Happy Holidays from the 411

Zach here,

With the fantasy football season coming to a close (I made the semifinals in three of my four leagues but lost in all of them), I’m already starting my baseball draft prep. And I’m sure that many of you, frustrated by the fluky nature of head-to-head football, feel the same way. Actually, writing the relief pitcher profiles for the 2014 MLB.com Player Preview, which is set to launch in early February, has nudged me to get a head start on draft preparation.

MLB: Seattle Mariners-Robinson Cano press conference

Speaking of drafts, we’ll be conducting a full 23-round expert mock draft right after the new year, so check back here for the results, which I’ll be updating after each round or two. I’ll also send out a tweet every time there’s an update. Is Robinson Cano still a top-10 pick now that he’s a Mariner? Is Prince Fielder the Ranger a no-brainer top-10 guy? We’ll just have to find out!

Happy Holidays to all, and keep an eye out for more blog posts once the calendar turns to 2014.



Ok, keeper league H2H points, mixed prep work

Sorry…continued. I have (5) tokens to keep, and each has a round associated. Of leave pick my best 5 tokens. If two players share the same round I use up the prior round with one of them. So if two 13th rounders are kept, I use up one in the 12th and one in the 13th.

Ryan Braun (2 tokens) round 1
Joey Votto (2 tokens) round 2
Evan Longoria (2 tokens) round 3
Desmond Jennings (1 token) round 8
Will Myers (1 token) round 15
Matt Adams (1 token) round 13
Brian McCann (1 token) round 13
Xander Bogaets (1 token) round 13
Aroldis Chapman (2 tokens) round 23
Mark Trumbo (2 tokens) round 25
Shelby Miller (1 token) round 25

So, what are my 5 best tokens to use and keep?


“Of leave pick my best 5 tokens.” = Please help pick my best 5 tokens! (%^&* autocorrect)🙂


I’d go with Chapman, Myers, McCann and Adams but there are a lot of great choices here. Interesting format.


Recent trade I completed, im the one getting Hamilton. Like it?

B Hamilton (prospect) & Iwakuma ($3) & B Jackson (throw-away prospect)
FOR Rosenthal (presp) & Stephenson (prosp) & Estrada ($9) (throw-away)

Feel its all about the need for speed this deal, with me getting a potential category winner in Hamilton. What are your thoughts on him, do you think he could be a full-time regular as soon as opening day?

Yeah, I like it. The Reds are saying that they will give Hamilton every opportunity to earn their everyday CF job, and as long as he can get on base at a higher rate than say Dee Gordon, 100 steals isn’t out of the question. Tough to lose Rosenthal but the Rosenthal for Hamilton swap is at worst a wash and you’re getting Iwakuma as well.


Just read your blog, good work. Loved the early 15 team mock draft and comments on the picks too, really helps with draft prep (persuaded me to go for B Hamilton too thanks to Joe!).

Great offseason content as always Zach, keep it up.

Zach –

I should point out its a single catcher league. Would that change your view of McCann?


Nope. I’m very high on McCann this year. With that short right field porch at Yankee Stadium, 30-plus homers is a very real possibility.


I am getting a lot of very different views of Alex Wood for 2014. Many rank him fairly high for a young NL arm, others dismiss his because they believe he is destined for the bullpen at some point. Here is my point: I have Wood for $2 in a 12 team NL 5×5 auction league, and I think he would be a great keeper. He will start the year in the rotation and I think will put up good value for $2 while he Is there. If he is hot for a while I can trade him while his stock is up, or simply ride him out until he gets sent to the pen, and pick up another high risk high reward arm off FAAB (worked for me with Liriano last year.

These are my choices: (keep in my there is huge inflation in this league, especially for high end bats) I get to keep 12, these are the 10 I am fairly sure of
Goldschmidt $38
Dom Brown $5
Venable $12
Matt Adams $7
Alonso $7
Liriano $1
Rosenthal $7
Parnell $1
Estrada $4
Wood $2

That leaves 2 out of this group:
Revere $18 (steals are expensive in this league)
Pagan $17
Denorfia $3
Ruiz $11
A-ram $27 (if I felt he could stay healthy this would be a no-brainer)
Jimmy Nelson $1
Leubke $7
Fujikawa $5 (DL stash)

Have these minor league chips to deal with:
Polanco,Soler,Stephenson,Zack Lee

I also have rights on matching reverse bids on Aaron Hill, Ramos, and Beachy as FA’s on my team that don’t count against keepers (again why inflation is so high and the auction pool thin.
If you read all that congrats. If you have any advice even better. You’ve always given me great advice in the past.


A very well-written question! Yeah, Wood is a definite keeper. All indications are that he will open the season in the rotation, and his minor league track record combined with last season’s strong performance in the bigs is plenty encouraging.

Revere and Pagan would be my choices from that group. They’re the two most expensive outside of A-Ram but they’re also known commodities. Not really enamored with those other guys.


Just throwing out some keeper questions during the offseason. FIrst guy on the list is Iwakuma, who I recently received in trade. My options:
1 year ($6), 2 years ($9), 3 years ($12) or a renewable year ($9).
I really don’t know much about him, all I’ve seen are his very good numbers last year. What contract would you be comfortable with? Im hoping to probably go 2 years if you think he will remain valuable.


Heading into last season, I was skeptical considering Iwakuma’s lack of a big league track record, but we’re at the point (49 big league starts) where the stat line speaks for itself. I don’t think there’s a huge risk in going two years here.


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