Mastersball

Captain's Log


Trading Minor League Draft Picks PDF Print E-mail
Captain's Log
Written by Perry Van Hook   
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 00:00

One caveat in talking about any kind of trades is the need for clear cut trade regulations for the league. Without those, there will always be problems – some big enough to destroy a league.

FARM players, minor league prospects, require additional rules for the draft/activations/salaries etc. We looked at some of those last week, but one additional rule is that each team gets a specified number of minor league draft picks each year. So a team can’t just trade for an extra draft pick. There always needs to be an even exchange of draft picks in any trade.

While any individual league can use whatever system its members agree to, there are two formats used in the majority of keeper leagues.

The first is as discussed last week where each team gets a specified number of minor league draft picks each year – whether that is five, as I discussed in my league, or three or any other number.

Tied to that is whatever limit on total minor league players your league does or does not specify. Again, in my AL keeper league, we draft five each year but can keep as many as we want (to pay for as each frozen minor leaguer from last year is five dollars to the prize fun). But in the NL keeper league I play in, you can retain a maximum of eight minor league players (and have to pay ten dollars for each one).

There are also some leagues that have only three minor league slots. So if next year you have two you want to keep, you can only make one draft pick. On the other hand, you may have promoted or traded or released all three of last year’s minor leaguers and thus get three new players.

In keeper leagues with FARM players, it is not only the current minor league players but next year’s draft picks that are the currency of the realm in most trades. That makes perfect sense since a team that is in contention this year probably can’t afford to trade good players from its roster – it needs them to compete. If they are light on minor leaguers or don’t have FARM players the rest of the league values, then they are going to have to pay with next year’s 1st or maybe 2nd round ML draft pick.

Here is an example from an AL league last year – Team A trades its 2014 1st round ML draft pick to Team B for Prince Fielder (51D12) and its 2014 5th round ML draft pick. Obviously, Team B wasn’t going to keep Fielder at that price and turned the acquired pick into Texas second baseman Rougned Odor at April’s minor league draft this year.

Sometimes, the draft pick upgrade is not as great but needed to satisfy both teams with the final trade, as seen by another 2013 trade – Team C trading Jose Bautista (13C14), Jon Lester (25D12), Addison Reed (7D12) and a 2014 4th round ML draft pick to Team D for Manny Machado (5D13), Brian Matusz (5F13), ML player Nick Franklin and 2014’s 3rd round ML draft pick.

And it doesn’t always have to be the competing team that gives up the higher draft pick. Here is an example of that this year with both teams getting creative to achieve their objectives – Team E traded Hiroki Kuroda (7D12), Sean Rodriguez (10F14) and their 2015 1st round ML pick to Team F for Matt Wieters (21D14), Aaron Crow (10F14) and their 2015 3rd round ML draft pick. This allowed Team F to add another serviceable SP and get a two round draft upgrade next year while Team E bet on the fact that Wieters will be ready to go as the Orioles DH next year but still qualify at catcher (22 games this year before leaving).

I mentioned earlier the teams with only three minor league player slots. Our sports memorabilia columnist and expert Don Drooker plays in an old school NL-only league with that format. As a result of earlier trades, Don had picks #3 and #15 in his minor league draft this spring. In March, he traded Brandon Beachy and those two picks for the #1 pick in the draft with which he selected Cubs prospect Kris Bryant.

My league also allows trading multiple draft picks (although as I said an equal number) and often times it is both upgrades that allow teams to agree on a deal. The only thing we don’t allow is the trading of draft picks for more than the following year.

All of these aspects of having a minor league draft and being able to trade draft picks as well as players allows more fun and strategies in building your franchise.

I think your league would really like it, and here or on the message boards, I will be glad to answer any questions or help craft the rules your league will need.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 June 2014 10:05
 
Setting Up a Minor League Draft PDF Print E-mail
Captain's Log
Written by Perry Van Hook   
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 00:00

I had several questions about last week’s log about draft picks with people wanting to know how to set up a minor league draft for their league. So let’s get to work.

While these suggestions are mainly for AL, NL or even mixed keeper leagues, you can certainly use them for a redraft league with easy modifications.

First, the salaries for your “FARM” must complement your auction and free agent salaries. In “normal” $260 auction leagues, I strongly maintain that all free agents (and reserve picks if you use those at the draft) should have a $10 retention salary, which in my shorthand would be 10F14 – a ten dollar free agent acquired in 2014. In keeper leagues where a drafted or free agent player is kept for three years at the same price, you want your minor league players to have a lower salary than a major league player you are acquiring via either FAAB or waivers or whatever your league uses.

Speaking of FAAB, I am strongly against using the FAAB acquisition price to determine a player's retention salary. It just makes no sense – if the player is keepable (in my league that would mean being on an AL roster or on an AL team’s minor league roster), then if you spend $100 in desperation, that player couldn’t possibly be retained. By the same token, teams lower in the standings can’t be adding players for one dollar and carrying those salaries forward. Just use $10 like the founding fathers did.

