Fantasy 411 Q&A: Feb. 27, 2009

Pitchers, pitchers, pitchers.  We’re only two days into Spring Training game action and already two aces have been scratched from today’s starts.  While I’m not overly concerned about Johan Santana or Brandon Webb, this just goes to show the risk you’re taking in drafting a starter in the first three or four rounds.  While hitters tend to play through injuries, especially minor ones, pitchers usually need to be very close to 100 percent healthy in order to take the hill every fifth day.  Arm discomfort?  Forget it!

Anyway, make sure to check out the updated mock draft results through Round 21 which are posted below.  Two more rounds to go.  January 12th was the start date, so forgive me if I’m having trouble remembering my first few picks.

Let’s get to your questions.




In every single mock draft I have done so far, Mark DeRosa has fallen to
the extreme late rounds. Do you guys consider him to be a sleeper?

I can’t understand why he is so underrated. He may not hit 21 home runs
again, but I would still view him as a top 10 2B. What do you think of
him this year and is it smart to target him in my drafts?

DeRosa’s not a sleeper in the pure sense, but yeah, potentially undervalued for
a guy who could hit 12-15 homers (if not more) with 2B/3B/OF
eligibility. I think he’s slipping in drafts since he’s viewed as a
late bloomer and is moving to the tougher league, but he’s definitely a
good value in the late teens or later.



Any updates on the 411 listener leagues?

Looks like there will be a few spots open, but Mike will post an update early next week so check the blog for that.


Hey Guys, keep up the good work. Yesterday’s show left me thinkings about “bust” players. In leagues I’m in it seems like everyone is avoiding the same players because they are “busts”, and they slip so far the could be considered value picks. For example from yesterday’s show, I'”ve seen Zambrano slip to the 13th or 14th round in a mixed league.

At what point are you willing to pick players on value even that you’d normally consider busts?


I have a question on keepers as well.

I can keep up to 5 in lieu of my top 5 picks. Options are…

Sizemore (yes), Wright (yes), Youkilis, P Fielder, Bay, McCann, King Felix, Haren, K-Rod, Rivera, Uggla, Jeter.

I feel like it should be Sizemore, Wright and 3 out of Youk, Fielder, Bay and McCann.

Any suggestions?

I posted this below, but just in case you missed it, who is Tommy Hanson and why was he worth a pick? On that note, another guy I don’t hear too much about anymore is Adam Jones. Did he do anything late last season to indicate he is worth a pick in a 12 team mixed league?

dmacgreg, I’ll go Sizemore, Wright, Bay, McCann, K-Rod. I think Youk will be a bit overrated heading into this season (yes, I would draft Prince over him) and I always like to have an elite closer. Prince vs K-Rod is a close call, but by taking K-Rod, you’ll avoid the task of having to fight for second tier closers later on.


12 team mixed league. I have 5 keepers, all strong bats with balanced stats. These guys will be in the draft. How would you rank them:
Kemp, Roberts, Rios, Guerrero, McCann, McLouth, Mauer, Abreu, Ortiz, Gonzo

Would any of these SP’s also being available in this round tempt you veer away from the usual bat first strategy: Halladay, Webb, Oswalt.


Scott, Hanson is arguably the top pitching prospect in baseball. In 25 minor league starts last year, Hanson went 11-5 with a 2.41 ERA and 163 Ks in 138 IP. He also was MVP of the Arizona Fall League, thanks to a 5-0 record and 0.63 ERA. While he probably won’t earn a spot in the Braves rotation out of Spring Training, the uncertainty surrounding the back end of that staff makes a midseason callup likely. In a large league, you can do a lot worse than Hanson as a late-round flier.


finster, I totally agree that owners are so scared to draft certain players that they could turn out to be mid round steals. I happen to view Zambrano as one of these guys, and drafted him at the end of the 11th round in our mock draft. While the decline in Ks is a concern, Big Z has always posted sub 4 ERAs, has decent WHIP numbers, and will have the chance to rack up plenty of wins. Is he an injury risk? Sure. But what pitcher really isn’t! Looking back, I probably wouldn’t have done this had I known that other pitchers (i.e. Myers, Harang) would fall so much, as I was left with a rotation that includes Zambrano, Myers, AND Harang, clearly too many question marks. But that doesn’t change my opinion that Zambrano is someone to grab should he be available in the teens. Don’t draft three of these guys like I did, but one or even two is fine.


Kevin, I’ll rank them Kemp, Rios, Roberts, McCann, Gonzo (Adrian?), Vlad, Ortiz, Abreu, McLouth, Mauer. There will obviously be many opinions here and a lot depends on your other keepers, but this is the order in which I’d draft them if it were my team. Considering you’re keeping all bats, I would definitely consider taking one of those SPs, primarily Webb or Halladay. I think those two are a solid step above Oswalt.


Any idea on what happened with this year? Did they have to shut down? That was a GREAT auction draft prep tool last year and I’m dying ova here without it. Thanks. Brian in Philly

Thanks Zach, I have spotted that Victorino and Hart are still available as well. Would they bump out any of the guys above?

