Matthew Pouliot

Strike Zone

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Fantasy MVPs & LVPs

Thursday, October 06, 2011


Outfielders

 

MVPs - Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Kemp, Melky Cabrera

 

Ellsbury's Projection: .294/.351/.418, 11 HR, 96 R, 56 RBI, 51 SB in 574 AB
Ellsbury's 2011 stats: .321/.376/.552, 32 HR, 119 R, 105 RBI, 39 SB in 660 AB

 

Kemp's Projection: .290/.349/.512, 31 HR, 96 R, 99 RBI, 27 SB in 607 AB
Kemp's 2011 stats: .324/.399/.586, 39 HR, 115 R, 126 RBI, 40 SB in 602 AB

 

Cabrera's Projection: .272/.326/.389, 7 HR, 50 R, 51 RBI, 9 SB in 404 AB
Cabrera's 2011 stats: .305/.339/.470, 18 HR, 102 R, 87 RBI, 20 SB in 658 AB

 

This was the toughest call of the MVPs, as there were seven outfielders worth rewarding. I had Kemp fourth and Ellsbury sixth among outfielders going in, but they simply blew away my projections, and since they were top-five overall players, I had to give them the nod. That left just one spot for the trio of Royals outfielders, Curtis Granderson and Michael Morse. I went with Cabrera over Granderson for the last spot, largely because I had Cabrera listed as a $3 player going in (he was my No. 88 outfielder, while Alex Gordon was No. 66 and Jeff Francoeur was No. 84).

 

Honorable Mention - Curtis Granderson, Michael Morse, Alex Gordon, Jeff Francoeur
2010 Winners - Carlos Gonzalez, Josh Hamilton, Angel Pagan
2009 Winners - Adam Lind, Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Kemp
2008 Winners - Ryan Ludwick, Josh Hamilton, Nate McLouth
2007 Winners - Magglio Ordonez, Curtis Granderson, Eric Byrnes
2006 Winners - Jermaine Dye, Gary Matthews Jr., Matt Holliday
2005 Winners - Grady Sizemore, Jason Bay, Andruw Jones
2004 Winners - Jim Edmonds, J.D. Drew, Aaron Rowand, Jeromy Burnitz
2003 Winners - Gary Sheffield, Scott Podsednik, Vernon Wells
2002 Winners - Torii Hunter, Vladimir Guerrero, Garret Anderson
2001 Winners - Ichiro Suzuki, Barry Bonds, Cliff Floyd
2000 Winners - Darin Erstad, Richard Hidalgo, John Vander Wal
1999 Winners - Brian Giles, Luis Gonzalez, Roger Cedeno

 

LVPs - Carl Crawford, Alex Rios, Jason Heyward

 

Crawford's Projection: .309/.360/.474, 16 HR, 108 R, 82 RBI, 38 SB in 593 AB
Crawford's 2011 stats: .255/.289/.405, 11 HR, 65 R, 56 RBI, 18 SB in 506 AB

 

Rios' Projection: .282/.335/.462, 22 HR, 78 R, 83 RBI, 26 SB in 571 AB
Rios' 2011 stats: .227/.265/.348, 13 HR, 64 R, 44 RBI, 11 SB in 537 AB

 

Heyward's Projection: .287/.395/.519, 27 HR, 87 R, 91 RBI, 14 SB in 540 AB
Heyward's 2011 stats: .227/.319/.389, 14 HR, 50 R, 42 RBI, 9 SB in 396 AB

 

There were two no-brainers here. I gave Heyward the last spot over Vernon Wells, Delmon Young, Jayson Werth and Jason Bay because I was quite a bit higher on him than the others. Shin-Soo Choo is another who rates a mention, though injuries did play a role there. And I would be remiss not to throw Manny Ramirez's name into the ring, just because.

 

Crawford probably rates as the overall LVP for the year. He wasn't the worst player or really even close to it, but guys like Dunn, Rios and Wells weren't first-round picks in fantasy leagues.

