Greg projects near-term fantasy returns from two players with murky paths to the majors, while J.P. believes in two veterans' soaring pop and punchout production.
I Firmly Believe: Colin Moran will return the most value among Astros third basemen
Through the season’s first 13 games, the Astros third basemen are hitting .186/.250/.237. The division of labor is roughly two-thirds Luis Valbuena, one-third Marwin Gonzalez, and a dusting of Matt Duffy. As the primary incumbent and strong side of the platoon, Valbuena holds the keys to whether this prediction has any chance of coming to fruition.
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Is now the right time to try to snatch the Red Sox lefty from a fretting fantasy owner?
Fantasy baseball is designed to mirror real-life baseball. It allows the average fan to “play GM,” and it’s one of the main reasons why dynasty leagues, especially deep dynasty leagues, are skyrocketing in popularity. We all want to build rosters, identify talent, and see how we stack up to our buddies.
J.P. evaluates the merits of three barters submitted by readers on Twitter.
Between the Bat Signal and Twitter, the Fantasy Team gets hundreds of hypothetical trade proposals each year. Should I trade Player A and Player B for Player C? Am I giving up too much? Would you do that trade? We do our best to offer thoughtful advice in an attempt to aid your quest for a fantasy championship.
The D'backs infielder is off to a hot start in the desert, but can he sustain it?
We often hear about second-half players, guys who traditionally struggle early in the season and pick it up once the weather heats up. Aramis Ramirez and Adam LaRoche are two oft-cited examples of this archetype, with Ian Desmond being a more current reference point. As fantasy owners, we focus on these types of players because they’re “buy-low” candidates every summer.
Can the Rangers lefty boost his strikeout rate and take the next step?
At the back end of fantasy drafts, or on the waiver wire, we’re always trying to identify under-the-radar talents who could blossom into legitimate assets. We’ve often targeted guys like Jerad Eickhoff or Matt Shoemaker in recent years—guys with attractive stat lines who have traditionally been overlooked due to their lack of prospect pedigree. That’s the core precept of the sabermetric movement, too, right? Use numbers to identify diamonds in the rough, to cut through the narrative and profit.
After a rough first year, J.P. picks the players he likes, eschewing the "safe" picks that went awry in 2015.
This is my second year participating in the My Model Portfolio competition, which means I attempted to learn from last year’s missteps and to employ a better overall strategy. In 2015, I single-handedly coughed up the title due to Kyle Lohse’s self-immolation on the mound in Milwaukee. Other poor picks included Erick Aybar, Michael Cuddyer, Brandon Moss, and Danny Santana. In other words, I erred when I opted for “safe” players, rather than players I actually liked.
Owner Mark Attanasio brought money and legitimacy to the Milwaukee Brewers when he purchased the club prior to the 2005 season. The franchise ended a 26-year postseason drought with a simultaneously tumultuous and heroic Wild Card berth in 2008, and three years later the Brewers won the NL Central for the first time in three decades. Throughout that time, Attanasio pushed for consistent contention, or at least consistent relevance, continuously trying to squeeze another year of 80-plus wins out of an aging core.
Based on where they've been selected in drafts to date, these players could provide a significant return on your preseason investment.
Throughout the offseason, the Fantasy Team has analyzed every position group in multiple ways. We have offered tiered rankings, three-year rankings, dynasty rankings, and various kinds of player profiles. We have even suggested players to target and avoid at each position, though that’s more of a compilation of individual opinions than some kind of overarching consensus. I’d argue that no other site has provided such a comprehensive preview, both in terms of breadth and depth, of the 2016 fantasy season.
Dynasty-leaguers taking the long view might want to target these underappreciated young'uns in trades this spring.
Dynasty leagues have increased in popularity in recent years for multiple reasons, including a boom in prospect knowledge and a desire for year-round fantasy activity. It’s a format that allows hardcore baseball fans an excuse to obsess over minor-league development. It’s also a format that gives everyone, from the owners in contention for a championship to the owners toiling at the bottom of the standings, a reason to remain committed to the league at all times. In fact, Baseball Prospectus has an aptly named podcast—There Is No Offseason—that’s dedicated to these kind of leagues, and they’re the leagues that overwhelmingly inspire questions in our “Bat Signal” queue.