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Masters of the NFBC
Do you want to learn Mastersball's tricks of the trade to win at the NFBC?  The Masters of the NFBC is the place.

Trolling the Wire PDF Print E-mail
Masters of the NFBC
Written by Greg Morgan   
Tuesday, 05 August 2014 00:00

If you are still in the hunt in the NFBC, you know what a grind it is trolling the trash heap for pitchers that won’t completely destroy your ERA and WHIP. It’s no easy task. Beggars can’t be choosers. This week, we examine some of the refuse.

Kyle Hendricks has acquitted himself quite well in just four starts with the Cubbies, posting a 2.05 ERA and 1.06 WHIP with a 17/7 K/BB ratio in 26 innings. While those stats are good, they actually should be much better considering in his first outing against the Reds at Great American Ballpark, he had to contend with a thimble-sized strike zone in the first inning of the first major league outing of his career. I always chuckle when I hear someone downplay the impact an umpire can have on a game. When you have to groove it right down the pipe to get a call, it turns mediocre hitters into All-Stars. With the first two on via the free pass, the next three got hits as the effect of Hendricks getting squeezed. Hendricks would get some calls later on, but the damage had already been done. When you consider that the crew manufactured three of the rookie’s four “earned runs”, his short game log is even more impressive. The Ivy League youngster doesn’t light up radar guns with an average 88 mph fastball and needs pinpoint control to be effective. Hendricks walked two per nine in the Minors and brought that excellent command with him to Wrigley Field. Hendricks changes speeds effectively and commands a good changeup to disrupt hitters’ timing.

A dynamite spring had Brad Hand creeping up sleeper lists in March. When the games started to count in April, a less effective Hand showed up and was relegated to the bullpen. After a stint on the disabled list with a sprained ankle, the Minneapolis native has posted a very serviceable 2.70 ERA and 1.23 WHIP over six starts, never allowing more than three runs in a game since being activated. With all of the ratio bombs on waivers, that’s a relatively safe target to acquire. The Marlins have two series against the Mets and the Phillies coming up.

Matt Lindstrom wasn’t exactly lights out in April serving as the closer in Chicago’s south side. The mediocre reliever has been on the shelf since mid-May with an ankle injury that required surgery. The days of Lindstrom lighting up radar guns with triple digits are long gone. His average fastball sits in the low 90’s, but I don’t have to tell you how managers love veterans with experience. The former Marlins closer held the gig before hitting the DL. Lindstrom could be a sneaky addition if you are desperate for saves down the stretch. Just don’t expect help in the ERA and WHIP categories.

Eric Stults is viable as a spot starter at home only. His overall numbers will hurt you. For that reason, you should be able to get him for a buck. If you have the ERA and WHIP anchors, you can spot start him at PETCO to chase wins, or simply avoid the Ainsworth effect. Yes, I did say chase wins in the context of a Padre pitcher. They won’t be mistaken for Harvey’s Wallbangers, but the Padres have a wRC+ of 98 over the last 30 days, just a smidge under league average.

Neal Cotts walks too many for a reliever and it’s tough for lefties to crack the closer role since managers love to be able to bring southpaws in to face tough left-handed hitters during a rally anytime after the sixth inning. Nevertheless, Neftali Feliz blew the save Sunday against the Tribe. Feliz’s fastball velocity has been inconsistent, topping out around 96 one outing and then only 92 the next. In his last outing, it consistently sat between 88-89, only occasionally reaching 92, but straight as an arrow, with little or no movement. The former All-Star no longer has any margin for error. Cotts is a decent $1 flier to sit on if you need saves and already blew your FAAB budget.

Dale Thayer is another potential closer in waiting if the Padres look to deal Joaquin Benoit in the coming weeks. Thayer has been great out of the pen (1.96 ERA/1.07 WHIP) but he had a rough go of it during his brief stint as a closer in 2012.

Buyer/Owner Beware

When Kevin Gausman is aggressive in the zone, attacking hitters and getting ahead in the count, he makes quick work of opponents with his off speed stuff. The problem is the rookie’s command comes and goes, and even when he’s on his game, he nibbles too much, gets behind in the count and hitters sit on his fastball. These are typical growing pains many young pitchers go through, but as we head down the stretch, you need to realize what you are getting into with Gausman. He looks dominant one inning, and then the Orioles’ 6th starter gives stomach ulcers by walking the bases loaded. Giving Brad Miller a free pass every single time he faced him was the last straw and I jettisoned him from my roster.

Trevor Bauer has a wicked slider when he can control it. The issue is that he can lose command of it and all his off speed pitches for an entire game. At times, there’s just too much movement to reel in. When that happens, hitters sit on his fastball, which frequently flattens out and can be very easy to hit if he grooves one. Let me tell you, he grooves a lot of them. The ugly result can look like batting practice. Trevor has a very high ceiling and he’s probably going to be very good, but right now, it’s not his time yet.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 August 2014 04:20
 
Avoiding the Ainsworth Effect PDF Print E-mail
Masters of the NFBC
Written by Greg Morgan   
Tuesday, 01 July 2014 00:00

We’re halfway through the NFBC marathon. In a 15-team league, there are going to be holes you need to fill. If you skimped on pitching at the draft table, or even if you didn’t, chances are you’re like me, still scrambling to find pitchers that won’t drop a nuclear bomb on your ERA and WHIP. Any Matt Shoemaker fans still out there? The problem with a heavy offensive strategy in March is that it forces you to sift through the dregs to round out the end of your rotation. There are numerous minefields you have to negotiate and it is difficult to navigate them with your ERA and WHIP still intact.

Dellin Betances appears in three games a week on average, posts about three to five innings pitched, and racks up a ton of K’s. The Yankee rookie is on pace for 154 strikeouts and eight wins. Brad Boxberger is no Betances, but he has struck out 45 and walked 12 in 28 innings this year. The former Padre doesn’t light up the radar gun, but he averages close to 93 mph on his fastball and comes packaged with a tidy 1.02 WHIP. Rather than deciding which scrub to activate for the next shellacking, plug in a Boxberger until the end of your staff stabilizes. The NFBC lists him as owned in merely 0.7% of all leagues. He’s striking out about five batters a week. Wade Davis might still be floating out there in a few leagues and serves a similar purpose.

Odrisamer Despaigne is still unowned in most Main Event Leagues. You won’t get many K’s, and I’d relegate him to spot starts in Petco, but that’s still worth something.

If Jimmy Nelson is still sitting in your free agent pool, I would snatch him up. I’ve got two on the disabled list and another two in the Minors on my bench. I’m still holding onto the best pitching prospect in the Minors. Marco Estrada leads all pitchers with 24 home runs. Second in this dubious category is 17. Even with the quality start last time out, Estrada sports an ugly 6.94 ERA/1.49 WHIP over the last 30 days and has a date at the Rogers Centre on Tuesday.

Marco Gonzales was picked up in a few leagues since he’s a two-start this week. The lefty should find the confines of AT&T Park much friendlier than Coors Field. I haven’t seen the 2013 first-round pick pitch yet, so the jury is still out, but a 46/10 strikeout-to-walk ratio in seven Double-A starts has my attention. Put him on your watch list this week.

Buyer Beware

Josh Tomlin is such a tease, but don’t be seduced. He’ll suck you in with a complete game shutout, only to go Kurt Ainsworth on you when you get enough confidence to plug him into your lineup. His average fastball still sits below 89 mph. I can’t explain the jump in his strikeout rate, but I can almost guarantee you the good times won’t last.

To call Yohan Pino a poor man’s Greg Maddux would be too generous, but you get the idea. The 30-year-old rookie has to have pinpoint control to be effective, and he’s spent the better part of a decade being just that in the Minors. The problem is that he’s a soft tosser with pitches that have little movement. He’s probably best left to AL-only leagues.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 July 2014 09:28
 
The Sultans of Smack PDF Print E-mail
Masters of the NFBC
Written by Greg Morgan   
Tuesday, 03 June 2014 00:00

We’re one third of the way through the 2014 National Fantasy Baseball Championship. It’s time to look at the leaderboard and see if those at the top did anything interesting to get there. It’s a long season, but Stephen Fiore sits in the driver’s seat in his quest for ten stacks of high society. One would assume he emphasized bats at the draft table back in March, right? After all, the popular 15- team roto mantra is to fade pitching early because hurlers are too injury prone. It’s too difficult to tally enough Runs, RBI and Home Runs while drafting a lot of arms in the early rounds, isn’t it? Decide for yourself if conventional wisdom is wise. Ironically, the Sultans of Smack constructed their roster focusing on pitching. Their roto stats have lived up to their mashing moniker, totaling 1,934 offensive points and ranking first among all 420 teams. Three of the first six players were pitchers, along with six of the first 12:

1.11 – Prince Fielder

2.5 – Jose Bautista

3.11 – David Price

4.5 – Alex Rios

5.11 – Julio Teheran

6.5 – Gio Gonzalez

7.11 – Pedro Alvarez

8.5 – Jose Altuve

9.11 – Joakim Soria

10.5 – Billy Butler

11.11 – Bobby Parnell

12.5 – Hisashi Iwakuma

Billy Butler and Prince Fielder epitomize fantasy busts. So effectively, only four offensive assets were procured in the first 12 rounds. Some very successful high stakes players that I have tremendous respect for advocate a goal of 70 steals and 70 home runs with your first three picks. Through the first six, this group is on pace for 51 and 34 respectively. Despite the disposition toward mound aces in Las Vegas, Stephen would have been better off focusing on arms even more than his aggressive style dictated. The pitching staff is solid, but there are 56 teams ranked higher. Nothing wrong with the strategy here obviously, but it does expose early hitting dogma. A dogma that will likely gain more traction in the wake of the UCL carnage we have all witnessed. It’s too risky to take a pitcher in the first round! Oh yeah? Tell that to Prince Fielder and Bryce Harper owners.

13.11 – Adam Eaton

14.5 – Miguel Montero

15.11 – Jake Peavy

16.5 – Adam Lind

17.11 – Dee Gordon

18.5 – Jhonny Peralta

19.11 – Melky Cabrera

20.5 – Erasmo Ramirez

Gordon and Cabrera jump off the page. Combined, these late-round steals are on pace for 25 bombs, just under 100 swipes and better than a .290 batting average.

21.11 - Dustin Ackley

22.5 - Gregory Polanco

23.11 - Jesse Chavez

24.5 - Robbie Ross

25.11 – Robbie Grossman

26.5 – Tyler Clippard

27.11 – Alexi Ogando

28.5 – Derek Norris

29.11 – Brian Wilson

30.5 – Will Harris

This last segment isn’t a quiver stuffed with gems, but you never see that in the last ten rounds. You throw some darts and hope a couple stick. Derek Norris fits the mold and is exhibit A of the perfect catcher strategy. The Athletics backstop comes in at number six on the NFBC player rater. For his number two, how’s Devin Mesoraco for a sneaky waiver grab? I love waiting on catchers. There are always serviceable plays to be had late. The premium on catchers on draft day is heavy. They are packaged with excessive opportunity costs. Todd Zola has written some solid pieces on the myth of position scarcity. I have to say that I agree with him. Mr. Fiore doesn’t need hitting reinforcements, but Gregory Polanco will be bringing his swing to the Sultans very soon. I would be remiss if I failed to mention his brilliant waiver work: Juan Francisco, Chris Parmelee, Josh Willingham, Ryan Vogelsong, Francisco Rodriguez, and others.

I applaud the strong pitching strategy. There are bats available late, and on the wire if you are diligent. In my Main Event League, the team sitting in first place took only one bat in the first three rounds. That squad is in first with 69.5 hitting points.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 June 2014 02:19
 
The Power of Juan PDF Print E-mail
Masters of the NFBC
Written by Greg Morgan   
Tuesday, 06 May 2014 01:22

On Wednesday evening, being a Drew Hutchison owner, I watched intently as the young Blue Jays’ rookie tried to get out of a two on two out jam in the bottom of the seventh. For a nanosecond, I felt relief, as a hard ground ball was smacked a mere three inches to the right of Brett Lawrie. My momentary relief quickly turned into grief when I realized that anvil-footed Juan Francisco, not number 13, was stationed at third base. Ok, so I’m exaggerating slightly, but not much. Fielding the ball cleanly wasn’t exactly a routine play, but it would have been far from difficult to at least stop it, keep it in the infield and prevent a run from scoring. Come on Juan, would it really hurt to get the knees of your uniform dirty once in a while? Can we start a collection to pay for Juan’s dry cleaning since he clearly doesn’t want to get his uniform soiled? Motor City flashbacks of Carlos Guillen, who wouldn’t dive for a ball to save his life, permeated my mind’s eye. I waited with baited breath to hear the after game interview and the explanation that to bend over just a little further would have been "false hustle."

In today’s official scoring world, it seems a ground ball is only deemed an error if it’s slow rolling and goes right through your legs. That means all of Hutchison’s runs were of the "earned" variety, even if it does stretch the semantic range of the word enough to make me chuckle. So what is the moral of the story? Starting a Blue Jays pitcher in daily leagues when Francisco is manning the "hot" corner is like playing with matches. I wouldn’t recommend it, but if you do, don’t watch the game unless you want stomach ulcers. Not surprisingly, Hutchison sports a 3.82 ERA along with a 3.08 FIP.

The following table lists some starters with the greatest disparity between their ERA and FIP in 2013:

Player 2013 ERA 2013 FIP 2014 ERA
Edinson Volquez 5.71 4.24 4.19
Edwin Jackson 4.98 3.79 5.24
Rick Porcello 4.32 3.53 3.66
Lance Lynn 3.97 3.28 3.51
Kyle Kendrick 4.70 4.01 3.52
CC Sabathia 4.78 4.10 5.75
Tim Lincecum 4.37 3.74 5.12
Dan Haren 4.67 4.09 2.39
Jeff Samardzija 4.34 3.77 1.98

Two-thirds improved their ERA and one-third did just the opposite. This comes as no surprise and should actually be expected. After all, no FIP or xFIP was created in a vacuum. Just ask CC, who found that it’s pretty difficult to regress your ERA toward your FIP while dropping 2.5 miles per hour on your fastball in the Bronx!

These are tools to guide our choices, not papal bulls from the sabermetric papacy. With that in mind, let’s look among the FIP/ERA differentials to see if there are some corrections on the way.

Player 2014 ERA 2014 FIP Fastball MPH 2013/2014
Chris Archer 4.84 2.85 90.5/89.2
Zack Wheeler 5.13 3.16 94.4/94.4
Clay Buchholz 5.63 4.19 91.9/90.9
Hiroki Kuroda 5.14 3.79 91.5/90.8
David Price 4.44 3.38 93.5/92.2
Stephen Strasburg 3.60 2.58 95.3/94.3
Zach McAllister 3.82 2.92 91.3/92.0
Corey Kluber 3.60 2.73 93.2/92.0
Drew Hutchison 3.82 2.92 91.4*/92.0

Zach McAllister, Zack Wheeler and Drew Hutchison stand out due to their sustained or increased fastball velocity (*note that 91.4 mph represents Drew’s average fastball velocity in 2012, not 2013 since he did not appear in a major league game last year). For those showing decreased velocity thus far, I would monitor their starts to see if they regain some ticks on the radar gun as they build up arm strength. David Price is yielding home runs on 15.7% of his fly balls, the highest clip of his career, and his average fastball velocity has never been lower. Stephen Strasburg’s 13.3 clip is also his highest. Not surprisingly, his average fastball is at his career low. It should be noted that Zach McAllister’s 2.6% home run per fly ball rate is not sustainable, and that his xFIP (which normalizes home run per fly ball rates) has him at a more pedestrian 4.02.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 May 2014 00:34
 
The Markets and Tools of Ignorance PDF Print E-mail
Masters of the NFBC
Written by Greg Morgan   
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 00:00

OK, so the title may be a little harsh, but as such it just might garner a few more clicks. Winning fantasy baseball, or any fantasy sport for that matter, is all about spotting market errors or inefficiencies and exploiting them. Where did the market err this weekend? In many ways which only time will reveal. After all, none of us has a crystal ball. We’ll focus here on some potential errors that might be useful to the player, namely, potential assets that were left unrostered that present a certain amount of upside.

I HATE taking a catcher early. Todd Zola has campaigned the last couple of years that the effects of position scarcity are greatly exaggerated. The scarcity trap is most lethal when you don the tools of ignorance too early in your draft. I love taking a flier late on whatever scraps the markets have left on the table.

Robinson Chirinos - Geovany Soto was placed on the 60-day disabled list and could miss up to three months. Robinson Chirinos and J.P. Arencibia will do their best to fill in. We know what the latter gives you, tons of power but precious little contact. Chirinos slashed .438/.486/.656 this spring and outplayed the former Blue Jay backstop. He displayed good pitch recognition skills last year at Round Rock, drawing 38 walks against 55 strikeouts in 311 plate appearances. The word from Ranger brass is that the veteran will receive the larger part of the platoon, but this is a fluid situation in which the rookie could earn more at-bats if he continues to swing a hot stick. Keep in mind that even though catcher is his primary position, he won’t qualify there initially in the NFBC since he played one more game at first base in limited action last year. In the FBPC, he qualifies at catcher-only right out of the chute.

J.P. Arencibia – Is it cheating if we play both sides of the same coin? And even if it is, who cares? It’s all about numbers, probabilities, and sifting through the chaff until you find some wheat. Arencibia is a career .212 hitter who is probably going to pull an “Adam Dunn” on your batting average, but he’s also hit 62 homers over the last three years. That can be useful, particularly if you’ve got a buffer on your BA to work with. Note that his availability might be restricted to 12-team leagues.

