What would managers and catchers chat about if they had NFL-style headsets?
Last week, it was reported by Teddy Cahill at Baseball America that the American Baseball Coaches Association’s committee on pace of play was considering putting a digital headset in catchers’ helmets, similar to those used by NFL quarterbacks, so coaches could more quickly relay play calls in-game.
You might want to let someone else draft or buy these players in your leagues this spring.
Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
Man, this has a chance burn me badly and make me look really stupid at the end of 2017. Paul Goldschmidt is still an awesome, amazing fantasy asset, so don't think I'm disparaging his skills or anything. It's just that he had some declines in a few areas last year that I want to shed light on.
In a year where power was up across baseball, possibly because of a juiced ball, Goldschmidt had a noticeable drop in power. His .192 ISO was exactly league average for a first baseman, and was down about 50 ISO points from where it was the prior 3 seasons, where it sat at .247. He slugged under .500 for the first time since 2012 and ranked 10th among qualified 1B in slugging, down from ranking 2nd from 2013-2015, when he slugged .556. His park and league adjusted OPS+ fell from an incredible 162 from 2013-15 to 134 in 2016, a drop of almost 30 percentage points.
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An overview of the fantasy options at this position in the junior circuit.
For some, $30 in fantasy earnings is the rarified air that makes a player elite. By this admittedly arbitrary standard, first base in the AL is not the place to shop if you are looking for an elite player. Miguel Cabrera ($30) was the only first baseman who reached this threshold in 2016. Edwin Encarnacion finished second at $26. Chris Davis exemplifies the challenge power hitters face in fantasy. His 38 home runs, 99 runs, and 84 RBI were worth $21, but his one steal and .221 batting average pushed him all the way back to $15. Cabrera and Jose Abreu were the only Top 10 AL first basemen to hit higher than .269 and provide more than one dollar of earnings from AVG, while no AL first baseman stole more than nine bases. It is difficult for three category players to earn more than $30, particularly if one of those categories isn’t stolen bases.
The expert market treaded conservatively at the position, with only one relative shot-in-the-dark based on prior performance. Table One lists the 10 most expensive AL first basemen in 2016, based on their average salaries in the CBS, LABR, and Tout Wars AL-only leagues. Position eligibility in Table One is based on each player’s status at the beginning of last season.
Which of these two big boppers is the better long-term fantasy bet?
A chasm deeper than the Mariana Trench has long existed between scouts and evaluators on opposite ends of the spectrum regarding A.J. Reed and Dan Vogelbach. Among the most polarizing power-hitting prospects in the game, there were those who regarded their raw hit tool, power, and superb selectivity at the dish as reasons to anoint them legit #dudes. On the other hand, there were those who still had their doubts. Whether it concerned their ability to hit left-handed pitching (completely fair) or their weight and conditioning (not really fair) is an entirely different matter.
Houston wants rotation help, Minnesota wants veterans, and Canada wants to turn back the clock.
Astros in the hunt for starters
If what Bob Nightengale of USA Todaysaid on Twitter is true, the Astros are shooting for the stars with their latest targets in trade talks. The rumor is that Houston is in the market for a high-end starter, so they’re trying to bring in one of either Jose Quintana, Chris Archer, or Sonny Gray.
A look at the menu of options at this position in the senior circuit.
The top end of the player pool at first base in the National League is deep, but things get dicey quickly after that. The quality drops off in a hurry before the player population abruptly ends. As my colleague Mike Gianella specifies in his Fantasy Tiered Rankings for First Basemen:
A deeper dive into the fantasy future at this position.
Predicting future first basemen of relevance can be a tricky endeavor, as the position tends to be a landing strip for failed defensive efforts elsewhere, and true-to-form first basemen face exceedingly high natural barriers to success. After we muddle through the veteran re-treads theoretically capable of making mixed-league runs and generating some modicum of 2017 value, we’ll moved on to some longer (and longer still) term discussion. There’s enough power among the veteran prospects who fell short of Bret’s Top 50 list to warrant some turned heads, with a couple of A-ball guys sitting under Shaw who I like for watch lists in even medium-depth leagues this year. Unfortunately, last year’s draft class was especially brutal for first-base talent, with all of two guys drafted as cold cornermen garnering so much as a $200,000 bonus. But then there are some intriguing names on down the 2017-and-beyond line, and organizational purview will of course add depth to this list as the season wears on and hope for more polished leather wears out.
Which of these two alliterative West Coasters is the better bet for your fantasy team in 2017?
This week we’re taking a look at two young-ish, alliterative first basemen repping the West Coast. At 28 years old, Brandon Belt is coming off of one of his most productive seasons as a pro, one year removed from signing a lucrative contract extension to keep him by the Bay. C.J. Cron got off to a hot start in 2016, but the embers were quickly extinguished by an errant Mike Wright fastball (bet you didn’t think you were going to read about Mike Wright today, huh?) in July, leading to surgery and missed time for the 27-year-old slugger. Who will be better long term? I’m glad you asked. Let’s dive in.