Friday, March 23, 2012

Some interesting facts heading into the draft...

Just thought I'd pass on a few interesting "facts" as we near the draft date...thanks to Matthew Berry (aka. The Talented Mr. Roto) for providing these.

1. Over the past three years, of all the players who finished in the top 10 on our Player Rater yet were drafted outside the top 40 (i.e., the players who greatly outperformed their draft slots), 73 percent of them were veterans coming off down seasons.

2. Since 1999, Paul Konerko has averaged 147 games played and 30 homers per season.

3. Konerko is one of two players in all of baseball to hit .300 with 30 home runs and 100 RBIs in each of the past two years.

4. The other? Miguel Cabrera.

5. Meanwhile, Mark Teixeira's last .300-30-100 season was back in 2008.

6. Teixeira has an average draft position (ADP) of 24th overall.

7. That's almost two full rounds before Konerko (current ADP: 42nd).

14. Last season, Howard Kendrick had 197 plate appearances as the No. 2 hitter for the Angels, his most common lineup slot.

15. Last year, Bobby Abreu, Torii Hunter and Maicer Izturis had a combined 138 games in the Angels' No. 3 lineup slot.

16. This offseason, the Angels signed Albert Pujols.

17. Kendrick is a career .292 hitter, and he scored 86 runs last year.

18. Last season, only four players in baseball hit .295 or better and had at least 25 home runs, 20 stolen bases, 90 runs scored and 90 RBIs. They are: Matt Kemp, Ryan Braun, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Gonzalez.

19. Only one player in baseball has achieved those marks for two straight seasons: Carlos Gonzalez

20. Kemp, Braun and Ellsbury are all being drafted among the first eight picks overall.

21. CarGo is being drafted at the end of the second round.

22. Oh yeah, and CarGo is just 26 years old.

25. Last year, including the postseason, Justin Verlander threw 4,301 pitches.

26. In fact, Verlander's 4,301 pitches were the most thrown in a regular season and postseason since 2002.

27. It's also 557 pitches more than he threw in 2010.

38. In the past two years, as a starter, C.J. Wilson's home numbers look like this: 216 2/3 IP, 189 K, 76 BB, 3.70 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 7.9 K/9 rate, 16 home runs allowed.

39. On the road? Try this: 211 IP, 187 K, 91 BB, 2.56 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 8.0 K/9, 10 home runs allowed.

45. In 2011, Chris Heisey hit a home run every 15.5 at-bats.

46. As a comparison, Pujols hit one every 15.6 at-bats.

47. Heisey has a chance at being the Cincinnati Reds' everyday left fielder.

48. More fun with AB/HR ratios: Allen Craig homered every 18.2 at-bats last season.

49. And David Ortiz hit one every 18.1 at-bats.

61. Over the past three seasons, Bailey has a 2.07 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 174 strikeouts in 174 innings and is 75-o- 84 in save chances (89.3 percent conversion rate).

62. Over the past three seasons, Jonathan Papelbon has a 2.89 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP and 239 strikeouts in 199 1/3 innings and is 106-of-120 in save chances (88.3 percent).

63. Papelbon is going seven rounds before Bailey in ESPN live drafts.

70. Prince Fielder hit 24 home runs at Miller Park last season.

71. Nine of those home runs would not have been home runs at his new home, Comerica Park.

86. Over the past three seasons, only one major league team has had more save opportunities than the … San Diego Padres.

87. The top five teams in save opportunities from 2009 to 2011: the Giants (197), Padres and Braves tied (194), Marlins (192) and … the Washington Nationals (191).

93. Michael Morse joined the Nationals' starting lineup on June 10, 2010.

94. From June 10, 2010, to the end of last season, Morse, who qualifies in the outfield and at first base, hit 46 home runs, had 134 RBIs and posted a .297 average over 767 at-bats.

95. From June 10, 2010, to the end of last season, Matt Holliday had 44 home runs, 153 RBIs and a .308 average over 822 at-bats.

96. Holliday is being selected, on average, in the fourth round of ESPN live drafts.

97. That's four rounds ahead of Michael Morse.

Monday, March 19, 2012

12 Days To Go...

And League of Champions resumes with the 2012 draft.   Bulgarian Great"8" have won the draft lottery and the first overall pick.   If tradition dictates the player will likely come from the New York Yankees...CC Sabathia? Robinson Cano? It surely can't be Alex Rodriguez can it?   A source close to the BG8 indicate that it could be Clayton Kershaw, Roy Halladay or Justin Verlander.   Another question that comes to mind is whether the Al Kickurass' will take yet another top prospect...just a hint...Bryce Harper has already been sent down to the minors...but chances are Stephen Strasburg won't make it past this teams first pick.  

Some predictions for 2012:

1) The Toronto Blue Jays will get into the playoffs;
2) Jose Bautista will be a 25/25 player this year;
3) Alex Rodriguez will have more than 100 RBIs;
4) Roy Halladay will not win 15 games;
5) Matt Moore will win the AL Rookie of the Year honours;
6) Tim Lincecum will win 20 games;
7) Jason Heyward hits 35 homers, 100 RBIs;
8) Micheal Bourn will steal 80 bases;
9) Matt Kemp will be a 40/40 player;
10) Johan Santana will win 15 games;

Friday, March 16, 2012

The 2011 Championship Team

It would have been a fun project to figure out how The Buck Martinez-ez (BMz)were formed throughout the 2011 season but unfortunately Yahoo! doesn't provide the transaction records from the previous season making the task nearly impossible.  What we can figure out is that BMz were built through 58 transactions (trades and waiver wire pickups), which is just above the league average for the season.  

