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03-31

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1

My Model Portfolio: Stars, Scrubs, and High-End Starters
by
Nick Shlain

03-31

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3

Prospectus Feature: All Spin Is Not Alike
by
Alan M. Nathan

03-31

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1

Closer Report: Week One
by
Matt Collins

03-31

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0

My Model Portfolio: Framing Decisions Around Value
by
Jeff Quinton

03-31

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2

Every Team's Moneyball: Texas Rangers: Shortstop Depth
by
Kate Morrison

03-31

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2

Dynasty Dynamics: TINO Does Arizona, 2015
by
Ben Carsley and Craig Goldstein

03-31

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4

Every Team's Moneyball: Atlanta Braves: Shortstop Instincts
by
R.J. Anderson

03-31

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10

Baseball Therapy: The Most Important Player on the Field
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-31

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45

Pebble Hunting: The Case For Shaming the Cubs
by
Sam Miller

03-30

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5

League Preview Series
by
Craig Goldstein

03-30

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: Shadow Auctioneering
by
Mike Gianella

03-30

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7

The Darkhorses: Batting Average and Home Runs
by
BP Fantasy Staff

03-30

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1

The Buyer's Guide: Adam Lind
by
J.P. Breen

03-30

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4

TTO Scoresheet Podcast: National League Players to Monitor
by
Ian Lefkowitz, Ben Murphy and Jared Weiss

03-30

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2

Every Team's Moneyball: Philadelphia Phillies: Changing Habits
by
Christopher Crawford

03-30

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5

Every Team's Moneyball: Toronto Blue Jays: I Gotta Sell High, All The Time
by
Chris Mosch

03-30

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0

The Week in Quotes: March 23-29, 2015
by
Chris Mosch and Nick Wheatley-Schaller

03-27

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8

Raising Aces: Pitching Trident: Uppers
by
Doug Thorburn

03-27

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2

Every Team's Moneyball: Arizona Diamondbacks: Hidden Snakes
by
Sam Miller

03-27

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8

Pitching Backward: Why Relievers Get A Free Pass
by
Jeff Long

03-27

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7

Every Team's Moneyball: Minnesota Twins: Rebuilding in Plain View
by
Ken Funck

03-27

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0

Skewed Left: History Repeats Itself
by
Zachary Levine

03-27

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7

League Preview Series
by
Jeff Moore

03-27

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: BP Rankings vs. ADP
by
Wilson Karaman

03-27

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3

League Preview Series
by
Jordan Gorosh

03-27

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4

Prospectus Feature: How the Astros do Spring Training
by
Howard Megdal

03-27

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7

The Darkhorses: Steals and Saves
by
BP Fantasy Staff

03-27

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3

Spring Training Notebook: Cactus League
by
BP Prospect Staff

03-26

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4

Daisy Cutter: Pedroia Got His Thumb Back, But Don't Call it a Comeback
by
Sahadev Sharma

03-26

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4

Expert League Auction Recap: Tout Wars: General Impressions
by
Mike Gianella

03-26

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3

Spring Training Notebook: Grapefruit League
by
Jeff Moore and Chris King

03-26

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9

Fantasy Auction Values: Third Edition, 2015
by
Mike Gianella

03-26

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7

The Quinton: Draft Setting and the Wisdom of our Competition
by
Jeff Quinton

03-26

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Endgame Picks
by
Nick Shlain

03-26

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11

Player Profile: Jedd Gyorko
by
Keith Cromer

03-26

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2

Every Team's Moneyball: Baltimore Orioles: Unearth
by
Jeff Long

03-26

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33

Some Projection Left: Top 50 Draft Prospects [With Aiken Update]
by
Christopher Crawford

03-26

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0

Every Team's Moneyball: Miami Marlins: Haste
by
Brendan Gawlowski

03-26

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6

Transaction Analysis: It's Olivera Now, Baby Blue
by
R.J. Anderson

03-25

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8

Rumor Roundup: The Diamondbacks' Shortstop Decision Will Affect 2B, 3B, and Perhaps All Three OF Positions
by
Daniel Rathman

