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Much like Christmas, the expert fantasy baseball draft season keeps creeping earlier and earlier from arguably the best day of the year.*  So ten days post-groundhog, we had our first draft of the year in what happens to be our most well-esteemed expert league – the 2013 LABR 15-team Mixed League Draft (click link for full draft results) run by Steve Gardner of USAToday.com/USA Today Sports Weekly.

* especially if you’re Jewish and Christmas just means Chinese food + going to the movies with the atheists, eastern religioners, and Christian families that can’t manage a whole day at home together as a family).

This is our 3rd year in LABR and the 2nd straight year as part of the 15-team MLB league.  Unlike the AL/NL versions, this is an online snake draft vs in-person auction.   Last year, we finished in a disappointing 9th place but took away some important lessons that we were able to apply to this year’s draft.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to change your draft strategy based upon the rules of your league.  This league is unique in the following ways:

  • Weekly roster changes
  • 2 catchers (1B/2B/SS/3B/5 OF/CI/MI/UTIL/9 P/6 Bench/Unlimited DL) w/ 20 Game eligibility (5 games in-season)
  • $100 FAAB with minimum $1 bid (so very tiny budget for free agents )
  • All players drafted to your starting roster AND all Free Agents MUST be kept on your active roster or dropped (unless injured where they can go on DL).  No benching allowed.
  • Any player taken as one of your 6 ‘reserves’ can be added to your starting roster and then moved back to the bench throughout the season.

(The crossed-out rules are for LABR AL/NL only.  The importance of knowing league rules extends to when you decide to write about them too.)

Below is our drafted roster.  We feel like we satisfied the below goals and made proper use of last year’s lessons:

  1. Depth over ‘elite’ in SP – aim for 7 SPs/2 RPs to max in Wins/K’s (we had 5 points last year combined in these stats because we did not have enough SP depth)
  2. Build a strong offense with a slight bias towards power over speed. (we were average to below average last year in HR/RBI thanks to picking Ichiro + Longoria injury)
  3. Wait as long as possible on catchers and relievers
  4. Build a deep bench that give us opportunities to fill in roster holes due to injuries or maximize good pitcher matchups.
Razzball – LABR Mixed Draft – 2/12/2013
Round/Pick Pos Player Team
17/252 C Arencibia, J.P. (C,U) TOR
21/312 C Castillo, Welington (C,U) CHC
2/19 1B Goldschmidt, Paul (1B,CI,U) ARI
5/72 2B Altuve, Jose (2B,MI,U) HOU
8/109 SS Rutledge, Josh (SS,MI,U) COL
4/49 3B Zimmerman, Ryan (3B,CI,U) WSH
23/342 MI Cozart, Zack (SS,MI,U) CIN
14/199 CI Berkman, Lance (1B,CI,U) TEX
22/319 OF Bourjos, Peter (U,OF) LAA
7/102 OF Jackson, Austin (U,OF) DET
6/79 OF Pence, Hunter (U,OF) SF
10/139 OF Reddick, Josh (U,OF) OAK
1/12 OF Upton, Justin (U,OF) ATL
20/289 U Alonso, Yonder (1B,CI,U) SD
13/192 P Axford, John (P) MIL
15/222 P Beckett, Josh (P) LAD
16/229 P Estrada, Marco (P) MIL
12/169 P Garza, Matt (P) CHC
3/42 P Greinke, Zack (P) LAD
11/162 P Niese, Jon (P) NYM
9/132 P Peavy, Jake (P) CWS
19/282 P Luebke, Cory (P)  SD
18/259 P Rondon, Bruce (P) DET
BENCH HITTERS MLB
26/379 Gomes, Jonny (U,OF) BOS
27/402 Nelson, Chris (2B,3B,MI,CI,U) COL
28/409 Wallace, Brett (1B,CI,U) HOU
BENCH PITCHERS MLB
25/372 Doubront, Felix (P) BOS
24/349 Peralta, Wily (P) MIL
29/432 Melancon, Mark (P) PIT

Notes:

