We had our 2nd annual Razzball Expert League (aka RCL Expert League) on Tuesday night with Grey and I facing off against a field so formidable that I’ll use the term ‘experts’ in single quotes instead of double quotes.

Here are the participants (in draft order) and a link to last year’s standings:

  1. Scott Pianowski – Yahoo! – Back for his 2nd year after finishing 5th last year.  While most ‘experts’ are more comfortable in weekly leagues, this feels right at home for Pianowski who is infamous for his quick trigger finger.  I think he’s competing again because he’s embarrassed Grey actually out-transactioned him last year (254-158).
  2. Bret Sayre – Baseball Prospectus – Bret’s a rookie in the league whom we met via e-mail introduction by Jason Collette.  I enjoy the first two paragraphs of his posts – up to the point Baseball Prospectus asks for subscription money.  On the plus side, their online subscription has free shipping.
  3. Rudy Gamble – Razzball – I finished 2nd last year, a couple points behind Trout and Grey-gifted Peavy/Latos-owning Ryan Carey at Mastersball.  Yeah, I’m not bitter about putting together an amazing pitching season (57 points) only to be foiled when my top 2 picks (Votto, Longoria) miss 140 games due to injury.  Gah!  I’m out for revenge.
  4. Paul Singman – Baseball Prospectus – Paul’s a rookie in the league who has been writing about fantasy baseball for a while (he’s written at Hardball Times as well).  We’ve competed against him in Yahoo! Friends & Family League and maybe other leagues (tough to keep track).  He’s also evidently a deadbeat – thanks Google!
  5. Grey Albright – Razzball – Grey finished 6th last year despite matching me with 57 pitching points when poor offensive starts by key players led to hasty dismissals of Ryan Zimmerman and Alex Rios.  Eric Hosmer didn’t help either.
  6. Clay Davenport – ClayDavenport.com – While Clay is a rookie in our league, he is a wily baseball veteran.   He co-founded Baseball Prospectus in 1996 and made several key contributions in the world of baseball projections.  His ‘Davenport Translations’ equivalized statistics across MLB eras, playing environments, minor/international leagues, etc.  He’s also really good at fantasy baseball, rainfall estimation, and has his own Wikipedia page.
  7. Ray Guilfoyle – Fake Teams – Ray is an RCL Expert League rookie who was able to step in when Yahoo’s Dalton Del Don bailed at the last minute because some miniature human came out of his wife’s hoo-hah (sp?).  We’re also competing against Ray in the Tout Mixed Wars league and like that he cranks out post-draft reviews seemingly right after drafts (here’s his review of his RCL draft).
  8. Mike Podhorzer – RotoGraphs – This is Pod’s first year in our Expert League but he goes way back with us.  He was in the first Fantasy Razzball (where you aim for the worst team) league back in 2008.  He’s an entrepreneurial sort who is touting an e-book on DIY Baseball Projections and has a site where you can rent ‘friends’ by the hour (wink wink).
  9. Nick Minnix – KFFL – Nick is a rookie in our league who both team Razzball and myself have competed against in a number of expert leagues.  He’s bested me a few too many times over the years – usually in AL/NL-only leagues where he has a penchant for finishing 1st and I have a penchant for finishing 2nd through 4th.  Hopefully, I get some revenge in this format – even though Nick has already got the old “I didn’t know the rules” excuse all lined up.  He’s good, I tell ya…
  10. Derek Carty – DerekCarty.com – Yet another rookie that we have competed against in umpteen expert leagues.  Derek has written for BaseballProspectus and Hardball Times – according to his site, you may also have seen his work on “ESPN Insider, NBC’s Rotoworld, Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, USA Today or many other places”.  I’m not sure what our overall record is against each other – I think we finished ahead of him in a couple leagues last year but he bested us in the DraftDay AL-only big money league (he finished 1st, we finished 2nd) so a tip-o-the cap to him.  He also seems to value players similar to myself – he always has a pick or two each draft that feels like he is spying off my queue.
  11. Dr. Roto – RotoExperts + SiriusXM – Dr. Roto is the injury guru on RotoExperts.com and one of the best hosts on Sirius XM’s Fantasy Baseball station.  He is part of RotoExperts weekday 6-11AM block and he has the pleasure of having me as a guest Wednesdays at 10:30AM EST.  I have a feeling that whomever of us is doing well in this league will be gloating on air.
  12. Ryan Carey – Mastersball – The reigning champ is back and eager to prove his win wasn’t all due to having Mike Trout.  Ryan is one of the many fine writers at Mastersball where I go to read advice/strategy on deep league formats (NFBC, AL/NL only) and to watch nude scenes of Halle Berry (make me feel good!).  Here is his post-draft review.

With introductions out of the way, here are the final draft results and below is my team.  (Note:  There was an autopick glitch that had Pianowski drafting Braun instead of Trout with the 1st pick.  I drafted him Trout #3 and traded him straight-up for Braun since that is how it would have played out.  Given Pianowski likes playing under the moniker ‘Karma Police’, I figured it was in my better interest)

Rudy’s Team – Razzball Expert League
Pos Player Team
3.27 C Buster Posey SF
6.70 1B Ike Davis NYM
25.291 2B Marco Scutaro* SF
9.99 SS Josh Rutledge COL
2.22 3B Evan Longoria TB
18.214 CI Chris Carter HOU
10.118 MI Alcides Escobar KC
1.3 OF Ryan Braun MIL
8.94 OF Nelson Cruz TEX
11.123 OF Hunter Pence SF
17.195 OF Alexandro de Aza CHW
21.243 OF Denard Span WAS
22.262 UTIL Emilio Bonifacio TOR
16.190 DL Corey Hart MIL
4.46 SP Cliff Lee PHI
5.51 SP Felix Hernandez SEA
7.75 SP/RP? Aroldis Chapman CIN
14.166 SP Lance Lynn STL
18.214 SP Derek Holland TEX
12.142 RP Addison Reed CHW
13.147 RP Huston Street SD
15.171 RP Kenley Jansen LAD
20.238 RP Carlos Marmol CHC
23.267 RP David Robertson NYY
24.286 RP Al Albuquerque DET

I try to go into every draft with an open mind.  I do not think there is one way to build a winning team and I am confident enough in my player values to (re-)build a draft strategy on the fly.  This draft was a great example of this because I didn’t see the 1B/OF values in early rounds like in other leagues and had to adjust accordingly.

