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  Lone Star Fantasy Baseball League
2006 Predictions

I decided to add a new twist to my draft analysis and actually plug in some data this year. I used some stat projections and an arbitrary algorithm to generate total point projections for each team. The arbitrary algorithm involved weighting projections for offensive starters more heavily than for offensive subs, and using a similar weighting scheme for pitchers (top 5 vs. rest of staff).

Since the projections were based on the rosters as of today (4/1), and many rosters will change significantly, I made some subjective adjustments to the point projections when I decided on my predicted order of finish. The adjustments were biased in favor of owners with a history of smart managing (lineups, trades, waiver pickups). I also added in a “luck” factor.

What follows is a team by team breakdown of each team's strengths and weaknesses, the offensive and pitching rankings based on point projections, my assessment of best and worst draft picks, each team's total in the area of Luddy (TM) performance, the players most likely to determine whether each team succeeds or flops, and my predicted finish for that team.

Hollerin Hokies
Steve Clarke

Total Luddies: 1
Team strengths: good infield depth
Team weaknesses: starting pitchers, outfield
Offensive rank: 5
Pitching rank: 10

Draft steals: Nick Johnson, round 24; Scott Rolen, round 6
Reaches: Mark Prior (2), Gil Meche (14)

Pivotal players: Mark Prior (not off to a good start – needs 180 IP), Curt Schilling (must be a stud again)
Projected points: 9894
Projected finish: 11th


Yellowfin Tuna
Richard Smith

Total Luddies: 1
Team strengths: outfield starters and subs; top of rotation; corner infielders
Team weaknesses: middle infield subs; catcher
Offensive rank: 6
Pitching rank: 2

Draft steals: Rodrigo Lopez (14), Bronson Arroyo (17), Curtis Granderson (21)
Reaches: Preston Wilson (13)

Pivotal players: Jim Thome (perhaps being a DH will help), Ben Sheets (lots of promise sitting on the DL), Adam Dunn (can he take it to the next level)
Projected points: 10121
Projected finish: 5th


Martial Monkeys
Mary Ballard

Total Luddies: 1/2
Team strengths: infield starters and subs; OF starters
Team weaknesses: OF subs; bottom half of pitching staff
Offensive rank: 10
Pitching rank: 6

Draft steals: Luis Castillo (18)
Reaches: Edwin Encarnacion (12)

Pivotal players: Aaron Harang (could win 15), Daniel Cabrera (needs a Leo miracle), Jeff Francouer (were those last 6 weeks an aberration?)
Projected points: 9899
Projected finish: 8th


Mystery Hill
Tim Ludwig

Total Luddies: 1*
Team strengths: outfield starters and subs; top half of rotation
Team weaknesses: middle infield; bottom half of rotation
Offensive rank: 5
Pitching rank: 5

Draft steals: Paul Byrd (14), Khalil Greene (22), Jose Guillen (26)
Reaches: Craig Biggio (10), David Eckstein (12)

Pivotal players: Eric Gagne (losing his velocity), Jorge Sosa (does ugly WHIP foreshadow disaster), Carlos Delgado (can he survive Shea Stadium)
Projected points: 10135
Projected finish: 4th

* 1 honorary Luddie for being named Ludwig


Tim Huelsman

Total Luddies: 0
Team strengths: infield/c, both starters and subs; dominant hitters
Team weaknesses: SPs, especially depth
Offensive rank: 1
Pitching rank: 9

Draft steals: Jae Seo (17), Pedro Feliz (18)
Reaches: Brandon Webb (4)

Pivotal players: Matt Holliday (could be a monster), Brandon Webb (needs run support -- but will he get it), Alfonso Soriano (can he keep his head attached?)
Projected points: 10308
Projected finish: 6th


Las Vegas Strippers
Irv Culpepper

Total Luddies: 1
Team strengths: plenty of depth at 2b, c; excellent RPs; nice offense overall
Team weaknesses: pitching staff full of question marks
Offensive rank: 2
Pitching rank: 11

Draft steals: maybe Joel Pineiro (23)
Reaches: Matt Morris (7), Adam Wainwright (24)

Pivotal players: Austin Kearns (2002 seems like a long time ago), Jason Schmidt (needs to dominate like in 2004), Milton Bradley (could this be his breakout season? in a good way?)
Projected points: 9991
Projected finish: 9th


Port-au-Prince Pirates
Stephen Williams

Total Luddies: 0
Team strengths: infield starters and subs; OF starters; youthful exuberance
Team weaknesses: OF depth; pitching, pitching, pitching
Offensive rank: 3
Pitching rank: 12

Draft steals: Mike Jacobs (15) – if he gains catcher eligibility; Jonny Gomes (9)
Reaches: where to begin? Anthony Reyes (12), Brandon McCarthy (17), and Ronny Cedeno (19), are my personal favorites in this category

Pivotal players: Ian Kinsler and Ryan Howard, who could give Slick some trade possibilities if they start out hot; Noah Lowry (needs Barry in the lineup),
Grady Sizemore (’05 may have just been scratching the surface)

Projected points: 9624
Projected finish: 12th


Doug Waring

Total Luddies: 4
Team strengths: OF starters (I’m counting M.Cabrera there), pitching depth
Team weaknesses: pitching quality, although the Kent/Mulder deal should help; infield starters and subs
Offensive rank: 12
Pitching rank: 7

Draft steals: Casey Kotchman (20)
Reaches: Roger Clemens (7)

Pivotal players: Clemens, obviously; Jon Garland – needs a repeat but it seems unlikely, Miguel Cabrera (must carry a heavy load with little lineup protection)
Projected points: 9655
Projected finish: 7th


Rick Milleman

Total Luddies: 0
Team strengths: more pitchers than I can count; infield starters
Team weaknesses: depth everywhere but pitcher
Offensive rank: 9
Pitching rank: 3

Draft steals: Melvin Mora (11), Erik Bedard (14)
Reaches: Jarrod Saltalamacchia (24)

Pivotal players: Carlos Beltran (must rebound from horrid ’05), Randy Johnson (has to find another 18 wins somewhere), Mariano Rivera (one of these days he will hit the wall)
Projected points: 10185
Projected finish: 1st


Kyle Waring

Total Luddies: 1.5
Team strengths: infield starters and subs; top 3 SPs, closer depth
Team weaknesses: outfield, bottom part of rotation
Offensive rank: 6
Pitching rank: 8

Draft steals: Chris Ray (30)
Reaches: Ken Griffey Jr. (6), Kyle Davies (15), Zack Greinke (21)

Pivotal players: Dontrelle Willis (can he win with no run support), Jorge Cantu (can he tu it again), Kevin Millwood (another victim of the Ballpark?)
Projected points: 9928
Projected finish: 10th


Steve Smith

Total Luddies: 0
Team strengths: OF starters, top half of rotation
Team weaknesses: injury risks everywhere
Offensive rank: 4
Pitching rank: 1

Draft steals: Garrett Atkins (15), Johnny Estrada (24)
Reaches: David Wells (11)

Pivotal players: Barry Bonds (must play 120 games), Rickie Weeks (must build on 2005 debut), J.D. Drew (needs 500 ABs)
Projected finish: 3rd


Cy Clones
Jonathon Wetherington

Total Luddies: 0
Team strengths: starting infield, top half of rotation
Team weaknesses: depth at c, 2b, of; bottom of rotation
Offensive rank: 8
Pitching rank: 4

Draft steals: Dave Bush (21), Rocco Baldelli (24)
Reaches: Josh Beckett (2), Carlos Silva (10)

Pivotal players: Chad Tracy (must prove last year was no fluke), Oliver Perez (can he regain his 2004 form), Vernon Wells (was ’03 his career year?)
Projected points: 10160
Projected finish: 2nd