Written by: Andrew Lowe (@ALowe710)
Follow prospects-365.com on Twitter: @Prospects365
Welcome, reader. I aim to provide insight to rebuilding a dynasty baseball franchise from the ground up. In my lone fantasy baseball league, a dynasty league, I am beginning a teardown for the first time in my fantasy career. I am no expert and may look like an idiot, but I trust the process. Feel free to comment, give me feedback, or ask me questions here or @ALowe710.
You may be familiar with the phrase “Trust The Process.” You likely associate it with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, former Sixers GM Sam Hinkie, and tanking. It’s taboo to tank. But trusting the process (which I’ll later abbreviate as TTP’ing) does not have to equal losing on purpose. It does not mean drafting players who will sit out a year injured. TTP’ing is about giving you the best opportunities to build and accrue value. It is about making sure that actions are made for the right reasons. That said, getting high draft picks and taking risks are simple and easy ways to succeed; but they’re not the only ways.
To give you some background, I am in a 20-team Head-to-Head dynasty league in its fifth year. I’ve won the championship twice. But, unfortunately, my core players got old and this year, I decided to sell for the first time in my league’s history. I’ll use my experiences with my team to form the ideas you’ll read about below and throughout this series.
This first article might be rudimentary. You’re probably already the smartest person in your league to be spending your free time on a dynasty baseball blog. You’re likely here because you already use many resources to get information. If you don’t, Prospects 365 is a great place to start. The first step in TTP’ing is to gather as much information as you can.
- Put in the time and work to gather information. Doing this gives you many perspectives to consider. There are many websites, blogs, and writers that scout, gather and analyze information. They already filter much of the unnecessary fluff for you (non-prospects, flukes, hitters’/pitchers’ leagues, etc.). Never consider only one opinion. It can dictate your own thoughts and make you blind to outlooks that bring you closer to reality and value the asset correctly. We are all prone to biases and that is okay. What is not okay is to not put in the effort and the work. Losing on purpose gets high draft picks, but you won’t draft the correct players unless you put in the work. Mr. Lazy might trade for a player who has a major slump coming. Doing the work can be applied to all of fantasy baseball – any aspect of life, really – and is the first tenet of TTP’ing.
- How do you apply the time and effort? Talk to league mates, compile scouting reports, scour Twitter, learn advanced statistics, and learn why certain player types excel or fail (among many other things). When you talk to your league mates, keep the lines of communication open. This keeps your ear on the market and your name/team on someone’s mind when they get the itch to trade. I like to gather info for my league’s prospect draft to figure out exactly which pick I need for my target, for instance. Reading scouting reports, understanding advanced stats and player types, and understanding the process of player development will point you towards hidden gems because you’ll see whether a prospect’s successes and failures are real or temporary. Some teams play in hitter/pitcher extreme parks and leagues or have their prospects work on certain things that may hamper their stats. Some body-types develop later than others. Knowing this information and keeping it in mind will give you an advantage.
- Allow this information to guide you. At times, fantasy baseball can be a lot about luck. You need to be able to take comfort in your reasoning and trust that it is directly correlated with repeated success, not just reliant on luck. You should be able to look back on past decisions and be comfortable with why you did what you did, regardless of the result. Reflecting in this manner is the best way to learn and improve. If you’re not into numbers or research, go with your gut. Just be ready to reflect on that gut instead of rationale and analysis.
- Don’t be afraid to: take risks, lose, experiment, buck trends, take on bad contracts, and get future assets. This part is probably what you’re most familiar with in the world of TTP’ing. When you are at (or on your way to) rock bottom, remember that you have nothing to lose, so you might as well experiment with unique players and ideas. Draft talented injured players (like the Walker Buehlers of the world) because he may eventually become a bonafide ace. Acquire the albatross contract to get a couple of draft picks. Spend on speed when no one else will. Get lots of prospects. Prospects are a game of chance and you want as many chances as you can get if you have the spaces available. If you put in the work and the research, there’s a good chance you hit on a lot of prospects, which greatly increases the value of your team.
- Be patient. This is going to take time. Players develop at different rates and it’s important that remember that young professional baseball players are also just young adults. Most of us were complete idiots at their age (disclaimer: I’m only in my mid-20s). Most will fail more times than they succeed. But if you follow the above tenets, you will increase your chances of success.
- Most importantly, have fun. I started my own rebuild because I wanted to learn from a new experience – something I find fun. Find your reason and trust the process.
Up Next: My dynasty roster, the trades that went down, and the lessons learned.
Follow prospects-365.com on Twitter: @Prospects365
Credit for feature image goes to baseballamerica.com.