Fantasy Baseball Tumbling Dice: I hate you, Danny Valencia

by Lawr Michaels, on June 18, 2013 @ 09:18:38 PDT


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We all have those players.

Baltimore Orioles INF Danny Valencia
Finally useful

You know, the Ike Davises and Josh Rutledges (this season) who whet our fantasy appetites with hope -- and even some confidence that they would deliver the goods, as in stats -- in a way that will show the world just how smart we were to select them.

And then they fall in the crapper.

Sometimes we draft them again with the hope they will redeem us.

And sometimes they are drafted over and over, but with continued dismal results.

But the worst are the Danny Valencias of the world. Guys that you pluck out of the FAAB pool because they can hit and have good numbers.

Guys that actually play pretty well at first.

And then tank. And then tank again. And then tank again.

So, like a lover you have finally had it with, you walk away, satisfied that "that is it" and you are done. And you are, so that even when the player returns to the bigs in some circuitous fashion, on a different team, several years later, you can simply keep moving forward.

And then they put up -- are you listening, Mr. Valencia? -- pretty good numbers. Numbers good enough to break your heart, just like the lover you thought you had left in the rear-view whom you see at a bar and looks better -- and maybe more well-adjusted -- than ever.

Using Valencia as the example, the third sacker went .311-7-40 over 85 Minnesota games in 2010, with a pretty good .351 OBP (his Minor League totals in that vein even looked good up until that point). Valencia's 2011 (.246-15-72) was a little down average-wise, but the power numbers were up.

But nothing suggested he would fall off the map. In successive years from 2011, Valencia hit .188, .198, and .143, so why would anyone bother with him this year when the Orioles brought the now utility middle infielder back up? Well, because he is hitting a modest .292-4-8 over 51 at-bats, wonderful for a $1 FAAB pick up in a deep league. Wonderful, that is for everyone but me who simply could not bear to roster him anymore, despite having a pretty big hole at third base (Kevin Youkilis, replaced by the awful Chris Nelson).

Other examples....

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About Lawr Michaels,

Lawr Michaels has been a player in the fantasy baseball industry since he began writing for John Benson in 1993. He has written for STATS, Inc, was the first fantasy columnist for CBS Sportsline, and has appeared in numerous journals and on websites. In 1996, he founded CREATiVESPORTS, a staple for serious fantasy players, which he merged into Mastersball in 2010.

Over the years, Lawr has participated in a wide variety of playing formats and won numerous titles, including AL Tout Wars crowns in 2001 and 2009. Along with his Mastersball duties, Lawr works for as a statistician. Fantasy Baseball

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