March 2007

Chasing saves is NOT fun!

The old saying is, "it’s not what you know but who you know"… but what happens when you have both the what AND the who, and THIS happens anyway?

Cincinnati IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Hermanson 0.1 5 4 4 1 0 0 7.36

See, I had been assured by a VERY solid source that Hermanson would be the Reds closer to start the season "unless he had a nervous breakdown." I don’t know if this was nerves, but double-double-double-single-walk-ground out-single certainly does qualify as a meltdown. I guess we’ll find out on Sunday if this was as much of a lock as my source thought.

Here’s how the bullpen shakes out through and including Saturday’s games:

Bullpen W L ERA G GF SV IP H R ER HR BB SO
Bray 0 0 0.00 3 1 0 3.0 0 0 0 0 0 4
Coffey 1 0 0.84 11 2 0 10.2 10 2 1 0 3 11
Guardado 0 0 0.00 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Hermanson 0 0 7.36 8 2 0 7.1 12 8 6 1 1 5
Stanton 0 0 5.14 7 0 0 7.0 9 5 4 0 1 2
Weathers 0 0 2.25 8 0 0 8.0 6 2 2 2 2 4

Bray and Guardado are opening the season on the DL, and Stanton will probably be used in a middle/setup role since he’s the only known commodity among the remaining lefties. That leaves Hermanson to battle with last year’s primary closers, Weathers (first half) and Coffey (second half), both of whom threw better all spring than Hermanson did.

In fact, if spring stats really DO matter, then Coffey is the obvious choice. But if the scarlet "C" Hermanson carries from 2005 is still worth anything, he might just get the job anyway. And don’t forget this potentially portentious quote from Reds’ GM Wayne Krivsky:

"I don’€™t think spring training statistics tell you much about anything."

(UPDATED APRIL 1, 1:20 p.m. ET — If you believe this, it sounds like Wayne Krivsky does indeed believe in the value of spring stats!)

Regarding Dunn…

In response to Mitch’s post about Dunn, sorry folks, I’m not seeing Dunn as a second-round pick almost no matter what he does. First, here are his career highs:

.266, 46 HR, 102 RBI, 19 SB, 107 runs

IF he did that in one season, yes, he’d probably be a second-rounder. Problem is, there’s far too much recent evidence to suggest the will be pressed to reach any of those numbers this year, much less all of them. Check out his career trends on some key indicators:

YEAR G AB R HR RBI SB ATT% EYE OBP SLG PA/X AVG OPS P/PA GO/AO
2001 66 244 54 19 43 4 .088 .514 .371 .578 7.53 .262 .948 4.14 0.84
2002 158 535 84 26 71 19 .131 .753 .400 .454 12.07 .249 .854 4.36 0.93
2003 116 381 70 27 57 8 .079 .587 .354 .465 11.73 .215 .819 4.33 0.63
2004 161 568 105 46 102 6 .038 .554 .388 .569 8.51 .266 .956 4.25 0.76
2005 160 543 107 40 101 4 .033 .679 .387 .540 8.71 .247 .927 4.25 0.80
2006 160 561 99 40 92 7 .038 .577 .365 .490 10.67 .234 .855 4.20 0.67
CAREER 821 2832 519 198 466 48 .067 .619 .380 .513 9.76 .245 .892 4.26 0.77

* Not only is the AVG trend going in the wrong direction, he is indeed getting sufficient at-bats for it to hurt. A composite .249 over the past three seasons – in an average of 557 at-bats – is going to hurt your batting average. Among all MLB batting qualifiers in 2006, only Clint Barmes and Brad Ausmus had a lower batting average. How many HR’s would it take for you to want those guys on your team? Bottom line is Dunn is an AVG killer, period.

* Not only is the HR trend going in the wrong direction, so is his slugging percentage. And it’s not just that fewer singles are falling in: "PA/X" is the ratio of total plate appearances to extra-base hits… Dunn just isn’t hitting for as much power, period.

