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.

7 Comments

Dr. Stats, I think the cry of “reach” on the draft discussion area was because you took Dunn 23rd overall where his ADP is approx 57th and you had 3 more picks before even the average was met. I know ADP’s are volatile and if you “really” want a guy you need to pay, but this seemed above and beyond. I like Dunn, so good luck with him, too bad he isnt 1B eligible.

My two instances of discontent and regret:

#1. Round 6 – 67th pick I saw Ryan Zimmerman rolling in to my pick but he was swiped in the pick before me.  I was still over the “draft” button cursing before I realized I had 45 seconds to pick someone….  So I ended up drafting injured J.J. Putz (over Trevor Hoffman and more), which I hope works out but I wasn’t so thrilled. Nice job Dan.

 

#2. I regret not taking Lyle Overbay before he was swiped, for team depth in the 14th or 15th where he went shortly after.  I got too greedy hoping for him in the 16th.

Have Fun

Zack-Philly

hey Mitch,
Nice post. One question for either you or “The stats king”. When you use projections to create a ranked list how do you weight the categories. I have been playing with that stats that Corey made available and i cant seem to get a feel for how i should use them to get a ranking. Putting them into excel i weight each category but the rankings i cant figure out. any help is much appreciated.

-Chris in Columbus

Mitch, thanks for the thoughts. As Zack said, I don’t have any problem with picking Adam Dunn, only that you took him about 2-3 rounds too early when dozens of more valuable player betters were on the board. Plain and simple.

Plus, I’ve got two rings to your one so I’ll talk all the smack I want. ;-)

Seriously, I invite all of our 411 listener league owners to post their teams here, I think it will make for good commentary. There were a good range of strategies employed in this draft that I think will get some good feedback…

I’ll take the bait in a few…

–CS

Here’s my team. I think you all know my basic strategy and I followed it for the most part here, although the big difference this year is that I took closers a few rounds later than usual. The one thing I learned in my dozen-odd mock drafts over the winter is that I wanted to be in the top 3 spots to take closers with back-to-back picks like I have done in the past, so I could do that with my 4th/5th round picks. However, there weren’t two closers I expected to be there who would warrant the picks, so I decided early on to spread them out by a few rounds and load up on more bats in the meantime. I look forward to everyone’s feedback!

RD PK PLAYER

1 11 Miguel Cabrera

2 14 Mark Teixeira

3 35 Bobby Abreu

4 38 Brian Roberts

5 59 Carlos Guillen

6 62 Mariano Rivera

7 83 Corey Patterson

8 86 Howie Kendrick

9 107 Chad Cordero

10 110 Mike Cameron

11 131 Michael Barrett

12 134 Chris Young (OF)

13 155 Brian Fuentes

14 158 Aubrey Huff

15 179 Scott Olsen

16 182 Ian Snell

17 203 A.J. Burnett

18 206 Mike Jacobs

19 227 Chuck James

20 230 John Patterson

21 251 Miguel Montero

22 254 Corey Hart

23 275 Nick Johnson

24 278 Jeremy Hermida

25 299 David Weathers

Great blog entry Mitch!!

You are so right about average…other than Ichiro, who else do people take strictly for average? The post about the occasional waiver hitter pick going 0-for-4 is SOOOOOO true.

There are so many closer jobs in question that I think someone can actually get by without drafting a Ryan or Nathan, as long as they pay close attention during the season, and snag the Otsukas and Stantons of the world as soon as it looks like a closer change will be made.

Dunn may still get you 2nd round value, even though CS reminds us to try to avoid paying full value for players.

Greg in Cincy

A “Haiku” in reply to Mitch’s “Haiku”:
Sometimes a Haiku

Is not really a Haiku because I stick as many syllables as I want in there

And call it Haiku

Best. Haiku. Ever.
–CS

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