Monday, March 03, 2008

My Three Favorite Myths & Misconceptions in your Fantasy Baseball Draft in 2008

Every year we study our behinds off trying to decipher who the best possible picks will be during your fantasy draft. Sometimes you get so wrapped up in the decision-making that sheer common sense is just simply lost. We look at a magazine really quick, look at whose available on the draft board, see :05 left on the draft clock, and BAM!!!!...we make the worst pick ever!

Happens all the time, even to me. Every year the magazines we buy and the web sites where we pay for draft guides and fantasy baseball information produce advice that is simply put....wrong! Hey, even The Fantasy Man is wrong from time to time. With fantasy baseball advice, all the Experts can really do is predict. Some look at numbers and make predictions while some take the intangibles like age, environment, team situations, etc and make opinionated predictions. We look at all the information in front of us and we make the best possible decisions and predictions based on what we know. But sometimes, we are wrong and we don't find out until well after our content goes to print!

Today, I want to pick out the three best myths or misconceptions of 2008! These are the players other experts, analysts, web sites, and magazines are steering you away from and is either downgrading, telling you not to pick, or just simply are not giving enough credit too. These are three players that while everyone else is overlooking them, you can snatch them right up when the timing is right.....

1. Johnny Damon, OF, NYY - As a native New Yorker and a die-hard Yankee fan, I can tell you with confidence that Johnny Damon will be the everyday lead off batter. Broadcasters have mentioned many times so far this spring that Damon will be the everyday lead off batter and the Yanks will worry about positions after that. Joe Girardi has already said he wants Damon to get at least 600AB. Johnny Damon himself admitted to not being in good shape last year and it lead to injury and a down year. This year he has come to camp in fantastic shape and has set a goal to not only be a better player this year, but to be an elite player. I watch the spring training game on Sunday against the Phillies and I have to say, Damon looks phenomenal. You should be able to find some useful Johnny Damon articles here along with this article about Jason Giambi wanting to be the everyday 1B. Just search "Johnny Damon" when you get there. What's great about all the negative talk and the confusion on Damon and his playing time, is that Damon is falling as far as the 13th-14th rounds in some snake drafts and for as little as $7-$9 in auctions. I'd say grab Damon in the 11th-12th to be sure and be willing to spend $11-$13 on a guy who should hit close too .290/20/75/120/25.

2. Carlos Delgado, 1B, NYM - Let's count all the evidence against Delgado....he's 35, had hip, knee, and wrist problems, and his worst season as a pro. On top of that, Delgado is already experiencing hip problems which you can read about here. What I love about all this negativity surrounding Delgado is that he will fall in every draft/auction I participate in, and I'll scoop him up every time. Delgado is a 35+HR threat you can steal as far as the 16th round of a 12 team snake draft or better yet, for $7 or less at the auction. What's even more fun is that I haven't found one mag or one web site that has any faith in Delgado for 2008. Even when I do mocks or my real drafts, if there is an audience there or just my league mates, every time I pick Delgado so late everyone cringes, hemms and hawhs, and say things like "Delgado is the worst pick ever!" What people don't realize, in the 16th round of a draft, a sure 30+HR guy if healthy, is a fantastic pick in the 16th round.

Let's read between the lines a bit. I am not saying Delgado will be great this year, and yes, he'll probably have to sit out more often, but I just don't believe he'll be as bad as last season. 35 years old is not "that" old yet. What I am trying to say is that the Mets don't have a back up 1B that can steal his job. Delgado has to perform. On another note, Delgado has to perform if the Mets want any shot at winning the division. I have heard interviews a with Delgado this year so far and he is upbeat and ready to show everyone he's not finished. I will take all of this with a grain of salt but if he slips to me as late as round 13 or 14, I have to take him. I need to have that potential power. Once you get close to round 14-16, its okay to start taking risks. This is a low risk move, especially if you have secured other power options earlier. I did one mock draft where I picked Delgado in the 17th!

3. Fausto Carmona, SP, CLE - Do I have a great reason to prove why he's on this list? No. I just believe. Look, last season Carmona was awesome while taking us all by surprise and winning 19 games with 137K in 215 IP. Here is a profile on Carmona. Now, anyone who has seen Carmona pitch knows he has filthy stuff and he throws hard consistently in the 95+MPH range. To me, after learning how to be an effective starter in the bigs over 200+ innings in 2007, and now in his second full season, given the information at hand, I truly believe Carmona could be in for a 150+K season. Follow me here... in 2007, Carmona had...

April - 9 K in 26 IP

May - 14 K in 36 IP
June - 25 K in 34 IP
July - 34 K in 41 IP
Aug - 28 K in 42 IP

Sept - 27 K in 35 IP

I'd say April we can forget about because he was thrown into the rotation. Chalk up May as a month to adjust and the rest of the year is gold! If we take June - Sept and take the average K's for each month we get 28.5 K's per month. Now take that 28.5 per month and project over a full season and you have 171 potential K's. For all of you stat crunchers out there, that's something to look at. Most known stat crunchers are still saying that Carmona isn't as valuable as other top notch starters simply because they probably haven't taken the time to figure out this easy stat. My projection is if we give or take a few, Carmona can reach the 150K mark. To me, that's worth a 6th-8th round pick in a normal 12 team draft. Instead, when a SP run is non-existent, Carmona can usually be had in rounds 8-10...which to me is unacceptable but at the same time, great for us who believe in Carmona. People look, his stuff is just too good, his fast ball as too much on it to think that he won't increase his K rate. I am not saying he'll throw 200K, but don't be surprised if he adjusts and learns how to miss more than 137 bats in 2008! And don't be surprised if Carmona hits the 170+ mark too! You heard it here first!


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