(Remember also that less power means fewer RBI’s, too. That and the fact that the Reds Opening Day lineup will probably have Dunn batting second, which surely won’t help the RBI count, either.)

* He’s stolen fewer bases in the last three years than he did in all of 2002, and that looks like a gigantic fluke. Check out the ATT% column, which is the percentage of times Dunn attempted a steal when on first via a single, walk or hit-by-pitch. No doubt that number is heavily dependent on a number of variables, but what’s telling is that it has been essentially flat for the last three years… Dunn just isn’t stealing as many bases any more, period.

(Bob Boone was the manager in 2002-03 when Dunn did his most running. Dave Miley and Jerry Narron have shut that down.)

* Dunn’s OBP is dropping, and it’s not just the lower average dragging it down. Check out EYE (BB/SO) and P/PA (pitches per plate appearance)… Dunn’s plate discipline spiked somewhat in 2005, but other than that it’s been flat or declining for the last four seasons. He’s not just getting fewer hits, he’s getting on base less often, period. And that means fewer runs, too.

I’m not alone in sharing my skepticism about Dunn this year, Here is his average projection for 2007 from the five sources I used this year:

.254, 40 HR, 97 RBI, 101 runs, 5 SB

If Mitch wants to point to the fact that Dunn is a 27-year-old in a contract year in a favorable hitter’s park, that’s fine by me. And Dunn has maintained his fly-ball swing, which should keep the HR total up. But Mitch is putting a lot of faith in very few selling points when there’s a lot more evidence pointing to this being a bad pick, period.

A fourth-rounder, maybe. A fifth-rounder, sure. But not in the second.

Listener League Blog by Mitch

(The 411 League Draft is at http://www.the411.mlbradiofans.com/ )

I like my team.  2 years ago, when I ended up winning the league, I LOVED my team.

More specifically about the actual draft, I was surprised that Beltran went at 12.  I took him much earlier in the 411 mock draft.  I had him ranked in the top half of the first round.  Same for Lance Berkman, who went in the middle of the second round.  Looking at the bottom of the draft board, though, it is remarkable how many pitchers were taken late.
  The GMs there really believe that pitching is a **** shoot and, so, many wait until the last few rounds to do it.  The majority also use the wire for pitching.  I am not quite the pitch-or-ditcher that many of the others are, but I do indulge once in a while.

Last year, I got major kudos for controlling the draft with my corner picks.  I started a run on closers and then started another run on catchers (I took Joe Mauer and then Jason Varitek, which drew some hoots regarding Mauer over ‘Tek-  my, how things change in a year).  There were no real runs like that this year.

The real point of looking over drafts like the 411’s is to figure out how teams were constructed.  Here’s how I came up with my approach this year.  I took projections from 5 sources (including ESPN.com, which is hosting the 411 league this year) and averaged them.  I then assigned "dollar values" according to position.  So, it makes sense to draft in descending value.  What I found was that outfielders were overvalued.
This is probably because there are so many outfielders- and therefore such variation- that the difference between the top and bottom is huge.
    I knew this going in and therefore knew that I’d have to compensate at some point.  It was remarkable how early I had to do it, though.

Because of the limited value of saves, I gave them increased weight.
You couldn’t tell from my closers, though-  I have only Brad Lidge.
More on that later.  I probably should upweight steals.  Accordingly, I panicked towards the end and tried to dig up some steals.

The main criticism of my draft was that I took Adam Dunn in the second round.  His batting average is the main downside.  Someone mocked that ours is not a OBA league.  My "defense" is the following haiku:
Batting average
Is not an average of
Players’ averages.
The point is that a guy who gets more walks gets fewer at-bats.  So, his contribution to my overall batting average is lowered.  Plus, average is a flighty thing.  You see people draft for homers or steals in particular, but not many say "I grabbed so-and-so (Freddy Sanchez?) because of his batting average."

