Saturday, March 6, 2010

Utility expense

I will be competing in at least eight leagues this season. I'm currently committed to six of them. So with the seventh, I decided to employ an unprecidented set-up, an unheard of and unique yet challenging experience: the 9 Util/9 P league.

In this format you're not married to the idea of position scarcity. In fact, you throw it out the proverbial window. Position scarcity has long since played a vital role in assessing players' values. You convert every position on a baseball diamond into a utility role and what you've got is flexibility and a whole lot of Mark DeRosas. You could own nine second basemen or the entire Mets outfield (including reserves) or presumably 67% of your roster could consist of Ramirezes.

Without position scarcity Dustin Pedroia looks remarkably mundane. Mauer looks enormously overvalued. And Aaron Hill ... well, he looks out of place as it stands regardless of scarcity. He doesn't deserve that ADP nor will he meet the outrageously high expectations he has on him coming into 2010. He can rake but 36 home runs is an outlier. Without question.

You can go about filling your roster in hundreds of ways, but it's imperative that you develop and stick to a strategy throughout the early parts of the draft and even into the core rounds.

Above all else, you have flexibility. You can skip the third base position entirely (arguably the most troublesome position to fill in years). You can get away with owning two starters (in the Commenters league two years ago I only drafted Justin Masterson and I can tell you that it didn't end well. I had to construct a rotation during the season collecting scraps as this was a 16-teamer).

In short, you have an infinite number of strategies available at your disposal. It breaks the game down to its basics, but at the same time, requires as much - if not more - preparation and research as your typical, standard draft.

I'll also be adding the work of a fellow commenter, Trigga Play, up on here. We've competed in some of the same leagues against Yahoo! experts and he's an insightful dude. So look out for that.

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