baseball bonerland post-draft dish
Shut the Fuck Up and Come Down on This Yoenis, pt 3
let's be very, very clear about something
Dispatches from Eric Karabell, stolen from ESPN
San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey is the consensus top guy at his position this season, a point I have no intention of arguing. Posey has proven himself to be a terrific, accomplished hitter -- and healer of injury -- and his performance in the second half last season was incredible, even somewhat historic. At a challenging defensive position in which the norm seems to be late-summer fatigue, Posey hit .385 after the All-Star break, with 14 home runs and 60 RBIs. It had been more than a decade since any catcher finished with at least 20 home runs, 100 RBIs and a .330 batting average.
However, being the top guy at what many perceive to be a weak fantasy position -- I disagree with that assertion in standard leagues -- does not warrant exalting said player to the second round of drafts, which is why Posey highlights my "Do Not Draft" list.
Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesEric admits Buster Posey is the "No. 1" catcher in fantasy ... he's just not 16th overall, which is where he's being drafted in ESPN standard leagues.
Let's be clear: Of course I would draft him if the value was right, ahead of Yadier Molina and every other backstop. But this is a player who finished the 2012 season 27th on the ESPN Player Rater, and with a truly unsustainable second half, so I can't possibly justify reaching for him in the top 20, ahead of the likes of Justin Upton, Jose Bautista, Adrian Beltre and other reliable hitters who are being taken later than him in ESPN average live drafts.
This annual blog entry of mine is simply about perceiving value and why certain players will not be ending up on my teams. While a catcher does occasionally show up in the first three rounds of drafts, such as Joe Mauer in the past, it's never me pulling that trigger on him. Ever. Even Mauer, a top-10 pick to many after his similarly ridiculous 2009 campaign -- he bashed 28 home runs and won his third batting title and AL MVP honors -- was overrated in fantasy and proved to be, while valuable in fantasy thereafter, not quite that valuable.
I have Posey ranked firmly in my fourth round, where I have little chance of acquiring him, but that's just fine with me because I view his 2012 first-half performance (.289, 10 HRs, 43 RBIs) as far more repeatable than his closing run (.423 BABIP!). Plus, nobody consistently hits .433 for the season against left-handed pitching, and even if he's totally healthy today, expecting any catcher to annually see 500-plus at-bats is also dangerous. In fact, no current catcher has accomplished even this seemingly reachable feat in each of the past three seasons, including the ones who see action at other positions. Catchers tend to suffer all kinds of nicks and injuries, even if they play through it, and it absolutely affects offensive performance.
So go ahead and take Posey in Round 2; what could possibly go wrong? Here are other players that, like Posey, are in some cases awesome in their own right and certainly players I would take later, but I wouldn't take them anywhere near where they're going in ESPN live drafts. Under the circumstances, they get the dubious distinction of making my "Do Not Draft" list.
Michael Bourn, OF, Cleveland Indians: Bourn is one of those names you'll see here annually. Simply put, he's overrated in fantasy. Last season he stole 42 bases, which is still nice, but a far cry from the 58 bases he averaged per year from 2009-11. He's a two-category guy (steals, runs) and that's it, but at least he's not going 33rd overall, as he did in 2012. If you don't get power in the first 10 rounds, you're chasing it the rest of the draft and season. I'll take any number of 30-plus steal guys who lack power at least 10 rounds later, such as Ben Revere, Juan Pierre, Coco Crisp, Emilio Bonifacio and Everth Cabrera.
Craig Kimbrel, RP, Atlanta Braves: Again, I appreciate all he does; he's the best closer in baseball. But I just cannot fathom taking a closer over a potential top-10 starting pitcher such asYu Darvish or annual, consistent offensive stalwarts such as Matt Holliday and Brandon Phillips, which is happening in ESPN live drafts (Kimbrel is going 41st). I'll take reputable save options such as Addison Reed and Greg Holland 10 rounds later and do just fine. By the way, I might as well add Jonathan Papelbon, Mariano Rivera and any other top-five closer going in the top 100 to this section, because I'm still drafting more versatile fantasy options then.
Stephen Dunn/Getty ImagesDespite a strong first half of the season, Angels slugger Mark Trumbo finished just 101st overall on the 2012 Player Rater.
