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Five Early Targets

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Five Early Targets

Postby sportswunderkind » Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:46 pm

Just began my research for the year yesterday and compiled a short list of guys everyone should be targeting in their drafts and auctions.





Roy Halladay, SP, Philadelphia Phillies: Before 2012, the last season where Roy Halladay didn't throw for at least 220 innings was 2005. Over that span, Halladay has been the most effective and dominant workhorse pitcher in Major League Baseball. From 2008 to 2011, his highest ERA was 2.79. 206 strikeouts was his lowest talley in that time period. In 2012, the wheels came off and good ole' Doc Halladay only threw 156.1 innings while posting an ERA in the 4's for only the 3rd time in his long career. ESPN has Halladay as the 59th player off the board and the 18th pitcher. That is an absolute bargain. If you believe there is even a 50% chance that Halladay performs to his pre-2012 levels, than not grabbing him at his current price will be complete lunacy; because Halladay pitches so many innings when healthy, he has the ability to totally stabilize your pitching staff in a roto league. Clearly worth the gamble in the 4th or 5th.



Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks: Goldschmidt was a relatively unheralded prospect two years ago, until he started bopping homeruns at an alarming rate. After a disappointing rookie season that saw him strikeout 53 times in 177 plate appearances, he rebounded with a 20 homer sophomore season. His .OBP rose a very respectable .359 and decreasing his K% from 29.9% down to 22.1% and finishing as the 7th best first basemen on ESPN's player rater. Despite all of the signs indicating that Goldschmidt is on the up and plays in a very hitter friendly park, his consensus ranking is the 12th first basemen. While everyone else spends early picks on Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez, you can acquire talent at more difficult to fill spots such as 2nd base or shortstop.



Martin Prado, 3B, RF, SS, 2B, Atlanta Braves: Having Martin Prado on your fantasy baseball team is like having a first aid kid in real life. At some point, your team is going to suffer through stints to the 15-day DL and you are going to need gauze and bandages to get through those weeks. That is where Prado comes in. He doesn't do anything amazing, but he won't hurt you. He finished 7th on ESPN's player rater last year and has a consensus rank of 112. It is really hard to find that value at any place in the draft and by just performing at a mediocre level, Prado earns a 8th round selection. Prado, when healthy is not mediocre, but rather pretty good. Last year, in a healthy season, he hit 10 homeruns, stole 17 bases, knocked in 70 runs, hit .301 and scored 80 runs. He comes close to that again, and he will far out earn his draft slot.



Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis Cardinals: Catcher is a historically hard position to fill for fantasy baseball. Many guys who play the position in the bigs are all-glove, no-bat type of guys which creates intense position scarcity. For quite some time, Molina was viewed as that type of player. Last season, however, Molina swatted 28 homers and hit .315 while owning a K% underneath 10%. His ranking as the 134th player off the board is lunacy. He finished as the number 2 fantasy catcher last year and figures to be able to repeat a facsimile of that performance in 2013. Picking up Molina around the 10th round will help solidify many fantasy teams.





Greg Holland, CP, Kansas City Royals: The underlings of the fantasy industry like to lob shots at ESPN and especially at Matthew Berry, but personally, I do agree with one of the main tenants of his fantasy baseball strategy. You should not play for saves. Finding a good, solid closer to anchor your pitching staff shouldn't come until you have some serious offensive firepower as well as a least one pitcher who will be a positive for you all year. My personal favorite this year is Greg Holland from Kansas City. After Johnathan Broxton got the closing gig as the result of Joakim Soria's torn UCL, KC fans waited for Holland to get the job. Eventually, Broxton was traded and Holland responded with 16 saves and a K/9 over 12. Fangraphs and Pitch f/x have his average fastball velocity at 96.1 MPH. That's not even mentioning his 8.9 runs above average slider that he uses as his outpitch. Holland is an incredibly talented pitcher that should provide some cheap saves in the middle rounds of your draft.
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Re: Five Early Targets

Postby bayside » Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:26 pm

Awesome post.
Agree with most everything you said, although nobody should expect Molina to do close to what he did last year
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Re: Five Early Targets

Postby americanleagueroto » Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:27 pm

I'd take Halladay early in the 4th and feel pretty good about it in snake drafts. I think he could be decent value in auction leagues as well coming off his shortened season. His control was still solid last year, and his FIP and xFIP shows his ERA should come down some next year. Hopefully get an age discount on him this draft season.

I have Goldschmidt ranked 14th in mixed leagues and I really like him. 1B has a lot of talent, and when it's tiered out you can see his 14 rank is squarely in the middle of a 6 player tier of Freeman, Konerko, Goldy, Craig, Rizzo and Cuddyer. Should be said Posey is included in that, so remove him, and he's really 13th in my rankings.

Prado is fine, but not a player i'd go the extra dollar on, or even match his converted projection to auction dollar figure on more than likely.

I feel much safer projecting Molina for 16-17 homers than 20+ in 2013.

I grabbed Holland off the wire a few weeks before the trade deadline in my AL only keeper and am very excited to see what he can get done this year. If I can grab one more closer and a solid reliever one trade/injury away, I'll feel damn fine about my save situation next year.

