'Gold Records' photo (c) 2008, Anne Meadows - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ At the bottom of all my articles readers are encouraged to leave their thoughts on my work, to ask questions, or just to blow off some steam. I have to admit that there are some pretty good queries thrown up there at times. Today, I've compiled some of those thoughts into an article since I doubt most of you spend much time reading my responses unless they are to your own questions.

Jake - Is there any sort of format that you might suggest that combines a season long roto format along with some type of playoff at the end of the season?

BBGuys - Your issue of people stopping to care late in the year is common. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good answer on how to stop this. Reason being is this - playoffs take skill out of the mix and go more with luck. Do you want to give someone a “win” in a playoff week because they picked up Brandon Crawford and he had a better week than Troy Tulowitzki? Do you want to reward a 2-start James McDonald over a one start Roy Halladay? When you break the game down into playoff segments the sample size shrinks, and with it the luck factor goes up. To me, we are best served rewarding year long excellence versus weekly luck.

Mike - As much as I love Evan Longoria this year, were you tempted with Jacoby Ellsbury still available? For him to fall to #12 seems shocking to me.

*** This questions refers to The FSTA Draft that was held in Vegas during which I chose Longoria #10 overall instead of Ellsbury. Over at Fleaflicker they also have Longoria going off the board after Ellsbury.

BBGuys - Here’s the deal. Only 37.5% all all the top-15 selections the last eight years have returned top-15 production (that’s from the Baseball Forecaster). In essence, we all spend way too much time worry about our first round pick when they are more likely to fail to live up to expectations than to meet or exceed them. Second, Ellsbury’s game was his speed, and after averaging 60 SB his last two healthy seasons he saw his steal total fail to hit 40 last year. That's a big concern for me. Third, never in his life did Ellsbury show 30 HR power. Remember, he had 20 homers in his first 349 games. Players just don’t hold on to gains like the one he showed last season. Sure Kirby Puckett and Jose Bautista did, but you get my point. I just can’t see Ellsbury holding on to his 17 percent HR/F rate. I also don’t think he’s a .320 hitter. If he goes .285-20-75-100-40 is he a first round pick? You could certainly argue that persuasively, but I don’t know if that would make him much different than Andrew McCutchen.

Marc in CO - In addition to waiting on a 1B, you also waited to pick a SS (Yunel Escobar in the 13th). Can you give us your thoughts on him in specific and the shortstop position in general in terms of draft strategy?

BBGuys - I waited on the shortstop because that’s how the draft played out. Also, since I had two second basemen, I didn’t need to worry about my MI spot, so it was as much a combination of factors as anything else. As for Escobar, I like what he brings. Not much upside power wise, he hits everything into the ground, an obviously he’s not a speed demon, but his skill set is stable. Take out 2010 and you have three nearly identical seasons in 2008-09, 2011. I’ll take .290-10-60-75-5 from my SS and be pretty happy with it since in reality he is my MI behind Brandon Phillips and Dustin Pedroia.

Rick - Are you worried about the suspension of Ryan Braun? Do you think it will be the same old same old when he returns? Also now that this is out here are you worried that his numbers will fall off a cliff like Arod?

BBGuys – I'm not worried about Braun at all. Just expect 2/3 of his normal production for 2012 and you should be fine (just check out his rookie numbers to see how amazing he can be in limited playing time). MLB has done testing for years, so clearly we have to assume that Braun hasn’t been doing something illegal for a long time. In fact, I’m still not convinced that he took “steroids.”  Regardless, Braun is 28 this year – still very young. Arod is 36. Arod’s decline had nothing to do with getting of the juice, he was simply experience a slow down with age. Remember, Arod had 54 homers, 156 RBIs and a 1.067 OPS in 2007 – he used steroids in 2001-03.

Wesley - Hey Ray. What do you think of Carl Crawford and Carlos Gonzalez? I feel they're going to be good values and bounce back guys.

BBGuys - Two different stories. CarGo hit .295, went 20/20, and scored/knocked in 90 runs last year. There’s not much to “bounce back" from there. If he had played another 20 games we’d be talking about a .300-30-100-100-20 season. Expecting more than that is asking too much.

Crawford on the other hand is a prime bounce back candidate. according to Fleaflicker's numbers, Crawford is being drafted inside the top-70 overall.


By Ray Flowers


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About Ray Flowers

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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