CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Futures Guide 2014 is Now Available in Paperback and Three E-book Formats.

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

J.P. Breen 

Search Articles by J.P. Breen

All Blogs (including podcasts)

Active Columns

Authors

Article Types

<< Previous Author Entries No More Author Entries

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

July 23, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Useful Non-Closer Relievers

1

J.P. Breen

These bullpen arms might not rack up saves, but they can help you pad other categories in Roto leagues.

In non-dynasty leagues, quality relievers who do not rack up saves are often overlooked. If employed correctly, though, they can be pseudo-saviors for two main types of squads: (1) teams who have an underperforming pitching staff and are striving to recover in specific categories in the second half of the season, and (2) leagues that have strict “games started” limits in order to keep teams from simply streaming starters all season.

Teams who have fallen behind in pitching categories can try to cobble together a trade or two, hoping to bolster their pitching staff for a second-half run. However, trades aren’t always possible. And even in the meantime, it can be useful to target specific relievers who can help in desired categories. This article will outline a few relievers who could be useful waiver-wire pickups to aid in WHIP/ERA or in strikeouts. I’m not including pitcher wins because that seems like a crapshoot.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

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

July 21, 2014 6:00 am

The Buyer's Guide: Jason Kipnis

8

J.P. Breen

The Indians' second sacker hasn't lived up to expectations in 2014, but is a turnaround in store?

Prior to the season, the upper fantasy echelon of the second base position appeared to be a rather precarious investment. Robinson Cano inked a mega-contract with Seattle, which made many fantasy owners nervous that his power numbers would spiral down the drain. Dustin Pedroia saw his power production drop precipitously in 2013 and had finally found himself on the wrong side of 30. Ian Kinsler compiled rather pedestrian (for him) numbers a year ago and was transitioning that performance to a more pitcher-friendly environment in Detroit.

The traditional fantasy stalwarts at second base were vulnerable. It seemed a changing of the guard could occur and other guys could step into the limelight—and in some ways, that’s exactly what has happened with Dee Gordon, Jose Altuve, and Anthony Rendon asserting their fantasy dominance in the first half of the 2014 season. After the season, perhaps we must re-evaluate who can now be labeled as “elite” at the position.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

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

July 14, 2014 6:00 am

The Buyer's Guide: Howie Kendrick

2

J.P. Breen

The Angel had a fine first half by fantasy keystone standards, but can he sustain or improve on it?

The Buyer’s Guide has been rolling along for the better part of two months at this point. I’ve been dishing out buy, hold and sell recommendations each Monday, and as your high school mathematics teacher likely reminded you dozens of times, it’s imperative to go back and check your work.

Past articles:

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

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

July 9, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Don't Forget About Me

6

J.P. Breen

The recent surges from April's fantasy slumptrucks.

A couple weeks ago, we discussed some unexpected early-season fantasy studs and asked how they had fared since their brilliant starts to the season. An intrepid commenter suggested a follow-up article that highlighted some players who had accelerated their performance after spinning their wheels out of the gate. This is my humble acquiescence.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

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

July 7, 2014 11:23 am

The Buyer's Guide: Michael Brantley

1

J.P. Breen

Is J.P. buying the Cleveland outfielder's breakout?

With the summer trading season in full swing, the letters “PTBNL” are about to become quite familiar. However, while many trade deadline deals include that mysterious Player To Be Named Later, recent history has taught baseball fans to disregard any such player, as they usually turn out to be inconsequential.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

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

July 1, 2014 6:00 am

The Buyer's Guide: Jake Arrieta

7

J.P. Breen

Can one of the league's hottest pitchers keep it up?

I’m flipping the script a bit this week. Y’all brought interesting names to the table in the comments section last week, and while I normally choose an individual player on whom to focus based upon your suggestions, I felt the need to go off the board. Quite simply, it’s because right-hander Jake Arrieta laid waste to Major League Baseball last month. He wasn’t talked about enough in fantasy circles, but after flirting with no-hitters in back-to-back outings, he’s on the tip of every fantasy owner’s tongue.

Through 39 2/3 innings in the month of June, Arrieta compiled a 0.92 ERA with 48 strikeouts and only six walks. He’s gone four consecutive starts in which he’s thrown at least seven innings and struck out nine. Fantasy owners have taken notice, too, as the 28-year-old hurler is now owned in 83.5 percent of ESPN leagues (as of Monday evening). It’s a number that has increased dramatically in the past couple weeks, and owners have begun to ask whether Arrieta is someone to simply plug-and-play while he’s scorching hot, or if this breakout is something more permanent.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

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

June 25, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Checking in on Cinderella: Pitchers

2

J.P. Breen

These starters may have unexpectedly anchored your staff in the early going, but can they keep it up going forward?

