Fantasy Sports w/Tristan Cockcroft
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:01 AM)
Good morning everyone! Let's get right to your questions...
Most of the guys in my 12-team H2H mixed keeper league kept their SS...except me. Any good sleeper/rookie picks to target outside of the top 8-10?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:04 AM)
Probably a good idea to buy in on the Elvis Andrus hype machine if it's a keeper league, because he's looking fairly likely to break camp with the team, and at the very least he can be a decent steals option. Plus, that ballpark might help ease the transition to the big leagues. I'd also list Jed Lowrie and Yunel Escobar as decent lower-level sleepers.
Chris Davis or Derek Lee-who has a better year this year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:04 AM)
Chris Davis. Join me on the bandwagon!
Everyone's man-lust for last year's poster boy Corey Hart seems to have waned. Would you take him before Granderson or Pence?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:04 AM)
Over Hunter Pence, sure, but I'd say what Hart was last season is probably about right for his expectations in 2009.
Hey Tristan, What ever happened to Dustin McGowan? He was hyped last year but utterly disappeared after his injury. Could he be a possible sleeper in the closing rounds?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:07 AM)
He had surgery for a frayed labrum last July, and any sort of major shoulder operation makes him a high-risk proposition. Frankly, I haven't heard a peep about him yet this spring, and I can't regard that as a good thing since we're a good week into things already. I wouldn't forget McGowan, because he's talented and with a decent rehab, maybe he'll be a second-half sleeper. But I wouldn't spend any noticeable resource to get him right now, I can say that.
Spalding (Nantucket, Ma.)
Seeing Quentin ranked from 3rd to 23rd in AL only league rankings, would you rather have him or Markakis on your team. Keeping B.J. and Kinsler so more steals are not a factor. 5x5 8 team.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:09 AM)
There's a statistic about Carlos Quentin that everyone needs to know: 20.7 percent of all of his fly balls hit went for home runs, which is an absurdly high rate. League average is usually around 10 percent, and I'd say in a ballpark like that, the number probably should have been more like 12-13. In other words, I'd be careful with Quentin. Nick Markakis probably has comparable power to Quentin, and I think he's a better pure hitter. Not even a contest to me.
Was Ludwick a one-year fluke or is he a superstar?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
Neither one. He's something in between. I've got him projected at a .280 batting average and somewhere between 25-30 home runs, so I'd say he's fairly legit. That's not a fantasy stud, mind you.
Which Mets' starter do you want filling out your fantasy staff - Perez, Maine or Pelfrey?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:12 AM)
I'm actually somewhat wary of all three Mets, at least until we see for ourselves that John Maine is completely healthy. He'd be my pick if he was, but I'm not sure he is. So for today, it's Mike Pelfrey, but in no way is that a big endorsement of him. I don't think I'd want any of these three in my starting lineup all 26 weeks of the season!
With Peavy staying in the friendly confines of Petco, do you have any worries about him being a fantasy ace this year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:14 AM)
Not really. My worries with Jake Peavy for 2009, in order, are that he pitches for a horrendous team that might not win him that many games, and that he's a slight injury risk due to his delivery. But neither bumps him outside my top 10 starting pitchers. I won't put him in Johan Santana territory, but he's not far off.
jason (san jose)
Who you drafting in a long term keeper league between Alexi Ramierez and Justin Upton?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:14 AM)
Upton, and that's more because he's so young and so good for his age right now that his growth curve could range so high by comparison. Ramirez is already in his prime years, so I think he's about as good as he's going to get.
THC please rate this trade, I get Braun and ubaldo and give verlander and volquez
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:15 AM)
That's a steal.
Chris (Saratoga, NY)
What's your take on Elvis Andrus? Can I use him as a MI this year or should I look elsewhere?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:16 AM)
I talked a little about Andrus earlier in the chat, but to get specific about his 2009 prospects, I don't think he's going to hit all that much higher than, say, .260, but if he does that and plays every day there's no reason he can't steal 40 bases. You'll buy him for the steals and his position, but I wouldn't expect more than that. Keeper league owners can boost his status a few rounds higher, too, as noted earlier.
