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Going Pitcher Heavy in the Draft

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Re: Going Pitcher Heavy in the Draft

Postby thedude » Fri Mar 07, 2008 2:03 pm

You have to be careful taking pitchers early, because any given pitch can end their season. I want to be as sure as possible my first 2 draft picks are going to be preforming for me, and that isn't as likely with pitchers.
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Re: Going Pitcher Heavy in the Draft

Postby The Artful Dodger » Fri Mar 07, 2008 2:08 pm

Nice strategy, but I think you run the risk of one, having your team too one-dimensional. I browsed through the Cafeholics mock and LL experimented in taking Santana/Peavy at the corners. He wound up with a more anemic offense than anticipated.

Also, given that H2H can be quite volatile week to week, a few average outings out of the likes of your top two anchors puts greater pressure on your other aces to post above average outings. It's usually easier to rely on top hitters week to week given they have 6 days to contribute even if you're guaranteeing yourself 1-2 starts a day with a "loaded" staff.

Another thing is that in the middle rounds, the upside for mid-tier pitching is usually a bit better than upside for mid-tier hitting.
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Re: Going Pitcher Heavy in the Draft

Postby Bloody Sox » Fri Mar 07, 2008 3:13 pm

In my 6x6 AL-only H2H (H, BB, ER instead of ERA and WHIP), I did something along the same lines last year with some success. Not quite as extreme as the OP, but I made sure I got two very-good SP and two very-good closers in the first 10 rounds. Later on I drafted some very strong middle relievers, and another low-end closer. All pitchers had to have a high K/9 rate.

Since we only had an 18 IP minimum, I was able to go into the week using only pitchers who gave me a great chance to win 4 of the 6 pitching categories, plus be competitive in Ks. This strategy also let me adapt mid-week if things weren't working out... I still had time to adjust and shoot for wins and Ks.

Not sure if I'd try this in a mixed league though... pitching is too unpredictable/risky to put too much stock in them.
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Re: Going Pitcher Heavy in the Draft

Postby Russell James » Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:06 pm

Thanks for the feedback.

To clarify something, I go pitcher heavy...not all out pitching. Seems like some of you guys are confusing that a bit.

One of my leagues in brief summary:

Pitchers I got:

Santana 1st
Peavy 3rd
Webb 5th
Sabathia 7th
Harang 8th
Beckett 13th
Felix Hernandez (17ish, can't remember what round)

It was ridiculous how undervalued pitchers were last year. I remember almost drafting Haren in the 9th because he was still sitting there. Everyone was sold on Zambrano, Bonderman, Oswalt and others. I was never on the Big Z bandwagon. I did pass up Bedard late and he went on to have a big year. Although he once again did not throw 200 innings.

I ended up trading Felix Hernandez right after he shut down the Red Sox early in the season. I traded him for Derek Jeter (Jeter was drafted in the 3rd round) Picked up Carmona off the wire, thank you Baseball Prospectus for that one. Traded Josh Beckett for Carlos Lee and David Weathers

Hitters I drafted that stayed with me to the end of the season:
Ichiro, Holliday, Posada, Markakis, Helton, Figgins, Polanco and Youkilis

Off of Waivers:

Braun, Pence, Lincecum and the aforementioned Carmona.

Traded Pence for Lowell

I had some role players that I would grab for the occasional start.

I mentioned this in another thread, but pitchers are undervalued in the draft and then overvalued during the season. One of the big reasons that I love drafting so many pitchers early is because they are so tradable. A great pitcher drafted in the 8th round is more valuable then the decent hitter you get in the 8th round.

I also only place guys on my team that have a high average. I have found that even though they don't have as much power than guys like Dunn and Howard, they don't go on prolonged droughts.

I don't like to draft closers. I don't care if I punt that stat, but you can easily just pick guys off the waiver wire and be competitive. Last year I was winning with Embree, Corpas and Borowski as my closers. All of which I got off the wire.

Another part of my strategy is trading. I am a huge buy low/sell high guy. I love selling my players at their peak value. Sometimes it makes me look like a genius and other times an idiot (I traded LT two seasons ago in fantasy football). I am definitely not one of those guys that has untouchables. The Josh Beckett trade displayed that. Having great starting pitching allowed me to trade off aces like that.

Someone mentioned that my league allowed me to wait on guys later in the draft because OBP was a stat. Actually that is wrong. There are great OBP guys late in the draft, like Helton and Youkilis, but most of the late round guys cause me to sacrifice AVG and H. They rack up their OBP by walks. Guys like Swisher, Thome and Dunn come to mind.

