Blog Entry

Tiers

Posted on: March 5, 2008 4:15 am
Edited on: May 8, 2008 7:59 pm
 
Well, I finally caved.

After the bombardment of e-mails from people asking me for my tiers, I decided to post them for all to see on my blog. It was no small endeavor.

In case you don't know what I mean by "tiers," I'll direct you to two of my columns: Draft Day Dos and Don'ts, Part I and Draft Day Dos and Don'ts, Part IV. In fact, you should just go read the whole Draft Day Dos and Don'ts series. I won't get paid more money if you do, but I'll feel awfully good inside.

Now, I want to clear up a few issues on these tiers before I go right into them. Obviously, I created them from my own personal rankings, not the CBSSports.com defaults. I encourage you to create your own tiers based on your own rankings, but if you want a guide, you now have mine.

I tried to make my rankings as generic as possible, meaning they don't appeal to any particular scoring system. I would obviously fine-tune them based on the scoring system, and certain players would make dramatic leaps higher or lower. With these tiers, I also intended to appeal to the majority, meaning those who play in 10-to-12-team mixed leagues. If you play in a deeper league, you obviously need to go deeper with your tiers.

The last tier at each position doesn't necessarily include all guys who I consider more or less equal to each other. Theoretically, the draft should end somewhere in the middle of that final tier, and I wanted to tack onto it a few guys who I make a point to keep an eye on, no matter the league format.

I included DH-only players at first base because tiers only make sense at positions you need. Obviously, you don't need a DH because you can play any position at DH. Still, those DH-only players have value, so I wanted to include them in the tiers in a way that would gauge their value appropriately to everyone else. Grouping them with the first basemen seemed the most logical choice. Based on the depth at the position, your DH most often ends up a first baseman if not a DH-only player.

And on a final note, as you can see from the time of post, I put together these tiers awfully early in the morning, after a long night of writing updates. I quite conceivably could have omitted somebody. Then again, I quite conceivably could have omitted him on purpose. If you see a glaring omission, let me know. I'll either add the missing player or explain to you why I didn't include him in the first place.

Now, my fellow tough guys, let's tier it up.

Catcher
The Elite

Victor Martinez, Russell Martin
The Next-Best Things (I have yet to draft from this particular tier at this particular position.)
Brian McCann, Joe Mauer, Jorge Posada
The Fallback Options
Kenji Johjima, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Geovany Soto, J.R. Towles, Chris Snyder, Ramon Hernandez, Bengie Molina, Jason Varitek, Dioner Navarro, Ronny Paulino, Carlos Ruiz, Gregg Zaun, John Buck, Kurt Suzuki

First base
The Elite
Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols, David Ortiz
The Near-Elite
Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira, Lance Berkman, Travis Hafner, Justin Morneau
The Next-Best Things
Carlos Pena, Gary Sheffield, Derrek Lee, Adrian Gonzalez, Victor Martinez, Jim Thome, James Loney, Todd Helton, Nick Swisher, Paul Konerko
The Fallback Options
Kevin Youkilis, Carlos Guillen, Ryan Garko, Alex Gordon, Nick Johnson, Conor Jackson, Frank Thomas, Casey Kotchman, Carlos Delgado, Joey Votto, Daric Barton, Adam A. LaRoche

Second base
The Elite
Chase Utley
The Near-Elite
Brandon Phillips, B.J. Upton, Brian Roberts, Ian Kinsler, Robinson Cano
The Fallback Options
Rickie Weeks, Dan Uggla, Kelly Johnson
Adequate Middle Infielders
Placido Polanco, Jeff Kent, Dustin Pedroia, Aaron Hill, Howie Kendrick, Orlando Hudson, Ty Wigginton, Mark Ellis, Kazuo Matsui, Yunel Escobar

Third base
The Elite
Alex Rodriguez, David Wright, Miguel Cabrera
The Next-Best Things
Ryan J. Braun, Chipper Jones, Aramis Ramirez, Garrett Atkins
The Fallback Options (I have yet to draft from this particular tier at this particular position.)
Chone Figgins, Ryan Zimmerman, Mike Lowell, Adrian Beltre
Late-Round Sleepers
Alex Gordon, Troy Glaus, Evan Longoria, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Hank Blalock, Josh Fields, Mark Reynolds, Scott Rolen, Edwin Encarnacion

