Scoresheet Kings Diary: Dispersal Draft

This year, I was given the opportunity to be in the presitigious Scoresheet BL (short for “Both Leagues”) Kings fantasy league. It’s a mixed league, but with a roster size of 35 players, and competition from 23 of the brightest analysts around, it’s going to get pretty intense.

Scoresheet is a bit of a different animal than your normal fantasy league. Rather than just adding up the stats for your players like most leagues do, Scoresheet allows you to manage your entire roster and plays simulated games based on your roster construction. You can do the obvious things like set your lineup and rotation, but you can also set when starters are pulled, when relievers enter and when to use pinch-hitters. It can be pretty addictive, and ever since I had given up a team a couple of years ago, I had been wanting to get back into a league. Mission accomplished.

There were six replacement teams this year, mine included, and rather than just claim a team, we had a dispersal draft to parcel out the players. I ended up with the fourth pick. Since I had played Scoresheet before, I kind of knew what to expect. I had two basic strategies – get pitching, and get prospects. Pitching is always at a premium, and in looking at the teams at the end of last season, there were teams where guys like Livan Hernandez and Jason Vargas were third starters. I wanted prospects for two reasons. One, it’s hard to win this deep of a league in your first year, so stocking up on futures is a good idea. Second, Scoresheet doesn’t have a waiver wire, so you can’t just stay up until 2 a.m. the night Mike Stanton is added to your league – you have to draft prospects way ahead of time. In the past, players were drafted into my Scoresheet league before they were actually drafted in real life. And since no pitcher or prospect is ever really a sure thing, I made it my goal to acquire as many of each as possible.

Players available at the top of the dispersal board included Jason Heyward, Chase Utley, Adam Wainwright, Alex Rodriguez, Stephen Drew, Ryan Howard, Roy Oswalt and Victor Martinez. I could see that even in the dispersal draft, pitching was already at a premium – I wanted Wainwright. Of course, he went the pick before me. With Heyward, Utley and Wainwright off the board, I was faced with old-man Rodriguez as the best star on the board. Not liking the sound of that, I decided to shop the pick, ultimately landing the tasty prospect package of Jenrry Mejia, Brandon Belt and Jose Iglesias. In exchange, I also surrendered a pick in the regular draft, a 20th rounder.

Nine picks and four trades later, I ended the dispersal draft with the following squad:

Major Leaguers:
1B Daric Barton
3B Pedro Alvarez
OF Matt Joyce
P Daniel Hudson
P Mike Leake
P C.J. Wilson
P John Lackey
P Jordan Zimmerman

Minor Leaguers:
C Wilin Rosario
2B Brett Lawrie
SS Jose Iglesias
SS Chris Nelson
P Stetson Allie
P Chris Archer
P Jenrry Mejia

So far, so good. In Daniel Hudson, Mike Leake and Jordan Zimmerman, I have a trio of young Major League talents who could be staples years to come, and I have two good innings-munchers in Lackey and Wilson. On the Minor League side, I ended up with four of Keith Law’s top 100 prospects, as well as one he thinks could make the list next year (Allie) and one who would have made it if he was still eligible (Mejia). You may notice that Belt isn’t on the list – I sent him packing in exchange for Zimmerman and Brett Lawrie. I debated the deal quite a bit, but in the end wanted another starter, and was willing to take the downgrade from Belt to Lawrie to get him. I’m also a big believer in Zimmerman. What do you think, would you have made that deal? Let me know in the comments.

Next was figuring out who to keep and who to drop. Scoresheet’s keeper rules are a soft ten, meaning you can keep as many as 10 players, or as few as zero. Any players you keep are your first picks in the draft. Having decided to keep all eight of the Major Leaguers I ended up with, my first pick in the draft will be in round nine. Minor Leaguers work in the opposite direction, with each counting as a pick from round 35 forward. Not liking the reports I’ve seen about Chris Nelson’s job prospects this spring (or a lack of reports to be more precise), I decided not to protect him, but kept everyone else.