No complaints on having the 3rd pick in the draft after a RIDICULOUS run of back-end snake picks (2013 LABR 12th out of 15, 2013 Tout Wars 15th out of 15, 2013 Yahoo! F&F 13th out of 14, 2013 NFBC 10th out of 15, 2012 RCL Expert League 10th of 12, 2012 LABR 11th out of 15, 2012 Yahoo! F&F 7th out of 14).  Braun was an easy pick here but there is a slight pit in my stomach about the Biogenesis investigation.

I was hoping Verlander would fall to me for pick #2 (went 3 picks before) and my decision was Longoria or Strasburg.  For the 2nd time this year (NFBC), I chose Longoria over Strasburg.  With two premium 3Bs having injury issues (Headley, Wright), I figured 3Bs might go at a premium and was happy to get Longoria at this spot.

My typical strategy went awry starting with my 3rd round pick.  My top two choices (Strasburg, Heyward) went right before my pick and I just didn’t love the OF values (Adam Jones, Jay Bruce, Matt Holliday) given their SB contributions are average at best.  I felt this was a little early to pick an SP – having faith that there would be value with my 4th/5th picks.  With those positions ruled out, I looked at my draft board and Buster Posey stared up at me.  I planned on punting Catcher and you can make a solid argument that drafting Longoria and Posey as two of my top 3 bats takes on greater-than-average injury risk.  But I trust my values and saw this pick as an opportunity to take more liberties on low AVG guys later in the draft (Posey is 6th in my AVG Point Shares with Braun being #2).

The OFs I passed on got snapped up quickly (A-Jones to Grey at #29, Bruce at #30) while, as expected, only two SPs (Price, Hamels) were snapped up in the 18 picks between my 3rd/4th rounds).  I grabbed Cliff Lee with my 4th pick and, after Sayre surprisingly chose Wainwright and Darvish with his SP picks on the turn, nabbed Felix Hernandez with my 5th pick based purely on value.  I feel great about this pick given that 7 of the next 18 picks were SPs.  The downside was that I gambled that Anthony Rizzo or Freddie Freeman would still be on the board for my 6th round (#70) pick and both got poached – Rizzo by Carty (dah, I should’ve known) and Freeman by Davenport.  Taking F-Her also led me to pass up on Desmond Jennings who Grey grabbed two picks later.  Ike Davis was #78 on my board so I grabbed him before 1B got watered down any further.

With only one OF in the first 6 rounds (I’ve had 2-3 in every previous draft) and Braun as my only speed, I had to change my strategy a bit.  For OF, I wanted to find two guys with 25/90 potential at solid values and 1-2 leadoff types with 90+ run potential, solid AVG, 20+ SB potential, and, ideally, 10+ HR potential.  I really like the value I got in the Hunter Pence, Alexandro De Aza, and Denard Span picks and I am okay with the Nelson Cruz pick in the 8th round (unintentionally doubling down on Biogenesis guys).

For MI, I drafted Josh Rutledge for the umpteenth time with pick #99 (9th round).  He seems to be one of the most polarizing picks in expertdom as many are down on him because of his lack of plate discipline (3.1% BB rate in 2012).  This is one where I have faith in the Steamer projections that he boosts up his BB rate to tolerable levels (~5%) and can deliver above average 5×5 value with 2B/SS eligibility.  I drafted Alcides Escobar for the first time this year at pick #118 to further bolster my Runs/SB.  With Rutledge only at SS for now, I then just sat on 2B until the reserve rounds where I drafted Bonifacio (OF-only now) and Marco Scutaro (placeholder).  I don’t love Bonifacio’s SAGNOFiness (he’ll be useless for Runs/HR/RBI) but as an MI + bench hitter with 2B/OF, there might be some value.

It seemed like everyone in the draft room was on the same page when it came to picking a corner man.  From the end of the 16th round through the 18th round, 8 guys with 1B eligibility were taken.  I helped start the run by grabbing a DL-value play with Corey Hart at #190 and, then, missing out on my vet-crush Berkman (#208).  I recovered to take Chris Carter at #214 who, like Hart, will have 1B/OF eligibility giving me a lot of flexibility with future roster moves.  I think he’ll be weak on AVG (<.250) but love his 30 HR upside with Minute Maid Park’s short LF fence.

Last but not least, my pitching strategy.  I only planned on taking 4-5 SPs given the 180 GS limit and my faith in the Stream-o-nator.  With Cliff Lee and Felix Hernandez at #4/#5, I could afford to be patient.  I opportunistically grabbed Aroldis Chapman in the 7th round (#75) feeling that it’s solid value if he starts and great value if he closes.  Before long-time readers start commenting about “Rudy loves pitching soooo much!”, my other SP picks were in the 14th (Lance Lynn) and 19th (Derek Holland).  I think both these guys have 15 W/180 K potential without killing me on ERA/WHIP.  Since it was unclear whether Chapman would close, I snagged two closers in the 12th/13th rounds (Addison Reed, Huston Street) as well as a late round value pick of Carlos Marmol in the 20th round with pick #238.  Given the GS limit, I used the slots that might go towards extra SPs to pick two of the best non-closing K-machines in Kenley Jansen (15th round/#171) and David Robertson (23rd round/#267).  While high K-rate MRs are usually available on the waiver wire given their year-to-year unpredictability, I didn’t mind paying a premium to get Jansen in a round where question mark closers were being taken (Frieri, Janssen, etc.).  I also snagged Al Albuquerque with my last pick – both because I like his peripherals and he still has a chance to win the Tigers closing role.

My overall take on this team is that it has a chance to be competitive in all 10 categories.  My team’s strikeout potential is insane and that will give me the liberty to focus on ERA/WHIP/Win potential with my streaming selections.  My offense should be solid-to-very good with the unknown variable being top 3-pick health/PED suspensions.  If I can get 1600  ABS from Braun/Longoria/Posey, I feel really good about my chances to win this league.

