Hey, anytime you can put together a team leaving $19 on the
table, you gotta do it … right?
So things didn’t work out exactly the way I wanted to for my first Tout Wars adventure, but in all seriousness, I’m still digging my squad.
My entire gameplan was to get Hanley, 2 top 1Bs, 3 solid closers, pay for 1 OF, get either Mark Reynolds, Pedro Alvarez or Pablo Sandoval as my 3B, and fill out my catchers, the rest of my OF and starters on the cheap.
This somewhat went according to plan but then closers starting going crazy expensive and I was left overspending on Kevin Gregg. That’s never a good thing. I also am a bit short on steals and my saves are a little shaky. Whoops!
Anyway, let’s take a look at my squad:
C Nick Hundley — $3 – Padres
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia — $3 – Red Sox
Analysis: I actually wanted to spend less on my backstops and would have been perfectly fine settling on any starting catcher that would give me production. John Jaso went for $7, I got crickets on Salty at $3. I’ll take that any day of the week. I wanted at-bats, and I wanted catchers with upside. It might be minimal upside but I like Hundley’s power potential even in PETCO and I like Salty in that stacked Red Sox lineup. This went according to plan.
1B Miguel Cabrera — $38 – Tigers
Analysis: I had 39 as my max bid on Miggy and I couldn’t feel less threatened by his off-the-field shenanigans. He’s the most talented hitter in baseball not named Albert Pujols. Will gladly take him over Votto (36) and definitely over Teixeira (37 � wowza).
2B Ryan Raburn — $11 – Tigers
Analysis: Went a few dollars extra on Raburn, but it’s not like I didn’t have them to spare. .270/25/85 seems completely doable. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself. Should I have opted for Nishioka at $9? Definitely. But Carty had tons of dough at that time and I was actually running on the cheap if you can believe it. Trust me, I was there.
SS Hanley Ramirez — $47 – Marlins
Analysis: I wanted Hanley. I got Hanley.
3B Pedro Alvarez — $12 – Pirates
Analysis: I thought all the value in 3B this year was in the mid-tier guys, so I targeted Pedro, Reynolds and Panda. I budgeted about $14 for this spot and was totally panicking when Aramis Ramirez went for $20. Pedro proved to be a bargain at $12 along with Casey McGehee at $11 by Wiegert.
MI Marco Scutaro — $1 – Red Sox
Analysis: This was not the gameplan. Sure Scoot Scoot will get me some runs in that lineup but I should have paid more for a 2B. If only I had more money left at the end …
OF Jay Bruce — $19 – Reds
Analysis: My plan all along was to target Nelly Cruz or Andrew McCutchen for around $29. Bruce was someone I had interest in but figured I’d have to overspend to get and didn’t really budget for him. Then he became the opening guy on the table and I got him for $19 because I thought that
was an incredible deal. I still think that way. I love this pick and I have to
think if his name got tossed out a round or two later he woulda gone for $25. Ya know, like what Ichiro went for.
OF Nate McLouth — $6 – Braves
Analysis: So I had money left and no outfielders and McLouth was the best guy on the board in my opinion. I needed speed, he looks good this spring and he’s shown flashes of being a productive OFer before. It’s a risk but, hey, let’s roll the dice.
OF Alex Gordon — $2 – Royals
Analysis: Gordon is exactly the type of cheap, 1-2 dollar outfielder I was targeting. High upside, minor league pedigree, new swing this spring, I’m in. I say this every season, but I really mean it this time. I say that every season too. This analysis is giving me a headache.
OF Will Venable — $2 — Padres
OF Peter Bourjos — $1 — Angels
Analysis: I needed speed and I needed outfielders.
UTIL Eric Young Jr. — $1 – Rockies
Analysis: I needed speed and I don’t want Marco Scutaro along for the ride if I can avoid it. If EYJr can lock down the starting gig this is a steal.
SP Gio Gonzalez ($9), Ian Kennedy ($8), Javier Vazquez ($7), Mike
Minor ($4), Jorge De La Rosa ($4), Erik Bedard ($1)
Analysis: Love this staff and got them at all good prices. Definitely thought Gio and DLR would go for more. I wanted cheap strikeout pitchers and I got’em.
RP John Axford ($14), Ryan Franklin ($9), Kevin Gregg
Analysis: Ideally I wanted another top notch guy but clearly that didn’t go according to plan. I <3 Axford so I didn’t mind spending on him. Hoping Gregg can just hold on to the job and Franklin is Franklin.
FANTASY PROGRAMMING TO RETURN TO MLB NETWORK FOR 2011 SEASON
MLB.com’s Fantasy 411: 2011 Fantasy Draft Preview to Air on Sunday, March 20 & MLB.com’s Fantasy 411 Begins April 4
Secaucus, NJ, March 17, 2010 – With Opening Day only two weeks away and fantasy baseball drafts in full swing, MLB Network will air MLB.com’s Fantasy 411: 2011 Fantasy Draft Preview on Sunday, March 20 at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Hosted by MLB Network’s Matt Yallof and Harold Reynolds along with MLB.com’s Cory Schwartz and Mike Siano, MLB.com’s Fantasy 411: 2011 Fantasy Draft Preview will provide detailed player rankings and position-by-position analysis, including potential ‘breakout, bargain and bust’ candidates. The two-hour preview show, which will be simulcast on MLB.com, will discuss different strategies for draft day and which injured stars will recapture their elite fantasy status this season.
MLB.com’s Fantasy 411 will once again be simulcast live on MLB Network and MLB.com on weekdays at 2:30 p.m. ET, beginning Monday, April 4. The program, hosted by MLB.com’s Jeremy Brisiel, will provide key insights from Schwartz and Siano to help keep fans informed on the latest fantasy news, notes and trends in Major League Baseball.
To help him prepare for his upcoming AL Tout draft, Siano asked me to put together this list of dollar values from the recently completed AL LABR expert league draft. So I figured I’d post this on the blog as a handy resource for those of you in AL-only auction leagues. The players are broken down by position and listed alphabetically. I’ve also spaced it out so that it should print rather neatly.
