I have been using your Guide every year for about 10 now. Best on the market! I got a question for you though, why doesn’t Harvey have a writeup this year? All other injured players past and present have had them.
“Long Time Reader”
I think it’s true that in the past we’ve covered some injured pitchers in the Guide, but I’m pretty sure we haven’t covered all of them.
In recent years we’ve been adding more information to the player profiles in the Guide, and added Picks and Pans writers, so that we’ve trimmed the number of players profiled from 1600 to 1400 (or so).
Most of these have been short relievers who pitched only a few innings the year before, who have little to no chance at a larger role in the coming year. But some have been injured pitchers and guys who seem to have retired. Like Bobby Abreu.
So maybe we have changed the way we do things a little. And it’s likely that every decision isn’t the best one, though that’s what I strive for.
Fortunately, I also have this forum to redress any possible errors. Forthwith, possible profiles for Bobby Abreu and Matt Harvey:
BOBBY ABREU: One of the reasons that he looked old and slow in 2012 was because he was really old and really slow. It was no illusion. The notion that he could take a year off at his advanced age and regain his major league skills would seem totally fantastical. But Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg has said Abreu could win a job as a pinch-hitter/bench sort, so we have to take that seriously. A year like Jason Giambi’s post 40s output wouldn’t be outrageous to get, but it would be ridiculous to expect.
MATT HARVEY: Was absolutely killing the National League when he went down in August. Waited until October to have the TJ, which crushed any chance of a late 2014 cuppa. Keeper league rules are too various to suggest a future price, but it is good to remember that while starting pitchers usually return to form after successful TJ about a year afterwards, the rule of thumb until full return (if there is full return) is two years. You can do the math from there.
In hindsight, including a short comment about an injured star, like Harvey, is probably the right thing to do. Thanks for your question.
Projections have been updated and posted to the Top Secret Projections and Rotoman’s 5×5 Prices Download page, which requires a password.
Look at Rick Wilton’s injury report after the Albert Pujols profile in the Fantasy Baseball Guide.. The first word of his comment is the password.
If you can’t find the printed Guide, the online edition is available at thefantasysportsguide.com. Use the promocode rotoman2014 and save a buck.
I will include 4×4 prices in the last update, which will be posted on the 15th. These are the same ones I’ll be working on for the American Dream League auction, a 4×4 Roto league since 1981.
If you want more numbers, CBS, LABR and Tout draft prices, Alex Patton’s 4×4 bid prices, notes on batting order and rotation role, and MLB and BA prospect lists, you should check out software.askrotoman.com.
The software is surprisingly useful, but we also offer Excel and text versions if you prefer. All are useful.
I looked at the AL LABR results and had a sense of deja vu all over again. Hitters were expensive, top pitchers were cheap, and some midlevel aspirational pitchers got bid up beyond their risk level because they throw strikeouts or have yet to prove vulnerable or both. I’m looking at Danny Salazar, Sonny Gray, Alex Cobb and Dan Straily, who Steve Gardner cites in his roundup at usatoday.com.
What’s interesting about this Groundhog’s Day expert league auction experience is that there is not a surefire counter to it. Try to beat it on values and you end up with too many pitchers. Adjust your values properly (this year the AL split 69/31, the modern classic split, after going 71/29 last year), and you squeak out a nice-looking but uninspiring team, as Larry Schechter did.
Larry’s potential downfall is a pitching staff that lacks a clear standout starter. I like all his pitchers and their prices, but when David Price is $23 you need to keep pushing. It sounds like I’m blaming Larry here, and I’m not. Just saying that if David Price is $23 then Masuhiro Tanaka should be $13, not $19. But the real thing is that Price should be more, and it’s a mistake he isn’t.
But that AL mistake is a common one, and reflects everyone’s wariness about pitching (except when they’re excited about a shiny new toy, like Salazar, or able to push up his price because there is unspent money). In the NL LABR auction, Gardner chronicles the air coming out of the top tier hitters as well as pitchers. Cargo was the top price at $36.
