So I did a draft for an AL league sponsored by Going 9 Baseball, with 12 teams, so it’s a deep league. We drafted 25 players each, and it took a little over 3 hours to complete online.
After doing a mock draft in a shallow mixed league a few weeks earlier, I had hoped to get a mid/late round pick, with a plan of locking up Justin Verlander in round 1, and either Felix Hernandez or David Price in the second round. This league is head-to-head, but starts just 7 pitchers. Getting that one-two ace punch would give me a good leg up in strikeouts, plus the prospect of strong ERA, WHIP and Ks. In my pricing models, top starters have tended to be worth more than they seemed to be going in many drafts, so I figured I’d go where value was.
But as it happened, I got the 2nd overall pick, so I threw that plan out the window. In the AL, the clear top two players were MVP Miguel Cabrera and rookie of the year Mike Trout. In this format Trout actually was projected to be the most valuable player in all but one of the systems the RotoValue site shows, so I was happy to select him after Cabrera went #1. I likely would have taken Cabrera first, too, despite the projections, as I think Cabrera is the safer pick, while Trout has more upside potential. Verlander was #3 in my rankings, but far enough behind Trout and Cabrera that I wasn’t going to reach for him. He wound up going #8 overall.
Price went with the 12th pick, but no other pitchers were taken until the 9th pick of the 2nd round, just 2 picks before me, when Felix Hernandez went off the board. Close, but no cigar… I settled for Jason Kipnis, a decent source of steals and power in the middle infield as a consolation prize, and then grabbed Chris Sale in round 3 to be my ace.
Overall I thought the league was good, making smart picks throughout. The one general trend where I’d differ is that I thought they tended to take catchers too soon. This league only requires one starting catcher out of the 15 team AL, but it uses 36 corner and middle infielders, and 30 outfielders. So if anything, the replacement catcher may contribute more than a replacement at middle infield in this format. I waited until the 19th round to take my catcher, Geovany Soto of Texas. While I don’t expect much, he is a former rookie of the year, and I have some small hope he may find his power stroke again in Texas. While he didn’t crack the Mendoza line, he did hit 5 HR in 148 AB in Texas last year, and hit 11 overall.
While this is a head-to-head league, after the draft I totaled starting values for each team from projections to get projected standings (point totals) assuming Rotisserie scoring. Not surprisingly, when I use my projections, my team rated to be the best; after all, I was using my projections heavily in deciding whom to select. But my team also projects well with the other systems available: Steamer/Razzball, CAIRO, Marcel, and MORPS.
Another way to look at teams is to sum RotoValue prices computed from various stats sources:
|The Roto Wizards||$258.18||$275.25||$246.58||$232.65||$243.64||$266.48|
|Yu mad bro?||$265.48||$232.20||$248.49||$264.65||$269.30||$278.87|
|Road to Glory||$275.02||$270.51||$307.13||$281.69||$265.37||$268.02|
|The Clown Questions||$238.84||$230.60||$240.88||$228.47||$233.51||$225.85|
12 teams with a $260 salary cap means there’s a total of $3120 in auction value for each projection system, and in this draft, we captured at least 96% of the value from every projection source. The highest cumulative total was the 98.8% of the Consensus auction value forecast. I might have thought the Consensus (derived from an averaging of all the projections on my site) would be the best match, but it is a small sample size. Consensus was also the second lowest standard deviation, just behind CAIRO.
While my team had the highest total RotoValue using both Consensus, RotoValue, and Steamer/Razzball projections, Road to Glory was best in both Marcel and MORPS, while Melky Discharge topped the list using CAIRO.
It will be interesting to see how well these projections correlate with the final standings. A good draft is necessary, but not sufficient, to win a competitive league.