We’re done! Here are the complete 23-round mock draft results along with comments from the various participants on their best and worst picks, general strategy and/or any other random thoughts. I’ll add more comments as I get them so stay tuned. We’d love to hear your feedback.
1 – JB – Albert Pujols
2 – Sheehan – Troy Tulowitzki
3 – Chaprales – Hanley Ramirez
4 – Feldman – Miguel Cabrera
5 – Kay – Ryan Braun
6 – Steinhorn – Evan Longoria
7 – Stryshak- Carlos Gonzalez
8 – Nando – Joey Votto
9 – Siano – Robinson Cano
10 – Schwartz – Carl Crawford
11 – Costa – Adrian Gonzalez
12 – Collette – David Wright
13 – Collette – Chase Utley
14 – Costa – Ryan Zimmerman
15- Schwartz – Alex Rodriguez
16 – Siano – Mark Teixeira
17 – Nando – Josh Hamilton
18 – Stryshak – Jose Reyes
19 – Steinhorn – Matt Holliday
20 – Kay – Prince Fielder
21 – Feldman – Kevin Youkilis
22 – Chaprales – Ryan Howard
23 – Sheehan – Joe Mauer
24 – JB – Justin Upton
25 – JB – Andrew McCutchen
26 – Sheehan – Matt Kemp
27 – Chaprales – Dustin Pedroia
28 – Feldman – Nelson Cruz
29 – Kay – Shin-Soo Choo
30 – Steinhorn – Roy Halladay
31 – Stryshak – Dan Uggla
32 – Nando – Felix Hernandez
33 – Siano – Brian McCann
34 – Schwartz – Ian Kinsler
35 – Costa – Brandon Phillips
36 – Collette – Cliff Lee
37 – Collette – Jose Bautista
38 – Costa – Tim Lincecum
39 – Schwartz – Victor Martinez
40 – Siano – Jacoby Ellsbury
41 – Nando – Zack Greinke
42 – Stryshak – Adam Dunn
43 – Steinhorn – Jayson Werth
44 – Kay – Adrian Beltre
45 – Feldman – Jason Heyward
46 – Chaprales – Ichiro Suzuki
47 – Sheehan – Clayton Kershaw
48 – JB – Buster Posey
49 – JB – Rickie Weeks
50 – Sheehan – B.J. Upton
51 – Chaprales – Jon Lester
52 – Feldman – Elvis Andrus
53 – Kay – Mike Stanton
54 – Steinhorn – Jimmy Rollins
55 – Stryshak – Hunter Pence
56 – Nando – Alex Rios
57 – Siano – Jay Bruce
58 – Schwartz – Derek Jeter
59 – Costa – Chris Young
60 – Collette – Andre Ethier
61 – Collette – CC Sabathia
62 – Costa – Colby Rasmus
63 – Schwartz – Carlos Marmol
64 – Siano – Mariano Rivera
65 – Nando – Curtis Granderson
66 – Stryshak – Carlos Santana
67 – Steinhorn – Kendry Morales
68 – Kay – Drew Stubbs
69 – Feldman – Adam Wainwright
70 – Chaprales – Justin Morneau
71 – Sheehan – Josh Johnson
72 – JB – Neftali Feliz
73 – JB – Joakim Soria
74 – Sheehan – Justin Verlander
75 – Chaprales – Shane Victorino
76 – Feldman – Heath Bell
77 – Kay – Alexei Ramirez
78 – Steinhorn – Brian Wilson
79 – Stryshak – Cole Hamels
80 – Nando – Francisco Liriano
81 – Siano – Grady Sizemore
82 – Schwartz – Torii Hunter
83 – Costa – Andrew Bailey
84 – Collette – Billy Butler
85 – Collette – Martin Prado
86 – Costa – Stephen Drew
87 – Schwartz – Yovani Gallardo
88 – Siano – Jonathan Papelbon
89 – Nando – Jason Bay
90 – Stryshak – Tommy Hanson
91 – Steinhorn – Michael Bourn
92 – Kay – Ubaldo Jimenez
93 – Feldman – Adam Lind
94 – Chaprales – Pedro Alvarez
95 – Sheehan – Nick Markakis
96 – JB – Jered Weaver
97 – JB – Mark Reynolds
98 – Sheehan – Kelly Johnson
99 – Chaprales – Delmon Young
100 – Feldman – Pablo Sandoval
101 – Kay – Mat Latos
102 – Steinhorn – Dan Haren
103 – Stryshak – Aramis Ramirez
104 – Nando – Chone Figgins
105 – Siano – David Price
106 – Schwartz – Roy Oswalt
107 – Costa – Shaun Marcum
108 – Collette – Corey Hart
109 – Collette – Paul Konerko
110 – Costa – Jose Valverde
111 – Schwartz – Ben Zobrist
112 – Siano – Max Scherzer
113 – Nando – Michael Young
114 – Stryshak – Matt Cain
115 – Steinhorn – Aaron Hill
116 – Kay – Jonathan Broxton
117 – Feldman – John Axford
118 – Chaprales – Chris Carpenter
119 – Sheehan – Travis Snider
120 – JB – Brett Gardner
121 – JB – Jose Tabata
122 – Sheehan – David Ortiz
123 – Chaprales – Jonathan Sanchez
124 – Feldman – Brandon Morrow
125 – Kay – Chad Billingsley
126 – Steinhorn – Geovany Soto
127 – Stryshak – Huston Street
128 – Nando – Adam Jones
129 – Siano – Ian Stewart
130 – Schwartz – Mike Napoli
131 – Costa – Matt Wieters
132 – Collette – Rafael Furcal
133 – Collette – Francisco Rodriguez
134 – Costa – Daniel Hudson
135 – Schwartz – Chris Perez
136 – Siano – Ian Desmond
137 – Nando – Josh Beckett
138 – Stryshak – J.J. Putz
139 – Steinhorn – Brad Lidge
140 – Kay – Brian Roberts
141 – Feldman – Juan Pierre
142 – Chaprales – Francisco Cordero
143 – Sheehan – Gordon Beckham
