MLB Real Talk (5/24/11)

Photo Credit: slgckgc

Justin Turner fever is spreading faster than a maid’s buttocks in Dominique Strauss-Khan’s bedchambers, and like the IMF chief’s trysts, it’s been forcibly shoved down our holes. There’s already a Twitter account dedicated to Justin Turner Facts (@TurnerFacts) and Mets fans have embraced the ginger with open arms. Fantasy owners continue to have their curiosity piqued as well since Turner’s ownership rate has risen to 17-percent in Yahoo! leagues. He’s come out of nowhere to post a .333/.382/.492 line in 68 PAs and has driven in 15 to date. People love these random breakout stories and since Turner is eligible at 2B, it’s easy to see why fantasy owners are taking the plunge. That doesn’t mean I agree with their thinking. For starters, second base is not a “shallow” position as many people seem to think. Sure it isn’t loaded with elite talent, but there are a lot of good-to-great options at second, so it’s not like 12-team mixed league owners have to go out and add a dude like Turner. Second, while Turner has shown solid power in the minors the last couple of years, the Citi Field effect (coupled with the “major league pitchers are better than minor league pitchers” theory) means that you are looking at about 10 HRs this season. Third, his SB potential is pretty low, which hurts his value when compared to MIs who can traditionally swipe more bases. The best case scenario for Turner is that he becomes the next Darwin Barney. That’s not bad if you are in a deeper league that uses MIs and needs the BA help, but he’s hardly a difference-maker in fantasy. The worst-case scenario? Turner looks at his jersey, says “oh, that’s right, I’m a New York Mutt,” and immediately slips into a 0-for-234 slump.

Speaking of Mets, Angel Pagan is coming off the DL on Friday and fantasy owners in need of OF help should look to add him now. He’s owned in 35 percent of Yahoo! leagues and was sucking big time before hitting the DL with a strained oblique (.159/.259/.246 in 82 PAs). He was making weak contact this season with a 15.0 LD% and 16.1 Infield Fly Ball Percentage (IFFB%), but he stole four bases in 19 games and swiped 37 bags last year. Any OF who can steal bases is always a player of interest, but this one can actually contribute in counting categories as well. Keep in mind that if he’s back batting second in the lineup, he’ll be hitting behind R-machine Jose Reyes and in front of Carlos Beltran and company. There is definitely some upside to be had here, so fantasy owners should take a chance on him.

It’s a bit surprising that Domonic Brown is owned in just 28-percent of Yahoo! leagues. Sure he’s off to a 1-for-8 start and battled injuries early this year, but he’s shown good power in the minors and is a lefty hitting at Citizen’s Bank Park. He can even chip in a few SBs. Manager Charlie Manuel says he won’t play him against lefties initially, but Ben Francisco isn’t the answer in right field. Even with Chase Utley back, the Phillies lineup could use more juice and if Brown gets rolling, Phillies fans and fantasy owners alike will be calling for Manuel to “Ban” Francisco. Official No-Star-damus prediction: Brown will play and produce no less than an OF3 from here on out (with the upside of hitting like an OF2).

A lot of people got off the J.P. Arencibia bandwagon early in the season thanks to his struggles at the plate and the fact that he was in a platoon with Jose Molina. He’s killing it over his last seven games, however, rocking a .370 BA with three HRs, three doubles, and 11 RBIs. Even though it seems like he’s not having a “good” overall season, he’s actually the sixth ranked C in Yahoo!, yet is only 41-percent owned. Arencibia’s all-or-nothing approach at the plate (26.0 K% and 49.5 FB%) makes him a BA liability, but let’s be real here. The catcher position in fantasy is dryer than an old woman’s cooch, so while Arencibia will have his ups-and-downs, his plus-power makes him a lock to finish as a top 10 option at the position.


About Starbonell

Starbonell is the co-founder of Sons of Roto and one of the most insightful and colorful fantasy analysts in the game. Mixing intelligent and well-researched advice with an entertaining style of writing that is easy to digest, Starbonell is the king of info-tainment.