 

Dishonorable Mention - Delmon Young, Ichiro Suzuki, Vernon Wells, Jayson Werth
2010 Losers - Matt Kemp, Adam Lind, Carlos Lee
2009 Losers - Manny Ramirez, B.J. Upton, Alfonso Soriano
2008 Losers - Andruw Jones, Jeff Francoeur, Carl Crawford
2007 Losers - Jason Bay, Andruw Jones, Jermaine Dye
2006 Losers - Jason Lane, Randy Winn, Scott Podsednik
2005 Losers - Carlos Beltran, Sammy Sosa, Corey Patterson
2004 Losers - Sammy Sosa, Marlon Byrd, Brian Giles
2003 Losers - Pat Burrell, Shawn Green, Larry Walker
2002 Losers - Ken Griffey Jr., Juan Pierre, Richard Hidalgo
2001 Losers - Richard Hidalgo, Darin Erstad, Carl Everett
2000 Losers - Ken Griffey Jr., Juan Gonzalez, Carlos Beltran
1999 Losers - Jose Cruz Jr., Kenny Lofton, Ray Lankford

 

Starting Pitchers

 

MVPs - Justin Verlander, Ian Kennedy, James Shields, Clayton Kershaw, Doug Fister

 

Verlander's Projection: 16-8, 3.51 ERA, 1.224 WHIP, 202 K in 210 IP
Verlander's 2011 stats: 24-5, 2.40 ERA, 0.920 WHIP, 250 K in 251 IP

 

Kennedy's Projection: 11-11, 4.09 ERA, 1.265 WHIP, 167 K in 196 IP
Kennedy's 2011 stats: 21-4, 2.88 ERA, 1.086 WHIP, 198 K in 222 IP

 

Shields' Projection: 13-12, 4.12 ERA, 1.273 WHIP, 172 K in 209 2/3 IP
Shields' 2011 stats: 16-12, 2.82 ERA, 1.042 WHIP, 225 K in 249 1/3 IP

 

Kershaw's Projection: 15-8, 2.97 ERA, 1.212 WHIP, 205 K in 199 2/3 IP
Kershaw's 2011 stats: 21-5, 2.28 ERA, 0.977 WHIP, 248 K in 233 1/3 IP

 

Fister's Projection: 8-10, 4.38 ERA, 1.325 WHIP, 99 K in 176 2/3 IP
Fister's 2011 stats: 11-13, 2.83 ERA, 1.063 WHIP, 146 K in 216 1/3 IP

 

The Cy Youngs for Verlander and Kershaw will be well deserved, though one can make an argument for Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee in the NL. I didn't think Kennedy had this kind of season in him, though I liked him for his WHIP and strikeout rate. Shields' WHIP had gone from 1.11 to 1.15 to 1.32 to 1.46. It seemed clear that his poor 2010 -- he had a 5.18 ERA -- was partially the function of bad luck, but he had never been nearly this good before.

Fister, though, was the biggest surprise of them all. After his strong start in 2010, he had a 5.09 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP in 86 2/3 innings in the second half. I thought he was all Safeco, and if he had been traded to Detroit in the spring rather than the summer, even that modest projection would have taken a hit. That he went 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA after joining the Tigers baffles me as much as anything else that happened this season.

 

Honorable Mention - Ryan Vogelsong, Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, Ricky Romero, Kyle Lohse
2010 Winners - Mat Latos, Trevor Cahill, David Price, Ubaldo Jimenez, Jered Weaver
2009 Winners - Zack Greinke, Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Wandy Rodriguez, Joel Pineiro
2008 Winners - Clff Lee, Tim Lincecum, Ryan Dempster, Ervin Santana, Roy Halladay
2007 Winners - Fausto Carmona, Josh Beckett, Aaron Harang, James Shields, Erik Bedard
2006 Winners - Bronson Arroyo, Brandon Webb, Francisco Liriano, Aaron Harang, Justin Verlander
2005 Winners - Chris Carpenter, Dontrelle Willis, Andy Pettitte, Cliff Lee, John Patterson
2004 Winners - Johan Santana, Ben Sheets, Carl Pavano, Oliver Perez, Chris Carpenter
2003 Winners - Esteban Loaiza, Jason Schmidt, Livan Hernandez, Brandon Webb, Roy Halladay
2002 Winners - Odalis Perez, Derek Lowe, Matt Clement, Tim Wakefield, Roy Halladay
2001 Winners - Mark Mulder, Joe Mays, John Burkett, Mark Buehrle, Roy Oswalt
2000 Winners - Ryan Dempster, Jeff D’Amico, Glendon Rusch, Darryl Kile, Chan Ho Park
1999 Winners - Mike Hampton, Todd Ritchie, Tim Hudson, Kevin Millwood, Jose Lima

 

LVPs - Brian Matusz, Ubaldo Jimenez, Francisco Liriano, Ricky Nolasco, Chad Billingsley

 

Matusz's Projection: 12-11, 3.96 ERA, 1.257 WHIP, 169 K in 195 2/3 IP
Matusz's 2011 stats: 1-9, 10.69 ERA, 2.114 WHIP, 38 K in 49 2/3 IP

 