    • We both have Justin Upton as a top 10 player (me #7, Grey #10).  Easy pick at #12.  We would’ve taken Fielder (surprise #6 pick over Votto), Votto (#8) or Stanton (picked at #11) over him.
    • Evidently we ‘blew up’ Twitter with the Paul Goldschmidt pick at #19.  Along with Bryce Harper at #14, this was probably the biggest ‘break from consensus’ in the first 2 rounds.  Grey and I were in agreement on the pick.  We both have Goldschmidt as a top 21 player (Rudy #21, Grey #19) and our next pick was not until #42 so it was doubtful he would make it back to us.  Picking an SP was off the table given our pitching strategy (though I was tempted to nab Verlander).  Post-draft, I still like the pick as I think Goldschmidt/Zimmerman (#4) > Wright (#2)/Butler (#4) and Goldschmidt/Altuve (#5) >  Pedroia (#2) / Ike Davis (#5) – with the Pedroia/Ike being a little more tempting than Wright/Butler.
    • Greinke at #3 ahead of Felix Hernandez was a coin flip for me.  For 15-team MLB auction values, I have Greinke, F-Her, Price, and CC as virtually equal in value (~$21, ranked 37-40).  Price was off the board and neither of us were enthused about CC.  Grey has F-Her at #41 and Greinke at #42 so he was in the same camp.  I think Greinke got the edge because of:  1) F-Her’s reported elbow issue, 2) We love NL West pitchers, particularly SF/SD/LAD, 3) More run support for Greinke might equate to more Wins, and 4) a tiny inkling that F-Her might underperform projections because of the fences being brought in at Safeco (last year, F-Her had the 3rd lowest HR/9 at home and the 27th lowest away).
    • I think forgoing Catchers and SPs helped us build a really solid OF.  We felt Pence (#6), A-Jax (#7), and Reddick (#10) all came at nice discounts.
    • I think our starting staff looks pretty solid considering we took only one SP in the first 8 rounds.  Peavy/Garza/Niese/Beckett/Estrada feel like a solid 2-6 in a 12-team league, let alone 15-team league.
    • The Cory Luebke pick (#19) leverage our experience with this format.  We knew we could get some SPs in the Reserve round that we could swap in/out while Luebke is stashed on the DL.  We ended up with Wily Peralta and Felix Doubront although I kicked myself immediately after Dan Straily went two picks after Peralta.
    • I pushed really hard on the Berkman pick.  High upside in Texas (think Berkman 2011 or Vlad 2010) where he can DH.  While he is only eligible at 1B to start the year, I think he will get OF eligibility at some point during the year (Vlad managed 18 games in OF in 2010 and we just need 5 for eligibility).  Worst case, he gets hurt and we promote Brett Wallace from reserves.
    • Bruce Rondon is a calculate risk but we wanted no part of Marmol or Madson.  We were hoping to handcuff with Benoit with our last reserve pick but he got taken.  Went with Melancon as our saves prospector and someone we can throw in the lineup in the early weeks where we have bad SP matchups.
    • Last year, the only hitters on our bench were Ian Stewart and Wilin Rosario.  Clearly, Rosario panned out (let us dump Barajas) but we were left in a tough position when injuries came (Ian Stewart did an awful job replacing Longo).  We like at least something about our three bench hitters this year – Gomes (home starts), Chris Nelson (2B and 3B, home starts), and Brett Wallace (1B, will get 3B, upside).
  1. I'm Keith Hernandez says:
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    Ranksings question. Is it possible to upload them to ESPN or do you have to manually edit the rankings?

    • You have to manually edit as far as I know. I usually have my rankings in a google doc and leave their defaults in there to gauge ‘popular opinion’ to determine when a player’s likely to get snapped up.

  2. JT says:
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    Another great article. I have some keeper decisions to make. I’m in a 10 team, 10 keeper yahoo points league with an innings limit. Which 10 of these guys do you keep? With the innings cap K’s are very important for pitchers.

    Keepers
    1.David Wright
    2.Bryce Harper
    3.Cargo
    4.Justin Upton
    5.Paul Goldschmidt

    6.Stephen Strasburg
    7.Matt Moore
    8.Zack Grienke

    on the bubble – thinking two of these three
    Salvador Perez
    V-Mart
    Brandon Morrow

    others worth noting:
    Alex Rios
    Ian Desmond
    Kendrys Morales
    Mike Napoli
    Lance Lynn
    Marco Estrada

    I should add in that there are no additional rules to the keepers, keep them forever. I have also been in talks about trading V-mart and Morrow for Darvish. I thinks Yu’s ceiling is a bit higher. thoughts?

