The Outcomes spotlight one player from each team whose value could change between now and May.
We’re just as excited as anyone that Opening Day is fast approaching, but we also want to be careful not to overrate its importance for Scoresheet. There’s no guarantee that a player who makes the roster for day one will stick around come May. So here, we list a player we’ll be monitoring on each NL team (we went through the AL last week). Some of these guys are in position battles that potentially won’t be resolved for months. Others are finally getting an opportunity for consistent playing time. And a third group need to find that final gear to achieve (Scoresheet) stardom. Or at least be worthy of a keeper slot.
The Outcomes discuss the junior-circuit position battles they're keeping an eye on this spring.
We’re just as excited as anyone that Opening Day is fast approaching, but we also want to be careful not to overrate its importance for Scoresheet. There’s no guarantee that a player who makes the roster for day one will stick around come May. So here, we list a player we’ll be monitoring on each AL team. Some of these guys are in position battles that potentially won’t be resolved for months. Others are finally getting an opportunity for consistent playing time. And a third group need to find that final gear to achieve (Scoresheet) stardom. Or at least be worthy of a keeper slot.
Baltimore Orioles: Kevin Gausman
We tend to argue against the value of pitching prospects in Scoresheet, and to date, Gausman has been a clear example of exuberance clouding judgment. Scoresheet owners have been expecting to build around Gausman, but to do so, he’ll have to take a leap soon, because as it currently stands, he projects to be a walk-prone back end starter who probably shouldn’t make a playoff rotation. A strong 2015 would go a long way to making him the franchise cornerstone that you may have expected.
In lieu of traditional sleeper picks, the Outcomes recommend some player types to consider.
Scoresheet drafts are like snowflakes—cold, unforgiving, and increasingly filled with garbage after a few weeks. Oh, and no two are alike. Sorry, some of us are from the Northeast. When advising on potential mid-round sleepers, we have to keep in mind your draft, as fit issues and potential handcuffs are far more important in a simulation than in a traditional fantasy league. With that in mind, instead of offering a list of names of sleepers to you, we’ll instead look at categories of players that some of you may want to keep in mind.
This week, the Outcomes talk with the BP fantasy guru Bret Sayre about drafting prospects in Scoresheet.
Imagine MLB with a relaxed version of the reserve clause, and you’re well on your way to understanding the reason to go for prospects in Scoresheet. The vanilla Scoresheet format allows for unlimited minor league keeper protection, at the mere cost of a team’s lowest draft pick. When combined with the 13 perpetual hard keeper slots at the major-league level, it means that going prospecting is one of the few ways to reliably improve your team’s lot in life.
Focusing on minor leaguers doesn’t mean, necessarily, that you should build your team directly through the players on your farm. When we hear Scoresheet owners sometimes complain that prospects are being overvalued in their drafts, we wonder if they are using their farm wrong, focusing on the bust rate of a prospect as opposed to the relative commodity value of the asset. Developing your prospects in order to trade them is a perfectly acceptable strategy, much like a bad team hoarding talent at a position or drafting easy-to-flip middle relievers for future picks would be. With that in mind, even owners who doubt the return on investment in a prospect should still consider playing the market.
The Outcomes puts a new crowdsourcing tool at your disposal.
Our update this week is short and sweet, but may be helpful as you prepare for your Scoresheet league draft. While we’ve shared our keeper preferences over the past few months, we recognize that we are but three lone voices shouting Braff-style into the abyss. However, now that the public keeper deadline has passed, we have some quantifiable information that tells us more about the true nature of keepers.
One of our own, Ben Murphy, developed a tool that measures whether players are currently rostered in Scoresheet leagues, and then aggregates these findings together into an average ownership percentage. So here, for the first time, are the Scoresheet average keeper rankings for 2015.
A conceptual look at how you should treat pitching in Scoresheet formats.
Since keeper season is over for many, and our Keeper List is already available to the public, we’re going conceptual in our discussion of pitchers this week. If you’re still making keeper decisions, please feel free to check out that link, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with anything specific.
The final list before this week's keeper deadlines.
Hot off the presses, and in advance of this week's keeper deadline in most public leagues, we have a set of rankings to help guide you through your more difficult final keeper decisions. These rankings are derived primarily from publicly available forecasts, as well as the PECOTA forecast, available exclusively to Baseball Prospectus subscribers. Subscribers may also want to look at the SS/SIM rankings in particular, which offer a quantitative counter to this more qualitative document.
As you've probably been reading in our sister fantasy positional articles this week, middle infield has borne the brunt of the offensive downturn. When playing Scoresheet, factors such as handedness, defensive prowess, and durability also are in play, the back end of the shortstop rankings in both leagues can best be described as "a pile of mush." We're happy to help you dig.
As always, these rankings are developed for a continuous 10-team keeper league playing under standard Scoresheet rules, with 13 keepers and up to two league crossovers. Also as always, your mileage may vary.
Both in real life and fantasy, it's a joy to watch the current crop of third basemen play. The position most neglected historically is having maybe its best era, with great peak talents, future Hall of Famers exiting their prime, and a few youngsters getting ready to approach greatness. What's more, this list doesn't even contain Kris Bryant yet.
As ever, our house rules for these rankings. The keeper rankings assume that your team is in a 10-team continuing league with 13 hard keepers, including up to two crossovers, operating under standard Scoresheet rules. The more your league differs from normal, the more your lists may vary.
The Outcomes stack up the keystone for Scoresheet leagues.
This week we tackle second basemen from a Scoresheet perspective. As a reminder, our rankings are based on a continuing 10-team, 13 hard keeper league with two crossovers. If you are in an NL league, you might want to keep some bleach on hand to spritz in your eyes after reading this list, because it gets very ugly very quickly. The junior circuit is a little better, but there's still a pretty significant drop after the first half-dozen players. Tune in to the podcast for a more in depth discussion, but if you don't have one of the few stud (or stud-ish)second basemen, there might be some merit to the strategy of aggressively cutting your 2Bs and using your keeper slots elsewhere, since so few of the players seem to have upside, and the ones that do can likely be taken a few rounds into the draft.
As our positional Scoresheet keeper coverage heads to first base, it's worth keeping in mind that this is a much more fluid ranking than you'll find in Roto. Not only are players such as Pedro Alvarez and Ryan Zimmerman soon to qualify, but a true first base protection list can include pretty much every player in baseball. We generally tend towards building up the middle where you can, which means that we assign lower value to this position as a whole than most.
As a refresher, our rankings reflect the rules of a traditional public league: 10 teams, 13 keepers, of which two may be crossovers from another league. Also, these rankings are being created for a hypothetical continuing league, so age matters.