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06-30

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Dynasty Prospects: A Few of My Favorites
by
Wilson Karaman

06-24

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Bargains and Busts, Midseason Edition
by
Mike Gianella

06-17

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: So What's Going on with Jose Abreu, Anyway?
by
Wilson Karaman

06-17

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: On Average, We'd Rather Not
by
Mike Gianella

06-10

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Keeper-League Trading: A Primer
by
Mike Gianella

06-09

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Evaluating the California League All-Stars
by
Wilson Karaman

06-09

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: Building a Contender in TGDX
by
J.P. Breen

06-08

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Mark Trumbo and Being Wrong
by
Jeff Quinton

06-02

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Yes, You Can Stream Jeff Locke, Except You Can't
by
Wilson Karaman

05-27

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Batted-Ball Trajectory and BABIP Overachievers
by
Wilson Karaman

05-19

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: New Managers and Stolen Bases
by
J.P. Breen

05-13

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: What Happened to Last Year's Hot Starters
by
Mike Gianella

05-12

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Prospect Tweet Bag
by
Wilson Karaman

05-06

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: We're Doing it Wrong
by
Mike Gianella

05-05

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Early-Season Ramblings
by
Wilson Karaman

04-28

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: The Best Fastballs of the First Few Weeks
by
Wilson Karaman

04-22

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: The Art of the Steal
by
Mike Gianella

04-20

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Batted-Ball Profile and Team Defensive Context, Part 2
by
Wilson Karaman

04-15

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: It's Early, Calm Down
by
Mike Gianella

04-13

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Batted Balls and Team Defensive Context
by
Wilson Karaman

04-12

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: My Fantasy Investment Portfolio
by
Scooter Hotz

04-08

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10

Fantasy Freestyle: The Problem With the Rules in Standard Leagues
by
Mike Gianella

04-06

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: Bold Predictions for 2016
by
Wilson Karaman

04-01

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Spring Training Risers
by
J.J. Jansons

03-29

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Juan Nicasio: Is it Too Soon to Buy in?
by
George Bissell

03-29

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Distributing Dollars
by
Mike Gianella

03-24

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: The BP Local Fantasy Baseball Guide
by
Baseball Prospectus

03-24

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Auction Bargains
by
Scooter Hotz

03-24

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10

Fantasy Freestyle: Endgame Targets
by
Bret Sayre

03-18

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Fantasy Freestyle: Recapping the 2015 Model Portfolios
by
Greg Wellemeyer

03-17

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Analyzing ADP to Identify Bargains
by
J.P. Breen

03-17

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Risers and Fallers in OBP Leagues
by
Scooter Hotz

03-15

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8

Fantasy Freestyle: Spring Training Velocity Watch
by
Matt Collins

03-14

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: Targeting Under-the-Radar Prospects for Rebuilds
by
J.P. Breen

01-08

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: A Look at Preliminary ADP Data
by
Wilson Karaman

01-08

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11

Fantasy Freestyle: Bounce-Back Candidates: Starting Pitchers
by
Keith Cromer

01-08

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7

Fantasy Freestyle: Dominican Winter League Retrospective Valuations
by
Greg Wellemeyer

01-06

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Desert Dynamos
by
J.J. Jansons

01-05

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: Inflation 101
by
Mike Gianella

01-04

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: Surveying the Uncertain Closer Landscape
by
J.P. Breen

12-24

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: A Recommendation Retrospective
by
Wilson Karaman

12-22

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Adjusting for Different Types of Auctions
by
Mike Gianella

12-14

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15

Fantasy Freestyle: Watching Mike Make the Sausage
by
Mike Gianella

12-08

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Fantasy Freestyle: Explaining the Pie
by
Mike Gianella

12-04

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Second-Half Slumpers
by
Matt Collins

12-02

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: 2015 Endgame and Waiver-Wire Recap: NL-Only Pitchers
by
Keith Cromer

11-06

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Fantasy Freestyle: Players to Avoid: A Retrospective
by
Wilson Karaman

11-05

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16

Fantasy Freestyle: Player Valuation: A Practical Application
by
Mike Gianella

11-04

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: 2015 Endgame and Waiver-Wire Recap: NL-Only Position Players Hitters
by
Keith Cromer

10-30

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: Players to Target and Avoid: A Look Back
by
Bret Sayre

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June 30, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Dynasty Prospects: A Few of My Favorites

3

Wilson Karaman

Wilson recomments targeting these young'uns in midseason dynasty drafts and trades.

