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Unlike our last team, Rudy and I co-drafted this team.  So for every bad pick, Rudy and I have someone to blame.  Neither will take it personal.  We managed to work Elijah Dukes onto this team, who’s a total dwyck.  This is a 20 team, 5×5, roto league and still is, so we have more arms than Bruce Willis.  Get well soon, Guru!  The team breaks down like this:  Catcher, 1st Baseman, 2nd Baseman, 3rd Baseman, Shortstop, 3 Outfielders, Utility, 2 SPs, 2 RPs, 3 Ps and a 4 man bench.  Anyway, here’s a 2010 fantasy baseball team and some thoughts from the draft:

2010 Fantasy Baseball Team

Round 1 – Ryan Braun – We skipped A-Rod and Utley.  Our thought process went like this.  With only one position player for each position, 3 outfielders and one utility man, we figured outfielders would make up the majority of the teams’ Utility spots and might even end up in the bench spots.  So you’re looking at drafting about 100 outfielders vs. 20 3rd basemen, 20 2nd basemen, etc.  Since there was no MI or CI, we figured there wouldn’t be many teams that had more than one 3rd baseman or 2nd baseman, etc. before we drafted one.

Round 2 – Lance Berkman – It was between him and Kendry Morales.  We decided to go with a guy who we felt was slightly more boring, but safer.  Safer helps when there’s absolutely no one on waivers.

Round 3/4 – Felix Hernandez/Cliff Lee – We also figured there would be a lot of pitchers drafted, since each team needed at least 5 starters.  In a 20 team league, two top starters, as we have, should easily get us a near-top finish in 3 of 5 pitching categories.  (WHIP, ERA and Ks.  There’s no accounting for Wins, but we should do okay there too.)  Now we just needed to take a few flier starters later on.

Round 5 – Gordon Beckham – This is Rudy and I on IM while drafting.  Me, “C’mon, let’s take some upside!”  Him, “You and your upside.  We need safe guys who will produce.”  Me, “Our team looks like a contender… In 2006.  We need upside!”  Him, “You want Beckham?”  Me, “Please.”

Round 6 – Johnny Damon – Hold the above dialogue about Gordon Beckham in the mirror.

Round 12 – Alcides Escobar – Rudy and I both tend to punt shortstop (if we don’t get Hanley) and try to get steals from our shorstop later on.  If I remember correctly, we had Everth Cabrera and Alcides to choose from and we needed steals.  Alcides seems more likely to hit at the top of the order for more ABs than EverCab.  Honestly, these guys are such tomato-tomahto at this point, in another draft tomorrow I might go with EverCab.  To read further, Alcides Escobar sleeper post.

Round 13 – Chase Headley – I tried for Snider, but Rudy wasn’t having it.  Rudy tried for Conor Jackson; I wasn’t having it.  We settled for Headley.  If Headley were on any team other than the Padres, he would’ve received his own sleeper post.  Then again, maybe he has a sleeper post and I’ve forgotten.  Damn, Headley, you inspire excitement!

Round 14 – Kelly Johnson – He’ll be solid on Runs, fair on average, hit 15 homers and 10 steals.  Explain to me how Yunel’s better than him one hundred picks earlier.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.  *rests head in hand, taps finger, yawns*  Okay, then.

Round 15 – Casey McGehee – Least favorite pick of the draft.  I really think McGehee ends up back on the bench or in a utility role for the Brewers.  I don’t see him approaching last year’s numbers.  I think Gamel, who might not even start the year with the Brewers, will outproduce McGehee on the year.  Anyway, it was the 283rd pick of the draft and we needed some flexibility.

Round 16 – Clayton Richard – A Padres pitcher with a near 7 K/9 and projected to have a 4 ERA at pick 318?  No problem there for me.

Round 17 – Elijah Dukes – Some other guys taken this round were:  Jeff Weaver, Mike Adams, Chris Getz, Pineiro, Cahill, Maicer Izturis and Luke Scott.  To answer your question, no Chumlee wasn’t drafting for the guy who took Weaver.  That was autodrafted.  The rest of those guys I believe were present.  I always preach not to take bench hitters, but that’s for 10 team, 12 team… 14 team… Maybe in 16 team leagues… In a 20 team league, it’s tumbleweeds on waivers.

Round 19 – Jeff Clement – A’la Buddy from Cake Boss, “Now that’s how you punt catcher!”

Round 20 – Gaby Sanchez – We were looking at Kris Medlen and Carlos Santana but both were scooped right before our pick.  As for Gaby, he (she?) is an upside pick that is at the do or die stage of his (her?) career.  If he (she?) does, this could be our best value pick.

Overall – When we ran the numbers, we’re in a three-way first place tie in the preseason standings with 131 Points.  We didn’t necessarily go into the draft wanting to dominate pitching vs. hitting, but Rudy ran the Point Shares for the league and there were much better values for pitching.  To come out of a 20-team league with two of the top 10 pitchers in baseball (F-Her and Cliff Lee) is a huge advantage — one that would be impossible to attain with just 2 hitters.  Plus, we got Filthy Sanchez, a Johnson and Headley. What’s not to love?

From Around The Web

  1. Stephen says:
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    @Grey: My main league is 20 teams with extended categories (2B, 3B, BB, for hitters, and HLDs, BB, CG, and IP for pitchers). It makes for an extremely fun season where Angel Pagan can truly help your team. Its fun see you and Rudy drafting for such a deep league. The Conservative picks in a deep league are your best bet for the first few rounds (til about 7 or 8). Anyway, I like your draft besides for Damon 6th and McGehee in the 15. If you wanted flexibility, where was Felipe Lopez?