    • Thanks. Agree with your top 8 keepers. While I’m not super-high on Desmond, I’d rather take a chance on him than a catcher. As for 10th pick, I favor Perez over Morrow because of projected health.

  3. Big Magoo says:
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    I think you guys got some really nice value in the outfield with Jackson, Pence, and Reddick and with starting pitching with Peavy, Beckett, and Estrada. I just have one question – did you consider Holliday in the third and grabbing one of Grienke/Hernandez/Hamels coming back in the fourth? Or was the dropoff at third too steep and you didn’t want to be stuck with a Middlebrooks/Alvarez type?

    • Thanks. Totally on same page w/ you regarding OF (felt the draft room undervalued it) and SPs (overvalued for top SPs then regressed to undervalued by the time we took Beckett/Estrada). We actively discussed Holliday with the 3rd pick but we had an OF and suspected Greinke or F-Her wouldn’t get back to us. F-Her, Holliday, Darvish, and Cain went in the next 4 picks. I think it’s likely that Greinke gets drafted over Darvish/Cain. Given the discounts we got with Pence/A-Jax/Reddick, I’m happy we didn’t pick Holliday.

  4. Benny says:
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    Hola. Keep up the awesome work you guys do. I hope it gets stated enough how much help you are.

    I’m in a 20 player keeper league (out of 27 roster spots). I know how my obvious guys are, but I’m looking for some guidance on how to fill out the rest. I still need 7 of the list below. Whatha think?

    M. Montero
    H. Kendrick
    C. Beltran
    N. Swisher
    J. Lester
    M. Pineda
    T. Bauer
    K. Medlen
    H. Street
    J. Axford
    R. Soriano
    A. Reed
    J. Johnson (BAL)

    • Here are my choices…

      Montero, Beltran, Swisher, Bauer, Medlen, Axford, Reed

  5. OaktownSteve says:
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    I like your team. I think you’re in the upper tier of teams coming out of the draft. There are some headscratcher teams in there. I like the philosophy and the construction.

    Your lessons in LABR are very similar to mine in the NFBC last year. It takes a year to get used to a new format. The depth of the league versus 12 teamer with short bench makes a really big difference.

    I like the Bourjos pick as a sleeper that hasn’t been talked about a lot. I’m with you on Berkman. I could see Yonder being an early drop. Wallace a decent insurance for him.

    As I said in the forum, the only pick I can quibble with is Reddick. Obviously saw a lot of him and I and see him flopping this year. Platoon or bench. A’s have no shortage of outfilelders and his glove will lengthen the leash a little, but he look really really hopeless from Aug. 1 on.

    A trio of kind of sore arms in Garza, Beckett and Peavy. You’ll need help from the good health fairy.

    Good luck.

      • OaktownSteve says:
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        @Rudy Gamble:

        As an A’s fan, I hope you’re right. I was just looking back at his game log. He slumped all month and then padded his stats in a couple of blow outs and then completely tanked in Sept. In the playoffs he was 2-17 with 10 Ks. Not sure the numbers tell the whole story. He was just clueless. The guy was so great for the A’s last year, but my gut says he’s going to struggle this year.

        I love the fact that you took Big Ups in the first. So much to like. Maybe the best candidate for 30/30 season after Braun.

        I’ve been struggling to figure out why Goldschidt’s HR/FB rate was so far off his rookie year. Especially playing in Zona. If he regresses back around 20% and he gives you those 15 bags he’s every bit worth of the pick. Wish I knew why it was off. Maybe just some bad luck or just misses.

        Melancon is not a bad CIW pick. You might end up grifting for saves early.

        • OaktownSteve says:
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          @OaktownSteve:

          oh yeah, meant to mention, I’m impressed with Gardner from USA from afar. He seems like a dynamite roto player.

          • Agreed. He’s bested us the last two years in LABR and had a fantastic draft. Hoping we’ll avoid a three-peat.

        • Thanks for the Reddick insights. Will be a little more conservative in drafting him going forward. He might’ve just been gassed as he had a lot more PAs than in previous years.

          Fingers crossed on J-Up. I’ll be happy with 30/20.

          I think Goldschmidt will see an improved HR/FB rate this year and his speed seems for real (https://twitter.com/rudygamble/status/302119754376826880). He’s one of several D-Backs that had surprising power outages last year (J-Up, Krispie). Probably a coincidence as Kubel and Hill had nice power seasons.

  6. 2 Giant rings says:
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    Who is AuShizz?

