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May 26, 2015 6:00 am

The Buyer's Guide: Josh Reddick

1

J.P. Breen

Can the A's outfielder sustain his outstanding start?

Listen to a hitting coach or a television broadcast long enough, and the term “controlling the strike zone” is bound to surface. It has become synonymous with plate discipline or, even more simply, a batter’s “patience” at the dish.

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May 18, 2015 6:00 am

The Buyer's Guide: Christian Yelich

4

J.P. Breen

Can the Marlins outfielder right the ship after a dreadful, injury-marred start?

The phrase “I have faith in [Player X]” is often bandied about in fantasy baseball circles. It’s most often uttered about a player who has struggled mightily and people are panicked, wondering if they should be jumping ship. Fantasy experts on Twitter and across the internet attempt to assuage the restless owners, offering optimistic data and promising better things to come.

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May 11, 2015 10:40 am

The Buyer's Guide: Brian Dozier

6

J.P. Breen

Does an extreme batted-ball distribution suggest it's time to bail on the Twins second sacker.

In March 1999, Ted Williams opined that strikeouts were killing baseball. Modern behemoths were muscling up, trying to hit the long ball, trading more whiffs for more power. In fact, Williams thought the problem was so severe that Major League Baseball needed to deaden the baseball or increase the height of the outfield fences to discourage hitters from selling out for power.

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May 4, 2015 6:00 am

The Buyer's Guide: Ubaldo Jimenez

0

J.P. Breen

Has the Orioles righty reinvented himself as a ground-ball machine?

The Pittsburgh Dispatch in 1891 wrote, “inconsistency among baseball … is as natural as sunlight.”

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April 27, 2015 6:00 am

The Buyer's Guide: Jimmy Nelson

7

J.P. Breen

Has a new curveball propelled the Brewers righty to new heights?

“Yo, Breen! You just got a new four-top!”

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April 20, 2015 6:54 am

The Buyer's Guide: Mike Moustakas

2

J.P. Breen

Is the Royals third baseman's hot start a sign of a breakout in progress?

Glowing scouting reports and minor-league numbers are no guarantees of major-league success. While both are intensely valuable and help us project future big-league stars far better than we otherwise could, there’s something special about the jump from Triple-A to the major leagues that proves too much for some top prospects.

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April 13, 2015 6:00 am

The Buyer's Guide: Shane Greene

10

J.P. Breen

Does progress with his changeup portend sustained success for the Tigers righty?

We all have transitional moments in life, and in sports, all with different degrees of significance and magnitude. That moment when you recognize that you’re not good enough to play college ball and that you’re essentially done playing competitively. That moment when you realize that you’ve met the one you’re going to marry. That moment when you graduate from docile fan to obsessive fanatic of your favorite team. That moment when you moved from catcher to pitcher and it just clicked.

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April 6, 2015 6:00 am

The Buyer's Guide: Kevin Gausman

7

J.P. Breen

The Orioles have yo-yo'd Kevin Gausman between roles, but what does that mean for his fantasy value?

A couple years ago, I was chatting with an unnamed minor-league pitcher about his much-heralded breakout campaign. He signed a pro contract with ample hype, but scuffled for a couple of years, moving from the rotation to the bullpen and back again, and getting moved to multiple minor-league affiliates. Suddenly, the light bulb came on and he dominated.

Asking him what changed, he deadpanned, “They finally put me somewhere and let me [expletive] pitch.”

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March 30, 2015 6:00 am

The Buyer's Guide: Adam Lind

2

J.P. Breen

Is a bit year in store for the ex-Jay as he takes over at first base in Milwaukee?

Fantasy baseball owners are hardwired to pursue value. It’s not always about grabbing the best player at a given position, but rather identifying several players who are undervalued by the community and spending less to acquire more. That way, the banked money can be utilized in other areas to create the best possible squad.

When acquiring high-end players, value isn’t always paramount. In auctions, if you’re unwilling to spend the extra $5-10 on an elite player, you’ll be stuck with extra money in the end and a roster devoid of impact talent. Similarly, in snake drafts, the first couple of rounds are more about acquiring “safe” production among the elite, rather than absolute talent—which is why someone like Troy Tulowitzki is a back-end option in the first round, when his talent is clearly top five.

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March 23, 2015 6:00 am

The Buyer's Guide: Kyle Hendricks

2

J.P. Breen

A closer look at the intriguing Cubs righty.

For those diehards who religiously follow the minor leagues, devouring the wonderful BP top-10 prospect lists and Monday Ten Packs, we’re always cautioned to be careful of player comps. Such comps place unrealistic expectations on player development and don’t allow for minor leaguers to carve out their own niche. They categorize and label guys in a way that’s not always productive and is sometimes unfair.

I do believe statistical comps can be useful for fresh-faced major leaguers, though, in terms of fantasy baseball. Minor-league scouting reports paint a picture of what a player could become if everything clicks; however, it’s always important to take a step back from the painting and consider where it fits in the larger fantasy landscape. That is to say, statistically, what type of player could [Player X] become and what does that look like for fantasy owners.

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March 16, 2015 6:00 am

The Buyer's Guide: Michael Pineda

2

J.P. Breen

Can the big Yankee build on a promising 2014 comeback from shoulder trouble?

The offseason has officially ended with spring training in full force, which can only mean that the BP Fantasy Team is returning to our in-season writing schedule. That means the return of my weekly column, The Buyer’s Guide, which profiles a specific player each week in hopes of dishing out some buy-hold-or-sell advice to fantasy owners.

Here’s how this works:

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September 10, 2014 6:00 am

The Buyer's Guide: Lance Lynn

2

J.P. Breen

Has the Cardinals righty truly become a fronline starter, or should owners look to dump him on someone who believes in his breakout?

With less than a month remaining in the 2014 season, we begin to shift our gaze toward the 2015 fantasy campaign. That’s not only because many leagues have moved beyond their trade deadlines, but also because it’s too difficult to project performance over a two- or three-week period of time. Too much fluctuation exists. Thus, the buy, hold, or sell discussion at the end of the piece will be geared toward the 2015 campaign while still providing some analysis in regards to the remaining three weeks.

September and October is when fantasy owners begin to reflect on the entire year and dish out accolades. While we’ll be talking about Fantasy MVPs and Fantasy Busts soon enough, the Most Underappreciated Player is regularly one of the more interesting distinctions discussed each autumn. In that vein, it seems right-hander Lance Lynn is deservedly getting some love as of late. He’s been overshadowed by Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha this year—and even Shelby Miller more recently, to some extent—but he owns a sterling 2.80 ERA and has easily been a top-30 fantasy starter.

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