  1. Sky

    Sky says:

    Posey? Rudy, Rudy are you there? Posey?!? And I see 3 SF players and none of them are pitchers. Grey’s team looks pretty sexy, especially with the Hanley injury and the naked picture of Holly Peers he photoshopped onto it when he showed it to me. I keed, Grey strapped bombs to my chest and told me I had to do this. He also told me I’d get 50 Virgins in Razzball heaven for my sacrifices. He later told me they weren’t girls but simply former male Razzball readers. Can I swap dieties?

    • @Sky: Almost drafted Vogelsong but, otherwise, no way I’m drafting Cain/Bumgarner before C-Lee/F-Her.

      Grey always drafts sexier.

      I know on Posey. Really out of character for me. The value is there – I figured I’d try it out and trust that not taking an OF there wouldn’t kill me (think i’m fine).

  2. Tyler says:

    I’m interested in the Longoria pick. It seems that he has rarely justified his draft slot (probably mostly due to injuries) and – more importantly – doesn’t Point Shares have him at #37 under these settings?

    Also, I just finished a 10 team H2H 5×5 draft (25 min. IP; bi-weekly transactions), mostly using Point Shares (and the Fantasy Baseball Calculator) as my references:

    C – Posey
    1B – Rizzo
    2B – Altuve
    3B – Beltre
    SS – Rutledge (2B/SS)
    OF – Stanton
    OF – Bruce
    OF – Aoki
    UT – Nelson Cruz
    UT – Cuddyer (1B/OF)

    SP – Cliff Lee
    SP – Medlen
    SP – Kennedy
    RP – Street
    RP – Betancourt
    P – Kenley Jansen
    P – Robertson
    P – Albuquerque

    BN – Martin Prado (2B/SS/3B/OF)
    BN – Haren
    BN – E-Jax
    BN – Ogando
    BN — Machado

    DL – Beachy

    It looks very similar to your team (which perhaps is not a good thing, with 2 less teams in my league…).

    • @Tyler: He’s #37 true but the only SP I take that early is Verlander and Kershaw. Take the other SPs out and he’s #28. No way I’m taking an MI there so that takes out Altuve. Now at 27. Not taking Posey #2 so we’re at #26. Thought Rizzo could come at greater value and want nothing to do with A-Gonz. Now at #24. Felt I could get Holliday, BJ, Adam Jones, and Heyward with my 3rd pick (if I wanted) so that puts him at #20. I picked #22.

      I was right in that 4 guys I’d consider at my 3rd pick came back (Holliday, BJ, A-Jones) as well as Posey. Strasburg and Heyward, my two preferences, didn’t.

      Per my point in the post, 3B was going to be a s***show with the recent Wright and Headley injuries. Longoria at fair value kept me out of that. Drafting a 2nd OF (after Braun) was less advantageous.

      Note: Of the other guys drafted in the 2nd round, I would’ve taken the following over Longoria: Kershaw, Verlander, Tulo, Harper. Prefer him over: Reyes, Pedroia, Goldy, Beltre.

      Last thing on Longoria, I’ve got his PAs reduced. If he puts together a 150 G+ season, he has upside over his projections. The biggest flaw with $ estimates/rankings is the difficulty in adding ‘replacement’ value stats for a guy on the DL. I did it for our draft prep for Teix, Granderson, and Hart but it’s tougher for players as you can easily replace a guy if on the DL but harder if those missed games are spread out throughout the season.

      • Tyler says:

        @Rudy Gamble: Nice, thanks for laying out the reasoning. I have noticed that whatever ordering system I use this year (Point Shares or otherwise), they all seem to think 3B’s are being overdrafted. It’s just a matter of getting the least-overdrafted 3B, and seems like Longo might fit the bill.

        • @Tyler: Yes, I’ll slightly overdraft a 1B/3B to avoid highly overdrafting later. I ideally want +10 pick value when taking a 2B/SS/SP./C.

          • centerfieldballhawk says:

            @Rudy Gamble: Does this conversation became irrelevant if you were drafting Longoria early in an OBP league?

            • Longoria has a little more value in OBP (1-2 dollars)

  3. RobertC says:

    Take it for what it’s worth – running through the Steamer projections on this site and from a purely objective analysis below is the team I came up with drafting from your draft slot

    C Buster Posey
    1B Ike Davis
    2B Daniel Murphy
    3B David Wright
    SS Josh Rutledge
    MI Alcides Escobar
    CI Michael Cuddyer
    OF Ryan Braun
    OF Nelson Cruz
    OF Hunter Pence
    OF Andre Ethier
    OF Dayan Viciedo
    UT Everth Cabrera

    P Matt Cain
    P CC Sabathia
    P Max Scherzer
    P Tom Wilhelmsen
    P John Axford
    P Lance Lynn
    P Casey Janssen
    P Edwin Jackson
    P Joe Blanton

    • @RobertC: Looks pretty similar to my team but I prefer my deviations (not sure how much Murphy and Wright injuries are addressed in the Steamer projections…i think the latter yes and former waiting on update). Chapman hasn’t been updated either – i don’t draft him there if I think he’s going to start.

      • RobertC says:

        @Rudy Gamble:

        I agree – how often do the Steamer numbers get updated? Shows 3/17 as last update.

        • @RobertC: That’s the latest. Steamer working on the latest now that reflects some improvements on his side and the latest PA/IP updates (the $ estimates get updated near-daily at this point and already reflect Chapman as closer, other injuries, etc.)

  4. Jack Full of Hate says:

    Posey…I would rather have Parker, Jarrod that is, than Lynn.

    You should beat everyone but grey, but like sky, he made me do this. I’m so easily seduced by a man in a mustache. Damn you uncle grey and your promise of new toys for a game of doctor.

    I think the Posey injury risk is smaller than the Cruz-Longo pairing of injury risks. Love Span, I own him on every team, could get a sneaky 100 runs if he sticks in the leadoff spot. Boneface is a risk if Toronto goes Scossiopath with him and Izturis.

    isn’t hart starting the year on the DL?

    • @Jack Full of Hate: Yes, Hart on the DL. That’s why I got him so cheap. I think he misses a month and then is an asset at OF and CI.