Another note for keeper leagues is the difference between the player’s retention salary (price he would be kept for next year) and his salary against the salary cap, which all auction keeper leagues should have. I am old school there, using a $300 cap for a $260 league. Yes, you can use $325 or even $350 but that much room is just asking for problems with dump trades that you mitigate with a tighter salary cap. Free agents should count $5 this year against the salary cap but have a $10 salary if kept for next year.

The AL and NL keeper leagues that I have played in for over 25 years both use a $5 salary for drafted minor leaguers. Actually, my GAR AL league splits that to $5 for hitters and $3 for pitchers, which helps balance the minor league drafts.

Most leagues I am familiar with restrict the minor league pool to players who are under a minor league contract. Some specify they must still have Rookie of the Year eligibility. Personally, I favor a wide open policy there, especially if you are going to allow an unlimited number of FARM players, which really gives teams the ability to build a good franchise. Your league will have to define those parameters when you codify all of this to add to your league rules.

Again, I favor excluding all players from foreign leagues (there is one exception as some players in the Mexican League are allowed to play there even though they are under contract to minor league teams in the US). Your mileage may vary – have to keep the lawyers happy especially as I bury a Happy 17th Birthday greeting to my granddaughter Raven Nicole Mills in Bothell, Washington.

Okay, you have defined the player pool for your minor league draft and the salaries they will have once they are activated in your league. In my league, if they are still FARM players, I try and use a M13 designation which would mean they were drafted as a minor leaguer in 2013, for example. Once they are activated, that would be changed to 5DYr for drafted in that year at a five dollar salary. Most of the stat services have an easy way to establish and amend those designations just like auction/free agent salaries. To go back a minute to free agent salaries, you don’t want those cheaper FAAB bids to subvert the pricing of your minor league players, thus the $10 retention salary.

Activation rules differ widely. Obviously, if a FARM player makes an opening day roster, he must be activated to a team’s freeze list at the auction. If they are activated after opening day, here are two suggestions:

    1. If the player is activated to the major leagues prior to the All-Star break, they must be transacted (activated, reserved or waived) the transaction (Monday) day after 30 consecutive days on a ML roster. If they are brought up any time after the beginning of the break, they can be held as a FARM player but of course could be activated if their owner wanted to start their salary clock.

    2. If the player is activated in April, the same 30 days (you don’t want to have to activate a player if he is only up for a week or two and then sent down) applies. But if they are activated in May or any time later in the year, they can be retained as a FARM player until the following year.

    September roster expansion must be dealt with because you don’t want unowned minor leaguers up for just a month to be added as free agents when they should be in the minor league draft the following April. We assign all September free agents a $25 retention salary (25S13) which keeps that from happening.

    Okay, we have everything now except the procedures to get your draft order. What I do not want to use is the lazy worst-to-first route. You want all the teams in your league to manage their roster as best they can. Sure, they may be in rebuilding mode, but they should still have an “active” roster, because if even one team's roster is filled with DL and ML players and not accumulating stats, they are distorting the stats in categories where the teams fighting to cash are trying for more points. You don’t want that to affect your league's pennant race.

    What you should do is give the first pick in next year’s minor league draft (always held after opening day, which hopefully your auction is as well but a player must be clearly defined as to whether he is actually in the major leagues or in the minors) to the team that is the first team not to cash in your league. So if you pay four places, that would be the team that finishes in fifth place.

    In a 12-team league, then your draft order would be 5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-4-3-2-1.

    Next week, we will look at trading minor league draft picks.

    Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 June 2014 02:21
     
    Does Your League Have Minor League Draft Picks? PDF Print E-mail
    Captain's Log
    Written by Perry Van Hook   
    Wednesday, 04 June 2014 00:00

    While most of the people interested in minor league prospects are in AL or NL-only keeper leagues, there are some redraft leagues that allow teams to pick three minor league players after their auction and then if those players are not activated, they can carry them over to the next season.

    This is a nice idea to blend in a little forward looking twist for team management and it also gives some rationale for trades which are often hard to make in redraft leagues. You should broach it to your league mates if you feel your redraft league is getting a little stale.

    Another idea to help keep people interested in the top minor league prospects or even a non-prospect at the beginning of the year that might soon be able to help your fantasy team is to allow teams to acquire minor leaguers via FAAB. This is best saved for larger leagues with very short benches because then there is so much value for the roster slot that teams at the top of the league will have a hard time adding a Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Dylan Bundy or Micah Johnson. But the teams lower in the standings might take a shot on one of them, hoping that if they come up soon they could help them move up in the standings.

    But keeper leagues are where minor leaguers have the most value, and I thought as we are now in Super 2 days with Oscar Taveras, the Cardinals young outfielder, and Houston first baseman Jon Singleton recently called up, I would look at the last two seasons of first-round draft picks in an AL-only league.