Josmil Pinto – A decent spring earned Pinto a spot on the opening day roster. Early on during the hot stove league, it appeared the Twins wanted to give their bright young star a chance as the first stringer, but they vacillated a little and ended up signing Kurt Suzuki just in case Pinto isn’t ready. Managers are fickle and it doesn’t take much to change their mind. Displaying great discipline with a 64/71 K/BB ratio, Pinto reached base at a .411 clip and went yard 14 times in 107 games. Keep the rookie on your radar and he might be worth a $1 FAAB stash if you’re hurting at catcher and want some upside.

Brayan Pena – At 31 years of age, Pena is more of a career journeyman and backup, so he’s most likely to be a temporary fix until Devin Mesoraco returns from the disabled list. Splitting time with Alex Avila in the Motor City, the one time Tiger posted a .297 batting average, a career high. Any hitter playing half of their games in Great American Ballpark gets a slight boost due to the venue, and thus Brayan is worth a look for those in need of an emergency fill-in to stop the bleeding, and who knows what could happen if Mesoraco is forced to miss more time.

Yasmani Grandal – The young Padre has a lot more to prove than others on this list due to his connection with the Biogenesis scandal and the impact of PED’s or lack thereof in the aftermath. On the bright side, he’s always shown incredible patience and excellent pitch recognition. Those skills should remain no matter what.  If Chase Headley if truly healthy and becomes the engine driving the offense as he was in 2012, and if a still young Yonder Alonso finally breaks out, the Padres’ offense might be a little better than everyone thinks. Grandal is in the right position to join in on the fun.

In the end, the joke could be on me. Each player on this short list could crap the bed. But hey, what do you expect in the 31st round? 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 April 2014 02:06
 
Down on the Upside PDF Print E-mail
Masters of the NFBC
Written by Greg Morgan   
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 00:00

I hate to be Debbie Downer, but the following players are currently overpriced in NFBC leagues. That’s not to say that they can’t earn their current Average Draft Position, but I wouldn’t count on it. These aren’t your cookie cutter regression picks. I’m going out on a limb here and it wouldn’t surprise me to see a breakout emerge from this list. The problem is that either hype or the “shiny new toy” syndrome has inflated their price, making them unattractive to me on draft day.

Bryce Harper – I love the Nationals starting left fielder. I really do, but let’s be realistic. He has two years under his belt and his high watermark in a single season is 22 home runs. Granted, injuries limited his at-bats, but that’s the knock against him. Staying healthy is a skill and Harper hasn’t excelled at staying on the field. He plays with a reckless abandon reminiscent of Grady Sizemore. That concerns me. I expect a higher floor out of a first round pick. Could he break out just as Trout did and earn $40+? Anything is possible, but it takes something closer to probable to justify his current price.

Yasiel Puig Pitchers seemed to catch up to Yasiel in early to mid-August, starting to jam him inside. How will he adjust? I will let someone else pay the price of an early second round pick to find out. Over his last 158 at-bats, he produced a line of .234/17/8/11/4. Compare that to Will Venable’s last 158 at-bats (.291/22/7/14/9). I’m just sayin’, the market has stars in its eyes from witnessing Puig’s eye-popping bat speed and scorching pre-All-Star break slash of .391/.422/.616. I have my eyes on the tenuous floor the young Cuban sensation stands on.

Giancarlo StantonSome analysts I have a ton of respect for like the 2014 fantasy prospects of the slugger formerly known as Mike. While I share the enthusiasm for his talent, my focus is primarily on his penchant for injuries (failed to reach 450 at-bats each of the last two seasons) and how the incredible wholesale liquidation of the Miami Marlins’ lineup during the off-season a year ago noticeably decreased the right fielder’s counting numbers in 2013. If he can stay on the field, he could club 40 homers, and yet he remains a batting average and health risk. The only problem with that is these risks don’t come with a discount.

Albert PujolsThose who followed this column back in 2012 knew to stay away from the former Cardinal on draft day. That spring, Phat Albert was anything but, having shed an incredible amount of weight and muscle. He appeared to be a shell of his previous slugging self. Unless I see something different this spring out in Arizona, Winnie the Pujols will remain on my do not draft list.

Billy HamiltonThe Reds rookie doesn’t EXACTLY fit on this list. I say that because the rules of engagement are a little different in a Main Event where you are competing against literally hundreds of other teams. There you have to shoot the moon with at least a half dozen or more of your picks. If he could just get on base, 100 swipes is a realistic target, and therein lies the rub. It’s too early to label him as Dee Gordon volume II, and yet an unimpressive .256 batting average at Triple-A Louisville is an inauspicious sign. The speedster is currently being drafted in the fifth round. A hot spring will likely push that up into the third. I would stay away in stand-alone leagues, but if you’re the type that likes to let it all ride on snake eyes in the Main Event, Hamilton’s potential payoff is very sweet.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 March 2014 01:26
 
CBS Sports Analysts League PDF Print E-mail
Masters of the NFBC
Written by Greg Morgan   
Tuesday, 01 October 2013 00:00

In the CBSsports.com Analysts League AL-only auction draft conducted in the spring, I went in with the specific strategy of quasi-punting batting average and saves. I spotted a number of players that were being heavily discounted due to their BA drain. Of course, average is rather volatile from year to year so I targeted a few players who were either coming off one of their worst years in that category or at least had demonstrated a higher clip at some point. That way, I might garner a few BA points if some of these guys bounced back. In pitching, I wanted to drive home ERA, WHIP, Wins and K’s, then get whatever saves I could with the money I had left. I figured I could get by with just one closer because such a “weakness” would actually strengthen my position in wins and strikeouts.

I left the auction table with this lineup:

C - Carlos Santana – 20

C - John Jaso – 11

1B – Mark Reynolds – 10

2B – Ian Kinsler – 27

3B – Josh Donaldson – 1

SS – Alexei Ramirez – 15

MI – Kelly Johnson – 8

CI – Wilson Betemit – 6

OF – Drew Stubbs – 14

OF – Lorenzo Cain – 20

OF – Jeff Francoeur – 8

OF – Colby Rasmus – 13

OF – Justin Maxwell – 9

U – Vernon Wells – 1

P – David Price – 30

P – Hiroki Kuroda – 12

P – Doug Fister - 14

P – Anibal Sanchez – 12

P – Dan Straily – 6

P – Jeff Niemann – 4

P – Chris Archer – 2

P – Miguel Gonzalez – 5

P – Glen Perkins – 12

All I needed was my bats to stay healthy and the mission would be accomplished. Health evaded me. By the most conservative of estimates, injuries to Kinsler, Jaso, Betemit, Cain, Rasmus and Maxwell cost me a minimum of 1100 AB’s. For good measure, Francoeur and Wells both lost their jobs. I didn’t need them to be good mind you; they just had to stay in the lineup. The pitchers maxed out ERA and WHIP along the way in leading the league in pitching points. The formula worked, but in the end, a lack of AB’s was the downfall. The strategy would have been harder to execute in mixed leagues, but in AL/NL-only formats, it’s more feasible. My funds were split $163 Hitters/$97 Pitchers.

The champion, Dean Peterson of Stats LLC, employed a completely different, albeit more traditional strategy. He spent $214 on hitting and only $46 on pitching. Interestingly, he spent 60.8% of his pitching budget on just two closers and the rest on six starters and one speculative saves prospect. Despite this frugality, he still managed 1209 K’s (second) and 74 Wins (fourth).

Here was his draft day roster:

C – Matt Wieters – 16

C – Derek Norris – 3

1B – Chris Davis – 20

2B – Robinson Cano – 36

3B – Lonnie Chisenhall – 10

SS – Erick Aybar – 18

MI – Alexi Casilla – 1

CI – Chris Carter – 12

OF – Yoenis Cespedes – 31

OF – Leonys Martin – 14

OF – Brett Gardner – 20

OF – Michael Saunders – 11

OF – Craig Gentry – 2

U – Victor Martinez – 18

P – Grant Balfour – 13

P – Addison Reed – 15

P – Derek Holland – 7

P – Justin Masterson – 3

P – Ervin Santana – 4

P – Martin Perez – 1

P – Bruce Chen – 1

P – Josh Fields – 1

P – John Lackey – 1

It is no surprise that he dominated hitting, scoring 55 out of a possible 60. While he spent precious few $ on starters, he made those dollars count. Just about everything he touched turned to gold. When Dean Peterson talks pitching prospects, EF Hutton listens. His strategy is straightforward, but one that can be extremely difficult to execute unless you are gifted in identifying stars among the trash heap of cheap pitchers on draft day.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 October 2013 07:24
 
The Duke of San Diego PDF Print E-mail
Masters of the NFBC
Written by Greg Morgan   
Tuesday, 24 September 2013 00:00

Kevin Dukesherer is no stranger to success in the High Stakes arena, and he has landed in the baseball money circle yet again. In the Fantasy Baseball Players Championship inaugural season, the Duke has led the field for the last month and is one week away from bringing home 50K. Let’s look at his draft.

