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 rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
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.
The Outcomes return with a Scoresheet-oriented look at the catcher position.
Welcome back to Scoresheet season! Scoresheet baseball, for the uninitiated, is a fantasy league that acts as a hybrid between traditional roto leagues and sim games such as Strat or Diamond Mind. If that's of interest to you, we definitely recommend jumping in feet-first. We'll be sticking around all season to help.
In most leagues, setting a keeper list is the key decision point of your offseason. Scoresheet rosters tend to be larger than traditional roto rosters, so many teams have set their starting lineup and pitching rotation once their keepers are locked in. Also, as Scoresheet more closely mirrors real life, many traditional keeper rankings won't be adequate. Our rankings reflect the rules of a traditional public league: 10 teams, 13 keepers, of which two may be crossovers from another league. That leaves the keeper line pegged at about the 115th-best player in each league. Naturally, if your league varies in composition, please feel free to adjust accordingly. And, of course, if you disagree with any particular player ranking, you should certainly go with your instinct. The game is more fun that way.
The Outcomes go out on a high note with a guest appearance from Scoresheet co-founder Jeff Barton.
This week in the podcast:
This week is our last podcast for the 2014 season, and we go out with a bang. We’ve got the co-owner and co-founder of Scoresheet, Jeff Barton, along for an interview. We cover all topics Scoresheet, including Jeff’s personal history, his preferences, his advice on strategy, his thoughts on the mistakes beginners and seasoned veterans make, and what makes Scoresheet so much fun. We wanted to thank Jeff for coming on the podcast and helping us close out our first season on a high note.
We do plan to return when off season action heats up, probably around the end of the calendar year. We’ll try to cover the mock draft as it happens and also start 2015 with the same kind of positional previews and predictions as we did in 2014.
From lessons learned to postseason predictions, this one's got it all.
This week in the podcast:
This week, Jared and Ian have returned from their road trip. As all of our Scoresheet decisions are done for the year, we talk about lessons learned, we look back on the year in the podcast, and we reflect a little bit too much. After Scoresheet business is out of the way, we wander through discussions about real baseball for a bit, including the playoff races in the American League. Some of us venture to guess who will make and win in the playoffs, and we all concede that this year’s team of destiny must be the Baltimore Orioles. We run a little long-winded, as we also got the chance to discuss the many adventures of Jared and Ian on their road trip and take a diversion through some other current events. This one’s got it all, and then some—Scoresheet, MLB, personality, and jokes on which we are trying too hard. Soak it up; this is our penultimate episode this season.
With two of the Outcomes off this week, Ben chats with Bret Sayre about his first season playing Scoresheet.
This week in the podcast:
Jared and Ian are off on their adventure through the southeast, so Ben is exposed as the weakest link. Fortunately, Bret Sayre stops by to bail us out and talk through his first Scoresheet season so far, his biggest draft regrets, thoughts on his team composition, and the stretch run as he pushes to make the playoffs. We go into detail on his rotation, bullpen, and lineup to give an example of the way you might approach the playoffs, if, you know, your team is actually that good. Take the good with the bad this week and know that next week, we should return to form.
The Outcomes get ready for Scoresheet playoff season and answer reader/listener questions.
This week in the podcast:
The Outcomes get ready for Scoresheet playoff season. They take reader questions, decide whether to dump a contender, and then discuss budding superstar Tsuyoshi Wada. Then, the Outcomes describe what they look for in a playoff contender—strangely, no one ever suggests "a good team"—and compare building a playoff roster to setting weekly lineups. Finally, they take you through the best things they saw this week, featuring cyborg houseware, the vengeance of Erik Kratz, and the true feeling of anger and resignation that comes only after being forced to listen to Sean Casey and Billy Ripken for three hours. Playoff fever! It's probably not contagious!
The Outcomes recommend pickups for the stretch run, discuss the upcoming supplemental draft, and tour the nation's capital.
Shane Greene (61% available):
Greene has been solid through a handful of starts for the Yankees and seems to be getting regular chances the rest of the way. Allowing an ERA under 3.00, he’s probably due for some regression, but even if his run prevention catches up to his peripherals, he’ll still be a helpful guy to have around for the rest of the year.
The Outcomes suggest some players to trade for and trade away in advance of the Scoresheet deadline.
With the MLB trade deadline behind us and the Scoresheet trade deadline fast approaching, now’s a good time to talk trades. Well, any time is a good time good to talk trades, but that’s particularly the case now. Below we list some trade targets and players to move, along with our reasoning. Keep in mind the quirks of the Scoresheet playoffs: you are looking for players who will get playing time in September, but performance to date is banked value.