2012 Fantasy Baseball: Professor Buzz Kill

Is Jeter's buzz about to flat-line?

Is Jeter's buzz about to flat-line?

We’ve all been there. Good times, good friends, but for whatever reason it all has to come to an end. Maybe the booze ran out. Maybe the cops show up. Maybe an ex shows up. However it happens, it signifies the end of what was perceived by all to be a good thing.

That is what I’m about to do – kill the buzz on fantasy baseball players who are performing at such a high level that they can’t maintain and should fall back to Earth sometime within the next few weeks.

If you feel like riding the hot streak, fine. If you feel like trading the player away, fine. I don’t care what you do with them, but here are some players with a buzz that is soon to flat-line.

Derek Jeter SS NYY – “The Captain” is hitting .385 on the season with 4 HRs and 13 RBIs. It’s a bit troubling that his BB% is down and he only has one stolen base. It’s also problematic that he carries a .414 BABIP. He had a .336 in 2011 and .307 in 2010.

Josh Willingham OF MIN – His ground ball rate is up 7.3% while his fly ball rate is down 7.8% from his career norms. Plus, he’s seeing more cut fastballs and curve balls than he’s used to. He may still hit for average, but don’t expect him to hit 29 dingers like he did last year.

Lance Lynn SP STL – Ok. I actually like Lance Lynn this year but we need to temper our expectations. He currently has a 1.60 ERA and 0.77 WHIP but his GB%, HR/FB, and HR/9 are all in line with his usual performance. So what explains the torrid pace he has set? Well he his a lower BABIP against than normal. His strand rate is 91.7%. Yes, you read that correctly – 91.7% of base-runners he allows currently are not scoring. That is impossible to sustain as league average can range from 70%-72% depending on the season. Not to worry too much though as his FIP and xFIP suggest that he could be a sub-3.00 ERA guy in 2012.

Bryan LaHair 1B/OF CHC – This one is my favorite. Dude has a .545 BABIP so far in 2012. League average is usually around .300. As if that wasn’t enough to change your mind about him, his K% is up to 33.8%.

Jed Lowrie 3B/SS HOU – Yes he’s locked in at the plate right now. The key phrase being “right now.” But come and listen to my story ’bout a man named Jed, he has had more than 300 PAs twice since 2007. In 2007, 2009, and 2010 he had right around 200 or less. I’ll bet he doesn’t stay healthy enough to crack 400 in 2012.

There are more guys out there to be wary of, but I figure five should be a good place to start for the average fantasy baseballer.

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