Have to go through a lot other ‘perts’ turd nuggets to find some kernels of truth, right?  So I took a looksie at ESPN’s mock draft.  These guys (and maybe girls, cause I don’t even recognize some names — Becquey?  Is that the phonetic pronunciation of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway’s abbreviation, BQE?  No idea.) make their living by doling out fantasy baseball advice, but, as Tim Gunn would say, the problem is they’ve been in the monkey house too long.  Here’s Gunn’s explanation, “When you first walk into the monkey house at the zoo, what do you do?  You cover your nose and think, “This place stinks!” After some time, you’ve adjusted a bit, “Well, I guess this isn’t so bad.”  Then later, you don’t even notice the smell.”  ESPN builds a bunker, doles out advice but has no idea what the stench is like.  To get poetic on you, they think their feces smells like Reese’s Pieces.

In that mock, they drafted Ian Stewart 163rd overall.  Wow, Stewart has an ADP of 120 at Mock Draft Central so that’s awesome value!  The only hitch is, there’s no way anyone’s getting Stewart that late in a draft if they draft with anyone but those ESPN readers who are also in the monkey house.  The monkeys at ESPN don’t even mention Stewart was good value at 163.  You know why?  Because they have no idea.  They don’t look at anything besides what’s written at ESPN.  It’s like Hurley from Lost doling out fantasy advice.  Jack’s doing surgery, Locke’s seeing shizz and The BQE is taking Ian Stewart 163rd overall.  Honestly, I’m not even sure if they have an internet connection in Bristol.  So this look at the monkeys’ mock draft may be constructive for those of you who are playing against other monkeys, but, in reality, we’re just mocking them.  Anyway, here’s some head scratchers from ESPN’s 2010 fantasy baseball mock draft:

Carl Crawford – 7th overall. Ha!  Seriously, I don’t even know what to say about this.  Michael Bourn is that different at around pick 100?  The saving grace to this pick is that it was made by Nate Ravitz, who, I believe, is the neighbor in Bewitched.  Could be wrong.

Joe Mauer – 14th overall.  Bewitched neighbor grabbed him too.  So with Mauer and Crawford he’s looking at about 35 homers combined for his first two picks.  Guess he’s punting power.  Yeah, he just lost.  Thanks for playing.

Ryan Howard – 18th overall.  This is the last player I’m looking at that was taken way later than they will normally go. (Kinsler at 21?!  Wait, did they do this mock draft in 2007 and forget to post it?)  Howard is a great pick at 18.  Again, ain’t happening in the real world, so I’m done looking at value picks in this draft.

Derek Jeter – 25th overall.  I actually like Tristan Cockcroft (who is a Yankee fan and maybe why he made this pick), but Jeter at 25th overall is just silly.  Maybe Cockcroft is hoping for a wedding invite.  Not sure; let’s not dwell.

Javier Vazquez – 61st overall.  That’s around where his ADP is,  but I have him ranked around 135th overall.  I might need to do an overrated post on him.

Yovani Gallardo – 69th overall.  The BQE goes for YoGa about 40 spots before he should, but not nearly as bad as…

Brandon Webb – 98th overall.  They are totally reprinting a 2007 draft just to see if anyone will notice.  Very sneaky.

James Shields – 152nd overall.  Not a pick I would make, but this isn’t so much about the time Shields was drafted.  The real knee to the balls is in the comments where they wrote, “Becquey takes James Shields with pick No. 152, and many lament that Shields is off the board.”  Why? Because of his mediocre K-rate?  Is it his increasing walk rate?  Is it his inability to pitch in away games?  Is it his division?  Are they using a new definition of lament?  Seriously, I have to stop before I get an aneurysm.

  1. Asdrubal Bastardo says:

    Grey > ESPN

    …and that’s the truth

  2. Steve says:

    I am getting sick and tired of hearing “‘perts” justifying (and even big-upping) their own picks by comparing them to that player’s ADP at MDC.

    Has anyone stopped for a minute to consider that perhaps the a lot of people drafting at MDC (that is, the very people who are generating the said ADPs -Razzballers excluded, of course), don’t have an effin’ clue what they’re doing?

  3. Bob says:

    Your Mocking ESPN´s Mock was a mocking masterpiece, Grey. Love reading your style ! Keep doin´ that voodoo-doodoo dat you do so well !

  4. big o says:

    very low-brow stuff , that espn .
    appeals to the masses .

    sadly , it’s the same crowd that got george dubba elected ,
    found a way to popularize the phrase “baby daddy” ,
    prides itself on the ever-lowering standard of a 12th grade education ,
    and created the american “dream team” to establish world dominance in the olympic arena , previously reserved for non-professional , college basketball players .
    U.S.A. …. U.S.A. ….. U.S.A.

  5. brett says:

    You know it’s a good post when it’s added at midnight pacific time and already has five comments. Well played, sir.

