Category: Keeper League Talk

MLB 2014 Prospect Fantasy Rankings

MLB.com recently updated their newest top 100 prospect list.  I enjoyed reading about it, but felt that their was a lack of these lists for FANTASY purposes.  I have taken their list and re-calibrated it for fantasy purposes.  I eliminated all fielding and throwing grades for the players, and for pitchers I took their first 3 pitch ratings and control into account.  I should also mention that I did not put any emphasis on 2014 contributions.  At the bottom of my list I included a handful of international players that may be worth looking at, but I kept them separate from my rankings.  Also another name to be familiar with is Carlos Rodon, still pitching in college, he looks to be the obvious choice for the first overall selection in the upcoming draft.  Some scouts think he would be immediately placed into the elite group of prospects.  Would compare favorably to Appel. If you think these rankings need adjustment or are missing somebody, please leave a comment below. You may be able to talk me into changing my rankings.

1. Bryon Buxton OF – Buxton was given a 70, 60, 80 for hitting, power, and running tools.  For those that don’t know the scale peaks at 80.
12. Miguel Sano 3B- Has the highest power rating of the listed prospects.  55, 75, 40.  With that power, I don’t need you to have speed.
3. Oscar Taveras OF – His path looks blocked to the bigs right now, but profiles at 75, 60, 50.  Pure hitter.
4. George Springer OF – Almost went 40-40 in his 2013 minors season.  Still has some holes in his swing though.
5. Xander Bogaerts SS – Don’t expect to find him in a minors draft.  He will be drafted in standard drafts this year.  60, 70, 50.
6. Javier Baez SS – Big time power, Castro is blocking Baez at short but would still be valuable as a 2b.  60, 70, 50.
7. Carlos Correa SS – Still a few years away most likely.  Shows elite skills though, 60, 70, 50.
8. Jonathan Gray P – First pitching prospect in the rankings.  Best fastball in the minors, but is currently in the Rockies system.
9. Dylan Bundy P – Injures hurt Bundy’s rankings with mlb.com.  I’m not worried about 2014 however, and he is really good.
10. Austin Meadows OF – High school phenom at 60, 55, 60.
11. Clint Frazier OF – Another high school phenom most scouts group these two together.  55, 65, 60.
12. Gregory Polanco OF – Looks to be an all-around OF; 60, 60, 70.  I’d prefer higher marks and less balance in my fantasy lottery tickets however.
13. Addison Russell SS – Little bit of a shortstop bump, but a well rounded athlete.  60, 60 55.
14. Kyle Zimmer P – Highly athletic pitcher.  Good fastball and a 60 rating in control, which seems to be high for a lot of pitching prospects.
15. Lucas Giolito P – Like Gray he got an 80 on his fastball.  Everybody likes upper 90s fastballs.
16. Mark Appel P – Pretty seasoned coming out of college.  Won’t need long to break in.
17. Nick Castellanos 3B – Like Bogaerts he is also entering the season with a job in the bigs, and could be snagged in regular drafts.  70, 60, 40
18. Jorge Soler OF – Not as sure of a thing as the higher prospects.  Still shows great skills.  55, 65, 50.
19. Maikel Franco 3B – A power guy at 3b. 60, 70, 30.
20. Kris Bryant 3B – Big bodied corner infielder with power.  55, 70, 40
21. Robert Stephenson P – Has 2 top tier pitches so far.
22. Noah Syndergaard P – Good 70 fastball and 60 control.
23. Billy Hamilton OF – Will be drafted this year in redraft leagues, and may go relatively high in ROTO auctions.  He is all about speed. 50, 30, 80.
24. Corey Seager SS – Still young and developing.  Good hitting middle infielder, but won’t provide much speed.  60, 60, 40.
25. Eddie Butler P – High 90s fastball with a 75 ranking, still has work to do though.
26. Kohl Stewart P – Similar profile to Butler, still developing secondary pitchers.
27. Aaron Sanchez P – Good repertoire of pitches, needs to work on command.
28. Albert Almora OF – Projects as a better baseball player, than fantasy player.  65, 55, 50.
30. Adalberto Mondesi SS – Sometimes goes by Raul like his dad,and his brother.  Don’t draft the wrong one.  He’s young and talented. 55, 50, 60.
31. Jonathan Singleton 1B – Only 1B on the list.  Power guy in the Astros system.  60, 60, 30.
32. Andrew Heaney P – Probably better secondary pitches than his fastball at a 60.  Good command as well.
33. Kevin Gausman P – May break camp with a spot in the Orioles rotation.  70 fastball and good command (60).
34. Allen Webster P – Solid across his three pitches, could improve some with his command.
35. Archie Bradley P – Good one two punch, needs to develop his off-speed stuff more.
36. Jameson Taillon P – One of the better change-ups in the minors.  Pirates don’t move very quickly with their pitching prospects.
37. Joc Pederson OF – Buried in the Dodgers OF right now.  Good overall talent; 55, 55, 55.
38. Gary Sanchez C – Good hitting catchers are always interesting.  55, 65, 30.
39. Francisco Lindor SS – Another guy that may be a better baseball player than fantasy asset.  60, 40, 55.
40. Jorge Alfaro C – Some power from the catching position.  45, 65, 45.
41. Travis d’Arnaud C – The oldest guy on the list, and one with a starting gig to start the 2014 season.  55, 60, 30.
42. Alex Meyer P – Two plus pitches, like many other young pitchers still needs to develop better command.
43. Yordano Ventura P – He throws hard.  75 rating on his fastball, and has some compliment pitches to go with it.
44. Taijuan Walker P – Another guy that may be drafted before any prospect picks are made.  Could be in rotation in 2014.
45. C.J. Edwards P – Former 48th round pick, and with a skinny build.  Throws in the low 90s.
46. Henry Owens P – Has 3 solid pitches.
47. Kyle Crick P – Better fastball than some of the pitchers above him, but needs more work with his control.
48. Max Fried P – May lack a dominant fastball, but good secondary stuff could help compensate.
49. Tyler Glasnow P – Similar to Crick, has a good fastball but has room to develop better control.
50. Austin Hedges C – Decent with the stick, which is relevant from the catching position.  50, 50, 40.
51. Jackie Bradley – Should open with the Red Sox in 2014, a better baseball player than fantasy asset.  60, 45, 50.

