A Rebuttal from Cracker Jack to Captain Jack

In response to Captain Jack’s 2018 State of SLB Address.

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SLB 2018 Undeniably Way Too Early Keeper Predictions

players

The hot stove is ice cold and it’s still juuuuust a bit too early to really dive into draft prep. That said, we take a crack at this year’s undeniably way too early keeper predictions.

In looking at the keeper options, it appears as though most teams fall into one of three categories. They either have some slam dunk, super-easy keeper decisions decisions, a wealth of enticing options, or a butt-ton of very meh options.

I won’t pretend to know who everyone is going to keep so my formula for making these decisions is based on a combination of my gut choice, the owner’s keeper track record, and – in some instances – the flipping of a coin to make the decision.

Obviously, a lot can change between now and the keeper deadline in March, but these are merely my current predictions and some dark horse options in case of injury or indecision.

So, without any further ado…here are the way-way-way too early keeper predictions for the 2018 season.

zima001ZIMA

Keeper Prediction:
Aaron Judge (NYY-OF)
Trevor Story (COL-SS)
Clayton Kershaw (LAD–SP)

Dark Horse(s): Rhys Hoskins (PHI-OF), Willson Contreras (CHC-C), Andrew Benintendi (BOS-OF) & Nick Castellanos (DET-3B)
Draft Priority: 1

radioactiverush001Radioactive Rush

Keeper Prediction:
Paul Goldschmidt (ARI–1B)
Jose Ramirez (CLE-2B/3B)
Carlos Carrasco (CLE–SP)

Dark Horse(s): Robbie Ray (ARZ-SP) & Starling Marte (PIT–OF)
Draft Priority: 2

dome_dog_logoDome Dog

Keeper Prediction:
Corey Seager (LAD–SS)
Cody Bellinger (LAD-1B/OF)
Jacob deGrom (NYM–SP)

Dark Horse(s): J.D. Martinez (FA-OF)
Draft Priority: 3

seabass001Sea Bass v13.0

Keeper Prediction:
Kris Bryant (CHC–3B/OF)
Matt Carpenter (STL-1B/2B/3B)
Noah Syndergaard (NYM–SP)

Dark Horse(s): Kyle Schwarber (CHC–C/OF), Yoenis Cespedes (NYM–OF), & Rougned Odor (TEX-2B)
Draft Priority: 4

The Groundhogsgroundhog003

Keeper Prediction:
Manny Machado (BAL-3B)
Trea Turner (WAS-SS)
José Berríos (MIN-SP)

Dark Horse(s): Robinson Cano (SEA–2B), Drew Smyly (CHC-SP) & Zack Godley (ARI-SP)
Draft Priority: 5

SLDSL Disappointments

Keeper Prediction:
Miguel Sano (MIN–3B/OF)
Gary Sanchez (NYY-C)
Chris Archer (TB–SP)

Dark Horse(s): Nelson Cruz (SEA-OF), Eric Hosmer (FA-1B), Brian Dozier (MIN–2B), & Marcus Stroman (TOR-SP)
Draft Priority: 6

38mph00138 MPH Heaters

Keeper Prediction:
Carlos Correa (HOU-SS)
Jose Altuve (HOU–2B)
Madison Bumgarner (SF–SP)

Dark Horse(s): Barring Injury – Not a Damn One
Draft Priority: 7

insaneaudio-new-logoInSaNeAuDiO

Keeper Prediction:
Miguel Cabrera (DET–1B)
Jake Lamb (ARI-3B)
Johnny Cueto (SF–SP)

Dark Horse(s): Mike Moustakas (FA-3B), Eric Thames (MIL-1B), Jake Arrieta (FA-SP), & Drew Pomeranz (BOS-SP)
Draft Priority: 8

Salmon Kingssalmonkings003

Keeper Prediction:
Mike Trout (LAA–OF)
Jonathan Schoop (BAL-2B)
Aaron Nola (PHI-SP)

Dark Horse(s): Justin Turner (LAD-3B), Adrian Beltre (TEX-3B), Gio González (WAS-SP), & Danny Salazar (CLE-SP)
Draft Priority: 9

Genies in a Bottlegenies2016

Keeper Prediction:
Mookie Betts (BOS–OF)
Lew Ford (VEN-OF)
Corey Kluber (CLE–SP)

Dark Horse(s): George Springer (HOU-OF), Xander Bogaerts (BOS–SS), David Price (BOS-SP), & Yu Darvish (FA-SP)
Draft Priority: 10

cheese-high-final001High Cheese

Keeper Prediction:
Freddie Freeman (ATL–1B/3B)
Anthony Rizzo (CHC–1B/2B)
Luis Severino (NYY-SP)