Last week, we discussed the difficulty of evaluating unexpected early-season studs. Their cumulative statistics can often camouflage a subsequent downturn in performance because of a strong month of April, leaving fantasy owners hanging on to overperformers longer than they should. It simply takes too long for the overall numbers to become unpalatable when they’re bolstered by an extremely strong stretch early in the year. Thus, it is important to isolate recent performance and determine whether Cinderella has legitimate staying power as early as possible. Fantasy owners can’t afford to pick up guys like Emilio Bonifacio during his hot stretch and stick with him for the next couple months while he drags his feet behind the remainder of one’s roster.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

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

June 24, 2014 6:00 am

The Call-Up: Marco Gonzales

6

Jeff Moore and J.P. Breen

The Cardinals call up last year's first-round pick to patch a battered rotation.

The Situation: With Jaime Garcia now their third starting pitcher on the disabled list, the Cardinals once again turn to a first-rounder from just one year before to help bolster their starting rotation, calling up left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales to make his major-league debut on Wednesday.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

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

June 23, 2014 11:26 am

The Buyer's Guide: Billy Butler

5

J.P. Breen

Country Breakfast is only 28 years old, but is his still-young age enough reason to think that his fantasy value could rebound?

A week ago, we dissected Michael Wacha’s recent drop in velocity and his dramatic decrease in swings-and-misses. The article aimed to make a larger point about small sample sizes and how fantasy owners can identify trend changes in small samples, only to subsequently track them to determine if the small sample is actually indicative of something larger and more permanent. A week later, the St. Louis Cardinals placed Wacha on the DL with shoulder issues, and it appears that small sample was hinting at something larger.

Though y’all slacked in the comments earlier in the month, the suggestions from last week were strong. I almost grabbed Garrett Richards, because he’s enjoyed such an interesting breakout this year, but I wanted to focus on a position player this week. Considering the amount of Billy Butler questions that have been flying through the Bat Signal over the past couple months, I grabbed the recommendation from BP reader D1Johnson. If you have a specific player you’d like to see in this space next week, be sure to leave your suggestions for next week in the comments, or feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@JP_Breen).

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

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

June 18, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Checking in on Cinderella: Hitters

7

J.P. Breen

In part one of two, J.P. looks at which early-season darlings have sustained their production and which have fallen off a cliff.

In covering fantasy baseball for the past couple of years, I’ve noticed that one of the biggest struggles for fantasy owners is evaluating players who enjoyed surprisingly good starts. Some owners wait out the subsequent rough patch because they’re convinced the good times will return. More often, though, the decline in performance goes relatively unnoticed because it is masked by the torrid start to the season. That is, the overall statistics for a player can seem palatable, while that guy is actually an anchor that drags the whole team down the standings for weeks before the downturn in performance becomes obvious in the seasonal numbers.

This article aims to cut through the fog of early-season overperformance in an attempt to determine whether a guy still has fantasy value. After all, a pumpkin can be transformed into a beautiful carriage for a while, but it’s only temporary. Its real identity eventually shines through, and ultimately, it is what we thought it was: an unattractive orange gourd that we pretend to care about for a few weeks around the end of October (note: this is ignoring the revelation that is pumpkin pie, which I’m throwing a comfortable 70 on and won’t listen to any arguments to the contrary).

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

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

June 16, 2014 6:00 am

The Buyer's Guide: Michael Wacha

5

J.P. Breen

The Cardinals righty has struggled of late, but does that mean it's time to buy or sell?

It’s only the third installment of The Buyer’s Guide on Baseball Prospectus—you can find the previous two right here and here—so I still feel obligated to introduce the column and to elaborate on what we’re doing in this space each Monday.

The overall goal is always to better understand an individual player’s trends and to make our best educated guess for future performance. With that said, I also strive to center the discussion around fantasy value. We’ll place a buy, sell, or hold label on the individual player each week, but readers should more importantly leave with a few concrete trends or performance changes upon which to focus and to ultimately make the buy-or-sell decision on their own. I’m simply offering my best recommendation.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

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

June 9, 2014 6:00 am

The Buyer's Guide: Pablo Sandoval

5

J.P. Breen

The Giants third baseman has bounced back from a slow start, but should you be buying him in fantasy leagues?

For those who missed the inaugural installment of The Buyer’s Guide last week (which can be found here), allow me to offer a brief outline of what we do in this space every Monday. The Buyer’s Guide breaks down the performance of an individual player in an attempt to determine if fantasy owners should buy, hold, or sell. Occasionally, I have a player in mind to highlight, but I’m also committed to featuring players y’all suggest in the comments or on Twitter.

In this article, I thought we’d focus on last week’s suggestion from BP reader jonjacoby, which was San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

<< Previous Author Entries No More Author Entries