Jan 31, 2011

Mike Stanton, 2011 Fantasy Deep Sleeper Candidate

The following is a profile of Mike Stanton, one of my 2011 fantasy baseball deep sleeper candidates (affectionately called narcos).  For more information on the thought process behind the narcos, please visit the introductory post on this topic.

Average Draft Position: 134.62
Others drafted around that time: Matt Wieters, Ben Zobrist, Ryan Ludwick
2011 Role: Starting OF
2010 Production: .259 AVG, 22 HR, 45 R, 59 RBI, 5 SB in 359 AB
My 2011 Prediction: .270 AVG, 35 HR, 90 R, 100 RBI, 5 SB

After Mike Stanton got the call into the big leagues in 2010, he did some serious damage to major league pitching.  He popped off 22 homers in 359 AB to show that fabled power he had showcased in the minors where he hit 89 home runs over two and a half seasons (including 21 over 53 games in 2010).  The production he had in just half a major league season was quite impressive and the only knock on him for fantasy sports purposes was a .259 batting average.  However, over his last 30 games of 2010, he hit .312 which could be a sign that he got more comfortable with major league pitching.

While he doesn't have the pedigree of a .300 hitter, he should be able to bring himself to hit closer to league average as he gets more comfortable.  The thing that will always plague him is striking out too much and last season was certainly a case of that with a 34.3 K%.  However, he does at least draw some walks and should be able to slightly lower that K-rate over time with more coaching.  But, regardless, it will hurt his ability to ever be a solid producer in batting average.

But, that power!  Wow.  When inspecting his power numbers, you might think his HR/FB rate of 22.9% would be unsustainable since it's way above league average but that's actually lower than his past minor league history which was usually 26.5% or above.  He's just got unreal power which seems to be very legit as his minor league numbers showed and prospect reports mentioned:
"The scariest thing is imagining if he’s able to build off his Jupiter performance.  He struck out only a couple percentage points above league average for FSL (19%), while walking over 5% more (8.2%).  His BB/K improving to that territory, we’re now talking about a .396 wOBA and ~5.7 WAR player.  His power improves to 45 HRs on top of that?  We’re now talking about one of the greatest hitters playing at the major league level, with a .423 wOBA and 7+ WAR."
So, the ceiling is certainly high for him and expecting 30-40 HR from him in 2011 is entirely logical.  To go with that, he'll knock in a ton of RBIs and has enough speed to snatch a few bases and score some runs.  The only question mark from a roto-league perspective is about his batting average but his other skills will certainly be good enough to offset that.

All in all, it reminds me very much of the Carlos Gonzalez situation from last year where he was a sleeper but started to lose that tag as the hype grew in the preseason.  Stanton's a player being drafted after the 10th round in 12-team leagues but he's got first round talent and may just deliver on that this year.  I'd invest highly in him and try to reach for him before somebody else does.

Jan 30, 2011

An Attack on Fantasy ADP | Part 3: An Ideal Future


This three-part series is designed to take an objective look at the data that we get from average draft position (ADP) reports, as the introductory post explains. Fantasy baseball draft research is only as good as the data that exists and the current system for generating ADP data from sites like MockDraftCentral is broken and in need of a new direction.

As a mock draft participant, you are presented with a ranked list of players when you enter a draft room.  It does help put the available players in a manageable order for the participant but it automatically creates a bias that forces them to act in accordance with the rankings.  If we want to reduce bias in mock drafts, rankings simply should not be presented to mock drafters.  

The ideal mock draft site would give the mock drafters as much information as they want without it being initially sorted in any biased way.  A simple solution would be to have the players ranked alphabetically and allow the mock drafters to sort through previous year stats and current year projections as they please.  This would allow the participants to make an educated decision on who to draft and without influence and this would create a system that would give us a true idea of where players are being drafted on average.