  2. majortommy says:
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    WOW! Talent really gets used up quickly in a 20 man league. Real tough picking at the beginning of the first, would much rather be picking middle to end. The team looks solid but no Ian Stewart, at least you got Sanchez(damn drink)
    Felix and Lee would be real solid for a 12 man league, good job on getting them.
    Hate your lack of power. Braun is legit, but no other 30 homer threat or 100 rbi threat could really hurt

  3. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Stephen: Lopez might’ve been taken… Maybe not, not sure. I know I looked at him at one point. He might’ve been a possibility instead of McGehee.

    @majortommy: It was between Stewart and Beckham. Rudy let me take Beckham, he wasn’t having Stewart in this league. (I believe that’s how it went down.) Our power is weaker than I would’ve liked.

  4. Matthew Raynor says:
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    What are you using to “run the numbers” to determine how many points you may have at the end of the season. Pretty solid looking team I must add

  5. majortommy says:
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    @Grey:At least he let you have Beckham, he probably would have taken Melvin Mora or Mike Lowell if he really does have an affinity for the older players. You and Rudy old friends or something, you start this sight together? Very intrigued by the personal aspects going on here, way different than any other sight I have seen.
    I once had a 15th level Chaotic Neutral Half-Elf Ranger named Grey Albright!

  6. mikey boy324 says:
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    grey in a 10 team h2h league with 4 bench spots should i fill all 4 with pitchers or should i at least take 1 hitter?

  7. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Matthew Raynor: Razzball calculator set to “How Can We Show That We Won.” Joking. Adding up all the players CHONE projections and then ranking them just like you would in a league.

    @majortommy: Went to college together. He prefers safe, which doesn’t mean old… Well, might mean older.

    @mikey boy324: I’d take all pitchers. By the first week of the season you’ll have a bench hitter anyway in a 10 team league.

  8. Quintero says:
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    Glad to see there are people on the Chase Headley bandwagon. Hooope it moves to the right direction.

    @Stephen: @Grey: I’m trading Wade Davis for Beckham in my dynasty (15 active hitters). He is really not necessarily needed.
    Who has higher celling? Should I do it or not?

  9. Stephen says:
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    @Grey: @majortommy: In the 20 team league that I play in we keep stats yearly on our own site. The most homers in a season is 229. I won the league last year but only had 169 homers and 681 RBI, both good for 11 points (out of 20). In a 5×5 you’re probably going to need 180 to be in contention. I counted about 130 homers (assuming Clement actually plays) which discounted Berkman and kept most things pretty conservative. A trade, a nice wavier wire pick, etc can cover the distance he/you need.

  10. Stephen says:
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    @Quintero: Depends on who your other players are, more specifically who Beckham is going to replace and who is going to replace Davis. My gut says keep Davis but my head says take Beckham. No, I am not trying to be wishy-washy.

  11. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Stephen: We have 159 homers, according to CHONE…. 668 RBIs, 671 Runs, 80 steals, .275 average.

  12. ichirosan says:
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    And the drinking game continues!!!

  13. Stephen says:
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    @Grey: Well, if the projects are right, you’re first place run is going to be a fun marathon.

  14. Pugsly says:
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    If you don’t finish in the bottom 2 or 3 in wins with that team, I’ll eat my shoe.

  15. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    Admit it — Rudy made you draft Kelly Johnson. Rudy LOVES Kelly Johnson.

    Unrelated Q for anyone: My league is considering adding one offensive/one pitching category this year. (To an otherwise standard 5×5 mixed roto format.)

    Everyone agrees that OBP will be the hitting cat. What’s a good extra pitching cat?

    Quality starts? Shutouts?

    DON’T SAY HOLDS.

  16. Scott says:
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    @Grey: Which side? Reyes and Baker or Garza vs. Rollins and Javy.

    Thanks,

  17. majortommy says:
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    @ichirosan: He is killing me again, mentioned Stewart 2 times in one response.

  18. Quintero says:
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    @Stephen: @Grey: Thanks guys, I don’t wanna make it to a long-long-long question. Ready to bend-it!

  19. Stephen says:
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    Here’s John Sickels’ write up on Everth Cabrera.

  20. Yoda says:
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    Grey, your team is good for a 9th place finish :)

    I thought you had a very good draft (much better than mine). Good luck!

  21. Quintero says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: If not Holds, then QS. Unless you want more luck factor, then go on the Shutouts route.

  22. Stephen says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Don’t do shutouts. They are like winning the lottery. If you want to go that route, go for Complete Games. However, adding walks to the pitchers wouldn’t be a bad idea, nor would holds, but seeing that you don’t want that you may want to go with QS or the CG.

  23. majortommy says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: We were going through the same process last year in my H2H. Added OPS and wanted a % stat to balance it out so we went with OBPA (on base % against), which this year we decided was way too much like whip. So we are switching to quality starts and could make punting saves that much more likely. I think this will help the streamers but we will see.

  24. Nate Marcum says:
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    @Grey: You know as well as I that CHONE will probably low ball your actual total. Is that your preferred method of projections, besides your own, or course! I like CHONE because I use it as the “most likely to achieve 75%+ of the time vs. Bill James which is probably only gonna reach with all things panning out right!

  25. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Pugsly: We’re projected for 68 Wins and 12 Points. Better start tenderizing.

