Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fantasy Focus: Savvy Vets Then and Now

My Savvy Vets fantasy baseball team was not able to defend it's Championship this year finishing 5'th in the regular season and 5'th after the playoffs.  My strategy of punting Saves and maximizing Wins and K's while targeting pitchers with low WHIP's worked like a dream as I won 3-4 pitching categories every week.  The offense  never got untracked as my most expensive player, Albert Pujols, got off to another agonizingly slow start and ended up on the DL.  Two other key offensive players, Jason Heyward and Bryce Harper had injury issues.  I ended up feeling lucky if I won even 1 offensive category in a given week.  Unlike 2012, when I found some real offensive gems on the waiver wire, I was not able to find adequate replacements this year.

Just for review, here is the team I drafted with $ auction cost and season stats with brief discussion:

1.  Albert Pujols $39  .258, 17 HR, 64 RBI, 49 R, 1 SB.  Very disappointing season from my most expensive player.  Went on the DL 7/27 and never came off.  Hamstrung my offense.

2.  Bryce Harper $30.  .274, 20 HR, 58 RBI, 71 R, 11 SB.  Started the season like a house afire, then ran into the OF wall and was never the same.  I ended up keeping him all season, but he never really got untracked again.

3.  Allan Craig  $21.  .315, 13 HR, 97 RBI, 71 R, 2 SB.  Craig was an RBI machine and kept my BA up.  I was hoping for closer to 20 HR's.  Ended up spraining his ankle and not playing most of September, so was no help in the playoffs.

4.  Carlos Marmol  $3.  2-4, 4.41, 59 K, 1.63 WHIP, 0 Save.  I packaged him in a trade for Alexi Ogando in the first week of the season.

5.  Jason Heyward  $22.  .257, 14 HR, 38 RBI, 66 R, 2 SB.  Very disappointing season.  Got off to a painfully slow start, spend most of the second half on the DL.  Could be a bargain next draft.

6.  Adam Jones  $24.  .285, 33 HR, 108 RBI, 100 R, 14 SB.  My MVP!!  What a great season and  huge bargain for $24!

7.  CC Sabathia  $16.  14-13, 4.78 ERA, 175 K, WHIP 1.37.  The 14 Wins and 175 K's helped and I won most of my ERA categories despite his bloated ERA.  I ended up dropping him for the playoffs and he went on the DL shortly after that anyway.  I will avoid him next year.

8. Mat Latos  $11.  14-7, 3.16 ERA, 187 K, 1.21 WHIP.  Very solid season and great value for $11.

9.  Yu Darvish  $18.  13-9, 2.82 ERA, 269 K's. 1.07 WHIP.  My most expensive pitcher and a tremendous bargain at that!

10.  Pablo Sandoval  $16.  .276, 14 HR, 78 RBI, 52 R, 0 SB.  Kind of a meh performance.  I kept trying to find an upgrade on the FA list, but was never able to.  I used Scott Frazier while he was on the DL, but ended up keeping Pablo after he came back.  The 3 HR game won me a week in HR and RBI!  I'd probably take him again next year for the same price.

11.  Ian Desmond  $19.  .280, 20 HR, 80 RBI, 77 R, 21 SB.  The #1 ranked SS by the end of the season.  Tremendous value at the price I paid.

12.  Rickie Weeks  $2.  .209, 10 HR, 24 RBI, 40 R, 7 SB.  I thought I had gotten a bargain for $2.  Turns out I didn't.  2B was extremely thin.  I could not find a replacement on the FA market for the longest time.  Finally dumped Weeks for Anthony Rendon who was OK.

13.  Melky Cabrera  $4.  .279, 3 HR, 30 RBI, 39 R, 2 SB.  A bust even at $4.  I dumped him pretty early.  I forget for whom.

14.  Glen Perkins  $1.  2-0, 2.30, 77 K, 0.93 WHIP, 36 Saves.  Packaged in a trade for Alexi Ogando when I punted Saves.  Shoulda kept him awhile longer and gotten a better return.

15.  Ryan Vogelsong  $4.  4-6, 5.73, 67 K, 1.56 WHIP.  A bust even at this price.  I dumped him pretty early.

16.  Salvador Perez  $6.  .289, 12 HR, 77 RBI, 47 R, 0 SB.  Decent production for the position and price.  I picked up Salty late when Perez went on the DL and ended up keeping Salty who amazingly helped me in SB's durign the playoffs.  I had $7 left over at the end of the draft, so should have sprung a bit higher for Wilin Rosario.

17. Hisashi Iwakuma  $2.  14-6, 2.66, 185 K, 1.01 WHIP.  Iwakuma was a big part of my punting Saves strategy and boy, did he deliver?  Tremendous SP value from a RP slot.

18.  Kyuji Fujikawa  $1.  1-1, 5.25, 14 K, 1.08 WHIP, 2 Saves.  Missed most of season with TJ surgery, but packaged in a trade for Alexi Ogando who was himself kind of a bust.

19.  Hiroki Kuroda  $4.  11-13, 3.31, 150 K, 1.16 WHIP.  Nice value for $4.

20.  Matt Harvey  $2.  9-5, 2.27, 191 K, 0.93 WHIP.  Tremendous value, but lost him for the playoffs due to injury.

21.  Alex Cobb  $1.  11-3, 2.76, 134 K, 1.15 WHIP.  Was injured by the line drive off the head, but still a nice value.

22.  Brett Anderson  $2.  1-4, 6.04, 46 K, 1.61 WHIP.  Missed most of the season.  I dumped him early.

23.  Julio Teheran  $1.  13-8, 3.09, 167 K, 1.17 WHIP.  Dumped him early and that was a mistake.  Solid season for the post-hype sleeper!

