Trade: Long Ball to LF | Who’s Your Haddy

 

 

Tulo: $31 in 2017 and a 2018 5th rounder to Haddy

Triston Mckenzie (Prospect) to Long Ball

Hustle’s Take: I think this is a very reasonable trade for both teams, but I like what LongBall did here. He has Xander Boegarts averaging nearly 7 points a game with Jose Reyes as a backup, so where exactly does Tulo play? If it’s the old Tulo, he’s easily a UTIL or even the main SS for the team, but that ship has seemingly sailed. I think Tulo eventually gets healthy and puts together some productive stretches, but who knows if that’s even this year. At 33 bucks, he’s not a keeper unless he finishes the season quite strong. Trading him just as he comes off the DL for a t100 prospect could be a strong move.   When your team is doing well and you can make your team better in the future without sacrificing much for the present, I like it.

Triston Mckenzie has gotten a lot of buzz, but is still in Single A. He’s a lottery ticket like any other upside A ball pitcher, but he does seem like one of the better ones. Haddy’s farm takes a hit here, but if Tulo can stay healthy and be productive at one of the most shallow positions in the league, it’s a good get for him.

Andrew’s Take: I love this for Haddy. McKenzie is a fun prospect to dream on, but he’s basically forever away. By the time he debuts, Haddy can churn a handful of different prospects through that minor league spot and maybe a few will hit.

I know Tulo’s star as dimmed since he left Colorado, but he’s still a solid starting-caliber shortstop. Of course, he’s always hurt. He’s been hurt most of this season. Still, if you’re going to define Tulo as some kind of risk, I would argue that a 19-year-old pitcher’s risk is far, far greater.

Having said all that, after looking at Long Ball’s roster, I see a team in a spot similar to where I am. He just doesn’t really have cuttable players on his major league roster. So, he’s in a spot where he’s either got to cut someone decent and get nothing for that player, or sell someone for less than might be ideal to make room.

The Call Up: Our league’s first cost controlled minor leaguer has been promoted

One of interesting details of this league are cost controlled minor leaguers.  In a nutshell:

Cost Controlled Keepers:

All players acquired through the minor league draft are cost controlled eligible. They are free to keep until after their first MLB season.

1st off-season: $1
2nd off-season: 20% of FanGraphs Auction Calculator Value
3rd off-season: 40% of FanGraphs Auction Calculator Value (or +$2 whichever is greater)
4th off-season: 60% of FanGraphs Auction Calculator Value (or +$2 whichever is greater)
5th off-season: 80% of FanGraphs Auction Calculator Value
6th off-season: Graduate to Major League Keeper eligibility.

In the fifth round of this year’s inaugural minor league draft, following a trade with Beach Bum, I took Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story. He was my primary target at the time of the trade for reasons I’ll get to, but I thought I could trade down, add a higher pick later, and still get my guy. Luckily, I did. Anyway, he’s an interesting prospect in an even more interesting situation.

In short, Story’s a power hitter with a whole lot of swing and miss in his game. He’s a bit like Ian Desmond in that regard. He plays a tough position to fill too, and now that he’s won the starting gig, plays in the most favorable fantasy park in the game. The guy presumed ahead of him, Jose Reyes, is likely to be suspended and even if he’s not, he’s yet to join the team. And the Rockies didn’t seem to like Reyes too much anyway.

When I drafted him, I did so gambling that a few dominoes would fall. First and most importantly, that he’d earn playing time. With Reyes’ legal issues, I knew he’d be mostly out of the way through spring training and the Rockies didn’t look to me like a team plentiful with options. They could’ve signed Desmond, but that never felt like a viable fit to me. So first, I picked him hoping he’d get ABs sooner rather than later.

Next, I obviously love the park. Who doesn’t want their fantasy players taking the field 81 times at altitude, where pitchers can only serve them meaty fastballs? My logic was that at the absolute worst, Story’s skill set lends him to being roughly average at home. Unless you have an elite shortstop, average is valuable. And because he’d cost me nothing in 2016 and a buck in 2017, an average starting shortstop meant I could punt the position at auction (which I obviously did).

The last thing that led me to Story in our draft was his projections, specifically how ZiPS pegged him. ZiPS generously projected him for a .244/.308/.441 slash line with 18 homers and a .322 wOBA. That’s pretty good at a weak position. To lend that some context, here are the qualified shortstops who had higher wOBAs in 2015: Xander Bogarts, Troy Tulowitzki, Brandon Crawford, Jhonny Peralta (also on my team!). That’s it.

