I know it sounds stupid but the numbers are staring me in the face. I have 12th and 13th picks and am trying to talk myself out of taking Gagne with one of them. It's a points league and Gagne's projected point total against the norm is much much higher than either Tejada,Manny,or Boone who I'm considering as well. Talk me out of it.
I wouldn't take Gagne that early in a points league. Even if he far outscored everyone last year. And yes, if he gets 50+ saves this year he'll be worth a first round pick, but what are the odds of that? Chances are he'll fall back into the low to mid 40's range. Grab a hitter or one of the new 'big 3' (Prior, Pedro, Schilling). Much more reliable investment.
I would say, don't fight your instinct. To me, it seems like there si a bit more uncertainty with closer this year. If you get a fair amount to trade, but not enought to run away with it, you could have a good pick. You can also force people's hands. It seems to me in drafts I have been in, a quick hook on gagne has spurred quick picks on wagner, folke and smoltz. People want that sure thing as their anchor and if gagne goes quick, the others do too. BUT
Ina points league you don't HAVE to take anything. you can punt a category if you will, because your points can come from wherever you want so to speak. closers are great, but in points leagues, I personally think it has more to do with how the positions are allocated. if there are a lot of RP and P spots, it can pay to forgo starting pitching, take closers instead and load up on hitting. then get two decent aces and get the rest of your starters (if you feel you need them) through second tier trades and the wire
with points, it seems that I want my pitchers to chip in and not screw up. with roto, you need a few anchors./
I'm not arguing that he's a great closer, just that I think a dropoff wouldn't be out of the question, and that risk makes him un-first round worthy.
Pitching, all types, is notoriously hard to predict. Pitchers, especially hard throwers, are more injury prone than top hitters. Plus he's a closer. He has no control over how many save opps he's going to get. Maybe that illustrious Dodger staff will throw more complete games this year. Maybe Encarnacion will spur that offense to greater production so they don't have so many close games. Maybe he gets fatigued, pitchers do that. All I'm saying is it's highly unusual for even a great closer to get 50 saves in a year. 50+ 2 years in a row is almost unheard of. The regression toward the mean theory tells me he'll likely not get 57 saves again this year. But he could fall to 45 and still be the best closer in baseball.
If its a points league (probably H2H) you will probably be juggling your rotation to get as many 2 start/wk pitchers as you can and playing matchups as much as possible. Having a top closer like Gagne who is a solid start every week and will never take up a spot on your bench is even more valuable in this type of league.