Tagged: Jimmy Rollins

Bloomberg Sports Fantasy Baseball 2012 Recap: Shortstops

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw and Analyst Alex Burwasser recap the top five shortstops this fantasy season as well as the top three busts.




5. Starlin Castro, SS, Cubs

After a fantastic sophomore campaign in the big leagues which saw him lead the league in hits (207) and make the All-Star team, Starlin Castro put together another solid year for the Cubs. He did not hit .300 this year but he hit a very respectable .283 while stealing a career-high 25 bases. A good sign going forward for him is his consistency against left and right-handed pitching, hitting over .280 against both this year. However, an area where Castro needs work is his plate discipline, where for the third straight year he drew less than 40 walks (36).

4. Jose Reyes, SS, Marlins

It would have been really difficult for Jose Reyes to duplicate his 2011 season when he won the NL batting title. A season that turned out to be his last with the Mets when he signed as a free agent with the new-look Marlins. A lot was expected of Reyes and the Miami team as a whole moving into a brand new ballpark and it seemed both were wilting under those expectations. Unlike the team, however, Reyes redeemed himself by hitting .312 after the All-Star break and ending the season with his standard double-digit triples (12) and 40 steals. In fact, he was hitting in the three hole for the Marlins by the end of the year, so if that continues in 2013, expect even more production for Reyes.

3. Ian Desmond, SS, Nationals

One of the best stories in baseball this year was the Washington Nationals, and one of the leading characters in that story was 26 year old shortstop Ian Desmond taking the next step and becoming an All-Star player. Not only did his batting average drastically improve from last year moving from .253 to .292 but he had an enormous spike in power hitting 25 home runs this year as compared to only 8 in 2011. Added with his speed, swiping over 20 bases for the second year in a row (21), Desmond looks like he is a player on the rise for the Nationals and possibly for your fantasy leaderboards next year.

2. Derek Jeter, SS, Yankees

Derek Jeter has been around the top of this list for basically the past fifteen years, so why would 2012 be any different? He had 216 hits this season, which was his most since 1999, as well as 47 extra base hits which was his most since 2007. He also hit over .300 (.316) for amazingly the twelfth time in his sure-to-be Hall of Fame career. The only question with Jeter is how long he can possibly keep this up, especially given his unfortunate ankle injury in the ALCS against Detroit, but it would be hard to start counting him out now.

1. Jimmy Rollins, SS, Phillies

Jimmy Rollins, much like Derek Jeter, has been at the top of this list for over a decade now, but Rollins went mostly under-the-radar this season because his team was such a huge disappointment. Obviously, Rollins was not the reason why, blasting his most home runs since his MVP season of 2007 (23) as well as knocking in a solid 68 RBI. A very underrated part of Rollins game has always been his speed, and that was certainly on display this year when he stole 30 bases for the second year in a row and added over a hundred runs scored (102). Rollins is only 33 years old, so there could be a few more years of these type of numbers coming from a premium fantasy position like shortstop.




3. Jhonny Peralta, SS, Tigers

A first time All-Star in 2011, Jhonny Peralta had his best season as a pro for Detroit hitting just under .300 (.299) while providing some serious power with 21 home runs and driving in 86 runs as his Tigers won the AL Central. Detroit again won the AL Central again in 2012 but Peralta was not nearly as big a factor seeing his batting average dip 60 points to .239 as well as his home runs (13) and RBI (63). Peralta needs to hit for power and drive in runs to provide any fantasy value whatsoever because he does not steal bases or hit for a high average.

2. Yunel Escobar, SS, Jays

In a somewhat surprising move given his potential, the Braves traded Yunel Escobar to the Jays after a disappointing start to the 2010 season. It was looking like a steal of a trade for Toronto after a 2011 season that saw him hit .290 with 11 home runs and 77 runs scored. However, he really declined this past season when his average dropped 37 points to .253, but what was most alarming were his walks almost being cut in half from 61 to 35 which left his on-base percentage at a measly .300. For a player expected to be at the top of the lineup for years to come, getting on base three out of ten times will just not cut it for the Jays and for your fantasy team.

