Some of you will be drafting your fantasy baseball teams over at ESPN and that’s cool. I don’t mind their drafting and league setups. Plus, they’re free. If you don’t like your team, do like 98% of the other people at ESPN and abandon your team in May. But when you’re drafting at ESPN, you’re confronted by their rankings. It’s important to know what they’re saying, so you can exploit the rankings for your greater good. I’m going off my top 100 for 2010 fantasy baseball and top 300. So here’s some random turd nuggets from the ESPN 2010 fantasy baseball rankings:
Carl Crawford – 8 at ESPN, 19 here. Before Miggy Cabrera, Tex, Longoria, Howard… Buh-but, Grey, isn’t 1st base deep? Yeah, and steals from an outfielder are shallow? Oh-kay. Because I have a photographic memory and no actual evidence to prove this, you’re gonna have to take my word for it. Last year, Crawford was ranked somewhere in the 40s by ESPN. Then he has a career year and he’s ranked 8th. ESPN’s three year averages to figure out projections are done by multiplying the last year by three.
Ichiro Suzuki – 23 at ESPN, 43 here. Probably the worst value player that is always overrated. You need a .277 average to be competitive. Ichiro best attribute is he can turn your average up to 11; it’s pointless.
Jose Reyes – 40 at ESPN, 18 here. See my comment about Crawford for why they have Reyes this low.
Curtis Granderson – 55 at ESPN, 34 here. Clara Bell wrote an interesting piece the other day about how Grandy could hit 35 homers and steal 20 bases but he’s NOT a top fifty draft option. And, by interesting, I mean you really can’t make this shizz up. You have to be an ESPN Hindsighter to read the whole thing, so I’ll Cliff Note it for you. Karabell argues that Grandy is such a negative on average that he’lll cost your team dearly for those 35 homers and 20 steals. As I’ve mentioned previously, you could have found 25 outfielders who contributed 20 steals, but only ten outfielders, who retain outfield eligibility for 2010, that had 30 homers. Grandy fell in both categories. Only three other outfielders did. Also, nowhere does he mention that Granderson was about fifty points off his career BABIP and should hit closer to .275. I don’t expect Karabell to know anything about BABIP, except Cockcroft, another ESPN Hindsighter, just wrote an article about how Granderson was unlucky with BABIP. Maybe Karabell was too busy with a Michael Bolton from Office Space Lookalike Contest to read it.
Brandon Webb – 81 at ESPN, 175 here. ESPN has Webb ahead of Cain, Ubaldo, Hamels, Wandy and Kershaw… As for why they ranked Webb this high, I think there’s a good chance they just totally forgot about last year. Or maybe when they were ranking Webb, Berry farted and everyone laughed, causing them to skip over Webb’s name.
Howie Kendrick – 105 at ESPN, 200 here, about 100 picks before I have him. Kendrick’s a good average bet that hasn’t put together one full year at the major league level. No, thanks.
Ian Stewart – 199 at ESPN, 100 here. I’m totally waiting for them to write the Ian Stewart sleeper post, quoting their own facacta rankings. Guys, I look like Michael Bolton, and I think Stewart’s great value ranked at 199! Actually, now that I think about it, the best thing you can do with ESPN’s rankings is send all of your leaguemates there to study them.