The Dodgers, and their fan base, are likely crying uncle at this point. They are hurting. Less than one week after being activated from the disabled list, Hanley Ramirez suffered another injury that required a return to the DL. His injury prompted the team to promote Gordon from Triple-A, where he hit .314 with 14 stolen bases in 16 attempts through 25 games.
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Bret reveals some of his favorite players to target late in drafts, as the pickings get slim.
With just a few days left until spring training, it’s time for one of my favorite columns of the year to write. And this year, I’m expanding it from 10 names to 20.
More often than not, the endgame targets you select at your draft are going to be the biggest difference makers in your quest for a championship. Your early-round selections are obviously important, but for downside, not upside. If you miss on your first-round pick or get $10 in value from your $35 player, you’re in a hole from which it can be difficult to climb out. The middle rounds are a mix of finding solid contributors and mixing in upside with players who could accrue high-end talent value (like Eric Hosmer or Carl Crawford). But the endgame where you make your money. If you’ve played golf even a couple of times in your life, you’ve probably heard the adage, “drive for show, putt for dough”—and it’s the same concept. Closing out your draft well is a must if you want to win your league.
This position has an obvious one-two punch at the top, but there are plenty of counting-stat bargains available late in drafts.
Today we continue our positional tier rankings. Last offseason, Derek Carty tackled the tiers by himself; this spring, we've decided to attack them as a team. Players at each position will be divided into five tiers, represented by the number of stars.
Five-star players are the studs at their respective position. In general, they are the players that will be nabbed in the first couple of rounds of the draft, and they'll fetch auction bids in excess of $30. Four-star players are a cut below the studs at the position. They will also be earl- round selections, and they're projected to be worth more than $20 in most cases. Three-star players are the last tier in which players are projected to provide double-digit dollar value in auctions, and two-star players are projected to earn single digits in dollar value in auctions. One-star players are late round sleepers and roster placeholders. As was the case with our positional rankings series, the positional tiers aren't simply a regurgitation of the projected PECOTA values.
Ryan Braun and Mike Trout top a list that is teeming with high-upside talent.
The Baseball Prospectus fantasy team has been rolling out its positional rankings over the past couple of weeks, and will conclude the process next week. Each team member assigned to cover a position will create an initial top 15 (more for outfielders and starting pitchers) on his own. He will then send that list to the rest of the team for discussion, at which point we will debate the rankings, both in terms of each player's specific placement and the merits on which he was included in the top 15. This back-and-forth debate will yield the final list, which will be presented by the original author with notes on the pertinent players. We encourage you to bring your opinions into the fray using the comment section below.
Today, we continue the rankings with a look at our top 25 outfielders. Comments on the outfielders ranked 26-50 will follow on Friday.
NFBC mock drafts appear to paint a more realistic picture than those at Mock Draft Central.
On the most recent episode of the Towers of Power Fantasy Hour (or 2),Paul Sporer and I had the opportunity to interview Greg Ambrosius of STATS LLC. Ambrosius runs their National Fantasy Baseball Championship (NFBC) events, which feature the all-stars of high-stakes fantasy baseball. While the industry may not be as lucrative as the World Series of Poker, NFBC’s top players have made a rather nice living though the competition. The most famous of the players may be Lindy Hinkleman, a pig farmer from rural Idaho who was featured in a USA Today article last season. A few years ago, he pulled off an improbable sweep of both the live and online events, and earned a check for $241,500 from NFBC.
Jesus Montero, Jose Altuve, and Jimmy Rollins lead off for this week's Keeper Reaper.
Jesus Montero| Seattle Mariners Shallow (30 Keepers): No Medium (60 Keepers): Yes Deep (90 Keepers): Yes AL-Only (60 Keepers): Yes Super Deep (200 Keepers): Yes
Some players are willing to accept a designated hitter role on a team, yet others see their production suffer (sometimes greatly) when they don't play the field. It's very early in Montero's career, but he appears to be in the latter camp. Montero received 321 plate appearances as a designated hitter and 230 plate appearances as a catcher last year, and the difference in his slash line was staggering. As a designated hitter, Montero hit a paltry .226/.265/.309 with five home runs. Conversely, he crushed the ball as a catcher, hitting .310/.343/.498 with 10 home runs.
