Matthew Pouliot

Strike Zone

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Fantasy MVPs and LVPs

Saturday, October 06, 2012


As always, the first end-of-season column focuses on the fantasy MVPs and LVPs.  Awards are given to players that most over- or underperformed my preseason projections.  I tend to give injured players a break when it comes to LVPs.

 

I also have my real MVP/Cy Young/ROY choices below.

 

The Fantasy Most Valuable Players 

 

Catchers

 

MVP - Wilin Rosario

Projection: .226/.259/.400, 7 HR, 22 R, 24 RBI, 1 SB in 190 AB

2012 stats: .270/.312/.530, 28 HR, 67 R, 71 RBI, 4 SB in 396 AB

 

After acquiring Ramon Hernandez to start behind the plate, the Rockies had to decide whether to keep the 23-year-old Rosario as a backup or let him play regularly in Triple-A. They chose the former, and while Rosario often appeared raw behind the plate, he proved to be a star with the bat, leading all catchers in homers after taking over for an injured Hernandez in May.

 

Honorable Mention - Yadier Molina, Buster Posey, Carlos Ruiz, A.J. Pierzynski
2011 Winner - Alex Avila

2010 Winner - Buster Posey

2009 Winner - Joe Mauer

2008 Winner - Ryan Doumit

2007 Winner - Russell Martin

2006 Winner - Brian McCann

2005 Winner - Brandon Inge

2004 Winner - Craig Wilson

2003 Winner - Javy Lopez
2002 Winner - Eli Marrero
2001 Winner - Paul Lo Duca
2000 Winner - Charles Johnson
1999 Winner - Mike Sweeney

 

LVP - Carlos Santana

Projection: .273/.382/.485, 25 HR, 85 R, 90 RBI, 4 SB in 524 AB

2012 stats: .252/.365/.420, 18 HR, 72 R, 76 RBI, 3 SB in 507 AB

 

Santana waited until the All-Star break to get it going, but he did hit .281/.389/.498 with 13 homers and 46 RBI from that point on. One could argue Brian McCann was the bigger disappointment, but injuries played a role in his terrible last two months.

 

Dishonorable Mention - Brian McCann, Geovany Soto, Alex Avila

2011 Loser - Joe Mauer

2010 Loser - Matt Wieters

2009 Loser - Russell Martin

2008 Loser - Kenji Johjima

2007 Loser - Ramon Hernandez

2006 Loser - Javy Lopez

2005 Loser - Jason Kendall

2004 Loser - Mike Piazza

2003 Loser - Paul Lo Duca
2002 Loser - Charles Johnson
2001 Loser - Jason Kendall
2000 Loser - Michael Barrett
1999 Loser - Todd Hundley

 


First Basemen/Designated Hitters

 

MVP - Adam LaRoche

Projection: .257/.332/.442, 19 HR, 61 R, 73 RBI, 1 SB in 475 AB

2012 stats: .271/.343/.510, 33 HR, 76 R, 100 RBI, 1 SB in 571 AB

 

Playing with a damaged shoulder, LaRoche hit .172 with three homers in 151 at-bats in 2011, and there were plenty of doubts whether he'd be his old self after returning from surgery this season. As it turned out, he was better than ever, establishing a new personal best in homers and tying his high in RBI. He did have a higher OPS back in 2006, but he was often sitting against lefties back then. This year, he hit .268 with 11 homers in 168 at-bats versus southpaws.

 

Honorable Mention - Paul Goldschmidt, Mark Trumbo, Brandon Moss

2011 Winner - Mark Trumbo

2010 Winner - Joey Votto

2009 Winner - Kendrys Morales

2008 Winner - Aubrey Huff

2007 Winner - Carlos Pena

2006 Winner - Ryan Howard

2005 Winner - Derrek Lee

2004 Winner - Travis Hafner

2003 Winner - Carlos Delgado
2002 Winner - Derrek Lee
2001 Winner - Ryan Klesko
2000 Winner - Frank Thomas
1999 Winner - John Jaha

 

LVP - Eric Hosmer

Projection: .293/.365/.487, 24 HR, 89 R, 97 RBI, 8 SB in 598 AB

2012 stats: .232/.304/.359, 14 HR, 65 R, 60 RBI, 16 SB in 535 AB

 

Even with the 16 steals, this was an easy choice. Only bigger and better things seemed in store after Hosmer hit .293 with 19 homers in 128 games as a rookie in 2011. However, his swing got out of whack early this year and he spent way too much of the season hitting weak grounders. The Royals never did anything about it either, leaving him in the lineup all year long. I imagine Hosmer will bounce back next year, but he needs to start putting more balls into the air.

