Fantasy Power

 

Hello and welcome to the first edition of WBL Weekly Fantasy Power. In this edition, weíll give you some draft reviews, some players to pick, some players not to pick, and players on the rise.

 

The Draft Review

Since I was in League 1, I had the opportunity to draft for WBL Fantasy first. Looking back on the draft, I noticed a few busts, and a few great sleepers. Letís start off with the reaches and busts.

5. James Sirbeepalot Jr., Seoul round 2- This pick made no sense to me when we were drafting. I know his stats were good this year with 78 homers and 145 RBIís, but homers doesnít count in this version of the WBL. Average does, where James batted a mediocre .258. Runs count, where he was 4th in the EH, his RBIís of 145 count, but slugging .852 is fifth. There were much better all around players available at the time, including Sam Baig, Blake Roberts and Jason Rhiner.

4. Tiggity Dawg, Dallas round 3- Tidiggidy Dawg is a great pitcher; Iíll give you that one. I just think he was taken a round or two early. He was 8-6 last year with a 2.81 ERA. He did that on the horrendous team of St. Louis. However, the first rule I think in a fantasy league is try to stray away from bad teamís starters. The team will become better next year, I do not doubt that. I just think that those stats arenít going to pop-up again in 2009. He is a round 5-6 pick, not 3rd. Better options included Chad Sluga (13-3 3.14 ERA) and Brian Lawley (13-5 3.05 ERA).

3. Dice Jackson, Cleveland round 6- Yes, I know he was auto picked. But we are going to pretend he wasnít. Again, I wonít doubt Dice is a great player. He batted .236 with 10 homers and 32 RBIís. But the only respectable number there which is homers gets tossed out, his average which is bad gets tossed in, his rbiís which are fairly bad get tossed in, and a horrendous slugging percentage (.407) and only 29 runs scored equal a pretty bad pick. Even if you double the numbers he put up this year, his numbers are still not respectable enough for a 6th round pick. The better option would have been Kyle Wolper, starting 1st basemen on Dublin. Look for him to have a breakout year next year.

2. Greg Shumate, Columbia Round 12- There were still plenty of decent outfielders available that were better than Greg Shumate. Ritchie Maple, Niel West, and Pierce Feltini are a few. Greg never was and never will be good. Even when the stats were bloated in 2003, he never hit more than 10 homers. Most recently in his 39 game stint for Dublin, his stats for fantasy were a .274 average (decent), 10 runs (sad), 7 rbiís (sadder) and a .389 slugging percentage (saddest). This is a pick that could have been easily avoided with a Pierce Feltini or an Ethan Perez.

1. Bucs None, round 9 Buffalo- Bucs, the 2003 MVP, couldnít hit a beach ball with his bat. He proves what it means to go from worst to first by hitting only 3 homers this year. For fantasy guys, his average was .252; he scored 24 runs, batted in 21, and slugged a miserable .327. The much better pick in this instance would again be Kyle Wolper.

 

The Sleepers and Steals

 

5. Zach Kobbs, 13th round Dallas- Zach had a bad season last year, going 5-12 with a .422 ERA and only striking out 78. He will rebound big time this year no matter where he goes. He has always had a winning record and next year wonít be any different. I expect another all star quality season for this man.

4. Kyle Wolper, 15th round Nassau- This was a great pick by the Black Sox. Kyle puts up decent numbers already (48 RBIís .260 average .391 slugging). He will put up much better numbers next year as he will be with Dublin all season. Look for the RBIís to jump to at least 80, a .300 average and a .650 slugging. Considering this was the 15th round, this is a steal.

3. Eric Mayo, 13th round New York- This is a great pick by New York. Eric already has shown that he can hit in this league with a .290 average off the bench, and will start at third next year. Look for him to try unsuccessfully to set the rookie average record of .446. Heíll be close with a .380. Look for decent numbers in the RBIís run and slugging percentage departments. Overall, this was a great pick.

2. Mick Domas Jr., 12th round Cleveland- An auto-pick that was a steal? I thought the draft was illogical? Never the less, Cleveland walked away with a tremendous steal. Mick led the league in saves last year with 24 and struck out only 11. If he can continually save like he did this year, this has the potential to be the biggest steal in the draft.

1. Jerek Deter, 16th round Dallas- By far the best steal of the draft. Dallas picks up a guaranteed starter in Jerek. He canít homer whatsoever (0 overall) but he can walk and double with the best of them. Watch for him to bat in the high .300ís and lead Dallas with the greatest steal of the League 1 Draft.

