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Coming off our middle of the bell curve performance as rookies in last year’s NL LABR league (frigin’ Vazquez – he has even a mediocre April/May, we don’t drop him and we finish in 3rd place), we were invited back to participate in the first-ever 15-team mixed league LABR (click link to see the other league participants).  The draft was held this past Saturday (February 25th) and the results will be printed in an upcoming USA Today Sports Weekly.  In case you are allergic to paper or hate suspense, click here for the draft results.

Unlike many expert fantasy baseball leagues, this was a snake draft vs. an auction draft.  Standard 5×5 with 2 C/1B/2B/SS/3B/CI/MI/5 OF/UTIL/9 P/6 bench.  No IP cap.  The biggest differences vs. your standard friend league is 1) weekly roster changes and 2) a limited free agent budget of $100 with a minimum bid of $1.  These rules changed our typical draft strategy in the following ways:

  1. Downgrade middle relievers as you can’t rotate them in on SP off days.  MRs are only a last resort if you have several bad SP matchups.
  2. Similar to H2H, you want to have an extra SP or two on the bench to take advantage of matchups and 2 start weeks.
  3. Because there is a cap on in-season pickups, we wanted to draft bench players with upside and have a roster with some flexibility to handle injuries across multiple positions.

Here is the team we drafted.


Position Player Round/Pick
C* Jesus Montero R9 Pick 131
C Rod Barajas R21 Pick 311
1B Adrian Gonzalez R1 Pick 11
2B Aaron Hill R13 Pick 191
SS Asdrubal Cabrera R5 Pick 71
3B Evan Longoria R2 Pick 20
OF Nelson Cruz R4 Pick 50
OF Ichiro Suzuki R7 Pick 101
OF Alex Rios R12 Pick 170
OF Yoenis Cespedes R15 Pick 221
OF Denard Span R20 Pick 290
1B/3B Mike Carp R19 Pick 281
2B/SS Zack Cozart R18 Pick 260
UTIL* Andres Torres R24 Pick 350
SP Tim Lincecum R3 Pick 41
SP Madison Bumgarner R6 Pick 80
SP Anibal Sanchez R10 Pick 140
SP Colby Lewis R14 Pick 200
SP Jhoulys Chacin R17 Pick 251
SP Brad Peacock R22 Pick 220
RP Drew Storen R8 Pick 110
RP Carlos Marmol R11 Pick 161
RP Jim Johnson R16 Pick 230
Bench 3B Ian Stewart R26 Pick 380
Bench C* Wilin Rosario R23 Pick 341
Bench RP Fautino De Los Santos R25 Pick 371
Bench SP Hisashi Iwakuma R27 Pick 401
Bench SP Danny Hultzen R28 Pick 410
Bench RP Kevin Gregg R29 Pick 431

* Rosario will start at C and Montero at UTIL until Montero gets C-eligibility.

Draft notes:

  • There were definitely a few surprises at the draft.  One owner drafted catchers with their 3rd and 4th round picks.  Starlin Castro was a top 30 pick (I had him as #69 – ESPN ADP of #57).  But one of these surprises helped us out a lot more than others…
  • Evan Longoria fell to us at pick #20.  There have been over 500 drafts in the last two weeks on MockDraftCentral and #20 is the farthest he fell.  Even more surprising, Jonah “The Extra 2%” Keri of Grantland.com didn’t care to take him with either the 15th or 16th pick.  We debated taking him at #11 instead of Adrian Gonzalez but decided not to out of concern for 1B depth as Pujols/Miggy/Votto were already off the board, we knew A-Gonz and Fielder (taken #17 #16) wouldn’t make it back, and didn’t feel comfortable banking on Teixeira.  But to get Adrian Gonzalez and Longoria who were both in my top 13 position players was sweet.
  • We had planned to take an OF with the 2nd pick and ended up waiting until our 4th pick to take Nelson Cruz.  His injuries concern us but he was definitely the best OF left on the board and came at solid value at pick #40.  To give you an idea, Desmond Jennings, Carl Crawford, and Drew Stubbs were the next three OFs taken.
  • After 10 years and countless drafts, this was the first time Grey or myself drafted Ichiro.  He’s always gone about 5 rounds earlier than I think he should go.  But he was the best OF on the board by the time we had to select our 2nd OF and we needed speed.  If he bounces back to .300, steals 30 SB, and gets a respectable # of RBIs out of the 3 hole, he’s going to be a solid value.
  • We planned to punt both our catcher positions but Jesus Montero available at pick #91 #131 in a 2-catcher/15 team league?  Santana, Mauer, Napoli, Wieters, and Posey were all taken in the first 66 picks.  I think he came at a discount because our league has strict position eligibility rules for the draft and he was at DH.  But it’s only 5 games in-season for C eligibility so hopefully it’s just 2 weeks or so before we can shift him to Catcher.  All this meant was that we couldn’t fill UTIL during the draft but – aside from whomever drafts Ortiz – the UTIL position is near replacement-level in a 15-team league.
  • I’m happy with our pitching staff.  I’m a little warier than Grey on Brad Peacock but getting Iwakuma from the Mariners as a 7th SP makes me feel better.  Getting three closers in a 15-team league puts us in great position for top 3 in saves (or survive an injury/demotion).
  • I’m pretty happy with our hitter depth/flexibility.  Carp has 1B/OF eligibility which helps if we have OF injuries/underperformance.  Ian Stewart seemed like a good gamble for bench and he could take CI in case we need to move Carp to OF.  We will dump the 3rd catcher once Montero gets C-eligibility so we can consider whether we want to roster an MI backup or another pitcher.
  • Based on my projections, we ended up with a team that is average or better in all 10 categories.  We’ve ‘won’ drafts before and lost the league but this definitely gives us some confidence going into the season (FWIW, I predicted we’d finish 6th last year in LABR and we finished tied for 7th.  But I projected the team that finished in first at 11th and the team I projected would finish in 1st finished in 9th.)

