Fantasy Baseball Round Table: Wil Myers, Oscar Taveras, Billy Hamilton, Jurickson Profar?

by Todd Zola, MastersBall.com on May 1, 2013 @ 12:40:00 PDT

 

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Tim Heaney

Being late to the party and, when it comes to analysis, seeing all of my prospective dance partners taken (nice to see you again, high school), I'll concur with the popular belief -- and my colleague's notion -- that Myers offers the best combo of production and window for 2013. With all the caveats Nick mentioned when it comes to Tampa's philosophy, they have, among the three squads holding these elite youngsters, the most expendable parts in places where Myers could contribute in a lineup and with the leather, and there's little else besides their organizational approach keeping them from making the move whenever they desire.

Cincinnati Reds OF Billy Hamilton
Hamilton may win SB cat, may flop

I favor Taveras in the long term when it comes to a ceiling, but he may only get six weeks' worth, max, of an opportunity this year, and it would require a significant roster change for a contending Cardinals team, barring an injury. They tried squeezing Matt Adams into a fully healthy lineup whenever possible because he earned his time, but I'm not sure they have room to do it again, this time to give Taveras a viable 2013 sample. Maybe if they finally tire of Jon Jay, as mentioned, or Adams' injury lingers....

Hamilton is suffering from Dee Gordonitis and may only be a role player if he arrives too early. I doubt Cincy would want that course for him unless they feel ill-equipped for clinching a postseason. That might be enough in cavernous fantasy cases, but I'm not going to bank on it. By the time they may reach that conclusion, Hamilton's opportunity for at-bats -- which would already be part-time, most likely, and fall short of anything worthwhile currently stashable in most mixed leagues -- would last only a few months' time, if all breaks right. Too many moving pieces exist for the big-league squad to prompt them to rush him up. Let him learn to field his position and extract more from his lumber.

Todd Zola

OK, the consensus seems to be Myers.

Let's introduce some philosophy into the question: 15 team mixed league 5x5

You have the following players ON RESERVE and would play them in your UTILITY so positions aren't relevant. Who, if any of the following, would you drop to pick up Myers assuming Myers is still in the minors?

Ike Davis, Mark Teixeira, Vernon Wells, Tyler Colvin, Jon Jay or Jeff Francoeur

PVH

Hard to drop someone you are using for a player not up and thus tie up a roster spot -- at least in high-stakes, no- trade contests.

On the other hand, Colvin is also in the minors so that space could easily be used.

As soon as Myers is called up, I doubt you have need/room for either Colvin or Frenchy.

BW

For Myers today, I would drop Colvin, Francoeur or Jay, in that order. Even if I lost all three, Davis and Wells would provide me immediate reserve help at CI and OF if needed. Having the potential boost of Myers and Tex later would be nice.

TH

First reaction (I'll be that guy): Whoa, Myers is still available in a 15-teamer?!

Agree with Brian. I'd dispatch any of the last three sans regret. Not so with the others. Too much upside/confidence in Ike turning things around. You're holding Teixeira until you get a clearer prognosis and timetable; that'd be giving up way too soon in a league where he could make a huge second-half impact with a seamless comeback.

Wells, though primed to come down a bit, is still quite useful. He's the toughest quandary of these six and isn't a clear drop in the given format. It's the battle of planning for his downfall in output and playing time (wrong end of platoon with Hafner when Curtis Granderson comes back?) by ditching his present value in exchange for a potential boom in Myers. If my OF is stacked, I may thank Wells for his services and move on, but it's not black-and-white. There's plenty of foundation for what Wells is doing, and there are plenty of ways he can remain in the lineup.

NM

I'd probably drop Frenchy first. To me, he presents the worst statistical evidence that he'll be useful when I do play him. He has the least "predictable" performance, too, which is important to me. It's difficult to know when to play him. He could slump for three months or three days, and he could hit for the same stretches (as we saw in 2011), but the slumps are likelier, and you can't tell when any of them are coming.

I wouldn't drop Davis or Tex (although I don't expect much from the latter and would hold him only because of perceived value. Jay is delivering other stats when he plays, even though his average is poor. His swing is much too busy right now, but if he irons that out, he'll be more than useful. If I can see that something is wrong, the Cards probably do, too. If he doesn't figure it out, oh well. I have more information about him and can project a favorable outcome more easily than I can the others.

I'd consider dropping Colvin instead of Francoeur, but I'd look deeply in Colvin's case before making the choice. He's hit well with Colorado Springs, but there's a reason that the Rox didn't promote him when Todd Helton hit the DL. I'd want to find out what that is and give myself a rough idea of when Colvin might play for me then. If it's months out, I'd drop Colvin.

LM

I with Perry (never drop an active every day major leaguer). My Colvin is in the minors so I am okay waiving him.

Lord Zola's Wrap-Up

My answer to the question is a little different. I agree that Tampa will promote Myers before any of the others are given the call (barring an unforeseen circumstance) and I also agree that the best ploy is to maximize the time the player is active which should render Myers my choice as well but it isn't.

Here's my problem (Rob came closest to hitting on it). I'm not at all confident Myers will be productive. Plain and simple, he fans WAY too much. He's a BABIP monster which is not a sure thing to translate to the bigs. I've heard Jay Bruce as a reasonable career comp. Until I see more contact, my comp is Brandon Belt another minor league BABIP monster slow to adjust to MLB pitching.

Because the spirit of the question is to choose someone and not answer none of the above, I'll take Taveras since I think he profiles as a player that could have immediate impact when he is called up. I know Myers will be up longer, but for me that just means he'll be hurting you longer.

As for whom I would drop to pick up Myers, for me it's different since I'm not anticipating all that much help. I'd do exactly as Nick suggests and investigate the deal with Colvin. In my mind, if Colvin were to play, his expected numbers are Myers' peak this season. I would not drop any of the others.

Keep in mind this is just one guy's opinion -- based primarily on my disdain for strikeouts. Though I have found relying on this process provides more hits than misses (pun intended). Some like to use their gut or other subjective means in analysis, I prefer the objective path and accept that there will be players going against the odds. In order to be right more than half the time, you need to accept being wrong the rest of the time as opposed to trying to be right every time.

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About Todd Zola, MastersBall.com

Focusing primarily on the science of player valuation and game theory starting in 1997, Todd Zola and Mastersball carved out an important niche in the fantasy industry. In 2006, Todd became the Research Director for fantasybaseball.com, and in 2009, he relaunched Mastersball and is now a managing partner.

Todd competes in Tout Wars and the XFL, and has been a multiple-time league champion in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has been a contributor to the fantasy content at MLB.com and SI.com, is a frequent guest on Sirius/XM and Blog Talk Radio and is an annual speaker at the spring and fall First Pitch Forum symposiums.

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