What’s Next For Skiles?

With Scott Skiles resignation from the Orlando Magic, that makes 4 NBA jobs in which Skiles has flamed out.  Skiles was fired into his 3rd season in Phoenix and fired into his 5th season in Chicago.  Milwaukee was an alleged mutual parting in year 5. The relationship between Skiles and the front office was a problem in each case.  Personality conflicts between front offices and coaches are often a reason for termination in every major professional sport.  With 4 NBA head coaching jobs under his belt, Skiles is what he is at this point.

In 14 NBA seasons as a head coach Scott Skiles owns a career 478-480 record. Skiles has coached 11 full seasons with 6 playoff appearances. The farthest a Skiles team has gone in the playoffs is the Conference Semifinals.  Skiles X’s and O’s is a great coach.  His teams also play tough defense.  The problems with Skiles’ teams were the lack of scoring and his personality seems to wear on players.  The parting with Orlando includes a 2 year no-compete clause.  I would be very surprised if Skiles was offered another NBA head coaching job.

I believe Skiles should go to college for his next coaching position. There are a few former NBA head coaches applying their trade back in college. Skiles style of play and personality are better suited for that arena at this point of his career. A major D1 program could be scared off by Skiles personality and the turnover of his NBA tenure.   A mid-major D1 school with an administration that will let him run the show would be his best fit.  Larry Brown at SMU is the first one that comes to mind.  Brown always seemed to be looking for his next job while working his current post. Brown had a lot of disagreements with front offices much like Skiles.

Avery Johnson led the Mavericks to the NBA Finals along with 3 other playoff appearances.  Johnson was fired from the Mavericks and flamed out in New Jersey.  Johnson took stints at ESPN after getting fired from both NBA jobs.  Johnson wasn’t a toxic personality in his NBA jobs and is now applying his trade at Alabama.

Eric Musselman flamed out in Golden State and Sacramento in the NBA.  NBA personalities seemed to be too difficult for Musselman to manage.  Musselman then moved around the NBA D-League and worked as an assistant in college at Arizona State and LSU before landing the head job at Nevada.

Skiles will have some time to figure out his next move.  Maybe after 4 NBA jobs, Skiles has had enough of coaching.  Once you’re a coach, you’re always a coach. If that itch ever comes back, Skiles should head back to college.

Decision Time for Lincecum

Tim Lincecum remains a free agent weeks after his showcase.  The 2-time Cy Young award-winner has struggled with an ERA over 4.00 in each of the last 4 seasons.  Is the hip problem the main culprit for loss of velocity and command?  It’s possible the hip is a major factor, however 1, 643.2 career major league innings on a 170 pound frame could also be a problem.

Lincecum has been linked to the Giants, Angels, and White Sox.  Reports claim “The Freak” prefers a starting job on the West Coast.  The Giants have a rotation with problems at the back end with Matt Cain and Jake Peavy looking their age.  Lincecum could be better than one of both of them at this point.  The fact that a reunion hasn’t happened yet is not a good sign to me.  The Giants not guaranteeing a spot in the starting rotation could be part of the hold up.

The White Sox released John Danks and picked up Miguel Gonzalez.  Carlos Rodon has been inconsistent and Mat Latos has pitched better than expected.  The White Sox lead their division by 5 games and offer the best spot to win right now.  Would Lincecum’s stuff translate in the Windy City?  The Sox launching pad park would be a concern for me.

The Angels on the other hand have just 1 solid starter in Hector Santiago at this point. Injuries have ravaged the Angels with Andrew Heaney and Garrett Richards with UCL injuries, Tyler Skaggs rehabbing a UCL injury, and CJ Wilson’s shoulder acting up.  Nick Tropeano and Matt Shoemaker have been knocked around and Jered Weaver’s continued velocity drop is just plain sad.  The Angels are only 5 games back in the division and could use Lincecum the most.

Lincecum’s decision should be coming sooner rather than later. An incentive laden 1-year prove-it deal is more than likely what would be offered. A GM that offers him a multi-year deal should have his head examined. A minor league assignment is in order before Lincecum can help a Major League club. Lincecum is reaching the S*&^ or get off the pot time.

Fantasy owners have been off the pot for 4 years, but should pay attention to where he signs and how things go. Pitching is so unpredictable it’s not out the realm of possibility that “Big Time Timmy Jim” returns.

Is Felix Still King?

