Tag: Victor Martinez

Tigers vs. A’s Video: Watch Victor Martinez Hit Controversial HR to Tie Game 4

MLB‘s revised instant replay rules aren’t in play yet, but replay certainly played a role in a critical situation during Game 4 of the ALDS between the Detroit Tigers and Oakland A’s Tuesday evening.

With Sean Doolittle on the mound for the A’s and no one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez hit a towering fly ball deep to right field.

A’s right fielder Josh Reddick leaped for the catch, but it was clearly out of reach of his outstretched glove, giving Martinez the home run to tie the game at 4-4.

But wait!

In Jeffrey Maier-like fashion, a fan reached over the yellow line at the top of the wall to grab himself a souvenir.

But unlike the 1996 incident, the umpires had a chance to get the call right with the use of video replay. And Twitter was abuzz with speculation as to what the call would be. 

In the case of Jeter’s home run in the 1996 ALCS against the Baltimore Orioles, it was clear that the umpires got the call wrong; Maier did in fact interfere in the play. 

But video replays from several angles clearly show that the umpires did indeed get this call right at Comerica Park.

It was only the second home run of the entire series for the Tigers; Jhonny Peralta’s three-run shot earlier in the game put the Tigers back in the game at 3-3.

In this case, the A’s can’t say they got robbed by a bad call.

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Fantasy Baseball 2013: Week 3’s Buy Low, Sell High Trade Advice

Last week, two of my three “Buy Low” picks, Carlos Gomez (10-for-18, HR, 3B in last week) and Homer Bailey (8 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 10 K in last start), came through while the third, Ike Davis, finally broke out on Friday with a two-homer game. One of my “Sell High” picks, Barry Zito (2.2 IP, 9 ER, 8 H), also made me look pretty smart in my first week of this feature.  

Just in case last week wasn’t a fluke, here’s some advice for next week  …


Sell High

J.P. Arencibia, C, Toronto Blue Jays 

His six homers and 11 runs batted in this month shouldn’t be much of a surprise. He had eight homers and 19 runs batted in last May and also hit six more long balls in July. 

The other months when he’s not red-hot, however, are when you need to be concerned as an J.P. Arencibia owner. In April, June, September and October of 2012, he combined to hit three homers with 13 walks and 72 strikeouts in 204 at-bats.

You have to figure that cold streak will return very soon, and it won’t be the last of the season. The question is whether it’s worth it to ride out another homer binge. The catching depth is too deep to wait out the streaky Arencibia, in my opinion. Sell now. 


Chris Johnson, 1B/3B, Atlanta Braves 

Before anyone realizes Chris Johnson will go back to a platoon at third base with Juan Francisco once Freddie Freeman returns from the disabled list early next week, see if someone wants to give up something of value to acquire him and his .412 batting average (21-for-51). 

The 28-year-old is a career .282 hitter, coming off of a season in which he set career highs in homers (15), runs batted in (76), doubles (28) and several other categories. He’s a pretty good major league hitter.

Unfortunately, though, he’ll see most of his playing time in Atlanta versus left-handed pitching. The problem is that he doesn’t hit lefties (career .702 OPS) as well as right-handers (.780 OPS).


Buy Low

Victor Martinez, DH, Detroit Tigers

Slowly but surely, Victor Martinez appears to be getting more comfortable at the plate. He is, after all, coming back after missing all of 2012 with a torn ACL

In case any Martinez owner in your league doesn’t realize that and is disappointed with his 11-for-56 start without a homer, it probably wouldn’t be too hard to convince them to make a trade. 

Now, in case you did need a reminder, the 34-year-old switch-hitter has a .304 batting average since 2004. During that span, he’s averaged 18 homers, 90 runs batted in and 34 doubles per season. He can flat-out hit. He’ll figure it out soon enough.


Carlos Marmol, RHP, Chicago Cubs 

This may sound familiar if you were paying attention to the Chicago Cubs last year. Remember when Carlos Marmol’s shaky performance had him demoted from the closer’s role. He moved into a lower-leverage role and pitched much better. The “closer-by-committee” isn’t terrible, but no one in the group is exactly striking fear into opponents or making as much money as Marmol, so they eventually give him the job back. 

