Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fantasy Baseball Investment Market: It's a Sellers Market!

Ubaldo Jimenez, Cleveland Indians
Why would you move your ace for prospects? Only reason it makes sense is that you are trying to sell high. I've been saying all season long that Ubaldo is not the same pitcher he was before the All-Star break last season. Yes, he has shown flashes of brilliance this season but the same can be said of any starting pitcher in the game. If you can find a manager who feels that a change of scenery is just what Jimenez needs to get back on track…take advantage. There is nothing suggesting the Ubaldo of old is coming back soon, if ever. Colorado was smart to unload him while he still held value. You'd be smart to do the same.

SELL Ubaldo has been showing signs of wear of tear since last season. His velocity has been notably down all of 2011. I still maintain there is an injury hiding somewhere. Unfortantely for Cleveland, it still hasn't presented itself.

Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants
"The Freak" has traditionally had terrible Augusts but his performances leading up to the month have usually been money in the bank. This season, he's starting to show signs of weakness.

The first red flag is his walk rates have increased in each of the past three seasons:
2009 2.72 BB9 / 7.5 BB%
2010 3.22 BB9 / 8.5 BB%
2011 3.56 BB9 / 9.6 BB%

In addition, his K/9 (still at elite levels) are trending downward:
2009 10.42
2010 9.79
2011 9.64

Anytime I see pitcher with trends opposite of what I want to see, I get nervous. If I see that pitcher's bottom line being affected by the aforementioned, I start to panic. Lincecum already has nine losses this season. He had ten losses last season and only seven losses the year before. If you can unload him based on name value alone, do it. If you're in a keeper league, I still suggest the same course of action.

SELL! The leak in the hull is still small enough that many probably haven't noticed yet. This ship is going down.

Carl Crawford, Boston Red Sox
You don't need me to tell you Crawford has been a major bust this season. You don't need me to tell you that Crawford has always had trouble with left-handed pitching. Did you know: Fenway has generally provided major trouble for left-handed hitters in the past? He left his comfy situation in Tropicana for a payday with a chance at winning it all with Boston. He may get his ring but he won't be the reason why the Red Sox win one.

2009 672PA / 15HR / 60SB / .305AVG / .816OPS
2010 663PA / 19HR / 47SB / .307AVG / .851OPS
2011 338PA / 7HR / 12SB / .245AVG / .659OPS

In 2011, he's hitting .139 vs LHP / .292 vs RHP and .250 Home / .238 Away
In 2010, he hit .254 vs LHP / .329 vs RHP and .295 Home / .311 Away
In 2009, he hit .269 vs LHP / .322 vs RHP and .295 Home / .315 Away

This is a guy whose value lies not only in his speed but in his ability to hit for power. If you take away his 20 HR potential and .800+ OPS, he's merely a high priced Michael Bourn. Take away his speed and he's practically worthless in fantasy. In some circles, his name value and previous draft position may still hold weight. If this is the case and you can sell him fifty-cents on the dollar, you should do it. Yes, he was slightly injured some this season but his struggles began long before we started to hear any excuses for poor performance. This is not a player who is going to rebound anytime soon.

2011 (by month)
March/April 1 HR / 4 SB / .155 BA
May 3 HR / 3 SB / .301 BA
June 2 HR / 1 SB / .278 BA
July 0 HR / 4 SB / .250 BA
August 1 HR / 0 SB / .250 BA

SELL! A speed/power guy with limited power and no speed who can't hit lefties and plays in a lefty killing park is worth what to you? Get rid of him.

Have questions, comments or suggestions for future articles? Please use the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @SheriffStathead.

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