It is hypocritical for some to hammer me over this, in my opinion.  In particular, many people pick up a guy off the wire for the extra homer or two and they never mention the more likely 0 for 4 (David Ross, anyone?).  It is a bigger fact with pitching-  people pull a guy to get a quick win, while downplaying the possible effect on ERA and WHIP.  I’m quite happy to go with 40 homers, more than 100 RBI and more than 100 runs.

The problem with being near an end, but not the end, is that you don’t have much leverage to start a run, but you have to wait a while-  a long
while-  to get your next pick.   I felt like it was a stretch most of
the time to take a closer.  Even when I took Lidge (122 overall), he wasn’t the clear choice, but there were few closers left and Lidge was the best of the lot.  Plus, he gives me strikeouts.

By the end of the draft, though, I found myself with only Lidge for saves and no first baseman.  Fortunately, I had strong starting pitching and good power.  So, average-wise, Sean Casey wasn’t that bad for a next-to-last round draw.

The starting pitching allows me to waste a spot on a reliever.  So, I backed up Lindstrom with Julio.  That worked out okay.  I’ll have to watch the wire for closer changes.  That’s the norm for me.

It is going to be a fun year again and I am honored to still be in the league.  I hope that half of the owners in the MLB Radio Fans leagues are as dedicated to the game as the owners in this crew.

Mixed Auction Highlights and Lowlights

The mixed auction was somewhat a blur. I went into the draft with the intention of grabbing two top 15 outfielders and a top shortstop. 

I did neither.

My preference to get good value ended up trumping all else, as I shied away from the outfield inflation that seemed to rule the day -- Grady Sizemore went for $36 (went for $31 in AL-only), Soriano for $41. Instead, I decided to lay off and wait for some top second tier guys, like Adam Dunn for $10 and Alex Rios for $19. In retrospect, I probably should have gone the extra buck or two for Vladdy ($32) or Carlos Lee ($28), but hindsight is 20-20 (or perhaps worse in my case). I did end up finding good value in a strong bullpen, a strength I can deal from later if need be. In any event, I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the squad, but I'll have to view other teams before fully forming my opinion.

Here's the club:

                        
C       Piazza (12)
C       Zaun (2)
1B      Ad. LaRoche (4)
2B      Lugo(18)
SS      Renteria (12)
3B      Aramis  (24)
MI      O. Cabrera (9)
CI      A. Gordon (17)
OF      A. Rios (19)
OF      Dunn (10)
OF      M. Cameron (10)
OF      R. Baldelli (11)
OF      C. Hart (8)
UTIL    Hafner  29

P       B. Wagner (22)
P       Wickman 9
P       Fuentes 9
P       F. Cordero (13)
P       A. Burnett (8)
P       J. Vazquez (8)
P       D. Cabrera (2)
P       M. Prior (1)
P       Broxton (3)

B       Matt Garza      
B       K. Kouzmanoff   
B       D. Johnson      
B       S. McClung      
B       R. Soriano      
B       B. Wilkerson   

My outfield isn’t what I envisioned it to be, but wimping out of a bidding war for Vernon Wells (32) in favor of Alex Rios (19) is a decision I don’t regret. In all, I accomplished what I set out to do — not investing too much in one player but build an all-around five-category team — albeit with lesser known players.

A few other highlights and lowlights:

Buying Wagner for $22 didn’t exactly feel wonderful when Mariano went for $19 and Hoffman for $16. I tried adjusting to the deflated closer market by picking up Cordero and Fuentes at bargain values, though Wickman at $9 was a relative reach.

This may be the oldest middle infield in my history of fantasy – all over 30s players. Less upside here, but should keep the wheels a turnin.

Losing one’s temper is generally considered an amateur move, but sure enough, after going the distance on Alex Gordon — who’s worth every bit of hype – my fists began to clench when Ryan Zimmerman went for a ********** low $14.

I feel extremely comfortable about my underrated front two starters of Javy Vazquez, along with D. Cabrera at $2, and they’ll be tons of starters on the wire. Still, it couldn’t have hurt to play it a little more aggressively with Kei Igawa ($3) and other late-round hurlers.

