October 22, 2012
Resident Fantasy Genius
The Ones We Got Right
At the end of every season, I find it useful to go back and examine the predictions I made. What did I get right, and where did I go wrong? Today I’m going to look at some of my biggest hits. For each player, I’ve listed his mixed and AL/NL-only auction value in Tout Wars and LABR (only Tout has a mixed auction, but AL/NL-only values are an average of Tout and LABR) as well as his actual value for the 2012 season according to Last Player Picked. And of course, in the interest of fairness, I will be going through the same exercise for my worst predictions too. Also take note that I’ve excluded most of the “value picks” from my preseason tier articles, as they’ll get their own review article.
My best prediction this year had to be Edwin Encarnacion. I mentioned him multiple times throughout the preseason, so if you were reading my work at all, there’s a good chance he found his way onto most of your teams as well. I think 42 home runs qualifies as a hit for a guy I described as having “immense power upside,” yeah?
Dickey provided a bigger return on draft day price than E5 did, so you could argue that he was my biggest hit this year given that I drafted him to both my Tout Wars and LABR teams, but I didn’t rave about him as much as I did Encarnacion. As one of my NL Starting Pitcher value picks, I said this:
I really like R.A. Dickey in NL-only leagues. He’s another guy that’s kind of boring without much upside, but he’s rock solid. The best knuckleballer in baseball right now (okay, I realize that’s not saying much), he controls the ball enough and wracks up enough strikeouts to be a pretty good bet for a 3.50-3.75 ERA. His .277 BABIP over the past two years is indicative of the fact that peripherals don’t tell the whole story for a knuckleballer like Dickey.
Yeah, that “without much upside” comment was clearly wrong, though to be fair, no one could have possibly seen 20 wins, a 2.73 ERA, and an 8.9 K/9 coming—not even the Mets. Knuckleballers are very difficult to evaluate, and none has ever had the kind of season Dickey had in 2012. Still, I liked Dickey enough to predict he’d put up third-starter ERA numbers for a mixed-league squad. I clearly liked him more than everyone else in LABR and Tout, and that’s often all it takes. I figured he’d post double-digit value in NL-only leagues, and the extra profit was just gravy.