In 2012, he was really good in his second stint as closer (1.52 ERA, 12-for-13 in save opportunities, 29.2 IP, 20 H, 17 BB, 39 K). He’ll get another chance in 2013 for the same reasons. 

Kyuji Fujikawa, once he returns from the disabled list, gives the team another solid option in the ninth inning, but the Cubs would much rather see Marmol build his value and then trade him to open the spot first.

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Reasons Victor Martinez Will Be Starting the 2013 MLB All-Star Game

In nine full MLB seasons, Victor Martinez has been selected as an All-Star four times.

Playing for the Cleveland Indians, the Boston Red Sox and now for the Detroit Tigers, Martinez has been a key member for each team he has suited up for and proven himself as one of the most feared switch-hitters in the game today.

In 2011, after signing with the Tigers as a free agent, Martinez boasted a career high .330 average, with 12 home runs and 103 RBI’s, helping to lead the Tigers to their first ever American League Central Championship and their first division title since 1987 when they won the AL East.

Last January, while working out in the offseason, Martinez tore his ACL was forced to miss the entire 2012 campaign.

Detroit sorely missed Martinez’s production last season, struggling mightily from the plate and almost failed to reach the playoffs.

But after over a year of rest and rehabilitation, Martinez is ready to return to the Tigers’ lineup and pick up where he left off in 2011.

Here are the four reasons Martinez will be representing the AL as a starter in the 2013 All-Star Game:

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Detroit Tigers: 5 Signs Victor Martinez Will Have a Rebound Season in 2013

The Detroit Tigers had a huge hole in their lineup last season after Victor Martinez tore his ACL in October, 2011 during an offseason workout.

Martinez, who hit .330 with 12 home runs and 103 RBI in 2011 during his first season as a Tiger, missed the entire 2012 campaign and the Tigers offense struggled.

The Tigers’ offensive woes weren’t necessarily due to Martinez’s absence and suffice it to say, even if Martinez had been in the lineup during Detroit’s World Series embarrassment, the series wouldn’t have been much different.

But there’s no debate that the Tigers are a much more potent team with the 33-year-old slugger in the lineup.

Martinez is expected to make a healthy return in 2013 with a fully-healed knee, and joining a scary lineup on paper, the 10-year veteran could be in line for his best season yet.

Here are the five signs Martinez will have a rebound season in 2013.

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Fantasy Baseball 2011: Why Joe Mauer Is the Most Overvalued Player in the Game

Yesterday, I did a double-take in the dog food aisle.

Between bags of Proplan and Pedigree were small 11.5-pound bags of Chef Michael’s “filet mignon” flavored dog food. As if that wasn’t enough, the food had potato and green bean “garnishes.”

All for $22, or $2 a pound. I wouldn’t spend $2 a pound for real filet mignon for my family. I’m cheap that way. But for a dog? You could make a roadkill possum flavored dog food and it would get just as much interest from Fido as anything Chef Michael could whip up.

And the vegetables? Dogs are carnivores. You don’t see wild dogs digging up their own carrots or growing a grove of broccoli. Get a grip!

And yet people buy this stuff thinking they’re providing the best for their dog. Sort of like certain people who are quick to jump on a name-brand player at a premium price in their fantasy draft, thinking they are providing the best for their team. But in Joe Mauer’s case, they’re not.

Mauer is the filet mignon dog food of the catcher pool. A nice roadkill possum like Mike Napoli may not be as appealing, but will get the job done at a much cheaper price.

First, let me start by saying I like Joe Mauer the person and player. He’s the kind of guy you want to build an MLB franchise around.

Mauer is easy going, likeable and efficient at the plate. He’s content playing for a smaller-market team despite the big lights and other temptations that a big city franchise would offer.

But from a fantasy standpoint, all the qualities that make him such a great MLB centerpiece also helps make him a household name. The likeability turns into hype, and the hype drives fantasy draft value through the roof.

This whole story idea was planted earlier this week when posting the top 20 composite catchers. A reader noticed a comment I made about Victor Martinez being my top fantasy catcher for this season.

His official comment: “You have Victor Martinez over Joe Mauer…lose a little respect there. Martinez is my No. 3, but I can understand having him No. 2. I don’t see him in Mauer’s area code.”

