Friday, March 13, 2009

The Value at the End of a Draft

There are a zillion maxims about fantasy drafts, especially in keeper leagues, such as "studs are needed early", "the middle rounds are when the drafts are won", "ignore the late rounds", "late rounds win leagues", etc. One thing that's definitely true, however, is that the end of the draft does matter. Here are the last 24 players taken in last year's draft:

  • Chris Perez
  • Jair Jurrjens
  • Eric Chavez
  • Conor Jackson
  • Ervin Santana
  • Josh Willingham
  • Bartolo Colon
  • Raul Ibanez
  • Scott Rolen
  • Aaron Heilman
  • Coco Crisp
  • Barry Bonds
  • Jon Rauch
  • Nick Adenhart
  • Angel Villalona
  • Andrew McCutchen
  • Brian Fuentes
  • Elijah Dukes
  • Kevin Correia
  • Rick Vanden Hurk
  • Jacob McGee
  • Edinson Volquez
  • Richie Sexson

Bold-faced are the players kept into this season, including prospects. Now this isn't exactly a list of studs; the best players are probably Volquez and Dukes, though both have serious question marks, the former about Dusty Baker putting his arm in a sausage grinder, the latter about his ability to remember to take lithium. But let's compare this to the 4th round of last year's draft, which was hilariously bad:

  1. Paul Konerko.....I'm not sure why I took him. This was during my spectacular run of bad picks, which consisted of Francouer, Konkero, Jarrod Salty, Vernon Wells, and Josh Fields. That would suck in a softball league.
  2. Shaun Marcum.......Corey's token Blue Jay, who promptly blew out his arm.
  3. Kosuke Fukudome..........Ugh.
  4. Dustin McGowan..........A good idea at the time, until he too fell into the Blue Jay Pitching Vortex of Doom.
  5. Rafael Furcal.........Played well last year when healthy. Sadly, that was for April and September only.
  6. Kevin Gregg..........The worst closer in baseball; Florida couldn't dump him fast enough.
  7. Shane Victorino........Shockingly effective, even more shockingly not kept by anyone. The first pick that actually was good in the short and long term.
  8. Edgar Renteria..........Rent a Suck!
  9. Chien Ming Wang............Dog.
  10. Jim Thome...........Old.
  11. James Loney...........Mark Grace minus the prickhood.
  12. Jermaine Dye............Okay, he's a good player.

Conclusion? The proper maxim is either "pay attention late", or "we don't know a goddamn thing about baseball.


Corey said...

You forgot to mention that Marcum was leading the league in WHIP, in the top 3 in ERA, and up there in strikeouts when he got injured around the All Star break. Had Toronto not repeatedly forgotten to bring the offense on the bus with them, he'd have been up there in wins, also. Not sure 'promptly' is the right word.

El Angelo said...

You're 100% right, he pitched a lot more than I remembered. I must have confused him with Casey Janssen.

Teddy said...

A lot of this is down to the keeper format; the leading edge of the talent curve all gets kept, meaning we spend nearly the whole draft in the thick part of the curve.

Tucker said...

Someone kept Dukes this year? That's hysterical! He would be availble in the 7th round or later.

Anonymous said...

Chris Perez was kept as a prospect by the Wu, who without government bailout, remains nothing to be fucked with.