I have been knocking around different ideas to write about. The problem arises because I am not great at numbers and outside of that I am not sure how helpful I can be. The one thing I might be good at is sharing my opinions and just not care whether people find it of any interest. After replying to a post earlier (more on that in sec), I decided to give it a try and see what happens. Maybe people will like it and read it or not and maybe something else will evolve out of it. So here it goes…
Why are we so in love with the could be?
I responded to a post a few days ago and it was one of those times where I just couldn’t understand the other side of the issue. I feel that I am pretty good at seeing both sides of issues so I was surprised, as this kind of thing doesn’t happen very often. Even in the most lopsided of trades there is usually a good reason that the other owner is making the deal. Maybe he is building for the future or thinks that a player is about to take a huge step forward or a big step back. Saying that, the question had to do with Jason Heyward and David Price, and who would be a better keeper.
This is where my surprise came in. Everyone choose Heyward over Price for the future, a guy that has yet to play in the majors over a starting pitcher who was just last year exactly what Heyward is now. Nothing but projections. Now don’t get me wrong Heyward has the ability to be a special player and could easily be a top 10 guy in five years if not sooner. But here’s the thing: he has a lot of work to do. Every year there is a minor league player that everyone wants — last year it was Matt Wieters and David Price. Both of these guys turned in OK years, but disappointed many owners that drafted them higher than what their end of season totals would have suggested.
David Price showed improvement in the second half of last season and should build on that, into something like an ERA under 4.00 and about 180 Ks; again, not great but worth drafting especially in a keeper league, as that success should continue into next year. Heyward is unlikely to start in the majors out of Spring Training. We have seen from the past that teams are becoming less and less likely to call up guys early because of the benefit of keeping said player’s arbitration clock from starting for one more year. So immediately you are keeping a guy that will take up room on your bench for the first two-and-a-half months. Even then there is no guarantee that he gets called up — maybe he struggles, or maybe the Braves just can’t find room for him. Until he gets called up, there is no way to know when he will get called up. The odds are likely he does play before September, but what can you really expect from Heyward? My feeling is something like what Wieters did last year: 10 HR and 40 RBIs with a BA of .280. Not bad for a half a season but not worth wasting a keeper spot on. And don’t forget that Heyward is 20 years old, which makes his odds for success right out of the gate even slimmer.
I think the problem comes down to fantasy players wanting that next great player. We want to turn on the TV or the computer and see everyone talking about one of our players. It is even better when he is a guy that seemed to have come from nowhere. Albert Pujols, Evan Longoria and Ryan Braun fueled the fire and now we are willing to take a risk just to have that feeling again. But the thing is, top prospects no longer fly under the radar. Everyone seems to know about them and want them, and they are willing to pay a high price for them. That makes owners have to reach even higher for them, and when you do that you lose all value that the player might have had. The best way to have success in fantasy sports is drafting guys who will give you more value than what you paid for them. If you draft a guy in the 10th round and he gives you fifth-round stats, you got great value for that player. But when you draft a 20th-round guy at best in the 12th round, he has to give you 12th-round stats just to break even.
Here’s the thing, though — taking a guy like Price who has been in the majors and has not done much yet, you can get them at the price they are worth or even cheaper. Plus, they are so much more rewarding when that player does break out because very few people saw it coming. It’s hard to brag to your friends if Heyward goes against the odds and puts up Longoria numbers, because they were all trying to get him as well. It is when you take a guy like Price and he takes a big step forward that you can really gloat to your friends because none of them had Price on their radar. They were to busy trying to get the next big thing.
Sean Brown is a want to be fantasy experts who writes for the Cafe. You can catch up with Sean in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of MaudDib.
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