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Eriq Gardner 

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March 9, 2012 3:00 am

Everyone's Perfect: The Relativity of Value

7

Eriq Gardner

A look at why there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to valuing a player

In the game of baseball, environment often plays a role in determining a player’s worth. For example, a pitcher who is skilled at inducing groundballs may be more valuable than his flyball-prone counterpart in a home-run-happy ballpark like Coors Field. This same pitcher will be less valuable, though, if he plays on a team like the Detroit Tigers that has a porous infield defense. Or consider a position player who is gifted with the bat but has a poor glove. This player isn’t much of a problem in the American League because of the DH rule, but in the National League, a player with fielding deficiencies often has nowhere to play (just look at Jim Thome this year).

In other words, value is often about context. The same holds true in fantasy baseball, although it’s a factor that’s considered less frequently. Often, we pretend we’re all playing the same game. We’re not.

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February 28, 2012 3:00 am

Everyone's Perfect: The Myth of Sleepers

11

Eriq Gardner

A look at whether a sleeper can really be a bargain in fantasy leagues

Every season, a handful of players improve by leaps and bounds. There’s no denying this fact. These breakout players tend to have an inordinate impact on both the success of our teams as well as our collective consciousness. That too is well established. Those who ended up with Asdrubal Cabrera, Melky Cabrera, or James Shields in 2011 will thank the lucky heavens and hope for similar fortunes this coming season. Anybody who has been paying attention to the Jeremy Lin story will testify to the same. But is it wise in fantasy baseball drafts to chase these players instead of selecting others with more established production? That’s a more complicated subject.

In the preseason, we’re all very excited for the games to begin. These days, there’s a booming industry providing player analysis and attempts to forecast the season ahead, aimed directly at those who compete in fantasy baseball leagues. Among the most popular features this time of year is the community’s attempt to identify which players are primed to provide value well beyond their salary or draft spot.

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February 21, 2012 3:00 am

Everyone's Perfect: Evaluating Risk

11

Eriq Gardner

A look at the fairly abstract concept of risk which informs our valuations on ballplayers but can often fool us

How do we arrive at an estimation of what a ballplayer is worth? It’s easy to say that we gather all the historical evidence, project our best estimate of what’s to come, and then sort. But obviously, it’s more complicated than that.

Time for a blind taste test. Here are two pitchers and PECOTA’s 2012 projection for each:

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A look at how Yu Darvish may be the rare unknown commodity in a game of near-perfect information

Readers,
It is my pleasure today to welcome Eriq Gardner to the Baseball Prospectus Fantasy staff! You may recognize Eriq from his work at The Hardball Times Fantasy, Bloomberg Fantasy, or his blog, Fantasy Ball Junkie. Eriq is one of the sharpest fantasy minds I know, and I hope that his unique brand of writing helps you find new ways of thinking about the game and ultimately helps you win your league’s championship. Welcome aboard, Eriq!

Derek Carty, Fantasy Editor

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