by Ivar G. Anderson
I have spent the last two articles discussing what a dynasty league is, and providing some advice about how to set up and run that type of league. Good to get the nuts and bolts out of the way. If, however, you have any questions about how to organize or run a dynasty or keeper league, just drop me a line at my personal e-mail listed at the end of this article (and all my articles), and I will do my very best to chime in with my advice.
Once the league is set up, you need to populate your roster. There are plenty of places to find information about established players. What you want is some understanding regarding those players without the 3 year stat history that will let you attempt to predict future production; in other words, rookie prospects.
With young players you can look to their minor league statistics, but you then have to understand how the various minor leagues and their parks affect statistical production or you could look to MLEs (Minor League Equivalents), introduced way back in 1985 by Bill James. Both of these systems are just shooting in the dark. Then again, we are all just guessing about how a player will perform given the chance to play in the majors. None of us know anything for certain, “experts” and the everyday player both.
That being said, we all need to make decisions and select players we think will help our teams prosper. So to that end, let me discuss five players I have to make decisions on in my various leagues, as far as whether they are good keeper options or players I should let other owners take a risk with this season and beyond.
Before you start complaining to me that none of these guys are available in your dynasty league, understand that I am writing for keeper leagues as well as established and startup dynasty leagues. This platform will go over the less well known players, just not this week. Patience, my young padawans.
Wil Myers OF TB
Kansas City did what they are prone to do, trade away a potential star just as he is poised to step into an MLB lineup. Sure, the Royals received what becomes their ace SP in James Shields, but why trade away a potential long-term superstar? Myers hit 37 HR with a .314/.387/.600 slash line at AA/AAA in 522 AB/591 PA. To be certain, he amassed 140 Ks over those ABs, but you have to accept that with a power hitter. It is entirely possible that Myers makes the starting lineup in Tampa this season, especially with BJ Upton now roaming the outfield in Atlanta. I am buying in wholly on the youngster, and if you have a chance to add him to your team, even at the cost of veteran player, I urge you to take the leap.
Billy Hamilton OF (SS) CIN
Speed, speed and more speed. This kid is fast, I think everyone who knows anything at all about MiLB players is aware of that fact. I was lucky enough to see him play in the Arizona Fall League this past fall, and he possesses game changing speed. The big question is will he get to first base often enough to take advantage of it? How many fantasy owners were drawn in by the promise that Dee Gordon would start at SS for the Dodgers last year and swipe 60-70 bases? That didn’t work out so well now, did it? (Wow, three questions in a row.) Zack Cozart has apparently locked up the starting SS spot for Cincy after an effective 2012 campaign, and the Reds have therefore moved Hamilton to the outfield to speed his arrival to the big leagues. I thought the Reds might move Stubbs in a trade to open up the CF spot for Hamilton, but when then picked up Choo in the deal, it made a 2014 arrival more likely for Hamilton. If you have the roster space and can wait until the middle of this upcoming season or perhaps 2014, and you believe Hamilton can get on base often enough to take advantage of his speed, then take a chance on him.
Matt Harvey SP NYM
The Mets have already said that Harvey will not have the typical innings limit for a rookie, and that tells me that they’ve penciled him into the starting rotation. Still, I wouldn’t expect him to exceed 175 IP for 2013. At that, though, you can expect him to post close to a strikeout per inning, although I am concerned about his control. If he can limit the walks, he has the stuff be a future ace of a staff, and for this season, potentially the SP2 of your fantasy roster. The issue of not giving you 200 IP is a downbeat, but not that great. Since we are talking about long term ownership, if you can, swing a deal to get Harvey for this year, The strikeout potential alone makes him a keeper. I would also not expect a superb ERA or WHIP at this point, but more like a 3.75/1.27, numbers which aren’t great, but certainly acceptable.
Shelby Miller SP StL
Once I heard about Chris Carpenter’s injury, I figured that Miller was the best option to take over the vacated SP spot in the Cardinal’s rotation. Now it seems that it will depend on how well Miller performs this spring. Trevor Rosenthal and Joe Kelly both are in the running for a rotation slot as spring training kicks off. In Miller’s favor, he has two great pitches, a plus-plus (that’s scout speak) fastball in the upper 90s, coupled with a plus-plus curve. His fastball has good movement, but he pitches up in the zone which could hurt him early in his MLB career, especially if he cannot develop his changeup as a dependable third pitch. I would be willing to take a chance on him sticking in the rotation if I had an early rookie draft, but in a dynasty situation, he definitely is a target. In a short bench keeper league, though, maybe you might want to look at Harvey instead.
Dylan Bundy P BAL
I fully expect Bundy to start the season at AAA. With the Oriole rotation, however, I also expect him to get a June call-up, if not sometime sooner in 2013. Unlike Miller, he has quickly developed 3 plus to plus-plus pitches, with a mid to high 90s fastball, a great curve and changeup. Scouts note that he has a consistent delivery with all three pitches, which simply makes him more deceptive to hitters. The risk in 2013 in redraft or keeper leagues is the thought that the Orioles will want him to get more experience in the upper minors before throwing him at the rest of the AL East, and therefore he will have limited innings. In a dynasty league, however, he is the type of pitcher we were all salivating over when Strasburg first came to our attention. He could be that dominant.
If you have a question about keeper or dynasty leagues, such as a specific player, don’t be shy, just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you put the phrase “Rotoprofessor” and either “dynasty” or “keeper” in the subject line, or I may miss your message (sorry, but I get hundreds of e-mails daily with my fantasy obsession). Or post in the comments.
Also, I am running mock drafts weekly at Mock Draft Central on Thursday evenings, at 8:30 PM EST. This week’s is filling fast, but you can get in with this link:
Password is Alarm 7, and make certain you insert the space. If you want to be advised of future mock drafts, send me a message and I will add you to the invitation list. If you have a specific league setup you want me to mimic, as far as roster or scoring, send me that information as well, and I will do my best to accommodate. By the by, if you sign up for the mock, it’s always nice to add your name to your moniker so I can chat with you by name.
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