03-25

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7

Tout Wars X
by
Bret Sayre

03-25

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4

Painting the Black: Getting Personal
by
R.J. Anderson

03-25

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2

Every Team's Moneyball: Milwaukee Brewers: Nay Handedness!
by
Matthew Trueblood

03-25

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10

The Lineup Card: Eight Spring Training Lines of Interest
by
Baseball Prospectus

03-25

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8

Baseball Therapy: On the High Five
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-25

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14

The Darkhorses: ERA and WHIP
by
BP Fantasy Staff

03-25

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0

Every Team's Moneyball: Cleveland Indians: Yay Handedness!
by
Nick Wheatley-Schaller

03-25

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7

Five to Watch: National League Position Battles
by
Wilson Karaman

03-25

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19

Moonshot: If We Can Land a Man on the Moon, Surely I Can Get Good Data
by
Robert Arthur

03-25

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10

Every Team's Moneyball: Seattle Mariners: Top of the (Free Agent) Market to You!
by
Russell A. Carleton

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March 31, 2015 6:00 am

My Model Portfolio: Stars, Scrubs, and High-End Starters

1

Nick Shlain

Nick splurges on the Tiger tandem of Miguel Cabrera and David Price, and builds his team around a handful of high-value bats.

The Process:
Mixed leagues are adorable. Look at all of these players—the possibilities are almost endless. Even so, I stuck to my guns and played out a mostly stars-and-scrubs approach for this exercise. It’s my preferred strategy in any mixed league because the replacement-level value on the waiver wire in mixed leagues is significantly higher than in an “-only” format. Even if I completely whiff on estimating a player’s value or lose one due to injury, the waiver wire won’t be a complete wasteland when it’s time to find a replacement.

I’m not especially concerned with having three $1 players on offense because of the point I just made about replacement level being what it is in mixed leagues. Once I saw that Stephen Vogt was only $1, I knew I wanted to grab him and a $1 catcher to save some money at the position with an eye toward making Vogt my catcher once he gains in-season eligibility there. This allowed me to buy five offensive players for at least $21 each.


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Separating the useful spin from the rest.

Alan M. Nathan
University of Illinois

Ever since the early days of PITCHf/x, we have had unprecedented information about the movement of pitches. We now have a precise quantitative measure of how much and in what direction a pitch moves—i.e., deviates from a straight-line path. The movement is the result of the combined forces of gravity pulling the ball downward and the so-called Magnus force on a spinning baseball. It has become conventional to remove the effect of gravity, which is easily calculable, so that the resulting movement—pfx_x and pfx_z in PITCHf/x lingo—is due only to the Magnus force. I will utilize that convention in this article. It seems sort of reasonable that there ought to be some simple relationship between the movement to the spin rate. For example, if a pitch is spinning at a higher rate, the expectation is that there will be more movement. But is that expectation correct? In fact, it is not correct because, as the title of this article suggests, all spin is not alike. And that is the issue I want to discuss here.

So why is it that all spin is not alike? The reason has to do with the vector nature of the spin: It has a magnitude and a direction. The magnitude is pretty simple, since it is just the number of revolutions per minute, or rpm. Let’s talk about the direction. The easiest way to determine the direction of the spin is to use a right-hand rule: Wrap the fingers of your right hand around the ball so that they point in the direction that the ball is turning. Your thumb will then point in the direction of the spin axis.

Here are some examples. A straight overhand fastball has pure backspin and the spin axis points to the pitcher’s right. An overhand “12-6” curveball has pure topspin and the spin axis points to the pitcher’s left. A ball thrown with pure sidespin has its spin axis pointing up or down. In all these examples, the spin axis is perpendicular to the direction of motion. On the other hand, a gyroball is a pitch thrown with the spin axis perfectly aligned along the direction of motion, much like a spiral pass in football. Indeed, it is often called “bullet spin”, since that is how a bullet will spin when shot from a rifle. All of these pitches are special cases, since in general the spin axis could be pointing in any direction whatsoever.


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March 31, 2015 6:00 am

Closer Report: Week One

1

Matt Collins

Surveying the ninth-inning situations around the league heading into Opening Day.

