Eaton Wins, Skaggs Loses In Upton Deal
In 2011, I traveled to watch Mobile play Chattanooga. At the time, the Double-A DBacks had Paul Goldschmidt, Ryan Wheeler, AJ Pollock and Marc Krauss. During the game, my eye kept being drawn to an undersized outfielder with a Major League beard. His name was Adam Eaton. During the game, I turned to friend in baseball Chris Blessing (Now a prospect writer at Bullpen Banter) and said, “That Eaton guy is going to be a big leaguer.” Little did I know he’d project as the lead off hitter and starting center fielder with the task of replacing Justin Upton.
Just seeing Eaton’s name in the batting order raises his prospect stock in fantasy circles. This breaks my heart for I LOVE players with the Eaton profile. In 2012, Angel Pagan became and undervalued target of mine and yielded excellent value. His .334 wOBA and 29 steals provided $19 in value for $5 at auction. I was hoping for a similar return from Eaton who is projected for a .340 wOBA and 36 steals if you take Bill James‘ word for it (I’m a grain of salt guy myself when it comes to his projections).
In Eaton, one is looking at a potential $20 player in 5×5 if things break right. Unfortunately, the combination of his being, 1. a rookie, 2. a projected lead off hitter and 3. a player in a friendly home park will lead to many owners expecting to land him on the cheap to flinch on draft day. This will leave Aoki, De Aza and Crisp a better bang for your buck in 2013.
On Twitter yesterday, followers were discussing Randall Delgado and beginning the season in Triple-A instead of Tyler Skaggs. Wut? I like him well enough, but when is a 5.85 FIP in 29 1/3 Major League innings more valuable than a 4.36 xFIP in 127 2/3? Even more confusing is Patrick Corbin and his 3.73 xFIP in 107 innings pitched. If any left-hander will unseat Delgado for the #5 starter role, it will be Corbin, not Skaggs. Plus, Dan Hudson will be back later in the season pushing everybody in the DBacks rotation down a slot.
If the DBacks fall out of contention, then maybe trades clear the path for all three young pitchers. For now, Skaggs’ value has been nuked and I’m likely to cut him in Ottoneu after desperately trying to deal him at last season’s trade deadline. If I can deal him in the next 8 days, I will, and it will be for half the value he once had. Yay me!
24 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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