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Nah, I actually twisted Rudy’s arm on KJ. Around 300th overall, I’m liking his value.

    Besides Holds, every pitching category is going to make SPs much more valuable. Maybe Innings? At least they’re not directly related to ERA and WHIP.

    @Scott: Both are fair and don’t seem worth trading for. I’d take Reyes and Garza or Baker.

    @Pirate Jesus: Thanks for the heads up!

    @Yoda: Yeah, I have your team in 19th of 20 teams. That’s not an exaggeration.

  26. Nate Marcum says:
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    @Grey: Where do you rank Ron Shandler’s Forecaster?

  27. Hey, I don’t necessarily love ‘safe’ or old players – i’m the stathead of the two and I’m going for best value. loved getting escobar and clayton richard at the draft pick we got them – beckham i’m on the fence about but i think he’ll have higher value at 2B/3B than Ian Stewart.

    people overdraft ‘upside’ every year….you’ve got to mix upside with security in my opinion….

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: i don’t love kelly johnson but that’s some crazy value at #278.

    @Pugsly: We’ve got 5 starters (about all you can use in a 1250 IP league) with 4 of them on projected .500 teams (Mariners, Twins, Giants). Who knows with Clayton Richard….

  28. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    Heyward batting third and hitting 1.000 in spring training–a lock. :-)

  29. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: A. Escobar projected to hit down in the order to start season (Weeks on top?). Likewise S. Sizemore (with Damon moving in the 2-hole).

    Not sure what to make of impact of BO (batting order) for these young guys. Do we discount projections slightly, or …?

  30. @Nate Marcum: As long as you use the same projections across all players, the under/over-projection of the data isn’t an issue.

    Correction on Grey’s statement. The projections aren’t based on just CHONE. They are an average of CHONE and ZiPS rate statistics (rate = HR/Plate Appearance, SB/Plate Appearance) multiplied against Baseball Prospectus estimated playing time.

    See here for an article championing this approach (albeit with a different playing time source – http://www.insidethebook.com/ee/index.php/site/comments/evaluating_the_2009_forecasts_chone_zips_fantastics_win/)

  31. Scott says:
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    @Grey: Thanks, not really a trade. Keeper league where we lose draft picks so it is really more of a question of replacement value. Seemed pretty fair to me too. I had Reyes last year, which obviously hurt, but I picked up Scutaro and was probably close to break even everywhere but steals. What hurt more was Hamels, Rios, and Krispie, so I think I’ll take the injury risk for the potential production of Reyes vs the potential decline of Rollins, even though he “will steal 50 bases this year.”

  32. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Thanks, Rudy. So, would you discount their projections accordingly if it looks as if they will begin season down in the order? Or, project them to hit their way to the top early?

  33. sean says:
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    @Grey: @Rudy Gamble: Interesting team guys. This is one that looks innocuous in paper and then somehow it’s winning the league. Glad to see that fantasy baseball is about more than just accumulating all stars.

  34. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: If I am reading the analysis correctly, a drop for A. Escobar from #1 to #8 would be from a R/RBI of 1.00 to .82. That seems significant.

  35. @Simply Fred: I’d consider adjusting a guy like Sizemore who is a very good chance to hit down in the order (Damon is a #1/#2 lock and they like Austin Jackson hitting 1st). Same goes for Everth Cabrera because he’s an awful hitting SS. I still think Escobar ends up hitting in the top 2 to use his speed and decent OBP.

  36. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Enough to favor E. Cabrera over Escobar?

  37. @sean: well, in a 12-team league, it’s impossible to get more than a couple stars :)

    @Simply Fred: definitely. and while i never crunched the #s, i don’t like my speed guy hitting 8th in an NL lineup b/c, unless it’s 2 outs, he’s just getting bunted over. just an observation from watching cameron maybin last year….

  38. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Thanks, again. Previous posted at same time as your writing.

  39. Pugsly says:
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    Maybe the Mariners aren’t as bad as I think. You might be right about that one. But even if the Giants are projected at .500, Lincecum’s +10 win differential is probably the reason.

    I’m with you Rudy. I try to draft “safe” in the first 8 rounds or so.

  40. majortommy says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: So would a projected move up the lineup for Matt Kemp make him worth that much, I believe he hit 6th for most of the year. And also with Nick Johnson being projected in the 2 hole for the Yankees has to make him an attractive utility or CI, especially in an OPS league.

  41. @Simply Fred: Not yet. Alcides is projected to hit .285. Everth @ .254. That’s about .0025 on team average which is a lot.

    Two big things in Everth’s favor. He has more speed and he walks a lot more (ironically it’s Escobar who is an Orlando Cabrera-like hacker). Based on their OBPs, I’d prefer to have Everth hitting #2 on my team than Escobar. Whether the Padres do it, we’ll see….

  42. jsp2014 says:
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    I think you’re right about pitching in super deep leagues. I learned that lesson the hard way last year in an AL-only. Weaver was my ace, and Davids Huff and Hernandez made more than a few appearances in my starting lineup.

    Are you at all concerned about Moneyball Macha giving Alcides the green light, like he seems to do with everyone but Braun? Or is he efficient enough to steal 30?

  43. @Pugsly: Yeah, if Sanchez won 10 games next year, I’d be a happy camper.

    @majortommy: If Kemp moves to top 5 in lineup vs. #6 then his R/RBI should improve vs. last year (everything equal). A healthy Nick Johnson hitting #2 for the Yanks scores 100 runs (Damon scored 107 with a .360 OBP vs. Nick Johnson’s .400 OBP).