Dark Horse(s): Kenley Jansen (LAD-RP)
Draft Priority: 11

Mr. Magoo, co-created by animation legend John Hubley. Mr. Magoomoney grubbers

Keeper Prediction:
Nolan Arenado (COL–3B)
Francisco Lindor (CLE-SS)
Chris Sale (BOS–SP)

Dark Horse(s): Giancarlo Stanton (NYY-OF)
Draft Priority: 12

cracker jackcrackerjack-alternate003

Keeper Prediction:
Joey Votto (CIN–1B)
Charlie Blackmon (COL-OF)
Max Scherzer (WAS–SP)

Dark Horse(s): Anthony Rendon (WAS-3B)
Draft Priority: 13

Jack Sparow Flag-01Captain Jack

Keeper Prediction:
Bryce Harper (WAS–OF)
Josh Donaldson (TOR-3B)
Stephen Strasburg (WAS-SP)

Dark Horse(s): Jose Abreu (CHW-1B), Alex Bregman (HOU-3B/SS), Carlos Martinez (STL-SP), & Justin Verlander (HOU-SP)
Draft Priority: 14

SLB 2017 Undeniably Way Too Early Keeper Predictions

2017 keepers.png

It’s become a January tradition, so I’m back here today to unveil the undeniably way too early keeper predictions for the 2017 season.

In looking at the keeper options, it appears as though most teams fall into one of three categories. They either have some slam dunk, super-easy keeper decisions decisions, a wealth of enticing options, or a butt-ton of very meh options.

I won’t pretend to know who everyone is going to keep so my formula for making these decisions is based on a combination of my gut choice, the owner’s keeper track record, and – in some instances – the flipping of a coin or rolling of a die to make the decision for me.

Obviously, a lot can change between now and the keeper deadline in March, but these are merely my current predictions and some dark horse options in case of injury or indecision.

So, without any further ado…here are the way-way-way too early keeper predictions.

Mr. Magoo, co-created by animation legend John Hubley. Mr. Magoomoney grubbers

Keeper Prediction:
Nolan Arenado (COL–3B)
Carlos Correa (HOU–SS)
Chris Sale (BOS–SP)

Dark Horse(s): Kenley Jansen (LAD–RP) & Whit Merrifield (KC–2B)
Draft Priority: 1

insaneaudio-new-logoInSaNeAuDiO

Keeper Prediction:
Miguel Cabrera (DET–1B)
Charlie Blackmon (COL–OF)
Johnny Cueto (SF–SP)

Dark Horse(s): Jake Arrieta (CHC–SP) & Evan Longoria (TB–3B)
Draft Priority: 2

seabass001Sea Bass v12.0

Keeper Prediction:
Kris Bryant (CHC–3B/OF)
Yoenis Cespedes (NYM–OF)
Noah Syndergaard (NYM–SP)

Dark Horse(s): Kyle Schwarber (CHC–C/OF)
Draft Priority: 3

38mph00138 MPH Heaters

Keeper Prediction:
Francisco Lindor (CLE–SS)
Jose Altuve (HOU–2B)
Madison Bumgarner (SF–SP)

Dark Horse(s): Chris Davis (BAL–1B) & AJ Pollock (ARI–OF)
Draft Priority: 4

zima001ZIMA

Keeper Prediction:
Josh Donaldson (TOR–3B)
George Springer (HOU–OF)
Clayton Kershaw (LAD–SP)

Dark Horse(s): Andrew Benintendi (BOS–OF) & Trevor Story (COL–SS)
Draft Priority: 5

dome_dog_logoDome Dog

Keeper Prediction:
Andrew McCutchen (PIT–OF)
Corey Seager (LAD–SS)
Jacob deGrom (NYM–SP)

Dark Horse(s): Matt Carpenter (STL–1B/2B/3B), Dee Gordon (MIA–2B), & Andrew Miller (CLE–RP)
Draft Priority: 6

SLDSL Disappointments

Keeper Prediction:
Miguel Sano (MIN–3B/OF)
Brian Dozier (MIN–2B)
Chris Archer (TB–SP)

Dark Horse(s): Jose Bautista (FA–OF), Justin Turner (LAD–3B), & Cole Hamels (TEX–SP)
Draft Priority: 7

cheese-high-final001High Cheese

Keeper Prediction:
Freddie Freeman (ATL–1B)
Anthony Rizzo (CHC–1B)
Danny Salazar (CLE–SP)

