My Worst Fantasy Baseball League Team | Sharapova's Thigh

Will Willy Taveras Be Shitty Enough To Lead Me To $50 In Taco Bell Certificates?

Our friends at Razzball invited me to join their "Worst Fantasy Baseball League" this year with them and many representatives of some other great blogs. It's difficult to explain how it works, so I'll just show you Razzball's explanation on it:

Here are the rules:
  • - 10 Team Leagues, MLB universe, 20+ games previous season for position eligibility (10 games in-season)
  • - Weekly Roster Changes (leaves you time to lavish on your Daily Leagues)
  • - C / 1B / 2B / SS / 3B / CI / MI / 5 OF / 9 P
  • - No innings or AB mins/maxes
  • - Hitter Stats
  • AB = +2
  • H = -3
  • R = -4
  • HR = -10
  • RBI = -4
  • K = +2
  • Pitcher Stats
  • IP = -1
  • HR = +4
  • L = +8
  • K = -1
  • ER = +1.5
  • H+BB = +1
  • The point structure makes it so that about 2/3 of the league’s hitters as well as just about every pitcher has positive value. So leaving a roster spot open or filled by a guy who plays once a week will hurt.

Sorry that didn't copy/paste as well as I hoped but I don't feel like taking the time to fix it up. Anyway, the bottom line is you want very crappy players that play a lot. As they point out in their "Fantasy Baseball Worst Top 20" and as you may have noticed from the above stats, steals aren't counted. So the Michael Bourn, Willy Taveras types are ideal in this.

We had the draft yesterday, and I really wish I'd taken some time to pre-rank players prior to the draft. It's so much more difficult than a real draft in my opinion, searching for crappy players, and finding the ones that should be getting a lot of playing time.

Blah blah blah blah, here's my team, with ESPN's 2009 projections for the stats that matter to this league:

Round 1(2): Willy Taveras, OF, Cincinnati Reds... 515 AB, 140 H, 75 R, 1 HR, 29 RBI, 83 K.

Jason Kendall went first overall and I can't argue too much with that, but I was going to take Willy no matter what. Willy's going to be leading off for the Reds and playing a shitload, because Dusty loves speed which is the one thing Willy brings to the table. Again, stolen bases are not a category, so Taveras is pretty much worthless(which is what we're looking for!).

I think ESPN's 515 at bat projection is a bit low, I could definitely see him getting 600+ with Dusty managing, and that would be 1200+ points in this format. He also only has 7 homers in 2170 career plate apperances, so I won't have to worry about many 10 point deductions.

Round 2(17): Geoff Blum, 3B, Houston Astros... 519 AB, 127 H, 55 R, 16 HR, 73 RBI, 86 K.

Alright, looking at those projections, it seems maybe I shouldn't have selected him quite this high, but when I saw him as I skimmed through the names, it just seemed like the crap pick I'm looking for, and Razzball had him 8th on their worst player rankings. So if it doesn't go well I'm blaming them.

Additionally, although he's never had the amount of at bats in a season as he'll likely get this year as the Astros' primary third baseman, he's never hit more than 14 homers or 53 RBI in a season, and will be 36 in April. I think those ESPN projections are a little generous.

Round 3(22): Jason Bartlett, SS, Tampa Bay Rays... 500 AB, 142 H, 60 R, 2 HR, 42 RBI, 74 K.

Like Taveras: 500+ at bats, no power. I was glad to see him available still at this pick.

Round 4(39): Jeff Suppan, P, Milwaukee Brewers... 199 IP, 27 HR, 12 L, 105 K, 105 ER, 230 H, 72 BB.

Just seemed like the perfect pitcher for this league. He's going to have double-digit losses, doesn't strike out many hitters, allows a ton of hits, etc. He also allowed 30 homers in 177.2 IP last year.

Round 5(42): Jason Marquis, P, Colorado Rockies... 144 IP, 20 HR, 10 L, 78 K, 82 ER, 166 H, 57 BB.