    Mind you, this league has very deep FARM rosters with teams able to keep minor league prospects previously acquired for five dollars each year and then drafting five new players each year. So it is not unusual for a team to have a stable of 20 American League prospects (although the average is probably 10-12). Teams in this league can and often do draft top college and high school prospects, hoping to catch a Carlos Correa in the process but knowing they lose the player if drafted by an NL team.

    In 2013, here was the first round:

    1.01  Addison Russell, SS, Oakland

    1.02  Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Houston

    1.03  George Springer, OF, Houston

    1.04  Trevor Bauer, P, Cleveland

    1.05  Courtney Hawkins, OF, Chicago

    1.06  Delino Deshields, 2B, Houston

    1.07  Austin Wilson, OF, College

    1.08  Bruce Rondon, P, Detroit

    1.09  Anthony Gose, OF, Toronto

    1.10  Kyle Zimmer, P, Kansas City

    1.11  Adalberto Raul Mondesi, SS, Kansas City

    Bauer, Springer and Gose were already activated by their teams in this league and Singleton (if not traded this week) likely will be activated next week.

     

    Here are the minor league picks from this April:

    1.01  Rougned Odor, 2B, Texas

    1.02  Trea Turner, SS, College

    1.03  Johan Santana, P, MIN (>BAL)

    1.04  Colby Lewis, P, Texas

    1.05  Matt Davidson, 3B, Chicago

    1.06  D.J. Peterson, 3B, Seattle

    1.07  Alex Jackson, OF, High School

    1.08  Henry Owens, P, Boston

    1.09  Kohl Stewart, P, Minnesota

    1.10  Scott Diamond, P, Minnesota

    1.11  Devon Travis, 2B, Detroit

    Yes, you read some of those older names right – the flip side to those looking younger are owners who are specifically looking for help this year and hoping a veteran pitcher who is on a minor league contract (not on DL or in extended spring training without a contract) will be brought up and bolster a roster or be a nice keeper for next year.

    As the Trea Turner and Alex Jackson owners can attest, it will also make this Thursday a bit like Christmas morning – well as long as their player doesn’t wind up being an NLump of coal. 

     

    Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 June 2014 02:12
     
    Revisiting Rotisserie Baseball Math PDF Print E-mail
    Captain's Log
    Written by Perry Van Hook   
    Wednesday, 28 May 2014 00:00

    Many years ago, between the Mastersballs, I introduced readers to “Rotisserie Baseball Math.”

    No, not another sabermetric stat for Brian Kenney to proselytize, but a different way to maximize the value of rotisserie baseball trades.

    In many leagues where trading is allowed, it does affect auction/draft strategies in that should you be unable to get enough of any counting stat(s) at the draft but happen to accumulate a strong surplus in another category, you know that you will be able to translate the surplus even if you are dealing for cents on the dollar value wise.

    So if you failed to get a good closer at your draft, you aren’t restricted to spending all your FAAB to get one of the new (usually temporary) closers in season, but can trade your extra stolen bases for some saves. Thus many trades are need for need.

     

    But I want you to look deeper than just getting more points in the category you are trading for. While there are some instances where you just have one good prospective trading partner, it is far more likely that you will have several suitors for your Dee Gordon this year. Sure, you want to see what the best return for the Dodger speedster is, but I want you to look at the category positions of your trading partners. If you do it right, you may be able to “double the category points” in your trade.

    In its simplest form, it is a variation of "Addition by Subtraction" for rotisserie scoring for your team. The premise is that while more points in a given category for your team results in a higher place in the league standings, so too are fewer points for one or more of your opponents in one or more categories.

    Here is an outdated but still strong example of this type of trade:

    Here were standings for the Cannonball Run III American League.

    Rank Team Pts
    1 Pt. Loma Quahogs 82
    2 Surprise Royals 76
    3 Framingham 72.5
    4 Boston 71
    5 Kilbourne 68
    6 St. Paul 67
    7 Beverly Hills Coyotes 65
    8 Cape Cod 62.5
    9 Brooklyn Cyclones 62
    10 Salem 58
    11 Scarsdale 54.5
    12 Silver Lake Lookouts 41.5

    Note how close the teams are, especially from 9th at 62 points all the way up to 2nd at 76.0. And of course some of the categories are so close that point totals and places can shift from day to day.

    Now let’s look at two categories – Strikeouts

    Salem 562
    Point Loma 466
    Surprise 449
    Boston 444
    Scarsdale 437
    CapeCod 434
    Framingham 425
    Brooklyn 419
    St. Paul 413

    …and Saves

    St. Paul 56
    Surprise 38
    Boston 33
    Beverly Hills 28
    Kilbourne 24
    Silver Lake 21
    Framingham 21
    Scarsdale 19

    If St. Paul could trade one of his premier closers (they were Mariano Rivera or Joakim Soria but could just as easily be David Robertson and Greg Holland today) and trade him to Scarsdale for a SP who would add a decent amount of strikeouts, he could not only gain four-plus points in K (and take away a point each from Framingham and Cape Cod), but Scarsdale, with the additional saves, would take away another point from Framingham and Kilbourne. With any additional improvement in other categories, this one trade would put him in a battle for 2nd place in the league with only one point of downside.

