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The Art of a Blind Resume in Fantasy Baseball

I first remember my introduction to a blind resume in Fantasy Baseball when I watched Baseball Tonight growing up. In theory, the concept could truly revitalize the game, I thought.

Ten or so years later, as with anything that becomes popular, the blind resume became overused and improperly utilized, thus becoming a game of “Can you guess the big time star with the mediocre numbers of these three guys?” But was that actually beneficial to the Fantasy Baseball player?

The essence of the blind resume, though, is you take the name, opinion and bias out of the equation and simply focus on statistics, three-year averages, etc., which is what Fantasy Baseball is truly about. In some instances that’s true. That’s the name of the game. If I see a blind resume, whether it be on television or in an article, I make note. Hit record on the DVR, save the tab, whatever I have to do to go back and see the player comparison.

Player A: 30 HR, 92 RBI, 74 Runs, 3 SB, .253 BA, .349 OBP

Player B: 18 HR, 78 RBI, 93 Runs, 3 SB, .288 BA, .386 OBP

Regardless of the intellectual impact on your Fantasy Baseball knowledge or draft strategy, the blind resume is entertaining and accomplishes two things.

  • It points to how wrong the Fantasy Baseball community is as a whole, and like any human being, we take joy in the six simple words, “You were right, I was wrong!”
  • But also, it provides you with something you can’t do for yourself. Could you create a blind resume for yourself? That’s rhetorical, moving on…

Consider this my bold statement of the year: “Fantasy Baseball is not ONLY about the statistics.” … Now hear me out before closing the tab!

Player A: 16 HR, 43 RBI, 38 Runs, 1 SB, .249 BA, .346 OBP

Player B: 5 HR, 26 RBI, 29 Runs, 3 SB, .278 BA, .388 OBP

The blind resume, regardless of if you construct it perfectly, has a flaw, and therefore really cannot be taken as anything more than a Cliff Note when constructing your draft strategy and evaluating players. On October 4, 2015 – yes, the statistics will be all that matter. On March 4 — or even June 4 — statistics are far from the only thing that matter. The potential matters. Your gut instinct matters. The name matters. It’s all about that name. Substitute “Name” with “Bass,” and you have yourself a Meghan Trainor song.

The biggest problem with a blind resume in Fantasy Baseball is regardless of how telling the stats are, we as human beings are raised to completely ignore the facts. We have our minds made up, and we aren’t going to change them. Likewise, if you are discussing a trade with a fellow owner midseason, you won’t change his mind. You may be able to work an owner for a couple weeks, randomly dropping knowledge a little bit at a time, until they begin to be persuaded subconsciously to your way of thinking. Most experienced Fantasy Baseball owners, however, are not going to be persuaded by what another owner tells them.

Looking back at the resumes, right now, aside from someone who cares more about batting average than any statistic in the game, Player A is winning this competition in a landslide.

Full 2014 Player A: 30 HR, 92 RBI, 74 Runs, 3 SB, .253 BA, .349 OBP

Full 2014 Player B: 18 HR, 78 RBI, 93 Runs, 3 SB, .288 BA, .386 OBP

2nd-Half 2014 Player A: 16 HR, 43 RBI, 38 Runs, 1 SB, .249 BA, .346 OBP

2nd-Half 2014 Player B: 5 HR, 26 RBI, 29 Runs, 3 SB, .278 BA, .388 OBP

The first set of numbers are 2014 stats, the second set are the second half of 2014. Knowing this, would you draft Player A before Player B right now? Get the guy coming off a much better second half the previous year, and ended with 12 more home runs and 14 more RBI on the season. The answer for 99 percent of fantasy baseball owners (I being one of the 99%) is a resounding NO! Below, are their three-year averages:

3YA Player A (29 years old): 411 AB, 20 HR, 61 RBI, 53 Runs, 1 SB, .240 BA, .342 OBP

