Trader’s Corner: Big Names, Big Trades

This week features several top ten talents changing hands. As I’ve been reading through the emails sent in for this column, I can’t help but notice two things:

1. Our readers are really smart fantasy players who make savvy trades.

2. Our readers sometimes play in really complicated leagues!

Seriously, the response has been great so far and I think it’s a lot of fun to vote on fantasy trades like the ones coming in to Trader’s Corner. What gives it another dimension is we’ll be able to look back through some of these posts later to see how the trades really pan out. If you’d like to submit a recently completed or pending trade for a vote, send it to traderscornertdg@gmail.com. I can usually respond to most emails within a day or two to give you my take, and at the very least every trade submitted gets posted in the column. Without further ado…

Trade #1

12-team keeper, keep 6 (count as first 6 rounds), keep forever

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Bret’s Eleven Bold Predictions for 2014

In what’s now becoming a yearly tradition at The Dynasty Guru, the writers here have been (and will be) putting their boldest predictions out there as they relate both to the major leagues and minors. And for completeness, here were my predictions from last year, and then my review of these same predictions from the end of the season. They’re fun pieces and at this point you know exactly what to get out of them. They also don’t need any longer of an intro than this. Let’s have some fun–and yes, these go to eleven.

1) Albert Pujols will be a top-3 fantasy first baseman in 2014, only behind Miguel Cabrera and Paul Goldschmidt.

The blessing and the curse about writing a lot during the off-season is that you already know who my guys are–and Pujols is clearly one of my guys heading into 2014. He’s healthy and ready to remind people that it wasn’t too long ago that he was considered one of the best hitters in the game. I believe that Spring Training stats mean as little as anyone else, but one thing I did notice this weekend was that Pujols hit a triple on Sunday and just the fact that he felt good enough to stretch it in a meaningless game is noteworthy.

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Nick Doran’s Eleven Bold Predictions

Its time to have fun with some predictions. Some of my predictions are bold and some are BOLD but none of them are crazy. All of these things have a decent chance of actually happening, at least in my mind anyway. I can’t wait to brag about my psychic prognostication skills come October.

I am stepping out on a thin limb here with my first bold prediction because this rare feat has been done only one time in the history of baseball…

1. Billy Hamilton will steal 100 bases while scoring less than 100 Runs.

Take a look at Vince Coleman’s strange 1986 batting line:

PA — 670
R  – 94
H — 139
2B – 13
3B – 8
HR – 0
RBI – 29
SB – 107
CS – 14
BA – 0.232
OBP – 0.301
SLG – 0.280
OPS – 0.581
OPS+ – 62

That is all sorts of ugly. Coleman got a lot of fanfare that season because of his antics on the basepaths, but he was just plain terrible batting in front of Tom Herr, Jack Clark, Andy Van Slyke, Terry Pendleton, Willie McGee and Ozzie Smith. The two are often compared, but Billy Hamilton is likely to be a much better all-around player than Vince Coleman both offensively and defensively. Hamilton won’t hit many home runs but he will get a lot more doubles and will hit for a much better slash line than Coleman, who finished his career with a very poor .668 OPS. My bold prediction is Hamilton will match Coleman’s dubious feat his rookie year but will get much better as time goes by.

2. Joey Votto will be the National League MVP. Continue reading

#TDGX Recap — Team Kantecki’s First 10

By now, you are well aware that my TDG mates and I have been participating in an intense 40-round, first-year dynasty league draft called The Dynasty Guru Experts League. We’re already 34 rounds deep and the pickings are slim — we’ve recently entered the part of the draft where the CBS player universe doesn’t house all of the players we’d like to draft on our respective teams. I entered the draft with a plan to stick strictly to value, but, as you’ll see, sometimes you need to re-adjust your plan on the fly.