I would disagree by a good margin.

First, let’s look at what Joe Mauer is: He’s an elite option in the batting average category. The .327 last season may have been down in terms of his .365 in 2009, but 99 percent of all major league players would kill for a .327 average over the course of a season.

And those batting averages are no fluke. He’s made a career of hitting for average, at a near-historic pace when comparing him to others who are currently still playing.

What Mauer definitely is not is a speed threat. He did have one season with double-digit steals (13 in 2005), but hasn’t been able to accumulate even half of that over the past three seasons combined.

But what about power, you ask? He did hit 28 homers in 2009. You’d be correct.

Except, that was the only year he was an elite home run hitter. His next biggest number was 13 in 2006.

He hasn’t hit double-digit homers in any of the other five seasons he’s been in the majors thus far, including last season when he smacked nine.

In fact, 13 other catchers hit more homers than him last season. That’s only catchers, not overall hitters.

To look at it another way, I recently did an article on home run efficiency, looking at players and how many at-bats they average between homers in a season. The elite power guys hit in the teens (around 15 to 18 at-bats per home run). Average power guys hit in the low 20s to (at worst) mid-20s.

Mauer’s home run efficiency? A 38.2. And that’s not just last season, but his whole major league career, including the 28-dinger 2009 campaign.

In his six full MLB seasons, Mauer has averaged 497.5 at-bats. At that many at-bats, factoring in his 38.2 career average, he’ll hit a generous 13 homers in 2011.

And, like I said, that factors in the 28 long balls he hit in 2009…which I probably should point out was a contract season. Just saying.

Last year, even if he had hit the 13 homers, there still would have been 10 catchers who fared better in round-trippers. All of them, I should add, you can get later (some much later) in fantasy drafts this spring.

Mauer did finish the 2010 season with 75 RBI, making him the third best catcher in that category behind Victor Martinez and Brian McCann, and just a handful ahead of guys like Kurt Suzuki, Mike Napoli, Buster Posey and John Buck.

It should be noted, however, that all four of them produced their RBI total with fewer at-bats in 2010…Posey and Buck with more than 100 at-bats less than Mauer, in fact.

So, it is very much conceivable that Mauer may fall out of the top 5 among catchers in 2011 if the others are able to stay healthy.

Runs scored, however, is a category that Mauer does well in each season. Last year, he scored 88 runs…the next highest was Victor Martinez with 64.

So, out of five categories, Mauer will give you an advantage over other catchers in two (average and runs scored). Not exactly a feat for which I’d want to pay top dollar.

In fact, ESPN has him ranked 30th among all players, meaning he’d be taken in the late third, early fourth round at that position.

His ADP is even more asinine. At last check, it was right around 20th, meaning a late second round, early third.

Meanwhile, Victor Martinez, who has hit better than .300 the past two seasons himself and who gives you significantly more homers and RBI, can be had a good round (if not more) later.

Other catchers, such as Mike Napoli, who had three times as many homers as Mauer in 2010 and four times as many steals during that time in 50 fewer at-bats, fall much later than Mauer.

Billy Butler, who was so adeptly compared Mauer to in a different post, is being picked in the seventh round. Butler hits more than .300, had nearly double the home runs that Mauer did in 2010, and easily had more RBI.

And Martin Prado, who also hits better than .300, hits more homers than Mauer and easily had more runs scored and steals than Mauer in 2010, is going, on average, in the sixth round.

Position scarcity, you scream? I could make a case that third base is more shallow than catcher this year in fantasy terms, and Prado was eligible at third base the last time I looked.

Again, I’m not trying to knock Mauer the player or Mauer the person. I’m just suggesting that Mauer the fantasy commodity is very much overpriced this year, and you’d be wise to pass over him unless he somehow fell several rounds later at best.

Oh, and did I mention he is coming off offseason knee surgery? He hasn’t had any setbacks of note, but you should still keep that in the back of your mind.

Disagree? I’d love to hear your comments, or even challenge you to play against me and other chinstrap ninjas in our chinstrap ninja reader leagues. Click here if you’re interested.

Want to read more chinstrapninja fantasy baseball content? We just updated our 2011 fantasy baseball index.

