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Jeff Quinton 

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02-08

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2

The Quinton: Shortstops, Uncertainty, and Scarcity
by
Jeff Quinton

02-08

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3

Tools of Ignorance: Forget It, Jake
by
Jeff Quinton

02-01

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2

The Quinton: Third Base, Year-to-Year Shifts, and Reference Points
by
Jeff Quinton

01-27

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5

The Quinton: Trades That Aren't Being Made
by
Jeff Quinton

01-18

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2

The Quinton: The Representativeness Heuristic and Baseball Positions
by
Jeff Quinton

01-13

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The Quinton: Strategy Planning, Sub-Strategies, and Catcher Strategies
by
Jeff Quinton

01-04

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6

The Quinton: Two New Year's Resolutions
by
Jeff Quinton

12-30

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1

Best of BP 2015: Winning By Design
by
Jeff Quinton

12-28

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11

Tools of Ignorance: Behavioral Economics and the Rise of the Player Opt-Out
by
Jeff Quinton

12-18

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1

The Quinton: Valuing Disappointing Players
by
Jeff Quinton

12-09

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2

Transaction Analysis: Cubs Implement Flextime
by
Jeff Quinton, Sahadev Sharma and J.P. Breen

12-08

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5

Transaction Analysis: Sorry We Broke Up, Soria Missed You
by
R.J. Anderson, Sahadev Sharma, Rian Watt and Jeff Quinton

12-07

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The Quinton: Negotiating the Trade Process
by
Jeff Quinton

11-30

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The Quinton: Obstacles to Strategic Agility
by
Jeff Quinton

11-12

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5

Winning By Design
by
Jeff Quinton

11-11

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1

Winning By Design
by
Jeff Quinton

11-10

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5

Winning By Design
by
Jeff Quinton

11-02

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2

BP Unfiltered: Why The Broadcasters Hated Your Team
by
Jeff Quinton

10-20

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1

The Quinton: Audit Season
by
Jeff Quinton

10-14

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1

Playoff Prospectus: ALDS Game 5 Previews and PECOTA Odds
by
Jeff Quinton and Matthew Trueblood

10-11

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1

Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and Sunday Game 3 Previews
by
Jeff Quinton and Matthew Trueblood

10-06

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10

Tools of Ignorance: Non-Strategies, Ben Cherington's Job, and the Cole Hamels Trade Market
by
Jeff Quinton

09-28

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2

The Quinton: Strategy, Dull Knives, and Context-Based Habits
by
Jeff Quinton

09-21

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1

Player Profile: Adam Jones
by
Jeff Quinton

09-17

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1

The Quinton: Lineup Setting and Letting Go
by
Jeff Quinton

09-17

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3

Pitching Backward: There is No Such Thing as TINSTAAPP
by
Jeff Long and Jeff Quinton

09-11

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1

The Quinton: Process Review: Punting Saves
by
Jeff Quinton

09-03

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1

Player Profile: Brett Lawrie
by
Jeff Quinton

08-27

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1

The Quinton: Untrained Eyeballs, Overconfidence, and Competitive Advantage
by
Jeff Quinton

08-05

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2

The Quinton: Fantasy Trade Deadline Takeaways
by
Jeff Quinton

07-31

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1

Free Agent Watch: Week 17
by
Jeff Quinton and Keith Cromer

07-30

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The Quinton: Fantasy Trade Deadline Guide
by
Jeff Quinton