Shortstop
The Elite
Hanley Ramirez, Jose B. Reyes, Jimmy Rollins
The Next-Best Things (I have only once drafted from this particular tier at this particular position, and I immediately regretted it.)
Derek Jeter, Troy Tulowitzki, Miguel Tejada, Carlos Guillen
The Fallback Options
Khalil Greene, J.J. Hardy, Rafael Furcal, Edgar Renteria, Michael Young, Orlando Cabrera, Stephen Drew, Jhonny Peralta, Julio Lugo

Outfield
The Elite
Matt Holliday, Vladimir Guerrero
The Near-Elite
Magglio Ordonez, Lance Berkman, Carlos N. Lee, Carlos Beltran, Carl Crawford, Alfonso Soriano, Curtis Granderson, Grady Sizemore, Ichiro Suzuki
The Next-Best Things
Alex Rios, Manny Ramirez, Nick Markakis, Bobby Abreu, Corey C. Hart, Adam Dunn, B.J. Upton, Nick Swisher, Hideki Matsui
The Fallback Options
Brad Hawpe, Hunter Pence, Chris B. Young, Eric Byrnes, Jason Bay, Torii Hunter, Vernon Wells, Jeremy Hermida, Josh Hamilton, Matt Kemp, Delmon Young, Juan Pierre, Pat Burrell, Aaron Rowand, Shane Victorino, Jermaine Dye, Jeff Francoeur, Ken Griffey, Raul Ibanez
The Overrated and Late-Round Sleepers
Kosuke Fukudome, Andruw Jones, Jack Cust, Rick Ankiel, Josh Fields, Melky Cabrera, J.D. Drew, Johnny Damon, Josh Willingham, Jacoby Ellsbury, Justin Upton, Corey Patterson, Michael Bourn, Willy Taveras, Michael Cuddyer, Jose Guillen, Garret Anderson, Lastings Milledge, Nate McLouth, Milton Bradley, Luke Scott, Carlos Quentin, Rocco Baldelli, Carlos Gomez, Mike Cameron, Moises Alou, Ryan Church, Austin Kearns, Jason Kubel

Starting pitcher
The Elite
Johan Santana, Jake Peavy, Erik Bedard, Brandon Webb, C.C. Sabathia, Josh Beckett, Justin Verlander
The Near-Elite
Aaron Harang, John Lackey, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt, Dan Haren, Roy Halladay, John Smoltz
The Next-Best Things
Daisuke Matsuzaka, James Shields, Scott Kazmir, Felix Hernandez, Brett Myers, A.J. Burnett, Javier Vazquez, Ben Sheets, Chris R. Young, Fausto Carmona, Carlos Zambrano, Yovani Gallardo, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Francisco Liriano
The Fallback Options
John Maine, Chad Billingsley, Jered Weaver, Dustin McGowan, Brad Penny, Adam Wainwright, Jeremy Bonderman, Rich Hill, Ted Lilly, Chien-Ming Wang, Ian Snell, Oliver Perez, Jeff Francis
The Overrated and Late-Round Sleepers
Phil Hughes, Tim Hudson, Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe, Clay Buchholz, Dontrelle Willis, Randy Johnson, Gil Meche, Zack Greinke, Joe Blanton, Rich Harden, Micah Owings, Ian Kennedy, Hiroki Kuroda, Tom Gorzelanny, Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, Mark Buehrle, Barry Zito, Andy Pettitte, Kelvim Escobar, Jason Schmidt, Bronson Arroyo, Jason Bergmann, Matt Garza, Wandy Rodriguez, John Patterson, Andy Sonnanstine, Boof Bonser

Closers
The Elite (I have yet to draft from this particular tier at this particular position.)
Francisco Rodriguez, J.J. Putz, Takashi Saito, Jonathan Papelbon, Mariano Rivera, Joe Nathan, Billy Wagner
The Next-Best Things
Francisco Cordero, Jose Valverde, Bobby Jenks, Trevor Hoffman, Rafael Soriano, Manny Corpas, Jason Isringhausen
The Fallback Options
Brad Lidge, Joakim Soria, Matt Capps, Chad Cordero, B.J. Ryan, Huston Street
Last Resorts (I have yet to settle for one of these guys in a mixed league.)
Eric Gagne, Brandon Lyon, Kevin Gregg, Troy Percival, Brian Wilson, Joe Borowski, Todd Jones, George Sherrill

That's all for now. (And isn't it enough?)
Comments

Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: March 15, 2008 1:46 am
 

Tiers

That's why they're my tiers and I advise you to create your own.

