Selling High

Author: Geoff Falbo (aka Geo007)

May 28, 2012

Lately I have been finding it easier and easier to trade replaceable prospects for higher ceiling prospects from opponents in my leagues. I thought I should write an article to describe the theories I have been using and some of the flaws that are out there when reviewing “top prospects”. Here we will examine in 3 case studies some of these statistical flaws in rating prospects that do not translate to Dynasty numbers. I will not be recommending that you consider trading these players I mention below, but I will point out some ranking statistics that you should consider when owning them. Some flaws will be obvious to seasoned players, while other points should always be taken into consideration only. The more information you have the better.

For example, let’s look at the way scouts review position player prospects. 5 tools are generally ranked and rated for position players: Batting Average, Power, Speed, Defense and Arm Strength. When looking at these 5 basic points you can easily determine that 2 of the 5 tools really don’t translate to dynasty numbers yet they account for 40% of the players ranking in some cases. As long as your prospects are average or better in Defense and Arm Strength, you should really be concentrating on the other 3 tools when grabbing your prospects.

Let’s face it, primarily at draft times, casual dynasty players will scan a few top prospect sites for some lists and arm themselves with enough data to get them through the draft and season. Many lists out there post TOP PROSPECTS based on all 5 tools we mentioned above. Even some prospect lists have a primary goal on whether the player will make it to the show and then what will their impact be.

I have identified 3 players in which we can review (I know there are more out there). These players are on most top 100 lists, and if you own one of them I will arm you with some information you can use to trade and get max value in return.

Discussion 1

Anthony Gose, OF, Toronto Blue Jays, AAA – PCL

On most top 100 lists and in most cases within the top 50.

Assets: Has blazing speed, excellent defense and an above average throwing arm.

2009 – 76 SB
2010 – 45 SB
2011 – 70 SB

Negatives: Extremely high KK total , low BA in all levels of the minors, path blocked to the Jays. Jake Marisnick closing the gap for top OF prospect in the Jays system.

2009 – 21% KK rate, .259 avg, 2 HR
2010 – 26% KK rate, .262 avg, 7 HR
2011 – 30% KK rate, .253 avg, 16HR
2012 – 28% KK rate, .241 avg,

Exceptions: Was indirectly part of the Roy Halliday trade so the expectation for him to play on the Jays are high. Has played much above his age level in the minors.

Gose is currently a below-average hitter, which is a bit puzzling considering his lightning-fast hands, but with excellent defensive tools and impressive speed numbers, this has kept him still high on prospect lists. Yes those SB numbers are very impressive and would be loved by any dynasty owner, but the rest of what Gose has to offer your team is not good enough. A poor BA and low output on power makes him too one dimensional for most Dynasty teams. Dreams of him ever being the next Carl Crawford or Kenny Lofton with his pattern of a low BA don’t look to be coming true.

Recommendation: Sell High, attempt to get a legit top 40 prospect

Discussion 2

Hak-Ju Lee. SS, Tampa Rays, AA – SOU

On most top 100 lists and in most cases within the top 50

Assets: Premier position in SS, top rated defensive SS, hits for average and speed

2009 – .330 avg, 25 SB
2010 – .282 avg, 32 SB
2011 – .292 avg, 33 SB
2012 – .240 avg.

Negatives: zero power for HR or RBI totals, hits for contact with not enough BBs to take advantage of his speed for more SB numbers

2009 – 2 HR
2010 – 1 HR
2011 – 5 HR

Exceptions: plays for TB that supports a feeding farm system, no block to the majors, Key return factor in Garza trade, should play in the majors full time in 2013

Hak-Ju Lee exploded on the scene last season and at one point was even in the top 20 as far as top prospects. That has since leveled off a bit, but lists that acknowledge his great defensive skills as an asset do very little for your Dynasty numbers, other then keeping him in the lineup. Some Dynasty players would be satisfied with getting a superior number in one category from a SS position, but a batting average shouldn’t be one of them. There are so many better options. In my opinion, he is the most overrated prospect for Dynasty purposes, take advantage of this.

Recommendation: Sell high while the hype is still there, difficult to trade for another SS (poor comparison numbers), may have to trade for a top 30 pitcher as a recommendation

Discussion 3

Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Colorado Rookies, MLB club

On most top 100s, within top 30 and top LHP

Assets: Good KK ratio, Durable pitchers frame, excellent ERA in minors, mature 3 pitch pitcher, extremely tough on leftie hitters

2011 – 1.78 ERA, 10.6 K/9 AA/AAA

Negatives: Pitches in Colorado, Pressure to perform as part of the Jimenez trade, Pitches in Colorado and did I mention that he pitches in Colorado

Exceptions: Will be given every opportunity to succeed in Colorado, plays on the MLB club currently

I don’t have too many statistical negatives about Drew Pomeranz, he is a very good pitcher. BUT I would avoid Colorado pitchers like the plague. Other then Ubaldo Jimeniz’s amazing 2010 season, most others performances have been less then par. Expect a higher then normal ERA having to deal with the high alts in the Rockies as the ball tends to carry. Even when Jeff Francis was having stellar seasons, his ERA was unacceptable for Dynasty teams. And let’s not even talk about Mike Hampton…

Recommendation: Sell high before he pitches further in the MLB season for Colorado!! Equal value can be found outside of the Rockies…

All and all, hopefully you have learned some tools here in what to look for and avoid when trading asset. Defensive specialist type players are great to have on your favorite baseball team but not your Dynasty team. If defense was a Dynasty stat then Jose Iglesias and Adeiny Hechavaria would be 1-2 on the list, but those guys are having trouble hitting a beach ball let alone a baseball…

Other tricks I found when maximizing value is getting to know where your opponents are from…generally overrating your hometown prospects is quite common, so trading a 50th ranked prospect from their home city can fetch you a great return.

Good Luck in the season and looking forward to hearing your comments…