A few quick hits before bedtime, working backwards…

* Kevin, I agree with Zach’s rankings but I’d keep Victorino as my 5th, I like his speed/power combo, the lineup and ballpark, and he’s right in his prime. The SP’s you also have are very tempting, so this adds up to an excellent list of keeper options. Try to trade a few of them for some elite 1st rounders if you can: Reyes, Wright, Grady, etc. You have the depth.

* Scott, Adam Jones is on some buzz lists this year after a hot summer (.302 with 5 HR and 31 RBI in July/August), but I’m not onboard. He was flat awful the rest of the time (.248 with 4 HR and 26 RBI in the other four months), and has major strike zone issues (108-23 K-BB ratio). He’s very young and talented and may have a bright future, but it’s not now. Don’t buy into the hype just yet.

* dmacgreg37, I agree with Zach’s five picks but I’d go for Fielder over Bay. Both are solid power hitters and Bay offers a little speed, but Fielder is only 25 and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him top 40 homers again, while Bay has established what he can do but doesn’t have Prince’s upside.


Hey guys,
I have a question for you. In a draft do you think I will be able to snag Braun, Longoria, Suzuki, and either Soto or McCann in the first 4 rounds when picking out of the 7th spot.
The Manoman

Hey, guys…

In a 14-team vanilla H2H keeper league, would you rather have Jay Bruce as a 3rd OF, or Ervin Santana as your ace?

I have a feeling that you guys are going to promote Santana because there’s less pitching available on the wire in a 14-teamer, but the fact that Baseball Prospectus’ PFM for my league settings ranks Bruce at 32 overall and Erv at 71 is impossible to ignore.

We keep 4 players based on round value, and I currently have:
B.J. Upton (9)
Ryan Braun (11)
Dustin Pedroia (13)
Both Bruce and Erv would be round-23 keeps, and a 2-for-1 deal could not be reached. The one that is not retained will likely be traded away for a draft pick swap.

Any thoughts on these guys would be appreciated!

Hi guys!
I have the first overall pick this year in a 12 team 6×6 (with BB and K/9). I am leaning towards hanley b/c ss is so shallow, but I am hearing some rumblings about Pujols. Your thoughts? Thanks!!

Hi guys!
I have the first overall pick this year in a 12 team 6×6 (with BB and K per 9). I am leaning towards hanley b/c ss is so shallow, but I am hearing some rumblings about Pujols. Your thoughts? Thanks!!

How close are Nolasco, Danks, Volquez and Wainwright from catching the guys like Dice-K, Lester, Greinke, Shields who seem to be in front of them in rankings. I have noticed Cory in particular being very aggressive in taking these guys higher than their ADP might suggest and at the top of his rotation while it seems like Zach has more favor on the more established names like Dice-K, Myers and Big-Z. Just personal preference, or is that based on the numbers? Cory, how high would you go on these rising stars?
Also, anything to worry about with Nathan?

Brian, from what I’m hearing, won’t be back until football season.
Manoman, it’s possible but I’ll say your chances are less than 50 percent. I think you can definitely get Braun (1st) and one of the catchers (4th), but probably only one of Longoria/Ichiro. One of those guys will almost certainly be off the board by mid third round. Either way, I’m not convinced that this is the best strategy. In my mind, Longoria or Ichiro mid second round are both reaches. There will be better guys available in that spot.


chi100yrs, I’ll give Bruce as a 3rd OF the slight edge over Big Erv as an ace. I’m not fully convinced that Big Erv is a true fantasy ace. He had one great season, and I’m always a bit wary of banking on a young pitcher who just inked a big contract. Will the motivation be there? Even if it is, I think Bruce as a 3rd OF in a keeper league based on round values is too enticing to pass up.


perfectpuzzle, both are obviously terrific options, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they went 1-2 in most drafts, but Ramirez is pretty much a lock to go 30-30 with a .300 average and 120+ runs. He’ll likely lose out to Albert in AVG, HR (by a small margin), and RBI, but the huge SB advantage and the position scarcity factor makes all the difference.


Hey guys, been listening for a year now, just never really went on the blog.
My league already drafted (we’re kind of competitive). It’s a 5×5 mixed head to head league with 3 util spots. I’ve already been offered Kemp and Zimmerman for Beltran. The rest of my OF players are Bay, Dunn, Bruce, and Werht, and my current 3B eligible players are Chris Davis and Cantu. Do I make this deal to have a reasonable backup in case Davis fails, or do I just keep my guys and hope Beltran goes back to 2006 form? Thanks!

Kevin, for me it’s more of a personal preference type of thing. I’m fairly conservative by nature but am also not afraid to take rising stars if I think they’re good value. On the other hand, if I can get an established guy for 80 cents on the dollar, I’ll usually go that route. I think the key is to have a mix of both and to be flexible during the draft.
As for Nathan, it doesn’t sound like anything serious, but as I always say, monitor closely…


Matthew, I’m going to post your question on today’s blog entry, so check there later on.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: