Monday, February 25, 2008

Fantasy Bloggers League draft analysis (first four rounds)

Looking at the Fantasy Bloggers League Draft our own Bob Taylor was recently invited to participate in, here are my impressions:

Round One

Best Pick: A-Rod at number one. Way to toe the line.

Worst Pick: There's no obvious problem picks in round one (not a surprise), but I have to question Pujols over Fielder. That owner should have been thanking his lucky stars that a fairly equivalent player to a healthy Pujols (and Pujols ain't healthy) fell that far.

Strange Pick: David Wright over Hanley Ramirez. Well, I can only imagine that this owner is worried about Ramirez's shoulder surgery (no spring training ball, yet). While it's tough to argue with caution in round one, I don't know about this move.

Round Two

Best Pick: B.J. Upton sliding all the way to the end of the round.

Worst Pick: I can see why the Pujols owner grabbed Crawford, but if you need steals that badly Alfonso Soriano or Grady Sizemore might go 35/35 and have more impressive 5x5 track records. Also, the Brandon Phillips pick may be a bit early, but the real problem is that B.J. Upton was available (sorry, Bob).

Strange Pick: There were a bunch of strange picks, but the standout has to be the selection of Prince Fielder when one already owns Ryan Howard. Fielder was probably the best player on the board, but you've created some serious holes in your lineup by round two when you double up on the 1B position.

Round Three

Best Pick: The Victor Martinez pick late in round three. In a two catcher league, he should have been gone by late round two.

Worst Pick: Russell Martin is the worst pick of these first four rounds. You're counting on a catcher to duplicate that ridiculous number of at-bats and games played (he led the MLB in innings played amongst catchers) and steal 20+ bases again. I don't think he can do it. The catcher position is simply too demanding. But this is a two-catcher league, and they therefore have a draft premium. But Victor Martinez was still available!

Strange Pick: Curtis Granderson. This owner already had an OF (Beltran), and he wasn't hurting for steals (Hanley Ramirez). Granderson had a solid 5X5 year, but do you really need a second OF with one very good year on his resume above guys like Morneau or Victor Martinez?

Round Four

Best Pick: Love the Atkins and Sabathia picks.

Worst Pick: Is there any doubt? Derek Jeter went about three rounds too early.

Strange Pick: Manny Ramirez is pretty good value that late in round four, but when you already have two outfielders? Really? Or, why select Brian Roberts when you took Carl Crawford in round two? The only benefit of taking Crawford that early is so that you can basically ignore steals for the next three or four rounds. The only power you've got on your team through round four is from Pujols. If he goes down, you're toast. How about Derrek Lee over Garret Atkins, when that team didn't have a 3B yet!

30 comments:

Edwin said...

Man, Bob - you really hated my first four picks! Haha. I guess we'll see.

Edwin said...

Oh wait, it wasn't Bob - it was Mike. Mike, I don't know you, but man, you really hated my first four picks! Haha. I guess we'll see.

Knox said...

Yeah Edwin, Mike beat me up a few times too. He was right about the Wright pick. It was a much safer pick, in my opinion, than Hanley Ramirez would have been. That was exactly why I did it.

I worried about the Jeter pick too. But I've already received a trade offer for him. What's that all about?

Mike Bock said...

I suspected it had to be the offseason shoulder surgery for Hanley.

Just one man's opinion, BTW!

Edwin said...

The Pujols pick was a no-brainer for me. While there might not be specific injury concerns with Fielder or Braun, there is moderate risk surrounding there performance. Pujols has probably the lowest performance risk out of any fantasy player ever. While I would say Pujols's injury risk outweighs the performance risk of Fielder or Braun, I would only add a maximum of 25% failure risk. Not to mention the fact that if he's out - injuries aren't as opaque and vampiric as underperformance is - see Bay and Hafner in '07 (two of my four keepers in one league, BTW). All told, I will always by a $45 dollar stock at $30-32 and 25% risk than buy a $30-32 stock at 0-10% risk.

Crawford was a value pick, plain and simple. For me, he is a $34 player with $40 upside going for $30-32.