***

The one hiccup with such a system is that the true ADP that will result from it will not match up with our eventual draft results because most fantasy baseball sites also present rankings in their draft rooms that influence the live drafters.  But, regardless, we would be presented with data that would give a true public perception on the feelings towards a specific players, which we can then use to apply to our eventual drafts in their biased format.  By comparing a true ADP for a player versus the draft room's rankings, we can get an idea whether people will reach for him or not and how we should act if we want to get him.

While the perfect system does not exist now and may never exist, there are better things we can do with this current ADP data than we're doing now.  One solution involves looking at an average of the three main ADP sites (CBS, ESPN, MDC) in order to get a better idea of true ADP position.  In addition to that, analyzing a player's difference between ADP and site ranking would provide another tool to determine if the public is disagreeing with the site ranking and drafting the player differently.  The data is unavailable to the public but standard deviation of draft position in addition to average draft position would go a long way for statistical analysis of the public perception as well.

Over the course of this preseason, I will continue to reference ADP data when determining a player's value as it's still the best we got.  However, I will try to roll out some features in my cheatsheets such as those mentioned in the paragraph above that will help alleviate some of the problems associated with ADP.  We may not have a perfect system or even an adequate system but at least we do have some tools at our disposal which will still help us get a leg up on our competition.  And, finally, remember that your new ability to recognize this broken system will also help us you be a step above those who swear by the ridiculous system of ADP results.

Jan 29, 2011

An Attack on Fantasy ADP | Part 2: A Broken System


This three-part series is designed to take an objective look at the data that we get from average draft position (ADP) reports, as the introductory post explains. Fantasy baseball draft research is only as good as the data that exists and the current system for generating ADP data from sites like MockDraftCentral is broken and in need of a new direction.

So, we know that the data that these websites produce is rather poor but why does it turn out that way and can we possibly fix it?  Well, there are many problems that occur when a mock draft website offers rankings to these practicing drafters to base their selections off of.  Psychologically, it causes a cognitive bias within the drafters at the site.  It closely resembles an example the observer-expectancy effect in which the mock draft site is forcing their bias onto the participants.
The observer-expectancy effect is a form of reactivity, in which a researcher's cognitive bias causes them to subconsciously influence the participants of an experiment. It is a significant threat to a study's internal validity...
While I won't bore you with any more psychology, the basic idea is that we should consider the host of a mock draft website to be a researchers and the mock drafters to be participants in the research.  What results from this collaboration between researchers and participants should be reliable data in which we can determine where players are being drafted on average by the general fantasy baseball public.  However, that is not what results from this collaboration unfortunately.  Because of the obvious bias that the researchers pass on to the participants here, we are left with data that is not valid at all.  The website asks the mock drafters to participate in a draft and then they give them a ranked list to choose from, which should obviously be a no-no as it subconsciously influences the participants.

The data that comes from these mock drafts is bad data since it is just a  reflection of the site rankings themselves and this observer-expectancy effect is an explanation of why that is.  If we truly want to know what the average public thinks about each player, we cannot continue with this current system that generates our ADP data.  A new system must be created to reduce this blatant bias that exists in current mock drafts... But, what would that system look like?

Jan 28, 2011

An Attack on Fantasy ADP | Part 1: It Doesn't Add Up


This three-part series is designed to take an objective look at the data that we get from average draft position (ADP) reports, as the introductory post explains. Fantasy baseball draft research is only as good as the data that exists and the current system for generating ADP data from sites like MockDraftCentral is broken and in need of a new direction.

The general idea behind my fear that ADP reports are irrelevant is that the results which we see seem to only be a slightly altered version of the rankings that the mock draft sites present to the participants.  At this current time in late January, the mock draft data is limited aside from 132 qualifying drafts from within the last week at MockDraftCentral.  However, 132 drafts should be a fine sample to test out how closely the rankings much up with the ADP results.  Because if my fear is validated then there's a real problem here.

Using a Pearson Correlation, we can test the relationship between the ADP results from MockDraftCentral for each player with their default ranking from the site.  There are various schools of thought on this but generally a coefficient above 0.750 is considered a strong relationship between two groups of data (0.00 represents no relationship at all while 1.00 represents a perfect relationship).  When we analyze the Top 50, Top 100 or Top 180 players from the rankings, the correlations between the site rankings and the resulting ADP show an extremely strong relationship:

Top 50: .975 r value (95.06% variance)
Top 100: .976 r value (95.26% variance)
Top180: .937 r value (87.8% variance)
Average draft position matches site ranking almost perfectly
Basically, the correlation between the ranking for a player and their ADP indicates a nearly perfect relationship for the Top 100 players and is still extremely strong when considering the Top 180 players.  In other words, there's very little difference between where a player ranks and where they are drafted on average (for instance, Andrew McCutchen is the 50th ranked player on MDC and his average draft position is 48.95). What this tells us is that ADP data from the site is extremely flawed as it is almost entirely linked to the site rankings.  This holds true for results from other mock draft sites as well unfortunately.

Yet nearly every fantasy baseball site, including my own, that determines whether a player is a good bargain or not will reference MockDraftCentral's average draft position data as if it actually means something.  I'm guilty of this because there really isn't any viable alternative.  The concept of knowing a player's average draft position is wonderful as it's great to know where a player is being drafted versus their expected performance.  However, if we go ahead and look at a player's ADP on three different mock draft sites, we get three different values that may or may not be even close to one another.  If ADP truly represented what the public thought of a player, that would not be the case.

Simply put, the data that comes from these sites is poor and not reliable.  It's something that could be so vital if it was truly usable data but the current system of mock drafting is what creates these poor results.  In the next part of this series, we'll take a look into exactly why this current way of doing mock drafts is tailor-made to create bad results.

An Attack on Fantasy ADP | A Multipart Blog Series


The research that I do at this site to determine whether a player is a good value or not is largely influenced by average draft position (ADP) data from sites like MockDraftCentral, ESPN and CBS Sportsline.  The cheatsheets that give this site its very name are aided by it as well.  Basically, most of the time I spend working on my drafts and this site each preseason are at the mercy of this mysterious data source.  While I still need the data, anything involving ADP is done with a seed of doubt because I've always had an assumption that it is borderline statistically insignificant.

This is a subject that is bigger than just a simple blog post in order to take down the myth of ADP's validity so I will be writing this out over the course of a three-part series of posts throughout this weekend before we return to normalcy here on Monday.  In the first part to be posted today, I will be showing precisely why the data that we get in ADP reports do lack validity and why they should be taken with a large grain of salt.  The second part will focus on exactly why the current system of mock drafts creates unreliable data while the third part will give an idea of what needs to be done in order to fix the system.

While this series will go beyond the typical player analysis and valuing of players that you see here usually, I hope you find the posts useful and that they offer a small step in fixing this system so we have better fantasy baseball data for drafts in the future.

Jan 26, 2011

Drew Stubbs: 2011 Fantasy Undervalued

Here are three real players that are currently being drafted in three different parts of fantasy drafts, the 9th round, 12th round or 17th round:

Player #1: .297 avg, 12 HR, 7 SB, 79 R, 60 RBI in 2010 (27 yr old)
Player #2: .251 avg, 17 HR, 0 SB, 63 R, 69 RBI in 2010 (32 yr old)
Player #3: .255 avg, 22 HR, 30 SB, 91 R, 77 RBI in 2010 (26 yr old)

It's pretty puzzling to know that Player #3 is the one being drafted in the 17th round currently (the other two players were Nick Markakis and Ryan Ludwick).  The 17th round draft pick is none other than Drew Stubbs, if the title of this article didn't give it away for you.

