There are Average Draft Position articles all over the interwebs at this time of year, but none of them have that Oracle spin (so arrogant am I – it's a bit nauseating isn't it?). As I'm going to do from time to time this fantasy baseball preseason I will be sharing my thoughts, in no particular order, on some of the trends or oddities that I noticed when I glanced over the information at our disposal. With that nebulous intro out of the way – a good author should be able to get your attention in one, at most two sentences (I've failed miserably of course) – let's dive right into it.
NOTE: Special thanks to the the National Fantasy Baseball Championship (NFBC) for the ADP Data.
Marlon Byrd (253 ADP) versus Dayan Viciedo (305). Seems like an easy call to go Viciedo in this matchup. Why? Viciedo is 24 years old. Byrd is 36. That alone should raise your eyebrows and tilt your opinion to Viciedo. It should also be noted that Byrd was never the type of hitter we saw last season at any point in his career. Ever (see his Player Profile). Easy call for me to go Viciedo in this either/or.
Liriano: 16 wins, 3.02 ERA, 1.22 WHIP
Lincecum: 10 wins, 4.37 ERA, 1.32 WHIP
Before you think those numbers from 2013 tell the whole story make sure you pay attention to the following data points.
* Liriano has one season of 162 innings. Lincecum has hit that level in 6-straight years. In fact, Lincecum has thrown 186 or more innings each of those campaigns.
* Three times in five years Liriano has had an ERA of at least five. Lincecum has an ERA of five once in seven seasons.
* Finally, remember those last season numbers I led off with that so easily showed Liriano to be the superior option? Well, how would you feel about the duo if you only had this set of numbers to look at from 2013?
Liriano: 9.11 K/9, 2.59 K/BB (career 0.83 HR/9)
Lincecum: 8.79 K/9, 2.54 K/BB (career 0.70 HR/9)
Have you picked up your copy of the 2014 Fantasy Alarm Baseball Draft Guide powered by BaseballGuys? If you haven't I question your sanity. Easy to make me a believer in you though. Just pick up your copy now. You get 200 pages of articles and data to pour through. In addition, there are more than 600 players ranked in AL, NL and mixed leagues - including $ amounts for auction - as part of the Draft Guide package. The best part? They are literally updated every day so you always know that you have the most up to date rankings you can to head to your draft with.
I will be in Arizona this weekend for the LABR Drafts. I'm in the AL-only league, and I'll be announcing the NL-only league along with Kyle Elfrink for SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (both drafts start at 7 PM EDT on Saturday and Sunday). My first two years in the event I've come in second place and third place. Must meant I win in year three, right? T figures to be a great time in Arizona at the annual Rick Wolf & Glenn Colton party, an annual kick that the HOF duo is gracious enough to host each year. Hoping that Stacie Stern of Head2Head Sports also brings umbrellas and Tito's Vodka like she did last year.
Mike Moustakas (293) has a pedigree that says he should be a borderline star in The Show. Just check out the history.
* He was the #2 pick overall in the 2007 Draft. Pretty sure the Royals would have rather taken Matt Wieters (5th), Jarrod Parker (9th), Madison Bumgarner (10th) or Jason Heyward (14th). Amazing how many guys have bombed from the first round that year. Just goes to show you that those of you in keeper leagues might be paying too steep a price for top level draft picks who have done nothing in the big leagues.
* Here is how Baseball America ranked Moustakas among all prospects in baseball.
Pre-2008: Rated #18 Prospect
Pre-2009: Rated #13 Prospect
Pre-2010: Rated #80 Prospect
Pre-2011: Rated #9 Prospect
Given those facts, Moustakas has to be viewed as pretty much a total failure at this point. Through 374 games, that's nearly 1,500 plate appearances of work, he's hit 37 homers with 145 RBIs leading to a 500 at-bat pace of 14 homers, 53 RBIs and 50 runs scored. Toss in that hard on the eyes .244/.296/.385 slash line and you've got yourself a guy I'm totally avoiding in 2014. He has to prove to me he deserves to be on my squad, even with his nearly 300 ADP.
Alexei Ramirez (150) or Xander Bogaerts (163)? They are pretty close according to ADP. You know what you've got in Ramirez, and it can certainly be argued that Bogaerts is the more talented player, but really, should these two be listed this close? The last two seasons Ramirez has averaged a season of .275, eight homers, 61 RBIs, 64 runs and 25 steals... is it really reasonable to expect Bogaerts to do that in his first full season? He may match the first four numbers but I would be shocked if he stole 25 bases (and let's not overlook the fact that we have six years of data to make us feel very comfortable with Ramirez). Just something to think about.
Jordan Zimmermann (89) or Jered Weaver (138), which would you rather have on your squad? Pretty universal answer to that question as the ADP #s tell the tale. Just a little monkey wrench to toss in the works. Just look at the numbers each guy tossed up there last season.
Zimmermann: 3.25 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 6.79 K/9, 4.03 K/BB, 0.80 HR/9
Weaver: 3.27 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 6.82 K/9, 3.16 K/BB, 0.99 HR/9
A lot close than that 50 point gap than ADP would suggest, no?
By Ray Flowers
Andy in New Hampshire - You know your lg better than I do. I still hesitate to delve so heavily into pitching early, but perhaps it makes sense here.
Andy in New Hampshire
I've joined a new league this year - player pool consists of 11 MLB teams, with 9 roto (6x6) owners. I'm thinking this will turn my usual strategy upside down, as I'm a new owner in a league with 5 keepers. With maximum 55 SPs with "real" jobs and 11 closers, I might have to go pitching early. I have first pick (Braun), so Kimbrel and Cliff Lee are likely to be available on the turn. Am I crazy to take one? or both? Andy
michael swiller27 - I compared Eric Young to Billy Hamilton on the radio. Why? Young has actually done something in the bigs. More importantly, it's about cost. Current ADP from NFBC EYJ: 226 Hamilton: 72
costarican chata28 - I will rock it in Arizona... though I have to tell ya, Phoenix might be the most boring "big" city in America.
read/heard somewhere that moustakas refuses to view tapes . that can't be good . have fun out in Arizona , Ray .
Ray, I caught a small comment you made about Eric Young Jr...but I didn't hear who you were comparing him to? Who was it and who did you like better? Michael
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Thurs 7 PM, Fri. 9 PM EDT), Ray also hosts a show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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Christy Mathewson : 1905-1911: 1.28, 1.43, 1.14, 1.89 and 1.99 ERAs in there. #Sfgiants