I don't like Howard's contact rate. I think his batting average will come closer to last year's .268 than 2006's .313 for much of his career.



Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: March 14, 2008 6:28 pm
 

Tiers

I don't understand how Ryan Howard isn't elite at 1b, but Prince Fielder is.  They have basically the same HR potential, but Howard knocks in more runs.



Since: May 11, 2007
Posted on: March 7, 2008 9:41 pm
 

Tiers

Oops, I forgot to ask you this, Scott.

For shortstops, the tier you've titled "The Next-Best Things," you commented that "I have only once drafted from this particular tier at this particular position, and I immediately regretted it..." How come? It looks as though Derek Jeter, Troy Tulowitzki, Miguel Tejada and Carlos Guillen are pretty good, no? I can certainly see your rationale with closers, but why with this group?




Since: May 11, 2007
Posted on: March 7, 2008 9:31 pm
 

Tiers

Excellent post; and the amount of work you put into it is amazing! Thanks much. Bubba Zee




Since: Jan 25, 2008
Posted on: March 6, 2008 10:26 am
 

Tiers

Excellent explanation!!!

And that is pretty much what I expected you to say.  The volatility of closers is hard to figuire and none is going to agree with someone else's tiers completely, I think you did a good job and it helps those who aren't familiar with this preperation and evaluation method.

I would like to make a wager with you though that both Borowski and Jones end up with more saves in 2008 than Percival lol.




Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2008 12:30 pm
 

Re: Closing Options: Avoid Section

It was the second installment, and you bring up a point that I knew I'd have to address.

I used Todd Jones and Joe Borowski both as examples of how saves can come from anywhere, but I didn't list them later among the pitchers I'd draft. Much of my argument centered on the belief that a closer doesn't have to pitch for a good team to get good saves. Therefore, given the choice, I'll take the good pitcher over the pitcher on a good team.

I think Jones and Borowski are bad pitchers -- plain and simple. I think the potential for a blowup -- speaking on a season-wide level -- is too great, and I don't want them. I've heard the argument that Jones doesn't have anyone to replace him right now, but if he has an ERA over 6.00 and is blowing a save or two a week, you don't think the Tigers might try someone else? They don't look like they have an in-house replacement now, but good relievers emerge out of nowhere every year. Who was talking about Takashi Saito, J.J. Putz, Bobby Jenks, Manny Corpas or Joakim Soria for saves before they actually started getting them?

Now, I don't entirely trust all the pitchers at the end of that second-to-last tier either, and if push came to shove and I could spend the same amount on Borowski or Troy Percival, I might think really long and hard about it. But the way I have my tiers set up and the way public perception works, I haven't had to make that choice yet. I always end up with pitchers in the first half of that second-to-last-tier -- pitchers like Soria and Matt Capps -- because the rest of the world values Jones and Borowski even over them. Still, just to avoid confusion, I might consider dropping a few of the guys you mentioned into that last year, but ahead of Jones and Borowski. I think Percival has the potential to be a good pitcher. I know Jones and Borowski are not.

Then again, with my degrading of Jones and Borowski, you could say I'm overreacting to having trusted Bob Wickman in a league last year. You could. But after the dust had settled and I had (fortunately) patched the hole with Kevin Gregg, I couldn't help but think I should have known better.



Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2008 12:18 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Jan 25, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2008 10:23 am
 

Closing Options: Avoid Section

I am trying to understand why Jones, and Borowski are in your avoid section?  You used them both as examples of the theory in one of your articles as to why closers can be waited on.  I understand their bad peripherals but it seemed like your whole point was that saves are what really matters from closers and they are both sill in prime position to get a ton of saves this year.  I understand that Borowski has some high quality arms behind him in Cleveland and yes that does mean someone could overtake him, but it is also a part of why he gets the oppurtunities he gets.  As far as Jones, Zumaya isn't expected back ealier in the season, Rodney is already dinged up, and the team is looking really promising.  Obviously they are both risky but in my opinion hardly more risky than Percival, Lyon, and Wilson.  I am just realy wondering your thought process here and how you are applying the principals from your I believe it was the 4th installment of your series?


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