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Blogging Fantasy
2005-08-09 13:12
by Will Carroll

I'm in the midst of an important fantasy draft. Not football - but baseball. I play in a sim league that in near-real time re-creates seasons. We started in "1982" and have progressed to the start of "1992." Knowing the future raises interesting questions - do you try to build a consistent winner, or aim for one year to stack things up? Does it pay to tank your season and get the highest pick? (There is a lottery, so it's not without risk.)

The league includes a bunch of names you'd know - guys like Baseball America's Kevin Goldstein and Jim Callis, former Baseball Weekly guy Mat Olkin, and several STATS guys. So I like to win, like I did back in "1989."

So, knowing that we have some smart people here at The Juice, I figured I'd ask for your help. I have the seventh overall pick, not the best thing in a draft that is insanely top heavy (Pedro and Piazza). The rule is that a player must go 75% of PA/IP to be brought back for next season. Here's my team:

C: Ivan Rodriguez, Damon Berryhill, Jim Leyritz
** I'm loaded here. Pudge is a long-term guy who'll be well above average. Berryhill's a replaceable backup, while Leyritz is a nice backup who has a great split.

1B: Will Clark, Tino Martinez, Eric Karros, Gene Larkin
** It's hard to call this "loaded." All are above average, but 1B is stacked and none of these will get anything special back. It's also impossible to get them all "gruntled" (enough PA to keep). I'd like to trade Clark while he's still good for a team making a one-year run. Larkin serves no purpose.

2B: Mickey Morandini, Joey Cora
** Here's a clear weakness. Morandini is league average and there's no depth. Eric Young and Bret Boone would be available at the #7 pick possibly. Jeff Kent will be gone at #4 after Pedro, Piazza, and Javy Lopez.

SS: Shawon Dunston, Jose Hernandez
** Umm, ick. Dunston's past his marginally useful period and Hernandez isn't quite to his. Cora can scoot over here if need be. There's not much available in the draft, so I'll stick these to in the 8 slot and hope for the best.

3B: Vinny Castilla, Mike Pagliarulo, Chris Donnels
** It's 1992 and Castilla is about to head to Colorado. Pags is a near worthless backup who helped me last year. Donnels is nearly as worthless - think of him as a Triple-A guy called up to take PAs.

LF: Greg Vaughn, Glenn Braggs
** Vaughn begins our parade of "can't hit lefties" but at least he'll be useful in the future. Not good, but useful. Braggs can theoretically hit lefties, but it's not a pretty sight.

CF: Vince Coleman, Turner Ward
** Coleman has his last productive season, but has to be platooned with someone that can hit lefties. Ward's not helpful, but is a useful spare part in the future.

RF: Jim Eisenreich
** Eisenreich also can't hit lefties, surprise!

Starters: Randy Johnson, Jose Mesa (160 IP), Pete Schourek (140 IP)
** Unit's a year away from being UNIT. Mesa's still a couple years from being a closer. His '93 is brutal, so finding a team willing to let him suck would help. Schourek's horrendous in '93, but had a big '95. Do you get the sense that Johnson's breakout '93 is going to get wasted?
Future Help: Darryl Kile (125 IP), Dave Burba (75 IP), Arthur Rhodes (95 IP)
** All three slot in as part-time starters and relievers. Not bad for rebuilding.
Fading Fast: Russ Swan (104 IP)
** The swingman had a 1:1 K/BB ratio. That's never good.
Other: Tony Castillo (50 IP), Dan Plesac (80 IP)
** Nothing to see here. Roster filler, though Plesac is consistently adequate for a long time.

So that's what I have. I don't have a link to the available players, so just assume that almost anyone worth having is gone. The '92 debuts and some lesser lights are really the only hope for shoring up a team aimed squarely at mediocrity. I'll be looking for players that can help in '94, for starting pitching to take innings behind my staff of one big ace and a bunch of spare parts staff, and looking squarely at sucking mightily through the next two seasons.

So, your task is to let me know what you think. Where should I go? What should I do?

2005-08-09 18:06:28
1.   Blah Blah Blah
Depends on the criteria for drafting, I assume it's players debuting in 1992, which puts you solidly in the market for Bret Boone and/or Jeff Kent.

Your outfield stinks, eh? You sure could use Tim Salmon.

2005-08-09 22:46:52
2.   chris in illinois

A few Comments:

I played Earl Weaver for years and that was one of my favorite seasons (1992), a few players to consider:

Pedro Astacio---Had six pretty decent seasons in a row, none great but all worth having.

Ryan Klesko--- My favorite player debuted in 1992 and barely played in 92 or 93, but he has been a real solid player for 11 years after that.

Dave Nilsson-- You are strong at catcher, but if you can grab Nilsson later in your draft he really will pay off down the road. Usually played some 1st as well as catcher.

I'd absolutely echo Tim Salmon.

John Valentin is a pretty nice ss from 92-97.

Good luck

2005-08-10 06:00:03
3.   Disenfranchised Expos Fan
As an Expos fan, I feel obligated to point out a few Expos who made debuts in 1992:

Wil Cordero, back when he was still a SS. His defense was never great, but in the early days it wasn't downright terrible. And he had a monster 1994 at SS (.294/.363/.489)

Butch Henry might be a nice pitcher to try to sneak into the late rounds of the draft. He threw a lot of not-very-good innings in 1992 and 1993, but 1994 and 1995 he was excellent (ERA+ of 174 and 149 respectively in 1994 and 1995).

Others that haven't been mentioned already:

Steve Reed made his debut in 1992, and went on to put up 13 straight years of ERA+ above 100.

Jose Valentin could fill your hole at SS for a long time.

Eric Young would help at 2B if you don't get a better player.

Tim Wakefield gives you a durable rotation guy for a long time.

2005-08-10 11:28:10
4.   walbers
will...what game are you playing? If you're playing with some Stats employees (Dan Ford by any chance?) are you playing one of their games, like ME? If so, would love to get you involved in a league in the better game...CE. rgds, will
2005-08-10 12:18:53
5.   Smed
If you can live with a couple years of suck, Damion Easley could be adequate.

Chad Curtis could be OK late.

Brian Jordan wouldn't be so bad.

I am assuming Kevin Young and Al Martin are right out - along with Ice Williams!

2005-08-11 23:04:08
6.   coreyk626
Tank for Manny in '93. Continue to tank for A-Rod in '94.
2005-09-07 14:13:27
7.   shebazzle
I would make it my number one priority to obtain Roger McDowell. I would pay whatever you need to in order to secure his services. Roger McDowell is your future.

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