2012 Fantasy Baseball Analysis: Jake Peavy and Adrian Gonzalez

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Sell High: Jake Peavy

One of baseball’s great redemption stories this season has been Jake Peavy. Peavy made the All-Star team after returning from numerous injuries, and has proven every single doubter (me included) wrong.

Peavy has been a great story, but not all great stories have happy endings. Before we even get into his stats, one must be concerned over the workload Peavy has shouldered to this point (120 IP). This number by itself is the most Major League innings he has thrown since 2008 (when he threw 173.2 innings). At this rate, ZiPs has him down to pitch 189 innings this year, his most since his Cy Young winning 2007 campaign in which he threw 223.1 innings.

Now, if one were an optimist, they would assume that Peavy will stay healthy for the rest of the season and wonder if they should still sell high in that case. My answer to the aforementioned question would be a confident (with a tinge of uncertainty) “yes.”

Peavy has allowed fly-balls at a 47.1% rate this season, which is way above his career average of 39.4%. This number coupled with US Cellular Field being the sixth most home run prone ballpark in the MLB should cause great concern to fantasy owners. 

Peavy has also posted an abnormally low .254 BABIP this season, which is far below his career norm of .284. The increase in fly-balls coupled with the White Sox middle-of-the-pack defense should lead to regression in this area.

Although Peavy has been a great story The risk of injury, and being fly-ball prone should raise enough concerns on him to sell high.

Buy Low: Adrian Gonzalez

After being a fantasy stud last season, a high BABIP pointed towards some regression for Adrian Gonzalez. No one expected this. 

He has hit just six home runs this year, and ZiPs has him on pace for only 18. This would be his lowest total since becoming an everyday player back in 2006. Many fantasy experts have recommended not jumping ship on him just yet. I am like the aforementioned experts (and also think you shouldn’t jump ship on Adrian Gonzalez, see what I did there?).

Normally when a player sees a dramatic shift in HR production, it is caused by some of the following: decrease in fly-ball rate, change in hitting conditions (new stadium, dramatic shift in weather patterns, etc.), change in pull/oppo tendencies, and bad luck.

He hasn’t hit more to left or right this season than normal, going 2/1/3 (left/center/right) on home runs this year, as opposed to 73/44/84 career. He has hit fly-balls at 35.4% rate this year, which although is below his career average of 37.5%, probably isn’t a wide enough margin to pin his lack of power on that.

He still hits in Fenway, the seventh most HR-friendly park in the MLB this season (although strangely it was the 8th hardest park to hit a HR in last season). Although there is a difference here, it hasn’t affected Adrian how one would expect, which leads us to our final guess: luck.

At this point I see no reason why Adrian should not begin to hit home runs at his normal pace again, barring injury or any of the factors I listed above coming into play. Buy low on Adrian Gonzalez.

Written by Spencer Schneier, exclusively for For more great fantasy baseball advice, give Spencer a follow on Twitter @BaseballSpencer.

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