Philadelphia Phillies Players’ Fantasy Baseball Relevance

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The Fantasy Relevance of the 2013 Philadelphia Phillies

The Fantasy Relevance of the 2013 Philadelphia Phillies
Howard Smith - USATODAY Sports

To help Philadelphia Phillies fans be “that guy”, the guy who takes all the best players on their favorite team, I decided to assess the Fantasy relevance of every position on the Phillies. I went down the roster and gauged the following factors: their 2012 performance, their career averages not including their rookie season or any other season before they became and every day player, their rank in my favorite H2H league (for reasons I’ll expand on later), and finally the players potential to finish in the top ten and five at their position for regular position players and their potential to be top twenty or ten for pitchers and outfielders.

I listed every players 2012 stats because, obviously it is the most recent sample size we have to draw from. Similarly I averaged their career statistics without their rookie seasons to locate value. A guy like Ryan Howard averages more home runs in his career than he hit last season. He had a bad season last year, but when you compare that to his career numbers you can see what kind of production you can hope for, and whether you think a player will fall back or continue to progress, using their career averages as a baseline.

I use my favorite fantasy league’s Head-to-Head scoring because, as the commissioner, I have tweaked the scoring slightly to reward pitchers going deep into games and how clutch batters are. It may not work for everyone, but they are unique rankings based on statistics I hold valuable, so they work for me.

Finally I took a guess at how likely players were to finish among the top performers at their position. Having players perform among the elite at their position is how you win championships, so its worth having a ranking of your own in your head at every position. Also, I only included the closer and top three starting pitchers, so

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Catcher - Carlos Ruiz

Catcher - Carlos Ruiz
Steve Mitchell - USATODAY Sports

| 2012 | 114 G | 16 HR | 56 R | 68 RBI | .325 AVG | .394 OBP | .540 SLG. | 5.5 WAR|

|Career Avg.|117 G|8 HR|45 R|49 RBI| .275 AVG | .363 OBP | .418 SLG | 3.1 WAR|

H2H Position Rank: 8

Top Ten Potential: Borderline

Top Five Potential: Unlikely

Overview: Don’t sleep on Carlos Ruiz this year. Sure he’s suspended for the first 25 games, but that’s not that long to wait for top ten production. Last year while on Adderal he had career numbers in average, homers, RBI’s, and slugging percentage, all of which he is unlikely to repeat. All the same, I just selected Carlos in the final round of my first mock draft, which is a steal for a Top 10 catcher and an All-Star in 2012.

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First Base - Ryan Howard

First Base - Ryan Howard
Steve Mitchell - USATODAY Sports

| 2012 | 71 G | 14 HR | 28 R | 56 RBI | .219 AVG | .295 OBP | .423 SLG | -1.0 WAR |

| Career|135 G|37.5 HR|82.5 R|115 RBI|.271 AVG|.364 OBP|.551 SLG| 2.75 WAR |

H2H Position Rank: 36

Top Ten Potential: Little

Top Five Potential : None

Overview: Ryan Howard has little value left as a fantasy starter, but as a backup first baseman or a utility player he still has plenty of upside and potential. I’d recommend snagging Ryan if you draft a dual role first baseman ahead of him (Buster Posey, Joe Mauer, Edwin Encarnacion) that way if Ryan Howard has a 30+ HR season as he very likely could, you will have the flexibility to start him, but you won’t need to rely on him.

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Second Base - Chase Utley

Second Base - Chase Utley
Howard Smith - USATODAY Sports

| 2012 | 83 G | 11 HR | 48 R | 45 RBI | 11 SB | .256 AVG | .365 OBP | .429 SLG | 3.2 WAR|

|Career|127 G|22 HR | 85 R | 80 RBI | 13 SB | .288 AVG | .376 OBP | .500 SLG | 5.92 WAR |

H2H Position Rank : 22

Top Ten Potential : Strong

Top Five Potential : Some

Overview : The biggest problem Chase Utley has had since 2011 is getting on the field consistently. He’s not an perennial MVP contender anymore, but he can certainly produce top ten numbers at a fairly shallow position if he can play around 130 games and continue to steal bases (he’s been over his 13 per year pace in recent seasons)

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Third Base - Michael Young

Third Base - Michael Young
Kim Klement - USATODAY Sports

|2012| 156 G | 8 HR | 79 R | 67 RBI | .277 AVG | .312 OBP | .370 SLG | -1.4 WAR|

|Career|152 G|15 HR|90 R | 82 RBI | .301 AVG | .347 OBP | .444 SLG | 2.4 WAR |

H2H Position Rank : 17

Top Ten Potential: Little

Top Five Potential: None

Overview : Sure anything is possible, but I wouldn’t bet a single dollar that Michael Young will finish as one of the top ten third basemen come seasons end. The position has far too much talent for the 36 year old to crack that elite list. He will compete against Miguel Cabrera, Adrian Beltre, David Wright, Chase Headley, Ryan Zimmerman, Brett Lawrie, Hanley Ramirez, and Martin Prado just to name a few of the guys Young is competing with. Sure Michael can hit for average, his power is a big concern, and without power it is tough to set yourself apart at such a deep position.

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Shortstop - Jimmy Rollins

SS - Jimmy Rollins
Steve Mitchell - USATODAY Sports

|2012| 23 HR | 102 R | 68 RBI | 30 SB | .250 AVG | .316 OBP | .427 SLG | 4.9 WAR |

|Career|17.5 HR|107 R|71.5 RBI|36 SB| .270 AVG| .328 OBP | .432 SLG | 4.42 WAR|

H2H Position Rank: 2

Top Ten Potential: Lock

Top Five Potential: Strong

Overview: Jimmy Rollins is one of the best shortstops in the game, and last year he produced like it yet again. Shortstop is pretty shallow again this year, and because of that Jimmy should be able to breach the top five yet again, especially if Rollins bats in a run producing slot in the lineup instead of leadoff.

