6 weeks into the season and I wanted to share how everyone's draft day strategy has panned out.
I wanted to focus on pitching as I saw a lot of people going for offense this season. I went against the grain and traded Soriano, my 3rd (#90) and 4th (#91) picks for Marcus Giles, his 1st (#65) and 3rd (#76).
I kept Arod, Giles, Sheets, Clemens, Beltre and MCab. With my first 3 picks I took Beckett, VW and Burnett. I drafted Eaton and Thomson much later in the draft to round out my rotation. Aside from Sheets, this strategy worked out great so far as Beckett and Burnett have been every good as advertised. I also snagged Bedard to replace Sheets.
I also drafted Ryan and Looper, traded for Izzy in an Arod deal, picked up Brazoban earlier and grabbed Urbina last week.
Needless to say, my staff has been overpowering, leading the league in ERA, WHIP, SV and K. So far, so good. Now if Beltre, VW and VMart would wake up...
"Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that." ~George Carlin
My strategy was a variation of the stars and scrubs but only for my pitching staff. The idea was to draft two godly SP's and 3-4 crappy ones and hope a couple of the crappy ones pan out to be average and fill up the rest of the innings with the occasional spot start.
I ended up with this in a 16-team league,
J. Williams (dropped)
So far it has worked out okay. Those five guys have combined for a 3.61 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. However my four spot starts so far (Meche, Bautista, and Kazmir x2) have been horrible so my final results are a 4.13 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP for my starters.
Worked out just fine. In a keeper league, I kept 5 hitters and only one pitcher (Prior) & used the 8th (Burnett), 9th (Halladay) & 10th (Beckett) to load up on pitching. Worked out so far.
I also did a kind of backward draft, in that I predicted who would be avaliable in the lst 5 picks of the draft. Correctly guessing that such people like Brandon Inge & Iguchi would still be out there, I used the middle rounds to round out my hitting. Can't complain so far. Still too early to gloat.
indeed, the strategy of "draft players who play better than the players other people draft" often does work out well. in this case, burnett and beckett are certainly playing better than the players other people drafted, as is bedard. unfortunately, you haven't done so well on hitting, since the players you drafted (or kept) havn't been doing as well as the players that other people have drated (or kept). next year, you should focus on drafting hitters, as well as pitchers, that play better than the hitters other people draft.
"I don't buy everything I read,
I havn't even read everything I've bought"
"I find it more comforting to believe that this [life] isn't simply a test."
Joined: 16 Apr 2004
Bases this season: 0
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: at Morimoto's, eating $50 worth of sushi
In the one draft where I went in with a specific strategy, that strategy worked out extremely well. The goal was to take best available players for the first couple rounds, interspersed with a few picks that attempted to start runs at positions, with the goal of starting a run, then changing that run when the pick came back to me, with my pick being the start of each new run. It worked surprisingly well:
First two rounds went best available, with Helton and Sheff coming my way. By the time things got back to me (9th slot) for the third round, only Santana and RJ had been picked. Noticing everyone going hitter, I said, ok, let's give it a shot- took Sheets as the 3rd overall pitcher. Immediately, the next picks were Prior, Oswalt, and Pedro. No big surprise- all solid 3rd round picks- but it said to me that I might have just started a nice run. Of course, those guys didn't take pitchers on the way back, so I went with the next obvious position to start a run- SS. Took Mike Young as the 3rd SS taken (Jeter was taken early). This is when the strategy paid off- in the next 16 picks before my 5th rounder, 10 of them were either starters or SS. I feel like by starting the pitching and SS runs back to back, I was able to get effectively the "first pick" in an "all pitcher" and an "all SS" round, plus the first pick in the "next round of the rest of the draft."
Continuing like this when I noticed a dry spell in picks at a certain position, I was able to be at the start of runs at SS, two separate runs at SP, and upper tier (but not elite) closer, as well as a mini-run at kinda-good outfielder. Coupling that with grabbing a few guys I had an eye on (AJ Burnett in the 9th, Ramon Hernendez in the 15th, Chone Figgins in the 8th, Adam Eaton in the 18th, and Mike Adams in the 20th... snicker snicker) and I ended up with a very solid team.
I don't think this would have worked in a league with all good managers, but with a few reactionary managers I was able to buck a lot of trends to start the new one, a strategy that worked extremely well for me in the middle rounds.
Major League Manager
Joined: 2 May 2004
Bases this season: 0
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: my home is in NYC, my heart is in PNC Park
I have four leagues. Not a good year so far... too many of my favorite picks are underperforming. Simple break-downs and results:
Pitching/RBI/BA oriented- dead last
Drafting the best player left- 6/12
All pitching- 9/12
Star closers- 2/12
The last team is really a big surprise. I drafted Lidge and Rivera early. Then got Lyon, Batista and Turnbow later on... it's probably the third best hitting team of the three, but the closers really add stability to my pitching stats.
In both my 5x5 roto leagues, I generated a spreadsheet that evaluated every player's projections with adjustments for the expected contribution of a player of that position. This led me to build a strong pitching staff, and fill in the deep positions like 1B and OF later, and to punt catcher to the very end once the elite ones were off the board.
Using the value based spreadsheet is a new strategy for me in roto, but it worked great for me in a points league last year.
The results so far: My pitching staffs are stellar, built around studs like Santana, Pedro, Burnett, Hudson, Colon, and stocked with closers. My offenses need work. I've had to address holes caused by Bagwell, D'Angelo Jimenez, Koskie, etc.
I've been able to use my excess pitching to trade for struggling offensive stars like Aramis Ramirez and Victor Martinez (twice) at a relative bargain. I've also traded for guys like Sexson and Lugo. However, I've been able to stock my offenses with quality names without harming my pitching staffs much at all. Now I'm waiting for guys like Victor Martinez, Aramis, both Giles boys, Garrett Anderson and Jimmy Rollins to live up to their billing.
I'm in good shape overall. 3rd of 11 in one league, 4th of 13 in another.
Definitely used the "pick guys in later rounds who will perform like the guys in earlier rounds strategy". I'm in 5 leagues and 1st in 2, 2nd in 2, and 5th in one. Mainly I went with the best talent and tried to find bargins later in the drafts that would help (Yea, a revolutionary plan.)
I'm doing well so far, done some trades that have helped and some WW pick-ups that help.
...Boston papers now and then suffer a sharp flurry of arithmetic on this score; indeed, for Williams to have distributed all his hits so they did nobody else any good would constitute a feat of placement unparalleled in the annals of selfishness. -Updike
Pick good hitters early.
Get young, good pitchers mid-range.
Pick up one power reliever (wagner in my case) and then a handful of scrappy ones. also watch waiver wire close and pick up possible stars (lyon, brazoban, turnbow etc)
I've found a winner!
First place by 7 games at this point. Had one lucky week though.