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July 22, 2014

My Model Portfolio

Three-and-a-Half Months Later

by Bret Sayre

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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:

  • We are using the mixed-league values.
  • You can use any player not on Mike's sheet for $1.
  • The scoring will be 5x5 roto, so we're not just picking the players who will return the most value.
  • Eligibility is kept to the positions applicable right now. No potential in-season eligibility is to be considered.

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
While deeper leagues are won with profit, shallower leagues (like this one which we’ve artificially created) are won with superstars. So instead of figuring out who made the most profit at this point (we’ll cover that in the end of year review), we’re going to look at the top-ten mixed fantasy earners through the All-Star Break and see how many were rostered. And while we were allowed to select players not given values in mixed league’s per Mike’s bid limits, we’ll give everyone a pass for the three players who would have been off-the-board selections at the time: Dee Gordon, Charlie Blackmon, and Garrett Richards.

Here’s how we did:

Top Hitters - Mixed

Top Pitchers - Mixed

Player

Teams

Player

Teams

Mike Trout

3

Felix Hernandez

2

Jose Altuve

2

Adam Wainwright

0

Andrew McCutchen

0

Johnny Cueto

0

Michael Brantley

1

Clayton Kershaw

1

Troy Tulowitzki

0

Masahiro Tanaka

0

Nelson Cruz

1

Scott Kazmir

0

Dee Gordon

0

Garrett Richards

0

Giancarlo Stanton

1

Chris Sale

1

Charlie Blackmon

0

David Price

1

Billy Hamilton

5

Koji Uehara

0

Total

13

Total

5

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.

Offense

Participant

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

Hitting Points

Bret

.271

578

151

625

90

50.0

Wilson

.277

573

135

521

102

45.0

Paul

.271

625

134

592

72

43.0

Alex

.268

607

139

550

68

39.0

Ben

.268

548

126

524

99

34.5

Craig

.257

538

158

548

75

33.0

Mauricio

.275

539

112

512

85

30.5

Reader

.258

567

144

523

44

28.0

Doug

.272

525

131

508

74

27.5

Mike

.265

548

124

551

63

27.5

Jeff

.254

487

105

465

118

16.0

Sam

.260

499

112

488

74

16.0

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.

Pitching

Participant

W

K

ERA

WHIP

SV

Pitching Points

Doug

74

1072

2.98

1.16

0

49.0

Alex

54

791

3.31

1.18

48

43.0

Paul

50

747

3.27

1.21

64

41.0

Wilson

52

723

3.27

1.20

61

40.0

Ben

43

668

3.10

1.19

65

39.0

Craig

46

638

3.24

1.17

44

33.5

Bret

56

780

3.61

1.27

11

33.0

Jeff

46

658

3.37

1.18

27

29.5

Reader

48

673

3.82

1.29

66

29.0

Mike

39

749

3.73

1.28

21

21.5

Mauricio

39

583

3.81

1.28

49

17.5

Sam

37

647

4.10

1.32

60

14.0

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.

Overall Standings

Participant

Hitting Points

Pitching Points

Total

Wilson

45.0

40.0

85.0

Paul

43.0

41.0

84.0

Bret

50.0

33.0

83.0

Alex

39.0

43.0

82.0

Doug

27.5

49.0

76.5

Ben

34.5

39.0

73.5

Craig

33.0

33.5

66.5

Reader

28.0

29.0

57.0

Mike

27.5

21.5

49.0

Mauricio

30.5

17.5

48.0

Jeff

16.0

29.5

45.5

Sam

16.0

14.0

30.0

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?

Bret Sayre is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Bret's other articles. You can contact Bret by clicking here

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