2014 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Dumpster Diving — Right Field, Part II

GerardoParra

Baseball players are multi-dimensional and it is paramount that we understand each of these dimensions when looking at any individual player. For instance, people might look at Gerardo Parra and wonder why he is playing every day. That becomes much more clear when you look at his fielding numbers. Most people in the industry prefer to look at defensive runs saved (DRS) from the Fielding Bible.

This season he stands at -1 runs saved, but he turned in one of the more valuable seasons last year with +36 runs. Those runs saved are just as valuable as any runs he could have produced on the offensive end. He was going to play every day even if he wasn’t as productive as other right fielders in the game. When we look at Parra alongside Nate Schierholtz and Will Venable we have to keep the fielding in mind.

PA

AVG

HR

Runs

RBI

SB

BB

Gerardo Parra

267

.281

5

35

23

4

18

Will Venable

184

.212

1

17

10

2

14

Nate Schierholtz

201

.215

2

17

18

3

13

Saying that Parra is the best player here is not saying a whole heck of a lot. Of course, the question is not who has performed the best up until now. Any idiot can see that. The question is which of these players will perform better from here on out. That is one of the hardest things to grasp for fantasy players. When looking at the waiver wire, you want to get the guys that will play the best from here on out.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat. Some players will simply look at the pedigree and go from there. Both Venable and Schierholtz have performed better than they are right now. You could easily add them on that basis alone. Others might look at the numbers behind the numbers to see who is due to have some better batted ball luck. The plate discipline numbers will show us about half the picture.

BABIP

SO%

BB%

Oswing

Contact

Gerardo Parra

.322

15.8

6.6

30.4

86.5

Will Venable

.292

26.6

7.4

33.9

73.2

Nate Schierholz

.266

21.9

6.5

35.6

78.9

When you look at these numbers you are looking for signs of growth or signs of contraction. Parra is clearly at his ceiling right now. That definitely affects the way you should look at him. That means the ceiling for him would be hitting .280/15/100/70. That’s not bad at all, but it’s not the kind of production you would want from a starting quality corner outfielder. It might work as a backup.

Venable has a career .313 BABIP, so we might expect some natural growth in his batting average. However, it wouldn’t be enough to redeem his season on his own. We’ve seen some growth over the course of the season (.198 average in April, .235 in May). Maybe there is hope for the remainder of the season. One thing is for sure, if you go on track record then you would have a guy with 20+ steals and around ten home runs. Now he has only one home run and two steals.

As for Nate Schierholtz, it is probably just as likely that he was a place-holder for the Cubs until one of their prospects was ready to finally take over. He hit 21 home runs a year ago, so they probably were just fine having him man right field every day. Unfortunately, last season appears to be the aberration, so you probably don’t want to add him based on the information available.

ISO

SecA

ROV

LD%

GB%

FB%

HR/FB

Gerardo Parra

.129

.201

.241

23.8

55.3

20.9

11.6

Will Venable

.082

.159

.186

15.9

53.1

31.0

2.9

Nate Schierholtz

.083

.149

.182

23.6

37.9

38.6

3.7

Real offensive value (ROV) is not a perfect measure of performance. There are no perfect measures of performance. However, it is helpful because it is fairly easy to interpret. You look at it the same way you look at batting average except it contains everything a player would contribute offensively. Obviously, all three players have been significantly below average this season, but only Parra is passable.

The other two might end up coming back to career norms, but when you look at their career norms more closely, they aren’t that great anyway. At the very least, Parra is producing some good runs and RBI totals in comparison to what he has in the past. It might be a gamble that he will continue to produce, but if you are just adding him to your bench it’s not that much of a gamble. If you don’t have much bench space to use you might just want to keep looking.

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2014 Fantasy Baseball: The Rookie Report, June 10

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