Jack (Boston, MA)
Give it to us straight Tristan...how much of a dip in Matt Holliday's numbers are we going to see in Oaktown?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:17 AM)
Five- to 10-percent drop-off and absolutely nothing more. I don't want to play spoiler for my upcoming "30 Questions" piece on the topic, but suffice to say I am probably the most pro-Holliday of the ESPN group, and you'll see why soon enough!
Tristan, who has a better year Billingsly, Lester or Lackey?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:19 AM)
I like all three of those pitchers as keepers/top-25 types, but I see the most breakout potential in Chad Billingsley. I think Jon Lester might be due for a slight step backwards -- stress slight -- and John Lackey is pretty much comparable in numbers to Billingsley right now anyway, but without as much upside.
James (Oakland, CA)
How will Napoli's AB's be affected by the addition of Abreu and the crowded OF/DH? How many AB's will he get?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
I think anyone expecting Mike Napoli to be the everyday DH -- even before the Bobby Abreu addition -- was being foolish. I see Napoli being half-catcher, half-DH, and if he's more than that on either side, it's as a catcher because Jeff Mathis is apparently a total liability with the bat. I'd be projecting around 350 at-bats for Napoli, no more than that, but that's still plenty to get him into the top 10 at his position. His power is very real.
Is Pablo Sandoval this year's Ryan Doumit? Worth a round 12-15 pick?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:22 AM)
Interesting comparison, Dave, though I don't know that it's quite apt enough that I'd have used it. In terms of pure fantasy value I could see the case being made, but I always thought of Doumit with more offensive potential than what Sandoval has coming into 2009, but Doumit was also the one with greater health risk. It's the difference between safety/risk-reward, really.
Chris Davis (Texas)
Hey Tristan, you do realize my HR/flyball rate was 20.5%, yet you are on my bandwagon, not Quentin's?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:26 AM)
That is an excellent point, whoever you are, because I don't buy for a second that the real Chris Davis would knock himself like that. But the difference between the two is that Davis has clobbered home runs consistently absolutely everywhere he has played as a professional, and having watched him play, I have to pick and choose "my guys" here and there, and he's one of them. To repeat what I keep saying, I see near-Ryan Howard level power in Davis. With Quentin, he really wasn't anything close to the home-run hitter he showed with the White Sox in past points in his career. I don't think it's fair to treat them equally in the category, though this stat does demonstrate the other thing that I've been saying, that Davis could be a disappointment. I just am a believer, that's all. Better to believe in someone than to toe the middle ground.
Carlos Zambrano (Chicago)
Please predict my downfall again...it wouldn't be the same if you didn't do it for the 6th straight year.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:26 AM)
OK, you got it Carlos!
In what round would you draft Matt Wieters in a keeper league?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:27 AM)
Probably much earlier than in a yearly format. I just had a draft yesterday where I think he was maybe an 18th-round pick? I think he goes in about the 10th in a keeper league, because we're going to see him in Baltimore at some point this year, and I think he has the potential to rise to No. 1 in his position for fantasy very, very quickly. Perhaps as soon as 2010. His upside is that legit.
If Miggy is 3b eligible does he move ahead of Braun & Sizemore?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:28 AM)
Yes. I also couldn't knock anyone who drafted Miguel Cabrera before either of those two outfielders anyway. I just won't do it personally because first base is incredibly deep.
Mike (Oakland, OR)
"The Kid" is it a good sign, bad sign or a marketing sign for my beloved Mariners?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:29 AM)
Marketing sign, but looking at the Mariners' 2009 chances, I think it's an entirely understandable and appropriate addition. Griffey brings a little more fun, a little more nostalgia, to a difficult situation. For fantasy, as I said the other day, I don't see tons I like in the guy.
Adam Miller (Cleveland)
Do I actually pitch in the big leagues this year or am I bound for the shelf again?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:30 AM)
I'm terrified of Miller as a fantasy prospect because of his health history and the likelihood that relief pitching is his career role. It's just a terrible mix for a guy without any big-league experience. He's not going to close this year, barring some sort of miracle season in which he's in the role in September, and I'd probably try to shop him if I could for anything worthwhile.
Who's your tenth ranked SS? It looks like there's a pretty big dropoff after Peralta.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
I don't even have Jhonny Peralta in my top 10 shortstops, but you are absolutely correct that there are nine of them, and then there's a noticeable drop-off. Ryan Theriot is actually the guy I have at No. 10. I also have Peralta and Orlando Cabrera right in that range. Cabrera has to land somewhere soon, I'd think.
