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In my previous post, I wrote about the 2010 best and worst fantasy baseball draft values.  I thought it would be interesting to analyze the results of last year’s 21 Razzball Commenter Leagues to see how well these rankings lined up with fantasy baseball team success.  The format for all these leagues was:  12 team, MLB, snake draft, 5×5.

For simplicity’s sake, I used draft results for assigning each player to a specific team.  Obviously trades happen, players get added/dropped, etc.  But sifting through the data to credit team A with said player because he had 290 AB vs. 250 AB on Team B is a much larger exercise.  I focused only on players drafted in 50% or more of the leagues and went through the final stats per team to assign the following key free agent pickups:  J. Axford, J. Bautista, T. Cahill, J. Garcia, A. Huff, C. Lewis, B. Myers, A. Pagan, B. Posey, A. Torres, and CJ Wilson.

I created three stats to rank players using the 2nd and 3rd only for tiebreakers:

1)  % of Top 3 Finishes – How many times did a team with this player finish in the top 3 of their league?

2)  Median Finish

3)  Average Finish

The full results can be found here.  The top players for 2010 were:

  1. Paul Konerko – 61.9% Top 3 Finish (Median=2nd)
  2. Dan Uggla – 61.9% (Median=3rd)
  3. John Axford – 57.1% (Median=3rd, Avg=3.7)
  4. Buster Posey – 57.1% (Median=3rd, Avg=4.2)
  5. Carlos Gonzalez – 57.1% (Median=3rd, Avg=4.4)
  6. Chris Perez – 52.9% (Median=3rd, Avg=4.8)
  7. Raul Ibanez – 52.4% (Median=3rd, Avg=4.4)
  8. Robinson Cano – 52.4% (Median=3rd, Avg 4.7)
  9. Rickie Weeks – 47.6% (Median=4th, Avg 4.9)
  10. Neftali Feliz – 47.6% (Median=4th, Avg 5.0)

Seven of the above players finished in the top 50 of the Best Values with Posey’s 72nd place finish a bit misleading since he started in May.  Cano is 75th overall on the Best Value list but he is 3rd in value amongst top 50 picks (Halladay and Votto are ahead of him).  The only fluke in the bunch is Raul Ibanez.

Here are the bottom 10  players:

  1. Brad Hawpe – 0% Top 3 finish (Median=10th)
  2. Yadier Molina – 0% (Median=9th)
  3. David Ortiz – 4.8% (Median=10th, Avg=8.9)
  4. Tim Lincecum – 4.8% (Median=10th, Avg=8.9)
  5. Scott Kazmir – 4.8% (Median=9th, Avg=9.0)
  6. Huston Street – 4.8% (Median=9th, Avg=8.3)
  7. Todd Helton – 4.8% (Median=9th, Avg=8.0)
  8. Stephen Drew – 4.8% (Median=8th, Avg=8.1)
  9. Adam Lind – 4.8% (Median=8th, Avg=8.0
  10. J.A. Happ – 4.8% (Median=7th)

Four of these players finished in the top 50 of Worst Values (of players with ADP<212):  Hawpe, Kazmir, Helton, and Lind.  Ortiz is the only player who finished in the top half of value – I think this may be because several teams who drafted Big Papi dropped him after his awful start so they didn’t benefit from his resurgence.

There are a myriad of theories that can either be created or tested from this data set.  I looked into several that I have detailed below.  Feel free to look at the data yourself and add your thoughts under comments.  (If you own a blog, feel free to provide your post URL in the comments.  Just make sure to add a link to this post and note the data came from Razzball Commenter Leagues.)  Just one word of caution – a sample of 21 leagues is more directionally significant vs. statistically significant.  Anomalies should be expected working with a sample like this (e.g., how could teams that drafted Rollins finish in the top 3 more than teams that drafted Tulo or H-Ram?)

You Can Overcome a Bad Top 3 Pick – It’s definitely possible to overcome a bad pick in your top 3 rounds – but it’s not recommended.  I know it’s statistically anomalous but 8 of the 21 teams that drafted Jimmy Rollins finished 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.  Only teams with V-Mart, Zimmerman, Mauer, and Pujols had more top 3 finishes among the top 36 picks.  Even teams that drafted Jacoby Ellsbury or Mark Reynolds – the absolute bombs of the top 36 picks – managed 3 top 3 finishes.