    Also, as much as i love feasting on misguided opponents (In my case at Yahoo), it’s probably time to move on and start challenging myself. Ryan Howard at 18? Really?

  6. danimal35 says:

    i was so confused by the the Grey in the ESPN mock draft…then I realized it could be the same Grey we know…or is it? muahahaha

  7. danimal35 says:

    Grey can you do a post on guys who used to be good and the chnace that they are good again this year…peeps like Vernon Wells, Furcal, Delgado…like a comeback player of the year ranking…or guys that nobody wants but and that you probably won’t draft because you want young upside late but still look like value because of what they did 2, 3, 4 years ago list? just wondering

  8. JoeC says:

    @manimal: I think they’re called sleeper posts. Look for ’em.

    @BIG-o: I voted for Dubya (twice!) and enjoy tossing the term “baby daddy” around. Somehow, I don’t feel responsible for the sorry state of Olympic basketball or the craptastic drafting ability of ESPN mock experts.

  9. Ben C says:

    Hahahaha, “yeah, he just lost, thanks for playing!” Can’t wait to throw that in to the draft commentary arsenal.

  10. big o says:

    @ All :

    i apologize for the socio-political rant .

    my disdain for all things espn remains intact , however .

  11. Schlitzy says:

    Good read. By the way, traffic on the Becquey sucks this morning.

  12. Kid n' Play says:


    Any mocking of ESPN is always a good read. I have not read an article or watched anything on ESPN since the inception of the MLB network. They spew so much garbage out there. Guys like Skip Bayless, Stuart Scott and Joe Morgan make me want to puke whenever they open their mouth. And that is what ESPN has become.

    I am just glad that Peter Gammons is on the MLB network now. Now I never have a reason to watch ESPN until Sunday night baseball. But then I have to listen to Joe Morgans nonsense. At least when the BoSox are playing I can listen to the radio and turn down the valume on the TV.

    Glad we have you Grey! Thanks for all the great reads. They make my mornings.

  13. Jake in columbus says:

    Is anyone buying what little hype there is for Colby Lewis this year (a few articles exist on more than just ESPN)? Dude had some pretty sick #s in Japan the last 2 years, so it can’t hurt to snag him late after another Razzballer takes Dirty Sanchez and see if he pans out as a back-of-the-rotation type. I can’t imagine he’ll move too far up boards either, even if he looks good this spring (332.80 MDC ADP right now; Sanchez = 240.51).

    CHONE projections are optimistic for Lewis
    Lewis 3.99 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 8.08 K/9, 2.05 BB/9
    Sanchez 4.26 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 9.3 K/9, 4.32 BB/9

  14. Quintero says:

    I’m glad that I’m not the only one who is been tormented by ESPN. Maybe the only one in East Asia? Jason Grey is actually okay. Hope Stephen won’t kill me for saying this.

  15. Tony says:

    WOW- i was waiting on this post! nice one grey! That mock made me sick, i wish i could get into a league with those guys, put down some big money, and just run away with the pot…. it wouldn’t even be a competition. Picks I didn’t understand:

    Pedroia #29 right before Cano and Phillips?

    Picks 36-39? Sandoval, Roberts, Zimmerman, and then Mark Reynolds? WOW…. I’m not a fan of Reynolds, but I wouldn’t let him slide that far, then take Panda in front of Zimmerman? I guess by years end they may pan out that way, i just wouldn’t do it, and then HOW IN THE HELL do you take Brian Roberts and Pass on Zimmerman and Reynolds when you dont have a 3B??? And you know how shallow 3B is, you’re an ESPN “pert” right? YOU SHOULD KNOW 3B IS SHALLOW!

    Verlander, Cliff Lee, and Lester off the board by pick 46? Way too early. Does pitching get 2x value in this league?

    Aaron Hill goes at 72, but Roberts at #37?

    Andrus at #88, whoaaa harris, way to blow any value outta the water…. Now he HAS to become Jacoby Ellsbury at SS.

    Webb before Cole hamels, Kershaw, Billingsley, wandy, and peavy.

    Soto at #176, wow.

    All in ALL i’m glad they draft the way they do and make the dumb comments…. the masses read ESPN and at first thought you’d think they should be the leader in fantasy sports, well at least the masses think that (and hopefully follow their mock), any good fantasy baseballer knows better…

    Keep Drafting Stewart at #163 ESPN. THANKS.

  16. Tony says:

    I think at ESPN they just make picks to make picks, some to impress, some to make statements, some to get a rise outta us. I wonder how many of these guys have been pondering their team since the end of last season? Not too many I’d say.

  17. Good stuff, Grey. I know they are “experts” but this is almost like booing at the Special Olympics.

    When does the top 100 list come out?

  18. Jarrad says:

    Tim Gunn, huh? I didn’t know he was into fantasy baseball…

  19. 101 MPH says:

    On a related note, I was perusing CBS Sportsline’s free online Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide earlier in the week. The analysis had all the depth of a skillet.