My early rankings include: C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | OF | SP | RP

My positional sleepers/value players are: C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | OF | SP | RP

And don’t miss our newest features, including everything you’ll ever need to know about BABIP, a discussion on home run efficiency and how it can help you find sleepers and busts, a dozen prospects you need to watch this season and recent player updates.

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Top 15 Fantasy Baseball Catchers For 2011 By Tiers

Tier 1 – Joe Mauer
Mauer stands alone as the best catcher available on draft day.  While his 2009 power surge was clearly more smoke and mirrors than anything else (28 HR in ’09 compared to a career high of 13 in ’06 and no other season of more than 9), he brings more than enough to the table to excite owners.  He is one of the few catchers who brings run potential to the table.  In fact, in the past four years he has scored 342 runs.  Second place among catchers is Russell Martin with 282 (and third place is Victor Martinez with 260).  Throw in a perennial .325+ average and 85+ RBI potential and it is clear that there is no one else in his class.

Tier 2 – Victor Martinez, Brian McCann
These guys have both proven what they are capable of doing and are among the better hitters in the game, but they still remain a cut below the top gun.  They bring a little bit more power to the table, but may not have the upside in the other categories. 

Martinez, however, is going to be an interesting player to watch while working as a DH in Detroit.  Those extra at bats will certainly help to offset any decrease his production may take from moving away from Fenway.  Throw in joining Miguel Cabrera in the lineup and he certainly has the potential to put up some big numbers in 2011.

Tier 3 – Buster Posey, Carlos Santana
I know people want to believe that Posey belongs in Tier 2 (or maybe even Tier 1), but there are some huge risks involved in taking him early on in your draft.  I’m going to post an article on him later on this week (so check back for that), but an increased strikeout rate along with his struggles at home could help him to regress a bit in his sophomore campaign. 

Santana, meanwhile, is trying to come back from a serious knee injury.  While I’ve dubbed him the next Victor Martinez, he’s not there yet, which is why I would put him in this tier.  Both of these players have the chance to be among the elite, but they need to back it up on the field in 2011.

Tier 4 – Miguel Montero, Kurt Suzuki, Matt Wieters, Geovany Soto
This is probably the tier that most people are aiming to dip their toes into.  All of these players have significant upside and come at a far greater value than the first three tiers (outside of maybe Carlos Santana who is actually being drafted after half of this tier according to Mock Draft Central). 

Soto rebounded nicely from a tough 2009 (.280, 17 HR in 322 AB) and hopefully will get significantly more playing time in 2011. 

Wieters has not yet lived up to the hype, but with a significant upgrade in talent around him there certainly is the hope that he takes the next step forward.  Montero has proven that, when healthy, he is a very good catching talent. 

Suzuki, meanwhile, is similar to Wieters where he has a ton of talent but now he needs to put it together on the field. 

These guys are all available between rounds nine and 16, where they bring great value compared to the top three tiers.

Tier 5 – Mike Napoli, Jorge Posada, Chris Iannetta
The next grouping has power potential across the board, but red flags abound. 

Napoli finds himself in a good situation, but he is going to be shifted around the diamond in Texas and could continue to struggle to find AB.  He’s going to catch some, as well as share time at 1B and DH with Michael Young and Mitch Moreland.  Of course, he also could struggle in the average department. 

Posada, at his age, is always a risk to suffer an injury.  While DH’ing should help, you just never know. 

Iannetta has a ton of upside potential, but will this finally be the year that the Rockies actually show patience and stick with him?

Tier 6 – J.P. Arencibia, Yadier Molina, Miguel Olivo
From a fantasy perspective there is a big falloff in talent at this point in the rankings.  Arencibia certainly has a ton of potential, given his Triple-A numbers from 2010, and is a great selection especially in two-catcher formats.

What are your thoughts on the tiers?  How would you group them?  Is there anyone that you think doesn’t belong in the group that I’ve placed them?

**** Make sure to order your copy of the Rotoprofessor 2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, selling for just $5, by clicking here. ****

Make sure to check out our 2011 rankings:


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2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide: Catcher Rankings With Analysis


For the upcoming 2011 fantasy baseball season, four catchers are head-and-shoulders above the rest: Joe Mauer, Victor Martinez, Buster Posey and Brian McCann. Each player was ranked in the top 5 in at least three out of the five offensive categories, with Mauer leading the way with a .327 batting average. 

