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When is it too early to give up?


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#1 JFS171

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:05 AM

Was thinking about this the other day, and decided to start a topic as I'm sure a lot of guys deal with similar decisions in either dynasty leagues or long term, multiple keeper leagues. And I'm sure the decision gets a lot more complicated with auction values, contract leagues, or leagues that require you to forfeit the round in which a player was selected.

The question is this -- at what point is it too early to cut bait? Obviously you can gain a tremendous advantage from being ahead of the curve and moving on. However, you also can really shoot yourself in the foot by giving up too early. Some prospects like Alex Gordon, for example, require time to develop and adjust. But others like Brandon Wood never, ever get it.

So how do you guys sort through the wheat and the chaff?

How do you approach guys like Moustakas (excellent first half, terrible second half), Hosmer (excellent debut, terrible second year), Montero (lauded as an all-bat prospect, traded to Seattle, struggles galore), etc. Those who cut bait on Alvarez missed out on his 30 HRs last year, for example.

Obviously in dynasty leagues where you keep your entire roster, you have to ride it out. But in deep keeper leagues that only count keepers (giving up picks through the first X rounds), how long do you hold on?

Perhaps this isn't relevant to as many as I think it may be, but I'm curious to see what the wisdom of the forum thinks...

#2 parrothead

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:00 AM

So there are kind of two things here, one as a franchise and then one on players.

So I think in significant keeper leagues of normal to larger size 12+ (8-10+ Keepers) as well as dynasty leagues I think its important to really examine going into the auction what your team is and what your goals are for the year. So our league does not have free agency (this is important I think for this clarification) we do have a limited waiver wire, but typically you might see a starting pitcher upgrade like a mid-to back rotation guy or maybe OF3-5 or maybe a guy is better than your UT or 0F5, but typically if you have scarce positions like middle IF or catcher or closers - the waiver wire is useless AND its all about timing because the guys go on waiver wire when injured guys return to team and they keep original or replacement - the one not kept goes on WW.

Franchise - dont be affraid in deeper keeper leagues or dynasty leagues to call a year a rebuilding year and be ready to bail out early. Late April last year, I knew I was in a rebuild year, I traded high priced non keeper/expiring contract Matt Weiters and Dustin Pedroia to a team who was trying to contend who had two guys killing him Geovany Soto and Ryan Raburn plus minor leaguers Bryce Harper and Shelby Miller. I was criticized for "selling out too early" "Its late April WTF are you doing"...two weeks later Harper is up, Weiters cools off and by late May there were several other team in "sell" mode. Two weeks later there is NO WAY IN HELL I get that deal done. Now I have Bryce Harper for $2 this year and $3 in 2014 and 2015 plus Shelby Miller still as a minor leaguer. The earlier you decide to sell, the better off you are because its a sellers market, if you wait too long when 1/4 of the league realizes they are out of it, it becomes a bit of a buyers market. So be honest about where you are, I had won it the year before, basically traded away every asset I had and naming rights of any future children or pets so I knew I was in no position to win, that also steered my draft strategy, I was willing to go more studs and duds, take some chances on maybe a guy who didnt have a defined job (Aroldis Chapman for $1) than I would of if I were "contending".

With Players - I think its similar to franchise, its about where you think you are in terms of winning the league. If you truly have a shot at a title, and you have a young guy with upside who just isnt pulling his weight, I wouldnt "cut bait" and release him, but you have to seriously think about dealing him for a more proven player, especially if you think you are that close to victory. If you cant see that move being a title-winning difference maker go ahead and hope to finish "in the money" with a nice foundation for a title run the next year, but if you have title aspirations that year, you darn well better be willing to cut bait.
Seems everybody's jogging or heavy into health s?&t, don't tell me that I otta get rolfed, cause I love Cajun martinis and playing afternoon golf-JB from we are the people are parents warned us about

#3 sayhey58

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:08 AM

Thanks Parrothead......I am in a new dynasty league and as of now finishing up a horrible draft......Will take your words to heart!!

