Stock Rising- Neil Walker

Neil Walker has hit either second or fifth over the last six games for the Pirates.

Analysis: Walker is in a great position at the moment. He’s either hitting in front of Andrew McCutchen or behind Pedro Alvarez… not bad at all. Walker also has at least one hit in eleven of his last twelve games. He has his batting average up to .258 which is still about twenty points below his career average and all this makes sense because his BABIP this year is about twenty points lower than his career mark.

Walker only has 7 home runs this season which is disappointing considering he has hit at least 12 bombs each year over the past three years. Although his home run tally is down his isolated power is 9th among qualified second baseman. He’s 10th among second baseman in doubles, 6th in triples and 7th in OBP. If he continues hitting second or fifth his run and RBI totals will start to rise which means top 15 fantasy second baseman numbers.

Neil Walker is available in 30-40% of fantasy leagues.

$46 Albert Pujols, $10 Neil Walker, 3 Legged Stool

Issue: One Freeze Roster slot remains. You must choose between $46 Pujols and $10 Neil Walker, but at the end of Auction Day you want to own both. Which one do you keep, then buy back the other?

Facts: Your league is in Stage 3 where everyone is experienced and they all know everything, so projected value is the same as the Auction market price. You suspect a 20% inflation rate on Auction Day from the Keeper rosters. In 24 seasons only 3 times has a player gone for the league high of $50: Albert twice and Hanley Ramirez once. Albert will earn $48 and Neil $15 in 2011. In this highly competitive league an extra $4 under the salary cap could make the difference in acquiring Alexi Casilla over Jack Wilson in the End Game.


(A) Keep Albert and buy back Walker.

$46 Albert’s Freeze Salary

$18 Neil’s price at Auction ($15 X 120%)

$64 Total Investment Cost

$63 Value ($48 + $15)

$1 Loss On Investment

(B) Keep Walker and buy back Pujols on Auction Day.

$10 Walker’s Freeze Salary

$50 Albert’s cost on Auction Day (League’s Psychological Auction Price Ceiling)

$60 Total Investment Cost

$63 Value

$3 Profit On Investment

3 Legged “Price/Cost” Stool: Freeze Day is in 2 weeks and the wind is blowing out at the Grapefruit League’s McKechnie Field in Bradenton. Neil Walker is getting more loft than usual and is looking like the 2011 version of Jayson Heyward, breaking auto windows in the distant parking lot. The news or noise makes Walker’s pre-inflation market price tick up to $18, so with 20% inflation he’ll cost $22 on Auction Day, wipe out your profit, and you’ll have to settle for a Jack Wilson Wanna-Be in the End Game. Now you should keep Walker. The 3 Prices or Costs are what he’ll earn, what he’ll cost (market), what he’ll cost with inflation.


Name AVG   R   RBI   HR   SB   AB
Pujols 0.318   110   114   39   10   571
Walker 0.278   73   83   16   7   560
Casilla 0.275   70   60   10   32   507
Wilson 0.252   21   29   2   3   296