“Joe Talkin’ To Me?!” AL West Fantasy Baseball Manifest Destiny: MVP Vogting
Why is the sky blue? Who built Machu Picchu atop the Andies Mountains? How does Billy Beane keep finding diamonds in the rough? These are some the most dubious occurrences that have puzzled mankind.
In the case of Bean’s “lucky shoe”, he has done it again, stepping in Stephen Vogt. Vogt came from nowhere to post a solid half season for the A’s in 2014, posting 9 HR, 35 RBI, and a .279 BA in 84 GP. After hitting .343 and .357 in June and July, he hit .212 and .121 in August and September. This led many fantasy players to assume Vogt was a case of a 29-year-old having the greatest two months of his life, followed by a return to Earth and normality.
Vogt, the career .305 MiLB hitter, has attacked the doubters with a vengeance through April and into May during the 2015 season. Slashing .310/.416/.611, and accumulating 9 HR and 30 RBI, has the doubters believing. Who would have thought that a dude who looks like your loud, fat, cigar smoking uncle would be the Fantasy Baseball MVP at this point in the season?
I am not proclaiming that Vogt is the best player, or that he has the best numbers. I am telling you that Vogt has given more bang for the buck than any player in fantasy. He is ranked inside the top 20 in every fantasy format, and all the players ahead of him, with the exception of Eric Hosmer, were drafted within the first 3-to-4 rounds.
You may not agree that he is the fantasy MVP, but considering that Vogt was not drafted in any of the leagues I am in, had an ADP of 332, and is on 20.6% of first place fantasy teams, owners who grabbed him are surely sporting “white knuckles”. The real question is, can he keep it up? Pointing to the 20/20 BB/K ratio, I say yes.
AL West Headlines
Just when I was feeling guilty for not giving props to Jake Marisnick…He has seen his batting average go from .391 to .292 in 14 games. No one thought he would hit .400, but he is so cold right now that he went from a top 10 commodity to barely rosterable, in two weeks. If it was not for the steals, nine on the season, I would completely drop him. On second thought, he has not had one steal during this slide. Not calling him a “Roster Zombie” yet, but I have dropped him.
Kole Calhoun, the new clean up hitter. So, Mike Sciocsia has proclaimed Calhoun to be his clean up hitter. What will this do for his fantasy outlook? He is hitting .385 with RISP so far this season. For an offense that ranks 27th in runs scored, this is more than likely a move to jumpstart the offense than a move based on Calhoun’s skill set. That being said, he will have more RBI opportunities and less run scoring opportunities. We all know Mike Trout will be on base, creating havoc, in front of Calhoun, but what about Pujols?
Reports of reports of Albert Pujols’ demiss being overblown, were overblown. Albert has not had an OPS over .790 in three years. He currently sits at .706, easily the worst of his career. The disturbing part is the .232 BA and .286 OBP. Even if you get old, and the power goes, great hitters should still hit over .232. It is early and there is time for him to get hot, but let’s hope we are not seeing a sudden demise from one of the true greats before he has a chance to get into the record books.
Waiver Wire Rescue
Brad Miller, SS, SEA – It appears losing the SS gig to Chris Taylor has lit a fire under Miller. He has played DH a bunch, and even the OF, while Taylor has floundered in his big opportunity. Miller has raised his average 20 points and his OPS a whopping 194 points. Now sporting an .828 OPS, off a 2 HR game Saturday, now is the time to buy this suddenly motivated, former top prospect.
Mike Trout, OF, LAA – I really struggled this week to find commonly unowned players in the AL West deserving of a waiver wire add. So, I just wanted to throw it out there in case he got dropped in your league. This dude is pretty good.
Yovani Gallardo, SP, TEX – He has pitched OK, but the 200 K seasons are long gone from Gallardo. Now he is on a terrible team, in a terrible stadium. Ditch him before the balls start flying out in Arlington.
Johnny Giavotella, 2B, LAA – Since hitting a grand slam on April 21st, the BA and OBP have dropped from .317/.383 to .274/.326. He is slugging only .342 with 1 HR. 1 HR is a category killer. There is even more room for regression.
Jonathan Villar, SS, HOU – If you gave him a shot after Lowrie went down hoping for steals, give some one else a shot now. With a .229 BA, 0 HR, and just 5 R, Lowrie would have actually been a better contributor.
“And Boggs Never Walked Again”
Albert Pujols, 1B, LAA – Hand contusion, day-to-day
Jed Lowrie, SS, HOU – Thumb, expected return after the All-Star break.
George Springer, OF, HOU – Returned to action.
Mitch Moreland, 1B/DH, TEX – Elbow surgery, expected return May 13th.
Josh Hamilton, OF, TEX – Shoulder, expected return May 25th-27th.
Derek Holland, SP, TEX – Shoulder, expected return early July.
Yu Darvish, SP, TEX – Tommy John Surgery, out for the season.
Jurickson Profar, 2B, TEX – Shoulder surgery, out for the season.
Ike Davis, 1B/DH, OAK – Strained quad, no timetable for return.
Ben Zobrist, 2B/SS/OF, OAK – Knee surgery, expected returnMay 25th.
Sean Doolittle, RP, OAK – Shoulder, expected return early to mid May.
Coco Crisp, OF, OAK – Neck, day-to-day.
Jarrod Parker, SP, OAK – Broken elbow, expected to miss entire season.
Drew Pomeranz, SP, OAK – Sore Shoulder, no timetable for return.
Eric O’flaherty, RP, OAK – Shoulder inflamation, no timetable for return.
Chris Taylor, SS, SEA – Hand, day-to-day.
Hisashi Iwakuma, SP, SEA – Lat strain, expected return early June.
Tom Wilhelmsen, RP, SEA – Hyperextended elbow, expected return mid May.
Austin Jackson, OF, SEA – Sprained ankle, expected return lat May.
I recently traded Andrew McCutchen for Bryce Harper BEFORE he got hot. It has obviously paid off so far, but did I do right for the long term? – Melvin, West Palm, FL
McCutchen has been hot himself lately, posting 3 HR and 9 RBI over his last 10 games. He is sitting on an ugly .238 BA that has risen 53 points in the last two weeks. Cutch is a career .296 hitter and I fully expect his numbers to be where we are accustomed to seeing them by year’s end. That being said, we all know ow hot Harper has been, and you have had an enjoyable ride thus far. Harper is just 22-years-old and this could be his breakout. He was drafted number one overall for a reason. The dude can rake! Blessed with massive power and a good sense of what he is doing at the plate, only an injury can slow him down. Harper has put it all together this season. Congrats on the trade! If it was a keeper league, you just got your franchise.
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