At the end of his story, Steve points out that there are three new owners in the league, as a way of perhaps explaining this bizarre turn, which made me think about the decline of auction fantasy. With more people playing mixed leagues and daily games, the hands-on familiarity of the auction is diminished. But the LABR NL field, it turns out, is full of grizzled veterans of rotisserie play. These guys didn’t just hop over from a Yahoo league. So what happened?
I made two charts to show where the money went. The first shows, from left to right in descending order, what was spent for each pitcher in each league and each hitter in each league. If you want to see it larger you can click on the image.
The chart shows that the highest priced pitcher in the NL cost much more than the highest priced pitcher in the AL, but the NL was outspent on pitchers who cost from $27 down to about $10. The NL spent more in the high single numbers, the AL a bit more in the low singles.
In hitting the AL clearly outspends the NL on hitters above $27 and is clearly outspent on hitters from $22 down to $15 (the prices are the y axis). The NL then crushes the AL between $8 and $3.
Another way of looking at it is to line the grafs up so they show cumulative money spent starting with the highest priced player and adding on down to the lowest priced player. The chart moves from left to right. You can click it to see a larger version.
To give you an idea of the difference in the two streams, at the $500 mark, where the AL it seems to be most outspending the NL on high priced players, the AL has spent $515 to the NL’s $483. That’s $32, or six percent. Not a huge amount, but obviously a distinctive difference if the talent pools are equal.
Also notable that by the end, the NL outspent the AL in hitting by $28. So that’s a $60 difference on players who cost less than $27.
The red line, series 2, shows the pitching cumulatively, while series 1, the blue line, shows the hitting. The x-axis is the rank of players from most expensive to cheapest. If the quality of the two leagues were the same it seems like these lines would be flatter, but we’ll have to look at other leagues to know what to make of that.
If the pools are congruent and the NL pays more money for the $3 to $8 players than they’re worth because it has money to burn, that has to be a mistake. Then a team like Ambrosius/Childs, last year’s champs, which spent widely on expensive players and picked off useful pieces in the later stages of the less heralded, has a big advantage.
But what if the pools aren’t equivalent. Certainly the A/C team is risking a lot building around the oft-injured Troy Tulowitzki, Bryce Harper and Hanley Ramirez, with the leaden Ryan Howard to boot. So, if these guys are too risky at these prices ($28, $32, $31 respectively), what would have happened if less money was spent on them?
And if the expensive guys are mostly risky (I’m not sure Paul Goldschmidt is that risky, for instance), then doesn’t it make sense to spread money across the board, buy at bats and cross your fingers (as the NLers seem to have done, a little)?
I don’t have an answer. I dove into this to find out just how different the results were of these two apparently dissimilar expert auctions. It turns out that even though they look different, the dynamics are pretty close. The split for both leagues was similar. Either 68/32 and 69/31 (AL/NL) if you count the money left on the table, or 69/31 and 70/30 based on all the money available. These crusty auction vets are trying to get a foothold, a bit of advantage, but apart from Billy Hamilton’s fast feet the surface is pretty crumbly.
Major League Baseball Advanced Media announced yesterday that starting in 2015 every major league ballpark will have a system in place to measure placement and speed of all objects on the ballfield. Now, if only they would do something about the lines to buy food. (Kidding. Actually they seem to have.)
It is unclear whether the new system will replace Pitch F/x. It is being tested this year in Minnesota, Milwaukee and at Citi Field in New York.
The story has a video clip showing Jason Heyward making a diving catch on a fly ball into the gap, then on the replay shows how hard and high the batter hit the ball and tracks Heyward has he runs, showing his distance run, speed and acceleration.
The promise of a system like this is that, once aggregated, the data will help us learn all sorts of new things about defensive abilities, defensive strategies, the value of speed and in all likelihood stuff we can’t even imagine now.