93 Responses

  1. Terrence Mann says:
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    Didn’t you get Ichiro at 91 and Montero at 121? Color me confused.

    • @Terrence Mann, I screwed up the pick #s – now fixed. The 7th pick was actually #101 (6*15=90, 11th pick that round)

      • @Rudy Gamble, And Montero at #131.

  2. Steve says:
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    It’s pretty well-known that you and Grey approach drafting pitchers a bit differently (though Grey will take one early if the value is there). Is it fair to say the Lincecum pick was driven by Point Shares?

    Looks like good value if so…

    • @Steve, We were both psyched for Lincecum there. Picking SPs in a 12-team vs. 15-team requires different strategies. It would’ve been a tougher call if F-Her and Sabathia were still on the board.

      • Tony says:
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        @Rudy Gamble, 14 team h2h 8×8 league, where would you consider your first starter? The larger the league you start thinking about them earliery?

        • @Tony, I like to see how the rest of the teams are drafting. If there are a lot of similarly valued SPs on the board, I might hold off a round. I think 3rd/4th round is probably where I’d target my first SP in that format unless someone like Verlander or maybe Halladay fell to me late in the 2nd round.

  3. junker23 says:
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    So Keri didn’t take Longoria at 15/16 but took Fielder at 17?

    • junker23 says:
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      @junker23, And wait, you finished 3rd in a LABR league and tied for 7th? I r confused more at that.

      • Former Skeptic says:
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        @junker23, He said “if we would have…we would have finished third” and “we finished middle of the bell curve” earlier in the piece.

    • @junker23, You’re right…he took Fielder with the 16th…will edit.

  4. Bourne says:
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    I see a bit of both of you in this draft and your first two picks were awesome. I don’t know how Longo isn’t a top 10 player but I am getting him with Votto in my Yahoo league.

    Your OF has a lot of risk. That is fine I suppose. You will either win or lose on many of them I think. However, the one puzzle for me is Denard Span. What was your logic in drafting him? Grey has him at 297 and you have him at 241 and you drafted him at 200. Do you have some crazy projection about him returning to 2009 and getting 700 ab and .300 avg? 90/4/60/25/.270 is my upside projection. And that would be if Mauer and Morneau both came out with some awesome RBIs for the twinkies. Thanks in advance for the reply.

    • @Bourne, Thanks Bourne. Yeah, our drafts tend to have both our fingerprints. It’s common for one of us to really like a guy at a pick and the other one is just okay with it. We each have veto rights if we hate a pick. I had screwed up the pick #s – Span was actually #290 and was the best OF on both our boards. If he stays healthy and concussion-free, even in that lineup, I think he could be solid in AVG/R/SB.

      Agree that our OF carries some risk. We were surprised that we ended up with three leadoff hitter types (Ichiro, Span, Torres) – although Ichiro is scheduled to hit 3rd this year. Rios and Cespedes felt like good value where we selected them.

      We’ll see though…

  5. The Ichiro pick was a bit of a surprise to me, now that Seattle has said he will bat 3rd after Figgins and Ackley how do you see his projections? Did it influence the pick?

