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Fantasy Baseball Tumbling Dice: Prosp-expectations
We have hit that time of the fantasy season where you probably know whether or not you will be close to finishing in the 2013 money.
Most of the leaders copped a few stars for their drafts or auctions, and most probably benefitted from gambling on some good prospects this year, such as Matt Harvey (at least till his injury) or Jean Segura.
However, especially in keeper leagues, Harvey and Segura, along with names like Christian Yelich, Jose Fernandez and Yasiel Puig were on rosters potentially up to a couple of years ago. Of course this depends upon the depth and intensity of the league, but, for example, Yu Darvish was snatched up in my XFL League two years prior to signing his Texas contract, and Puig was nabbed over a year ago.
However, one of the problems I have encountered both personally and when talking with Ultra owners is relying too much on too many prospects when trying to fashion a dynasty.
And, while it is true a team can go far with a cheap Yoenis Cespedes, generally hot prospects will only be able to take you so far.
In the XFL, I will be able to freeze Cespedes, along with Matt Moore, Ben Revere and Yonder Alonso for $7 next year, while keeping Mike Zunino, Jedd Gyorko and Nick Castellanos for just $4. In fact, the most the salaries of those players will ever increase over a year while I own them is $3 because they were drafted and promoted as minor leaguers.
Meaning I have six very good up-and-comers for $40 of my salary total out of a $260 salary cap.
The flip side is I have to remember that all these players are young, and expecting the star output we project upon prospects might appear in 2014; however, the chances are slim that even half will begin to produce star totals, and the truth is, statistically, really only one of the seven will turn into a star worthy of a first- or second- round selection in a 15-team NFBC style snake draft.
That means whether I like it or not, I will have to spend a good chunk $150 of my remaining on the likes of players like Miguel Cabrera, Zack Greinke, and Justin Verlander -- provided they are not frozen -- in order to be competitive.
So, when I get queries from roto players who have virtually twelve keepers, all of whom are of the Cespedes/Moore ilk, asking how great I think their team will be, they are often taken aback when I suggest they might have more prospects than will be helpful.
Similarly, they are often perplexed when I suggest trading two to three of those same prospects for a more expensive -- and established -- player.
However, unless you are really lucky -- as in lottery lucky -- your underpriced up-and-comers might play well enough for young and rising stars, but they will likely not produce those anticipated studly numbers until at least into their third seasons as major leaguers.
So, as we make those end-of-season moves, and even adjust our thoughts and rosters with an eye on 2014, remember that prospects fit in the cosmic scheme of just about everything else: as in moderation is always a mindful path.
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