The Outcomes go prospecting and provide the results of their recent roster scraping.
This week on the podcast, we talk about prospects. We cover a variety of big picture topics around things like how many and what types of prospects we recommend keeping, how and when to draft prospects, how to value and trade prospects, and of course, we get into specific players who are likely to be available in your league whose stock we expect to rise.
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The Outcomes get you ready for draft day with their ranking of the top 20 available players in each league.
While players are still getting into the best shape of their lives, and most fantasy leagues haven’t even had their mock previews come out yet, Scoresheet owners are all set to begin drafting. Yes, in public leagues, drafting begins as early as Leap Day, leaving plenty of time for the long procession of 20 rounds of draft picks over the next few weeks. While we can’t speak to your league, we’re here to help with a Scoresheet draft preview.
But how can you do a draft preview when you don’t even know who’s available, you may ask? Good question, person we set up to introduce this paragraph! All of these players are available in at least 50 percent of leagues at the moment, meaning that you’re likely to find him available. Odds are, your particular league may have a few players that we would rank even more highly, but if you don’t see them listed, it’s likely because they’re relatively frequently owned. If you have questions about anyone you don’t see here, we (or the fearless commenters) would be delighted to discuss them below.
The Outcomes rank keystoners for Scoresheet leagues, and recap the offseason mock draft on the podcast.
It may not seem this way to a traditional fantasy owner, but for Scoresheet owners concerned with defense and playing time, second base offers an abundance of riches right now. Just about every team in every type of league should come into the season feeling confident in their up-the-middle strength. The sturdiness of the position and lack of extreme star talent will also make it difficult to improve your station here, or to use the positional depth to execute trades.
The Outcomes rank the first basemen for Scoresheet formats and discuss on the podcast.
If you’ve missed this reminder during the past few years, “first base week” means something different to Scoresheet players than to our fantasy brethren. In Scoresheet, qualifying for the position is something of the equivalent of a participation trophy. Are you an infielder of good or ill repute? Great news! You can stand around at first and be essentially average. Are you an outfielder? You can probably step in as well. Are you a first baseman? Great! Join in, your defensive contributions are noted and devalued accordingly. Are you David Ortiz? Oh, okay. Well, first, thanks for reading—we’re pretty surprised, too. Second, we’re sorry that you’re the only player in the game who is essentially incapable of playing the position. We hope you enjoy spending the season shaking hands with team presidents and enjoying gifts of souvenir cowboy boots and surfboards and whatever other nonsense as a consolation prize.
When an uneven swap goes down, rolling with your gut reaction may not be the best way to go.
We’ve all been there. You open up your email or check your league’s transactions and find a newly reported trade. Only, wait. That can’t be right. Mike Trout for a Pu Pu platter of scrubs? Polanco for an 18th-rounder? And it isn’t Placido Polanco? Yu Darvish for some tortillas and a roll of paper towels?
Reactions typically follow the five stages of grief:
The Outcomes reveal their top 20 AL and NL prospects from the recent MLB draft.
When playing Scoresheet, the Round 40 draft is the closest thing to the excitement of the June MLB draft. Instead of a series of high Midwestern malapropisms from Bud Selig and rambling asides from Tommy Lasorda, the Scoresheet draft mixes the new draftees into your existing pref list. For owners in standard and many custom leagues, Round 40 is the best chance to land a top-tier minor league talent without giving up present value in trades.
So who do you take with your high pick? We’ve prepared a preference list for both AL and NL Scoresheet leagues. We’re certainly not draft experts, and our knowledge comes from exactly where you’d expect it to have come from, so if you’re looking for deeper analysis, check out other articles on Baseball Prospectus, including Nick J. Faleris’s draft coverage and Bret Sayre’s fantasy coverage in particular. Our goal is to provide you with one example of a draft pref list that takes guidance from these sources and mixes in additional Scoresheet-specific insight. Listen to our podcast for more detail on each of these players, and submit your questions now for our Baseball Prospectus chat next week, where we hope to discuss the upcoming supplemental draft and much more.
The MLB draft begins tonight, but the Outcomes are focused on current pros with a good chance to reach the majors.