3YA Player B (25 years old): 566 AB, 21 HR, 94 RBI, 91 Runs, 2 SB, .289 BA, .374 OBP

Player B obviously made up some ground, but those gains could also be accounted for by his additional 155 at-bats. Insight on the two players, to further tip the scales for Player A:

  • Last year was Player A’s first chance at regular playing time, after being thought of as more of a platoon player during the first four seasons of his career.
  • In addition, he gained some protection in the lineup, as his team added a guy who hit 20 home runs, drove in 84 runs and batted .331 in 2013.
  • Player B, meanwhile, has played regularly since 2011, and he is considered the face of his franchise. But the two guys hitting around him in the batting order, who accounted for 40 home runs and 160 RBI, were traded away during this past offseason.

Player A = Lucas Duda

Player B = Freddie Freeman

If someone told you they predicted the breakout season for Corey Kluber coming, or perhaps even Anthony Rendon, Brian Dozier or Todd Frazier, you would probably ask, “Then, why didn’t you make sure you had them on every team and draft them higher?”

Their basic answer would be, “What if I’m wrong?”

To answer that question, you can look at the bottom of your 2014 standings and find all the people that reached a little too high on Danny Salazar, Wil Myers, Xander Bogaerts, Jedd Gyorko, Brandon Belt, Gregory Polanco, and the list goes on.

If you draft any of these guys, you might hit it big and they’ll lead you to the promised land, or you may miss miserably. The one thing that is more than likely a certainty — you will live and die with these players if you have too many of them.

Belt is a prime example of what I’m getting at. Fantasy Baseball players who drafted him thought they had the steal of the draft last season on May 8, after he hit nine home runs in his first 35 games. On May 8, though, the best you still could have received in any trade for him would have been another one of these breakout question marks that may or may not fall flat on their face.

The reason we ignore stats, and look at the name: EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IT!

I welcome you to email the responses you get if you try to trade a streaking Lucas Duda for a struggling Miguel Cabrera or Anthony Rizzo batting .250 with four home runs on May 1. Freeman, on the other hand, you could actually make an argument.

You could go against the grain, be different, and draft this year’s Corey Kluber in the sixth round of all your drafts, and follow that with this year’s Anthony Rendon in Round 7. I just hope for your sake they do not end up being 2015’s Danny Salazar and Jedd Gyorko. Or you will not have to worry about Fantasy Baseball being a marathon because you just pulled both hamstrings on Mile 2.

Value is good — if it is drafted at a value. If you are wrong on Billy Hamilton or Matt Harvey in Rounds 7 or 8, there is a chance for some redemption if you act quickly. If you draft Charlie Blackmon and Danny Salazar again in Rounds 7 or 8 and they go south — sorry Charlie, but there’s no coming back.

Jose Bautista, Chris Carter and Matt Kemp are the only batters to hit more home runs in the second half of 2014 than Lucas Duda's 16. Photo Credit: SLGCKGC

Jose Bautista, Chris Carter and Matt Kemp are the only batters to hit more home runs in the second half of 2014 than Lucas Duda’s 16.
Photo Credit: SLGCKGC

Building the Blind Resume for Fantasy Baseball

If you start out a blind resume with discussing a name, you have already lost. The art of the blind resume is to not make the reader/viewer play, “Can you guess the big-time star with mediocre numbers?”  That means, you start off with the resume.

If you were accepting applications for a job opening, do you read the cover letter first, or look at the resume? Ideally, you should look at the resume. Anyone with an English degree can BS their way through a cover letter, write as elegantly as possible and then permanently place themselves in the back of your mind as you try to defend the lack of skills in their resume.

Likewise, if you criticize a player for a paragraph in your rankings, and then at the end throw in a “blind resume,” that defeats the purpose. Instead of actually taking the statistics to heart that I am reading, I am ignoring the actual information and just seeing if I can guess which players had which numbers.

The sole reason for a blind resume is to not allow the reader realize your bias and let the statistics speak for themselves.

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