    1B is a deep position so that doesn’t help his value but a late UTIL or CI doesn’t sound bad – espec. in OBP or OPS leagues…

  44. GTS says:
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    Grey – which is more up-to-date? Your Top 300 for 2010 Fantasy Baseball Spreadsheet or each individual rankings by position? I noticed that they some players are ranked differently. For example, Tim Hudson is after Strasburg in the top 300 spreadsheet but on the top 60 pitcher rankings he’s much lower.

  45. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Yeah, I don’t like Everth’s AVG hit either. Am feeling a little squeemish about punting SS for steals late, if A. Escobar hits down in the order, and I can’t take the it on AVG from Everth. Not seeing a viable 3rd cheap steals late SS option.

  46. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @jsp2014: I’m not worried about Alcides, assuming he hits at the top of the order more than the bottom.

    @GTS: Top 300 overall and spreadsheet are up to date. Individual rankings are good for blurbs about what I’m thinking, but the rankings themselves are slightly different in certain areas on the top 300.

  47. @Simply Fred: Theriot went really late in our draft. Much prefer punting SS for steals than wasting an OF slot on it – aka the Bourne Ultimatum.

  48. stanley says:
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    Is there somewhere I can find the average of CHONE and ZiPS rate statistics you mentioned? Thanks

  49. royce! says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: If you want to avoid holds, I’d say add walks or K/BB. The beauty of 5×5 is that it seems to balance the value of starters and closers as much as possible. QS really really favors SP, messing up that balance(don’t think a reliever has ever got a QS, though maybe one that came in for relief after a SP got hurt in the 1st and pitched 6 innings?).

    I personally would say K/BB. It increases the value of SP with high K/BB rates, but the value of a SP with a high k/9 and a low bb/9 is already very high. Like Lincecum and Halladay. RP can contribute to your overall k/bb in the same way Grey always encourages people to pick up MR to help with WHIP and ERA.

    Counting walks seems to favor relievers because they pitch less so they’re going to get less walks. If you counted walks, you could conceivably win 4 of 6 categories without drafting a SP: ERA, WHIP, BB, SV.

  50. majortommy says:
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    @stanley: fangraph has chone, marcel, bill james and “reader” projections. not sure where zips can be found

  51. @stanley: Out of respect for Sean (CHONE) and Dan (ZiPS), I don’t post any of the raw stats – I just use them to generate the Point Shares and run draft results.

    Both projections are free at baseballprojection.com and baseballthinkfactory.org. It’s pretty easy to create these rates from there and then apply you’re own playing time estimate…

  52. majortommy says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: thanks Rudy my man!

  53. jsp2014 says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Kinsler is someone else whose projection needs tweaking. My composite projections (CHONE, ZiPS, BP, fans to a lesser extent) had him at like 100r/70rbi, and they should be a lot closer together hitting 5th. He’s also likely to receive fewer PAs than in the past, though the BP depth charts reflect that now. One other off the top of my head is Victorino, who is sliding down since Polanco MUST hit 2nd.

    Do you have any opinion on the baseball/basketball monster methodology for ranking players? It’s basically just calculating a z-score for each player/category and summing up the 5 for each player. I don’t doubt point shares is more accurate, but the monster method is super easy to calculate, and I really don’t know how to do it any other way.

  54. if you go to baseballthinkfactory.org or baseballprojection.com, post a comment saying thanks to Dan and say Rudy Gamble from Razzball sent you. That way, they’ll make sure to answer quicker if I have a question :)

  55. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: OK. Will stick with the plan. Just needed some reinforcement!

  56. @jsp2014: Not familiar with the z-score but a composite 5 category score is okay as long as you account properly for the players’ value in each stat. ESPN Player Rater is flawed because it’ll credit someone like Ellsbury for SBs but they don’t properly penalize him for weak power/RBIs. My Point Shares – which I’ll post an updated version for a number of leagues very soon – account for that as well as player position.

    If Kinsler goes from 1 to 5, there’s almost no change in his value – just swapping RBIs for Runs pretty much looking at the chart I did. Victorino hitting 6th would lose value vs. hitting 2nd (and that’s not even taking into account the reduction in meatball pitches he’ll get w/o Utley behind him).

    The guy who I like to hit 2nd and have underrated value is Asdrubal Cabrera….unfortunately, he seems to be getting drafted at a respectable level so far (i know he went well before alcides and kelly johnson whom I like just slightly less)…

  57. Tony says:
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    Ok i know its a deep 20 man league, BUT………… Berkman is REALLY the best thing there at #38 overall? BLEH, REALLY? How was there not something better? I’d have taken Kendry at least since you mentioned that was the debate!

  58. @Tony: We’re not thrilled about it either…Morneau went right before him at #37. A-Gonz and Votto at #27 and #28. You may be right on Kendry vs. Berkman. Hopefully Berkman turns it up as this is a contract year (assuming the Astros don’t pick up his option).

  59. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Tony: Morneau went right before and Kendry right after. Dunn or Lee were also options.

  60. Tony says:
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    there were no 3B available there? or granderson? or werth?

    I know you already had an OF’er but i’d rather have a 35/20 grandy than berkman, why i have this hate for berkman i dont know, but it just seems he’s going around pick 60-80 every else and at 38 you’re almost reaching on berkman?

