I play in a very competitive 6X6 H2H 12 team mixed league with some friends. The catagories are AVG, OBP, R, HR, RBI, SB - W, K, ERA, WHIP, Saves, Quality Starts. This is my 2nd year in the league, with my keepers from last year being Pujols, Kinsler and Longoria. We were allowing 3 keepers last season, which this season has been expanded to 5.
Here's the full roster: C: Mike Napoli 1B: Albert Pujols 2B: Ian Kinsler SS: Jhonny Peralta 3B: Evan Longoria CI: Derrek Lee MI: Kelly Johnson OF: Andre Ethier OF: Fred Lewis OF: Kendry Morales OF: Coco Crisp UTL: Adam LaRoche Bench: Carlos Gomez Bench: Emilio Bonifacio Bench: Matt Weiters
SP: Dan Haren SP: James Shields SP: Eric Bedard SP: Ted Lilly SP: Chris Young SP: Kenshin Kawakami SP: Andy Sonnanstine RP: Ryan Franklin RP: Kevin Gregg RP: Troy Percival DL: Kelvim Escobar
Note that I had traded a number of pretty high picks at the end of last season for a couple of guys to help my playoff push. This along with my own keepers left me without 1st, 3, 4, 6, 12 and 17 round picks. All in all I think I made out very well in the draft, trying to get the best value for my picks - early on those were the starters primarily. Obviously I'm a draft closers late sort of guy, I'd rather not use early and middle round picks on what are essentially guys who will only help me in one category - especially when I had so few early picks to begin with. I also tend to stream in a two start pitcher a week - this week it's Sonnanstine, who I originally drafted than dropped for Kevin Millwood. I'm already regretting dropping Millwood and Toronto rookie Ricky Romero (for Franklin and Sonnanstine) which along with benching Gomez today will probably cost me this week.
So where to go now? Do I drop Morales or Gomez in favor of Mike Cameron who's pretty hot and available on the WW (he's walking more than ever which has me very interested). I really liked Gomez and Morales as late sleepers, but neither has got it going yet. I'm getting hurt by Weiters taking up a roster spot, but if he's half the player everyone says he'll be, he'll be a definite keeper (drafted in the 11th round) so I'm holding on there. Should I let Emilio go in favor of someone else? I have Jason Kubel, Ben Zobrist, Josh Fields and Chris Duncan on my radar as far as position guys - Zobrist interests me since he's SS eligible. Some pitchers who I like that are available are Eric Stults (pitching in LA and facing NL west opponents gives him added value), Shawn Hill has been looking alright and he gets the Petco/NL west boost. How about Tim Wakefield? He still gets guys out and manages to win and rack up QS. Derrek Holland sounds like he's going to be a good one, but he's coming out of the pen for now and I don't think will be fantasy relevant for a while.
What do you folks think of my team? I feel like I can use another bat in the outfield, 3B or middle infield (especially if Emilio is only good for those that first week and a half). I've been putting up good power numbers but those are primarily from my 3 keepers. I lost SB's two weeks in a row, so do you think I need more speed? I just picked up Lewis for Lasting Millidge, so maybe that'll help since he's been hitting well. Any thoughts, suggestions or pointers would be helpful as there's a lot of money on the table in this league as well as some serious bragging rights!
Wow. You're playing in a much deeper league than I am, so I don't know if I have much advice to offer. All of the players you're considering were below the pre-ranking research I did for my league.
That being said, I read on Fangraphs that Carlos Gomez is mainly a cheap steals source, like Michael Bourn. A poor man's Willy Taveras sort of thing. If you're feeling good about the steals you're getting from your starters now, I'd drop Gomez.
I just looked up both Cameron and Morales on Fangraphs and based on their projections (Bill James/CHONE/Marcel/ZiPs, etc), I think Cameron's the better option, even if he's on the decline. He projects to hit around 20 homers to Morales' 13-15, steal 15-20 bases compared to Morale's 5ish, and his OBP, while slightly below average, is about 10 points higher. The only advantage Morales has is a batting average projected to be about 20 points higher (.270~ vs. .250).
Tim Wakefield goes deep into games but also will get lit up every once in a while. I wouldn't touch him, not even for QS's. Remember, he's pitching in the AL East. He'll go for 6 IP or more, but not for 3 ER or less.
