Fantasy Baseball- For Better or Worse

A few weeks ago I posted about my anxiety concerning my upcoming fantasy baseball drafts and my utter lack of preparation.

Years past (when I had a bit more time on my hands) I would have an entire binder of information compiled by the end of February. This year, that wasn’t the case.

I pride myself on finding players who greatly out-perform their draft value, as in I pick a guy in the 1oth round, who performs like a 2nd rounder. This was the case last year when I grabbed Matt Kemp, coming off a down year, only to have him perform like the best player in baseball. This year, Kemp is a Top 3 pick, if not the #1 overall pick.

Now, there is no way I draft him this year. My job is to find the 2012 version of Matt Kemp. Who is going to be the guy who carries my team, but costs me a 15th rounder? I obviously cannot state that here, as I am sure my competition is looking for any edge they can get (I won 2 out of 3 leagues last year).

My mistake in the past has been to rely too heavily on guys with low value and high upside. I get burned every once in a while. For every Matt Kemp, there is always a Jason Bay, the guy who was primed for a major bounce back that never materialized.

I have two more drafts this weekend and one extended draft that is going on as I type this.

Fantasy Baseball… This is Not Good

I am finding myself in a very unfamiliar position. We are almost a week into March (the best month of the year by far) and I have not done a minute of fantasy baseball research.

There was a moment last spring, when I was taking two Masters level education classes, three on-line classes that the State was telling me I needed to complete my certification, on top of work and everything else. I went to Danielle and said, I have all these classes, plus three fantasy baseball leagues, there is too much on my plate. Her advice to me, drop a league.

I dropped a class.

I won two out of three leagues and reaffirmed to myself that if there is one thing I am good at in this world, it is picking an imaginary team of baseball players that will out perform 10 to 12 other guys imaginary teams of baseball players over the course of a season.

As this season is quickly approaching, I realize that I am in to position currently to repeat as champion. I usually have binder of information that I have stockpiled. I usually know whose 20-year-old first baseman is going to have a monster season. Right now I am clueless. I am more anxious about my upcoming drafts than I am that I have not planned anything to teach this week. My one track mind has been singularly focused on P90X2.

So here I sit, thinking Ike Davis is going to be the second best first baseman in the N.L after Joey Votto, when I find out he might have Valley Fever? At least one thing has not changed, the Mets cannot catch a break.

Jerry-Watch 2010 is Officially Underway

And so begins the official countdown to the next former manager of the New York Metropolitians.

Jerry Manuel will be fired before the end of the year. I would love to be able to use this space to say that it is not Jerry’s fault, that he is doing the best he, or anyone else can or could with the talent he has been handed. Of course, I would be lying…

As much as I like Jerry as a person and a leader of men, his far from a competent National League manager. The guy makes no less than three moves a night that leave me scratching my sparsely covered head.

Bullpen mismanagement seems to be a theme among Mets managers, but Jerry takes it to a whole other level.

Of course every once in a while, a game will come along that requires very little management, because unless you sit in the outfield with binoculars stealing signs (I’m looking at you Phillies), Johan Santana is an excellent pitcher.

The problems with the Mets go deeper than David Wright striking out at an ungodly pace. They go deeper than Jason Bay finally adding Home Runs #s 2 and 3 last night. They go deeper than our exhausted bullpen.

Omar Minaya has run this team into the ground. His strength has consistently been to add premier talent to the roster. He has been responsible for bringing in Pedro Martinez, Carlos’ Beltran and Delgado, Johan Santana, extending the contracts of David Wright and Jose Reyes, adding Jason Bay and K-Rod…all moves I applauded.

His weakness has been, and continues to be adding additional talent to the roster that produces at above replacement level. He has handed out massive contracts to guys who deserved no more than one year deals (Castillo, Perez) He has relied far too much on aging, declining talent based too much on past production.

He was behind the curve coming out of the Steroid Era. When other teams were realizing you cannot base current roster decisions on things guys did in the first 8 years of this decade, Omar traded FOR Gary Matthews Jr. and signed Brett Boone.

