Not everything has to be a series from me.  Do I have to sell a gimmick to get you to latch on to what I’m reading?  Sure, I brought you the Under The Greydar series and yeah, I brought you Deep League Thoughts.  And yeah, I started a bit of a series called Draft Day Arbitrage which we’re still working on but sometimes a particular topic just grabs me and I gotta get it out there to the masses without precedences.  You see, as I started looking into the draft season that is now upon us I started liking Carlos Santana more and more despite him losing catcher eligibility in most leagues outside of Yahoo.  Obviously the public isn’t lukewarm on him as he’s still a top 75 player overall on most draft boards but in light of recent findings on him, I am beginning to wonder if, much like Alison Brie, he is underrated for his assets because they haven’t been fully exposed on the world.  Well, lets loosen up that bra strap and ummm…yeah, there’s no analogy here.  Roll the credits!  Here’s Carlos and how his move to first actually has some goodness tied to it for 2015 Fantasy Baseball…

Before we journey on, I’d like to point out that deranged minds think alike.  Our good buddy Dynasty Mike came to some similar conclusions in his Carlos Santana Keeper piece back in December.  But of course, I got my own take and now my own mic so let me step up and drop this hot take on the masses.  On the surface, Carlos Santana’s fairly perma-move to 1B doesn’t seem to get many excited.  His ADP in standard ESPN drafts is about 82 right now and his consensus rank plunks him down right about in the same area as the player #81 off the board and overall 1B number 17 and 3B number 10 off the board.  To be fair, if rankings are coming off of steamer projections, I can see the reason why.  They’re only giving him a slashline of 76/22/76/.245/4.  Given his underlying career numbers, though, those projections seem Crazy with a capital Gnarls Barkley.  It’s fair to say it looks like during his big home run years of 2011 and 2014 he sacrificed average for power (.239 and .231, respectively), but I don’t think those numbers take into consideration his splits across the positions he’s played in his career.  I also think his .231 batting average was weighted heavily by him trying to learn 3rd and never getting the hang of it.  In fact, he only hit .129 in 26 games at 3B in 2014.  Take away those 26 games and Santana hits a respectable .252 on the year but I decided to dig a bit further.  With that, I looked strictly at his numbers at first base and saw something to get happy about.  In 94 games, Carlos slugged 20 of his 27 HRs on the year at first while hitting .274.  Of course, maybe it’s all just happy circumstance and means nothing.  But then you look at his career splits at 1B and notice a trend.  As a catcher over 1341 career PAs, Santana is a lackluster .241 hitter.  As a DH in 425, he’s at .257.  But at 1B, in 872 PAs, Santana has a .270 average.  It also happens to be where Santana has enjoyed the highest BABIP, ISO, HR/FB%, and slugging for his career by a wide margin.  So here comes the fun part.  If we project Santana based off of his numbers as a first baseman for his career off of his 152 game, 660 PA season in 2014, we’d get something close to 29 HRs, 92 RBIs, 81 runs, and about 3 steals to go with a .260+ average or as I like to call it, a better steamer version of Albert Pujols (76/25/86/.268/4).  Given that Santana is both still in his prime at 29 this year and won’t have to deal with the burden of playing catcher much over the course of the season, he should be able to stay relatively healthy and not wear down like many catchers do over the course of the year.  In essence, Santana could finish on the fringe of top 5 1B this year without doing much more than he has at first for his career.  Oh and for a 3B?  Yeah, we’re talking potential top 3.  So here’s to Carlos being Santastic at first in 2015.

 
  1. Grey

    Grey says:
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    I just took him in the 4th round of a 15-teamer, so I’m on board… When you’re looking at Votto, Fielder, Hosmer, A-Gon, Duda and Santana and don’t have a 1B, he looks even better…

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Grey: You had draft beer goggles on. You lucked out!

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Might be true, like how I suddenly love Soler after taking him last night in Tout Wars

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Only now? I love Soler period, just not his typical going rate. Went round 6 in my NFBC, ahead of Mark Trumbo by 2 full rounds. The hype train on him is terrible.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            You see my team from last night?