Now, it should be noted that most projection systems are pegging Stubbs for a slight drop in production from those numbers.  One of the two main issues with Stubbs is his strikeouts.  He was third in strikeout percentage last year, ranking right behind Mark Reynolds and Adam Dunn.  Yet, Stubbs doesn't have quite the huge power output similar to those fellows in order to offset the issue.  The 22 HR's are nice and they don't seem to be a product of his home ballpark as 9 came on the road and the average distance was fairly good across the board.  He's got some similarities to those power hitters as well due to the fact that he's a major fly ball hitter too. That's something he needs to work on in order to get on base more and  really take advantage of his speed.

His minor league numbers suggest a player who struggled to find his power and relied on his good speed as he hit 28 HR with 121 SB in 423 games.  The power came into shape in the majors now which allowed him to hit 30 HR in 192 games thus far.  Without the minor league history to back up his power, it's hard to put complete faith in another 20+ HR season.  But, even if the power drops, a 15 HR season with 30 SB and 80+ Runs and RBI's is nothing to scoff at even if the batting average is around .260 or so.  

Yet, despite the weaker minor league numbers, the pedigree has always been there to be a power hitter as he was a top draft pick and early prospect reports noted the following:
"Stubbs has very impressive raw power, but it really isn't translating into homerun numbers. At this point, Stubbs' efforts to limit his strikeouts and improve his contact rate have robbed him of some power. However, if Stubbs can improve his contact rate, then the power should eventually follow"
Perhaps in the majors, he just chose to accept his nature as a guy who strikes out a lot as he went back to focusing on hitting for power.  It's hard to say exactly what it was exactly but his HR/FB rate doesn't seem unsustainable even if it is a bit high.

Stubbs ended 2010 on a hot streak where it seemed he was making progress in turning more of his ground balls into line drives which netted him a .310 average over the last two months of the season (49 games).  His walk percentage even went up significantly over those last two months.  All of that extra time on base meant more stolen bases too, of course.

If those last two months are any indicator, he could be due to raise his average and stolen base numbers even if his power does take a slight dip this season.  Last season was his first full season in the majors so it would certainly make sense that he would get better as the season went on as the coaches worked with him.  Regardless of what happens in 2011, the perfect storm of bad seasons for Stubbs would likely still be worth a gamble in the 17th round or even far before that.

Jan 24, 2011

Unlucky Ducks: 2010's BABIP Losers (Batters)

We recently took a glance at some batters who benefited from a bit of good luck last season to boost their batting average.  In that post, we looked at the players with the highest BABIP and how that compared to their recent history of past seasons to see whether it was sustainable or not.  On the flip side of the coin today, we'll see the lovable losers who had the lowest BABIP in the league and may have suffered from poor luck in 2010.  These are some players that may be due for a bounceback depending on their past history with this statistic.  Let's take a look:




Within the graph, we want to pinpoint names who had a significantly lower 2010 BABIP than the other two seasons.  Some names that stand out as having odd BABIP numbers are Aaron Hill, Carlos Lee, Aramis Ramirez and Mark Reynolds (and, to a lesser extent since his BABIP is generally low anyway, Jose Bautista).

A rebound is certainly in order for Aaron Hill and we can safely expect a more respectable (though not great) batting average from him 2011. While age is catching up to Carlos Lee and Aramis Ramirez, they are not yet relics of the past and should both be able to return to hitting a lot closer to .300 in 2011. Mark Reynolds is still a .240 hitter on his usual day but he'll at least rebound from his horrible .198 average next year.

For 2011 drafts, these are certainly some names that have dipped a bit on draft charts but might be nice surprise comeback candidates to keep in mind, especially Aramis Ramirez and Aaron Hill as they arguably suffered the worst from bad luck in 2010.  Aramis is going in about the 10th round in 12-team leagues but may be worth grabbing in the 8th or 9th round.

Jan 23, 2011

2011 Head-to-Head Fantasy Baseball Cheatsheet - Initial Release

I'm still waiting on more projections to be released but I've put the finishing touches on the initial version of the 2011 cheatsheet for head-to-head points-based leagues.  Feel free to give it a download and test it out.  Let me know if you encounter anything strange.