07-24

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4

Free Agent Watch: Week 16
by
Jeff Quinton and Keith Cromer

07-22

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2

The Quinton: Barren Trade Markets, Creativity, and Siren Songs
by
Jeff Quinton

07-16

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1

The Quinton: The Obstacles of a Lead
by
Jeff Quinton

07-10

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1

Player Profile: Carlos Gomez
by
Jeff Quinton

07-08

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8

The Quinton: Process is Dead, Long Live Process
by
Jeff Quinton

07-03

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1

Free Agent Watch: Week 13
by
Keith Cromer and Jeff Quinton

06-24

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0

The Quinton: Improving Trade Routes
by
Jeff Quinton

06-19

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3

Free Agent Watch: Week 12
by
Keith Cromer and Jeff Quinton

06-17

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6

The Quinton: Trade Season: What Matters?
by
Jeff Quinton

06-10

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1

The Quinton: Intuition and Decisions About the Future
by
Jeff Quinton

06-05

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3

Free Agent Watch: Week Nine
by
Keith Cromer and Jeff Quinton

06-03

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0

The Quinton: Keeper League Waiver Considerations
by
Jeff Quinton

05-27

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2

The Quinton: What Buyers Sell in Keeper Leagues
by
Jeff Quinton

05-20

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8

Fantasy Freestyle: Staying Afloat in a Sea of Fluctuations
by
Jeff Quinton

05-15

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1

The Quinton: Strategy and Process: A Pseudo Mailbag
by
Jeff Quinton

05-13

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2

The Quinton: Please Spend Your FAAB
by
Jeff Quinton

05-11

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9

Free Agent Watch: Week Six
by
Keith Cromer and Jeff Quinton

05-01

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3

The Quinton: The In-Season Advocacy Effect and Managing Multiple Leagues
by
Jeff Quinton

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This is a BP Fantasy article. To read it, sign up today!

February 8, 2016 6:00 am

The Quinton: Shortstops, Uncertainty, and Scarcity

2

Jeff Quinton

The importance of properly weighting the scarcity factor when it comes to elite shortstops.

In looking at third base last week, we took a look at the effects of the position’s suddenly deep base of elite talent on our decision-making and strategy. This week, we take a look at a position that is in a different state of productivity. The shortstop position saw its long-standing fantasy baseball leaders— Troy Tulowitzki, Jose Reyes, and Ian Desmond—fade, while some long-awaited new faces emerged in Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, and Corey Seager (although Bogaerts is the only one to have done it over an entire season). The net result of this was that only one shortstop provided top-50 mixed league value last season, and that was Bogaerts coming in at 36th. That said, fantasy teams that got $6-plus out of the shortstop position prior to activating Correa or Lindor when they were promoted would have gotten as much or more production from the position as would the fantasy teams who played Bogaerts all season.

All in all, this adds up to a lot of uncertainty at the position. Will Lindor and Correa be able to extend their elite production over a full season? Will Seager be able to translate his minor league prolificness to the major leagues as Lindor and Correa did? Will Boegarts be able to repeat or improve upon his first full season as a shortstop? And what do we do with Tulowitzki, Reyes, and Desmond? Should we expect further slides in production, a new normal, or a bounce back?

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February 8, 2016 6:00 am

Tools of Ignorance: Forget It, Jake

3

Jeff Quinton

It's Unconvincingstrategyinlastplacetown.

The Rockies have done some things the past eight months. They did a thing a couple weeks ago. Like most of the things the Rockies have done lately, trading four years of Corey Dickerson for two years of Jake McGee has caused much head-scratching. The reaction to the trade was a combination of said head-scratching and “LOL Rockies” with a splash of “hey, McGee’s really good and his fastball-heavy approach might be a good fit for Coors.” The analyses of the trade all generally led to the conclusion that the Rockies do not really have a plan and that, if they do, it is simply a plan to try and be mediocre.

I do not think that this is likely. If the plan is to be mediocre or there is no plan, then why do anything at all? Why trade Troy Tulowitzki? Why sign an outfielder, just to trade another and add more payroll along the way? To me, these actions and the motivation to be mediocre do not jibe. That said, we can believe that these moves are unlikely to be successes, while having a different theory as to what is motivating this behavior.

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February 1, 2016 6:00 am

The Quinton: Third Base, Year-to-Year Shifts, and Reference Points

2

Jeff Quinton

How to avoid strategic errors when dealing with a position that has seen an influx of top talent.

