Fantasy Baseball

My Fantasy Team 2010

Hey folks. Just like last year, I wanted to give a review of my 2010 team, thoughts on the draft process, as well as trends I saw over the course of the season. If you need a refresher on fantasy baseball, refer to last year’s blog post.

IceBat’s End of the Year Roster:

C – Carlos Ruiz (Phi)

1B – Joey Votto (Cin)

2B – Howie Kendrick (LAA)

3B – Scott Rolen (Cin)

SS – Elvis Andrus (Tex)

OF’s – Carlos Gonzalez (Col), Andrew McCutchen (Pit), Delmon Young (Min), Jay Bruce (Cin), Dominic Brown (Phi), Magglio Ordonez (Det)

SP – Ubaldo Jimenez (Col), Zack Greinke (Kan), Trevor Cahill (Oak), Justin Verlander (Det), J.A. Happ (Phi/Hou), Phil Hughes (NYY), Brian Matusz (Bal), Chad Billingsley (LAD)

RP – Rafael Soriano (TB), John Axford (Mil), Luke Gregerson (SD)

Thoughts on IceBat’s Roster:

I would say I had an OK year. Despite not making the playoffs, I managed to win all consolation playoff games, so that was kind of cool. While I did have players with great seasons (Votto, CarGo with MVP-caliber seasons), I just didn’t have enough to get it done, as all my players performed well during different parts of the season.

I would like to note one trade I consider season-defining. In early June, I traded for Ubaldo, Andrus and Cory Hart (terrible decision to drop afterwards), in replace of Ryan Braun, Marco Scutaro and Josh Beckett. At the time, I desperately needed to switch things up as I was getting pummeled in the standings. At the time, Ubaldo was on an historic ride, as he’d won his first 10 of 11 games. I second-guessed myself weeks after the trade, because I still wasn’t sure whether Ubaldo could sustain the level at which he was performing at. I felt like I had given up a lot in my first round pick Braun. But evidently, Braun had a down season, which made me feel better, while Ubaldo still had instances of spectacular but also struggled at times. In hindsight, both owners traded away depth for necessity, so I can’t really complain about the production nor the intangibles (I jumped on the Ubaldo bandwagon afterwards, changing my team name to “Ubaldo for Prez!!”). Also if you throw in the fact my trade partner gave away Hart, I would consider the trade’s positives outweighed the negatives.

Thoughts on Drafting and Confirmation Bias:

Examples of confirmation bias include the hot-hand fallacy in basketball (Something I hear too often – “Player X is on fire tonight”) or, after seeing 5 heads in a row, you’re more likely to see a tail on the 6th flip. These examples tend to show a person’s naive misunderstandings on the importance of independence. Thus, these perceptions cloud our analysis and judgement (ie – how Vegas is a bad idea). This has a lot to do with fantasy drafting, as often you will see owners over paying for players that had a recent break out season. I am guilty as charged, as I drafted Zack Greinke (coming off a Cy Young award season) waaaaay too early. Heck, I even did this in my NBA draft last year, taking Devin Harris way too early. And it’s clear Greinke couldn’t live up to expectation, especially with a non-productive team in Kansas City (7 straight losing seasons and counting), it was almost assured Greinke could not have great numbers twice in a year. On that same note, owners tend to underpay on those players coming out of down years. One season is just not indicative of how great a player is – in all sports, players can have down years, simple as that. Thus, look for Greinke to do better than 2010, especially if he’s moved by the Royal’s front office.

Besides this remark, I would say I’ve been consistent at how I’ve approach drafts over the years. I tend to over draft a certain field position (last year, first basemen; this year, outfielders), and also stock up on starting pitchers who’ve been consistent at one thing: innings pitched. All in all, don’t be afraid to over draft in a position, because you can always use them as trade bait later on. Trading depth away for necessity I think is a better strategy than drafting solely based on positional needs.

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