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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Extra Medium

Sometimes we get too hung up in finding sleepers and finding breakouts.  We all want to be the person to find that next superstar-in-waiting with XXL-size production.

I'm here to tell you that prospecting and gambling too much can be what causes you to lose your fantasy leagues.  We dabble too much.  We put too many eggs in too few baskets, only to find out there's a hole in the basket.

Listen, you don't need those XXL numbers every time.  If you can get consistent reliable numbers that are above-average across the board you'll be in contention.  If one or two of those performers really pop for you, that will be a difference-maker.  We're avoiding potential busts here.

It's something that I call "extra medium."  Better than average.  Reliable.

Look, who's more likely to have a big year this year, Ichiro Suzuki or Nick Markakis?  Ichiro, I guess.  Who's more likely to be a bust?  Yep, Ichiro again.

This really does harken back to my recent post about measuring the value of players based on their floor, their ceiling, and their probable outcome.  Make sure you measure these, but I do have some constructive insight for you as well.

The acid test that I use when looking at baseball players looks like this:

  1. Is there a significant history of injury?
  2. Have they strung together at least two seasons in a row with increasing value?
  3. Do they have a strong pedigree?  (High draft pick, soared through the minors, etc.)
  4. Are they in the prime age range?  (26 to 31.)

If you can check those items off you can be reasonably sure you're not going to get a dud.

At this time of year, you should be looking for players that fit this mold that have gotten off to a mediocre start.  Their pedigree and recent history of success suggest that a turnaround is coming.  We're only 10% of the way through the season for crying out loud... but I promise you that there are folks in your leagues who have itchy trigger fingers with some of these guys.  Now is the time to make bids to get them.