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Chat: Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday June 17, 2014 8:00 PM ET chat session with Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian.

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Talk Scoresheet and fantasy with the three hosts of the TTO Scoresheet Podcast.

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: We're here to talk about Scoresheet, other kinds of fantasy baseball, real life non fantasy baseball, or real life in general!

R.A.Wagman (GTA): The obvious question - rank the top of the newly eligible draftees, please. Where would you slot in the commonly available rookies? Thanks.

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: We went over the newly drafted folks in last week's podcast, featuring special guest Bret Sayre offering his expertise in this field. Here's a link to the article, which includes the ranking list and a link to the audio for you to hear us go into more detail: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=23868

Dave (anytown, usa): So,I own Justin Verlander. I'm presuming there'there's nothing to do but hope he figures it out, as it's unrealistic to expect a good offer. What do you think?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: We definitely agree that it's a local minimum in terms of his value. As a result, unless you think this is going to end up as some kind of midpoint in an ongoing trend where his value continues to decline, you're better off holding on and hoping he can rectify the poor trends in both his peripherals and actual results. If you're pretty sure it's not going to get better, you might as well shop for the best offer you can get from another owner that still believes.

Chris (Baltimore): A commissioner in the 2nd year of a 5 yr keeper allowed a Longoria and Aoki for Yangervis and Cosart trade. Yangervis will be 7 next year with Cosart at 4. $3 increase for the following 2 years. Is he out of his gourd?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Maybe? We tend to have fairly passive expectations of our commissioners and generally trust the owners to be acting in their own best interests, so we don't tend to support trade veto for the sake of competitive balance. We agree generally that the return for Longoria especially should be better than what happened, but we're not comfortable expecting the commish to step in.

JRMayne (West Coast 'Sheeter): Where would pop-up guys Eugenio Suarez and Danny Santana fit in your list of recent draftees for Scoresheet value?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: An insightful question from a man everyone knows, I'm sure! If you're a contending team, we'd have Suarez and Santana ahead of the pack in AL formats, behind only the top tier of Rodon, Aiken and Gordon. Less assuredly contending teams should probably look at the next batch of draftees before taking them. Both Suarez and Santana are over their heads, but we'd prefer Suarez in the long run.

Orlando (Miami): Why aren't you John Mayne? Jesse Winker or Conforto (the Mets' first round selection)? Thanks. I enjoy the podcast, just need to catch up on the last few weeks. And, btw, I don't even know who Mayne is (Wayne, I do know). I saw it in a note from Jared.

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Did we take this question just to deflate John Mayne's ego? Possibly. You know the way to our heart. We like Winker a little better, since he's already done what we'd like Conforto to do. If you value ceilings more, go with Conforto though, Winker is tied to a corner (not literally, sorry, fans of danger) and may not have top end power outside of Bakersfield. Thanks for the nice podcast words.

Kel (Goodburger): Who is the player you find yourself overvaluing (or just ending up with on your team) more than others?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Is it too cliche to say Adam Dunn? We went around the table on this one and here's what we got: Ben: "I have a soft spot for Evan Longoria that results in what we have come to call irrational affection." Ian: "In general, I'll overvalue prospects relative to my colleagues, or possibly sanity, would dictate. In particular, I'll remember prospect value even after the majors has gotten in the way, so I'll be one of the last off the Jason Heyward train, for example." Jared: "I tend to have a special fondness for guys who can mash the ball, without stopping to think too much about whether they can get on base. Like, say, Khris Davis. Or Chris Davis. Or any other variant thereof." Ben adds: "...like Mark Trumbo!"

hmamis (NY): Someone posted that he does not list anybody as "closer". He prefers to have a "closer by committee" he thinks that helps him. Any ideas?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: We sort of collectively feel like Scoresheet is built with a certain belief in the capital c "Closer" mentality/myth (madlib as you please), so we'd probably designate our most trusted reliever as the closer on our lineup card, even if there wasn't a clear favorite for the role. It's probably good to have strong matchup options in the rest of the pen to face the best LHB and RHB on the opposing teams, and those guys would get key innings regardless of whether you designate them as closer or not. The controls around setting up a bullpen in Scoresheet aren't conducive to a closer by committee anyway--there's no room for an if/then series of statements or actual intervention into the decision making, so you'd be in a similar situation in terms of usage regardless.

