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02-24

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The -Only League Landscape: National League Starting Pitchers
by
Scooter Hotz

02-24

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7

Fantasy Tiered Rankings: Starting Pitchers, Part II
by
Mike Gianella

02-24

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0

The Adjuster: Starting Pitchers
by
Eric Roseberry

02-24

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1

Players Prefer Presentation: Do Robot Umps Dream of Automated Yelling?
by
Meg Rowley

02-24

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1

Rubbing Mud: Mr. Sale's Arithmetic Class
by
Matthew Trueblood

02-24

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6

Banjo Hitter: PECOTA's Breakout Bets: Pitchers
by
Aaron Gleeman

02-24

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Rumor Roundup: Smell the Money
by
Demetrius Bell

02-23

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5

The Quinton: Sending and Receiving Trade Offers, and the Focusing Illusion
by
Jeff Quinton

02-23

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6

Cold Takes: A Single Ray of Hope
by
Patrick Dubuque

02-23

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17

Deep, But Playable: Not to Be GliBB
by
Craig Goldstein

02-23

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10

Fantasy Tiered Rankings: Starting Pitchers, Part I
by
Mike Gianella

02-23

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46

2017 Prospects: The Top 101 Dynasty League Prospects
by
Ben Carsley and Bret Sayre

02-23

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2

Welcome to Splitsville: Starting Pitchers
by
Tim Finnegan

02-23

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2

State of the Position: Starting Pitchers
by
George Bissell

02-22

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5

Transaction Analysis: The Old Blue and Gold
by
Bryan Grosnick

02-22

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1

Rumor Roundup: Blanket Approval
by
Emma Baccellieri

02-22

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6

Rubbing Mud: Carlos Martinez, Tunnels, and PECOTA
by
Matthew Trueblood

02-22

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6

Notes from the Field: Cal State Fullerton v. Stanford
by
Wilson Karaman

02-22

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Fantasy Players to Target: Starting Pitchers
by
BP Fantasy Staff

02-22

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7

TTO Scoresheet Podcast: Episode 95
by
Ian Lefkowitz, Ben Murphy and Jared Weiss

02-22

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4

Early ADP Analysis: Starting Pitchers
by
Matt Collins

02-21

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Tale of the Tape, Dynasty Edition: Jackie Bradley vs. Joc Pederson
by
Greg Wellemeyer

02-21

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2

Banjo Hitter: PECOTA's Breakout Bets: Hitters
by
Aaron Gleeman

02-21

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2

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Long-Term Outfielders
by
BP Fantasy Staff

02-21

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8

Dynasty League Positional Rankings: The Top 125 Outfielders
by
Bret Sayre

02-21

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2

Cold Takes: Smoak on the Roster
by
Patrick Dubuque

02-21

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7

Baseball Therapy: Is Win Probability Broken?
by
Russell A. Carleton

02-20

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3

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Outfielders
by
BP Fantasy Staff

02-20

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3

Prospectus Feature: Arbitration Clash
by
Jarrett Seidler

02-20

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8

Monday Morning Ten Pack: Candidates for Next Year's 101
by
BP Prospect Staff

02-20

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1

Rumor Roundup: Shooting for the Moon
by
Ashley Varela

02-20

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Deep, But Playable: Didi Gregorius, Power Hitter?
by
Craig Goldstein

02-20

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The -Only League Landscape: American League Outfielders
by
Mike Gianella

02-20

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9

Flu-Like Symptoms: Fit to be Tied
by
Rob Mains

02-18

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17

Polling Our Readers
by
Bret Sayre

02-18

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BP Mets
by
Jarrett Seidler

02-18

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BP Kansas City
by
Clark Fosler

02-18

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BP Boston
by
Brett Cowett

02-18

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BP South Side
by
Mark Primiano

02-17

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Player Profile: Keon Broxton
by
Wilson Karaman

02-17

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3

Rumor Roundup: Miami Rollercoaster
by
Demetrius Bell

02-17

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4

Fantasy Players to Target: Long-Term Outfielders
by
BP Fantasy Staff

02-17

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8

Dynasty League Positional Rankings Continued: Outfielders on the Ocean Floor
by
Wilson Karaman

02-17

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6

Players Prefer Presentation: Breaking Lind
by
Meg Rowley

02-17

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4

The View From Behind The Backstop: Gabriel Ynoa Transaction Analysis
by
Jeffrey Paternostro

02-17

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Player Profile: Odubel Herrera
by
Matt Collins

02-17

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6

Liner Notes: NRI Watch: American League
by
Bryan Grosnick

02-17

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8

Fantasy Three-Year Projections: Outfielders, Part II
by
Greg Wellemeyer

02-16

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4

Tale of the Tape: Andrew Benintendi vs. Nomar Mazara
by
Mark Barry

02-16

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8

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Profitability Canard
by
Rob Mains

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February 21, 2017 6:00 am

Dynasty League Positional Rankings: The Top 125 Outfielders

8

Bret Sayre

I've got my ranking shoes on and I'm ready to go.

