As I begin to prepare my projections and rankings for the 2017 season, I like to look back on the previous season’s attempt to not only assess my work, but also to learn how I can do better next time. Projecting statistics in any sport is a tedious and arduous task. The variables, formulas and algorithms are constantly changing and if you don’t adapt with them, your results will lose their precision and accuracy. However, I’d like to make one point blatantly clear, projections are nothing more than calculated guesses. Some are better than the next, but none are even close to perfect.
Let’s see how I fared with my 2016 efforts. For all positions I will provide the following six numbers: projected points, actual points, projected rank, actual rank, projected points per plate appearance and actual points per plate appearance. I am including points per plate appearance because it helps put a player’s projections vs performance into perspective when they’ve missing time due to injury. For pitchers I’ve replaced points per plate appearance with points per start. I’ve also included a column showing the percentage by which my points projections were off. Any player with an “n/a” listed in this column is because that player spent at least 30 days on the disabled list.
Lastly, a quick note about the rankings listed in this post. These rankings are based purely on points. This season I plan to provide additional rankings that allow me to adjust them based on three important factors: intuition, gut and my sporadic conversations with Nostradumass.
It took us a few weeks, but we have arrived at the finale. We can finally wrap up the Couch Managers 2017 Industry Mock Draft recaps. It feels like just yesterday I was getting started on what was likely to be a 60,000-word article on all 23 rounds of this mock draft before Grey slapped me and told me to put down the bourbon and split this into multiple posts. Below, I’ll be posting the results of rounds 19-23, my thoughts on said results, and the final team for every owner.
In case you have yet to see my previous posts, here is a quick recap of the league rules for this mock:
This mock was for a 15-team, 5×5 roto, with 23 roster spots made up of 9 pitchers (9), 1 spot for each position (8), a second catcher (1), 2 more outfielders (2), one corner infielder (1), one middle infielder (1), and one utility position (1).
With these top 100 starters for 2017 fantasy baseball, I’ve finished our (my) 2017 fantasy baseball rankings for positions. Still coming will be a top 100 overall and top 500 to see how all the positions mesh together like your mesh Redskins jersey that meshes with your burgundy sweatpants. Trust me, when you see how long this post is, you’ll be glad I kept this intro short. As always, my projections are included, and where I see tiers starting and stopping. If you want an explanation of tiers, go back to the top 10 overall and start this shizz all over again. Anyway, here’s the top 100 starters for 2017 fantasy baseball:
Greetings, friends. I hopped over to the football side of things once last year’s baseball season ended, but now I’m back. And apparently, I am such a disturbed individual that I am doing fantasy baseball mock drafts in early January. And, I am writing about them. And, well, I just wanted to start another sentence with and because it feels so wrong but so right at the same time. Anyway, moving on.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Couch Managers 2017 Industry Mock Draft, and we’re going to recap it here. This mock was for a 15-team, 5×5 roto, with 23 roster spots made up of 9 pitchers (9), 1 spot for each position (8), a second catcher (1), 2 more outfielders (2), one corner infielder (1), one middle infielder (1), and one utility position (1). As long as I did that math correctly, that is 23 spots.
Below, I will provide the results for the first six rounds and a give my thoughts for each round. I’ll do the same for rounds 7-12, 13-18, and 19-23 in subsequent posts. I’ll try to keep it brief. All we really care about are the results here, right? Feel free to tell me how awesome or crappy you think my team is, along with what you think were the best and worst picks of the draft or the different rounds…
Yesterday, was the first time the Cubs have won 100 games since 1935. Though, in 1994, the Cubs were so gonna win the final 49 games if the strike didn’t happen, giving them 98 wins, then two losses were going to go under review and get reversed. What? My crystal ball is very specific. Why don’t you people believe me? Kidding, I know you believe me because I can see you in my crystal ball. Put on some pants that don’t have an elastic band, would you please! Kyle Hendricks (6 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners (0 walks), 5 Ks, ERA down to 1.99) did his usual magic. I say let him sit out his final start so he can end the year with a minus-2 ERA, and I bet the Cubs say the same thing as me. Know why? I have the best words. People love my words. No one has words like me. Carrying them offensively was Javier Baez (2-for-5, 6 RBIs and his 14th homer). Whenever Hendricks grooves, Baez seems to play himself a little ditty, too. Must be their Woodstock connection. If Joan Baez didn’t perform at Woodstock, don’t tell me, for folk’s sake. Baez is going to be a tough nut to peg (totally a saying) for 2017 fantasy. He’s made great strides with his strikeouts. Looks like an easy bet for a 17/17 season if he were to play every day, but 17/17 is just a tad boring compared to 20/20. By the way, Tad Boring never gets any dates on Tinder. Also, we’re not sure if Baez will have an everyday job. Cubs’ playing time can be Maddon’ing. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
