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Pretty in-depth league. In need of some advice for my team.

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Pretty in-depth league. In need of some advice for my team.

Postby bananaphone » Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:46 am

Alright, the league is as such. There are 20 teams, with 40 man MLB rosters, 40 man MiLB rosters. The league is divided into two divisions. I'm in the National League, and have the Astros.

There are 26 stats to keep track of, 13 on each side, and they are:

Offensive:
Batting Average, Total Bases, Sacrifices, Runs, Stolen Bases, Ground into Double Plays, Fielding %, Homers, Slugging, On Base, RBIs, Caught Stealing, and K's

Pitching:
BAA, ERA, K/9, Losses, Blown Saves, Complete Games, Strikeout to Walk Ratio, WHIP, K's, Wins, Saves, Holds, and Quality Starts

You get 25 keepers for each roster, and we finished the minors draft recently, so here's what I have to work with so far:

C - Bengie Molina
1B - Ryan Garko
2B - Kazuo Matsui
3B - Chipper Jones
SS - Miguel Tejada
LF - Carlos Lee
CF - Adam Jones
RF - Eric Byrnes
UTL - Nick Swisher
Bench: Emmanuel Burriss, Nelson Cruz, Ty Wigginton, Mike Lowell

SP - Chris Carpenter, Andrew Miller, Chien-Ming Wang, Ryan Dempster, Armando Galarraga, John Maine, Tim Wakefield, and Franklin Morales
RP - Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez, Doug Brocail, Luis Vizcaino/Dennis Sarfate/David Riske/Soloman Torres


Notable guys on my farm team that might help me this season:
Colby Rasmus OF
Gio Gonzalez P
Drew Sutton 2B
Elvis Andrus SS
Fernando Perez OF
J. R. House C
Chris Mason P
Shairon Martis P
Darren O'Day RP
Mark Saccomanno 3B
Kam Mickolio P
Felipe Paulino P


Now that you've got the details, I can start asking the questions. My biggest concern is getting advice on what positions I need to try and work on improving. I realize that I have no closers, but I'm going to try and punt saves... or not carry closers and concede that stat. However, if I can get some closers on the cheap, I might as well go for it. I've got a lot of time in this offseason to work on improving, but I'm kinda stumped as to where.

Secondly, I'm wondering if you guys have any suggestions as to players I wanna be on the lookout for that might go under the radar. I don't want to leave any rocks unturned basically.
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Re: Pretty in-depth league. In need of some advice for my team.

Postby Diamond Miners » Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:16 pm

wow, talk about a deep league. Roughly the top 500 players are kept every year. In a 20 team league with 25 kept roster spots and 13 pitching categories, it's not a bad idea to start off by punting saves. I'm assuming you keep your entire 40 man MiLB roster from year to year, so it's quite possible to have a good quality set of closers within a few years with the right pick ups. Besides, the teams that go after Saves are probably a little light in the Holds department so that's a plus for you...or could be. I've always gone with the theory if you punt on a category you better have another locked up.

-Positions to improve-
When looking at which positions to improve on, I'd probably set up a set of rules to gauge. Of course I've never been in a league deeper then 12 teams so my thinking might be a little off but this is where I'd start. First, look to see if you have any player not considered in the top 15 at his position. Which means their are 5 teams in the league worse off then you. If you have nobody that fits that profile look at the top 12. I'd strive for nobody outside the top 10, which means at that position you are at least league average.

-Scoring Categories-
-Batting-
Of course you have to keep in mind the scoring categories. Pick the categories that generate the best players for the other categories. For example Total Bases is partially included within a higher Batting Average and Slugging Percentage and should probably only be used as a tie breaker between two players you are deciding on. I've never really looked at the sacrifices category or know how they correlate to any other category. But just checking out 2008 & 2007 sacrifice flies. (would more be good or bad? Sure they didn't get on base but they moved runners)

2008 Mauer had 11 while Utley at the 27th had 8.
2007 Carlos Lee had 13. 30th player (Wigginton) had 8.

Ground into double players might have a little mix into Slugging %, though staying away from Tejada comes to mind over the last couple of years, I don't know if there is a big enough difference between the worse player then the 30th worse to really make a difference in who I play compared to the other stats they produce.