#4 An Old Hippie

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:32 AM

Different sport, but I took over a team in a keeper basketball league that had a few good players The previous owner had done nothing with it. You get 4 keepers and I could count to three easily. The team also was close to 40 games out of first.

Just started trading as there was no point in playing for nothing. Still have three keepers (not the same ones) and have collected a 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th round extra draft choices for next year. 12 round draft where you lose your 1st, 2nd, 11th 12th round if you keep 4. Your third and fourth keeper is the only way to use the last 2 picks

I think once you realize you can't compete it is time to start planning for the future. But you have to be willing to come back the next year. Otherwise, you could be gutting the team and leaving it that no one would want to play it for following years.

#5 ballfan4141

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:35 AM

in basketball I took over a team. had to pick from the draft no keepers or players on my roster. in first in my division.

#6 parrothead

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 05:41 PM

Different sport, but I took over a team in a keeper basketball league that had a few good players The previous owner had done nothing with it. You get 4 keepers and I could count to three easily. The team also was close to 40 games out of first.

Just started trading as there was no point in playing for nothing. Still have three keepers (not the same ones) and have collected a 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th round extra draft choices for next year. 12 round draft where you lose your 1st, 2nd, 11th 12th round if you keep 4. Your third and fourth keeper is the only way to use the last 2 picks

I think once you realize you can't compete it is time to start planning for the future. But you have to be willing to come back the next year. Otherwise, you could be gutting the team and leaving it that no one would want to play it for following years.

Like I tell all new owners who come in our league, the owners who do well understand that your franchise should always be building, competing or both. Sitting there middle pack to bottom of the league not accumulating keepers, minor leaguers and minor league picks is a sure fire way to failure.
Seems everybody's jogging or heavy into health s?&t, don't tell me that I otta get rolfed, cause I love Cajun martinis and playing afternoon golf-JB from we are the people are parents warned us about

#7 jsp2014

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:44 PM

I was in dead last in a 12 team roto league in early August last year with like 42 points. I won the league. Was a fairly competitive league. One of those yahoo $100 ones.
I will never draft Francisco Liriano ever again.

#8 JFS171

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:48 PM

So this took a slightly different angle than I originally intended with the start of the thread, which is fine.

My question was moreso at what point with a specific player do you cut your losses (or sell for pennies on the dollar) and cash out?

What stats do you look at to decipher between the next Brandon Wood and the next Alex Gordon?

#9 Slatykamora

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:05 PM

So this took a slightly different angle than I originally intended with the start of the thread, which is fine.

My question was moreso at what point with a specific player do you cut your losses (or sell for pennies on the dollar) and cash out?

What stats do you look at to decipher between the next Brandon Wood and the next Alex Gordon?


Underline Plate Discipline stats will usually give up an idea. Like StrikeSwing, Contact Rate, O-Swing, etc etc

Even so, its not Ideal to give up a top tier prospect in his rookie year .. If you want to give an honest assessment of a prospect. Unless those are eye poping bad. You gotta see to the point you have data that can either illustrate he is improving or not (In both underline and surface stats)

Is he lowering is O-Swing? StrikeSwing, Strikeout Rate? Raising his Contact rate? Raising his ISO, Walk Rate?

And Context matters..Brandon Wood did improve his Plate discipline stats from his rookie year... But his baseline he set in his rookie year were soo bad. He needed to improve by a lot to make an impact

While Gordon was already much better in StirkeSwing/ Contact Rate/ O-Swing to begin with..

Edited by Slatykamora, 13 February 2013 - 11:14 PM.


#10 RotoRaysfan

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:20 PM


So this took a slightly different angle than I originally intended with the start of the thread, which is fine.

My question was moreso at what point with a specific player do you cut your losses (or sell for pennies on the dollar) and cash out?

What stats do you look at to decipher between the next Brandon Wood and the next Alex Gordon?


Underline Plate Discipline stats will usually give up an idea. Like StrikeSwing, Contact Rate, O-Swing, etc etc

Even so, its not Ideal to give up a top tier prospect in his rookie year .. If you want to give an honest assessment of a prospect. Unless those are eye poping bad. You gotta see to the point you have data that can either illustrate he is improving or not (In both underline and surface stats)

Is he lowering is O-Swing? StrikeSwing, Strikeout Rate? Raising his Contact rate? Raising his ISO, Walk Rate?