robarge00 (Vermont): My milb draft for my dynasty league is tomorrow, I have a plethora of early picks including 6 out of the first 11 and 1st overall. I am taking Kris Bryant number 1 but my real question is should I take Jon Gray or Kyle Schwarber with my number 4 pick assuming Aiken and Rondon go 2 and 3. I also have the 6th, 8th, 9th, and 11th picks. There are many arms including Harvey, Urias, Manaea, Glassnow, Shipley, Stewart, Wisler, Appel, still available including other arms from the most recent draft.

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Not Scoresheet, but we can dig, we're versatile! We'll please Fantasy Overlord Bret Sayre's heart and say Schwarber, because the thing he can do is more rare than what Jon Gray can do. We'd actually rate Sean Manaea from that list ahead of Gray, which is a minority opinion, but you're certainly right that Gray is closer to the pile of arms than he is to superstardom. We'd also suggest that you check out Bret's list of top players for dynasty value for even more of his wisdom.

Matt Houser (Colorado): What would you give up for Miguel Sano? Still a lot, right?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: So, in the absence of other evidence, we'd still think that Sano has a chance of superstardom, and the year off doesn't really depreciate his value that much. He probably has marginally less value to a contending team than before, so if Sano is in that situation in your league, it's a good time to strike.

Marcus (Queens): My team is trending down in a 12 - team AL. Is this a good time to shop Bautista? What kind of haul should I expect in terms of young talent?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: If you're going to wave the white flag, now is a great time to trade Bautista as long as you can get guys that will be a fixture for you in the future. He's going to keep up something like this level of production for long enough that you should expect at least 2 strong prospects coming back. We'd advise that you pick up bats in this kind of exchange, and maybe a draft pick next year, too, depending on how well you can raise interest in your league. It's definitely a good idea to shop him around and ensure you get every team's best offer before you make a decision.

jjackhammers (Victoria): Dynasty...Heaney and J Nelson for Polanco...which side do you like and is it close...10 team league

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Generally, you'd be right to assume we'd rather have the side of the trade with fewer players, and that's true here with Polanco as well. If we're assuming you're in a fantasy rather than a Scoresheet league, however, the gap narrows a bit, as we think Polanco's power may be somewhat late in arriving, and Heaney in particular will probably do well with strikeouts fairly quickly. Nelson's probably not a star, but he is close, and we do think it's a good time to trade Polanco for the most value you can find. Maybe ask for one more piece, or a favorable second player to swap in.

howling wolf (Bethesda MD): Hello guys: I enjoy your chats. Is Adam Duvall (3b Giants/Fresno)going to be playing for the Giants next year? He sure is hitting a ton of HRs for them. And if Sandoval walks, do you think there's a good chance he ends up in Baltimore?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: For minor league nostalgists, Adam Duvall seems like a Mike Hessman for the teens. Fresno isn't quite a launching pad, but we'd say say the major takeaway at the moment is "minor league slugger has hot streak." He's not quite draftable for us in Scoresheet yet, unless you're speculating on an injury.

Is there a good chance the O's sign a past his prime corner player free agent who doesn't hit quite as well as a corner player should and is still trading on a monster season from three years ago? Maybe if Sandoval were five years older! We're curious to see what the O's do, but with Hardy still yet to hit his first homer and Machado hitting like a shortstop, you have to think the O's are seriously going to be considering making that kind of move.

Toto (Africa): How do you guys traditionally go about determining a player's value in scoresheet (as opposed to a traditional evaluation, looking at war, etc.)?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: We generally start by looking at projected SS/SIM, which we discussed on a previous podcast episode, so we'd suggest you start by checking that out. Scoresheet tends to drive offensive value with PA (quantity) and OBP/SLG (quality) and pitching value with IP (quantity) and ERA (quality). In some ways, it's just that simple, but if you want something that makes it easier to compare value across positions, SS/SIM is a good place to start.