 

Dishonorable Mention - Gaby Sanchez, Adam Lind, Mark Teixeira

2011 Loser - Adam Dunn

2010 Loser - Lance Berkman

2009 Loser - David Ortiz

2008 Loser - Travis Hafner

2007 Loser - Richie Sexson

2006 Loser - Todd Helton

2005 Loser - Todd Helton

2004 Loser - Jason Giambi

2003 Loser - Paul Konerko
2002 Loser - Tony Clark
2001 Loser - Mark McGwire
2000 Loser - Sean Casey
1999 Loser - Darin Erstad

 


Second Basemen

 

MVP - Aaron Hill

Projection: .267/.319/.456, 24 HR, 75 R, 71 RBI, 13 SB in 570 AB

2012 stats: .302/.360/.522, 26 HR, 93 R, 85 RBI, 14 SB in 609 AB

 

Hill, now a two-time MVP to go along with his one LVP, certainly isn't known for his consistency. He's finished with OPSs of .792, .685, .829, .665, .655 and .882 the last six years. He also suddenly become a basestealer in 2011, swiping 35 bases the last two years after totaling 23 in his first five seasons. His six triples this year were twice as many as he had ever had before.

 

Honorable Mention - Jason Kipnis, Jose Altuve, Jeff Keppinger

2011 Winner - Ben Zobrist

2010 Winner - Rickie Weeks

2009 Winner - Aaron Hill

2008 Winner - Dustin Pedroia

2007 Winner - Brandon Phillips

2006 Winner - Dan Uggla

2005 Winner - Chone Figgins

2004 Winner - Mark Loretta

2003 Winner - Marcus Giles
2002 Winner - Alfonso Soriano
2001 Winner - Bret Boone
2000 Winner - Jose Vidro
1999 Winner - Roberto Alomar

 

LVP - Jemile Weeks

Projection: .287/.354/.401, 5 HR, 80 R, 51 RBI, 32 SB in 579 AB

2012 stats: .221/.305/.304, 2 HR, 54 R, 20 RBI, 16 SB in 444 AB

 

Like Hosmer, Weeks was a very disappointing sophomore. Unlike Hosmer, he actually lost his job because of it, but not before proving pretty worthless for 4 1/2 months. Older brother Rickie was also in the running here, but by hitting .261 with 13 homers and 51 runs scored in the second half, he was merely relegated to dishonorable mention status. Jemile will have some work to do next spring if he hopes to win his job back.

 

Dishonorable Mention - Dustin Ackley, Rickie Weeks, Dan Uggla

2011 Loser - Chone Figgins

2010 Loser - Aaron Hill

2009 Loser - Kelly Johnson

2008 Loser - Robinson Cano

2007 Loser - Josh Barfield

2006 Loser - Jorge Cantu

2005 Loser - Bret Boone

2004 Loser - Alfonso Soriano

2003 Loser - Roberto Alomar
2002 Loser - Roberto Alomar
2001 Loser - Edgardo Alfonzo
2000 Loser - Jose Offerman
1999 Loser - Delino DeShields

 


Third Basemen

 

MVP - Chase Headley

Projection: .273/.352/.415, 14 HR, 82 R, 78 RBI, 15 SB in 586 AB

2012 stats: .286/.376/.498, 31 HR, 95 R, 115 RBI, 17 SB in 604 AB

 

There were no shortage of quality choices here, but Headley gets the nod, partly because I had him ranked a few spots behind Edwin Encarnacion in the preseason. Headley totaled four homers and 44 RBI in 381 at-bats in 2011, and while it seemed likely that'd he bounce back from that, there was no telling this was coming. Headley topped his previous high in homers by 19 and led the NL in RBI despite playing half of his games in Petco Park.