Nice analysis...

To echo some more thoughts:

1. Pitchers & catchers take longer to progress...while we all love it when a rookie goes nuts - but look at Lincecum, Kershaw, Felix, Verlander - in their rookie years. Some of them, their second year was sheer frustration. Halladay - got sent down to A-ball in his 3rd year. The number of "Queen Felix" posts in his first 2-3 seasons - a testament to impatience. For catchers, the more full-time C work they take on, unless they are Mike Piazza (and ignore the D - HOF bat, no mistake), the Buster Poseys of the world are dwarfed 10x by the Matt Wieters (guys who need 3+ years to develop to near-peak). As for bats, the same rings true - but there are more bats who do well their rookie year. Still, for every Buster Posey, there are 9-10 Ike Davises or Freddy Freemans. There really is only 1 Mike Trout & 1 Albert Pujols, and for the record, there's no one in the MILB who projects to do even 85 percent of what Trout/Pujols did their rookie years - it's just that rare & special (see: J-Up, Kemp, and HOF talents like Ken Griffey Jr. their first year - those are the norms).

2. Players talk about the game "slowing down" for them - in terms of what that can be seen through metrics - better contact rates, higher BB/K ratios for hitters are easy targets (O-swing is a great indicator if the BB's aren't showing up yet...unless the guy is getting too patient <rare>). For pitchers, it's all about the BB's, and also pitch count management (putting away hitters sooner, going deeper into games). I also look for the pitcher who suddently regains the 2+ MPH he lost when he first came up (usually due to overthrowing, and getting your mechanics out of whack when you first come up to the Show and try to amp up). Also, remember the 20-21 year old who hits a ton of doubles and whose frame looks like they can take a little more muscle - could be a nice power-surge when they are 2-3 years older.

3. Ceiling is directly correlated to how long your max "patience" mode is going to last. Someone who has true ace potential, or 5-tool talent - you wait the extra year. Someone who likely is capped at a SP3, or at 3rd tier OF as their ceiling - you don't lose as badly if you cut bait. It's why Alex Gordon was always so tantalizing - and why even now, Delmon Young still gets contracts (although it can be easily argued he's really had many chances...and then some). It's also why Pedro Alvarez last year still was worth tracking.

4. Beware of teams that rush players way too quickly - and thus set them up for early failure. Trevor Bauer had clear command issues in AAA, and while many hoped he would be lights out - the fact he couldn't control BB's in AAA did clearly signal there was risk in 2012. It shouldn't change the fact that barring a total case of brain-fart syndrome, he should have a bright future.

5. Most of all, a huge factor in being patient - rebuilding. If you are a rebuilder, the opportunity cost is usually quite low in holding on to your young talent. The real issue is if you are contending - in which case, if you can hold on to your dynasty gold who is struggling, great. But, perhaps instead of holding on to ALL your dynasty assets, identify the core you can't bear to watch go nuts on another team - and then be ready to maximize your win-now chances with a rebuilder who will pay near-full value for a future talent. On the other hand, the worst mistake rebuilders make - selling low on young talent out of sheer frustration. I don't mean selling 90 cents on the dollar - I mean, Kevin Towers-level underselling.

Hope the above helps....as we get near to draft time for many leagues, great to talk about dynasty principles too...

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#11 uspsjeter2

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:31 PM

So this took a slightly different angle than I originally intended with the start of the thread, which is fine.

My question was moreso at what point with a specific player do you cut your losses (or sell for pennies on the dollar) and cash out?

What stats do you look at to decipher between the next Brandon Wood and the next Alex Gordon?

