Key Stats: It’s been many years since he was dubbed the Greek God of Walks, but Kevin Youkilis is still at it. His BB% was tied for 11th last season and for the third straight season he was over 13% in his walk rate. Four out of the last five seasons his OBP has been at .390 or better. Leagues that carry OBP should take special note of this because usually player ranking formulas are based on traditional 5x5 stats and not adjusted for a change in the categories a league might carry.
Skeptics Say: Youk has missed at least 15 games for six straight seasons. He hasn’t had 500 at-bats since 2008. It’s sort of a good thing that it hasn’t really been one injury that’s kept him out of action, but the fact is that he will be 33 this season. It’s going to be increasingly unlikely that he can stay on the field and even if he does, the best is probably behind him. no comments
Key Stats: Yovani Gallardo went from good to great last season. He always had the ability to strikeout one hitter per inning, but last season he demonstrated better control than ever before by posting a career best 2.6 BB/9. That was a full walk lower than the season before. As a result, Gallardo was able to throw more pitches, pitches under less stress (from the wind up as opposed to the stretch), and ultimately made 2 more starts and pitched 22.1 innings.
Skeptics Say: Prince Fielder and his five straight seasons of 30+ home runs are gone from Gallardo’s run support. That will make it hard for him to replicate the 17 wins he had last season. Also concerning were his numbers away from Miller Park. Gallardo’s ERA was more than a run worse on the road last year. no comments
Key Stats: Madison Bumgarner finished 2012 with a flourish. In the month of August he was the 36th best player in fantasy baseball and in September he was the 11th best player. Overall after the all-star break, Bumgarner had a 2.52 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 99 strikeouts in 100 innings. Sometimes splits are over emphasized, but for a player with Bumgarner’s experience (2011 was his first full season), I think the splits are signs of adjustments (for better or worse).
Skeptics Say: Bumgarner struck out 8.4 batters per 9 inning last season, but in 2010 there were people that were doubting his ability to strikeout hitters when his K/9 was below in the minors and at the MLB level. Perhaps throwing a harder slider last year (3 miles per hour harder according to Fangraphs) helped him overcome whatever issues he was having.
Doubt will linger in his ability to be a pitcher that gets wins. Despite his success and good health last season, he won only 13 of his 33 starts. The Giants offense gets Buster Posey back, but they are still a below average team offensively.no comments
His ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts to walks also sparkled in the minors all season. He is much hyped and there is good reason to believe that he can back it up as Rookie of the Year in 2012.
Skeptics Say: Stud rookie pitchers mean a ton to their franchise because they don't grow on trees and they have a say in the success of the organization does many years into the future. Expect Moore to be treated with kid gloves in terms of pitch counts and innings. Less innings per start means less strikeouts and of course a lower probability that he can get a win. There's still questions about if he can adjust to MLB hitters. Moore probably had the advantage the first time he faced guys, but next year the scales will start to tip. Facing the Yankees and Red Sox offense won't be easy - especially in his second and third starts against those teams.
Our 2012 keeper rankings focus on leagues that must gage the value of players for at least the next 3-5 years.
If you have one of the top short stop keepers, congratulations to you, you’re already ahead of the curve. While there are some intriguing young names, the shortstop keeper list is filled with players who could move up and down the rankings each year to a lack of projectable consistency.no comments