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              I only caught part of it. Saw you took Strasburg in the second and fainted. Couldn’t deal with it after that.

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                You mean you didn’t watch all 4 hours of it? Oh, Sky…

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  Ha, where’s the link? Would love to look at it.

    • weas says:
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      @Grey: Where would you guys start thinking about taking Santana in a Yahoo league which adds OPS as a category?

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        Not in the top 50 of that stat from 2012-2014 so the OPS doesn’t really change things. My odd keeper league settings put him as a 5th rounder and we have SLG% and OBP so with catcher eligibility there, he’d make sense there. Not much of a reach based on their rankings.

        • Jax says:
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          @Sky: He’s #52, though. Only 10-15 pts behind guys like Gomez (#32), Rizzo (#33), Harper (#37), Upton (#42), and Jones (#45). Though, his slugging isn’t what keeps him that close, his OBP is obviously makes up the difference. And his ISO lags behind those guys listed above, too (Santana at .184, where those other guys sit between .193 and .204). But, if the data Sky introduced in this article about Santana hitting better while playing 1st is a trend, it’s not inconceivable that he can reach those other guys’ OPS numbers, which makes me wonder why his ranking doesn’t change for OPS leagues? Or am I missing something (I probably am)?

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            My point was he’s not elite in that category but could be. I said he was worth a 5th round pick in the format, to take him there isn’t going too against the ADP grain of a regular league and could pay handsomely. To overpay for an expectation and push him up to round 3 or 4 wouldn’t make any sense in my book.

            • Jax says:
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              @Sky: Ah, ok. It would’ve helped if I first looked at Grey’s reference to the Player Rater that has him ranked #35 in OPS value. I knew I missed something

              • Sky

                Sky says:
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                Yeah, all about getting the value out of him on draft day which I think you can right now, even with the change in settings.

                • Mike says:
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                  @Sky: Would this change if you’re in a Yahoo league where you can play him at Catcher? For the Yahoo 6×6 OPS rankings he’s sitting at 26 overall.

                  • Sky

                    Sky says:
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                    @Mike: At that point, you need to treat him like a catcher and not overpay for him.

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Grey: I like your team last night…sometimes, actually really liked Rudy’s pitching a lot and his team too. I can’t pick between you two and after writing the Grey vs Rudy post last night I really can’t. I felt like Calogero in a Bronx Tale

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Thanks! I’m sure it’s hard for you cause Cockcroft isn’t in that league

        • J-FOH says:
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          @Grey: It’s so hard when he’s not there. Sporer was a really cool kid, but Votto?…really bro? Votto?

  2. Rubik's Pube says:
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    I’ve been keeping a close eye on Santana as well. I have to say I totally agree with your idea of his debacle trying to learn 3rd base. He hit much better after they shit canned that idea. I participated in my first RCL draft about a week ago. I’ve been following Razzball for 3 years but I have never played a roto league. That gets fixed this year. I asked Jay on a prior post but if you or any fellow Razzballians could take a gander at my team and let me know what you think, I’d appreciate it.

    C: E. Gattis
    1B: J. Abreu
    2B: S. Gennet
    3B: K. Seager
    SS: J. Reyes
    MI: E. Aybar
    CI: J. Votto
    OF: M. Brantley
    OF: J. Ellsbury
    OF: M. Trumbo
    OF: C. Blackmon
    OF: S. Choo
    DH: D. Ortiz
    Bench: M.Semien
    Bench: R. Davis
    Pitching: M. Harvey, M. Tanaka, I. Kennedy, C. Mchugh, M. Pineda, J. Quintana, T. Clippard, B. Boxberger, M. Minor

    I feel pretty good about my offense but my pitching staff feels like a house of cards that will collapse at a moment’s notice. I may have gotten carried away chasing steals but I think I got some pretty well rounded dudes that won’t kill my AVG. aside from Trumbo. As far as closers go, SAGNOF! Any thoughts would be appreciated for this roto rookie

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Yeah, problem is SAGNOF stands for ‘Saves and Steals ain’t got no face’. Little worried you paid way too much for speed and average. I think Harvey will be fine but outside of McHugh/Pineda, I’d be a tad worried there, too. Wouldn’t be surprised at all if Tanaka doesn’t pitch this year or poorly if he does (just my opinion, of course). It can all be made up for in the FA pool minus possible power issues which might be the biggest problem you have. I’d look to move some steals for some power if someone is searching. Welcome to the roto life!