Understand that player growth is rarely linear, it will more likely com in fits and starts. Rookies play more games and do lots more travelling and playing in the same day than they are accustomed to in the minors. It all requires an adjustment. Also understand that players at positions like C and SS may be asked to concentrate on defense at the expense of offense when first arriving, so the growth curve may be longer. Look at the underlying skills to see if a player is truly improving, not his surface stats. Is he making hard contact? Is he taking more walks? Is his contact rate improving? Does he understand how to steal a base? Is he swinging at pitches outside the zone? Questions like these are relevant. Frequently these underlying skills will be improving without it initially translating into actual statistical production. That foretells the likelihood of an expected increase in production. So examine a player's skills and be willing to be excruciatingly patient. Skills growth much more often than not will translate into statistical growth.

Rookies frequently struggle their second year in the league, as the "book" on them gets around. See Jason Heyward, Asdrubal Cabrera, David Wright, Pablo Sandoval, it's a pretty impressive list. So you'll have to just accept that as part of the package. Once a player shows success, he has the ability to do it again. You'll have to rely on your own sense of that player's situation as to whether or not circumstances warrant betting on a repeat in the future. Justin Upton is in that boat as we speak. A change of scenery can do wonders for a career. Big Papi in Boston, for example. You can spot the trends if you'll think about those things logically. Chris Carter just went from a hitter's nightmare to a hitter's dream. It could be just the thing to jump-start his career.
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#12 GretzGretzky

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:36 PM

I usually look at a particular player's value. If I know he'll get snatched up when I drop him, I'll generally keep him even if I'm not so sure of his future. He's still an asset at that point.

Once I think I can drop someone and he'll not be picked up, it's time to let go.



#13 jsp2014

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 12:05 AM

So this took a slightly different angle than I originally intended with the start of the thread, which is fine.

My question was moreso at what point with a specific player do you cut your losses (or sell for pennies on the dollar) and cash out?

What stats do you look at to decipher between the next Brandon Wood and the next Alex Gordon?


It all depends on your perception of a player's value relative to your leaguemates' perception, whether he starts hot, cold, or neither.

That is not really helpful but I just find that a lot of people get married to a player's draft day value. It's good to constantly, even if subconsciously, gauge the current value of your players.

Edited by jsp2014, 14 February 2013 - 12:08 AM.

I will never draft Francisco Liriano ever again.

#14 jsp2014

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 12:13 AM

I usually look at a particular player's value. If I know he'll get snatched up when I drop him, I'll generally keep him even if I'm not so sure of his future. He's still an asset at that point.

Once I think I can drop someone and he'll not be picked up, it's time to let go.


I am guilty of this as well, but it's a bad way to approach things.
I will never draft Francisco Liriano ever again.

#15 RotoRaysfan

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 12:16 AM


So this took a slightly different angle than I originally intended with the start of the thread, which is fine.

My question was moreso at what point with a specific player do you cut your losses (or sell for pennies on the dollar) and cash out?

What stats do you look at to decipher between the next Brandon Wood and the next Alex Gordon?


It all depends on your perception of a player's value relative to your leaguemates' perception, whether he starts hot, cold, or neither.

That is not really helpful but I just find that a lot of people get married to a player's draft day value. It's good to constantly, even if subconsciously, gauge the current value of your players.


Just to clarify though - in dynasty & long-term keeper leagues, draft day value may be going back 2-3 years. ;)

(Great concept for redraft leagues, though, totally agree - and you can port it over to the Delmon Youngs of the world dynasty-wise - guy was a #1 overall pick, but that kind of valuation is long gone).

Football PPR 2014 - Cutler, L. Bell, R. Jennings, Dez, Marshall, V-Jax, Justin Hunter, Quick, Rudolph, HOU DST. D-Thomas fan club member.
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Been a blast everyone - take care, and remember to abide by the CoC, and to help your fellow community out - it's what's made the Forum community great!

P.S. My passion is primarily FBB - you'd LOL at my football track record!


#16 parrothead

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:08 AM

When is it too early to give up?


Never before the third "not tonight"
Seems everybody's jogging or heavy into health s?&t, don't tell me that I otta get rolfed, cause I love Cajun martinis and playing afternoon golf-JB from we are the people are parents warned us about

#17 Skoodog

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:13 AM

One quick comment about five-tool players...for fantasy you really only care about three of them (hit tool, power tool, speed tool), and in some cases only 2. Throwing ability and fielding only matter if you are looking for a weak fantasy position like SS, C, and in some cases 3B.

