The BP Fantasy Crew gives their opinions on sleepers, overrated players, and more
This week we assembled the Baseball Prospectus fantasy crew to gather their ballots for the BP Preseason Fantasy Baseball Awards. Each writer was asked to give his opinion on which players were in for good seasons, bad seasons, and surprising seasons. We'd happy to hear your take in the comments.
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A comparison of Jason's Tout Wars AL and LABR AL teams
How does one conduct an auction after tipping their hand just three weeks prior? That was the main challenge I was facing in heading up to New York City for my sixth run at a Tout Wars title this past weekend. After all, just three weeks ago, I executed a plan for a very similar LABR AL league in Arizona and explained why I did what I did. It is bad enough that the room bids up every Rays player on me, but to then know the other guys that I favor put me at a double disadvantage this weekend.
A look at which pitchers were lucky as a result of their BABIP and LOB%, which were unlucky, and which may have a chance of repeating what looks like a lucky/unlucky 2011
Last season, one of my favorite baseball reads that became useful fantasy knowledge was this piece by Rich Lederer at Baseball Analysts. What he laid out is something that I’ve recommended and used in previous years as a quick and dirty way to look for potential targets at the end of drafts. If you believe in simple regression to the mean, it makes sense to target pitchers that were well below their personal and/or league average, since logic dictates they should do better the following season. As Lederer put it:
New Year’s Resolutions, diet plans, and closers all share one thing in common: a significant failure rate. Research by Ron Shandler of BasebalHQ.com shows that in recent history, the lowest failure rate of closers in a fantasy baseball season happened in 1999 when just 22 percent of drafted closers lost their job in a season. Since 1999, that rate has been anywhere from 22 percent to 59 percent. In other words, closers tease fantasy owners more than the cute girl in middle school who passes love notes requesting a check box to be filled in.
Despite high prices in expert leagues, B.J. Upton may well be worth it
To have owned B.J. Upton in fantasy baseball is to have both loved him and loathed him. Consistency has never been a strong suit for Upton as both his career statistics and monthly statistics have taken fantasy owner on a wild roller-coaster ride since the start of the 2007 season.
How well did Jason fare in executing his plan for the LABR draft in Arizona?
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Any of us who have been to any kind of motivational speaking course or business training have heard that statement enough to roll our eyes when we see or hear it again. It is cliché, but it is still the first rule of any draft or auction.
A look at how the shallow the pool of National League first basemen has become and how to navigate those tricky NL-only waters in 2012
To say that the first base pool in NL-only leagues is thin these days would be a rather massive understatement. Essentially, the league traded Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder and got only Michael Cuddyer and Adam Kennedy back, while also losing Ryan Howard for an undetermined part of the season due to his playoff-ending ankle injury. The offseason shuffling has made Joey Votto the best player at the position in the National League by a significant margin, on top of the honor of already being one of the three best fantasy options for National League players overall.
A look at whether Henderson Alvarez could be a sleeper in deep fantasy leagues this year
The other day, I was asked for a late-round sleeper in AL-only leagues, and I replied with Henderson Alvarez. Sure, he’s slight of build and barely old enough to drink, but color me interested despite what PECOTA has to say about him.
A look at how the MLB.com Fantasy411 mock drafters strayed from ADP values and what that means
It started with Matt Kemp and ended with Chase Headley, but the regular phase of the Industry Mock Draft sponsored by our friends over at MLB.com’s Fantasy411 crew is finally over. It took 13 teams, 299 players, and what felt like 29 weeks, but the draft is completed. While anyone can go to MockDraftCentral.com and pull up the most recent ADP reports that show aggregated results for nearly 800 mixed drafts, the expert drafts have appeal because, as one of my friends put it, “Experts don’t follow trends, they set them.”
Why Padres catcher Nick Hundley could be an underrated fantasy option
Last week, a few of you were upset that I outed Gavin Floyd as an overlooked fantasy sleeper because you hoped he would slide into the last few rounds of your draft, as he did for me in the Fantasy 411 Industry Mock Draft. This week, I reenter the lion’s den to present a player that I grabbed at pick 301 of the same draft, 71 picks below his current ADP. As big of a gap as that was, I was still 18 picks ahead of this player’s lowest draft spot over the past two weeks.
A look at early drafts, playing in multiple leagues, and employing various strategies in fantasy leagues
Cruise ships are wonderful getaways from the stresses of life: three or more days out at sea, away from it all—and that includes data coverage, unless you are willing to pay a per-minute fee that is on the level of what a beer costs at most ballparks these days. Couple that with spending time with 13 other guys as we honor the last days of our good friend’s bachelorhood, and the last 96 hours have been quite a blur of inaccessibility, little sleep, and lapses in memory, but today I rejoin the daily grind.