Keeper league. 12 teams. 7 Keepers. Scoring includes for hitters: R, H, 1b, 2b, 3b, HR, RBI, BB, SB, K, FPCT, AVG, OPS
pitchers: IP, W, L, CG, SHO, SV's, H, HR's, BB's, K's , Holds, ERA, WHIP
It is a head to head league.
6 teams make the playoffs with 2 byes
I don't have a deadline coming up anytime soon, just trying to get some early feedback.
Alright, I've got 3 slam dunk keepers and probably a 4th slam dunk, then it gets tough. My slam dunks are:
1B- Albert Pujols
2B- Ian Kinsler
3B- Evan Longoria
My 4th near slam dunk is:
1B/3B- Pablo Sandoval (as you can see, though his value is nice in a 5x5, it is even better in this league. We also use an IF and 2 Utility spots so I still have roster flexibility if I keep him)
That leaves 3 spots for the following. I'll include everyone that I'm thinking about and a couple fringy players I'm not really thinking about just because i'm curious to hear some responses:
SP- Chris Carpenter
SP- Tommy Hanson
SP- Josh Johnson
SP- Ubaldo Jimenez
SP- John Lackey
C- Brian McCann
CF- Josh Hamilton
3B- Gordon Beckham (only on the condition he is expected to move to SS and Alexei gets moved to 2B or OF, which I don't foresee, but just a thought).
CF- Andrew McCutchen
RF- Nelson Cruz
LF- Nolan Reimold
Here is my thinking. Lackey, Reimold, Cruz, McCutchen and Beckham all are unlikely to be kept, but I'm curious to see if anyone strongly disagrees with that decision.
As much as I love Hamilton's upside having kept him going into this season, he also appears to be on his way off my team.
I'm really on the fence about McCann. I love his numbers for a catcher. Only three catchers are going to be kept as far as I can tell: V-Mart and then Joe Mauer and Matt Wieters by the same team (I know for fact that the owner of Wieters is keeping him with Mauer basically out of fear I'll draft him round 1 next year). That means only 2 teams will have catchers going into next season, so I would imagine McCann would go round 1 next year if tossed back and likely before I pick (which will be 9 or 10 depending on the conclusion of the playoffs). I also love the idea of having my catcher position filled with an elite player for the position. Finally I am also usually against keeping more then 1-2 pitchers because of what seems like increased likelihood of injury compared to position players. However this year I have some dandy pitchers, and starting out with 3 top of the line starters would be nice. Also I like a number of catchers in next years draft: Posey, Montero, Soto (I believe in a bounce back year), Iannetta (ditto for him), Posada. I also figure someone will by into a bounce back from Russell Martin (I don't) and take him in front of the others I've listed. All that means I don't necessarily HAVE to keep McCann to be happy with my catcher possibly.
Tommy Hanson is a must keep IMO, but he's not a true "slam dunk" like my top 3 and Pablo Sandoval. His numbers have been great, and have been improving steadily. He is young, and his k's are rising. I think he would go the earliest of my fringe keepers if tossed back into the draft as well.
Josh Johnson is ahead of Carpenter IMO because he is much younger, and even though he has had TJ surgery, he seems to be fully recovered judging by this full year and half of last year. I also think he's less of an injury risk going forward then Carpenter considering age and track record. Also, while Johnson's ERA is 0.61 worse then Carpenter his FIP is closer and only 0.36 runs worse which means they are a lot closer in value then they appear.
Chris Carpenter is essentially third in line for my keeper pitchers, which just looking at the season's stats would make me look crazy. However given his age, and track record of injury, I think is reasonable. Carpenter is 34, and has missed most of the last two seasons prior to this one. In is 12 year big league career he's only thrown over 200 innings 3 times. Now that what's not to like is out of the way, what there is to like is a lot. In his season's with the Cardinals (full seasons that is) he has been a CY Young caliber pitcher. Including this season he has pitched to an ERA under 3.00 twice out of 4 full seasons. He's posted a WHIP under 1.10 in three of his four full seasons. He induces oodles and oodles of ground balls (career mark of 52.8% and 55.2% this year). Also of note is that his average fastball is as fast as it has ever been, literally (looking at Fangraphs stats which date back to 2002). His fastball is clocking in at 92.9 MPH as opposed to a career mark of 91.5. Really all Carpenter has to do is stay healthy and he's a stud, however that will always be the question that looms over his head.
Ubaldo Jimenez is the toughest guy of this bunch to toss back, and his hat is still in the ring for being kept, but likely behind Hanson, Johnson and Carpenter. I love Jimenez age, fastball and GB rates. His FIP is not far behind Carpenter and Johnson, and he has the potential to post the best strikeout numbers of the bunch. He has reduced his BB rate substantially which has paid huge dividends. His GB rate is a fantastic 52.4% and he has an average fastball that clocks 96 MPH
Toss in the fact he has no injury history to my knowledge and that he's only 25 years old and there is a lot to love. The reason I'm planning on tossing him back currently is he still doesn't have name recognition of Carpenter, Johnson and Hanson (though I'm sure everyone in my league is aware of Jimenez). He also isn't far removed from some walk issues and his standard stats (win-loss record, ERA and WHIP) lag behind the others, so he should be draftable at my spot in round 1 or possibly even round 2.
If I had to choose 7 now I'd probably keep:
Pujols, Kinsler, Longoria, Sandoval, McCann, Hanson and Johnson.
Let me hear what you guys think and please some feedback with your picks if you don't mind, though just picks are ok if that's all you have time for. Thanks in advance and leave a link I'll get back ASAP.