John Carter (T.O.): We in Canada have only been drafting Rule IV guys right after their June draft since 2009. That was the Dustin Ackley - Aaron Crow class in the American League. We've been drafting about 3 or 4 of them every June's first round ever since. It is too soon to say how many of them were a worthwhile pick. If Bryon Buxton turns out as good as expected that will make up for a long list of duds who didn't bring significant value. With your experience, can you quantify how worthwhile it has been to jump on these top picks right away?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Since so many of the superstars in Scoresheet are first acquired in the supplemental that follows the MLB rule IV draft, we advocate grabbing as many of those lottery tickets as possible. You can keep the superstars indefinitely, so you don't have to be successful too often for it to be worthwhile taking those chances with supplemental picks. In some leagues, it's the only way you're going to end up with a player of that caliber, like Strasburg, Harper, Longoria, Tulowitzki, etc. In almost leagues, it's a great way to build up your keepers. We once said that in general you should trade for keepers and draft for depth, and the ability to pick up these potential superstars in a supplemental draft is the most obvious exception to that particular phrase.

edwardarthur (Illinois): What's your philosophy on designating the dash for pinch hitting? I tend to avoid it unless I have multiple back-ups at the position for fear of taking out my starter and ending up with AAA, but maybe that's too conservative if the sim has you pinch hit in key situations?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: So if you've listened to us on our podcast (and who hasn't, amiright?), you've heard us talk about the value of building lots of platoons in Scoresheet. Part of the outgrowth of that, is that as you've surmised, we're pretty liberal with using pinch-hitters. Sure, the potential of having Player-AAA come in later is a real risk, but we feel that's a risk worth balancing against getting the right player up in the right situation.

david (livermore, ca): You need one more OF and have narrowed it down to 2 nearly fungible hitters with identical SLG, OPS, platoon splits, fielding range, etc. But one has a higher OBP(OBA) and the other has a higher AVE. If these are the only 2 significant differences, who's it gonna be?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: A wise man once said OBP is life, life is OBP. It might have been Joe Sheehan. I'm sure you could look it up. All else being equal, getting on base more often is more likely to return value than advancing runners every time you get on base (via hit as opposed to walk). There may be somewhat extreme situations where you'd rather have the strong AVG instead of the strong OBP, but in the long run, the higher OBP is a better bet.

Guy F. (Flavortown): What does the rash of pitcher injuries this year mean when making determinations about keeping players, constructing rosters, etc?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: If nothing else, it has tempted us into a roster construction strategy that emphasizes offensive players as keepers. The upsides to this strategy include slightly lower injury risk and an exciting results process each week where you're sure to expect high scoring games and never sure if you're going to win or not. If you're able to build a formidable offense, then, you could overwhelm your opponents, but more likely you'll concede more runs than you score if you completely eschew pitchers as keepers. The best balance, then, is to try to go into the year with 2 or 3 stud pitchers, hope that at most 1 of them goes down, and load up on bats that can support those stud pitchers each week.

Jim (Minneapolis): Thanks for the chat!! What's your evaluation of Oswaldo Arcia?? Does he have the patience to hit major league pitching?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Thanks, thoughtful reader! We're moderate Arcia fans in many formats, but Scoresheet is not a format particularly forgiving of corner outfielders who are not elite. Arcia is definitely a standard keeper, and he's probably somewhat underrated in real life, but he's probably not a foundational player for your team.

Beam Me Up Scotty (London): Everth Cabrera: Swing rate up, contact rate down, BB% waaaay down, K% back up to where it was in 2012, SB% not great, and he can't even blame is craptastic batting average (.223) on bad luck (BABIP .290). In a 12-team 5x5 mixed, he's droppable for someone like JJ Hardy, Owings, or even Brad Miller, right? If we needed Steals, Villar would actually be an upgrade, right?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Your logic sounds good to us. We confess to being excellent at finishing 4th in our roto leagues, so we probably aren't the best source of advice for a 5x5 question. We will say that we don't love Cabrera in Scoresheet, and we would definitely prefer the other guys that can post a better OBP and may have some defensive value as well.

Smith (3): 3

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: True Outcomes! What an excellent question.

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Thanks for listening and reading. You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, follow our weekly articles right here on BP on Thursdays, or send us questions at scoresheet@baseballprospectus.com if you have any future Scoresheet-related inquiries!


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