  7. marti says:
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    I liked garza in the 12th but I would have taken todd frazier in the 10th over reddick. I think
    altuve in the 5th was a little early and I would have taken holiday in the 3rd and grabbed bumgarmer or matt more in the 4th, I don’t see much difference between greinke and bum. I think peralta was also a good pick in round 2.

    • @marti: We had 1B/3B and there was plenty of CI depth so no reason for us to take Frazier at that point. Agreed he was good value as I recall him at the top of our board at some point in the night. Greinke is moving to LAD/NL West – Bumgarner’s already benefited from it in 2012. Matt Moore in 4th round is a total reach – 4+ BB/9 last year. Like his upside but that’s way too high.

    • @marti: Re: Altuve, maybe that was a little early vs. general ADP. I have him at a somewhat insane #41 in my 15-team $ figures – http://razzball.com/playerrater-preseason-espnmlb15/.

      Main rationale: 2B doesn’t have any speed. I think Altuve is the only safe bet for 20 SB let alone 30 SB (Kipnis probably gets there too). His below average HR/RBI hurts us worse here than at OF and he’s good for SB/AVG.

      If Jennings fell 3 more picks, I think we take him at #5 and Altuve or Kipnis at pick #6 instead of Pence.

  8. B. Inge Drinking says:
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    I think Tim Heaney (KFFL) could have had the beginning of a dominate hitting lineup if he paired Miguel Cabrera with Adam Jones/Josh Hamilton and not Ellsbury/Cespedes.

      • The Dude says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: or Adrian Gonzalez/Adam Jones

  9. Steve says:
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    I see you there, Rudy – smacking down Berry and Karabell…

    • Ha, you mean the Twitter discussion on Ruggiano (https://twitter.com/rudygamble/status/302145083338276864).

      Smackdown is a strong word. Just chiming in. While I’m more bullish than them on Ruggiano, hard to argue with the rationale that he’s a potential sleeper in shallow leagues. I consider the 5th OF spot (and sometimes 4th) in shallow leagues to be a ‘rental’ for whomever is hot – Ruggiano could have a good April and make the pick pay off.

      Last year in RCL, I believe I drafted Rasmus as my 5th OF and dropped him for Reddick.

      Same philosophy for Catcher. Rented Arencibia. Dropped him for AJ and Doumit.

      • Steve says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: Yes – I perhaps did get a little carried away there, must be my innate desire to seem them get smacked down ;-)

        Oh – and aren’t you bearish rather than bullish on Ruggiano, compared to the ESPN duo?

  10. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    The more drafts I see shake out, the more guilty I feel about having Trout, Harper, and Cespedes as keepers at $4 apiece (standard auction draft).

    Seriously though, Harper going that early is crazy, right? Possible fanny pick?

    • @Awesomus Maximus: Those are some awesome keepers. Was it the first year of a keeper draft and people didn’t realize how valuable those guys could be at that price?

      Harper’s got so much upside going into this year that I can’t fault the pick. The odds that J-Up (our pick) has a better year than Harper don’t feel that much greater than 50/50…

      • Awesomus Maximus

        Awesomus Maximus says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: Very true about Harper.

        Yeah, it was our first year moving to a keeper format and no one (not even me) really started thinking about keepers until the season got going. I liked Cespedes and drafted him for $1, picked up Harper off waivers and stashed him on my bench after the draft (so his base price is $1) and then picked up Trout off waivers when Harper got called up, planning to stash Trout until mid-season.

        No one could have known Trout would turn into a top pick in 2013, so I admittedly got lucky there.

        • ETMcgee says:
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          @Awesomus Maximus: my keeper leagues require that a player be drafted in order to be kept (or drafted player acquired in a trade). we’d rather reward teams for a good draft or a good trade than reward teams that pluck up free agents.

          • Awesomus Maximus

            Awesomus Maximus says:
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            @ETMcgee: I can see the value in that, but I also feel like the end of the draft picks are basically just your first FA pickups of the season. You’re not committed to those guys, so if they work out, great… if they don’t, you drop them for someone else you’re not committed to. Know what I mean?

          • Awesomus Maximus

            Awesomus Maximus says:
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            @ETMcgee: Plus I have a rule in my league which prevents teams from keeping the “elite” players (three players each team paid the most for at draft are unkeepable), so the real value is in those late picks and FA pickups.