Sheesh, I need a deep breath and some Tums.

Of course, find me an owner that feels exhilarated after draft day and I’ll find you a fifth-place team.

AL Tout Wars Recap

As the Gators look to put the Ducks away and I have time before UNC and the Hoyas I jumped on to recap yesterday’s AL Tout Draft that took place at 9am ET in NYC.

Here was my approach. Get two monster bats, load up on speed in MI and go with one above average OF and roll the dice on the rest of the OF with power and speed mix. For pitching I wanted to have a big K closer and quality starters at reasonable prices with high K relievers who may grab a save or two.

Here was my "target" team knowing I couldn’t get them all but they added up to $260 and made me feel good about heading into the season knowing I may have to make a few deals while being aggressive with my $100 FAAB.

c Ramon Hernandez 12

c Larue 1

1b Morneau 30

2b Kinsler 16

SS Lugo 19

3b A-Rod 38

co Marte 9

MI Cairo 1

of Damon 26

of Jose Guillen 4

of Kenny Lofton 8

of Jay Gibbons 9

of brad Wilkerson 8

UT J. Gomes 14

p Mussina 17

p Westbrook 6

p Silva 2

p Saunders 1

p McCarthy 7

p Fernando Cabrera 1

p Scot shields 9

p bobby jenks 24

Here is who I got with comments and my reserve list after wards (random generated draft order of 6 rounds, I got pick 11).

c zaun 8 (spent 5 extra bucks on a-rod so decided to shave it off by 4 on catcher)

c suzuki 1 (it got so bad at end of draft I took the chance he gets called up on a Kendall injury instead of taking Mike Redmond, I’ll bid $0 or $1 on a active catcher this week and demote Kurt)

1b Morneau 29 (very happy with this)

2b Lugo 19 (very happy with this, when I lost out on Kinsler who went for 20, Barfield who went for 21, Kendrick who went for 21 and Iguchi who went for 18. They all went higher then expected so what I did was secure Lugo at what I felt was market value and put him at SS, then when I felt a good opportunity I got **** I liked and moved Lugo to 2B, that SS was….

SS Y. Betancourt 14 (he went a little higher then I wanted but thought it was worth it , banking on .300 and double digit steals)

3b A-Rod 43 (got into a tense bidding war till the end with Team Wolf/Colston. Nothing was stopping me from getting him, have no problem spending the extra 3-5 bucks. Him and Morneau are a nice tandem for me)

co Greg Norton 9 (ignore the money this was a ******* disaster, he was my last slot and after missing out on Marte and Garko I stayed back and then all of a sudden everyone was out of money or only could spend a dollar per player. The good news is he is 1b and of eligible and did well with 300 ab’s in 2006. The really bad part is that the money I had left should have gotten me a better starter of outfielder earlier in the draft, so I dropped the ball on this one and will have to work hard to correct.)

MI Jerry Hairston 2 (HGH. hope guy hits)

OF Damon 27 (thank God, since you’ll see rest of my outfield now. Try not to puke.)

OF Dellucci 15 (he isn’t the only OF to go way higher then expected Baldelli 21, gibbons 19, kubel 20, nelson cruz 10, Jose guillen 15, Casey Blake 17. It was crazy! If I would have known this I would have gotten a Torii Hunter at 21 or Magglio at 17 and lived with another dollar player somewhere.)

OF Catalanato 4 (another platoon player)

OF Choo 1 (could be a steal if Nixon gets hurt and Blake outplays Garko at 1B)

OF Stewart 1 (an old favorite and fellow plantar fascists sufferer, low risk and potential high reward for a 5Th OF in non mixed)

UT Thome 18 (couldn’t believe I got him this cheap, had no intention of getting him but heard crickets as he got to 15 so I jumped in and swiped him at 18. If he has another Thome year, I’ll have a great threesome of Thome, A-Rod and Morneau)

P Kelvim Escobar 17 (starters with K’s were disappearing so I jumped in and grabbed him at what I thought was fair value, he had a back problem hours after I drafted him , so finger crossed but it looks OK.)