Felix Hernandez had a rough outing in his most recent start vs. the Athletics.  The Mariners ended up winning the game 9-8, but King Felix was knocked around (4 IP 9 H 8 R 4 ER 1 K).  2 errors including one by Hernandez didn’t help matters.  Hernandez in 6 starts is 2-2 with a 2.21 ERA, 1.25 WHIP with a 29:18 K:BB. Command has been a problem with a 5 and a 6 walk performance already this season.  Finishing off hitters with a wipe away close out pitch has escaped the 6-time All-Star so far as well.  Analysts point to 2 miles per-hour of lost velocity on his fastball and the game plan of pitching backwards by featuring more of his off-speed pitches.  2,299 career innings is a lot of mileage and there’s only so many throws in an arm.  As stuff diminishes so does the margin for error.

Breaking down his performances this year, Hernandez has faced the Rangers, A’s twice, Yankees, Angels, and Royals. Familiarity makes divisional opponents tough.  King Felix owns a career 2.58 ERA vs. the A’s, 3.31 ERA against the Angels, and 3.72 ERA vs. the Rangers.  Oakland is the opponent where King Felix has had his best success 11-3 in Oakland and 22-8 in his career.

As a King Felix fantasy owner, I am not ready to hit the panic button. The results for Hernandez now don’t match the results of his prime.  Last season, Hernandez went 18-9 with a 3.53 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.  Not King Felix-like ratios but still solid numbers. The sky is not falling for a pitcher with a 2.21 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 6 starts.  I would anticipate King Felix turning things around pretty soon.  The 2010 AL Cy Young winner has been a pitcher instead of a thrower for his major league career.  I expect King Felix to make the adjustment and in 30-plus starts the numbers should be there.

Fantasy owners that have King Felix should hold pat unless a solid offer is on the table.
Selling short would be a big mistake as better days should be ahead. I own Hernandez in 1 of my 5 leagues, but will try to buy him for 50 cents on the dollar.

Don’t Sell Too Early on These Players

Baseball players have rough patches throughout a 162-game season.  Often times slumps get magnified at the beginning of the season.  I play in 5 fantasy baseball leagues so a number of these slumping players are on my teams. I plan to hold these players in the short term and not sell them low in trade. Actually I’ve acquired a few via trade.  I’m also looking to see if any of these players go on waivers so I can pick them up.

Cubs SS/2B Addison Russell

Was expected to take step forward this season. Still lacks plate discipline. Put more stock in the.301/.377/.520 to minor league rate than the .244 batting avg. so far.

Royals DH Kendrys Morales

.227 avg. 3R 2 HR 7 RBI. Morales career 162 game avg. 24 HR 91 RBI.

White Sox 1B Jose Abreu

.217 avg. 2 HR 5 RBI. Abreu has 100 plus RBI and 30 bombs in each of his major league seasons. With Todd Frazier protecting Abreu in the lineup, number should be on the way soon.

White Sox 3B Todd Frazier

.154 avg. 2 HR 6 RBI.  Toddfather’s slump in the 2nd half seems to have carried over into this season.  Frazier has 162 game avg. of 28 HR and 83 RBI.

Jays SS Troy Tulowitzki

.140 avg. 3 R 2 HR 6 RBI.  New leg kick could be throwing off Tulo a bit.  Health has always been a problem for Tulowitzki.  If your concerned on his health sell Tulowitzki when his numbers rebound.

Braves 1B Freddie Freeman

.167 avg. 5 R 1 HR 4 RBI.  Freeman’s avg and power should get back to normal, but RBI’s are going to be a problem playing for the Braves.

A’s OF Khris Davis

.162 avg. 1 R 0 HR 1 RBI.  Davis’ power numbers may drop moving from Milwaukee to Oakland. His OBP will come around soon.

Indians SP Corey Kluber

0-3, 6.46 ERA 1.42 WHIP. Put more stock into the 19:5 K:BB thru 19 innings than the ERA.

Mets SP Matt Harvey

0-3 5.71 ERA 1.56 WHIP only 9.  Harvey hasn’t gotten out of the 6th inning in any game this season, but is too talented to sell low.

D-backs SP Zack Greinke

0-2 6.75 ERA 1.56 WHIP 15:5 K:BB. pitched much better in latest start. Flu at end of spring training may help to explain things a bit.

Rays SP Chris Archer

0-3 5.87 ERA 1.96 WHIP 23:8 K:BB. Archer throws too many pitches and struggles to pitch deep into games. Allowed only 2 ER in 2 of his 3 starts.

