Photo by Keith Allison

Record one-year deal for Angels' Trout a sign of things to come

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim recently signed superstar outfielder Mike Trout to a one-year, $1...

Photo by Harsh

Finding the next Scherzer: SIERA underperformers from 2012 and 2013

 


By Nate Tarpey

2012 List: From this list,...

Photo by Keith Allison

Dodgers enter spring with surplus of arms

 

The old saying goes that pitching, pitching and more pitching wins championships. If that’s the...

Photo by Tom Hagerty

Braves set up for sustained success

In the past two offseasons, the Atlanta Braves have lost the face of their franchise in Chipper Jones to...

Photo by Keith Allison

A-Rod and Jeter’s careers have traversed different paths

 

In the mid-1990s, three young shortstops that...

Latest Articles

Latest Articles

article thumbnailThe Seattle Mariners had a rather busy offseason, and expectations are high heading into this year. Out of nowhere, the M’s signed the offseason’s prized...
article thumbnailThe Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim recently signed superstar outfielder Mike Trout to a one-year, $1 million deal. Based on Trout’s production the...
article thumbnail  By Nate Tarpey 2012 List: From this list, the names you should have been targeting were the young-ish guys with low SIERAs. Scherzer & Wainwright stood out...
article thumbnail  The old saying goes that pitching, pitching and more pitching wins championships. If that’s the case, the Los Angeles Dodgers are gearing up for a...
Braves set up for sustained success
Monday, 03 March 2014
article thumbnailIn the past two offseasons, the Atlanta Braves have lost the face of their franchise in Chipper Jones to retirement and their longtime backstop...
article thumbnail  In the mid-1990s, three young shortstops that revolutionized the position burst onto the scene: Alex Rodriguez, Nomar Garciaparra and Derek Jeter. They...
Best and worst closers by peripherals
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
article thumbnail  Here is a list of the "best" closers as sorted by peripherals O-Swing% and SwStrk%. I cutoff under 35% for the former and under 12% for the latter....
article thumbnail  Arizona Diamondbacks hurler Brandon McCarthy may still be a little fuzzy on the events of 16 months ago. While pitching for the Oakland Athletics in...
article thumbnailChris Archer, Rays - He possesses a booming 95 MPH fastball and showed good command last year.  Some say he looks like Justin Verlander did when he...
article thumbnailUsually by this point of the offseason, most teams have their depth charts all but set heading into spring training. But there are always a few...

Regular Articles

Regular Articles

article thumbnailThe Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim recently signed superstar outfielder Mike Trout to a one-year, $1 million deal. Based on Trout’s production the last two seasons, this deal is the ultimate bargain. For just...
article thumbnail  By Nate Tarpey 2012 List: From this list, the names you should have been targeting were the young-ish guys with low SIERAs. Scherzer & Wainwright stood out as decent bargains. They were a $19 guys...
article thumbnail  The old saying goes that pitching, pitching and more pitching wins championships. If that’s the case, the Los Angeles Dodgers are gearing up for a championship run. The Dodgers are stacked when it...
Braves set up for sustained success
Monday, 03 March 2014
article thumbnailIn the past two offseasons, the Atlanta Braves have lost the face of their franchise in Chipper Jones to retirement and their longtime backstop Brian McCann as a free agent to the New York Yankees. But...
article thumbnail  In the mid-1990s, three young shortstops that revolutionized the position burst onto the scene: Alex Rodriguez, Nomar Garciaparra and Derek Jeter. They were the complete package not seen since Cal...
article thumbnail  Arizona Diamondbacks hurler Brandon McCarthy may still be a little fuzzy on the events of 16 months ago. While pitching for the Oakland Athletics in September 2012, McCarthy was drilled in the head...
article thumbnailUsually by this point of the offseason, most teams have their depth charts all but set heading into spring training. But there are always a few battles out there that will be decided in March. Some...
article thumbnail  I recently took part in a mock draft. My focus in this piece is late round starting pitching, along with an analysis of each player selected after round 13 - based on that draft.  
article thumbnailThere are tons of young baseball players out there who dream of playing professionally. Who wouldn’t want to be paid handsomely for playing a game? But unfortunately, there are only a limited number of...
article thumbnail  Now that the Super Bowl is over, it’s officially baseball season. We’ve been following the major news here on At Home Plate all offseason, and now it’s time to recap some of the major storylines...
More inRegular Articles  

