Lord Zola's Fantasy Baseball Mailbag: Michael Young for Jaime Garcia, more

by Todd Zola, MastersBall.com on July 4, 2011 @ 06:00:35 PDT


Welcome to the Fourth of July version of Lord Zola's Fantasy Baseball Mailbag, also known as the All-Star version. But before we get to the first half fantasy All-Stars, we'll answer a couple of trade questions. If you want your question answered just e-mail it to lordzola@kffl.com, post it on the KFFL Baseball Facebook page or via Twitter by following @KFFL_Baseball.

In my 12 team mixed league, I was offered Michael Young for Jaime Garcia. I have Maicer Izturis as my third baseman and have Clayton Kershaw, Jon Lester, Jordan Zimmerman, Tim Stauffer and Max Scherzer as my starting pitchers, with Jeremy Hellickson and Ivan Nova on reserve. Would you pull the trigger? - Vinnie Rissolo, Facebook

Absolutely! To be honest, with a pitching staff of that quality, I would actually look into dealing an even better pitcher for an even better hitter as well. But back to the original question, Young's primary value is with batting average, but having someone to anchor the category allows you to take on a player with a low average that contributes needed power or speed. Izturis belongs on a roster, but Young is indeed a significant upgrade. Garcia is a nice pitcher, but he is still young and inconsistent, and not quite dominant enough to avoid the occasional stinker of an outing. Vinnie's staff is probably going to improve a bit in the second half as both Lester and Scherzer are due for an uptick in performance. With Hellickson on standby, a deal or two to upgrade hitting is definitely a wise idea.

Hi Lord Zola, I have a tough one. I currently own both Matt Joyce and Grady Sizemore. The former is cooling off from a torrid streak, while the latter has yet to regain his punch (but his upside is tough to ignore). My other outfielders are Mike Morse and Ryan Braun. I have Pablo Sandoval waiting to come off the DL and need to drop one of these two. I'm leaning towards dropping Joyce, mainly because he has been playing less lately (although his stats are still better than Sizemore's). Any suggestions? Thanks for the help! - Guido, Chicago, IL

Cleveland Indians OF Grady Sizemore
Sizemore's fall from grace

A couple of years ago, who would have thought that deciding between Sizemore and Joyce would be such a tough choice? But, that's what we have now. I actually favor Joyce by just a little. Now that the Rays are through with the interleague portion of their schedule, Joyce will play nearly full time again. Sizemore may indeed have more upside, but he has not displayed that potential for a couple of years. An argument can be made that he will continue to get stronger and have a better second half, but that can be countered by suggesting Sizemore may also wear down. It is pretty much a choice of the higher risk, higher reward Sizemore versus Joyce, whose ceiling may be lower, but his floor is higher. If I needed the upside of Sizemore, I would drop Joyce, otherwise I would keep Joyce.

Todd, I saw you posted year to date values on Mastersball, but you didn't include the positions. Is there any chance I can get you to post the values by position? Thanks. - Shelly Johnson, Westwood, MA

Shelly, what if I do this, since we are all in All-Star mode, I'll list the top players, All-Star style, first team, second team and third team. I will use standard 5x5 rotisserie scoring, 14 man hitting and 9 man pitching rosters. The dollar values are based on a 15-team league.


C: Brian McCann ($22)

C: Victor Martinez ($17)

1B: Adrian Gonzalez ($41)

2B: Robinson Cano ($27)

3B: Jose Bautista ($39)

SS: Jose Reyes ($40)

CI: Miguel Cabrera ($34)

MI: Asdrubal Cabrera ($30)

OF: Matt Kemp ($49)

OF: Ryan Braun ($43)

OF: Curtis Granderson ($40)

OF: Jacoby Ellsbury ($34)

OF: Justin Upton ($30)

UT: Prince Fielder ($34)

SP: Justin Verlander ($36)

SP: Jered Weaver ($31)

SP: Roy Halladay ($28)

SP: James Shields ($28)

SP: Cole Hamels ($27)

SP: Cliff Lee ($24)

SP: Clayton Kershaw ($22)

CL: Craig Kimbrel ($18)

CL: Joel Hanrahan ($17)


C: Alex Avila ($17)

C: Miguel Montero ($13)

1B: Paul Konerko ($33)

2B: Rickie Weeks ($25)

3B: Alex Rodriguez ($26)

SS: Troy Tulowitzki ($25)

CI: Mark Teixeira ($30)

MI: Elvis Andrus ($22)

OF: Lance Berkman ($29)

OF: Michael Bourn ($28)

OF: Carlos Gonzalez ($28)

OF: Jay Bruce ($27)

OF: Drew Stubbs ($27)

UT: Joey Votto ($29)

SP: Dan Haren ($20)

SP: Josh Beckett ($20)

SP: Michael Pineda ($19)

SP: CC Sabathia ($19)

SP: Tommy Hanson ($18)

SP: David Price ($18)

SP: Ian Kennedy ($17)

CL: Brian Wilson ($16)

CL: Drew Storen ($14)


C: Miguel Olivo ($10)

C: Carlos Santana ($10)

1B: Albert Pujols ($26)

2B: Danny Espinosa ($20)

3B: Michael Young ($22)

SS: Starlin Castro ($21)

CI: Ryan Howard ($23)

MI: Jhonny Peralta ($22)

OF: Andrew McCutchen ($26)

OF: Chris Young ($24)

OF: Hunter Pence ($24)

OF: Adam Lind ($23)

OF: Carlos Beltran ($22)

UT: David Ortiz ($27)

SP: Jair Jurrjens ($17)

SP: Ricky Romero ($16)

SP: Matt Cain ($16)

SP: Felix Hernandez ($16)

SP: Gio Gonzalez ($16)

SP: Anibal Sanchez ($16)

SP: Kyle Lohse ($16)

CL: Francisco Cordero ($14)

CL: Heath Bell ($14)

There you have it, your first-half fantasy All-Stars based on value earned. Before we call it a day, I'll make a few observations, with the disclaimer that it is too early to make any definite leaps of faith based on what we see so far. That said, there are some interesting trends so far in 2011. If you are a position scarcity advocate, you are likely scuffling a bit as outfielders and first basemen are seriously dominating the rankings. Taking a catcher early does not appear to be advantageous this season. And as usual, surprise starting pitchers and closers have emerged.

When Todd is not kicking himself for focusing too much on middle infielders in his leagues this season, you can find him hanging out on the forum at Mastersball.

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About Todd Zola, MastersBall.com

Focusing primarily on the science of player valuation and game theory starting in 1997, Todd Zola and Mastersball carved out an important niche in the fantasy industry. In 2006, Todd became the Research Director for fantasybaseball.com, and in 2009, he relaunched Mastersball and is now a managing partner.

Todd competes in Tout Wars and the XFL, and has been a multiple-time league champion in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has been a contributor to the fantasy content at MLB.com and SI.com, is a frequent guest on Sirius/XM and Blog Talk Radio and is an annual speaker at the spring and fall First Pitch Forum symposiums.

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