1.2 Miguel Cabrera (1.1,1.1)

2.13 Adrian Beltre (1.14,2.5)

3.2 Ian Kinsler (3.2,2.11)

4.13 Ian Desmond (4.2,3.9)

5.2 Adam Wainwright (4.11,3.8)

6.13 Jordan Zimmermann (7.10,6.9)

7.2 R.A. Dickey (6.6,6.4)

8.13 Carlos Gomez (9.10,7.14)

9.2 Fernando Rodney (8.10,7.3)

10.13 Chris Davis (9.14,10.6)

11.2 Matt Harvey (9.2,10.8)

12.13 Huston Street (12.10,12.1)

13.2 A.J. Pierzynski (13.4,12.2)

14.13 Alcides Escobar (13.14,9.10)

15.2 Josh Reddick (13.5,15.3)

16.13 Michael Saunders (22.14,19.9)

17.2 Steve Cishek (13.11,14.1)

18.13 Jayson Werth (14.3,14.11)

19.2 Tommy Milone

20.13 Aaron Hicks

21.2 Jurickson Profar

22.13 Mitch Moreland

23.2 Erasmo Ramirez

24.13 Brett Myers

25.2 Eduardo Nunez

26.13 Cody Ross

27.2 Cory Luebke

28.13 Yasmani Grandal

29.2 Erik Kratz

30.13 Dan Straily

Through 13 rounds, this is one of the most glorious drafts I’ve seen in quite some time, perhaps one of the best ever. R.A. Dickey did struggle a little adjusting to the American League, but other than that each pick was a resounding success. The numbers to the left represent the round Kevin drafted each player. I do not have access to any ADP data, so I merely tracked each pick in both of my FBPC Main Event drafts. The numbers to the right of each player represent where those players were taken in those two Main Event drafts. It’s abundantly clear that a value drafting approach was employed here. Kevin knows how to spot a value while simultaneously avoiding the “value trap” as it were. Among the numerous values, Adrian Beltre at 2.13 jumps off the page. I don’t know what else to say other than it is utterly shocking that the elite third baseman lasted that long. Structurally, he built cornerstones in his infield first, waiting on pitching until the 5th and eschewing outfielders until the 8th round. Power planted at the corners and speed spread through the middle infield and outfield. KJ’s Zefurs lead the overall in both HR’s (300) and RBI’s (1084), drafting an impressive 77.3% (232) of his homers and 75.6% (820) of his ribbies with his first 10 drafted hitters.

**************************************************

Kansas City’s top pitching prospect Yordano Ventura has pitched well through two big league starts and is scheduled to take the mound once more on Saturday night in the Windy City. The fireballer boasts a fastball that hits triple digits and is someone to scout during his cup of coffee and during the preseason in 2014.

Danny Salazar is another youngster who can light up the radar gun. The night I saw him pitch, his fastball, while very fast, didn’t have a ton of movement and he wasn’t changing speeds that much. Nevertheless, with a 57/14 K/BB ratio, clearly he’s doing something right. The Indians have capped his pitch count at around 80 most starts, so he’s only averaging five innings per start and often only goes four. The rookie heads to Chicago Wednesday for his final start of the season.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 September 2013 07:39
 
Dead Money PDF Print E-mail
Masters of the NFBC
Written by Greg Morgan   
Tuesday, 06 August 2013 07:28

Thanks to Lord Zola for filling in for me last week as I enjoyed the sun, the rain, the storms and the sand in Surfside Beach, South Carolina.  I didn’t manage to watch much baseball while I was there but did make it out to TicketReturn.com Field for some Carolina League action. It rained the entire game, but the Myrtle Beach Pelicans played through the mist. We arrived a little late and some squatters stole our sheltered seats. The usher just said, “Sorry about your luck. Have an umbrella.” Ah, yes…southern hospitality. No worries, we weren’t going to let a little H2O spoil our ball diamond fun. I texted Perry Van Hook, who always has his finger on the pulse of Rangers prospects, inquiring who I should keep an eye on during the game. He said to check out leadoff man Luis Sardinas and Rougned Odor. The middle infield duo combined to go 1-for-7 at the dish and didn’t do anything in particular to stand out, other than Odor displaying an extremely wide stance. It puzzles me how anyone could be comfortable at the plate with his base that wide. Yet, Odor is holding his own against much older competition, slashing .303/.368/.452 at High A at only 19 years of age. He’s swiped 27 bags and has been caught eight times. Sardinas boasts a similar line with even less power (.299/.360/.362, 26 steals and caught eight times). Luis is 20 years old. Both youngsters got promoted to Double-A Frisco immediately after the game. Double-A is usually when I start paying attention, as the wheat gets separated from the chaff at that level.

Using Todd’s lists from a week ago, I compiled the following table breaking down “Dead Money 2”, NFBC’s 1st place team as of Sunday morning.

Round

Player

ADP

Value

1.12

Carlos Gonzalez

1.9

$43

2.4

Justin Verlander

1.13

$0

3.12

Jay Bruce

3.8

$27

4.4

Adam Wainwright

4.13

$27

5.12

Shin-Soo Choo

5.13

$23

6.4

Jon Lester

9.6

-$1

7.12

Martin Prado

7.6

$8

8.4

Paul Konerko

8.1

-

9.12

Howie Kendrick

9.5

$16

10.4

Greg Holland

10.8

$17

11.12

Michael Cuddyer

12.1

$27

12.4

Glen Perkins

12.7

$15

13.12

Alex Cobb

16.10

$5

14.4

Everth Cabrera

14.14

$24

15.12

Brandon League

14.13

-

16.4

Domonic Brown

20.3

$26

17.12

Clay Buchholz

20.1

$15

18.4

Jaime Garcia

20.14

-$3

19.12

Ryan Ludwick

17.2

-

20.4

Tyler Flowers

21.15

-

21.12

Lucas Duda

23.2

-

22.4

Jose Quintana

33.2

$5

23.12

Jake Arrieta

-

-

24.4

Jason Castro

22.7

$13

25.12

Luis Cruz

25.11

-

26.4

Brett Wallace

28.3

-

27.12

Miguel Gonzalez

27.6

$3

28.4

Dylan Axelrod

-

-

29.12

Mark Ellis

31.8

$2

30.4

Phil Coke

30.2

-

He nailed his first round pick, but he really made his money in the middle rounds with Cuddyer, Cabrera, Brown and Castro in rounds 11, 14, 16 and 24, respectively. Each made Zola’s “Top 50 Surprises” list, with three breaking the top 20. His draft wasn’t void of mine fields either. Justin Verlander has arguably been the biggest bust this season while Jon Lester and Martin Prado have both been disappointing.

Other keys to this money team: A) waiting on catchers - eschewing them until the 20th round. B) waiting on closers – holding off until round 10 and 12 to snag Holland and Perkins. C) nailing end of rotation fliers – coming through with picks such as Jose Quintana and Miguel Gonzalez.

His booty from the wire includes Eric Chavez, Nick Franklin, Jim Henderson, Corey Kluber, Ivan Nova and Jeff Locke.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 August 2013 07:35
 
Fun With Lists PDF Print E-mail
Masters of the NFBC
Written by Todd Zola   
Tuesday, 30 July 2013 13:44

Everyone loves lists! Let's have some fun with the NFBC and some lists. The column headings are position rank, player, dollar value in a 15-team league, NFBC ADP, overall rank.