2008 worse was Tejada at 32, M.Young and Theriot ranked just above the 30th worse at 19 each.
2007 worse was Carlos Lee at 27. Vlad was 29th worse at 19. Tejada was 10th worse at 22.

I think at most it becomes a tie breaker category, if you find a good way to compare more then just the previous year's stats. Fielding % would probably have some effect on my decision making, but not sure a whole lot unless they just flat out sucked on defense, though this might devalue some of the DH players in the AL. Just looking at 2008, 6 players made more then 20 errors and all played on the left side of the field. Sort of makes sense, because 2B has less distance to throw to 1B. Which might make me lean towards a 1B or OF guy for my Util spot. But still not sure how much value that really has because I don't think there is a big enough difference to make me change my mind on someone who produces that many more HR, RBI, R, or SBs. Checking out the guys with high SB/CS ratios probably has some importance, but then again the less of your guys that run the less CS you could have depending on which ones you have.

-pitching-
For pitchers, looks like the K pitchers are favored in your league. K/9, K/BB, and K's are directly related. I never chase wins and outside of Roy Halladay I wouldn't worry about complete games with a pitcher. In a H2H league they typically end as 0-0 ties, in roto style I would bet in the end less then 2 or 3 complete games is the difference between 4-6 teams in one division. Like I mentioned in punting saves you can pick up Holds and still the off-save here and there to hopefully at least keep you out of last place in that category. A good pitching staff, seems the key here with your ace being a great K guy.

-rosters-
In a league this deep I think the draft and probably more importantly become your minor league. If you have a solid lineup but have an injury for to long it could kill you in a league this deep, the players replacement value would be something to consider. Chipper Jones...how many games will he miss a year. Do you have a backup plan for if/when he does? (you do in this case obviously). I typically do not worry about my catchers in a 10-12 team league because the #12 or a hot waiver wire pickup could be just as good as the #6 catcher drafted. But with 20 teams, I think my mindset changes a bit on that. Having a Weiter on your minor league team could be gold. You might check out some of the C's on the Rangers if they are given a shot or traded elsewhere as a back-up or long term plan to Molina.
Is there any limitation to who is on your MiLB roster...do they have to be on a real MiLB roster? That little loop-hole on a 40 man MiLB roster could mean you pick up the top high school player now before sites start hyping them for the next amateur draft. Or maybe you reach out to Japan and grab someone like Dirvish who may or may not come over but if you can keep him on your MiLB roster because it's defined as anybody not on an MLB roster or has less then 50 innings pitched or 150 ABs (rookie status in the MLB).

Not sure if this is what your looking for, but hope it helps. Wouldn't mind some feedback from you on mine considering you are in such a deep league and probably have some incite on my current situation.
Last edited by Diamond Miners on Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Good luck, feel free to PM me
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Re: Pretty in-depth league. In need of some advice for my team.

Postby stevethumb » Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:28 pm

interesting league..
ata glance, you definitely need a stud SP and some quality SP depth wouldnt hurt either...i would look to move mtejada (eburriss may have as much value and will adequately fill that slot) and a prospect for a solid SP..in a 20 teamer your offense appears good..
i wouldnt expect much from your farm this year..rasmus in 2010 perhaps or trade bait...maybe gio gonzalez .. fpaulino has always intrigued me but health and attitude concerns diminish his hopes

please post what you end up doing..very interesting
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Re: Pretty in-depth league. In need of some advice for my team.

Postby bananaphone » Sun Nov 30, 2008 5:54 pm

Wow, THANKS A TON for the input. Some good responses.

