he plays terrible defense, typically starts the season off slow (opening the door for Boesch, who started off white hot last season) and VMart will be the primary DH so it's not like he'll fit there either. Has Leyland actually announced him as the everyday LF, or is it all speculation to this point?