We’ve reached that point in the season where the minor leagues start to play their all-star games, and the first-half performers start migrating to their next respective levels, and the recent crop of draft picks starts to matriculate into short-season play, and the world is sunny and beautiful for prospect hounds. I play in a couple dynasty leagues that have mid-season prospect drafts, and I’ve always enjoyed the format. On one hand, it tends to encourage further prospect trading, as managers get faster and looser with their farmhands knowing they can replenish the coffers with recent draftees and J2 signees in short order. And on the other, there tends to be an opportunity to grab some helium guys that can get lost in the shuffle of the race to snag the newest first-rounders. So with that as my backdrop, here’s a list of some personal favorites to either make a play for in trade over the next couple weeks or add to your target list for an upcoming prospect draft.

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June 24, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Bargains and Busts, Midseason Edition

3

Mike Gianella

Examining the players who've earned their fantasy pay to this point in the season and those who haven't.

We are about 72 games into the season and closing in on the true halfway mark. So it seems like as good a time as any to take a look at the hitters and pitchers who have delivered for their fantasy teams so far and the ones who have not.

Table 1: Top 10 Salaries, 2016 AL Pitchers Through June 22

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June 17, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: So What's Going on with Jose Abreu, Anyway?

0

Wilson Karaman

A look at what's been holding the White Sox slugger back, and whether he might soon emerge from his slump.

As of Mike Gianella’s most recent valuation update a couple of weeks ago, Abreu was on pace for merely a $12 AL-only season--good for just 15th among first-base-eligible hitters in the junior circuit. He’s since rebounded with his first sustained hot streak of the season across his last dozen games, dropping a .370/.396/.630 line with three dingers and 18 R+RBI to take some of that early-season sting out of it for mixed leaguers who, on average, bough him 21st overall in mixed NFBC drafts. Still, he remains well below his level of expected production in the macro sense, and we’re deep enough into the season that we need to be asking ourselves with straight faces whether recent hot streaks like Abreu’s are in fact sustainable turn-arounds, or whether they’re temporary beacons among more troubled seas. So let’s dive under the hood and figure out what went wrong early, why it’s not going wrong now, and whether it’s likely to go wrong again over the next three and a half months.

Let’s start with the basics: Abreu’s BABIP is down, sitting at present at a nominally-above-league-average mark of .299 that is well south of the .356 and .333 marks he posted across his first two campaigns. And sure enough, he’s hitting less line drives than he ever has while seeing a boost in his fly ball contact. It hasn’t been better fly ball contact, however, and courtesy of Statcast we can see that he’s hitting the ball with less authority overall this year:

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June 17, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: On Average, We'd Rather Not

1

Mike Gianella

Why high-average hitters might be undervalued commodities in fantasy formats.

In response to one of my FAAB Reviews, a reader wanted to know why John Jaso was treated like such a fungible commodity in LABR Mixed:

I'm a little perplexed how John Jaso was available for such a low bid, he's a high OBP guy on the strong side of a platoon batting lead off in a top-5 offense. Even in my home league, a deep mixer that counts OBP, he went undrafted and has been picked up and dropped to waivers twice. Maybe he's one of those players who is more valuable in real life than fantasy?

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June 10, 2016 10:49 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Keeper-League Trading: A Primer

0

Mike Gianella

Helping you get the most out of your swaps this summer.

Flags Fly Forever. Hey, that’s the name of the podcast I co-host weekly with Bret Sayre and producer George Bissell. So I know a thing or two about going for it at all costs, decimating my team’s future in pursuit of a title, and sacrificing the potential plum of back-to-back championships in favor of a “certain” win this year. As a rule of thumb, this is sage advice. If you are on the fence about a trade in a keeper or dynasty league because you are worried you are giving up too much value, odds are good that you should make the trade immediately and worry about 2017 and beyond later.

Yet there are cases where you can go too far and sacrifice too much future in exchange for the present. This seems to fly in the face of the advice that every fantasy expert has ever dispensed. But there are cases where it can happen.

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June 9, 2016 11:06 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Evaluating the California League All-Stars

0

Wilson Karaman

Viewing the Cal League's first-half standouts through a fantasy lens.

Yesterday the California League All-Star roster was announced for the upcoming Cal-Carolina League All-Star Game at Lake Elsinore. On paper it’s the weakest crop by a good bit in the three years I’ve been covering the league, but there are certainly still plenty of fantasy-relevant names littering the roster that bare some discussion. Let’s take a look at some of them, and then I’ll follow it up with some notes on a few of the more notable non-All Stars from around the league as well.

