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In prepping for 2010 fantasy baseball draft day, I read that one wants/needs reliability at the top of the draft. Got me to thinking about which players and teams have the best records for durability. I selected any player that had 150 GP for any one season from 2006 through 2009, four years. There were 10 players who achieved ironman gold (at least 150 GP for all four years), 31 garnered silver (three years), 43 got bronze (two years), and 19 new players hit the magic number their first full year in 2009.

GOLD:

Fantasy Baseball Durability

Not one 2B or 3B held together for four years.

Adrian Gonzalez, Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez: “Thanks for the validation.”

Jeff Francoeur“Reminder to self.  Make sure it is productive time.”

Bobby Abreu and Derek Jeter“You know I was thinking he was getting old, but will the fall be that far? Maybe he slides far enough in the draft to be a value pick?”

SILVER:

Fantasy Baseball Games Played

8 1B and 8 SS made the top two groups.

11 OF. ONLY 11? Aren’t there a lot more of those guys? Is it their heads banging against the walls?

Finally, thought it might be interesting to take a peak at the team track records (count of 150 GP seasons over the four years, per team):

Fantasy Baseball Durability

When I look at the list, I kind of think about prospects. “What is the likelihood of Jake Fox getting 150 GP  in Oakland?”

Inadvertently ran into an interesting twist. When I first ran this, it was against a database that assigned the current team to all previous years for a player, regardless of where he actually played. This artificially gave NYY a total of 22, with credit for games played on another team. The spin I put on this is, “The Yankees are buying players and building their team with the thought in mind that durability is important. They are buying players that have a track record of staying on the field.”

Maybe I should too…

  1. Tony says:
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    great post, very helpful, love the francouer/norm mcdonald NOTE TO SELF blurb, haha….

    I especially like this post because I think its my anthem. CHOOSE PLAYERS WHO ARE MOST LIKELY TO BE ON THE FIELD AT ALL TIMES. I avoid risky/older/prior injury type players like the plague. I know you have to gamble some, but not early, and not often. Maybe one semi-risky gamble in the first 8 rounds, after that its open game, but you gotta build a solid core.

  2. sean says:
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    @SFred: Interesting piece. Durability is huge in one of the leagues that I play in (AL only with replacement only for injuries/demotions). I will definitely be using this or something similar to add/subtract value to my targets.

    I think this also shows us how fickle the SB category can be. Of the guys who made the list, almost none are players with speed greater than their power. Ichiro is a notable exception, but he’s been incredibly reliable. Sounds like a good argument to pick up young speedsters off of the waiver wire rather than pay for steals (Ahem, Jose Reyes, I’m looking at you).

  3. Tony says:
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    @sean: REYES was in my thoughts as well haha…. wont be on my roster in 2010, maybe 2011, MAYBE….

  4. Quintero says:
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    Like the team-track-records a lot, much apperciated…maybe I should trade away Jake Fox…or the A’s just didn’t have a player worth to start every game in the past three years?

  5. Scott says:
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    Fucking Yankees. Gallardo or Wandy as a keeper in my NL league?

  6. sean says:
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    @Quintero: Since Chavez has been useless, the A’s have been filling the spot with utility men and minor leaguers.

    2009 A’s 3B: Adam Kennedy (82 games), Chavez (8), Bobby Crosby (42), Nomar (6), and Jack Hannahan (51)

  7. sean says:
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    RED ALERT: Yankees get Vazquez for Melky.

  8. sean says:
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    Brandon Morrow to the Jays

  9. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Scott: Gallardo will have more value, but I think Wandy will be better.

    @sean: Wow… Right now on a plane headed to NY. Wonder if Javy’s here.

  10. Tony says:
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    The yankees getting Vazquez is just one more reason baseball needs a fucking cap. I’M DISGUSTED.

    I read an article that said “AND THE YANKEES GET THE SP PIECE THEY NEEDED”

    Oh they needed another SP piece? REALLY? I thought CC, BURNETT, PETITTE, HUGHES, and on and on and on were all pretty good SOLID SP’s?

    They did just win the world series didn’t they?

    WHAT A JOKE….

  11. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Tony: @sean: You guys were much more articulate at summing things up. Just how I interpreted the results.

    @Quintero: RE: Oakland. Yes, there were actually a few more players that started the season but were traded away. If the player had 150 GP for the season, credit went to the team that had him for the most games that season.

    Look for Grey’s position postings starting in January to get an updated and meaningful expectation for Fox.

  12. eltoo says:
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    ugh, was planning on keeping morrow. prob not anymore, i don’t like that at all

  13. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Tony: @sean: Actually, I just put the numbers up. Thanks for bringing meaning to them!

  14. brett says:
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    Nice work, Fred. Thanks.
    Interesting note on the Jake Fox comments: I checked to see how often his predecessor Jack Cust has been playing. 148 and 149 games in the past two years. I think Jake will get his chances, especially with no other obvious DH types in Oakland. Just wish it wasn’t a power-sapping ballpark.

