The 30,000-foot-high view of the six spot for fantasy purposes.
Baseball is arguably the most difficult of all major sports, and if not the most difficult, at least the most failure-laden sport. A batter who fails 70 percent of the time is an All-Star nowadays, while a starting pitcher who surrenders a baserunner per inning is a borderline ace. Hell, the notion of failure is so embedded in baseball that it’s expected that young players crash and burn before finding their footing in the majors.
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Can the Redbirds third baseman put it all together to become an elite fantasy asset?
For the better part of three years, Matt Carpenter was saddled with the unfortunate label of being “more valuable in real life than in fantasy baseball.” This is one of many articles that utilized the phrase. He proved to be one of the premier hitters in Major League Baseball—in terms of plate discipline, approach, and batting average—but that didn’t necessarily translate to standard fantasy leagues because it didn’t come with average power production.
Breaking down the players eligible at the hot corner into fantasy value-based bins.
Third base has more star power than it has in roughly a decade, and it’s largely young star power. Just think, a year ago we only had Donaldson as a five-star fantasy option. Fast forward 12 months, and we’re legitimately discussing a hot-corner quartet that could dominate the fantasy scene for the next few years. Pretty cool.
The Jays second sacker was terrific in his rookie campaign, but can he sustain the brilliance over a full season?
Devon Travis is a fantasy owner’s dream—guy who hit .304 in his rookie debut, who showed an ability to draw a walk, who posted an ISO near .200, and who stole a few bases. What many hardcore fantasy owners adore, though, is the fact that he did all this without ever ranking on a top-100 prospect list. He’s a dude who compiled impressive minor-league statistics without the prospect fanfare, yet could legitimately be an above-average second baseman at the major-league level—the kind of thing that validates “box-score watching” in the minors.
An overview of the fantasy offerings at the keystone.
Over the past half-decade, the second-base position has lost its offensive potency. It has become a premium fantasy position, in many ways, as top-tier options seemingly have gotten an extra ADP boost in recent years due to the dearth of intriguing players at the third and fourth level.
The young Twin has light-tower power, but is he an overrated fantasy asset for 2016?
Miguel Sano will be one of the most hyped first-year players in fantasy baseball in 2016, perhaps behind only Kyle Schwarber, Corey Seager, and Noah Syndergaard. He clobbered 18 homers in just 335 big-league plate appearances—his first taste of The Show—and is already being projected by some to hit 30+ home runs this upcoming year. If the 22-year-old weren’t stuck as a UTIL option in most leagues to begin the campaign, he’d assuredly be drafted higher than the fifth round (where he’s currently going this winter).
Breaking down the options at this position into fantasy-value-based bins.
As our fantasy positional series continues at Baseball Prospectus, we move from a position of turpitude (catcher) to one of genuine quality (first base). The positional series is a collaborative effort—with my rankings taking into account the arguments of other Fantasy Team writers—so if your favorite player doesn’t get enough attention in this article, there’s a great chance that he’s been (or will be) featured in another piece this week. Let’s get to the “star” ratings, which will once again be broken down into five tiers.
The Padres backstop has his warts, but he can be a useful fantasy asset if properly deployed.
The fact that Derek Norris simultaneously outperformed fantasy expectations and disappointed owners says a lot about the catcher position in 2015. He ranked as the eighth-best catcher in ESPN leagues, yet only hit .250/.305/.404 with 14 homers on a sub-par Padres club. His infamous walk rate (at least amongst saber-minded baseball fans) crashed to a mere 6.3 percent, the worst mark of his career, at any level, by over two percentage points.
Surveying the league-wide backstop landscape and the fantasy implications therein.
Although the league-wide narrative following the 2015 season was that offensive numbers positively bounced back from a prolonged decline, we cannot extend that argument to the catcher position. Production from MLB catchers at the plate has taken a nosedive. It has fallen for three consecutive seasons: