Mike Trout: Fantasy Baseball Championship Guarantee?
In Reality Fantasy Baseball, my Mike Trout fantasy came true. Having never owned the Los Angeles Angels superstar, inheriting him from a previous owner had me thinking championship from day one. Recently, Bret Sayre of thedynastyguru.com and baseballprospectus.com invited me to participate in a new dynasty league he’s heading up. This morning, I received an email outlining draft pick order.
1) All owners will be able to bid 2014 keeper slots on any draft position they want in the first round, and may make bids for multiple positions in priority order. For example, if an owner bids 5 keeper spots for the #1 position, and are the highest bid, they will keep 30 players at the end of 2014, instead of 35. This penalty will only apply for keepers following the 2014 season, and are not a going forward number.
2) A draft order will be determined at random for all spots which are not bid upon. Any tiebreakers from the bidding process will be determined by who has the higher random draft order spot.
In essence, this means the only way an owner fulfills his/her Mike Trout fantasy is to accept a handicap next season. For the record, I’m fine with that. Mike Trout is worth a few keepers. The question is how many?
Mike Trout: Fantasy Superhero
We know dynasty league fantasy baseball is Mike Trout and then everybody else. No offense to Miguel Cabrera, Bryce Harper, Clayton Kershaw, or any other superstar for that matter. Perfection is impossible to replicate. At 22, Trout is the epitome of a five category performer who’ll be an all-time great barring a career altering injury.
To place a value on a Mike Trout fantasy in The Dynasty Guru Experts League, we’ll have to analyze the combined value of keepers being sacrificed. To begin, the league features 20 teams and 40-man rosters including 30 Major League players and 10 minor league players. Overall, 600 MLB players and 200 MILB players will be selected if the draft goes according to plan.
Teams are allowed to keep up to 35 players, so let’s assume every team will keep the full complement of 35. This means the top 700 players will be owned entering 2015 if owners stood pat and the draft order was randomized. Yes, owners will jockey for position and sacrifice picks, but we are forced to proceed using what we know, not what we assume is going to happen.
In theory, if we bid five keepers to secure Trout, we’ll recoup those players with picks 796-800 next spring. With every Major League starter having value in a format this deep, an owner will have to accept fulfilling the Mike Trout fantasy will be at the expense of prospects. That’s okay though. In reality, those five drops are likely to be prospects outside the top-100 anyway. The 2015 draft will include all dropped prospects and the full boat of 2014 MLB draft picks and international free agents.
Picture your dynasty league. Would Mike Trout and five, top-200 prospects or fringe starters ever be dealt for five, top-200 prospects or fringe starters? Not a chance. How about six keepers? seven? 10? Hopefully, owners will avoid bidding because they believe the keeper penalty will be too punitive. Me? I’ll be mixing it up. After all, there will always be more fringe starters and prospects.
Additionally, an owner can insulate his/herself by purposefully drafting near ready prospects like Michael Choice and Matt Davidson. This way, fringe regulars may be dropped for younger replacements. It’s a blueprint for living the Mike Trout fantasy without having to take it on the chin for seasons to come.
24 Feb 2014 / Mike Newman / 4
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