    • @The Dutchmen, I think the move from 1st to 3rd should have the following impact on Ichiro (here’s a reference on R/RBI by lineup position – http://razzball.com/lineup-position-impact-on-runs-rbi/)

      Runs -> 80 to 75
      HR -> Same
      RBI -> 55 to 80
      SB ->34 to 30
      AVG -> Same

      Going from #1 to #3 definitely improves your overall R/RBI contribution. I think the biggest question is whether it will affect his SB totals. My guess is not really.

      I checked the impact of the 1st vs. 3rd hitting projections and his value goes from #102 hitting 1st to #76 hitting 3rd (12-team league). But we selected him based on his initial projected stats (hitting 1st) so any value above that is a bonus.

  6. random razzball commenter says:
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    Keri also referred to Mathew Berry’s annual Draft Day Manifesto as a ” fun and informative read”, so maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising he passed on Longo twice.

      • @Rudy Gamble, Now that I think about it, picking Kinsler/Fielder at #15/#16 over Longoria is defensible. I had Kinsler #24 but I’m less bullish on 2B position scarcity than most. Kinsler was definitely more valuable than Longo last year and might’ve been in 2010.

        I think if you look at the picks ahead of Longoria, they are all defensible – the variable in question is how much to adjust 2B/SS value vs. 3B (besides Kinsler, Pedroia and Reyes also ‘leapfrogged’ ahead of Longoria based on my rankings) – I had Cano, Tulo, and Hanley ahead of Longoria.

  7. Brendon says:
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    Rudy,
    Good article. I think you guys will field a solid team. However, your math on your numbering of overall picks is wrong. It starts at Lincecum at round 3 pick 31. That is actually pick 41. It goes from there to the end (your 29th round pick should be the 431st overall, not 291. It makes it confusing when trying to judge how good your draft was based on where you took a certain player.
    I like your OF and Chacin in the 17th was a steal.

    • @Brendon, You’re right. Corrected it.

  8. 15 teams for 29 rounds? That’s deep. That’s Deepak Chopra dropping gel tabs deep. I play in a 10 team mixed league so thank you for making my penis look small to me.

    Btw, whichever one of you decided to draft Fautino De Los Santos is an evil genius.

    Your Friend in Time,

    Giancarlo

    • @Giancarlo the Hairdresser, Going from 10/12 to 15 team is a definite adjustment. At this point, I’m used to playing 14-16 mixed and AL/NL-only so I have the opposite problem when playing in a 10/12 league.

      Fautino was more my pick but we both love taking fliers on potential closers. We preferred Fuentes but he was long gone.

  9. Anthony says:
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    @to everyone: Im in a custom league on yahoo and does anyone know how to get the draft order announced before the actual draft day? On the yahoo site it said you get the draft selection randomized 30 mins before the actual draft but i would like to get it a little before hand so i can do a few mocks with my #. Please someone let me know so i can pass it along to my commisioner.

    • Eddy says:
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      @Anthony,

      If you are doing a random order draft, there’s no way to find out until 30 minutes before.

      If you’re dead set on doing so, best option is to somehow randomize your draft order through the message boards, then have your commish edit the draft order using commish tools.

    • 3FingersBrown says:
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      @Anthony, What Eddy said. We randomize draft order outside of Yahoo and post it as soon as keepers are declared (today).

    • Disco says:
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      @Anthony, you can generate a random order ahead of time this year, but the commissioner has to “finalize the team list” first, then it becomes an accessible option

  10. Brendon says:
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    I’m really surprised to see you guys take Asdrubal at pick #71 when you could have waited and taken Jimmy Rollins (who will steal twice as many bases if healthy) a round later. Asdrubal seems like the type who might come out and hit .265 with 9 homers because he’s either A. pounding the ball into the ground like he has his entire career, or B. swinging for the fences and he doesn’t get the 15 or so “Just Enough” HR’s he got last year.
    Bumgarner at #80 is your best pick of the entire draft. De Los Santos is a great late pick. Your staff will be all set in K’s.
    I like that you sprung for Montero at 131. Probably the best upside of that catcher tier.

    • @Brendon, Good points. I think this is the pick I’m least happy with and it’s all my fault. I really liked Choo for this pick but he went the pick before. SS was going early up to that point in the draft (Castro #29, Andrus in 3rd round) and I thought a SS run was imminent. But we could’ve waited a round or two for someone like A-Ram.