Things have done changed a little bit at third base since last offseason. Josh Donaldson won an MVP and put up the sixth best fantasy season of any hitter last season. Manny Machado (35 HR and 20 SB) and Nolan Arenado (42 HR and 130 RBI) broke out in 2015, and were the ninth- and 11th-most valuable fantasy-baseball position players. And in case you have not heard, Kris Bryant was everything we hoped for—providing top-25 fantasy position-player production despite being held in the minors for the first eight games of the season.

Consequently, 2016 ADP looks a lot different than 2015 ADP when it comes to third basemen. Last season, Donaldson was the top third baseman being taken and that was happening at the 20th-overall pick on average. This year, though, Donaldson (five), Arenado (nine), Bryant (11), and Machado (15) are all going in the first or early-second round. Such a shift is warranted, so we should all give ourselves a pat on the back for making this year-to-year adjustment. That said, such shifts can cause decision-making and strategic errors elsewhere; and, as we know, we want to avoid those errors. We will take a look at these possible errors below and see how we can best avoid making them.

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January 27, 2016 6:00 am

The Quinton: Trades That Aren't Being Made

5

Jeff Quinton

A look at the types of players who don't get swapped in fantasy leagues as often as they should be.

Note: while my articles during the offseason will generally coincide or touch on the baseball position of the week, they occasionally will not. This article is one that will not. It will, however, strive to be helpful.

We all value players differently, our teams all have various, differing needs at various times, and yet very few trades get made. If you have been reading The Quinton over the past year, then you know that little makes me sadder than trades that do not get made. Why does this make me sad? Because I want all of you all to improve your teams through trades as much as possible. In general, active teams tend to be the most successful teams, and while a lot of this has to do with effort being correlated to both trade activity and success, it also speaks to the productivity of trades. This is especially true in keeper and dynasty leagues, where trades are often the most impactful way to execute a strategy and change strategic course. So you get it (if not, please take my word for it for the sake of the article), trades matter. That said, players with a wide set of potential outcomes, particularly players with a very negative outcome (such as a player who may or may not be a starter, a player that may or may not sign in specific league for an only-league, players that might not make the opening day roster, etc.), often do not get traded. We will take a look at why this is so and what we can do to take advantage of this untapped market.

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January 18, 2016 6:00 am

The Quinton: The Representativeness Heuristic and Baseball Positions

2

Jeff Quinton

Why our idea of the typical, power-hitting first baseman may lead us to undervalue players who don't fit that mold.

When filling out our fantasy baseball rosters, we do not simply select the 23 best players available to us; instead, we select the 23 best players that fit at the positions required by the league rules. This likely means that we will be selecting a player for each infield position, 3-5 outfielders, and eight-or-so pitchers. Depending on the league, we might be selecting a second catcher, an extra corner and middle infielder, and/or a specific number of starting pitchers and relief pitchers.

When our decisions change from picking the best to picking the best for a specific role, our decision making process can be negatively affected. At this point we welcome back our old friend, the representativeness heuristic. As written previously:

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January 13, 2016 6:00 am

The Quinton: Strategy Planning, Sub-Strategies, and Catcher Strategies

0

Jeff Quinton

The catcher position is seldom atop one's list of strategic bullet points, so flexible assumptions are key.

Catchers have the lowest positional number (2) of any non-pitchers and this makes catcher the obvious position to kick off the positional series. The odd part, for me at least, is that it is rare that anyone begins their offseason, draft, or auction planning by deciding what to do at catcher. It just does not start like that. In keeper leagues, we take a look at our weaknesses or take a look at the competitive landscape to decide if we are going for it, rebuilding, or something in between. Prior to drafts and auctions, we focus on what we are going to do first. We try to answer questions such as who is going to fall to us in round one and two, what hitter-pitcher mix do we want in the first five rounds, what players (and how many) should we bid over $30 on? What we tend not to do is decide our plan at catcher (especially in two-catcher leagues), or relief pitcher, or reserves for that matter. This is not a knock on our process (we have to start somewhere); rather, this is pointing out that the catcher position is not a highlighted bullet point on our strategic agenda because catcher is generally one of the least productive positions in fantasy baseball.

