A Meatball to Gorge On or Acid Reflux In Waiting?

ThrottlefingerWe all bow to the altar of Gazza. Yet, as coaches (and sports fans) we know there will be a time — and hopefully not soon — that the mantle of Suns Supercoach greatness will need to be passed onto one of his teammates.

Who will that be? Maybe the boy wonder O’Meara? Perhaps Handy Harley Bennell? Or maybe Jack Marrrrr…Hahaha. Sorry can’t do that with a straight face.

For me the answer is the man they call the Human Meatball, Dion Prestia. I would normally saved this info until later but it shines a bright spotlight on Prestia’s talents. He was having a career best season alongside Gazza, going 108 points a game through Rounds 1-16. When the Little Master went down against the Pies, the tag heat came on The Human Meatball.

Usually that sort of heat sucks all the juices from the meaty parts rendering it dry and bin worthy. But Prestia’s SC succulence only diminished slightly without losing his SC seasoning and flavor, as he ended up averaging 101 points on out.

Does this tasty pasta accoutrement offer us coaches any SC nutrition? Let’s grab a corner table facing the door, wave Tessio and Clemenza over and order a big plate of infogetti and Human Meatballs for the table.

2015 Price: $569,800
2015 Position: MID
Games last season: 22
Average last season: 106
100+ games last season: 12 (high 146 vs. WCE R13)
Sub 80 games last season: 4 (low: 59 R20 vs Blues)
Price range last season: $481K (R21) – $592K (R16)
Missed games last season: 8
Significant history: 97 SC ave in 2013.
Narrowing losing Sun’s 2014 Best and Fairest
Rumoured to have memorized all Toby Maguire movies.

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Want another delectable Human Meatball fun fact? Out of the 12 games Prestia went ton, 9 of them were for 120+. Now dats a-spicy a-meat-ta-ball!

Looking behind those scores will show someone who can distribute the ball (27 per game @ 68% efficiency), lay the tackle (4.6 a game) and strong at clearances (5.4 a game). And he’s better than most with rebounds (2 ave), inside 50s (4 ave) and contested possessions (11 a game).

Prestia also has a big engine. 82 minutes on the field last season. In fact, he won GCS first time trial of the season…overtaking Thumper in the final 200m of the 2km trial to edge out the youngster, who had led the entire way.

RISK FACTOR

Always a risk with an under 24 year old player. The sub 80 scores could be less this year but thinking they would be gone completely would be assuming a lot.

SELECTION PURPOSE

You see the potential. The scores are titillating. And how the kid adjusted to Ablett being out and getting the hard tag every week, shows he’s up for a challenge. Could he continue the trend of increasing his average to 110+ or not? A classic hmmmmmm or mmmmmmm?

THE GOOD

  • When goes ton, he mostly big (120+)
  • Rise in SC performance each year (61-79-98-106)
  • Pill magnet + tackles = SC love
  • Confidence gained from on-field leadership role during Gaz absence

THE BAD

  • Pricey for inexperienced mid
  • Too many sub 80s
  • Sillyass nickname. Meatballs are for plates not players.

THROTTLE DECREES

Ablett back and O’Meara out with a knee injury you’d think Ol’ Throtts would have him slotted in for Round 1. And given my habit for falling for my review subjects, I can understand the community having that opinion.

Yet, Prestia is a definite watchlister. Could understand someone rolling the dice on him to be a 110+ but at his age can’t see that being worth the risk. A corrective POD perhaps to upgrade to after his price has dropped a bit and when it becomes clear Ablett is back and in fine form.

NO.

Thoughts community on the Human Meatball?

Throttlefinger

Twitter: @throttlefinger

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41 Comments

General Soreness · 18/11/2014 at 07:09

Ripping read as per usual Throtts. Best thing about these reviews are they highlight players that mentally you thought were either better or worse than the stats show. In the case of the Meatball I did not realise his season was that good. Definitely agree that he is a watchlister and potential POD corrective. Still I wouldn’t begrudge anyone giving him a round 1 berth. For those that select the Meatball it is a must that you have Sauce in your Ruck.

    throttlefinger · 18/11/2014 at 07:17

    Hahaha. Well played, General. Well played.

    These reviews do give you a better understanding of a player's worth in terms of SC strengths/weaknesses. Last season I was considering adding some Meatballs to my plate and just seemed too risky. After pouring through the numbers, it won't be as big a risk this season.