      And you’re right. Asdrubal can’t be counted on for 25 HRs – I read something similar about how Asdrubal had a high % of ‘just enough’ HRs. He was higher on my draft board than Grey’s and I still had him at #107. On the plus side, he’s at least slated (we’ll see) to hit middle of the lineup which will give him R/RBI upside vs. the other SS who would’ve been eligible (75/75 potential). He’s decent on AVG/SB. He’s only 26.

      There was almost no chance Grey or I would draft Rollins (despite him being higher on my Point Shares). Too old. Same goes for Jeter.

      Grey was all about Bumgarner. I liked him too. Agree on Montero. We’ll see on De Los Santos….(if he doesn’t close, he’s useless to us given it’s a weekly league)

      • Brendon says:
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        @Rudy Gamble,
        I was mostly surprised by the Asdrubal pick because you guys seem down on him this year (and rightly so). It wasn’t a bad pick when you consider the depth after him. Jeter is too old but I don’t think Rollins is finished yet. I’m a little negative on Asdrubal because his second half worries me. The flyball rate ballooned and he stopped getting so lucky so his average tanked. That said, he’s always had doubles power so I’m not predicting a serious regression, maybe he’ll settle somewhere in the 15-18 HR range.
        Your De Los Santos pick was solid because this league is deep enough that he should probably be rostered as a speculative bet for saves. You’ll probably know whether he’s droppable or not by opening day. They see him in Oakland as the closer of the future but with Balfour Fuentes and Devine in his way it may not be this year. I like his K rate anyhow.

        • @Brendon, Grey’s more down on Asdrubal then me but I still don’t love the pick. Hope De Los Santos works out…always good trade bait to have an extra closer.

  11. Commish Cauda says:
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    16-team H2H-Points Keeper League

    Which option?

    Keep Daniel Hudson in the 8th round
    OR
    Keep Beachy in the 13th round and Luebke in the 14th round

    *If kept now, Hudson could be kept in 2013 in the 5th
    **If kept now, Beachy and Luebke could be kept in 2013 in the 8th, and in 2014 in the 5th

    • @Commish Cauda, I’d keep Beachy in the 13th round and Luebke in the 14th round. Easy decision.

  12. Jmonte says:
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    Loved the draft gents, best of luck to you!

    I was curious why u passed on Longo, but I can understand that you didn’t want to miss out on a Top 1B and I’m sure you guys jumped up and high-fived when Longo fell to you at 20???? Wow thats karma! I was confused about the Lincy pick then realized the traditional thought of waiting on pitching changes bc it’s a 15 tm league.

    • @Jmonte, I think getting a 3B that early was a luxury. I really wanted to go 1B (Fielder being the backup if A-Gonz or Votto didn’t fall) and then OF (best availble) and would’ve done that if Longoria didn’t fall. Getting 3B that early just gave us one less position we had to worry about scavenging for (we effectively punted 2nd Catcher and 2B).

      Thanks for wishing us luck. We’ll take all the luck we can get.

  13. Mitch Moreland says:
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    Great draft! It is interesting to see how weak OF becomes. Players like Duda, Belt, Dom Brown and myself disappear in the 12th-18th. I could see you adding a FA call up during the season to add some OF power.

    • @Mitch Moreland, Hey Mitch – thanks for checking the site during spring training. I value OF pretty high – sometimes the timing of picks forces you to readjust. If Choo is available for the 5th pick, our OF probably looks a lot stronger. Hopefully we get 5 solid players out of the 7 OF we drafted (Carp being the 7th). I think it’s a fair bet we ended up picking up another OF at some point this year….

  14. BostonEagle5 says:
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    I think your team looks really good. Really liked the Montero/Hill picks. I think he has a big bounce back season this year. I wonder who you think will finish first in this league? On first look, Podhorzer’s team looks the strongest if some of his SP can breakthrough (Sale, Bard).

    • @BostonEagle5, In a 15-team league, it’s hard to come out of a draft with any one team being more than, say, a 9:1 favorite (average would be 14:1). I wouldn’t trade our team for any other team right now. Mike P had a solid draft – particularly on the offensive side. I’ve seen his roster review on FanGraphs and it’s pretty much spot on – will need some SP good fortune to win. I think drafting two converted relievers is pretty risky (we did this in a recent AL draft and still pissed about it) but we’ll see…

  15. tenaciousdeucer says:
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    I’d love to be able to post a comment on Keri’s Grantland article, but will do so here instead. His “strategy” is actually the absence of strategy. I’m not sure why he even bothers to attend drafts since an autodrafting bot would perform the same, if not better. Keri is a maroon, but at least he didn’t take catchers in rounds 3&4 (good grief!).