I liked Bedard and Roberts less, but my reasoning behind them was:

1) Bedard goes to a great pitcher's park in a much weaker league. He gets to pitch against Oakland and Texas a bunch. His injury last year wasn't arm related and he is healthy now. With the above bonuses, I'd say he is about an 60% chance at $30, 40% 20-25. I like that at 36 overall, worth $23-25 on average.

2) I can bet on .285/95/10/50/35 from Roberts at 2B. Plus, there is the upside of a potential trade to the Cubs and the potential for increased SBO with a below average offense. For his position, Roberts is average/+ in R and BA, average in HR, average/- in RBI, and + + in SB, a net gain of + +. Not bad at $23-24, I'd say. Think of Upton:

AVG -
R avg/+
HR +
RBI avg/+
SB +

which is also a net of + +. granted, that's a crude system, but one i often use to evaluate a player in my head. and this is going from the fact that an avg 2B is something like .280/80/13/70/10.

all of the top of my head, but that was my rationale behind the picks.

Edwin said...

I consistently hate there/their.

Edwin said...

and all of the other typos and spelling errors in that post.

Eric said...

I liked the Roberts pick. The certainty of SB from Crawford and Roberts is better than gambling on Michale Bourns of the last half of the draft.

The Pujols one is too tought to pass-up with back-to-back picks. I can't see him doing better than he did last season, though. That Cardinals offense is pathetic.

Imagine down-grading offensively from Dave Eckstein.

Mike Bock said...

I come up with a net of "+++" for Upton, using your math. I must be missing something.

Pujol is a $45 dollar stock, while Fielder is at $30-32?

2007($45)Pujols: .327/99/32/103/2
2007($31)Fielder:.280/109/50/119/2

You're basically telling me Pujols had an off year. But, if that off year was due to an uncorrected (and apparently worsening) injury, why expect him to return to the norm?

Well, you may have the steal of the draft. We'll see.

Edwin said...

Mike:

For B.J., each avg/+ is worth 1/2 a +. Therefore R, RBI [2 x (avg/+)] = AVG [1 x minus], which leaves B.J. with a net of HR + and SB +, or 2 +.

As for Pujols, I would contend that he had an off-year. I don't fully expect him to return to the norm (hence the 25%). I consider the 2007 injury response abberative and only a 25% projectable reality. The reason I believe this is because he has played with the injury since 2003, and has treated it the same way every year. I account 25% chance of entropic breakdown, 75% aberrative and correctable response.

An important indicator that no one has taken into account (that I've seen, anyway) is that Pujols attributed his full offseason of rest in 2003 to the way he felt in 2004 about the injury (http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports/stories.nsf/cardinals/story/0C185C21C38BD56D862573D80013EEEB?OpenDocument) In 2004-2006, the Cardinals went deep into the postseason. The Cardinals did not make the postseason in 2007, thusly giving Pujols another full year of rest. I think that we can attribute some of Pujols's performance in 2007 to three consecutive years of deep playoff appearances. This is another reason why I consider Pujols a 75% chance to rebound to career norms.

Edwin said...

Full offseason of rest, I should say.

Mike Bock said...

I understand your take on Pujols now. You believe his apparently chronic, degenerative arm condition that [reportedly] requires surgery will respond to rest in the same manner that it did in years past, when he was a younger man, despite the recent reports that he can't "play through pain again this year."

Fair enough. Do you really believe Pujols's stated age is accurate, BTW?

Edwin said...

"Entropic breakdown" is the most redundant I think I've ever been - perhaps the most redundant anyone ever could be.

Edwin said...

A strained ligament is not degenerative. It is chronic if it is not addressed with surgery. The difference between age 24 (or 28) and age 28 (or 32) has no impact on healing ability - or at least no proven impact that I have ever read about.

Pujols has been managing the injury in a chronic context (created by his unwillingness to have it repaired) since 2003. I believe that three years of unsatisfactory rest created the conditions of "unmanageability" in 2007. With a full offseason of rest, I believe there is a 75% chance Pujols will be able to play within the injury-specific context of chronicity of 2004-2006, not 2007, which I believe to be aberrative for reasons listed above.

Bob Taylor said...

