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We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2014 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2014 Reds Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Wick Terrell from Red Reporter.

1) A lot of fantasy owners are excited to see what Billy Hamilton can do with his phenomenal speed in 2014. Just how many bases do you think he can swipe this year and what are some facets to his game that the casual fan outside of Reds country might not be aware of?

Hamilton has reached base 780 times in his minor league career by either getting a hit or drawing a walk, and during that time, he’s stolen 395 bases. That means that he’s accumulated a stolen base for every other time he’s reached base of his own volition, which is a pretty dang remarkable ratio. In his record-breaking 2012, he had 159 hits, 86 walks, and attempted to steal a base 192 times. That seems insane, but I don’t expect him to temper his attempts too much given that it’s his best trait (and a potentially historic one, at that) and the Reds seem to be willing to let him exploit it. Billy’s got a career walk rate around 10% over his 2200+ minor league PAs, and if he comes admirably close to that rate in 2014, stays healthy, and hits at a clip decent enough to stay in the lineup everyday, he could steal 90 bases and not surprise me.

Hamilton has made the much-scrutinized switch from SS to CF, and while he’s still working on perfecting his outfield craft, I think he’ll end up a plus defender. He was a wide receiver in high school in Mississippi – one good enough to earn a football scholarship offer from Mississippi State – so he’s got plenty of experience running in space and tracking ball flight. He’s also still in the infant stages of switch hitting, as he hit exclusively RH up until his third year in the Reds organization (2011), so there’s been a tiny asterisk next to his LH hitting stats for those of us who’ve followed him throughout.

2) Joey Votto has been taking some heat for taking some walks in 2013. Can his power numbers and RBI totals bounce back in 2014, or will his patient approach at the plate actually hurt his value in standard 5×5 fantasy leagues?

As much as it pains me to say it, I think 2010 might actually end up being the outlier season from Votto in the power department. In that year, his HR/FB% spiked to 25.0%, and he’s never had it higher than 18.5% in any other season. So, if you’re drafting him hoping for 35-40 HR, he’s probably going to disappoint you a bit. That said, he was on pace in 2012 to break the MLB record for doubles before injuring his knee, and while he’s more of a line-drive hitter than a majestic HR hitter, that hit tool should keep him near the top of the league in hits, doubles, and batting average (per usual).

As for RBI…well, who really knows? He’s had three seasons in which he had at least 600 PA, and in those three seasons he’s driven in a total of 289 runs. That’s an average of 96 RBI per full season, which would have ranked 8th in the National League last season. He’s been a career .340/.477/.590 (1.067 OPS) hitter with RISP (which is better than his career OPS of .917 with the bases empty), so he’s proven he can mash when pitchers actually choose to throw him something hittable. His walk rate during PAs with RISP reached 26.4% in 2013 – well above his career walk rate of 14.9% – and while his patient approach certainly contributes to that, so too does the collective unwillingness of pitchers to give him anything to hit. That will impact his RBI totals, but not nearly as much as how much Billy Hamilton (and whomever hits 2nd in 2014) gets on base.

I truly hope Votto ignores his critics (as he should, because they’re ridiculous) and continues to do what he does well. Draft Votto because he’ll hit .325 with 180+ hits, 60+ XBH, and 25 HR. Don’t draft him expecting 40 HR and 120 RBI. Draft the hell out of him if OBP is a category in your league.

3) After a sophomore slump, Razzball has tagged Todd Frazier as a sleeper once again. What are some reasons fantasy players should draft Frazier as their starting third baseman in 2014?

Frazier’s going to be counted upon heavily in the 2014 Reds’ campaign, that’s a certainty. With both Ryan Ludwick and Brandon Phillips coming off injury plagued and disappointing seasons, Frazier’s going to be asked to carry a lot of the load for the RH production in the lineup; fortunately, Frazier has historically hit LHP a bit better than RHP (both in the majors and minors), and I’d expect that to continue, at least.