Drafting a player taken in the recent amateur draft yields a special sort of rush. All promise and potential, your pick could theoretically turn out to be the next Mike Trout and lead your Scoresheet team to championship after championship. Of course, that almost definitely isn’t going to happen. And while dreams of championships to come may be dandy, there’s a pennant race this season to consider. So below are some players who might be available in your league to consider taking instead of a second or third draftee.
Players who can count on getting a Choomongous at Globe Life Park in Arlington:
The TTO gang chats with a Scoresheet veteran about his strategies.
The Scoresheet community is filled with incredibly insightful, intelligent, and passionate people who are more than happy to offer advice—so long as you aren’t in their league. We strongly recommend picking the brains of people who know what they are doing and trying to ignore the guidance of those who do not. (We will leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine which of those we are.) Any opportunity to improve or refine your strategy, even if subtly, should be explored.
This week, we were pleased to have the chance to speak with Scoresheet veteran John R. Mayne about all things team related. John has been playing Scoresheet for more than a decade, and is one of the literally wisest counsels in the Scoresheet community. He can be found in AL NorCal, where he is the commissioner, competitor, and oft-champion, as well as in the annual Mock Draft, a rite of winter that is a tremendous fount of wisdom for early player evaluation. We had a wide-ranging discussion, from where to set a hook to the value of the prospect, to how to build a championship team that can still be competitive in the future. Listen to the full conversation in the podcast, but here’s a trimmed-down version:
Small samples can be deceiving, but it's important to make a realistic evaluation of your Scoresheet team in the early going.
We hate to be the ones to break the bad news to you, but you won’t win your Scoresheet league every year. Once you can bring yourself to accept that, the key is to identify the years you won’t win as early as possible so you can get a head start on preparing for next year’s shot at the title. To comprehensively assess your team’s chances, you have to start by looking at the individual players on your team, and then examine your overall team performance, and finally, see how you compare to the other teams in your league.
While small sample size alerts still abound a month into the season, it is still important to determine if your players are over- or under-performing in order to make your decision on throwing in the towel for the year. If you have Miguel Cabrera, for example, it is probably fairly reasonable to assume your team will add some wins to its pace in the coming months. Conversely, if you have Devin Mesoraco, Charlie Blackmon, and Chris Colabello on your team, you probably shouldn’t expect to continue your undefeated season. You still want to put a lot of stock in your preseason beliefs, presumably based on SS/SIM projections, but you can start giving some weight to current season performance. And don’t forget to factor in players coming back from injury in the near future. Basically, you want to assess how accurate you think your win total represents your team’s talent.
The Scoresheet podcast transitions to its in-season format, with start-sit advice accompanying general strategy.
As you may have noticed, the regular season has started, so we are going to shift the format of our articles a little bit. Our plan is for these columns to have two parts each week. We’ll start with thoughts on something related to general Scoresheet strategy and end with picks for players we recommend sitting and starting for the next week of Scoresheet games. However, we’re still trying to be flexible and figure out what works, so if next week’s article looks completely different, then the prior few sentences never existed and you can’t prove otherwise.
Benedict Arnold Was a Trader
In the early going, the forefront of your thought process on roster moves should center around trusting the preseason projections and your general feeling on guys coming into the season. Performance so far isn’t enough to justify altering expectations in a way that would change how you treat a player. You are probably already tired of warnings not to read too much into early season small sample sizes, but you shouldn’t ignore them. As shown by the work of DerekCarty and RussellCarleton on these virtual pages, even the statistics that stabilize the most quickly will still need time before we know if the variation from expectations is noise or not.
The Scoresheet gang helps you fill out your lineup card for Opening Day.
While participants in other types of fantasy baseball may cool their heels after the pre-season draft, Scoresheet players have one final task at hand before Opening Day: filling out the lineup card. Some find the lineup card a chore, but spending a few extra minutes on it is a must to wring every last win out of a Scoresheet team. The general key to filling out a lineup card is to think like a manager from the 1980s. A smart manager somewhat ahead of his or her time, sure. But trying to force the latest in sabermetric thinking onto the card will often just result in leaving wins on the table. Keep that in mind as we go through the main features of the lineup card.
Perhaps the most important advice we can give is to platoon everywhere. With some foresight in the draft, these platoons may be obvious. But check every single player’s splits, because surprisingly often, it will make sense to bench a star or semi-star half the time. Our lineups vs. RHP generally look completely different than our lineups vs. LHP.