Results tagged ‘ Gordon Beckham ’

2012 Fantasy Baseball Draft Breakdown, Rounds 19-28

 

BY ROB SHAW

Twitter: @RobShawSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Host Julie Alexandria is joined by Bloomberg Sports Analyst Rob Shaw to break down an expert’s fantasy baseball draft. The draft, which included fantasy experts from CBS, Yahoo!, and ESPN was a 28-round draft that consisted of additional positions such as Middle Infielder, Corner Infielder, and five outfielder positions.  Additionally, the league includes more advanced statistics such as OBP and slugging rather than the typical batting average.

 

Here’s a look at the first 18 picks by Shaw:

1) Jose Bautista, Blue Jays

2) Roy Halladay, Phillies

3) Cliff Lee, Phillies

4) Eric Hosmer, Royals

5) Stephen Strasburg, Nationals

6) Adam Jones, Orioles

7) Howie Kendrick, Angels

8) Drew Stubbs, Reds

9) Derek Jeter, Yankees

10) Josh Johnson, Marlins

11) Adam Dunn, White Sox

12) Danny Espinosa, Nationals

13) Nick Markakis, Orioles

14) Salvador Perez, Royals

15) Sergio Santos, Blue Jays

16) Joe Nathan, Rangers

17) Chris Iannetta, Angels

18) Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays

 

Let’s pick up in the 19th round, already with Sergio Santos and Joe Nathan taken within the past four rounds, I added yet another closer in new Mets hurler Frank Francisco.  It’s not that I see Francisco having much upside, but again the idea here is to merely win the saves category.  With three closers I am now in a decent position to do so since I am usually quick acting off the waiver wire in the regular season.

 

Next, in the 20th round, I drafted Bryce Harper.  Even though Harper will open the season in the minor Leagues, he is the exact type of high potential player to target in the later rounds of a fantasy baseball draft.

 

Additionally, in the late rounds you should target players with multiple position eligibility.  Again, the point of late round picks is that they are backups for your fantasy team.  A player like Ryan Raburn is an insurance policy at several positions.  Furthermore, he also has some real potential and if he can finally get off to a hot start, he can put together a great season with 25 home runs and a .280 average.

 

In the next round, I drafted Braves southpaw bullpen ace Jonny Venters.  Though he may not get many saves with Craig Kimbrel locked in at closer, Venters can certainly contribute in all other categories while picking up vulture wins.

 

In the 23rd round I added Andres Torres, who now plays with the Mets.  I was looking to simply add a versatile outfielder who can offer some steals, but the problem here is that Torres has not been healthy and his production has taken a major dive, particularly against southpaws.  He might end up getting dropped before the season even opens.

 

In round 24, I again made an investment in upside by drafting Mike Trout.  The Angels phenom was not ready for the Big Leagues last season, but 2012 may be the year his career takes off.  With Albert Pujols in the lineup there is a great opportunity for some serious run production.

 

Next, I brought in an extra arm for my starting rotation.  Edwin Jackson is durable and is a cinch for 10 wins every season.  I’m thinking that he may do a lot better than that this season.  Now a full-time National Leaguer in a pitcher-friendly stadium, Jackson has the ability to approach 200 strikeouts with respectable all-around numbers.

 

In the 26th round, I was pleased to see Gordon Beckham still available.  People have forgotten about his upside, but Beckham is a former top prospect with some power and speed who calls home to the middle infield in a hitter’s park.

 

Next, I picked up Blue Jays prospect Travis Snider.  The power is real, but the consistency is lacking, which explains why he will open the season in the Minor Leagues.  I’ll likely keep him stashed on my bench considering his upside.

 

Finally, in the last round of my fantasy draft I picked up A’s shortstop Cliff Pennington.  Even in the last round of the draft, this was not a wasted pick.  In fact, Pennington is one of the top shortstops in baseball when he escapes the Oakland Coliseum.  He is a player to consider platooning for his road games.

 

Here’s a look at my 2012 Experts League Fantasy Squad broken down by position:

 

C: Josh Thole, Mets

C: Chris Iannetta, Angels

1B: Eric Hosmer, Royals

2B: Howie Kendrick, Angels

SS: Derek Jeter, Yankees

3B: Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays

MI: Danny Espinosa, Nationals

CI: Adam Dunn, White Sox

OF: Adam Jones, Orioles

OF: Nick Markakis, Orioles

OF: Drew Stubbs, Reds

OF: Ryan Raburn, Tigers

OF: Jose Bautista, Blue Jays

UT: Gordon Beckham, White Sox

Bench: Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Cliff Pennington, Travis Snider, Andres Torres