        • Jack Full of Hate says:
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          @Awesomus Maximus: those days are long gone not that the Birdman and I are in there. Cepedes for $1, what a joke. The inept group you play with is now going to be infected with the Hateful One. You may have good keepers for the next few years, but after that will be the real test of your “skill”……I love talking trash to you

  11. The Dude says:
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    I see Jeff Samardzija got snagged one pick ahead of Peavy. If Jeff and Jake are both there can you stop Grey from picking up the SamuraiNinja?

    • OaktownSteve says:
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      @The Dude:

      Don’t sleep on the Shark. He’s the real deal. I’d take him over Peavy six ways til Sunday

    • We were talking on Skype. He cooed Samardjzija’s name more than Brady Quinn does during the average night.

      Grey loves him Peavy as well though. If I recall correctly, if Peavy got taken, we would’ve had to scramble for a consensus pick.

  12. Josh says:
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    10 Team Keeper League (BA, RBI, R, HR, 2B, 3B, AVG, OBP,SB,K), I have Cano, Longo, Fielder, Gio Gonzalez, and Cliff Lee. With my next pick, Im torn between Zobrist at SS or Ellsbury, Choo, or Jennings.

    Do I punt SS and go all out on OF and SP? Or is Zobrist worth taking over the likes of Rutledge, Prado, or Aybar later on down the road?

    Any insight will help.

    Thanks,

    • @Josh: I definitely take Jennings. You already have 3/4 of an IF and no OF. Gotta grab one with the first pick and you can use his speed. If you could guarantee Ellsbury’s health, I take him. Punt SS and take one of those guys down the road.

  13. Tony says:
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    Hi all, in a competivie 12 team roto R/HR/RBI/SB/K/AVG/OPS – W/L/SV/K/HLD/ERA/WHIP keeper league. Which 5 of the following would you keep? I also have 1st overall pick of unkept players…
    Jay Bruce – 3rd round
    Gio Gonzalez – 7th round
    Johnny Cueto – 14th round
    Aaron Hill – 15th round
    Arodis Chapman – 17th round
    Jonathan Broxton – 20th round
    Brett Lawrie – 22nd round
    Wilin Rosario – 24th round
    Todd Frazier – 24th round

    • @Tony: Lawrie, Gio, Cueto, Chapman, Frazier. Bruce is a 3rd round pick so no value there. Rosario is a catcher – don’t keep a catcher not named Posey this year.

    • costaricanchata says:
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      @Tony:

      ” Bruce is a 3rd round pick so no value there…”

      that’s crazy talk .
      you don’t throw your best/only slugger back into the pool because he
      doesn’t provide perceived value above his projected adp .
      if he does provide you with stats worthy of 3rd round value , be happy with that .

      picture your team without him .
      what exactly do you have ?

      keep him , and use your 1st over-all pick to grab another power guy .

  14. Jenkinssssss says:
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    I had a good time following the draft on my 2nd monitor. your team, bbhq, & Gardner’s are are quite solid, while Davenport’s is one of the worst I’ve ever seen. I actually said to myself “here comes Goldy” before your pick (holy shit I’m a nerd).

    Keeper question:
    12 team 9×9 h2h (ops, xbh, h, Ks) obvious power emphasis. Keep 3 -no strings/can keep forever.
    Braun is 1 then have JoeyBats, Heyward, and AuShizz for last 2.
    Do I have to let JHey go for the sake of positional diversity (start 3 OF, 1 UT)? Thx!

    • @Jenkinssssss: Thanks. Baseball HQ and Gardner are strong (as always). I’ll admit that Davenport’s team seems off when I scan through it. He’s a frigin’ genius though so I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt that his strategy going in was a dominant pitching and speed team and hope for average power.

      Let JoeyBats go. Wrist injuries scare me. Heyward and AuShizz could be good for a long time.

  15. Public Enemy#1 says:
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    I have an upcoming draft where I already have the following keepers in the rounds I got them in last year: Trout (27), Goldschmidt (20), Posey (12).

    I’ve also been fortunate enough to land the first pick of the draft. I’m leaning towards Mig Cabrera over Braun. With a strong offensive base of Trout, Goldschmidt, Posey and Mig, would you consider taking an offenive player along with someone like Price, Greinke or CLee if one was there for me by the time the draft made it back to me in round two/three for my back to back picks? Or would you still look to go back to back with offensive players in rounds two and three and totally blow away the league in all offensive categories from the get go and then work on building my staff later on?