Frazier hit absurdly poor in road games last season (.210/.296/.353), which shouldn’t happen again. Also, he went through a ridiculous 0 for 31 streak in July/August, and that’s not the kind of stretch I’d expect to see from anyone, really, much less a guy with Frazier’s skill set.

As for his overall production? Well, he’s not going to be nearly as good as he was in 2012, but I firmly expect him to be better than he was in 2013. Frazier’s two seasons have been a tale of two BABIPs, so to speak, with his .316 mark in 2012 carrying his production levels and his .269 mark in 2012 sinking things a bit. If that stabilizes around .290 – which I think is about right given his batted ball profile – he has all the makings of a guy who should hit .260/.330/.460, or so, with the potential for 20+ homers and – thanks to likely batting behind Joey Votto and Jay Bruce – the chance to drive in a pile of runs. His defense is good enough to keep him in the lineup day in, day out, so PAs shouldn’t be an issue, either.

4) Devin Mesoraco should get the lion’s share of playing time behind the plate this year. What kind of offensive production should we expect from the young backstop and what are his strengths as a catcher?

Good question. That may be the $64,000 dollar question for the Reds this year, to be honest. The Reds have pinned their catching hopes completely on Mesoraco, as they’ve now traded away both Yasmani Grandal and Ryan Hanigan in recent offseasons in order to ensure that the pride of Punxsutawney, PA can get more frequent opportunities, and they’re going to need him to emerge offensively the way so many prospect evaluators expected him to.

His BABIPs over his first three seasons (.184, .234, and .264, respectively) suggest he’s been criminally unlucky at the plate so far, and considering his batted ball profile shows he’s hitting fewer fly balls and more line drives, it’s reasonable to expect to see his production take off relative to what he’s shown thus far. He takes walks at a decent rate, the pitches he squares up put his 20+ HR power potential on display, and despite still posting sub-par stats, he has improved across the board in most every metric measuring his contributions. I don’t expect him to turn into Johnny Bench overnight, but 110 starts with a normalized BABIP could very well see him produce something akin to a .260/.330/.430 season. Perhaps better, even.

Defensively, Mesoraco has graded out pretty well, according to FanGraphs, and he’s improved each year he’s played. He’s got a solid throwing arm, but he’s had some accuracy and release issues that have kept his ability to control the running game somewhat muted. I expect that to get better both with age and playing time, and the Reds should be able to boast him as, at worst, a league average defensive catcher in 2014.

5) A “Skyline 3-Way” sounds like the title of a bad Penthouse letter, but it’s actually Cincinnati-style chili and cheese over spaghetti and the combination of the three ingredients is delicious. Which three players are the most important ingredients to Reds success in 2014?

From a WAR perspective, the three most indispensable players for the Reds will probably be Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, and Mat Latos, but they’re the kind of players whose production is so dependable that you can build teams around them. So, by that definition, they’re the three most important players every year. They form the pasta and chili of the 3-Way, so to speak, and without that, it doesn’t matter what kind of cheese and onions you come up with, things just aren’t going to come out right.

Those cheese and onions? Well, to me, that’s on the shoulders of Johnny Cueto, Ryan Ludwick, and Devin Mesoraco. The Reds are counting on 900 PA and 180+ innings from those three, each of whom were part-time players last year (Ludwick and Cueto due to injury, and Mesoraco due to the presence of Ryan Hanigan). That’s a pretty large bet on players who have had issues being dependable in the past, but each of them has the top-end potential to be an All Star level performer. Votto, Bruce, and Latos are ‘important’ for the Reds success for the next decade, but for 2014, I’d pin the hopes of the team on whether Cueto, Ludwick, and Mesoraco can carry their end of the bargain.

From Around The Web

  1. Alex says:
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    God damnit, what round do we draft Hamilton? With speed so down it feels like, he needs to be top 50, no?

