One of the things I love to do after the draft is look at the upcoming projections for each player and figure out who will have the best team. It sounds like a ton of work, but it is really just plugging numbers into a spreadsheet. Before I begin though, I need to explain something about my method and my belief in what this means.
I use the ZIPs projections from Fangraphs. Is it the best? Probably not, but I always find it to be pretty good. Unfortunately, none of the projections are very good for middle relievers, so I just have to look at last years numbers and try to take into consideration a few factors, such as who is the closer, will they get promoted at some point, etc. Obviously this is not an exact science.
Another crappy thing is that I do not have a way to accurately give an average for ERA/WHIP. I just plug the numbers in and take the average. I suppose I could add the total numbers for everyone and get a true ERA/WHIP, but that is too much work. The problem with my method is that it gives equal share for a starting and relief pitcher. For example, if Pitcher A throws 200 innings and has an ERA of 3.00 and Pitcher B throws 50 innings with an ERA of 2.00, my system says the total ERA will be 2.50, but that is not really the case. In reality the ERA would skew more towards 3.00.
In years past when I did this, I have added a different number of hitters into the mix, just depending on how many the person drafted. And for some reason I did a static number of pitchers. I swapped them because I realize this is stupid. I went with eleven hitters, I chose the highest ranked hitter if there were more than eleven. I added in all the pitchers because you can easily use all the stats from pitchers, but hitters you have to pick and choose. Again, not perfect, but the best I could come up with and not give myself a ton of extra work.
To me the best way to use this information is for evaluating how you did in the draft. You may be completely happy and figure that your team is fine. Or you may look at it and say “wow, I really thought I drafted enough pitching.” Or you may look at it and say “well screw you ZIPs, I think Matt Cain is going to return to being an ace and go 19-3 this year, that is why I drafted him!”
Once I have the totals, I then rank each team. Highest score is ten, lowest is one. I know, pretty earth shattering.
I was shocked that my team ranked so well. I really expected to be somewhere in the middle of the pack or maybe lower. One of the things that alarms me is the batting average though. The main reason for that is Chris Carter. He may not be a viable solution.
As you can see, Gideon had the best draft, but I was close behind in second. After that it was really not all that close. I figure Ryan had a poor draft because he was doing it from his phone while at rehearsal. And for anyone out there who thinks Lindsey did not draft and that I did everything for her, just look at those results. She is in last place.
Something interesting that I noticed this year is that people actually drafted for Holds. The first few years of this league, people just ignored that category and would pick guys up off the waiver wire. Now it seems that people are realizing those guys are pretty valuable. And you can never be too sure when a closer will go down and the setup man will be called upon to close. When that happens you just went from a Holds guy to a Saves guy without having to rush out to find the replacement. Since Ryan and Sean auto-drafted, they can be excused for not drafting a middle reliever. Lindsey has no excuse, except that I did not really mention it to her. Oops.
Just a few more weeks until the actual season is upon us. Good luck to everyone!