The first ten picks from Team Kantecki:

1.03 — Miguel Cabrera, 3B, Detroit Tigers

After Mike Trout and Bryce Harper went first and second, respectively, there wasn’t much debate at No 3. Miggy is a top-three dynasty selection no matter how you slice it. While he’s on the wrong side of 30 and will likely lose third-base eligibility after this year, Cabrera should still provide elite numbers for at least the next three seasons. Paul Goldschmidt and Andrew McCutchen entered my thoughts briefly, but I couldn’t pass up the back-to-back American League MVP.

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The Dynasty Guru’s Top 50 Dynasty League Third Basemen, Nos. 1-20

From the 21st of January to the 20th of February, the writers at TDG will be taking you through our rankings position-by-position. As I mentioned in the primer, this year we’re doing things a little differently. Instead of having my personal rankings up on this site, like last year, these rankings for 2014 are of the consensus variety and being brought to you by all of the TDG staff. Everyone put a lot of work into this project, so we hope you enjoy the end result. And if you are looking for my personal dynasty league rankings, you can find them this off-season at Baseball Prospectus.

So we hope you enjoy the rankings package that we’ve put together here. And if you do, I hope that you will make a donation to show appreciation for the content you’ve seen here at the Dynasty Guru. You can do that through this link, or by clicking the “Donate” button on the top-right corner of the homepage. All donations are truly appreciated.

Third base, like last year, has some heavy hitters at the top. In fact, the top-five at the position may be as strong as any other position on the diamond (including first base). However, once you get beyond that, it’s a number of players who either haven’t proven anything or have been breakout stars without the requisite prospect status to give that extra layer of comfort. Then you have the aging third basemen who are still hanging on to their value despite being one year closer to retirement. It’s a position of power, and that’s only going to get stronger as the two prospects who clock in highest on this list both have at least 70 power potential.

Now the 20 best third baseman in dynasty leagues, starting with one of the best hitters in the game today:

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Jay Bruce: On the Verge of 30, Again

After taking Clayton Kershaw deep not once, but twice (!) on Sunday Night Baseball, Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce finds himself one moon shot away from registering his third consecutive 30-home run season. Unfortunately for me, that means my preseason prediction of 40 long balls is all but a certainty not to happen with 17 team games to go.

Oh well. You win some and you lose some.

On the happy side of the coin, three straight seasons of 30 home runs is nothing to sneeze at; only Miguel Cabrera has hit 30 or more in each of the last three seasons (from 2011-2013). In fact, Cabrera has done it in seven straight dating back to 2007. But who’s counting? A week and change into September, Bruce and Adrian Beltre are the only two players with an overwhelming chance of joining the Triple Crown winner by season’s end. (Prince Fielder would have to hit eight in Detroit’s final 18 games to make the cut.)

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Drafting a Dynasty League Roster: Major League Draft, Rounds 1-3

For those of you who’ve been around these parts for a while, you may remember the initial dynasty league I agreed to participate in at the beginning of the off-season for the purposes of writing up a full draft (and the thought process that went into it) on this site. We had the minor league draft through the boards back in November, and I wrote it up in a few different posts (Rounds 1-3, Rounds 4-6, Rounds 7-9, Rounds 10-12, Rounds 13-16, Rounds 17-25), but now this past Wednesday night was the marathon major league portion of the draft.

The draft started at 9:30pm ET, and by the time 1am rolled around, I still had a spot or two still left to fill. On top of this, I was running a fever the whole night and it ended up being the start of one of the worst viruses I’ve ever had in my life (that I’m just recovering from now). So by the end of the draft, I was mildly delirious and my gchat words were being used as internet fodder by a fellow TDG writer.

Over the course of the next week or two, I’m going to write up the entirety of the 25-round major league draft and then examine my full team at the very end. But from the outset, I will say that I’m very happy with how this whole draft turned out – and though my team certainly has some weaknesses, it’s a 20-team league, and that’s bound to happen. My strategy from the outset was that I was going to secure the offense first with firepower, and then build my pitching staff with depth. And in the end, I stuck to that plan exactly.

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