You Can Overcome two Bad Top 4 Picks – Of the top 48 picks, one-third (16) were below average for their position based on Point Shares (Granderson, Rollins, Haren, Pedroia, Sizemore, Kinsler, Sandoval, Morneau, Utley, Ellsbury, Youkilis, Reynolds, Upton, Greinke, Bay, Lind).  The average finish of teams that drafted two or more of these picks was 7.2 (average would be 6.5) with 6 first place finishes, 7 second place finishes, and 2 third place finishes.  There were 15 top 3 finishes compared to 28 bottom 3 finishes.  Granderson and Rollins were drafted on 2 winning teams.  The other four combinations were Sandoval-Morneau, Haren-Pedroia, Kinsler-Sandoval, and a Granderson-Youkilis-Kinsler trifecta.  So missing on two of your first four picks isn’t a suggested path but it’s not a death sentence either.

Draft Slot Not Important – The Razzball Commenter Leagues indicate that draft position does not have a major impact on team success.  There were winners coming from all 12 draft positions and only one draft position (1st) managed even 3 winners.  My favorite position of 4th finished worst with a median finish of 9th.  This is despite Ryan Braun being the most common pick at that position which is a lot better than 5th (Utley) or 7th (Kemp).  Below is a ranking of draft picks based on median team finish (with average finish as tiebreaker):

1 – 10th draft position (Median 4th place finish, 2 winners)
2 – 1st draft position (Median 5th place finish, 3 winners)
T-3 – 3rd draft position (Median 6th place finish, 1 winner)
T-3 – 11th draft position (Median 6th place finish, 2 winners)
5 – 6th draft position (Median 6th place finish, 1 winner)
6- 9th draft position (Median 6th place finish, 2 winners)
7 – 8th draft position (Median 7th place finish, 1 winner)
8 – 5th draft position (Median 7th place finish, 2 winners)
9 – 12th draft position (Median 7th place finish, 1 winner)
10 – 2nd draft position (Median 8th place finish, 2 winners)
11 – 7th draft position (Median 8th place finish, 2 winners)
12 – 4th draft position (Median 9th place finish, 2 winners)

Drafting SPs in Top 3 Rounds – As some of you may know, I am a bigger proponent of drafting pitchers in top rounds than most bloggers.  This wasn’t a winning strategy AT ALL in 2010 RCL leagues though – at least for the first 3 rounds.  There were 5 SPs taken in the first 3 rounds of RCL leagues:  Lincecum (13), Halladay (19), F-Her (26), Greinke (28), and Sabathia (30).  Halladay drafters managed 6 top 3s which is slightly above average (21 leagues * 25% of teams finish in top 3 = 5.25 top 3 finishes).  Lincecum, F-Her, Greinke, and Sabathia drafts managed 7 TOTAL top 3 finishes (2 for all except 1 for Lincecum).  The Greinke/Lincecum finishes might make some sense but F-Her?

I dug in deeper and found that, in 8 leagues, one or more teams drafted 2 of these SPs.  These ten teams had the following finishes:  4th (twice), 7th (once), 8th (thrice), 9th (twice), 10th (once), 11th (once).  So it’s certainly clear that you should NEVER draft two SPs in the first 3-4 rounds.  But that doesn’t fully explain why teams that drafted SPs in the first 3 rounds (espec. F-Her teams) finished so poorly.

If someone wants to pore through the 21 leagues to figure out, that would be great.  My hypothesis is that it is harder to draft SPs early and catch up on 1B/OF power than the reverse.  I think it can be the more successful strategy if applied right in the typical league.  But, if you’re going to deploy this strategy, I would suggest doing a number of mock drafts and seeing how well you can draft offense in later rounds.  (For an example of how this could work, I did an expert NL-only snake draft last year and picked Lincecum and Reyes as my top 2.  Obviously, those two players did not meet my expectations yet I still finished 2nd because I found power at a cheaper price later in the draft – Werth, Uggla, LaRoche, Garrett Jones, Cody Ross, Barajas, picked up Stanton as a free agent)

Avoid The SB Specialists In Top Rounds – There were 7 players drafted in the first 6 rounds that were safe bets for less than 20 HRs and more than 20 SBs:  Crawford (16), Ellsbury (23), Reyes (39), Ichiro (43), BJ Upton (44), Roberts (55), Figgins (72).  All of these 7 players finished below average (5 or less) in top 3 finishes.  As you’d expect, Crawford and Ichiro did best (5 top 3s each) while the rest had 3 top 3s except for Figgins with one measly 3rd place finish (the worst success rate of all top 6 round picks).

