July 22, 2014
My Model Portfolio
Three-and-a-Half Months Later
During the last week of March, the BP Fantasy team set out to complete a fun exercise that I set out for everyone. Using Mike Gianella’s pre-season bid limits from March 21, all nine members of the team at the time completed a 23-man roster for $260. It sounded like such a fun idea that soon-to-be Editor-in Chief Sam Miller and pitching mechanics guru Doug Thorburn decided to submit entries. And finally, I received a very well thought out e-mail from reader “Cronfordox” (otherwise known as Scott) with a team of his own, which I included to bring us to an even number of 12 entries. We understand 12-team leagues. It makes sense.
If you want to go and read the explanations of the teams we created at the time, here are all of the links in one place, but for this piece we’re going to concentrate on how our individual teams have fared. So you don’t have to start clicking around, here were the parameters:
The fantasy staff (and anyone else on the BP roster who wants to participate) will create their own team within the confines of a standard 23-man, $260 budget. The roster being constructed includes: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, OFx5, UTx2, and Px9 along with the following standards issued by Sayre:
So with the All-Star break just having passed, it felt like the right time to take a look and see how many of the top performers from 2014 were rostered and how good/bad our participants are doing, along with who’s leading the field right now.
Selecting the Superstars
Here’s how we did:
That means the 17 players reasonably available during the exercise showed up on a combined 18 teams—skewing much more toward the hitting side. No one saw the extreme breakout potential of Tanaka, but then again, he won’t be on this list at year-end. No one selected Troy Tulowitzki, Andrew McCutchen. or Adam Wainwright. However, a few selections ended up paying off very handsomely. Both Wilson and Mauricio took Jose Altuve for their rosters. A few other decisions that seem to be helping their respective teams are Mauricio nabbing Giancarlo Stanton, Craig calling out for Nelson Cruz, and Paul selecting Michael Brantley.
I was pretty excited to see that my offense was leading the field, and the only offensive to accumulate 50 points (out of a total of 60 possible). The biggest strength of mine was the ability to stockpile power, as I had four hitters on my roster who have slugged at least 20 homers in the first half: Albert Pujols, Josh Donaldson, David Ortiz, and Victor Martinez. Those same four players also led to being tops in RBI. And while Billy Hamilton isn’t stealing enough to carry the category all by himself, he’s a big part of why I’m top three in steals.
On the other end, there were plenty of picks that look either curious or unfortunate at this point in the season. Jedd Gyorko at $8 looked like a pretty reasonable value back in March, but both Sam and Doug have felt the effects of his disaster of a season. Things haven’t gone a whole lot better in the middle infield for Jeff, Craig and Alex who all have stared at Brad Miller’s nothingness from the first half. Sure he’s heating up lately, but with the damage he’s already done, it’s like [insert inappropriate metaphor here]. Both Wilson and Ben had the foresight to draft Jose Abreu for $10, but they’ve also been hamstrung by the $22 they spent on Eric Hosmer. And let’s not talk about the $14 both Mike and Mauricio spent on Will Venable.
In the world’s most shocking development, Doug Thorburn is lapping the field in the pitching categories. In fact, he punted saves from the get-go, which means he got every single point he set out to at the beginning of the season (he’s leading every non-saves category). The names are even more impressive than the stats. For a total of $78, here is Doug’s full pitching staff: David Price, Felix Hernandez, Jordan Zimmermann, Julio Teheran, Shelby Miller, Sonny Gray, Jeff Samardzija, Corey Kluber, and Lance Lynn. That’s what I thought.
The closers have been pretty hit-or-miss (mostly hit), but then again there is my pair: Ernesto Frieri and Nate Jones. Something tells me that I’m not going to get that elusive twelfth save. Ivan Nova seemed like a pretty nice bargain at $1 heading into the season, but then his arm went and ess-ploded. Same with Sam and Jose Fernandez, but at least he squeezed some value of him first. Ben and Craig both had the foresight to take LaTroy Hawkins (it’s odd that two of the most prospect-focused members of the staff took the oldest player available), but they’ve both gotten just about nothing from their $11 investment in Mat Latos.
So where does that leave us? Right now, with a strong four-team race at the top with a few pretty steep drop-offs after that. Wilson, Paul, and Alex all have pretty balanced teams from top to bottom, and if I have any chance to pull this off, my team is going to have to slug their way to the top. A fifty-point offense won’t cut it with my two non-existent closers and Shelby Miller going the way of the Dodo.
We’ll check back in again once the season is over, but who all like to finish the season at the top?