Tagged: projections.

Masahiro Tanaka 2014 Fantasy Profile

Masahiro Tanka has signed with the Yankees.  Now that we know where he will be doing his pitching, it is time to look at what we can expect from a fantasy perspective for 2014.  There are two major exercises I undertook to project Tanaka.  First was to take a look at Dan Haren‘s numbers as a 25, 26, and 27 year old.  The reason I pulled up Haren’s numbers is because his pitch arsenal most reflects Tanaka’s.

Dan Haren
Year Age W ERA IP SO WHIP
2006 25 14 4.12 223 176 1.206
2007 26 15 3.07 222.2 192 1.208
2008 27 16 3.33 216 206 1.13

The second undertaking was to analyze Tanaka’s stats from Japan.  In order to do this I pulled up Yu Darvish‘s last two years in Japan and compared them to his first two yeas with the Rangers.  I found that Darvish’s wins, innings pitched, and strike out numbers were fairly similar between leagues.  His average ERA was 2.09x higher than his average ERA in Japan, and his average WHIP was 1.27x higher than his average whip in Japan.

Darvish in Japan W ERA IP SO WHIP
10 & ’11 AVG 15 1.61 217 249 0.92
Darvish in MLB W ERA IP SO WHIP
12 & ’13 AVG 15 3.37 200 249 1.18
2.09x 1.28x

If we apply these adjustments to Tanaka’s stats over the last 3 years this is what his MLB projection would look like.

Tanaka in Japan W ERA IP SO WHIP
11 ’12 ’13 AVG 18 1.47 204 198 0.95
Tanaka MLB Projection W ERA IP SO WHIP
17 3.07 200 197 1.21

“Converting” his stats in Japan to the MLB ends up looking fairly similar to Haren’s numbers as a 25-27 year old.  This isn’t an exact science of course, but if Tanaka can get somewhere around these numbers, he should be valuable on any fantasy roster.

Adrian Gonzalez 2014 Fantasy Profile

Adrian Gonzalez is a safe bet come draft day.  He currently is flying a bit under the radar among first basemen, but not every fantasy pick needs to make the room go “ooooh”.  Take Gonzalez and pencil into your projected stats, 20 Home runs, 100 RBI, a .290 AVG, and hope for anything more as bonus.

Adrian Gonzalez Age Abs Runs Hits hrs rbi sb avg
2011 29 630 108 213 27 117 1 0.338
2012 30 629 75 188 18 108 2 0.299
2013 31 583 69 171 22 100 1 0.293

Well that was one of the easier player profiles so far.  More to come throughout the off season!

2014 Projection:

Player AB H AVG R HR RBI SB
Adrian Gonzalez 600 176 0.293 75 23 105 1

Freddie Freeman 2014 Fantasy Profile

Freddie Freeman has put his name into the conversation among fantasy studs.  We have seen a range from .259 to .319.  Freeman who enters his year 24 season, still can have some upside.  I don’t necessarily expect him to become a 30 home run guy, but I would venture to be optimistic when it comes to his batting average.  If we just split the different and call Freeman a .282 hitter like in 2011, I am comfortable with that. Give me my 23 Hrs, my 100 RBI, with a .282 average and I’m content.

Freeman Abs Runs Hits hrs rbi sb avg
2011 571 67 161 21 76 4 0.282
2012 540 91 140 23 94 2 0.259
2013 551 89 176 23 109 1 0.319

Freddie Freeman seems like a pretty safe bet to be among the top 1B producers.  He may not be one of the elite 1st round type producers, but perhaps that will make him a fantasy steal for some.

2014 projection for Freddie Freeman:

Player AB H AVG R HR RBI SB
Freddie Freeman 550 160 0.291 88 23 100 1

Troy Tulowitzki 2014 Fantasy Profile

I have been a big fan and frequent drafter of Troy Tulowitzki.  I have ridden his hot streaks right through fantasy playoffs and onto the championship.  But he is not without risk, and that risk is primarily is health.  It is hard to predict injuries, it is often a fluke injury sliding into home plate, or washing your RV.  Tulowitzki has shown however a tendency to get injured enough that it must be a factor in your decision making.  If an owner can get 500+ at bats out of Tulowitzki in 2014, that owner is looking at 30 home run, 100 runs batted in guy.

Tulo Abs Runs Hits hrs rbi sb avg obp
2011 537 81 162 30 105 9 0.302 0.372
2012 181 33 52 8 27 2 0.287 0.36
2013 446 72 139 25 82 1 0.312 0.391

So lets say that he is worth the draft spot, and we take him.  Lets say that he does get his 500 at bats, what are we worried about now?  Sure he enjoys hitting in Coors field but he is also under contract with the Rockies for some time.  Plus Tulowitzki is no slouch on the road.  11 of his 25 home runs last year came on the road, as well as his .281 batting average while on the road.

2013 Abs Runs Hits hrs rbi avg obp
Home 225 44 77 14 46 0.342 0.427
Away 221 28 62 11 36 0.281 0.352

And his career home and road splits:

career Abs Runs Hits hrs rbi avg obp
Home 1639 302 514 85 314 0.314 0.387
Away 1620 241 447 70 238 0.276 0.348

Tulowitzki is a risky top pick, but after the first handful or so picks, there are not many players without some sort of risk.  Considering the short stop eligibility, why not take the risk on a short stop who could come up big?