    There is also the possibility of making a trade which doesn’t gain your team any categorical points but improves your position in the league standings!

    Yes, you read that correctly. If your main competition loses points, you will have more of a lead or gain ground on a team ahead of you, even if you don’t gain points. The way you can do that is to find a specific trading partner. Let’s say you can trade saves for stolen bases in your league. If you trade your saves to a team that is currently behind your targeted opponent so that they may overtake them in the standings, you will have a net gain even if your side of the trade does not produce a gain in the SB category.

    Let’s go back to Dee Gordon and his current 30 stolen bases. Here are the standings from a 2014 league, as of Monday.

    Liquid Hippos 126.5
    Canadian Bacon 121
    Busted Flush 106.5
    Bronx Yankees 104

    And now the stolen base category where Hippos own Dee Gordon.

    Liquid Hippos 77
    Bronx Yankees 56
    Busted Flush 51
    Hudson Hawks 48
    Canadian Bacon 43
    Doughboys 43
    Hackers II 38
    Dreamers 38

    Look how much flexibility there is in considering where to trade Gordon. Any team below Canadian Bacon would work in terms of not only taking a point away from him or preventing him from gaining a point. Hippos can gain points in several categories – HR (and only one home run ahead of the Canadian), Runs (4th but only four behind Canadian in 2nd), Saves (tied for 5th with Canadian), or Wins (4th with 32 but three-way tie for 1-2-3 with 33 including Canadian and Flush). So lots of choices to help the aqueous hog hold onto first place.

    So when you make trades in your leagues, look beyond the ability to add points in one category – you may be able to “gain” in two or more categories just by picking the right team to trade with.

    Simple “Rotisserie” Math.

    Last Updated on Thursday, 29 May 2014 03:04
     
    Is Your Team Really Toast This Season? PDF Print E-mail
    Captain's Log
    Written by Perry Van Hook   
    Wednesday, 21 May 2014 00:00

    You may have seen an observation attributed to Ron Shandler that the teams in 1st through 4th place in leagues at the beginning of May are 80% likely to finish as the leaders at the end of the season.

    I am not here to argue Ron’s “research” (although I would love to see it) but suggest it might only apply to non-mixed leagues where there is no trading. Even then, some slow starters coupled with one key crossover player could easily move a team from the second division to a money spot.

    More importantly, let’s look at the ways you can significantly improve your team in a keeper league.

    And in doing this I am going to suggest it can’t be a 1984 “Rotisserie League Baseball” book rules league, where you can’t bench a player or drop or replace (unless he is on the DL) for weekly lineup changes.

      1. Realistic Team Evaluation – you can’t really decide on how to get someplace unless you know where you want to get to and how you are going to get there. Not that May category standings are etched in stone, but you do need to know where you really need help. If you are very low in stolen bases but have Mike Trout and almost any other minor SB threat on your team, you are going to improve in swipes. If you have players who have started very slowly but have a track record and are not dealing with an injury, you have some regression upward coming.

      2. A Little Math Work – no, you don’t have to know calculus or be an Excel wizard but you do have to break down weekly numbers in your league (and by the way, I can’t really help because every league is radically different) to see how many points you might be able to add. Take Strikeouts for one example – How many SP vs RP are you currently playing? If you trotting out seven starting pitchers each week and are still buried in strikeouts, you have too many Kyle Lohses or Mark Buehrles on your staff. So don’t trade for Clayton Kershaw and try to pick up five points in that category (unless it is very tightly bunched – see #1). By the way, in looking at the categories this way you should completely leave BA, ERA and WHIP alone – you are either going to improve in those categories or you are not. Sure, you can do simple math – we are one-quarter through the season and your ERA is 4.900 – What do you need to get to 3.60? Well, you would need to have about a 3.17 ERA for the rest of the year. Reasonable? Probably not, so

      3. Accumulate All the Counting Stats You Can – Either you can get enough points in HR/R/RBI/SB/W/SV/K to add in whatever you get in the ratio columns to win your league. And in keeper leagues, you can trade off your excess late in the season to help bolster another category. Even if you take ten cents on the dollar for extra stolen bases, it may be a small amount of RBI that will gain you another point or two (yes, back to the math work which must be continually reviewed).

      Okay, I know you knew all those, but please read them again later because 95% of players don’t remember to remember them (Yogi Berra).

      4. Spend your FAAB – down to whatever minimal levels you need in your particular league. There is no guarantee that even if you have enough FAAB units left, you would win the best crossover player to your AL or NL-only league. First, there is always the guy who hoards his units. Second, you do not have (and nobody else does either) any idea when that player is going to arrive or if the first one is really the one you need. Right now, you can make significant changes in your roster via free agents. Let’s stop to take a look at what I mean.

      American League Examples

      Weekend before May 5 - you could have added Steve Pearce, Eduardo Escobar or Grant Green. Pearce was a monster for that one week; Escobar still playing most every day and at SS or 3B; Green qualified at second base but will add outfield and may survive Kole Calhoun’s imminent arrival or be reservable.