Mark Trumbo, 1B/OF, Los Angeles Angels: Sometimes a fantasy owner is so desperate for power that he'll take it no matter the cost. Even I will eventually. Just not in the first 10 rounds. When I see Trumbo, I see tremendous downside in batting average, as his barely-.200 mark the final two months of last season proved. Why do I buy Trumbo's second half but not Posey's, you may ask? They couldn't be more different circumstances. Posey has to regress in batting average, just as many expect Mike Trout to. With Trumbo, his first half was the anomaly, and unsustainable based on his skill set and complete avoidance of drawing walks. In the second half he walked less, whiffed a lot more and had eight extra-base hits total from Aug. 1 on. Trumbo isn't even Josh Willinghamto me, though he's going earlier in drafts, in the top 100. I'd gladly wait nine rounds for Nick Swisher instead.
Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson, 1B/OF, New York Yankees: I liked Teixeira's value before his latest wrist injury cropped up, but no longer. With Granderson, I'd need much convincing to select a guy we know isn't likely to hit as high as .250 in the first five rounds. Today, I wouldn't take either in the first 12 rounds. I keep hearing how they'll just automatically hit once they return from wrist/arm woes in May, but I question that, and even with the overall bar lowered on what it takes to contend in a normal fantasy league in batting average, I avoid batting average-killers.
Others I do not figure to be drafting, based on ADP:
Catchers: Matt Wieters, Victor Martinez, Russell Martin.
Corner infield: Ryan Zimmerman, Aramis Ramirez, Chris Davis, Todd Frazier.
Middle infield: Danny Espinosa, Dan Uggla, Marco Scutaro, Derek Jeter.
Outfield: Josh Hamilton, Melky Cabrera, Carlos Gomez, Carl Crawford, Colby Rasmus.
Starting pitcher: Roy Halladay (sorry, fellow Phillies fans), James Shields, Wade Miley, Mike Minor, Jaime Garcia, Tommy Milone, Matt Garza.
Relief pitchers: Jim Johnson, Joel Hanrahan, Huston Street, Jonathan Broxton, Carlos Marmol.
no.way. Miguel Tejada is STILL IN MLB??
and so the bullpen merry-go-round begins....
fuck you mel kiper, pt. 3: let's turn it over to keyshawn for a minute
PICk number seven
bungfield: remember the time....last year....when you had hella ties?
1.(7)Troy Tulowitzki(Col - SS)
2.(18)Evan Longoria(TB - 3B)
3.(31)Billy Butler(KC - 1B)
4.(42)Chris Sale(CWS - SP)
5.(55)Anthony Rizzo(ChC - 1B)
6.(66)Desmond Jennings(TB - LF,CF)
7.(79)Yadier Molina(StL - C)
8.(90)Jonathan Papelbon(Phi - RP)
9.(103)Joe Nathan(Tex - RP)
10.(114)Matt Harvey(NYM - SP)
11.(127)J.J. Putz(Ari - RP)
12.(138)Glen Perkins(Min - RP)
13.(151)Michael Cuddyer(Col - 1B,RF)
14.(162)Ben Revere(Phi - LF,CF,RF)
15.(175)Josh Rutledge(Col - 2B,SS)
16.(186)Wil Myers(TB - RF)
17.(199)Mike Fiers(Mil - SP)
18.(210)Cory Luebke(SD - SP)
19.(223)Andy Pettitte(NYY - SP)
20.(234)Marco Scutaro(SF - 2B,3B,SS)
21.(247)Tyler Colvin(Col - 1B,LF,CF,RF)
He then took his offense and his four closers (FOUR. THAT HE DRAFTED!) And surrounded them with sleepers and under-rated players leading me to believe that Brian has been crafting this roster with a spreadsheet two feet wide and four feet long with an exacto knife and a jewelers lens for the past three months.
So, let's take a look at this roster.
-Jon Papshmirelbon, Joe "I fingered Carrie McClosky while Armando Rios was in the same bed" Nathan (that's a friend of mine, oh yeah, WE BANGED), JJ Putz, and Glen "who the fuck am I" Perkins
-Alexei Ogando. Is this a reliever spot just for the k's, WHIP, and ERA? What a novel idea. WHO would do that? Gosh, it must be somebody really smart, handsome, and jobless. Oh! Silly. IT WAS ME.
-Chris Sale, Matt "seksi sleeper sweet-sweetness?" Harvey, and Tommy "I should be on the waiver wire" Hanson
That's a lot of closers. I see what you're doing there. Assuming 3 of the closers get at least 2 innings a week you have 6 IP already. Then all you need are 9 innings from starters to make your nut. Chris Sale is a very quality nut-getter if you were to rely on him. The others.....meh. Matt Harvey might be impressive though. But I'll save my Mets roster spot for later in the season ;)
Well, we all know from the draft that Brian took injury risks on his roster without abandon. You must know something we don't know.... Hm.... You did just fly back from the Caribbean, right? Are you slanging that shit? You peddaling that HGH from your dirty Caribbean clinic in to Tulo and Longo? Because you seem hella confident dawg.
We all know Tulowitzki played only 47 games last season, (who did that fuck over last year?) but he has a history of being...well, more healthy than that. He has missed 60 games two of the last five seasons. So, this is definitely a roll of the dice. I'm sure Brian's spreadsheet has room for chance on there.
Likewise, Evan Longoria has encountered questions of his health the past few seasons by playing only 76 games last year and 133 the year before.
If they remain healthy those two are heavy pillars for Brian to build around. Both are projected for 80+ runs, 27-33 homeruns, 95-105 runs, .264-.286 batting, and 854-874 OPS. That's impressive!
His complimentary players are interesting. We've all being hearing about fucking Mike Rizzo for soooooooo loooooooong I wonder if he is seriously going to ever do anything. In half a season in Chicago last year he did not appear to be a punk bitch with good numbers. Desmond Jennings has been a bit of a disappointment with his rendition of Carl Crawford-Lite. He is always a tease with his speed but his average continually struggles. Similarly, Billy Butler has quite the reputation and seems to be finally delivering on that. For the uninitiated, his numbers on the Royals last year were: 72/29/107/.313/883. And for extra measure Brian has Ben Revere and Marco Scutaro to provide added flexibility and statistical muscle to the 'Fields output.
Do you guys notice something? Doesn't it seem like an awful lot of Brians players seem to be in search of their career-best numbers? Is it just me who imagines most of Brians players as biking up a mountain who are just about reach the peak? I wonder if that's a coincidence? I wonder if Brian has ever heard of the fangraphs website that does player projections. I wonder if they have downloadable projection databases? Hm. Well, he should probably check that out next season.
As always, Brian knows something we don't know in the smarmiest way possible. I'm sure he'll finish much higher than we will because he goes to fancier coffee shops in Harvard square than we do.
Question: Do you like apples?
Me: Well, I beat you in the playoffs last year how do you like them apples?
Players to watch: Microsoft Excel, Billy Butler, Wil Myers
First off, the most valuable player on Brian's whole team is his computer. YOU MUST KNOW THIS. But besides Excel, there are a lot of predictions that Billy Butler might pull an Encarnacion and just flip his LongDongUribe all up in our silly faces. If he does that then Brian might really be working with something. Likewise, Brian has stashed away the former Royal-turned-Ray for June or July. Nice dibs, dude. Wil Myers is currently in Double-A and doesn't look to show up in the show until at least June, maybe later. How long are you going to hold on to him before you deal him to me for a lesser price? I can probably wait you out. If both of these dudes come up for Brian, and I'd say there is a 25% chance that they do, then we all might be spreading salt all over Brian's computer to roughen up his boobs. (That's an inside joke that I'm not sure I can properly re-tell. Let's just say knowing Brian as a small child was probably every parents worst nightmare next to Ged.)
The Cat's Meow: enough material to last thirty dishes
The Cats Meow
1.(8)Robinson Cano(NYY - 2B)
2.(17)Adrian Beltre(Tex - 3B)
3.(32)Matt Cain(SF - SP)
4.(41)Yu Darvish(Tex - SP)
5.(56)Allen Craig(StL - 1B,LF,RF)
6.(65)Michael Bourn(Cle - CF)
7.(80)Shin-Soo Choo(Cin - RF)
8.(89)Yovani Gallardo(Mil - SP)
9.(104)Brandon Morrow(Tor - SP)
10.(113)Rafael Soriano(Was - RP)
11.(128)Brett Gardner(NYY - LF)
12.(137)Danny Espinosa(Was - 2B,SS)
13.(152)Chris Davis(Bal - 1B,LF,RF)
14.(161)Jason Grilli(Pit - RP)
15.(176)Jesus Montero(Sea - C)
16.(185)Clay Buchholz(Bos - SP)
17.(200)Julio Teheran(Atl - SP)
18.(209)Yasiel Puig(LAD - RF)
19.(224)Ryan Cook(Oak - RP)
20.(233)Jurickson Profar(Tex - Util)
21.(248)Jed Lowrie(Oak - SS)
Matt's team actually isn't a heaping pile of excrement this year.
As covered above, Matt was the beneficiary of a whacky first round and was gifted Robinson Cano with the seventh pick. That, sir, is quite the gift. Maybe you should think about returning a gift of the magnitude at some point. Maybe you should dress it up with some ribbons and sparkles for the return to sender?
Building your team around Cano and Beltre are solid offensive foundations. Both are nearly the same player at different positions: ~100 runs, 30 runs, 100 rbis, .315avg, 920ops. That's good shit. Neither demonstrates a strong injury past, particularly Cano who is reliable as fuck.
Supplement them with Allen Craig, the power-hitter from Cal who does have a slight injury history, and Chris Davis, the Meows figure to hit a fair amount of bomz this year at the plate. A particular favorite of mine is Shin-Soo Choo who slaps the baseball like its a two-hand forehand in tennis. He just obliterates that shit. Yet, the supporting cast includes Espinosa and Brett Gardner are kind of the same player except Gardner steals way more bags a year.
By the numbers, Matt has 7 guys who have 80 runs, 4 guys with 20 or more homers a year, and 4 guys with 80 rbis. Choo should be a part of those numbers given that Great American Ballpark is a bandbox with a park factor of +121 (parkfactors.com). I'm curious what Chris Davis is going to put up this year considering last year he dropped a medium-sized dongle but spent most of the year on the waiver-wire, probably because he had no prior history to indicate that he would keep his pace up. Well, let's see what he's got in the tank for year two.
Matt figures to sort of competitive in bombz, average, and stolen bases with his current cast of characters but it's interesting to me that he has two players on his roster who also reside in the minors.
We all know about Jurickson Profar. He briefly made The Show last year and was slightly impressive, if not a bit overwhelmed in his weekend in the bigs. Profar is akin to Will Myers in that he may or may not appear in The Show before June. The questiona really are how long is it going to be before he gets his time to play and how is he going to do when he starts playing?
I have to admit, I've never heard of Yasiel Puig before this week. I'm not surprised that Matt is betting directly against my Carl Crawford because Matt is pretty bad at fantasy baseball. I wouldn't be surprised if he dropped Puig in the next month because, frankly, I don't see Carl Crawford falling on his face this season. As Yahoo! will tell you, Puig is "a player you should stash in Dynasty formats."
Taking a look at Matt's pitching you have to notice that he has two top-of-the-line pitchers in Matt Cain and Yu Darvish. I think both are outside shots to win a Cy Young, with Yu Darvish having a better shot at taking home a post-season award. He's got the Hispanic Heater Yovanni Gallardo backing them up and, I don't know if you remember but he dropped cocks for Pat last year. At the bottom end of the pen, he has Brandon Morrow for the ERA and WHIP as well as the unproven sleeper Julio Teheran from Atlanta. Also Clay Buchholz is in the mix but he is kind of irrelevant and I'm not sure why Matt has him on his roster. He's replacement-level on the waiver wire, no?
Matt only has two closers on his roster, though, and that's going to be a cause of concern. Granted, Soriano is the closer on the best team in the bigs and Grilli seems like he will be a slam-dunk winner at the job even though it's first time in that capacity, but his only backup plan is Ryan Cook. I like the all star Cook to do well for a portion of the season if Grant Balfour starts to falter or feel his injury from spring training.
I wouldn't be surprised if Matt was working the back scenes trying to trade for a closer as we speak. I know from his dogshit trade offer today that he was looking to upgrade his middle-infield.
Frankly, I'm not sure if Matt will make the playoffs. He's more competitive this year than last but there are a lot of good teams in the league this season. Matt needs some good luck or a good trade to help his team gain a competitive advantage against the rest of the league.
I don't know why I just wrote all of that. Matt is going to quit the last month of the season anyways. #alwaysdoes
Players to Watch: Shin-Soo Choo, Allen Craig
Both have the power and capability to be a dark horse for MVP. Matt could catch lightning in a bottle if both of them emerge in the upper tier of hitters in their leagues. Choo figures to possibly have the best jump in his numbers after being dropped into the Reds potent lineup and playing half of his games in the Great American Launching Pad. Craig, as we all know, was hurt for a bit last year. Maybe with a full season under his belt after a healthy off-season he can make Matt a winner? Nah. That's a lot of lightning to catch in a bottle, my friend.