I agree with a lot of what you mentioned DM. It's a nice take on the league from a different perspective which is what I was looking for.

The minor leaguers can be pretty much anybody with a baseball cap, and under the requirements of 50 innings 150 At-bats. The Japanese guys were drafted in the league unfortunately. The owner who previously had my team finished 17th, so I was able to nab the 3rd pick in the minors draft. That guy me Elvis Andrus (missed out on Weiters who was the top pick). I was pretty happy about that.

I expect quite a bit out of my minor league team. Obviously Gio and Rasmus will be helpful if they get some time, but the other guys I listed have a chance to show up as well. Not a great chance, but a chance. Especially Sutton. He's not one of those top prospect looking guys, but he's got some pretty nice triple A numbers, and is at 2B. I'm really hoping for him to come to the majors and produce. Kind of nice that he's likely to replace Kaz should he get hurt, since they're in the same organization. Also Mickolio has a good chance of jumping in the Orioles bullpen, so there's an off chance of some holds value there. I got him for free, so it's not too bad :). I'm basically trying to scrape up as much as I possibly can with what's available. Every little bit helps the way I see it.

One of the biggest questions I gotta work on is my 25th keeper. Right now it's Luis Vizcaino, but with the trade of Holliday, his value sunk quite a bit. I'm thinking Riske might close, which would be huge, but you know... that's um... Risky at best. There's plenty of closers that the Brew crew could sign or trade for. I recently grabbed Jason Schmidt. Kind of wondering what the deal is with him. The Dodgers seem to think he'll be healthy for 2009, but he's like the original Mark Prior, so who knows with him. Best case scenerio, I get one of those big pitchers with the strikeouts that you guys mentioned, worse case I lose my 25th keeper basically.


Steve, I was thinking about trading Tejada myself, but I was really hesitant to. I realize his value has declined the past couple of years, but to me he's still a pretty solid shortstop (I may be overvaluing him too). I do have Burriss, but he's still questionable to me, and I got him as a backup. At the time i was really short on speedy guys, and he was cheap, filled a need the team had. I was thinking that speedy guys would do a bunch of categories too. Less double plays, more total bases, and of course stolen bases. One of the teams in the league was looking to trade for a shortstop, and had Clint Barmes who he could give in return. I'm thinking maybe if I trade Tejada to him, I could get a decent pitcher along with Barmes. He had pretty nice numbers last year, and should start at either short or third with Atkins going, and Tulo being rather questionable.

Interestingly enough, I felt that starting pitching was one of the strengths of my team. I don't really have an ace like a Sabathia or something, but I felt like I have some pretty good depth there. I figured my offense was kind of lacking lol.

What do you guys think of Barmes and Schmidt?
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Re: Pretty in-depth league. In need of some advice for my team.

Postby stevethumb » Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:09 pm

take a close look at the roster of the teams that finished in the top 4 and bottom 4 of your league...what can you do to get a team that is similar to the best and avoid the pitfalls of the worst..IMO you have to get some young impact players to compete in a coupla years...dumping the end of the line tejada and an injury problem like john maine may garner you something especially when you have manny burriss to slide in SS and quite a few SP who are similar in value to maine..ccarpenter could pay off big , wang could comeback strong, dempster may repeat, andrew miller has upside, so you have some hope there but twakefield is the definition of ordinary (great for a team w/stud pitching but a drag on most stat cats) ,and fmorales could absolutely kill your stats w/your league format..
mickolio is getting a bit long in the tooth to be a prospect and i doubt that sutton is going to be an asset to your team..houston's minor league system is perhaps the worst in MLB and sutton isnt in their top 15

good luck and have fun massaging your team roster into contention
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Re: Pretty in-depth league. In need of some advice for my team.

Postby Diamond Miners » Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:04 pm

bananaphone wrote:The minor leaguers can be pretty much anybody with a baseball cap, and under the requirements of 50 innings 150 At-bats. The Japanese guys were drafted in the league unfortunately. The owner who previously had my team finished 17th, so I was able to nab the 3rd pick in the minors draft. That guy me Elvis Andrus (missed out on Weiters who was the top pick). I was pretty happy about that.