Drafting 2 MIs In First 6 Rounds – I prefer to not draft more than 1 2B/SS in early rounds so I thought I’d check to see how teams fared that drafted 2+ MIs in the first 6 rounds.  There were on average 3 teams per league that used this draft strategy and the distribution of team finishes is almost completely even between 1st through 12th (so very close to a 6.5 average)

Relief Pitcher strategy – Relief Pitchers represent 7 of the top 20 and 10 of the top 36 players ranked by their drafted teams’ performance.  John Axford (I counted teams who had the most IP for him), Chris Perez, and Neftali Feliz all had 9 or more top 10 finishes.  So is there a way to predict top value closers?  Pretty much, no.  I’d say that closer value is dependent on six variables:  1) Opportunity to Save Games, 2) ERA/WHIP, 3) Strikeouts, 4) Wins, 5) Saves, and 6) Health.  The first three are easier to project than the other three.  Strikeouts and ERA/WHIP are fairly correlated with high BB pitchers being what I’d think is the most likely exception.  So I’d focus on targeting high K closers with some opportunity to save games.  I also advise to overdraft this position in terms of quantity and include any set-up guy with 70+ K potential.  Lastly, I would avoid drafting one of the first 3 closers unless you felt confident of 90+ K.  I’d rather build up in other positions in those early rounds and go for volume vs. quality on closers.

Draft Top Catchers or Punt? – There are always a handful of catchers every year that go in the first 100 picks.  I generally punt catcher until later rounds for a number of reasons, most notably that catchers have higher injury rates.  (This is in snake drafts only.  I don’t mind investing for catchers in auction drafts if I’m getting enough of a discount.).  Last year, there were four catchers picked on average in the top 100 picks within Razzball Commenter Leagues:  Mauer (18), V-Mart (48), McCann (49), and Wieters (92).  While neither Mauer and V-Mart had sensational years, they provided very good value for their draft position and finished on 9 and 10 top-3 teams, respectively (note: one 2nd place team drafted both).  McCann teams fell slightly below average with 4 top-3 teams while Wieters owners had 3 top-3s.  While that seems to average out, just note that only teams that picked up Posey fared better, on average, than teams with Mauer and V-Mart.  I’d argue drafting a top catcher was a good bet for 2010 but still wouldn’t advise it for 2011 unless you get a good discount – a good rule of thumb for one catcher leagues is to take Catcher ADP and multiply it by some multiple of 1.25-1.5 – e.g., if V-Mart is at an ADP of 50th and you think that’s his true value, don’t make a move on him until he drops to 63-75.

High Upside OFs Are Great, Right? - When a player like Carlos Gonzalez has a breakthrough year (2nd on estimated value vs. draft position, 5th place based on team performance in Razzball leagues), the natural reaction is to draft several high-upside players in next year’s drafts.  Just a word of warning, though.  Here are some of the other high-upside OFs coming into 2010 and their RCL team performance rank:  Travis Snider – 96th, Jason Heyward – 108th, Colby Rasmus – 164th, Adam Jones – 237th, Jay Bruce – 239th, and Justin Upton – 269th.  I’m not saying to avoid high-upside plays – just don’t overpay for them with the thought you’re going to get the next CarGo.

Free Agent Strategy – The 1st/2nd/3rd place finishers averaged slightly more than 1 of the top 10 free agents.  But while Jose Bautista was the highest value free agent, he only appeared on 5 top-3 finish teams.  On the other hand, John Axford and Buster Posey each appeared on 12 top-3 teams (including 8 1st place finishes for Axford!).  Why?  Many ‘good’ teams didn’t have room for Bautista at 3B, OF, 1B/3B, or UTIL.  Poorer teams had more holes and were more likely to gamble on what appeared to be a fluke.  Axford and Posey – on the other hand – are in positions where many teams are open to an upgrade.  Starting pitchers seem to finish somewhere in between with Trevor Cahill and Jaime Garcia finishing on 8 and 7 top-3s while CJ Wilson, Colby Lewis, and Brett Myers finished on 4-5 top 3s.  This seems to fit in with typically recommended free agency behavior to:  1) Pick up any closer and 2) Don’t be afraid to drop late draft picks – especially at catcher – if a higher upside play presents itself.

51 Responses

  1. RandomItalicizedVoice says:
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    Excellent work. And nice to see that several of my draft strategies are validated here.