P Ervin Santana 13 (I love this kid and couldn’t resist it when his name got tossed out there. At the time I had no clue of the OF insanity coming my way so hindsight is 20-20 and I don’t care because he could explode this year)

P Cliff Lee 4 (will be nice insert at end of April)

P Brandon McCarthy 2 (If he grows into potential this will be a steal. If he doesn’t he only cost 2 bucks which is 5 less then I had him at)

P Fausto Carmona 1 (hedge for Cliff Lee and he has talent except against the Red Sox in big spots)

P Scott Proctor 1 (threw him out at a buck and the crickets delivered, oh well)

P Juan Rincon 3 (solid MR and protection for my closer)

P Justin Speier 2 (good K’s)

P Joe Nathan 26 (ended up being highest bid closer, but the difference was minimal and he is arguably the best in AL fantasy wise. K-Rod went for 24, Ryan 25, Mo 25, Street 23. Putz went for 16 and Papelbon 16 as well, but a lot of injury comments for both.)

For the 6 round reserve draft I had pick 11 and knew I had to get OF and SP help.

  1. Adam Jones (could get the call if Guillen goes down, might have been a reach but I had pick 11 so best were gone like Adam Lind etc..)
  2. George Sherrill (potential closer , but good MR anyway, could get him in there for opening week most likely to replace Cliff Lee)
  3. Ryan Sweeney (if Brian Anderson doesn’t wake up then I have the replacement)
  4. Jeff Karstens (got hurt after the draft, but if he’s OK I could get him in there over Sherrill.)
  5. Evan Longoria (best bat avail)
  6. Nick Adenhart (with all the injuries for angels and his big prospect status who knows)

During the week the Tout page will be updated and this league will be hosted on espn.com. Would like to thank Jason Grey and everyone else for making me feel very welcome, it was great to see them all and I had a blast.

Tout Wars NL recap

Strange that Siano and Cushing both drafted yesterday but neither have blogged yet, while I just got home and I’m posting right away, huh? Now we know who is dedicated to keeping up with the blog and who is not. ;-)

 

(Updated March 27 — well, they both wrote more than I did, so I have to up the ante! Player by player comments inserted below.)

This was my third Tout NL draft, having finished 3rd in 2004 and then last (guh!) in 2005. Coming back after that stinker and a year off, I tried to put into play some of the basic lessons learned during the time:

* Have a budget not only for hitting/pitching, but by "slot", i.e., one $35 hitter, one $25 hitter, three $20 hitters, a $20 ace, $18 for a closer, etc.
* Fill roster spots apace with the league, neither getting too far ahead (limiting opportunities to get bargains) nor too far behind (promoting overspending);
* Don’t overspend on speed, but don’t get shut out, either.

Fortunately John Hoyos wasn’t in the league this year to overbid me on every bat I wanted like he did in ’05, so I was able to stick mostly to plan. Here are the results (actual salary listed with my projected salary in parentheses), and keep in mind that this is a 13-team NL-only league so there are going to be some scrubs on everyone’s roster, not just mine!