Yeah, solid pickup, especially with Tejada your starting SS.

bananaphone wrote:One of the biggest questions I gotta work on is my 25th keeper. Right now it's Luis Vizcaino, but with the trade of Holliday, his value sunk quite a bit. I'm thinking Riske might close, which would be huge, but you know... that's um... Risky at best. There's plenty of closers that the Brew crew could sign or trade for. I recently grabbed Jason Schmidt. Kind of wondering what the deal is with him. The Dodgers seem to think he'll be healthy for 2009, but he's like the original Mark Prior, so who knows with him. Best case scenerio, I get one of those big pitchers with the strikeouts that you guys mentioned, worse case I lose my 25th keeper basically.

Looks like Bill James has him down for 6 starts. CBS has him down for 13 starts. I might go with Vizcaino because that 9 k/9 is pretty nice. Not to mention he could help keep your K/9 and K/BB rates high while picking up a few possible holds.

bananaphone wrote:Steve, I was thinking about trading Tejada myself, but I was really hesitant to. I realize his value has declined the past couple of years, but to me he's still a pretty solid shortstop (I may be overvaluing him too). I do have Burriss, but he's still questionable to me, and I got him as a backup. At the time i was really short on speedy guys, and he was cheap, filled a need the team had. I was thinking that speedy guys would do a bunch of categories too. Less double plays, more total bases, and of course stolen bases. One of the teams in the league was looking to trade for a shortstop, and had Clint Barmes who he could give in return. I'm thinking maybe if I trade Tejada to him, I could get a decent pitcher along with Barmes. He had pretty nice numbers last year, and should start at either short or third with Atkins going, and Tulo being rather questionable.

Burriss has less value given Furcal or Renteria have good chances to sign in SF. But moving Tejada could be the thing to do before his value drops to low. I already ranked him right around the top 15 SS. If I could get Aviles or even Theriot in a package with Tejada, I'd probably do it. Those guys are younger and likely to improve, while Tejada is aging (faster then others apparently..aged 2 years last year. :-) )

-rebuilding phase?-
You know, if you recently took over the team who finished 17th out of 20 teams I would say forget what the other owner was doing with the team and rebuild it the way you want. Give yourself 2-3 years to rebuild. If a player is currently on a decline and not worth much to you in 2 years trade him away and see who you can pick up. Study the prospect websites and see who some of the up and comers are. With 40 players on your MiLB roster, take a few chances on 1 or 2 of the top younger Japanese players that have a slight chance to play in the States even if it's 2+ (or even questionable at best that they come over) years away. Check out the college rankings and sites http://thecollegebaseballblog.com/tag/2009-top-players/ (quick google search for a free top listing otherwise BA or BP would work too). Take a gamble on a few listed in the top 10. Not sure I would stretch to High School players, unless you just hear something before everyone else...in that case, send me a PM, because I'd like to know as well. Mostly because the high schoolers will need more time in the minors to adjust, but they could still be options. Use the trade deadline this next season to your advantage to grab a few prospects for someone who will help their team win now.

stevethumb wrote:take a close look at the roster of the teams that finished in the top 4 and bottom 4 of your league...what can you do to get a team that is similar to the best and avoid the pitfalls of the worst..

Great suggestion and probably an easy way to learn the ins and outs of the league.
Good luck, feel free to PM me
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Re: Pretty in-depth league. In need of some advice for my team.

Postby MikeeDee » Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:05 pm

I play in two leagues very similar to yours. I'm thinking that if everything (pitchers are all healthy and perform and hitters too) you might end in the 6th or 7th spot or so. If it were my team I'd consider fielding offers for everyone on your roster over 30 (I know that's arbitrary, but the idea is to hold onto players that will help you in two years).