You know how people write stuff on a grain of rice. With that in mind, on Rich Hill‘s blister this is written, “Took a whole lot of tryin’ to get up that Hill — R.I.P. Sherman Hemsley. I can’t believe I not only had room on this grain for an inspirational quote, but also room to attribute the quote to the wrong person and to also add in this meta comment about my inspirational quot–” Damn, he wasn’t able to fit everything. That’s the worst. That’s like when you’re writing a birthday card to someone and you start writing a note only to get to the end and need to start writing super-tiny and curved to fit it in. And that’s not the first time you’ve heard your curve is super-tiny. Rich Hill was perfect on Saturday — 7 IP, 0 ER, 0 baserunners, 9 Ks — but, to be honest, Hill has been perfect for the last two years (though only 29 IP last year). This year, 1.80 ERA, 0.96 WHIP with a 10.4 K/9 and 1.74 ERA over the past two years. So, ya know, your usual ace you get about 120 IP from. For 2017, it’s going to be hard to rank him much below the top 25 with the caveat that you’re only getting him for three to four months. Makes you wish rice grains were just a tad bigger to fit all of the superlatives on there for Rich Hill. Know what I mea– Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Not quite as spiritually moving as John Lennon, but imagine for a moment Jose Abreu were to actually put together two solid halves in the same year. “Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try. No ‘He’ll end up below Andrus,’ for half the year. Above Andrus only this Jose guy. Imagine Abreu playing a decent, full season like today. Aha-ha… Imagine there’s no countries. It isn’t hard to do. Nothing to drop or trade for, and no ‘Abreu’s so cold it’s like this hell has a fridge in it’ too. Imagine all the people living to get a piece of…Abreu… You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one! I hope some day Abreu’ll be better than Andrus, and play an entire season as one.” So, Jose Abreu hit two homers yesterday (3-for-7, 7 RBIs, and 21st and 22nd HRs), and he’s been great recently, but it’s hard to get that excited about a guy for 2017 who invariably takes three months off every year. Can’t imagine he’s a top 25 player ever again. You-WHO-OOH! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
When I was fresh out of college, I worked at a web company (everyone did in the 90s). There was four of us. The other three had real job titles; I was the gofer/do-whatever. It was about a month before I was going back to school for my Master’s. I had no intention of keeping the job. Honestly, I doubt they would’ve kept me for that full month if I weren’t leaving. I failed at everything they assigned me, but they kept giving me new tasks, hoping I’d succeed. The only task I seemed capable of was heating up pre-cooked sausages from Trader Joe’s. I made sausages on a grill for three weeks straight, so, when I finally did leave, they gave me a plaque that reads, “Who wants some sausages?” This brings me to the sudden and incomprehensible rise of Yulieski Guerriel. The Astros are that company, and YuGu is me. The Astros seem between a rock of “We really want this guy to succeed” and “We have about a month left and we’re just hoping something works.” Yulieski hasn’t failed in the minors, he’s looked completely lost. He hit .118 in Double-A, was promoted to Triple-A and hit .222. I could see grabbing Guerriel in all leagues to see if he can get lucky, and figure out how to make something other than pre-cooked sausages for lunch, but the Astros are not promoting him because of how well he’s looked. They’re promoting him because there’s about a month left. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
As we’ve seen countless times, a logjam in a starting rotation never ends up being a hurtle. At first, the Astros were seemingly cutting out Lance McCullers with boring vets like Doug Fister and Scott Feldman, the latter who has really not worked out as a starter… Feldman was throwing some good RP innings though, before they dumped him north of the border… Anyway, with McCullers’ elbow barking, it opened a spot for Joe Musgrove to step right into the rotation.
I’ve been thinking back; has there been a more exciting SP debut for a guy coming out of the bullpen at first? 4.1 innings coming in for the injured McCullers with 1 hit, 1 walk, and 8 Ks and a Jose Fernandez-esque fiery presence from Musgrove. Brian McCann will be a big baby whenever the Yankees face him… 8 strikeouts has to be close to a record for an MLB debut out of the bullpen (broadcast tells me it tied the record, nice work Astros broadcast!)… I guess without the clear opening through the season, it dulled the fantasy love for Musgrove, who had a crazy 10.25:1.03 K:BB in AA and 8.69:1.07 in AAA. Makes Phil Hughes look wild! Although, throwing Phil Hughes’ name in here isn’t exciting anyone… Hopefully a good outing and sexy GIFs will do that! Here’s how Musgrove looked yesterday afternoon in his first career MLB start:
Steve Cishek hit the DL with the same injury that sounds like it once affected Nadia Comaneci –a torn labrum. Grey’s got Olympics fever! Which this year sounds like it can be transmitted by a mosquito. “I’m not wearing my Brazilian national flag t-shirt to sit in the room all day! Actually, I feel a little woozy too.” That’s a family of four coming down with the Zika Virus at this year’s Olympics. With Cishek likely out for the year, grab Edwin Diaz in all leagues. On a related note, I’ll leave you with the Double Dutch Bus, a song that Missy Elliott later made famous on Gossip Folks. The chorus for Double Dutch Bus sounds like it’s just me trying to say the name Steve Cishek. Fast forward to 2:15 if you’re not feeling early 80s funk and just want the guy to say Steve Cishek repeatedly.
Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: