Tag Archives: Matt Kemp

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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5×5 Draft Recap – Part 1

By nichols33

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.darryl-strawberry

Team: Named after the great Darryl Strawberry

Draft Position (Typcial Serpentine Draft): 11th

Having the 11th pick I was hoping on scoring either Jimmy Rollins or Chase Utley. Well, mrcane was sitting with the 6th pick and we all know he loves Rollins so he went #6. In position #9, dtb23 (a Phils fan) was ready to scoop up Utley but he went one pick earlier at #8. Since I really wanted a 2B or SS I was planning on taking Kinsler….but Ryan Braun fell into my lap at pick #11. I thought about Beltran for a brief moment but went with Braun.

Coming back at pick #20 I was hoping on Evan Longoria but he went a couple picks early so I kind of went a bit early on Dustin Pedroia but I wanted a top 3 2B or top 3 SS and this was my only chance.

Going into the 3rd round I was happy to see a number of SPs flying off the board as my strategy was to put off pitching until at least the 6th round. For my pick in the 3rd I was eyeing Carlos Quentin and Matt Kemp but both went before it got back to me. With Aramis Ramirez sitting on the board I ensured my team of having a strong infield by snagging him in that spot.

For the 4th round I had some power and a bit of speed in Pedroia but I was looking to get a speedster and was eyeing Carl Crawford or Jacoby Ellsbury. Crawford went 3 picks before me so I settled in with Ellsbury.

For the 5th round I really wanted Stephen Drew to fall to me. He went about 8 picks before it got to me so I passed on the temptation to take Rafeal Furcal and instead solidified some power with Adam Dunn. I would have taken Bobby Abreu but he went 5 picks earlier to mrcane. Victor Martinez was also a consideration but I figured I’d be able to get him next pick about 10 picks away.

Turns out I was wrong as VMart went to tallkid1 and I chose Carlos Delgado because 1Bs were flying off the board and he was the only one left that I would be happy on as my starter.

Heading into the 7th I really needed to take some pitching since I planned on starting that in the 6th. There was still a number of “aces” on the board (Billingsly, Lester, Shields, Zambrano, Liriano, Gallardo, and F. Hernadez) all of whom went before my pick. I then chose Scott Kazmir for his Ks and followed up with Josh Johnson for his upside in the 8th round.

9th round I continued my quest to fill out my staff by selecting Joba Chamberlain. I was scouting Brett Myers but he went 2 picks earlier which I was fine with since I got him in my points league draft on Saturday. I really like Myers this year.

For the 1oth I was going to take my 1st closer and planned on Brian Fuentes. Mike Scioscia loves giving save opportunities only to his closer and their style of play really sets up a number of close games  so I think Fuentes is in line for quite a few saves this year. He went 2 picks before me and I reluctantly selected Kerry Wood.

Wood and I have a history. During his prime when he was the next Roger Clemens I once traded Nomar Garciaparra for Wood and Barry Larkin in a keeper league.  Wood proceeded to tear ligaments in his elbow 2 months later and Nomar became one of the top fantasy players for the next few years while I sat with an aging Barry Larkin. I must say I’m not a big fan of Wood.

My next few picks I took Ryan Doumit (can’t believe he was still there in the 11th), Matt Capps (wanted to ensure I got 2 guys guaranteed the job), Lastings Milledge (still wish he was a Met, love his power/speed combo) and Oliver Perez in the 14th (Ks!!! and his inconsistency doesn’t hurt as much in a total year tally league like it does in a H2H league).

For the rest of the draft there was slim pickings so I wanted to focus on young upside guys and guys who may be under-valued due to previous injuries. In the 15th I took Jeremy Hermida (great spring, last chance for this one-time stud prospect). I then took Max Scherzer (upside!!) and Todd Helton (great spring, is his back OK?).

I still did not have a shortstop and guys I was targeting for late in the draft (Yunel Escobar, Elvis Andrus, Ryan Theriot) had just come off the board so I continued to punt that category and took Jason Kubel (full time DH in Min, 27 years old). In the 19th I finally took a SS with Christain Guzman over Khalil Greene because I needed the avg more than the power.

I rounded out my draft with Edwin Jackson of the Tigers. I love this guy this year as a sleeper and I’ve so far got him in all 3 drafts I’ve done. I plan on scoring him as well in my 4th and final draft tomorrow night.

Overall I think my team came out pretty good. I wanted a better ace and I think I abandoned stolen bases a bit too much after the Milledge pick but I can pick some SBs during the season. If Josh Johnson and Joba Chamberlain bust out into super stardom this season and Kazmir stays healthy, I will have a real good team and do Darryl Strawberry proud!!

Projected Finish*: 6th out of 15 (81 total points)

(R: 9, HR: 9, RBI: 5, SB: 5, BA: 10, W: 6, Sv: 9, K: 14, ERA: 9, WHIP: 5)

* 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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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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The real top 10 players?

By mrcane

Here is a set of rankings that further illustrates the importance of the SB. I gave everything point values, which in 5×5 roto leagues is difficult because who’s to say one category is more important than the other. From a 15 team league I was in last year the category leaders were as follows: 

.284 BA 274 HR 1096 RS 1035 RBI 179 SB

With 13 players on the roster offensive I found the league would need 195 hitters so I found averages in the following categories to be:

.294  19.5  76.7  74.3  12.6   (Benchmark numbers)

Then I took a player 2008 stats and divided it by the benchmark numbers. This gave me a percent of change. I figure to keep all the numbers positive so if a player fell below the benchmark it would just count less, none count ed negatively. After I find the percent of change per category I total my percentages and multiply it be 20 allowing the middle player to fall somewhere around 100. Here is the top 10 players …

J. Reyes

 

173.2728

G. Sizemore

 

162.9574

H. Ramirez

 

160.5074

W. Taveras

 

149.724

C. Beltran

 

147.0903

J. Ellsbury

 

145.849

M. Holliday

 

143.5109

D. Wright

 

141.5651

J. Rollins

 

140.4278

A. Rodriguez

 

139.8572

M. Kemp

 

138.4529

 

I will exclude Willy T. just out of common sense. This is just an indicator of how valuable a stolen base really becomes in fantasy baseball.  We wouldn’t take everything we see as gospel, but it does make you view numbers through a different set of lenses.

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Good News – Bad News 3/4

By nichols33

gnbnGood News:
Manny Ramirez: Scott Boras and Manny have worked out a deal with the Dodgers. It appears to be for 2 years with an opt-out clause after the first year. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: This is great news for Manny owners in keeper leagues. Manny is a fantasy stud and one of the top OFs on all lists.

Clay Buchholz & Justin Masterson: Brad Penny is having shoulder issues, which should not shock anybody. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: If Penny isn’t ready to go when the season starts, Masterson or Buchholz will most likely be the 5th starter. Each have huge upside if they have a spot in the rotation.

Jeremy Hermida: Herminda is hitting .416 this spring with 3 HRs. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: People have been waiting for this talented OF to bust out and become a fantasy stud. Although his results have not caught up to his talent, he is still only 25 years old. He could be a huge find on draft day.

Robinson Cano: Off to a torid start this spring hitting .556 with 10 total bases in 4 games. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Cano was a disappointment last year with many expecting him to be a top 3 2B. Fantasy experts are quick to point out that if you removed his slow start in April last year he had a pretty good year. I like Cano this year but I will take Utley, Kinsler, Pedroia, Roberts & Phillips over him.

Joey Votto: The 25 year-old 1B for the Reds is making a statement early in the spring. He’s hitting .538 with 2 HRs thus far through 5 games. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Most people are not aware of the numbers Votto put up last year. He hit .296, 24 HRs, 84 RBIs and stole 7 bases. At 25, this kid is about to bust out. At the end of this year he will be a top 6 1B, maybe crack the top 5. Don’t be the last to know about this future stud.

Bad News:
Juan Pierre:
With Manny signing on again in LA, Pierre is back to being a 4th OF. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Manny, Matt Kemp & Andre Ethier will get the bulkload of the playing time leaving Juan Pierre virtually useless in all fantasy leagues. Unless one of the other 3 get injured or the NL installs the DH, do not go near Mr. Moustache.

Alex Rodriguez: Arod WBC stint is in jeopardy with news about a sore hip. Word is that Arod has a cyst in his hip that is causing the stiffness. Joe Girardi said that this problem goes back to last year. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: If Arod had this problem last year it doesn’t look like this cyst will impede his performance too much. I have Wright #1 at 3B, if you have Arod, you may want to make the swap, but I wouldn’t let this news change your thoughts on Arod all that much.

Bobby Crosby: Orlando Cabrera signed a one year deal with Oakland this week moving Crosby into what the A’s are calling a “super utility role.” FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Crosby’s performance in recent years should show you he warrants little to no consideration outside of AL only leagues. With this news, drafting him in AL only leagues would be a mistake.

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