Every once in a while I do a little exercise where I toss out some numbers, some facts, and ask folks to guess who the player is. Sometimes the answer might seem obvious to you, but other times I bet that the answer is a bit of a shock. So make sure you're reading this sucker while sitting down. I would hate for you to fall off the treadmill or the bicycle if you're reading this at the gym.
WHO AM I?
In 2014 I had the following fantasy effort:
14 wins, a 2.80 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP and 224 Ks in 208.2 IP (9.66 K/9).
Let me tell you who I'm not.
I'm not Yu Darvish (13 wins, 2.83 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 277 Ks).
I'm not Max Scherzer (21 wins, 2.90 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 240 Ks).
I'm not Anibal Sanchez (14 wins, 2.57 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 202 Ks).
I'm not Stephen Strasburg (8 wins, 3.00 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 191 Ks).
So who the heck am I?
It was a trick question.
The answer is Joel Peralta, David Robertson & Tyler Clippard.
Why did I break the rules of who am I and list three guys and not one? I did it to illustrate a point that most folks seem to have a good handle on at this stage of fantasy baseball proliferation, but there are still some out there, either because they are new to the game or have never been exposed to alternative lanes of thought, that could benefit from this little discussion. Some major data points to lay out based upon what was just tossed out there.
(1) You need not spend early round selections on pitchers in order to get strong performances. Just look at the list of names above. Twelve months ago Anibal Sanchez had an ADP of 187 while Jose Fernandez was barely being drafted (his ADP was outside the top-400). More on that ADP information shortly in point #2.
If you are wondering the best way to evaluate arms so that you can find these “gems” on the mound I've got just the thing for you. It's the 2014 Fantasy Alarm Draft Guide powered by BaseballGuys. There are a couple of articles in that sucker detailing exactly how you can go about finding the relevant cheap adds that have breakout potential in 2014.
(2) Pitching can be found at all points of a draft. Here are some names, and their ADP ranking from mid-March of 2013 (courtesy of the National Fantasy Baseball Championship).
A.J. Burnett (ADP of 206)
Wade Miley (213)
Hisashi Iwakuma (248)
Derek Holland (250)
Alex Cobb (254)
Shelby Miller (261)
Hyun-Jin Ryu (264)
A.J. Griffin (275)
Andrew Cashner (291)
Clay Buchholz (297)
Chris Tillman (298)
Julio Teheran (306)
Dillon Gee (314)
Justin Masterson (322)
Ivan Nova (343)
Gerrit Cole (352)
Patrick Corbin (363)
Ubaldo Jimenez (364)
Chris Archer (368)
Francisco Liriano (383)
You get it, right? No one was falling for any of the names I just listed on draft day 2013. You could have built your team with 5-9 of the guys listed above, been very competitive in the pitching categories, and blown the league away with your offensive prowess. You have to select the right arm, again the Draft Guide will help you to do that, but the fact of the matter is that arms can be found in the middle to late rounds every season in fantasy baseball.