Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Erik: Lack of Dominate Pitcher Hurts Tony

Today I will analyze the keeper situation for the San Antonio Saints … even if I am unsure as to whether Tony is actually living in San Antonio or not.

Possible Keeper – Round Drafted
John Lackey – 3
Adam Wainwright – 6
Brian McCann – 7
Gil Meche – 11
Dustin Pedroia – 12
Kevin Youkilis – 12
Jacoby Ellsbury – 15
Colby Rasmus – 23
Ryan Ludwick – Undrafted
David Murphy – Undrafted
Edinson Volquez – Undrafted
Kyle Lohse – Undrafted

Two things jump out to me when I look at Tony’s list of potential keepers:

1. I think his ultimate goal is to fill his roster with completely with Cardinals and Red Sox.
2. Our league is full of morons. First, I write about Andrew keeping the undrafted C.C. Sabathia and now I see Volquez and Ludwick were undrafted. Now I understand that these guys were under the radar coming into last year, but for nobody to take a flyer on them in the late rounds … I think that puts us on par with Johnny Knoxville on an IQ test.

Looking at the Saints’ list of possibilities, nobody really jumps out at me as an absolute must-keep. However, Volquez and Pedroia are pretty close. It will be interesting to see how Volquez bounces back from a sub-par second half and a career high in innings thrown. As for Pedroia, I find it hard to believe that he will duplicate his 2008 MVP season, but he will still put up great numbers for a second basemen and 12th round pick.

Once you get by Volquez and Pedroia, Tony will have some very difficult decisions. Luckily for me, I can refer back to his ultimate goal and get a good idea who he will keep.

Wainwright will be looking to make the jump into the league’s elite pitchers in 2009, but could be a little pricey at a 6th round pick give his recent injury struggles. So, with that Cardinal out of the picture, I think Tony will turn to his 23rd-rounder from last year Colby Rasmus. Rasmus is a great prospect and a great value at the 23rd round, but questions still remain about whether he will break camp with the big league club next year.

With one Cardinal already in the outfield, Tony will look to add a second with Ryan Ludwick. Ludwick had an amazing 2008 season, coming out of nowhere to hit almost .300 with 37 homers. With his undrafted status, Tony adds another solid Cardinal to his team.

With his last keeper spot, I expect Tony to stay true to his rule and choose between two BoSox, Kevin Youkilis and Jacoby Ellsbury. Youkilis is a great hitter and good value in the 12th round, but Ellsbury has a higher upside, was a 15th rounder, and should get even more playing time this year with the cereal man out of the picture.

Expected Keepers for the Saints
Dustin Pedroia – 12th
Jacoby Ellsbury – 15th
Colby Rasmus – 23rd
Ryan Ludwick – Undrafted
Edinson Volquez – Undrafted

Ranking of Possible Keepers: 2 of 2: Tony is in solid position to improve on his struggles from 2008 with this solid group of keepers. If Pedroia and Ludwick are able to duplicate their ’08 campaigns (which I think is a little unlikely in both cases) and Ellsbury and Rasums follow their projected path, Tony could have one of the most dangerous line-ups in 2009 and not use anything higher than a 12th round pick on his keepers. The only thing that pushes Tony below Andrew is the lack of a dominant pitcher. Volquez and Wainwright have the possibilities, but I am not ready to say either is in the elite category yet. Of course, there is always the possibility that Tony throws me for a loop by keeping Wainwright, Rasmus, Ludwick. Lohse and Carpenter.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Erik: Andrew is Number 1 (of 1)!

With the winter meetings having come to a close, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the keeper situations facing each of the ten teams The League.

With that wonderful introduction in place, we will now take a look at the reigning champions, Hancocks Halos.

Possible Keeper – Round Drafted

Brian Roberts – 3

Daisuke Matsuzaka – 4

Francisco Rodriguez – 6

Conor Jackson – 9

Justin Verlander – 11

Ubaldo Jimenez – 14

Rick Ankiel – 21

Stephen Drew – 24

Carlos Delgado – 28

John Danks – Undrafted

Russell Martin – Undrafted

Carlos Gomez – Undrafted

CC Sabathia – Undrafted

The most talked about baseball player over the last six months headlines the potential keepers for Andrew. Sabathia was dominant in the second half last year and along with Johan Santana helped carry the Halos to The League Title. The big question here is not whether Andrew will keep Sabathia but rather how will Sabathia fare with the Yankees. He moves into a power-heavy division with the burden of a $161 million contract (think of all the Hostess snacks he could/will buy with that much money) on his shoulders having just thrown well over 400+ innings in the last two years combined. I think he will be a steal for Andrew given his undrafted status, but I don’t expect him to equal the second half he put together last year at any time in the 2009 season.