Pirates SP Gerrit Cole

0-2 4.22 ERA 1.22 WHIP 9:4 K:BB.  Cole hasn’t been sharp in his 2 starts this season. In 30 starts a year a pitcher will have a few stinkers.  Cole just happened to have them in his first 2 starts.

Cardinals SP Adam Wainwright

0-2 8.27 ERA 1.90 WHIP 7:9 K:BB.  Owners should be alarmed with Wainwright’s numbers.  Wainwright is the one pitcher on this list that I have the most concern on coming off the Achilles injury.  Owners should keep Wainwright on the bench if they’re concerned about his numbers.

Tracking Trea Turner

The Washington Nationals are off to a hot start with a 9-3 record.  While the Nationals top prospect Shortstop Trea Turner is tearing up Triple-A .368/.467/.526.  It’s not all roses as there’s a glaring hole at Shortstop.  Danny Espinosa has a slash rate of .176/.31/.206 so far this season.  In his 7th season Espinosa owns a career .229 batting average and is a stop-gap option until Turner is ready.  Stephen Drew has been more productive .273/.333/.545 in a third as many plate appearances as Espinosa.  The problem is Drew has lost a lot of range defensively and isn’t physically capable of playing everyday at this stage of his career.   The fact of the matter is production at the major league level closer to below replacement level player than the club should want.

Turner in a 44-game late season audition and spring training showed that plate discipline was a major problem.  Spring Training saw Turner slash .244/.327/.390 which in my opinion justifies getting sent down to Triple-A to start this season.  GM Mike Rizzo and company want to make sure Turner’s development isn’t stunted by bringing him up too early.  The Nationals are correct in giving Turner more time to work on his swing.  Turner’s ability to reach his potential could get stunted by returning to the majors too soon.

Platooning Turner in the majors would be a waste of time in my opinion.  When Turner is eventually called up it should be as the starting shortstop.  Batting 8th in front of the pitcher also should be avoided by Manager Dusty Baker.  Turner should bat with protection in the lineup so he can see better pitches.  I’ve always despised batting young players in front of the pitcher.

Fantasy owners looking to add Turner should receive help in runs, batting average, and steals.  Your league size and construction dictates if Turner should be already owned. I own Turner already in dynasty keeper league dumping Ian Desmond in the process.  In a daily categories league another owner picked up Turner.  Owners where Turner is available should track the situation and be ready to make the move before Turner arrives in DC.

Trading The Hebrew Hammer for Kung Fu Panda?!?

Red Sox 3B Pablo Sandoval is one of the worst free agent signings in baseball in recent memory. “Kung Fu Panda” left the “Kung Fu” in San Francisco with a .245/.292/.366 slash rate last year in Bean Town.  2016 has gotten worse as Travis Shaw won the 3B job out of spring training relegating Sandoval to the bench. A shoulder strain has now pushed Sandoval to the DL.  The salary in 2016 is $17.6 million dollars followed by $17.6 million in 2017, $18.6 million in 2018, and $18.6 million for 2019.  2020 has a $17 million dollar team option with a $5 million dollar buyout that certainly will be paid. With the buyout that $77.4 million dollars remaining paid out to Sandoval.

Flipping Sandoval will certainly require the Red Sox to take on another bad long term contract in return.  In my opinion the Brewers with Ryan Braun are the perfect trade partner for the Red Sox and Sandoval.  Braun has one of the worst contracts in baseball with $96 million dollars remaining. $20 million dollars per year for the 2016, 2017, and 2018 seasons.  $19 million dollars due in 2019 and $17 million dollars due in 2020.  The 2021 season holds a $15 million dollar mutual option and a $4 million dollar buyout.  With the buyout Braun is due $100 million dollars. Braun’s contract is awful because of the club’s situation and his age.  Braun’s skills will have slipped farther by the time the club looks to contend.

Wins-above-replacement player has nothing to do with my position.  Money is the driving factor in proposing this deal.  The Brewers are in a rebuild looking to acquire younger players and cut costs. I have a hard time paying a player $20 million-per-year as the club struggles to win 70 games.  My belief is if a club can finish in last place with expensive talent, they can finish in last place with inexpensive talent as well.