C – Ru.Martin $17 ($17) — I wanted either him or Barrett but when he went for $19 I thought this was a fair price. Not as much pop, but should hit for a good average and I like the 10 steals out of this slot.
C – Ra.Castro 1 (1) — A better 2nd catcher would’ve been nice, but as expected, both Iannetta ($15!) and Montero ($8) went past my budget so I settled for a guy who should give a few HR’s as LoDuca’s backup.
1B – Ry.Howard 35 (40) — My original targets for this price slot included Derrek Lee (went for $33), Berkman ($32) or Miguel Cabrera ($35), and all would’ve fit the budget. But, Howard came out first and I thought this was a bargain so I took him. Other good 1B’s all went 2-3 dollars less than I expected (Pujols 43, Fielder 22, LaRoche 21, Gonzalez 23, Delgado 25), but I have no regrets.
3B – Ko.Casto Rs (ND) — Once I got priced out on the guys I liked (Encarnacion at $24 was a bad omen), I took Andy LaRoche for a buck and picked up Casto in the reserve round. Now it sounds like he’ll get a shot to win the starting LF job for the Nationals so the ONE game he played at 3B last September may turn into a miracle for me!
CI – Mi.Jacobs 19 (18) — Once the 3B’s starting drying up I shifted gears to at least got a strong corner. By my projections this was the only pick where I overpaid, but it was only by a buck and I think he’ll provide good value (.265/25/80) for this price.
2B – Br.Phillips 17 (22) — I don’t like him and didn’t want him, but thought he’d go for more so I took the value. In hindsight I probably would’ve taken Lee (33) and Weeks (19) over Howard (35) and Phillips (17), but I think this is a reasonable price for 15/20 production.
SS – Furcal 28 (30) — Of the other top shortstops, Reyes (42) and Hanley (33) went for a little more than I thought they would, while Furcal and Rollins (33) went for a little less. But once I got Howard I knew the other guys were out of the picture, so I pulled the trigger here. The ankle does not sound like a long-term worry so this could be a discount.
MI – Da.Easley Rs (ND) — Drafted Eric Patterson for a buck and took Easley in the reserve round. Best-case scenario is probably only 200 at-bats.
UT – Gr.Dobbs 1 (1) — He’s DH-only due to his time with the Mariners, but I think this is a classic $1 upside flier. He always hit for high averages in the minors, should show some pop in CBP and has only Wes Helms in front of him. I could see him stealing platoon or even everyday at-bats at 3B.
OF – Co.Hart 19 (19) — Probably a little high, but I thought a fair price. He should provide 20 HR and a dozen or more steals, good value as long as the AVG isn’t a killer.
OF – Ch.Burke 18 (19) — Another mid-priced, middle-tier SB source; I originally slotted him in my MI spot but moved him to OF after that got thin. The weak spring is a worry, but he will probably get a longer leash since he can replace Biggio at 2B or stick in the OF. Of course, Hunter Pence’s big spring is a worry… this is a very risky pick for the price.
OF – Ca.Quentin 17 (18) — The labrum is a minor concern, but he’s expected to be OK. If healthy I think this guy is a lock for 22/75 or more, and potentially much more, in that ballpark and lineup.
OF – Lu.Scott 9 (12) — Just when I thought I was going to get stuck with Michael Tucker and So Taguchi in my outfield, I snuck this one out. Even if he platoons he should provide 15-18 HR and 50-60 RBI, and could end up as another 22/75 guy. Great value at this price, and in hindsight, a potentially pivotal pick given what was left on the board… that is, not much!
OF – St.Finley Rs (ND) — Drafted McCutcheon on a longshot, picked up another longshot in the reserve round. Hoping Coors will keep his fountain-of-youth fade going a little longer, but not expecting much.
P – Br.Myers 20 (21) — Didn’t really want this wife-beating, HR-prone *******, but I like the K’s and think he’s due for a breakout after two very similar, solid seasons. In hindsight I would rather have had Hamels (19), Cain (18), Harang (16) or Bush (17), but then again, Snell went for $18!
P – Ja.Schmidt 14 (19) — Either this was a real bargain or the move to Dodgers Stadium will turn out as badly as some Touts believe. I think the second-half dip was fatigue, so I’m hoping for a more carefully paced season and solid #2 results.
P – Je.Francis 6 (10) — I budgeted a little more for this slot but spent it elsewhere, so this was a semi-desperation pick. His weak K rate is very scary in Coors, but he’s young enough to improve and isn’t particularly HR-prone despite the home park. A decent pick given others who went for a similar price.
P – Ma.Prior 3 (8) — An end-game flier. No expectations and thus, any production will be a treat.
P – To.Armas 1 (1) — End-game flier. Having a good spring and a former List of 12 guy. :-)
P – Ja.Marquis Rs (ND) — Hope he’ll bounce back in new surroundings. League average would be fine.
P – Jo.Rauch 3 (4) — Hoping to steal a few saves if Cordero gets traded, but if not, 80-90 IP of good ratios and K’s.
P – Mi.Gonzalez 7 (9) — Went a little over "slot" budget on this, but other closers-in-waiting were going for a few dollars more and I like this guy’s arm. I’m still convinced he’ll be next in line after Wickman, too.
P – Br.Fuentes 17 (20) — He was the last consistently reliable closer on the board, so I thought I’d have to suffer some inflation here. Very happy to get him at below value (in my opinion) and also at $1 less than I had slotted for a closer. No more scary for the price than Lidge (19), Valverde (15),  Torres (15) or Wickman (15)!

