Speed Slumps

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Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 6:00 pm

Speed Slumps

Post by DOUGHBOYS » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:09 am

We are a different breed in the baseball realm.
As fantasy players, we don't care about a lot of things that 'normal' baseball fans care about.
We don't care if our player is a team player.
Let some other player advance runners by hitting a ball to the right side!
Let some other player sacrifice!
Let some other player take a day off!
We don't even care if our players team wins. If our player goes three for four with a homer and stolen base, who won the game is just a footnote.
We don't care if our players homer wins the game or is struck when down 15-1 in a game.
We are sluts for stats.

Some baseball sayings do not apply to us.
My favorite is "Speed never Slumps".
Well, "eat shit" to the fella that came up with that line!
We can even call them 'speed bumps'.
Have you seen Billy Hamilton hit?
The saying did come before Billy Hamilton, so there is that.
But, Hamilton is a one man protest against the slogan.
Hamilton is like an awesome tasting ice cream....served in hand, without a cone.
We see the benefit, but without reaching first for Hamilton or the cone for the ice cream, both Hamilton and the ice cream, lose their desirability.
This speed slumps.

Many, many NFBC folks took Trea Turner in the first round.
Historically, judys have never been good first round picks.
Turner was deemed 'different' by many because he had a power surge when entering the Big Leagues.
The hope was that Turner could hit 25 homers and steal countless bases.
The problem with that is twofold.
Turner is only a strong judy.
Not weak like Juan Pierre or Dee Gordon. A strong judy gives hope to drafters that that player will hit more homers than he is usually capable of.
Carl Crawford was a strong judy and was over drafted year after year.
Also, stealing bases has become secondary as a way to get around the bases.
The home run is King.
The chance of a Bryce Harper home run limits Turner on the base paths.
In a drafting way, speed has slumped.

"Speed never slumps" talked about batting average.
The thought was that speed could make up for balls that were not hit well.
In the past, this may have been true. Now, more and more 'lesser' hits are being caught by the better athletes that MLB has on the field.
A slow hit ball, struck by a speedster could be a hit were it fielded by Dick Groat or even Derek Jeter.
Now, with infielders like Lindor, Iglesias, Arenado, and Simmons, those balls are seldom hits, even for a Gordon or Hamilton.

In Fantasy Baseball, "Speed never Slumps" is met with a middle finger.
Turner has stolen only two bases during the last three weeks!
Whit Merrifield hasn't stolen a base in over two weeks!
Ender Inciarte, who leads baseball in stolen bases, only attempted four stolen bases in June!
Speed slumps just like Joey Gallo strikes out.
It happens often during the season.
We'll sit in our chairs, yelling at our judy to run.
And suffer a little bit when the only pitch he ran on is fouled off, before getting forced out by the next hitter.

Speed slumping can be a yearly thing as well.
Coming into this year, Paul Goldschmidt had 21, 32, and 18 stolen bases.
This year, two.
This is a cheat though.
Goldschmidt is not fast.
Goldschmidt is an opportunist.
Muck like the earlier version of Joey Votto. For those that forgot, Votto stole double digit bases twice.
Since then, Votto was deemed the worst base runner in the Major Leagues by Bill James last year.

It is easy for us to confuse opportunity with speed.
An NFBC friend of mine suggested that Andrew Benintendi would be a first round pick in 2019 NFBC drafts.
I disagreed. If so, it would be on the strength of his stolen bases.
Benintendi has been wonderful at picking times to steal bases. Wonderful.
The problem being that those opps are already banked and in the past.
Teams are watching Benintendi closer and closer with each stolen base.
They watched Goldschmidt closer this year. Teamed with a Goldschmidt overall slump, his stolen bases, gone
Goldschmidt and Benintendi do not have the sheer speed to steal at will. They rely on the element of surprise and nonchalance from opposing teams.
That surprise is no longer there with Goldy and it could close as soon as late this year on Benintendi.
Be it the poor hitting of Hamilton, or the month-long drought of Inciarte, or the year-to-year of Goldschmidt, speed, indeed, slumps.

For those with magnifying glasses-
Maybe, it is the base on balls that does not slump.
Joey Votto has zero homers, zero stolen bases, and just one rbi over his last 10 games.
BUT, he does have nine walks in those 10 games.
Color the SABRS, happy.
Color the Votto owners, sad
On my tombstone-
Wait! I never had the perfect draft!

Bronx Yankees
Posts: 1156
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:16 pm

Re: Speed Slumps

Post by Bronx Yankees » Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:16 pm

So true, Dan, so true. Even got in a few Votto knocks in a thread re SBs. Nicely played. :lol: I think most owners probably feel that wins and saves are the most frustrating categories, and they’re probably right. Nothing worse than watching your starting pitcher throw a dominant gem, only to get no run support or have the closer blow it at the very end. Also frustrating to have your closer lined up for a save opportunity only to have the closer’s team score a late run or two and kill any chance at a save. While those two categories may be the most frustrating, you can do certain things to help your standing in them. Behind in wins and/or strikeouts? Start eight or nine starting pitchers and/or rely on pitchers with two-start weeks. Behind on saves? Go closer shopping in FAAB. The saves may cost your FAAB budget dearly and come sporadically, but if you keep rolling out multiple closers, the saves typically do come, albeit more in some weeks than others. In comparison, there seems to be less control for owners over SBs, especially if you fall behind in that category. There usually are few dependable sources of SBs available in FAAB, they typically only play certain positions which limits your options, and there only are so many “speed first” (or “speed only”) guys you realistically can carry and start. Seek SBs too aggressively and you shoot yourself in as many as four categories. Most SBs are very circumstances dependent. I suppose better drafting and FAAB decisions will always help, but if there’s one category that makes me feel more helpless than others when lagging, it definitely is SBs.

Thanks for giving us some baseball posts to read during the dog days of summer.

Mike Mager
"Bronx Yankees"

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