144 – JB – Carlos Pena
145 – JB – Tim Hudson
146 – Sheehan – Drew Storen
147 – Chaprales – Matt Thornton
148 – Feldman – Gio Gonzalez
149 – Kay – Joel Hanrahan
150 – Steinhorn – Wandy Rodriguez
151 – Stryshak – Angel Pagan
152 – Nando – Carlos Beltran
153 – Siano – Matt Garza
154 – Schwartz – Ricky Nolasco
155 – Costa – Nick Swisher
156 – Collette – Colby Lewis
157 – Collette – Miguel Montero
158 – Costa – Casey McGehee
159 – Schwartz – Carlos Quentin
160 – Siano – Jorge De La Rosa
161 – Nando – Derrek Lee
162 – Stryshak – Ted Lilly
163 – Steinhorn – Carlos Lee
164 – Kay – Brett Anderson
165 – Feldman – Jhoulys Chacin
166 – Chaprales – Ryan Dempster
167 – Sheehan – Jorge Posada
168 – JB – Kurt Suzuki
169 – JB – Craig Kimbrel
170 – Sheehan – Aroldis Chapman
171 – Chaprales – Clay Buchholz
172 – Feldman – Trevor Cahill
173 – Kay – Leo Nunez
174 – Steinhorn – Joe Nathan
175 – Stryshak – Jeremy Hellickson
176 – Nando – Ian Kennedy
177 – Siano – Vernon Wells
178 – Schwartz – Howard Kendrick
179 – Costa – Madison Bumgarner
180 – Collette – Frank Francisco
181 – Collette – Bobby Abreu
182 – Costa – Austin Jackson
183 – Schwartz – Gaby Sanchez
184 – Siano – Rajai Davis
185 – Nando – Jake McGee
186 – Stryshak – Denard Span
187 – Steinhorn – Adam LaRoche
188 – Kay – Ike Davis
189 – Feldman – Ryan Raburn
190 – Chaprales – Domonic
191 – Sheehan – James Loney
192 – JB – John Danks
193 – JB – David Aardsma
194 – Sheehan – Hong-Chih Kuo
195 – Chaprales – Manny Ramirez
196 – Feldman – Chris Sale
197 – Kay – Neil Walker
198 – Steinhorn – Starlin Castro
199 – Stryshak – Jonny Venters
200 – Nando – Alfonso Soriano
201 – Siano – Fernando Rodney
202 – Schwartz – Hiroki Kuroda
203 – Costa – C.J. Wilson
204 – Collette – Carlos Ruiz
205 – Collette – Jake Peavy
206 – Costa – Omar Infante
207 – Schwartz – Edwin Encarnacion
208 – Siano – Asdrubal Cabrera
209 – Nando – Ricky Romero
210 – Stryshak – Sean Rodriguez
211 – Steinhorn – Phil Hughes
212 – Kay – Dexter Fowler
213 – Feldman – Lance Berkman
214 – Chaprales – Russell Martin
215 – Sheehan – Chase Headley
216 – JB – Alcides Escobar
217 – JB – Chris Coghlan
218 – Sheehan – Ervin Santana
219 – Chaprales – Daniel Bard
220 – Feldman – Tsuyoshi Nishioka
221 – Kay – Edinson Volquez
222 – Steinhorn – Brandon Lyon
223 – Stryshak – Michael Cuddyer
224 – Nando – J.J. Hardy
225 – Siano – Matt LaPorta
226 – Schwartz – Aubrey Huff
227 – Costa – Luke Scott
228 – Collette – Seth Smith
229 – Collette – James Shields
230 – Costa – Anibal Sanchez
231 – Schwartz – Ryan Franklin
232 – Siano – Rafael Soriano
233 – Nando – Magglio Ordonez
234 – Stryshak – Raul Ibanez
235 – Steinhorn – Jason Kubel
236 – Kay – Mike Minor
237 – Feldman – Jordan Zimmermann
238 – Chaprales – Javier Vazquez
239 – Sheehan – J.D. Drew
240 – JB – Jaime Garcia
241 – JB – Jair Jurrjens
242 – Sheehan – Rick Porcello
243 – Chaprales – John Lackey
244 – Feldman – J.P. Arencibia
245 – Kay – Chris Iannetta
246 – Steinhorn – Johnny Cueto
247 – Stryshak – Brian Matusz
248 – Nando – Koji Uehara
249 – Siano – A.J. Burnett
250 – Schwartz – Gavin Floyd
251 – Costa – Mitch Moreland
252 – Collette – Matt Joyce
253 – Collette – Brandon League
254 – Costa – Tim Stauffer
255 – Schwartz – Kevin Gregg
256 – Siano – Nate McLouth
257 – Nando – Miguel Tejada
258 – Stryshak – Vladimir Guerrero
259 – Steinhorn – Cameron Maybin
260 – Kay – Andres Torres
261 – Feldman – Kila Ka’aihue
262 – Chaprales – Jesus Montero
263 – Sheehan – Joel Peralta
264 – JB – Mike Aviles
265 – JB – Justin Smoak
266 – Sheehan – Brett Wallace
267 – Chaprales – Freddie Freeman
268 – Feldman – Yadier Molina
269 – Kay – Jarrod Saltalamacchia
270 – Steinhorn – John Buck
271 – Stryshak – Josh Thole
272 – Nando – Nick Hundley
273 – Siano – A.J. Pierzynski
274 – Schwartz – Covelli Crisp
275 – Costa – John Jaso
276 – Collette – Jason Hammel
My strategy was the usual, ignore SP for as long as I could and get some position scarcity and my CL locked up. Took care of catcher and 2B early with Cano/McCann and love the Rivera/Papelbon combo. Very happy with Price/Scherzer up top and didn’t have to take them until 9/10. One place I could be hurting is 3B but tough to be perfect. Favorite picks were Ellsbury in the 4th, Rajai Davis in the 16th and Garza in the 14th. Hated taking Vernon Wells but at least it was the 15th.
