Things to Remember in March 2012

by Eddie Mayrose

Dear Moonlight,

I’m writing  from here in August, 2011 to urge you, the 2012 Moonlight Graham, to remember a few, critical points as you sit down at the draft table.  Just a few suggestions that, if taken, should spare you the misery that your 2011 self has had to endure.

I feel this letter is necessary because, had I been fortunate enough to receive the same courtesy from the 2010 Moonlight, I’d at least have been reminded to stay away from the almost irresistible temptations that pop up during a Fantasy Draft.

It happens to all of us.  No matter how much we’ve prepared, there comes a moment during a draft where we must put our money where our mouth is.  To strike boldly and grab that young player we believe to be on the cusp of stardom and resist the fading star that MIGHT have another big season left.  To ignore position scarcity and bolster the roster with the most talented player available and, most of all, know in your heart that a history of injury will likely continue. Because I was weak this year, turned my back on solid info in favor of a few pipe dreams, I’m hoping that this letter will save you from the same pitfalls.

Don’t Reach for Catchers- Remember how happy you were when Joe Mauer was available in the fourth round?  You jumped at the chance to fill such a weak position with an All Star.  While  the oft-injured catcher was coming off another abbreviated season, you thought, “Hey, wasn’t it just two years ago that he was an MVP?  Surely he’s worth a fourth rounder.”  Not so, as it turned out.  Not only did he, again, spend a large part of the season on the DL, he’s managed just 1 HR and 21 RBI to this point in 200 AB, making him the weakest guy in your lineup. While Mauer has struggled, backstops drafted much lower or picked up as free agents have made Mauer look like a minor leaguer.  Alex Avila (.285-13-53), Yadier Molina (.293-8-40), Miguel Montero (.270-12-56), Jonathan Lucroy (.286-8-47) and Mike Napoli (.290-18-44) have all rewarded their owners with tremendous value on late draft picks.

Relievers Are Not a Priority- No matter how often we hear that Saves are Fantasy Baseball’s most unreliable statistic, it’s difficult to pass on established closers.  However, every year, there are a number of relievers that emerge from nowhere to provide more than twenty saves while an equal amount lose the job once play begins. How many of the following save artists were even on your draft lists back in the spring? Brandon League (26), J.J. Putz (25), Jordan Walden (24),Sergio Santos (22), Fernando Salas (22), Kyle Farnsworth (20) and Ryan Madson (19) all entered the season without the title of closer.  Yet, here they are, in early August, on their way to the totals you projected for the likes of Frankie Rodriguez, Andrew Bailey, Jonathan Broxton, Brandon Lyon and Fernando Rodney; each of whom has been demoted.

Do NOT Draft Mets- The bane of any Fantasy owner is injury to anyone on his roster. It’s the one thing for which you can’t plan.  You know that trips to the DL will happen and can only keep your fingers crossed that there will be few of significant length. That’s why it’s so important to keep your squad free of any New York Mets; as you’ll be at the mercy of their quack medical staff, which has elevated the mis-diagnosis to an art form.

Johan Santana, likely back by the All Star break, according to the good doctors, just started a rehab stint and may not see the bigs this year.  Jose Reyes tweaked a hamstring in early July that was only going to cost him three days.  That turned into three weeks and crushed head-to-head players that kept him in their lineups during that first week.  David Wright’s back was to cost him four to six weeks that became ten.  Likewise, Angel Pagan, whose two to four week stint on the DL with an oblique strain became six.

Finally, the crowning glory of the esteemed physicians: The saga of Ike Davis and his ankle. After what seemed like a minor collision with Wright back in May, Davis, off to a terrific start, was lost for the season.  Yes, the season!  Turns out that poor Ike would have been in better hands had he seen Drs. Emmett Brown or Frank Burns.  Instead, the esteemed medical team of the Mets actually made his condition worse by placing the young 1B in a boot which restricted the very blood flow necessary for the ankle to heal.  Seems they missed some cartilage damage when they first took a peek, a tiny, little error that has Davis facing micro fracture surgery.

It’s enough of a challenge to replace your injured players when you’re dealing with accurate information.  With the Mets, however, you may as well flip a coin.  Their ineptitude in dealing with the health of their own players is an obstacle too big for Fantasy owners to overcome.

So, my 2012 brother, good luck.  Make sure there’s a copy of this letter somewhere amidst the literature that you bring to the draft.  Read it before you start and review it every few rounds.  If you do, there’s a chance you’ll, possibly, be strong enough to stay the course. Maybe.


P.S.  The name Adam Dunn should never again be spoken at a Fantasy Baseball draft table.

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One Response to “Moonlight Graham’s Fantasy Forecast: Memo To Self”

  1. “That’s why it’s so important to keep your squad free of any New York Mets; as you’ll be at the mercy of their quack medical staff, which has elevated the mis-diagnosis to an art form.”

    Now that’s funny! It seems to always have been that way with the Mets, hasn’t it? Must be the jet fuel from all of the planes flying over Shea/Citi.

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