Tag Archives: James Loney

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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Spend Your Money Wisely

by mrCane

The idea of every draft is to get players at optimum value.  You don’t want to draft a player too soon.  You don’t want to waste a 2nd round pick on a guy you can grab in the 4th round.  Many times while drafting you begin to notice that the position is becoming vacant.  The top guys are going off the board, your pick is coming up and because all the magazines have Mr.X rated high you reach and take him while gritting your teeth.  In this list I’ve included there are guys with some counterparts at their positions and the recent ADP(Average Draft Position).  You can be the judge of who you want and what your willing to pay for the player.

C  Ramon Hernandez, ADP 277 vs Ryan Doumitt ADP 140     What this says is if you wait over 100 spots you could have the exact same stats for much cheaper.  Doumitt had some great hot streaks last year and has climbed the rankings because of the success.  But, Hernandez should match him in every offensive category so why pay extra?

1B  Billy Butler, ADP 246  vs  James Loney,  ADP  125     Loney has proved himself a little more but tops out at about 20hr.  Both guys will hit for the same average but Butler has the ability to hit for more power, as he did in the minors.  Butler has great plate discipline and its only a matter of time.  After the big dogs are gone at first take a careful look at what Loney can give you and ask yourself if its worth it?

2B  Aaron Hill, ADP 301  vs  Robinson Cano, ADP 97     Even after a huge bust of a season last year Cano is still top 100?  He doesn’t hit for power, doesn’t steal bases and proved he is capable of batting under .300.  He has always struck out a lot and continues to be drafted high.  Hill, if recovered from post concussion syndrome, is capable of a 20 hr season; 200 picks later!  Just monitor his health.

3B  Brandon Wood, ADP 332  vs Edwin Encarnacion, ADP 163     Ok, so Wood hasn’t panned out yet, well that is going to change.  If he bats .250 with 25hr isn’t that the same as Edwin?  For half the price? 

ss  Michael Young, ADP 98 vs  Derek Jeter, ADP 71   This isn’t a huge gap but because it is so early in the draft it is imperative to get these picks right.  These guys have the exact same numbers!  But Jeter is about two rounds earlier?  Jeter is a big household name, but average in the world of fantasy.

OF  Chase Headley, ADP 331 vs  Justin Upton, ADP 181    Another case of a big time name getting in the way of what actually happens on the field.  What is going to happen, their numbers will be the same.  Headley was a monster prospect that everyone has somehow forgot about this year.

OF  Adam Jones, ADP 266  vs  Andre Ethier, ADP 133     I’ll put it in very simple terms, Jones is better.  There, I said it.  He will have just as many homers, about 25 more SB and the other numbers should be about the same.  Why double the price?

OF  Fred Lewis, ADP 310  vs  David DeJesus, ADP 180  Here is another head scratcher, Lewis has better numbers.  The only difference between these two guys is Lewis will steal more bases.

SP  Chris Volstad, ADP 260  vs  Fausto Carmona, ADP 164     Fausto had a big year a two years ago.  Last year he was injured so he gets a pass.  But, regardless of the injury these guys are clones.  Non-strike out pitchers who will have good ERA’s.  One you pay for some name recognition, the other you don’t.

RP  Joel Hanranhan, ADP 282  vs  Brian Wilson, ADP 140      Why anyone would draft a closer with a near 5 ERA that high is beyond my thinking.  Joel is going to have a better ERA and more K’s than Wilson.  I know in a 5×5 those innings aren’t so great where the ERA hurts you, but whats better, a 4.00 or a 5.00?

How are you going to spend your money when it’s crunch time?

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Overrated and Underrated Part Deux.

by notebookguy

Here’s a look at some more guys that are going too early in drafts and guys that are hanging around too long in the draft.
As always Average Draft Position(ADP) courtesy of mockdraftcentral.com and all round estimates are based on a 5×5, 15 team league.

Overrated

Carl Crawford, OF, Rays, ADP 29.3
His 3 year averages of .300 BA, 12 HR, 71 RBI, 84 R, and 44 SB are nice numbers but he has been consistently declining since 2006 with his OPS going from .830 in 2006 to .719 in 2008. A one hundred plus point drop in OPS is alarming, even more so when the player was quoted last year as saying he felt like “the oldest 27 year old ever”. Not exactly an encouraging quote from a guy you are gonna’ be relying on for SB’s. He goes nearly a round before Brian Roberts, Matt Kemp, and Alex Rios and 2 rounds ahead of Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino I’d rather wait and take any one of these players. Use that 2nd or 3rd round pick on a big bat or a big time ace then grab a player that will be as good or better than Crawford a round or two later.

All Closers

I can not stress this enough.  They are one category players.  Papelbon, Lidge, K-Rod, and Nathan all are usually off the board in the draft in the 5th or 6th round, that is a wasted pick.  You can not pass on a player that helps you in 4 or 5 categories for a guy that is a one category specialist.  If you have a choice between Papelbon and Dan Haren, take Dan Haren.  Brad Lidge and Magglio Ordonez, take Magglio Ordonez.  There is a popular misconception out there that closers help you in WHIP and ERA as well, it’s a myth.  Most leagues require 900 IP as a minimum.  A closer pitches 60 innings, that is 7% of the MINIMUM IP, most teams exceed that number so it’s even less a percentage than that.  This will have a very minimal affect on a teams WHIP and ERA.  Another mark against closers is that a third of the closers that start the year as their teams closers don’t end the year as their teams closers.  That’s an awful lot of volatility for one category.  Now I’m not saying punt the category, you never want to punt a category, I’m saying be patient, you’ll be able to get saves late in the draft and off the waiver wire once closers start imploding.

