February 2010

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2010 RotoAuthority Silver League

Here are details from my friend Mike Silver, who will again be running the RotoAuthority Silver League.

Provider:

Yahoo

Buy-in: $100.  Collection will be done through leaguesafe.com

Pay-out: $900 to 1st, $200 to 2nd, $100 to 3rd.  1st place finisher also gets to join Tim's RotoAuthority League next year.

Draft: The draft will be a live, online draft using a snake style format.  Date and time will be March 27th, 1pm CST.  If you can not make this draft time, please don't submit a comment.  This time will not be changed.

Teams: 12

Scoring Type: Rotisserie

Scoring: Traditional 5x5 (Runs, RBI, SB, HR, AVG x Wins, K's, Saves, WHIP, ERA)

Rosters: C, C, 1b, 2b, 3b, SS, CI, MI, OF, OF, OF, OF, OF, Util, SP, SP, RP, RP, P, P, P, P, P, BN, BN, BN, BN, DL

Roster Edits: Daily - Max games played per position = 162  Max IP = 1500

Trades: Trades will have a 1 day review by the commissioner ONLY.  I will only veto SUPREMELY ridiculous trades.  So, basically expect ALL trades to go through.

Trade Deadline: Aug 15th, 2010 

If you disagree with any of these settings, I would advise against joining this league.  But if you agree to all of this, please submit a comment containing a bit of info and your preferred email address and I will send out an email to those chosen.  This will be the third year of this league and the past two years have gone fantastically well.  Here's to another year and another summer of baseball.


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2010 RotoAuthority Fantasy League Filled

FRIDAY, 10:36am: Thanks to all who applied.  I've chosen Michael R. and Jonathan S. for the two open spots, though it wasn't easy.  For those still interested in a competitive $100 league with RotoAuthority readers, I'll be posting details on the Silver League soon.

WEDNESDAY, 11:11am: Every year we boot the bottom four finishers in the RotoAuthority Fantasy League.  The exception is that I probably won't kick myself out, though in 2009 I managed only a sixth-place finish.

For 2010 we have two spots available for this ultra-competitive league (one spot already went to the winner of the Silver League, while another went to someone who has been a long-time behind-the-scenes site contributor).

This is a 12-team, 5x5 mixed league.  It uses AVG, HR, RBI, R, SB, ERA, WHIP, K, W, and SV as the categories.  The rosters: C, C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, MI, CI, OF, OF, OF, OF, OF, DH, P, P, P, P, P, SP, SP, RP, RP, Bn, Bn, Bn, DL, DL.  Maxes: 162 games played, 1500 innings pitched.  There are no limits to the number of transactions you can make, the trade deadline is August 15th, and moves become active the following day with no league or commissioner approval needed. 

The snake draft will take place Wednesday, March 24th at 8:30pm CST, with draft order chosen randomly.  If you'd like to be considered for one of the two open spots, make your case in the comments of this post and include your email address.  Please only apply if you can make that draft date and time.  Additionally, there is a $100 entry fee due by March 23rd.  I will close off the thread at 4pm CST on Thursday and pick the two people at that time.


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Outfielder Rankings

Time for our outfield rankings for 12-team 5x5 mixed leagues with 14 hitters and 9 pitchers.  Average draft round is in parentheses.