Even if you give Pujols a 75% chance to match his 2004-2006 norms (which I don't), I don't think you can afford to spend your first-round pick, or even an early second-round pick, on anything other than a sure thing. And 75% is quite a ways from being a sure thing.

Bob Taylor said...

And, Mike, I've decided you officially qualify as obsessed over just how old Pujols actually is!

Mike Bock said...

He looks older than me. Heck, he looked older than my current age five years ago!

rudygamble said...

i will say the 'who'll pick pujols?' game was the most entertaining part of last night's draft.

i had him projected at #5 in terms of potential point value (http://razzball.com/2008-fantasy-baseball-player-rater-%e2%80%93-%e2%80%9cpoint-shares%e2%80%9d/) but the injury risk led me to dropping him pretty far on my draft board. i can't fault picking him at #12, though. what separates him from fielder and howard is his AVG.

that said, glad i didn't have to make that call...

btw, re: the 3 OFs in the first four rounds, that was Brock for Broglio. in his defense, he was on auto-pick for the first 8 rounds. he ended up with 5 OF in the first 7. didn't mind it much except for him auto-grabbing torii hunter in the 7th round right before me...

Mike Bock said...

Auto-pick answers all my questions for Brock for Broglio. Now I don't have to mince words: his draft (at least through round four) sucked.

Edwin said...

Bob - I was aware of the maxim you are referring to before drafting. For me, it all has to do with probable value. Now, if you think Pujols is only a 50% chance to reproduce 04-06, you might not have bought him at 12. I actually probably still would have, because Pujols 07 was basically Miguel Cabrera. If you think it is 25/25 for 07/04-06 and 50% lost season, I would agree that drafting Pujols would be a mistake. Clearly I didn't (and don't) see that as the probability, so I drafted him.

But thanks for all of your comments. I love debating about player value. I hope you don't mind that I posted most of our discussion on Seamless. If you do mind, please let me know (edwin.vanbibber-orr@yale.edu) and I'll pull it. Bob, let me know if you see any trading possibilities between our teams.

Bob Taylor said...

We don't mind, Edwin. Post away!

Edwin said...

Had a post up for a bit, and then it disappeared. No word from Derek or Cory, so I'm a bit puzzled. What a terrible loss!

Bob Taylor said...

It'll always be recorded for posterity here.

eric said...

This guy at my sight loves your team, Edwin.

http://www.faketeams.com/story/2008/2/25/12631/1571#commenttop

Edwin said...

Well, his drafting software loves my team, anyway. Important to note that he isn't inputting all of the teams - just letting the computer draft out the other nine. I have the same software and the AI drafting is not good. It doesn't matter how many times he lets the bad AI draft, it will still be bad. Those are also one man's projections fueling the standings finishes. While it's nice that a computer program likes my team, I don't put any stock in it. My team has all kinds of problems and I'll be lucky to finish in the top 6.

Not to mention the fact that I am always far too reactionary on the waiver wire and end up burning myself. You'll see exhibit A when my first waiver goes through tomorrow. I just can't help myself - so much of the fun I have comes from speculating on all kinds of different players.

Eric said...

I'm glad you feel that way because I reveiwed them this AM and was not really impressed by any teams other than Knox's team.

Mike Bock said...

St. Louis dispatch just reported that Chris Duncan is going to be playing some first base during the spring.

I wonder why they'd want to get him reps at first base, especially considering the trouble they went through to convert him to an OF (because Pujols was blocking him at first).

Hmmm.....

Edwin said...

I think it's because Larussa said they are going to try and sit Pujols on some Sundays when they have Monday off. I assume that Duncan would be a candidate to play first base on those days.

Mike Bock said...

Check out this big long article on poor injured Pujols (in spring training!)

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=jp-springpujols022608&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Edwin said...

Read that one already, actually. I like this segment:

"To a degree, at least. La Russa has said he will rest Pujols more this season. Pujols, reminded of this decree, said: 'When those days come, we’ll talk.' "

Pujols has been managing all of this stuff for a long time. Remember in 2006 when he missed most of June with an oblique strain? People were trading him for $25-30 players. He then proceeded to hit .344 with a 1.068 OPS in the second half. The man is a freak.