Derek Carty of The Hardball Times was the host this past week of Fantasy Roundtable. Besides serving a lovely crumb cake and spicing up the coffee with a little Bailey’s, he posed the following question:

What do you think has a greater impact on one’s ability to win a fantasy baseball league: player evaluation or strategy?

Some interesting responses both in the post and in the comments.

While I’ve got this post open, here’s another link where I kibbitzed with another blogger – this one being on the awesome Disabled List Informer.  Check out the comments where DLI was kind enough to answer some of my questions regarding what pitches create the most injury risk.  Looks like my assumptions about breaking pitches in the risky pitcher post do have some medical credence (sliders are the worst…I’m still not sold that 12-to-6 curveballs aren’t arm killers).  Anyone who likes pitchers who throw a lot of cutters (see Roy Halladay and Jon Lester) may not be happy about the physical therapist opinion on that pitch.

  1. Grey

    Grey says:

    If I may comment to my good friend, Rudy Gamble, I LOVE the DL Informer. That’s right, I used caps. Deal with it!

  2. Good. I don’t want you to talking to him rudely like you did to Matthew Berry.

  3. gleeksquad says:

    2 good reads, especially on impact of pitch types.

    As for the round table I’d have to go with Evaluation > strategy. If that’s draft strategy or strategy over the course of the season, either way.

    My best argument for evaluation is because strategy relies upon it. You can make the greatest strat on earth with all sorts of rules(ex. grey’s draft rules) but if you can’t evaluate and pick players to fit that strategy then you will fail. You need to make trades based on evaluations, and so on.

    Strategy can also confine you. If you’ve decided to punt a category or go for a certain stat without doing so based on your talent then you aren’t being dynamic. Your strat should be fluid based upon the talent on your roster(which comes from eval) and not bend your talent to conform to your strategy.

  4. Simply Fred

    Fred Barker says:

    Rudy, I am anxious to read your AB/IP strategy. Your comment de-values Weiters in ABs and I am not sure he won’t get ’em. Generally, my initial analysis shows that games played are seriously under-projected for guys that just have a partial season under their belts and potentially getting full time work. They actually do get quite a few more games than projected.

  5. @Fred Barker: I don’t have much in strategy. I just use Baseball Prospectus’s depth chart and updated AB projections for my projections. No reason to re-invent the wheel. In some cases where I feel they are too bullish – say, a lot of playing time for someone who is historically brittle – I may weight it down.

    Until I hear otherwise, I believe Weiters will be kept in the minors until sometime in May so he avoids ‘Super 2’ status and gains arbitration one year early. This is the same reason why Braun and Longoria were held back the last 2 years. The only way he plays before May 1st is if they sign him to a long-term contract…

  6. Simply Fred

    Fred Barker says:

    It’s not about Weiters. That gets answered if he starts the season in the Bigs.

    It is more about annual projections. I think they are too conservative in projecting games played. So, if you are reducing them further I think you are going in the wrong direction. I may be wrong.

  7. Eric W says:

    @Rudy Gamble: ahaha the comment to grey cracked me up in the middle of class no less.

    And too this day I cant comprehend the fact that guys can throw 3000+ pitches in a year and not have there arms turn to Jello.

  8. @Fred Barker: The projection systems themselves mayl underestimate games/ABs – particularly for younger players who are taking a bigger role. Same could be said for vets who are taking a smaller role. I’ve also found that they project more ABs than ever possible for a team.

    The BP projections assume a fixed # of ABs per team and per position. They then divide it out based on expected playing time. For example, Baltimore C is estimated as 60% Wieters, 30% Gregg Zaun, 10% Quiroz. The sum of their Plate Appearances is about 675.

    I don’t think it’s a correct assumption that such projections will always underestimate the primary player’s totals. They may be too conservative in some cases (Roberts might get 95% of 2B Plate Appearances instead of 85%), they may be too high in other cases (Izturis might not get 75% at SS). But I feel it’s the best base level out there and chalk any differences to the inherent volatility of projections.

  9. bpasinko says:

    There are enough quality pitchers available in this years draft that any one who has even a little flag is probably worth just scrapping. So I definitely appreciate your posts about risky pitchers.

    I love Nolasco, but why risk it with Wainwright there.

  10. bpasinko says:

    I guess Wainwright isn’t a model of health, but you get the point….

    Unrelated question:

    Does anyone have advice they can give on keeper snake draft leagues where you keep players at the round they were drafted? Or I guess, maybe if he was taken 10th round he becomes 8th round.

    Is this better than just keeping 10 guys as your first 10 picks?

    I’m interested in doing it for a new keeper league (12 teams 10 keepers) but everyone that’s joined doesn’t want it, we haven’t drafted yet.

    One last thing, someone mentioned a glitch where the last place team can essentially keep 11 players. If I draft Wright in year one then finish last, if I don’t keep my first rounder (Wright) I would get the first overall pick. I could then keep 10 guys other than Wright and draft Wright 1st, giving me 11 keepers basically. Is this ever a problem? If so what have you all ever done to fix it, or does it actually never play?

    Thanks guys and gals.


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