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Postby Slant » Sat Nov 02, 2002 12:12 am

I'm in a keeper league, and we have a slow draft that lasts through the entire offseason, to keep the interest high. Its my pick and I'm not sure who to pick, althought I'm leaning towards Pat Burrell. Its a 5x5 HTH league without any salary worries.

Here are the best available players:

Darin Erstad
David Eckstein
John Olerud
Junior Spivey
Phil Nevin
Adam Dunn
Richie Sexson
Andruw Jones
Jose Vidro
Pat Burrell
Randy Winn
Vernon Wells
Mike Cameron
Carlos Pena
Jacque Jones
Corey Koskie
Adrian Beltre
Juan Pierre
Kenny Lofton
JD Drew
Rafael Furcal
Mile Lowell
Preston Wilson
Jimmy Rollins
Trot Nixon
Nick Johnson
Derrek Lee
Brad Wilkerson

Jon Lieber
Matt Clement
Mark Prior
Kaz Ishii
Al Leiter
Brian Lawrence
Ramon Ortiz
Rodrigo Lopez
Jorge Julio
Ugueth Urbina
LaTroy Hawkins
Jeff Weaver
Freddy Garcia
Joel Piniero
Kerry Wood
Jon Garland
Hideo Nomo
Fransisco Rodriguez (?)

If you really want to get into giving me advice (and I hope you do), here is my team and open positions (there are daily changes).

C- J.Posada
1B-T.Helton
2B-R.Durham
3B-E.Chavez
SS-D.Jeter
IF-(empty)
OF-S.Sosa
OF-C.Floyd
OF-B.Abreu
OF-T.Hunter
Util-J.Damon
Util-(empty)
Bench- unlimited

SP-Barry Zito
SP-Mark Mulder
RP-Eric Gagne
RP-John Smoltz
P-Randy Wolf
P-Keith Foulke
P-Matt Morris
P-(empty)
Bench- unlimited

Note- In reality, there are unlimited free slots for pitching, because I can rotate SPs in and out of my lineup every day based on when they have starts.

Thanks,
Slant
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Postby Chicago » Sun Nov 03, 2002 9:47 pm

My next pick would be.....

Mark Prior.

Young arm, dominant, lots of K's.
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Postby Slant » Mon Nov 04, 2002 5:22 pm

didn't Mark Prior end the season on the DL?
maybe I can understand getting him because he's young, and he will probably reach his prime in the next couple of years. OUt of curiousity, though, who would you pick thinking only of next year?
thanks,
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Prior

Postby Falcons » Mon Nov 04, 2002 11:00 pm

Prior would still be my pick- he'll be dominant starting next season
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Postby Arlo » Tue Nov 05, 2002 6:43 am

Nice team, slant! Wow - lots of solid talent available...

First of all, I agree with Chicago and Falcons. Especially in a keeper league, Prior is the best talent available. Plus, an sp fits into your lineup nicely.

Quick question: what's your innings pitched (or games pitched) limit?

Burrell is a nice pick too, of course, as would be Dunn, for instance. Still, with a very solid outfield already, picking up another OF probably isn't a priority. Juan Pierre might look good on your team as well, if you can pick him up a bit later. No matter where he winds up in the end (Houston?), he's a great change of pace when you need an sb boost. Daily lineup changes definitely increase his value.

There's certainly a lot of SP talent on your list. Wood, Clement, Ortiz... any of those guys would complement your staff nicely. RP isn't quite as deep. With only Foulke, who may or may not close next year, adding depth to your bullpen, it might be wise to grab a closer with the pick after this one. With daily changes, you should try to get as many closers as you can. Gagne and Smoltz are top-notch, but one or two more would be very reassuring.

Anyway, Prior would be my call, even if you're looking to win this year. His trade value alone should land you Burrell and them some, if you wish to go that way. With the second pick, I'd go with a closer, unless you feel confident you'll still be able to grab one with the third pick...
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Postby Guest » Tue Nov 05, 2002 1:19 pm

Hi Arlo, thanks for your reply

Arlo wrote:Nice team, slant! Wow - lots of solid talent available...


well, it is a 6-team league, but the teams will end up being very deep this year (deep bench). It started out casual, but when we went keeper, it got a little more competitive...

Its a head to head league, and I finished 2nd in the regular season but lost in the seminals in the playoffs (3rd place).

Arlo wrote:First of all, I agree with Chicago and Falcons. Especially in a keeper league, Prior is the best talent available. Plus, an sp fits into your lineup nicely.


Yeah, I picked Prior, I think I need to focus on pitching. The way our league works, you rarely use your bench position players but you use your bench pitchers anytime you want.