    I’d wish you good luck in the LABR league, but it doesn’t appear that you need it.

    • @tenaciousdeucer, I really like Jonah’s work – going back to his time at Baseball Prospectus – so curious to see how he does in fantasy baseball. I think the key sentence in his post is, “Your one and only goal is to get a bargain on each and every player you buy.” That is the foundation of my draft strategy and the reason I work so hard on valuing players. Reading his post again, the one part I’d disagree with is his willingness to take a lopsided roster. That assumes every player’s value is tied to their market value. While that’s true, I think you need to factor in the value that player has to your team as well. If you’re already strong in SBs, drafting an SB guy has less value to your team. Banking on trades is difficult because it’s always difficult getting fair market value in a trade. The way I see it – if you feel the market undervalues players on draft day, how can you be confident that they change their mind during the regular season?

      • tenaciousdeucer says:
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        @Rudy Gamble,

        My biggest disagreement with Keri is that he advises to forgo research and blindly follow someone else’s ratings while never paying more than that publication’s recommended value. It’s not even contrarian so much as it is lazy; and doesn’t it just suck the fun out of the entire process?

        • @tenaciousdeucer, I’d like to think all the time I spend trying to come up w/ better rankings/values is worth it :) But I’m looking forward to the Grantland article by Malcolm Gladwell that features a ‘contrary to popular belief’ statistic that the amount of time spent preparing for fantasy baseball draft is inverse to a team’s chances of success. Blink, baby, blink!

          • Tony says:
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            @Rudy Gamble, i will say i do massive amounts of preseason research, year round research you could say, and last year I was in 11th of my long time yahoo h2h league for 75% of the year. Being the fantasy baseballer that I am I did not give up, made a good trade or two, and battled all the way to 7th place and just fell short of the playoffs for the first time I can remember. In short, no matter how much you prepare preseason, you can not prepare for wrights broken back, heyward flopping, Lester drinking beer and Liriano bombing…. Post draft I thought, man i’m going to win this thing, 2 months in…. yep, brickwall.

    • Jonah Keri says:
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      @tenaciousdeucer, What a maroon indeed. I’ll be sure to give back the 2 AL LABR championships I won using this approach.

      • LABR CHAMP 2012 says:
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        @Jonah Keri,
        I’m coming for ya and yer not carin bout nuthin bizniz!

  16. beardawg says:
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    I love everything about your team . . . except the bench! How nauseating. But maybe I shouldn’t talk, having never drafted a bench in a league that deep.

    • @beardawg, Yeah, take a look at the draft results and let me know which bench doesn’t make you nauseous :) I’d be shocked if we don’t end up dropping at least 1/2 the people on our bench by end of year. Would take 2 of those players being roster-worthy (my best bets would be Iwakuma and Stewart)

      • beardawg says:
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        @Rudy Gamble, I likeHeany’s quite a bit; also Colton’s and Anderson’s. Aviles is worth 3 bn players alone!

  17. Cheese

    Cheese says:
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    Getting 3 solid closers is pretty huge. I enjoy seeing these mocks because I participate in a 2 catcher 16 team league. I’ll have to take at the entire draft later to get a good feel for how things went.

    Since you’re a math guy, let me run something by you. I’m doing my rankings a little differently this year. I take all my projections for every player from the Razzball top 300, then rank them using roto. So basically, the player with the most projected homeruns gets 300 points, least projected home runs gets 1 point, etc. I do this for all stat categories, then total up all roto points to get my rankings. What are your thoughts on this? See any major flaws? Thanks!

    • @Cheese, your work should be directionally okay but is inexact as the category rank doesn’t fully estimate the size of the difference and the impact of that size – e.g., Bourn may be #1 in SB and double the #30 guy (just pulling that out of my arse). His value is double. Whereas HRs has a slower dropoff.

      My reco is start from the 16-team Point Shares and adjust up/down based on your gut + alternate projections.

      • Cheese

        Cheese says:
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        @Rudy Gamble, I understand what you’re saying. I took a look at the point shares, however, the league I play in is 8×8 (BB, H, SLG) so I’m not 100% sure how I would translate this information over.

  18. Wake Up says:
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    Very Interesting. At a glance, I like Razzball and VanRiper as the top 2 teams. VanRiper has the edge in offense and Razzball in pitching.
    I like the players that VanRiper got in the first 3 rounds better but Razzball’s strategy was much better. I’d much rather have 1B, 3B, OF, Lincecum than 3 OF’s and Price to start the draft. He’s got a crater for 1B and CI.
    Nice sneaky DeLosSantos pick too. How can you go wrong with the saint from the saints?