    • Alex says:
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      @Alex: Dude went 44th overall in my new dynasty

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Alex: looks like he went 84th overall in LABR Mixed, just after Alex Gordon and before Desmond Jennings. take a look around at some of the mocks and use your own best judgement to value him. Grey’s projection in the top 400 has him stealing almost 70 bags in just 350 AB, and that puts around $16, or around pick 60 if you use Rudy’s estimated value per pick.

      You should read the second part of this post as well…
      http://razzball.com/best-fantasy-baseball-team-2014/

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Alex: he’s ranked 79th overall in the top 400 here, so if you use LABR and these rankings as a guide, I can’t really see taking him in the Top 50. I’m probably not even going to feel comfortable until Round 8, and that might still be shaky for me with speed still available later in the draft.

  2. Peets says:
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    About Phillips, he was the 11th RBI of all players and 2nd of 2Bs last year.
    Just curious how come it’s called a disappointed season for him?
    Also am confused, his rank of 2014 is not very optimism…why? Thanks.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Peets: Thanks Peets…I’ll defer to Wick on the disappointing label and Grey on the rankings, but IMO I would guess that it’s somewhat tied to his OPS, which was the worst it’s ever been for him in Cincy.

      His batting average also dropped and his speed is declining, although he was obviously in a spot in the lineup to drive in runs more than steal bases last year.

      • Peets says:
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        @Mike: Got it …he didn’t perform as expectation… Thanks.

    • Jeff in Southern Indiana says:
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      @Peets: Phillips had 2 of the top 5 OBP guys in Votto and Choo on base constantly when he came up hitting 4th. I think I read a league average hitter would have driven in just slightly fewer runs.

      After a decent start he also fell off hard.

  3. costaricanchata says:
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    @ Mike :

    nice job .
    i think that it must be your additional experience
    in dynasty leagues that has made this series a
    definite up-grade over years’ past .
    certainly the questions are , for me , more relevant ,
    and although i always wish that there was room for more questions ,
    (like this week : clubhouse / player attitude with new manager) ,
    you always seem to hit on the major points .
    again ,
    nice job .

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @costaricanchata: really appreciate the kind words Costa…it’s my first go at this series so I wanted to include something for everyone. Learned a lot from reading through Grey and Sky’s previous work. You are right about whittling it down to five…it’s actually pretty tough. Thanks for reading!

  4. Beastman says:
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    Thank for the very well thought-out question and answers. Mike, you think Hosmer could come close to reaching Votto’s plate discipline and power level this year? I can keep Hosmer in an 16 team, $260 OBP league for $25 and haven’t yet decided if that’s too much or just the right amount for him. Would love to see him walk more and hit that 25 hr level, much like Votto.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Beastman: it’s hard to compare him to Votto because Votto is elite in OBP leagues. I don’t see why Hosmer can’t maintain an OBP somewhere in the neighborhood of .340-.360, but I would be a little concerned about him starting to hit into shifts again, which I think played a role in some of his struggles. With the shoulder injury behind him, I don’t see any reason why his power won’t continue to develop with age, but again I think I’d lean closer to 20 homers than 25 for this year. Given that he is one of the few guys at first that can also chip in double digit steals to go along with the 20 homers, you shouldn’t have a problem getting close to $25 in value from him.

  5. Ryan says:
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    First time reader Mike. I like your take on Hamilton as an 8th rounder being one dimensional at this time. I am a 10 team Head to Head keeper league with 10 offensive and 10 pitching categories. We can only keep six – I am sure on Trout, Goldschmidt, Harper, Beltre, Stanton. Should I keep Segura , Scherzer, or J. Fernandez as my 6th pick?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Ryan: thanks for reading…nice team. since you obviously have some really nice bats already, I’d go with either J-Fer or Scherzer. I don’t know how long you can keep players for so while you can’t really go wrong with either, I might lean J-Fer in a keeper.

  6. shibboleth says:
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    Hey Mike, thanks as always for a great read. Would you prefer Votto or Fielder in an OPS league? I feel like Fielder has a better chance for counting stats but also elevated risk. Votto the better ratios but not such a high ceiling for counting stats.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @shibboleth: anytime, thanks for reading…I agree with you. Votto has the elite OBP, but Fielder could be a monster. Until last season, Fielder had an OBP of .400+ for 4 straight seasons, so he’s no slouch there either.

