Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Chris Ray: A Fluke?

posted by Jon Williams
Chris Ray has a projected 54 BPV as of this writing on the Baseball HQ website. Such a low projection may cause HQ subscribers to greatly downgrade him.

In an article that will appear on this site soon I discuss some reasons you may not win as much as you might. One of those reasons is an over reliance on a particular source. The point being that many fantasy owners choose to adopt the philosophies pf a particular book or website and just take their word for things. On Baseball HQ this week Doug Dennis in an article called Bullpen Buyers Guide (premium) he lumps Baltimore Orioles reliever Chris Ray into a group labeled fluke alongside names like Joey Devine, David Weathers, Armando Benitez, Joe Borowski and Seth McClung. Without getting into the others on the list I want to take a look at Chris Ray and show you how the blind adaptation of a site's philosophies can cause you to lose out on valuable players.

Right off the bat I want to share that I have subscribed to Baseball HQ for years and have spent much money on their products. I do not think you can find a more professional or respected source for fantasy related information. But they do have some flaws that can leave holes in your game but therefore also avenues to exploit if you have subcribers in your league.

Chris Ray is the 25 year-old closer for the Baltimore Orioles. Ray may not have a long resume but has been an extremely solid reliever throughout his professional career. The 2006 season began with Ray installed as the closer for the Orioles and with the exception of a brief blip mid-season He was stellar for the entire season and collected the following stats: 66 IP, 45 hits, 27 walks and 51 strikeouts. Now, what HQ doesn't like is his hit-rate. HQ hates anything that they can't explain statistically and since their present doctrine dictates that BABIP is something that a pitcher cannot control any pitcher who performs far better than average is labeled a fluke. Barry Zito is downgraded on their site for the same reason. But if you look at Ray's career stats you'll see that he has always had the SKILL to limit BABIP. I'm not slamming HQ for this way of rating players. They nail far more players than they miss but nevertheless this represents a hole in the HQ rankings that can be exploited in HQ heavy leagues. Look for players with such a track record and you will find fantasy baseball bargains.

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