During the last week, I have been extolling the virtues (or lack thereof) of my first ever mock draft. And to be honest, the results so far show that despite comforting words from my MLB Dirt colleagues that I would do fine, I didn't. I am gaining new respect for the people that write about fantasy baseball and who are successful at playing it. Jordan Pacheco is the third of four players I have written about now who fooled me with his batting average and on-base average. As it turns out, those two stats are like gold plating aluminum foil.
I feel stupid, frankly. Pacheco quietly put together over 500 plate appearances for the Colorado Rockies last season. Who knew and how did I miss that? He sort of symbolizes all that is wrong with the Rockies as they have spiraled into ridicule over the last couple of seasons. Pacheco is a guy who is going to give you a good batting average with little power playing two positions that require some power (first and third), can catch on occasion and can't field any of his positions. And frankly, his numbers are inflated by his home ballpark. And I was excited about picking him? Duh.
Pacheco was drafted as a second baseman / shortstop type. In his first year in the minors, he played those two positions and also third and did not play any of those positions well. The following year, the Rockies had the bright idea of converting him to catching. That first year, he had 21 passed balls in 44 games. But the Rockies kept trying and he finished his minor league catching career with a 24% success rate throwing out base runners and had 51 passed balls in just 294 games. He also made 27 errors behind the plate.
But the Rockies must have been intrigued anyway because his offensive numbers looked good. He hit at every level and had a minor league .308 average with a .380 on-base average. The batting average has translated to the majors but not the on-base percentage. In 2008 and 2010 in the minors, Pacheco walked eleven percent of the time. So far in his major league career, that rate is 4.2 percent. He only walked 22 times in 505 plate appearances for the big club.
And it turns out that his numbers are a Coors mirage. Pacheco's OPS at Coors was .878. His OPS away from Coors was .646. Twenty-five of his forty extra base hits were hit at home. And he is much better against left-handed pitching than he is against right-handed pitching by almost 80 points. He had a good on-base percentage against lefties and none at all against right-handed ones.
So Jordan Pacheco has no position, has offensive stats that are inflated by Coors, never walks, has little power and looks bad against right-handed pitching. Obviously, I am not very good at this fantasy draft thing. Not good at all.