    Choosing ESPN, CBS or (God forbid) Yahoo for your fantasy advice is like passing on an authentic Mexican restaurant to eat at Taco Bell. You saved about 30 bucks, but all you have to show for it is a bad case of the shits.

    Many thanks to Gray for doing what you do, and for providing it to us for free. As far as I’m concerned, Razzball is one of the top 5 sites on the web.

  20. nate marcum says:

    Nate Ravitz used to work with my buddy at CDM Sports, or TQ Stats, or Fanball, or whatever it was called then. He used to say Ravitz thought his shit didn’t stink. Than of course he starts doing yahoo fantasy articles, and ESPN articles. The one question I have for you Nate Ravitz….”Are you getting your comments posted on Razzball, the only real fantasy baseball site?” Suck it Ravitz!

  21. Obmij76 says:

    Nice post Grey! Id love to see a mock by you where you make all the picks in a 12 team league

  22. tyler says:

    @101 MPH: I can’t say much for the rest of yahoo’s crew, but behrens is the best msm fantasy baseball writer on the interwebs.

  23. majortommy19 says:

    So you are not the Grey that did the ESPN mock draft? Almost congratulated you on getting Howard with the 18th pick! And then I was gonna yell at you for taking Lind in the fourth!

  24. Jarrad says:

    @ 101MPH: How graphically descriptive! (And I agree…)

  25. Gary says:

    I wish I had these guys in my league, I’d be stealing their money every year.

  26. Billy says:

    @majortommy19: whats wrong with taking Lind in the 5th am i missing something? as a Lind owner and Jays fan i want answers!! lol

  27. majortommy19 says:

    @Billy: It was the fifth. In that case it was the right call. Are you really a Jays fan? So they do exist!

  28. Rabbit says:

    @101 MPH: Please apologize for the insult you have unjustifiably lobbed at skillets everywhere. I have several skillets that have 1-2″ of depth and they are currently moping in the corners of my cabinets because of your unwarranted comparison of them to CBS Sportsline’s “analysis.”

  29. AdamH says:

    @Fman99: HAHA “almost like booing at the special olympics.: HA!

  30. Charlie says:

    Unrelated question…

    So I’m in an 8 team AL only auction league with two catcher slots. We keep 15 so most quality catchers are spoken for before the draft. My only catcher keeper is Carlos Santana, in my Minors system.

    My question: When do I reach the point where it is just not worth rostering a second catcher? I’ll probably overpay slightly for Lou Marson, for handcuffing’s sake, but after that is it really better to throw in a Rob Johnson or Jason Kendall than to carry an extra pitcher?

  31. Van Hammersly says:

    What’s even more horrifying about the Bewitched neighbor is that I’m absolutely certain that, if it weren’t for James Quintong picking Ichiro 26th overall, then Ravitz would’ve grabbed him with the next pick, given his unfounded man-love for the 36 year-old .330-hitting, 30-bag stealing (maybe?) Mariners outfielder. And, of course, he was also the first guy to grab a Closer (Nathan) in Rd. 7. Blech!

  32. GYM says:

    Anyone who listens to Matthew Berry will place somewhere in the bottom 25% of their league.

  33. Billy says:

    @majortommy19: that was low, lol…We do exist, we are all in a country that’s just above yours called canada….

  34. Van Hammersly says:

    P.S. – It would be great to see the return of Hater Bell / Karabaloney posts this season. Any likelihood, Grey?

  35. weas says:

    Don’t forget about Justin Upton being taken at 12 overall (26 ADP). The blurb on him is great:

    “If the 22-year-old continues his growth curve, 40 home runs and 25 steals might not be out of the question.”

    Why don’t we wait for him to hit 30 before we start reaching for 40, guys.

  36. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Asdrubal Bastardo: Thanks!

    @Steve: Gotta cross reference them somewhere, no?

    @Bob: Thanks!

    @big o: I just enjoy reading you write, “Baby Daddy.”

    @brett: Yeah, the RCLs are coming soon.

    @danimal35: Muahahaha indeed. Do you mean comeback player posts? Sorta same as sleeper, but I can see a difference.

    @Ben C: Hehe

    @Schlitzy: Ha!

    @Kid n’ Play: Thanks!

    @Jake in columbus: I hate his park, but I will need to cover him. The Ks are decent and he won’t be drafted much of anywhere.

    @Quintero: Ha! Love that you’re in East Asia.

    @Tony: As Al used to say on Happy Days, “Yup, yup, yup…”

    @Fman99: Monday…

    @Jarrad: Ha!

    @Gary: Yeah, seriously.

    @Charlie: Are you asking to punt the 2nd catcher? I wouldn’t do that.

    @Van Hammersly: Ha!

    @GYM: Hehe

    @Van Hammersly: Yeah, maybe.