  61. papasmurf says:
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    I ended up with Leo Nunez too. I think he’ll be good this year. Hopefully FLA gives him a long leash. I do worry that they’ll start bringing him into game in the 8th due to setup guys stinking and wear him out.

    Dukes seems to be a forgotten man entering this year. I haven’t seen any sleeper hype. Can only mean he will be good.

  62. jsp2014 says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Cool, thanks. I’d really like to just use point shares but unfortunately I don’t do any standard 5×5 leagues so I’m stuck making my own. I also like to incorporate PECOTA though it’s a mess this year.

    Is it confirmed that Asdrubal is hitting 2nd? I heard yesterday (albeit MLB Network, so it means next to nothing) that it could go Asdrubal 1 and Grady 2 now that Branyan essentially took Brantley’s job. That could be even more of a boon to Cabrera’s value.

  63. @Grey: Yeah, forgot about Dunn. Pretty much a coin flip b/w him and Berkman in value but Dunn’s average would’ve been tough to swallow on our team.

    Interesting note on Kendry – the projections are NOT liking him at all: http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=8610&position=1B

    Look at his HR/FB % in 2009. Huge jump. 18% is about at Mark Teixeira, Ryan Braun, Miggy Cabrera level. Those guys have done it multiple years – Kendry hasn’t come close to it in the past.

    So still like Berkman as a 1B in that slot but not crazy at all about the value in that pick…

  64. @jsp2014: Gotcha…I’m a 5×5 purist…just a pain in the butt to update my draft board based on swapping BA for OBP, etc.

    Not sure on Asdrubal but Sizemore K’s way too much for a #2 hitter in my opinion. Given that team’s shallow lineup, I’d put Sizemore at #3 or #4…

  65. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Adverbially, nothing’s tough for Dunn to swallow.

  66. Sos says:
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    Hey Grey,
    12 team 5×5 H2H keeper. Each team has about 8 SP’s. After keepers are in, 17 of your top 24 are gone with only the following remaining:

    Lincecum
    Johan
    Haren
    Hamels
    Gollardo
    Peavy
    Bills

    Based on the rounds I can keep them in, I already have Vazquez, Scherzer, and Nolasco. I have a feeling pitchers are going to go fast based on what I’ve seen with keeper selection…

    Do I need to get a top pitcher like Lince, Johan, Haren, or Hamels or should I wait and fill out my staff with the likes of Bills, Gollardo, Slowey, Oswalt? In this case, is early 4th round too early for Johan?

  67. Dunn wakes up in the morning, grabs his big axe, chops up some pig (missing the pig on 1/2 his wields of the ax), wraps it up in pigskin, and eats it like a sausage link.

    He then takes his trusty blue ox and chops down some trees to make bats.

  68. birrrdy! says:
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    Gotta agree with Tony… Berkman at #38 seems like a bit of a reach. I love the guy and have him on my NL only keeper team, but I am very worried about this year.

    The news of the new knee injury today definitely doesn’t help.

  69. @Sos: Vazquez, Scherzer, and Nolasco are a solid threesome for a 12 team league. But you use 8 SPs each? Guess there’s no GS cap for the week. You shouldn’t be desperate for an SP so probably wouldn’t take Johan, Haren, or Hamels unless they fell to a bargain level (tough to say what a bargain level would be given the keepers – i’d say 5th round or so is what i’d look at)…

  70. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Sos: No idea what else you need, but those pitchers are worth grabbing, possibly. 4th round isn’t too early for Johan.

    @Rudy Gamble: Dunn once ate half a football before someone was able to explain to him what they meant by pigskin.

  71. @Grey: Adam Dunn enjoys the donuts in the on-deck circle.

  72. matthole says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: how much credence do you put into those ZIPS rankings (your spreadsheet). Im very surprised by some of the rankings, namely Manny Ramirez at #3 overall and then berkman, beltran, and hawpe rounding out the top 15

  73. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: He takes so many pitches because it’s more time at the plate.

  74. Adam Dunn is disappointed that Dragon Rolls don’t include real dragon.

  75. @matthole: those rankings are based on OPS+ I think. that’s not equal to fantasy baseball value. but the projections themselves are solid once you adjust the AB/IP to expected playing time….

  76. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: A reporter asked Dunn what was on his bucket list. He said fried chicken.

  77. @Grey: A married couple once asked Dunn if he wanted to ‘swing’. He told them he only swings for the fences.

  78. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Sunday is Dunn’s day of Sabbath. But he spells it sundae.

  79. @Grey: Dunn walked to the Capitol the other day for his health care proposal. He said, “Don’t stand within 500 feet of the Nats’ baseball stadium”

  80. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Dunn asked to be traded to the Orioles because he likes their creme filling.

  81. aconstipatedmonkey says:
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    If i can compose myself and breathe after you and Rudy’s exchange, I’ve got a question to ask. What do you think of Jason Hammel, Anibal Sanchez, and Sean West. I’ve got a 16 team draft in a few weeks, and I was looking for some late round upside picks in pitching. I was just wondering your opinion of them since i don’t think you’ve mentioned these guys. Thanks for the help and the funny.

  82. Dunn’s favorite player growing up was Kent Hrbek b/c his name sounds like a combination of HR BB and K.

  83. SteveP says:
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    @Grey & Rudy. Just as an FYI since we’ve been playing this league quite a few seasons – 185-190 HR gets you towards the top. 85 Ws. Svs may be different this year because we may not have anyone starting with three closers. 90+ there (except you of course…not that I love your guys….or that it matters)

    I’m not talking out of school to tell you we suck up saves in this league.

