LABR and Radio and Pods, Oh My!

Plenty of non-PaulSporer.com goings on lately including:

  • Tonight is the LABR mixed league draft. It’s my first “industry expert league”. I have done mocks for magazines before, but never a full league. Jason and I will be co-owning, but I’ll have the reins tonight at the draft with J out for family duty. If there was ever a reason to miss, it’s family stuff! If you’ve listened to the podcast at all, though, we have the same brain so it doesn’t really matter if one of us couldn’t make it. We got saddled with the 14th pick which might not be so bad when you really think about it. There’s the top three, another handful going in that four to seven range, and then a giant cluster of like-valued guys so picking near the end of that clump and then again quickly in the second round won’t be so bad. If you want to follow the draft live this evening, you can do so here. I’m fairly certain Jennifer Lawrence will be following along in the chatroom cheering me on. I mean, it’s whatever. 

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  • In addition to our regular podcast, the Towers of Power Fantasy Hour, I’ve appeared on another BP podcast twice in the last couple of weeks. Effectively Wild is doing their team-by-team previews and I did the Tigers one (obv) plus I contributed to the Cleveland Indians one. I’ll be on for the Nationals and Phillies in the future as well. BTW, I’d bump my Indians win projection by about 3-4 games with the Michael Bourn signing. I could reasonably go high since it’s the adding of him and subtraction of Drew Stubbs, but I’ll stick w/3-4. Speaking of these two podcasts, this probably shouldn’t surprise you because I’m a titan:

Meanwhile, here are some random things interesting me at the moment:

-Between Two Ferns Oscar Buzz Part 1, and Part 2: SO GOOD!!!! Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Bradley Cooper, Christoph Waltz, Amy Adams, and of course Zack himself. Just so much greatness here.

-Harlem Shake everything!

-House of Cards

-Texas being awesome & Beyonce making a semi-duck face look cute as hell

-Jennifer Lawrence is the best. No one is more real during her interviews

-Pitchers & Catchers reporting all over the MLB:

ps&cs

7 Comments to “LABR and Radio and Pods, Oh My!”

  1. Congrats on getting in to LABR. This is no way changes the fact that I’m going to own you in AL Skeeter, however…

  2. I love the podcast, I’ve read the pitcher guide before and enjoyed it. I have to be honest though, I think your draft was terrible. In the first 12 rounds the only pick I can agree with is Zobrist.

    • That’s no prob, Ender! It was a tough room, that’s for sure.

      Jason and I really like Aoki, Darvish, Moore and Hill for big seasons so we were pleased with that portion. We got snaked on guys A LOT, as I’m sure many in the room did.

      I take you don’t like Harper? Longo in the 2nd felt good. I think 3B has depth to it, but he’s a superstar. Need him to stay healthy, but it’s not like he’s a brittle body, he’s had some non-standard injuries.

      What specifically was terrible to you? I appreciate all feedback.

  3. The problem with Harper is he has to break out to be worth that pick and 2nd year players don’t show strong track records of breaking out. It is more the 3rd-5th rounds where it really happens.

    Longo is just too injury prone for me to take him that early and his contact rates really do suggest he is more of a .275 hitter instead of the stud we thought. His SB are only going to go down at this point as well. The Rays don’t have a great lineup which eats away at his R+RBI total. There are just too many red flags in there for me.

    I can go either way on Darvish but people are putting an awful lot of stock into that Sept breakout. I just don’t see taking him over someone like say Cole Hamels. Again you are paying for a breakout that has to happen so if it happens you didn’t really get any value.

    Hill is just too erratic for me where you took him though it is much better than Altuve who was taken near him, that is for sure. 2B isn’t nearly as shallow as people think either. On top of that you already had Zobrist so not like 2B was a huge need since the 2B/SS eligibility gave you a ton of flexibility.

    Moore is probably fine where you took him.

    I love me some Aoki but 7th round is probably too early after just 1 year of info on him. The 10 HR, 30 SB skillset is one you can find much later so I guess it really depends on whether you believe he is a .290+ hitter of there is a chance it can slip.

    The next few picks aren’t awful, they are just sort of risky.

    Aybar is an interesting guy and he could be great in the 12th round. The problem is he very well might end up hitting 7th or lower in the order and that is going to just kill his value. I know people assume he is going to hit 2nd but it would be really easy to see Kendrick or Bourjos slot into that 2 hole and Aybars value destroyed. A 70 R, 55 RBI, 10 HR, 22 SB guy just isn’t that exciting in the 12th round even as a SS.