    First/Second round types already kept besides my trio are Cano, Stanton, CarGo, Strasburg, Hamilton.

    • Jeez, that’s a favorable way to start the year – 2 of the top 3 players. You can’t go wrong with Miggy or Braun but I’d take Miggy too. I probably snag a pitching in round 2 vs. 3 given that a few SPs are already being kept (Verlander? Kershaw?).

  16. Tom Jacks

    Tom Jacks says:
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    That pitching staff could end up dominating. I’d imagine it would be competitive in a 12 team league, let alone a 15 teamer.

    • from your mouth to the pitching karma god’s ears.

  17. Cole says:
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    Was there notable groaning from Grey when it was clear you had to go with Zimmerman? I know he had a bumpy ride with him last year. I think Zimm is a solid value near 50th. I’ll probably own him this year.

    • @Cole: Grey was happy w/ Zimmerman there. Grey had bad luck with Zimmerman last year but he just cut the cord to quick on him. Bourjos is the one that we both drafted with gritted teeth…

  18. A-Ram Baller says:
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    Yeah, that team looks like poop.

    • @A-Ram Baller: What team looks like poop. Should be noted that I think everyone hated Jonah Keri’s team last year and he tied for first. He’s going to have a foreword in his next book that says, “I’d like to thank my publisher, my family, Bill Simmons, and the Prime Minister of Canada. I’d like to tell the Razzball commenters that poo-poo’d my team – suck it!”

      So I think your poop comment will be good luck to whomever you’re talking about – kind of like how bird poop is good luck.

      • A-Ram Baller says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: When your first 3 picks are a guy coming off his worst season, an unproven/over-ranked young player on a terrible team, and a pitcher who is not even a #1 on his own team, you need all the luck you can get. If i took Jose Altuve with my 5th Pick i would probably be on suicide watch.

        • well when you put it like that….jeez. should i post a pic of my wife and child so you can call them ugly?

          i kid (they are prettier than those picks). we’ll see how are picks turn out.

  19. AdamH says:
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    Did you have to push for a pitcher in the 3rd? Usually I expect Grey to not want to enter the pitching pool so early.

  20. Top-tier SPs go quicker in this league (can’t speak for all 15-team leagues). One of the only leagues where I see SPs go quicker than my $ values/Point Shares (which are historically pro-pitcher). We were agreed going in about using the 3rd round pick on a pitcher assuming no hitter blew us away. Holliday was close. Adam Jones might’ve done it.

    I think we got Greinke at solid value and were able to avoid paying premiums for SPs in rounds 4-10 until there were solid values again (and used that time to zag and build up our OF).

  21. Chris says:
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    I like your team. Though I think I would’ve gone with Bum in the 5th, and just hoped that 1 of Kipnis/Altuve came back to me in the 6th if I was making 2B a priority. Greinke/Bum would’ve been a huge start at SP, and at a decent cost.

  22. KCC26 says:
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    Rudyyyyy–

    Keep 5 of these 6 (12 teams):
    Kemp/ Tulo -2nd round keeping both pushes the other to the last pick of the 3rd.
    Mccutchen- 4th
    Encarnacion-9th
    Wainwright-11th
    Medlen-16th

    Thanks for the input!

  23. marti says:
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    Ok rudy, i want a 2nd opinion, 12 team mixed roto, long term keeper league players kept go up by 2 rounds each year. Pick 6 of the following, the round is next to the player

    1. Joey Bats 28
    2. a craig 23
    3. bumgarmer 10
    4. Justin upton 5
    5. andrus 11
    6. smjardzia 30
    7. frazier 31
    8. rios 16

    More concerned about winning league than keeping players forever.

    • J-Up – 5th round
      Bumgarner – 10th round
      Craig – 23rd round
      Joey Bats – 28th round
      Frazier – 31st round

      coin flip on Andrus vs. Rios.

  24. brian says:
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    desmond jennings 5 th round.
    starling marte 14 th round. ?????
    same stats AND marte a better avg. WAY to big a gap

    • We liked both players. We were talking about Marte for our 5th OF spot but was hoping he’d fall even further than 14.