    At $570K he's a touch too expensive from the jump. Will be keeping my eyes on for sure. But like you I could understand someone adding Meatballs as a first course.

      Itchy Nuts Pieman · 18/11/2014 at 07:36

      If we could get him upgraded to a Swedish meatball that could be too tempting to pass up!

Itchy Nuts Pieman · 18/11/2014 at 07:33

That continual rise in average is a spicy meatball Throts. Great article once again my man! If he was certain to keep that going he’s definitely worth a good look at. But as you have expertly pointed out the guys around him could be even tastier meatballs. I was keen on Jaeger, but the knee is a worry. I think the suns will thrive under Eade. Prestia could be a great pick. I just can’t rule him out. Stirring piece again Throts! Let the debate begin

    throttlefinger · 18/11/2014 at 16:14

    Thanks Pieman. Means a lot. Was keen on O'Meara as well. The knee issue essentially rules him out of R1 planning. The M-ball could be an interesting pick, especially a nice combo with Gaz if he's back to full strength. Hell, even if Gaz isn't back at full power, he's still the sweetest honey so all the flies will go to him.

    Still leaning on Prestia for corrective. Much debate to follow…

      Itchy Nuts Pieman · 18/11/2014 at 16:51

      That 22 games is eyeballing me throttle. Does anyone have his stats after Gaz went down? If Gaz is around he won’t be getting tagged & the honey is sweet. I really like the lad. Plenty of preseasons under the belt. I’m very interstested. Quality throts. Always an amusing read with quality research to boot.

        throttlefinger · 18/11/2014 at 16:57

        Well, his score only dropped from 108 to 101 from Gaz in to Gaz out. That's pretty damn good knowing he attracted the heat.

        See what the prices and Higginator have to say…anxious Pieman, anxious!

          Itchy Nuts Pieman · 18/11/2014 at 17:02

          Very anxious throts. We need a Higginator countdown clock. It’s going to get a hell of a work over this time. Still averaging over 100 minus GAJ. Think he could push 115 in 2015

            throttlefinger · 18/11/2014 at 22:16

            Countdown clock for sure, Pieman. Have an internal one going as we speak.

            H-ball gets more delicious with more thought, doesn't he. 40/60 right now.

@TG_Footy_Tragic · 18/11/2014 at 09:51

Brilliant Throtts!

I was one who almost started with Presti last year – but my usual over-analysis and safe plays stopped me.

He's a tantalising prospect; one I feel is an upgrade target for that M7-8 spot.

Majestic as always Mr Finger!

    throttlefinger · 18/11/2014 at 16:15

    Appreciate the kind words, Dex!

    Think M7-8 is a more prudent call for him. And he seems to not blow his scoring load early in the season so Prestia could be that pre-finals pick up that could make a difference.

    Paul · 18/11/2014 at 21:28

    He's a lcck, had him all last year dont even have to think about him this year…in

Sarah · 18/11/2014 at 10:30

Great review Throttle! I had Prestia last year in my draft league. He's only getting better and has a very high ceiling. Priced a bit highly to start for my liking, but will keep an eye on him.

FYI everyone, Taylor Walker just extended his contract with the crows for another 3 years… I'm so happy!!! 😀

    General Soreness · 18/11/2014 at 11:02

    Watch out for Barron he is probably doing cartwheels down Rundle Mall!

    throttlefinger · 18/11/2014 at 16:18

    Appreciate the thumbs up, Sarah. And totally agree. If he were $525K, almost would have him a lock. As of now, just too high.

    Oh man, Crows fans rejoice! Hope that pushes Walker to come out like gangbusters for us coaches.

    Itchy Nuts Pieman · 18/11/2014 at 16:37

    The Baron was seen running up & down rundle mall nuder than a nude nudist!

WombatsFC · 18/11/2014 at 11:10

Very informative mate. I like the way this bloke plays and he looks a bit like a wombat. I expect a significant increase from him for 2015. Atmo he's in my pool for M5-M8, NAB form will be decider.
Your definitive No has increased the likelihood of him getting a Guernsey 🙂

I played on Gold Coast in mid-80's and I still believe that the obvious team name was Gold Coast Crabs.

    throttlefinger · 18/11/2014 at 16:21

    Hahaha. Well, the "no" is for R1 having him in my team. If he starts off strong (coupled with a good preseason), I may bring him in as a corrective or M7-M8 later.

    And I think the Crabs would reflect the byproduct of your feathered-hair frolicking with GC groupies.

