Tag:Detroit Tigers
Posted on: May 2, 2012 11:21 am


After a breakout season in 2011, Alex Avila was one of the most drafted catchers in Fantasy Baseball. Unfortunately, Avila didn't produce up to standards in April. However, despite his struggles, Avila still is a top 10 Fantasy catcher and owners shouldn't cut bait with him. In fact, he's probably going tp pay major dividends for you as the season progresses.

A closer look at Avila's numbers and you will see he's been a bit unlucky through the first month of the season. Entering play Wednesday, Avila owns a .194 BABIP through 18 games. He had a .366 BABIP last season, which is above the norm, but Avila is a very good line-drive hitter. His line-drive percent through 18 games is 27.3 and his flyball rate is just 27.3 percent. Avila's career average for flyball rate is 37.9 percent. If Avila keeps hitting line-drives at his current pace, then his luck should change.  

Also, Avila hasn't been very aggressive at the plate through the first month of the season. He's swinging at just 36.2 percent of the pitches he sees, and making contact with just 79.5 percent of the pitches in the strike zone and 71.3 percent of the pitches he offers at. 

Avila's numbers are below the norm right now in many critical categories, which is why I feel he's headed for an eventual market correction for the better. I advise Fantasy owners to stick with Avila and he's an excellent buy-low candidate if you can find a frustrated Avila owner. 
Posted on: May 2, 2012 11:20 am
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Posted on: May 2, 2012 11:18 am
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Posted on: April 8, 2012 2:16 pm

Action Jackson

-Tigers outfielder Austin Jackson might finally be developing into the breakout Fantasy player we have been waiting for. He had a great opening series against the Red Sox and that should help boost his confidence. Jackson worked this offseason on changing his approach at the plate, so he could cut down on his strikeouts. Manager Jim Leyland also called him at one point the key to the Tigers offense.

-Martin Prado is one of my favorite players to have a bounce-back season this year and he hasn't disappointed. Prado had a great spring training and hit his first homer of the 2012 season over the weekend against the Mets. He's playing with a chip in his shoulder after being mentioned heavily in trade rumors during the offseason.

-We are already seeing the early dividends the new dimensions at Citi Field have helped left-handed slugger Lucas Duda. He hit just two homers and had a .451 slugging percentage in 48 games at Citi Field last season. Duda had a two-homer game Saturday against Atlanta. He pulled both homers. Duda has breakout Fantasy player written all over him.

-If you have read some of my past articles, then you know I'm a big fan of Cardinals prospect Matt Adams. I feel he gets a bad wrap from scouts because he's not an all-around prospect since his defense is suspect. But there's nothing suspect about his offense. He has homered in each of his first three games at the Triple-A level this season. He now has a career .559 slugging percentage and .925 OPS. If he keeps hitting like this, then St. Louis might have no choice but to bring him to the majors. Adams also had some big hits this spring, including a grand slam against the Mets.
Posted on: April 1, 2012 6:19 pm

The Tigers all Smyly

I'm shocked, as well as I'm really not that shocked the Tigers decided to name prospect Drew Smyly as their fifth starting pitcher. The Tigers always seem to promote pitching prospects before their natural progression through the minors is complete. They've done it with Justin Verlander, Rick Porcello, Andrew Miller, Andrew Oliver and Jacob Turner to name a few, and now it's Smyly's turn.

I'm just not sold this is the right move for Smyly's career. I think he is either going to stick in the rotation but post moderate numbers at best or end up back in the minors like Miller, Oliver and Turner have all had to do following their MLB debuts.

Smyly was outstanding in his first minor-league season in 2011. He made it up to Double-A, while going 11-6 with a 2.07 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. He also struck out 9.3 batters per nine innings.

While I think Smyly can be a reliable Fantasy option down the road, I'm not ready to buy the farm after one good spring showing. He's a smart pitcher and has a good arsenal of pitches, but Smyly has durability issues and only pitched 126 innings last season. You really have to wonder how many innings the Tigers will be willing to give him in 2012?

The news of him making the rotation put Smyly on the Fantasy radar because he is a burgeoning pitching prospect starting for a contender. I would just rather have a plethora of other pitchers on my Fantasy team in mixed leagues, no matter his upside. AL-only owners have to take a flier on him just because of the thinner player pool, but I would rather use a roster spot on a more established back-of-the-rotation Fantasy arm over the upside that Smyly might provide.
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