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Corner Outfielders - Delmon Young, Darin Ruf, Domonic Brown, Laynce Nix

Corner Outfielders - Delmon Young, Darin Ruf, Domonic Brown, Laynce Nix
Eric Hartline - USATODAY Sports

Don’t worry yourself with statistics with these four, as all four will likely platoon. If you think you see something in one of these players that makes you want them, I’d recommend waiting until the end of the draft. Literally the end. Wait until either the last round or free agency. Delmon Young is a bit different, but since he has to prove himself and he is out until May I wouldn’t waste a pick on him, I would consider grabbing him closer to his return.

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Center Field - Ben Revere

Center Field - Ben Revere
Jesse Johnson - USATODAY Sports

|2012| 124 G | 0 HR | 70 R | 32 RBI | 40 SB | .294 AVG | .333 OBP | .342 SLG | 3.4 WAR |

|Career|120 G|0 HR | 63 R | 31 RBI | 37 SB | .278 AVG | .319 OBP | .323 SLG | 2.7 WAR |

H2H Position Rank : 53

Top Twenty Potential : Some

Top Ten Potential : Little

Overview: Ben Revere has only been a regular player for two seasons, he played 124 games last year and 117 in 2011. He averages a steal every 3.25 games, so if he can push his games played into the 150s (as I’m sure the Phillies will push him to do) then you will see those totals rise into the 50s. Revere turns 25 in May, at his young age I expect the Phillies to ride him hard, and put him in Jimmy Rollins normal leadoff position. This switch to the front of a better team (he was on the Minnesota Twins) should drive his run total up, and with that his H2H value will rise, and his WAR will rise. Ben doesn’t have any power, so unless he can start driving to the ball hard into the alleys of the small Citizens Bank Park I doubt his slugging will rise very much. His value lies in his OBP, the more walks Ben can draw the more steals he can collect, which will push his value up. If Ben can have 50 or more steals he will find himself on the fringe of a top 20 outfielder, but unless he finds some power (legally) an appearance in the top ten is unlikely, on the other hand Michael Bourn has done it so there is no reason Revere isn’t capable.

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Starting Pitcher - Cole Hamels

Starting Pitcher - Cole Hamels
Steve Mitchell - USATODAY Sports

|2012| 17-6 | 215.1 IP | 9.03 K/9 | 3.05 ERA | 1.12 WHIP | 4.5 WAR |

|Career|82-52|207.1 IP| 8.54 K/9| 3.34 ERA | 1.14 WHIP | 4.1 WAR |

H2H Position Rank : 6

Top 20 Potential : Lock

Top 10 Potential : Strong

Overview: If Cole Hamels isn’t one of the first ten pitchers taken in your league then thank the good Lord above, you play with a bunch of morons. At this point in his career I think Cole is the best fantasy player the Phillies have to offer. He’s an ace, and one of the best pitchers in the league, and since he had better numbers than both Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee in 2012 he should be drafted before them. Look at Cole as a 2nd or 3rd round pick, and if you stumble upon him any time after the third pull the trigger.

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Starting Pitcher - Cliff Lee

Starting Pitcher - Cliff Lee
Brad Mills - USATODAY Sports

|2012| 6-9 | 211 IP | 8.83 K/9 | 3.16 ERA | 1.11 WHIP | 4.9 WAR |

|Career| 122-74|199 IP|7.43 K/9|3.59 ERA|1.21 WHIP| 4.5 WAR |

H2H Position Rank: 20

Top Twenty Potential: Strong

Top 10 Potential: Good

Overview: Cliff Lee had much better statistics than his 6-9 record and 20th ranking demonstrate. Have no fear, draft him confidently.

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Starting Pitcher - Roy Halladay

Starting Pitcher - Roy Halladay
Steve Mitchell - USATODAY Sports

|2012| 11-8 | 156.1 IP | 7.60 K/9 | 4.49 ERA | 1.22 WHIP | 2.5 WAR|

|Career|198-100|191 IP|6.92 K/9| 3.31 ERA | 1.17 WHIP | 5.12 WAR|

H2H Position Rank: 66

Top Twenty Potential: Decent

Top Ten Potential: Judgment Call

Overview: Roy Halladay went to the last pick in the 5th round (60th overall) in my most recent fantasy draft, but I wouldn’t expect that position to hold. Roy is a gut feeling guy for a lot of owners, if someone thinks they know Halladay will be back to his old tricks they may be willing to reach and get him in the 3rd or 4th round. Conversely, some think Roy is done as a frontline starter, and that drafting him before the 7th round is a waste. He’s a judgment call this year, and his draft position will go up and down based on his spring training performance. Be careful, and be sure to weigh the risk versus the reward.

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Closer - Jonathan Papelbon

Closer - Jonathan Papelbon
Anthony Gruppuso - USATODAY Sports

|2012| 70 IP | 38 SV | 3 BS| 5-6| 2.44 ERA | 1.06 WHIP | 11.83 K/9| 1.4 WAR|

|Career| 66.2 IP|37 SV|5 BS|25-24|2.34 ERA|1.02 WHIP|10.82 K/9| 2.3 WAR|

H2H Position Rank: 12

Top Twenty Potential: Lock

Top Ten Potential: Strong

Overview: Of the 12 relief pitchers who finished ahead of Jonathon Papelbon 5 of them were starting pitchers, which makes Papelbon the 7TH highest ranked closer. Paps has been consistent in his career, and should be one of the first seven or eight closers taken.

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