Jimenez's Projection: 16-8, 3.53 ERA, 1.241 WHIP, 185 K in 206 1/3 IP
Jimenez's 2011 stats: 10-13, 4.68 ERA, 1.402 WHIP, 180 K in 188 1/3 IP

 

Liriano's Projection: 15-7, 3.36 ERA, 1.244 WHIP, 190 K in 187 1/3 IP
Liriano's 2011 stats: 9-10, 5.09 ERA, 1.489 WHIP, 112 K in 134 1/3 IP

 

Nolasco's Projection: 13-9, 3.81 ERA, 1.203 WHIP, 180 K in 198 2/3 IP
Nolasco's 2011 stats: 10-12, 4.67 ERA, 1.398 WHIP, 148 K in 206 IP

 

Billingsley's Projection: 14-10, 3.46 ERA, 1.296 WHIP, 179 K in 203 IP
Billingsley's 2011 stats: 11-11, 4.21 ERA, 1.452 WHIP, 152 K in 188 IP

 

None of my top 15 pitchers had hugely disappointing performances, but Nos. 16 (Jimenez), 19 (Liriano), 26 (Billingsley), 27 (Liriano) and 46 (Matusz) all fell well short of expectations. I think Jimenez is the best bet of the group to bounce back next year. It's just a hunch, but I see his fastball coming back a bit and I suspect he'll post an ERA in the mid-3.00s for Cleveland next year. I'm truly worried about Matusz. He rates a $0 pitcher for 2012 right now.

 

Dishonorable Mention - Max Scherzer, Mat Latos, Felix Hernandez, Phil Hughes, John Lackey
2010 Losers - Zack Greinke, Josh Beckett, Tim Lincecum, Javier Vazquez, A.J. Burnett
2009 Losers - Francisco Liriano, Cole Hamels, Joba Chamberlain, Derek Lowe, Daisuke Matsuzaka
2008 Losers - Justin Verlander, Fausto Carmona, Pedro Martinez, Ian Snell, Rich Hill
2007 Losers - Jeremy Bonderman, Mike Mussina, Dontrelle Willis, Jose Contreras, Scott Olsen
2006 Losers - Mark Buehrle, Tim Hudson, Felix Hernandez, Dontrelle Willis, Odalis Perez
2005 Losers - Oliver Perez, Curt Schilling, Tim Hudson, Zack Greinke, Eric Milton
2004 Losers - Esteban Loaiza, Barry Zito, Jose Contreras, Jamie Moyer, Javier Vazquez
2003 Losers - Tom Glavine, Randy Johnson, Ramon Ortiz, Freddy Garcia, Derek Lowe
2002 Losers - Chan Ho Park, Freddy Garcia, Bud Smith, Brad Penny, Javier Vazquez
2001 Losers - Scott Elarton, Livan Hernandez, Kevin Millwood, Bartolo Colon, Dave Burba
2000 Losers - Jose Lima, Ramon Martinez, David Cone, Omar Daal, Kevin Millwood
1999 Losers - Roger Clemens, Jeff Fassero, Chan Ho Park, Tom Glavine, Brett Tomko

 

Relief Pitchers

 

MVPs - Craig Kimbrel, Fernando Salas, Brandon League, Jordan Walden

 

Kimbrel's Projection: 3-3, 17 Sv, 3.50 ERA, 1.290 WHIP, 83 K in 64 1/3 IP
Kimbrel's 2011 stats: 4-3, 46 Sv, 2.10 ERA, 1.039 WHIP, 127 K in 77 IP

 

Salas' Projection: 2-2, 0 Sv, 4.08 ERA, 1.317 WHIP, 41 K in 46 1/3 IP
Salas' 2011 stats: 5-6, 24 Sv, 2.28 ERA, 0.947 WHIP, 75 K in 75 IP

 

League's Projection: 6-5, 8 Sv, 3.44 ERA, 1.231 WHIP, 60 K in 70 2/3 IP
League's 2011 stats: 1-5, 37 Sv, 2.79 ERA, 1.076 WHIP, 45 K in 61 1/3 IP

 

Walden's Projection: 4-2, 9 Sv, 3.48 ERA, 1.307 WHIP, 65 K in 67 1/3 IP
Walden's 2011 stats: 5-5, 32 Sv, 2.98 ERA, 1.243 WHIP, 67 K in 60 1/3 IP

 

My thought was that Jonny Venters would likely start the season getting most of the save chances in Atlanta, with Kimbrel eventually taking over in the second half. Of course, Kimbrel owned the role from day one and the rest is history.