My typical strategy in a 12-team mixed daily league is to go heavy on bats, get two top-tier closers early, and fill in starting pitchers later. Unfortunately, I drafted this with a 15-team weekly league in mind and ended up overpaying for starting pitchers, which hurt my outfield (in particular) and bullpen. I’m glad it was only a mock draft!
Best pick: Edwin Encarnacion (19.10). Yes, everyone may think I’m kidding about him at this point, but I’m expecting a .270 season with a worst-case scenario of 25 homers, making him a bargain in the 19th round.
Worst pick: Yovani Gallardo (8.3). It’s fair value for him, but an unneeded departure from my usual strategy.
Usually I wouldn’t even think about taking a starting pitcher in the third round, but when you’re in a draft with 11 other guys who seem to be strictly adhering to the 411 “wait on pitching” philosophy, going against the grain isn’t always a bad idea. Among starters, Halladay is in a class by himself and I do not at all regret taking him at pick #30. In my opinion, he was simply the most valuable player left on the board.
Best pick: Joe Nathan at pick #174: I understand there’s some injury risk here but it sounds like Nathan has a good chance of being ready for the start of the season. Even if he misses the first couple weeks, this is a small price to pay for potential top-tier closer production.
Worst pick: I hate Jayson Werth this year, and I’m still trying to figure out why I took him at pick #43. At the time, I was zeroing in on the outfield position and was faced with a Werth/Ichiro/Heyward dilemna and felt Werth was the best combination of experience and power/speed. In retrospect, I probably should have just reached for the outfielder I really do like…Hunter Pence.
Overall, my team is OK but not one I’d be thrilled about. The pitching is strong and I think I’ve covered the categories pretty well, but I have too many specialists and not enough across-the-board contributors. This could lead to problems in the event of injuries.
I loved getting JJ Hardy in the 19th round. I think he’s one of those guys who could really break out this year. He’s definitely on par with someone like Stephen Drew, who went 86th (Hardy went 224th). He’s a sneaky late round pick.
Obviously, my worst pick might turn out to be Beckett in the 12th round. But he could also turn out to be my best pick. I don’t know which Beckett is going to show up. I’m like 51% sure that it’ll be Good Beckett, and 49% that it’ll be Bad Beckett, but I’d rather have him on my bench tanking than have him on another team beating me.
I kind of (and this is up for debate) screwed up in not knowing how long the draft was going to be and how many rounds I had left to fill out my starters, so I had to drop Soriano and Magglio–picks I loved–for Varitek and Arroyo–who were just the first two available names I could think up. My mind is stuck in Boston, c. 2003. But I drafted like I always draft. Pick the best guys, fill most of my spots, then wait until the day before the season starts and drop my two worst players for a couple guys like Varitek and Arroyo.
I’m also pissed that I lost out on Sean Rodriguez. He’s my super-sleeper this year. It’s like that King you hold on to in “War” until the very end. Unfortunately, Stryshak got him right after I picked Ricky Romero. My bad. I’m not going to cry over it, but it’s good to know that I’m not the only one who is on to Rodriguez, so I’ll remember that in my upcoming non-mock drafts. This is, after all, part of the reason we do the mocks.
Best Pick: No doubt: Brian Matusz. Getting a rookie 10-game winner (in the AL East!) that late in the draft was the kind of unexpectedly happy accident that makes drafts so much fun. Matusz killed it down the stretch last year, going 6-0 with a 1.57 ERA and 43 Ks in his last eight starts despite the O’s offense scoring exactly four runs in six of those victorious efforts. A full year of Buck Showalter at the helm and a retooled offense finally offering some backup, I wouldn’t rule out 15 Ws.
Worst Pick: I wouldn’t call it the worst because that word doesn’t belong in the same sentence as Carlos Gonzalez, but immediately
after I took him with the seventh overall selection I began second-guessing myself and wondering if David Wright would have been the better choice.
Ultimately I think they’ll wind up posting similar stats in the 5x5s, but I felt just a bit more secure in going with the younger player who owns a considerable home park advantage.
General Strategy/Comments: Although it contradicts nearly every piece of “expert” draft advice you’re ever likely to hear, I’ve done well for myself in leagues past by focusing on starting pitching early and often. If everyone else is zigging, I have no problem pulling a prolonged zag. If my stable of aces stay healthy, I should have a profound edge in four of the 10 categories and I won’t have to make decisions like, “Am I really going to spot start Carlos Silva today?” I was preared to put my pitching-centric plan into action once again but early on it became pretty clearly that this collection of owners had a pitching phobia as severe as I’ve ever seen, so I decided, on the fly, to play along – and I’m glad I did. I took my first starter in the seventh round where I happily snatched up Cole Hamels, who I expect to capitalize on his big second half last year with a career year in ’11. It just goes to show that you can’t ever be too locked into one particular strategy on draft day. Sure, execute your plan as best you can, but also try to get a sense for what commodities are being over/undervalued and think about how to use that information to your advantage.
balance. Taking Big Papi was completely out of character for me, but the chance for power numbers at that point in the draft was too good to pass up.
Here is version 2.0 of this year’s composite projections:
Please read the version 1.0 post, and the older posts linked from that one, for details on what is and is not included in these projections, how they get generated, and so forth. I don’t mind answering questions, but I’d rather not repeat any answers if they’re already included in previous posts. :-)
Here are the changes since the last version:
* Added projections from the 16th and last provider I’ll be integrating this year. The more projections we have, the wider a range of opinions
get incorporated, and the closer we come to consensus.