    I look at this draft and I think that most of your picks HAVE to hit their upside for you to win the league instead of being a draft where you will compete no matter what and if a few hit you can win. Maybe that is just me though. I don’t hate the players, just don’t like where a lot of them went.

    • Couple rebuttals –

      Regarding the overarching point of needing breakouts, I say why not go for broke? No one cares who finishes 2nd let alone 5th.

      Re: specific players –

      Can’t agree on Longo being injury prone. Freak injury last year, beyond that a pair of 150+ seasons and a 133. Nothing in his injury history is chronic. It’s not like it’s a back, shoulder, or knee. It was wrist, oblique, hammy.

      It’s not the Sept. breakout with Yu, it’s all year. He was fantastic in his first year in the league. Some might’ve expected a Cy Young, but they aren’t bright. He performed exactly how I expected: up and down with stretches of pure brilliance. His ace projection was justified after watching 2012.

      Aoki was new MLB, but not new to baseball. He was on par with his Japanese league levels right out of the gate and he essentially missed a month because he didn’t play much at all in April. Only 3 people went .288, 81, 10, 50, 30. Aoki, Braun, & Trout. They were much better bc they exceeded those levels, but his across the board work was special Only 12 people went 10 HR/30 SB and I’m not sure if any besides Stubbs, Crisp, and Victorino were available when we took Aoki. Stubbs is terrible, Victorino is a platoon guy, and Crisp is more brittle than the cereal he’s named after.

      Hill actually isn’t erratic if you look at it. 2011 is the clear outlier worn down by a 4% HR/FB. Otherwise, he’s got 36-26-26 HRs in 3 of the last seasons. Started running ARI and will continue with Gibby at the helm. Look at his base skills like K and BB rates and batted ball profile, very steady. One of our best picks, IMO. And Zobrist’s value comes at SS. I’m with that 2B is deep, I’ve actually been preaching as much all offseason, but you go where the value is and it was with Hill for sure.

      Those numbers you gave for Aybar are about what Starlin Castro did last year. Kendrick has been terrible as a #2 hitter in his career with about 750 PA. He’s got a .294 OBP in that time. Bourjos, we’ll see. I’m not terribly worried about Aybar not hitting 2nd. In the 12th round, we’re looking at the 175th-ish guy or so.

      Great stuff & I appreciate you taking so much time to put your thoughts to virtual paper.

  4. Castro hit 14 HR vs 8. He had 156 R+RBI vs Aybar’s 111. Castro stole more. Castro is a legit .300 hitter from a skills standpoint and Aybar isn’t. That is a pretty weak comparison.

    There were 16 players who hit at least 8 HR and had 25 SB. 29 if you go to 8 HR, 20 SB. This is not a skillset that is hard to come by.

    As for Longo, I question whether he can put up 2nd round value even if healthy. He is a 30-35 HR guy who doesn’t steal, plays in a bad lineup and hits .275. His prorated full season stats over the past 3 years are something like 93 R, 28 HR, 100 RBI, 8 SB, .275 AVG and that 8 SB is highly unlikely. That is an Aramis Ramirez or Ryan Zimmerman season, not a top 18 pick.

    • Think ya misread me :)

      “***Those numbers you gave** for Aybar are about what Starlin Castro did last year.”

      (THIS: A 70 R, 55 RBI, 10 HR, 22 SB guy just isn’t that exciting in the 12th round even as a SS.)

      Aybar is just as .300-worthy as Castro. Even if he’s *only* .290-worthy, again, the cost is MUCH less.

      It wasn’t really weak at all, because fI was using your numbers and even if he only *approximates* Castro, he costs WAY less. He doesn’t need to be Castro to be WELL worth his draft slot. Meanwhile they’re unlikely to go R-R-R atop the lineup so the losing his 2nd spot thing doesn’t hold too much either.

      Longoria’s pro-rated numbers are 97-32-117-10 with a .275 avg over 162 which is first round value let alone second. We’d take the numbers you posted, though, too. The point isn’t that he has to his 100th percentile projection, but that rather if healthy, he’s going to ball out. Whether it’s elite 1st round or “only” Aramis/Zimm. Part of the 18th pick is a high floor.

      I’m with ya on some critiques, but others I think you’re a good bit off the mark. Longoria is just entering his prime. I’ve never seen anyone question his talent. Look at his 2008-2009. And then his 2010 was 31-99 in 133 gms. Sure the .244, but he was 17 hits from .280, one a week for the time he played.

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