Assuming Sabathis is kept, that would leave four slots open for Andrew with many viable options, but no sure things. Roberts, Matsuzaka, Rodriguez and Jackson would all be solid values if kept, but probably are not the great values Andrew will be looking for with his keeper spots.

Next on the list as far as intrigue goes is Justin Verlander. Verlander struggled greatly last season as his control and velocity took a gigantic step back from their 2007 form. Having said that, Verlander has the highest upside of any of the players remaining for Andrew, but his disastrous 2008 season would make keeping Verlander a big risk at the cost of a 10th-round pick (this would be Verlander’s second season to be kept). Right behind Verlander in terms of upside is Ubaldo Jimenez. Jimenez has an electric arm and showed signs of putting things together last year for the Rockies. He offers Andrew much of the same upside of Verlander will a little less risk and could be a guy to keep an eye on.

Carlos Delgado is an interesting situation as well. Delgado stumbled out of the gates last year but caught fire in the middle of the year and turned out to be one of the top values from last year’s draft. Delgado is obviously getting up there in age and it will be interesting to see if Andrew thinks Delgado can keep it together for at least one more season. The big plus for the Halos is that if they keep Delgado and he bombs next year, they will have only wasted a 28th round pick.

Russell Martin is another of the undrafted players I expect Andrew to keep (how could Sabathia and Martin go undrafted two years ago – I keep checking the draft results expecting that I have just overlooked Martin, but I can’t find him anywhere). Martin is a solid player at a weak position and would be a great value for Andrew.

Expected Keepers for Hancock Halos

Jimenez – 14th

Delgado – 28th

Sabathia – Undrafted

Danks – Undrafted

Martin - Undrafted

Ranking of possible keepers: 1 of 1. Andrew has a solid group of keeper possibilities headlined by the undrafted trio of Sabathia, Danks and Martin. The group as a whole lacks a certain amount of upside, but provides solid value for the reigning champs. I think this group will put Andrew in position to field a very solid team this year but he will probably be at a slight disadvantage to a few teams heading into the draft.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Baseball Begins!!! (In four months...)

Hey, it’s the winter meetings and you know what that means… nothing. But, hey, why not talk a little baseball to remind us that the next losing season for the Royals begins in about four months. Yipee.

Mostly, I start this blog up again for three reasons: First, Erik says he has a series he wants to unleash on you so you should check back often to see what he says about you; Second, I’m writing for a Royals blog called “The Royal Treatment” so you should check that out every once in a while (I’m BlownSave…what are the odds?); Finally, I wanted to remind you of some of the changes for next season – hopefully there will be no more major changes for the life of this league.

Roster Changes

Roster size = 25 (Down from 28)

Designated Hitter = eliminated
Utility Player = added
Starting Pitching Spots = 3 (down from 5)
General Pitching Spot = 1 (up from 0)
Relief Pitching Spots = 3 (up from 2)

The Utility player addition comes by popular demand... The amount of bench spots has been reduced by three in order to limit stockpiling of players and to maintain the value of the free agent market… The total amount of starters (hitters and pitchers) has not changed and there is no limit to how many times a player can be started or how many innings a player can play… The reduction of the two starting pitcher spot is to make room for the added relief pitcher position and general pitching position… The general pitching spot can be filled by either a starter or reliever.

Point Changes

Hitting: All hitting statistics will remain the same.


H = -0.5 (adjusted from –1)
BB = -0.5 (adjusted from –1.5)
K = 2 (adjusted from 3)
W = 5 (adjusted from 10)
L = -5 (adjusted from –10)
QS = 10 (adjusted from 5)

Added Statistic: Holds = 2.5

I have heard minimal complaints about the hitting formula so I will no changes will be made… The changes to W, L, QS are being made as to better reflect a pitcher’s performance and not his team’s… I had no idea how to quantify a “hold” in fantasy terms so I just made it half a save – feel free to send suggestions on holds.

Keeper Rules for This Offseason

Total Keepers Allowed: 5
Trade Deadline with 2008 Rosters: Saturday, March 14, 2009
Keeper Deadline: Saturday, March 14, 2009
Proposed Draft Date: Sunday, March 15, 2009 at 3 p.m.
- Players drafted in the first or second round in 2008 are NOT eligible to be kept.
- View the previous post for players who are ineligible to be kept.
- Undrafted players count as a 15th round pick (Multiple undrafted players will count as a 15th, 14th, etc. round draft pick).

A correction to the list of ineligible keepers:

Jonathan Papelbon is available to be kept. That was my error.