 

5 Busts in any league

 

5. Tom Kenny- Tom is definitely going to have trouble this year in Dublin, considering there are very few actives on Dublin, and almost everyone is a free agent in the 2008-2009 off season. That means players with decreasing stats and no run support. Kenny will still have a decent season, but is a bust in probably the first 4 rounds.

4. Francisco Rodriguez- K-rod is an incredible pitcher; there is no doubt about that. What I doubt for K-Rod is consistent run support. You can have a 6 ERA but if youíre team is giving you 7 runs a game you are still winning. That works in reverse, and it will work against K-Rod. Expect Tidiggity Dawg like numbers with less wins.

3. Big Poppa- How can the Cy Young winner be a bust the next year? Poor attributes and pure luck one year. Big Poppa has the talent level of a Mujuri Shipal, and much less than Zach Kobbs. Big Poppa put out a 15-2 year while Kobbs went 5-12. The prediction is that this will be flipped next year. No doubts about it.

2. James Sirbeepalot Jr. - The other one year wonder. James will never get close to those numbers of homers or rbiís he had last year. With those numbers rapidly slipping and the other numbers not getting much better, James will have a very off year.

1. Max Powers- He is one of the greatest WBL pitchers of all time, but that doesnít say he can bust one year. South Africa will be bad next year no matter whoever they sign. Run support is wins in this league, and Powers will not have that. Powers will have an off year this year, but heíll be roaring with the Lions in 2010.

 

Young Stars Part 1

 

A valued part of any fantasy team is young stars. These players will make or break any team. They could have great rookie seasons like Tony Kobbs and Shipal (second half) or they could suck like Greg Monjonier. Either way, you got to know the names, so here they are. Over the next couple of articles, youíll learn these names and see who are a good rookie and a bad rookie. Weíll look at 3 teams each week, therefore making this a three part series. This week, weíll take a look at the young stars of Great Britain, Dublin, and Frankfurt.

Great Britain- The defending eastern champs are just as ready as anyone to pass on the players to the next generation. Weíll start at second base with power hitting Richard Amato. Richard can blast balls like crazy against right handers, and is an average power hitter against lefties. He canít walk but can avoid the strikeout with ease. Heíll be an average fantasy player this year, but watch out in 2010 for Richard Amato. Moving right along we have shortstop Vin Distasio. Vin is the next big thing in the WBL. He can do it all. He can hit, double, homer, walk and strikeout all with relative ease. He is a great athlete and a great all around player. Vin will have an amazing year this year, making him 2009 EH ROY. His competition will come from the other corner of the infield, Eric Mayo. Eric was up for most of last year, but he is still considered a rookie. He batted .290 with 1 rbi and a steal. Now starting, expect leadoff like numbers from him. By that, I mean 5-10 homers, 75 rbiís, .345 average, and 25-35 steals. Rounding out the young stars of Great Britain is Ken Griff Jr. Griff, the top prospect pitcher on my chart. Perfect 10ís in everything but strikeouts, Griff is the future star of this staff. In 2.1 innings of regular season work this year, he gave up no runs in 2 1/3 innings for a save. Heíll be starting next year in the rotation. The most recent addition to these young guns is Enrique Gonzalez. Signed very recently by the Red Coats, Enrique will vie for the closerís spot in Great Britain. A fastball and a split-finger fastball are his weapons of mass outs. The other man vying for the closerís role is Vin Distasio II. Vin Distasioís cousin will eventually be just as good as him, just not yet. It should be an exciting race to see who closes for GB. The most recently added young gun is 20 year old Greg Monjonnier. Greg had a horrendous season for Frankfurt last year, going 0-8 with a 9.94 ERA. With tremendous run support in Great Britain, expect a Mujuri Shipal like comeback this year.

Player

Grade

Why?

Richard Amato

B+

An inability to hit lefty homers just as well will be his downfall. If he does hit lefty homers, then that grade will be switched fast.

Vin Distasio

A+

An all around superstar

Eric Mayo

A-

A great leadoff hitter, heíll be the master of consistency.

Ken Griff Jr

A

Outstanding pitcher

Enrique Gonzalez

B-

Unproven. If he proves himself, he will soar.

Vin Distasio II

B-

Also unproven. If he updates a bit more, that minus will go away in no time

Greg Monjonnier

B

Would be much lower, but Iím going to blame that on Frankfurt, not his attributes

Dublin- They have very few rookies and second years, yet alone active players, which is why they should be renamed the Dublin Fighting Inactives! Nevertheless, they have one man who will be a rookie this year. His name is Rob Williams. Rob is the 15th best prospect on the messed up list, but he is around there on my list too. When he gains some control, heíll become a star in the making. That 12.64 ERA will come way down now that he will start for the Irish.