      Longoria is a risk. Would’ve preferred Verlander there. I have two leagues (this and NFBC) where choosing Longoria over Strasburg could make/break me. As for Cruz, I’ll take 138 games and one DL stint. Anything less than that and it’ll hurt. Doesn’t help that Berkman will hog the DH slot on that team.

      • Jack Full of Hate says:

        @Rudy Gamble: I have been trying to snag Hart but he keeps getting before I can grab him.

        Lynn scares me, I know he lost the baby weight but not sure.

        I know I posted this the other day but you have inspired me to universally own Berkman. two teams at crazy gideon prices

        • @Jack Full of Hate: I IM’d noooooooooo! when Berkman was drafted in this league. Love late-round picks that will either turn out great or can be walked away from without much pain.

          • Jack Full of Hate says:

            @Rudy Gamble: that’s one of the most important lessons razzball has taught me. By June of every year almost every post 15th rounder on my team has been dropped, trying to reverse the trend.

    • @Jack Full of Hate: I don’t have a strong opinion on Parker vs. Lynn. When in doubt, take the league where you get 20 Ks a year b/c you face pitchers.

      • Jack Full of Hate says:

        @Rudy Gamble: always NL for me, i just don’t trust Lynn this year. i want as many starters from the Braves, Dodgers and Nationals as i can

  5. Cal says:

    Check out your link – it’s showing 1st – Braun, 2nd – Miggy and 3rd – Trout?

    All the rest look to be in order – love the Cliff Lee/King Felix in 4/5, surprised both were around?

    • @Cal: I had noted in the post that Pianowski got auto-picked Braun by accident. I picked 3rd. When the 2nd guy took Miggy, I offered to draft Trout (who i would’ve drafted anyway) and trade him to Scott.

      Yes on both C-Lee and F-Her. I considered C-Lee for my 3rd round pick (18 picks earlier) and gambled that either he’d be there at #4 or I’d draft an OF (the OFs I liked at that pick all were taken). F-Her at #5 was high on my draft board and I KNEW that an SP run was coming. Feel great on that pick as, for whatever reason, really don’t love hitters around that point in the draft. Jennings was tempting but, really, can you imagine a Jennings for F-Her trade during the season? (Plus, my $/Point Shares really don’t like Jennings this year…adds a kernel of doubt).

  6. Mike says:

    Hahaha, “Deadbeat” story is funny. Looks like some of the Poker Deadbeat storys on 2+2

  7. Mike says:

    Hahaha, “Deadbeat” story is funny. Looks like some of the Poker Deadbeat storys on 2+2

  8. mikey boy324 says:

    Rudy if you had to pick 1 hitter and picther that your targeting in most drafts who would they be?

    • @mikey boy324: Anthony Rizzo has been my #1 target if/when I can get him in 6th/7th round. His projections are so good that it’s a near 3-4 round discount. I don’t fully believe the projections but that type of deal on a 1B is unprecedented in my drafting experience. Alas, we drafted Goldy in LABR and Rizzo’s gone in 5th round in Tout/Y! F&F/this draft. But I got him in 7th round of NFBC which is looking like a better price by the day.

      I’m not targeting any pitcher but it sure seems like Cliff Lee and Josh Beckett are ending up on a lot of my teams. One just had bad Win luck and the other is a douchebag but BOS to LAD is a sweet move. Guess which is which!

      • mikey boy324 says:

        @Rudy Gamble: LOL I would say beckett is the douche.. I have Rizzo as my keeper in one league I’m pretty happy about that thanks for the feedback..

  9. Papaya Johnny says:

    Could you give me your thoughts on this squad?

    H2H, 10 team, 6×5 (OPS is our 6th category besides the standard 5×5). Thanks.

    C Wilin Rosario, Col C
    1B Prince Fielder, Det 1B
    2B Ian Kinsler, Tex 2B
    3B Aramis Ramirez, Mil 3B
    SS Asdrubal Cabrera, Cle SS
    2B/SS Jimmy Rollins, Phi SS
    OF Matt Kemp, LAD OF
    OF Bryce Harper, Wsh OF
    OF Jason Heyward, Atl OF
    OF Norichika Aoki, Mil OF
    UTIL Albert Pujols, LAA 1B, DH
    Bench Danny Espinosa, Wsh 2B, SS
    Bench Todd Frazier, Cin 3B, 1B
    Bench Domonic Brown, Phi OF
    Bench Michael Cuddyer, Col OF, 1B
    P Jordan Zimmermann, Wsh SP
    P Jeff Samardzija, ChC SP
    P Homer Bailey, Cin SP
    SP David Price, TB SP
    SP Brett Anderson, Oak SP
    RP Joe Nathan, Tex RP
    RP Greg Holland, KC RP
    Bench A.J. Burnett, Pit SP
    Bench Tom Wilhelmsen, Sea RP
    Bench Josh Beckett, LAD SP

    • @Papaya Johnny: looks good to me! granted, i haven’t played a 10 team league in a while but would have to think that if you applied my $ values that this is a $300 team (including bench).

  10. ferris says:

    if i have NONE of those players on my primary team, does that mean i should do well or that i am in trouble?

  11. Beastman says:

    Hey Razzball readers, there’s a late opening in a Razzball Commenter League. One of our managers had to leave due to a scheduling conflict. Standard RCL settings. Draft is Sunday at 3 pm EST. $50 buy-in.

    E-mail me for an invite. First come, first served.

    [email protected]

  12. T-ball hero says:

    I read Nick Minnix’s take on the RCL leagues and I thought he cut to the heart of the matter pretty quickly on several topics:
    1) the importance of relievers in the 180 GS format
    2) you can make up for drafting errors because of the short bench and
    3) more importantly, because of 2, don’t place too much value on your own picks

    • @T-ball hero: yup, those are definitely key points that grey and i probably say ad nauseum.

  13. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    1) I truly appreciate that Grey is putting money-where-mouth-is on Goldswinger in every draft this year. May persuade me to reach for him too.

    2) Posey. Posey? Posey.

    3) I cannot believe and will not accept that you didn’t take Rutledge just to taunt your site-mate. And as they say at the cheese-covered bacon-wrapped mollusk factory, that’s not kosher, man. That’s not kosher.

