Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Carlos Quentin Complete's Me!

It's about time I set the record straight, I have an extreme man-crush on Carlos Quentin for the 2009 Fantasy Baseball season. I'm not going to lie, it's a strong feeling and at times, it may make my wife a bit jealous. You see, I have to try to stop bringing Carlos' name up at the dinner table or when we're out running errands, but if there was one player with monster upside you could count on, it's Carlos Quentin. I have said recently that I love the potential of Quentin and I have already drafted Quentin quite early in the two expert mock drafts like the 2009 CBS League of Champions Expert League Draft and the 2009 Fantasy Man's Early Bird Expert Mock Draft. Quentin even slipped to me in the 3rd round of Mock Draft Central's first 2009 Expert Draft. With this post, I wanted to justify why I believe in Quentin for those who still don't agree.

I'm going to start with a conservative projection. Yes, I'm being serious, this is a modest projection for 2009.... .290/30HR/110RBI/100R/7SB. What you are looking at is a Carlos Lee alternative in the late 2nd round of a 12 team mixed league draft. However, when I mentioned "monster upside" above, I believe there is potential for .300+/40+/120+/100+/10 which certainly puts Quentin on par with guys like Albert Pujols, A-Rod, Ryan Braun, Miguel Cabrera, maybe Mark Teixeira, and possibly even Prince Fielder. I know it's risky to get this crazy on a guy who has only done it for one season, but let's take a look at the numbers. Plus, if anyone remembers, I got crazy for Nate McLouth based on his 2007 numbers (a half a season's worth) and look what he did in 2008. I'm on a roll. Sometimes I'm wrong, i.e. Ronny Paulino and Felipe Lopez, but sometimes I'm right!

In 2007, Quentin hit .288/36HR/100RBI/96R/7SB in 480 AB with a .394OBP/.571SLG/.965OPS (which are fantastic H2H numbers by the way). Quentin also had 66BB with only 80K. Those numbers are insane, and he missed a whole month because of stupidity after he punched a wall. His only slow month was June when he hit .266 but with 5 HR and 13 RBI, and that's when everyone thought the Carlos Quentin's run was over. Plus, he hit .274 with 21HR and 48RBI at home while hitting .300 on the road. But just think for a minute, we haven't even talked about the minor leagues yet and here is a guy who had a break out year at 26 years old and 480AB. He turns 27 in August 2009 and imagine if he had another 120AB or so. So not only does Quentin make a nice roto 5x5 pick, he's an even better option in H2H leagues that count OBP/SLG/OPS/BB/K/etc.

In four minor league seasons (drafted in the 1st round of 2003), Quentin has a career minor league line of .313/55HR/257RBI/19SB/169BB/187K/.413OBP/.527SLG/.940OPS in 1337AB.
With the exception of his first minor league season (2004), Quentin sported a .400+ OBP in each of the following three seasons. He hit .300+ in every season but 2006 (.289), and in 2005, his biggest season in the minors with 452 AB, Quentin had 21HR and more BB (72) than K's (71). These are huge indicators! Now, take a look at the minor league line and then look at his 2008 stats. What do you notice? I notice a major league BA that could increase, the 100+ RBI potential is obvious, and I am a believer that his minor league OBP/SLG/OPS carried over into 2008 and thus will continue to remain consistent into 2009. If those stats stay consistent in 2009, there is no reason to believe Quentin won't be a .290/35/120/100/10 type player with that "monster upside" I mentioned earlier. Period.

What hurts the fantasy value of Quentin aside from his 2008 break out is the poor showings in his first two chances in the majors in 2006 and 2007. Quentin only had 166AB in 2006 with a poor showing which is normal and he did suffer a shoulder injury in early 2007 which pretty much blew more than half that season. So it's understandable why he did not perform in two years and I think that sticks out in the minds of most fantasy managers who don't do the research. I have done the research for you here. If there was ever a fantasy player who you could draft after a one year breakout and feel confident he can do it again, it's Quentin. He put up the same solid numbers all through the minors which realistically match his 2008 totals. Carlos Quentin is for real people.

Let's talk fantasy draft for a minute. Here is a fact..... no matter what I say here or what your opinion of Quentin, fact is, he'll be gone by the time your pick in the 3rd round comes. If he lasts past the late 3rd, I think we can all agree that he'd be a steal! I think what's in question is whether or not he's more of an early 2nd round pick or an early 3rd round pick. I'd agree that Quentin should not be choosen in the first round, but I do believe that by the end of 2009, we will be saying that Quentin deserved a late 1st round or early second round pick. Also, if you choose Quentin in your top 15 or top 20, like I did in one of the drafts I linked above, you are most likely passing up on Outfielders like Manny Ramirez, Carl Crawford, Carlos Beltran, maybe B.J. Upton to name a few, and if you are really high on Quentin you might even draft him over Carlos Lee. In auction leagues, I'd say Quentin is close to a $25-$30 player with White Sox fans and managers with a man-crush going as far as $35, which might be over paying a tad. But, I am telling you now, it's a good bet. You are putting all your chips on the table with Quentin this early, but you'll at least split the pot, no less.

So be confident with your pick of Quentin. Barring any setback or freak injuries, Quentin is a guy you can build a team around and he should still be somewhat cheap for the type of stats he'll put up compared to some of the other comparable players like Carlos Lee, Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, etc.

Comments? Yay or nay on Quentin in the 2nd round?

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