Thanks for the reply. Yeah we go pretty deep. I like it because it really makes owners do their homework. Last night, one of my opponents picked up Mike Cameron and dropped Cameron Maybin, so he's out. I liked Maybin a lot going into this season, but he's ice cold now so I'm not touching him.
Gomez is interesting. He definitely fits that "cheap steals" mold, but he's also a big guy who has the potential to fill out and show some power. Potential being the key word there...
Jason Kubel's been scorching the ball, so he's one to watch. Aaron Rowand's been hitting pretty well out in SF, and he's only a couple of years removed from a nice year. If I'm not mistaken, it's a walk year for him no? Chris Duncan's hot, although he hasn't showed the power yet. Is he just getting luck with his hits? Any Cards fans who've seen him to comment? Yadier Molina is hitting well and available. What do people think about him over my current catcher Mike Napoli?
On the mound, you're right about Wakefield. I never trust him. He'll have a nice outing and then get lit up like a pinball machine. I have my eye on Eric Stults out in LA. He's looked good so far, although he hasn't gone past 5. Hopefully Torre will let him go a bit more so we can see what he's really about. How do you guys feel about Derrek Holland? Is he going to stay in the bullpen for a while or will he be starting any time soon? I love what I hear about him.
Note about the various projections... If I'm not mistaken CHONE, Marcel and ZIPS do not take into account a player's minor league time - only service in the majors. Is that right? I don't get all that caught up on projections when it comes to young players. I mean Bill James projected Matt Weiters to hit like Mike Piazza + Jesus this year, which I'd like to think will happen, but I'm really not buying.
Hey man thanks for the help with mine! I like your team, especially your pitching. Your closers a little bit suspect, but your starters are solid. I think the biggest issue is your outfield. Aside from Ethier you are really lacking, I would trade Bonaficio while his value is still somewhat high.
Bill James is always super optimistic with his projections for young players.
Re: Gomez, I'm new to the whole analyzing based on projections thing, but I don't think the power is going to develop this season. From Fangraphs, he's projected to hit around 10 HRs, but his career IsoP, even in the minors, hovers around .110. His OBP in the majors also has been around .310. He showed plate discipline in the minors (OBP in the .360s), but that hasn't translated to the majors yet.
So, 10 HRs and 30 steals, not bad for the bottom of the barrel.
Wieters should be a beast, even if he's not going to be the next Mike Piazza (Bill James can be little over-the-top). He's projected for a .280/.360/.460 line with 20 HRs and 70 RBI. For a catcher, that is pretty awesome.
It would be helpful to know which round you drafted these guys in - so I can really give you a solid draft analysis and let you know value plays based on where you drafted them.
Having said that, the fact that you have Pujols and Kinsler on the same team, gives you 2 legit top 10 guys and the best players at their respect positions. I have mad man crush on Kinsler. He was on every single one of my squads last year and hes an absolute beast. So solid.... Pujols is a lock for NL MVP again - and throw in Longoria, a top 3 3B - and you have a very solid catalyst offensively. The guy that I love this year on your team is Andre Ethier. I think Manny's presence will help Ethier have a bust out season and he could be a .300 - 100 runs - 25 jacks - 90 rbi - 20 steal type guy...
The rest of your offense --- Kelly Johnson is always not flashy, but very solid and should do well assuming he doesnt lose his spot in the order to Schaefer. If he doesnt, he'll be a great value play as Im sure you got him late. Peralta will give you some pop from SS, but I would also anticipate something close to a .265 average, dont expect anything close to .280. Derek Lee, who hits for a good average is a bit of a wildcard at your CI, but the fact that you have Pujols as an anchor at 1st, solidifies that slot - but, personally- Lee needs to show me that he's still got more than warning track power, and unless you got him relatively late, he could be a bit of a bust.... Napoli will hit 20 + homeruns, but also bat .240 - so temper your expectations accordingly... Fred Lewis was a nice add, and just be weary of Boche-ville, cause he'll bat him from 3rd to 7th on any given day. If Fred can add some distance to his line-drives, he could belt 20+ homeruns, which would make him a great add, but AT+T park doesnt lend itself to being a HR park, so I think .285 - 80 runs - 16 hrs- 85 rbis - 20 steals is what you are likely looking at here.