Dark Horse(s): Giancarlo Stanton (MIA–OF), Felix Hernandez (SEA–SP), Rich Hill (LAD–SP) & Jason Kipnis (CLE–2B)
Draft Priority: 8

Jack Sparow Flag-01Captain Jack

Keeper Prediction:
Bryce Harper (WAS–OF)
Rougned Odor (TEX–2B)
David Price (BOS–SP)

Dark Horse(s): Justin Upton (DET–OF), J.D. Martinez (WAS–OF), & Justin Verlander (DET–SP)
Draft Priority: 9

radioactiverush001Radioactive Rush

Keeper Prediction:
Paul Goldschmidt (ARI–1B)
Edwin Encarnación (CLE–1B)
Carlos Carrasco (CLE–SP)

Dark Horse(s): Matt Harvey (NYM–SP), Stephen Strasburg (WAS–SP), & Starling Marte (PIT–OF)
Draft Priority: 10

Genies in a Bottlegenies2016

Keeper Prediction:
Mookie Betts (BOS–OF)
Lew Ford (VEN-OF)
Corey Kluber (CLE–SP)

Dark Horse(s): Xander Bogaerts (BOS– SS), Trea Turner (WAS–2B/SS/OF), & Masahiro Tanaka (NYY–SP)
Draft Priority: 11

cracker jackcrackerjack-alternate003

Keeper Prediction:
Manny Machado (BAL–SS/3B)
Alex Bregman (HOU–3B)
Max Scherzer (WAS–SP)

Dark Horse(s): Yoan Moncada (CWS–2B/3B), Joey Votto (CIN–1B), Jon Lester (CHC–SP), & Dellin Betances (NYY–RP)
Draft Priority: 12

Salmon Kingssalmonkings003

Keeper Prediction:
Mike Trout (LAA–OF)
Addison Russell (CHC–SS)
Carlos Martinez (STL–SP)

Dark Horse(s): Byron Buxton (MIN–OF), Carlos Gonzalez (COL–OF), Wil Myers (SD–1B), Julio Urias (LAD–SP), Aaron Sanchez (TOR–SP) & Kevin Gausman (BAL–SP)
Draft Priority: 13

The Groundhogsgroundhog003

Keeper Prediction:
Ryan Braun (MIL–OF)
Jose Abreu (CWS–1B)
Aroldis Chapman (NYY–RP)

Dark Horse(s): Robinson Cano (SEA–2B) & Gerrit Cole (PIT–SP)
Draft Priority: 14

SLBrew-Off

homebrew

This afternoon a handful of us were chatting about Collin’s foray into home brewing and we were pumped about the prospect of sampling some of the Brand’s Brew creations he might cook up.

It got us thinking that he should create a commemorative batch of home brew for the next SLB Draft.

This initially led to us thinking up a slew of awesome SLB-themed beer names including: Salmon League Lager, Round Six Segura Stout, Grant-is-Garbage Gose, Dome Dog Double IPA, SeaBass Saison, Hold-Up, There’s a Problem with the Draft Tool Session Ale (note: this one will need to be a session ale or you’ll die drinking one every time the namesake situation arises), SL Disappointments Dark, Four Kunkel Dunkel, maibock grubbers, InSaNeAppLeJuIcE, SLB Golden Fishy (note: this is like Michelob Golden, but aged in a bucket with all of the pre-modern era championship trophies), 38MPH Hefeweizen, Genies in a Bock-le, SeaBass Smoked Stout, SalmonKings 4 Fishy Flemish, Big Magoo Maibock, etc.

The list really could go on.

Morgan suggested (perhaps jokingly?) that we could all try our hand at brewing for the next draft.

Given that all I’ve ingested today is sparkling water and multiple pots of coffee, I ran with the idea and figured we could each be tasked with brewing our own beer and then we’d have an official BREW-OFF at the draft where we’d each bring our sample and do a tasting to determine the best SLBrewer!

Here is how I figured it’d go down for every team:

Morgan hasn’t slept for eight days before the draft and certainly hasn’t thought about brewing his own beer. He shows up with six-kinds of chip dip, four crock pots, and no beer. No one complains.

Adam gets caught up in creating perfect labels and he forgets to brew any beer.

John is annoyed at how long brewing takes and brings a case of Keystone he grabbed at the gas station just before pulling up to the draft.

Mike pays someone else to brew for him, but won’t drink or touch any beer himself. He doesn’t like beer (perhaps you’ve heard?). He sips some fancy wine and later switches to a fine whiskey for a nightcap.