For these cheatsheets, you can notice a comparison between projected points for a player and the average starting player at their position.  This is to give you an idea of whether you're getting good value for him or not.  To give an idea of value, you can also view the Points Above Average ranking for each player.  For instance, Albert Pujols is not only a top producing player but his points above the average player at his position is tops in the league in some formats, which makes him even more valuable.

Another handy feature, which is also included in the roto cheatsheet, is the ability to see the chance that a player will be available at the current pick, the next round or the round following that.  This gives you an idea whether you should reach for that player or not.

In related news, the 2011 roto cheatsheet format has been updated as well as newer rankings and ADP data.

Jan 21, 2011

Fantasy Baseball's Hot Finishers from 2010

Ending the season on a good note can certainly be a nice sign of things to come for a fantasy baseball player.  Looking at 2010's action from September on, nobody was hotter than Troy Tulowitzki who jacked 15 HRs in 30 games, had a .451 ISO and a 1.120 OPS.  That's just pure craziness.  But, he's obviously on your radar already depending on where you pick in the first round.  Looking at some of the other hot finishers from that same time, there are quite a few names who stand out as possible standouts in 2011.

Pedro Alvarez - I'm a big fan of former top prospects who haven't broken out quite yet because their ceiling is always so high. Pedro fits that bill.  He started slow after being called up but then broke through and hit .306 with 6 HR, 10 doubles and 27 RBI in the final 29 games.  That's a great sign for his chance of being an impact player in 2011.  I guess you could say that I'm going to *dramatic pause* vote for Pedro in 2011.

Shin-Soo Choo - While hidden away in Cleveland, Choo's put together some very nice fantasy seasons the past two years.  He did a lot of his damage at the end in 2011 where he hit .340 with 7 HR and 27 RBI while stealing 7 SBs over the last month.  He's certainly not undervalued in 2011 drafts but should have a solid 20/20 season with a .300 batting average again.

Nelson Cruz - He fought off injuries in 2011 but is still a monster when he's at the plate.  In his final month of regular season ball, he jacked 6 HRs with a .330 average.  Then in 16 playoff games, he hit 6 more HRs with a .317 average.  So he had quite a stretch of baseball from September through October with 12 HRs over 45 games.  If those postseason games were in his regular season, he would have had 28 HR with 17 SB and a .317 average over 124 games.  The main issue with Cruz is health as he's never played more than 128 games in a season. If you invest in him, get a reliable backup.
Curtis Granderson - Grandy's first season as a Yankee was fairly underwhelming until he finally got a bit of momentum in September where he hit 9 HR over his last 29 regular season games.  In his 9 playoff games, he hit very well too with a .357 average (dwarfing his regular season average of .247).  A nice rebound season should be in order.  Expect a .280 average with 25 HR, 15 SB and a fair amount of runs and RBIs in that lineup.

Kila Ka-aihue - I'll echo most of the things I said about Pedro Alvarez as Kila was a nice prospect who started slow and then had a nice finish to the season.  His last month wasn't quite as good as Pedro but a .261 average with 6 HR was certainly a step in the right direction.  However, he was never quite a top prospect like Pedro nor should he be as highly regarded in 2011.

Jed Lowrie - Lowrie did not get much time on the field until the final month of the season but he played well in that time.  He batted .292 with 9 HR, 10 doubles and 28 runs over the final 45 games of the season.  I already mentioned him in my deep sleeper post but his value will truly lie with how much opportunity he is given and Marco Scutaro still stands in his way.

Buster Posey - You know about Buster by now.  His playoff performance wasn't exactly a hot finish but his 8 HRs in the final month of the regular season surely helped catapult this team into the playoffs.  The ceiling is high for this kid.

Mike Stanton - I'll gush over Stanton in future posts throughout the upcoming months but, for now, I'll just reiterate most of the things I said about Pedro Alvarez in saying that this kid is a top prospect that hasn't yet broke into the mainstream consciousness and he hit .312 with 8 HR and 20 RBI in the final month of the season.  Plus, it's amazing that he resurrected his career from a washed up pitcher to a future stud outfielder. Oh wait, nevermind.

