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Interview with Drew Silva of Rotoworld and MLB TradeRumors

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Drew Silva is a 9 year veteran of fantasy baseball.  He currently writes for Rotoworld.com and MLBtraderumors.com.  His loves include the St. Louis Cardinals, Cal Ripken Jr., and everything Aaron Gleeman.  Drew considers Mike Bordick his own personal Newman.

 

RJK: With Manny back with the Dodgers project 5 x 5 catagories for Andre Either, Matt Kemp, and James Loney?

Drew Silva: Ahhh.  Projections!?  I'll give it my best shot because I love that trio:

Ethier: .290, 95 R, 85 RBI, 22 HR, 5 SB
Kemp: .300, 85 R, 80 RBI, 18 HR, 32 SB
Loney: .305, 75 R, 88 RBI, 15 HR, 4 SB

RJK: Give me a player being drafted in the first 3 rounds that will disappoint this year?

Drew Silva: A few months ago, or maybe even weeks ago, I would have said CC Sabathia.  I was thinking the pressure, and the shiny lights of the Big Apple, would be a bit too much for him.  It has swallowed a lot of guys in the past.  But, now, with the whole A-Rod distraction, maybe he'll fly under the radar and settle in.  Matt Holliday is probably my choice now.  From Coors to the Colisuem?  Uh oh.

RJK: Who will a player taken in the 20th round or later that will produce top 10 round value?

Drew Silva: You want me to reveal all of my sleepers to the world, man?  Damn.  I'll give you a few.  I think Kahlil Greene will do well enough in St. Louis to warrant a starting spot in deep leagues.  Max Scherzer showed legitimate potential in his short time with the Diamondbacks last year.  Don't let that 0-4 record blind you.  He has a great fastball-slider combination.  Troy Percival, if healthy, will rack up a good amount of saves.  That's a monstrous "if," of course, but people might overlook him for that exact reason.  The Rays are a strong team, as we all saw last year, and the front end of their bullpen is solid.  He'll be handed a good amount of leads.

RJK: What underlying stats do you like to look at to predict break outs and flame outs?


Drew Silva: I don't think OPS is too underground anymore, but it's one of the most telling stats for projecting batters.  K/BB ratio for pitchers is huge.  I'm really not the guy to go to if you're looking for sabermetrics.  I have a firm grasp on most of the stuff, but I still have much to learn.  VORP is always fun to look at.

RJK: What "Post-Hype Sleepers" do you love this year?

Drew Silva: J.R. Towles.  The man put up great numbers in the minors, and he's still only 25.  That .137 average last year is going to leave him undrafted in most leagues.  I wouldn't say I "love" him, but I'd be willing to stash him on my bench in a keeper league.  Billy Butler, I do "love."  He knocked the cover off the ball for the first few months last season, but eventually wound up in Triple-A.  Some might see him as a risk, but he has hit well on every level, and he's still just 22.

RJK: If you're Joe Madden what do you do with David Price given the fact that Jeff Neimann is out of options?

Drew Silva: I think you start Price at Triple-A this year.  He's one heck of an insurance policy in case a rotation guy goes down.  Price is ready for the bigs, there's no doubting that, but Madden should feel plenty comfortable with what he has right now.  Keep him marinating -- as a starter -- down in Triple-A.

RJK: Give me a comp for these players?  Colby Rasmus, David Price, Pedro Alvarez

Drew Silva: This is fun.  Colby Rasmus -- People like to say Grady Sizemore, but I think Steve Finley is a better comparison.  I'm not sold on Rasmus' power potential just yet.  David Price -- I really think he's going to be amazing.  Like, Johan Santana-type stuff.  But I'm not so sure that's the best comparison.  His 6'6" frame and left-handedness makes him unique to other guys with similar stuff.  Pedro Alvarez -- Two Vandy ball players in the same question, eh?  I like.  Alvarez's upside?  We'll go with Aramis Ramirez.

RJK: How long have you written for RW and MLBTR?

Drew Silva: I started with Rotoworld a little over a year ago.  The MLBTR thing got started, for me, around December.