In 2014, only Hanley Ramirez (no longer a shortstop), Peralta, and Starlin Castro and Ian Desmond, whose shortstop eligibility expiration date is rapidly approaching, had higher wOBAs.

So basically, I saw a guy that ZiPS was projecting as a top four or five player at a weak position. Admittedly, I viewed these projections as optimistic. But even if you take some of the helium out, you’re looking at a serviceable player. Marry that to the other stuff — limited competition, opportunity, ETA, a dream of a ballpark — and this was a very enticing player at draft.

That brings us to this past Monday.

Trevor Story

With these cost control guys, there’s an advantage to letting them season in the minors. Of course you’d like to siphon as much value from them as possible while their cost is nil. But most prospects don’t hit the ground running, and adding a sub-par, developing player to your major league roster means effectively playing a guy short. Which in itself is something to consider. If you promote your prospect, what’s the opportunity cost of adding a viable major leaguer? In more cases than not, I don’t think promoting a guy in this league is as simple as “well he got called up by his major league team.”

But with Story, it sort of was that simple. I drafted him for this exact situation. I like Marwin Gonzalez and Wilmer Flores just fine — in fact, they’re bad asses against lefties — but these aren’t every day guys. How bad would Story have to be to be worse than a guy that isn’t in the lineup that day?

So I called him up and put him in my lineup. For the first time in the very young history of our league, a player drafted as a minor leaguer was in a starting lineup.

And he hit two homers. And another the next day. And another the day after that. For a player that costs nothing, it’s been a fun half week.

But it’s still just a half of a week. It’s totally conceivable that he stops laying into hangers and starts striking out at a 35% clip. There’s always a hitter that tears through the league for a week, then descends back into anonymity.

For now at least, the plan is unfolding about as well as I could’ve wanted. I wanted this player and got him, and the dominoes that needed to fall have fallen. Now I just need the toppling to continue for another five or six months.

2016 Auction Review – In Line 4 the Win

In Line 4 The Win

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And with great giant lightning bolts, the team wins their super hero, their Thor. Holy cow what a bid. I mean there’s probably cause for Thor costing $80, but holy Norse God he is still young and fresh. Here is the league’s token all upside team. It does not typically work for me, but if it works for IL4W. I am not certain I actually know anything.

Hitting – Alright

Kyle Schwarber could have been the steal of the draft for 2016. Being a qualified catcher playing every day in the outfield. However, at $52 you’re looking to see him be as good as we was last year for an entire season. It is clearly possible, he could be better, but IL4W paid for it. Anthony Rizzo at $75 seems like a great price to me. Is Starlin Castro back to for real now? Joc Pederson is an enigma much like Colby Rasmus. Should be awesome, but um something’s not right. Dustin Pedroia and David Wright offer yesterday’s stars as older staples that in a day to day shuffling, should offer higher floors. Freddie Freeman being hurt before the draft could have dropped him into value territory. There is just enough question marks over the whole stack that I settled on alright.

Pitching – Not Quite

Something is missing here. Noah Syndergaard is a tier 2 with tier 1 potential. Jose Quintana is a tier 2 that everyone wants to believe is a tier 4. Carlos Rodon getting paid $35 means he needs to be awesome soon. Matt Moore as your 4 is scary. The top half just isn’t good enough to get behind and the bottom half is even scarier. It clearly could work out, but I’m missing what that is to make this rotation great. Bullpen should be good though. Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon should be reliable stable relievers, as they come anyway.

Depth – Very Good

There is a plethora of decent talent that can be flexible and move around on this roster. The hitting depth is great, but the pitching depth drags this down quite a bit. Jose Reyes is a huge question mark, but at $8, possibly $10 next year is an exciting gamble. Guys like Matt Duffy, Brett Lawrie and Billy Burns could all finish high enough to start by the end of the year. They all are a small hot streak from being good enough to flip for something even more interesting.

Why 2016 would be bad… 

All of that upside could be egg on this teams face. Sure, it is exciting, the possibility of being right and awesome on young guys in a dynasty league is incredibly tempting. Just like a few other teams, this team is currently built for everything to go right, or its on to 2017.

Why 2016 would be good… 

Well Syndergaard, Quintana and Rodon obviously blow away expectations. The hitters are good enough, as is, to carry. They need these pitchers to be at their friendliest projections. Rizzo and Freeman could battle each other out for National League Silver Slugger, Joc Pederson gets his head on straight. Lots of upside here, it’s all over.