    Five starters, if past seasons are any indication, will probably leave you short, but you can fix that as we go. You guys have played with me before and I can pretty much assure you that several people will pin ther innings to 1250 with pretty high K rates and running 6/3 SP/RP. It puts real pressure on the W and K’s cats You may have difficulties there and where you have steals pegged – we have a contingent of SB mavens usually.

    It was a good draft, I really liked what you guys were doing and @rudy – love you pegging rates to BP expected PT, hands down the best mehtodolocy to get where you are going IMO.

  84. @aconstipatedmonkey: If there’s anything Grey and I agree on it’s this….draft guys in the NL West b/c most of the parks are pitcher parks. I like Latos, Chris ‘Tall’ Young, and Clayton Richard on SD. Bumgarner on SF. Ian Kennedy on Arizona. Padilla on LA. Also like Kris Medlen on ATL as a late round guy…awesome K rate last year…

  85. @SteveP: thanks SteveP….if i remember right, you were very close to us in points – close enough that it’s neglible…no doubt it’ll take a number of in-season moves to keep us in contention….just hope we have a solid enough base to work from. our deep drafts last year were severely hurt by Beltran’s knee injury….good luck!

  86. aconstipatedmonkey says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: thanks, Rudy. I spun Richard for most of his stint in SD last year after his trade, i’m definitely on board with him. I had forgotten completely about Kennedy and Medlen. Thanks.

  87. Dean says:
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    Would love some feedback on my first draft of the year. Thoughts on where I’m strong and/or need to improve? 10 team league I picked 6th. Thoughts from all are appreciated.

    C: Pierzynski
    C: Baker
    1B: Dunn
    2B: Utley
    SS: Tulo
    3B: Zimmerman
    CI: Konerko
    MI: Zobrist
    OF: JUpton
    OF: Adam Jones
    OF: Ibanez
    OF: Reimold
    OF: Rajai Davis
    U: Rasmus

    P: Johan
    P: JJohnson
    P: Ubaldo
    P: Garza
    P: Baker
    P: Price
    P: Sanchez
    P: Marmol
    P: Jenks

    B: Snider
    B: Gardner
    B: Alex Gorgon
    B: Morrow
    B: Ervin Santana
    B: Pineiro

  88. Lava says:
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    Looks like the forums are down so I have to ask here. I see you guys took Heath Bell with the 123rd pick. Probably not a difficult choice, but I’m having to choose between either Bell as my first closer, or Jay Bruce as a UTIL/4th outfielder. My current outfielders are Sizemore, Hamilton, and Span, and I have decent speed in the rest of my lineup, hence the desire to get a bit more power out of the 117th pick. I know in a vacuum you’d prefer Bell, but what if a Bruce is needed as well?

    Appreciate this post. It helps a lot in all my leagues which are deeper than 12 teams.

  89. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Dean: Hey, that’s punting catcher there, huh? Usually, I’d like one decent catcher in a two catcher league, but in a ten team I can see punting it altogether. Then I guess you punted your corner too. It’s okay, looks like you went heavy on middle infielders. Not the way I would’ve went, especially not in a 10 team league. You do have a good balanced guys, meaning guys that will get you homers and steals. Nice pitching staff.

  90. Dean says:
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    Sorry for the double post but might be more useful with draft round.

    Would love some feedback on my first draft of the year. Thoughts on where I’m strong and/or need to improve? 10 team league I picked 6th. Thoughts from all are appreciated.

    C: Pierzynski (186)
    C: Baker (266)
    1B: Dunn (66)
    2B: Utley (6)
    SS: Tulo (15)
    3B: Zimmerman (35)
    CI: Konerko (226)
    MI: Zobrist (46)
    OF: JUpton (26)
    OF: Adam Jones (86)
    OF: Ibanez (126)
    OF: Reimold (155)
    OF: Rajai Davis (175)
    U: Rasmus (206)

    P: Johan (55)
    P: JJohnson (75)
    P: Ubaldo (95)
    P: Garza (106)
    P: Baker (135)
    P: Price (146)
    P: Sanchez (195)
    P: Marmol (115)
    P: Jenks (166)

    B: Snider (235)
    B: Gardner (246)
    B: Alex Gorgon (255)
    B: Morrow (275)
    B: Ervin Santana (215)
    B: Pineiro (286)

  91. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Lava: What do you mean the forums are down? They look fine. Please check again, and tell me what you see.

  92. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: Forums working fine here.

  93. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Lava: Take Bruce there.

    @Dean: Draft rounds aren’t changing what I thought. Was pretty obvious you went MI heavy from your team.

    @Simply Fred: Yeah, for me too, that’s why I was wondering.

    EDIT: Word.

  94. Lava says:
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    @Grey: Hmm, yes, they are up for me now too. They didn’t load when I tried before, but everything looks fine now.

    Sorry for the false alarm! Thanks for the advice!

  95. Mikey boy324 says:
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    Are you guys concerned about berkman getting injured already I’m not sure how I feel bout him this year if you miss out on the big 1st baseman what round would you draft him in a 12 team?

  96. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Mikey boy324: I’m not worried right now. He’s not ideal and I wouldn’t draft him in a 12 team league until around the 5th.

  97. Dingo says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: I can definitely tell you what NOT to add. Don’t add shutouts, CG, or any other stat that happens too rarely to be predictable. Taking CG as an example, only 28 starting pitchers had more than one CG last year. If you happened to have four pitchers in that group, then you were probably guaranteed to win.

