Friday, December 23, 2011

Roto Challenge: Freddie Freeman, 1B, ATL

PBR - The Review will publicly manage a club this season in CDM's Diamond Roto Challenge.

For those unfamiliar with CDM's Roto Challenge, participants compile a roster of 28 players and a taxi squad of 12 players. All players are given a salary and participants must build a club within the confines of $30,000,000. There is no draft, participants simply select the players they want.

I will be building the Review's roster over the next few weeks and plan to blog about each selection. Salaries can be found here. My selections will be based on projected statistics, relative value compared to other positional players, and sabermetric analysis.

Today's Selection: Freedie Freeman
1B, ATL, $760,000  

Freeman had a strong rookie season and emerged as a potential top-tier first baseman. He needs to improve his plate discipline (see the 37% Eye Rating from last year  (bb/k), but has the tools to hit 20 homers and drive in 90 runs.

Selecting a team in a league like this where the salaries are already defined means you have to search for the best values. I examined the depth charts on Rotoworld and averaged the salaries of all starting first basemen (and a few DH's) and found the value to be near $980,000. At $760,000 Freeman is approximately $220,000 less than an average first basemen.

Given positional scarcity at other positions, I think taking Freeman below the league average makes complete sense. The savings will allow me to spend elsewhere. Bill James's projections are favorable and I think batting in the middle of a quality Braves lineup will enhance his chances to drive in 85-90 runs. Again, plate patience is a concern, but his Eye Rating in the minors was 50% so I think he can improve on taking pitches and limiting strikeouts.