  1. Ryan Braun (1) - $31.37
  2. Matt Kemp (1) - $26.52
  3. Carl Crawford (2) - $25.14
  4. Jacoby Ellsbury (2) - $23.34
  5. Matt Holliday (2) - $21.67
  6. Nelson Cruz (6) - $19.97
  7. Grady Sizemore (3) - $18.89
  8. Jayson Werth (3) - $16.56
  9. Justin Upton (3) - $16.06
  10. Carlos Lee (6) - $15.23
  11. Nick Markakis (5) - $14.36
  12. Andrew McCutchen (8) - $14.20
  13. B.J. Upton (5) - $13.59
  14. Rajai Davis (14) - $13.28
  15. Curtis Granderson (5) - $13.19
  16. Michael Bourn (8) - $13.09 
  17. Jay Bruce (11) - $13.06
  18. Juan Pierre (20) - $12.76
  19. Jason Bay (3) - $12.53
  20. Shin-Soo Choo (6) - $12.38
  21. Adam Lind (4) - $12.19
  22. Ben Zobrist (5) - $12.07
  23. Bobby Abreu (7) - $11.89
  24. Shane Victorino (6) - $11.62
  25. Julio Borbon (17) - $11.62
  26. Hunter Pence (8) - $11.28
  27. Adam Jones (8) - $10.94
  28. Chris Coghlan (20) - $10.67
  29. Manny Ramirez (6) - $10.66
  30. Ichiro Suzuki (4) - $10.40
  31. Andre Ethier (6) - $10.17
  32. Torii Hunter (9) - $10.01
  33. Denard Span (11) - $9.95
  34. Josh Hamilton (5) - $9.76
  35. Nate McLouth (8) - $8.91
  36. Adam Dunn (5) - $8.84
  37. Nyjer Morgan (11) - $8.56
  38. Carlos Quentin (9) - $8.21
  39. Johnny Damon (11) - $7.85
  40. Garrett Jones (13) - $7.30
  41. Alex Rios (10) - $6.99
  42. Alfonso Soriano (7) - $6.88
  43. Carlos Gonzalez (11) - $6.34
  44. Franklin Gutierrez (22) - $6.21
  45. Corey Hart (17) - $6.04
  46. Carlos Beltran (8) - $5.68
  47. Cody Ross (26) - $5.63
  48. Michael Cuddyer (10) - $5.54
  49. Nolan Reimold (17) - $5.40
  50. Ryan Ludwick (16) - $5.33
  51. Kyle Blanks (27) - $5.10
  52. Jason Kubel (10) - $4.65
  53. Travis Snider (21) - $4.49
  54. Magglio Ordonez (25) - $3.96
  55. Brad Hawpe (10) - $3.67
  56. Raul Ibanez (8) - $3.66
  57. Cameron Maybin (25) - $3.65
  58. Vernon Wells (17) - $3.46
  59. Jermaine Dye (16) - $3.44
  60. Coco Crisp (28) - $3.34
  61. Carlos Gomez (20) - $3.16
  62. Conor Jackson (27) - $2.86
  63. Jake Fox (28) - $2.45
  64. Juan Rivera (15) - $2.30
  65. Mark DeRosa (21) - $2.25
  66. Matt Diaz (N/A) - $1.95
  67. Marlon Byrd (26) - $1.93
  68. Jeff Francoeur (28) - $1.65
  69. Josh Willingham (22) - $1.63
  70. Scott Podsednik (28) - $1.57
  71. Drew Stubbs (27) - $1.41
  72. Mike Cameron (21) - $1.14
  73. Nick Swisher (21) - $1.00
  74. Ryan Raburn (28) - $0.91
  75. Brett Gardner (28) - $0.54

Is it possible that Cruz is being undervalued again, following a 33 HR, 20 SB season in 462 ABs?  I think so.  I also feel that Carlos Lee has slipped too far.  McCutchen is a nice upside pick - I have him at .279-16-67-97-32 in 625 ABs, but I could see more.

Davis would need 550 ABs to get my projected 81 runs and 54 SBs.  Similarly, Pierre's ranking comes with a 625 AB projection, Borbon's 575 ABs.  Keep an eye on Bruce as a breakout candidate.  Coghlan, Garrett Jones, Hart, Gutierrez, and Ross all appear undervalued.  It's important to pay attention to those who are expected to steal double-digit bags and those who aren't.

On the overvalued side, Bay scares me in the 3rd round.  Ichiro in the 4th is also worrisome, if he stays below 30 SB.  Ibanez looks questionable as well.


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Roundtable: Rookies For Non-Keeper Leagues

This week's roundtable question:

Which player yet-to-be called up, might you draft in a non-keeper league and why?

Patrick Cain of the Times Union has our answers.


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Closer Report: Kansas City Royals

Royals closer Joakim Soria is currently being drafted in the 9th round.  Given his ridiculous skills, that's a reasonable place to take him.