      Weekend before May 12 – you could have added Robbie Ray, James Jones or Erik Bedard. Again, Ray was great the week before (if you could add minor league players – can’t in my AL) but good that week and gets another start this week. Jones is contributing good average and some swipes for a weak outfield slot and Bedard has been excellent lately (not originally when I picked him up and then had to drop him).

      Weekend before May 19 – you could have added Nick Tepesch, Kyle Blanks or Chase Whitley. Tepesch, who showed a little something last year, had been lights out in the Minors this year and for now has a spot in the Rangers rotation. Blanks, even on the short end of a first base platoon, could get 300 at-bats and double-digit home runs. I don’t know about Whitley, but that was a nice first outing and a starting pitcher you can add at this point is silver, if not gold, if they pan out.

      Weekend before May 26 – Stephen Drew may be available this weekend, if not the next. (Note I don’t think he is as good as others do, but he is better than many of the players that AL-only owners have in their SS/MI slot).

      Allegorically, I added at least one of those players each week and have moved from 11th place to 8th and if I just add a point or two each week, I will end up in the money in a very tough AL-only league.

      Save a dollar for each week left to play. Or better yet, get your league to allow zero dollar bids after you use all your FAAB – you won’t get the best players but will always be able to add a catcher to replace an injured player or a middle reliever to use, and this really lets all the teams in the league compete all year long.

      5. Trade for What You Now Need - if you do a good job with #4 early when trades are harder to make, you are much better positioned to make both minor and major trades to bolster weak positions in your lineup or bolster a specific category. Some of these early pickups may not be the players you need for the finish but may look much better as keepers to the teams you need to trade with.

      6. Trade to Take Points Away – the column in the archives is Addition by Subtraction (if you can’t find it, don’t worry, it will be the subject of next week’s column).

      Do every single one of these things and I guarantee you more fun in managing your team. I can’t guarantee you finish in the money, but you will have a much better chance to do so if you play hard.

      Look, you can’t win every year. Your team is often not as good as you thought at the end of the auction, but you can always manage aggressively and try and contend. And in a keeper league, you always have the fallback option of trading assets to the contending teams in July to bolster your 2015 roster.

      Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 04:21
       
      Free Agents Who Should Have Been Picked Up PDF Print E-mail
      Captain's Log
      Written by Perry Van Hook   
      Wednesday, 14 May 2014 00:00

      Not all leagues are the same, so while in fact I say should have been picked up, I am for the most part referring to non-mixed leagues. But, if you play in big money mixed leagues, I am going to suggest you would be much better with in-season pickups if you played in one of each mono league.

      The reason is that with much greater penetration into the player pool, you are actually watching every time the Minnesota Twins change shortstops – okay, you aren’t going to bid on everyone, but the point is that being that familiar with the AL and NL player pools would put some potential mixed league free agents on your radar before you need to bid on them in the mixed leagues.

      Let’s look at some free agents who were picked up last weekend who I hope are already on your teams or that you will consider adding this coming weekend.

      Robbie Ray, SP, Detroit Tigers – Ray was the key minor leaguer that the Tigers got from Washington in the Doug Fister trade. Not highly regarded as a pitching prospect, the Tigers had played against him in 2013 and not fared well, which put him on their radar. Their trading for him should have at least made us question what they saw, and his start this year at Triple-A Toledo – 3-2 with a 1.59 ERA with just five walks in 28+ innings while striking out 21 batters gave them the reason to bring him up last week for his first major league start, filling in for Anibal Sanchez. Ray performed pretty well in that game, giving up just one earned run over 5 1/3 innings while striking out five, walking one and getting the victory. That was good enough to get another start on Sunday (six scoreless innings giving up just four hits and a walk while striking out two), and while there were several who might not have added him last weekend, I tried to, believing he would get one more start this week. And even though he will likely be sent down after that, it is an AL-only league where he will be reservable, and he will be back. By the way, while many of you play in leagues where he would not have been a legal pickup on Sat-Sun May 3-4, others are not, and in a 16-team mixed league where minor leaguers can be added, my team did just that with not many starters available.

      Steve Pearce, 1B, Baltimore Orioles – Pearce was back on the Orioles' active roster on May 1, so I added him that weekend in an AL-only league and he rewarded my team with three home runs. Yes, he may have a tough time finding at-bats with Chris Davis back. No, I am not suggesting you would have added him over C.J. Cron in mixed leagues. But, we do need to be aware of some of these quick fixes.

      Jake Odorizzi, SP, Tampa Bay Rays – Odorizzi was dropped in many mixed leagues and in some AL leagues where I would have suggested more patience if he was reservable or if you had better options on your free agent list or your roster. But, he did respond very well to the threat of losing his spot in the Rays’ rotation and left last week’s game against the Cleveland Indians leading 2-0 with a chance for the W after giving up only five hits and two walks in those five shutout innings while striking out a career high 11 batters. Of course, that many strikeouts forced him to throw a lot of pitches, which led to his early exit, but you still have to like the effort and look at the possibility he may be worth the add.