DL: Salvador Perez, Royals

P: Roy Halladay, Phillies

P: Cliff Lee, Phillies

P: Stephen Strasburg, Nationals

P: Josh Johnson, Marlins

P: Edwin Jackson, Nationals

P: Jonny Venters, Braves

P: Joe Nathan, Rangers

P: Sergio Santos, Blue Jays

P: Frank Francisco, Mets

 

For more fantasy insight, visit BloombergSports.com

 

MLB Season in Review: Chicago White Sox Hitters

By Tommy Rancel //

Biggest Surprise: Alex Rios

Following last season’s mid-summer waiver claim by the White Sox, Rios hit just .199/.229/.301 for his new club for the rest of 2009. However, the 29-year-old rebounded to post numbers above his career average across the board in 2010. His .284/.334/.457 slash line slightly bests his career .281/.331/.446. More importantly from a fantasy perspective, he regained his great power/speed combo, smashing 21 home runs while stealing 34 bases. He also crossed the plate 89 times and added 88 RBI. With 2009 looking like the outlier, expect numbers close to career averages again in 2011.

Biggest Bust: Gordon Beckham

Beckham impressed in his first 400 major league plate appearances by hitting .270/.347/.460 as a rookie second baseman. In nearly 500 PA this year, he hit just .252/.317/.378. His home runs dropped from 14 to nine and his RBI from 63 down to 49 – despite playing in 28 more games. There’s nothing that screams fluke in either season, which leaves Beckham’s owners scratching their heads moving forward. If he’s valued as a .250 hitter with light power at the draft table next year, though, he’s well worth grabbing at that price.

2011 Keeper Alert: Dayan Viciedo

A Cuban defector, Viciedo showed some of the power the White Sox hoped to see when they signed him. After hitting 20 home runs in 86 games at the Triple-A level, the 21-year-old was promoted to the big leagues. There, he it .308/.321/.519 with five home runs in just 106 PA. His average is fueled by a rather unsustainable BABIP (batting average on balls in play) and his plate discipline leaves much to be desired (two walks and 25 strikeouts). But with plus power at the hot corner, the Chicago third baseman of the future is one to keep.

2011 Regression Alert: Paul Konerko

Konerko has been one of the most underrated hitters of the past few seasons, but pardon me for being a little wary of a 34-year-old posting a career-best .977 OPS. While playing in one of baseball’s home run havens, nearly 20% of Konerko’s flyballs hit went over the wall. In addition to a favorable home run rate, his BABIP .326 was well above his career .285 level. A free agent this off-season, Konerko’s next destination is unknown. But it is very unlikely his OPS approaches 1.000 again next year. Don’t overbid.

For more on Alex Rios and the Chicago White Sox lineup, check Bloomberg Sports’ Fantasy Kits.

Time to give Gordon Beckham and Ian Stewart another chance?

By Eriq Gardner //
Not all fantasy baseball championships are determined by one’s prowess to evaluate player talent and pick winners. Sometimes, competitors suffer bad luck injuries and must demonstrate resiliency and an ability to manage assets when times get tough.
This week, owners of Chase Utley and Dustin Pedroia were knocked hard when both superstars hit the injury shelf. It’s not the first time that high draft investments suffered this fate, but rarely do two top stars at a relatively thin position go down within days of each other.
Certainly, Utley/Pedroia owners will now be looking at the waiver wire to see who might be available. Some owners may contemplate making a trade to fill the gap.
One option might be to acquire Gordon Beckham or Ian Stewart. Both these players have been tremendous disappointments to their own owners this year. In some leagues, they’ve already been dropped and in other leagues, they might be available via trade for a lot less than draft day value.
But do they have any hope of rebound? 
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Gordon Beckham was fantastic in his rookie season. In just 378 at-bats, he hit .270 with 14 HR and 7 SB. This year, he’s hitting only .209 with just 2 HR and 4 SB.
Beckham is being less selective at the plate this season. His strikeout rate has risen from 17.2% to 20.1% and his walk rate has fallen from 9.5% to 7.1%. That’s largely due to the fact that he’s swinging at pitches outside the strike zone with greater frequency lately. Last year, he was swinging at 25% of pitches outside the zone. This year, it’s up to 31%.
Still, poor luck has also contributed to a miserable average. His line drive rate is roughly similar to last year, yet he’s hitting just .250 on balls hit into play. According to a calculation of Beckham’s xBABIP, it should be .303, offering hope we might see positive movement in Beckham’s batting average going forward.
Beckham’s lack of power is a likewise mix of lackluster skills as well as poor luck. On one hand, he’s hitting less flyballs and making more groundballs this season. On the other, his HR/FB rate stands at just 2.9%. The average player has a rate at about 10%. Beckham’s current HR/FB rate puts him in the category of powerless players like Alcides Escobar and Rajai Davis. With natural regression, we should also see better power numbers from Beckham going forward.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing in Beckham’s peripheral stats that indicate the type of 20/20 season that those who drafted him originally envisioned. But he’s shown the skills at the major league before and is young enough to make adjustments at the plate.
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Ian Stewart hit 25 HRs last year and contributed seven stolen bases. He only hit .228, but many hoped that the Rockies infielder’s free-swinging ways would abate with maturity.
So far, it hasn’t happened.
Stewart is striking out 31% of the time this year, which ranks him 9th worst among those who qualify for a batting title. Not that Stewart will be winning one anytime soon. 
This year, Stewart is hitting .248, which would represent a positive development for his fantasy value if he wasn’t aggravating owners by not living up to his power expectations. Stewart has just 9 HRs this season.
Unlike Beckham, poor luck doesn’t seem to be much of a factor in Stewart’s troubles. His BABIP is .316, so if regression is coming, his average might actually fall further. His HR/FB rate is 14.3%, off from his career rate of 16%, but still above league average.
Stewart, though, offers something that Beckham doesn’t — consistently good production in certain situations. As a left-handed batter, Stewart does well when facing right-handed pitching. Eight of his 9 HRs and all five of his steals this season have come against right-handers. If owners have enough roster room and can set their lineups daily, Stewart represents one part of a possible fantasy platoon.
It’s important to also note that both Beckham and Stewart have 3B eligibility on top of 2B eligibility. If either player does manage to turn around their season, this kind of positional flexibility could come in handy when Pedroia or Utley return from their injuries.
For more on options at the second-base position, check out Bloomberg Sports’ Fantasy Tools