    • @Baron Von Vulturewins: 1) Yes, Grey definitely is all in on Goldschmidt. I liked him a lot too but not in 2nd round when i can get other guys I like in 5th-to-8th rounds (Rizzo, Ike, Freeman).

      Yeah, I know on Posey.

      Picking Rutledge and Chapman felt extra sweet knowing Grey might want them.

  14. TobiasFunkeAnalRapist says:

    Nice article, this will be long but I would appreciate input. My keeper league draft is next weekend and everyone gets 5 keepers plus a minor league team (4 players of less than 1 year experience each). The round of pick you lose based on your keeper is based on the average of adp in espn live drafts and what round the player went in last year. So based on that I am getting: McCutchen for a 2nd round pick, Price for 3rd round, Trout 9th round, Matt Moore 10th round, and Paul Goldschmidt for 12th round. I feel great about these keepers obviously (by the way thanks to razzball.com for the advice on Goldschmidt). Anyways, there will be some good players left and I will be picking 5th in the first round. In my opinion, the best players available are: Pedrioa, Ryan Zimmerman, Mauer, and some pitchers with upside like Medlen, Latos, Vogelsong, Lincecum and Marrow. I personally rank Pedrioa first because of position and consistency, I also have Matt Harvey on Minor League roster that I can bring up whenever. Anyways, my next pick won’t be till the 4th round and a lot of those players will most likely be gone so if you could give me some help on how you’d rank the players I listed I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you, and sorry about the length.

    • TobiasFunkeAnalRapist says:

      @TobiasFunkeAnalRapist: I mean Morrow, been drinking a bit for the March Madness holiday.

    • @TobiasFunkeAnalRapist: Not sure how many teams you have in your league but Price is a bonafide ‘ace’ and Moore is at worst a #3. So I’d focus on a bat here. Pedroia has a higher $ than Zimmerman so I’d probably go with him first, Zimmerman 2nd. Would want to avoid Mauer and draft another hitter if possible. Not thinking SPs at all given you have two.

  15. TobiasFunkeAnalRapist says:

    Also Andrus is available too.

  16. mooseknuckles says:

    Eaton out, possible Tommy John. Ouch.

      • mooseknuckles says:

        @Rudy Gamble: they keep saying pollock instead of Parra. I don’t know who’s Cheerios Parra pissed on, but they refuse to let him play. He is not a stud by abundant, but he is a pretty good ball player.

        • mooseknuckles says:

          @mooseknuckles: any means, not abundant. Stupid fat thumbs and auto text.

        • Interesting – seemed like parra would be a shoo-in. Go fig

    • SwaggerJackers says:

      @mooseknuckles: Damn, I’m glad my drafts don’t happen until next weekend. In my OBP league, I was planning on reaching for him.

    • BigRedLatrine says:

      @mooseknuckles: son of a bee-sting. if we all chip in a buck maybe we can buy him a new UCL?

  17. Rags says:

    So more questions about my 17 team dynasty slow draft. It’s 6X6 with OBP and Holds added.

    My team so far (LF/RF/CF, no MI/CI, but 1Ut):

    Goldy, Rutledge (2B), Desmond, Hanley (3B),
    McCutch, Cruz, Aoki (With Hicks and Yelich in my minors)
    Scherzer, Shields, Peavy
    Joe Nathan

    I have another 11th round pick but then nothing for 34 more picks.
    Do I go Matt Carpenter who’s good for flexibility, can fill in at 3B for Hanley (or 2B and let me trade a SS)? Seager, A-Ram, Youk, Young and Chisenhall are all that’s left at 3B otherwise. Everyone’s filled their 3B but there are 6 teams that need a 2B.

    Or do I take a second closer and make sure I have two. There are 8 closers off the table now (plus Fujikawa), so it’s conceivable if I have to wait 30+ picks that I won’t get another legit closer.


    • @Rags: I’d lean towards Seager/A-Ram – 8 closers sounds like a lot but if they are of the Cishekian variety, it’s a crapshoot anyway. Hope for the best when it gets back to you…

      • Rags says:

        @Rudy Gamble: Seager or A-Ram over Carp or a closer? If I take a closer now, I’ll get a second tier guy, if I wait, it’s more like a Cishek type. But I’m pretty sure I can wait on 3B, especially old guys, since it’s a dynasty. It’s just that Carpenter could get swept up in a 2B run.

        • If it’s axford,wilhelmsen,holland, or grilli, then take them. Not a huge fan on carpenter, feel like he’s a max 120 games

  18. Frank says:

    I love the Al Albuquerque pick. It’s fun to say – and could be cheap saves.

  19. Dominic says:

    The Upton Girls
    1. (4) Mike Trout
    (LAA – OF)
    2. (21) Justin Upton
    (Atl – OF)
    3. (28) Paul Goldschmidt
    (Ari – 1B)
    4. (45) Adam Jones
    (Bal – OF)
    5. (52) Max Scherzer
    (Det – SP)
    6. (69) Matt Moore
    (TB – SP)
    7. (76) B.J. Upton
    (Atl – OF)
    8. (93) Aaron Hill
    (Ari – 2B)
    9. (100) Jake Peavy
    (CWS – SP)
    10. (117) Mariano Rivera
    (NYY – RP)
    11. (124) Josh Rutledge
    (Col – 2B,SS)
    12. (141) Todd Frazier
    (Cin – 1B,3B,OF)
    13. (148) Tom Wilhelmsen
    (Sea – RP)
    14. (165) Greg Holland
    (KC – RP)
    15. (172) Chase Utley
    (Phi – 2B)
    16. (189) A.J. Burnett
    (Pit – SP)
    17. (196) Steve Cishek
    (Mia – RP)
    18. (213) Jonathan Lucroy
    (Mil – C)
    19. (220) Bruce Rondon
    (Det – RP)
    20. (237) Addison Reed
    (CWS – RP)
    21. (244) Tommy Milone
    (Oak – SP)
    22. (261) Jedd Gyorko
    (SD – 3B)
    23. (268) Norichika Aoki
    (Mil – OF)

    What do you think of this team, anywhere you think I can improve?