  7. MattH says:
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    Hey Mike,

    I like these previews. Interesting thoughts on Votto.
    How much do you think Spring games could effect Billy Hamiltons excitement? Meaning: could there be even MORE reason for people to want to daft him in the 5th-6th rounds? ESPN has him #114 and yahoo #66. I like where Grey has him.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @MattH: thanks Matt…yeah that is an interesting thought. Spring could send the hype machine careening in either direction. I agree with you about the sweet spot being around where Grey has him, and I like him closer to the back end of the top 100 even though that means I won’t get my hands on him in any leagues. For me the hesitation really stems from the fact that his OBP in Triple A was only .308. My personal Billy Hamilton nightmare would be drafting him really high and then finding out he can’t handle major league pitching and needs more seasoning in the minors. But you’re right, a really good spring might relieve some of that fear

  8. Ryan says:
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    I’m in a 20 team h2h dynasty league. I’m looking to inject some youth into my team. Should I trade Darvish for Sano Taveras and Gausman?

    This is my team. What if I deal fielder instead for this package of prospects? Do you think fielder is declining?

    c evan gattis
    1b miguel cabrera
    2b brandon phillips
    3b evan longoria
    ss jurickson profar
    lf justin upton
    cf desmond jennings
    rf shane victorino
    util prince fielder
    bn michael cuddyer
    bn carl crawford/neil walker/michael morse/jp arencibia

    sp clayton kershaw
    sp yu darvish
    sp cliff lee
    rp jose veras
    rp sean doolittle
    rp dan delarosa
    p zack wheeler
    p dan straily
    p tanner roark
    bn matt belisle
    bn charlie morton
    bn garrett richards
    bn robbie erlin/mart thornton

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Ryan: I don’t think Fielder is declining…he’s just 30 this year.

      As far as the Yu trade for Sano, Taveras, and Gausman I would rather hold on Yu even though that’s a nice package. I feel like you have a really strong team there and I wouldn’t give up Yu or Fielder for prospects at this point.

      • Ryan says:
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        @Mike: Who should I deal instead for maybe 2/3 of those prospects? In don’t think someone like lee would get it done since he is 35.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          @Ryan: yeah, Lee probably wouldn’t get it done. You’re kind of in between guys that won’t net you those prospects and guys who I wouldn’t give up for them. If you’re not a big believer in J Upton I could see building something around him…if it was my team he might be a guy I would explore offers for, but I’d want all three prospects in return

          • Ryan says:
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            @Mike: so dealing Upton over Fielder is a better trade situation for me?

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              @Ryan: Yes, IMO I’d rather hold on to Fielder than Upton, even though Upton is younger

  9. MattH says:
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    Thanks, Mike. I just wanna own a dude who steals 100 bases. ha. But more than likely he won’t be around for me to draft. Either way i hope the guy succeeds. Would be fun to watch.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @MattH: absolutely…me too. I get Reds broadcasts locally here in Ohio and he’s going to keep my butt in a recliner most nights.

  10. The Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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    Mike: These are fun.

    1) A Hami in a speedster like Hamilton’s name is always a concern for me.
    That said, the sky seems to be the limit – don’t it.

    His BB rate is great in the minors – will this translate to the majors this year?? A huge question! That his BA has dropped with his rise from the A levels is a concern – for this year at least. But, He would be productive as just a pinch runner.

    Where does one draft him is the question and does someone else think that is too not high enough. Like LE, who has him at 79 on his DB. That is risky IMO Mid 7th RD??? High rewards – But so are the rewards of safer stud SPs or 2nd or rd3 OF or the rest available then and there… It boils down to what you have done in front of him for speed… I won’t own him … Someone who is a thrall to LE the darkness that is Razzball can have him there. Actually, E. Cabrera @ a 105 LE rating makes him a better speed pick esp. when juxtaposed at who is there then and his position comps IMO.