Derek's plan to maximize his innings in this fiercely competitive mixed league.
Last week, I participated in the Yahoo! Friends & Family expert league which—after my move from Tout Wars Mixed to NL—happens to be my only mixed league this year. This league offers some fierce competition, with 11 of the 13 participants also members of LABR or Tout Wars. You can see the entire field and what they had to say about their drafts here.
Yahoo! F&F is a 13-team mixed league with daily roster moves, unlimited transactions, and a 1,250-innings cap. Take a look at my roster:
Baseball Prospectus has become even more Scoresheet Baseball-friendly in 2012. Check out the new features, in time for public league drafts!
A month ago, Baseball Prospectus introduced the Scoresheet Draft Aid to help Scoresheet Baseball players with their drafts. Since then, the most common piece of feedback by Scoresheet players who have used it is that it's "too good" and that it levels the playing field, erasing the edge that can be gained by an opponent through hours, days, or even months of research. Now, to put that to the test, Scoresheet players who are in the final rounds of their public league drafts can try it out for free for three days, from March 21-23.
A look at why there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to valuing a player
In the game of baseball, environment often plays a role in determining a player’s worth. For example, a pitcher who is skilled at inducing groundballs may be more valuable than his flyball-prone counterpart in a home-run-happy ballpark like Coors Field. This same pitcher will be less valuable, though, if he plays on a team like the Detroit Tigers that has a porous infield defense. Or consider a position player who is gifted with the bat but has a poor glove. This player isn’t much of a problem in the American League because of the DH rule, but in the National League, a player with fielding deficiencies often has nowhere to play (just look at Jim Thome this year).
In other words, value is often about context. The same holds true in fantasy baseball, although it’s a factor that’s considered less frequently. Often, we pretend we’re all playing the same game. We’re not.
Mets Duda and Torres, Matt Holliday, and Tony Plush make the first outfield edition of Preseason VP
“Preseason Value Picks” is an interesting notion to begin with… who is going to benefit from such analysis? The obvious answer is owners whose drafts come the earliest, and Scoresheet baseball drafts are already progressing. These are very slow processes, from the perspective of traditional fantasy players, in keeping with the more ponderous tone of Scoresheet. Most Scoresheet leagues allow at least 13 keepers without salaries to worry about. The games are simulated, generating a weekly report with, you guessed it, score sheets for each game. So, before diving in to outfielders this week, I wanted to mention a tool we released yesterday for aiding with Scoresheet drafts (but which is available to all Fantasy and Premium subscribers): The Scoresheet Draft Aid. I'm working on a blog post with some more details, but in the meantime, feel free to utilize it knowing that it's specifically geared toward things that help a Scoresheet team (offense, defense, pitching), not typical fantasy categories.
Returning from that Scoresheet tangent to some “real” fantasy (is that an oxymoron?), drafts are kicking off very soon. Most people know that the top outfielders are Matt Kemp, Jose Bautista, Jacoby Ellsbury, Justin Upton, Carlos Gonzalez, Curtis Granderson, Mike Stanton, and Andrew McCutchen, in some order (and we've covered several of these guys with Keeper Reaper articles). The order in which they are taken is as much personal preference as cold, hard analysis. In the USA Today mock draft I participated in, those guys went: Kemp, Ellsbury, Bautista, [gap], Upton, CarGo, [gap], Granderson, McCutchen, then Jay Bruce and Josh Hamilton (this draft was held last December) went before Stanton.
What to make of fantasy players shifting across the diamond? Michael looks at the fallout of the Fielder signing, plus potential position moves by Miguel Cabrera, Mark Trumbo, and the already-certain moves of Hanley Ramirez
For fantasy owners, the difference between first- and third-base eligibility is huge—at least in leagues that ignore defense. That defensive liability can still have repercussions in real-world baseball, however, which trickles down to fantasy if a player can’t stick at the hot corner. Last week’s news featured several players going from the right side of the diamond to the left, but not all of those moves may be permanent and not all may be beneficial.