It should be noted that Buster Posey compiled his impressive numbers in only 103 games on his way to earning rookie of the year honors in 2010.

Rookie J.P Arencibia will most likely start for the Blue Jays this season after the departure of John Buck. Arencibia is a highly touted prospect who can hit for both average and power.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia is an interesting sleeper candidate in 2011, as he is finally healthy and will be the starting catcher for perhaps the most potent offense in the league. The question that has always surrounded Salty is his heath, so be sure to have a back-up option just in case.


Visit www.kramericasports.com for complete player rankings, news and advice.

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2011 Fantasy Projections No 32: How Will Victor Martinez Do As a Detroit Tiger?

Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.

Victor Martinez has been one of the most productive players at the catcher position over the last seven seasons. He makes good contact, doesn’t strike out much, always hits for a high average and has 20-25 HR power.

Since 2004 (his first full season), V-Mart has the most home runs among catchers (129). He also holds the second-highest batting average during that period, at an even .300 (Joe Mauer, of course, is first at .327). Martinez leads the pack in terms of RBI production, and it’s not even close. In fact, Martinez is the only catcher since 2004 to post 100 RBI in a season, and he’s done it three times!

While these accomplishments are all very impressive, two things are important to note while projecting Martinez in 2011. First, V-Mart is 32 years old, and the decline for catchers is generally very steep. Second, he’s no longer hitting in Fenway. His new home, Comerica Park, slightly favored pitchers last season. His run-scoring and run-producing totals hinge on whether he’s hitting in front of or behind Miguel Cabrera.

Martinez remains in the top tier of a very thin position, but his prime years are behind him. Expect no more than 20 bombs with a .300 average in 2011.

2010 stats 538 64 20 79 One .302
3-year average 501 61 15 74 One .298
2011 FBI Forecast 610 75 19 95 Zero .296



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Fantasy Baseball Insiders’ 2011 Big Board:

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MLB Free Agency: Johnny Damon and 10 Players Who Picked The Wrong Team

If there’s one time of the sports year that everyone watches like a hawk, it’s MLB free agency.  From November until late January (sometimes longer), fans lose sleep over which teams top free agent players will sign with.

Some of these decisions pay great dividends, like C.C. Sabathia when he signed with the New York Yankees.  Other times, players regret locking themselves into long-term deals, like when Adrian Beltre signed with the Mariners.

Thus, let’s take a look at this past season’s free agency class.  Specifically, the players that picked the wrong teams.

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Adrian Beltre or Victor Martinez: Who Was the Bigger Loss for Boston Red Sox?

The Boston Red Sox and their fans have had a pretty rough go of it lately.

Not only did the squad fail to qualify for the postseason in 2010, but the franchise also lost Adrian Beltre and Victor Martinez over the winter.

Beantown’s had to watch a different team hoist the World Series trophy for three consecutive years, a run that includes a crown for their revolting rivals to the south, the New York Yankees.

Now it’s down two key contributors from an underachieving ’10 roster.

Of course, you could point to the bigger picture.

You know, the one that includes the monumental World Series win in 2004, another in 2007 via sweep and the club’s status as a perennial contender. Actually, “contender” is putting it too mildly; the squad is an annual juggernaut and on the short list of favorites to win the Fall Classic every April.

The Sawks have gone to the postseason six times in the last eight years and haven’t finished lower than third in the rugged American League East since 1997 (almost a decade and a half).

So there’s that.

There is also the little matter of the 2010-11 offseason that saw the BoSox grab two of the premier players in Major League Baseball.

Adrian Gonzalez most certainly wears that title with distinction, and I’d also put Carl Crawford in there without much debate. The guy swipes an average of 54 bases while putting up a respectable slash line and just won a Gold Glove playing left field; say what you want about the merits of that award (and they are shaky), but he can clearly flash some leather.

Nevertheless, there’s something to be said for continuity in all sports, especially in baseball. So the losses of Beltre and V-Mart will be felt—the question is how much?

Furthermore, whose absence will be harder to absorb?

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