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Collette Calls: Profits & Losses

Jason Collette

Jason has been helping fantasy owners since 1999 at RotoJunkie, Fanball, Baseball Prospectus and now here at RotoWire. He covers the Tampa Bay Rays at You can hear Jason weekly on many of the Sirius/XM Fantasy channel offerings throughout the season as well as on the Towers of Power Baseball Hour Podcast on iTunes. He was selected as the Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year by FSWA in 2013.

One of my favorite articles to do each year is to look back and how well or how poorly the experts speculated on players at the draft. While baseball accepts a 70 percent fail rate on its hitters, fantasy prognostication aims for a 70 percent success rate. No expert is never going to nail the exact home run or strikeout total, but if you are way off on your projections on draft day, it makes for a rather long season.

Let's look at how the 15-team mixed auctioneers did in the first year where OBP was used instead of batting average using values from Rotowire's value engine.

These were the top 11 players that turned the biggest profits in 2013:

PlayerDraft Day PriceFinal 2013 ValueFinal Profit
Chris Davis$16$48$32
Josh Donaldsonundrafted$29$29
David Ortiz$8$33$25
Alfonso Soriano$4$28$24
Hunter Pence$9$31$22
Paul Goldschmidt$26$47$21
Brandon Moss$1$22$21
Daniel Murphyreserves$20$20
Carlos Gomez$10$29$19
Matt Carpenter$7$26$19
Marlon Byrdundrafted$19$19

The first thing that stands out on this list is that there are zero pitchers, as Jose Fernandez just missed the list turning a $18 profit after going undrafted. Davis went on to prove that 2012 was no fluke becoming the most profitable player in the format. Donaldson's profit was fueled by the fact he was not drafted. Eight Josh's were drafted, even Josh Fields, but Donaldson's name was never called. Ortiz's health concerns suppressed his value but he made everyone look foolish most of the season as did Alfonso Soriano who found the fountain of youth after being traded back to New York. Goldschmidt was pricey on draft day yet still turned a tremendous profit with his MVP-quality season and Moss surprised many with his continued growth. Not much went right with the Mets, but Murphy's 23 steals were huge in this league while OBP is what held Gomez back from being even more profitable. Carpenter parlayed his OBP skills into a ton of runs scored thanks mainly to Allen Craig while the Byrd was the word in New York and Pittsburgh after signing a minor league deal in the offseason.

Conversely, these were the players that caused the most fantasy angst putting a lot of red ink on the ledger:

PlayerDraft Day PriceFinal 2013 ValueLoss
Ryan Braun$40$1-$39
Matt Kemp$37-$1-$38
B.J. Upton$23-$5-$28
Jesus Montero$13-$14-$27
Albert Pujols$34$8-$26
Starlin Castro$25-$1-$26
Jason Heyward$31$6-$25
Jose Reyes$32$8-$24
Kevin Youkilis$10-$13-$23
Danny Espinosa$8-$16-$24

Once again, no pitchers. David Price was the biggest loser as he earned just $9 after being drafted at $28. Braun missed time with his PED suspension and was not even good when healthy. Kemp struggled with injuries all year, but at least he had an excuse for his poor play, something Upton could not blame for his complete ineptness. Montero dealt with both injury and suspension while frustrating owners and Pujols was affected all season with his foot issue that eventually prematurely ended his season. Castro, like Upton, was the cause of his own demise while the rest of the players were affected by injuries.

By position, profits and loss were a rather mixed bag.

PositionDraft Day $Final $Profit/Loss# of Profits# of Losses
First Base$444$513$691915
Second Base$309$215-$94823
Third Base$314$328$141914

Much of the overall profits earned by outfielders were erased by Braun, Kemp, Upton, and Heyward. The position was very profitable as 23 outfielders turned double-digit profits including Carlos Beltran, Jayson Werth, Adam Jones, Alex Rios, Michael Cuddyer, and Gomez who each were drafted for double-digit amounts. It was much tougher to do on the pitching side as just Max Scherzer, Greg Holland, and Joe Nathan earned as much as a $5 profit.

The entire data set is available for you to view here.

The main reason I do these types of lists is to start my offseason research as looking into the rise and fall of these types of players. While we often preach to look at the larger sample size with players, these types of year to year fluctuations with players absolutely affect draft value the following season. I'll be taking a deeper dive into some of these players in the next few weeks so we can see if these were speed bumps in a player's value (Kemp) or larger disturbing trends (Upton).