Tag Archives: Alexi Casilla

AL at a Glance

by mrCane

Mike Jacobs (KC 1B) hit his league leading 6th homerun of the spring.  In addition he is tied with Josh Hamilton for the league lead in RBI with 17 while batting a robust .327.  Fantasy Advice:  Draft Jacobs late in drafts for his 30hr power potential.

Wilson Betemit and Josh Fields (CHW 3B), this is a situation worth monitoring because the winner is likely the starter for the Chi Sox.  Both guys are having great springs batting .341 and .413 respectively.  Betemit is actually only a year older than Fields at 27 years of age and has 6 hr this spring, twice as many as Fields.  Fantasy Advice:  It does seem Fields has the job but warrants a roster spot more in AL only leagues at this point.  Monitor both individuals progress!

A couple young guys to keep an eye on are Billy Butler (.348 3hr), Adam Jones (.341 7sb) and Nelson Cruz (5hr .906SLG).  All three are big time prospects who’s time may have arrived.  I could see Butler pulling off a .300 85 20 90, Jones a .290 90 18 90 25 and Cruz .270 90 25 90 10 season this year.  Fantasy Advice:  Look for these guys late in drafts for cheap but productive alternatives to their older counterparts.  All of them should be taken in 12 team roto mixed leagues.

Coco Crisp (KC cf) and Alexi Casilla (MIN 2B) are a couple of guys flying under the radar.  Coco is having a great spring with 2hr 2sb .417 which are reminiscent of his Cleveland days (20/20 type player).  He is guaranteed a starting gig in KC.  Casilla offers decent SB potential toward the end of all drafts.  He is a good hitter, who will hit toward the top of the Minnesota lineup, score runs and swipe about 20.  Fantasy Advice:  Both have larger mixed league potential.

What do Francisco Liriano and Zach Grienke have in common?  They both have 19K through 21 IP this spring.  The difference is Liriano has an era about 6 runs lower than Grienke.  Grienke has been getting pounded, but don’t get scared away.  Fantasy Advice:  Take Liriano as 1 or 1A type guy and Grienke as a solid number 3 who has the potential to pitch like a #2.

A couple young guys to keep an eye on, none who have starting jobs as of right now are Clay Buchholz (BOS sp), Trevor Cahill (OAK sp) and Brett Anderson (OAK sp).  They have era’s of 0.46, 3.94 and 2.25 respectively.  Buchholz is the better strike out guy with 15 in 19IP but all could be very useful by years end.  Fantasy Advice:  Get these guys in keeper leagues and monitor their progress for this year, they could all make an impact.

John Lackey (ANA sp) has some discomfort in his elbow recently.  This is a wait and see because Lackey insists he is ok, nothing like the injury last year.  Fantasy Advice:  If guys like Shields, Beckett, King Felix, Liriano or Chad Billingsley are on the board I would take them before Lackey.  Let someone else deal with the injury, you can have a perfectly healthy pitcher with the same numbers.

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5×5 Draft Recap – Part 3

By mrcane

If you have read the “About Us” page on this blog you know that we are 5 guys that have been doing fantasy baseball together for over 10 years and this weekend was a BIG weekend. Saturday was a 12 team H2H points league draft that all 5 of us participated in and Sunday was a 15 team 5×5 Rotisserie league that all 5 of us participated in.

Since the H2H points league is a keeper league that allows draft pick trading it would be tough to explain why we did things where since each team had vastly different situations on draft day. But….the 5×5 draft was a start from scratch 5×5 league with 20 rosters spots where everybody starts. Over the next few days each of us will give a recap of our draft and hopefully provide some insight on what we were thinking and how it all panned out.

Team: Hurricanes

Draft Position (Typical Serpentine Draft): 6th

Rounds 1, 2, 3: Putting my strategy to work worked great the first three rounds landing Jimmy Rollins, Alfonso Soriano and Matt Kemp. All guys are going to steal 25 with Rollins capable of 40. What makes it even better is that all three will hit 20 HR too.

Round 4 and 5: My fourth round pick was Joey Votto, who I feel went a little early but was a legit power hitter who I really coveted. I followed that up with a 5×5 guy in Bobby Abreu. I loved Abreu in that spot for his 100 20 100 20 ability. That gave me 4 out of my first 5 picks all being guys who contribute in all categories.

Round 6 and 7 I finally took my first couple pitchers in James Shields and Felix Hernandez. Getting two 1A type guys as this point while using my first 5 picks on hitters will no doubt pay off later on in the season.

Round 8 I was able to grab Adrian Beltre. I do feel this pick came a round or two early but my thoughts on this pick was getting a guy who can hit 25 hr and chip in with some SB as a weak position is extremely valuable. He is very consistent and happens to be in a walk year so I’m expecting some big things from Beltre.