2014 Projection:

AB H AVG R HR RBI SB
Troy Tulowitzki 450 140 0.311 75 25 84 2

Hanley Ramirez 2014 Fantasy Profile

Hanley Ramirez appears to be happy in Los Angeles, and a happy Ramirez is a .300 hitter.  We don’t have statistics for happiness, but Ramirez seems to enjoy his new city, and seems to enjoy the star power around him.  No I am not talking about Hollywood, I am talking about Gonzalez, Kemp, Puig, and the like.  Ramirez produced enough in 2013 to be the first shortstop taken in most 2014 drafts.

Hanley Ramirez Abs Runs Hits hrs rbi sb cs avg obp
2013 304 62 105 20 57 10 2 0.345 0.402

The at bats were down in 2013 due to injuries.  If Ramirez can stay healthy in 2014 it would be fair to expect a healthy increase in runs and runs batted in.  The stolen bases I have no doubt are in decline, and a fantasy owner should not bank on his old 50 or even 30 stolen base days.  In many draft Ramirez may be a first rounder.  This is primarily due to his position being shortstop.  An owner is not maximizing their projected statistics by taking Ramirez in the first round compared to many of the other first rounders, who will hit with more power, or run with more speed.  But an owner will be drafting a shortstop who can produce significantly more than the second tier of shortstops available.

As I mentioned earlier I do believe Ramirez is a .300 hitter.  In 9 seasons Ramirez has had 3 season under .300, one of which was his rookie season (.292).  The other two season below .300 were 2011 and 2012, these were the seasons where Ramirez was not happy with his playing situation in Miami.  It is unsettling that a disgruntled Ramirez could mean a 60 point drop in batting average, but we have reason to believe that he is happy and ready to produce.

I would prefer to use my early picks on players that are going to boost my counting numbers, Ramirez can not do this to the degree other top notch players can.  But if your goal is to get strength at a weak position Ramirez may be a good choice.

My 2014 projection for Ramirez:

Hanley Ramirez 550 160 0.291 89 25 92 15

Jacoby Ellsbury 2014 Fantasy Profile

Jacoby Ellsbury got his big contract for the Yankees, and will require an equally high investment in fantasy draft rooms.  But what are you investing in exactly?  In 2013 Ellsbury put together a fine season:

Abs Runs Hits hrs rbi sb avg obp
577 92 172 9 53 52 0.298 0.355

The stolen bases really stand out in this stat line.  He will supply runs and a good batting average as well, but is he a first rounder?  I have found that you can typically find stolen bases later in the draft.  They may not come from as balanced of a player, but I’d prefer to pick up power in the early rounds.  You want to argue that Ellsbury can hit for power?  You think he will benefit from the jet stream going to right field at the new Yankee stadium?  Lets take a look.

In 2011 Ellsbury was fantasy gold, added power to his speed game.

Jacoby Ellsbury Abs Runs Hits hrs rbi sb avg obp
2011 660 119 212 32 105 39 0.321 0.376

I quite simply do not buy the power numbers, I think they were some sort of mirage.  His home run totals since have been, 4 and 9, and I do not think Yankee stadium will be a big help.  In that awesome 2011 season Ellsbury hit 4 home runs at Yankee stadium.

AB R H HR RBI SB BA OBP
2011 42 8 19 4 10 4 0.452 0.5

These are his career numbers at the new Yankee Stadium:

AB R H HR RBI SB BA OBP
Career 144 18 41 4 17 13 0.285 0.352

Notice the home run numbers are the same.  I will prefer to find my stolen bases elsewhere and wait on Ellsbury, unless he falls enough in draft, which I do not expect him too.

My 2014 Projection for Ellsbury:

AB H AVG R HR RBI SB
Jacoby Ellsbury 550 165 0.300 91 9 55 40

Carlos Gonzalez 2014 Fantasy Profile

After Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera the first round picks are open for debate.  One player I find interesting in this mix is Carlos Gonzalez.  Gonzalez had a strong year in 2013, and did so in only 391 at-bats.  He did however strike out over 25% of his at-bats, which is worrisome, but also much higher than his previous seasons.  It is as surprising as it is worrisome to note that he still hit over .300 while striking out at this rate.

Abs Runs Hits hrs rbi sb so avg obp
2013 391 72 118 26 70 21 118 0.302 0.367

The two previous years Gonzalez averaged 500 at bats.  Had Gonzalez remained at his 500 at-bat average his numbers would have been stronger, potentially as a top 5 fantasy hitter.  Gonzalez has experienced some injuries in his career that must be accounted for when deciding to take him in a draft.  The other aspect of Cargo’s game is to analyze is his home ballpark.  He enjoys hitting at Coors field for half his season, but is no slouch hitting on the road.

2013 ABS R H hr rbi sb avg obp
Home 198 40 54 12 42 14 0.273 0.354
Away 193 32 64 14 28 7 0.332 0.381

Cargo is also under contract with the Rockies until 2017, so the risk of his leaving the mile high stadium are minimal as well.

My 2014 projections for Gonzalez:

AB H AVG R HR RBI SB
Carlos Gonzalez 470 141 0.300 85 28 85 19