      • Rubik's Pube says:
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        @Sky: Yeah that’s what I was thinking. Shit’ll buff out. Thanks for the advice kind sir

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Cool, good luck!

      • A Wesley Snipes Life says:
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        @Sky: yr opinion on Tanaka is more than just that. Nobody has yet to even point out one pitcher who’s performed at Tanaka’s preinjury levels with the condition he has, without having TJ first.

  3. Lenard says:
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    Can we stop talking about fantasy baseball and start talking about fantasy Allison Brie?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      It’s really an underrated area of discussion by all measurements.

  4. Big League Choo says:
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    12 team RCL turned keeper keep 10

    for sure’s Stanton, Adam Jones, Puig, Gordon, Kluber, Greinke

    Best of the Rest in order

    Reyes
    Hosmer
    Ozuna
    Rosenthal
    Jansen
    Segura
    Pollock
    Feliz
    Arcia

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Assuming there’s no price to consider, I’d go Ozuna, Segura, Reyes, Pollock. Not big on keeping closers.

  5. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Great writeup, Sky! I always ignored Santana in previous years, but he’s been looking really good to me this year.

    In my 12 team H2H league that tracks OBP and OPS (instead of AVG), dare I say that you would rank him as your #1 or #2 3B? I keep finding myself wanting to grab him in round 4 or 5, and this is only increasing that desire.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Thanks man, definitely take the slight discount if it’s being offered on him in your draft room. Think he will excel above his rank/ADP this year. I’d put him as my 3rd or 4th there, too, but not 1 or 2. It’s not a reach to take him in round 5 in that setting.

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        @Sky: Thanks – sounds good to me!

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Word!

  6. Jimmy Lin says:
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    Longoria over Arenado? It’s now making me question my decision using my first pick to draft Arenado in my three keeper league. Arenado seems to be the better hitter on the rise, and watching Longoria declining as a hitter every year in Tampa leaves a lot to be desire from him. I guess its hard to focus on your trade when you come home to a playboy bunny every night. Anyone feel the same?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Almost every site has Arenado ranked ahead of Longoria. You’re not alone.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      It’s OBP

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      It’s also not a keeper

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        @Grey: Ah, I missed the keeper part but what’s the OBP part? I’m confuzzled

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I’m saying mine is OBP

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            Oh, I don’t think he was directing the question at you, though. It is my Carlos Appreciation Post, after all. Could be wrong.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Oh, maybe I was the one confuzzled.

  7. Grant says:
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    Speaking of eligability, I noticed on Greys rankings that he has Tomas eligable for OF in both ESPN and Yahoo, just took a look at Yahoo, he does also have 3B eligability to start the year, so that is a major plus.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Yeah, they shouldn’t have him 3B eligible. I’d bank on him playing a few games there and getting moved to the OF after failing. Just means he’ll go higher on draft day in Yahoo leagues than he should, which is frustrating.

  8. SteveNZ says:
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    I’ve already run this past Grey, but want to see what you think. In a 14-team H2H league where we count OBP and AVG, where do you think it’s OK to take Santana.

    His Greyness says 45-ish. What say you?

    Note – this is Yahoo where he’s eligible at C, 1B & 3B…

    • SteveNZ says:
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      @SteveNZ: He’s at 22 in the 6x6OBP pre-season player rater BTW.

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        Yeah, Grey is around what I was thinking. Took him 59th in 15 team NFBC myself, the catcher eligibility gives him a boost along with the OBP. Close to 50 sounds right to me.

  9. Jb says:
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    What’s your auction value on carlos in a 4×4 no runs 14 team league??

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Prolly 15 to 19 range

  10. Dan says:
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    I think you discussed Santana in the comments for Yahoo 6×6. How about standard 5×5? Where would you rank him overall and as a C?

