Monday, January 30, 2012

Evan Longoria

Fantasy Pros 911 podcast last night went over 3B the hosts would avoid in the draft. This isn't players they won't draft but players who they won't draft at current levels.

Evan Longoria was mentioned, and I have to agree. The difference between him and Adrian Beltre is too little. If Longoria hits less than 270, it isn't even close.

Around the 9th to 13th picks, I prefer any number of players there. I may take an ace even despite a general rule to pass on SP until the later rounds.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Who Hangs Up First?

Detroit Tigers or New York Yankees - Victor Martinez for AJ Burnett?

Guess Who?

One of the toughest tasks in fantasy baseball is properly valuing players who have recently broken out after years of non-production versus name brand stars. Can you tell me who is a first round pick?

Player A: .308 AVG, 29 HR, 103 RBI, 8 SB 1B-eligible only
Player B: .303 AVG, 31HR, 95 RBI, 2 SB 1B- and OF-eligible.

And this comparison in a 2012 draft that rates 1B as somewhat scare albeit enormously top-heavy.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mock Draft: Taking Miguel Cabrera 1st Overall

The Detroit Tigers' signing of 1B Prince Fielder has led to a temporary euphoria surrounding the expected fantasy value for 1B Miguel Cabrera in 2012. ESPN's Eric Karabell leads the chorus of commentary that Cabrera is now the top ranked player going into 2012 fantasy drafts. To test that assertion, I joined a 14-team 5x5 mixed league draft at Mock Draft Central and chose the #1 draft slot.

My immediate concern was who I would select at the turn of the 2nd and 3rd round, the 28th and 29th picks overall. Given Cabrera's expected 3B eligibility, my initial strategy was to hope one of the elite power producing 1B would be available. This would allow me to shift Cabrera to 3B in season and to start two elite 1B without cloging the Corner position.

Before the first round was over, I knew this was unlikely to come to fruition. Four of the first seven picks were firstbasemen, and a 5th -Prince Fielder - was selected at the end of the 1st round. (FWIW, all the 1B selections were made by mock drafters present at the draft.)

With Mark Teixeira going 24th, I immediately rued having the first pick as the elite outfielders, middle infielders and starting pitchers were all gone by the end of the 2nd round (28th overall selection.) This left me searching amongst all the positions for any stand out values.

There were none from my perspective, and I took OF Andrew McCutcheon and 3B Adrian Beltre. And did not like it.

The rest of the draft was a repeat of the same lack of obvious value, and I shifted to selecting players I believed will out perform current ADPs but may not last another 27 selections. This is a method I use typically in the 8th or 9th round of previous year's drafts.

At the 5th/6th round turn I grabbed C Matt Weiters and SP Stephen Strasburg. Then at 7th/8th, I took Jimmy Rollins and Lance Berkman.

In no way am I happy with my team so far. At the 9th/10th turn, I added Yu Darviush and Ryan Madsen. Then I grabbed Dustin Ackley and Jesus Montero with the hope that Montero will gain catcher-eligibility and be shifted into my second C slot. (FWIW, Ackely was the top player on the board per MDC and there were several teams on AI draft status.)

At this point in the draft (142 selections), the rest is a hodge podge of risk control i.e. production of Gaby Sanchez versus 500 ABs of Brandon Belt and high volatility i.e. Aroldis Chapman lasting as a SP. So I won't go too far into who I selected as this part of a mixed team roster is meant to be churned once the season begins.

Overall, I am unsatisfied with the #1 pick and selecting Miguel Cabrera in a deep mixed league format. Whether I can execute the two elite 1B in a 12-team draft is the next question to be answered. (Stop the BABIP regression on Mark Teixeira and maybe it will!)

Stale Podcasts

Don't you hate when you have a few podcasts lined up and the conversation is stale due to late breaking news?

This has been the case following Prince Fielder to Detroit news. Who cares about VMart injury discussions now?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Rookies to Watch

Ryan Lavarnway in Boston. Unlike Jesus Montero, Lavarnway gets no hype as he is nomatively blocked by Saltalamacchia.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Baseball Prospectus Chat

Baseball Prospectus | Events | Chat with Kevin Goldstein

One good thing to come from Oakland's cry of "Uncle!" for the 2012 and 2013 MLB seasons is there is no one to block OF Michael Choice from reaching the majors.

