Articles by Clay Link

A listing of all the articles written by Clay Link for the RotoWire Blog.

Players I Whiffed On – 2018 Edition

This was a pretty good season for me.

I won the overall championship in The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational and finished top 10 in the NFBC RotoWire Online Championship among 1,764 teams.

However, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. And realistically, nobody wants to hear about my successes anyway. It’s my opinion that in this game, looking at one’s failures is more productive than looking at one’s successes, so I wanted to take some time to look back at what I got wrong.

This is just scratching the surface:

Jose Peraza, SS, CIN – This was probably my biggest whiff of the season, and it was with a player on my favorite team. What I saw with my own two eyes in 2017 was beyond ugly. Part of it was body language — he wasn’t confident at all — but the numbers backed it up: no power (.066 ISO), no patience (3.9 percent walk rate), a 21.6 percent line-drive rate (down nearly six percentage points from 2016). I thought an ADP around pick 200 was way too high. I guess the lesson here is that it’s OK to overlook some warts and gamble on a player with pedigree outside the top 175 or so, especially when he plays a premium position, plays in an advantageous home park and helps in a scarce category.

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Tout Wars Review: H2H Points

It was a surreal experience last weekend taking the ferry from lower Manhattan and arriving at Richmond County Bank Ballpark, home of the Staten Island Yankees, for the 2018 Tout Wars auctions.

This was just my second year competing in Tout Wars, and there was a major change in my league: the decision was made to move from H2H categories to a H2H points format.

This change had a dramatic effect on how most of us valued players and production. Knowing your format is so important — if you play in anything other than a standard 5×5 Rotisserie league, you can’t just draft from a standard cheat sheet or gauge value based on ADP.

The scoring system:

Hitting Points: Single=1, Double=2, Triple=3, HR=4, BB=1, Strikeouts=-.5, Runs=1, RBI=1, Stolen Base=2, Caught Stealing=-1

Pitching Points: Win=5, Loss=-3, Save=5, Blown Save=-3, Strikeout=1, Walk=-1, Out=1, Hit Allowed=-1, Earned Run=-1

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AL LABR Review: Hits and Misses

Last weekend I took part in my second AL-only LABR auction.

For the uninitiated, LABR (pronounced “labor”) stands for League of Alternative Baseball Reality. Founded in 1994, it was the first high-profile experts league of its kind. Check out its Wikipedia page.

To say it’s a tremendous honor to be a part of the league would be a huge understatement. The entire weekend is a blast, hanging out in Arizona and talking baseball with the best minds in the industry.

There were a few of key lessons I learned in my first year. My crucial mistakes:

  1. I didn’t spread my budget around as well as I should have and ended up with three $1 hitters on my team (four $1 players total).
  2. I valued volume over skills too much on the pitching side.

With that in mind, and with a core of key players pinpointed that I wanted to build around — Giancarlo Stanton, Blake Snell, Mike Clevinger, Wilson Ramos, Dustin Fowler, Blake Treinen, Keone Kela, and A.J. Puk were all players that I knew I liked more than most — I set about creating what will hopefully be a championship-winning team.

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