   Top 30 Catchers    Top 30 First Baseman
POS Player VALUE ADP RANK POS Player VALUE ADP RANK
1 Yadier Molina $25 68 30 1 Chris Davis $43 119 2
2 Buster Posey $24 17 33 2 Paul Goldschmidt $37 41 5
3 Mike Napoli $21 92 47 3 Edwin Encarnacion $35 28 9
4 Wilin Rosario $21 78 52 4 Joey Votto $28 7 18
5 Joe Mauer $20 53 59 5 Allen Craig $26 47 28
6 Jonathan Lucroy $20 131 60 6 Adrian Gonzalez $20 31 58
7 Victor Martinez $17 74 83 7 Prince Fielder $19 10 64
8 Carlos Santana $16 61 89 8 Freddie Freeman $19 67 67
9 Russell Martin $14 264 115 9 James Loney $17 462 79
10 Matt Wieters $13 75 117 10 Eric Hosmer $17 93 82
11 Jason Castro $13 337 125 11 Kendrys Morales $16 134 87
12 John Buck $11 448 142 12 Albert Pujols $16 8 91
13 A.J. Pierzynski $11 176 148 13 Adam Dunn $14 185 114
14 Evan Gattis $11 562 152 14 Anthony Rizzo $13 89 126
15 Brian McCann $11 188 153 15 Adam Lind $12 298 139
16 J.P. Arencibia $10 218 155 16 Chris Carter $9 306 171
17 Jarrod Saltalamacchia $10 243 160 17 Billy Butler $9 42 179
18 Ryan Doumit $9 169 181 18 Adam LaRoche $9 128 180
19 Salvador Perez $8 100 193 19 Justin Morneau $9 174 182
20 Miguel Montero $5 97 242 20 Brandon Belt $8 211 191
21 A.J. Ellis $4 284 254 21 Ryan Howard $6 101 214
22 John Jaso $4 261 265 22 Mark Reynolds $6 292 216
23 Dioner Navarro $4 685 269 23 Yonder Alonso $6 259 221
24 Nick Hundley $3 433 293 24 Mitch Moreland $5 315 245
25 Derek Norris $3 453 296 25 Lyle Overbay $4 748 258
26 Devin Mesoraco $2 384 308 26 Matt Adams $0 489 359
27 Welington Castillo $1 336 326 27 Justin Smoak $0 349 367
28 Jose Lobaton $1 838 328 28 Yan Gomes $0 716 383
29 Wilson Ramos $1 326 340 29 Lance Berkman -$1 232 388
30 Erik Kratz $1 474 343 30 Todd Helton -$1 569 397

 

Top 30 Second Baseman    Top 30 Third Baseman
POS Player VALUE ADP RANK POS Player VALUE ADP RANK
1 Jason Kipnis $32 56 13 1 Miguel Cabrera $51 1 1
2 Robinson Cano $29 4 16 2 David Wright $29 26 15
3 Dustin Pedroia $23 25 36 3 Adrian Beltre $27 23 22
4 Daniel Murphy $22 275 45 4 Matt Carpenter $24 262 35
5 Brandon Phillips $18 60 73 5 Evan Longoria $23 21 41
6 Jose Altuve $17 90 76 6 Josh Donaldson $22 394 46
7 Howie Kendrick $16 140 88 7 Manny Machado $21 199 49
8 Ben Zobrist $14 48 109 8 Kyle Seager $21 159 50
9 Chase Utley $12 109 131 9 Pedro Alvarez $20 187 57
10 Kelly Johnson $12 323 137 10 Ryan Zimmerman $16 33 94
11 Ian Kinsler $11 30 145 11 Chris Johnson $12 351 138
12 Dan Uggla $10 191 162 12 Todd Frazier $8 160 187
13 Omar Infante $8 245 192 13 Martin Prado $8 96 190
14 Marco Scutaro $6 213 220 14 Pablo Sandoval $7 95 207
15 Mark Ellis $2 458 300 15 Michael Young $5 241 229
16 Ryan Raburn $2 696 302 16 Matt Dominguez $5 449 246
17 Rickie Weeks $1 105 324 17 Chase Headley $4 64 253
18 Neil Walker $0 163 374 18 Trevor Plouffe $3 269 294
19 Conor Gillaspie -$1 906 389 19 David Freese $2 158 303
20 DJ LeMahieu -$1 619 395 20 Eric Chavez $1 586 320
21 Daniel Descalso -$1 476 417 21 Jedd Gyorko $1 229 321
22 Alexi Amarista -$2 541 434 22 Juan Francisco $1 444 322
23 Gordon Beckham -$2 309 449 23 Nolan Arenado $1 407 335
24 Derek Dietrich -$3 #N/A 451 24 Alberto Callaspo $0 432 356
25 Yuniesky Betancourt -$3 834 463 25 Juan Uribe $0 756 379
26 Maicer Izturis -$3 358 464 26 Luis Valbuena -$1 676 410
27 Skip Schumaker -$3 663 488 27 Jayson Nix -$1 780 416
28 Darwin Barney -$4 399 495 28 Adeiny Hechavarria -$3 485 454
29 Aaron Hill -$4 55 496 29 Aramis Ramirez -$3 49 456
30 Ed Lucas -$6 #N/A 596 30 Placido Polanco -$5 547 529

 

Top 30 Shortstop Top 100 Outfielders
POS Player VALUE ADP RANK POS Player VALUE ADP RANK
1 Jean Segura $34 228 10 1 Carlos Gonzalez $43 9 3
2 Everth Cabrera $24 209 32 2 Mike Trout $42 2 4
3 Troy Tulowitzki $23 11 38 3 Adam Jones $35 29 7
4 Ian Desmond $22 43 44 4 Carlos Gomez $35 104 8
5 Jhonny Peralta $17 301 77 5 Jacoby Ellsbury $33 35 11
6 Hanley Ramirez $15 65 100 6 Andrew McCutchen $32 6 12
7 Alexei Ramirez $14 192 106 7 Michael Cuddyer $27 166 19
8 J.J. Hardy $13 220 120 8 Starling Marte $27 203 20
9 Elvis Andrus $13 85 123 9 Jay Bruce $27 38 21
10 Jed Lowrie $11 258 147 10 Domonic Brown $26 288 24
11 Andrelton Simmons $11 227 154 11 Jose Bautista $26 18 27
12 Asdrubal Cabrera $9 99 177 12 Alex Rios $25 70 31
13 Jimmy Rollins $8 57 189 13 Nelson Cruz $24 112 34
14 Erick Aybar $6 146 212 14 Hunter Pence $23 114 37
15 Brian Dozier $6 535 218 15 Shin-Soo Choo $23 73 40
16 Jose Reyes $6 22 219 16 Carlos Beltran $22 123 43
17 Starlin Castro $6 34 224 17 Torii Hunter $21 201 51
18 Mike Aviles $6 389 225 18 Desmond Jennings $20 66 53
19 Yunel Escobar $5 303 232 19 Alejandro De Aza $20 193 56
20 Alcides Escobar $5 150 240 20 Alfonso Soriano $20 215 62
21 Nate McLouth $19 412 66
Top 3 Designated Hitters 22 Mark Trumbo $19 98 68
POS Player VALUE ADP RANK 23 Brett Gardner $19 152 69
1 David Ortiz $29 202 17 24 Marlon Byrd $18 635 71
2 Luke Scott $3 516 291 25 Dexter Fowler $17 195 80
3 Travis Hafner $0 510 346 26 Michael Brantley $17 302 81
27 Jayson Werth $16 180 85
28 Justin Upton $16 19 86
29 Coco Crisp $16 181 90
30 Matt Holliday $16 45 92
31 Norichika Aoki $16 137 95
32 Alex Gordon $15 80 97
33 Raul Ibanez $15 491 98
34 Colby Rasmus $14 277 108
35 Nick Markakis $14 177 112
36 Daniel Nava $13 732 118
37 Yasiel Puig $13 426 128
38 Yoenis Cespedes $12 32 129
39 Nate Schierholtz $12 483 130
40 Ben Revere $12 142 132
41 Bryce Harper $12 20 134
42 Michael Bourn $12 79 136
43 Rajai Davis $12 308 140
44 Ichiro Suzuki $11 170 144
45 Brandon Moss $11 272 146
46 Leonys Martin $11 305 151
47 Carlos Quentin $10 263 156
48 Gerardo Parra $10 362 157
49 Shane Victorino $10 108 159
50 Matt Joyce $10 329 164
51 Austin Jackson $10 83 165
52 Lorenzo Cain $9 226 173
53 Chris Denorfia $9 537 178
54 Eric Young $9 419 183
55 Josh Hamilton $8 16 188
56 Ryan Braun $8 3 199
57 Denard Span $7 260 203
58 Will Venable $7 312 208
59 Drew Stubbs $7 266 210
60 Carl Crawford $6 130 213
61 Michael Saunders $5 244 230
62 Jon Jay $5 279 233
63 Andre Ethier $5 161 234
64 Giancarlo Stanton $5 12 236
65 Nick Swisher $5 156 237
66 A.J. Pollock $5 723 248
67 Garrett Jones $4 240 252
68 Justin Ruggiano $4 268 255
69 Vernon Wells $4 463 257
70 Melky Cabrera $4 110 262
71 Wil Myers $4 239 268
72 Matt Kemp $4 5 271
73 Gregor Blanco $3 418 283
74 Andy Dirks $3 321 284
75 Mike Carp $3 599 287
76 John Mayberry $3 446 290
77 Marcell Ozuna $2 #N/A 310
78 Juan Pierre $2 234 311
79 Josh Reddick $1 168 325
80 J.D. Martinez $1 447 329
81 Josh Willingham $1 117 333
82 Kyle Blanks $1 658 336
83 Seth Smith $1 469 337
84 Brandon Barnes $1 887 338
85 Dayan Viciedo $1 205 341
86 Jordan Schafer $1 710 345
87 David DeJesus $0 422 347
88 Cody Ross $0 295 352
89 Angel Pagan $0 167 358
90 Chris Young $0 319 363
91 David Murphy $0 250 364
92 David Lough $0 736 365
93 J.B. Shuck $0 #N/A 371
94 Jason Heyward $0 24 372
95 Aaron Hicks $0 325 378
96 Jarrod Dyson $0 459 381
97 Michael Morse -$1 120 394
98 Delmon Young -$1 324 406
99 Lucas Duda -$1 340 407
100 Jonny Gomes -$2 385 419