    Hami for me, not before the 13th round.

    When there is a plan B and C and D out of the OF this year in the puddle or real late picks like – Dyson, Raj and E Young – all whose PT is probably down this year for one reason or another without a period of club OF injuries presenting them added ABs/PT Add Bonifacio to this list – who is now on the loose (making the LE happy again).

    2. Votto LE 13 is being chronically overrated after last years results.. Show me first for the top 20 picks is a must. Note, I tend to undervalue 1Bers as a group. There are too many of them for plug in plug off play – that in combination can give you a better total at the position than one stud – and I fully disagree with LE thinking that you must strike early at 1b – There are many nice choices middle 9th to 14th RDS and late 15th out the door choices in the draft.

    3) Frazier is a great later pick this year – 15th RD or later… He is a sleeper.. I will be shocked to go at LE 124 – I rate Morales at CI much higher than him… And certainly rate Headley higher at 3B.

    4) Devin Mesoraco . Tougher question. He won’t be drafted IMO… But he may do something if he gets the ABs … Low BA is the major concern. He might be a good plug in plug off candidate – if he is getting most of the days at the dish and delivering the goods at the moment in the Queen City.

    5) What’s WAR? Sorry, I don’t follow this stuff… Use to read James in the old days – the 80s. But, his statistical stuff went in one eye, rattled around the emptiness therein and then out the other… I tended to focus on his interesting conclusions. I have never wholly subscribed to it – BB is too dynamic to be fully quantified IMO. The joys of BB stats were first used to sell yellow journalism’s daily rags – now they are used to sell questionable websites like RazzBall.

    This hubris of applied statistical baseball will be shown to be flawed thinking, when the statistical driven over use of the infield shift is smashed by batsman soon in MLB. They will begin using the hitting bunt, the Griffeyesqe softball power swing will go bye bye (during shifts), the open grip (Ala Cobb) may even reappear (a quite effective tool) and new loading techniques will be implemented – determined by defensive circumstance. Directional placement hitting will come back.

    The shift is a cruel joke on the game by computer nerds that will shortly have their comeuppance. I can see a day when MLB managers will be rushing in rage up to the team’s luxury boxes to hurl those contraptions along with their nerd operators out onto the aisles below on national TV to the cheers of the crowd. SMASH THE SHIFT!!!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @The Ghost of the Disappeared: thanks Ghost. Mesoraco might be a guy I try to throw a buck at or take with my last pick to fill my C slot late in drafts this year.

      agreed on Frazier, but if Billy fell to me in rounds 10-12 I might get an itchy trigger finger! I agree with you that there are lots of options much later though. A personal favorite of mine is Revere…

      I like ‘smash the shift’ more than ‘kill the win’…nicely done

    • The Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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      Mike: Sorry about a word or 2 left out here and there… The synapse sites in my brain were damaged by the Bill James loosed statistical ball bearings smashing around my brain in the 80s. … The large amounts of alcohol and rec. drugs that were required when reading his stuff probably didn’t help out me noodle out any either.

      So expect a word lapse here and there when reading me. Just fill in the blanks as you will

      No body is perfect.

      And No, I do not stutter – much… I do have involuntary body twitches and facial tics though

      • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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        @The Ghost of the Disappeared: WAR = wins over replacement player. Stop it, yr scaring the rest of us semi-intelligent drug abusers. We don’t want to end up like this. We like to learn.

    • costaricanchata says:
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      @The Ghost of the Disappeared:

      major league ball clubs would have to re-institute the pepper games ,
      before what i call “bat control” (and what you call “directional placement hitting”)
      will defeat the over-use of the defensive shift .
      i doubt that kids these days even know what a game of pepper is all about .

      maybe mlb should look to draft some cricket players .
      will just have to teach them how to run the bases .

      • The Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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        Costa: Yeah this thing just ate a post on pepper and the shift to ya..

