June 25, 2013
Team Tracker, Basics
The Baseball Prospectus Team Tracker is the most sophisticated stat-tracking tool available on the web. But that doesn't mean it has to be complicated to use. Starting at the beginning, when you click on the Team Tracker page for the very first time, an empty report is presented to you, as such:
This is empty because you have no teams to track yet. But that's easy to change, and you can add dozens of teams with any combinations of players, such as all your teams in your various fantasy leagues as well as each of your competitors' teams as well. Or, if you don't have a "team," you can enter any list of names you desire, such as the Cubs' current 40-man roster or the list of players leading in All-Star voting. The first step is to click on the "Edit Teams" link, which takes you to this page:
Entering "NL-Only Yahoo Team" and clicking Add Team adds this new team. At this point, you can set some options for your newly created organization, one of which is the time period you prefer to view by default when you see the report. This default time period can be changed later, and you can always select any option while looking at the report. But here's what's available, to give you an idea:
Forecasts are most useful during the offseason, when you can compare PECOTA projections for your players, while daily or weekly options appeal to many fantasy players.
Now, you wonder, "where do the players go?" If you aren't copying a fantasy roster, skip forward to the "Edit Roster" section below. If you do have a fantasy roster—such as this one taken from my NL-only Yahoo league—some shortcuts for loading your players are available:
Using some basic cut-and-paste into a spreadsheet, and then cleaning up the rows that aren't really players (since Yahoo doesn't have an "export" function for rosters), the player list comes out as 25 names:
You don't need to be armed with a list of names as above in order to populate a roster. Just type in names or parts of names to look up players from the approximately 9000 that are available in the Team Tracker system (Note: only MLB stats—and projections of MLB stats—are available in Team Tracker, though the comments from last week's article about Prospect Tracker give some suggestions of where to look for minor-league stats for your tracked players). To look up Mike Trout, for example, I entered "Trout" in the "Search by Name" box and chose "CF" for a position, and clicked "Do Filter and/or Search." This returns a list of all players with names like "Trout" who are center fielders. Without much surprise, there's only one:
But pitchers with "Smith" in their name is a different story:
One (or more) of the names in the leftmost box can be highlighted (using control-click to highlight a second player after clicking on the first one), and then the box below to add them to your team or watched list can be clicked. For now, don't worry about the watched list—just highlight Mike Trout to add him to the roster.
Remember the list of 25 names from above? I don't really want to retype all 25 players, and fortunately, Team Tracker doesn't require me to. I simply click on the link "click here to add a list of players" and paste in the 25 names to one of the two boxes (Roster or Watched List). When I do that with my 25 names from above and click the "Add Players" button, I see:
I want to add all these guys, so I leave them all checked and click the "Confirm" button. After doing that, I click on the "My Team Tracker" link, and I'm taken back to the original page, except that my fantasy production from yesterday is now shown for each of my players:
Those are the basics of Team Tracker, enough to get you started. Feel free to play around with the features, and check back next week for details about more advanced options.