In Scoresheet, it’s often best to keep abreast of what your competition is doing—and not just in your own league. The Scoresheet universe is filled with thousands of players, each bringing their own knowledge to the game. We’ve built a way to (unofficially) harness that knowledge in order to more accurately determine player availability in existing leagues. Using this tool, we can tell you that Doug Fister is the player on more Scoresheet teams than anyone else, which is fun trivia. By having it active over time, we’ve developed a better understanding of owner strategy.
The lists below are one breakdown of that understanding. We’ve used our tool to find out which players were added in the most leagues. Doing so gets you names such as Eduardo Escobar and Brandon League, who were the players picked up in the most AL and NL leagues, respectively. Since they are now owned in the majority of leagues, however, this may not be immediately actionable info. However, once you limit the list to players still available in more than half of the leagues, we can better see which players are currently “trending,” and who may still be available in your format. You can use this column to learn the wisdom of the crowds, or to trade away these players and bet against the masses.
Five Hottest Pickups in NL-Only Leagues
1. Tyler Colvin (Owned in 44 percent of NL leagues, +41 percent):
Blake Treinen edges just over the arbitrary line with 51 percent ownership in NL leagues, leaving Colvin as the hottest player trending who is still available in the majority of leagues. While the hot start is nice, Colvin’s spot in the lineup should evaporate when Brandon Belt returns, and his defense is no spot on Gregor Blanco, leaving him vulnerable. He may be useful as a pinch-hitter against righties for a playoff team, but it’s hard to see him pushing you there.
2. Anthony DeSclafani (28% owned, +25%):
Like a number of players listed in this column, DeSclafani gets a bounce by reaching the majors for the first time, even if he was sent back down immediately. In the interim, however, the Marlins signed Randy Wolf to take his rotation spot. With Andrew Heaney on the way and several other starting candidates in the upper minors, it’s relatively easy to see the Marlins returning DeSclafani to the bullpen role he had throughout most of his college career.
3. Chase Anderson (24% owned, +23%):
Anderson has a similar (but inferior) profile to DeSclafani, but a clearer hold on a rotation slot, which makes him the more appealing option. He’s likely also a reliever in the long term, but his ability to paper over a short term need for your club with average talent makes him a tempting option for 2014.
4. Rene Rivera (27% owned, +23%):
Well, you can’t just forfeit the position. Prescient owners got lucky that Nick Hundley was traded mid-draft, solidifying Rivera’s hold on a position (see the AL notes for more). It’s tough to rely on someone without major league ability to hold a major league job, but you’re not looking for much from one of the few sources of catcher innings still on the board. He’ll never hit, but there is a smidgeon of a chance that the marginal power spike is for real.
5. Brian Schlitter (23% owned, +22%):
Schlitter seems like a fungible reliever to us, with an unusually low strikeout rate and options remaining. We would probably choose to go in a different direction were I looking for a reliever here, with fellow trendees Brad Boxberger and Juan Gutierrez each seeming more appealing.
- Donn Roach (21% owned, +20%)
- Eric Campbell (20% owned, +19%)
- Reed Johnson (22% owned, +18%)
- Ben Lively (36% owned, +18%)
- Ryan Kalish (26% owned, +16%)
- Tony Sipp (17% owned, +16%)
- J.P. Crawford (59% owned, +13%)
- Odrisamer Despaigne (8% owned, +8%)
- Ryan McMahon (33% owned, +6%)
- Kyle Hendricks (19% owned, +6%)
- Ken Giles ( 9% owned, +6%)
- Raimel Tapia (42% owned, +6%)
- Stephen Piscotty (69% owned, +6%)
- Jesse Winker (25% owned, +4%)
- Marco Gonzales (34% owned, +4%)
Five Hottest Pickups in AL-Only Leagues
1. James Jones (40% owned, +39%):
This shouldn’t be a shock if you’ve been following the Mariners. Jones was picked up in more leagues than any other player who had not been owned in a mixed league a month ago. After popular April pickup Abraham Almonte fizzled, Jones has stepped into fill the void. He has more of a prospect pedigree and a broader base of skills than Almonte, but he too is playing over his head right now. He’ll be more of a slap hitter in the long run, but he should accrue enough at bats to be a pinch hitter. Unfortunately, in Scoresheet, too many starts in June will diminish his value in September.
2. Scott Atchison (41% owned, +34%):
Atchison’s arm is so wrecked that he likely dips his arm in a jar of gorilla glue rather than a whirlpool after a game, but he’s continuing his late career surge with another fine year. The 20 banked innings are nice for playoff teams, nicer still is that he should be solid the rest of the way. The caveat for Atchison is always health; there’s a chance he’ll shut things down in September if he’s still on a Cleveland team that’s out of contention.
3. Steve Clevenger (41% owned, +31%):
Boy, did we ever reap the whirlwind on this one. Vulpine owners ready to pounce on the Orioles’ misfortune got the shaft when the Birds threw a shiny trinket to the Padres for the ill-fitting Nick Hundley. A week after being one of the hottest pickups, Clevenger is already off the team. In the long run, he’s probably still a better hitter than Hundley; but doubts are growing that he’ll ever field well enough to stick at the position.
4. Andre Rienzo (36% owned, +30%):
A fine pickup who really should be owned in more leagues by now, Rienzo replaced the self-immolating Felipe Paulino in a rotation, and doesn’t appear to be quick to give back the spot. He’s a back-end starter, for sure, and an unlikely keeper even for a White Sox-based root league team, but he’ll likely give you the innings in 2014 that will give you the assurance to do more creative things with the rest of your pitching staff.
5. Jake Petricka (31% owned, +29%):
Likely a better bet in saves-oriented deep leagues than Scoresheet, Petricka is a hard thrower who tries to get hitters to roll over on his sinker, and misses the zone when hitters don’t bite. This seems like a likely result of an Innings-plus-ERA sort, but the types who hang around these parts won’t go for a pitcher with a 13 percent walk rate and expect season long success.
- Burke Badenhop (47% owned, +22%)
- Ian Krol (47% owned, +18%)
- Joba Chamberlain (41% owned, +17%)
- Matt Shoemaker (17% owned, +15%)
- Danny Santana (16% owned, +14%)
- Mookie Betts (81% owned, +25%)
- Cam Bedrosian (13% owned, +12%)
- Hunter Harvey (75% owned, +11%)
- Joey Gallo (83% owned, +10%)
- Daniel Norris (25% owned, +7%)
- Nick Williams (23% owned, +6%)
- Micah Johnson (15% owned, +6%)
- Chris Taylor (8% owned, +6%)
- Blake Swihart (55% owned, +5%)
- Domingo Santana (16% owned, +5%)
In the podcast: This week, the Outcomes have a listener mail hour, giving your questions the respect and understanding that they undoubtedly deserve. Join the Outcomes as they decide whether to go for it, analyze a team, and most important, try to beat Josh Reddick at his own walk-up music game. Then, the Outcomes dive into the second supplemental draft to review what worked, what didn’t, and who you should have taken. Like a smooth sax solo, the Outcomes are easy listening.