Fantasy owners don’t line up to acquire utility infielders. But in simulation leagues, like Tory Hernandez’ Reality Fantasy Baseball (RFB), versatility and depth are a must to survive 162 games. With Robinson Cano’s departure and Alex Rodriguez’ suspension, the New York Yankees chose to piecemeal their infield with Kelly Johnson, Brian Roberts and unknowns Yangervis Solarte and Dean Anna.
In a mad dash to opening day, the Reality Fantasy Baseball Rule 4 Draft began a week after the conclusion of the international free agent phase. Having signed 19 IFA’s, we were left with six spots to fill on our 80-man roster. With about 10-million in cash reserves and four of the top-66 picks, Team ROTOscouting looked to round out the roster with future Major Leaguers ready to surface as franchise player Mike Trout becomes expensive.
Over the winter, team ROTOscouting took over a team in Tory Hernandez’ Reality Fantasy Baseball league. A start up company, he’s working to replicate Major League Baseball as a fantasy baseball league. As a writer who wrote at FanGraphs, a site considered to be full of smart guys, the ins and outs of Reality Fantasy Baseball have taught me how much still needs to be learned. The international free agent period was no exception.
Deep dynasty fantasy baseball leagues are a valuable tool for prospect writers. To be competitive, one is forced to research hundreds of prospects and keep that knowledge up to date. Now, add another wrinkle. What if defense mattered as well? In Reality Fantasy Baseball, it’s a wrinkle owners are still working to adjust for.
After spending nearly every week of the 2013 season on Carson Cistulli’s “Fringe Five” list over at FanGraphs, White Sox prospect Marcus Semien made the hearts of stats guys everywhere flutter. Between Double-A and Triple-A, his .284/.401/.479 triple slash line was impressive. Add to it more walks than strikeouts, 19 home runs and 24/29 stolen base attempts and the White Sox had a player ready to supplant Conor Gillaspie or Gordon Beckham.
Give me a show of virtual hands if you’ve ever taken over a team in an established dynasty league? Now, keep those virtual hands up if the team was a championship contender the previous season. I’d imagine very few readers would still have their hands raised. After all, dynasty owners — especially in money leagues — don’t leave money on the table.
In baseball, an organization’s actions sometimes provide a clear view into its organizational depth chart. Yesterday, the Atlanta Braves traded former first round pick Sean Gilmartin to the Minnesota Twins for “catcher” Ryan Doumit. The switch-hitter is nothing special, but provides depth at the position. Pair Gattis with Doumit and it becomes apparent the Braves are building a bridge to Christian Bethancourt, the team’s real catcher of the future.
About a month ago, I put out an all call on Twitter looking for a deep dynasty league to join. After receiving a few offers, I joined a league called “The Big Show.” Run by Tory Hernandez, a former employee of the Angels organization turned baseball writer you should be reading if you aren’t already, it attempts to replicate Major League Baseball and comes pretty damn close.
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