A lot of prospect valuations will look at the sum of the whole when evaluating a player which, if their defensive tool is amazing, they tend to raise their value higher than what it should be for a fantasy valuation. If a player shows above average in all tools then they rocket up the charts, though their fantasy appeal may be slightly less. Key example is Jurickson Profar (though as a dynasty owner, I hope he breaks out).
Legend has it...they don't check on the weekends...

#18 JFS171

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:52 AM

One quick comment about five-tool players...for fantasy you really only care about three of them (hit tool, power tool, speed tool), and in some cases only 2. Throwing ability and fielding only matter if you are looking for a weak fantasy position like SS, C, and in some cases 3B.

A lot of prospect valuations will look at the sum of the whole when evaluating a player which, if their defensive tool is amazing, they tend to raise their value higher than what it should be for a fantasy valuation. If a player shows above average in all tools then they rocket up the charts, though their fantasy appeal may be slightly less. Key example is Jurickson Profar (though as a dynasty owner, I hope he breaks out).


This is dead on. One of the reasons I'm stubbornly hanging on to Jesus Montero. I couldn't care less if he can't catch - I believe in the bat. And in leagues that I don't own him, I think this past season provides a nice buying opportunity. It's incredibly difficult to transition to being a full-time DH, and we've seen many established major leaguers struggle with that move. Can't imagine the difficulties of DHing after rarely doing it before, and doing so as a rookie, in a new city with a new team.

Point being, when he caught last year, he hit very well. But he gets knocked in the baseball universe because he's barely passable at C. What do we care? As long as he gets at least 10 starts per year behind the plate, that's good enough for us. Hopefully he continues to improve on the C to DH transition and becomes much more comfortable at DH, as I do believe it's his ultimate position -- unless they try to give him a shot at 1B.

#19 parrothead

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:03 AM

One quick comment about five-tool players...for fantasy you really only care about three of them (hit tool, power tool, speed tool), and in some cases only 2. Throwing ability and fielding only matter if you are looking for a weak fantasy position like SS, C, and in some cases 3B.

A lot of prospect valuations will look at the sum of the whole when evaluating a player which, if their defensive tool is amazing, they tend to raise their value higher than what it should be for a fantasy valuation. If a player shows above average in all tools then they rocket up the charts, though their fantasy appeal may be slightly less. Key example is Jurickson Profar (though as a dynasty owner, I hope he breaks out).

Agree 100% when you look at a lot of the MLB Top 100 prospects and such, you will find a lot of guys who arent Top 100 Fantasy prospects and that is important to distinguish.
Seems everybody's jogging or heavy into health s?&t, don't tell me that I otta get rolfed, cause I love Cajun martinis and playing afternoon golf-JB from we are the people are parents warned us about

#20 JFS171

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:10 AM

Agree 100% when you look at a lot of the MLB Top 100 prospects and such, you will find a lot of guys who arent Top 100 Fantasy prospects and that is important to distinguish.


Very, very true. I play in one league where we are allowed to draft and protect up to 5 non-major leaguers. Can draft anyone really, so long as they aren't on a 40-man roster, and haven't been in the past.

2 years ago I drafted Javier Baez over Francisco Lindor. Lindor is widely heralded as the much better prospect, built almost exclusively off his glove. He may well hit .290-.300 at his peak, and maybe he reaches double digit HRs with 20 steals, but those are all best case scenarios. Baez, on the other hand, has some of the best bat speed in the minors, and absolutely rakes. There's questions about his defense, but I couldn't care less. Guys get moved around position wise frequently, so that can be very difficult to project for IFs... give me the stronger bat.

It's also what I look for in drafting minor leaguers to this team -- bat first, primarily hit tool and power, and references to excellent bat speed are instant signs for me to be interested in a prospect. Speed is excellent as well, but instincts can make up for a lot of speed projections, and guys generally slow down as they rise in the minors and face better pitchers and better catchers (unless you're talking about Billy Hamilton, of course).