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Posts Tagged ‘MLB’

MLB Free Agent Watch: Chase Utley

December 4, 2015 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off
Chase_Utley2
Chase Utley has to be better than he was last year. Right? (m.mlb.com)

Last season was the worst of Chase Utley’s fantastic career — by far. And while he was slightly better after getting traded to the Dodgers, for Fantasy purposes, we were more interested in one of the players that Philly got in the deal.

Perhaps the biggest impact Utley made came in the postseason, when his hard and extremely controversial slide (see video below) wound up breaking Ruben Tejada’s leg — and earned Utley a two-game suspension.

While with the Phils, Utley’s power continued to wane and he was mostly unproductive even though he marginally improved his contact rates. He didn’t attempt steals very often, but when he did, he was successful.

The bottom line, however, is that for the first time in his career, Utley was a below replacement level player. As great and as celebrated a run as he’d had in Philadelphia, it was time for the Phillies to move in a different direction and get whatever they could for him.

The soon-to-be-37-year-old second baseman hit even worse for the Dodgers, although he was a bit more palatable for Fantasy purposes because he got on base more often and hit with a tad more power.

Getting back to the playoffs for the first time since 2011, Utley was 1-for-3 with a run in limited action — as mentioned, the hit on Tejada being his biggest contribution to the 2015 postseason. Tejada, probably the Mets’ best defensive shortstop, is currently recovering.

Utley, a free agent this winter after LA declined his 2016 option last month, may return to the Dodgers — but not as a starter. They’d like him back so he can be the main reserve at first, second and third base. The Angels — who tried to acquire him at the deadline — are also kicking his tires, as are the Padres, so it sounds like there’s a good chance Utley will remain on the left coast, in what could be his final season.

He doesn’t seem like a good match in San Diego. Didn’t the Padres go down the road of the overpriced veteran with their free agent/trade frenzy last year? That didn’t work out so well, did it?

Utley, the 15th overall pick way back in 2000, is a California native, so no surprise he’d like to end his career there, preferably with a team that has a chance to actually win it. Despite his injuries last year, he has averaged 539 plate appearances over the last three years. Still, there’s no doubt health remains a concern at this stage of the game.

Utley’s batting eye regressed last year, he hit ground balls at a higher rate than ever (hence the power outage even with a slightly better HR/FB percentage) and he swung at more pitches outside of the strike zone (though it was just a modest increase).

So could Utley rebound? Absolutely, to an extent. You need look no further than his .230 BABIP last season as evidence that his results were skewed. We expect Utley to be somewhat more productive in 2016, but Fantasy worthy? That could be a stretch in anything other than very deep single league formats — unless he takes advantage of a injury to a starter (again, assuming he signs as a backup).

The UCLA product was considered a tremendous batting prospect when he was scouted as a college kid, and was compared to the likes of Todd Walker and Adam Kennedy, two of the better offensive players at the keystone corner at the time. Clearly, Utley wound up having a much better career than either of those players, and now, over 1,500 games into his career, he sits within shouting distance of 1,000 runs, 250 homers and 1,000 RBI — some impressive numbers for a second baseman.

Utley’s numbers are not Hall of Fame worthy, but for what it’s worth, Baseball-Reference.com lists him as being most similar to Joe Gordon, a Hall of Famer considered among the best 20 second baseman in baseball history.

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below where you think Utley will wind up and what kind of production will he deliver.

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2015 MLB Wire Troll All-Star Team

November 30, 2015 | by Michael Seff | Comments Comments Off
Schwarber tore it up almost right out of the gate once he arrived on the scene, even as he spent a lot of time in the outfield despite his draft status as a catcher. Still, he ended his rookie campaign with 16 home runs and was almost universally owned in ESPN and CBS leagues.
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Podcast: Christian Yelich’s Wonky Back

April 17, 2015 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off
After a week off, RotoRob Fantasy Baseball Weekly Podcast — heard every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST on Blogtalkradio — was back in action as RotoRob was joined by Tim McLeod of Pattonandco.com. BTR was acting particularly bitchy Thursday — kicking us both off multiple times. So please excuse the dead air, but — not to be denied — we return shortly after each absence.
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Video Game Review: Nicktoons MLB

September 24, 2011 | by Jess Castro | Comments Comments Off
When your team takes the field, different pitches are clearly mapped to each face button. Holding the button of your choice charges a meter while you aim with the left stick — when the meter hits its peak, release the button and the pitch is made. Hitting the meter’s peak successfully results in an accurate fast pitch that’s hard to nail. If the batter hits the pitch, left trigger will swap control over to the fielder closest to the ball and “A” will make a jump or dive for air balls. Once the ball is snagged, the layout of the face buttons correspond to each base you want to throw to. Whether in the field or at bat, pressing right trigger activates a fast and powerful version of your pitches, swings, and field movement for a touch of over-the-top action.
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MLB Today: Conor Jackson Showing Signs of Life

April 8, 2011 | by RotoRob | Comments (2)
At any rate, with the Jays starting southpaws in the opening and closing games of this series, Jackson got a pair of starts, and he responded with three hits, a walk and two RBI. If he continues to produce (and play defense – he made a sparkling catch to end a threat in the sixth), his playing time should increase, so he’s a name for AL-only league owners to put on their radar. Oakland is clearly desperate for an offensive spark, so keep an eye on this situation.
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