    @weas: There were so many, I didn’t have the time or patience to go over them all.

  37. jah says:

    Gladys Kravitz was the neighbor in Bewitched

  38. quimmy says:

    I play in a 10 team keeper league, 5 keeps each with 2009 draft rd cost.

    My keeps:

    Longo (rd 2)
    Kemp (rd 6)
    Tulo (rd 9)
    Jurrjens (rd 18)
    JUP (rd 20)

    I have the 4th overall pic in this draft. I was initially leaning towards taking CC here (we count total inn pitched as a cat). The other 9 teams are pitching heavy on keepers, leading me to believe that I should go bats with my 1st rd and 3rd and 4th rd picks, and put together a nice pitching core 5, 7 and 8. I think I can walk away with Lester, Uballs and someone like Wandy in those rounds.

    Real question, a stud 1B will not get to me at 4 (top 6 bats are utley, tex, howard, wright, reyes). I have a top 3B and a top SS but we do have CI and MI. I would love to have 2 elite players at scarce positions, but am not sure who to take between Wright and Reyes.

    Scoring Cats: AVG, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, R, SB-CS, BB

  39. Dingo says:

    @Grey: Regarding Crawford vs. Bourn, this illustrious site’s own Point Share system does show that there was a $16 difference in value between Bourn and Crawford last year, with an even larger difference projected in 2010 (mostly because CHONE hates Bourn, I guess). But I agree that taking Crawford at #7 is stupid. Besides the whole SAGNOF thing, it looks like the ESPN guys are heavily drafting for 2009, rather than 2010.

    @Tony: I also thought that run in the 4th round was pretty bizarre. Even worse was Mass’ comment about the round, saying that Zimmerman was an early selection at pick #38. That’s right at his ADP, and I’d be willing to draft him several picks higher than that.

  40. Jobu's Rum says:

    @Van Hammersly: Double true! Everytime I see that guy’s name I remember “Karabell’s a wanksta”

  41. Tarasco'sSecretStash says:

    Hey Grey, Jeff Clement retains C eligibility on CBS this year despite being the (likely) starting first baseman for the Bucs. I loves me some Brandon Inge style catcher-who-plays-every-day…you believe in the bat? What do you see for his slash over 500 AB’s? Thanks.

  42. really the real Tom, for real says:

    @Billy: Canada? Is that near honalee? Tell little Jackie Draper and puff the magic dragon I said hello! LOL! I made a funny!

  43. royce! says:

    @Tarasco’sSecretStash: Interesting…I wonder how Yahoo and CBS eligibility compare. I think there’s a serious playing time issue for Clement though, because Robot Jones could see some time at 1B to accommodate all their OF (Church, Milledge, Moss, McCutchen) but the consensus around the interweb seems to be that Clement will be the starting 1B. So thanks for pointing it out.

    Interesting side note: in researching this I discovered that the Pirates are in the NL Central. I think I thought they were in the NL East, which they used to be. It just goes to show how terrible they’ve been for so long that I didn’t really register that they aren’t where they used to be. For all you Bucs fans out there, I hope they right the ship soon.

  44. Grey

    Grey says:

    @quimmy: Wright

    @Dingo: That’s not only indicative of ESPN, but how most people draft. That was how Pedroia and Hamilton got so overpriced last year.

    @Tarasco’sSecretStash: I wouldn’t go so far to say he has the 1st base job. Or even that it’s likely. And he’s had jobs before that he’s lost. If he gets the job, he can hit 20+ homers with a poor runs, decent RBIs and eh average.

  45. Tony says:

    @Dingo: ya the zimmerman going after panda and brian i’m old as balls and going to hit 12HRs and steal 30 bases roberts killed me. AND THEN reynolds goes? Hmmmm…

    @quimmy: man you gotta go with wright over reyes if you have the option of those two, if for some reason they’re both gone or there’s nothing better take CC… it was kinda hard to understand why u were asking about cc, but then asked about wright and reyes at the end? value wise wright, reyes, then cc…

    @weas: I could see Justin Upton going at 13th overall. First pick in the second round of a 12 teamer? Personally him slipping into the 3rd round of alot of mocks i’ve done is kinda crazy… you might be basing it on upside, but this isn’t your random Alex Gordon here… kids got skills. I know what you mean tho, he hasn’t hit 30HR yet and they’re riding him into the championship already… I guess we can all go crazy but til they play….

    Just had a delicious sub from subway, getting slim like Ryan Howard…. EAT FRESH….

  46. Nate says:

    This was hilarious! Love the site, keep up the good work.

  47. 101 MPH says:

    I sincerely apologize to any skillets that I may have offended during the course of my condemnation of ESPN.Com, CBS Sportsline, or Yahoo Fantasy Sports. I happen to own three skillets (one of them cast iron) and have always been extremely satisfied with their ability to fry food and retain cooking oil. The skillet is a productive kitchen utensil and undeserving of the treatment I have inflicted upon it.