  20. 2 Giant rings says:

    Aceves is throwing 5 innings. It seems the sox are showcasing him as a starter for trade. Do you think he is worth a flyer deep in a 20 team league?

  21. BigRedLatrine says:

    Has anyone heard anything new about Shelbers and the quest for a rotation spot in St. Louis?

    • mooseknuckles says:

      @BigRedLatrine: I think they keep extending the deadline because they want Shelby to win, he just refuses to to have the outing they need to see to justify it.

  22. SpecialFNK says:

    16 team keeper, roto, 5×5, yahoo.

    this guy is really high on Yu Darvish, and offered me Madison Bumgarner. yes/no?

    my pitchers.
    David Price. Yu Darvish. Mike Fiers. Tommy Milone. Jason Hammel. Erasmo Ramirez. Clayton Richard. Addison Reed. Bobby Parnell. Luke Gregerson. Rex Brothers. Jose Valverde.

    Bumgarner should have the better ERA and WHIP, but Darvish the better K. yes?

    • Darvish and Bum are about equal with darvish’s value in K’s vs bum’s ratios. Given you have Milone and Richard, I’d keep darvish

  23. JFT says:

    Hey would you drop Sergio Santos from my RCL team now that Janssen pitched a perfect inning in a spring training game, or hold for now?

      • Traded a Fister for a BJ says:

        @Rudy Gamble: drop santos for alalalalalbaquerque?

  24. Tony says:

    rudy- what i find funny is looking at you and greys’ teams from last yr, you guys preach offense, offense offense…. yet you dominated pitching?

    Am i the only one that finds that odd? did it just happen or?

    I understand alot of your offensive options sh*t the bed and grey dropped some guys, etc…. just wondering, it seems ironic?

    • Grey typically preaches offense where I’m known more to have a pitching bias (though i feel it is just I value both properly and the market undervalues pitching).

      Based on last year’ draft, my team should have done well in pitching because I invested more than most. It is surprising I accomplished it with a god (but not great) Greinke and an awful Lester and three season-ending SP injuries.

      As for Grey, it was very surprising. He’s a force with closers on waiver wire but he nailed it with Gio and Madbum. He then equally screwed it with dropping rios and Zimmerman.

      • Tony says:

        @Rudy Gamble: haha gotya…. i agree if you pluck pitchers and get peak value since many downgrade them you can draft them earlier…. i was just curious.

        its wild grey dropped ZIMM and RIOS, rios maybe since he was going so late in most drafts, but a high pick like zimmerman, i will usually ride a guy like him down in blaze of glory, i can’t stand the thought of someone else picking him up and rubbing it in my face about how i dropped him…. lol maybe thats just me.

        • RCL format requires a quick trigger finger and I have learned to unattach myself from late round picks. Grey caught a bad break with them in terms of cold starts but should have been more patient in both cases. Just wish I had saw those drops and snapped up one of the two. (On the flip side, I didn’t drop Lester until September…)

  25. Art Vandelay says:

    Rudy, is there a printable version of your Point Shares or an Excel or something that I can actually use for drafting (either to print out or be able to fill in as I go)?

    As a general comment, your Point Shares suggest that there is a fair amount of good value out there at the OF while there is a lot of poor value in the IF. Does that make you want to err on the side of waiting on OFers and drafting the upper tier infielders early? Seems like you can get the likes of Reddick, Aoki, Cuddyer, Pence, etc. in the 100s and 200s and be fine, but if you miss out on a Longoria, you’re going to be in sorry shape at 3B. (This doesn’t apply to SS, where it looks like pretty much everyone is awful except Rutledge and, interesting, Asdrubal) Do you agree?

    • It copy and pastes easily into excel or google docs.

      I think there are several paths to a winning team but they all ate. About getting best value. All positions have moments in the draft when there is value. I typically am bearish on MI and skew toward power bats at 1B, 3B, and OF. I find best early value is often in OF so I don’t mind taking 2 OF in first 3 picks or 3 in top 5 picks.

  26. Jack Full of Hate says:

    2nd base option ellis, johnson, beckham or infante?

    i have bone face and need to wait till he gets 2B eligible. also looks like there might be a platoon going on in Toronto for the time being

    Is there another deep 2B sleeper emerging that I don’t know about.

    • Jack Full of Hate says:

      @Jack Full of Hate: weeks and solano are also there. i wish i knew some of the batting orders, that would make this easy

      • @Jack Full of Hate: assuming weeks means jemile who doesn’t have committed time. if it’s rickie, i’d take him.

        otherwise, i think infante is probably the safest bet for short-term. he has little upside for the season but they other guys are more prone to slumps.

  27. Phil says:

    You did good on Posey. Defending MVP/weak position/Not a fluke. #27 pick. What’s the problem?

    • @Phil: My arguments generally on drafting Catcher early in a 1 C shallow league is that:
      1) More injury prone so greater risk in investing a high pick
      2) The FA pool is full of starting catchers and you might be able to get solid FA value w/ little competition.

      Last year, I dumped a late Arencibia pick early in the season for Doumit and had AJ for most of his hot stretch. Ended up with great catcher #s (not Poseyian of course) at pretty much zero cost.

      So drafting Posey is not something I totally endorse but hope it works for this team’s sake.

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:

        @Rudy Gamble: I agree with each of your points, particularly the second one in this format. In the RCL Champions League, I was able to grab LuCroy in the 22nd round (pick #258), and guys like Avila, Doumit, Arencibia, and Saltalamacchia went undrafted.

        I’m not sure if streaming catchers is an official strategy or not, but in a daily format that features only one starting catcher slot, and where bench space is at a premium, there is always a viable “plug-and-play” option on the wire. Can’t fault you for following your rankings and grabbing an elite guy like Posey though.

        • I like the stream and hold strategy wih catchers and SPs. Ride a guy while they are hot. I probably made 4-5 catcher transactions last year. Also picked up SPs like Miley and Dempster and got several good starts.

  28. Kyle says:

    Wow that Paul Singman site is pretty crazy. Any insight on old Paul’s side or more details about it? Gossiping school girl over here….

    • Yeah, those singmans (singmen) are no lannisters

  29. Nate says:

    Hey Rudy, I like your draft… Between Ike and Rutledge you got some great value (i think) especially with your big bats coming in Braun and Longoria.