I'm a diehard Cubs fan and have lived in Colorado since about the beginning of the Rockies franchise, so I have a pretty good idea of how this should turn out. Marquis is a fine #4/#5, but he's going to give up his home runs when his sinker isn't sinking, which is frequently, and we know how much the ball leaves the yard at Coors Field.

On a side note, that ESPN 144 innings pitched projection is asinine. He threw 167 last year because the Cubs' rotation was loaded, but his lowest inning total the previous four seasons was 191.2. The Rockies got him to eat innings and he's going to do that. He's also going to get hit hard at times during those innings, and that's why he's a member of the Sharapova's Thigh squad.

Round 6(59) Juan Pierre, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers... 257 AB, 74 H, 33 R, 1 HR, 17 RBI, 15 K.

I'm hoping Juan plays more than those projections, but with the Dodgers' crowded outfield, it's unlikely. So really, I'm hoping for a trade and teams aren't exactly lining up to take on his ridiculous contract. He belongs on this team, I had to have him. But if he's not getting a lot of at bats, it could be a wasted pick, because he rarely strikes out.

Round 7(62) Chuck James, P, Atlanta Braves... 73.2 IP, 20 HR, 10 L, 78 K, 82 ER, 166 H, 57 BB.

I was struggling to find anybody at this pick and stumbled across James with about 15 seconds on the draft clock. I knew he was beyond pathetic last season(9.10 ERA, 20 homers allowed in 29.2 IP), so I snagged him. His 09 status is in question after rotator cuff surgery though.

Round 8(79) Ian Snell, P, Pittsburgh Pirates... 188.2 IP, 22 HR, 14 L, 163 K, 96 ER, 208 H, 81 BB.

He's on a very bad team so he's going to get double-digit losses as the projections suggest, and he was awful in 2008. He's got great stuff and maybe he puts it together this year, but odds are he'll be a key part to my success.

Round 9(82) Bronson Arroyo, P, Cincinnati Reds... 213 IP, 30 HR, 12 L, 168 K, 104 ER, 227 H, 67 BB.

He's not bad, but he pitches in one of the best hitter's parks in baseball. He's going to allow a ton of home runs and hits. Double-digit losses likely as well, as it's been the case for him the last four seasons.

Round 10(99) Jerry Hairston Jr., SS/OF, Cincinnati Reds... 272 AB, 74 H, 45 R, 5 HR, 33 RBI, 40 K.

I think he's going to get more at bats than they project, Dusty's always loved him, and he can play the middle infield spots as well as left and center field. I can't see him coming close to repeating these numbers: .326/.384/.487.

Round 11(102) Johnny Cueto, P, Cincinnati Reds... 191 IP, 32 HR, 15 L, 173 K, 97 ER, 195 H, 65 BB.

Seeing a trend here? That's three straight Reds picks. It's the Dusty effect, and Great American Ballpark. They're two key elements to this league. Cueto has sensational stuff and will likely be a good one down the road, but the 23-year-old will likely still have his struggles this year and his park won't help the cause.

Round 12(119) Todd Wellemeyer, P, St. Louis Cardinals... 194 IP, 28 HR, 9 L, 137 K, 93 ER, 180 H, 72 BB.

I don't see Wellemeyer coming close to his career year last season. I think he loses 10+, has an ERA in the mid 4s, and gives up 30 homers.

Round 13(122) Lastings Milledge, OF, Washington Nationals... 607 AB, 168 H, 85 R, 19 HR, 83 RBI, 114 K.

He's incredibly talented but I don't think he does as well as ESPN projects yet anyway. Plenty of at bats and plenty of strikeouts. Part of an improved, but still subpar lineup.

Round 14(139) Fred Lewis, OF, San Francisco Giants... 514 AB, 138 H, 85 R, 11 HR, 51 RBI, 123 K.

I'm a big fan of Fred Lewis actually. But... he doesn't have much power, plays at a pitcher's park, and is in maybe the worst lineup in baseball. He also strikes out like Rosie O'Donnell eats cupcakes.

Round 15(142) Dave Bush, P, Milwaukee Brewers... 200.1 IP, 30 HR, 11 L, 131 K, 99 ER, 193 H, 48 BB.

Will allow 30 bombs, a lot of hits, and have double-digit losses.