I guess this is my time to rant and rave about both sites.  I don't think I have anything to "rant" about though.  That's just a saying used by 1.) people in movies and 2.) people who are lame.  And I'm boring and cliche, so it's a nice fit.

But, yea, Rotoworld and MLBTR.  Those were my two favorite websites, even before they started paying me millions and millions of dollars.  They're truly excellent havens for sports fan, especially the nuttiest.  I look up to Aaron Gleeman, Tim Dierkes and Matthew Pouliot like you wouldn't believe.  Having the chance to talk to these guys on a daily basis is a real honor.

RJK: How does Rotoworld get all their information?

Drew Silva: Relentless scouring of all news services, plain and simple.  Newspapers, blogs, television, radio... whatever we can get our hands on.  The Rotoworld guys (and Tim over at MLBTR) have developed strong relationships with certain beat writers over the years, and I like to feed on the scraps of those contacts.

RJK: Who are your favorite non-Rotoworld fantasy baseball writers?

Drew Silva: Rob Neyer and Keith Law are great.  It's cliche to say now, but Moneyball is one of my all-time favorite books... so let's throw Michael Lewis into the bunch.  Hmm... surprisingly I've never had to answer this question, so I'm not fully prepared.  Derek Carty is great over at The Hardball Times.  This is probably biased, but I love what Derrick Goold has done for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  His blog, "Bird Land," and basic coverage of the Cardinals is fantastic.  I know I'm leaving some out.  Oh, definitely W.P. Kinsella.  Every word of Shoeless Joe just exudes "baseball."  I hope some people know what I mean.  It's real.

RJK: How many leagues do you play in?  Do you set any limits?

Drew Silva: I'm in five leagues right now.   One is a 14-team, 5 x 5, head-to-head with some buddies from high school.  No money, but the message board is always lively.  Then I'm in a few money leagues that are still getting sorted out.   And one keeper league -- which I don't want to talk about right now.  Let's just say the squad needs restructuring.  I'll probably add two or three more before the season gets started.

Yeah, I have to set limits.  It's not a specific number, but there's only so much time in a day.  You can't get excited, and passionately follow 20 leagues at the same time.  Seriously, I've tried.  It's not possible.


RJK: How many mock drafts do you do each February and March?  How do you use them as a tool?

Drew Silva: I do around five, I'd say.  I always find my best sleepers in 'em.  I swear, during every one I participate in, I'll get an "Oh, damn, I like that pick" moment.

RJK: As a Cardinals fan you might enjoy this.  My worst fantasy moment was having Fernando Tatis sitting on my bench on April 23, 1999 (Two grand slams in one inning).  What's your worst fantasy moment?

Drew Silva: Tatis!  His numbers from that '99 season are absolutely ridiculous.  A line of .298/.404/.553, 34 dingers, and 107 RBI.  Oh, and 21 stolen bases.  Are you kidding me?  He never came close to replicating those stats again.  Some would shout "roids," but I'm thinking it was the frosted tips.

I've had a ton of gut-wrenchers, man.  But I'm going to switch it up on you and focus on a positive one.  That's how I roll...  I roll joyfully.  Wow.  Just ignore that.  Let's move on.

In '07 a friend I was playing sat Mark Buehrle before his no-hitter against the Rangers.  Last season, I'm playing the same dude, and he sits Jon Lester for his no-hitter against the Royals.  He'll never live that one down.  And if he does, I'll just keep reminding him of it.  I can't recall if I won both weeks against him, but those two blunders were pretty glorious from my perspective.

RJK: Last year I won a league when Johnny Damon scored from third on the last game on the last day of the regular season.  What close calls have you had?

Drew Silva: Wow, that probably took a few years off your life.  I don't think I've ever had a really close call in baseball... at least not when it mattered too much.  In fantasy football, though, a Monday night kicker seems to beat me every damn week.

RJK: Why should I get the Rotoworld Fantasy Guide?

Drew Silva: Aaron Gleeman always says it best so I'll direct you his way and then steal his basic answers:  We're good, we're thorough and constantly updated, and we love baseball.  I'm just a stupid fan when it comes to the Draft Guide and Season Pass.  I love that stuff.  Honestly, I don't think you can find better information, better projections, and better fantasy spin from any other sports service.