Tag Archives: rickie weeks

2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategies: The Position Scarcity Effect

No doubt that all of us who have been playing fantasy baseball for at least a few years have heard of position scarcity. Over the last several seasons I think the popularity of this theory has become even greater. Prior to it getting a cool name, I think most players acknowledged the fact that there were few great shortstops to choose from, but I’m not sure how many people actually factored that into their draft strategy. Well, like many good ideas, once they get into the popular conscience they tend to be overblown and after time settle into a nice useful medium.

The basic premise behind position scarcity is that there are few elite players at some positions and therefore the elite players at those spots should have their value elevated somewhat to account for this fact. I agree with the logic whole-heartedly. Where I think we may have gone slightly astray is in determining the amount these values should be adjusted by versus those elite players at roles that have more depth. For example, when someone tries to convince me that Jose Reyes should be drafted ahead of Adrian Gonzalez because of position scarcity, I think we may have gone too far. While I would tend to classify them both as tier 2 players at their respective positions and admit that short stop is an extremely shallow spot, I don’t see the justification for the move when runs and average will be about a wash and Reyes only gets the edge in steals. Unless you have a dire need in steals, it seems to defy logic. Personally I believe the best available player in the draft will usually be the best player for your team. This won’t always be the case, but about 90% of the time this logic will serve you well.

Now for the 3 most scarce batter positions and their elite players (either tier 1 or 2):

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2011 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: SECOND BASE

After everyone agreeing on the #1s for Catcher and First Base, we now run into positions where #1 is debatable. Robinson Cano or Chase Utley? Well, majority rules here so Cano takes our Composite #1. This was Utley’s position until guys like Pedroia and Cano put on MVP campaigns the past few seasons. Pedroia looks to be healthy and rebound, while Cano looks to prove why he should be #1 for the next few years.

RANK PLAYER Brian Mike Killboy Jesse Eric COMP
1 Robinson Cano – NYY 1 2 2 1 1 1.4
2 Chase Utley – PHI 2 1 1 2 2 1.6
3 Dustin Pedroia – BOS 4 3 4 4 3 3.6
4 Ian Kinsler – TEX 3 4 3 5 5 4.0
5 Dan Uggla – ATL 5 5 5 3 4 4.4
6 Brandon Phillips – CIN 6 6 7 7 6 6.4
7 Rickie Weeks – MIL 7 9 9 6 7 7.6
8 Aaron Hill – TOR 9 7 6 9 8 7.8
9 Martin Prado – ATL 8 8 10 10 9 9.0
10 Kelly Johnson – ARI 10 10 11 8 10 9.8
11 Gordon Beckham – CHW 13 11 8 11 15 11.6
12 Brian Roberts – BAL 11 12 12 12 12 11.8
13 Ben Zobrist – TB 12 13 13 13 14 13.0
14 Howie Kendrick – LAA 14 14 16 14 13 14.2
15 Neil Walker – PIT 16 16 14 16 11 14.6
16 Chone Figgins – SEA 15 15 15 15 16 15.2
17 Mike Aviles – KC 17 17 17 19 18.2
18 Omar Infante – FLA 19 18 18 17 18.6
19 Juan Uribe – LAD 20 20 19 18 18 19.0
20 Ty Wigginton – COL 17 20 20.0

DUSTIN PEDROIA

An MVP season in 2008, a great 2009, an injury-riddled 2010, and now in 2011 he is sometimes the 5th 2B off the board? With the revamped lineup in Boston, Pedroia will have another excellent season as he continues to show increased plate discipline. At age 27, don’t be surprised if he is the #1 2B off the board in 2012. (.300-110-20-85-20)

DAN UGGLA

Uggla has established himself as one of the premier 2B in all of baseball and one of the most consistent hitters the past 4 seasons.  His move out of a football stadium and its teal monster and into a better lineup in Atlanta won’t hurt either.  Uggla ended 2010 hitting line drives at almost a 30% clip, reducing his GB%, while also increasing FB% and HR/FB which could signal his best season is yet to come as he comes to the peak of his prime.

SLEEPER: BRIAN ROBERTS

Although derailed by injury last year, expect a return to 2009-type numbers for Roberts in a rejuvenated Baltimore lineup. See here.

BUST: IAN KINSLER

I don’t really get the fascination with this guy.  Yeah, there’s potential for some nice power and speed, but how often does that actually happen?  Aside from the 31 HR, 31 SB season in 2009, in which his batting average plummeted to .253, there’s really not much to write home about.  There’s no way i’m taking this guy in the 2nd round of the draft, which is where he went in TSN’s expert mock draft.

BUST: RICKIE WEEKS

Rickie’s 2010 HR/FB% was 17.3% (13.7% career), BABIP was .332 (.309 career) and K% was 28.3% (26.9% career). In Aug/Sept/Oct of 2010, he hit for a measily .251 AVG, 7 HR, 16 RBI, 4 SB and struck out a whopping 69 times. These numbers coupled with injury concerns, point to regression.