I dont think Kendry Morales or Carlos Gomez should be on your starting roster, but I dont know what else is out there. Bonifacio needs to be sold now or you're going to miss your window of opportunity. That said, he and Gomez are a good source of cheap steals and some runs, but I just dont like rostering those types of 2 category guys - cause it will come back to haunt you....You know what you have in Wieters, but I wouldnt expect more than 15-17 homeruns, and good averages once he gets called up. My advice: try and 2 for 1 some of these guys for an OF upgrade.
Regarding your pitching, Haren is one of my favorite pitchers in the league, he pitches in a great park and has a fairly solid bullpen behind him (though they have not shown in yet in 2009). He is a true ACE and in my Top 3 overall pitchers in the game; the only thing you need to worry about is the D-backs bats and the lack thereof. They have gotten out of the gates at a sluggish rate and provided zero support. Haren would be 3-0 on every other team in the league.... The other pitcher I like on your team is Bedard, and he could be a sleeper this year. I had him in Baltimore when he was a stud, and he pitches in a great pitcher park in Seattle... he'll end up being your 2nd best pitcher this year. Same with Chris Young, which is a pretty smart pick as your 5th starter. My Padres, who I expect to start sucking wind anytime now, have shown some offensive life and a fantastic bullpen anchored by Fatty. So, kudos on that pick. When right, hes nasty and a legit #2....However, Shields, Sonnastine and Lilly - I'm not big fans of and you should try to trade. Shields pitches in the best hitting league in baseball- so, while he is good - you're gonna take a beating on ERA and WHIP. Plus, his BABIP is gonna come back to earth, so I dont love him this year at all. Ditto Sonnastine.. .Lilly, is due for an off year. Granted, hes a warrior pitching for a great offense, but in summer when those balls start to heat up and fly out of Wrigley, hes gonna hurt you... Kawakami is a Japanese import rookie pitcher in the NL - which based on history, have done great their first time thru the league, so he may be a steal this year. Hes also missing tons of bats in the early going, so keep running him out there. My advice: work on trading Shields, Lilly for a good NL starter- like Cain or CBill or Vazquez. I might try hold Kawakami till June, then dish him.
Your relievers are definitely not amazing. Franklin, while he has the job now, will likely continue to share the roll and might end up with about 12-14 saves total with not very good k rate.... Gregg, who I also roster, is clearly the less dominant picher between him and Marmol. I expect Gregg to end up with about 15-17 saves total this year. Percival is old and doesnnt really have the stuff to hold down the job all year. Balfour, Wheeler and Howell all will scare him this year and steal saved. My advice: package all 3 for 1 stud closer and keep your eye on the wire for a up + coming middle reliever (leo nunez, chris ray, arrendondo type).
Overall, you're pretty solid. YOu need some OF upgrades and while your starting pitching is fine, use your depth to your advantage - and trade for NL starters.
Thanks for all the responses. I can use all the help I can get! Last year was my first time in a really competitive league and I made the playoffs only to get bounced in the opening round (done in by a nightmare Sunday). This year, I built a team with an eye towards the stretch - hence Weiters, Escobar and the 2nd half monster LaRoche.
The draft order on my Yahoo Draft Central page is all out of sorts, so I can't remember exactly where I got everyone. Asked the commish to sort it out From what I remember it went roughly like this:
1st round pick was lost in keeping Pujols 2nd round (11th overall pick) was Dan Haren - remember it's a keeper league so the tiers are skewed. I was hoping to land a bat (I was targeting Bay, Aramis Ramirez or A. Gonzales but all were gone by that time) but Haren came up on my charts as the best player available - remember we play in a league with QS 3rd round was keeper Ian Kinsler 4th round pick was traded last season 5th round (39th overall) was James Shields 6th round pick traded 7th round pick (60th overall) was Derrek Lee 8th round (68th overall) Jhonny Peralta 9th round (78th overall) Andre Ethier (love his potential in that solid LA lineup) 10th round (88th overall) Matt Weiters (A run on catchers had begun and it was either him, Pablo Sandoval, Chris Ianetta or Ryan Doumit here. I went with Weiters, seeing him as a potential keeper figuring I can grab someone else later to keep the seat warm) 11th round pick traded (I knew I had to pick one of my catchers in the 10th or I'd end up losing out one the ones I liked)
After this things get a bit fuzzy... 12th round (111 overall) Chris Young? 12th round (116 over all) Kelly Johnson 13th round (123 overall) Lastings Milledge who I dropped last week for Fred Lewis 14th round (137 overall) Ted Lilly 15th round (149 overall) Erik Bedard 16th round (160 overall) Coco Crisp 17th round lost keeping Evan Longoria 18th round (183 overall) Kevin Gregg 19th round (190 overall) Mike Napoli 19th round (195th aquired in a trade) Troy Percival 20th round (206) Carlos Gomez 21st round (219) Andy Sonnanstine 22nd round (230) Manny Corpas dropped for Kawakami when Street was announced as closer - a bit premature 23rd round (243) Jason Motte dropped for Ryan Franklin 24th round (253) Kendry Morales 25th rond (264) ????