 

Top 100 Starting Pitchers Top 30 Relievers
POS Player VALUE ADP RANK POS Player VALUE ADP
1 Clayton Kershaw $36 15 6 1 Craig Kimbrel $20 46
2 Matt Harvey $31 132 14 2 Joe Nathan $20 125
3 Adam Wainwright $27 58 23 3 Edward Mujica $19 705
4 Max Scherzer $26 63 25 4 Jason Grilli $18 189
5 Felix Hernandez $26 36 26 5 Greg Holland $17 143
6 Patrick Corbin $26 456 29 6 Mariano Rivera $17 124
7 Madison Bumgarner $23 54 39 7 Glen Perkins $15 172
8 Hisashi Iwakuma $22 265 42 8 Grant Balfour $15 182
9 Yu Darvish $21 51 48 9 Bobby Parnell $14 231
10 Chris Sale $20 62 54 10 Kenley Jansen $14 173
11 Cliff Lee $19 44 65 11 Jim Johnson $13 133
12 Mike Minor $18 165 70 12 Koji Uehara $13 552
13 Hiroki Kuroda $18 155 74 13 Addison Reed $13 164
14 Bartolo Colon $17 513 75 14 Aroldis Chapman $12 72
15 Jose Fernandez $16 600 93 15 Jonathan Papelbon $12 88
16 Jordan Zimmermann $16 86 96 16 Sergio Romo $11 135
17 Shelby Miller $15 248 102 17 Steve Cishek $11 194
18 Travis Wood $15 494 103 18 Mark Melancon $10 467
19 Clay Buchholz $15 286 104 19 Drew Smyly $10 361
20 Jeff Locke $15 673 105 20 Rafael Soriano $10 115
21 Stephen Strasburg $14 14 107 21 Derek Holland $10 252
22 Justin Masterson $14 374 111 22 Casey Janssen $9 184
23 Ervin Santana $13 381 119 23 Jose Veras $9 285
24 Francisco Liriano $13 420 122 24 Joaquin Benoit $8 377
25 Mike Leake $13 509 124 25 Fernando Rodney $8 107
26 Gio Gonzalez $12 50 135 26 Kevin Gregg $8 #N/A
27 Anibal Sanchez $11 178 150 27 Ernesto Frieri $8 198
28 Julio Teheran $10 271 167 28 Tom Wilhelmsen $8 148
29 Kyle Lohse $9 253 169 29 Tyler Clippard $7 379
30 James Shields $9 77 170 30 Jim Henderson $7 565
31 Bronson Arroyo $9 401 174
32 C.J. Wilson $9 145 175
33 Matt Moore $9 91 176
34 A.J. Griffin $8 280 185
35 Hyun-Jin Ryu $8 254 194
36 A.J. Burnett $8 210 198
37 Mat Latos $8 84 200
38 John Lackey $8 472 201
39 Homer Bailey $7 200 202
40 Tony Cingrani $7 688 206
41 Matt Garza $7 242 209
42 Jered Weaver $7 52 211
43 Doug Fister $6 141 217
44 Chris Archer $6 435 222
45 David Price $6 27 223
46 Alex Torres $6 #N/A 226
47 Alex Cobb $5 235 231
48 Jeff Samardzija $5 113 235
49 Eric Stults $5 528 239
50 Scott Feldman $5 577 241
51 Jose Quintana $5 482 243
52 Jorge de la Rosa $5 436 247
53 Chris Tillman $4 317 250
54 Tyler Chatwood $4 #N/A 266
55 Lance Lynn $4 186 267
56 Ricky Nolasco $4 437 274
57 Chad Gaudin $4 #N/A 275
58 Tim Hudson $3 233 276
59 Corey Kluber $3 856 277
60 Jhoulys Chacin $3 466 278
61 Hector Santiago $3 558 292
62 Jacob Turner $2 493 304
63 Zack Greinke $2 59 306
64 Bruce Chen $2 630 307
65 Tommy Milone $2 251 313
66 Cole Hamels $2 37 314
67 Wei-Yin Chen $2 322 317
68 Jake Peavy $1 118 327
69 Jeremy Hellickson $1 206 330
70 Wandy Rodriguez $1 282 344
71 Kyle Kendrick $0 402 348
72 Scott Kazmir $0 475 353
73 Jarrod Parker $0 196 360
74 Andrew Cashner $0 304 361
75 Samuel Deduno $0 706 362
76 Johnny Cueto $0 87 376
77 Justin Verlander $0 13 382
78 Alexi Ogando -$1 216 385
79 Tyson Ross -$1 582 390
80 Jon Lester -$1 126 393
81 Gerrit Cole -$1 397 401
82 Ivan Nova -$1 416 402
83 Dan Straily -$1 353 403
84 Matt Cain -$1 40 404
85 Felix Doubront -$1 355 409
86 Wade Miley -$1 224 411
87 Kris Medlen -$1 76 412
88 Randall Delgado -$1 533 418
89 Jeremy Hefner -$2 636 420
90 Rick Porcello -$2 411 438
91 Jason Vargas -$2 313 442
92 Brian Matusz -$2 624 444
93 Jake Westbrook -$2 505 446
94 CC Sabathia -$3 71 452
95 Jaime Garcia -$3 299 458
96 Dillon Gee -$3 332 471
97 Zach McAllister -$3 471 476
98 Jarred Cosart -$3 601 481
99 Tim Lincecum -$3 138 486
100 Bud Norris -$4 344 502

 