        I’m with ya and played it for hours as a kid… The ball parks stopped it in the 60s ..

        No Pepper signage was all over for years.

        A great drill

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          @The Ghost of the Disappeared: me to my students at school – “let’s play pepper”

          This is usually followed by a long awkward silence and crickets chirping…

    • Jeff in Southern Indiana says:
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      @The Ghost of the Disappeared: It seems to me from mock drafts that quality speed is not as common as Grey et al believe.

      If you aren’t grabbing Hamilton, you better have a plan to go get a handful of quality speed guys that don’t hurt you in all the other categories.

      Maybe it’s better to just the grab 80 SBs from one position. The alternative is to have to load up late on 3-4 low power + RBI OF guys, or spend just as high picks as Hamilton on MI speedsters like E Cab, Altuve, Andrus, etc.

      • The Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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        @Jeff in Southern Indiana:

        Jeff: the problem with speed – it is a one category player too often – as you pointed out. If I can score to average in speed, I’m delighted.. Again, speed guys may be only one cat players and rather neutral or even negative in the other CATs …

        BA and PT are unknowns with Hami now — He is certainly high risk 7th rd pick …

        But, your point is well taken…

        Myself, I’d rather spend my extra picks on closers in shallow league play esp. in ESPN – because, they are usually 5 Cat players… Blow off the few speed points and hope to get a dozen or more extra pitching points.

  11. The Thumb says:
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    Loving the posts Mike. Honestly, I’d rather take Everth Cabrera if I’m going for an all steals guy. Biogenesis aside, I think he’ll hit above .260 easily just looking at his minor league numbers. He’s a proven hitter, he’s going 3-4 rounds later and he has SS eligibility. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

    It’s kind of amazing to think that you could draft the 2 Padres middle infielders and wind up with a 30 homer 60 steal guy at the end of the year.

    • The Thumb says:
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      @The Thumb: Hell, Gyorko even went 12 for 15 on steals one year in the minors

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @The Thumb: thanks Thumb. I agree, and it’s those kinds of combinations when you look at your whole roster that really build winning squads

  12. The Thumb says:
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    Hey Mike, Abreu or Adams for my Corner spot this year? I’ve been leaning Jose but I’m curious as to what your take is.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @The Thumb: I would lean the same…good hitter’s park too. Adams has nice power but I wonder if he might not get a full season of ABs if he struggles and Craig is there to step in.

  13. Ryan says:
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    I’m in a 20 team h2h dynasty league. I’m thinking of unloading lee while he still has some value before he declines. Would a homer bailey brad miller for lee type of deal be a good move?

    c evan gattis
    1b miguel cabrera
    2b brandon phillips
    3b evan longoria
    ss jurickson profar
    lf justin upton
    cf desmond jennings
    rf shane victorino
    util prince fielder
    bn michael cuddyer
    bn carl crawford/neil walker/michael morse/jp arencibia

    sp clayton kershaw
    sp yu darvish
    sp cliff lee
    rp jose veras
    rp sean doolittle
    rp dan delarosa
    p zack wheeler
    p dan straily
    p tanner roark
    bn matt belisle
    bn charlie morton
    bn garrett richards
    bn robbie erlin/mart thornton

    • The Thumb says:
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      @Ryan: that’s a good offer but I think you could try for more.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Ryan: agree with Thumb…both are good pieces in return, but shoot higher for Lee, maybe sweeten that deal with a quality prospect

      • Ryan says:
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        @Mike: these are some other solid players on his team if it helps: Chris davis Goldschmidt kinsler lucroy allen craig alexi ramirez wacha hamels garza kinsler headley. See a deal I could work with any of these guys?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          @Ryan: sure, you can shoot for his best pieces but it might cost you more than Lee. Honestly I like the Miller/Bailey offer, just wondering if you can land a minor leaguer as well…?

          • Ryan says:
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            @Mike: unfortunately he doesn’t have any prospects. The only prospect he will have is whoever he drafts this year in our prospect draft.

