Editor’s Note: Last Week Jim Finch suggested exercising caution with Grady Sizemore. The Schnurbach brothers sent in their rebuttal.
Bringing Sexy Back: Why we are Drinking The Sizemore Kool Aid
Who’s drinking the Kool Aid? We are, we are, we are!
We are avid Red Sox fans for 13 years now, we follow everything Red Sox, watch their games, scout their farm system and wear their paraphernalia. This leads us to reason 1 why we believe in Sizemore, we are HOMERS!! How else can we justify having a player whose last effective year was 2008 on our fantasy baseball teams?
As a quick disclaimer, we never would take him for our starting lineup as that is not worth the risk. In every pool that we have taken him, it has been in the 20th round or later.
Is He Healthy?
We all remember the Napoli wars of last year. Is he healthy? Is he not healthy? Our feeling is that Sizemore passed the Red Sox physical which JD Drew, John Lackey and Mike Napoli all had problems with. Granted, this was not a 50 million dollar + investment, but today’s Red Sox give their players gruelling physicals before signing them. If Sizemore was not healthy, they would not have signed him even at the league minimum. Low risk, high reward – but we trust the Sox medical staff.
Are the Defending World Series Champs ready to ride youth?
Well, the left the side of the infield is filled with Middlebrooks and Xander but we don’t think they are ready to have 3 young guns in their everyday lineup. Our strong feeling is that if Sizemore is healthy, he will play. We also don’t believe that they are 100% sold on Jackie Bradley Jr.
We don’t really fault anyone’s 22 round pick (where he has been going in our 12 person leagues) since you are drafting your bench. Mr. Finch said you are better off with guys like Corey Dickerson or Tommy Medica. Maybe he is right but the average fantasy player who hasn’t really seen any San Diego Padres minor league baseball games and is relying on a very small sample size in a September call-up (where Medica K’ed almost 30% of the time) can’t in good conscience draft Tommy Medica.
What do we expect from Sizemore? We see 17-25 HR with a 270-280 BA 70-85 runs and 10-20 stolen bases as being realistic. In a round where one trick ponies like Adam Dunn or Chris Carter are being taken, we would rather have a player who has the potential of filling up the fantasy scoresheet.
The June Call-Up
Here is a fun little blog update from fangraphs dated June 28, 2010 ranking the June call-ups from that year. I think it is very relevant since you see there are a lot of very high quality players listed here but how many of them were superstars from the get go? You have an immediate superstar in Buster Posey and good power sources in Stanton and Alvarez. No doubt that Strasburg was so much fun to watch in his first year but stashing him on your bench for 68 innings? Is that really the smartest fantasy baseball move? No question Buster Posey from the second he dawned a major league uniform was a star but you have Jason Castro who was a 1st rounder and a June call-up who only became effective in 2013. Mix that with Jose Tabata, Brad Lincoln and Jake Arrieta and you got yourself a real mix of players that are hit or miss.
The point here is that for one thing, you aren’t guaranteed that your players that start in the minor leagues are going to be called up in June and even if they are, who from that list above wins you a fantasy baseball pool besides maybe Buster Posey?
Mike Trout is a once in a generation type player and as fun as it would be to find him before anyone else does, don’t obsess over it. (And even the great Trout struggled with his first taste of major league action).
Why not take a risk on a guy who is only 31 years old and was the game’s best centerfielder for a 4 year period in the recent past? It is an equivalent gamble to taking a player who you expect to be called up in June who may or may not boom or bust?
At least Sizemore you are getting for a full year.
He’s Doing it Right
Don’t tell me spring training doesn’t count for anything for a guy like Sizemore. If you want to argue that it doesn’t predict what kind of season a player will have that might be true but it does tell us that Sizemore is at least in the type of condition that can play baseball at an elite level. The Red Sox are easing him into becoming a full time player but he has passed every single test along the way. That does mean something. The Astros are leaving George Springer in the minors because they want an extra year out of him while the Sox are putting their eggs in the Sizemore basket. As a fantasy player, give me Sizemore over Springer for 2014 in a non-keeper league.
And that is why we think Grady is a good pick-up for this year. As one final point, there is always the possibility that Grady starts off like gangbusters and then he is good trade bait if you think he is going to inevitably get hurt again.
So that is why we are voting for Grady! We are very hopeful that he works out a Little bit better than the Sox last significant man named Grady who wore a Sox uniform (pun intended).