Tagged: Juan Pierre
New Faces, New Places Part 2: Chris Capuano, Ryan Ludwick, and Juan Pierre
BY ROB SHAW
Seven years ago Chris Capuano was one of the best starters in baseball, as he went 18-11 for the Milwaukee Brewers. The good times did not last long as Capuano was derailed by arm injuries that forced him to miss 2008-2009.
In his first full season back, Capuano pitched well for the Mets with 11 wins and a 4.55 ERA. However, a closer look at the statistics reveals that there could endure some trouble ahead. Capuano surrendered 1.31 HR/9, which would have been an issue had he stayed in New York with the fences getting drawn closer. His 5.42 ERA on the road is also an issue with Capuano moving away from Citi Field.
Fantasy managers can take some relief in the fact that Capuano’s move to Los Angeles means he’ll continue to pitch in a pitcher’s park. Furthermore, the Dodgers lineup should have more punch than the Mets lineup, which puts 12 wins within reach.
In 2008, Ryan Ludwick was one of the best players in baseball. He blasted 37 home runs, drove in 113 RBI, and hit .299 for the Cardinals. Ludwick failed to repeat the success and within two years he was dealt to the Padres.
In San Diego, Ludwick has regressed a great deal. His power and average took a severe decline and last season he was dealt to the Pirates. In particular, Ludwick has struggled against the fastball, and he is no longer hitting many line drives.
A move away from PETCO Park will give Ludwick every chance of regaining his confidence. At 33 years old, Ludwick is far from his prime, but 20-plus home runs with solid run production is a legitimate best-case scenario.
One of the most consistent hitters over the last decade has been Juan Pierre, most recently the leadoff man for the White Sox. In fact, Pierre ranks second on Major League Baseball for plate appearances since 2010. However, Pierre’s role will change dramatically now that he returns to the National League with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Now a 34-year-old speedster, Juan Pierre did score 80 runs with 27 steals and a .279 average last season. However, his success rate for stolen bases took a nose-dive from 79% to 61%. In an era in which every statistic is studied by the front office, it is clear that Pierre’s struggles to secure stolen bases actually may have cost his team runs last season.
The Phillies are not looking for Pierre to play an everyday role. The hope is that Dominic Brown regains his confidence and becomes a rising star next to Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence. Pierre will likely man a fourth outfielder role and offer some serious speed off the bench. His fantasy value takes a major hit this season.
For more fantasy baseball insight visit BloombergSports.com
The Top 10 Draft Board Risers
By R.J. Anderson //
With fantasy draft season in full bloom, have you wondered whose stocks are rising and whose are falling? Using the Bloomberg Sports Front Office Tool, those answers (and more) can be yours in a matter of seconds. Here are the top 10 moving up draft boards:
1. Juan Pierre
2. Colby Lewis
3. Matt Garza
4. Chris Carpenter
5. Tim Hudson
6. John Danks
7. Tsuyoshi Nishioka
8. Dan Haren
9. Adam Jones
10. Jeremy Hellickson
Nobody noticed, but Pierre set a career high in stolen bases last season at 68, impressive on 33-year-old wheels and a .341 on-base percentage. While he won’t give you much in the way of power, Pierre is generally okay for steals and a decent batting average. His playing time could be interfered with, depending on how manager Ozzie Guillen deals with Carlos Quentin in wake of the Adam Dunn addition and Paul Konerko re-signing.
Only two other position players make the list, in Nishioka (recently named as the Twins’ stating second baseman) and Jones, who seems to be a perpetual breakout candidate. Nishioka figures to bat in the two-hole for Minnesota, which could lead to a ton of runs scored with Joe Mauer and (possibly) Justin Morneau following him.
The rest of the list is pitchers. There are all kinds of red flags around Garza’s presence in the National League Central and Wrigley Field. If anything, Garza’s stock should be dipping, but alas, he looks like an overdraft at this point. Lewis, Hudson, and Danks are solid pitchers on playoff contenders, so wins should be plentiful, while Haren is stuck on a suddenly mediocre Angels team with questions about how his strike-heavy approach leads to a more homer-prone stat line. He’s a good pitcher, though, so it’ll be interesting to see whether his ERA regresses entirely to his peripherals, or only mostly.
Carpenter and Hellickson are odd risers, as both have suffered injuries during the exhibition season. The last Cardinals’ ace standing left a start with a hamstring injury, but should be fine for Opening Day. Hellickson is also dealing with a gimpy hammy, irritated during pitcher fielding drills. He should return to the mound within the next few days, but represents a bit of a question mark for his first two starts. You would think those two would slide down boards with concern, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
If nothing else, these are the players to analyze and reaffirm your beliefs about. Don’t buy into the hype without having a good reason for doing so -and as we all know, “everyone else is doing it” doesn’t cut it.
Scott Podsednik and Juan Pierre Are Black Sheep Sleepers
By R.J. Anderson
Scott Podsednik and Juan Pierre are eerily similar. The pair of early-30s outfielders share a division, an affinity for high socks and grit, past or present homes in Colorado and the south side of Chicago, and the ire of the sabermetrics community. They also own the same career OPS (.720). But it’s the two players’ ability to swipe bases which them interesting, if unheralded, options in most leagues.
Podsednik is coming off a year in which he hit seven homers in 537 at-bats. That qualifies as a power spurt; Podsednik had hit six homers in his previous 1,407 at-bats. He also hit over .300 for the first time since 2003, his breakout season with the Brewers. Don’t expect a repeat of that feat either.
He’s still a strong stolen base threat, though, especially if he sticks in the Royals’ everyday lineup. After swiping 30 bases last year, Manager Trey Hillman has Podsednik penciled in as the starting left fielder and plans to give him the green light to run often.
Podsednik’s B-rank of 321st is accompanied by a projected line of .277, three homers, and 20 stolen bases. An average draft position of 326 suggests the market for his services is just right. With Jose Guillen shunted to DH, Podsednik winning the confidence of his manager and his speed holding up, though, 500-plus at-bats and another season of 30-plus steals could happen – which would bump up Podsednik’s value substantially.
Meanwhile, Pierre will man left field on the south side of Chicago. B-Rank enjoys the faux Frenchman’s abilities far more than Podsednik’s, and ranks Pierre 208th with a projected line of .296, a single homer, and 32 steals. Considering Pierre is coming off a season in which he went on a hot streak in Manny Ramirez‘s absence, there’s a chance someone will overdraft him; in fact, his average draft position is at 196. That’s a slight overdraft, although acceptable if you draft power early and are looking for a late-round speed threat.
It’s important to note that these players are undervalued because their flaws are well-established in real world analysis. Both Podsednik and Pierre are woefully short on power, especially playing corner outfield spots, where teams typically target far more prolific offensive players. But in fantasy baseball, both could be good targets. In fact, if your fellow league members are sabermetrically savvy, Podsednik and Pierre could be terrific win-ugly value plays.