The Kid (Orlando, FL)
What dont you like in me?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:33 AM)
Read my spring blog post from yesterday, it explains it. Matchups guy. That's the problem. Can't trust Griffey on an everyday basis these days. It's understandable; look at his age and health history.
what do you expect from me?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
I think Bruce has clear 30-homer potential, at the expense of a slightly disappointing batting average, because I look at that offense and see a guy like him needing to try to become more of a run producer to make up for a lack of other big sluggers in the lineup. Bruce absolutely has that kind of potential, and I'd draft him accordingly, as maybe a .270-28 type, specifically.
Andre Ethier -- thoughts? where do you keep him, 140th pick or so? Do you throw him back? there isnt much out there on teh guy, but he put up great BA in second half
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:37 AM)
I think that's about right for Ethier, and I'd keep him if it cost a pick around No. 140 overall. He had a huge second half, and is at the stage of his career where it might portend even greater things in 2009. In my draft yesterday he went 114th, and I actually thought it might have been a round or so late for him at the time.
Epstein (Sweat Hogs)
Hey there Mr. Cockcroft, who will be the starting SS for the Boston Red Sox? Lugo or Lowrie?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:38 AM)
I can't see any way it's not Jed Lowrie. Rumors abound that Julio Lugo will be requesting a trade before spring training ends because he sees the writing on the wall; he's not going to start in Boston.
Why no love for Ramon Hernandez? He has no threats for his job and moves to a great hitting ballpark. 22-80 out of the question?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:39 AM)
Who said I have no love for Ramon Hernandez? I think you're on the right track.
do i keep the job all yr or does my young teamate jose arrendo take over at some point
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:41 AM)
I don't think you sign a guy like Brian Fuentes for that kind of contract and then take the closer role away from him. I'd be confident he's the guy all year, health willing. Arredondo is a handcuff at best, and I don't think he's one of the stronger ones at that, really.
Josh (Lincoln, NE)
Think Gordon breaks out at all? I'm thinking about taking a flyer on him...
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
He sure fits the "post-hype sleeper" definition, but I look at his growth curve and while I see a lot to like, it also doesn't suggest a huge breakout season is coming. I'd be taking a chance on him too, but not necessarily in the first 10 rounds. You don't want to get too overzealous, either.
shin soo choo hit great last yr, will he be a break out canidate and what type of numbers do you expect?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:44 AM)
I'm actually a little surprised more people aren't onto Choo thanks to his recent performance. He definitely belongs in the draft class in mixed formats, even if it's as a late-rounder. Could be a great deep sleeper in those leagues. I've got him projected in the mid-.290s in batting average with homers in the mid-teens and double-digit steals potential. This is not a player to casually look past.
Who closes in Seattle?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:44 AM)
I can't believe my gut is telling me that Miguel Batista is a very real candidate for the role.
Jack Bauer (D.C.)
Tristan how much would Adam Dunn's value increase in a 6x6 league where BA and OPS are categories? Is he a top 20 OF?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:45 AM)
Sure, Jack, you know the rules don't apply to you, go for it! Seriously though, I say it a lot, Dunn is one of the most-helped players by the inclusion of on-base percentage in a Rotisserie league.
First year keeper league, and we have a debate brewing. Does a trade accepted before the keeper deadline count if it is not processed until afterwards?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:47 AM)
Not totally sure if I follow, Jeff. If you're referring to a trade-voting process, then you should already have had something in place to determine the answer to this. A good reference point: Does a trade accepted before the in-season deadline but not processed until after count? I'd make it the same answer.
on your gut feeling tristan who wins the closer job in colorado and chicago?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:48 AM)
Huston Street -- the Rockies at the very least need to keep his trade value high -- and Carlos Marmol.
So what are your projections for me? I see him in a lot of places saying he's going to be a monster. First person I've seen mention the FB rate, which is a good point!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM)
I think Carlos Quentin is really more of a .280-hitting, 25-homer player than the model we saw in 2008. Obviously means I still think he's a very good player. But he's a Hunter Pence-caliber performer, not a Manny Ramirez type.