Ah, relievers. The position everyone loves to hate. Keeping tabs on closers can be one of the most frustrating parts of a fantasy baseball season, as situations change seemingly everyday. We’re going to try to help you through that this year, keeping you up to date on who will be grabbing saves around the league. For the first week, I’ll list all the relievers lined up to get the save opportunities to start the year, adding more details underneath where they’re merited. Later weeks will focus solely on those situations that have changed or could change soon.

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March 31, 2015 6:00 am

My Model Portfolio: Framing Decisions Around Value

0

Jeff Quinton

Jeff starts by taking the players he likes more than our bid values, then fills out his roster with the money left over.

Overall Strategy:

Last year, I got caught in the trap of wanting an impact player in each position-player slot, which led to me taking a lot of lower-probability, upside plays that did not pan out. The problem here was not with risk, but rather with framing my decisions through something other than value. This year, my strategy was to first take all the players I like more than Mike Gianella (the creator of the values) and then tweak my roster if needed in order to avoid any category deficiencies.

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Sign all the Latin America shortstops, figure out the positions later.

Every day until Opening Day, Baseball Prospectus authors will preview two teams—one from the AL, one from the NL—identifying strategies those teams employ to gain an advantage. Today: the shortstop factories of the Braves and Rangers.

Week 1 previews: Giants | Royals | Dodgers | Rays | Padres | Astros | Rockies | Athletics | Mets | Yankees

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March 31, 2015 6:00 am

Dynasty Dynamics: TINO Does Arizona, 2015

2

Ben Carsley and Craig Goldstein

Player observations from the duo's trip to the desert.

Craig and I went to Arizona again this year. We drank beer and stared into Jeff Quinton’s eyes and watched baseball. Here’s how we feel about some players we saw, because #scouting:

Guys We Like More Now

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What the Braves might be looking for when developing shortstops from prospect to pro.

Every day until Opening Day, Baseball Prospectus authors will preview two teams—one from the AL, one from the NL—identifying strategies those teams employ to gain an advantage. Today: the shortstop factories of the Braves and Rangers.

Week 1 previews: Giants | Royals | Dodgers | Rays | Padres | Astros | Rockies | Athletics | Mets | Yankees

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Did you know that a pitcher is responsible for 35.3 percent of an individual strikeout?

In any one baseball game, there are 50 players who are eligible to play. Which of them is the most important? On any single play, there can be up to 13 players who can directly impact the outcome (the nine fielders, the batter, and potentially, three runners). Which one of them will have the biggest effect on what happens? Even if we zoom in on the batter and pitcher (because the answer is probably going to be one of them), should we worry more about what the batter brings to the at bat or the pitcher?

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Why we are comfortable having the Kris Bryant service time conversation but not the Mike Trout service time conversation, and why we should be uncomfortable having either.

In 2012, Mike Trout was the best baseball player. He was so good that his delayed call-up to the Angels—for, it should be noted clearly here, completely non-service time reasons, but legitimate and honest concerns about his ability to produce after a difficult offseason (healthwise) and an interrupted spring training—might have even cost the Angels a spot in the postseason. He was so, so, so, so, so good.

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March 30, 2015 8:12 am

League Preview Series

5

Craig Goldstein

We continue our league preview series with a breakdown of every team in the Eastern League.

The Prospect Team continues its breakdown of each league in the minors. Today they get to the Eastern League. Be sure to read the other previews here: Midwest League, California League, Carolina League, and Florida State League.

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March 30, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Shadow Auctioneering

5

Mike Gianella

Mike uses a few examples to show why PFM values aren't the end all, be all heading into an auction.

A popular question I get around this time of year is along these lines:

The PFM ranks Steven Souza much higher than your bid limits/draft rankings do. I don’t understand. Why is it so different? What’s the deal? Huh, huh, huh, Huh, Huh, HUH?!?!?!?!?!?”

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March 30, 2015 6:00 am

The Darkhorses: Batting Average and Home Runs

7

BP Fantasy Staff

The gang chooses sleepers to lead the league in these two offensive categories.

Previous articles in this series:

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