Drew Stubbs - Stubby hit 22 HR and stole 30 bags but is not getting a ton of respect in fantasy drafts yet (196.62 ADP).  That possibly could be because of his sluggish batting average.  But, in the last month of the season, he hit .316 with 7 HR and 6 SB.  So, yeah, I don't get why he's being disrespected as I would gladly invest in him in 2011 and expect a slight rise in average even based on his final month.

Vernon Wells - He finished like he started with 9 HRs in the final month of the season.  He had a rough stretch in the middle of the season but showed a lot of potential at the start and end there.  His ceiling isn't as high as it once was but he should have a respectable 2011 season with nearly 30 HRs again (though not much else).

Jan 19, 2011

Lucky Ducks: 2010's BABIP Leaders (Batters)

One particularly valuable statistic for those getting into the more advanced side of fantasy baseball is Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP). This statistic is generally a measure of a hitter or pitcher's luck as it only measures a player's batting average on balls that were hit into play, which should generally stay the same unless a fielder misplays it or the ball finds a funny spot in the field.  For hitters, which we are analyzing here, the BABIP statistic alone does not tell the whole story as certain players have a knack for getting a higher BABIP throughout their career because they are faster than another player or have a better knack for getting basehits.  However, there are some hitters each year who have a very high batting average that was aided by an unsustainable and unusual BABIP number for them.  Let's take a look at last season's top 10 BABIP leaders and compare their BABIP to the past two seasons to see how sustainable it might be.


And, for those who like a little more visual presentation in order to make comparisons, here's a nifty graph:


In the graph above, note the players that have a huge drop between their 2010 values and any of their previous values.  These are the players that had an unusually high BABIP based on their past history.  In this group, those names would include Josh Hamilton, Carlos Gonzalez and Colby Rasmus particularly.  

With that in mind, before you invest highly in either of those three, you should realize that a regression should take place with their batting average.  Josh Hamilton will not hit .359 again without a lot of luck.  He'll still likely hit around .300 but don't draft him with the expectations of much more than that.  Carlos Gonzalez made me look good last year but the .336 average will fall as well and likely should be under .300 based on how lucky he was in 2010.  Colby Rasmus didn't even have a particularly high average but that too should fall quite a bit in 2011.

As the preseason rolls along, we'll touch on BABIP quite a bit and what it means for expectations of certain players in 2011.  As for now, don't completely back off of Carlos Gonzalez or Josh Hamilton but keep in mind that they were particularly lucky in 2010 and their draft status is slightly inflated because of that.

Jan 15, 2011

2011 Roto Fantasy Baseball Cheatsheet - Initial Release

Update 01/16/2011: The cheatsheet was updated due to a few problems I noticed after the first release. This release will have correct WERTH roto values. Also, the feature of showing or hiding projected stats is now in the spreadsheet in this version.

Original Post: This is a very early version of the 2011 cheatsheets as we don't have many of the projections released and rankings are still very early versions too.  Regardless, I present to you the first version of the roto cheatsheet for this year with the Cairo projections loaded as well as some site rankings for you to choose from.  The spreadsheet is an Excel 2007 macro-enabled file.  If you are asked to enable macros, please make sure to do so as the league customization tool is based on a macro.  In future versions, I will add in more projections, average draft position data and site rankings.  I will also be adding a few tweaks such as seeing player projected stats in addition to WERTH values.  Let me know if you have any questions or anything about this first version:

Jan 12, 2011

The Search for Narco (2011)

As I have mentioned in the past, my system for selecting deep sleepers (for non-pitchers, at least) has been quite effective over the past and  helped us target names like Carlos Gonzalez, Brett Gardner, Angel Pagan and Andres Torres last season.  For those new to the site, I'm going to refer to last year's post for an explanation:
My method is not entirely scientific but it does yield fairly successful results.  One of the leagues I play in is a point-based head-to-head league and the first thing I do in the offseason is export the results from this league into a spreadsheet (the scoring system is fairly standard).  Using these results, I divide the players' total fantasy points by the number of at-bats and sort those results accordingly.  Not surprisingly, at the top, you'll find the cream of the crop from the fantasy universe.  But, you'll also find some guys who did quite well with the few plate appearances they had.