Chipper, Tejada, and Carlos Lee might yield you the most. You actually have backups for all three positions, so you can focus on getting top prospects or good young players. If Carpenter starts the season well, I'd consider trading him as well. As far as needs, at this point I'd focus on getting maximum value and worry about making out the roster next offseason.
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Re: Pretty in-depth league. In need of some advice for my team.

Postby bananaphone » Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:24 pm

I think you guys all sort of have a concensus that my team isn't really ready to compete at this point. I was kind of afriad of that, and was looking to try this year... but I agree that my chances are slim. Playing for next season seems helpful as not only will I probably do bad this year, for better draft picks, but if I go full tilt at that strategy, I can afford to trade my bigger named guys. Don't particularly have to worry about the backups being all that great. I do have backups, but I'm really not sold on them being adequately productive.

Of the guys you mentioned though, I'm kind of partial to keeping Carlos Lee. He does have some age, but he's one of the top outfielders. I feel like his value won't decline all that much, if at all within the next couple of years. I can see where Tejada and Chipper are very much guys to unload though.

I went shopping with Tejada last night, and asked a few of the teams if they'd trade for him. I got so very casual interest, but the concensus was basically Tejada is old, and declining. I don't feel like I'll be getting anyone of note for Miggy at this point. I'll keep trying, but I'm wondering if it's at all wise to keep him until the deadline, or later in the season. THe way I see it, he stands a chance to improve on his last season, and he started out 2008 strongly. I'm partial to keeping him for now at least. Chipper is a guy that I traded for, but I really liked the trade. I had Atkins at the time, but I feel as though his numbers are going to greatly decline if he doesn't resign with the Rockies, which he doesn't seem likely to do. His splits aren't favorable outside of Coors, and last season wasn't all that great anyways. The trade ended up getting me Bengie to upgrade me at catcher... I had Yadi Molina there, and Towles, neither of which seem very productive. I also managed to turn Edwin Jackson into Armando Galarraga, which I really liked. Jackson improved, but he could just as easily go the other direction in 09. Regardless, I felt I couldn't refuse that trade. So I ended up with Chipper, and was kinda thinking if I got half a season out of Chipper, half out of Lowell, I'd hopefully get them in the right order, and not have too many problems.

I think one of the problems with these guys, is the league has a tendency to overvalue younger players (IMO). Maybe that's a product of this type of league, which I'm really not used to, but to me productive players are productive players. You can value them less because their clock is running out, but hey.

If Carpenter actually pitches this year, it would be a huge boost to my rotation. I like my rotation, but again, really no ace on the staff. A healthy Carp solves that problem for a little while at least. I agree with you that I should definitely trade him if the opportunity arises, and his value improves though. There is also a chance that LaRussa will use Carp as a closer, which might offset his injury risks too. That could be a plus too, as he would ideally be more durable.


I'm getting the idea from you guys that Maine isn't a very sound pickup. He's a pretty good pitcher, and he's relatively young. Injuries yes, but I like him a lot. Any reason why you're not sold on him?


All in all, I love the feedback, keep it coming. I think you guys are right that I should try and just use this season to rebuild. At the very least, I'll be able to evaluate what my minor league guys will be giving me for 2010. Mainly Andrus, Rasmus, Gio Gonzalez, Adam Jones and Sutton. Getting younger seems to be the thing to do, but at the same time, I'm thinking the managers are overvaluing young talent. It seems like I may be able to get some veteran help at a discounted price. I'm all for that.

One last thing, what should I do with Andrew Miller? He seems like he's got some promise, but he also kinda seems like that guy who could run you into the ground waiting for him to do something. I plan on holding him to see how he does this coming season, but is there any better scouting on whether he'll actually produce something sometime soon? His numbers don't really give you any sort of detail at all. I was fairly close to landing a Hughes Miller swap, so I think he still maintains some value in the league, even though his numbers blow. What do you guys think?


Thanks again!
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