Craiggers just pours whiskey into some mismatched empty beer bottles and doesn’t fuck around with brewing at all. He doesn’t even change the labels or re-cap the beer. Craiggers gonna Craiggers.

G-Doggy buys some Johnny Appleseed or whatever on the way up and duct tapes over the label and then scrawls out “InSaNeAppLeJuIcE” in his serial killer handwriting with a Sharpie.

Jay pretends he doesn’t care and we have no idea if he’s even participating in the brew-off. Meanwhile, he secretly opens a fully-functioning brewery without ever alerting anyone. He shows up on draft day with some good beer, but plays coy about the entire thing.

Graves drinks all of his beer before his flight leaves Boston. He purchases a bunch of beer when he gets to the Midwest, but he drinks all of that too. He does not win (or, quite likely, even remember) the brew-off.

Levi doesn’t have time for this lowbrow beer brewing bullshit. He hires a personal bartender to make cocktails for the evening. He is most certainly wearing a jacket with tails and a monocle.

Travis and Grant didn’t know it was happening. They blame the lack of updates and web-presence. They would like to propose amendments about us “starting a website” and adding “quality starts” to the scoring, but they have no idea how/where one might do such a thing. They are the worst.

Steven overthinks the entire process and spends all winter trying to be smarter than everyone else and brews a disappointing, mediocre beer; clearly crumbling under the pressure of heightened expectations.

Justin borrows Steven’s recipe, but tweaks it and brews a way better beer…but he trades the beer to Travis on brew-off day for FAAB dollars and Hanley Ramirez, thus Travis has the better beer.

Collin shows up with legit beer, serves everyone a refreshing Salmon League Lager, and wins the whole fucking thing.

win-the-whole-fing-thing

Draft Review and Rankings 2016

2016 draft review rankings

At long last, it’s time for the 2016 edition of the Draft Review and Rankings.

As always, I want to make it very clear that there is no science or metrics (or legitimacy) to these rankings. It is completely subjective and based on my opinions toward players, their value, their abilities, and where/when you drafted them in relation to my perceived views of value elsewhere in the draft.

Just because I ranked you near the bottom doesn’t mean you won’t/can’t win this thing.

I’ve had a lot of people take these things personally over the years and that’s just silly pants, don’t be silly pants. These are no more accurate or telling about potential success than if any one of you were to randomly write a ranking yourself. It’s all opinion.

That having been said, there are a few rules I tried to stick to when doing the rankings.

I tried to avoid using any players you’ve acquired since the draft and – aside from occasional mentions – I tried to avoid factoring your keepers into your team strength. I really wanted to focus on JUST the draft itself. Obviously, as I re-read this, I screwed up given that this was written over a course of many days. Some of your rankings will include more references to keepers than others. This is an imperfect science.

Additionally, I tried to avoid giving anyone credit for a “best pick” within the first three rounds, because it’s really hard to give anyone tons of praise for an early pick as we’re still talking about All-Star caliber players and most of those should be gimmie picks. At the same time, I also tried to avoid ragging on anyone with a “worst pick” in the final three picks of the draft as it’s often scrap heap time for a lot of teams who are stockpiling NA or DL-stashes or grabbing your holds guy.

That doesn’t, however, mean that some of you didn’t have your “best pick” in the final three or your “worst pick” in the first three. It happened, a couple of times actually.

Also, just so y’all have an idea of how this works, I generally rank the teams immediately after the draft based on “gut feel.” After that I take some time to dig through the rosters and look at some stats, but I generally go with my “gut feel” for the final rankings. Some teams will move up or down the more I look at them, but for the most part the ranking is reflective of how I felt on draft day after round 17.

As always, I’d love some feedback – love it, hate it, wish I’d die in a chemical fire – hit me with it.

Alrighty, enough of me rambling, let’s do this thing, without any further ado; here is the 2016 Draft Review and Rankings…


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Grant’s Draft Rankings 2016

good_vs_bad

Here it is. Time for another unbiased team ranking entering the season. I don’t want to say draft ranking because I am also putting keepers into these rankings. So how does your team look going into the season based on projections?

or projections I averaged two sources; Steamer, and an unnamed source. I like Steamer projections the best, and there is also a reason that many sites put it in their consensus projections over the likes of ZiPS. My unnamed source deals mostly in 5×5 roto, but has been very good at projecting the nine stats that I used from them, since we use OBP I couldn’t use AVG.

Team makeup plays a big role in how some systems rank people teams. If Team A has 12 batters but Team B only 10, one team has a huge advantage in gaining more counting stats, so how do you counter this? I have given everyone that someone drafted some sort of stats on your team. For bench people I took their projections and divided them by three, then added them in. How did I end up at three? Well I figured that each team has six games a week, and since most bench people are plug and play on off days, since there are two big off days, I figured they would see your lineup on average of two games out of the six per week.