    Itchy Nuts Pieman · 18/11/2014 at 17:09

    Ha your a great stirrer wombats. GC Crabs ha! Might not have appealed to the ladies

Chicko · 18/11/2014 at 11:31

A Ball tearer of a review Throtts, dare I say a meatball tearer of a review no less! Like General, whilst I knew Prestia had a good season, genuinely surprised at some of those stats – particularly his tackle average. He gets a lot of the pill, so if his DE goes up, then I suspect I may also go up a little. Well played Throtts!

    throttlefinger · 18/11/2014 at 16:23

    Hey thanks Big C! Digging into his number it was really surprising all the SC boxes he ticks off. The ball magnetic part is the most attractive. Averaging 27 disposals on a team with Gaz, Swallow and Bennell…pretty damn impressive. Think he'll do better this year as well. Start off with Dees and Saints so R3 may be time to use him as corrective. Hmmmmm.

lostlarrikin · 18/11/2014 at 12:25

Very tasty piece Throts.
Have had The Meatball high on my M4/M5 list for a while now and your review certainly confirms my thinking.
The price will scare many, but for me he's a young, durable kid on the rise that ticks all the SC boxes and has a pretty respectable ceiling.
80/20 for mine.

    throttlefinger · 18/11/2014 at 16:27

    Thanks Losty. Yeah, there's a gut call swirling about with Prestia. Going through all his stats and seeing how he's moving up his average by decent leaps…you WANT to slot him in. M4/M5 would be a strong R1 place for him. And given that the Suns start off with the Dees and Saints, he might give you a good out of the gate effort.

    High on the watch list for sure. Higginator 2015…where are you?!?!?

      Chicko · 18/11/2014 at 19:55

      I'm with you Throtts, the Higginator will get an absolute belting this pre-season. I think I actually saved 43 iterations of my team last year, and they were the ones I deemed worthy, there were 967 permutations behind that!

        throttlefinger · 18/11/2014 at 22:18

        Ha! Likewise. Think one day at the office I put 100 versions in my dropbox. In the end had three folders with "Delicious", "Tasty" and "Mmmmm." Insanity…of the most delicious kind, Chicko.

Kev · 18/11/2014 at 13:44

What was his ownership % in 2014? Footy centric Victorians tend to miss out on these interstate guys, so I'll be looking at GWS and GC kids like Prestia, Greene, Treloar etc to fill one of the M5-M8 slots.

As above, he ticks a lot of the right SC boxes, high ceiling, tackles, respectable de%, and has steadily improved each year in the system. New coach, whips cracking for finals appearance this year. GC could very well come out and go BANG like they did last season.

Cracking review as always, throtts.

    Sarah · 18/11/2014 at 13:51

    His ownership last year was 3.4%.
    I tend to think the majority of the best mids in the comp are now found in interstate teams: Fyfe, Ablett, Rockliff, Beams, Sloane, Gray etc. So far the only Vic mids I'll be considering for my starting line up are Pendles and Selwood. Otherwise it's interstate all the way!!!

      General Soreness · 18/11/2014 at 14:57

      I will be considering Watson, Heppell, Swan, Libba et al

      Chicko · 18/11/2014 at 19:57

      Hey Sarah, I like the interstate mids also – can provide decent PODS as a lot of us Victorians can have a home state bias. Having said that, like the General, I will be having a very big look at Heppell and Libba.

    throttlefinger · 18/11/2014 at 16:30

    Appreciate the thumbs up, Kev. Think having a new coach with their talent could revitalize their team. With O'Meara hobbled, Gaz, Prestia and Swallow are going to gobble up the SC points.

    As everyone knows, I love me some GWS. Prestia and Treloar may be fighting for a M4 position on Team Throttle. Unless I want to go Griff and save a penny. Much to ponder…much to discuss.

Dools · 18/11/2014 at 15:49

Great review TF
Reinforced my "Maybe " at this stage..40/60 waiting on preseason and what GAJ does but I would also be considering D. Swallow from GCS IF GAJ is up and about…
Thanks for the preview mate great job as always

    throttlefinger · 18/11/2014 at 16:32

    My man, Doolsl Thanks buddy. Yeah, GCS will have a lot of eyes on them this preseason. Think as much as I'm checking out Gaz's form, I'll be checking out if Prestia comes out with more gusto this year.