Until Omar goes, nothing changes with this team. There is too much emphasis from Mets management on today’s game, or this next series. The manager should be focused on today and tomorrow, the front office should be planning for 6-12 months down the road. If Jerry was good enough to bring back this year (he wasn’t), he should be good enough for the year, regardless of what happens in any given three game stretch. You cannot run a team by focusing on tomorrow’s results.

The entire mindset of the organization speaks to how dysfunctional the whole thing is. They are too reactionary.

In other, much more positive news, I am either leading, or in the top two of each of my three fantasy baseball leagues. I drafted and have managed three teams that are built for long-term success. I am consistently crushing the opposition, and damn it feels good.

Glad I Don’t Own Prince

Of course the 12 guys I do own who are playing like they forgot how to hit, don’t have the excuse that Reed Johnson has robbed them of all their hits. Chris Davis I am looking directly at you and your 50% strike out rate.

Terry to himself “There is still 96% of the season left, There is still 96% of the season left, there is still 96%…”

Draft #2 Complete

Little did I know that the staff of Dr. Freddie Thomas High, with the exception of a few diamonds in the rough, have little to no idea how to win in Fantasy Baseball. The draft went very well.

I tried some things I don’t usually do, such as drafting a pitcher before round 5. I got into the draft and got a little crazy.

ChicksDigShrunkBalls
1. (3) Russell Martin
2. (18) Lance Berkman
3. (23) Chris Davis
4. (38) Alex Gordon
5. (43) Chase Utley
6. (58) Mike Aviles
7. (63) Yunel Escobar
8. (78) Matt Holliday
9. (83) Andre Ethier
10. (98) Nelson Cruz
11. (103) Ryan Doumit
12. (118) Pablo Sandoval
13. (123) Lastings Milledge
14. (138) Jason Motte
15. (143) Kyle Lohse
16. (158) Johan Santana
17. (163) John Lackey
18. (178) Félix Hernández
19. (183) Ricky Nolasco
20. (198) Mike Pelfrey
21. (203) Joakim Soria
22. (218) Brian Fuentes
23. (223) Matt Lindstrom
24. (238) Ubaldo Jiménez
25. (243) John Smoltz
26. (258) Kevin Gregg

These are not by round.

I took Utley first (8th pick), Santana 2nd, Matt Holliday 3rd, Fat Elvis 4th and so on.

I will keep the page reasonably updated on how were doing.

The Draft Is Complete

Bear’s Brawlers
1. (1) David Wright
2. (24) Lance Berkman
3. (25) Matt Holliday
4. (48) Álex Ríos
5. (49) Dan Haren
6. (72) Ryan Doumit
7. (73) Joakim Soria
8. (96) Yovani Gallardo
9. (97) Mike Aviles
10. (120) Howie Kendrick
11. (121) Bobby Jenks
12. (144) Josh Johnson
13. (145) Yunel Escobar
14. (168) Alex Gordon
15. (169) Mike Pelfrey
16. (192) Ubaldo Jiménez
17. (193) Heath Bell
18. (216) Mark Reynolds
19. (217) Armando Galarraga
20. (240) John Smoltz
21. (241) Joey Devine
22. (264) Daniel Murphy

I had the first pick in the draft which means that I had the last pick in the second round and the first pick in the third, so on and so forth.

In general I am happy with this team. I try very hard to not rely on guys with a history of injuries. Which means banking on guys like Yovani Gallardo and Howie Kendrick, both of whom are tremendous when healthy, to stay that way is a gamble. Like I said yesterday, I don’t put a ton of stock into the draft, there are going to be any number of players availible who will perform at a talent level equal to or above many of the players who were taken in the middle rounds.

I am counting on Fat Elvis (Berkman)to stay healthy. Which could be a huge gamble for me.

I am trying not to freak out and drop half my team right now. We will see how things shake out.

Next draft, Saturday. I have the 8th pick.

Draft Day

Draft Day is here. I tend to not put a ton of stock into the draft. There will be an absolute ton of players availible that go undrafted that are going to have a ton of value.

I have demonstrated a knack for finding value late (I drafted Josh Hamilton in the 17th round last year, and Jon Lester in the 21st).

I have my eye on some guys this year that I think might break out in a big way. I will post my team probably tomorrow morning.

I love draft day.