1. Dee Gordon, SS, Dodgers

Every year fantasy owners seem to fall into the trap of falling in love with a player who comes up from the minors and excels at a particular statistical category whether it is home runs or strikeouts. In Dee Gordon’s case, it was stolen bases. After being called up in June 2011, he burst onto the scene by hitting .304 and stealing 24 bases in 56 games for the Dodgers. In 2012, he was the opening day starter at shortstop for the Dodgers but he never really got off the ground getting sent to the minors in early July after hitting only .228. He still has a ton of speed — he stole 32 bases — but he cannot provide any value if he cannot get on base in the future.


For more fantasy insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

Philadelphia Phillies Report with Jimmy Rollins and Dominic Brown

Follow us on Twitter: @BloombergSports @RobShawSports

Phillies Report:

Phillies Pitching

The Phillies are running away with the best record in baseball with a comfortable 8.5 game lead, and the lone reason for their success has been pitching.  This certainly isn’t a surprising story for a team that offered four aces to open the season with Chase Utley on the disabled list. 

However, things have not sailed as smoothly for the rotation as we originally expected.  For starters, Roy Oswalt is enduring a tough season, recently spending nearly two months on the disabled list.  His record stands at just 4-7 with a 3.84 ERA and horrendous 1.41 WHIP.  The team has also had Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, and Jose Contreras spend time on the disabled list.  To put that in perspective, those were the top three expected closers coming into the season. 

Considering the Phillies lack of offense and injury issues, this is by no means the team’s full potential.  The fact that they still have put together an 8.5 game lead in the division says that the post-season could be a walk in the park for the Phillies.

Jimmy Rollins

The 32-year-old veteran Jimmy Rollins is neither as good as he was in 2007, when he earned the MVP with a career-high 30 home runs, nor as bad as he was last season when he batted .243.  Rollins is somewhere in between with a .266 average, 71 runs, 13 home runs, and 26 steals. 

Rollins has managed to stay away from the injury-bug this season, and he is significantly better at reaching base with a .340 OBP.  In the field, Rollins is making a case for the Gold Glove award with just five errors, resulting in a stellar .989 fielding percentage. 

If the Phillies are able to win the World Series and Rollins performs at a high level, considering he will likely enter next season just 100 hits shy of 2000 hits for his career, the conversation can begin about whether the Phillies shortstop will one day find himself in the Hall of Fame. 

Dominic Brown (replaced by Hunter Pence)

It was certainly a difficult season for Phillies top prospect Dominic Brown.  First sidelined with a broken hand, Brown hit just .246 with five home runs and three steals before returning to the Minor Leagues after the Phillies acquired Hunter Pence. 

The good news for Brown is that the franchise has by no means lost hope in the 23-year-old phenom.  The Phillies went to great lengths to keep him on the roster after the trade deadline, likely passing on Carlos Beltran in order to do so. 

Some good news with Brown’s statistics is that even though he is struggling when it comes to his batting average, he is not getting outmatched at the plate.  This is suggested by his healthy ratio of 25 walks to 34 strikeouts, as well as his 16 extra base hits in 183 at bats.  Brown will certainly return to the Phillies in September, and when he does he will likely steal at bats from John Mayberry and Ben Francisco.   

Top 3 in the Rotation for Playoffs

The Phillies have a problem on their hands, but it isn’t a bad one.  The playoffs are quickly approaching for the first place franchise and the big question is who will start in a seven game series. 

The obvious answers are Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay.  The problem is that Cole Hamels is another fairly obvious starter.  That means the veteran Roy Oswalt will have to pitch from the ‘pen, if at all.  The same holds true for Kyle Kendrick and Vance Worley, two of the more impressive young pitchers in the league this season.

The Phillies do also have the option of going four-deep in the rotation for the post-season, but my guess is that with the season on the line they will want Halladay and Lee with the ball in their hands as much as possible. 