The Red Sox can afford to make the move with David Ortiz and his $16 million dollars coming off the books after this season.  Braun could slot in as an OF or DH for the Red Sox.  The Red Sox are in a win-now mode every season, while the Brewers reside on the other end of the spectrum.  The process started to take place this winter, but a few more moves need to take place to fully rebuild.  Very few clubs around baseball would be willing to take on $100 million dollars.  Braun’s deal makes him tough to move for assets.  Catcher Jonathan Lucroy is a better trade piece to acquire young talent.  The only thing the Brewers would be able to do right now is take on another bad contract in return for Braun.  Saving roughly $23 million dollars long term as your losing anyways may be the best that can be done.  Corner infielders have been a problem for the Brewers and Sandoval fits that role.  The Brewers have plenty of Outfield prospects to eventually fill in that void.

Brewers GM David Stearns shouldn’t be afraid of alienating the fans by moving on from Braun.  The fact of the matter is getting out of Braun’s contract assists in the club’s rebuild.  Braun is on the club’s Mt. Rushmore despite his linkage to PED’s. If the Brewers were remotely close the contending the thought would have never crossed my mind. Sandoval will be younger at the end of his deal and could be moved at a later date if his career rebounds.  “The Round Mound of Pound” has hit well in his career at Miller Park with a .295/.371/.574 rate in 16 games.  Braun will be a tough player to move at age 36.  Other pieces may need to be added to make the deal work. Also no-trade clauses could come into play.  Sometimes you need to think outside of the box in a rebuild, this certainly would be doing that.

Fantasy Owners Burned By Drafting Billy Burns

A’s CF Billy Burns is one of the disappointments so far.  Last season was a breakout for the speedy center fielder with a .292/.334/.726 slash rate. Fantasy owners took notice of the nice OBP and 26 steals. Burns played well this spring training with a slash rate of .333/.361/.474 to go along with 5 steals. In my opinion Burns has played well enough to keep the starting job in Center Field for the Athletics.

Manager Bob Melvin and General Manager David Forst actions so far have said otherwise. Burns has started only 5 of 9 games so far with Coco Crisp starting 5 as well. The A’s have a logjam all over the diamond Josh Reddick, Chris Coghlan, Billy Burns, Coco Crisp, and Khris Davis fighting for playing time in the outfield alone.  Coghlan has already seen time this season at 2B, 3B, LF, RF, and DH.  Stephen Vogt is locked in as the catcher but if Vogt is the DH then Billy Butler sits.  Butler has been benched quite a bit, while new addition Yonder Alonso has started 8 games at 1B despite batting just .115.

The platooning does make sense, however I have problem with cutting down the development of youth.  Playing a 36 year-old injury prone player in Coco Crisp over a 26 year-old emerging player in Billy Burns is a real problem. If adding Crisp to the lineup is a priority then why not play him in LF and move Khris Davis to DH? Being able to watch Davis everyday I would argue against any stats that grade him out as a decent fielder. Davis has a weak arm and doesn’t break on balls very well. The A’s acquired Davis for his power and OBP.  Crisp at age 36 may be better suited for a complimentary 4th outfielder role than a starting spot. Only time will tell if his body is able to hold up.  History says it won’t as Crisp hasn’t played 145 games in a season since the 2007 campaign.

Fantasy owners shouldn’t cut bait with Billy Burns just yet.  I recommend not overanalyzing the opening weeks of the baseball season.  Fantasy owners drafted Burns looking for steals, but you can’t steal from the bench. I expect Burns to be playing on a regular basis shortly.

A Look at Recent Trade Robbery in Baseball

Rosters can be built thru a number of different avenues; drafts, free agent signings, waiver claims, and trades. A successful combination of all of these avenues is often the key to success.  For this post I’m just focusing on trades in recent memory involving All-Star caliber players.

Scouting other clubs and being familiar with their players is just as important as knowing what you have in your organization. Take notice of some of the returns in these trades.  A lot of these guys went on to have successful careers, while others never made a peep in Major League Baseball.

Brandon Phillips

April 7, 2006: Traded by the Cleveland Indians to the Cincinnati Reds for a player to be named later. The Cincinnati Reds sent Jeff Stevens (June 13, 2006) to the Cleveland Indians to complete the trade.

Jose Bautista

August 21, 2008: Traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Toronto Blue Jays for a player to be named later. The Toronto Blue Jays sent Robinzon Diaz (August 25, 2008) to the Pittsburgh Pirates to complete the trade.

Chris Davis

July 30, 2011 Traded by Texas Rangers with Tommy Hunter to Baltimore Orioles for Koji Uehara.

Yan Gomes

November 3, 2012: Traded by the Toronto Blue Jays with Mike Aviles to the Cleveland Indians for Esmil Rogers.

Tyson Ross

November 16, 2012: Traded by the Oakland Athletics with A.J. Kirby-Jones (minors) to the San Diego Padres for Andy Parrino and Andrew Werner.