    I acknowledge that using a skillet as a metaphor to describe the depth of fantasy coverage on the aforementioned websites was unfair, and extremely offensive to skillets throughout the world.

    On a final note, I am pleased to announce that I have entered a rehabilitation program to address my insensitivity towards skillets, and I sincerely hope to emerge from this experience as a better and more tolerant person.

    At this time, I now request that you respect my privacy, and the privacy of my family, as I work to resolve this very personal matter.

    101 MPH

  48. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @Jake in columbus: Thanks for the tip. Have been looking for that late “flier.” Lewis looks like a solid option.

  49. Rabbit says:

    @101 MPH: Now that’s funny. I don’t think it excuses all of your dogfighting, womanizing, public gun-toting and dwarf-tossing behavior, though. (Sorry, by “dwarf-tossing” I mean “little person flight-enhancing.”)

  50. Gleb says:

    Well put.
    You monster.

  51. Real Tom says:

    So you like Tristan Cockcroft? I’ve sometimes read these dudes at ESPN and wondered if SOME of them actually know what they’re doing. Occasionally, Karabell and Berry aren’t totally stupid, though most of the time they just boggle my mind.

    So… who in this draft actually knew what they were doing? IN other words, who won the draft? They didn’t lay out their teams so I couldn’t tell at first glance… and I didn’t want to take a second glance because the first one hurt so much.

  52. Bob says:

    @Grey: Not to really be the one to defend Nate Ravitz, but I used to look at Crawford at least as a Top 5 pick, when there was an expectation of 70 steals. I remember the days when Kenny Lofton was a consensus #1 for the same reason. As far as Joe Mauer goes, if I knew he was going to put up the same numbers as last year, I would draft him to fill catcher in the second round in a nano-second. Even though he a little power deprived with those picks, I know I could win with that team. Obviously it would affect the way I drafted later – it would be Brandon Phillips instead of Brian Roberts, or Josh Hamilton instead of Ichiro.

    But obviously, the ESPN mock, like any other mock, is certainly not indicative of the way any real draft would go. And thanks for posting your comments pointing out its absurdity on many levels.

  53. I haven’t studied the ESPN mock draft too closely but the one thing that caught my eye was how ridiculously late they choose closers. Broxton in the 8th round AFTER Billy ‘Bitch Tits’ Butler? The guy frigin’ finished #20 last year in value (according to 2009 Point Shares). Papelbon in the 10th. I would’ve snagged those two in the 6th to 8th round and made out like a bandit. That’s about 3-4 points in ERA/WHIP (vs. SAGNOFs) let alone the points in Saves.

    My favorite writer on ESPN is Jason Grey and it looks like he KILLED in the first couple of rounds. A-Rod, Howard, and Reyes?!?! Don’t love the risk in having Carpenter and Webb as his first two starters but i’m more risk-averse than most on SPs…

  54. anon says:

    @Rudy Gamble:

    Rudy, what was the post called last year where you went through your strategy for what rounds to draft each positions? I remember you advised to grab a top closer whereas Grey advised to 100% SAGNOF.

  55. Real Tom says:


    You’re just biased toward anyone named Grey. We’re calling him Fake Grey.

    Also, Rudy, I’m with Anon. Where do we find that post?

  56. Real Tom says:

    Actually, Fake Grey picked up Carpenter, Beckett and Webb as his first three pitchers. That’s gross. I’m disgusted. No K’s and a shitload of injury risk from two of your top three? Nope.

  57. Real Tom says:

    He did look like real Grey in the early and late rounds though. Power in early rounds, closers and upside in late rounds, with a little Chris Davis and Ian Stewart in the mix. I just hate wasting top picks on risky ass pitchers, though Kershaw and Garza look like fine picks.

  58. Tony says:

    @Bob: phillips instead of roberts, hammy instead of Ichiro….? how is that going to help a team that starts with Mauer, you just dug a hole, found china, and now you’re eating some noodles….

  59. Tony says:

    @Bob: phillips instead of roberts, hammy instead of Ichiro….? how is that going to help a team that starts with Mauer, you just dug a hole, found china, and now you’re eating some noodles with a funny hat on….

  60. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @Simply Fred: Or, upgrading hitting.

  61. BadNewsBears says:

    I didn’t see it noted, but Corey Hart also went completely undrafted in this Mock, and Karabell then did a column with a straight face to act like “you know, he might be worth adding to your roster rather than let him go undrafted” as if that was really necessary advice.

  62. Vlad's Peg says:

    @Fman99: …or booing your friends daughter at her dance recital (which I now realize was a mistake)…thanks for the laugh (the hot coffee coming out of my nose really helped with the stuffiness)

  63. Grey

    Grey says:

    @BadNewsBears: That’s hilarious, I didn’t even see that.

