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June 10, 2013

Fantasy Freestyle

Fast Starts and Slow Starts

by Mike Gianella


Every year, in both real baseball and the fantasy version, we tell ourselves that certain players are prone to either fast starts or slow starts, as in: “Don’t worry, that player always gets off to a slow start. He’ll come around.” Or, “that guy is always en fuego in April. If you’re counting on a 40 HR, 100 RBI season from him, you’re surely going to be disappointed.”

In deeper leagues, it’s irrelevant whether a player is a hot starter or a cold starter. If you spend $20 on a slow-starting corner infielder and your alternatives in the free agent pool are Eduardo Escobar and Pedro Ciriaco, you’re not going to jettison the slow starter for these bottom-of-the-barrel options.

Mixed leagues are another story entirely. If you own a player who is traditionally a slow starter, it might behoove you to sit him in April. Along these lines, you might try to add a weaker player who is otherwise a fast starter to your roster at the end of your draft (or in the reserve phase) to gain an advantage over your opponents that don’t pay attention to this type of arcane data.

At least, that is what conventional wisdom says. What does recent history tell us?

Table 1: Fast Staring Hitters: 2009-2013

April Rank by OPS

Player

2009

2010

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Related Content:  Mat Latos,  Fantasy,  Adam Laroche

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