Who's behind Soria on the depth chart?  Assuming Kyle Farnsworth goes to the rotation, I'd place Juan Cruz is second in line.  Cruz had an awful 2009 amid a shoulder strain, but he still throws 94 and is earning $3.25MM.  Should he fail to crack the rotation, Robinson Tejeda is another setup candidate (11.8 K/9 in 42 relief innings last year). 



Third Baseman Rankings

Next up, our third baseman rankings for 12-team mixed 5x5 leagues using 14 hitters (including one 3B and a CI) and 9 pitchers.  I moved the games played requirement from 20 to 10 to gel with Yahoo leagues.  Average draft round is in parentheses.

  1. Alex Rodriguez (1) - $27.55
  2. David Wright (2) - $22.74
  3. Evan Longoria (1) - $20.11
  4. Mark Reynolds (2) - $18.19
  5. Ryan Zimmerman (3) - $16.19
  6. Kevin Youkilis (3) - $14.80
  7. Pablo Sandoval (4) - $14.38
  8. Chone Figgins (7) - $12.72
  9. Aramis Ramirez (6) - $11.81
  10. Gordon Beckham (8) - $10.42
  11. Ian Stewart (11) - $8.10
  12. Michael Young (8) - $7.19
  13. Adrian Beltre (16) - $5.52
  14. Jorge Cantu (15) - $4.49
  15. Martin Prado (20) - $4.35
  16. Alex Gordon (19) - $4.21 
  17. Mark DeRosa (21) - $3.78
  18. Chipper Jones (12) - $3.32
  19. Garrett Atkins (24) - $2.79
  20. Kevin Kouzmanoff (28) - $2.28
  21. Jake Fox (28) - $2.22
  22. Chase Headley (21) - $0.11
  23. Edwin Encarnacion (27) - $0.03
  24. Jhonny Peralta (18) - $0.03

Aramis has a 525 AB projection; 575 would boost him above Youkilis.  Beckham is a solid upside pick with position flexibility, as he'll play second base for the Sox.  Stewart is projected at 520 ABs and would move up a few spots with more.

Beltre, Gordon, and Fox are some later picks that could be mild sleepers.  Chipper in the 12th round, not a fan.


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Shortstop Rankings

Today let's rank shortstops, using AVG, HR, RBI, R, and SB.  This is for 12-team mixed leagues employing 14 hitters and 9 pitchers (including one 2B, one SS, and an MI).

  1. Hanley Ramirez (1) - $28.88
  2. Jose Reyes (2) - $23.86
  3. Jimmy Rollins (2) - $18.81
  4. Troy Tulowitzki (2) - $17.28
  5. Derek Jeter (4) - $13.38
  6. Asdrubal Cabrera (13) - $10.88
  7. Everth Cabrera (21) - $8.41 
  8. Elvis Andrus (13) - $8.21
  9. Alexei Ramirez (10) - $7.75
  10. Miguel Tejada (12) - $6.86
  11. Erick Aybar (17) - $6.59
  12. Alcides Escobar (23) - $6.49
  13. Jason Bartlett (9) - $5.06
  14. Yunel Escobar (13) - $4.62
  15. Orlando Cabrera (16) - $3.15
  16. Rafael Furcal (12) - $2.06
  17. Stephen Drew (10) - $1.75
  18. Marco Scutaro (18) - $1.50
  19. Ryan Theriot (23) - $1.00
  20. Jhonny Peralta (18) - $0.16
  21. J.J. Hardy (23) - $0.14

The Big Three has officially become the Big Four, as Tulo is firmly in the mix with Reyes and Rollins.  Hanley continues to stand alone.  Reyes is riskier than Rollins given last year's hamstring surgery.  Rollins had an off-year too, but at least stayed healthy.  Given his 2009, I can see why folks are taking Tulo over Reyes and Rollins.

Asdrubal Cabrera is an intriguing 13th round choice.  A June shoulder injury kept his ABs down, but if he's healthy he should get 600.  That could mean something like .292-10-76-97-19. 

Everth Cabrera, Andrus, and Escobar are similar to me - guys who could steal 30-40 and score 80+ runs.  I wouldn't overextend for Andrus, who goes much earlier than the other two.  Alexei fits the power/speed bill, while most others offer only one of those traits.  Bartlett and Drew are a couple of 9th-10th round choices that don't thrill me.