We, at Baseball Prospectus, have been talking about outfielders for a while now (seven days and change to be exact, depending on when you are reading this) and the party continues to rage on. Yet before we rage, we shall calibrate—since rankings aren’t useful without knowing what you’re reading. The list you are about to read here presupposes a 16-team standard (read: 5x5 roto) dynasty format, in which there are no contracts/salaries, players can be kept forever, and owners have minor-league farm systems in which to hoard prospects. So feel free to adjust this as necessary for your individual league, whether it’s moving non-elite prospects without 2016 ETAs down if you don’t have separate farm teams or moving lower-risk, lower-reward players up in deeper mixed or -only formats.

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They're Tired of This Guy.

As one grows older, it becomes a habit to search for baseball players who fasten themselves like tent stakes into the past. Rickey Henderson, my favorite player as a boy, was still around stealing bases and hunting for jobs when I was out of college, hunting for jobs. Roger Clemens held out as the last active member of RBI Baseball for Nintendo, 20 years after its release. Bartolo Colon remains the last link of Major League Baseball to the city of Montreal. These players serve as a connective tissue between generations and eras, keeping one fastened to youth for just a little longer.

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February 21, 2017 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Is Win Probability Broken?

7

Russell A. Carleton

Super Bowls and presidential elections can get you thinking about all sorts of things.

It’s probably a sign of how long we’ve been without baseball that this week’s column was inspired by football. A couple of weeks ago, the Annual Ultimate Flying Handegg Game of Doom was played, and since I live in Atlanta I was vaguely aware of one of the teams playing in the game. According to conversations that I overheard at the water cooler, the Falcons were up 28-3 at one point, but didn’t win. According to various win probability models of football, at one point the Falcons were considered to have a 99 percent chance to win the game. Of course, that didn’t actually happen. So, can we believe win probability models anymore?

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February 20, 2017 6:00 am

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Outfielders

3

BP Fantasy Staff

You might want to let someone else draft or buy these players in your leagues this spring.

Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
Sometimes I wish that real baseball could be a little more like MLB: The Show, and you could have the option to turn off injuries. In this alternate universe, how many homers would Stanton have had in the last four seasons, 175? 200? At one time Stanton flirted with the top three of fantasy drafts, and you could have talked yourself into taking him at number one if you were feeling frisky (or had a severe fish allergy). Unfortunately, his stock is tumbling, mostly due to injuries depriving him (and us) of being able to suit up for a full season.


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After beating Dellin Betances in arbitration the Yankees added to the drama by going public with criticism of the star reliever.

The arbitration process sucks. It sucks for the team. It sucks for the player. The player, his agent, and key front office personnel go into a room where their lawyers and contractors argue why the player is worse or better than he initially appears. At the end of the day, three professional arbitrators who don’t necessarily have intimate knowledge of MLB player value decide between the player’s submitted salary number and the team's submitted salary number.

These decisions are almost always fitted on a player’s service time, past salary, and the closest comps based on antiquated box score-level stats like wins, saves, batting average, home runs, and RBI, as those stats are generally what the arbitrators understand. The process has been around long enough that there are almost always comparables. Because of this, groups like the Pace Law baseball arbitration team are able to project arbitration awards with stunning accuracy without even being in the room, and an annual national law school arbitration competition occurs with MLB’s system as the model. Often, this is all about a couple hundred-thousand dollars, a pittance in the overall budget of MLB teams.

The Yankees reached arbitration settlements with six of the players they tendered. The seventh was Dellin Betances, one of the best relievers in baseball, entering arbitration for the first time. The Yankees offered $3 million and Betances countered at $5 million. The Yankees are a "file-and-trial" team, which means once the arbitration numbers are officially exchanged they will no longer negotiate a one-year deal.

Economist Matt Swartz of MLB Trade Rumors went a step beyond looking at cases individually and fitted a statistical model to project arbitration salaries across the league, since the comparables are so stable. Swartz’s model for relievers is pretty clear: saves get paid and holds don’t. Swartz also found that the arbitration panel hews so closely to past precedents that a player is unlikely to get more than $1 million beyond the previously highest-paid player for his role and service time, no matter how much better he was than that past comparable. Swartz’s model is generally well-regarded and projected Betances’ median arbitration award at $3.4 million for 2017, far closer to the team filing than the player filing. It’s no surprise that the Yankees won the case, no matter how unfairly light that $3 million number may seem at first glance.

I suspect nothing further would’ve happened here except perhaps a generic disappointment quote from Betances, but then Yankees president Randy Levine went to the media. You certainly wouldn’t be reading about it here on BP—across town, Wilmer Flores’ arbitration victory over the Mets floated through the papers as a couple of sentences in a pre-spring training slice of life story, garnering no major regional or national attention.

Why Levine chose to go after Betances in the media after winning is a question only Levine himself can answer. Arbitration proceedings are often rancorous. It often puts the team in a position where it has to trash its own player for financial advantage, pointing out things like how slow he is to the plate. Occasionally these things boil over; Jerry Blevins’ arbitration win over the Nationals in 2015 was reportedly a factor in his trade a few weeks later to the Mets. This proceeding was apparently particularly bad, but again, the Yankees won.