    • @Wake Up, Thx. Yeah, Van Riper has solid offense – especially in HR/RBI. I’d still take our team vs. his but that’s what every drafter would say in the preseason, right?

      • McBainus says:
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        @Rudy Gamble, Definitely not. If the guy that drafted second (can’t remember his name) doesn’t hate his team he deserves to be kicked out of the league right now. He basically decided to punt offense (particularly infield). Truly one of the worst teams I have ever seen by an ‘expert’.

        • @McBainus, C’mon McBainus, say how you feel. Don’t hold back :)

          FYI, here’s that team owner’s post on the draft: http://bloombergsports.mlblogs.com/2012/02/27/bloomberg-sports-hoards-catchers-in-inaugural-labr-mixed-league-draft/

          For the record, I’ve been burned after falling for the allure of catchers in 2 catcher leagues. I usually keep to my 1 catcher $ estimates in 2 catcher leagues and try to get a discount on my 1 catcher $ estimate in 1 catcher leagues (not sure if that made sense…)

          • mcbainus says:
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            @Rudy Gamble: I didn’t really make it clear, but I actually don’t have THAT much of an issue with the 3/4 catcher picks. I mean I wouldn’t do it, but you could still theoretically put together a pretty good team.

            My main issue is that, after Miggy, he doesn’t take a single player than can play in any infield OR outfield position until Round 11…and even then it is another 1B!!

            He has a great shot at finishing with 12′s or better in most, if not all, pitching categories, but I would be surprised if he got more than 25 total points on offense.

            Your comment about 1C/2C drafting strategies made sense. So much sense, that I would say it is EXACTLY my strategy. Which is why I end up punting catcher even in 2C leagues – I’ll value them all at 1C prices, but everyone else will overvalue them (particularly those that follow Tom Trudeau’s school of thought), so I just never see the value and it pains me to the depths of my soul to ever reach for a catcher.

            Have you done your projections yet? Where do you project Trudeau to go?

            RE: Your draft, I actually dislike the Ichiro pick more than the Asdrubal pick, but other than those two, it worked out pretty damn well for you guys. Based purely on qualitative reasoning, you guys seem like a good bet for a Top-3 finish.

            • @mcbainus, I’ve done my projections but I don’t like to disclose them – have to be respectful to my expert colleagues :) I’ll say this about Trudeau’s team – his power is definitely suspect but he’s strong on AVG and speed. Runs may be a crapshoot.

              You hate Ichiro at pick 101? I’ve railed for years how overrated he is but I still have him in Point Shares as a top #100 player. Hopefully Ichiro and our other leadoff-type hitters (Span, Torres) can balance the power/bad AVG of guys like Carp and Aaron Hill.

              Here’s hoping you’re right on your prediction of our team!

  19. SwaggerJackers says:
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    Hey Rudy, pick 5 in a H2H 12 team with OBP instead of AVG

    Tulo
    Cano
    Ellsbury
    J Upton
    Giancarlo

    • VinWins

      VinWins says:
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      @Rudy Gamble, Let’s see somebody disagree with you there.

    • SwaggerJackers says:
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      @Rudy Gamble, Good answer! How about 4?

      • @SwaggerJackers, Unkeep Ellsbury. SBs don’t matter us much in H2H and I”d want to hold onto Upton and Stanton for a looong time….

  20. Gavin says:
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    I trust your guys rankings over any other site. Is there a downloadable/printable spreadsheet somewhere I’m not seeing that just lists the rankings and names by position and overall maybe? The links under Fantasy Baseball Rankings are great for reading, but not very conducive to shuffling through on draft day. Cheers.

    • VinWins

      VinWins says:
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      @Gavin, If you want to email me I can send you a spreadsheet in either excel or open office, or a pdf file.

      vinreich@zoho.com

        • VinWins

          VinWins says:
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          @Sal salerno, Sure; sent from my google account.

  21. Chupacabra says:
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    I will be picking last in a 12 team HTH league, roto style categories.