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What It Takes To Win 2010

Our annual What It Takes To Win series attempts to estimate the stats you will need to place fourth in each of the ten roto categories in a 12-team mixed league with 14 hitters (2 catchers), 9 pitchers, 3 bench spots, and 2 DL spots.  Aiming for fourth in each category might seem like a lame strategy, but if you pull it off you'll have 90 points and a good shot at winning.

Looking at last year's guidelines plus info from three of my 2009 leagues that followed the above format, here are my estimates for 2010:

Offense

  • .282 AVG
  • 295 HR (21 per hitter)
  • 1114 RBI (80 per hitter)
  • 1157 R (83 per hitter)
  • 170 SB (12 per hitter)

Pitching

  • 3.78 ERA
  • 1.27 WHIP
  • 1270 Ks (181 per six starters, assuming 62 Ks per closer)
  • 94 W (13.67 per six starters, assuming 4 wins per closer)
  • 102 SV (34 per three closers)

Question for those who played in a league with this format in 2009: would these exact numbers have given you the title?



Problems Commissioners Face

Serving as commissioner of a fantasy baseball league can be a thankless job.  I've never had big problems doing it, but I've heard the horror stories.  With your help, let's try to list common problems commissioners face and potential solutions.

  • Keeping the league competitive.  It can be difficult to find 12+ knowledgable baseball fans, and to keep most of them engaged for a six month season.  I recommend a buy-in of at least $20, the higher the better.  With nothing invested, people will justify quitting more easily.  Structure the payout so that the top three or four teams get something.  Also, in our RotoAuthority league, we tried the idea of kicking out the bottom four clubs for the following year.  It was tough to part with four quality owners, but it did keep the battle for eighth place raging.
  • Collecting the money.  It sucks to have to hit up your friends or coworkers repeatedly for fantasy league dues, but there are always a few stragglers.  We tried Leaguesafe last year and managed to get all the money in without issue before the draft.  It's nice to let them be the bad guy and employ the "auto-nag" feature to email deadbeats daily.  Leaguesafe also allows people to pay with a credit card, which can be helpful.  Consider telling people upfront that you will replace them if they don't pay by a certain date.
  • Scheduling the draft.  I like to draft between March 15-30 each year.  If you have a core group who will definitely be in the league, ask them which dates and times don't work for them and record those dates in a spreadsheet.  Give people a week to get that info in, and then just pick an available day and time and schedule the draft with your provider (before March).  It seems silly for anyone to complain after you gave them a chance to supply their bad dates.  I prefer Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday at 8 or 9pm - the kids are probably in bed and the person is less likely to be out doing something.  They can stay up late for one night.
  • Complaints over trade vetoes or approvals.  My solution: auto-approve all trades and have them hit rosters the following day.  I believe that having the commissioner approve each trade or having the league vote causes more problems than it solves.  League members will have varying opinions over whether trades are fair, but as long as they were done in good spirit they should stand.  If you must, give the commissioner sole veto power for truly absurd trades - ie, Pujols and Braun for Brandon Duckworth.
  • Disagreement over league rules and settings.  In one of my leagues we've started a Winter Meetings tradition, where we meet for lunch in January and hash out rules and settings.  This way we don't waste time doing it on draft day.  It's also a chance for people to make trades in a keeper league.  You might have to put rule changes to a vote.  Once rules are set, do not change anything until the following Winter Meetings. 


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Closer Report: Detroit Tigers

Jose Valverde is clearly the Tigers' closer, as they committed two years and $14MM to him this winter.  He's going in the 12th round currently, and he's probably a better choice than earlier picks Francisco Rodriguez and Francisco Cordero.

The Tigers have three hard-throwing relievers who could serve as Valverde's backup: Joel Zumaya, Ryan Perry, and Daniel Schlereth.  Zumaya is the favorite, and he says he's...wait for it...finally healthy.  Since he comes from the right side, averages 95 mph, and has more big league experience, you'd have to put Perry third in line.  All three need to show the necessary control for a late-inning role.





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