Pitchers are a different story, I used all stats from pitchers, unless you for some reason had more than four relievers, which no one did. I figure if you drafted a starter you are going to start him, so it woks different than bench bats. Doing it this way people will be mad because then counting stats for teams that went pitching heavy will be elevated, remember though, more SP mean more losses, and a potential in late rounds to negatively affect ERA and WHIP.

All teams except three were an 11 or 10 batters, with three having 12 batters so that won’t matter too much anyway on the difference.

So here is how every ones teams ended up:

grant1

It’s interesting to take a look at the bottom and the top and see the difference

grant2

Since each category gives one point, we can rank everyone within the category 1-14. 14 being the best and 1 being the worst:

grant3

Pivot table off of that:

grant4

There you have it.

Following is a little snip about each team’s draft.

money grubbers

When your keepers are two top 15, almost top 10 players, who just happen to also be in the infield you are set up nice. How do you complement that by getting two of the best OF remaining and you have a team that could win all batting categories each week. Two of the top closers and a high K staff also make his pitching excellent.

ZIMA

The best pitcher on the planet anchors a solid rotation with a few excellent relievers makes his pitching something to fear. Top five in every batting category except steals makes him trouble as well.

Captain Jack

Two keepers who could net 80 or more homers, nice. Because he didn’t need the power he went more balanced with most batters, which actually left him a little light on power and runs, but solid everything else. A ridiculous bullpen that could win saves and holds each week with maybe the best one two pitching combination as well.

Radioactive Rush

Keepers that complement each other very nicely gave him 45 homers and 45 steals right off the bat. Hitters that are very balanced keep him in every batting category each week. Two high saves and two high holds guys anchor the pen. Questions about his second and third starters do loom.

Genies in a Bottle

In a league that counts doubles, Mookie gets a great boost to an already stellar tool set that could see him go 25/25. Has extreme balance in his batters, possibly a little low in OBP. What’s better than one pitcher on the Indians, how about two! Throw in some consistent relievers and high upside starters and watch out.

Dome Dog

Hello power. Could win home runs each week easily. He also has two prospects that if perform to their capabilities could put this team over the top easily. The ace in NYC is great, along with a solid staff, and great middle relief put this pitching near the top as well. Another pitching prospect could make it even better. If this is the year of the rookies, everyone in this league better watch out.

38 MPH Heaters

He’s probably not going to win HR and RBI each week, but everything else is looking pretty solid from this team. Also he has a lot of batters with track records so he should know what he is getting. Seven starters as well as low WHIP high K relievers give him the edge in those categories each week.

TheFightingFernandos

He has the lineup to win HR and RBI each week with ease, enough of everything else to put him in contention each week. One two punch with high K pitchers combined with great low WHIP relievers give this staff some great balance to contend.

High Cheese

Keeping two at the same infield position is never ideal, but it doesn’t hurt when one is top 5 overall and the other is top 10 at position. Has the batters to be in every category week in and week out with ease. Only rocking 5 starters and 3 relievers hurts the numbers as bit but still has a solid chance to take 4 of 7 each week if not more.

cracker jack

Do you like power? Well cracker jack sure does. Project first by a mile on HR and RBI, even doubles. Does he have enough of everything else to contend in the other four categories? With his staff he is hoping for some serious performance from some question marks or unknown people, if he gets that, could mean good things, otherwise…

Salmon Kings

I guess when you have the best player in baseball by a mile you can take some risks in the draft on some hope and prays. Everyone on his team needs to perform at peak level and nothing less to make this a lineup to be feared. A solid bullpen, with an underrated staff I believe could make this pitching better than what it seems.

SL Disappointments

He likes speed, a lot of speed. Questions at his corners could make or break this team. He has probably the best 1-3 starters in the league, followed by 2 other solid options give him a deadly rotation. Three closers boosts his saves.

Sea Bass v11.0

One of the top young 3B in the country and a great young SS followed by lots of questions. He got a great one starter in Syndergaard to complement Gray as well as a couple other great upside starters. Three holds guys lets him possibly win that category each week.

InSaNeAuDiO

Another team with lots of speed, potentially one over 50 SB, one close to 40, and another close to 30. He’s going to score runs as well and get on base. Problem is he doesn’t have a lot of people who knock in runs or hit home runs. His pitching has some questions, he does have high K starters which is always nice and a great holds man, but otherwise it isn’t too exciting.