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2012 Fantasy Baseball: Chris Capuano

 and Miguel Montero

 are Heading in Different Directions

Before I kick this off I would like to thank Alan for letting me write for the site, and that I am very excited and am full of great ideas to hopefully improve both your fantasy teams, and this website. You can follow me on Twitter @BaseballSpencer.

Sell High: Chris Capuano

Two years ago Capuano was left for dead, coming off a Tommy John surgery, and looking as though his baseball career was over. The Mets took a flyer on him with a one-year contract before the 2011 season, and he pitched decently enough to earn a two-year contract from the Dodgers. Chris Capuano is a living example of “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

Capuano is a great story of hard work and perseverance to overcome bad luck and other misfortunes, but his pitching this season? The opposite.

Capuano has benefited from Lady Luck, posting a BABIP (batting average on balls in play) of just .229, among the lowest in the league. To only look at his BABIP is unfair, as some pitchers can consistently be “lucky,” and pitchers that can strike out a lot of batters (like Capuano and his 8.29 K/9) tend to outperform their BABIPs.

Looking into it however, it doesn’t look like Capuano can continue this run of good luck, as he is benefiting from a low HR/FB (home runs/fly ball) rate of just 6.8% (career rate is 11.5%). I wouldn’t project a total implosion however, as his pitching triple slash line (I refer to ERA/FIP/xFIP as such, for future reference) is 2.14/3.26/3.90, and he has pitched in notoriously home run suppressing Dodger Stadium (.724 HR park factor). 

Buy Low: Miguel Montero

After being ranked near the top of most catcher lists before the season, Montero has had a bit of a disappointing year for his fantasy owners. He hasn’t been particularly bad, he actually has hit .252, slightly above the average this season for catchers (.246). Where he is really killing his fantasy owners is in the power department, with just two home runs this season and only 21 RBIs, and slugging .340, which is a little over .100 points less than his career average.

A closer look at Montero’s stats show that all may not be lost for his owners, so don’t go dropping him just yet (this is the buy low portion after all). Montero has gotten a raw deal this year in terms of HR/FB (home runs/fly balls), with his HR/FB sitting at just 5.6%, which is nearly half of his career average of 10.9% (10.9% also happens to be league average). 

One cause for this may be that he has played only 18 home games this season and accumulated only 71 PAs (plate appearances), while he has played 23 road games and 98 road PAs. This normally would just be a random statistic, but when one factors in the thin air environment of Chase Field (owner of the second highest HR park factor according to ESPN’s park factor: 1.859), it may show why he has yet to have his HR/FB rates regress to the mean (that and small sample size, but for sake of argument we’ll act like the latter of those doesn’t apply).

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

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