Thread: Stage Four

It doesn’t exist. But we keep hoping.

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In our 10 team NL only league anyone on the 40 man roster can be bid on so I sometimes find myself with a $1 player who starts in the minors and gets called up pretty early in the season(there's usually a starter or semi starter left in the reserve draft as a temp replacement I can get). I did that with Pence and Lincecum in 2007 and Kerry Wood in 1998 just to name 3.
van wilhoite LVW
Jan 30 '13
I can't pretend I understand single league auctions because I played single league the first time last year and it was a draft.

That said, most of those guys earned at best $2 profit, at the most marginal end of production, and depending on league rules regarding reserves they may even have been replaced prior to providing that value.

Meanwhile, the top guys are usually par at best, so it feels like borrowing from your marginal savings at the bottom to overpay at the top leaves you at par(albeit par with a low risk).

I don't know, Eugene's argument makes more sense. You visit the dollar store a couple times out of necessity, not excessively to chase stars over value.
Justin Dowling BGWoodsman
Jan 30 '13
Last year $1 hitters left in our NL only 13 team protect league were:
Chris Denorfia (earned $16)
Mike McKenry ($7)
Jerry Hairston ($6)
Brandon Crawford ($5)
Travis Ishikawa ($5)
Adam Kennedy ($3)
Austin Kearns ($3)
Charles Blackmon ($3)
Freddy Galvis ($2)
Lance Nix ($2)
Joe Mather ($2)
Bret Pill ($1)
Jesus Flores ($1)
Henry Blanco ($0)
Xavier Nady ($0)
Jeremy Hermida ($0)
Bret Hayes (-$2)
Steve Clevenger (-$2)

Aside from the $1 catchers who were close to useless (Flores, Blanco, Hayes, Clevenger), you only had a handful of bitter Pills to swallow (Pill, Nady, Hermida) for your $1 spent. And it's pretty tempting to take a chance on the upside that Denorfia, Ishikawa, Hairston, and Crawford provided (that's 4 of the 13 players who weren't $1 catchers) and have a few extra dollars to bid on the top talent.

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
Jan 30 '13
There's a lot of difference b/w a $1 pitcher and a $1 hitter in my 12 team AL league. Each team has 2-3 $1 pitchers because there are 100 free agent pitchers available to FAAB. While there are usually 1-3 $1 hitters per team, they are generally a team's backup catcher, 5th OF, and/or UT. Many of those players don't wind up playing at all or get sent down early in the year and the shuffle to replace them is aggressive on the FAAB especially the first few weeks. But, there are usually only a dozen free agent hitters available at any point and they are generally backup catchers who play once a week and terrible middle infielders who are only in the majors for their late inning defensive value.

Until this silly Astros situation, there were 168 hitters taken in the auction and about 182 hitters in the AL (assuming 13 hitter/12 pitcher ML roster construction). Replacement level is very low. But, there were 108 pitchers taken in the auction and about 168 pitchers in the AL. Replacement level is a LOT higher. 92% of available hitters are drafted. Only 64% of available pitchers are drafted.

You can't afford to take the last hitter off the board, or probably even the last couple dozen and expect much. They are not a $1 lottery ticket. Usually they are a $1 average suck with no production otherwise. The pitchers, however, may very well be a $1 lottery ticket because of the devaluation due to the surplus talent pool. Hell, it's hard to distinguish between the 130th pitcher versus the 100th pitcher. One will be taken and one will not, but 130 could be much better when the season is over. But, on the hitter side there is no hitter 22 worse than the last taken. He doesn't exist because of hitter scarcity.
Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Jan 30 '13
39+1 =/= 20+20 in my experience.

a) If $1 guy doesn't pan out, a very good chance you can upgrade to a higher value guy through FAAB if you're paying attention

b) if you're in a protection league, a $1 guy is a nice lottery ticket, because if he shows much life and it's dumping time, you can often move him for one of those $20 guys.
Phil Ponebshek Texpope
Jan 30 '13
EDUB -- I think that the authors assertions make sense in a 12 team NL only or AL only league. The reason that they may not hold in a 14 team mixed league is that there are talented players who you can get for $1 who could earn much more.

Something that is less likely to have happen with an NL only league.

In my one mixed league auction (Ottoneu, 40 man roster x 400 slots ... minor and major leaguers are auctioned), I am less tight on my projected $$$.

However, for my two NL Only teamx which are keeper leagues, I stay pretty close to my "number" which is projected-earnings*inflation-mx (based on frozen values). Since I use a multiplier, players on the top tend to go higher since their projected earnings are also higher.

Having said that, I work pretty hard not to leave money on the table (at least not $15).

So the answer is that it depends quite a bit on format.
Kent Ostby Seadogs
Jan 30 '13
My first reaction to your question is ... I'm pretty sure we're in "the Stage 4 era" ... no way anyone goes into a roto auction with as little knowledge as I/we did in the early-to-mid-80s ... that's what "Stage 4" means to me ... everybody knows everything about every player ... so get it on!

Then I started to read the fangraphs link ... it's a stinkin' mixed league! That ain't roto! $ABORT ...

Howard Lynch LynchMob
Jan 30 '13
Fangraphs recently held a mock auction and some participants are writing about their drafts. This particular one has some interesting comments regarding strategy.

The author claims that there is zero justification in overpaying for stars early in the auction and that drafting for value in turn will net you the best surplus value compared to other teams and land you near the top of the standings. He states that if your prices are correct, a $39 player and a $1 player should produce the same stats as two $20 players. Commenters (sp?) were quick to point out that while getting bargains and spending your whole budget will net you the most surplus value and a great chance at winning theoretically , this doesnt usually occur in actual drafts. They stated that if you pass on the stars early, you will indeed find good bargains on the mid tiered guys but will end up overpaying for mediocre talent in the later rounds and will have trouble spending all your money, just like the author did leaving $15 dollars unspent. Do you fellows agree that overpaying for stars is a bad idea early? Or is classic stars and scrubs the way to go in general? Obviously all that can change in a heartbeat based on the dynamics of the auction but in a Stage 4 league does any of that even matter? And by looking at the results of the mock, is it possible to label what stage this draft is?
Evan Erickson EDUB
Jan 30 '13
I agree. In addition to the league I've been in since 1991, I joined another league a couple years ago: Yahoo!, 6x6 (R, OPS, K, QS), 16-team mixed H2H, 9 hitters, 9 pitchers, 5 benchies. Based on theories espoused here (4 quantitatives in pitching AND hitting, equal number of hitters and pitchers), I've allocated 50% of the money to hitting and 50% to pitching. I've also completely eliminated middle relievers, and put almost nothing to closers. Makes for some mighty expensive mid-range, innings-eating starting pitching. As Alex used to say, I'm "in my own corner."

After each draft, the other owners have thought my teams sucked. Each year, I have made it to the championship matchup (finished second by 1 HR one year, and actually tied the second year, but lost the tiebreaker).
T.J. Rohr TJRohr
Jan 29 '13
I thought I would resurrect this "player" since we started a discussion in the Jemile Weeks, but part of what I have seen in the past three years is that with so much player valuation data available that how you approach the draft (% to spend on hit/pitch, extension of keepers, order that you bring up players in the auction) is becoming more and more of the game.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Jan 29 '13