  2. DonCoburleone says:
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    Yeah the starting pitching in the first 3 rounds is exactly what I figured. I even take it further than that and avoid any starting pitching until at least the 6th round and closers no earlier than the 12th. I mean just look at the list of players at the top, Axford #3 and Chris Perez #6! Both guys that I picked up midseason and who dominated down the stretch (i destroyed the RCL league I was in)…

    Really interesting stuff here. My one question/beef though is there any way to get this year’s league onto Yahoo instead of ESPN? ESPN fantasy blows…

  3. PWNightmare says:
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    Interesting stuff here. I like that Razzball has created it’s own sort of animal testing facility with the RCL. Looking forward to this year.

  4. Great, great article. I’m surprised that Cargo wasn’t more influential. I’m not surprised that catchers do better than most people think.

    Based on all of our mathematical research, it appears catchers are undervalued versus their ADP. Based on some early mocks we’ve done, it appears they will continue to be good value in 2011.

    I like the tidbit about high upside OFs. They are like the hot chick that doesn’t put out.

  5. NewBVick says:
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    Thank You for exposing the fact that Draft Slot is not important. I’m sick of all these people that complain about getting the last pick and saying auctions are superior. Do your homework people and stop complaining!

  6. zombie says:
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    Phenomenal analysis Rudy. Thank you kindly.

  7. Amazing analysis Rudy. Posts like this are what puts Razzball above and beyond for Fantasy Baseball advice.

  8. Steve says:
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    Rudy – why do you like the #4 slot? Is that for this year, or in general?

    @NewBVick: Love the last pick. Wouldn’t complain about that. Love auctions too, though.

  9. @RandomItalicizedVoice: @DonCoburleone: @PWNightmare: @NewBVick: @Derek Oscarson: @zombie: @beantownmp: Thanks!

    @DonCoburleone: A lot of people prefer to wait until 7th or later round to draft SPs. The results for 2010 were clear only that the first 3 rounds (36 picks) didn’t pan out. But there are many ways to build a team and drafting position players in the first 6 rounds is one of them – assuming you choose the rights ones and find pitching bargains.

    @RotoChampMike: Teams drafting CarGo finished a median of 3rd vs. 6.5th. That’s pretty huge. If we had a bigger sample of leagues, maybe he surpasses Konerko and Axford.

    @Steve: I like the 4th pick because it’s an early pick but I don’t have to wait as long b/w picks as 1st/2nd/3rd. I don’t mind 1st just to get Pujols though.

  10. Steve says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Makes sense.

    What’s your take on picking at or near the turn (which Grey seems to like)?

    Obviously there is the long wait but it does mean you get two top 15 guys.

  11. Waldo says:
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    Great, insightful article. Thank you very much.

  12. @DonCoburleone: We’re not wedded to ESPN. Waiting to see Yahoo’s 2011 platform before deciding. Yahoo leagues aren’t public by default which leads to issues when we try to compile standings. Hopefully they’ve reworked their site…

  13. Steve says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: @DonCoburleone: One thing I would say in favour of ESPN is the ability to make an add/drop on a given day and have it take effect for that day, if games haven’t started.

    Do that on Yahoo and it won’t count til the following day. Maybe they’ll change that for this year. Not much to choose between the two IMHO.

  14. @Steve: I don’t love the turn. I prefer 1-3 teams between my picks. I can then look at their roster and know what positions I need to draft with my first pick and which should be available with my second pick. So I get the benefits of ‘the turn’ while getting an earlier pick. And I don’t see a big difference in getting the 13th vs. 16th player. Some years it matters, most it doesn’t.

  15. tom thumb says:
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    Rudy,
    in a bubble who do you draft?
    Boesch
    Garret Jones
    Manny
    Ian Kennedy
    Clay bucholz
    Frank Frank

  16. Carl says:
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    @Steve:

    Are you sure about that? From my cloudy memory it was possible to add/drop players the day you make the move last season (in the private leagues, not the public ones). I do remember for sure it was possible in fantasy football this past season.

  17. Steve says:
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    @Carl: Maybe they’ve changed it, but I played in a Yahoo league last year (private though not custom) and if I added a player after Yahoo ticked over to a new day, he wasn’t active until the day after that.

