Thursday, March 22, 2007

Royals in fantasy baseball

My first fantasy baseball draft is tonight, and while I fully intend on owning Alex Gordon, Mark Teahen, Ryan Shealy, David DeJesus, Gil Meche, Zach Grinke and probably Octavio Dotel, I understand I may need to make a few concessions and take, perhaps, Albert Pujols over Shealy or Chris Carpenter over Meche. But the question remains: Which Royal should go first, and how soon?

First, let's take a rundown of where the "experts" have certain Royals players slotted:

Yahoo Big Board:
Mark Teahen ("on the bubble," just outside the top 100)
Alex Gordon (No. 26 among 3b)
Ryan Shealy (No. 27 among 1b)
David DeJesus (No. 71 among OF)
Octavio Dotel (No. 24 among RP)
Gil Meche, Luke Hudson, Odalis Perez, Jorge de la Rosa, Zach Greinke, Brian Bannister (NR among top 90)

ESPN The Magazine:
Mark Teahen (97)

Sports Illustrated - David Sabino's Player Value Rankings, hitters:
Alex Gordon, 3b (62) (No. 10 among 3b)
Mark Teahen, 3b/OF (147)
Ryan Shealy, 1b (149)
Emil Brown, OF (154)
Mike Sweeney, dh (160)
David DeJesus, OF (167)
Jason LaRue, c (238)
Reggie Sanders, OF (257)
Angel Berroa, ss (272)
Mark Grudzielanek, 2b (276)
Esteban German, 2b (287)
Joey Gathright, OF (353)
Shane Costa, OF (370)

Gil Meche (124)
Luke Hudson (143)
Zach Greinke (148)
Odalis Perez (155)
Brian Bannister (164)
Jorge de la Rosa (173)
Scott Elarton (183) (no Royal made it in the top 100, so the following list is the player's position ranking):
Mark Teahen (No. 20, 3b)
Alex Gordon (No. 22, 3b)
Ryan Shealy (No. 28, 1b)
David DeJesus (No. 79, OF)
Joey Gathright (No. 80, OF)
Emil Brown (No. 86, OF)
Gil Meche (No. 90, SP)
Zach Greinke (No. 102, SP)
Mark Grudzielanek (No. 33, 2b)
Mike Sweeney (No. 5, dh)
Esteban German (No. 44, 2b)
David Riske (No. 85, RP)
Angel Berroa (NR*)

The disrespect is staggering, isn't it? The consensus seems to be -- besides don't draft Royals -- that Mark Teahen should be the first Royal to take. But Teahen plays two positions that are crowded with production players -- outfield and third base -- so he'll probably remain available very late in drafts. His Holiness the Savior, on the other hand, is more likely to be the first Royal snatched off most boards, both because of his hype (Baseball Prospectus's No. 1 prospect) and, more importantly, his projected stats. The following four lines are BP's forecast for Gordon, Teahen, and fantasy dark horses David DeJesus and Ryan Shealy:

AG: .282/.364/.511, 26 HR, 89 RBI, 94 R, 14 SB, 64 BB
MT: .283/.357/.475, 17 HR, 69 RBI, 77 R, 9 SB, 52 BB
DD: .291/.358/.425, 10 HR, 59 RBI, 83 R, 7 SB, 49 BB
RS: .271/.334/.475, 20 HR, 72 RBI, 61 R, 2 SB, 39 BB

While not eye-popping (though Gordon's line is quite impressive for a rookie), those numbers are respectable, proving these are not your 2005 KC representatives, Ken Harvey and Mike MacDougal. And, yes, we know BP's forecasts aren't guaranteed -- however scientific they may be -- but would you really take a chance on Delmon Young (projected .297/.334/.473, 18 HR, 75 RBI, 84 R, 22 SB, 22 BB), ranked No. 70 on Yahoo's Big Board, before Gordon or Teahen?

In other words, don't listen to people like Will Carroll, who made this snide remark in the fantasy baseball preview section in the March 12 edition of ESPN The Mag: "Gil Meche, SP, KC: Got huge bucks despite a long history of injuries, including the dreaded labrum. As if the Royals weren't enough reason not to draft him."

Fixating on players from one team is usually a bad strategy, but if you had to choose a team, you could do worse than the Royals. Either way, I plan on winning my league, after which I'll have "IN DAYTON I TRUSTED" etched onto my championship ring.

* I hope the significance of this fact isn't lost on you. The site listed 67 shortshops, including Neifi Perez at No. 53 and Mark Reynolds, Yunel Escobar, Sean Rodriguez, Reid Brignac and Chin-Lung Hu at 63-67, BUT NOT THE STARTING SHORTSTOP OF THE KANSAS CITY ROYALS. This would be astounding if not for the fact that they may be onto something, since Berroa is, by all indications, set to lose his job.

1 comment:

  1. I'll take that bet. You take Meche, I'll take someone making LESS money and having less experience than him. Someone like Zach Duke, David Bush, or even Jason Marquis and bet his VORP is higher than Meche's at the end of the season. Email me for terms.

    -- Will Carroll