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2009 was a break though season for the power hitting veteran Russell Branyan. About thirteen years ago Branyan made his debut as top prospect with the Cleveland Indians. He was hit or miss most of the time as a youngster, pun intended and because of constant low averages, never accumulated over 400 at bats in a single Major League season. Then, in 2009, things finally paned out. Branyan got a starting job with the Mariners, got at bats against left-handed pitching and finally topped 400 at bats. The result was his first 30-plus home runs season.
After rejecting the a one-year offer from the Mariners, Branyan is looking for work. Fantasy owners are looking for a reason to believe he can repeat his 2009 numbers. Can he?no comments
Things have been slow of late, but there are a few transactions that took place over the past week.
Rick Ankiel signs with Kansas City - Ankeil seemed like he would be a fixture in St. Louis' outfield after a .264, 25 home run season back in 2008. Unfortunately, 2009 wasn't so kind; Ankeil started slowly and then hit the DL after crashing into the outfield wall on May fourth. Certainly, a healthy Ankiel will hit for power, but his plate approach is hacktastick at best. He swings at a ton of bad pitches and has a career 27 percent whiff rate, not good. He'll need a lot of help in BABIP to ever hit for AVG, but he could provide deep value in AL-only leagues for power.
Today was a bitter sweet one for me. I have been a Jets fan all my life and I never want to see them lose. However, the fact that they got as far as they did was more than enough to keep me satisfied this season. As an homage to Rex Ryan and his band of smack talking hooligans (who play some seriously awesome defense, well, not today), tonight's post will draw inspiration from some key Jets players and their fantasy baseball counterparts.
Arrived into Houston after a travel day, so just a quick post.
Joel Pineiro's signing with the Angels lowers his fantasy value. Many of you may have figured he was in line for a big regression anyway. Not only does he now move to the more offensive American League, but he leaves Dave Duncan's tutorage behind. Now, Mike Butcher is no slouch as a pitching coach, but I think we can say with some certainty that Duncan has a way of working magic with "project" pitchers.
Last season Pineiro developed more sink on his fastball and two-seam fastball. According to pitch f/x at fangraphs.com, Pineiro used a version of his fastball over 66 percent of the time. The added sink led to a ground ball rate over 60 percent, well above the norm.
I'll finish with this: Which is more likely? Pineiro will continue to succede in the American League as he did his first good year since 2004 or that 2009 was his career year and the 31-year-old is in line for a big regression. Just look at his ground ball rates over the last eight years...I'll take the ladder and stay well away from Pineiro on draft day.