Arlo wrote:Quick question: what's your innings pitched (or games pitched) limit?


As its a head-to-head league, each week has no individual IP limit, but it does have a IP minimum of 7.0, but thats never a problem.

Arlo wrote:Burrell is a nice pick too, of course, as would be Dunn, for instance. Still, with a very solid outfield already, picking up another OF probably isn't a priority. Juan Pierre might look good on your team as well, if you can pick him up a bit later. No matter where he winds up in the end (Houston?), he's a great change of pace when you need an sb boost. Daily lineup changes definitely increase his value.


Juan Pierre is good, who do you think I should end up getting for the IF spot? Vidro, Eckstein, Spivey?

Arlo wrote:There's certainly a lot of SP talent on your list. Wood, Clement, Ortiz... any of those guys would complement your staff nicely. RP isn't quite as deep. With only Foulke, who may or may not close next year, adding depth to your bullpen, it might be wise to grab a closer with the pick after this one. With daily changes, you should try to get as many closers as you can. Gagne and Smoltz are top-notch, but one or two more would be very reassuring.


Well, I contemplated ditching all closers for next year, and trading them for other players, because Saves is only one category. I already traded Mike Williams (I heard he may be a setup guy next year) and Sasaki (I didn't really have room for him in the players we're allowed to keep). I might trade Smoltz and Gagne at the very beginning of next season. It is my opinion that closers are very unreliable (Keith Foulke?) on a season-to-season basis, they can easily lose their jobs, and if I need to, I can always pick someone up who emerges as a team's closer.

That said, that might not be the best idea, or I could draft some closers and then use their trade value...

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Postby Arlo » Tue Nov 05, 2002 1:50 pm

Gotta love those leagues that start out casual... :-D

At the infield spot, you probably really want a slugging 1b in a 6-team league, but of the guys you mentioned, Vidro looks like a good fit. He could also replace Durham next year in case he no longer qualifies at 2b. Keep an eye on Nevin, too - he could bounce back.

The closer question is tough. It seems that in your format (without innings restrictions), the best strategy is to have as many starters shuffling in and out of your pitching slots as possible. Since you do have two RP slots, however, I don't think I'd punt saves entirely. Even with a very deep bench, you probably won't be able to insert five pitchers who are scheduled to start every single day; closers would help you plug those holes and get the maximum out of your lineup. You're right, closers are certainly always a bit of a gamble, but on a per-inning basis, they're still a great value.

By the way, can you only draft players who have already played in the majors? If not, I'd strongly consider looking to the minors or Japan, especially since you're already in excellent shape and can afford to take a gamble or two. Here are a couple names I'd love to have on a keeper team:

Hideki Matsui - power-hitting OF who has declared his intention of coming to the majors. He'll probably wind up with the Yankees and could put up excellent numbers.

Mark Teixeira - arguably the best pure hitter in the minors. If he plays 3b, he could be very valuable indeed.

Kazuo Matsui (no relation to Hideki) - speed and power at the SS position. But will he be playing in America next year?
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Postby Slant » Tue Nov 05, 2002 7:04 pm

hmm, I think Vidro is going to be taken by the person after me, but for slugging first basemen, I think I have a soft spot for Richie Sexson.

About taking gambles, I'm about the only person in the league who does that, last year I started the season with Pena, Johnson, Burroughs, Ensberg, Ishii, and Beckett. I don't think anyone else in the league even knows about Hideki Matsui, but I think that might be a good choice. I can probably get away with saving him for later rounds, though.

Well, thanks for your advice, I'll let you know how things turn out in a couple of rounds...
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Postby Arlo » Tue Nov 05, 2002 9:13 pm

Sure thing - keep us posted!

By the way, watch out for a tsunami of media hype surrounding Matsui, especially in the New York press, beginning in two or three weeks. With any luck, you'll have gotten a few more picks in before then. Good luck!
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Postby EugeneStyles » Sat Nov 09, 2002 5:49 pm

it's a little late now, but...

Mark Prior reminded everyone of Kerry Wood his first season, right down the nagging injuries at the end of the year. Wood has come back from surgery to be a very good pitcher, but not as dominating as he was. Even assuming Prior doesn't stay injured, he may not be worth quite so high a pick this year.

If you can trade him for 2 solid veterans, that might not be a bad plan. I don't intend to draft Prior this year, unless he's still available after all the proven veteran pitchers are taken. But then again, watch me be wrong and he'll have an amazing sophomore year.

On the other hand, he may very well be the best pitcher in the list above. But I still probably woulda taken one of the several excellent hitters left. But as you mentioned, his trade value is pretty high.
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