The next step is to remove all players who had over 350 ABs or under 100 ABs, as well as guys who were simply injured the previous season but fall into the group.  Now, we have a group of guys who didn't get a ton of time to prove themselves but proved they are capable of success in that time.  Now, the key is to find out which of these guys will get a starting opportunity in the upcoming season.  In the past, I've found an interesting group of relatively unheard of names.
Those 350 AB or 100 AB numbers can be somewhat flexible as we don't want to discount someone with 354 AB or so.  One thing I've found last year is that catchers can often come up in this system but are not completely reliable for breaking out so take them with a grain of salt (I'm looking at you, Chris Iannetta).  In 2008, this method netted breakout stars such as Josh Hamilton, Jacoby Ellsbury and Nate McClouth.  In 2009, the players that came out from here were names like Nelson Cruz, Ben Zobrist, Shin-Soo Choo and Denard Span.  And, I already mentioned some of the breakout stars from last season.  For a full recap, refer to last year's post here.

We'll look more into this last a bit later on but here is the 2011 list of potential narco targets:

Brooks Conrad 3B ATL 
Jed Lowrie 2B BOS
Carlos Santana C CLE
Ryan Hanigan C CIN
Matt Joyce RF TB
Mitch Moreland 1B TEX
Dan Johnson DH TB
Tyler Colvin LF CHC
Mike Morse OF WAS
Ryan Kalish CF BOS
John Jaso C TB
Michael Stanton RF FLA
Ryan Raburn LF DET
Chris Denorfia CF SD
Logan Morrison OF FLA 

These are in the order of potential narco value with Brooks Conrad and Jed Lowrie being the biggest producers here.  We'll take a closer look at these players as the preseason rolls along and keep an eye on whether any of these players will possibly get the chance to start in 2011.  One name that already pops out is Michael Stanton as a potential Carlos Gonzalez in the making.  Stay tuned for updates on this list and profiles of these players throughout the upcoming months.

Jan 10, 2011

2011 Fantasy Baseball Closers - 1/10/2011

Now that my beloved Philadelphia Eagles have been eliminated from the playoffs, my focus can safely switch fully back to fantasy baseball.  Looking ahead to the upcoming season and the cheatsheets that will go with it, one major change has occurred already being that there will not be CHONE projections in 2011 as Sean Smith has taken a job with an MLB team.  Therefore, I'm going to replace the CHONE projections with one I had not previously used called CAIRO.  It seems to be a good one and they've already released their first attempts for 2011 so I'm starting to build up the cheatsheet for 2011 already.  ZiPS and Marcel will likely be released later this month or early next month as well.

However, most of these projections opt to not project saves for closers so I have to input my own values there.  For the sake of simplicity, I project the saves as follows:

  • 40 saves for someone with a very secure job
  • 35 saves for someone who has a secure job with a bit of concern
  • 30 saves for a somewhat safe job with concerns
  • 25 saves for someone with a closer job but legitimate concerns
  • 20 saves for where there are still major questions
  • 15 saves for someone with a definite chance to win or get the closer job at some point
  • 10 saves for someone who could possibly take over as closer
  • 5 saves for someone who will get some junk saves

With that being said, in no particular order for each tier, here is what I'm currently inputting into the projections if saves are missing:



This will change as jobs become more clear and I'll update accordingly.  If anyone has any major gripes about the saves being given out, post them within the comments and I'll surely consider altering this.  Also, if there are any major fantasy rankings or projections you think should be included in this year's sheet, let me know!