 

Honorable Mention - Ryan Madson, John Axford, Joel Hanrahan, Sergio Santos, Javy Guerra
2010 Winners - Neftali Feliz, John Axford, Rafael Soriano, Chris Perez
2009 Winners - Andrew Bailey, David Aardsma, Ryan Franklin, Rafael Soriano
2008 Winners - Brad Lidge, Kerry Wood, Brian Fuentes, Francisco Rodriguez
2007 Winners - Jeremy Accardo, Takashi Saito, Kevin Gregg, Manuel Corpas
2006 Winners - J.J. Putz, Jonathan Papelbon, Takashi Saito, Akinori Otsuka
2005 Winners - Chad Cordero, Derrick Turnbow, Huston Street, Todd Jones, Bob Wickman
2004 Winners - Brad Lidge, Joe Nathan, Jose Mesa, Shingo Takatsu
2003 Winners - Eric Gagne, Tim Worrell, Joe Borowski, Guillermo Mota
2002 Winners - Eric Gagne, Juan Acevedo, Byung-Hyun Kim, Octavio Dotel
2001 Winners - Byung-Hyun Kim, Jeff Zimmerman, Octavio Dotel, Jose Mesa
2000 Winners - Keith Foulke, Robb Nen, Gabe White
1999 Winners - Scott Williamson, Billy Koch, John Rocker

 

LVPs - Matt Thornton, Joakim Soria, Ryan Franklin, Neftali Feliz

 

Thornton's Projection: 3-3, 28 Sv, 2.92 ERA, 1.113 WHIP, 73 K in 64 2/3 IP
Thornton's 2011 stats: 2-5, 3 Sv, 3.32 ERA, 1.358 WHIP, 63 K in 59 2/3 IP

 

Soria's Projection: 3-3, 37 Sv, 2.57 ERA, 1.035 WHIP, 72 K in 66 2/3 IP
Soria's 2011 stats: 5-5, 28 Sv, 4.03 ERA, 1.276 WHIP, 60 K in 60 1/3 IP

 

Franklin's Projection: 4-3, 30 Sv, 3.82 ERA, 1.257 WHIP, 40 K in 63 2/3 IP
Franklin's 2011 stats: 1-4, 1 Sv, 8.46 ERA, 1.843 WHIP, 17 K in 27 2/3 IP

 

Feliz's Projection: 4-4,. 38 Sv, 2.75 ERA, 0.990 WHIP, 77 K in 68 2/3 IP
Feliz's 2011 stats: 2-3, 32 Sv, 2.74 ERA, 1.155 WHIP, 54 K in 62 1/3 IP

 

The LVPs were a tougher call than usual this year, as it was injuries, rather than poor performance, that led to closing jobs opening up. Obviously, Franklin is one notable exception there, but then, I had him projected for the highest ERA of any closer besides Brad Lidge and Kevin Gregg. Francisco Rodriguez is another exception, but I'm not including him; it's not his fault the Mets wanted to dump his salary.

Soria was the biggest disappointment of the top closers. I was probably expecting too much too soon from Feliz, who ended up having a perfectly fine season. The main reason he shows up here is that I had him ranked as the No. 1 closer.

 

Dishonorable Mention - Carlos Marmol, Joe Nathan, Leo Nunez
2010 Losers - Chad Qualls, Jonathan Broxton, Trevor Hoffman, Bobby Jenks
2009 Losers - B.J. Ryan, Brad Lidge, Brandon Morrow, Matt Capps
2008 Losers - Jason Isringhausen, Manuel Corpas, J.J. Putz, Huston Street
2007 Losers - Tom Gordon, Salomon Torres, Jorge Julio, Bob Wickman
2006 Losers - Derrick Turnbow, Brad Lidge, Ryan Dempster, Armando Benitez
2005 Losers - Danny Kolb, Danny Graves, Guillermo Mota, Keith Foulke
2004 Losers - Arthur Rhodes, Joe Borowski, Shawn Chacon, David Riske
2003 Losers - Billy Koch, Kazuhiro Sasaki, Armando Benitez, Jose Mesa
2002 Losers - Keith Foulke, Scott Strickland, Armando Benitez, Antonio Alfonseca
2001 Losers - Todd Jones, John Rocker, Billy Koch, Dave Veres
2000 Losers - Bob Howry, Scott Williamson, John Rocker, Billy Wagner
1999 Losers - Rod Beck, Jeff Montgomery, Rick Aguilera, Gregg Olson

 

Continue to the MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year selections.



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Matthew Pouliot is the Executive Editor of RotoWorld.com and has been doing the site's baseball projections for the last 10 years. Follow him on Twitter at matthewpouliot.
Email :Matthew Pouliot



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