Don’t search for Corey Hart, you’ll find underwhelming statistics and this guy.
Photo Credit: iluvrhinestones
Greetings members of the fantasy community. Today, I return to my roots (sort of). That’s right; we’re talking about good old fantasy baseball again. It’s been a pretty good week for yours truly. I happen to have Jay Bruce on most of my teams, so I’m cruising to victory in all but one league. Bruce, however, wasn’t the only star of the week. Corey Hart, a player dear to my soul, erupted with four homeruns in two games (3 HR’s in one) on May 23rd and 24th. It appears as if his power stroke is back. A valuable lesson I’ve learned in my short life though is that things rarely are as they appear. Have no idea what I’m talking about? Make the jump to find out:
Corey Hart is a legitimate power threat, right? Before I whip out my analysis which inevitably will include a plethora of “boring/awesome” statistics, I want to tell you all a story. It goes a little something like this:
Once upon a time, in the best city in the world (well tied with New York anyways) Montreal, a phenom in the fantasy sports community prepared for the upcoming baseball season. After rigorous statistical and ADP analysis, the phenom had completed his rankings and uncovered what he believed to be the “players to own” in 2011. Upon completing his drafts, the phenom noticed a trend. Besides drafting what he believed to be “unbeatable” teams, he noticed one player found a way onto most of his rosters. That player was Corey Hart. Being that Corey Hart could be had at a discount price, the phenom had no trouble pulling the trigger on him. After all, he did hit 31 HR’s last year, and is playing in a stacked lineup that includes fantasy studs Rickie Weekes, Ryan Braun, and Prince Fielder. He did not seem to care that reports of Hart starting the season on the DL were looming. A smokescreen was what the phenom thought it was. As it turned out, Hart did end up starting the season on the DL. The phenom was crushed, and spent many weeks in therapy sessions in an attempt to soothe his pain. It seemed as if the end was near. However, the phenom, not wanting to give up, fought through the pain and quickly found replacements for the injured brewer. Amongst the replacements included Alex Gordon ( 46th in Y’ Rankings) and MDS’ lover boy Michael Brantley (97th in Y’ Rankings). All was well in lala land for the youngster. His teams began their utter dominance, with Corey Hart anxiously waiting on the DL for his time to shine. As stated, this happened on May 23rd, when Hart hammered three homeruns and 7 RBI’s in one game. He followed up the impressive performance with another homer on the 24th. The phenom couldn’t be happier. The End.
Confused? Inspired? Flabbergasted? You should be. So what exactly is the moral of that lovely tale? Basically, the point I’m trying to get across is that Hart, although clearly talented, is (gulp) expendable. Yes, he has some power potential, and does have plenty of good bats surrounding him, but that isn’t the whole story. Although a small sample size (25 games, 91 at bats) his supporting statistics show some decline.
His BABIP of .303 and LD% of 18.6 sit at career norms suggesting that his average will likely remain between .260-.275. Also, His OBP (.340 in 10’, .309 in 11’) and wOBA(.369 in 10’, .338 in 11’) have decreased substantially, signifying that his offensive production has faltered. What’s perhaps the most important thing to note, however, is that his ISO has decreased from the .240 mark in 10’ to the .209 mark in 11’. Put simply, Hart isn’t going to hit for average, isn’t reaching base as much as he used to, and isn’t hitting for power as frequently as he used to. He’s clearly regressed, and to further complicate matters, he’s hitting less Fly Balls (43.9% in 10’, 37.1% in 11’) and more ground balls (44.3 %) in 2011 than he did in 2010. The 31 homeruns in 2010 may have been the anomaly of his career. In retrospect, the phenom in the tale should have known better. So gamers, my suggestion to you is simple. Considering that you’ve gotten by without Hart’s services thus far, and most likely found a suitable replacement for him (remember what the phenom did?), why not use Hart’s recent power surge as grounds to get this 84 % owned (in Yahoo leagues) commodity off your hands. Guaranteed, there is at least one manager in your league who is a little over-zealous, and who probably took Hart’s recent performance as signs of things to come. If at all possible, keep the replacement you’ve been using for Hart and try and ship him for team needs. It is the best and only thing you can do. Keep in mind, that although likely to decline, Hart’s services will not completely destroy your team. He still has some power and RBI potential. Nevertheless, there are better options out there. Fantasy sports isn’t about playing favourites or acquiring brand name players, it’s about numbers. Be rid yourselves of this Brewer folks. I no longer wear my sunglasses at night, follow my lead and find a better option.
Final 2011 Line: .262 AVG/ 59 Runs/19 HR/72 RBI/5 SB
Justin Occhionero has been dominating the Fantasy sports world for 6 years now. When not obsessing over his teams, he enjoys long walks on the beach, chai latte’s, and making fun of MDS’ analysis (albeit most of the time they agree). Follow him on Twitter or send him questions, comments or a Haiku to firstname.lastname@example.org