Friday, March 11, 2011

2011 Middle Earth Fantasy Baseball League - Keeper Analysis

I did this last year, and it was fun, and a good exercise for me, so I'm doing it again. I'll be assigning point values to each team's eight keepers. The max value for any one player is 10, the minimum is 0, so the maximum total keeper score is 80. We'll go in draft order.

One note: there was a single trade between the submission of keeper lists and the draft. After some debate, I've decided to rate the keeper lists AFTER the trade. That is, these are the keeper lists as they stood going into the draft.

Here we go.

Those Guys
  • Adrian Gonzalez, 1B - 10 points
    As I suggested last year, leaving San Diego was going to be a boon for him. Now that he's gone (and into one of the best lineups in baseball), I expect big things.
  • Alex Rodriguez, 3B - 8 points
    He's getting a little older, and his production has slipped a bit, but he's still one of the most consistently productive players in fantasy.
  • Mike Stanton, OF - 5 points
    I don't love him this year, but he looks to have Adam Dunn upside, and in a keeper league, you bet a lot on upside.
  • Shane Victorino, OF - 5 points
    He's a speed guy who pitches in on run production and a little bit on power. And his lineup is stacked.
  • Bobby Abreu, OF - 4 points
    Even a slight bounce back on batting average would make Abreu a big time asset this year. But, long term, it's unlikely he produces enough for long enough to be justified.
  • Josh Johnson, SP - 7 points
    He had a career year last year, but you've got to be a little cautious with a guy who's missed as much time as Johnson. Still, the ability is there.
  • Jonathan Sanchez, SP - 4 points
    I drafted Sanchez, so obviously I'm a fan. He also had a career year, but the strikeouts have always been great. No reason to think he can't build on last year and be solid again.
  • Daniel Hudson, SP - 4 points
    He was utterly dominant after being traded to the Diamondbacks. He's got a very limited track record, but there are reasons to be excited about this youngster.
Riders of Rohan
  • Prince Fielder, 1B - 7 points
    The power is there, and it will be there, but he's kind of tough to project outside of that. And he's also kind of tough to project within that. As in, will he hit 35, or will he hit 48?
  • Ian Kinsler, 2B - 6 points
    So much potential, and some of it realized, but the constant injuries are beginning to wear on fantasy owners. Me, mostly.
  • Evan Longoria, 3B - 10 points
    He's an across-the-board producer at a non-outfield position; that makes him pretty damn good.
  • Matt Kemp, OF - 8 points
    The attitude concerns are there, but so it a plethora of talent. Power, speed, average, the whole package could be in there, somewhere.
  • Jose Bautista, 3B/OF - 5 points
    Will he be able to repeat his power explosion from 2010? Probably not. But golly, he was good last year.
  • Alex Rios, OF - 6 points
    Ozzie Guillen's infatuation with the stolen base should continue to prove useful for Rios owners.
  • Jon Lester, SP - 8 points
    Great strikeouts, great wins, good averages.
  • Clayton Kershaw, SP - 7 points
    Maybe even better than Lester, but he still has trouble getting decisions. Eventually, though, I'd expect him to figure it out.
Vandelay Industries
  • Miguel Cabrera, 1B - 10 points
    Alcohol questions aside, Cabrera is legitimately the best hitter in the American League.
  • Rickie Weeks, 2B - 6 points
    Weeks is impossible to value in all circumstances. Six points just seemed like the most reasonable "I don't know" amount
  • Elvis Andrus, SS - 4 points
    If shortstop wasn't so weak, Andrus would rate lower. He's really a two-category producer at this point: runs and steals.
  • Ichiro Suzuki, OF - 4 points
    Take Andrus, add in batting average, but remove SS eligibility, and you've got Ichiro. Something tells me he'll get some more RBIs this year, though.
  • Zack Greinke, SP - 6 points
    He's in a situation considerably better than he was in Kansas City, and the talent is all there for a rebound...or a meltdown. Should be fun to watch either way.
  • Ubaldo Jimenez, SP - 7 points