Would you be shocked if someone took David Wright as the 1st overall pick?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:51 AM)
I don't think "shocked" is the word I'd use to describe how I'd feel. Wright is a top-five player, I can kind of understand that. Of course, I would not do it, though. To me, it's Pujols, Hanley and A-Rod in the top three, period. Then the group that includes Wright.
What cant everyone move on from rotisserie leaguse that have nothing to do with actual baseball skill. Points leagues are what ESPN should focus on. If I hear " a good source of steals" one more time I am going to shoot myself. For example, Taveras sucks at baseball and should not be on a team. Same can be said for Dunn and his 200Ks.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
You know, Jon, I've seen a lot of points leagues that are fairly poor at acknowledging real baseball skill. I don't think it's fair to say that points leagues are the best representation either. And for the record, Adam Dunn is a heck of a lot more valuable than you're giving him credit, because of the walks. I don't agree with you at all on him.
Tristan, I'm loaded with offensive keepers and can afford to capitalize on Davis' hype by moving him for an arm. Billingsley sound about right as a guy to target?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
Certainly. I'm realistic.
David ( Cincinnati,OH)
What is the difference between Adam Dunn and Burrell? With Dunn is Wash and Burrell in Tampa I se eno reason to reach for Dunn in the mid rnds and wait for Burrrel in the 2nd half of drafts
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:55 AM)
Depends on the league, David. Are you talking an on-base percentage league? You're right that Burrell is pretty underrated, but I don't think he's quite the same as Dunn in terms of raw power. Dunn has 40-homer potential; I think of Burrell as more a 30-homer man. It's a noticeable enough difference.
Do you see Heath Bell thriving in the closers role in SD? Will he be a top-10 closer by the end of 2009?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:57 AM)
A year ago, had Trevor Hoffman been in Milwaukee, I'd have probably said yes, absolutely. But I'm getting the feeling that while Bell is a pretty solid reliever, he's not quite a top-10 caliber closer. I'd say he's more like 12-15 at his best. Besides, the point from earlier about the Padres applies. If that's a 100-loss team, my historical data backs up the notion that it's going to hurt his saves total. I do think he'll hold the job all year, at least.
Tristan we don't have a process et yet. Should have. How do we proceed? 2 of the guys are not keepers for the one team but will be for the other.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:59 AM)
In the absence of a rule like that -- a terrible idea in my mind not to have one right up front -- I would probably allow the deal to go through if it passes the voting process, but I would make both owners submit two keeper lists apiece ... one if the trade goes through, one if it does now.
on your point with health bell who would you rather have on your team bell or hoffman?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:00 PM)
Probably Heath Bell, but I generally want the better pure pitcher (ERA/WHIP). Hoffman has more job security, for sure, and I think he'll probably notch more saves. But I'd be surprised if Bell doesn't beat him out in ERA and WHIP, which should be enough to rank him a few spots higher.
mayer (monticello, mn)
Hey Tristan. I think Fuentes is way overated. He was on thin ice all year last year with Colorado. I think it's due to all the opportunity that Krod got last year that is causing all the hype. Why should we believe Fuentes will execute successfully? Will the switch to a new league facing new hitters benefit him enough to keep his job, or should I trade him away while his value is probably at it's highest? Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:02 PM)
Seems a little harsh on Fuentes, no? He had what, one brief poor spell in Colorado the past three seasons, and that's in spite of having to pitch half his games in Coors? Granted, I won't rank Fuentes much higher than 10th among closers, but I think you're actually underrating him.
Rebecca (St Louis)
What do you think of 24 so far....getting pretty good isn't it? Do you play Streak for the cash? What's your longest streak?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
No complaints so far! I'm not totally blown away by the season, but it's entertaining enough at its good points. As for Streak, yes, and I'm in quite a bit of a funk. No idea my longest streak, but it's not all that long. I've been riddled by bad luck lately.
Josh (Lincoln, NE)
According to the predictions, Atkins looks like a much better pick than Ankiel...what say you?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:04 PM)
I would agree with that. The only category I could be remotely confident Rick Ankiel will win is home runs, and I bet it's not by that much.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:05 PM)
Well, that's all for today. Thanks for all your questions, and sorry if I didn't get to yours. Take care everyone!
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