In every league, no matter the size, some players just fall by the wayside. Sometimes these are post-hype sleepers, although nowadays it seems even the main stream fantasy writers are talking about those players, other times we forget about bounce back candidates who may be coming off an unlucky or unproductive year and lastly is always a group of players who missed a considerable amount of time do to injury.
Today I want to talk about some of the MiLB prospects who’ve seen their star fade because of injuries and may be forgotten or undervalued in your league.
I originally planned to write a post about Wilson Ramos, so for all of you that are desperately seeking Susan Wilson Ramos articles, I’m so very sorry. I’m sorry because while Ramos’ season absolutely deserves attention and there is a good chance he outproduces today’s subject in fantasy leagues next year… DID YOU SEE WHAT YORDANO DID LAST NIGHT? I mean, talk about an entrance. Ventura spun 5.2 innings of one run baseball, featuring very few well struck balls, three strikeouts, two walks, six (SIX) pitches 100 MPH or above, professional quality hat tilt, and innumerable lotions and towels (mine, not his).
If anyone has been reading me for pretty much any length of time, you’ll be aware that I have a massive personal bias towards short pitchers with big velocity. If they’re Dominican, well, that’s a bonus for me, I guess. It’s not something I try to look for, but I’ve always had an affinity towards these guys. So when I first heard about Ventura a few years back, I was obviously intrigued. Intrigued enough by the reports to burn a 4th round pick on him in my 20-team dynasty mixed league (somewhere around the 70th MiLB pick of that season). Since then I’ve been personally invested in his development, attending a Hi-A game last year that he started, monitoring the development of his curveball (and it has made some serious improvements) and change up, since there wasn’t much to worry about in the fastball department. Well, Ventura displayed exactly how far he and his arsenal have come since signing for $28,000 as a teenager with a mid-80s fastball.
Back to last night, here is the relevant information courtesy of BrooksBaseball.net:
In general keeping closers in Dyanasty/Keeper leagues is a bad idea. The position is consistently riddled with turnover, only truly provides one stat, and often provides the owner with a constant headache. But like any rule, even that one about swimming after eating, sometimes you just gotta break it to stay ahead. Now before you lose your marbles I’m definitely not advocating keeper closers, in fact just the opposite. To help make the selection process easier I’ve set up a few rules to help us decide who is worthy and who is not.
The only four rules I have when it comes to closers are as follows:
I can remember a time, not that long ago, when aging curves and physical prime wasn’t as prevalent in fantasy baseball as it is today. A time when you could hold on to your older players like Frank Thomas, Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Piazza, Craig Biggio and Rickey Henderson and not think twice. A time when you could win a championship with players passed their prime with no feelings of angst over the next 20-something phenom. However, now with the more recent explosion of dynasty based leagues, and the appearance of premium talent at a much younger age, these older stars are being tossed out with the trash once they reach the ripe old age of 32.
Recently, my colleague Wilson Karaman, wrote about hitters that build their careers on speed and how they age over time and it sparked an idea for me. We have since agreed to team up on a point-counterpoint article about hitters over the age of 32. I will be discussing a handful of players that can either A) maintain their current level of production or B) improve upon their current level over the next few seasons. Without further ado, here are my choices for three passed prime hitters that are worthy of keeping in all formats:
The ultimate goal in a dynasty league is to have a roster jam-packed with stars at every position and a pitching staff full of aces and elite closers. But in reality most teams have not reached that level of perfection, especially if the league is fairly young or if your team is in rebuilding mode.
One important way to set up your team for long-term success is to make stockpiling star hitters a higher priority than acquiring ace pitchers. There are five good reasons why hitters make safer, wiser investments than pitchers in your dynasty league.
1. Pitchers miss more time due to injury
Disabled List visits are split equally among pitchers and hitters, which makes it seem like both positions are equally risky. But all is not as it seems. On average, once they hit the DL pitchers spend 3x longer on the shelf than hitters do. What this means is even though both types of players have the same risk of getting injured, pitcher injuries are more severe and force pitchers to miss a LOT more time away from your starting lineup. When a pitcher gets hurt he can easily miss months or even years and may never be the same even when he does return. Injuries to hitters are much less likely to be season-ending or career-altering. Hitters can get hurt badly too, but there are 10 Tommy John surgeries for every blown knee.