  64. Jack Newhouse says:

    I dont know if I agree or disagree with you, but you don’t give any facts to prove your argument which makes me think that your argument regarding the ESPN analysts is bogus.

  65. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @Rudy Gamble: Any room in any of your roto leagues to teach a cocky new dog old tricks? RCL? :-)

  66. Jack Newhouse says:

    Ha. I didn’t mean to come off like I did. I actually think I agree with all the points made (just a gut feling, I didnt do my own research). I really liked the Carl Crawford section, as I could get bourne (If I wanted to) way later. I also think that the ESPN mock draft was so overanalyzed that they miss the point sometimes.

    That being said, I would have loved to get more actual stats or quotes.

  67. Tony says:

    @Jack Newhouse: facts about why carl crawford at #7 overall is nuts? Howard at #18? what facts would you like….

  68. Tony says:

    @Jack Newhouse: i think you’ve missed alot of discussion in the past month…. most of the “facts” you’re searching for have been posted there or common knowledge… to a razzballer

  69. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @Rudy Gamble: And, yes that is an EXTREME example. One can drop 5 or 6 rounds and have a very miniscule impact. Whereas, the gain of upgrading another position over those same 5 or 6 is much more.

  70. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @Simply Fred: Note: none of my comments regarding Saves of Ks; saves are saves. My comments regarding impact of WHIP and ERA.

  71. big o says:

    i’ve been reading this blog for about 18 months .
    i think it’s safe to say that there are ONLY two types of people in this world :
    a) those that try to understand rudy’s point share system , and ,
    b) those that spew liquids from their nose .

  72. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @big o: Will consider the source. Saw your diatribe earlier.

    Trying to talk meaningful stats. Did you have something along those lines to contribute?

  73. big o says:

    @Simply Fred:
    nope .
    just an attempt at humor .

  74. sean says:

    @Grey: Before I joined the ESPN mocking, I thought I should listen to Berry & Ravitz’s podcast recapping the mock. Some zingers from the podcast:

    “Oh, I forgot about Pierre Becquey [pronounced BecKAY like the Piles’ song]”, said Berry. “He’s the best Canadian export since Loverboy.”

    “I ended up drafting Youkilis and using him as my first baseman, which was smart of me,” said Berry. “Oh, maybe I ended up using him at third base. Oh, I did? I did…”

    “You can wait on a first baseman this year because of depth,” said Berry.

    “[Ankiel]’s not a great pressure guy…”

    “I [drafted Kemp fourth] because I wanted to make a statement that I like Kemp over Braun this year. That said, I quickly realized what a big mistake that was because I should have taken Utley,” said Berry.

    “Didn’t love Crawford [seventh], but I didn’t want one of the first basemen there. I might’ve thought about Lincecum there, but you can’t go wrong with Carl Crawford,” said Ravitz. “I wouldn’t take Fielder or Howard that high.”

    “Put [Youkilis’] numbers side-by-side with Teixeira [and they compare favorably],” said Ravitz before actually comparing the two. “He had four fewer runs scored, 12 fewer HRs which is sizable, 28 RBI which is sizable, stole five more bases and hit .013 higher.” Awkward silence follows. Topic change.

    “I’m not sure there’s ten better third basemen than Martin Prado.” — Ravitz

    “It all depends on how much you believe in the Marco Scutaros of the world,” — Berry

    After drafting Carl Crawford in the first round and Mauer in the second, Nate Ravitz felt “enlightened” and said, “[After the first two rounds] I didn’t like the way my team turned out. I found myself chasing power.” Discussion then turned to Ravitz’s third-round selection: Jimmy Rollins.

  75. Grey

    Grey says:

    @sean: Yeah, why would you want a solid 1st baseman when Crawford’s creaky knees and 50 steals are available? There’s plenty of Howards around later and not too many steal guys. /sarcasm

  76. Tony says:

    @sean: hahahha great recap sean, i listened to that like a month ago, its all coming back now! Youk as a first basemen is a joke, and if you woulda took utley then take fricking utley, i dont know about anyone else, but i dont take players to make a STATEMENT, i take them to dominate my league, win the money, and earn my bragging rights for an entire year, which reminds me i need to email my entire league again reminding them who WON 2009!

  77. Neil says:

    I read Razzball and ESPN. I also listen to the ESPN podcasts and skim the Q&A chats. I think everyone offers more good information than bad. Just because you disagree with someone a few times doesn’t mean they are an idiot.

    Part of the problem may be that the ESPN player rater is tilted toward AVG, speed and saves, so their analysts tend to value the Crawfords, Mauers and Sandovals higher than people who like the slow 30-100-100 guys. People go nuts over Dunn and the 40-90-90, but the poor AVG and lack of speed make him a lot closer to #100 overall than #50, but he gets drafted a lot closer to #50 than #100. Same with Uggla.