At the time I picked him, I wasn’t thrilled about taking Pedro Alvarez, but he was the best Major Leaguer on the board at the time. After keepers were named, my feeling about Alvarez sank even further with the reports – completely true or not – about his weight gain. So I shopped him around, and quickly found a trading partner in the two-headed monster of Yahoo’s Jeff Passan and Mark Pesavento. Ultimately, they acquired Alvarez for Rangers prospects Martin Perez and Jurickson Profar (two more KLaw top 100 guys), as well as two picks in the supplemental drafts that are held during the regular season (which Scoresheet uses in lieu of a waiver wire). It’s a pretty good haul, and between Archer, Mejia and Perez, I now have three pitchers that could see the Majors by the end of this year. Couple them with a solid Major League rotation, and I am confident in the base I have heading into the actual draft, which starts Friday.

Only four teams kept fewer players than I did, but since both Sky Kalkman and Geoff Young kept only three Major Leaguers each, my first two picks will be at 15 and 23. Be sure to check back throughout the season as I break down more Kings league action. Also, you can click here to check out the other teams rosters – populated by analysts from Baseball Prospectus, Rotowire, ProTrade, Rotoworld, CBS, Hardball Times and more – and let me know how you think my team will or will not stack up this season!

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Paul Swydan is the managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for He has written for The Boston Globe, ESPN MLB Insider and ESPN the Magazine, among others. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.

9 Responses to “Scoresheet Kings Diary: Dispersal Draft”

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  1. DWrek says:

    Excellent, looking foward to updates!
    In the suggestions I requested more SS content. Thanks!

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  2. Paulo says:

    Cool. Scoresheet content!

    Just want to point out that a soft 10 is not a standard scoresheet keeper system. This is a private league. Standard leagues go with a 13 man limit (and protection spots are tradeable).

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  3. SF 55 for life says:

    pretty awesome, never heard of this before.
    Your first trade was interesting. It takes a lot of confidence to give up a guy like Alex Rodriguez for prospects. I’m not sure I would have done it, but you know the league better than I do.

    I love Brandon Belt but Zimmermann is a potential ace and Lawrie could be a top 5 3b down the road. I think I like the Alvarez trade even more. I don’t think I am as a wary of him as you are/were but getting one of the best pitching prospects in the game along with Profar and two picks is great value.

    So in total you traded Alex Rodriguez and Pedro Alvarez for Jordan Zimmermann, Jenrry Mejia, Martin Perez, Brett Lawrie, Jurickson Profar, Jose Iglesias, and two supplemental picks. In a league that values prospects so highly I think you got excellent value.

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  4. Sky says:

    You know who was thrilled you passed on Alex Rodriguez? *This guy*

    I think you and I have pretty much the exact opposite strategy — not sure if that makes us good trade partners or if we’ll never have anything the other guy will want. ; ) And then again, I’m the SS noob and you’re the vet.

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  5. Not Paul says:

    Wish my 20 team SS league would change to the soft 10. I’m sure the protectable rules and the extra 3 teams make a difference, but that rotation would be in the bottom half in my league. I totally agree with the strategy of hoarding pitching. No team in my league has ever won with an offensive juggernaut and no pitching. Only two of your SPs have elite SO rates to go along with the slash projections. I hate the Alvarez deal, just because Perez might be a little overhyped and Profar is a long way off. BUT Mejia could be big, and despite a projectable but middling rotation currently, Mejia could give you three elite young SS pitchers by mid-season. It’s a nice start. So excited about the SS content! I’ll be rooting for you Paul!

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  6. Cliff says:

    Been playing Scoresheet since 1994. Took some getting use to but there is nothing like it. My buddy and I started the first Scoresheet combo league ever (BL Kauffman) 20 team combo league. I have been trying to figure it out ever since. Pitching is the key, but you have to have major league AB’s, you don’t want AAA stats they are lethal.
    Our league also has it’s share of minor league talent miner’s. It seems the teams that avoid AAA stats do a little better than teams that are loaded with minor league players. Just my opinion. It’s great that there is Scoresheet talk on this website, BL SHANAHAN Team 18

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  7. Cliff says:

    BL Shanahan rules allow for 10 “keepers” and 2 rookies per team. The Champ can only protect 8 “keepers” and up to 4 rookies. The runner up protects 9 “keepers” and 3 rookies.
    We have reduced protectables to allow the less successful teams to have a little better draft pool. Our rookie requirements are a little diffrent than Scoresheets’
    PITCHERS (career)100 IP or 100 Apperances HITTERS (carerr) 250 AB.
    Seems to work pretty good.

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