    Rate my mock draft:

    Your Team 1. Justin Upton (Ari – OF)
    2. Robinson Cano (NYY – 2B)
    3. Andrew McCutchen (Pit – OF)
    4. Zack Greinke (Mil – SP)
    5. Howie Kendrick (LAA – 1B,2B,OF)
    6. Aramis Ramirez (Mil – 3B)
    7. Lance Berkman (StL – 1B,OF)
    8. Emilio Bonifacio (Mia – 3B,SS,OF)
    9. Alex Avila (Det – C)
    10. Daniel Hudson (Ari – SP)
    11. Adam Lind (Tor – 1B)
    12. Logan Morrison (Mia – OF)
    13. Anibal Sanchez (Mia – SP)
    14. Carlos Marmol (ChC – RP)
    15. Chris Perez (Cle – RP)
    16. Mike Minor (Atl – SP)
    17. Brandon McCarthy (Oak – SP)
    18. Aroldis Chapman (Cin – RP)
    19. Jonny Venters (Atl – RP)
    20. Scott Baker (Min – SP)
    21. Jake Peavy (CWS – SP)
    22. Brad Peacock (Oak – SP)
    23. Jon Rauch (NYM – RP)

    • @Chupacabra, Not bad. I’d punt SB in H2H (no Bonifacio!) and avoid real shitty closers like Chris Perez. Nice job spreading out the SP picks.

      • Steve says:
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        @Rudy Gamble, I’m faced with this in my H2H league every year. Rather than punting saves, is more a case of not sweating on them? Meaning that you draft balanced guys and see what happens (grabbing speed off the wire if you need it in a given week), rather than ignoring steals completely?

        Or are you saying PUNT them?

        • @Steve, I wouldn’t go out of my way not to draft SBs but I’d discount their worth. So in a 5×5, consider SB and SVs worth 0.5 or 0.75 compared to the 1.0 for HR and R. So someone like bonifacio who really only helps in SB will be discounted to a greater degree.

          The reason I do that is SBs are too unpredictable – much like a banana fetishist, they come in bunches. R/HR/RBI/AVG are more predictable on a week to week basis.

  22. BWC says:
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    I tried to check the questions and didn’t see this asked/answered. Do your projected standings line up with your point share totals. For example is the top person in point shares also the person projected to be the first place finisher (with last / last)?

    • @BWC, Good question. I’ve done some prelim analysis and the summed $ values seem to correlate very well with the projected standings (using the projected stats).

      Not sure how well this will come out but the below has the teams ranked 1st to 15th based on standings points after I summed all their projected stats together. I then summed the $154/$96 values and the $170/$90 values. The only caveat is that I used my 1 Catcher $ values vs. 2 Catcher because I find the $ values when projecting in 2 catcher leagues gets really high AND I’ve found that catchers are more unreliable to live up to their projections.

      The big anomaly in the below is the projected 10th place team that finished first based on my $ projections. That was driven by overinvesting in certain areas vs. equally distributing the $.

      (The $ estimates are based off the Point Shares – just easier to use $ values for the test)

      Stats $154/96 rank $170/$90 rank
      1 $283 2 $280 1
      2 $268 4 $268 4
      3 $273 3 $278 2
      4 $248 6 $252 6
      5 $247 7 $248 7
      6 $235 8 $237 8
      7 $233 10 $225 12
      8 $262 5 $253 5
      9 $216 15 $217 15
      10 $285 1 $272 3
      11 $231 11 $233 9
      12 $222 13 $225 12
      13 $235 8 $233 9
      14 $220 14 $225 12
      15 $227 12 $227 11

      • @Rudy Gamble, Caught a few incorrect lineup vs. bench assignments on the other teams – here’s the adjusted results (i added in the points totals from my projected standings – truncating any 0.5 b/d it makes for cleaner display in the comments):

        Pts Rank $154/96 $154/96 rank $170/$90 $170/90 rank
        106 1 $283 2 $280 1
        99 2 $268 4 $268 4
        95 3 $273 3 $278 2
        89 4 $252 6 $256 5
        86 5 $245 8 $248 6
        80 6 $247 7 $248 6
        79 7 $290 1 $278 2
        76 8 $233 10 $225 11
        75 9 $216 15 $217 15
        73 10 $231 11 $233 9
        71 11 $258 5 $248 6
        68 12 $224 12 $224 14
        68 13 $222 13 $225 11
        67 14 $235 9 $233 9
        65 15 $220 14 $225 11

        • McBainus says:
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          @Rudy Gamble, Which teams do these actually correspond to though?

          • @McBainus, I have to keep some things proprietary – we want to win this league! The funny thing is I compared my results to the results from Bloomberg Front Office (the Bloomberg guys were nice enough to comp us) and the results are markedly different. Granted, it has us getting 9 AB from Wilson Rosario and Cespedes has no projection but still….just goes to show that every manager probably comes out of their draft looking good based on their projections….