Fantasy Articles

Fantasay Articles

Best and worst closers by peripherals
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
article thumbnail  Here is a list of the "best" closers as sorted by peripherals O-Swing% and SwStrk%. I cutoff under 35% for the former and under 12% for the latter. Glen Perkins has been solid Photo by Keith Allison,...
article thumbnailChris Archer, Rays - He possesses a booming 95 MPH fastball and showed good command last year.  Some say he looks like Justin Verlander did when he first came up -- good stuff but not sure what to do...
Fantasy Breakdown - Michael Saunders
Tuesday, 18 February 2014
article thumbnail     Mike Saunders is an interesting name to look at this offseason for fantasy players.  Currently undrafted in many leagues, he's looking to be quite an interesting value play.  He's 27 and bats lefty....
article thumbnailGoing into 2014, I like to look at starting pitchers who can dominate the peripheral stats that focus on swings and misses.  Making hitters look silly.  Getting bad swings.  Getting Ks.  The logic is,...
Fantasy Preview 2013: Texas Rangers
Sunday, 31 March 2013
article thumbnailThe Rangers suffered a heartbreaking defeat in the wild card playoff last season and that could possibly be the last hurrah for a while.  This team isn’t the powerhouse that we’ve gotten use to...
article thumbnailIn a division where the Giants and Dodgers grab all the headlines the D-Backs will be overlooked by many.  Yet they feature a good lineup, decent pitching and should finish enough above .500 that...
Fantasy Preview 2013: Detroit Tigers
Saturday, 30 March 2013
article thumbnailFantasy Preview 2013: Detroit TigersBy Jon LeshanskiSometimes you get the Tigers, and sometimes the Tigers get you.  The AL Central better be expecting more of the latter than the former in the 2013...
article thumbnailThe Dodgers may have added a ton of talent and payroll, but the Giants are the team they spent that money to try to beat.  The Giants pitching staff has two real frontmen in Matt Cain and Madison...
Fantasy Preview 2013: Toronto Blue Jays
Saturday, 30 March 2013
article thumbnailOnly the Dodgers came close to matching the Blue Jays in terms of change this offseason.  But while the Dodgers did it by spending big money and courting free agents, the Jays did it by swinging two...
Fantasy Preview 2013: Cincinnati Reds
Saturday, 30 March 2013
article thumbnailThe Reds will be looking to capture back to back NL Central flags, and they certainly look to be favorite to do so.  The offense is potent, and the pitching, while not featuring an upper tier fantasy ace,...
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Reviews

Reviews

article thumbnailBook Review:  Bud Fowler – Baseball’s First Black ProfessionalAuthor: Jeffery Michael LaingPages: 200Baseball before the establishment of the current Major Leagues tends to fall between the cracks of...
article thumbnailBook Review: Black Sox in the Courtroom:  the Grand Jury, Criminal Trial and Civil LitigationAuthor: William LambPages: 222Like many baseball fans, I’ve always been intensely interested in the Black...
article thumbnailBook Review: Kid Nichols – A Biography of the Hall of Fame PitcherBy Jon Leshanski Title: Kid Nichols: A Biography of the Hall of Fame PitcherAuthor: Richard BogovichPages: 262McFarland publishes a...
article thumbnailBook Review: Frantic Frank Lane:  Baseball’s Ultimate Wheeler-DealerAuthor: Bob Vanderberg with a forward by Billy PiercePages: 189Many of the best books written about baseball aren’t about players...
article thumbnailBook Review: Color Blind:  The Forgotten Team That Broke Baseball’s Color LineAuthor: Tom DunkelPages: 298I review a lot of books for At Home Plate, so not surprisingly I’ve learned a fair bit about...
Book Review: Who’s On First?
Friday, 12 April 2013
article thumbnailBook Review: Who's on First?Authors: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello and illustrated by John MartzPublished by Quark BooksRelease: Feb. 19, 2013It’s always brave to try and reinvent a classic. Happily,...
article thumbnailTitle: I Never Had it Made: An Autobiography of Jackie RobinsonAuthors: Jackie Robinson (as told to Alfred Duckett) Published by Ecco Books Pages: 279 I haven’t been invited to a prescreening of...
article thumbnail"Black Baseball Out of Season" almost seems like a misnomer for a book that covers the history not just of the offseason leagues that some Negro Leaguers played in, but at least roughly covers the...
article thumbnailKevin Youkilis, who Boston fans affectionately call "The Youkeh," has always been one of the most underrated players in baseball. It isn't till recently that the general fan population has really...
Book Review: Calico Joe
Sunday, 17 June 2012
article thumbnailI have half dozen un-read books on my Kindle at any given time. I actually downloaded Calico Joe a few weeks ago right after my last book club meeting. You see, Calico Joe was my book club's pick...
More inReviews  

If you are looking for pitching the Nationals are not the place to look. With the exception of closer Chad Cordero the Nationals have no one who you can count on from the mound. Still if you aren’t risk averse you could take a look at some of the pitchers listed in the question mark section of this piece.