I juggled a few guys in and out already... Scott Rolan played for a minute until I dropped him or Bonafacio after his opening day performance. I don't think I'll be able to trade Emilio now, so I'm content to keep him on the bench in case I need some cheap steals to take the category for the week. Worst comes to worst I'll drop him for someone else (Manny Burress if he hits?). I had Hong Chih Kuo for a minute (I love RPs with SP eligibility), Kevin Millwood and Ricky Romero too as I needed to stream in a few starts to win a bet on the first weeks action. Picked up Kawakami on waivers... love first year Japanese pitchers and he's got quite a resume back in Japan.
I was just offered Burrell and Teahen for C. Young, but declined as I hate Burrell in H2H - too streaky. My lousy bullpen I'm willing to deal with, I won saves last week so I'm not worried about it. All I want is a few saves from them and I'm sure I'll be adding and dropping RPs as the year goes on.
I like Shields - he's nothing if not consistent, doesn't walk a lot, a monster at home and goes deep into games (good for W's and QS). Lilly is another guy who will give me QS and on the Cubs, he'll win more than he'll lose. Bedard I was ecstatic to get. C. Young I like too, although he's a much better pitcher at home. Sonnanstine doesn't thrill me but I'll take him as a back end guy - he's got good control, plays on a solid team and can give you a lot of innings. I'm sure at some point I'll drop him in favor of a good two-start matchup guy.
The outfield is really my biggest question mark, but since I looked towards getting the most value out of my picks, there weren't a lot of OFs out there that I really loved. I like Morales' track record in the minors, but we'll see what happens with him. I needed speed, so Gomez was my man. Again, I'm willing to give him a bit of rope to see what he can do. If I get .260, 10 HR and 35 SB out of him I'll be happy but I think he can steal a lot more if he can get on base. Cameron Maybin just became available. I like him even though he's cold, but I don't like that he's hitting 8th. I've got an eye on BJ Upton, who's owner is really hurting for pitching. Who would you part with to get him? His owner is very astute and will not sell low.
All in all I'm happy with my team and I'm not going to rush to make any major moves in April (or May). My pitching depth is a big strength and if needed I'll move someone for a bigger bat in the OF. As of now Kubel has been rostered. Yaddy Molina was also taken today, who I was considering. Ryan Ludwick's owner put him on the block in search of pitching. I had him last year, so I'm a fan. What would you give for him?
Funny you mentioned Vasquez and Matt Cain - Bill I love, but he was kept. The other two I targeted but both went earlier than I thought they'd go. Who would you move for Cain or Vasquez?
Thanks again guys. I love talking fantasy baseball and have a good bit of knowledge from years of following the game, even though I'm relatively new to fantasy. I'll be more than happy to give advice to anyone here in the future. Now lets get after it and play ball!
I'd trade Shields for Upton in a heartbeat. Upton has the potential to be a 30 - 30+ guy. Being that it's a keeper league, it seems he has no intention of parting with him.
I had Ludwick last year and having him and Pujols essentially carried me into the playoffs when Kinsler and Longoria went down. I may offer him Young for Ludwick. He's pretty desperate for pitching so he may go for it. The same owner has Manny Ramirez, who I traded for last august. I'd love to get him back - Manny's gotta come home to Washington Heights!!! (he grew up in my hood). Shields for Manny? Should I make that offer?
Here's one: Do I drop Morales for Hideki Matsui? He's looking good the past few days and the balls are flying out of the new Yankee stadium at record numbers.