      Danny Santana, SS, Minnesota Twins – Santana was just a 23-year-old infield prospect coming into spring training this year, and while he had improved his batting average each of the last three minor league seasons, it was his 30 stolen bases that made him worth a note. Santana was only hitting .268 at Triple-A Rochester with no home runs, seven RBI and four swipes. But, he was hitting .384 in his first five games when I bid on him Saturday in an AL-only keeper league. Admittedly, while I will play him only as long as he keeps hitting or stays up, with that speed he could be a keeper in that league if he were the starting shortstop for the Twins next March. I don’t see him as a mixed league add unless he starts running a lot for Minnesota, but even then, you would need a pretty weak SS/MI slot to roster him.

      James Jones, OF, Seattle Mariners - Jones is back up for his second tour with the big club after Seattle sent Abraham Almonte to the Minors to see if he could get fixed. Jones, meanwhile, gives the Mariners a better defender in centerfield and adds his best tool, speed, to the lineup. Jones has stolen 20+ bases in three of his last four minor league seasons, usually with half a dozen home runs. He was claimed this week in both keeper and redraft AL leagues but would not be a candidate for mixed leagues.

      Frank Francisco, RP, Chicago White Sox – Well, those with leagues running FAAB on Saturdays were denied the opportunity to add potential closer Francisco as he wasn’t in some databases or wasn’t updated to reflect his callup. Those on Sunday had access to him in many leagues. As I said on the message board, Frank Frank was very effective in his limited appearances at Triple-A Charlotte but hadn’t given up a run and had a 6/1 K/BB ratio when I looked. Matt Lindstrom certainly isn’t going to keep Francisco from getting a shot and Nate Jones will be out for quite awhile longer.

      Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 02:01
       
      Saying Good Bye to a Prized Prospect PDF Print E-mail
      Captain's Log
      Written by Perry Van Hook   
      Wednesday, 07 May 2014 00:00

      While top minor league prospects are the Coin of the Realm in AL-only or NL-only keeper leagues, it is still hard to trade away a player you were looking forward to seeing perform well in the show and for your team.

      But there are many times when players in keeper leagues have to do just that. Obviously, getting a very productive major league player, often one whose contract ends that season, for a pennant drive is the main reason you would trade away one of the top prospects in the game.

      But my Hook, Line, & Sinker NL team found another one last week. I entered this year’s auction with some good pitching (Hyun-jin Ryu, Jeff Samardzija, Wade Miley, Jason Grilli and Rafael Soriano) and a few well-priced hitters (Starling Marte, Matt Carpenter, Jean Segura, Chris Denorfia and Gerardo Parra). Not a great keeper list but one that I thought would be okay if I could add enough good hitters.

      My most expensive player at the auction was 1B/OF Mark Trumbo at $39, who I thought could approach 40 home runs playing his home games at Chase Field in Phoenix. I also added Martin Prado, Scooter Gennett, Seth Smith and Justin Ruggiano on offense and was very happy to get three potentially very useful pitchers at great prices – Josh Beckett for $3, Jose Valverde also for $3 and Braves starting pitcher David Hale for $2.

      And the collection got off to a reasonable start, giving me hope that if Pirates prospect Gregory Polanco, who I have had on my “Farm” team for several years, was promoted sometime in May, this team would cash. That hope ended when I lost Trumbo, Ruggiano and Grilli all in the same week. Ruggiano hadn’t been producing, often sitting on my bench, and I could get along without Grilli for a short time. But losing Trumbo for at least six weeks would really cripple my offense.

      If he was back that early and if Polanco arrived early, would I be able to catch up? It looked like it would be my only option until a trade developed that made me stop and re-evaluate. I could trade Polanco and some other parts to the league’s rebuilding team but could I get enough to contend? And did I want to give up on Polanco, currently the best hitting prospect in the minor leagues and a projected five-category performer?

      The other team made a very good offer and with the AL counterpart to Polanco, Houston’s George Springer, struggling mightily, I decided to say good bye to my best NL farm player and hope Trumbo would get back to help my team to a finish in the money.

      The other factor in this trade would be getting Giants’ catcher Buster Posey on a very reasonable 20C16 contract – so I wouldn’t have Polanco for many years but I would have Posey for several years.

      The full trade was Mike Olt 14D14, Zach Walters 10F14, Brayan Pena 2D14 and Polanco for Posey 20C16, Jay Bruce 31D14 and Chase Utley 19D14. It certainly added some needed offense. Whether it will be enough will likely depend on Trumbo. I felt it was worth the shot.

      Good Bye Gregory. You can keep the HLS Jersey I had set aside for you.

