Tuesday Fantasy Tips - Rebound Candidates

This article has been submitted by Fantasy Master Erik Arnold, as it will be every Tuesday. Normally the piece will be lengthier with more great nuggets of fantasy gold, but since there’s only one true fantasy sport going on right now and we haven’t done our Baseball draft yet, Erik’s playing his cards close to his chest. Today, he gives you the two biggest rebound candidates for your MLB draft.

Andruw Jones, OF – Los Angeles Dodgers
Andruw Jones has been a fairly consistent commodity for fantasy owners throughout his career – a classic 30+HR, 100RBI, 90R guy. Mind you, his approach at the plate has always been somewhat suspect – he’s a free swinger who strikes out a lot. Still, he has always found his way to a .260 average and given fantasy owners what they signed up for. In 2007, things got UGLY – Mendoza line ugly (.222 BA). His 29HR, 94RBI and 83R were well below expectations. Many are quick to say his move from Atlanta to Los Angeles will further depress his power numbers given the effect of Dodgers Stadium, a notoriously pitcher-friendly park. However, Dodger stadium is actually not bad for right handed hitters and has the best “pitcher’s eye” in baseball, statistically proven to increase walks and reduce strikeouts. Can you see where I’m going with this? It couldn’t be a better fit for Andruw, who needs to show more patience at the plate. Jones still has a solid skill set and I’m confident he’ll make adjustments. If he can manage to make even small improvements (more walks, less K’s), we’ll see much better counting numbers – after all, he managed 29HRs and 94RBI in a season where he batted .222. If this guy gets back on track, exceeding 30 HRs will only be the starting point. In 2008, you can probably draft him late and expect “Adam Dunn Lite” production.

Vernon Wells OF – Toronto Blue Jays
From one center fielder’s forgettable year to another and I know I don’t need to tell Jays fans how horrible a season V-dubs had. Vernon batted .303 in 2006 and .245 in 2007 – a big disappointment after becoming a member of the $100 million club in the off-season. The strangest thing was, his approach at the plate wasn’t drastically different. His walk-rate and contact-rate (two indicators of skill) were identical in 2006 and 2007. The most telling stat – his percentage of fly-balls that turned into home-runs in 2007 was HALF what it was in 2006. For every fly-ball Vernon hit in 2007, it was 50% LESS likely to become a home run than in 2006. Just watching him, you could tell he was overcompensating with a big uppercut swing. His power was completely zapped. Why the big drop in power? Wells told the media this off-season that he was playing through a shoulder injury for nearly the whole season – if true, a very reasonable cause for such a drop in performance. At full health, all he has to do is replicate his approach from 2007 (skill wise) and I expect more balls to be leaving the park. His career numbers give no indication that he’s not capable of reproducing his walk rate and fly ball rate in 2008. Plus, he’s practically a lock for at least 10 steals. A great opportunity to get Wells cheap - .280, 30HR, 10+SB.

This article has been submitted by Fantasy Master Erik Arnold, as it will be every Tuesday.

5 Responses to “Tuesday Fantasy Tips - Rebound Candidates”

  1. Erik Says:

    You guys will get the “real” nuggets after we draft in the league with all the ODC members/readers.

  2. AJ Says:

    When is this “draft”? I’m really just curious so I know when I have to quit on my team and mail it in….

  3. Blake Murphy Says:

    AJ I’ll holler at you on MSN or e-mail about it.

  4. Snydes Says:

    we def gotta do a ODC fantasy draft!!!! get it going Blake!!!
    first tip, dont draft Andruw Jones. sure he hits jacks but kills ur teams avg and Ks

  5. Blake Murphy Says:

    Snydes I e-mailed you about it buddy!

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