    Ridiculous first half, solid second half. Similar overall numbers are pretty reasonable, though.
  • Yovani Gallardo, SP - 5 points
    Awesome strikeout numbers, but he lets an awful lot of guys get on base. Something's going to give eventually, one way or the other.
  • Adam Wainwright, SP - 1 point
    I'm less negative on this keep than other people, but it's definitely a tough one. He's a superstar pitcher, but when you KNOW he's not playing this year...though call.
Dunedain Rangers
  • Buster Posey, C/1B - 6 points
    I like Posey. But he's getting drafted in the 3rd round based on two-thirds of a season of solid production. I want to see more before I invest that kind of pick.
  • Adam Dunn, 1B - 4 points
    Defense doesn't count, so that's good. And he's one of the safest picks in the game.
  • Adrian Beltre, 3B - 4 points
    He hit .334 in 2004, then hit .255, .268, .276, .266, and .265 before hitting .321 last year. I'm not paying for a .300 average, and without that, he's just a decent third baseman.
  • Hunter Pence, OF - 5 points
    He seems to get undervalued, but getting 25 HR and 14 SB with a .282 average in back to back seasons seems pretty decent to me.
  • Jay Bruce, OF - 4 points
    He dramatically improved his batting average, but his power rate slipped. If he can ever put it all together, he'll be great, but I'm not holding my breath.
  • Dan Haren, SP - 6 points
    He had trouble early last season, but bounced back in a big way after being traded to the Angels. I'd count on 3.00, 1.15, 175 Ks and 15 wins.
  • Jered Weaver, SP - 7 points
    He's becoming less and less hittable each year. I like that kind of trend.
  • Neftali Feliz, SP/RP - 4 points
    I like Feliz at closer because he's a known commodity there, but if he can translate his success to starting pitching, his value goes up.
Howard's Heroes (or whatever his name is this week)
  • Ryan Howard, 1B - 8 points
    He's basically the same as Prince Fielder, except you trust him a little more because of his crazy good lineup
  • Mark Teixeira, 1B - 8 points
    I'm a believer in Teixeira. I know he's been up and down in New York, but I just can't see him not succeeding.
  • Dan Uggla, 2B - 8 points
    I tried to tell you all, Uggla's the man. A slide down to about .265 wouldn't shock me, but 30 HR and 90 runs and RBIs at second base is effin' good.
  • Mark Reynolds, 3B - 3 points
    I don't know, maybe he'll be good? He's the biggest question mark on a team full of them.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury, OF - 6 points
    If he can stay healthy, I'd expect 60 steals and 100 runs, with a .300-ish average.
  • Matt Cain, SP - 5 points
    He's evolved into a nice little pitcher. And, he won't have to match up against other aces, which is always nice.
  • Wandy Rodriguez, SP - 3 points
    Wandy's a tough guy to figure out. But at this point, I see him as just a useful pitcher...not so much a keeper.
  • (no 8th keeper) - 2 points
    Getting the supplemental pick isn't worthless.
Columbus DamKnights
  • Joe Mauer, C - 7 points
    He may have regressed on the power numbers from 2009, but a great batting average and good run production are givens with Mauer.
  • Justin Morneau, 1B - 8 points
    We're all pulling for Morneau to get past his concussion and get back to concussing baseballs. What? Too soon?
  • Robinson Cano, 2B - 9 points
    Cano's a very nice player, and appears to be a legitimate .315 hitter. I'm just not ready to push him into that tenth point just yet.
  • Corey Hart, OF - 4 points
    There was a point when Hart was all the rage as a power/speed guy. But last year, he mostly hit home runs...mostly.
  • Grady Sizemore, OF - 3 points
    What can you say about Sizemore? We know he's got speed and power. We don't know if he's healthy, or if he'll ever hit .280 again.
  • Ricky Nolasco, SP - 4 points
    Might be this year's Jonathan Sanchez?
  • Jeremy Hellickson, SP - 4 points
    Uber pitching prospect who flashed his stuff last year. I'm in.
  • Joe Nathan, RP - 2 points
    His spring has been encouraging so far, but coming back from surgery is always risky.
Stewies SexyParties
  • Chase Utley, 2B - 8 points