Again, this problem is far off and injuries can end up answering the question, but for now the Phillies have a delightful problem on their hands.

MLB Season in Review: Philadelphia Phillies Hitting

By Eno Sarris //

Biggest Surprise: Carlos Ruiz

After spending most of his career as a sub-.260 hitter, Carlos Ruiz finally had some luck on batted balls (.335 BABIP this year, .280 career) and put together a terrific and surprising .302/.400/.447 season that would have ranked him higher if he had managed more than 433 plate appearances. Shane Victorino‘s power surge (18 homers, .170 ISO in 2010, .150 career) also qualifies as a nice surprise, but it came from hitting more fly balls and negatively affected his batting average.

Biggest Bust: Jimmy Rollins

It may seem like nicks and cuts are keeping Jimmy Rollins out of the lineup more often these days, but 2010 was the first time he didn’t amass 625+ plate appearances since his rookie year. Given his injury-riddled year, it’s not surprising that Rollins had the fewest home runs and stolen bases of his career, as well as the lowest batting average. He’ll be a 32-year-old shortstop next year, and more years like this will come in the future, even if his BABIP (.246) and ISO (.131 in 2010, .163 career) rebound in the short term.

2011 Keeper Alert: Domonic Brown

This is a great team full of solid keepers, but most of the Phillies’ regulars are also over 30 years old. Fantasy owners looking to the future should consider Domonic Brown, who will most likely replace Jayson Werth when Werth leaves in free agency. Across Double- and Triple-A in 2010, Brown showed power (.262 ISO), speed (17 SB), and a great batting average (.327). His strikeout rate was a little high (21.5%), but he’s an elite prospect.

2011 Regression Alert: Jayson Werth

Werth has been great since joining the Phillies three years ago, averaging 29 home runs, 18 stolen bases, and a .279 batting average over that time. But he’s looking for a paycheck that will most probably take him away from the ever-more-expensive Phillies team. That would be too bad, because he has a .529 slugging percentage in Philadelphia (.481 career), and has benefited both from the hitter-friendly ballpark and a strong lineup conducive to counting stats. With the steals already declining, a few fewer home runs in his future, and a high strikeout rate (28.9% career) that will most likely produce a mediocre batting average, he will be a less exciting fantasy player next year.

For more on Jimmy Rollins and other Philadelphia Phillies, check out Bloomberg Sports’ Fantasy Tools.

(Video) Ballpark Figures: Man vs. Machine – Middle Infielders

By Bloomberg Sports //

Man vs. Machine: Episode 3 — In a special from Bloomberg Sports’ Ballpark Figures, Mets legend Keith Hernandez sits down with Bloomberg Television’s Michele Steele and Bloomberg Sports Analyst Rob Shaw, to discuss the Fantasy Bulls and Bears for the second half of the season. In the third episode, the focus is on middle infielders.

Today’s Position: Second Base and Shortstop


The Machine (Bloomberg Sports) says:

Blue Jays second baseman Aaron Hill is bound to bounce back after a brutal start to the 2010 season. Hill hit just .188/.271/.359 in his first 71 games, marks that are well below both his career averages and 2009 totals. Last season, the best starting second baseman north of the border (well, the only one actually) slugged .498 with a .285 batting average. Most important for fantasy owners were Hill’s 36 homers and 108 RBIs last season, numbers you just don’t normally see from a middle infielder.

So why has Hill struggled so mightily this year? It is due in large part to his BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play), which currently sits at .179, a number which is well below Hill’s career BABIP of .294 and is the lowest of any full-time position player in the majors. Once that number regresses closer to his true level (which is most likely a standard deviation or two plus/minus his career rate), Hill should see a dramatic improvement in his other stats that help fantasy teams win ball games, most notably Batting Average, RBI, and Runs.

2nd base1.JPG

Many of your friends (also known as “competition”) will be reevaluating their teams over the All-Star break and may just give up on Hill. This could be your chance to buy low and stick it to them.

