Organized Chaos I Pine Mountan Podstars

Rookie starter Justus Sheffield continuing to impress in breakout season  with Mariners | Tacoma News Tribune

Organized Chaos

gets 

pick 8 in this years draft
2nd rounder in 2022
Jorge Mateo

Pine Mountain Podstars

gets

Touki Toussant
Alex Reyes
Justus Sheffield
Mike Yastrzemski
Lazaro Armenteros

Beer Goggles are a thing in dynasty fantasy baseball. We have all worn them at some point right? Some people just get a little carried away when trying to acquire a 1st round pick and lose their freaking mind. At the bar you may have a wing man who hasn’t had as much to drink who can warn you that the girl across the way isn’t quite the trophy  you think she is. I’m certain assman Fito has wanted to make some trades in the past where wingman Rawlings has had to pump the brakes and let sanity prevail. Truth be told I wish I had a wingman when I decided to send Jameson Taillon packing for a couple picks to save salary when he was facing TJ surgery. If anyone thinks they have the goggles on, and wants a reality check, I would be available to take a quick glance for you. Don’t  wake up next to Kathy Bates.

I guess you know where I am going with this. I love this trade for Pine Mountain Podstars. Why? Mike Yastrzemski came out of nowhere the last couple years. At 29 this past year he put up an OPS of .968. Should have a couple peak seasons ahead of him. I probably wouldn’t have given up my first round pick for him, but would have thought long and hard about it. I tend to keep mine just because I enjoy making picks, that is my favorite part of fantasy baseball, so I understand the desire to acquire them. And I believe that is why you generally always have to overpay, because people like drafting “their” guys.  Mike Y  is by far the best player in the deal, but not the sole reason why I love this deal for Podstars. He also acquired 3 quality arms that are all mlb ready at a huge discount. Justus Sheffield as recent as 2019 was the mariners #1 prospect, scouting reports are good and he is ready to contribute. Alex Reyes has been toying with people for 5 years, major hype,  major injuries. Eventually these guys tend to click…look at Urias in LA recently for a recent example. Touki Tousaant, another highly touted prospect who has lost his shine and may be headed to the bullpen, but you never know and they are good to stash and just see what happens. 

Jorge Mateo had a decent 2019 in AAA, so maybe Coach really likes him. Maybe he is the next Mike Y to figure it out in his late 20’s. 

It’s not absolutely horrible. Reyes and Toussant are guys that probably dont have a ton of trade value as they are total wildcards at this stage, but nice wildcards to have. Like I said its fairly hard to get anybody’s first round pick a few months before the draft without overpaying. And I do like this draft. But take a look at any draft and its littered with misses. Chances of getting a bonafide major leaguer at pick 8 are what 50%? getting an allstar 25%? I’d guess those numbers are too high. So when you can can trade a 1st round pick for an allstar caliber player and 3 former 1st round type talents near mlb ready, you probably should.  The statistics here would favor Pine Mountain. Coach better make these picks count. 

The other way to spin this…… Chaos traded away 2 bullpen arms, a mediocre SP prospect and a late blooming journeyman at his peak value to acquire two high picks which he will have cost controlled for years. That could be more accurate and that would likely be Chaos’s mindset. I’m just giving you a Hot take cause I know Coach Steve can handle it.

 

Pre-auction valuation of players, an introduction.

It is fairly commonplace now days to have a multitude of resources that help you compete in fantasy sports. Whether you use magazines, subscription websites or various crowd sourcing tools, there is usually little problem in drawing what a player’s value will be in any fantasy league.

Dynasty Grinders is not different enough to make those types of tools useless. Quite the opposite, I believe in having more information to gather to draw my conclusions. The crowd definitely has information for you to draw from.

That being said, there are differences. Dynasty Grinders is a head to head, points based scoring, dynasty fantasy baseball league. It is similar to FanGraphs‘s version of Ottoneu, but different. We have a larger budget, draft different positions, more players. It is similar to standard dynasty leagues, but different, mostly because we are not roto.

That being said they all offer a synopsis of sorts about how the crowds are assuming players are going to perform from year to year. They are just projections, but these projections offer a baseline. This baseline is necessary to judge assumed value of any given player. The trick here for Dynasty Grinders is how to calibrate various projections or draft utilities to Dynasty Grinders’ settings.

FanGraphs does offer a nice auction calculator utility. It actually works quite nicely. But, alas, it also has its short comings. Take for instance the values of these top 5’s using Steamer Projections and with standard roster construction:

FanGraphs Auction Calc – Standard Hitters

Name Team POS PA rPTS Dollars
Mike Trout LAA OF 671 1256.1 $89.8
Bryce Harper WAS OF 647 1174.0 $78.5
Giancarlo Stanton MIA OF 647 1127.2 $72.0
Paul Goldschmidt ARI 1B 658 1123.7 $69.7
Miguel Cabrera DET 1B 649 1091.9 $65.3

Phew, $90 for Mike Trout? Hot damn. That’s a hefty price for the guy who’s won four one MVPs. But, in a sixteen team league, and with the projection of 1256 points, he has a value that it would take several players to make up at other positions. Let’s take a look at pitchers.