* Filtered to include players appearing in six or more projections, rather than eight last time, to represent more players. Keep in mind though that those with fewer projections are typically minor leaguers, and these represent “what if” projections, since the playing time amounts are often unrealistic. So don’t get too excited just yet about those projections for Jesus Montero (right) or Mike Moustakas, since I doubt they’ll see that much playing time!
* Added date of birth on the batting and pitching tabs to help find those all-important Age 27 seasons;
* Added a games by position tab, with MLB and minor league totals from last year, to help determine position eligibility based on different league requirements.
The last steps I need to do in my own prep are to adjust for playing time and roles, that is, starter vs. relief pitcher vs. closer, etc. I encourage everyone to tailor these to fit their own expectations in those regards, but try to not tinker too much with the other numbers except for pro-rating them to match the playing time… otherwise it defeats the purpose of doing these in the first place!
I hope this helps you all in your draft prep. Enjoy!
Mike’s Overrated Team
C Carlos Santana *Just not sure a guy with 150 at bats is a top 100 player. I think he’ll be good this year but maybe all the chatter makes me think he’s being drafted to be great.
1B Billy Butler *Said it on the show, I just don’t see a bunch of those doubles becoming homers. he’s not a guy I’d want at 1B, rather he was my CI or UT.
2B Chase Utley *One of my favorite players but I don’t trust his health.
3B Jose Bautista *Draft for 30-35 not the 54. Love the pos flex but there are other OF and 3B I’d rather have.
SS Elvis Andrus *He has to steal a ton to be valuable. Could be empty in three cats. I think he is a better real baseball player than fantasy. I’d rather have Alexi, Ian Desmond and others.
OF Matt Kemp *Cory thinks he is now potentially underrated or fair value but I still think the expectations on him are too high in the mainstream fantasy world. A tweep wanted to trade Carlos Santana and an early 7th rounder for him. I’d rather have Santana and Jay Bruce than Kemp.
OF Jayson Werth *I don’t think he will be happy watching the Phillies win while Washington still develops even though I think they got better. His comment about doing it for the union and leaving that park and lineup worry me plus the drop in HR, RBI and SB.
OF Alex Rios *Addressed it on the show. he should be good but not great.last year was his first 20-20 season ever all of a sudden eh goes on a roll of them?
SP Trevor Cahill *Great 2010 but no K’s and he’ll have a hard time besting those very nice wins and rate stats.
SP CJ Wilson *I think the league will be ready for him this year. like the guy a ton but I don’t trust him to take the next step. that was a magical year in Arlington.
CL Neftali Feliz *The main reason I picked him for this is the looming chatter about him going into the rotation and his year was outstanding can he repeat or best? Made an enormous jump in ADP.
Cory’s Overrated Team (see below)
C Buster Posey
1B Billy Butler
2B Brandon Phillips
3B Casey McGehee
SS Elvis Andrus
OF Josh Hamilton
OF Austin Jackson
OF Alex Rios
SP Clay Buchholz
SP Dallas Braden
CL Ryan Franklin
C Matt Wieters *Classic post hype. I like what he did in September and think this could be last chance to get him at a discount. Jump on it.
1B Kendry Morales *The news that he has alittle ways to go for Scioscia to let him play makes me even more high on him. He plays 1B for God’s sake once he gets back he will do what he’s done since taking over and that is rake and mash.
2B Chone Figgins *He was atrocious last year and still stole 42 bags. I’ll take my chances he can’t be that bad again so everything comes up.
3B Alex Rodriguez *Scratching your head? He could end season as #1 3B. Doesn’t that make him undervalued if he is going 3rd or 4th at the position?
SS Asdrubal Cabrera *Man crush city. Would have had a solid year if not for the injury which he only got because he plays hard. Huge value for 2011.
OF Carlos Beltran *The power of the walk year, move to right and he’s a world class talent. Hopefully the knee cooperates but his ADP is 221 so where is the risk?
OF Nate McLouth *Super sleeper for this year. No risk and 20-20 reward. I believe.
OF Grady Sizemore *If I think Beltran can bounce back I think Grady can too. he’d be a trailblazer for coming back so quick from the surgery, putting some eggs in his basket based on age.ADP is 94 so I’m not the only believer.
SP Dan Hudson *Some guys are so talked about they lose sleeper value. Looks like that happened to me on the new Danny Boy in MLB (sorry Haren). Knew Cory was picking Marcum so I went with next guy in line.I expect a very good year. Rank among SP is 35 according to ADP.
SP Jorge De La Rosa *It’s a battle over who loves him more me or Joe Sheehan. ADP is 186 his strikeouts should top that number.
CL Jonathan Broxton *Needs to get off to a fast start but if he does I think he regains close to form and never at a lower price. Closer rank is 15th. Draft as a # 2 CL and enjoy the ride.
Cory’s Underrated Team (see below)
C Chris Iannetta
1B Gaby Sanchez
2B Sean Rodriguez
3B Edwin Encarnacion
SS Alcides Escobar
OF Carlos Beltran
OF Carlos Quentin
OF Seth Smith
SP Shaun Marcum
SP James Shields
CL Chris Perez
Finding overrated and underrated players is by definition a zero-sum game: for every overrated player there must be an underrated player. For me, finding them is easiest done by finding two players who appear comparable, with the exception of maybe one category and/or degrees of risk, and then comparing their likely draft position or auction value. So rather than going through my teams one at a time, let’s compare my selections at each position, including their expected production and current ADP in recent mock drafts:
Catcher: Buster Posey plays in a tough hitters park in an average lineup, and has neither the fly ball rate nor the minor league track record to suggest big-time power numbers. Chris Iannetta, on the other hand, has the job to himself this year and both the fly-ball rate and home ballpark to easily top 20 homers given everyday playing time, and his rate stats have remained stable the past two seasons despite his struggles. Certainly Posey will hit for a much higher average and Iannetta has much greater risk given his flops of the past two seasons, but is Posey worth a 3rd or 4th round pick compared to Iannetta’s near-reserve status?