    My league is 7×7, and we experimented with several 7th pitching categories before Yahoo finally added QS, which we’re happy with. Our sixth category is K/BB, which we also really like. As Royce said, QS can shift the balance toward starting pitchers, but then K/BB shifts it back towards relievers a bit, since it’s easier to find relievers (especially MRs) who have K/BB ratios of 2.5 or higher. I’d say it depends in part on the dynamics of your league. Do you think people should pay more attention to middle relievers? Then K/BB can do that for you. On the other hand, if you want a counting stat to encourage active management, then I’d go with QS.

  98. d2bnz says:
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    Grey, I have the 12th pick in a 14 team league come the weekend , 5×5 roto and using CBS
    I’ve done a comparison of the CBS rankings against your own and I find the two biggest discrepancies to be David Wright and Grady Sizemore CBS has them at 25 and 37th
    Now I’m thinking that I may be able to snag them both with the 12th and 17th pick , or should I use the 17th pick to go for some ‘safer’ power in Adrian Gonzalez or Justin Morneau

  99. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @d2bnz: I’d own Wright and Sizemore on the same team if you can get them.

  100. Mike says:
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    Keep up the good work, Grey. Recently did 10 team ESPN Mock with the 8th pick. Thoughts/comments?

    C – Soto (188)
    1B – Howard (13)
    2B – Utley (8)
    3B – Zimmerman (33)
    SS – Bartlett (113)
    1B/3B – Morneau (48)
    2B/SS – Y.Escobar (133)
    OF – Sizemore (28)
    OF – Granderson (53)
    OF – Abreu (73)
    OF – Bruce (93)
    OF – Coghlan (168)
    UTIL – Tejada (208)

    SP – J.Johnson (68)
    SP – Jimenez (88)
    SP – Kershaw (108)
    SP – Oswalt (148)
    SP – Sanchez (193)
    SP – Harang (233)
    RP – Wilson (128)
    RP – Wagner (153)
    RP – Aardsma (173)
    RP – Dotel (228)

    BN – Prado (213)
    BN – Snider (248)

  101. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Mike: I think Coghlan’s nice in theory, btu I don’t see you holding onto him in a ten team league. Tejada’s another one that you’ll probably drop. But overall looks like a solid team, good balanced hitters that can provide power and some steals, especially in your outfield. You might be a little light on power. Your pitching looks fine.

  102. Mapwheel says:
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    Coming off a 20 man league last year, I can’t stress the value of reliable saves. Yea, I know 60% of teams will change their closer before 2010 is done, but saves are the one stat you can’t pull off the wire. In a 20 man league, I would place a LOT of value on Rivera/Nathan/Papelon/Broxton, and probably take them sooner than I would in a smaller league. There will always be Russell Branyan’s and Randy Wells’s popping up on the wire over the course of the season to make up for what you lost taking your closer early.

    Also, you should lock up your closers backup incase he gets hurt (it happens; Daniel Bard was sitting on my roster for half the season).

  103. Eddy says:
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    Grey would you prefer a closer (albeit a cheap one) on the last spot of your bench or Jason Heyward?

    I’d have 5 OF at this point

  104. Eddy says:
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    @Eddy:
    we’re talking 12 team H2H here btw

  105. majortommy says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: SSHHHH!!! Please refrain from saying anything about Ian Kennedy! Others in my leagues may be reading!

  106. cubbies299 says:
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    Would you trade 1 year of Qualls for 2 years of Scherzer in a 14 team mixed? I like Scherzer but am so scared of his mechanics

  107. Terry Grant says:
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    For those of you that though Berkman was a stretch – remember that this is a twenty team league, and picking so close to the corner like we were (I was the cat that took Morneau right before them) means that you have to reach on a lot of players. Something I wish I had done a little more of, honestly.

    And it’s worth mentioning that this is a league with a weekly waiver system for adds/drops. So even if you’re on top of the latest injury news, it’s going to be really tough to land the next newly anointed closer or the hot hand at the plate.

    Challenging, indeed.

  108. charlie batch says:
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    So ive done more than a couple mock drafts now and Ive noticed a pattern:

    1) I always have Josh Hamilton
    2) I always have Carlos Quentin
    3) I always have David Aardsma
    4) I usually have David Price
    5) I usually have Miguel Montero
    6) 3/5 times, I have Gordon Beckham. 2/5, Ryan Zimmerman.

    Sweet.

    Now, I could use some advice. I understand your logic when you explain that if you take a serious power hitter with your first pick (ex. Teixera), that you should try to balance out and find a high-steals player at a shallower position (ex. Reyes) with your second pick.

    What if, however, a top 10 overall player who happens to also be a power hitter (ex. Miggy) is available for your second pick? Would you abandon logic and go for the higher overall skill? I can see taking Reyes in the 3rd as a no-brainer but if put him up against Miggy in that type of situation, how do you play it out?

    Also, how far would a player have to fall in a draft, whose tier is labelled “Avoid/etc”, for you to take them?

  109. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @charlie batch: That’s kinda like a fantasy baseball I, Robot you wrote there. I’d take back to back power hitters. Say Howard and Longoria. I wouldn’t want two of the same position. If you have a first baseman, you don’t want to take another one immediately.

    re: players need to fall — A few rounds. For instance, Peavy’s in the avoid tier, but he’s ranked around 110. His ADP is 88, so I could see me taking him around 110-120.