    I am in a keeper league and keepers are due Friday. I am torn between Santana in 6 or Freeman in 4. What do you see as the better value? I really think Freeman is overrated this year and he would tie up my IF spot as I am keeping Abreu already.

    Thanks as always

  11. J-FOH says:
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    Im glad you did this post, one of the most talked about players among us this weekend and yet not one Santana song on the radio. I was too afraid to jinx it.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      The lead up to this post was prefaced by Grey taking him and not being overly excited about it. I wrote this to cheer him up.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Job well done!

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Gotta keep the boss happy!

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Sky: you’re a good friend/employee, now can I get a Billy Butler post to cheer me up?

        Oh and BTW, Alison Brie sucks

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Some guys prefer ugly, fat guys with moobs over pretty girls with nice boobs, I guess. You’re a niche market, my friend.

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Sky: pretty is a stretch and by stretch I mean not

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Just because you call the cheese ‘Alison’ doesn’t mean we’re talking the same Brie

              • J-FOH says:
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                @Sky: oh we are talking the same broad. Blah

      • The Great Knoche says:
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        @Sky: just curious how far along your draft now is in NFBC?

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          We’re in round 26 now. Still no catcher two on my squad. Prolly need to fix that this round, though

          • The Great Knoche says:
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            @Sky: exact same round we are in. Guess it’s not going as slow as it seems. Got catchers in 19 and 21. Chirinos and Ianetta.

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Yeah, we’ve had ebbs and flows. Today has been a slow one. A guy didn’t realize it was his turn until about 2 hours before he was gonna be an autodraft casualty. I took Russell Martin in round 12 so it’s made the wait easy to do plus I have my targets still around. Makes it hard to want to take them now, though.

              • The Great Knoche says:
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                @Sky: yeah seems like everytime I decide between 2 players on my end of the draft, the other one I’m hoping makes it back to me in 8 picks is inevitably snatched up.

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  I had pick #2 in the draft so I’ve missed my share unless I reached

                  • Fuzzy Dunlop says:
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                    @Sky: just email everybody when it’s their turn, it’s what we did in our 30 man league (2 owners still took 17 and up hours, once a guy took 35, which means at the 24th hour others got to make their picks before he picked)

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Ha, me too… No C2

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              There was a catcher run. Missed Pinto, got Conger. Still feel sexy.

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Nice! Yeah, there’s still a few I’m fine with taking so I might wait another few rounds… Not like a 2nd catcher is gonna make a difference…

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  You draft, what…3 or 4 catchers? I still have some guys circled as potential starters that others don’t see. One I think is a major diamond in the rough but it’s park associated. I’m sure you can guess which one.

                  • The Great Knoche says:
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                    @Sky: we’re having a little run right now. 4 of last 9 have been catchers.

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      Same here. Once Pinto went, I knew the jig was up. Took Conger.

                  • The Great Knoche says:
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                    @Sky: no idea on how many. Thinking maybe grabbing a handcuff of one of my 2 later and perhaps a flyer near the end?

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      Yeah, that was to Grey. I think 3 is a definite and 4 if you have the roster space and a guy you like.

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
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                    He’s gone in mine… You should draft 3 to 4 depending on how well you feel on your guys

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      I feel like they’re catchers in a 15 team, 2 catcher league! I think Martin’s output probably outdoes most of the catcher combos around my league by himself. Conger is just window dressing.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      He’s sexy, adorable window dressing though! (We are the only ones interested in Conger, bee tee dubs.)

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      Yeah, funny about that, too. He was a high end prospect for his bat as well. Think he’ll play nice there as a lefty switch hitter in HOU

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Yeah, he was once considered a mini Napoli

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      Scioscia really is just a jealous C2. No wonder he ran Napoli and Conger out!

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Exactly!

                    • J-FOH says:
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                      Is Phegely gone?

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Not sure

  12. Sam says:
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    I have an off topic question and I definitely have a different look at Carlos now thanks! I’m in a 12 team keeper league for the first time and I have the 4th pick and know that trout, stanton, and Goldschmidt are the first three picks. Would you pick MCcutchen or Abreu? I’m leaning towards MCcutchen but there is a lot of depth in the OF and 1B drops off fast.