Round 16(159) Alberto Callapso, 2B, Kansas City Royals... 495 AB, 140 H, 44 R, 0 HR, 35 RBI, 38 K.

Could be the best pick of my draft if he gets the starting nod at second base for the Royals, which will likely happen.

Round 17(162) Emmanuel Burriss, 2B/SS, San Francisco Giants... 418 AB, 113 H, 61 R, 2 HR, 34 RBI, 43 K.

He had 240 at bats as a rookie in 2008, hopefully the Giants give him 400+ at bats this year as ESPN thinks.

Round 18(179) Dan Meyer, P, Florida Marlins... 141.2 IP, 24 HR, 14 L, 101 K, 89 ER, 153 H, 63 BB.

It doesn't look like he's going to make the rotation as those projections would suggest, thanks for coming through for me ESPN! He was pure ass last season(0-4, 7.48 ERA) for the A's, and I'd expect him to be the same this year for the Marlins. Give him the damn ball Fredi Gonzalez!

Round 19(182) A.J. Pierzynski, C, Chicago White Sox... 515 AB, 144 H, 63 R, 14 HR, 58 RBI, 70 K.

Catcher was a bitch in this draft after the first few were selected. I didn't really like this pick(aside from the fact that I think he's maybe the biggest douchebag in the league), but there weren't many better options either out of #1 catchers.

Round 20(199) Mark Reynolds, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks... 518 AB, 129 H, 88 R, 27 HR, 92 RBI, 184 K.

Reynolds has prodigious power and I wouldn't be surprised if he hits 30 homers and drives in 100 runs as early as this year, so that wouldn't be good for this league obviously. However, he's strikeout machine, setting the record for most strikeouts in a season last year with 204. Since I hadn't drafted much power before this, I decided to grab him and hope he K's another 200 times.

Round 21(202) Ross Gload, 1B, Kansas City Royals... 136 AB, 38 H, 16 R, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 14 K.

I hate this pick, as he's unlikely to get more than 200 at bats or so with the acquisition of Mike Jacobs. I'll probably cut his ass before the season. Like catcher, first base is a pain in the ass to find ideal players for this as they're pretty much all power hitters.

Round 22(219) Chan Ho Park, P, Philadelphia Phillies... 97.1 IP, 13 HR, 4 L, 78 K, 40 ER, 100 H, 36 BB.

There's talk he'll be the Phillies' #5 starter. If not, he'll get a lot of innings as a long reliever and spot starter. He had a solid season in 2008 for the Dodgers, but goes from pitching at Dodger Stadium to Citizens Bank Park. He'll give up quite a few longballs there, like everybody does.

Round 23(222) Sean Gallagher, P, Oakland Athletics... 166.2 IP, 15 HR, 9 L, 138 K, 78 ER, 164 H, 71 BB.

Great young arm but likely to struggle in his first year as a full-time starter.

Round 24(239) Ryan Freel, OF, Baltimore Orioles... 316 AB, 89 H, 45 R, 3 HR, 20 RBI, 54 K.

His versatility is going to get him playing time if he can't get a starting role.

Round 25(242) Norris Hopper, OF, Cincinnati Reds... 244 AB, 73 H, 32 R, 0 HR, 14 RBI, 26 K.

Backup outfielder most likely as Chris Dickerson is the favorite to win the starting left field job and rightfully so. He's got good speed so Dusty's going to get him some playing time, and when Dusty does, I'll celebrate(as long as it's not in place of Taveras of course).

Round 26(259) Dustin Nippert, P, Texas Rangers... 114 IP, 13 HR, 7 L, 95 K, 63 ER, 120 H, 51 BB.

The crap pickings were slim at this point of the draft. There wasn't much thought into this pick. It looks like he'll be a long reliever, in which case I'll be releasing him.

Round 27(262) Homer Bailey, P, Cincinnati Reds... 42 IP, 8 HR, 3 L, 30 K, 25 ER, 50 H, 15 BB.

Put his ass on the staff Dusty!

Well there's my team. I'll surely be tweaking it, especially when I find out which craptastic players will be getting playing time.

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