August 14, 2012 posted by Matthew Dewoskin

2012 Fantasy Baseball: Leaders and Laggards HR:FB Ratio Revisited Laggards Edition

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Ben Revere, OF, Minnesota Twins

Power truly is at a premium in fantasy baseball. The players on this list…won’t help you out very much. No really. If you’re looking to these guys for power production, you’re pretty much screwed. Completely. There’s a reason these guys on laggards and it’s not because of their track record of hitting homers. It’s the exact opposite. One of these guys hasn’t homered in a major league game since 2009! Ozzie Guillen was managing the White Sox, Robin Ventura was managing his kids’ little league team and Bobby V was still managing in Japan. 

Some men are leaders while others are laggards and none lag behind more in the home run race  than these guys…

1. Jamey Carroll 0.0%
2. Ben Revere 0.0%
3. Jemile Weeks 1.8%
4. David DeJesus 2.0%
5. Elvis Andrus 2.6%
6. Michael Young 3.3%
7. Denard Span 3.6%
8. Marco Scutaro 3.8%
9. Michael Brantley 3.8%
10. Brandon Crawford 4.0%

Jamey Carroll has no power, no speed and doesn’t hit for average. He hasn’t homered in a major league baseball game since 2009. He should not be on your fantasy roster for any reason.

Ben Revere’s career high for homers in the minors is two. Two. Two homers. Two. It shouldn’t be a shock to see him with a 0.0% HR:FB ratio. He’s not on your roster for his power.

Jemile Weeks is having a weird season. Statistically speaking. Weeks hit two homers last year in about sixty fewer PA’s. So, it’s not a huge shock to see him on this list. He’s even hit a lot fewer fly balls this year than last year(31.8% FB % this year compared to a 36.9% last year). His swing metrics are all trending in the right direction. His swing %, o-swing % and swinging strike % have all gone down this year and his walk-rate has doubled. So, why is he so awful this year? His .254 BABIP is a huge part of it. He’s improved his approach at the plate, but he’s been terribly unlucky on balls in play for a guy with his speed who hits a lot of balls on the ground(1.54 GB:FB ratio). His LD % is down from last year(23.2% last year compared to 19.3% this year). It likely boils down to regressing from his.354 BABIP last year combined with poor luck this year. Weeks looks like a solid MI play for 2013.

David DeJesus has never been much of a power hitter. His career HR:FB ratio is only 6.3% and most of that was amassed hitting a lot lower in the batting order than he currently resides. DeJesus has been used as a leadoff hitter in Dale Sveum’s lineups this year. Seeing him post a career low HR:FB ratio while being asked to get on base in a lineup that offers little protection shouldn’t be a huge shock to anyone.

Elvis Andrus career HR:FB ratio is only 3.6%. A 2.6 HR:FB ratio shouldn’t cause all the newspapers in Texas to stop printing. Andrus doesn’t have much power. This isn’t news.

Now Michael Young posting a 3.3% HR:FB ratio should stop all of the newspapers in Texas to stop printing. Remember when everyone told you he played out over his skis last year with a .367 BABIP? Yeah, they were right. Young has crashed back to earth after riding high for all of 2012. He’s swinging at a lot of pitches outside the zone this year(career high 34.1% o-swing %) and swinging a lot more overall(career high 52.9% swing %). His 54.2% GB % is also a career high and resulting in a lot of ground outs because Young simply doesn’t have the speed to beat out those grounders. He’s been a black hole in the Rangers lineup and your fantasy lineup. The bigger problem is that the arrival of Mike Olt could cause Young to lose out on playing time. If there are better options on the waiver wire, it’s probably past time to use them.

Denard Span’s career average HR:FB ratio is only 4.5%. A 3.6% isn’t completely ridiculous. Moving on…

Marco Scutaro has managed to hang on to a full time job for the last nine years because he plays competent defense, runs the bases well and can draw an occasional walk. Power is not a reason to keep Scutaro on a roster and that’s reflected in his 5.2% career HR:FB ratio. His current 3.8% would be a career low, but it’s not entirely unexpected.

Michael Brantley is yet another guy that has proven that he doesn’t have much power. We have a 1400 PA+ sample size to go by and it’s safe to say that his 4.3% career HR:FB ratio isn’t a mirage. Dude just doesn’t have a lot of pop.

It’s kind of amazing that the Giants have stuck with a player as mediocre as Brandon Crawford for over 300 PA’s this year. He’s proven that he’s not very capable as a major league hitter. He strikes out a ton(20.2% K-rate this year) and doesn’t have a lot of power production to show for it. Crawford should be kept safe on the waiver wire. He would only hurt your fantasy team.


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