At the top I mentioned some international players to keep an eye out for.  Suk-Min Yoon is a Korean pitcher who make look to follow Hyun-jin Ryu’s path to the majors.  Kenta Maeda is the best pitcher after Tanaka left in Japan, and his team should be more eager to post him than Tanaka’s club was.  Rusney Castillo is a talent out of Cuba.  If Chapman, Cespedes, and Puig are any indication I’d keep my eyes out for defecting Cubans.  Shohei Ohtani is an 18 year old pitching in Japan.  He initially wanted to go straight from high school to America, but was talked into play for Japan.  He pitches and starts in the field for his team in Japan.  Shintaro Jujinami is another 18 year old Japanese pitcher who has a lot of talent.

Keeper League Player Values (Inflation Calculation)

Websites projected values for players in an auction league will often times be far from what is actually spent in keeper league drafts.  There is a very specific reason for this.  The reason is that after teams have kept players at a good value there will be more money to spend on players than the player’s actual auction value.  If you have participated in keeper league drafts you have probably noticed this.  Suddenly players are going for far more than their projected value. 

There is a formula to calculate this inflation so that you can know what a player is really worth come draft day.

I will use a league in italics as an example, these numbers may be different for your league.

Step 1.  Take your teams starting budget and multiply that by teams in the league. We will say that total money in the league is “T”.

$260 budget x 12 teams = $3,120.

 Step 2.  Once keeper players are declared subtract the total $ being used on keepers in the league (K) from “T”.  This will leave you with the remaining money for the draft, “R”

$3,120 – $1,000 on Keepers = $2,120 remaining for the draft.

 Step 3.    Now whatever K equals is typically players under their value.  So you want to also calculate the players actual value “A” being kept.  Ex.  You have Trout at $5(K) but his Actual Value is $40(A).

Actual value of players being kept $1,500.

 Step 4.  Subtract the actual value (A) from the total money in your league (T).  T – A= value of free agents in the draft (F).

$3,120 – $1,500 = $1,620 this is the value of free agents in the draft.

 Step 5.  Now divide the money remaining to spend in the draft “R” by the value in the free agent pool (F) to find your inflation % (I).

You have $2,120 to spend on $1,620 of talent.  2,120 / 1,620 = 1.31

 Step 6.  Now multiply (I) by players you are targeting to draft and their projected value.

Adrian Gonzalez projects at $25 x 1.31 = I am willing to spend $32 on A-Gon.

Developing a Winning Formula (Keeper Leagues)

Just because fantasy baseball season is over doesn’t mean that you have to stop obsessing over it.  This is especially true for those in keeper leagues.  There is an off-season exercise that is particularly beneficial for those having withdrawals.  This is useful if you might be looking at rebuilding your team, or if you just want to stay on top.

I will detail the process that I and many other owners go through in developing a Winning Formula.  This can be utilized in the majority of fantasy formats, but will especially reference a Roto style league.

Step 1.  Pull up your leagues standings from last year.  Record the first and second place teams statistics for each category.  For example the two teams that finished with the most points in HRs, and the HR totals those teams accumulated.  Then average those two numbers, and do so for each category.  (I like to do this in case one team ran away with a particular category potentially skewing the numbers).  This average represents the statistical goal per category that you want your team to accumulate.

Step 2.  I like to divide these goals by the number of hitters on my leagues roster, as well as pitchers.  This is not necessary but can be useful, especially for retooling your roster after a bad year.  For example; now I know that if I built a team with hitters who all accumulated; 83 Runs, 24 HRs, 84 RBI, 15 SBs, and a .283 average I would have won out on offensive categories in my league last year, and potentially the upcoming year.  You will also notice that these are pretty achievable numbers.

Step 3.  So you have your team goals.  Now take the players that you plan on or are thinking about keeping.   And plug in their projected stats for the upcoming year.  (I recommend finding a site that averages many other sites projections, or at least using 3 different projections and averaging them together).  With these projected stats you can subtract those from your teams goal in each category.  You now have a better idea of how you need to complete your roster, via draft, trade, or both.

Step 4.  Most likely you are not going to win all your categories so if your projections are falling short across the board that is to be expected.  But you can have an idea of how many points accumulated have won your league in the past.  And with that information you can try to pinpoint certain categories and how you want to accumulate those points.

For example:  If I know that with 90 points I will most likely win my league next year, I can begin focusing on how I achieve my team goals in a way to accumulate 90 points.  And similar methods for different league types.

Notes.  I don’t recommend factoring in bench players contributions, but also remember that they are there.  If you project a roster that is 10 runs short of the goal, you will more than likely pick that up with a player on your bench.

Be careful just averaging players projected AVGs, ERA, WHIP.  This can give a false view of your teams projected stats.  Your team’s stats are done by ABS and Hits, and earned runs, innings, walks, hits etc.  So a closer’s 2.20 era over 60 Innings won’t effect your team’s era as much as just averaging all your pitchers ERAs would.  If you really want to accurately project your teams statistics plug in the projected IPs, with Earned runs, hits, and walks or the players ABs, Hits, etc.

Example of a Winning Formula

Example of a Winning Formula