      Last Updated on Thursday, 08 May 2014 02:30
       
      Looking at the Closer's Position in Anaheim PDF Print E-mail
      Captain's Log
      Written by Perry Van Hook   
      Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

      I am fairly sure that in your leagues as in mine there were very high prices paid for Joe Smith, who would be assuming the closer’s role for Mike Scioscia’s Angels. Those prices were too high, in my opinion.

      The main reason Scioscia made the change was the April struggles of opening day closer Ernesto Frieri, who saved two games and blew two saves with an ERA of 7.27 and a 1.59 WHIP.

      But let’s look at Frieri over the last two years and his closing success. In 2012, Frieri converted 23 of 26 save opportunities. Last year, he converted 37 of 41 save opportunities but I will bet your recollection of last year’s stats is that he didn’t pitch that well. But that would only be partially true. Yes, he had a 3.80 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP and blew four saves, and yes, he was replaced as the closer for awhile. But again, he blew only four save opportunities and struck out 12.8 batters per 9 IP.

      So let’s take a closer look at Frieri in 2013. He had a good April (2.53 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 3 SV, 1 L) followed by a poorer May (4.15 ERA, 1.38 WHIP but still saved nine games). He then had a good June (2.77 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and another nine saves) followed by a terrible July (8.64 ERA, 1.92 WHIP, 4 SV, 2 L). After being replaced as the closer, he returned to the role in August (3.27 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 4 SV, 1 L) and then enjoyed a great September (2.84 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 8 SV).

      And his strikeout rate was actually its highest in July at 15.1, so maybe he was just trying too hard to throw the ball by hitters when he was struggling.

      All of that plus Scioscia’s fondness for his regular players suggests that Frieri, who has had two good appearances since being removed this year, will get a chance to close again for the Angels.

      Remember that Joe Smith, who has been a good setup reliever, has been striking out batters at only 7+ batters per nine innings pitched over the last two seasons, and his 9.0 this year is higher than any season since he was a rookie in 2007.

      So yes, I think Frieri will be closing again and relatively soon, so don’t give up on him. In fact, watch to see if someone panics and drops him or is willing to throw him into a trade.

      Last Updated on Thursday, 01 May 2014 01:16
       
      Interesting Notes from Week 3-4 PDF Print E-mail
      Captain's Log
      Written by Perry Van Hook   
      Wednesday, 23 April 2014 00:00

      I make notes each week of the season about players who might be worth an add in various leagues and of course for my injured players. But, we should also look back a little to see if there are any nuggets in free agent drops and player usage.

      I find it amusing that with all the teams looking for saves and dealing with closers who are having more injury days off this year than in previous years, that at the same time there are so many “yesterday closers” or “closers in waiting” that get dropped.

      In the Tout mixed draft league (whose FAAB results you can see in all leagues like all LABR leagues each Monday) drops this week were Jose Valverde, Edward Mujica and Josh Fields.

      And, while some add/drops in that league are a function of the league rules, those drops were duplicated in my 12-team Rotowire Online Championship league, as both Valverde and Mujica as well as Alexi Ogando were dropped on Sunday.

      In several of those leagues, there are good pickups made, but in reality they are a week behind AL or NL keeper leagues. Certainly, the depth in mono leagues is a good reason for that, but there are some players whose role should have suggested the earlier pickup. My favorite pickup on Sunday, April 13 was Kevin Kouzmanoff, who was activated by the Texas Rangers when they placed Adrian Beltre on the DL. Kouzmanoff, who hadn’t been fantasy or major league relevant since 2011, did have a great spring for Texas but there really wasn’t a spot for him on the opening day roster. But, given he would play almost every day last week and most of this week at third base for the Rangers, he was a great, relatively cheap pickup last week.

      Many mixed leaguers with a soft CI or UTIL spot made the addition this week, so at least they will get four-plus days of Kouzmanoff in the Rangers' lineup (assuming Beltre is activated when eligible on Friday). But I think those who needed the bat and eschewed the pickup this week with Beltre coming back were shortsighted for the second week in a row. Kouz hit so well last week and on Monday that it seems to me highly likely the Rangers will keep him up so they can spell Beltre a few days and let him DH or when Beltre is at third base, Kouzmanoff would be a great platoon partner for Mitch Moreland at DH.

      One drop that I saw in several mixed leagues confused me. Alberto Callaspo entered the season with both 2B and 3B eligibility. True, he was not a “starter” for Oakland at either position, but the A's do have a propensity to get at-bats for their bench players, and Callaspo’s value on a platoon-oriented team is enhanced by his ability to hit from both sides of the plate. If you think those points are exaggerated, then look at the fact that as of Monday he has had 60 at-bats and played in 14 of Oakland’s 18 games, hitting .300 with two home runs and ten RBI. That would rank him 18th as a mixed league second baseman and 15th as a mixed league third baseman (to say nothing of filling MI and CI spots). Sexy? No. But very effective and very undervalued.

       

      Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 07:46
       
      The George Springer Derby PDF Print E-mail
      Captain's Log
      Written by Perry Van Hook   
      Thursday, 17 April 2014 00:00

      While George Springer is owned as a minor leaguer in most AL keeper leagues, some AL redraft leagues and lots of mixed leagues will have a chance to bid this week on a potential 30-30 hitter.