There is my strategy in depth, maybe it makes more sense.

I do not use this strategy in roto leagues though. In roto leagues I won't start drafting pitchers until round 3.
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Re: Going Pitcher Heavy in the Draft

Postby Art Vandelay » Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:32 pm

This thread inspired me to try going as pitcher-heavy as possible. Just for fun, I signed up for a Yahoo public league and didn't draft me first offensive player until the 10th round. When I did finally start going after offense I focused on SB, AVG, and R, hoping to be able to take two of three of those categories and at least four of the five pitching cats each week. The final roster looks like this:

C: JR Towles
1B: Todd Helton
2B: Placido Polanco
3B: Akinori Iwamura
SS: Orlando Cabrera
OF: Shane Victorino
OF: Willy Taveras
OF: Michael Bourn
U: Luis Castillo
BN: Corey Patterson

SP: Johan Santana
SP: Eric Bedard
SP: Brandon Webb
SP: Cole Hamels
SP: Dan Haren
SP: Rich Harden
RP: Francisco Rodriguez
RP: Takashi Saito
RP: Bobby Jenks
RP: Trevor Hoffman
RP: Kevin Gregg

It'll be interesting to see if I can be competitive with this team.
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Re: Going Pitcher Heavy in the Draft

Postby J.C.Fighter » Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:33 pm

Hmm interesting... IDK if i'll ever use your strategy but i'll have it in the back of my mind next time I draft..

In one league the stat categories are R, H, HR, RBI, SB, OBP, W, SV, K, ERA, WHIP, K/9

Would your strategy work well in my league with those stats?
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Re: Going Pitcher Heavy in the Draft

Postby shawngee03 » Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:35 pm

after seeing who you drafted in that league i can see why you won...i think it was more bc every pick you made turned out wonderfully and less the strategy implemented. change out some of those SPs w guys that flopped or got hurt and there's no way you stay competitive

w that being said....i might try the drafting SPs in a league thsi year to try it out. you never know...it could be fun
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Re: Going Pitcher Heavy in the Draft

Postby Russell James » Sat Mar 08, 2008 8:20 pm

Art,

This strategy won't work in Yahoo public leagues because there will be 3 or 4 guys who will stream 5 pitchers a day. This nullifies strong Starting pitching. Instead in a public league focus on good average and power, some speed and draft great closers.

J.C.Fighter wrote:Hmm interesting... IDK if i'll ever use your strategy but i'll have it in the back of my mind next time I draft..

In one league the stat categories are R, H, HR, RBI, SB, OBP, W, SV, K, ERA, WHIP, K/9

Would your strategy work well in my league with those stats?


Yes it would, it would work even better since your league does not have average and it has a K/9 stat. It is hard to get great K/9 stats in the late rounds. Just stay away from Pierre, he will kill your OBP.
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Re: Going Pitcher Heavy in the Draft

Postby Payne Dailey » Sat Mar 08, 2008 9:42 pm

I just got through drafting in a "winners" league on yahoo! . I didn't draft a SP after the ninth round I thought they were undervalued. I was kinda drunk so I said what the hell.

Here's my picks. 12 team standard 5x5.

1. (1) Álex Rodríguez
2. (24) Jake Peavy
3. (25) Ichiro Suzuki
4. (48) Nick Markakis
5. (49) Eric Byrnes
6. (72) Carlos Peña
7. (73) Aaron Harang
8. (96) Roy Halladay
9. (97) Daisuke Matsuzaka
10. (120) Orlando Cabrera
11. (121) Trevor Hoffman
12. (144) Joakim Soria
13. (145) Jeff Kent
14. (168) Josh Hamilton
15. (169) Ryan Garko
16. (192) Brandon Lyon
17. (193) Jonathan Broxton
18. (216) George Sherrill
19. (217) Bengie Molina
20. (240) Aaron Hill
21. (241) Pat Neshek
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Re: Going Pitcher Heavy in the Draft

Postby horatio » Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:26 pm

Here's my picks. 12 team standard 5x5.

1. (1) Álex Rodríguez
2. (24) Jake Peavy
3. (25) Ichiro Suzuki
4. (48) Nick Markakis
5. (49) Eric Byrnes
6. (72) Carlos Peña
7. (73) Aaron Harang
8. (96) Roy Halladay

Geez, does anybody else in your league visit the Cafe? That's a pretty nice start
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