  110. charlie batch says:
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    @Grey: thanks bud!

  111. TheQuestforMerlin says:
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    Just a quick question ’bout them Commenter Leagues:

    @Grey&Rudy – Are you planning to (at some point) turn it into a promotion/relegation – i.e. a bit like the English Premiership – championship. Whereby winners (and maybe 2nd) could move up and bottom place vice versa among the many divisions you have going. ‘Cause you have a lot of leagues, 20 at last count. It could be interesting? A Razzball Premiership.

  112. TheQuestforMerlin says:
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    @Grey: When you set up the leagues the first one was invite only. So say for 2011 (if those commenters play again next year) that RCL league becomes League 1. And then you have League 2 (maybe made up from 12 winners of various leagues this year i.e. the best 12) and so forth, using a picking system, like next 12 best teams make up RCL league 3. A Fantasy RCL tiering:

    League 1 (bottom 2 teams get relegated & overall champion gets crowned)
    League 2 (top 2 teams get promoted, bottom 2 get relegated)
    League 3 (etc onwards)
    League 4

    It would require most of the commenters from each year to be active, although getting replacements doesn’t seem to be a problem judging by the popularity of the RCL’s.

    So same format as usual, just leagues holding various degrees of prestige. And newcomers join on from the bottom RCL. So the goal not only becomes winning your RCL league, but getting promoted all the way to the top RCL League 1.

    It was just an idea I was playing with. Whatever you do going forward will be awesome. i hope I made more sense this time!

  113. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @TheQuestforMerlin: Ah.. A tournament. Then you get to the top and you have a black belt in Razzball. Yeah, maybe. But I doubt it since it’s already a pain to organize and I don’t want to have to tell people they can’t be in a league they want to be in.

  114. TheQuestforMerlin says:
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    @Grey: Yes! Everyone wants that black belt.

    Well, its a thought. Definitely not for 2010, you’re right, but if you do decide to go ahead with it in the future i’d be down for any logistic work needed.

    Looking forward to the RCL’s kicking off actually. This place is going to become a hub of information, questions and double bluffing. It’s going to get messy.

    What do you reckon to Erick Aybar this year particularly if he bats lead off (which is the indication). He stole a-plenty in the minors, he could be given the green light as the main base stealer on the Angels…

  115. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @TheQuestforMerlin: I think he’ll be on waivers in most leagues 12 team leagues in April then picked up and dropped dozens of times.

  116. TheQuestforMerlin says:
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    @Grey: Yup, sounds about right. I like him for a MI spot though. Think he could surprise with the steals. On my ‘watch list’ in any case.

  117. Dean says:
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    @Grey:Thanks for the feedback!

  118. Rollie Fingered Her says:
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    I think you guys are gonna regret taking pitching early; your offense seems a little too anemic, even for a 20-man league. Hernandez or Lee would’ve been enough to anchor your rotation. Pitching is going to suck for everyone all-around, so it wouldn’t have hurt to take filler picks like Buerhle’s and Zambrano’s later on, or even grabbing and playing two competent RP’s off the wire after the draft to keep your WHIP down and your K’s up (guys like Kiko Calero and Ronald Belisario; they never get drafted because no one realizes the impact middle relief can have on a 20 man league). If this is your first year doing 20 man, you’re going to love fighting over saves. As it stands, it looks like you’re gonna be hurting for more power by mid-season. Then would be a good time to see off a guy like Cliff Lee for a HR producer.

  119. Tony says:
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    @charlie batch: i’ve debated/looked at the same idea…. like with YAYhoo all the big 1B bats are ranked between 12-15, besides pujols…. so if a couple fall to me and I have the option say of Howard and tex its hard to pass that up, but if i have wright, howard, and tex sitting there, i’m probably going howard/wright or Tex/wright, just to fill the 3B slot, so what grey said…. i’ve done the back to back masher and it usually ends up tough to fill my team then later because i took the same postion….

    try it in a mock…

  120. @Rollie Fingered Her: Thanks rollie. we did draft Scott Downs as an MI with decent K rates and could be in line for Saves. We’ve been in deep leagues before so we knew what we were getting into. With only 7 active pitching spots, it’s a little harder to stockpile MRs…

    Our power isn’t great. It’ll definitely be something we’re keeping an eye on. But it’s just one of 5 offensive categories and probably the most overvalued in the market. So I’d rather have 15 HR guys that won’t kill me in the other 4 categories vs. HR guys that kill you on AVG (e.g., Branyan) or R/RBI (e.g., Gomes)

  121. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    I actually like the McGehee pick… He’s entering his 28 year old year and will have 2B eligibility. I’m also biased, since he used to play for the Iowa Cubs.

  122. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    Ooh, I like Clement too, but only because he’s from Central Iowa.

  123. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    Now we’ve just gotta get you on board with Des Moines native Casey Blake.

  124. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @IowaCubs: I almost drafted Ramon Hernandez because he has a winter home in Cancun. But it’s not Cancun, Iowa, so I was like no way.

  125. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Grey: Ramon is an Iowan. I can prove it.

  126. Quinn says:
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    @Grey: Who is Danny Valencia??? 3B for the Twins. Some fool in a mock draft picked him in the fourth round. Idiocy aside, is this a player who is last pick worthy in mixed leagues?

  127. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Quinn: If he were in the majors, which he’s not, he’d be around a 20 homer hitter. And that might be the top of his ceiling, so no he’s not worth grabbing in a mixed league.

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