As a result, the catcher strategies we employ (if any) tend to be what we are going to call sub-strategies—strategies that compliment or fit with our larger overall strategy or primary strategies. Like any process or strategy or choice we employ, sub-strategies lend themselves to certain decision making errors. We will take a look at each of these and attempt to improve our process when setting these sub-strategies.

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January 4, 2016 6:00 am

The Quinton: Two New Year's Resolutions

6

Jeff Quinton

A couple of ways to ensure that we keep improving as fantasy players.

For the betterment of all of us, the positional series comes out next week. In my intro piece last year, we looked at the importance of focusing on the concepts used in the analysis being provided, just as closely or even more closely than the results of the analyses—the lists, valuations, sleepers, etc.—that we love so much. To summarize, with each league being different, it is important to be able to adapt our valuations and strategies to different contexts and we are best suited to do so when we understand the concepts and theories behind the rankings and strategies.

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Design thinking can help teams differentiate themselves in baseball's post-information asymmetry world.

With the year winding to a close, Baseball Prospectus is revisiting some of our favorite articles of the year. This was originally published between November 10 and November 12, 2015.

Read the full article...

Forget whether they're good or bad for teams. Why have players and teams suddenly agreed to so many of them?

“The logic of the opt-out clauses for the club escapes me.” —Commissioner Rob Manfred

Nothing gets the baseball internet writer hot like a newly popularized contract structure. Rob Neyer has weighed in on the potential benefit to team of a player opt-out, and Dave Cameron* has weighed in on how these cannot be seen as anything but additional costs. Neyer’s point is that giving a player an opt-out is often preferable to giving a player more money. Cameron’s point is that giving a player an opt-out is less preferable than not giving a player an opt-out. Both points are correct. Like most things, if we change the perspective, then we can look at anything as a positive or a negative. More simply, everything is better than a worse scenario and everything is worse than a better scenario.

Read the full article...

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December 18, 2015 6:00 am

The Quinton: Valuing Disappointing Players

1

Jeff Quinton

Examining why our nature leads us to improperly value players who are likely to underperform, and how to fix those decision-making flaws.

On their most recent podcast, the fine peoples of There Is No Offseason (TINO) discussed the values of Jeff Samardzija and Brett Lawrie. For the most part, these players have performed below expectations. It can be and often is said that many of us have been burned by these types of players (highly variable with considerable albeit low-likelihood upsides) failing to meet expectations. There is a flaw in that statement though. We are usually not burned by these players failing to meet expectations, but rather by our inaccurate expectations. The difference in these statements is the frame, and this is not unexpected given that we are people. People like to be right and, more than that, we like believe we are right most of the time. When we are wrong we need a way to cope with this intrapersonal conflict. A favorite of ours is to blame the situation or external factors. In this case, it is easier to blame the player than the decision-maker (us).

For the most part this solution works great: We get to feel better by blaming someone else and that someone else (a professional baseball player) never even knows that we blame them for a poor result for someone participating in fantasy baseball. Cool? It is probably not going to be cool. Why? Because in choosing to find nothing wrong with our process, we are more likely to make the same mistake again and again. Assuming we want to avoid making the same mistakes in the future, we will now take a look at how we can improve at forecasting production for players with considerable upside that will most likely continue to “disappoint.”

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December 9, 2015 6:00 am

Transaction Analysis: Cubs Implement Flextime

2

Jeff Quinton, Sahadev Sharma and J.P. Breen

Chicago signs the superutility superstar Ben Zobrist, and add swingman Adam Warren to the rotation or bullpen or both. Meanwhile, the Yankees fix second base with Starlin Castro.



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The Royals reunite with their former closer as the reliever shuffle continues across baseball.



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