First Base: Everyone keeps waiting for Billy Butler to convert his 40+ doubles into big-time homer production, but that appears unlikely given that his groundball rate has remained consistently high. He’s an excellent contact hitter who will hit for high average, but if you cover up the batting average column, is he worth a 6th or 7th round pick compared to Gaby Sanchez, who’s going in the 15th or 16th round? Sanchez projects as the superior power hitter, and while he won’t approach Butler in average, he will also chip in a handful of steals that the slow-footed Butler won’t.
Second Base: Anyone else notice that Brandon Philips has gone from 30-30 to 20-20 to teen-teen over the past four seasons? Franchise has lost very little in terms of his underlying skills, but the power and speed are clearly in decline as he wears down from years of nagging injuries. Using a 3rd or 4th round pick on him seems very risky when you can get Sean Rodriguez in the very late rounds of 12-team mixed league drafts. S-Rod has contact issues and so won’t hit for much average, but has the power and speed to approach a 20-20 season, and may be eligible at three positions during the season.
Third Base: A big chunk of Casey McGehee‘s value is very heavily tied to RBI’s, which we know can fluctuate wildly without any relevance to the player’s skill. His ground ball rate is too high to support more than 20 or so HR’s, his underlying stats suggest .275-280 more than the .285-300 of the past two years, and he won’t steal. An 8th or 9th round pick is not terribly expensive for him, but I’d rather wait until the reserve rounds and take Edwin Encarnacion. E5’s trends in his contact and fly ball rates, combined with his presence in Toronto’s take-and-rate lineup and favorable home ballpark, and his release from the defensive burden of third base, make him my preseason pick for this year’s Jose Bautista Award.
Shortstop: Given that I hit as many homers last year as Elvis Andrus did, and that he’s not a big contributor in batting average, his value is tied entirely to runs and steals, neither of which qualify as elite. Alcides Escobar was unimpressive as a rookie last year, but his rate stats suggest he could approach Andrus’ production in those two categories this year, and while Andrus is going in the 5th or 6th round, Escobar is going in the 20’s. If you cover up the names they are very likely to be virtually identical players this season, so there is no reason to take one 15 rounds ahead of the other.
For the outfielders, I’ll try to pair them up in terms of who is most comparable…
Outfield: Josh Hamilton is a no-doubt superstar, but he’s not a .359 hitter, not that there’s nothing wrong with a .325 average. However, he is also a major injury risk, just like Carlos Quentin, who outside of batting average is a reasonably comparable player in terms of the other 5×5 categories. Given similar playing time they should put up similar numbers outside the batting average, and if either has a 40+ homer upside, I think it’s Quentin. Hamilton is going in the late first or early second round, but I’d rather gamble on Quentin in the 12th or 13th round.
Outfield: Alex Rios had a great May last year but otherwise performed at a very similar level to what he’d done in previous seasons. His rising ground ball rate points to fewer homers, not more, although he should continue to post solid steals thanks to the green light he enjoys from manager Ozzie Guillen. Carlos Beltran, on the other hand, is a former power/speed threat who will move to right field this year due to persistent knee problems. He’s no sure thing, but he had a huge September last year to demonstrate that the skills are still there. Figure on comparable stats across the board outside of
steals, where Rios should top 30 while Beltran will be lucky to reach double-digits, but Rios is going in the 5th or 6th round while Beltran is going
an average of 10 rounds later.
Outfield: OK, Austin Jackson and Seth Smith aren’t great comps, but these are my last two! Jackson’s huge rookie season was driven by an astonishingly high BABIP, which can’t be expected to be repeated, and his massive strikeout rate and high ground ball rate suggest his average could in fact collapse, leaving him as a one-category player in the 16th round. On the other hand, Smith is going undrafted despite the fact that he’ll be near everyday player in Coors Field, where his established power makes him a threat to approach 25 homers with a solid average and a handful of steals. While he’ll likely be platooned to some extent, he did show the ability to hit lefties during his minor league career.
Starter: Clay Buchholz was one of the luckiest pitchers in baseball last year, with his strikeout, hit and strand rates suggesting an ERA around 4.00, rather than 2.33. On the other hand, Shaun Marcum is getting out of the brutal AL East into the NL, where he has struck out nearly a batter per inning so far in his career while putting up “soft ace” rate stats. Buchholz is going a round or two ahead of Marcum in mock drafts so far, but it’s Marcum who is far more likely to put up superior value this season.
Starter: When considering late-round starters, stay away from Dallas Braden, who was extremely lucky last year, as his ERA should’ve been a run higher than it was, while his poor strikeout rates further limit his fantasy value. Take a closer look though at James Shields, who was as unlucky last year as Braden was lucky, with his rate stats suggesting an ERA more than a run lower than it actually was. Shields is going in the 16th round or later in mock drafts but has the skills to put up considerably more value than that cost.
Closer: Chris Perez is already going about two rounds ahead of Ryan Franklin in mock drafts, but it shouldn’t even be that close. While
Franklin has better command and arguably more job security, his mediocre strikeout rates limit his value, and he’s been consistently lucky with his
home-run rate, a trend that is likely to regress at some point. Perez on the other hand seized the job in the second half last year, improving both his
strikeout and walk rates, and giving up fewer fly balls. Perez is likely to move up in the closer ranks this year, while Franklin is one of the most likely to
lose the job.
I’ve done a handful of mock drafts so far this spring but
haven’t provided any type of recap on any, so here is a brief rundown of my
picks in today’s 12-team mixed league draft organized by our friend Jeff
Erickson of Rotowire. The projections on MDC.com don’t like this team much,
which may be reasonable due to some of the injury risks I rostered, but I’d be
very happy to come out with this team if the season started tomorrow. Probably
a little shy on power, and my pitching ratios have some risky spots, but
overall I think this is a very balanced team.