24.  Pedro Alvarez  $2.  .233, 36 HR, 100 RBI, 70 R, 2 SB.  Dropped him early and that was probably a mistake. Love the HR's and Ribeyes, but he's streaky as heck and the BA is hard to stomach.

25.  Dylan Bundy  $1.  DNP.  Took a flyer late in the draft.  Underwent TJ surgery early so was able to dump him before I lost too much time waiting for him.

26.  Gerrit Cole  $1.  10-7, 3.22, 100 K, 1.17 WHIP.  I got impatient and dumped him shortly after callup when it looked like he was going to not be a big K pitcher.  That was a mistake as he got progressively stronger down the stretch.    His last 4 starts were lights out!  Will go for a lot higher price next year.

So, that is the Savvy Vets Team I drafted.  Here is the team I ended up with:

C  Jarrod Saltalamacchia  .272, 14 HR, 65 RBI, 67 R, 4 SB.  He became a SB machine down the stretch!  Pretty good season. I might target him next draft.

1B  Billy Butler.  .291, 15 HR, 82 RBI, 62 R, 0 SB.  The guy I picked up to replace Pujols.  Did OK but not what you hope for from the position you paid the highest price for.

2B  Anthony Rendon.  .261, 7 HR, 35 RBI, 40 R, 1 SB.  I finally picked him up to replace Weeks.  I was reasonably happy with what he gave me.  He may move to 3B next year, but with carryover 2B eligibility may make a nice target there.  These number were in 348 AB.

3B  Pablo Sandoval.  See above.  Kept him all season.

SS  Ian Desmond.  See above.  Kept him all season.

IF  Brandon Belt.  .287, 17 HR, 65 RBI, 75 R, 5 SB.  I forget exactly when I picked him up, but we all know how awesome he was down the stretch. I'll be looking for him in the next year's draft.

OF  Adam Jones.  See above. Kept him all year.

OF  Christian Yelich.  .288, 4 HR, 16 RBI, 34 R, 10 SB.  I picked him up late and he did well.  These numbers were in 240 AB.  A little light on power, but I think that will develop.  Sleeper/breakout prospect for next season.

OF  Carlos Gomez.  .283, 24 HR, 73 RBI, 79 R, 39 SB.  I picked him off the waiver wire early and he had a great season.

UT  Bryce Harper.  See Above.  Kept him all season.

UT  Starling Marte.  .280, 12 HR, 35 RBI, 83 R, 41 SB.  I was looking for him in the draft.  Ran out of slots. He went undrafted and I picked him up early.  Great SB value who adds some power.  Breakout prospect for next year.  The guys in my league are obssessed by SB's so he will be expensive in my league.  Might still be undervalued because I think he has a lot of upside on the power side.

SP  Yu Darvish.  See Above. Kept him all season.

SP  Mat Latos.  See Above.  Kept him all season.

SP  Hiroki Kuroda.  See above.  Kept him all season.

SP  Alex Cobb.  See above.  Kept him all season.

SP  Martin Perez.  10-5, 3.55, 79 K, 1.34 WHIP.  Made 19 starts, 119 IP. 7 of his last 10 starts were QS.  Value target for next season.

RP  Hisashi Iwakuma.  See above. Kept him all season.

RP  Shelby Miller.  15-9, 3.06, 169 K, 1.21 WHIP.  Amazingly, he went undrafted and I picked him up after trading away my RP's for Ogando.  Tremendous SP value coming out of a RP slot.

RP  Kyle Kendrick.  10-13, 4.70, 110 K, 1.40 WHIP.  When I look at his stats, I'm surprised I held onto him until the end.  He didn't seem to hurt me from week to week and was good for a W here and there and a few K's each week.

P  Andrew Cashner.  10-9, 3.09, 128 K, 1.13 WHIP.  Solid production from a guy I picked up of the FA list after I traded all my RP's. Had 5 relief appearances, so not sure if he might have RP eligibility again next year.

P  Rick Porcello.  13-8, 4.35, 140 K, 1.29 WHIP.  Kind of a grinder.  Being on a good hitting team gave me quite a few W's and he would get a few K's each week without hurting ERA and WHIP too much.

BN  Bartolo Colon.  18-6, 2.65, 117 K, 1.17 WHIP.  Not much of a K pitcher anymore, but a huge season in other categories.

BN  Jhoulys Chacin.  14-10, 3.47, 126 K, 1.26 WHIP.  Nice solid stat line.  Helps the counting stats without hurting the ERA/WHIP.

BN  Chris Tillman.  16-7, 3.62, 174 K, 1.21 WHIP.  I picked him up on the FA list early.  Solid season!

BN  Sonny Gray.  4-3, 2.90, 59 K, 1.10 WHIP.  59 IP.   Late pickup.  Interesting target for next year's draft.  Breakout candidate!

BN  Bronson Arroyo.  14-12, 3.79, 124 K, 1.15 WHIP.  Helps your counting stats with a tremendous WHIP due to not walking anyone.

Overall, I believe my Save punting worked out the way I wanted.  I dominated 4 of the 5 pitching categories all season and into the playoffs.  I did not skimp on offense, I just did not draft it well, and the FA pickings were slim there.

Adjustments for next year:

1.  I won't bother drafting RP's.

2.  I won't waste early roster space on players who will start the season in the minors.

3.  I will try to target more power in the draft.

4.  I will no pay a lot of $$$ for Albert Pujols and he will probably have a monster season.

1 comment:

  1. Every year my friends and I choose a theme for our league based on a favorite quotable movie from our childhood. Can you guess the movie?

    My team, The Invisible Swordsmen, finished second during the season and surged to take the title, defeating the Scum Sucking Pigs, The Tubman 601s, and the Plethoras of Pinatas to take the title of champion of Los Amigos de Santo Poco league.