    Healthy, Utley is worth 10 points easy, but it seems like this knee injury has legs.
  • Pedro Alvarez, 3B - 5 points
    He's supposed to be the real deal, and he's already shown major league pop. He doesn't have to improve much to be keeper-worthy again next year.
  • Hanley Ramirez, SS - 10 points
    The best.
  • Ryan Braun, OF - 10 points
    Just a great producer. His power numbers were down last year, but I see that as fluky, not cause for concern.
  • Andrew McCutchen, OF - 8 points
    Don't undervalue McCutchen. He's potentially a plus in every category except RBIs, and he's still only 24.
  • Colby Rasmus, OF - 5 points
    Two full seasons, but he's still just a .263 career hitter, and hasn't shown much speed. Might be more similar to Jay Bruce than we anticipated.
  • Cliff Lee, SP - 8 points
    He's been all around the world in the past few years, but he's posted great numbers everywhere. Now that he's happy and settled, I expect him to really hit stride.
  • Roy Oswalt, SP - 7 points
    Uh oh. You know what we did? We forgot how good Oswalt can be.
Akron Pronks
  • Victor Martinez, C/1B - 8 points
    He should be going ahead of Posey in every draft. You know why? Because Posey's upside is Martinez.
  • Kevin Youkilis, 1B - 7 points
    He should pick up 3B eligibility early this season, and his contributions in runs, RBIs, and batting average should only go up with the additions to the Red Sox lineup.
  • Kendrys Morales, 1B - 5 points
    Yahoo says it's Kendrys now. Anyways, he's already got one great season and a tragic injury on his resume. All he needs now is a bounce back and he'll have a movie made about him.
  • Brian Roberts, 2B - 4 points
    Back injuries are always cause for concern, but if he's able to straighten things out, he's a great option at a thin position.
  • Shin-Soo Choo, OF - 7 points
    You can only go .300-80-20-80-20 so many times before people start betting on it. Two, actually. The number is two.
  • Jayson Werth, OF - 6 points
    I don't expect Werth to hit .296 again (he's a career .272 hitter), but the rest of last year's numbers seem in line, even in a weaker Nationals lineup.
  • Drew Stubbs, OF - 5 points
    Way too many strikeouts, but he's still young. Another guy I should have never dropped.
  • Tim Lincecum, SP - 9 points
    Other than an 0-5, 7.82/1.82 August, Lincecum was tremendous again last season. I've still got him rated as a top 5 pitcher.
Mercer AutoWreckers
  • Brian McCann, C - 5 points
    It's tough to get consistent play out of a catcher, and McCann is one of the most reliable guys out there. The Wreckers did pay a ton for him, though.
  • Joey Votto, 1B - 10 points
    He's a slightly leaner Miguel Cabrera.
  • Dustin Pedroia, 2B - 6 points
    Injuries ended his season last year, but he appears fully healthy and ready to do his part in the stacked Boston offense.
  • Derek Jeter, SS - 6 points
    Even a repeat of last year's "down" performance (.270-111-10-67-18) would be very solid, considering this year's crop of shortstops.
  • Andre Ethier, OF - 4 points
    We're all still waiting for Ethier to put it all together. Maybe Don Mattingly is the guy to help him do it?
  • Roy Halladay, SP - 10 points
    No starting pitcher is better.
  • Felix Hernandez, SP - 10 points
    But Felix comes close.
  • Heath Bell, RP - 4 points
    He may still just be a closer, but another great year adds "proven" to his list of characteristics.
Feisty Mosquitoes
  • Brandon Phillips, 2B - 6 points
    He'll hit about .270 with about 20 homers and about 20 steals. At second base, that works.
  • Ryan Zimmerman, 3B - 5 points
    I think Zimmerman's a fine player, but he might be one of the more overrated guys in fantasy baseball. He'll be solid, but unspectacular.
  • Troy Tulowitzki, SS - 10 points
    It's tough to trust him to stay healthy, but even missing 40 games last year, Tulo was extremely good. Expect more good things.
  • Carl Crawford, OF - 10 points
    You can't tell me that Crawford's value will go down in that lineup. You just can't.
  • Matt Holliday, OF - 8 points
    This cat can hit. Oh, and batting next to Albert Pujols never hurt anybody's numbers.
  • Justin Upton, OF - 7 points
