Last week I was on SiriusXM with Ray Flowers and Howard Bender, and Ray asked me about risk mitigation, and specifically Adam Eaton and Juan Pierre.
Now I have to admit despite his success with steals, I am not a huge Pierre fan and similarly Eaton looks to have some terrific upside.
However, as Ray rightly pointed out, Pierre has a career of success and probably a job coming out of camp, while Eaton likely has a job right now, but as a youngster his hold is more tenuous.
Pierre: boring pick ... smart pick?
Furthermore because Pierre has a major league resume, we can guess how he will produce while Eaton's stat base at the Show is so small we cannot really project how his first 500 or even 1,000 at-bats will go.
Still, as Ray noted Eaton's stature is climbing in a lot of NFBC-style drafts this year while Pierre's stock seems to be falling a tad.
This is, as we all know, is the result of our continuing fascination with having “the next big thing” in players like Eaton, hoping for a lesser price they will give us a percentage of what Mike Trout did last year.
The problem is more often than not young players fall short of our expectations as they get their major league sea legs.
And, though I try to pay little attention to factors like inflation in leagues, essentially when Eaton is selected above Pierre, it really means the cost of Pierre, no matter the format, goes down.
In the NL LABR auction over the weekend, Pierre generated a price of $14 (nominated in Round 6) while Eaton cost a sort of pricey $18 (nominated in Round 7).
While it is true that we all must take some risks as owners if we hope to be competitive, the reality is that Pierre has the better track record. Not that I am suggesting Pierre be selected over Eaton but, the reality is for every round or dollar Eaton goes higher than he is worth is one dollar or player who simply becomes a better bargain by virtue.
I personally thought a price tag around $8 was a good baseline for Eaton, with Pierre's being in the $12 range. And, since I always allow a couple of bucks' leeway depending upon need and time of draft nominated, it means Pierre went right at value.
Not so for Eaton, who must basically turn in a season equal to say Nick Swisher in 2012, when the then Pinstriper assembled .272-24-93 numbers that were good for a $21 price tag.
And, that is a pretty tough thing to do as a first-time full-time player and while it is true Eaton holds the trump card of swipes to even things out, we still have not seen him log 500 at-bats over a long and grinding major league season.
The bottom line is there is no way to win without taking some gambles; however, making either too big of a single gamble, or too many small ones, can sink your squad generally more easily than they can make it successful.
So, try to remember to be as realistic as possible when taking those risks. And, especially in mixed leagues with that 15-team NFBC format, remember there are always more players out there, so while you must be patient, similarly, don't be afraid to cut bait when a gamble is not working out.
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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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