2014 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Dumpster Diving — Third Base Part II

dominguez land
Source: Stacy Revere/Getty Images North America

In the first edition of dumpster diving this week, we took a look at the younger guys trying to make their way at third base. The second edition will look at some veterans, but with some of these guys with have to put air quotes around that. None of them are what we would call veterans in the traditional sense. Matt Dominguez and Mike Moustakas are still in their twenties and have not yet established themselves fully. We looked at Casey McGehee earlier in the year. He qualifies as the grizzled veteran compared to those we will look at today.

Like with the younger guys, we are looking for players we could potentially add to our bench from the waiver wire. Like with the rookies, these players all bring significant flaws to the table. That is why the vast majority of fantasy players don’t own them. In fact, McGehee and Moustakas are owned by a heftier percentage of owners (21 percent in Yahoo leagues) than any we have seen to this point in our series. Still, when we look at the plate discipline and batted ball statistics, we might see some things that most owners are missing. (Statistics as of May 10th)

Owned

PA

AVG

HR

Runs

RBI

BB

Mike Moustakas

21

118

.142

4

8

14

10

Matt Dominguez

7

134

.240

5

15

13

11

Casey McGehee

21

153

.309

0

9

23

16

The first thing that hit me when looking at these numbers was the big fat zero for McGehee in home runs. I never pegged McGehee as a pure hitter, but I figured he would be able to take advantage of mistakes. In some sense he is doing that. If you assumed that teams are pretty close to the quarter pole, he is on pace to drive in nearly 100 runs. I see no way that he does this without hitting some dingers. So, either he picks up the pace in that department or he slows down in RBIs. Both may end up happening.

Dominguez is an interesting guy. He is on pace to hit 20 home runs for the second season in a row, and he is a plus defensive third baseman. Still, you don’t expect him to hold down that position long in Houston. They have Rio Ruiz waiting in the wings and it’s hard to man a position like third base with an overall weak performer like Dominguez.

Moustakas defies description at this point. Both he and Dominguez are first round picks and both are testaments to the fact that even when some make it to the big leagues, they don’t ever become star performers like you envision on draft day. It doesn’t necessarily mean that either are failures in that sense. It’s a lot more difficult to go from draft day to stardom in baseball than the other two major sports. Maybe there will be something in the plate discipline data that will inspire some confidence in Moustakas.

BABIP

SO%

BB%

Oswing

Contact

Mike Moustakas

.134

18.6

8.5

29.1

82.2

Matt Dominguez

.264

19.4

8.2

33.7

82.2

Casey McGehee

.385

18.3

10.5

22.4

82.3

 

As much as I am a fan of McGehee’s story, I simply can’t recommend keeping him if you have or picking him up if you don’t. On the surface, it looks great to pick up a .300 hitter who has already driven in more than 20 runs. Still, it only matters what he will do from this point forward and there is little chance that he will play the next six weeks like he has played the first six. That leaves the other two as primary targets for your bench.

Moustakas is the classic buy low candidate. There is no way he can continue to produce at that level. It just doesn’t make any sense. He isn’t striking out excessively, his walk rate is up, and he isn’t fishing too much on pitches outside of the strike zone. The question with the classic buy low candidate is whether the Royals will give up on him before the regression occurs. Of course, that largely depends on how much patience they have as an organization. As a waiver claim, it isn’t that expensive to find out.

That leaves Dominguez and he might be the best long-term bet of the bunch. The Astros aren’t about make any lineup changes there, so he has job security. Furthermore, he is playing well enough to continue playing, but has room to grow when you look at his BABIP. He is already showing growth with a walk rate that is higher than a year ago. So, it could be exciting to see how much more this young player will grow.

ISO

LD%

GB%

FB%

HR/FB

SecA

Mike Moustakas

.160

14.0

38.4

47.7

9.8

.266

Matt Dominguez

.190

17.7

39.6

42.7

12.2

.262

Casey McGehee

.081

22.0

45.9

32.1

0.0

.214

 

Again, it looks like Dominguez is the best long-term bet. While his line drive rate doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence, it is fairly close to the league average. Furthermore, his isolated power numbers are greater than the other two players. Last time, we took a look at secondary average for the rookies, so I decided to add that category this time. Essentially, it looks at a player’s offensive value when we remove batting average. However, it is designed to look like a batting average.

Like any other statistic, it was never meant to be the end all be all of human existence. Batting average still matters, but it does allow us to look beyond batting average to see what a hitter is doing. Both Moustakas and Dominguez have more going for them so far. All things considered, I would probably add Dominguez if I needed to add a third baseman. He is more than likely going to hover around .250 (which won’t absolutely kill you) and add between 15 and 20 home runs from here on out. Moustakas is capable of doing the same, but if he continues to hit below the Mendoza line, he might not keep his position.

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