        • BWC says:
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          @Rudy Gamble, The revised numbers seem to line up well. I have a z-score based model that I use, which is very similar to your point shares and when I do this analysis it also gets messed up because of categories like wins, which have relatively small variation so the point totals projected can be far greater than the true underlying values.

          The guy with 79 points is probably going to have to make some trades to realize on his value, is that allowed in LABR. Also I’m surprised to see the guy with 75 points doing so well given his value. Any thing weird in his team (did he draft two top catchers? or overspend on closers?)

          One last question, I did my first draft and I tend to go blindly by my model. This means I ended up with pitchers like Wainright, Strasburg, Carpenter because I think the projections probably underweight the risks to reduced performance coming back from TJ (and in Carpenter’s case, pitching so many innings). Do you do anything Quantitative to deal with that or simply go by your gut?

          • @BWC, The 79 point team has something like a $150 in pitcher value and is short an SP or two. So ERA/WHIP are great but Wins/Ks are not. Assuming he can find solid SP on the waiver wire, I think he’s got definite potential to grab more points. (so I guess comparing $ and standings points does have its benefits)

            I’ve done ‘risky pitcher’ analysis over the years and I don’t hold it in high regard from a quant standpoint – i.e., good research should beat common sense and I don’t think it does. Anyway, my MO is not to avoid ‘risky’ pitchers but to avoid getting more than one to mitigate risk. This includes not only pitchers i consider injury prone but also converted relievers. So Wainwright, Strasburg, and Carpenter – wow, that’s a lot of risk. Maybe it works out…or maybe that falls apart like those mortgage securities :)

  23. Nate says:
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    I’m shocked that Longoria made it to the 20th pick. I can’t name 6 players I would rather have over him. Is there something in the league that decreases his value? Also, is there any link to see the whole draft? Would love to compare teams

    • VinWins

      VinWins says:
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      @Nate, Link in last line of 1st paragraph.

  24. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    With the amount of MI love going around initially, I think you had to jump the gun and grab Asdrubal. Even though it is probably your worst foresight pick (who knows what hindsight will reveal), that MI love also got you an amazing set of corners in A-Gon/Longo at 11/15th pick, so I see you well in the plus side of that give and take.

    • @Awesomus Maximus, Thanks AM. Hopefully Asdrubal makes me look prescient on that pick. I’ll just be happy with a 80/15/80/15/.280.

      • Steve says:
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        @Rudy Gamble, Hey Rudy – any thoughts on my comment at 8.05pm above? Thanks!

          • Steve says:
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            @Rudy Gamble, Yeah – thanks! So if your in the middle of the second round and Reyes is there, you’re saying go McCutchen or Stanton (or similar)?

            I know you’re not so hot on Reyes anyway, but I’m sure you can see what I’m getting at.

            • @Steve, Yes, any guy that’s main asset is SBs should be discounted for H2H. Err towards power.

              • Steve says:
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                @Rudy Gamble, Yup, that was my main takeout from my H2H league last year. How do you look at Ellsbury in H2H then? Steals are obviously his dominant strength, but are his Runs and Average enough to render him more than a ‘speed-only’ guy in a 12-team H2H league? We count OBP too, BTW.
                Thanks for manning the late shift!

                • @Steve, Here’s a way to take my earlier note (on your original comment) into action:

                  1) Go to 12 team PS – http://razzball.com/2012-point-shares-12-team-mlb-espn-roster/

                  2) Take any SB threat’s SB Point Share (Ellsbury at 2.7) and cut it in half.

                  3) Subtract that difference from their total Point Shares (Ellsbury goes from 5.02 to 3.67)

                  4) At 3.67, his ranking would go from #9 to #22, losing $6 in auction value in the process.

                  • Steve says:
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                    @Rudy Gamble, Thanks Rudy, thats great. Much appreciated. And good luck on your LABR adventures.

      • Awesomus Maximus

        Awesomus Maximus says:
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        @Rudy Gamble, He made me look like a genius last year, so you never know. Plus it sounds like he’s out to prove his run last year wasn’t a complete fluke. I like it when a guy is pressed… tend to find out if he’s a choke artist or a performer once and for all.

        • @Awesomus Maximus, Hopefully he doesn’t choke on his Asdrubal.

          • Awesomus Maximus

            Awesomus Maximus says:
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            @Rudy Gamble, He shouldn’t be eating asdrubal during the season… delicious, but very fattening.

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