Besides it’s relationship to Pitch F/x, which has produced a lot of innovative research because it was available, and Hit and Field F/x, which were not, is the availability of the data to the baseball research community.
No doubt MLBAM will look for the system to pay for itself through team and media licenses, but the widespread distribution of data will help improve the system initially and spur innovative uses after that.
I’m in a 12 team roto league keeper. my keeper options are either keeping Paul Goldschmidt and Carlos Gonzalez or Goldschmidt, Yasiel Puig and Jason Kipnis?. So really the question is Cargo or Puig/Kipnis? We can keep players forever so I want to make sure I make the right decision.
What I don’t know, because you didn’t tell me, is why you can only keep one extra guy if you keep Cargo, or the two other guys if you go that way. That feels unusual to me, but let’s run with it because we can make something of a closer look, whatever your rules are.
Of the three, Gonzalez is probably the best hitter, but because of injuries he didn’t earn as much as Kipnis last year. Still, I have him at $34 for this year, with Kipnis at $27 and Puig at $24. Puig is a bit of a wild card here. It would not be a surprise if he was a bust, but it would not be a surprise if he earned well into the 30s. We don’t know how he’s going to adapt to pitchers adaptations, and we don’t know whether the 26 pounds he added in the offseason was because of hard work or sloth.
But we do know that Kipnis earned $29 as a 26 year old. We also know that Gonzalez is 29 this year, while Puig turns 24. Which means the two guys have seven years on Gonzalez. If we assume each of these guys will play well until they’re 35, you’ll get six years out of Gonzalez, while you’ll get 19 years out of the other two. By that measure take the two.
But, I’m sure that isn’t the measure. Here’s what is:
Let’s assume that Cargo is $7 more valuable than Kipnis in a deep league for each of the next six years. That’s $42 more value, which is whittled down some amount in a shallow league because Kipnis plays a more valuable defensive position.
The question for you is whether Puig is going to outearn the player you would end up with instead by that same $42 or more over the next six years. Obviously, given the information I have I can’t answer that.
But what is important here for everyone to remember is, in multiplayer deals the measure isn’t just the players in the deal, but also the player who would have to be added or dropped who isn’t in the deal in order to make the rosters whole.
Having trouble deciding who to take first round. Its a 6×6 H2H league and a 4 keeper league, so technically the first round is the 5th. I have the first pick and here are the best available in the order I like them.
- Jose Fernandez
- Alex Rios
- Adam Wainwright
- Jose Bautista
- Steven Strasburg
- Ian Desmond
- Hunter Pence
- Matt Carpenter
- Chris Sale
- Sin Soo Choo
My keepers are already : Ryan Braun, Jay Bruce, David Price, and Adrian Gonzalez.
I’m flying a little blind here, since I don’t know what six pitching categories you’re playing with. Some leagues add Holds. If that’s the case in your league I would definitely take a hitter with your first pick, but even if your sixth category is Quality Starts (another popular choice) I would probably take a hitter.
That’s because you already have a quality starter as a keeper, and in Head to Head you want to pile up quality at bats. Obviously pitching matters, you want quality starts, but as we’ve seen, there will be plenty of starting pitching available late in the draft, in the reserve rounds and off the waiver wire for you to stream against weak offenses in pitchers parks week after week.
There won’t be power speed guys like Alex Rios, or power/on base guys like Jose Bautista after the next round or two. So load up while you can.
That said, I’m not sure Rios and Bautista are your best hitters in this spot. Rios had a fine year again last year, perhaps escaping the yoke of an every-other-year reputation, finally. But given his age, shouldn’t he be more in danger of one of his inexplicable extended slumps? While Bautista has the injury time bomb ticking beneath him.
Don’t get me wrong, both are reasonable picks at this point, but I think the durable Hunter Pence is a better, more reliable pick, and not as good as Ian Desmond, who may be the youngest and best offensive player of the bunch and a shortstop to boot. That’s who I would take.