Over the last two weeks, I’ve been participating in a five round 2013 first-year player draft in the same league that I drafted prior to this season and wrote all about here. I have put some of my picks up on Twitter, but at the request of a couple of readers, I’m going to take a closer look at the entire draft here. And before we dive into this, you can find my initial Top 40 2013 Signees list right here at The Dynasty Guru.
As a reminder, as far as league context goes, it is a 7×7 H2H league that uses all of the standard 5×5 categories, plus OPS/Total Bases for hitters and Quality Starts/Holds for pitchers. The active rosters are one player per position (OF are broken out by LF/CF/RF) plus a Utility player on offense, and nine pitchers (2 SP, 2 RP, 5 P). On top of that, there are 7 reserve spots, 3 DL spots and 20 minor league spots. So, all in all, it’s a very deep league with an active lineup that skews a little towards pitching and deep minor league rosters (600 total prospects are rostered). Oh, and by the way, I’m the Minnesota Twins.
Without any further ado, let’s jump right into the draft.
If you’re a regular TDG reader, you probably have a thing for prospects. It’s ok, the first step is admitting it, and you’re among friends here.
Keeping up with prospects throughout the season can be hugely advantageous for diligent Fantasy players. Everyone knows about the Jurickson Profar’s and Oscar Taveras’s of the world, sure, but how many casual fans knew to grab Pat Corbin before the season? How many invested in Jean Segura?
To put it bluntly, those in the know when it comes to MiLB are better positioned in the Fantasy world than those who are note. Obviously, this is infinitely truer in keeper and dynasty leagues, where at least some MiLB knowledge is a requirement.
Yet there are two times during the year when our thirst for MiLB knowledge and quest for “the next big star” can come back to bite us. The first is during draft day, when many overlook established stars while trying to catch younger, sexier lightning in a bottle. And the second is at the trade deadline, when we become loathe to give away promising prospects for anything short of Mike Trout.
So today, I am here to remind you of two things that you already know: it’s ok to trade prospects, and if you have a shot at competing in 2013, you should take it. Continue reading →
I don’t want to sound like an alarmist doctor who is trying to frighten you into buying something I’m hocking, but Prospect Fatigue is a very real thing. Prospect Fatigue is when a prospect has been in the public consciousness for so long that they appear to have lost some of their luster, when in reality they contain the same potential we initially assessed. You see it all the time. In fact, there’s a good chance you’ve already experienced Prospect Fatigue in your past. If so, you’ve likely experienced some or all of the following symptoms:
involuntary slamming of one’s head into a desk
wistful staring at box scores
deep, soul crushing regret
June 3rd, 2012 was the day I took over the roster which became the focus of my Rebuilding a Dynasty League Roster series, and now that June 3rd is upon us again, it seemed like a natural time to take a look at how the team is doing. As you may remember, the time horizon for my team is 2014, and I was pretty active in setting up my roster to look like a team I would actually own. In fact, of the 50 players (25 majors, 25 minors) on the team when I took it over, only 14 remain today. And that’s pretty extensive turnover for an owner like myself who tends to shy away enormo-trades and tries to stick with his guys, rather than go after each new flavor of the week.
Right now, the team is sitting at 3-6 through nine weeks, so it’s pretty clear that my horizon is not moving up. Hopefully with some of the reinforcements I’ll get during the second half, it will keep me on schedule for next year. For a refresher on the league settings, check out the first of my RDLR (no, that doesn’t stand for Rubby De La Rosa here) posts back from August 2012. The important information is that it’s a 16-team H2H points league. But now, I’m just going to run through the team and see how things have changed (hopefully for the better):
Keith Law released his updated Top 25 prospect list yesterday, and the names lie pretty much where you’d expect. Oscar Taveras is No. 1, with Byron Buxton and Xander Bogaerts rounding out the Top 3. Archie Bradley has shot up the rankings to No. 9, while Dylan Bundy is down at 11. Michael Wacha, who’s about to make his MLB debut, now sits at No. 24.
But there is one name that’s really jumped out in Law’s revised rankings, causing a great swelling of pride among Red Sox faithful. Third baseman Garin Cecchini has gone from being unranked before the season to claiming the No. 23 spot, in a jump that I don’t think anyone could’ve seen coming.
Now, this isn’t to say that Cecchini hasn’t been impressive so far in 2013. In 187 PA in High-A, he’s hitting .355/.465/.594 with a higher walk rate than strikeout rate, and despite persistent cries of average speed he’s 11-for-15 in stolen bases as well. The .400 BABIP suggests some regression is coming, but when your wRC+ is 195, you’re doing something right.