There is a fundamental divide amongst fantasy baseball drafters: those who hate drafting pitchers in the first 8 rounds and those who don’t.
I am the latter. I’m not saying I prefer to draft pitching over hitting. Much like Billy Beane at the Winter Meetings and Billy Bean at a Winter Sale, I’m always looking for a good deal. If people want to overvalue hitters and undervalue pitchers, I’ll draft some pitchers.
Rather than proselytize my drafting philosophy in this post, I’m just going to look back at Rounds 3-8 of 2008 and objectively analyze the findings.
The analysis was based on the following:
- Players are valued (ACT PS) based on 10 team ‘Point Shares’ for a MLB C / 1B / 2B / SS / 3B / CI /MI / 5 OF/ 9 P universe. Point Shares are the estimated increase or decrease that a player would provide the average fantasy team if replacing the average player at his position.
- Draft position value (EXP PS) estimated by taking the Point Share total for the player who finished with that ranking – e.g., Mark Teixeira finished in 25th with 3.39 point shares so this was the Expected Point Shares for the 25th draft pick.
- ADP (Average Draft Position) from MockDraftCentral.com
- Green shading = Player delivered above value; Yellow shading = Player delivered close to value (ACT PS – EXP PS = 0 – -2.0); Orange shading = Player delivered far below value (ACT PS – EXP PS < -2.0)
Here are the final totals by position:
|Pos||Value (>0)||Solid (0 – -2.0)||Below Value (< -2.0)||Total|
Notes: Rounds 3-8 are tougher than they appear. More than half the picks delivered far below their expected value. The only position that delivered above average value – aka the best bargain – were relief pitchers (K-Rod, Papelbon, and Nathan were the bargains). Most hitting positions are about 50/50 with one glaring exception – shortstops. The only SS that was even close to a good value was Michael Young as Jeter, C-Guile, Tulo, Tejada, and Furcal all disappointed.
Starting Pitching is definitely the most extreme. There were some great bargains (CC, Hamels, Haren) as well as several busts (Bedard, Verlander, Smoltz, Harang, etc.). If we were to apply our ‘risky pitcher‘ criteria to the 13 pitchers drafted between 21-80 in 2008, it would’ve ignored the 5 value starters (though Sabathia and Hamels were close to +700 pitches from previous year) and flagged Kazmir (+700 pitch spike), Lackey (27+% breaking pitches), Smoltz (27+% breaking pitches), and Bedard (27+% breaking pitches). So that would leave 5 great picks and 4 horrible picks. Not great but better value then seen in the hitting positions…