  18. Grey

    Grey says:
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    Obviously, great article. But, and I think Rudy agrees, you’re looking at a sample of leagues that are generally better versed than most. Leagues filled with owners following our advice. Or at least aware of it. In a less savvy league, for instance, maybe CarGo is drafted later and makes a bigger difference. It’s a shame ESPN or Yahoo doesn’t do something like this with their huge inventory of results.

  19. DonCoburleone says:
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    @Grey: Yeah but Grey that would require actual WORK on the part of Yahoo & ESPN fantasy “analysts”… Seriously though why don’t they? I mean my god does Rudy Gamble even get paid to do this stuff?

    And Grey regarding CarGo you did have him as a sleeper going into 2010 but you also said that you would have rather had Dexter Fowler 5 rounds later cuz there upsides are pretty much the same…

  20. RandomItalicizedVoice says:
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    @Carl:

    Yes it was true for football (and has always been), but not baseball. It’s a big deal in football with players being ruled out at the last minute that teams can make that change the same day. Baseball you have to wait the extra day in Yahoo.

  21. Mr2Bits says:
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    @Grey:

    The CarGo thing makes me laugh as he went 5th in a keeper league last year. Think he was 20th picked by the time everyone got skipped with keepers. His value was good but not 5th round flyer good. I hope he is kept and tanks this year

  22. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @DonCoburleone: I love Fowler. My cross to bear, not yours.

    @Mr2Bits: Depends on how savvy owners were on where CarGo was drafted. I think in friendly office leagues where people don’t look at draft prep until the night before, CarGo probably went much later. I’m assuming here, nothing to back it up.

  23. Mr2Bits says:
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    @Grey:

    Been a 10 year keeper league so things get intense.

  24. @Grey: Now that I think about it, one difficulty for ESPN and Yahoo in analyzing their league data (assuming they actually did it) is the general quality of those leagues. Less dedicated players. More abandoned teams. They’d have to do some type of query to identify ‘competitive’ leagues. But they’re never going to do it so not a concern…

  25. GopherDay says:
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    @Steve: It’s a custom setting, one league I was in last year had it set up like that. I generally didn’t like it though, matter of preference I guess.

  26. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Mr2Bits: Yeah, that’s a lot more competitive than a typical league, I’d think.

    @Rudy Gamble: If they did it, Berry’s head would explode. Another reason!

  27. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    Let AJ Mass do it. He certainly isn’t doing research. He can prolly still do it wearing his Mr. Met costume too.

  28. Steve says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: The Marcel projections are out. You probably go through this every year, so apologies for asking again, but what’s your take on them? That is, what do you see as their strengths and weaknesses?

  29. Steve says:
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    @Grey: “… while the rest had 3 top 3s except for Figgins with one measly 3rd place finish (the worst success rate of all top 6 round picks).”

    In your face, Figgy.

  30. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: He was soul crushing. I never owned him before last year then I owned him last year to remind myself why I never owned him. Life lessons.

    EDIT: Word.

  31. Steve says:
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    @Grey: It’s what he did to me on someone else’s team that fuels my hate. Different pain, same despair.

  32. Kevin says:
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    In a H2H Yahoo! League with 7 Offensive Categories (TB, HR, RBI, R, BB, SN, AVG), What do you think of a lineup of:

    C: Napoli
    1B: Votto
    2B: Hill
    3B: Betemit
    SS: Tulowitzki
    OF: Holliday, Heyward, R. Davis
    UTIL: Dunn

  33. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Kevin: Betemit’s obviously a gaping hole but no idea how many teams are in this league. The rest looks fine assuming it’s 12 teams.

  34. Kevin says:
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    @Grey: It’s 16 Team Mixed League. Tulowitzki, Heyward, Holliday, Votto are Keepers from last season. Haven’t had the draft yet, just seems like a potential lineup I could target and Betemits been listed as Sleeper in a couple publications.

  35. Howard says:
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    Sorry guys, forgot about the razzmock tonight. Been crazy busy over here. I hate those #%*@ autopickers!

  36. Swagger Jackers says:
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    @Rudy: Quality post! My vote is for ESPN, by the way.

  37. NewBVick says:
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    @Howard: You missed out on some prime Reid Brignac v. Brandon Phillips talk lol.

  38. Pat says:
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    Please move the RCL’s to Yahoo.

    Are there any Razzball mocks scheduled for tomorrow with open slots?

  39. Tom Thumb says:
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    Hey Razzmockers– I totally blew my first appearance tonight! Got tied up at work- hate to be “that guy.”