Wade Davis

December 9, 2012: Traded by the Tampa Bay Rays with a player to be named later and James Shields to the Kansas City Royals for Patrick Leonard (minors), Mike Montgomery, Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi. The Tampa Bay Rays sent Elliot Johnson (February 12, 2013) to the Kansas City Royals to complete the trade.

Noah Syndergaard

December 17, 2012: Traded by the Toronto Blue Jays with Wuilmer Becerra (minors), John Buck and Travis d’Arnaud to the New York Mets for R.A. Dickey, Mike Nickeas and Josh Thole.

Mark Melancon

December 26, 2012: Traded by the Boston Red Sox with Ivan De Jesus, Stolmy Pimentel and Jerry Sands to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Joel Hanrahan and Brock Holt.

Anthony Rizzo

January 6, 2012: Traded by the San Diego Padres with Zach Cates (minors) to the Chicago Cubs for Kyung-Min Na (minors) and Andrew Cashner.

Jake Arrieta

July 2, 2013: Traded by the Baltimore Orioles with Pedro Strop and cash to the Chicago Cubs for Steve Clevenger and Scott Feldman.

Addison Russell

July 5, 2014: Traded by the Oakland Athletics with Billy McKinney (minors), Dan Straily and cash to the Chicago Cubs for Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija.

Dee Gordon

December 11, 2014: Traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers with Dan Haren, Miguel Rojas and cash to the Miami Marlins for Austin Barnes, Chris Hatcher, Andrew Heaney and Enrique Hernandez.

Any trades I missed out on in this post? Feel free to post your favorite trades.

Lakers Have Hit Rock Bottom

Kobe Bryant’s Farewell Season will go down as the worst season in the history of the Lakers franchise. Not exactly what the Buss family and GM Mitch Kupchak had in mind. Head Coach Byron Scott has not been able to fix the squad that has been a failure since Phil Jackson left. Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni were high profile signings that flamed out quickly.  There are 3 major problems with the Lakers organization at this point, in-fighting between the Buss family, the ghost of Phil Jackson, and the massive presence of Kobe Bryant.

Jim and Jeanie Buss need to figure things out and get on the same page as another chapter in Lakers basketball starts with the retirement of Kobe Bryant. The final seasons of Kobe’s career hindered the Lakers ability to be competitive. Building one last championship squad was the goal with the acquisitions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard in 2012. Those aspirations never came to fruition with Nash getting hurt and Howard seeking greener pastures.  The fallout led to the Lakers starting a rebuild with culmination of the Kobe Farewell tour in full on rebuild mode. Unfortunately the youth movement doesn’t seem to have paid off as the young players haven’t progressed under Byron Scott’s tutelage.  The million dollar question is how much of it is on the players and how much is on Head Coach Byron Scott?

In my opinion Byron Scott is a major roadblock as to why the Lakers younger players haven’t developed.  This season was supposed to be focused on development.  Tough love and making players earn their minutes is understandable at the beginning of the season.  Playing your young core should have been the priority.  Scott has one year left on his deal and very well could have received an extension if Russell, Clarkson, and Randle showed growth.  The Lakers would be foolish to bring Scott back for another season.  The best thing Scott can do for the Lakers is continue to mismanage the team to improve the chances of not having to give their top 3 protected pick to the 76ers.

Who is the coach to fix this mess?  As GM of the Lakers these are the guys I would talk to for the job and avoid contacting.  Luke Walton and Tom Thibodeau are the rumored leading candidates for the job. Walton gained steam coaching the Warriors while Steve Kerr was away from the team.  Walton will be on a lot of coaching short lists having worked his way up thru the ranks.  I put more stock in his resume and IQ than his handling of the reigning champs early this season.  Walton will be a successful NBA head coach at some point.  Are the rebuilding Lakers the best spot for his first head coaching job?  I believe Walton should take a page from Steve Kerr in terms of choosing his first job.  Kerr left the rebuilding Knicks at the alter and took over a Warriors team with more talent.  It’s sometimes difficult to wash the stink off of a failed first job.  Derek Fisher and Jacques Vaughn are currently finding that out.

Tom Thibodeau had a successful run with Chicago Bulls come to an end due to in-fighting with upper management.  Thibodeau was criticized by upper management for playing his players too many minutes.  The shorter rotations hurt the Bulls as they often limped into the playoffs after spectacular regular seasons. Derrick Rose’s health played a part in the Bulls failures as well.  Thibodeau is a phenomenal X’s an O’s coach and will get another job at some point. A .647 career winning percentage with a 255-139 record puts you on many short lists for coaching jobs.  Has the 2011 NBA coach of the year learned to play politics better than he did in Chicago?