  15. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @brett: Better work on the Jake Fox comments! 150 was clearly an arbitrary line. Way to go beyond the surface level. If iron man appears to be the balancing factor, good for me to check the track records of those that may have ‘just missed.’

    Thanks!

  16. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @brett: re: power-sapping: maybe we can get Grey to weigh in on the strength of Fox’s power. Some guys have enough to do well there. (Grey said he hopes to touch down about 5:00 P.M. EST.)

  17. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    Stephen, are you out there? Do you have an analysis of Fox’s power?

  18. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    Does anybody else think that Melky to ATL delays arrival of Heyward?

  19. SamYo says:
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    Ben Sheets would’ve been better for the Yankees or Duscherer.

  20. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @SamYo: Am anxious to see where Duchscherer lands myself.

  21. Charlie says:
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    Can we safely assume this means Joba to the pen and Hughes to the 5th spot?

    Woah, deja vu…

  22. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Simply Fred: Went over Fox when he was traded.

    Think the trade of Melky does hurt Heyward.

    @Tony: Ha, nice rant. Is kinda crazy how stacked some teams are.

  23. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Charlie: Probably reverse of that. Hughes to pen.

  24. Stephen says:
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    @Simply Fred: Fan Graphs has Jake Fox’s projections up. Additionally, here is another review of the Fox trade back in early December. Additionally, Baseball-Reference notes that McAfee Coliseum actually is a pretty neutral ball park.

    With all that said, well what other have said, if Fox gets full PT (550 PA), he could slash 65/22/80/.260. If he receives 450 PA, expect a slight reduction in those numbers. He is a career .293/.357/.528 hitter in the minors and slashed .318/.384/.650 in three seasons at Triple-A. His power is legit, its just about the PT. Bill James projection on him is extremely optimistic, but he only expects 234 AB.

    I know that isn’t the most coherent analysis. I sent most of you to other writers and articles. Just keep expectations in check, but he could provide what Jack Cust did for the A’s in 2007. However, Eric Chavez and Dallas McPherson will take AB away. Hopefully this is all helpful.

    @SamYo: Vazquez is much more durable. Plus, Pettite is old, Burnett is on and off, and CC was the only dominate and reliable starter. The Yanks needed an established starter. Lastly, though not applicable to you SamYo, but to TONY, just because they won the last world series doesn’t mean their team is perfect. Plus, Vazquez’ salary is “only” $11.5 million. Here is Dave Cameron’s, from FanGraphs, review on the trade. It looks like this Vizcaino is a flamethrower and a stud in the making.

  25. Stephen says:
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    @Grey: Even with Garrett Anderson being the competition?

  26. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Stephen: Any squeezing of playing time hurts.

  27. Stephen says:
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    @Grey: PS, I am actually excited to talk about the Morrow trade for League and Chavez. Guess that will wait until tomorrow.

  28. DrEasy says:
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    @Stephen: Yes, I wonder what this will do to Morrow’s fantasy value. I’m pretty sure Downs will be traded, and maybe Frasor as well, so Morrow could end up being the Jays’ closer, if he isn’t used as a starting pitcher that is.

  29. brett says:
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    I don’t get that trade for the Ms, but i’m loving the jobs both of those GMs have done this offseason. It’s nice to have someone seemingly competent running the Jays.

  30. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Stephen: Thank you! With:

    james 33/13/42/.284
    fangraphs60/19/63/.265
    stephen 65/22/80/.260
    grey 75/24/85/.250

    (james pre-trade, only 78 estimated GP)

    Those last 3 lines have some temptation in them if someone needs cheap power at, say MI, given where he might fall in a draft (currently I’m seeing about #180).

  31. tony says:
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    @Stephen: I agree. Just because they’ve spent the most (the yankees) doesnt mean they’ll win, but if the yankees, boston, mets, phillies, etc dont win then i’d be shocked…. its sickening….

    I just look at vazqueff (after 14 Bw3′s beers) and say hey, in the NL he was solid, but in the AL? and better the AL EAST? the guy is a 4.00+ era pitcher, in the past how many yrs, he’s not posted a sub 3 ERA ever! so good luck yankees…. i just get fed up wtih them getting every player money can buy, it gets old….

    i’m a tribe fan and i watch the yankees spend more on two players than the indians spend in 3 seasons…. maybe i am biased, but its sickening, a team wins the world series what 27 times? they buy their team year after year? then they get a premier OF’er in granderson, already tehy have CC, Burnett, and others and they go out and get one of the best K/9 guys in basbeall?

    i’m so glad i drink alot.

    When the rays were pushing i was probabbly the happiest person in baseball. I can only pray the small teams start rising up again. I get so sick of seeing the bostons, ynkees, angels, etc just buying teams….

    total bullshit.

