Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Pete's got the bug

Wow Pete - you've got the blogging bug. There's something fun about writing when anyone in the world can see even if you and I are the only ones actually reading it.

I'll try and give you my thoughts in all of the same categories this week. Until then, two pieces of advice: (1) Select all and ctrl-c before trying to post. That way if you lose anything, you can just paste it into a new post. (2) Don't count out my team. I still have good potential on offense and I think that I'll be able to pick up pitching enough to stay in the hunt. You know better than I that you shouldn't judge a draft by the first week's performance.

You're still right about Vaughn though.

Week 2 observations

I think we ought to lift the name "misery" from Masri and give it to McDowall. He's been perennially as snake bit as anyone. I remember 3 years ago when he had a slight lead only to have Rondell White go down for the rest of the season. With the Griffey injury, of the 11 players on offense he drafted, only 7 remain (although Griffey is now supposed to be back in about 6 weeks). His offense is in serious trouble having to rely on Pujols and Andrew Jones as anchors. The next most productive player is Todd Zeile (I don't think Dunn will handle the pressure of being "the man" in Cincinnati very well). His team's best hope is a trade involving one of his young pitching arms for another bat. Without an offensive infusion, he's no longer in my mind the front runner.

Some Early Canidates:

"Steal of the Draft"
1. Corey Patterson - would anyone have stopped at $3 if we knew he'd be playing everyday. .390 5 RBIs and 5SB. Gene's ensembled an offensive machine, but I wonder if he'll get rid of the all the pitching baggage that will keep him in the middle of the pack.

2. Michael Barrett - I know you've shared the pain of his everyday .220 average. Maybe the "finest hitter" Moises Alou ever saw is finally starting to blossom. You know in 743 ABs over the last 2 years he had 7 home runs. He's already got 3. Great pick by Ken

3. Alex Ochoa - I really wanted him, yet somehow I ended up with 5 outfielders, each of whom are worse (money on hitting, money on hitting - it's so simple, where did I go wrong?). Also Ken

Interesting point - these two teams are 8th and 9th respectively.

Worst Draft Pick: (injuries excluded)

1. Ben Petrick - 13 dollars, 10 at bats, 1 hit, 0 games played in Coors Field. 'Nuff said.

2. Vinny Castilla - 4 dollars, 1 hit. I stand by my statement. He's done.

Teams to watch:

1. Rod. Have you looked at this man's team. If (and it's a big "if") Larry Walker gives him 130 games, his offense is rivaled only by Tony. A lot rides on Dempster and Kim.

2. Gene. But he's got to cut his crappy veteran starters who will kill him and pick up some young talent. Any bets? (I'd trade teams with him in a heartbeat)

Teams in Trouble:

1. McDowall. It can't all be done with pitching - I learned that 2 years ago. Without any moves, he's sinking fast

2. Morse. Three straight sub-par drafts. Maybe you got cocky with all the free agents you pulled out 3 years ago. Maybe it's trying to keep up with everyone's picks on draft day. Maybe the Roto Gods have struck you down for breaking the all-male barrier on draft weekend. Whatever the reason, you're beginning to rival Al Davis on draft day. Tucker was a great pick up, but with $27 sunk into an overweight, injury prone mid 90's allstar, I can almost hear the S-O-S being sent.

With a little luck . . .

1. My team. Great pitching. With comeback years from Biggio and Vidro, Rolen realizing his 40 home run potential and a June Mantei return - it might be 4.

2. Dan. Floyd and Brown stay healthy. The league figures Ishii out next year and Ortiz remembers how to hit a curve.

3. Masri. Can Berkman and Randy win a roto league? We're about to find out

They should win, but . . .

1. Tony. Or should I say Tony II. As first mentioned by you - Sosa, Helton, Guerrero and Green look a whole lot like his former murder's row that won home runs and RBIs by triple digits.

We'll see if he's learned his roto formulas. 3 digit leads = engraving someone else's name.

Early Thoughts cont.

Arrgh. that's annoying. I wrote some thoughts only to not have it post and then, disappear. Anyhow, in short form, I agreed with your states - I inartfully stated my point, which was that the trend towards stolen bases was my way of saying a trend towards the importance (read: shortage) of stolen bases. Also I did not mean to imply that a Damian Jackson is the roto equalavent of Sammy Sosa, but on a one catagory basis, his 34 steals are as valuable as Sammy's 60 home runs.

Moves

Yesterday I moved Durazo to the DL and picked up Brady Clark for $5. I overpaid by a bit - the next highest bid was only $2. I figured that McDowall would be bidding high to pick up Griffey's replacement.

I filled the hole in my Tucker of Montreal for $3. I had never heard of him, but RotoTimes said that he was going to get some save opportunities in Montreal. I had really wanted David Williams, but figured that I needed saves more than another starter. I'm a little depressed that Pete picked him up.

Now I need to pick up a first baseman for Vaughn. Suggestions?

Monday, April 08, 2002

Any suggestions for a quality shortstop?

Looks like I'm going to need another shortstop. Any ideas?

Otherwise . . .

While I think that you're a bit off on SBs, I agree with you about pitching. The older guys went for too much and the younger guys didn't draw enough attention. David Williams (Pit), the guy you just picked up is a great example. He wasn't even drafted despite the fact that he pitched 114 innings last year and compiled a really solid ERA and Ratio (3.71 ERA and 1.27 ratio). Over the last couple of years, it has been commonplace to pick up solid pitching free agents during the course of the year. The same has not been true of hitting. Exceptions to that rule like Berkman aren't usually called up till the end of the year, so they're no help.

Of course, I tried an experiment last year and spent next to nothing on pitching thinking that I could pick up a couple of quality pitchers. The problem was that I forgot that it is much harder to pick up saves. I got desparate and ended up trading a quality starter (Wade Miller) to try and get some saves. If you're going to focus on hitting, it is vital that you still end up with one closer in the draft.

Also, try not to blow $27 on an over-the-hill injury prone first baseman.

Stolen Bases???

Pete, I'm not sure that I follow you. You say that two years ago we witnessed a shift toward stolen bases? Actually, during the last three years the number of stolen bases for the winning team has steadily declined. In 1999, 241 SBs carried that category. The number declined to 170 in 2000 and 157 in 2001. The number of HRs for the winning team during the same period was 314, 286 and 297.

While the raw numbers for wins in SB and HR offer some support for your thesis that a 30 SB player should roughly be valued like a 60 HR hitter, the analysis is a little off for one obvious reason. SBs tend to be one-trick ponies while the big bangers tend to produce in two and usually three categories. I remember three years ago when I had Damian Jackson from San Diego and he delivered 34 SBs - he also delivered a grand total of 39 rbis and a .224 batting average. He clearly wasn't worth as much as McGwire in 1999 with his 65 HRs and 147 rbi and .278 batting average.

I haven't conducted a thorough review, but I think that Damian is relatively representative of the stolen base threat in the modern era (e.g. Brian Hunter - 1999 44 SB, .231 average), while in the modern ERA big homerun producers haven't sacrificed that much in batting average (e.g. Barry Bonds in 2001 - .328 average 73 HRs).

At best, you're going to get two categories from the SB specialists - like my man Pierre last year (46 SB and a .327 average) - while the big bangers produce in three (and sometimes four). That's why the 40 to 60 HR crowd will draw more auction money than the 20 to 40 SB crew.