Rs – An.LaRoche 2 (3) — Expect he’ll be back up over the summer and provide good AVG and some pop.
Rs – Er.Patterson 1 (ND) — Stuck behind DeRosa AND "The Riot", but an excellent prospect on his merits.
Rs – An.McCutcheon 1 (ND) — Flat-out longshot, but made a big impression during spring training.
Rs – Ho.Bailey 2 (5) — The poor spring doesn’t scare me, this guy is unanimously agreed to be the #1 pitching prospect in the game and I was thrilled to get him for only $2. Even if he gives me a half-seaosn of league-average production, he’ll be well worth the money… and if he "goes Hamels" on the league, well, this will be THE steal of the draft.
Rs – Ja.Repko Rs (ND) — Turns out he’s out for the year so he’ll be my first cut.
Rs – To.Pena Rs (ND) — Like his arm, and he’s moving up on the depth chart now that Julio is gone. I could see him stealing a few saves and some vulture wins, with servicable rate stats.

Note that I drafted four prospects and immediately reserved them, so I had to use four reserve round picks on "acutal" MLB players. Still, I thought it was worth it to grab them earlier and lock them up, rather than hoping to get them in the reserve round. Who would you rather have, Homer Bailey and Andy LaRoche or Jason Marquis and Damion Easley??

Also, it sounds like Jason Repko may be out a long time so I’ll just cut him and see if there’s another pitcher with a pulse out there since I may want to keep Prior on the bench for a while.

All in all I’m pretty satisifed with the outcome. I stayed pretty close to my "slot" budget, and by my price projections, only overpaid for one player (Mike Jacobs) and that by only $1. Overall, by my own dollar projections I ended up with $41 of added value; obviously my projections on these guys might’ve been high, but in any case I’m happy I was able to stay disciplined and not overpay for guys I didn’t think were worth more.

Tout Wars is being run on ESPN this year, which is a partner to MLBAM, so we’ll be able to link to the three leagues once they are up and running.

411 Listener League tonight!

–CS

P.S. — I’m not as concerned about the injury risks as you might think. Furcal is expected to be fine for opening day (although I’m keeping my fingers crossed about his MRI), and he has a good track record of overcoming injuries. Quentin’s labrum tear is a minor one in his non-throwing shoulder, and he’s expected back by opening day too. Prior has been awful this spring, but at least he’s healthy (for now) and I got him at the point where most players were going for $1. I had a couple of extra dollars so I thought he was a reasonable gamble…

Fantasy 411 haiku

I guess destroying the Grapefruit League wasn’t enough for Hunter Pence to win a job in the Astros’ outfield, so we’ll wait for his inevitable return once the season starts. In his honor, though, offer 411 Haiku #1:

Hunter gets sent down

while Biggio, Burke and Lane

still get to play? Huh?

A Day at Camp Livingston

So the swag wars took a incredible turn today when Corey from Cincy sent us a box of SWAG from Camp Livingston and it took on a life of its own.