With the 9th overall pick in the draft, Cliff Lee became the first member of the BMz.   The table below lists the drafted roster and the final roster.  

Position Open Roster Closing Roster
C B. Posey R. Andino
1B M. Teixeira M. Teixeria
2B D. Pedoria D. Pedoria
3B M. Prado M. Prado
SS A. Escobar R. Andino
OF S. Victorino S. Victorino
OF C. Granderson C. Granderson
OF A. Jones A. Jones
UTIL J. Kubel S. Rolen
SP J. Cachin J. Chacin
SP P. Hughes P. Hughes
SP C. Lee C. Lee
SP J. Vazquez J. Vazquez
SP M. Pineda CC Sabathia
RP J. Venters J. Motte
RP J. McGee S. Santos
BN D. Hernandez J. Saltalamacchia
BN J. Conteras A. De Aza
BN R. Brignac J. Keppinger
BN B. Fuentes J. McDonald
BN M. Brantley H. Takahashi
BN J. Walden C. Ruiz
BN D. Johnson K. Kendrick
BN W. Lopez P. Bourjos
BN C. Utley C. Utley
DL J. Walden
DL J. Williams

Not sure which two players were on the DL from the conclusion of the 2011 season.  The only significant loss that the BMz had to deal with was the loss of Buster Posey to the season ending injury. With the exception the starting infield and most of the starting rotation, the BMz went through a major overhaul.  Some of The BMz's best moves including moving Michael Pineda in the second half of the season, and adding CC Sabathia to his rotation.   Pick ups like P. Bourjos, J. Walden, S. santos and J. Motte all helped the BMz to the title.   It's too bad we can't see how these guys ended up on this roster but its sufficient to say that the BMz drafted their starting rotation well (even with the struggles of P. Hughes) and improved throughout the season to claim the 2011 LoC Championships.  

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

2011 Review

18 teams entered League of Champions 2011 and as always only one winner emerged.  The Buck Martinez-ez headed by Jason Ramey outpaced the rest of the league by 360.  At times the league standings were tight, but eventually there was a great deal of separation, with the Beav Sox finishing 2,573 points behind the winner.

The First Round Picks

Pick Player Team 2011 Pts
1 Albert Pujols(LAA - 1B) Vancouver Canadians 505
2 Roy Halladay(Phi - SP) 9293bluejays 860
3 Evan Longoria(TB - 3B) Al Kickurass 393
4 Felix Hernandez(Sea - SP) Siba Style 648
5 Hanley Ramirez(Mia - SS) The Big Units 218
6 Troy Tulowitzki(Col - SS) Fear Franchise 460
7 Ubaldo Jimenez(Cle - SP) Braunovan 431
8 Carlos Gonzalez(Col - OF) Hooter Hunters 416
9 Cliff Lee(Phi - SP) The Buck Martinez-ez 879
10 Tim Lincecum(SF - SP) The Beav Sox 608
11 Robinson Cano(NYY - 2B) Ravishing Rickybo 502
12 Ryan Braun(Mil - OF) Team Avenger 579
13 Miguel Cabrera(Det - 1B) Riverside Southpaws 544
14 Joey Votto(Cin - 1B) Under Ceege 497
15 Alex Rodriguez(NYY - 3B) Bulgarian Great"8" 264
16 CC Sabathia(NYY - SP) Yonge Street Bombers 752
17 Jon Lester(Bos - SP) The YzerJays 532
18 Adrian Gonzalez(Bos - 1B) The Situ-Asians 506

The busts of 2011 from the 1st round can largely be attributed to injuries.  Evan Longoria, Hanley Ramirez, Ubaldo Jimenez and Alex Rodriguez produced far short of their draft positions for their respective owners.   Each suffered through injuries from the start of the season and never fully recovered.   Hopefully the owners find better luck with their 1st round picks in 2012.

Ryan Braun was the only drafted hitter from the first round who finished among the top five scoring hitters in 2011.   Jacoby Ellsbury (611 pts), Matt Kemp (570 pts), Ian Kinsler (550 pts) and Jose Bautista (548 pts) were drafted in the 4th, 4th, 2nd ,2nd rounds.     This probably makes Ellsbury (drafted by the YzerJays) one of the biggest deals from the 2011 draft.  

LoC is an active fantasy baseball league.  In total there were over 750 transactions made by the 18 teams that formed the 2011 LoC.   That's an average of 42 moves per team.   Of course, as Braunovan proved making the most moves (121) doesn't result in a top finish.   The Bulgarian Great "8" really liked the team he drafted as the team was the only team in single digit transactions with 5.   Interesting to note that the bottom four teams didn't hit the average number of transactions.   The Buck Martinez-ez made a total of 58 transactions, just above the league average.  

Up Next: A Look At the Championship Team

Monday, March 12, 2012

LOC 2012

Welcome to another season of baseball and the 2012 season of the League of Champions (LoC).  This year the LoC has been reduced to a total of 14 teams.   This should make for a much more interesting and competitive season.  Later this week, there will be a review of last season and the closer look at Jason Ramey's winning roster. 

After five active seasons and the league starting to stablize in terms of owners, it was decided that the league needed a tangible award.  The LoC Plate has been purchased and will be awarded to the LoC's first two time winner Jason Ramey at the live draft.   Congrats to Ramey. 

Next article: 2011 Season Review