    Then what would you do with your second pick? I’m leaning towards brantley, or donaldson because I know rendon will be gone. thoughts? sorry for the off topic question

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Have you seen our articles? Half our stuff is off topic, you’re fine! I’d go McCutch and Donaldson if he’s there. Not sure what you’re going by to assume these picks, though. Draft day will partially push you in one direction or another.

  13. Drexel Hill Dragons says:
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    Your post just helped me make the decision. I’m in a 12 team keeper and we can keep up to 6 players this year giving up your first pick for each player kept.

    I had McCutchen, Jose Abreu, Puig, and Tulowitzki as my first definite 4.
    I was pretty sure I’m keeping Hamels as a 5th and a solid anchor to my staff.
    My final decision came down to keeping my draft pick in the 6th, Kemp, or Santana.

    Kemp would already lock in my 3rd OF position, but Santana is eligible at C, 1B & 3B,
    And we count OBP instead of AVG.

    Does that make Santana a no brainer as a 6th rounder in this situation?

    Thanks!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Yeah, I’d go Santana there for sure.

  14. thesportsguy says:
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    10 Team Al 5×5..two keeper questions

    G Richards or C Allen at $3
    M Saunders or D Holland at $5

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Richards and Holland

  15. Zach says:
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    My first leagues draft…thoughts? What can I improve on? Head to Head 12 team

    Stanton, Harper, Upton, Arenado, Santana, Votto, Gyorko, Castro, Hosmer, Duda, K Vargas, N Castellanos, A Escobar, Chase Headley

    Arrieta, Tyson ross, Carrasco, Mccugh, Stroman (Sigh), Liriano, Hutchison, Masterson, Britton and Rosenthal.

    Input is appreciated.

    Cheers

    • Zach says:
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      @Zach: @Grey @Sky

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Love the pitching staff. The Stroman loss hurts but you did what you should do in H2H: Not worry about studs and go hard after sub-aces or potential break out arms.

      It’s hard to see what your starting LU would normally be from how you put it. Should I assume only 3 OF? You waited on MI as you should and it didn’t hurt you at all. You’re gonna be light on steals but you can make up for that in season. H2H is all about not having the best team out of the draft but the team with the most power potential and becoming balanced as you go. Overall, very solid team for an H2H, good work!

      • Zach says:
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        @Sky: Thank you! I felt good about it. I had 7th pick, so I didn’t feel great going in. Love your guys’ site and follow your rankings to a T. Yeah, 3 OF. Still need to hit the wire for at least another.

        My next draft is in 2 weeks and I have 5th pick. Recommend following the same strategy? maybe switch it up? How do you feel about drafting the same guys in multiple leagues? Stanton, etc.

        Thanks for the input!

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          @Zach: I don’t really have problems drafting the same guys from draft to draft. Not sure what you mean by switch it up. I’d draft the best players available, avoid MI until later in the draft and attack pitching when there’s value to go for it.

          • Zach says:
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            @Sky: That answers my question. Thanks!

            Just meant if I should snag pitching earlier, MI earlier, or not go so outfield heavy the first few picks. You answered though.

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Yeah, nothing wrong with good OF/CI early. Probably would approach your OF a bit differently in that regard if there’s value.

              • Zach says:
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                @Sky: Will do! Thanks for the advice.

                One last question. Based off of the team, I showed you, would you ship Upton for Price? I was just offered this.

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  Nah hold

  16. G Man says:
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    Nice post on Santana, thanks!

    In a 10×10 H2H league, we can keep four players. I’ve got Goldschmidt, McCutcheon and Rendon as keepers in the first three rounds (we base keeper/draft slots on ESPN top 300). So my last keeper is between Santana and Arenado…both in the 7th round. Who would you choose to keep? This league includes OBP, OPS, BBs and Ks.

    Arenado=Coors, low K rate, high AVG.
    Carlos=high BB rate, OBP, OPS, more HRs, low AVG (maybe).

    Thanks!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Thanks! Because of OBP and BB, I’d lean Santana unless you think you can get him back in the draft. You likely won’t get Arenado back

Comments are closed.