Don't look now, but we're halfway through the 2014 season. It seems like yesterday we were warning everyone to be patient, it's still early. Time sure flies when you're having fun. And those that drafted the likes of Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Altuve and Johnny Cueto are having loads of fun. Owners of Prince Fielder, Cliff Lee and Dustin Pedroia -- not so much.
Is the Bryce right?
Today I'm going to take advantage of the fact my fellow fantasy pundits are extremely generous with time and present the results of a four-round mock draft designed as if we were playing out a second-half league. Well, while they are all extremely generous with their time, I have a feeling a few of us were just jonesing to do a draft - after all, it's been three months!
Here are the participants listed in draft order:
1. Nando DiFino - Fantasy Sports Network
2. Cory Schwartz - MLB.com
3. Tim Heaney - KFFL
4. Perry Van Hook - Mastersball
5. Jeff Erickson - Rotowire
6. Ryan Carey - Mastersball
7. Lawr Michaels - Mastersball
8. Derek Carty - Fantasy Insiders
9. Todd Zola - Mastersball
10. Peter Kreutzer - Ask Rotoman
The format is standard 5x5 rotisserie scoring with 23-man rosters and weekly moves. The player's first-half position rank is in parenthesis.
1.01 Nando DiFino - Mike Trout, OF, LAA (OF2)
1.02 Cory Schwartz - Miguel Cabrera, 1B/3B, DET (3B2)
1.03 Tim Heaney - Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, ARI (1B2)
1.04 Perry Van Hook - Giancarlo Stanton, OF, MIA (OF1)
1.05 Jeff Erickson - Clayton Kershaw, P, LAD (SP6)
1.06 Ryan Carey - Troy Tulowitzki, SS, COL (SS1)
1.07 Lawr Michaels - Andrew McCutchen, OF, PIT (OF7)
1.08 Derek Carty - Edwin Encarnacion, 1B, TOR (1B1)
1.09 Todd Zola- Carlos Gomez, OF, MIL (OF4)
1.10 Peter Kreutzer - Jose Altuve, 2B, HOU (2B1)
Things went pretty much chalk. The two noteworthy selections are Giancarlo Stanton and Troy Tulowitzki. There's no questioning the talent of either pick; the concern is durability, especially with Tulowitzki. Both having made it through the first half relatively unscathed mitigated the normal injury-risk reticence. The other factor with Stanton is the Marlins are scoring more runs than expected, so Stanton's runs and RBI totals will be a bit higher than what may have been projected in March. Runs and RBI are often overlooked when we eyeball a player and judge him on name. Our thoughts are how many home runs will he hit, how many bases will he steal and will he hurt or help my average?
2.01 Peter - Jose Abreu, 1B, CHW (1B3)
2.02 Todd - Adam Jones, OF, BAL (OF9)
2.03 Derek - Yasiel Puig, OF, LAD (OF11)
2.04 Lawr - George Springer, OF, HOU (OF29)
2.05 Ryan - Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, NYY (OF12)
2.06 Jeff - Ryan Braun, OF, MIL (OF17)
2.07 Perry - Billy Hamilton, OF, CIN (OF8)
2.08 Tim - Justin Upton, OF, ATL (OF16)
2.09 Cory - Hanley Ramirez, SS, LAD (SS4)
2.10 Nando - Adam Wainwright, SP, STL (SP4)
Again, not too many shockers based on first-half performance other than perhaps the confidence displayed in George Springer. No doubt, the optimism is a result of 16 #SpringerDingers in only 66 games. That said, he's not running as expected and a 62 percent contact rate means if the power wanes, the average will really suffer. In addition, the runs and RBI cited earlier will not be there for Springer, at least not enough to be a top-15 player. I love Springer and his long-term potential; I just think my Mastersball partner Lawr jumped the gun. On the other hand, my style is probably too conservative to a fault as demonstrated by the steady Adam Jones as opposed to a riskier choice.
Perry's choice of Hamilton is interesting and as will be illustrated soon, a strategy I can rubber stamp. There's no longer a question whether Hamilton will play - the Reds are pot-committed as my poker playing buddies would say. In a vacuum, Hamilton is worth the high pick. But the catch is you're now forced to roster some high-power, low-speed players to optimize roster construction. In a draft, you're taking a risk these players will be there for you without having to reach. On the other hand, all-speed or all-power players are often discounted, so if you can build a team and achieve the statistical balance without reaching, you may actually put more stats on your roster than if you selected more balanced players that are priced higher by the market.
Click for Rounds 3 and 4....
About Todd Zola, MastersBall.com
Focusing primarily on the science of player valuation and game theory starting in 1997, Todd Zola and Mastersball carved out an important niche in the fantasy industry. In 2006, Todd became the Research Director for fantasybaseball.com, and in 2009, he relaunched Mastersball and is now a managing partner.
Todd competes in Tout Wars and the XFL, and has been a multiple-time league champion in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has been a contributor to the fantasy content at MLB.com and SI.com, is a frequent guest on Sirius/XM and Blog Talk Radio and is an annual speaker at the spring and fall First Pitch Forum symposiums.
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