 

Honorable Mention - Edwin Encarnacion, Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis

2011 Winner - Jose Bautista

2010 Winner - Jose Bautista

2009 Winner - Mark Reynolds

2008 Winner - Jorge Cantu

2007 Winner - Ryan Braun

2006 Winner - Michael Cuddyer

2005 Winner - Morgan Ensberg

2004 Winner - Adrian Beltre

2003 Winner - Bill Mueller
2002 Winner - Aaron Boone
2001 Winner - Albert Pujols
2000 Winner - Troy Glaus
1999 Winner - Fernando Tatis

 

LVP - Mark Reynolds

Projection: .240/.333/.490, 35 HR, 80 R, 88 RBI, 7 SB in 526 AB

2012 stats: .221/.335/.429, 23 HR, 65 R, 69 RBI, 1 SB in 457 AB

 

I wanted to put Michael Young here -- Reynolds had the better OPS of the two by 80 points -- but the fact that Young racked up 611 at-bats in the middle of the Texas order and hit for a decent average gave him the greater fantasy value of the two. I had them practically dead even in the preseason, with Young placing 11th and Reynolds 12th in my third base rankings (Headley was 13th).

 

Dishonorable Mention - Michael Young, Alex Rodriguez, Brett Lawrie

2011 Loser - Pedro Alvarez

2010 Loser - Pablo Sandoval

2009 Loser - Garrett Atkins

2008 Loser - Chone Figgins

2007 Loser - Eric Chavez

2006 Loser - Hank Blalock

2005 Loser - Adrian Beltre

2004 Loser - Eric Hinske

2003 Loser - Edgardo Alfonzo
2002 Loser - Jeff Cirillo
2001 Loser - Tony Batista
2000 Loser - Vinny Castilla
1999 Loser - Ken Caminiti

 


Shortstops

 

MVP - Ian Desmond

Projection: .269/.327/.398, 11 HR, 75 R, 56 RBI, 22 SB in 558 AB

2012 stats: .292/.335/.511, 25 HR, 72 R, 73 RBI, 21 SB in 513 AB

 

Desmond's 20-20 campaign gets him the nod here in spite of the modest run and RBI numbers. Originally the Nationals' leadoff man, he ended up spending most of the year hitting sixth. It's the better spot for his skill set, but it didn't result in much run or RBI production, especially after accounting for the fact that he scored and drove himself in 25 times on his homers.

 

Honorable Mention - Derek Jeter, Alcides Escobar, Marco Scutaro   

2011 Winner - Asdrubal Cabrera

2010 Winner - Omar Infante

2009 Winner - Ben Zobrist

2008 Winner - Mike Aviles

2007 Winner - Hanley Ramirez

2006 Winner - Hanley Ramirez

2005 Winner - Felipe Lopez

2004 Winner - Carlos Guillen

2003 Winner - Edgar Renteria
2002 Winner - David Eckstein
2001 Winner - Rich Aurilia
2000 Winner - Jose Valentin
1999 Winner - Jay Bell

 

LVP - Elvis Andrus

Projection: .294/.364/.392, 7 HR, 100 R, 65 RBI, 40 SB in 599 AB

2012 stats: .286/.349/.378, 3 HR, 85 R, 62 RBI, 21 SB in 629 AB

 

I was too high on Andrus in the first place, ranking him as the No. 3 shortstop over Starlin Castro and Jose Reyes. His .727 OPS wasn't bad at all, but his fantasy value was stymied by manager Ron Washington's call to have him bunt Ian Kinsler along so frequently and by the fact that he did less basestealing with Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre up in the order behind him.

 

Dishonorable Mention - Dee Gordon, Hanley Ramirez, Yunel Escobar

2011 Loser - Hanley Ramirez

2010 Loser - Yunel Escobar

2009 Loser - Jimmy Rollins

2008 Loser - Troy Tulowitzki

2007 Loser - Bill Hall

2006 Loser - Clint Barmes

2005 Loser - Kaz Matsui

2004 Loser - Angel Berroa

2003 Loser - Jose Hernandez
2002 Loser - Rich Aurilia
2001 Loser - Tony Womack
2000 Loser - Royce Clayton
1999 Loser - Royce Clayton

 


continue story »
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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