Top Tier:

Chad Cordero (CL): He’s an elite closer, maybe the best in the NL, playing for a dreadful team. He’ll get plenty of chance and could notch 40 plus saves, odds are he’ll be getting plenty of them somewhere else by seasons end.

Second Tier:

Ryan Zimmerman (3B): A stellar rookie season (.287-20-110-84-11) put Zimmerman in contention for Rookie of the Year honors last year and made him perhaps the most valuable of all the Nationals hitters this season. He’s just 23 has a real talent and the potential to improve on last season’s numbers. No doubt he’ll struggle at times but he’s a player who the Nationals will build around.

Filipe Lopez (2B): Happily few fantasy leagues count errors so Lopez still has a lot of value to fantasy teams. However if you are going to get power or speed is a question – in 2005 he hit 23 home runs and stole just 15 bases, but in 2006 he hit just 11 home runs and stole 44. Odds are the basestealing Lopez is the one who we see this year – and that’s probably for the best. He’s a solid second tier second baseman.

Third Tier:

Austin Kearns (OF): Big power, middling average, surprisingly low RBI totals for a guy who hit 24 home runs last year. Maybe hitting 17 of those shots with no one on base was a mental thing, but maybe it was because the Nationals don’t get on base much. He’s a low second tier, high third tier kind of player, but there are plenty of much better rounded talents to pick above him.

Brian Schneider (C): Once a better than average catcher, Schneider’s value plummeted along with his power numbers (going from 10 to 4 between 2005 and 2006) and falling average. He’s on the wrong side of 30 and is more of a roster filler than a genuine boost to a fantasy team at this point.

Question Marks:

Dmitri Young (1B/DH): After being released by the Tigers last season for attitude problems, Young desperately needs to show that he still has plenty to offer for teams that will consider him. The Nationals are gambling that he still has the ability to hit .270 with 25 home runs and will be tradable come July. They probably are right and the skills are probably there if Dmitri can stay healthy and keep his mouth shut – neither of which rank high in his skill set.

Nick Johnson (1B): The always fragile Johnson will miss at least the first two months of the season with another broken leg. After that will he be the same player? Probably not. If you are lucky you might get three good months out of him but mark him way down in your draft list.

Christian Guzman (SS): Guzman was always a solid contact hitter with some speed and in 2007 he’ll be trying to show that he still has something left. He lost last season to a torn labrum in the shoulder and just how that will effect him is still up in the air. Based on the spring he looks like he’s rebounded quite nicely – maybe even back the form which made him a .300 hitter at one point in his career. Still shoulder injuries are tricky things, especially for infielders who need to dive a lot.

Ryan Church (OF): If Ryan Church could do for a full season what he did over 196 at bats last year he has the potential to be a .290-25-100 kind of player. However up until now he hasn’t been consistent enough to keep himself in the Majors. If he’s matured enough to do that he could be a nice little surprise late in your draft.

John Patterson (SP): If you could throw out the fact that he missed almost all of 2006 with a nerve problem in his throwing arm and if you believe that 2005 wasn’t a freak year then you may believe that Patterson is really good enough to be a number one starter. That may be the case but arm problems of any type in a pitcher who’s been inconsistent from year to year and pitches for a bad team kind of worries me. He looked good enough this spring, but an incident where he “kind of passed out” possibly due to dehydration on the 24th of March, would leave me looking at other options first.

Shawn Hill (SP): He’s pitched 9 games in the last three years and had a elbow rebuilt in that same time span. Does that worry anyone? Maybe it shouldn’t, he’s been brilliant this spring with a sub 1.00 ERA, but durability is a concern. And just how good he can be is a huge question mark too.

Levale Speigner (SP/RP): He’s way out of his league here at this point in his career and it probably says how desperate the Nationals were to find pitching at any price. Levale has pitched a grand total of 11 games at AAA level and posted a 5plus ERA in those games. On the plus side he does have college pitching experience and was a solid but not overpowering pitcher for Auburn between 2000-2003. Odds are he’ll end up in the bullpen but he may end up the fifth starter at least for a while. Personally I’d stay far from him this year.

Jerome Williams (SP): He looked great in his one full season for the Giants but he’s pitched just 136 major league innings in the last two years and he’s looked rather mediocre – even in the minors during that time. Don’t expect much.

Matt Chico (SP): Matt has shown solid development down at the AA level and due to Washington’s total lack of pitching, he’ll find himself thrown into the fire in 2007. Odds are that it will be rough for him since he just started to put it together last year in the minors. That being said he’s been a solid strikeout pitcher at lower levels and that kind of pitcher often adapts well to the bigs. Still he’s more of a wait and see kind of player at this point.