Monday, February 15, 2016

Kicking Off Draft-Prep Season

posted by Jon Williams
The Colorado Rockies might be the most inept organization in MLB. They recently signed free agent outfielder Gerardo Parra, which in and of itself is not so horrible, but to clear a roster spot they designated Kyle Parker their 2010 first round pick who has had all of 138 plate appearances across two up and down seasons. Not exactly a long audition for a first round pick who has generally hit well in the minors. Then they compounded this mistake by trading not-yet abritration eligible outfielder Corey Dickerson to the Tampa Bay Rays (the Rays are like that guy in your league with whom you almost always regret making trades) for a twice-DLed relief pitcher. This as the team remains mediocre with expensive declining pieces still on the roster. I listened to their new GM Jeff Bridich on MLB Radio on SIRIUS last week and he comes off as a baseball neanderthal. So I guess I should not be surprised. Maybe I am judging too harshly and this is an attempt at a strongbullpen/fastball pitcher strategy but I do not have much faith.

I'll give a dollar to own Tim Lincecum in hopes his recovery from hip surgery truly means he can return to the mechanics he used during his Cy Young period. It would not be the most shocking career rebound we have seen. I would be willing to waste a dollar on Cliff Lee as well, assuming he ends up in a good situation.

Closer Tip: When you are considering which pitcher to draft for saves you should weigh whether or not the current closer is the best pitcher in the bullpen. If he isn't, look elsewhere for saves and draft the best guy in a given bullpen to finish your pitching staff or fill out your reserves. You can pretty much ignore media speculation and manager noise about next-in-line relievers. (More to come in the site's new newletter.)

More and more of the industry experts seem to be coming around to the conclusion that targeting statistical totals based on a set of projections as a draft strategy is not necessarily a winning formula. Ron Shandler's Other Book is largely based on the idea that depending on projections as part of your draft strategy is not a great start to building your fantasy teams. While Tanner Bell (of the quite awesome Smart Fantasy Baseball) seems to contradict this idea in his recent article for RotoGraphs, most of the evidence he presents simultaneously demonstrates that your targets based on projections vary widely from the actual results. The conclusion you end up with is that targeting skills and playing time is a far more successful strategy than counting adding up homerun and RBI projections.

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