Brook · 18/11/2014 at 18:45

Great review throttle … Neon Dion may yet find his way into my team under a 7/3 mid structure.

BUT, wait a sec!?! I don’t mean to hijack this thread, but what is the go with this idea? I have just completed my first full year of super coach and I may be missing something.

I have done some quick sums on the 7/3 mid structure and it looks something like this:

$1.3-1.4 Mid super premo x 2

$2.5-2.6 Mid premo x 5

$1.6-1.7 Def, Ruck, Fwd premo x 1each

$3.3-3.7 Others (Def x 5, Mid x 1, Ruck x 1, Fwd x 5)

$0.9-1.0 Bench x 8

I just think it may be difficult to generate cash with this structure, ie. from def and fwd rookies rather than mid rookies. And it also limits the possibility of picking up fallen mid premiums throughout the season as these spots as filled and priorities will be def and fwd upgrades.

I think I went too far last year with a 4/6 mid structure (including beams and murphy). I stocked up on 3 premo defs, including smitchell and enright who are now probably past their best SC output.

However, 7/3 seems too far the other way … I think it prob comes down to the best available cash cows and I actually think it is the 12 ‘other’ players who take up $3.5-4m of the cap who will make or break a lot of teams.

Anyway, they are just my thoughts and, as I said, I may have completely missed the boat on this one.

Cheers

Brook

    throttlefinger · 18/11/2014 at 22:33

    Hey Brook. I think the answer is somewhere in the middle. Also, can't really do much until we know the prices and the rookie crop and their on-field likelihood.

    Right now I'm trying to budget per position. It fluctuates 7/3 to 6/4 but I'm justing trying to use the budget as a guide to calibrate where most of my funds will go. Points vs. cash generation, it will always come down to.

    And that's why all of us our counting down the days under the Higginator presents itself. Eager would be an understatement.

    Sarah · 19/11/2014 at 08:10

    Hi Brook,

    Last year I went the 4/6 structure in the midfield and I think it worked out ok. It really just depends on the rookies and what positions they can be picked in. At this early stage of the SC season though I'm thinking about a 5/5 structure in the midfield. Should still generate a good amount of cash and allow for midfield upgrades and to grab fallen premiums.

    Good luck with your second season! 🙂

Barwick's Soilders · 18/11/2014 at 19:17

throttle you never disappoint, defiantly one to add to my watchlist. Price is 100% on the high side and at this stage I may start with a more proven player. Agree that he may be worth a corrective trade early in the season. This stage 35/65. Anyone know what date the prices come out?

    throttlefinger · 18/11/2014 at 22:36

    Oh man, thanks Barwick. Not completely sure when prices come out, especially with the later NAB start.

Tom · 18/11/2014 at 21:42

While Prestia's average dropped a bit with Ablett out its important to point out that the more likely (or at least more significant) cause of his drop in points per game was simply that the Suns stopped winning. As Prestia (like almost all players) scored significantly better in wins than losses (113ppg in wins v 100ppg in losses), the more relevant question may be how many games the Suns will win than how many he will play with Ablett, although obviously these are related. If you think Eade will be able to significantly improve the Suns as I do this may be a good reason to pick him.

    throttlefinger · 18/11/2014 at 22:41

    Great point, Tom. Why it's always weary to stock team with too many from a bottom 4 team…odds are you're gonna absorb more sub80s than you would with a top 4 team player. Obviously, Gaz in the game makes the Suns a better team. But even if he doesn't have a spectacular game, Prestia can (146 vs WCE when Gaz had 106…in a game that they lost).

Seaford Scouse · 24/11/2014 at 19:41

Nice analysis TF! Great to get all the stats with so long to go till the new season still, reckon it’s saving me days if not weeks in the ol’ ‘research lab’, yourself and the boys are doing a cracking job, nice new aspect of the site, I like, I like a lot just like Mr Presti here. Was already in my thoughts and on the definitely maybe WL, but now he’s cemented himself there based on the info you’ve provided. The Suns certainly look appealing this year in the mid line what a set of talent with many on the WL. Charlie Dixon and Tom Nicholls/Zac Smith will also have the binos trained on them during pre-season, think others may even come into the equation once coach Eades structure becomes more apparent. Also agree with some of the other comments on this thread about the gold to be found outside of Melbourne especially those with new coaches.

throttlefinger · 24/11/2014 at 21:58

Done his hammy again…move to your watchlist..
http://www.afl.com.au/news/2014-11-24/double-blow

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