Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Michael Young, Jhoulys Chacin

by Nicholas Minnix on August 17, 2012 @ 13:10:44 PDT's Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market gives you candid reviews and ratings of fantasy baseball players making MLB news in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball leagues. Are they trade bait or worth your FAAB dollars in your fantasy baseball games?

Michael Young, 1B/2B/3B, Texas Rangers

Colorado Rockies SP Jhoulys Chacin
Won't be many chasin' Chacin

The promotion of Mike Olt to the parent club might've seemed to make sense. At the time of the move, Texas' offense had sputtered for more than a month, and a shakeup is often considered a possible cure. The Rangers exploded for 11 runs in a comeback victory versus their AL West rivals, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, on the same night that the organization revealed that it was promoting Olt, and the O has been more robust since.

The lack of punch from Young this season (.270/.302/.343) has been a hot topic, however; many, like this columnist, believed that the 35-year-old should lose playing time, and that was before the organization called up the hotshot youngster.

Earlier this week, Ron Washington told some media folk that he'd had enough of the "Young needs to grab some pine" nonsense. The skipper gave his vet the day off on Wednesday, and a writer theorized that it may have refreshed Young, but it'll probably take more than that to fix that power outage.

It's impossible to overlook Young's poor hitting versus right-handed pitchers this season (.252/.279/.322, 0.32 BB/K). The right-handed batter's career marks against them (.301/.344/.439) are significantly better. He's simply lacked the ISO performance against southpaws this season.

Despite his age and dwindling home run output, it's likely that few fantasy owners, if any, expected such a sharp downturn in Young's production. Perhaps the signs were there in the second half of 2011, however, masked by his incredibly high line-drive rate and the .338 batting average that he maintained through the campaign's final two months.

Young's rate of extra-base hits dipped after the All-Star break in 2011 and resulted in drop-offs in his ISO in August (.100) and September (.074). That leads right into his 2012 ISO of .073, and it has steadily declined this year. His lifetime ISO is .142, and although he's come close, he's never posted a mark below .100 in the bigs.

Wash's loyalty to Young is propping up Young's fantasy value, what little of it there has been. Texas' dangerous offense has provided the career Ranger with plenty of chances to rack up counting stats that are more dependent on a player's team.

Young has undoubtedly advanced to a stage of his career in which home run power isn't a part of his game. As long as he's hitting at a decent clip (and, although fantasy owners are used to better, .270 is still a decent clip), the club's skipper probably won't leave Young off the lineup card very often.

Washington was right: Young has had some strong at-bats lately, particularly versus right-handers, and he's taken the ball the other way, with authority. It's encouraging, but it doesn't provide hope for much more than an uptick in his BA, to something a bit closer to his career .302 average. His grounder rate is greater than 50 percent for the first time in a season, with no signs of reversing a trend downward. You're probably stuck with him.

The lack of power from Young isn't a surprise to most rotisserie nuts, but the degree to which he fell off this season is. Young still hits the ball hard enough that, next year, he could again be a .300 hitter who scores and drives in plenty of runs. Barring some significant changes to the way he prepares his body, however, he's barely replacement-level by Texas' standards, and PT will be in greater danger in the future.

Jhoulys Chacin, SP, Colorado Rockies

On Thursday, Chacin (shoulder inflammation) made his final rehab start, going seven innings for Triple-A Colorado Springs and allowing five hits, one run and three walks. He didn't fan anyone, but he induced nine ground-ball outs.

The right-hander is scheduled to pitch for the big club on Monday or Tuesday against the New York Mets, as Troy Renck also noted.

He hasn't pitched in the majors since May 1, and he registered a 7.30 ERA in his five MLB starts following a spring in which his GM suggested that Chacin was out of shape. Initially, the organization sent him down, but they placed him on the DL shortly after the decision to remove him from the 25-man roster because of the discovered malady.

Post-break in 2011, Chacin seemed to fade substantially, with a 4.31 ERA, a .272 BAA, a 5.70 K/9 and a 4.31 BB/9. Those marks are notably worse than his career marks in his 73 games in The Show.

What we want to know now: Is Chacin back on track? The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder is still one of the better young, talented hurlers in the game. He'd struck out 8.03 per nine innings in his five starts this season, although he'd walked 5.47 per nine as well.

The 24-year-old's swinging-strike percentage doesn't come close to supporting a continuation of that dominance rate, unfortunately. He racked up only 13 K's (against seven walks) in 25 minor league stanzas, as well. Plus, although it defies logic, Jim Tracy intends to stick with his revolutionary four-man rotation. Chacin would rarely, if ever, be eligible for a W.

Until the club's skipper ditches - or is forced to ditch - the heinous pitching plan, no Rockies starter is worth plugging in. The Rockies have enough talent available that they could go back to something more conventional (and roto beneficial), and so Chacin may be worth tucking away. It looks like a lost season for him, though.

10-tm mixed: Pass
12-tm mixed:
15-tm mixed:

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About Nicholas Minnix

Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.

The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.

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