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May 20, 2013

Fantasy Freestyle

Digging Deeper Than Deep

by Mike Gianella


Every week, Baseball Prospectus’ own Bret Sayre puts together The Stash List. This list is an invaluable resource. I often use it not only to ascertain who might be close to making an impact in my deep leagues but also to get a feel for what the market value might be for a player. In leagues where I can bid on minor leaguers, this gives me a feel for when I might need to bid; in leagues where I can’t bid on minor leaguers, this tells me what I might need to bid.

However, in some of the deeper leagues I play in, Bret’s list isn’t of much use. Two of the expert leagues I’m in allow owners to stash minor leaguers, and the reserve lists are deep enough that even in non-keeper formats the top prospects that might make it up in 2013 are long gone. Speculation also runs rampant in these types of cutthroat leagues. If you think you’re going to be the lucky soul that snags Christian Yelich a week before his call-up, forget about it. Yelich is already owned in Tout Wars and in most deep leagues with any appreciable reserve depth.

It is close to a fool’s errand to try to identify the best non-elite rookies that will come up and provide value during the regular season. However, in a deep league, I understand the imperative to attempt to grab players who might provide even the tiniest amount of value. So, if you are going to go this route, below you’ll find the best approach for doing so.

Look at the Organization, Not the Player

While you obviously don’t want to completely ignore the statistical contributions of the player in the minors, it doesn’t matter if a 32-year-old organizational soldier is destroying Triple-A pitching. You’re looking for a player that will contribute to your team, not someone who won’t get called up unless there is a series of injuries.

Teams that are out of contention are good resources for players who might get a call in the second half of the season or earlier. In 2012, Josh Rutledge (earned $11), Kirk Nieuwenhuis ($8), Jordany Valdespin ($8), D.J. LeMahieu ($7), and Mike Baxter ($6) all contributed a fair amount of value in NL-only leagues. None of these players seemed like particularly strong options coming into the season, but weak lineups allowed these players to become contributors in deeper formats. If you’re looking for an unlikely contributor, picking players off from the Braves’ minor-league system isn’t your best bet. Looking at the Mets’ minor leaguers, on the other hand, isn’t a bad idea.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around ... (05/19)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Loo... (05/17)
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Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Coo... (05/22)
Next Article >>
The Week In Quotes: Ma... (05/20)

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