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February 20, 2017 6:00 am

Monday Morning Ten Pack: Candidates for Next Year's 101

8

BP Prospect Staff

We're already looking forward to next year.

Mitchell White, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
I wrote a good bit about White in our Dodgers Top Ten a few weeks back, but felt he warranted further advocacy in this here space as well. He’s a rare bird, in that he already has an arsenal capable of carving up left-handed hitters in spite of possessing very little in the way of a developed changeup. That’s because his cutter is an absolute weapon, holding plane effectively while it wanders to the glove side with well-above-average (and late) horizontal action. He can get in the kitchen as well as anybody I saw last year, and while the curve can lack for bite, it already shows quality depth that can generate field trips out of the zone. This all takes for granted a lively fastball that sits 91-93 right now, too. He generates quality extension to slot, and his velocity plays up a tick because of it. There’s some effort in the delivery, and it’s an up-tempo pace that can get too quick at times right now. The lack of a workload to date also makes him vulnerable to durability questions until he can build up some innings. But the frame is large and athletic, he controls it very well pitch to pitch, and I see a straight path to above-average command. Between White and the more-heralded Walker Buehler, the Dodgers have a couple very interesting post-surgery right-handers to monitor next year, and for my money there isn’t a ton of daylight between them. After crossing into triple-digit innings last year and looking no worse for the wear by the end of it, White has the potential to explode up prospect lists with 140-150 quality innings up into the high minors this season. —Wilson Karaman

Justin Dunn, SP, New York Mets
Honestly, Dunn would’ve fit in last week’s list of players who narrowly missed the 101 just as much as this week’s list. And on pure stuff, Dunn certainly belongs, with a plus fastball and the makings of a solid slider and change. Mostly a reliever at BC until midway through his junior season, the Mets were very careful with Dunn’s post-draft usage, using him for only two or three innings every six or seven days at short-season Brooklyn. Given that his track record as a starter is limited, he’s slight of frame, and there’s a touch of violence in his motion, we have just enough skepticism over Dunn’s long-term outlook starting, and the potential that he ends up in the pen kept him off the list this year. A couple dozen healthy starts and continued development of the offspeeds and command will easily put him pretty far up 2018’s 101, and you can dream on even more given the recent organizational track record with this sort of profile. —Jarrett Seidler



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Eric Gagne eyes a return to the majors, the Mets talk extension figures with Neil Walker, and the Yankees get into hot water with Dellin Betances.

Gagne considering a major league comeback

Eric Gagne is 41 years old. Eric Gagne has not played a full season of baseball at any level since 2009, has not carried a major-league contract since 2008, and has not, as was so elegantly written in the Baseball Prospectus 2005 Annual, “[exorcised] the stoicism out of Dodger Stadium and made it just plain rock” since 2004.

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February 20, 2017 6:00 am

Deep, But Playable: Didi Gregorius, Power Hitter?

0

Craig Goldstein

Can the Yankees shortstop repeat last year's unexpected power surge?

We’ve long recognized Didi Gregorius as a deft hand in the field. The question was always how much he would end up hitting. It’s a question that wasn’t asked too often, given the low baseline for meaningful contribution, set cleat-high due to how good he was at one of the most difficult positions.

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February 20, 2017 6:00 am

The -Only League Landscape: American League Outfielders

0

Mike Gianella

Examining the menu of junior-circuit fantasy options at this position.

This will be the most in-depth article in this series of AL-only positional reviews, and with good reason. With a minimum of 60 American League outfielders populating rosters, and usually more when you factor in the DH slot, outfield is frequently where mono leagues are won or lost. There are only 45 AL starting outfielders, but unlike many other positions you can get solid production from outfield reserves or platoon players.

In 2016, four of the 10 most expensive AL-only hitters were outfielders. Three of the 10 highest earners in 2016 were outfielders. The three fantasy “expert” AL-only leagues (CBS, LABR, and Tout Wars) spent $814 on average in the outfield and picked up $790 worth of stats. This year, there was a significant drop in the CBS AL auction on money spent on outfielders, with only $696 allocated to the position. It is worth watching LABR AL next month to see if this is part of a trend or merely an anomaly.

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Testing an approach to extra innings.

I’m going to talk about games that last longer than nine innings. Don’t worry, this isn’t another article about putting a baserunner on second base in extra innings.

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February 18, 2017 11:15 am

Polling Our Readers

17

Bret Sayre

We're starting to plan our 2017 events at Baseball Prospectus, and we want to get feedback from you.

As Spring Training ramps up, so too does Baseball Prospectus, and part of our pre-season planning involves setting up our ballpark events for the upcoming season. We greatly enjoy having these events where we can interact with our readers, and we want to make them as successful as possible. So please consider this as a way to get your feedback on our events heard. We have a survey below that will help us align these events more with what you are all interested in, and we hope that you'll take it. You'll also notice that not every major-league ballpark is available to select in the first question of the survey—this is because a small, handful of stadiums are either too cost-prohibitive, don't have the space we would need for an event or it's a venue that doesn't work for our staff.

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February 18, 2017 8:09 am

BP Mets

0

Jarrett Seidler

BP's prospect evaluators have fallen in love with the Mets right-hander.

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