  40. chata says:
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    @Tom Thumb:

    you weren’t the only one who “no-showed” .
    4 others also missed the mock .

  41. GopherDay says:
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    Guys I crapped out as well. I’m terribly sorry. I’ve come down with the flu, went to lay on the couch for a little while and woke up 3 hours later.

  42. Mike says:
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    Great analysis, especially the last paragraph. Teams with a top 5 3B had no reason to believe in Bautista.

    Ultimately, the draft is not critically important. You can pre-rank auto-draft and win, I’ve seen it, well… twice. When competitive leagues are routinely decided by 1 HR, 1 steal, 1 win, or .01 ERA you need to do a helluva lot more than just draft a good team.

  43. swpayton says:
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    Good work Rudy.

    3 of the top ten are RP’s…each taken late or pickup up as FAs. 7 of the top 20 were RP’s…again all but 2 have adp’s over 200 (with Dotel at 189) If this is isn’t proof of the “load up late” theory on RP’s I don’t know what is. My hunch is that this trend will continue year after year.

    3 of the top ten are 2B…I’ll be interested to see if this trend continues. I don’t think it will ’cause each of the 3 has a completly different set of circumstances: Cano has had an upward trend and 2010 was at least somewhat predictable…though I’ll admit he outperformed even optimistic expectations. Uggla did what he always do…95/30/95 is what you get with this guy, though the average boost was nice. Weeks finally exploded after several underwhelming seasons.

    I think the RP trend will continue as it’s a strategy that can be replicated while the 2B situation from 2010 will, I believe, turn out to be an anomaly…next year it could be SS, 3B…who knows?

  44. @Mike: I agree. In a 10-12 team mixed league, the FA wire has a lot of depth. I think that shows in the fact that a CarGo or Konerko had such a relatively small impact compared to, say, drafting the top RB in football.

    But the deeper the league, the bigger the role of the draft.

    @swpayton: Agree on RPs – although Marmol’s K-rate is really tempting.

    The 2B phenomenon probably won’t happen again. I think it happened b/c there was such a flameout rate at 2B last year. 2B is really deep this year compared to SS.

  45. Schmohawks Bob says:
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    My two cents:

    It’s very interesting that it doesn’t really matter what position you draft from. That’s comforting because I spend far too much time worrying about that.

    I firmly believe that unless you are incredibly unlucky or incredibly stupid, chances are you will come out of a draft with a chance to win. I’ve never been able to look at anyones roster after a draft and say, “that’s a great team that will certainly win so let’s not bother with the regular season.” What I usually see is almost every team has some great players, some good players, some question marks, and a couple of holes. I believe in-season management and luck together are more important than the draft.

    Regarding drafts, it’s always good to draft someone late, who gives you lots of value. Duh. Now, figuring out how to find that is a different question.

    Even if you knew the best theory of drafting, because it is a draft, one wild pick that totally screw up your strategy. So I have always have a plan going in, but adjust based on opportunity and/or good or bad luck.

    Finally, I prefer ESPN because you can make transactions that are valid the same day. I prefer the Yahoo interface because I have more experience with it. However, I like playing ESPN because it has different pre-ranks which totally affect the way I draft. Plus, since it’s my only ESPN, it allows me to mix it up a little.

    Bottom line, we all have to play by the same rules, so as long as the league isn’t too shallow, and the other players are active, I don’t really care where we play.

  46. Chris says:
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    This is just an amazing post. Just about sums it up. Thank you for all the effort digging this up, Rudy.

  47. @Steve: I saw that Marcels came out. I’ve incorporated them into the Point Shares data that we’ll post on Monday (aka Super Bowl Monday!). Marcel data always looks too conservative on first glance because of their regression model. And – like all projection systems – I don’t trust their playing time estimates. But for player vs. player comparisons, it’s strong. ZiPS is a bit ahead of it. FanGraphs Fan Projections may edge Marcel but only as it gets closer to the season when they get more respondents. Marcel is better than CAIRO at least for now.

    @Chris: Thx and you’re welcome.

  48. Furtah says:
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    Hi Guys (Rudy),

    Awesome analysis. We debate these topics every year and I haven’t seen as comprehensive a writeup yet. It still isn’t definative one way or another, but this work is great. I’ve never drafted a catcher early, but may consider it for the right value this year…

    With your permission I posted a little writeup about your article with a link at http://bleachergm.com. Hope you enjoy. Again, great work!

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