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Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Maybe not tomorrow, a week from now, or even a month from now; but sometime this season Cards reliever Chris Perez could see some save opportunities. Even though it may appear on the surface current closer Ryan Franklin is pitching great, (1.35 ERA, 12 for 13 in save opps) he is not dominating hitters with a mere 15 strikeouts in 20 innings and is benefiting from an absurd .195 BABIP. Based on his peripherals he is pitching at the level of a 4.00 ERA pitcher.
In contrast, Perez has shown improved command over his last six appearances, having given up only one walk and continues to blow hitters away with a K/9 in the elevens. Perez has struggled with controls issues in the past, so it is critical to keep an eye on his walk rates and make sure they continue to fall. When he limits the free passes though, Perez is a tough pitcher to score runs against and just might regain the closer role he almost won in Spring Training.
Posted by Paul Singman at 4:28pm (2) Comments
One of the most important stats in fantasy baseball is Average Draft Position, or ADP, because it accurately shows how a player is valued by the fantasy community at large. ADP numbers can be compared against end of season numbers to show which players outperformed expectations the most, or be used to identify the optimal time for taking certain players.
The main reason, I think, that you do not see this type of analysis being done is that nobody has the ADP database to do so. Even though the big sites like Yahoo ang ESPN have the numbers up on their sites for free, nobody seems willing to put in the time to copy and store them down.
That is where I came in last year, when I decided it would be a good idea to get an ADP database started. One year's worth of data would not be very valuable, but a few years' worth and I knew I would have a valuable resource on my hands that could lead to new and interesting analysis being done.
With the 2009 drafts in the books, I spent the time this weekend compiling all of the ADP numbers from ESPN and Yahoo into compact spreadsheets for you to download at your convenience. The links to download the spreadsheets containing the 2009 data are found below:
And now here are the links to download the 2008 numbers if you did not last year. Even if you downloaded them last year, you should replace those with the spreadsheets I am providing now because this year I put in a little extra effort to make the list with every position mixed include the players' positions.
There you have it. I'll let you all go with a disclaimer about these numbers I said in my article last year:
Download away! And if anyone happens to have ADP numbers from season before 2008, let me know.
Posted by Paul Singman at 8:00am
Now that the baseball season has passed June 1, roughly a third of the season is over. It's high trading season, and some fantasy teams are beginning to consider that the investment they made during draft time on a particular player doesn’t necessarily equate to that player’s true value.
For example, to get Francisco Liriano in a draft, someone would have had to invest a sixth or seventh round pick in a 12-team league. The Twins pitcher has slumped this season so far — but hey, pitchers are prone to bad luck for good stretches of time. Unfortunately, Liriano sports a 5.04 FIP and a 4.96 xERA, which tells us that although Liriano may be a bit unlucky, a pot of gold doesn’t look likely around the bend.
Some owners will stubbornly wait until the Minnesota Lake freezes over to see if Liriano can pull it together—the 2008 season offers a bit of hope—while others may open themselves to recouping at least some of the investment by trading him.
Fantasy experts love to tell their followers which players they should buy low, but much more problematic are the candidates to be sold low. And even when pundits finally find it within themselves to hum a few notes of requiem on a former superstar—David Ortiz is done!—you may as well be given a shovel to dig the grave.
Let’s not give up so easily: Selling low is tough, but it’s not impossible.
In my experience, most teams will pull the trigger on a trade if they see three things in a player being offered.
First, brand quality. They are being offered a player who has a reputation for being solid and consistent for a long period of time.
Second, recent performance. They are being offered a player who has flourished in recent weeks, signaling no hidden risk.
Third, fills a need. They are being offered a player who will surely help them out.
Unfortunately, any holder of a troubled asset has only brand quality to market. David Ortiz and Francisco Liriano have track records of success in the majors. Just not recent ones. And most teams will make trades out of need—not out of speculation that a struggling player will rebound and help them out down the line.
But there are always exceptions.
Not every team has the same tolerance for risk. Some teams are struggling in the standings. Some are doing well. Some teams have deep benches. Others have ones that are already stacked with disappointing upside gambles. Figuring out a potential trading partner’s capacity for making a gamble is part of the due diligence that’s necessary for getting decent return on a player whose stock has sunk.