      In case you aren’t familiar, the Houston outfielder played last year at Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Oklahoma City and totaled 37 home runs and 45 stolen bases. Okay, he won’t hit that many in the American League and his .303 batting average last year is likely going to take a severe hit against major league pitching, where he will miss a lot of balls. But he is being called up in April, not missing all of April and most of May as do many top minor league prospects who are held back for financial reasons. I still think if he adjusts well (no one can predict the mental adjustments no matter how good the tools), a 30-30 season would be in reach. The 24-year-old right-handed batter does play his home games in a favorable park and gets to visit both Arlington and Anaheim, which treat right-handed hitters well.

      So how much will it take to roster Springer this weekend?

      Obviously, league factors differ, but what was the winning bid in your league on Mike Trout a few years ago? Really, the numbers aside from the BA are comparable at least in HR/RBI/SB – Springer doesn’t figure to score as many runs as the Angel phenom.

      I suspect that in the NFBC format in leagues where he wasn’t rostered on draft day (and in some of those he has already been dropped with all the injuries forcing owners to make tough decisions), it will take a minimum of 500 FAAB units to have a good chance to land Springer.

      I won’t be able to bid on him there – in the 15-team main event, one of my opponents drafted Springer in the 17th round (where Greg Morgan and I drafted Dan Straily – but we did draft Javier Baez in the next round) while in the 12-team Rotowire Online Championship, my partner and I drafted him in the 27th round.

      But he will be in my lineup on Friday – I hope you have him on a team already or get a chance to add him this weekend – he will be fun to watch.

      Last Updated on Friday, 18 April 2014 01:05
       
      Week Two = Patience & Diligence PDF Print E-mail
      Captain's Log
      Written by Perry Van Hook   
      Wednesday, 09 April 2014 00:00

      As always, the early season reminder for your fantasy teams is PATIENCE.

      Your star outfielder is not going to hit .200 all year and your ace starter will get some wins and your second SP will come off the DL. Too often we see people panic and make drops, or even worse, trades that will haunt them the rest of the season.

      The trades are worse because not only are you trading low but you are potentially strengthening your opponent at the same time. That is not relevant in NFBC leagues but the poor drops are. In my AL keeper league of almost 30 years, I put in a rule several years ago after one impatient owner thought his draft had been terrible and traded most of his expensive players for cheap contracts, prospects and first-round draft picks for the following season. The problem, aside from virtually being out of play for the rest of the season, is that as drafted his team would have finished in the money. Give peace and your players a chance.

      At least the ones you can’t replace easily. For the first few weeks in almost any league, there are lots of good choices and there is no particular reason if you drafted a player who was or is a mistake to not get a better player from the free agent pile ASAP.

      Personally, I would not drop any of the short-term DL players in any format – Aroldis Chapman, Doug Fister, Hisashi Iwakuma, David Robertson, Wilson Ramos and likely Mark Teixeira will come back and contribute to your team later. But unless you have DL slots in your league, Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy, Patrick Corbin, Miguel Sano, Jarrod Parker and Jameson Taillon should all be dropped – they won’t be back this year. In keeper leagues, hopefully you have the DL slot or enough roster space to keep them for the future, but if not and you can contend this year, remember that is always Job 1.

      Depending on when you drafted or how deep your league is, here are a few slightly under the radar players I would look to add this weekend:

      Jason Kubel, OF, MIN – With Chris Colabello (likely already picked up but if not put at the top of the list) for now entrenched in the DH slot, Kubel will have to fight for at-bats in left field, but they can’t keep his bat on the bench.

      Conor Gillaspie, 3B, CWS – Gillaspie, not Matt Davidson, won the third base job for Robin Ventura’s club and is an underrated hitter.

      Jesus Guzman, 1B/OF, HOU – Guzman doesn’t have a clear position but they have to find at-bats for a good hitter with some pop in his bat (two home runs in the first week).

      Ichiro Suzuki, OF, NYY – Yes I know he was poor last year – flip the calendar already, he is hitting over .400 and will get some steals, and in case you didn’t remember, the rest of the Yankees' outfielders are on the all-brittle team.

      Aaron Harang, SP, ATL – For now at least, behind a good Braves team, Harang is a decent spot play (not as good as his first game this year but not as bad as you remember). Next week he has a start at the Mets on Tuesday.

      Edinson Volquez, SP, PIT – On my personal scary list but had a very good first start and is home Monday against Milwaukee and it could be a two-start week.

      If you are truly desperate for saves, Shawn Kelley may get a few more (but not a lot) before David Robertson comes back in two weeks. And while Jonathan Broxton is due back in Cincinnati this week, Manny Parra might still get a few matchup or two-inning saves for the Reds.

      Again, while you need to be diligent on free agents, be patient with some of your players who will come around – Please.

      Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 02:28
       
      << Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

      Page 4 of 16
      sex izle hd film izle