Monday, July 7, 2008

Yahoo, Give the Minor Leaguers Love Too!

In Yahoo fantasy baseball, managers (people playing the game) get to choose MLB players from the player pool for their teams. The player pool normally consists of everyone who is on an active MLB roster or was on a roster last year and has not formally declared retirement. The Yahoo team also has several minor league players added, usually the interesting ones (e.g. Evan Longoria). However, they do leave some notable minor leaguers out (e.g. Jay Bruce). This leads to interesting situations when those left-out players are called up to the bigs.

Having the #1 waiver priority is a huge advantage. It means that you get first dibs on the hot new rookies recently promoted to the bigs who were excluded from the player pool. You can snag that essentially free player, be it Clayton Kershaw or Jay Bruce, hitting or pitching, whatever you need. These excluded players really make the #1 waiver pick much more valuable than it should be.

In one of my leagues, Evan Longoria was drafted with the 180th pick (out of 400 players taken). But Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto, Edison Volquez, Matt LaPorta, and other excluded players were undraftable, leading managers to draft such waiver trash as Jacque Jones, Luis Gonzalez, Lee Gardner, and Ronnie Belliard. 

Players who want to take a risk and hold on to MiLB stars can only hope those stars are in the select few added by Yahoo's sports staff to the player pool. Waiver priority is designed to decide who to allow to pick up dropped players. Instead, it can be used as a tool to drastically improve a manager's team midseason. 

Yahoo really needs to add all MiLB players in any team's 40-man roster to the player pool. There, that'smy piece. I'm done.

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