    I hardly think Stewart is a steal at 120 or 163 (dude is a career .240 hitter…yes he could break out, but rounds 10-14 still have a ton of nice pitchers and closers) but if you do, that’s cool by me. I think Sandoval/Zimmerman/Youk is a coin flip…nothing worth branding someone a fool over. Grey may not like Shields, but I see a guy who logged 600+ innings over the last three seasons and who has a career K/9 of 7+, a career WHIP in the low 1.2s and a career K/BB of 3.70. Yes, some of his numbers are trending in the wrong direction, but he’s 28, so I wouldn’t lose sleep over it. I would much prefer Shields to Stewart in the middle rounds…I don’t think I’m an idiot for having that opinion and I wouldn’t think someone was an idiot for disagreeing.

  78. Neil says:

    @Stephen: I don’t love Porcello either, but the typical human male doesn’t physically peak strength-wise until years 25-30. And baseball pitchers, even the greats, often don’t click until their mid to late 20s. Porcello’s numbers last year weren’t impressive to me (1.77 K/BB, 4.77 FIP), I much prefer Brett Anderson, but the dude is only 20!!!! He should be pitching in college – not pitching against the best hitters in the world.

  79. Stephen says:

    @Neil: @Neil: I agree, but even high strikeout players strike more batters out in Single-A ball than what Porcello did in 2008. I would expect him to get up to 6.5 to 7 K/9 in his prime. He isn’t a strikeout pitcher and never has been.

  80. @Simply Fred: @big o: Yes, I understand the Point Shares are a bit complex to put together but they are rather easy to use. And they’re very easy to test against – you just need to look at a completed season and swap out one player for the next to see the differences that would’ve caused in the standings. Just need to take into account that Point Shares are looking for the average effect as, they say on boner pill commercials, results may vary…

    Here’s a case from 2009 using Joe Nathan and Bobby Jenks (who came in about average as a closer).

    Nathan had 68.2 IP / 2.10 ERA / 0.94 WHIP / 16 ER / 64 H + BB
    Jenks had 53.1 IP / 3.71 ERA / 1.28 WHIP / 22 ER / 68 H + BB

    Now, Nathan had 47 saves compared to Jenks’ 29 but let’s factor that out as save totals are fluky. Focus just on ERA / WHIP.

    Projected average pitching stats for 12 Team MLB minus one reliever:
    1276 IP / 3.64 ERA /1.25 WHIP / 516 ER / 1601 H+BB

    Adding Nathan -> 1,344.2 IP / 3.56 ERA /1.239 WHIP
    Adding Jenks -> 1,329.1 IP / 3.64 ERA / 1.256 WHIP

    I estimate that .06 in team ERA and .013 in team WHIP averages out to about one point in the standings.

    This simulation netted .08 in ERA (about 1.3 points) and 0.17 in WHIP (about 1.3 points) better than Jenks. I had Nathan’s ERA/WHIP contribution at .9 and .8 Point Shares whereas Jenks received -0.4 and -0.2 in ERA/WHIP. The difference in ERA matches the above (.9 – -0.4 = 1.3) and WHIP comes in at 1.0 (slightly less than the above exercise).

    Now I’ll admit the IP averages I use don’t factor in flighting starters so the average IP might be greater. I also am using hindsight-based rosters so the average ERA/WHIPs are probably higher. But the basic principle still stands. An elite reliever is making a clear difference in ERA/WHIP standings.

  81. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Neil: There were 11 outfielders last year that hit 30 homers and 27 who stole 20 bases. Some people might value steals over power early, but it’s pretty obvious those people aren’t looking at trends. Even Billy Beane’s stealing nowadays.

    re: average — Average is fluky, luck based. A guy is a .220 hitter one year and a .260 hitter the next. See Reynolds’s 2009 as an example.

    re: Stewart — He has 30 homer power and 10 steal speed, the average will figure itself out. If you have average drains on your team, trade for Polanco or Coghlan. I’m sure their owner would be happy to move them for just about anything.

    re: Shields — As someone who watched him more than I care to admit, he’s an absolute ulcer.

    EDIT: Word.

  82. Neil says:

    @Stephen: 6.50 to 7.0 isn’t so bad. Webb is 7.26 over his career and probably closer to 7.0 if you remove the 8.57 in 2003. Sabathia has been better, 7.57 over his career (but higher from 2005 onward). If Porcello can maintain a GB% in the low 50s, maintain the above average BB/9 and bump up the K/9 to something in the high 6s, then he will be a force. Especially since he has a big body that should be able to handle the 200 IP. I don’t think we can rely on a K/9 track record when a guy is that young.

  83. One other note…if you look at Nathan vs. Jenks, Nathan basically provided an additional 15 Innings pitched of -6 ER and -4 H+BB.

