Battle Of The Fantasy Gods Draft Tonight
I participated in this expert league a couple of years ago. I came in second or third I believe. The wierd thing about expert leagues is that everyone wants to look good so they are annoying inactive sometimes. Trades are non-existent. This league is a little bit different in that the names and reps are less hyped so they have less to lose by going out on limbs. It makes what happens in the league a lot more relevant to your leagues.
- Mike Kuchera - The Fantasy Man
- Geoff Stein - Mock Draft Central
- Scott White - CBS Sports
- Brad Stewart - MLB Front Office
- Tim McLeod - Roto Rob
- Troy Patterson - Fantasy Pros 911
- Todd Farino - Fantasy Baseball Search
- Brian Fitzsimmons - Sports Buff
- Jeff Boggis - Fantasy Sports Empires
- Mojo Moshovetis - Crucial Sports
- Chris McDonnell - FantasyBaseball.com
The link does not connect to a specific article. I just think that the revamping of ESPN's website is something that will interest every sports fan. I do like the new design so far. The pages definitely seem to build faster. There are also links to all the columnists on the main page. It's worth checking out.
Pat Burrell signs with the Tampa Bay Rays
I love this move for the Rays and I have yet to run into anyone who thinks otherwise. This has been a great offseason for the AL Champs. They signed a new set-up man in Joe Nelson. They traded for a power hitting right-fielder, Matt Joyce. And now they've signed a full time designated hitter who should be as good a DH as anyone else in the AL has. The article linked above is Rob Neyer's take on things.
What a fantastic move. As you've no doubt read, this winter there's a buyer's market for sluggardly sluggers like Burrell and Giambi. Burrell earned roughly $28 million with the Phillies over the past two seasons. That was too much. Because of his obvious limitations -- he's not only a left fielder, but a poor one -- he was really worth something like $20 million over those two seasons. He's in his early 30s now, and moving to the better league's best division, so we may assume he'll be worth less than $20 million over the next two seasons.
Milton Bradley Agrees To Deal With Cubs
I like this deal for the Cubs and Bradley. I have heard a few grumbles about it based on his durability and defense but I think those are a bit over blown. I actually was surprised the Texas Rangers didn't find a way to keep him around.
In an effort to free up some salary for Bradley, the Cubs are expected on Tuesday to finalize a deal to send Jason Marquis to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for reliever Luis Vizcaino, MLB.com reported Monday.
Adding Bradley was one of the top priorities this offseason for the Cubs, who got swept out of the playoffs for the second straight year after a lineup loaded with right-handers struggled against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Last Player Picked
I discovered a great new site today (mostly because they linked to yesterday's article on Keepers). This site has an excellent analysis based blog and an awesome Price Guide feature that uses various sets of projections and the criteria you enter to produce fantasy baseball dollar values for your league. This is a great device, check it out.
You may have noticed that the CHONE projections have recently been added as an option on the Price Guide. These are stat projections that have done quite well in the past couple years at predicting the actual stats. One especially interesting aspect are the projections for players with little MLB experience (or none at all).
Using the CHONE projections in the Price Guide, I generated dollar values for a standard mixed league that starts 14 hitters per team. Scanning through the results, I found several young hitters who have not yet seen significant time in the majors and whom CHONE projects as draftable players.
Top 100 Outfielders Part II
Paul of Baseball by Paul is a great analyst. In this piece he shares outfielders #11-50. You could quibble with the rankings but the analysis is spot on as usual. I especially like his projections for Elijah Dukes, Delmon Young, Hunter Pence, and Matt Holliday.
46. Justin Upton, 21, Arizona Diamondbacks – It was an inconsistent season for the heralded youngster as he opened up white hot (five HR, .963 OPS in April) only to cool considerably (four HR, .177 AVG in May/June) and then suffer an injury that relegated him to just nine games across July and August. On the bright side, he finished strong with a .919 OPS in September that included four home runs as well. Strikeouts were a huge problem, but he also displayed a very strong eye even when he was at his lowest point of the season (35 walks in 50 games spanning May/June). As a whole, the 2008 season wasn’t too bad for Upton when you consider his quick ascent to the majors and the highly useful skills he displayed prominently (power and batting eye). The lacking component that may’ve been falsely attributed to Upton in the first place was the speed. He managed just one stolen base while being caught four times. The 15 and 19 stolen bases during his two minor league season of 2006 & 2007 likely earned him the perceived ability but he was stealing at rates of 68% and 63%, respectively. This guy is a bona fide, but it remains to be seen if he is the power-speed combo that his brother, B.J. Upton, is for Tampa Bay. Buy into a couple more steps forward in 2009.
Your #1 Sleeper
Tim Dierkes of Roto Authority is imploring his giant audience to share their favorite sleepers. This should be interesting. As we've learned from Who Wants to be a Millionaire? the larger the consensus the more likely it is to be correct.
I'll kick it off with my own #1 sleeper: Nelson Cruz of the Rangers. Cruz had a ridiculous 2008. He hit .342/.429/.695 in 103 Triple A games, nailing 37 HR and swiping 24 bags. He did just as well in 115 ABs for the big club - .330/.421/.609 with 7 HR and 3 SBs.
Cruz has the potential to jack 30 HR for the Rangers in 2009. He attempted a steal 25% of the time he was on first base in the minors, so the potential for double digit swipes looks strong too. He'll join current Texas mashers Chris Davis and Josh Hamilton.Slow Mock Draft
I'm in the middle of my own slow mock draft which you'll be hearing about as soon as it completes. Winabango of Fantasy Gameday share the results of his slow mock...
Once again, it my turn to pick for the slow mock draft hosted by Fantasy Baseball Trade Market. To be completely honest, writing about the draft has really opened my eyes to its inter-workings. To this point I have selected a fairly conservative offensive base, which I like. With my last pick I was also able to adjust my strategy due to the large amount of top tier pitchers still available. As I stated in my last post regarding the draft, flexibility is the best strategy in any draft.