FanGraphs Auction Calc – Standard Pitchers

Name Team POS IP rPTS Dollars
Clayton Kershaw LAD SP 217 1430.3 $118.4
Max Scherzer WAS SP 212 1264.2 $95.6
Chris Sale CHW SP 210 1251.9 $93.9
Jake Arrieta CHC SP 208 1189.3 $85.3
Corey Kluber CLE SP 211 1183.4 $84.4

And there you have it. Starting pitchers! Now, nobody is arguing who is on the list. Those guys are studs, and in weeks that they start twice, your team is sitting in the clear driver seat.

Why the higher values? Well the context matters. First, this auction calculator is not considering that we’re a dynasty league, so while Max Scherzer is quite good, it might be better to throw the extra dollars on Corey Kluber who should be fairly easy to keep for the next half decade.

Secondly, Three of these guys are projected to outscore Mike Trout for the season. Now, any rational betting man would probably put their money on Trout to meet projections more than any other player. Pitchers are volatile, perform a job that biomechanically impacts their ability to stay healthy, and their statistical floors are just lower.

Finally, FanGraphs is tied to OttoNeu which doesn’t do head to head. They’re doing roto. This makes a difference too. Dynasty Grinders allows 7 starts per week. The guys listed above are going to get every chance to start no matter what. However, our league is likely to be prone to people not carrying 7 man staffs and streaming starts like FanGraphs assumes.

No, more likely you’ll be carrying a 9 or even 10 man starting pitcher staff. Why? Because, after the third or forth tier of starting pitcher, match-ups start to matter quite a bit. So while most teams will have their first four or five starts each week pigeon holed, those last ones often leave tactical match-up decisions.

Being able to keep 30 active players, it makes sense to grab more starters to have more choices, and also limit the streaming ability for other teams in a way. If you could pick 6 good starters who won’t get hurt, you could just do that. For those of us who can’t predict the future, we will be hedging.

So what does that change? Well let’s tweak the auction calculator, instead of letting it use the bench spots wherever, lets tell it that all 16 teams are carrying the following roster:

2 C, 1 1B, 1 2B, 1 SS, 1 3B, 1 CI, 1 MI, 6 OF, 2 UT, 10 SP, 4 RP

Yes, while we’re not able to capitalize on all these players as full-time starters, these guys who we will be bidding on backups, do offer coverage on a week to week basis. Each week offers an extremely limited opportunity in getting starts at each position. If Mike Trout is only playing 5 games one week, you’d rather have a backup play the other two days if possible, rather than leaving the spot open. You’d also rather have a starting capable player over the replacement level one. We’re all trying to win here…so what does the FanGraphs Auction Calculator say now?

FanGraphs Auction Calc – Adjusted Roster Hitters

Name Team POS PA rPTS Dollars
Mike Trout LAA OF 671 1256.1 $55.3
Bryce Harper WAS OF 647 1174.0 $49.7
Giancarlo Stanton MIA OF 647 1127.2 $46.5
Paul Goldschmidt ARI 1B 658 1123.7 $44.0
Miguel Cabrera DET 1B 649 1091.9 $41.9

Well, that’s quite a difference… Let’s see those pitchers again…

FanGraphs Auction Calc – Adjusted Roster Pitchers

Name Team POS IP rPTS Dollars
Clayton Kershaw Dodgers SP 217 1430.3 $71.1
Max Scherzer Nationals SP 212 1264.2 $59.7
Chris Sale White Sox SP 210 1251.9 $58.9
Jake Arrieta Cubs SP 208 1189.3 $54.6
Corey Kluber Indians SP 211 1183.4 $54.2

Now these prices almost seem too low. They probably are. The truth is that the prices are most likely in between these two values of sorts. If you click on the links that I provided. You’ll see the difference more so.

In the original list, FanGraph’s AC is setting the replacement level ($1) for players ranked 16th, 17th, 18th. That’s certainly low. Addison Russell, Erick Aybar, and Brandon Crawford are all in that “zone”, and they’re all going for at least a few dollars, if not even more.

In the second list, where the replacement level for SS is being set much lower, those three guys are all being rated around $7. Low or high? Who knows. In the case of Russell, a rookie last year, perhaps its low, as the young guys attract value in dynasty leagues.

But, when you tell the calculator that there will be money spent on the bottom of the roster, that lowers how much can be spent on the top players. Over the next two and a half months leading up to the draft, I will be going over these valuations much more. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Oh, Happy New Year!