The Man (Keith Hernandez) says:

“I like Freddy Sanchez of the Giants, a former batting champion for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was injured this year and missed a lot of playing time in the first half. He’s healthy now and he’s going to be playing every day, he’s a very good hitter. He’s a lock for the second half.”


The Machine (Bloomberg Sports) says:

Give Ty Wigginton some credit if he’s on your fantasy team; he certainly has deserved it with solid numbers for a second baseman. You get some credit for picking him for the first half as well. However, now that he’s on the All-Star team, other fantasy owners may be looking at him to provide some pop for their lineups. This is why it’s time to sell high on him.

Wigginton’s numbers aren’t mindboggling, but they certainly buck the trend of his recent history. Despite hitting just 11 homers in 122 games in 2009, he has gone deep 14 times already in just 83 games this year. In the same amount of time Wigginton has also produced four more RBI, despite the large differential in games played. Finally, he has already scored 32 runs this year, 73% of his 2009 total. With the Orioles struggling to score runs on most nights, he may not be rounding third base all that often in the second half.

It may be tough to give up Wigginton after his hot start to 2010. But trust the numbers and try to get the best package you can for him now, before this unlikely All-Star’s numbers begin to decline.

The Man (Keith Hernandez) says:

Kelly Johnson got off to a quick start two months into the season, but he’s tapered off since. Anybody I feel that plays for Bobby Cox and ends up getting traded you have to pay attention to. He has regressed each year. He has not had the career that I expected and I think he played over his head early on. It’s a tough year in Arizona and I see him faltering in the second half of the season.”


The Machine (Bloomberg Sports) says:

If you’re scratching your head over one player on your fantasy roster this season, it’s probably Braves shortstop (now Jays shortstop!) Yunel Escobar. Escobar has one of the most talented swings out of all major league shortstops, as the right-handed hitter smacked 14 home runs last year while hitting .299, his highest batting average since his .326 rookie season in 2007. However, this year has been much different for the usually consistent middle infielder. Escobar has yet to hit a home run for the entire season and his .237 batting average is absurdly low, leaving fantasy owners puzzled and upset. However, Escobar’s .269 BABIP may be a culprit, as it is way under his career rate of .316.


The hits will eventually come for Escobar, and right now your friends would probably beg you to take him off of their hands. Be a good friend and do them a favor by giving Yunel a shot. The change of scenery to Toronto, better second-half health, and some good, new-fashioned regression could work to your advantage.

The Man (Keith Hernandez) says:

“The calf injury hurt Jimmy Rollins twice this season. He should come back healthy for the remainder of the season. He is the catalyst of this team. When he came back the Phillies started to win. I think the second half is going to be all Jimmy Rollins.”


The Machine (Bloomberg Sports) says:

Last year, Rafael Furcal put together one of his worst seasons in the major leagues, hitting just .269/.335/.375 over 150 games. Despite his usually good speed, he swiped just 12 bases, his lowest ever over a full season in the big leagues. Well, Furcal has come back with a vengeance this year, hitting .333, tops in the National League. However, the biggest surprise may be Furcal’s pop; he’s slugging .514 in 2010, higher than any other full season in his big league career (which stretches back to 2000).

Right now, Furcal is playing like he’s 26 years old all over again. However, we know that he isn’t likely to keep up this pace, and he’s probably going to drop significantly from his current numbers. If you offer him in a deal, your friends may jump at the idea of getting an All-Star who has been playing so magnificently this season. With that said, keep in mind this is a shallow pool for shortstops this season. Even with some regression likely, don’t trade Furcal if you’re not getting a solid haul in return.

The Man (Keith Hernandez) says:

“The veteran Juan Uribe had a terrific RBI start in the first half. He got a lot of playing time because of Freddy Sanchez[‘s injury]. I think the playing time will start to diminish. Since he is an older player I think he will tire and not have the same type of half moving forward.”