Unless of course, Oakland decides to decelerate minor league development at the same pace it is doing so for its major league competitiveness.

"Laynce Nix (Land of Ys): More likely to hit in the big leagues: Michael Choice or Josh Bell? Or is picking between them a good problem to have?

Kevin Goldstein: Bell hasn't played, Choice had a really good year. There's not some massive tools difference, so you have to take Choice."

Oakland A's Fantasy Value

Zero in mixed leagues. Expect this team to challenge for least runs scored in MLB. Combine that with the lack of clear-cut starting hitters and there is the recipe for the batting leader in RBIs to lead with 60 to 70.

That is not viable for fantasy purposes.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Yu Darvish Draft Value

Texas Rangers signed Yu Darvish to a historic six-year deal - MLB - ESPN

The Texas Rangers signed Yu Darvish yesterday. The most important question right now is where to draft him for the 2012 fantasy baseball season.

My guess is he goes around the time Michael Pinieda is selected. Further guessing has the hype of Darvish causing some owners to grab him a round or two earlier, but I am most comfortable with the risk/reward profile of Pinieda - good Ks, good Ws, uncertain ratios with upside.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Replacements for Victor Martinez

Five replacements for Victor Martinez - The GM's Office by Jim Bowden Blog - ESPN

I am sure this list of five is behind the Insider wall. There are good names on it but the top two suggestions are not viable for one reason (lack of major league experience) or another (super low AVG).

Let's just look internally. The team may be better off shifting Delmon Young to DH and let any number of 0-3 players wander in left field. I am thinking Andy Dirks/Ryan Raburn type of budget-aware move.

Can it be worse than Young defensively? That is the question one needs to ask before simply throwing out Johnny Damon or Carlos Pena's name as full-time DHs.

Maybe the Tigers get lucky with Ryan Strieby like they did with Brennan Boesch.

Talking My Book: Matt Weiters

The guys at Razzball have ranked Matt Weiters as the 3rd best catcher going into 2012. And Victor Martinez's injury did not provide a bump up the ranks. VMart was 6th pre-ACL injury.

Since I have had Weiters on my AL-only team for as long as he has been available in my drafts, this ranking is the kind of information I want. It confirms everything I want to be true!

Top 20 Catchers for 2012 Fantasy Baseball

Monday, January 16, 2012

Strawman Alert?

I went to Mock Draft Central and checked ADPs. The Expert ADP list of seven expert mock drafts did support my recent assertions about drafting SP early.

The regular ADP ranks did - overwhelmingly!

As more and more fantasy baseball content is produced for the upcoming season, I will be watching which set of ADP takes the lead.

Sent from my iPad

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Early Thoughts on Drafting

With starting pitching appearing to be the du jour hot item for 2012 drafts, I remain unconvinced. If we are in a golden age of elite fantasy SP, then is that a function of pitcher skills or a decreased hitting ability.

The first condition would lead to a strategy of drafting particular SP earlier than prior conventional wisdom sugested as that player had the results and track record to hold value throughout the season. An example would be Roy Halladay. It would not be Zack Greinke.

If the second condition is leading reason to draft SP early i.e. two of top three picks or three of top five, then I suggest sticking to time tested drafting strategy. Take hitting early i.e. four of first five picks are hitters.

If decreased offensive production is the new rule, then those elite hitters will be much better than their alternatives. That is not particularly informative, but this next point should be.

If offense is down across the board, then there will be many SP whose numbers will be good enough to be middling in the ratios while your hitting will exceed the efforts of the SP heavy teams.

So disregarding prior draft strategies for the newest CW may not doing anything but litter your roster with middling offense that can only improved by dealing that SP.

Sent from my iPad

Major Draft Strategy Shift

I have been out of the mainstream of popular expert fantasy analysis, but recently I am seeing starting pitching being drafted early.

This flies in the face of a decade of expert draft strategy.

Sent from my iPad

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Is my sent from my iPad disclosure there?

Sent from my iPad

(Answer: Yes.)


Does my work disclosure get added when sent from Blackberry?

(Answer: No.)