Prospects: Playing For This Year or Next

I am in a 20 team league, 25 roster spots with 4 DL slots. To say the least, it is pretty deep. When looking for players on the waiver wire, availibilities max out around 2%. When I started in the league, I was one of 4 expansion teams, with the other 16 teams having 9 keeps. Basically the top 144 players were taken before I even began, along with the top prospects like Heyward and Strasburg. Going into the draft, I didn’t know how much to value prospects.

I went in with the keepers(this is pretty sad, I know):

Ryan Doumit
Jose Valverde
Shane Victorino
Chone Figgins
Javier Vazquez
Matt Capps
Chad Qualls
Tim Hudson
Jason Kubel

Here was my plan and the results:

1. I was going to get batters first.

Asdrubal Cabrera
Garrett Jones
Juan Rivera
Scott Sizemore
Travis Snider

2. Go for starting pitchers with issues last year.

Fausto Carmona
Edinson Volquez (took with last pick and moved to the DL)
Ervin Santana

3. Draft a couple of top prospects in the minors, but near the majors. I never trust pitching prospects, so I only took hitters. I wanted to get them somewhat early before there was a run. In the draft, I actually started the prospect run.

Jesus Montero
Mike Stanton

4. Find whatever else I could including any SP/RP qualified relievers because the league has only 3 RP slots and counts holds.

As a whole I am fairly happy with the results of the draft. The season hasn’t gone the best so far though, but it is early.

I am just torn setting up my daily roster that 2 player will probably not be available until later this year at the earliest. It is the whole, “I can do more to win now, but how much will it hurt me in the future.” For now I will just let the 2 sit, but was wondering how other dealt with this issue of how much a keeper’s teams roster is taken up with prospects in order to try to help the team later?



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Jeff writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first season in Tout Wars, he won the H2H league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.


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The A Team
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The A Team

I feel for you a bit.

I have a 12 owner 28 player league with 3 DL slots and an auction draft (only 5 spots for bench players). It’s the first year of a keeper league, we’re allowed unlimited keeps but we have to pay $7 more than they were drafted for to keep them. I realized about half way into it that I was way too timid early on and switched from win now to bulk up on prospects. I currently have Volquez and Webb on the DL (along with Kinsler who I traded for) and Strasburg, Posey, and Carlos Santana burning 3 of those 5 bench spots. Somehow I’m actually winning the league by a healthy margin right now thanks to some lucky hitting.

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