    The guy is just 23 years old. If he can play 150+ games in 2011, he's basically a lock for 25-25.
  • CC Sabathia, SP - 8 points
    Sort of like Adam Dunn, CC's reliability gets undervalued sometimes. He's had at least 17 wins and 197 strikeouts in each of the past four seasons.
  • Stephen Strasburg, SP - 1 point
    Mostly the Mosquitoes get a point for guts. Strasburg is out until at least September.
The Usual Suspects
  • Albert Pujols, 1B - 10 points
    Seriously, let's argue about this.
  • David Wright, 3B - 9 points
    I'm willing to look at Wright's down 2009 as an anomaly as long as he is.
  • Jimmy Rollins, SS - 5 points
    Tough to make a call on Rollins. His upside still puts him as a potential 25/40 player, but he's been way off of that recently.
  • Nelson Cruz, OF - 5 points
    If you look at Cruz's numbers, you're going to be surprised. He might pull it all together this year and challenge for the MVP.
  • Jason Heyward, OF - 6 points
    Heyward really seemed to settle in during the second half of 2010. All the physical tools are there to take the next step. Matt Kemp upside is what I see.
  • Justin Verlander, SP - 7 points
    Back to back fantastic seasons means Verlander's legit...probably. Have to wonder what happened in 2008, though.
  • Tommy Hanson, SP - 6 points
    Hanson's got all the makings of a star, and his August and September were just filthy. Of course, plenty of guys can be stars; let's see if he can come through.
  • Mat Latos, SP - 6 points
    Latos was remarkable last season, a plus in all the starting pitching categories. I expect a bit of a letdown, but it's tough to be that good and not be mostly legit...heck, even Jeff D'Amico couldn't put up those kind of Ks.
Cleveland Enforcers
  • Jose Reyes, SS - 8 points
    Health is a minor concern, the lineup is a minor concern, but the player is good. Very good.
  • Carlos Gonzalez, OF - 9 points
    I've read a few articles that try to temper Gonzalez's insane 2010 season, but those kinds of numbers don't just happen. Not all of them at once.
  • Josh Hamilton, OF - 8 points
    One of the harder high-end players to judge, Hamilton showed last year that he can be among the best. I choose to bank on his talent and competitiveness.
  • B.J. Upton, OF - 4 points
    Upton is not a power hitter. He averaged 15.5 homers per season over the past four years (in an average of 143 games per season). He's fine for steals, anything else is gravy.
  • Cole Hamels, SP - 6 points
    Nice rebound after a frustrating 2009. However, his win-loss record seems awfully unimpressive for a team averaging 94 wins over the last three years.
  • David Price, SP - 7 points
    Listen to these home numbers for Price: 9-2, 107 Ks in 114.2 IP, 1.96 ERA, 1.05 WHIP. Who knew orange juice was so good for you?
  • Francisco Liriano, SP - 4 points
    Liriano seems to be fully healthy and recovered from arm surgery that cost him the entire 2007 season, but he may never be the same again.
  • Max Scherzer, SP - 4 points
    Because there weren't enough guys I bailed on that ended up being good. Thanks Max.

Here are the standings in order of total points, along with the change from last year (and here's a link to last year's article, for your reference):
  1. Stewies SexyParties - 61 points (+1 from last year)
  2. Riders of Rohan - 57 points (-8)
  3. Feisty Mosquitoes - 55 points (-7)
  4. Mercer AutoWreckers - 55 points (+3)
  5. The Usual Suspects - 54 points (+4)
  6. Akron Pronks - 51 points (-3)
  7. Cleveland Enforcers - 50 points (+1)
  8. Those Guys - 47 points (+2)
  9. Vandelay Industries - 43 points (-8)
  10. Howard's Heroes - 43 points (-16)
  11. Columbus DamKnights - 41 points (-7)
  12. Dunedain Rangers - 40 points (+1)
Just from a cursory glance, it looks like I was harder on guys this year. Most teams went down, some a lot, including my own. That probably means that teams who went up at all this year are in fact dramatically improved, while teams that went down are probably not actually that much worse.


Mark said...

way to not go in reverse draft order.

GoodPointJoe said...

Whoops, right, my bad. Draft order, like last year. Maybe. Oh who gives a damn.

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