Dave
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Twitter: @dmojr - Always available to talk fantasy or be that second opinion before a trade.
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Re: Five Early Targets

Postby Element » Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:35 pm

I'm on board with Goldschmidt and Holland, but kind of meh with the others. I generally don't recommend that anyone grab a starter in the first 4 rounds unless one of the top guys fall let alone a guy like Halladay that has lost some of his stuff. Things are different if he comes out in the spring and the velocity is back up into the 92-93 range.

I view Prado as one of those guys that you settle on if you miss out on the guy you really wanted. Outside of deeper leagues he's the backup plan.

I don't see Molina as a value play after the season that he just had either. If anything he is going to go earlier than I am willing to go for a catcher. I'll just wait forever on Grandal and sit on him for 50 games.
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Re: Five Early Targets

Postby bigh0rt » Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:50 pm

Excellent first post. Welcome to the forums. Very thoughtful.

I agree with Element on the real targets for me here are Holland and Goldie. Prado I view as a guy I sorta get 'stuck' with, when I miss out on guys I really want. After his flexibility, to me there's just no other reason to go out of your way to own him in standard leagues. Yadier I'm afraid will be way overvalued this year, and just taken too early or too expensive for my tastes. Halladay I need to wait and see on, to see how he looks in the Spring, what reports are saying, to see whether we can expect a repeat of 2012 in 2013 or a return to form. Ideally people will be down on him, he'll look back to form in the Spring, but his value won't rebound too much so that he can still be had at a discounted rate and potential good value.
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Re: Five Early Targets

Postby Ender » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:26 am

bayside wrote:Awesome post.
Agree with most everything you said, although nobody should expect Molina to do close to what he did last year



I do expect him to be close, but I also projected him as a 20 HR guy last year and owned him in every league but one. Those C who suddenly learn how to hit HR in their age 30ish year usually do a good job of repeating it for a few years. Picking a C early is a sucker's play in general though since the injury risk is just way too high.
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Re: Five Early Targets

Postby MaudDib » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:04 am

Welcome aboard.

I will keep an eye on Halladay but it will come down to when does he get drafted. I think he will still be around after the 5th and I would be fine looking at him anywhere around that. If someone else moves on him, then fine but I would love to get him as my #2.

I am still not sold on Goldschmidt although I have less reason to believe that. I was impressed that he cut his K's down which will help him across the board. Personally I want to see it again. At some point in my research last year or the year before, someone said that he had the slowest swing in the majors. Not sure if it was accurate but it stuck with me and might be what is causing me to not buy in.

Holland is a great choice and I agree with about buying closers late. Rarely does it pay off, if I decide to go after a closer early (although it did last year when I took Kimbrel early). I think Holland is being undervalued. Another guy I see is Addison Reed. He might not have quite the same stuff but his numbers where over blown last year and I expect him to take a big step forward this year.

Catchers are always hard. I rarely believe in them and will rarely pay top dollar for one. I always end up filling my catcher spot with the last pick or digging through the waiver wire in hopes of finding a gem. Maybe Molina will be undervalued but I won't be buying into it. Too much worry there.


Again love the work you put into this and keep it.
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move."- Douglas Adams

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Re: Five Early Targets

Postby fantasyfiend » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:48 pm

americanleagueroto wrote:I'd take Halladay early in the 4th and feel pretty good about it in snake drafts. I think he could be decent value in auction leagues as well coming off his shortened season. His control was still solid last year, and his FIP and xFIP shows his ERA should come down some next year. Hopefully get an age discount on him this draft season.

I have Goldschmidt ranked 14th in mixed leagues and I really like him. 1B has a lot of talent, and when it's tiered out you can see his 14 rank is squarely in the middle of a 6 player tier of Freeman, Konerko, Goldy, Craig, Rizzo and Cuddyer. Should be said Posey is included in that, so remove him, and he's really 13th in my rankings.

Prado is fine, but not a player i'd go the extra dollar on, or even match his converted projection to auction dollar figure on more than likely.

I feel much safer projecting Molina for 16-17 homers than 20+ in 2013.

I grabbed Holland off the wire a few weeks before the trade deadline in my AL only keeper and am very excited to see what he can get done this year. If I can grab one more closer and a solid reliever one trade/injury away, I'll feel damn fine about my save situation next year.

Dave
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Hey Dave keep me updated about your 10 team NL/AL only non-keeper league
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Re: Five Early Targets

Postby kab21 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:54 pm

I'm going against the grain and say that Goldschmidt will be everyone's target this year and he'll get drafted too early. I expect a lower BA and a lot fewer SB's. If he's being drafted as a middle of the pack 1Bman then he is a good target but I think he's going much higher.

I like Craig at 1B and possibly Rizzo.

Prado doesn't do anything aside from BA for fantasy imo. All of that position eligibility is wasted. If you need a player that can play everywhere then pick Marco Scutaro at the end of the draft.

Halladay seems like a good target if he gets overlooked.

Molina would be awesome in the 10th but I think he ends up going in the 5th-6th.

Holland is probably a nice cheap closer option. Even cheaper than Holland is Perkins who has been borderline dominant since moving to the bullpen full time.
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Re: Five Early Targets

Postby kaiser » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:25 pm

I'll take Prado late every season, for all the reasons listed in the OP. I hope he continues to be as disregarded as indicated here.

And everyone and their brother will be targeting Goldschmidt. He'll be one of the most overpriced players in the draft this year. He may well end up being excellent, but you are going to wager big bucks or a high draft pick to have the privilege of owning him and taking that bet.
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