  84. Stephen says:

    @Neil: I agree with most of what you say. Predicting 200 k’s in a season may be a stretch though. However, most scouts and sabermetric analysis will follow a k’rate of prospects throughout the minors. Many 10 K/9 plus pitchers in the low minors turn into 8 K/9 at Triple-A and a wee-bit less in the majors. High levels of strikeout rates in the minors (think Lincecum) throughout each stop predicts 200 K plus season, especially if they are able to pitch 200 innings. Porcello may pitch 200 innings, but strikeout only 130 batters throughout the year. This would be like Brad Radke, Cliff Lee, or even Chris Carpenter.

    Those are good pitchers, but not dominating, high strikeout pitchers. Nothing wrong with projecting to be players like that, but not what Karabell is predicting. Baseball America’s 2009 scouting report made many comparisons to Josh Beckett, but Beckett had 9 K/9 in his first minor league season (2000 in 59 1/3 IP at Single-A) and had 13 K/9 in 140 innings at High-A and Double-A at age 21. Porcello is more like the former pitchers mentioned, not Josh Beckett (and his career 8.5 K/9 in the majors versus his 12.3 K/9 in the minors)

  85. Neil says:

    @Grey: All good points. And speed is totally trending up now that we left the PED era. But guys like Cust/Willingham/Ross/Swisher/JD Drew are going to hit 25+ HR and they will be virtually free in te draft. I will treat Stewart like I treated Reynolds in 2009….someone to take if I get shut out at 3B – not someone I will target…especially not in rounds 10-14 which is where I usually fill a lot of my pitching staff.

    My point was just that people are so quick to brand other people idiots just because they disagree over a guy’s value and where to draft him. I reserve the word “idiot” for people who don’t know how to calculate a tip or make change or capitalize.

  86. Neil says:

    @Stephen: I didn’t predict 200 Ks…I predicted 200 IP. I agree with you about him not being a good comparison with Beckett. I always thought his best case scenario was Webb. Carpenter would be great as well.

  87. JoeC says:

    @Neil: But calling each other idiots is half the fun of fantasy baseball! Don’t take that away from me!

  88. Neil says:

    @JoeC: Yeah, but it usually backfires! I made fun of a Yankee lover in my league for taking Tex with the 4th pick of the 2009 draft and Jeter in round 4. Both turned out to be great picks and even though Tex didn’t generate first round value, 2009 was the year that most people either took Reyes or Wright with the 4th pick…Tex easily outperformed them both, LOL.

  89. Shmorgie S. Board says:

    Wow. If I had been in that draft room and saw Braun and Kemp taken before Utley, I might have bailed out right then. What the hell would I learn from that group?

    I don’t understand how some people get, or hold down, jobs at ESPN.

    I like their free keeper league service, but I never consider looking to their writers for any advice. Muy pathetic!

  90. @Shmorgie S. Board: It’s important to understand how others value players so you can wait as long as possible to draft ‘undervalued’ players.

    For the record, I can make a case that Braun and Kemp are more valuable than Utley since most 2Bs these days are better than 5th OFs…

  91. Quintero says:

    @Stephen: Karabell works for ESPN because his ability to act without thinking thru. Or, great possibility here too, unable to realize that he is acting without thinking.

    When Porcello ever reaches 200Ks, I’ll retire myself from any baseball related activity. Period.

  92. Stephen says:

    @Quintero: You might want to add a disclaimer to those 200 k’s. Like 200 k’s in a season. Or you’ll be done with baseball in about 2 years.

  93. @Stephen: Ha. Like in Kingpin where Randy Quaid’s characters rolls 250s in 15 frames….

  94. Quintero says:

    @Stephen: Ha, yah, make it a season without Spring training. Kinda love Baseball.

  95. cubfever7 says:

    You slay me man!

    “The real knee to the balls is in the comments where they wrote, “Becquey takes James Shields with pick No. 152, and many lament that Shields is off the board.” Why? Because of his mediocre K-rate? “

  96. cubfever7 says:

    @ Simply Fred & @ Rudy G

    Logically speaking Grey’s strategy of taking no closers til later makes sense. Truly SPs can effect 4 categories more quickly, BUT…

    What I’ve found in past seasons and even more so this year both at MDC and in real league drafts is that no one else in the leagues thinks that way. You can sit there and weather the first big closer run or 2–but if you wait, you end up with the scraps from Longshank’s table such as JP Howell and Mike Gonzalez. No one else waits that long and you’ll effectively end up punting saves if you do.

    Rudy’s stragedy of getting one solid closer to build around within the first 10 picks or so is what I’ll probably go with. OR at the very least snagging a Soriano and Qualls between say 12 and 16.

  97. @cubfever7: Agree with what you’re saying. Every draft room is different. I feel experts – especially ESPN’s – are more likely to downgrade closers than general players. It doesn’t seem like ESPN readers listen to that advice very closely b/c every ESPN draft I’ve ever done seems to have a closer run in Rounds 4-7…it sucks being at the end of that run….

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