    Not sure I would have drafted Posey that high or Felix at all… but we all like different guys I guess. If Posey puts up last years numbers from C your value is incredible… I just hate having to rely on the stats I get from my catcher… to me, I just draft a late guy that won’t kill me. Luckily in my two leagues 1 drafted early enough that Perez hadn’t been overly hyped yet and I have him as a cheap keeper in the other.

    I am right there with you last year… I had Longoria on both my teams and Votto on one. Finished 2nd in both… said I’d never go back to an expensive, injury risk 3rd basemen… drafted Zimmerman and Longoria HAHA

    Oh this game!

    • Thanks. I like Ike though I wish freeman or rizzo fell to me. I hear you on catcher. Atypical move for me but Posey is young and his AVG and R/RBI are for real. Agree to disagree on F-Her – he was definitely the best player on the board and let me decelerate drafting SPs. Most teams had 3-4 SPs a few rounds before I picked my 3rd. Was able to get solid MI values in Rutledge and Alcides precisely because I had 2 anchors.

      • Nate says:

        @Rudy Gamble: Yeah fair enough on Felix… I’m not doubting your reasoning… he’s just a guy I am having trouble believing in. His stuff is for real… but his build and conditioning coupled with the minor injuries and velocity drops I’ve seen has me worried.

        On an unrelated note… I have been doing mock drafts on yahoo today and am having massive trouble with disconnecting and reconnecting quite frequently. My wireless signal is fine… any setting (firewall etc) I should take a look at? Have you heard of anyone encountering this and finding a fix?

        I may just uninstall and reinstall flash to see what that does…

        • Draft rooms are sometimes clunky. Crashes rarely happen to me – seem more common for grey who is on a Mac.

          For flash, IE seems to work best then FF. chrome seems to have the most issues.

        • Coolwhip

          Todd25 says:

          @Nate: actually i can speak on this for you: i had to go into my firewall policies and create a specific “allow” for yahoo on the ports they use, and then it off when im not drafting. they use tcp port 843, 1843, and 8900

  30. Brian says:

    Rudy- I have a deadline of tonight to name my six keepers in my 12 team, 5×5 (non-ops; but qs instead of wins), auction league- 260 limit.

    I have seven guys I’m considering – your thoughts (or anyone’s) would be much appreciated.

    Keepers can be kept for three years after the initial draft year- 2nd year same price, 3rd year plus 5, 4th year plus additional 5. Roster is C-1b-2b-SS-3b-CI-MI-4 OF-UT-9 P.

    Choosing from Cargo (4th yr keeper $19), Goldschmidt (2nd $8), Rizzo (2nd $1), Des Jennings (3rd $6), Hamilton (4th $21), Gio (2nd $9), Bumgarner (3rd $11)

    I tried packaging some two for one trades but received no good offers, so I’m going to have to let one of these guys go back in the pool. My gut tells me to drop Bumgarner based on an extra year of keeper eligibility from Gio- but Hamilton has crossed my mind too.


    • I think Madbum and Hamilton are ur bottom two. You have 2 OFs so I’d let Hamilton go.

  31. TheNewGuy says:

    Breaking trade offer occurence! This is back to my keeper league, id been hunting a 3B and have reeled one in, though theres a caveat (if this is the correct use of caveat, sounds like caviar) to it.

    C Santana ($8) and M Moustakas ($6) FOR: D Wright ($38)

    Now I’m trading away my catcher excess (due to autodraft) as I have Yadi too so that part seems great, and im upgrading from Moose to Wright (no brainer). BUT the problem is this, Wrights salary. He crazily gave Wright a 3 year $38 contract, and theres still 2 years left on it. If I cut Wright at the end of the year and noone claims him then i pay a penalty of half ($19) for the broken contract. So it seems like this is an “all in this year” type of deal, ideal for me this year, but not next. I could maybe try and be really clever and cut Wright with a few days of the season to go, to hope someone claims him and takes on the contract.

    Question is is (stutterer!) it worth the risk?

    • If u have to get rid of Santana, it’s an ok trade. Hard to understand all the ramifications of your keeper league but wright is the immediate and moose might be better by 2015

      • TheNewGuy says:

        @Rudy Gamble:
        I dont “have” to get rid of Santana, but hes currently occuping my Util spot which is hardly the most valuable way to use him. Yes Moose would be better in the future, but that is the future and im playing to win right now.

  32. Hal Incandenza says:

    Hi, Rudy.

    I see there are hitter rankings for 6×6 with OPS and picher rankings for 6×6 with Holds. Any suggestions on how I can best combine those for a 6×6 league with OPS and Holds? Thanks.

    • Just cut paste each into a spreadsheet. They are made to mix and match.

      • Hal Incandenza says:

        @Rudy Gamble: So I should just sort by auction price?

  33. AL KOHOLIC says:

    Rudy my man-10 team roto 7×7,k,s against hitters and obp,im stuck with to many middle infielders and need to add sp depth,ive got Espinosa(k,ave drain)Gyorko and Valdespin(i like) with Zolbrist at ss,no one biting on any trades at all and i need to cut 1,or i could cut cain,any thoughts are appretiated

  34. Coolwhip

    Todd25 says:

    Rudy in a 10-teamer redraft that includes OBP and holds, if you could select your draft slot (which i won) where would you choose for this year. I kinda like the swing pick, and so i’m leaning 1st or 10th.

    i see the scenarios going something like this for first 2 picks:
    (10th) fielder/standon, votto/stanton, etc…
    (1st) miggy/reyes, trout/longo, etc…

    what situation/options would you prefer?

    • If you like swing picks you have to take 1 vs 10 in my book. I think I’d take 2 because I am fine with miggy or trout

      • Coolwhip

        Todd25 says:

        @Rudy Gamble: thats very true… the impact is greater. what would be the next couple of guys you’d look to pair with miggy v trout? (obviously the draft could go a number of ways) but in general where would your head be at?

        • Verlander, kershaw or Strasburg if there as one. Harper, heyward, longoria or Hamilton with other. Not a believer in Reyes or kinsler.

