When I was invited to participate in a newly formed Prospects league organized by Dan Kennedy, a valiant fantasy baseball competitor with whom I have been sparring since 2000, my first reaction was “no, can’t do”. I did not want to clutter my mind with minor leaguers when, comes March and draft time, I can barely remember the names of my wife and children having to memorize 600 ML players and their stats.
But then I reconsidered. I concluded that playing in this league could be a great way to insert into my thick head names of future players. If I ever want to do well in a keeper league, I ought to do more than just examine, carefully or not, Lawr’s Prospect list before my drafts.
So, I joined. What is a Prospects league anyway? In a nut shell, you pick today, you score in 2013. Players who are eligible to be drafted are amateur players, foreign players and, most importantly, prospects who appear on professionally compiled lists of prospects. Lawr’s Top 250 Prospects and Baseball America Prospect Handbook are two examples of lists of eligible prospects. We will draft this month and then every March the team’s roster can be modified by dropping and picking up new players. Of course, the newly drafted players must be eligible as defined above.
Should you decide to create a Prospects league of your own, all other aspects of a fantasy league, like scoring method or active line-up composition can be tailored to your personal preference. In my league we have a 30-man roster, 14 active and 16 reserve players and use custom scoring. The active line-up consists of one each 1B, 2B,3B,SS, 3 OFs, C, a Utility and 5 Pitchers, either SP or RP. The only rule that I want to bring up for consideration is player eligibility. One game played at a position qualifies a player at that position. A team without a player qualified for a position plays a player short. This is a small but important rule because it makes roster eligibility an important consideration at draft time and prevents blindly grabbing next best available prospect.
Our league has 11 teams. Being this Prospects league a practice and a training ground for our more important and competitive leagues, we chose to have 3 teams whose composition is strictly determined by three professional lists. They are Lawr’s Top 250, Baseball America and ProjectProspect.com. I am picking for the Mastersball team from Lawr’s Top 250 Prospects by using a simple rule: grab the next available player, considering the above caveat about player eligibility. We will see how the Pro teams will do.
And so, we are off and drafting. I had the first pick and debated between Mike Trout, OF, Angels and Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals. For the 11th pick for Mastersball team I drafted Freddie Freeman, 1B, Braves. Freddie Freeman is eligible even if he is rookie who has a good chance of playing 1B for the Braves this year because his name appears on the list of prospects. Team composition will be published on this blog when the draft is done, probably in a couple of weeks. The first two rounds are as follows ( I love my first two picks):
- Mike Trout, of, Angles my team
- Bryce Harper, of, Nationals
- Eric Hosmer, 1b, Royals
- Jesus Montero, c, Yankees
- Domonic Brown, of, Phillies
- Anthony Rendon, 3b, Rice
- Brandon Belt, 1b, Giants
- Dustin Ackley, 2b, Mariners
- Julio Teheran, p, Braves team Baseball America
- Wil Myers, of, Royals team ProjectProspect.com
- Freddie Freeman, 1b, Braves team Mastersball (Lawr's list) Round 2:
- Jordan Lyles, p, Astros team Mastersball (Lawr’s list)
- Shelby Miller, p, Cardinals team ProjectProspect.com
- Jeremy Hellickson, p, Rays team Baseball America
- Jarrod Parker, p, D'Backs
- Mike Moustakas, 3b, Royals
- Manny Machado, ss, Orioles
- Desmond Jennings, of Rays
- Lonnie Chisenhall, 3b, Indians
- Chris Carter, of, A's
- Jason Kipnis, 2b, Indians
- Brett Jackson, of, Cubs my team