Gordon Beckham Position Switch Adds Value to Second Base

By Tommy Rancel

It didn’t take long for Gordon Beckham to prove to the White Sox that he was ready for the major leagues in 2009. The eighth-overall pick in the 2008 draft (second Beckham overall, behind Tim) made his major league debut just 364 days after being drafted.

The University of Georgia product didn’t disappoint, as he hit .269/.347/.460 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with 14 home runs and 63 RBI in 103 games. He was named American League Rookie of the Year by The Sporting News and the Major League Baseball Players Association.


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Beckham, a shortstop in college, played third base exclusively at the major league level. If we stretched his 14 home runs and 63 RBI over a 162-game schedule, we get a projected total of 22 home runs and 99 RBI. Those numbers are not bad for a third baseman, but fall well below the top producers at the position like Evan Longoria and Alex Rodriguez.

With the acquisition of Mark Teahen this off-season, Beckham will try a new position in the majors; second base. If we take those same 22 home runs and 99 RBI, and apply them to second base, only Aaron Hill of the Blue Jays topped those numbers at the AL keystone position last season.

Looking back at some batted-ball data from 2009, we can get a feel for Beckham in 2010. Among numbers we like to look at as “fluke” stats, namely batting average on balls in play (BABIP) and home run-to-fly ball ratio (HR/FB), Beckham scores well. His .290 BABIP was slightly below average, and could jump over .300 with more line drives (16.6% line drives last year). This would bring his batting average closer to the .280 mark.

Beckham will play a full season at U.S. Cellular Field in 2010. The home of the White Sox had the fourth-highest home run rate in 2009. Because of this, it’s possible that Beckham’s HR/FB rate could move up, placing him among the league’s top power-hitting second basemen.

Another good sign from Beckham was his patience at the plate. He struck out 17.2% of the time last season, but he also walked nearly 9.5% of the time. For reference, Evan Longoria walked 9.1% of the time as a rookie, but struck out 27.2%. With a sharper batting eye, Beckham could increase his walk total, bump up his OBP, and create more run-scoring opportunities. 

Beckham’s average draft position (ADP) was 88.2 before Opening Day, which would rank sixth among AL second basemen behind Ian Kinsler, Brian Roberts, Dustin Pedroia, Ben Zobrist and Robinson Cano. He’ll need to meet your league’s in-season eligibility standards first – but that’s impressive company. Looking at Bloomberg Sports’ projections, Beckham’s .864 OPS in 2010 is projected as second-highest figure for AL second basemen.

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Because he played third base last season, Beckham will carry multiple position eligibility that Kinsler, Roberts, Pedroia, Cano, and Hill don’t have. Though your draft has ended and the season has begun, see if you can pry Beckham loose from a leaguemate with a well-timed trade offer. The move could prove a big help to your 2010 fantasy team.

For more on Gordon Beckham and other players switching positions in 2010, check out Bloomberg Sports’ fantasy kits.

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