My picks in order, starting out at #9…
1.9 — Ryan Braun
(OF, MIL) – The declining slugging percentage and increased ground ball
rate are slightly worrisome, but the increased walk rate shows he’s still
improving. With his age and track record he’s a very safe first-rounder, and he
should steal more this year, too.
2.4 — Chase Utley
(2B, PHI) – I’ll be a lot more worried about the knee problem if I’m still
hearing about it in mid/late March, but not on February 28. He had a huge
September, so if healthy (admittedly a question mark right now) he will more
than justify this pick.
3.9 — Kevin Youkilis
(1B, BOS) – Another one with injury concerns, but the OPS keeps going up, he’s
in the middle of a loaded lineup, and he’ll have additional position
flexibility in case I need it later. 1B gets thin very quickly after him, get
4.4 — Andrew
McCutchen (OF, PIT) – Whether he bats leadoff or third in Pittsburgh, he
has the range of skills to provide plenty of value. A rising star, he probably
won’t last the fourth round in any draft, and it wouldn’t shock me if he
produced late 1st/early 2nd round value: .290, 20 homers, 40 steals.
5.9 — Derek Jeter
(SS, NYY) – If he’s truly on the decline then this is a bad reach. If he
bounces back even 10 percent above what he does last year, this is a solid pick
for useful across-the-board stats in all categories. My fallback option,
Stephen Drew, went at 7.3… mental note for future drafts.
6.4 — Joakim Soria
(RP, KC) – I wanted Jay Bruce here but Derek Van Riper from RotoWire took
him three picks earlier. I generally don’t like to take the first closer, but
with my first choice gone I decided to get ahead of the anticipated closer run,
and chose Soria’s outstanding ratios over Marmol’s massive strikeouts.
7.9 — Carlos Marmol
(RP, CHC) – Surprisingly, to me at least, only Brian Wilson and Mariano Rivera went after
Soria, so it came down to Marmol (below) or Heath Bell. I took the ratios last time so
this time I got my K’s. They complement each other perfectly and should of
course rack up 70 or more saves between ‘em.
8.4 — Pedro Alvarez
(3B, PIT) – I was sitting on Aramis Ramirez here but Tim Heaney from KFFL
took him two picks before me, so I went for the next-best available 3B. I’m not
convinced he’ll hit more than .250 or .260, but he should hit 30 homers by
mistake, and if he figures out lefties, the upside is massive.
9.9 — Chad
Billingsley (SP, LA) – Top SP’s went faster in this draft than I’d expect
from a typical 12-team mixed industry league, but there were still plenty of choices
here. Billingsley has shown gradual improvements over the past three seasons
and could approach the “soft ace” tier if all goes well this year.
10.4 — Shaun Marcum
(SP, MIL) - Perhaps a little bit of a reach, but I just missed on Carlos
Quentin so I decided to not wait around on my next SP. Check out Marcum’s
numbers outside the AL East last year; he’s a very solid #2, and would be ideal
as a #3.
11.9 — Nick Swisher
(OF, NYY) – So let’s see, I just missed on Bruce, Quentin and Shane Victorino… Swisher
is a decent consolation prize. He probably won’t approach .290 again, but .265
with 25 homers is a very reasonable expectation, and the loaded lineup means
plenty of runs and RBI’s.
12.4 — Ricky Nolasco
(SP, FLA) – He’ll challenge for a Cy Young Award one of these years. Once
again he’ll need to overcome the porous Marlins defense, but with his strikeout
ability he might be able to get it done on his own. I’m still on the bandwagon.
13.9 — Gordon
Beckham (2B, CHW) – A good mix of risk and reward here. If he builds on his
second half surge last year from before he got hurt, he could hit .280 with 20
or more homers, and early word out of spring training suggests he’s
rediscovered the aggressiveness he lost early last season.
14.4 — Jonathan
Sanchez (SP, SF) – Not as big a fan as Siano, and I worry that his gradual
ERA decline is more due to good fortune (BABIP) than any improvement in skills.
But if I get a 3.75 ERA and 200 strikeouts here, I’m not going to complain!
15.9 — Drew Storen
(RP, WAS) – I gambled that Chris Perez would get back to me, but he went
two picks after Sanchez… bad gamble. Storen will probably struggle at times this
year but should put up good strikeout numbers and should be fine as my #3 as
long as he doesn’t melt down.
16.4 — Edwin
Encarnacion (3B, TOR) – This year’s Jose Bautista. Mark it down. I’m not
talking 54 homers, that’s crazy talk, but if E5 (below) finally stays healthy this is
the year he hits .275 with 35 or more longballs. The power is legit and he’s in
the perfect situation to deliver on it.
17.9 — Russell
Martin (C, NYY) – As with Utley, I’ll be a lot more worried about his knee
if he’s not catching in three weeks. As for today, this is a fair value gamble
for 10-12 homers and steals, and as with Swisher, you have to love the lineup
18.4 — Coco Crisp
(OF, OAK) – My darkhorse candidate for the AL stolen base champ this year.
He put up sick numbers last year when healthy, and while he’s no sure thing to
play 150 games this year, he’ll produce when he’s in there.
19.9 — Seth Smith
(OF, COL) – He might get platooned some with Spilborghs, but he has the
power – plus a little bit of speed — to put up big numbers on planet Coors: 39
doubles, nine triples and 32 homers in 693 at-bats over the past two seasons.
20.4 — Angel Pagan
(OF, NYM) – Not a great player but a solid contributor who should produce
similar numbers to last season. He, Crisp and Smith will “battle” for the last
two OF spots on my imaginary team, with the loser opening up the UT spot for
some waiver wire trolling.
21.9 — Anibal
Sanchez (SP, FLA) – I could’ve taken Ian Kennedy or Carlos Carrasco here
but Anibal was a nice find for me last year so he’s rewarded with my fifth
starter spot. The IP increase from last year is a bit worrisome but it came
with a very strong finish.
22.4 — John Jaso (C,
TB) – Perhaps baseball’s most unlikely leadoff hitter until you consider Jaso (below) had a .372 OBP last year. The Rays offense might struggle at times but I’ll
take .275 and 70 runs out of my #2 catcher in any format.
