It’s not time to panic just yet

We’re over 20 days into the month of April, and you may or may not be liking the early results of your fantasy team. If you are one of the teams off to a slow start, don’t go thinking that all is lost just yet. After all, we still have over five months to go before all is said and done.

 

One thing that many sabermetric writers preach is sample size. Without a large enough sample size, it’s hard to draw a solid conclusion from any given player’s numbers. All offseason long we’ve looked at numerous players, analyzed the numbers, and drawn our best estimations as to how each will perform during the 2012 season. There in no reason why only 50 or so at-bats or about 20 innings worth of performance should change our minds — assuming player “x” still exhibits the same skills (i.e. fastball velocity) and is completely healthy.

 

For example, Miguel Cabrera is not going to hit below .270, while at the same time Matt Kemp is not going to hit over .400. Robinson Cano is hitting around .240 and Albert Pujols has yet to go deep — do you really think those trends will stick? These are the types of players that are “killing” your fantasy team right now, but if these 50-at-bat slumps happened in the middle of July, rather than to start the season, you wouldn’t be nearly as worried.

 

Even when it comes to some of your “sleeper” picks, it’s still a bit too early to completely discard them, depending on how much you believed in them on draft day. A couple of years ago, I tabbed Jose Bautista as a late round or undrafted sleeper. This was, of course, before he was seen as a 40-50 home run guy. That April, he got off to a slow start, hitting .213/.314/.427, so I dropped him. In May, Bautista hit .287 with 12 bombs and I wasn’t quick enough to snag him back off of the free agent wire.

Lesson learned.

 

At this point, we’re not even 10 percent done with the season. So if your team is struggling and you’re tearing hair out over CC Sabathia’s 5-plus ERA, just take a step back, inhale through your nose and exhale out of your mouth. Deeeeeeep breaths. Deeeeeeep breaths.

 

P.S. If you own Tim Lincecum, you should be worried.