  35. Wallpaper Paterson says:

    How many leagues are you fellows in? Seems you have had a different draft every other day for two weeks. I will have five or six teams this season and that seems a lot. Thing is, I don’t write blog posts. So it is impressive if you can truly manage ten plus teams and still do everything you do here.

    • I manage or co-manage: 2 AL-only, 1 NL-only. 3 15 team MLB, 2 14 team MLB and the RCL. So 9 I guess. I think grey is at 8

      • Wallpaper Paterson says:

        @Rudy Gamble: Okay, thanks for replying. In years when I have more than three teams I have to make it a point to set aside a specific block of time for league actions.

  36. Dalton Del Don says:

    Who said it was “human?”

    • lady and gentlemen. the name’s dalton

    • Wallpaper Paterson says:

      @Dalton Del Don: C’mon man. Please don’t make me think about “Eraserhead” on a Sunday morning before I have had breakfast.

      • Dalton Del Don says:

        @Wallpaper Paterson: Haha my bad. Great movie by the way.

  37. TheNewGuy says:

    Would you consider an upgrade at 2B to be a better deal for this season and long-term?

    C Santana ($8) and Altuve ($8) for Pedroia ($28)

    • 28 for Pedroia sounds bad for long term .

  38. Frankiejay says:

    12 team, keeper auction (25 roster size, max 12 pitchers). I decided to go stars and scrubs due to the dearth of mid-level players in the draft this year. I ended up spending the majority of my money on Pujols, Cano and Longoria, then filling out my starting pitchers with guys at the end of the draft (I had kept 3 SP)

    So, here’s my roster and a question: Should I shop Pujols for starting pitching or roll with my superior lineup and hope my pitchers turn out?

    C: Lucroy
    1B: Pujols
    2B: Cano
    3B: Longoria
    SS: Simmons
    OF: McCutchen
    OF: Choo
    OF: Aoki
    UT: Goldschmidt
    UT: C Davis
    BN: Segura
    BN: Quentin
    BN: Stubbs

    SP: Kershaw
    SP: Sale
    SP: J Zimmermann
    SP: Doubront
    SP: Hammel
    RP: Motte (to DL soon)
    RP: Parnell
    RP: Boggs
    BN: T Hanson
    BN: Milone
    BN: Ryu
    BN: Beachy (to DL soon)

    • I am less worried about ur SP – solid top 3, can always find back 3 SP in FA – than your RP which looks dead last in saves. Good u got Boggs to back up Motte. I wouldn’t trade for a closer but be on the lookout for one. Waste carrying segura and Simmons. Drop one (I suggest segura) for a closer/MR.

      • Frankiejay says:

        @Rudy Gamble: 12 pitcher max, though, so I’m stuck for now, have to have 3 bench hitters. I plan on picking up Albuquerque or Veras or both (both FA) once Beachy and Motte hit the DL.

        • Ah, ignore my call for SPs then

  39. Frankiejay says:

    also, this is H2H (should have said that before) so losing saves doesn’t concern me a ton. Maybe it should, but it’s one cat.

    • Yeah, I devalue SVs in h2h as well so that changes things. Dump 1-2 hitters for SPs

  40. Josh says:

    Hey Rudy, I think your point shares values for Chapman need to be fixed. He’s listed at a -1.7 in wins, and a -1.3 in Ks. Probably just typos, but figured I should give you a heads up.

    • Ur right – have to shift him to RP. Will do today

  41. Arod's Frost says:


    What are your thoughts on Trumbo? He has 3b eligibility in Yahoo leagues – I’m seeing him as monster value going around pick 100.

    A 3b eligible 30/100 guy who hits DH in that lineup sounds pretty delicious.


    • I think he has some value now that Morales and Hunter are off the team so he should get consistent RF/DH ABs.

      I’ve read generally negative stuff on Trumbo going into this year because he had a poor 2nd half. He’ll be an AVG drain but he definitely as power and that lineup should lead to decent R/RBI.

      I think he’ll be about a $5 player in 12-team leagues and approach $10 in 15-team leagues.

  42. Gareth says:

    There is one closer left on the Free Agent list that i can snag and either keep or use as part of a trade for a save needing owner. There is one guy in our league literally hoards closers.

    I need to drop one of the following though –

    Brandon Belt, Jeremy Hellickson, AJ Burnett, Trevor Cahill.

    Would you drop one of those for Brandon league. If so Who and Why?

    • I’d drop Burnett. Should be able to find 2n tier SPa like him in FA in-season

  43. SmokeTNT says:

    Need pitching (and threw out that I could use a 1B, have Hosmer) in a 12 team H2H 8×8 league. Gotten these offers for Trout:

    Verlander/VMart, Kershaw/Goldschmidt, Strasburg/Rizzo, Price/Encarnacion

    Any suggestions?

  44. greg says:

    Do you guys have any information or articles on points based leagues?

    • greg says:

      Head to head points

      More info on the league: C, 1b, 2b, ss, 3b, LF, CF, RF, Util, Util SP, SP, SP, SP, RP, RP, P

      4 bench

      Roster change daily
      max 7 start
      no max on hitters

      1 pt for every total base, 1 pt sb, -1 K, 1 BB (does this mean you get 2 pts per walk?)
      1 pt per out, 1 K, 5 win, -5 loss, 5 save, hits and walks -1, earned run -2

      My initial thoughts since you have a start limit you need to have 3 closers getting points. How valuable are closers in point leagues with this scoring? Obviously focus on power hitters. I guess I’m not sure if I should get pitching or focus on hitting or balance out more….

      Let me know what your initial thoughts are.

      • It’s hard to advise on points leagues because I don’t have the time you run the Steamer projections through this points formula to really understand the impact on player valuation. I definitely suggest you do though.

        I would focus on getting good relievers (ideally closers but I’d take Jansen above the bottom 10 closers). For SPs, you’ll need to run the projections through this formula to determine how to rank/prioritize pitching.

        For hitters, my takeaway would be to forget about SB. 1 point is nothing. A guy with 150 hits with 20 doubles and 10 HRs gets 200 points from those hits. A Revere gets 1 HR and that 36 point difference kills his SBs.

  45. Nice writeup Rudy and great introduction of all the fine combatants.

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