Kaplan_camp_livingston

Top Pitching Prospects for 2007

We received a request on Tuesday to break down who we thought would be the top pitchers to get called up in 2007 and make an impact Ala Hamels, Weaver, Billingsley etc.. did in 2006.

What I did was go to the fantasy home page at MLB.com and look at the Top 100 Prospects. From the top 50 I took all the pitchers. Then on the show we announced the names as they were ranked on the fantasy page.

They are

  1. Homer Bailey
  2. Matt Garza
  3. Phil Hughes
  4. Mike Pelfrey
  5. Jason Hirsh
  6. Adam Miller
  7. Jonathan Sanchez
  8. Yovani Gallardo
  9. Scott Elbert
  10. Andrew Miller
  11. Tim Lincecum
  12. Jeff Niemann
  13. Edinson Volquez
  14. Phillip Humber
  15. Micah Owings
  16. Ubaldo Jimenez
  17. Luke Hochevar
  18. Kevin Slowey
  19. John Danks
  20. Gio Gonzalez
  21. Juan Salas
  22. Lance Broadway
  23. Humberto Sanchez

From there we eliminated guys who most likely or already have made the big league club. Guys like Garza, Pelfrey and Hirsh. That left us with 13 players and we then chose the top 5.

They are

  1. Bailey
  2. Hughes
  3. Adam Miller
  4. Yovani Gollardo
  5. Tim Lincecum

Of these 5 Bailey and Hughes are the top 2, but injuries or poor performance will dictate who gets up first so we are not ranking who gets their first as much as who will be the best when they get there.

Thoughts?

-Siano

List of 12 post from 11/06

Download 2007_list_of_12.xls . Feel free to post your thoughts.

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NAME TEAM W L ERA IP H R ER HR HB BB SO AVG STRD SO/PA BB/PA HR/PA K/BB SO/9 BB/9 HR/9 GO/AO
Bedard, Erik Baltimore 15 11 3.76 196.3 196 92 82 16 5 69 171 .258 .659 .203 .082 .019 2.48 7.84 3.16 0.73 1.48
Bedard, Erik Major League Totals 27 29 4.08 476.0 486 242 216 39 17 197 418 .263 .654 .200 .093 .019 2.12 7.90 3.72 0.74 1.08
Capuano, Chris Milwaukee 11 12 4.03 221.3 229 108 99 29 9 47 174 .265 .621 .186 .046 .031 3.70 7.08 1.91 1.18 1.02
Capuano, Chris Major League Totals 37 36 4.20 561.7 559 287 262 81 32 186 453 .261 .631 .188 .072 .034 2.44 7.26 2.98 1.30 0.95
Contreras, Jose Chi. White Sox 13 9 4.27 196.0 194 101 93 20 10 55 134 .256 .610 .161 .061 .024 2.44 6.15 2.53 0.92 1.10
Contreras, Jose Major League Totals 48 27 4.28 642.0 589 333 305 78 32 244 510 .242 .615 .186 .086 .028 2.09 7.15 3.42 1.09 1.10
Cook, Aaron Colorado 9 15 4.23 212.7 242 107 100 17 7 55 92 .288 .648 .101 .048 .019 1.67 3.89 2.33 0.72 2.58
Cook, Aaron Major League Totals 28 28 4.58 552.3 656 299 281 44 26 180 213 .298 .653 .087 .064 .018 1.18 3.47 2.93 0.72 2.46
Haren, Dan Oakland 14 13 4.12 223.0 224 109 102 31 10 45 176 .258 .609 .189 .042 .033 3.91 7.10 1.82 1.25 1.14
Haren, Dan Major League Totals 34 35 4.12 558.7 565 277 256 70 23 137 414 .262 .618 .177 .053 .030 3.02 6.67 2.21 1.13 1.24
Lee, Cliff Cleveland 14 11 4.40 200.7 224 114 98 29 8 58 129 .278 .607 .146 .062 .033 2.22 5.79 2.60 1.30 0.57
Lee, Cliff Major League Totals 49 28 4.39 644.3 653 348