Fantasy Baseball Tumbling Dice: Pitching and outfield help (Rebuild, Part 1)

by Lawr Michaels, MastersBall.com on September 18, 2012 @ 09:55:19 PDT

 

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As the season winds down, I am starting to get excited about my freeze lists in my keeper leagues, in particular in my Strat-O-Matic League and the XFL.

Philadelphia Phillies OF Domonic Brown
Brown to step up?

With the end of my 2012 last place torture, where I completely sacrificed this season so that I would have some kind of team in 2013, I can project and see if there is a structure for both teams.

This week I will look at The Berkeley Liberators, where I made trades for draft picks and prospects, but where in an immediate sense I need to address the outfield and my starting pitching.

For the record, the MWStrat League is a 30-team simulation setup, where we can draft and keep (or trade for and keep) players acquired in perpetuity.

The game is based upon the previous season's statistics, and our league enforces usage rules that penalize for use of a player in excess of 20% of the previous year.

Meaning Jesus Guzman, who has 284 at-bats so far this year, will be allowed 341 at-bats next year. However, should I overuse Guzman, say 350 times, my pending draft picks drop commensurate with overuse.

With Jonathan Lucroy catching, Ike Davis at first, Mark Ellis at second, Hanley Ramirez covering third, and Brandon Crawford at short, I am pretty well set in the infield for at least one more season. And Jimmy Paredes, along with Taylor Green, might actually wind up as infielders giving some future possibilities and bench strength now.

But, going into our draft, which will be in February and allow us to select 2012 first-year players, I will need some outfield and pitching help. Note that “first year” is loose in the Strat-O-Matic sense, with the likes of Mike Trout and Yonder Alonso being gone in last year's draft since the company manufactured cards for each player.

Of course, Bryce Harper and/or Matt Harvey are guys I would love on my roster, but chances are at best I will only be able to nab one of them. And even that is a slim shot.

In the meantime I have to look at what I have for basic at-bats and playing time in the outfield and on the mound for the coming year, before I draft.

And, the truth is, though I barely have enough at-bats among my flychasers to cover three outfield slots, what I have is better than I feared.

So, to start, we can take a look at the outfielders I can freeze going into next year, their batting numbers so far this year, and their projected playing time for me in 2013.

Player 2012 Stats
2012 PA
Projected 2013 PA
Jimmy Paredes .203-0-3
65
88
Collin Cowgill .270-1-9
112
135
Andruw Jones .197-13-32
263
316
Dave Sappelt .310-0-3
32
38
Jesus Guzman .255-7-41
284
341
Eric Young Jr. .316-4-15
196
235
Aubrey Huff .179-1-6
81
97
Trayvon Robinson .217-2-9
133
160
Domonic Brown .239-3-20
158
190
Totals/Avg 31 HRs, 128 RBIs
1324
1588

I like to think the most encouraging aspect of these guys is the potential for Cowgill, Brown, and Guzman to be close to full-timers in 2013, with Robinson and Young likely having decent bench roles. Sappelt and Paredes are uncertain, though the latter will have a chance on a rebuilding team (Huff along with Andruw are clearly nearing the end of their respective careers).

But essentially I could have a strong young outfield, even if I cannot nab Harper. Because the Liberators play in the National League, all the good American League youngsters are off limits, barring some kind of trade.

Meaning the next best possibility is Norichika Aoki and then things get slimmer.

How does the pitching look?

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About Lawr Michaels, MastersBall.com

Lawr Michaels has been a player in the fantasy baseball industry since he began writing for John Benson in 1993. He has written for STATS, Inc, was the first fantasy columnist for CBS Sportsline, and has appeared in numerous journals and on websites. In 1996, he founded CREATiVESPORTS, a staple for serious fantasy players, which he merged into Mastersball in 2010.

Over the years, Lawr has participated in a wide variety of playing formats and won numerous titles, including AL Tout Wars crowns in 2001 and 2009. Along with his Mastersball duties, Lawr works for MLB.com as a statistician.

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