  25. PhillyYorker says:
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    Who did Ryan Howard kill? The man stunk last year and had 56 RBI in 260 AB’s. Before that he averaged over 150 games over the previous six. He’s not brittle. He’s lost weight. His numbers will be top 50 by the end of the year, easily. If Reyes gets the benefit of the doubt, I have no idea why Howard doesn’t. His ranking is lunacy. I’ll be keeping him over Jennings and Rizzo. 32hr and 115rbi. Very few places you can securely get those numbers. Certainly not AuShizz.

    Rant, aside, love me some Razzball and appreciate all your efforts. Sincerely, Mystified on the BenFranklinParkway.

  26. great article, love the site

    I traded for Rutledge in a keeper league for my MI slot, and I like the Nelson pick as a bench player with that position flexibilty..looks like you guys have a solid team

    quick keeper question…after what happened with the prospects like Trout and Harper, do you think folks be more willing to drop money on guys like Taveras and Bundy at the end of the draft? I already have them on my squad and I’m thinking “bird in hand” rather than release them back into the pool

    • thanks. glad to here we share the love for non-tulo rockie MIs. yes, any keeper league drafter should bid on bundy and taveras. keep ‘em or prepare to pay a few bucks to re-buy them

  27. Steve says:
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    Hey Rudy, would I be right in thinking that in a 14-team H2H Yahoo league where we count OBP as well as AVG (and where we have 1 Util, LF/CF/RF positions and no MI/CI) that you wouldn’t be taking Posey until the 4th round, if at all?

    • well, i’d definitely take posey at some point. 4th round would work.

      • Steve says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: Or would you prefer Mauer a couple of rounds later?

        Or perhaps Santana in the 8th or thereabouts?

        • just look at my corresponding $ value chart and aim to draft a C at least one round later than i have him valued. i like mauer more than santana (no more room at 1b/dh for off-c starts)

  28. Tim says:
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    Interesting draft. I appreciate the comments on league specific rules, as knowing the rules is so key, like in these unusual expert leagues.

    I’d like to ask for some help also. 11 team yahoo keeper league, finished a dismal 8th last year, need 8 keepers –

    I know I’m keeping
    Votto
    A Gonzalez
    Madison Bumgarner

    B. Lawrie
    D. Jennings
    Kipnis
    Altuve
    Shin-Soo Choo
    Nelson Cruz
    V Martinez (C eligible)
    M Machado
    Medlen
    Halladay
    M Harvey
    J Parker
    B Anderson

    Last year’s winner has a really strong hitting lineup (M Cabrera, Trout, Mccutcheon, Posey, Harper and Bautista), I am inclined to lean more towards future but I really like a bumgarner/medlen/halladay sp base.

  29. Bill S. Preston, Esq. says:
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    Rudy, I have a question regarding your point shares chart. I was looking to change the values for guys like Craig and AGon for 1B rather than OF, so I started to try to figure out the correlation from actual values to point shares, specifically Yahoo 12 team mixed. Right away I noticed some things that I didn’t understand. Goldschmidt and Butler both have Steamer projections of 85 runs, yet Goldschmidt has a PS of 0.5, and Butler got a -0.1, and plate appearances are basically equal. I then went to 2B and noticed that Cano has less runs than Pedroia, but a higher PS as well. If I went through the whole list of players and only found these couple issues, then I wouldn’t say anything, but these really are the first names that I checked. Are these numbers correct or typos? Thanks

    • @Bill S. Preston, Esq.: The Point Shares use a combination of Steamer and CAIRO rates multiplied against my playing time estimates.
      CAIRO has a pretty big difference in their runs – Goldy 81 runs in 520 AB and Butler 75 in 600 AB. I have them at 575 and 564 ABs so on a R/PA basis, Goldy has a bigger Run advantage. It nets out to 87 runs for Goldy and 79 Runs for Butler.

      The OF to 1B conversion would be about negative $3 – http://razzball.com/yahoofantasybaseball-impactofpositioneligibility/. Those two players would benefit from the lack of SB opportunity cost at 1B compared to OF but then there’s a higher baseline of HR/RBI.

      Appreciate you pointing out what seems to be some divergent R (and I assume RBI) data between Steamer and CAIRO. Steamer’s J Cross and I did some offseason research specifically on R/RBI projections. If the CAIRO R/RBI look worse, I may just use Steamer R/RBI for Point Shares.

      • Bill S. Preston, Esq. says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: Thanks, that helps. I’m not in an auction league, but using those numbers makes it easier to compare your rankings to Grey’s.

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