Player

Grade

Why?

Rob Williams

B

Solid starter, but needs to gain more control

Frankfurt- The team that loaded up on inexperienced rookies will finally pay off this year. Weíll start at the catcher position with Harry Peter. Peter is your average catcher. Nothing special. Heís 6 for 16 in his major league career. He is slow but can field great. Doesnít matter if he can field though, he canít help you in your fantasy league. Since Frankfurt is totally weak at catcher, it wouldnít surprise me if he started. Donít bet on it though. Next, we have Christian Sorensen, a young third basemen here. Again, donít expect him to start anytime soon. He is not terribly active. Considering Ruben Weisfield is rumored and signed to go to Frankfurt, heíll be a bench-warmer this year .Another inactive infielder is Moose Leshen. Moose is the weakest prospect to hit a homer, but that doesnít mean heís any good. Letís now talk about Reuben Weisfield. Reuben, who was recently signed by Frankfurt, wonít be considered a rookie next year, but he should be treated like one. Limited playing time last year produced mediocre results, and he will help Frankfurt improve. His brother, Josh Weisfield, was also recently signed by the Force. Itís too early to tell if he will be a star, but he will compete for the job next year and probably win it outright in 2010. Pitcher Ian Nelson is another prospect this team has, but heís just not good. Players who come in this league without updating would be better than him Frankfurt will finally be a small Force with this influx of rookies.

Player

Grade

Why?

Harry Peter

C

Mediocre ballplayer gets a mediocre grade

Christian Sorensen

D

Thatís a high grade for a benchwarmer

Moose Leshen

F

No reason he should be on a fantasy team

Ruben Weisfield

B

Decent player, probably will have nice consistency

Josh Weisfield

C+

Heíll be goodÖjust not yet

Ian Nelson

F

Flat out failure

3 Doís and Doníts

DOíS

1. Draft mediocre starting on a great team- In this sim, you rarely see a good team have a player with an incredible amount of losses. They are mainly on the losing teams. Thatís why drafting pitchers on great teams is a great strategy. Donít go to high for them though, because you can still pick up stars on bad teams like Tidiggidy Dawg and Max Powers. Look for guys like Jaime Cliff of Montreal and John Sage of Dublin (though heís leaving). These guys will give you quality numbers.

2. Make sure you have rookies on your team late- Rookies make or break a team. When drafted in the late rounds, good rookies can make all the difference. Again, this doesnít mean draft Vin Distasio in the first round. It means look for them later on, and take them in low value. Guys to find like this are Eric Mayo of Great Britain and Ace Shap of San Juan. They are both unheard ofís who will give your team a great punch.

3. Draft active mediocre players- The final thing you should do is draft active mediocre players. Why? Active mediocre players can get better. Inactives canít. This would hold true if you had a choice between a mediocre inactive and a bad active. Take the active, because they will always get better.

 

DONíTíS

1. Draft starters on good teams unless theyíre amazing- Bad teams have no run support. Bad teams do not win. Why would you want a pitcher who wonít win on your staff? The sim seems to favor mediocre players on good teams than great players on bad teams. People to watch out for in this case would be Francisco Rodriguez and Max Powers. The main exception to this rule is Tidiggidy Dawg. Heíll pitch well no matter where he plays.

2. Donít take inactives high- Inactives will always drop, they will never rise. The point of taking someone high is to get good stats the entire year, not a late year slacker. You are better off with actives high like Imagonna Strikeout and Tony Kobbs than inactives like Dustin Parmelee and James Sirbeepalot Jr.always drop, they will never rise. The point of taking someone high is to get good stats the entire year, not a late year slacker. You are better off with actives high like Imagine Strikeout and Tony Kobbs than inactives like Dustin Parmelee and James Sirbeepalot Jr. You will be much better off with the actives than the inactives.

3. Draft and say thatís it- Never ever give up on a league, even if you drafted every all star alive. There are still great free agent acquisitions to be made middle of the year and on. Values on players will sink and rise, and new players will be better than old. Look for Enrique Gonzalez of Great Britain to come up as a free agent pickup. Look for guyís values to drop like Max Powers and Francisco Rodriguez, and guys values to rise like Kyle Wolper and Zach Kobbs.

 

Stay tuned for next week when we dissect draftís 2 and 3, and we continue part 2 of 4 of the Young Stars series. This is your WBL Fantasy authority, signing off.