Top 360 Overall
POS Player VALUE ADP POS Player VALUE ADP POS Player VALUE ADP
1 Miguel Cabrera $51 1 121 Koji Uehara $13 552 241 Scott Feldman $5 577
2 Chris Davis $43 119 122 Francisco Liriano $13 420 242 Miguel Montero $5 97
3 Carlos Gonzalez $43 9 123 Elvis Andrus $13 85 243 Jose Quintana $5 482
4 Mike Trout $42 2 124 Mike Leake $13 509 244 Chris Perez $5 171
5 Paul Goldschmidt $37 41 125 Jason Castro $13 337 245 Mitch Moreland $5 315
6 Clayton Kershaw $36 15 126 Anthony Rizzo $13 89 246 Matt Dominguez $5 449
7 Adam Jones $35 29 127 Addison Reed $13 164 247 Jorge de la Rosa $5 436
8 Carlos Gomez $35 104 128 Yasiel Puig $13 426 248 A.J. Pollock $5 723
9 Edwin Encarnacion $35 28 129 Yoenis Cespedes $12 32 249 Luke Hochevar $5 629
10 Jean Segura $34 228 130 Nate Schierholtz $12 483 250 Chris Tillman $4 317
11 Jacoby Ellsbury $33 35 131 Chase Utley $12 109 251 Huston Street $4 154
12 Andrew McCutchen $32 6 132 Ben Revere $12 142 252 Garrett Jones $4 240
13 Jason Kipnis $32 56 133 Aroldis Chapman $12 72 253 Chase Headley $4 64
14 Matt Harvey $31 132 134 Bryce Harper $12 20 254 A.J. Ellis $4 284
15 David Wright $29 26 135 Gio Gonzalez $12 50 255 Justin Ruggiano $4 268
16 Robinson Cano $29 4 136 Michael Bourn $12 79 256 Nick Franklin $4 523
17 David Ortiz $29 202 137 Kelly Johnson $12 323 257 Vernon Wells $4 463
18 Joey Votto $28 7 138 Chris Johnson $12 351 258 Lyle Overbay $4 748
19 Michael Cuddyer $27 166 139 Adam Lind $12 298 259 Tommy Hunter $4 667
20 Starling Marte $27 203 140 Rajai Davis $12 308 260 Brad Ziegler $4 934
21 Jay Bruce $27 38 141 Jonathan Papelbon $12 88 261 Darren O'Day $4 620
22 Adrian Beltre $27 23 142 John Buck $11 448 262 Melky Cabrera $4 110
23 Adam Wainwright $27 58 143 Sergio Romo $11 135 263 Luis Avilan $4 #N/A
24 Domonic Brown $26 288 144 Ichiro Suzuki $11 170 264 Francisco Rodriguez $4 717
25 Max Scherzer $26 63 145 Ian Kinsler $11 30 265 John Jaso $4 261
26 Felix Hernandez $26 36 146 Brandon Moss $11 272 266 Tyler Chatwood $4 #N/A
27 Jose Bautista $26 18 147 Jed Lowrie $11 258 267 Lance Lynn $4 186
28 Allen Craig $26 47 148 A.J. Pierzynski $11 176 268 Wil Myers $4 239
29 Patrick Corbin $26 456 149 Steve Cishek $11 194 269 Dioner Navarro $4 685
30 Yadier Molina $25 68 150 Anibal Sanchez $11 178 270 Tanner Scheppers $4 719
31 Alex Rios $25 70 151 Leonys Martin $11 305 271 Matt Kemp $4 5
32 Everth Cabrera $24 209 152 Evan Gattis $11 562 272 Paco Rodriguez $4 #N/A
33 Buster Posey $24 17 153 Brian McCann $11 188 273 Neal Cotts $4 #N/A
34 Nelson Cruz $24 112 154 Andrelton Simmons $11 227 274 Ricky Nolasco $4 437
35 Matt Carpenter $24 262 155 J.P. Arencibia $10 218 275 Chad Gaudin $4 #N/A
36 Dustin Pedroia $23 25 156 Carlos Quentin $10 263 276 Tim Hudson $3 233
37 Hunter Pence $23 114 157 Gerardo Parra $10 362 277 Corey Kluber $3 856
38 Troy Tulowitzki $23 11 158 Mark Melancon $10 467 278 Jhoulys Chacin $3 466
39 Madison Bumgarner $23 54 159 Shane Victorino $10 108 279 Ryan Cook $3 328
40 Shin-Soo Choo $23 73 160 Jarrod Saltalamacchia $10 243 280 Zack Cozart $3 276
41 Evan Longoria $23 21 161 Drew Smyly $10 361 281 Brandon Crawford $3 497
42 Hisashi Iwakuma $22 265 162 Dan Uggla $10 191 282 Rafael Betancourt $3 183
43 Carlos Beltran $22 123 163 Rafael Soriano $10 115 283 Gregor Blanco $3 418
44 Ian Desmond $22 43 164 Matt Joyce $10 329 284 Andy Dirks $3 321
45 Daniel Murphy $22 275 165 Austin Jackson $10 83 285 Trevor Rosenthal $3 382
46 Josh Donaldson $22 394 166 Derek Holland $10 252 286 Josh Collmenter $3 639
47 Mike Napoli $21 92 167 Julio Teheran $10 271 287 Mike Carp $3 599
48 Yu Darvish $21 51 168 Casey Janssen $9 184 288 Miguel Gonzalez $3 396
49 Manny Machado $21 199 169 Kyle Lohse $9 253 289 Casey Fien $3 #N/A
50 Kyle Seager $21 159 170 James Shields $9 77 290 John Mayberry $3 446
51 Torii Hunter $21 201 171 Chris Carter $9 306 291 Luke Scott $3 516
52 Wilin Rosario $21 78 172 Jose Veras $9 285 292 Hector Santiago $3 558
53 Desmond Jennings $20 66 173 Lorenzo Cain $9 226 293 Nick Hundley $3 433
54 Chris Sale $20 62 174 Bronson Arroyo $9 401 294 Trevor Plouffe $3 269
55 Craig Kimbrel $20 46 175 C.J. Wilson $9 145 295 Luke Gregerson $3 388
56 Alejandro De Aza $20 193 176 Matt Moore $9 91 296 Derek Norris $3 453
57 Pedro Alvarez $20 187 177 Asdrubal Cabrera $9 99 297 Jesse Crain $3 749
58 Adrian Gonzalez $20 31 178 Chris Denorfia $9 537 298 Cody Allen $3 897
59 Joe Mauer $20 53 179 Billy Butler $9 42 299 Tom Gorzelanny $2 889
60 Jonathan Lucroy $20 131 180 Adam LaRoche $9 128 300 Mark Ellis $2 458
61 Joe Nathan $20 125 181 Ryan Doumit $9 169 301 Brett Cecil $2 917
62 Alfonso Soriano $20 215 182 Justin Morneau $9 174 302 Ryan Raburn $2 696
63 Edward Mujica $19 705 183 Eric Young $9 419 303 David Freese $2 158
64 Prince Fielder $19 10 184 Joaquin Benoit $8 377 304 Jacob Turner $2 493
65 Cliff Lee $19 44 185 A.J. Griffin $8 280 305 Pedro Florimon $2 670
66 Nate McLouth $19 412 186 Fernando Rodney $8 107 306 Zack Greinke $2 59
67 Freddie Freeman $19 67 187 Todd Frazier $8 160 307 Bruce Chen $2 630
68 Mark Trumbo $19 98 188 Josh Hamilton $8 16 308 Devin Mesoraco $2 384
69 Brett Gardner $19 152 189 Jimmy Rollins $8 57 309 Tony Watson $2 830
70 Mike Minor $18 165 190 Martin Prado $8 96 310 Marcell Ozuna $2 #N/A
71 Marlon Byrd $18 635 191 Brandon Belt $8 211 311 Juan Pierre $2 234
72 Jason Grilli $18 189 192 Omar Infante $8 245 312 Heath Bell $2 563
73 Brandon Phillips $18 60 193 Salvador Perez $8 100 313 Tommy Milone $2 251
74 Hiroki Kuroda $18 155 194 Hyun-Jin Ryu $8 254 314 Cole Hamels $2 37
75 Bartolo Colon $17 513 195 Kevin Gregg $8 #N/A 315 Caleb Thielbar $2 #N/A
76 Jose Altuve $17 90 196 Ernesto Frieri $8 198 316 Sean Doolittle $2 511
77 Jhonny Peralta $17 301 197 Tom Wilhelmsen $8 148 317 Wei-Yin Chen $2 322
78 Greg Holland $17 143 198 A.J. Burnett $8 210 318 Brandon Kintzler $2 #N/A
79 James Loney $17 462 199 Ryan Braun $8 3 319 Steve Delabar $1 650
80 Dexter Fowler $17 195 200 Mat Latos $8 84 320 Eric Chavez $1 586
81 Michael Brantley $17 302 201 John Lackey $8 472 321 Jedd Gyorko $1 229
82 Eric Hosmer $17 93 202 Homer Bailey $7 200 322 Juan Francisco $1 444
83 Victor Martinez $17 74 203 Denard Span $7 260 323 Jose Iglesias $1 744
84 Mariano Rivera $17 124 204 Tyler Clippard $7 379 324 Rickie Weeks $1 105
85 Jayson Werth $16 180 205 Jim Henderson $7 565 325 Josh Reddick $1 168
86 Justin Upton $16 19 206 Tony Cingrani $7 688 326 Welington Castillo $1 336
87 Kendrys Morales $16 134 207 Pablo Sandoval $7 95 327 Jake Peavy $1 118
88 Howie Kendrick $16 140 208 Will Venable $7 312 328 Jose Lobaton $1 838
89 Carlos Santana $16 61 209 Matt Garza $7 242 329 J.D. Martinez $1 447
90 Coco Crisp $16 181 210 Drew Stubbs $7 266 330 Jeremy Hellickson $1 206
91 Albert Pujols $16 8 211 Jered Weaver $7 52 331 Eric Sogard $1 621
92 Matt Holliday $16 45 212 Erick Aybar $6 146 332 Jeanmar Gomez $1 #N/A
93 Jose Fernandez $16 600 213 Carl Crawford $6 130 333 Josh Willingham $1 117
94 Ryan Zimmerman $16 33 214 Ryan Howard $6 101 334 Alfredo Simon $1 #N/A
95 Norichika Aoki $16 137 215 Rex Brothers $6 499 335 Nolan Arenado $1 407
96 Jordan Zimmermann $16 86 216 Mark Reynolds $6 292 336 Kyle Blanks $1 658
97 Alex Gordon $15 80 217 Doug Fister $6 141 337 Seth Smith $1 469
98 Raul Ibanez $15 491 218 Brian Dozier $6 535 338 Brandon Barnes $1 887
99 Glen Perkins $15 172 219 Jose Reyes $6 22 339 Stephen Drew $1 311
100 Hanley Ramirez $15 65 220 Marco Scutaro $6 213 340 Wilson Ramos $1 326
101 Grant Balfour $15 182 221 Yonder Alonso $6 259 341 Dayan Viciedo $1 205
102 Shelby Miller $15 248 222 Chris Archer $6 435 342 David Carpenter $1 #N/A
103 Travis Wood $15 494 223 David Price $6 27 343 Erik Kratz $1 474
104 Clay Buchholz $15 286 224 Starlin Castro $6 34 344 Wandy Rodriguez $1 282
105 Jeff Locke $15 673 225 Mike Aviles $6 389 345 Jordan Schafer $1 710
106 Alexei Ramirez $14 192 226 Alex Torres $6 #N/A 346 Travis Hafner $0 510
107 Stephen Strasburg $14 14 227 Aaron Loup $6 #N/A 347 David DeJesus $0 422
108 Colby Rasmus $14 277 228 Justin Wilson $6 #N/A 348 Kyle Kendrick $0 402
109 Ben Zobrist $14 48 229 Michael Young $5 241 349 Sam LeCure $0 950
110 Bobby Parnell $14 231 230 Michael Saunders $5 244 350 Ross Ohlendorf $0 #N/A
111 Justin Masterson $14 374 231 Alex Cobb $5 235 351 J.J. Hoover $0 581
112 Nick Markakis $14 177 232 Yunel Escobar $5 303 352 Cody Ross $0 295
113 Kenley Jansen $14 173 233 Jon Jay $5 279 353 Scott Kazmir $0 475
114 Adam Dunn $14 185 234 Andre Ethier $5 161 354 J.P. Howell $0 #N/A
115 Russell Martin $14 264 235 Jeff Samardzija $5 113 355 Chad Qualls $0 #N/A
116 Jim Johnson $13 133 236 Giancarlo Stanton $5 12 356 Alberto Callaspo $0 432
117 Matt Wieters $13 75 237 Nick Swisher $5 156 357 Andrew Bailey $0 392
118 Daniel Nava $13 732 238 David Robertson $5 363 358 Angel Pagan $0 167
119 Ervin Santana $13 381 239 Eric Stults $5 528 359 Matt Adams $0 489
120 J.J. Hardy $13 220 240 Alcides Escobar $5 150 360 Jarrod Parker $0 196