Round 9 So I went back towards pitching getting Zach Grienke as my 3rd starter. I love Zach’s strike out potential (about 175) as a middle of the rotation guy. His peripherals are also great which are extremely important in a 5×5 league.

Round 10 I went back to the offense and grabbed James Loney, a young high upside guy who will bat .300. Being able to snag another guy who can hit 20hr and bat .300 at this stage of the draft was exciting.

Round 11-14 I went all pitching and was able to land John Danks, Randy Johnson, Trevor Hoffman and Frank Francisco respectively. My rotation now has 5 guys who can top 150 K with low whips. Since I don’t consider saves to be very important in a draft being able to land two guys with definite starting jobs to start the season is huge. Carlos Marmol went about 6 rounds earlier and he doesn’t have a starting position yet.

The rest of my draft filled out with Jim Thome, Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Lyon, Jose Guillen, Alexi Casilla and Ramon Hernandez (who could be top 10 playing in Cinncinati). I completely punted 2B and C because no one of significance fell to me in the draft. The guy I thought I could get, Alexi Ramirez went three picks before I could take him. After that I had my mind made up to wait until the end of the draft and I wound up with a guy in Casilla who can steal 20 while hitting at the top of the Twins order and the aforementioned Hernandez. Grabbing Thome and Guillen provided a little punch and Sandoval should chip in to counter the low batting averages.

Overall I thought my strategy worked out perfectly. I was able to get a lot of guys I targeted, now we just need to wait and see if my intuitions were correct.

My thoughts going into the draft was to acquire as many guys who contribute in 5 categories as possible. I’m not necessarily looking for guys with good averages, just trying to avoid those with bad averages. Drafting hitting first was my number one priority, as I feel that pitching is deep enough to avoid for the first several rounds. Another strategy I was employing was to avoid closers for as long as possible. One category guys are not that valuable. I ended up with 3 guys, all who should close for there respective teams. As soon as the season starts I trade a closer for a hitter, and usually the hitter is better than the guy I would have taken with my 17th round pick.

Projected Finish*: 15 out of 15 (62 total points)

(R: 4, HR: 6, RBI: 7, SB: 9, BA: 2, W: 3, Sv: 13, K: 7, ERA: 1, WHIP: 10)

* Based on Sportsline.com projections

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Position Depth Scarcity

By nichols33

Any experienced fantasy baseball player will tell you that they take into account the depth at certain positions when drafting or placing an auction value on a player. Stephen Drew’s .291 avg. last season with 21 HRs was far more valuable than Derrek Lee’s .291 avg. with 20 HRs because Drew plays shortstop and Lee plays first base. Lee is an average 1B at best while Drew is arguably a Top 5 SS. How can that be you ask? It all comes down to the options available at each position and the difference between the top producers over the non producers who are forced to start due to lack of options.

My colleague tallkid1 wrote a great piece, Third Base, The New Second Base, where he asked the question which position has the least depth or most depth scarcity. This inspired me to try and put some analysis together and attempt to solve this question for the upcoming fantasy baseball season.

I based my analysis on a 12 team Head-to-Head Points league that starts 1 C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, U/DH, 3 OF, 5 SP, 2 RP. I took the average points scored for the season for the top “starters” at each position. So I averaged the top 12 scoring catchers, the top 36 scoring OFs, top 60 scoring SPs, etc. The data rolled up like this:

Pos Avg Starters Pts
C 321.7
1B 488.4
2B 418.0
SS 417.4
3B 412.0
OF 439.4
SP 411.5
RP 236.3

This analysis obviously assumes that the top 12 scorers at 1B are all on different teams and also does not factor in the U/DH spot but directionally this data proves very helpful.

As you might expect the top 12 scoring catchers are greatly outscored by the top scorers at other positions. MLB teams place great emphasis on defensive minded players at the catcher position and even the best catchers sit roughly every 5th game. What is rather telling is tallkid1 was onto something. 3B was actually lower scoring than SS and 2B.

Surprising no one, 1B is the deepest position but by how far ahead it was over OF was quite shocking to me. OF felt a little weaker than normal going into last season but some breakout seasons (Kemp, Quentin, Hamilton, Victorino, Ethier, McLouth, Ludwick) really added to the depth of that position.

When drafting or placing auction value on a player you must keep in mind the position depth scarcity. You can be sitting pretty after 5 rounds with Mark Teixeira, Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee, Adam Dunn and Vladimir Guerrero but after round 15 you’ll feel nauseous looking at Bengie Molina, Alexi Casilla, Miguel Tejeda and Melvin Mora in your starting lineup.

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