Nate McMillan has a 478-452 .514 career coaching record with the Seattle Sonics and Portland Trail Blazers. McMillan won 2 division titles as a coach.  The problem was McMillan’s teams often got bounced in the opening round of the playoffs. McMillan is currently an assistant coach for the Pacers.  His experience in different roles around the game may give McMillan another shot.

Monty Williams had a losing record 173-221 .439 as head coach of the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans.  In 5 years Williams had 2 first-round exits and 3 seasons missing the post season during his time in New Orleans.  Currently Williams is the Associate Head Coach of the Thunder.  Williams did a good enough job in New Orleans to qualify for another shot at a lead chair.

Mark Jackson helped to turn around the Golden State Warriors in his 3 seasons at the helm. The career 121-109 record .526 is impressive considering the first season featured a 23-43 finish.  Jackson got the Warriors from point A to point B, but the organization felt someone else was better to suited to get the team to point C.  Steve Kerr did just that in his first year at the helm.  Jackson had some run-ins with the front office which led to his dismissal. I’m not a fan of Jackson and the way he conducted business in Oakland.  I’d like an explanation as to what went wrong and if he’s learned from the experience.   His resume does merit consideration for head coaching vacancies.

Other former coaches don’t fit the Lakers for various reasons.  Jeff Van Gundy wants full control which won’t happen in LA.  Former Laker Derek Fisher looked completely overmatched in New York.  Working for Phil Jackson wasn’t as beneficial to Fisher’s career as many would have expected.  David Blatt’s resume overseas is impressive, while his NBA resume has a bunch of question marks.  Getting neutered by LeBron James is the first problem.  Star players often do that to players, but Blatt didn’t seem to relate well to his players or the NBA game.  His innovate offense overseas was squashed by King James. Blatt was in a really tough spot in Cleveland.  He needs to be really selective in pursuing a 2nd NBA head coaching job.

The Lakers job is one of the premier coaching jobs in all of sports.  Others may view it otherwise as the mighty have fallen in recent years. Whether someone has ties to the organization or not should outweigh their qualifications for the job.  First the Buss family and Mitch Kupchak need to get their affairs in order.  Then they should look for a new coach.

Keeper League Strategarization

Self scouting is important in fantasy sports for many reasons. It gives a direct idea of what was done right and what was done wrong.  The “Why” answers are the most important of all. Last season I had a categories league team that was one of the worst in the league. My starters had to high of a WHIP, while my hitters struggled to hit for average and power.  I spent time this off-season trying to figure out why my team sucked and what I needed to do for this upcoming season.  In the league we have 260 dollars of draft money with player costs going up 5 dollars each season.

I decided to keep $10 Adrian Gonzalez, $6 Jason Kipnis, $6 Evan Longoria, $6 Maikel Franco, and $11 George Springer.  I had a low team batting average and lacked power last season. Gone from the team are Carlos Santana, Jose Reyes, Gregory Polanco, Wil Myers, and Randall Grichuk. My keepers will provide some Power and Speed.  I will need to balance out my roster with some guys with a high batting average and steals.  I like Polanco, but at the keeper price which would have been $13, to me that was too much.

Pitching wise I decided not to keep any of my relievers. Mark Melancon’s strikeout rate has decreased and the keeper price was too high. Cody Allen was too expensive as well. I wanted to lock down my rotation with solid arms with high strikeout rates and upside.  $19 Gerrit Cole is worth every penny as a lock down ace. Chris Archer at $14 is a number I am comfortable with due to his upside. I’m a believer Archer is more of the pitcher than he was in the first half than after the All-Star break.  $16 Taijuan Walker is a gamble, but I’m willing to bet big on that arm.  Jeff Samardzija for $6 is a risk worth taking. I’m a believer in Brian Sabean and the Giants way of evaluating players.   44 starting pitchers were kept this season in the league so I planned to get my share.

My keepers add up to 94 dollars leaving me 166 dollars to fill out my roster. I need a catcher, middle infielders, outfielders, closers, and starting pitchers with upside. The plan is to pick a few players out the player pool I want at any cost and go from there.  Upside and stashing a few prospects until they come up to the Majors will fill out my roster.  Since some of the guys I play against read my site, those players will get discussed after the draft.