Once upon a time, two men named Bobby Jones pitched in the same game, for the same team. Actually, it was four times and two teams...
A while back, Ben Lindbergh wrote about players who share a name with Hall of Famers. In the comments there was a discussion of similarly named contemporary players such as the slick-fielding, lousy hitting shortstops known as Alex Gonzalez and the mediocre pitchers called Bobby Jones.
Desmond, Giavotella, Escobar, and Lucroy are among this week's Value Picks
The purpose of Preseason Value Picks is to focus on names that may be lacking in interest early in the draft season. Even if the names involved here are providing only slight edges in dollar value compared to market value, these small incremental edges could be the difference between a championship and second place. Even in draft season, getting an edge using PECOTA and Value Picks can contribute to the bottom line. Here are some names of interest in the up-the-middle categories.
Jason looks at 2010's five-category fantasy contributors and some of the surprises who have made the list.
Five-tool talents are a great find in baseball and are very tough to come by as most everyone has some kind of flaw. They are even tougher to come across in fantasy baseball, even given the reduction to 15 teams that is the standard in high-stakes leagues. The five tools for fantasy players are the five standard scoring categories, and the players that produce in all five are the ones that we pay premium prices for on draft day. Most years, this is where Ryan Braun, Matt Kemp, and Dustin Pedroia live, but there are some new names in the mix this season, and those three players have not had a lot of company in 2011.
With the draftee signing deadline looming, who are the top picks who still haven't been signed to a contract? Of those who have signed, who is performing well?
The signing deadline for the 2011 draft is less than a week away, yet 16 of this year's first 20 picks have yet to write their name on the dotted line. This isn't a cause for concern as much as it's the new way of doing things. While moving the deadline to two months after the draft has eliminated the year-long holdout gambit, it has led to more players waiting, as it has been proven over recent years that the players that wait are the ones who get paid. There are plenty of teams who have yet to start real negotiations with their top pick, and while they understand the waiting tactic, there is frustration with the delays in player development.
Kevin's official Mock Draft will come Monday, but here is the ashcan version, complete with raw notes so you can see how the pieces come together.
What you see below is my current mock draft. Instead of big write-ups, which I’m saving for my final mock draft on Monday, these are the notes from calls and texts in my latest mock worksheet with source names removed. I hope it's a fun look at how the sausage is made.
Like many of you, I spent time this past weekend preparing for a fantasy draft or auction, typing lists of player names into spreadsheets, ranking them, and assembling a draft strategy. A large number of factors come into play when ranking players—age, long-term vs. short-term value, positional need, injury risk, ceiling vs. likelihood of meeting it, and whether the player is on a team you’re comfortable rooting for. However, there’s one final tiebreaker for me that can come into play: whether or not I like the player’s name. All else being equal, I’ll take the player whose moniker is more enjoyable for me to say, type, or think about.
A pair of Nationals and an intriguing but injury-plagued shortstop make up this edition of Value Picks.
With players beginning to report to camp, here at the up-the-middle edition of Value Picks we'll be covering interesting names across each division as the weeks go by leading up to Opening Day. This will include your typical position battles and players with big question marks going into 2011. Some NL East names will kick off the coverage of catchers, second basemen, and shortstops
Justin Ruggiano, aka “Scrooge,” is number 11 in your Durham Bulls program. A 28-year-old outfielder who has seen action in 52 big league games, Ruggiano is hitting .289/,356/.469 with 13 home runs and 21 stolen bases for Tampa Bay’s Triple-A affiliate. He is also doing his best to keep track of his teammates’ names, nicknames and numbers.
One expert's educated guesstimate on how things will go down later today.
This one could be a mess folks, and it's all about bonus demands at this point. Right now, you have as many as four high school pitchers-Jacob Turner, Tyler Matzek, Matt Purke, and Shelby Miller-looking for big, big money, with the first three all telling teams they're looking for Rick Porcello-level deals (or more). This has the potential to blow the first round wide open, and turn it into into a very college-oriented first 30 picks, with numerous top talents falling to later picks than initially expected. One team picking in the top ten I spoke to this morning said he still had very little idea of who was going to be picked ahead of his club's choice.
Names you should know, whether you're a Mariners fan or simply curious about who the head honchos of tomorrow might be.
In a post-Moneyball world, a new generation of baseball minds have ascended to the top of their teams. While initial returns have been mixed-Paul DePodesta was forced out of Los Angeles after a perfect storm of weak ownership and a hostile local media conspired against him-the trend is still running strong. That's because like most sports baseball is a game that thrives on imitation; if you win, someone will try to copy your success or at least steal someone that knows the formula. Josh Byrnes got a shot in Arizona because the Red Sox won, even if the second Sox title didn't start a run on the next Sox assistant.
It's time to take a look at the names you'll be hearing next year. While some of these are people who have already been interviewed for positions and might already be on your radar, some of them aren't. I've also taken some of the more easily-anticipated names off of the list. For example, any time there's an opening, Chris Antonetti's name has come up, and for good reason, but after turning down several job offers, Antonetti seems locked in with the Indians, and essentially removes himself from our list, though his name's going to keep coming up whenever a GM job does become available. I also removed former general managers from this list, even though that means keeping well-qualified people like DePodesta off; as with Antonetti, DePodesta will be in circulation as a candidate. This choice also keeps people like Gord Ash, Gerry Hunsicker, or even Pat Gillick off of my list. That's because what I would like to do here is add some names to your mental list. Inside baseball, these guys are known and known well; it's time you did too.
The legal setback for MLBAM over the use of player names in fantasy sports could lead to a Supreme Court showdown.
In baseball parlance, MLB Advanced Media is in the bottom of the ninth with two outs in their legal case with CBC Distribution and Marketing Inc., the fantasy sports company that has been fighting for the rights to use player names in conjunction with their statistics without paying a fee to MLBAM for licensing. On Tuesday, October 16th, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis ruled 2-1 upheld a lower court decision in favor of CBC, based on First Amendment rights, delivering yet another blow to MLBAM's legal case. "The decision is a big win for us. It is a big win for the fantasy sports industry, as well as entrepreneurs of the World," said CDM Fantasy Sports' Vice President Charlie Wiegert. "It's a win for all the underdogs. All the Davids who have a war with a Goliaths."