23.9 — Brandon
League (RP, SEA) – The obligatory closer-in-waiting end-game gamble. I’m
not hearing good things about David Aardsma‘s recovery or outlook, and League is
capable of big strikeout numbers. Hey, if not, I’ll just Pitch or Ditch in this
So whaddya think? Looking forward to your feedback!
Hey gang, as promised, here’s a first draft of this year’s composite projections (
), a day earlier than last year’s February 20 release date!
Before you ask any questions about the projections, PLEASE
read the posts accompanying the projections from last year (http://bit.ly/buiDI1), and the year before (http://bit.ly/9BOXOq), and the year before that
(http://bit.ly/akGm0b), which explain how they
are built, what they include and what they don’t.
This year I was able to compile projections from 15 – that’s
right, fifteen! — different sources, and there’s still one more system I’d
like to incorporate into in a future update. However, this spreadsheet only includes
players who were included in at least eight or more of the 15 different
projection systems, and who are currently on an MLB roster (including spring
Please keep in mind that these are not “my projections”: I
have no vested interest in the numbers provided here for any particular player,
so don’t ask me why this or that guy seems too high or too low; if you don’t
like the projection for, say, Pedro Alvarez (below), don’t tell me about it… go buy a
dog! This is simply the “wisdom of the crowds” projection based on multiple
Also, as this is a first draft, these future changes are not
* Don’t ask for other stats categories beyond what’s in
here… this is all I have to share with ya;
* They are NOT adjusted for playing time on a per-player or
per-team basis… this is the “raw” playing time as projected by the various
* The RBI numbers here are based strictly on the Padden
formula I used (see this post — http://bit.ly/5erm1F
— for an explanation), rather than the projection systems, and don’t include
any adjustment based on expected batting order position;
* Runs and RBI’s have not yet been correlated, as explained
in the same post;
* I haven’t put together a games-by-position file but will
do that soon too.
For more info read the previous posts, and I’ll post future
revisions as these and other adjustments are made. Enjoy!
A follower on Twitter pointed out that our friend Matthew
Berry of ESPN and I have offered some contradictory observations on the depth of the
talent pool at catcher this season. TMR and I have known each other for several
years and have some different viewpoints on various topics, but hey, there’s
room for that in fantasy baseball… reasonable people can still disagree!
When questioned though, we here at the F411 are always
willing to show our work, and then you the reader/listener/viewer can decide if
you agree or not. Hey, reasonable people can still disagree!
Here’s how I view the catcher situation this year on a
team-by-team basis, compared to what they had last year:
ARI – Montero should be better than last season if healthy.
ATL – McCann is consistent and in his prime. N/C
BAL – Another season of hopeful expectations for Wieters N/C
BOS – They go from the consistency of V-Mart to the unfulfilled
promise of “Pits”. DOWN
CHC – Soto should see more at-bats under Quade than Piniella
CWS – Pierzynski is useful but in decline. N/C
CIN – Hopefully Hannigan plays more than Hernandez N/C
CLE – Santana should be a stud if healthy UP
COL – I’m a big Iannetta fan but he’s flopped in previous
DET – Avila/Laird is just awful for fantasy purposes N/C
FLO – Not a big Buck fan, but certainly better than
HOU – Castro may have upside but for now this is awful N/C
KC – Pena and May have upside but a healthy Kendall is bad
news here N/C
LAA – Neither Mathis nor Wilson can hit, and Napoli’s gone.
LAD – Barajas will deliver power, but even an injured Martin
is at worst comparable N/C
MIL – Kottaras/Lucroy is just ugly N/C
MIN – Mauer stands alone as the elite N/C
NYM – Is Thole any better than what they’ve had? N/C
NYY – Martin should replace Posada on a value basis N/C
OAK – Suzuki should be better than last year, but the
personnel hasn’t changed N/C
PHI – Ruiz is solid, unspectacular… same as last year N/C
PIT – Snyder’s AVG offsets the power; he’s no better than
STL – Molina is useful, unspectacular N/C
SD – Hundley won’t hit for AVG but has power and may steal a
SF – Posey is a stud, but not a 100% lock just yet UP
SEA – Is Olivo THAT much better than last year’s dreck?
TB – Jaso is useful but nothing special N/C
TEX – Adding Napoli to the mix is a huge, huge plus UP
TOR – Arencibia has monster power but the AVG will hurt… not
unlike Buck N/C
WSH – Pudge isn’t quite what he used to be N/C
So by my count, eight teams have improved their offensive
situation behind the plate, which is obviously good news… two have declined and
the other 20 have stayed pretty much the same. However, that doesn’t really
speak to the level of talent at the position, because other than Buster Posey
and Carlos Santana (right), we’re generally dealing with the same group of players but
with different distributions in playing time.
Clearly the additions of Posey and Santana to the mix
improve the depth in the top (and near-top) tier, but the declines of Russell Martin,
Jorge Posada and Kurt Suzuki somewhat offset that. Beyond that there are a
number of promising players, but many of whom carry significant risks:
If Montero, Martin and Santana can stay healthy… if Wieters,
Saltalamacchia, Iannetta and Hundley finally establish themselves… if Soto and
Napoli get more playing time… if all of those things happen, then I will
concede that the catcher position is indeed deeper than we’ve become used to.
But those are a LOT of ifs, and from a tiering standpoint, I
don’t think we can confidently say there’s more certainty to choose from this
year than in any other year.
That’s how I view it. Anyone who disagrees, feel free to
The wait is over! The 2011 MLB.com Fantasy Preview has arrived. Click Here to start sifting through the more than 800 player blurbs and projections. This should keep you busy for awhile.
Our next podcast will come next Thursday (February 17th) and the annual overrated/underrated show is set for March 1st.
And don’t forget about the MLB Network preview show slated for the evening of Sunday, March 20th.