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              @Ryan: gotcha…then If there is no rush maybe wait until after season starts to make that move and try to get the minor league piece. I don’t think you’ll regret pulling the trigger now either, just might be able to get more for him in season. Maybe its just me but I feel like I always get a lot more for players in dynasty league trades in season as opposed to offseason.

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              @Ryan: I think it was you who asked about Upton/ Fielder earlier too….the other thing you could do is keep Upton and try to package Lee with either Jennings or Victorino and try to upgrade center or right field…just a thought

              • goodfold2 says:
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                @Mike: good to know about having better trade value for players during season as opposed to preseason. I’m in a 30 man (joined dec 3rd) and was thinking the same thing (esp right before end of july trade deadline)

                • Mike

                  Mike says:
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                  @goodfold2: yeah, it’s just a pattern I’ve seen. A lot of the trades in the off season are more of the “I’m itchy to do something” variety whereas in the summer there is more of a need established and more of a willingness to sometimes overpay for that need

  14. Wallpaper Paterson says:
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    H2h points or h2h categories?

    What route should I go this year?

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Mike: pts leagues usually overvalue certain player types over others (pitchers more than hitters or reverse).

        • Wallpaper Paterson says:
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          @goodfold2: Yeah, I figured that with the plate appearances issue and starting pitchers. I will stick to h2h-categories and look to get a long-term money league with an auction started this season.

      • JoeC says:
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        @Mike: Me too! That’s why I have 3!

        Fiancee wants to get a dog though (which I’m not against… love dogs too).

        So, in our case, it will be “cats and dogs, living together”.

  15. Alex says:
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    Would you even bother with Marlon Byrd as a bench guy in dynasty?

    Marcell Ozuna is also available

    • The Thumb says:
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      @Alex: dynasty? Go Ozuna. Byrd is going on 37

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Alex: Ozuna

  16. Ryan says:
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    Mike I know there are certain numbers you need to win in a rotisserie league but what are correct numbers for home runs, RBIs, runs, walks, stolen bases, wins, saves, strikeouts, quality starts,etc? I play in 10 team head to head keeper (10 x 10 categories).

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Ryan: that’s a good question and I have more experience in straight roto than H2H, but what I’ve always done in the past is look at the last few years of data from my league to determine what my goals should be. It gets hard to compare individual leagues/custom settings to standards on the web, so I just compare my league to itself year to year. I’d love to hear what others do to figure out statistical goals for their leagues because I think it’s a fun subject

      • NewLeaf says:
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        @Mike: that’s what I do in my keeper league to determine my category goals. I’ll go back 3-4 years shooting for 3rd in each category, throw out the outliers, average it all out and then round it off a bit to make it easier to work with. I’ll then calculate the projected totals for my keepers in that category and subtract that total from my established goal. So, for example, if I’ve established 250 as my homerun goal, and I’m keeping 6 offensive starters who’ve I projected to combine for 150 homeruns, I know I need 100 to meet my mark. I then calculate projected at bats of my keepers (the 6 players in this example) and subtract that from my estimated total team at bats for the season (this I also get from looking at the previous 3-4 seasons). This tells me how many at bats I have to reach those 100 homers (this is more accurate than just dividing the 100 homers by the number of offensive slots left because it takes into account at bats utilized on off days in daily leagues or during player injuries). Then, I take that total at bat number and divide it by 550 (the number I use to represent one players full season at bat total). However many times that divides into your total at bats determines how many player ‘full seasons’ you have to obtain these 100 homers. To illustrate using this example, if I determine that I used roughly 5,460 team at bats the previous season, and my keepers for this year project at 3,300 at bats, I’ll subtract the two…giving me 2,160. I then divide the 2,160 by 550 (a typical single player season at bat total) giving me 3.93, that I’ll round to 4. So this tells me that I have 4 players worth of at bats to make up 100 homers, or a few 25 homer type players. If I just divided the the 100 needed homers by my three empty slots, The calculated home runs needed would be 33 per player, and of course I’m never getting three 30+ HR players in a keeper draft. I starting doing this when I realized that the total numbers in each category always far exceeded the individual stat totals of my players. Realizing that doing it that way was a poor indicator and told me nothing, I began doing it this way and it tells me exactly where I stand in my categories. Sorry if this makes no sense to read, but I just typed it…so I’m posting it.