Also, all teams have troubled assets. Not all players are disappointing for the same reasons, though. Some are serving 50-game steroids suspensions. Others are on the disabled list. And then there are the players who only seem like disappointments, but are merely getting unlucky. All good targets.
Finally, it always helps to be creative in deal-making. Perhaps selling a struggling, high-risk player on his own merits little interest. What if the player is packaged with a high-performing player? In investment, this is often called securitization, where assets are pooled together and repackaged in a way where the risk/upside ratio becomes acceptable and attractive to a buyer.
Yes, it’s always best to buy low and sell high. Everyone wants to do that these days. But figuring out a way to get some return from high investments that have depreciated in value should not be ignored as an important component of success.
Posted by Eriq Gardner at 7:19am (3) Comments
Player Pool: Mixed
No. of Teams: 14
Categories: Yahoo! 6x6 (R, HR, RBI, SB, Batting Avg., OPS) (W, SV, K, ERA, WHIP, K/9)
Scoring Type: Rotisserie
Misc.: Teams carry 2 UTIL spots on offense.
C - Bengie Molina
1B - Paul Konerko
2B - Felipe Lopez
SS - Troy Tulowitzki
3B - Mark Reynolds
OF - Jason Bay
OF - Adam Jones
OF - Bobby Abreu
UTIL - Lance Berkman
UTIL - Juan Pierre
BN - Luis Castillo
BN - Kendry Morales
BN - Pat Burrell
SP - Tim Lincecum
SP - Josh Outman
RP - Ryan Franklin
RP - John Grabow
RP - Dan Wheeler
RP - JP Howell
RP - Jason Isringhausen
BN - John Danks
BN - Kenshin Kawakami
DL - Jose Valverde
DL - Brandon Webb
Further notes about the team:
1. Dropped Gil Meche after suffering through the pitcher's bad start.
2. Dropped Kelly Johnson to pick up Luis Castillo.
3. After hearing about Troy Percival, picked up every breathing soul in the Tampa Bay bullpen.
4. Has unsuccessfully tried to trade hitting for pitching.
5. Slowly slipping in the standards due to poor pitching.
I think you're being a bit too rash. Of course, Gil Meche and Kelly Johnson haven't lived up to expectations, but both have been the victims of very poor luck this season. I consider it likely that both will sport better numbers in the future, but I guess what's done is done.
The real question is how to salvage the pitching. Right now, I see two legitimate starters in a 14-team league—Lincecum and Danks—and frankly, that's not enough. Josh Outman has a surprising 3.06 ERA and a nice 40-21 strikeout-to-walk rate, but he's too young and does not possess a solid enough body of work to be any more than a #4 or #5 in this kind of league.
I think you need at least two more starters. Who might be droppable?
Chasing saves is a necessary evil in many leagues and having a category that counts K/9 certainly raises the incentive towards carrying multiple relievers. That said, after Isringhausen's flameout in his first save opportunity last week, we can't see much reason to hold onto him.
We also don't see much reason to hold Luis Castillo, especially in a league that counts OPS as a category.
Isringhausen and Castillo seem the most logical candidates to drop for starters off the waiver wire. Obviously, target starters with good strikeout rates.
Who are your best trade candidates?
Well, if you can get anything for Juan Pierre, go for it. He's having a great season, but his value will be kept in check in an OPS league that hates his slugging ability. Since he's batting near .400, and some teams are bound to need speed, maybe you can get something.
The other candidate I might look to trade, believe it or not, is Brandon Webb. Your team needs pitching help right away, and Webb carries a lot of injury risk. Many teams will be attracted to the prospect of having an ace-caliber pitcher like Webb, so he might at least return someone like Jon Lester. (Also, note that Lester's been struggling, but posts a stronger strikeout rate than Webb and will offer you more wins than a pitcher who plays for a poor offense. You may be able to get Lester plus something else.) After you move Webb, you can then push Burrell to DL, clearing up another roster spot for use.