 

Top 50 Surprises Top 50 Busts
Player Real Exp DIFF Player Real Exp DIFF
1 Chris Davis $43 $15 $28 1 Ryan Braun $8 $43 -$35
2 Jean Segura $34 $9 $25 2 Justin Verlander $0 $35 -$35
3 Patrick Corbin $26 $4 $22 3 Matt Kemp $4 $37 -$34
4 Domonic Brown $26 $6 $20 4 Giancarlo Stanton $5 $32 -$27
5 David Ortiz $29 $10 $19 5 Cole Hamels $2 $24 -$22
6 Carlos Gomez $35 $16 $19 6 Jose Reyes $6 $27 -$21
7 Edward Mujica $19 $1 $18 7 Josh Hamilton $8 $29 -$21
8 Starling Marte $27 $10 $18 8 David Price $6 $26 -$20
9 Josh Donaldson $22 $4 $17 9 Albert Pujols $16 $35 -$19
10 Matt Harvey $31 $14 $17 10 Starlin Castro $6 $24 -$18
11 Marlon Byrd $18 $2 $16 11 Zack Greinke $2 $20 -$18
12 Matt Carpenter $24 $8 $16 12 Stephen Strasburg $14 $32 -$17
13 Nate McLouth $19 $4 $15 13 Chase Headley $4 $20 -$16
14 Michael Cuddyer $27 $12 $15 14 Bryce Harper $12 $27 -$15
15 Bartolo Colon $17 $3 $15 15 Prince Fielder $19 $34 -$15
16 Daniel Murphy $22 $7 $15 16 Rickie Weeks $1 $16 -$15
17 Hisashi Iwakuma $22 $8 $15 17 Jered Weaver $7 $21 -$15
18 Everth Cabrera $24 $10 $15 18 Billy Butler $9 $23 -$14
19 Paul Goldschmidt $37 $23 $14 19 Josh Willingham $1 $15 -$14
20 Jose Fernandez $16 $2 $14 20 Ian Kinsler $11 $26 -$14
21 James Loney $17 $4 $14 21 Jake Peavy $1 $15 -$14
22 Jeff Locke $15 $1 $13 22 Robinson Cano $29 $42 -$13
23 Raul Ibanez $15 $3 $12 23 Jimmy Rollins $8 $21 -$13
24 Daniel Nava $13 $1 $12 24 Angel Pagan $0 $12 -$12
25 Travis Wood $15 $3 $12 25 Yoenis Cespedes $12 $25 -$12
26 Jhonny Peralta $17 $6 $11 26 Miguel Montero $5 $17 -$12
27 Torii Hunter $21 $10 $11 27 Melky Cabrera $4 $16 -$12
28 Manny Machado $21 $10 $11 28 Justin Upton $16 $28 -$11
29 Michael Brantley $17 $6 $11 29 Josh Reddick $1 $12 -$11
30 Jason Kipnis $32 $21 $11 30 David Freese $2 $13 -$11
31 Koji Uehara $13 $2 $11 31 Jeff Samardzija $5 $16 -$11
32 Alfonso Soriano $20 $9 $10 32 Mat Latos $8 $18 -$10
33 Mike Leake $13 $3 $10 33 Jarrod Parker $0 $10 -$10
34 Alejandro De Aza $20 $10 $10 34 Ryan Howard $6 $16 -$10
35 Adam Jones $35 $26 $10 35 Pablo Sandoval $7 $17 -$10
36 Justin Masterson $14 $5 $10 36 Troy Tulowitzki $23 $33 -$10
37 Nate Schierholtz $12 $3 $9 37 Gio Gonzalez $12 $22 -$10
38 Francisco Liriano $13 $4 $9 38 James Shields $9 $19 -$9
39 Edwin Encarnacion $35 $26 $9 39 Dayan Viciedo $1 $10 -$9
40 Pedro Alvarez $20 $11 $9 40 Ryan Zimmerman $16 $25 -$9
41 Jacoby Ellsbury $33 $24 $9 41 Huston Street $4 $13 -$9
42 Ervin Santana $13 $5 $9 42 Jeremy Hellickson $1 $10 -$9
43 Yasiel Puig $13 $4 $9 43 Alcides Escobar $5 $13 -$9
44 Evan Gattis $11 $2 $9 44 Salvador Perez $8 $16 -$8
45 Clay Buchholz $15 $6 $8 45 Martin Prado $8 $17 -$8
46 Jason Castro $13 $5 $8 46 Rafael Betancourt $3 $11 -$8
47 Carlos Gonzalez $43 $35 $8 47 Nick Swisher $5 $13 -$8
48 Nelson Cruz $24 $16 $8 48 Matt Moore $9 $17 -$8
49 John Buck $11 $4 $8 49 Austin Jackson $10 $18 -$8
50 Kyle Seager $21 $13 $8 50 Carl Crawford $6 $14 -$8

 

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 July 2013 17:49
 
Marginal Speed Plays PDF Print E-mail
Masters of the NFBC
Written by Greg Morgan   
Tuesday, 23 July 2013 00:00

It may seem like irrelevant minutia, losing the forest for the trees. I believe that such minutia can be the difference between standing in the winner’s circle or heading home with your pockets empty. I’ve had $40,000 come down to a handful of stats in the last set of games on the last day of the season. More times than I can count, where I would place in a money finish was determined at the last hour. That extra base hit, home run or stolen base can make all the difference in the world. Those events that occur near the finish line in September seem amplified, but it matters not whether you get that marginal stat in April, July or on the last day of the season.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia has thrown out just 18.6 percent of runners. The Red Sox have games against the Orioles, Mariners, Diamondbacks and Astros in the coming weeks. Waiver fodder such as Justin Maxwell, Brandon Barnes or A.J. Pollock might be worth a buck for a spot play if you have a weak outfield.

Whether it happens this year or next, it may be just a matter of time before the Indians wise up and give up on Carlos Santana donning the tools of ignorance. He’s throwing out just 11.4 percent of base thieves while backup Yan Gomes has cut down 11 of 20. If Gomes can maintain just a mediocre stick, the Indians’ brass may make a change. Until that time, fantasy owners can relish when their assets get the opportunity to challenge the ‘Black Magic Backstop.’*

Chris Iannetta has lost a few at-bats to Hank Conger, but he is still seeing at least 50% of the playing time. When he does get the start, he’s only gunning down 9.8% of opposing runners. Alex Avila is throwing out 18.5% of stealers in Motown. In a couple of weeks, the Royals will visit the Motor City and Elliot Johnson may be worth a desperation play in AL-only formats or even mixed formats if the baseball gods work out more playing time for him. Alternatively, Chris Getz, who twice has logged 20+ SB campaigns, may be worth a play.

Obviously, there’s more to a lineup decision than just the opposing catcher’s arm strength, but when faced with flip of the coin plays between two similar players, caught stealing percentage might be the tiebreaker. Injuries inevitably strike. When you look to the wire and are sifting through the Eric Sogards and Chris Denorfias of the fantasy world, just being mindful of speed matchups could get you that extra swipe or two that could be the difference when it comes time to cash.

The catcher’s arm strength and release time are only half of the equation. A pitcher’s ability to hold runners at first base and their time delivering the ball to home plate, those factors play into it as well. A.J. Burnett gave up 38 steals and caught only two baserunners in 2012. This year, 16 of 17 have reached safely. Tim Lincecum has seen 40 of 42 make it over the last two years. On the flip side, it’s best just to stay away from Matt Wieters, Yadier Molina, Russell Martin and A.J. Ellis as they are all throwing out over 42% of opposing runners. ESPN has a great statistical resource to use when scouting upcoming matchups.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 July 2013 07:31
 
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