    TONY

  32. big o says:
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    @Simply Fred:
    http://www.couchmanagers.com/mock_drafts/?draftnum=2992
    i can provide you links to others who will do projections of this draft ,
    if you are interested .
    i have no idea how they will base their projections .
    i do know that this draft will be evaluated on 5×5 vanilla roto … using the standard 2 catcher format .
    my suspicion is that while bill james’ numbers will be considered ,
    they will , by no means , be the sole criteria .

    p.s. yes , i know my pitching is weak , as i tried to concentrate on having few “dead spots” , offensively .
    also , some of my “saves” may not be immediately forth-coming .
    i did , however , draft wilson , somewhat , with the hope that he might be given a starter’s gig .

  33. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @big o: Sorry, I am not seeing the “projections of this draft”. It looks like a regular CouchManagers draft, AL only. Is there some button I’m missing that shows “projections” for the mocks. Certainly, I am interested since I spent a considerable amount of time applying James. If someone is doing it already, I’d be happy to refer to that analysis instead.

    Your comment: “…using the standard 2 catcher format” indicates to me that you are used to exclusively playing in leagues with that config. My first exposure was to Razzball RCL leagues that use the one catcher “standard format”. I have no idea what the actual user league breakdown would be. Regardless, whatever the league format, it should be projected on how it is drafted.

    Still hoping to be able to set up a standard RCL format mock with Grey’s position projections as the basis. Would you be interested in managing that on CouchManagers?

  34. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @big o: BTW: I had Brandon Wood in an active roster spot in our Razz mock and got zero projections for that position since James had not provided any for him. :-)

    It was an early mock, fun, and a huge learning experience for me. Thanks for running it!

  35. tony says:
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    @simply fred…. hey great article today, you have way too much time on your hands haha… dont we all?

    Were you in an RCL league last yr?

    when is spring again? LOL

    can’t wait…..

  36. big o says:
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    @Simply Fred:
    i posted this link to my AL only mock because ,
    earlier , you expressed interest in it .
    as the mock ended only a few hours ago ,
    no one , as of yet , has posted it’s result ,
    nor given their projections .

    i understand your disappointment vis-a-vis james’ projections for certain players (e.g. brandon wood).
    trust me , you are not alone .

    i think the old saying …. “there’s more than one way to skin a cat”
    is apropos , here .
    perhaps your analytical mind can develop a better mouse-trap .

  37. big o says:
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    @Simply Fred:
    p.s
    setting up and running a mock draft at
    http://www.couchmanagers.com
    is a fairly simple thing to do .

    i would be more than happy to participate in a mock ,
    the parameters of which coincide with RCL leagues .

    i just don’t wish to organize it , nor have anything to do with
    enforcing rules that might lead to drafters forfeiting their “live” picks ,
    because they have continually over-stepped their time limits , previously .

    this is a no-win situation , for me , because ,
    a) i have to personally suffer the 8 hour wait , because someone “forgot” again ,
    b) people complain , (which i take personally) , because of their own (or others) actions/non-actions , and ,
    c) no C

    i will , however , make my picks in a timely manner , should you , or anyone else , care to take on the organizing of a mock .

    my next mock will be cavey’s 23 rounder …. sorta fast time limit … scheduled for dec. 29th .
    hope to see you there .

  38. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @big o: Understand you not wanting to run another mock right away. We will find someone else to take that on.

    I do feel bad for you that you took any of that personally. For my part, I saw that you were on the clock continually, and I was thankful for you being there for us.

    Let go of that stinkin’ thinkin’. Know this–you are one of the truly Good Guys!

    Plan on seeing you at Cavey’s mock. Notice there’s still one spot open. To sign up: http://www.couchmanagers.com/mock_drafts/?draftnum=2657

  39. big o says:
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    @Simply Fred:
    yep .
    the one spot left in cavey’s mock gets the 1st pick .

  40. BigFatHippo says:
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    @big o:
    i.e.
    he gets the pujol?

    i’m still around guys
    just don’t have
    free time

  41. big o says:
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    @BigFatHippo:
    that would be the sane pick ,
    i suppose .

    anyone here pretending to be sane ?

  42. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @big o: Aren’t we all doing this? I mean he falls short in that he doesn’t add Bill James’ projections to Grey’s (weighting Grey’s by 3) then taking the square root. :-)

    But, hey, he’s making an effort.

    OR, I am going to try something I understand this year and see where it leads me. Maybe next year I’ll take him on.

    Thanks for the titillation! And, keep the links coming. The CouchManagers has been a treat.

  43. big o says:
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    and ,
    oh yeah ,
    in regards to your article ,
    (and conclusion) :

    Pipp Pipp Hoo-Ray !!

  44. Quintero says:
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    @Simply Fred: @Stephen: @Grey: @brett: @sean: Thanks everyone for the Jake Fox projections/feedbacks..I’ll restrain myself not to mention him again this off-season…

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