MLB fantasy mailbag: Hamilton remains a rare talent despite slide
I'm Ray Flowers, co-host of
I got this question and thought it was a joke. It wasn't. There followed a couple of tweets that pointed out that since June 1 that Trumbo had outproduced Hamilton. OK, well, let's play that parsing game and see what we come up with.
Hamilton: .368-21-57-39 with a 1.184 OPS
Hamilton: .207-7-21-17 with a .725 OPS
Hamilton dominated the first two months. Trumbo has dominated the last month an a half. But...
Hamilton: .300-28-78-56-6 with a .991 OPS
Overall, Hamilton is still the better performer, though it is obviously a lot closer than most of us would have thought before looking at the numbers. Still, there is no comparison between the two when it comes to talent. Hamilton is dynamic. Trumbo full credit for what he has done; it has surpassed everyone's expectations, and he does qualify at first base and the outfield in all leagues (and maybe even at third in some leagues). Still, I don't know a single "expert" who would say they prefer Trumbo in this matchup. Not a one. If you don't buy the talent argument then how about this one -- Hamilton has shown himself to be this quality of hitter for a while now. Trumbo? It's pretty hard to think he can maintain a 26.3 HR/F ratio -- a massive total that would have been the best in baseball last year, in 2010, in 2009... you get the point. It's also pretty hard to take Trumbo at face value. The guy was a .275 hitter in six minor league seasons. He hit .254 last year. That .309 average isn't supported by his history or by his 15 percent line drive rate this season.
Trumbo's been great, and he's performing better the past six weeks, but the odds are still heavily tilted toward Hamilton being the better performer the rest of the season.
Davis has had a productive season for the Orioles, hitting .260 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs in 77 games, putting him pace to be a .260-28-80 type of hitter. That doesn't make him a keeper in any league that protects only five players. His production also isn't to the level that he's keeping your team afloat this year either (at least I hope not). Bottom line is that you could move on from him with an eye to the future if it made sense (i.e. your team could handle the loss right now).
Myers has a luminous future, a fact I pointed out last November in
A brief history lesson. Here are some of the names of some recent elite level prospects that were looked at as can't miss options who missed in their first season.
I could go on, but I think you get the point. We've all been spoiled by the success of Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. The game just isn't that easy.
I've got no idea who your other keeper options are, but in a league that protects only five guys I'm not inclined to keep Myers for 2013, even at a 24th round value.
Konerko has had an excellent season with a .322/.402/.511 slash line (the average and OBP would be career bests). Still, over his last 35 games he's gone deep just three times with 11 RBI with a pathetic slash line of .244/.331/.336. What's going on? First off I'd posit some normal regression is in play. Second, he had that minor wrist procedure that knocked him out of action for a few days, and he's been pretty awful since then. Is the wrist still bothering him? Third, let's not forget that he's 36-years old. I know we have been spoiled with a lot of players being good into their late 30s, but traditionally 36-year olds slow down. I'm not saying Konerko should be viewed as a drag on any fantasy team moving forward but I'm also not exactly in love with what I'm seeing either.
Wilson had his worst effort of the year Wednesday, allowing seven runs in six innings, but he still owns a 2.82 ERA with a 1.20 WHIP on the year. Moreover, that's 54 starts with a 2.90 ERA and 1.19 WHIP since the start of last season. Wilson continues to be one of the most effective hurlers in baseball, and there is no reason to think that he's likely to see a major regression any time soon.
If your goal is to improve your ratios, Wilson is a fine target. Since you've got Morse/Youkilis to also fill in at first base, go ahead and send Konerko packing.
All I can say about this situation is that I've been extremely frustrated all year. As I have said consistently since January, Romo is the best reliever the Giants have. Period. Nothing, not a single thing, that he has done this year has changed my opinion at all. In fact, Romo is one of the five best relievers in baseball. Period. Think I'm crazy? Look at the numbers.
You hear all the time about how he can't handle lefties. What are those people talking about?
In 2012 lefties have hit .143 with a .374 OPS against Romo.
For his career lefties have hit .189 against Romo with a .483 OPS.
It's a completely fallacious argument.
The only valid argument for keeping Romo out of the ninth is that the club doesn't think he can work a full inning every other day because of an often tender elbow.
Given the totality of the data, Romo should have been closing the moment that Brian Wilson went down with injury. Period. Instead, the Giants went with an inferior pitcher in Casilla. For the majority of the first half Casilla was admittedly impressive; he converted 19 of his first 20 save chances, but he's turned into a disaster of epic proportions of late, blowing five of eight save chances as his ERA has gone up two full runs over his last 10 outings. Hopefully, the Giants will finally do the right thing and use Romo to close, but even if they move on from Casilla, as they should, don't be surprised is Jeremy Affeldt sees some ninth inning work.