  17. Wake Up says:
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    Hey whatsup Mike,

    Would you take Billy Hamilton in the first round? Or before the first round?

    Thanks,
    Marge Schott

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Wake Up: hahaha…it’s funny you bring her up cause I just finished reading Dollar Sign on the Muscle, and in that book she’s quoted as saying “All scouts do is watch baseball games.” She cut half of the scouting staff when she took over the Reds.

      • Wake Up says:
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        @Mike: How was the book…other than the haggish quote?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          @Wake Up: awesome. Gives a brief history of scouting, but mostly follows the Phillies scouts through a full year (including the draft) in 1981. Author really does a cool job of writing the scouts’ first hand reports and anecdotes in a way that their personalities come through (some funny stuff). It’s worth it just for the part where he describes the open tryouts in Philly. One of those reads that makes you think differently.

          There is an epilogue that also lists player by player how all the prospects mentioned in the book panned out 8 years later.

          • Wake Up says:
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            @Mike: Thanks for the reco…definitely sounds interesting…
            I think we can agree that I Brucely think “differently”…

  18. The Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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    Mike: I read this this morning,

    “”””””perception of incongruity,” and how humans create more and more elaborate explanations to account for contradictory evidence……. Even very smart people can try to shoehorn new information that just doesn’t fit into an existing paradigm **From an interview with Elizabeth Kolbert

    Suddenly, a light went on went on when reading this… BINGO!!!! I had to double check the topic of the piece. I had been almost certain, the article was referring to the RazzBall Top 400 and more specifically, its 79 ranking of Hamilton in it this year.

    Thought you and your readers might want to see it.

    Keep’m coming… Who’s next

    • The Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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      Maybe, you could post it in the executive restrooms at RazzBall Towers

      Scratch that idea. That is the restrooms are the places where the LE is certain to have placed security cameras in.

      You’ll figure out something … Just post it!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @The Ghost of the Disappeared: IDK Ghost, I don’t think a ranking of 79 is too crazy and he won’t be there to draft anyway in most leagues, I’m just not personally going to feel comfortable taking him as high as I will probably have to. He could pull a Vince Coleman and 79 overall will suddenly look low :)

      As far as Razz Towers, I don’t have security clearance…there are 20 team previews in the pipeline but sorry I can’t usually tell you who’s next until a couple days before.

  19. BucLover says:
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    Mike, I’m in a 12 team yahoo 7×6 (H, OPS, QS) roto. We keep six per year with no penalty at all. I am pretty sure 4 of my 6 are going to be The Dread Pirate, E5, Bruce, and Cole . Here’s where I’m having trouble getting a consensus. I own Bogaerts and Machado. I’ve seen some very high end rankings for both guys, especially on a number of keepers rankings. I would keep these guys if I thought the indifference from some at Razzball was mainly based on lack of playing time or injury concerns, rather than these guys actually having a skill set to become top shelf contributors. Machado is ranked #6 in one recognizable keeper list. I’ve had a couple of suggestions here at Razzball that I should go with Gyorko and Posey to round out my 6. What would you do with six to keep?
    McCutchen OF
    Encarnacion 1b/3b
    Bruce OF
    Machado 3b
    Bogaerts SS/3b
    Gyorko 2b/3b
    Posey C/1b
    Carpenter 2b/3b (he led my team in AVG, H and OPS, last year)
    Adams 1b
    Cole
    Minor
    This is a standard Yahoo league,,,no CI or MI, just two UTIL spots.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @BucLover: good question. I would keep the four you mentioned … then go Machado and Bogaerts.

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