Derrek Lee, 1B, Cubs, ADP 73.63

.301 BA, 17 HR, 67 RBI, 71 R, 7 SB is his 3 year average.  Now I really shouldn’t need to say more, but just in case you don’t understand why that’s not worth a 5th or 6th round pick, I’ll expound.  Those numbers look eerily similar to players like James Loney(ADP 96.45), Conor Jackson(205.72), and Carlos Guillen(226.31) who all go MUCH later than D. Lee.  That 2005 MVP caliber season is a distant memory, do not trick yourself into thinking he may rebound into that type of player again, not going to happen.  He is 33 years old this season, an age when a player starts exiting his prime, it could get worse from here.  Let someone else pay for the name.

AJ Burnett, SP, Yankees, ADP 99.33

This is a man who loves to get paid, not play baseball.  Burnett’s two best seasons have just so happened to be the years he could hit the free agent market 2005 and 2008.  In Burnett’s six other full seasons since 2001 he has averaged just under 21 starts a season.  So outside of the 2 years he was looking at a big pay day he’s missed a third of his starts in those 6 seasons.  The Yankees were foolish to give him a 5 year 83 million dollar deal and you’d be foolish to take him as your ace or 2nd starter in the 7th round.  He is going to sit back, get out there when he feels like it, collect his checks, and be Carl Pavano: The Sequel.  He goes ahead of solid starting pitchers that will get you 30 starts with real good numbers like Jon Lester, C. Zambrano, M. Cain, Dice K, D. Lowe, and Javier Vazquez; inury/bounce back candidates Justin Verlander, Yovani Gallardo, Adam Wainwright, Br. Myers, A. Harang, and C. Young(Pads); and youngsters that may take another step up Edinson Volquez, R. Nolaso, and Greinke.  I recommend all these starters over AJ Burnett.

Howie Kendrick, 2B, Angels, ADP 124.41

Now a 9th round pick may not sound like much but this part of the draft is crucial, you can’t afford to give away a pick like this.  Anyone can pick pick productive players early in a draft, it’s getting impact players in the 9th-17th rounds that make a draft.  Howie Kendrick is the furthest thing from an impact player.  A 3 year average of .306 BA, 4 HR, 35 RBI, 41 R, and 7 SB, averaging 315 AB’s per season.  Do you really want to take a 2B that plays half of a season with unimpressive numbers in the 9th round?  Wait 100+ plus picks and take Polanco(ADP 229.96), Weeks(ADP 233.36), M. Ellis(ADP 256.36), O. Hudson(ADP 275.91), or Akinori Iwamura(ADP 284.31).  These players will give you more than Kendrick and are more likely to stay healthy, though Ellis and Weeks have had their health troubles, you can afford that risk in the 15th or 16th round, not the 9th.

Underrated

Cameron Maybin, OF, Marlins, ADP 264.2

This speedy prospect is set to be the Marlins CF and leadoff hitter on opening day this year, with the clear #1 pick in this years drafts Hanley Ramirez moving to 3rd in the lineup.  While I agree the move in the lineup is clearly due to Hanley’s RBI potential in the 3 spot, it also shows the Marlins confidence that Maybin can handle the leadoff duties at the major league level.  He will struggle, as most rookies do, with batting average as well as overall consistency, but Maybin can be a great SB and R source and can be had in the 18th round.  30+ SB’s that late is a steal on it’s own, combine that with Maybins overall offensive upside and you will have yourself a gem for one of your last picks.

Rick Ankiel, OF, Cardinals, ADP 221.12

Ankiel does come with injury risks, but the 15th round is a great time to be taking those types of risks.  Ankiel is the starting pitcher turned OF that slugged 25 HR’s in just 413 AB’s last year.  He is smack in the middle of the prime of his career and if he can reach the 500 AB plateau he will hit 30+ HR’s.  Finding a 30 HR bat at this point of the draft is grand theft, snag Ankiel around the 14th or 15th round and possibly get top 25 OF production.

Conor Jackson, 1b/OF, Diamondbacks, ADP 205.72

The Diamondbacks number 3 hitter this year will be Conor Jackson.  A line of .300 BA, 15-20 HR’s, 100 R’s, 100 RBI’s, and 10 SB’s is very atainable hitting in the middle of that lineup in a hitter friendly park.  Jackson will be 26 this season, just entering his prime, is ready to take his game to another level, don’t miss the boat.  He can be had for a 13th or 14th round pick and will far outproduce that spot.

Ted Lilly, SP, Cubs, ADP 199.79

This lefthander is as steady a SP as you’re going to find, how does he go in the 14th round on a regular basis?  He has averaged 16 W, 173 K, 4.07 ERA, and a 1.29 WHIP, that is solid 4 category production.  Injuries are not a concern either as he has averaged 33 starts a season for the last 3 years.  He is 33 years old so don’t expect him to exceed these numbers, but you can expect more of the same steady production for the next few years.  Grab him in the 12th or 13th round as your 4th starter and get borderline 2nd starter stats.

Aaron Harang, SP, Reds, ADP 158.91

Bounce back special on the big right hander this year.  From 2005-2007 Harang was one of the top pichers in the game averaging  14 W, 199 K, 3.78 ERA, and a 1.23 WHIP, great 4 category production.  I give him a mulligan for last year due to injury, he’s 30 years old in his prime, he will bounce back fine.  Grab him in the 9th or 10th round and get borderline ace production.

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