Travis Demeritte, 2B, Texas Rangers (High Desert Mavericks) – Demeritte is a prototypical boom-or-bust fantasy prospect, with the latter the more likely outcome. He frequently loses his mechanics with wild swings from the heels, and after taking the Cal League by storm in April the book has gradually circulated on him and pitchers have been much more successful at keeping him in the yard and off the bases of late. He’s got a ton of strength and bat speed though, and the ability to provide a useful power-speed combination at a shallow position, though it’s likely to come with a low AVG. He’s in the conversation to be a top-150 dynasty prospect at this point, but it’s a high-risk profile and managers would do just as well to move Demeritte now if they’re able to before Double-A pitchers sink their teeth into him.

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June 9, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Building a Contender in TGDX

6

J.P. Breen

J.P. recounts his process for going from the bottom fourth into the top tier of the TGDX experts dynatsy league.

Regular Baseball Prospectus readers are familiar with The Dynasty Guru Experts League (TDGX). It’s a 20-team, 40-man-roster dynasty league that’s run by our benevolent leader, Bret Sayre, and it includes experts from across the industry—from BP to CBSSports to FanGraphs to MLB.com and beyond. We chronicle the weekly transactions and occasionally have an in-depth article from a TDGX owner that digs into the nitty gritty of his roster and his past/future strategy.

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June 8, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Mark Trumbo and Being Wrong

4

Jeff Quinton

Examining why we might've whiffed on the O's slugger's breakout, and how to best avoid similar misses going forward.

Mark Trumbo has been very good at baseball this season and, because fielding and base-running are not a part of fantasy baseball, he has been even better as a fantasy baseball player. Per the first edition of Mike Gianella’s in-season fantasy rankings, Trumbo was the 19th-most-valuable hitter in the American League as of June 1st. Since then, he has roto-slashed .425/3/9/9/0 (AVG/HR/R/RBI/SB). It is thus safe to say that his 2016 production to date is safely within the top 15 among AL hitters and that he is likely flirting with top-ten AL hitter value. Not too shabby for a player with an NFBC ADP of 164.52.

The reasons as to why Trumbo has been good are no mystery—he has been healthy, he is taking a lot of at-bats in Camden Yards, he is hitting in the Baltimore Orioles’ lineup, and, as pointed out by Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs yesterday, Trumbo is doing his usual crushing of baseballs, while hitting more flyballs and fewer groundballs. Will he stay healthy? Probably; putting aside 2014, he has played a minimum of 142 each season. Will he continue to hit more flyballs? Maybe. I’d imagine the league will make some adjustment, but I’d also imagine that some of these gains are here to stay as he showed improvements toward the end of last season.

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June 2, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Yes, You Can Stream Jeff Locke, Except You Can't

1

Wilson Karaman

Figuring out how to deploy the Pirates lefty in fantasy could be a dicey proposition.

9 IP, 3 H, K. Yep, that’s the line from Jeff Locke’s most recent start against a Marlins offense that ranks fifth in team TAv and sixth in VORP (no, Giancarlo Stanton wasn’t in the lineup, or Dee Gordon for that matter, but the Fish can still hit, somehow). Locke has actually been quite useful in the month of May as a streamer, with clunkers @CHC and home against the excellent D’backs—neither of which should’ve seen him in anyone’s active lineup anyway—mixed in among four quality starts in which he pitched to a 2.48 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP across 29 innings. Are those stats cherry-picked? Kind of. Not really. They’re the whole point of streaming, and Locke’s been a dandy of an option lately. And I suspect he’ll continue to be an option on most of your waiver wires over the next several weeks, as is his lot in mixed league fantasy baseball life. He’s currently the fifth-most added player in Sportsline leagues, however, so perhaps we should dive in a little bit and figure out what’s going on with his recent production. Most importantly, is he worth the add? Should we expect him to remain a viable option through his next few turns?

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May 27, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Batted-Ball Trajectory and BABIP Overachievers

0

Wilson Karaman

A look at several players who might be well equipped to sustain lofty batting averages on balls in play.

There’s a pretty well-established correlation between hitting the ball hard and successfully reaching base. Line drive performance tends to bear this out, insofar as batting average and slugging percentage on this kind of batted ball far outstrip the other two main batted ball types: fly and ground balls.

In the current era of advanced outfield positioning, flyballs have suffered the gravest of recessions recently. The number of fly-ball doubles and triples has declined over the past few years, driving an overall deterioration in fly-ball slugging percentage from .613 as recently as 2012 to its current .528 (which should be noted has rebounded significantly early on this year from two straight years of sub-.450 marks). Fly-ball batting average, meanwhile, remains buried well under the Mendoza line for a fourth consecutive season.

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May 19, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: New Managers and Stolen Bases

2

J.P. Breen

A look at how the first-year skippers have utilized the running game to this point in the season.

New managers don’t matter too much in terms of fantasy baseball. They won’t magically improve starting rotations or increase their team’s respective power production. The one exception, though, can be on the base paths. In other words, it’s important to ask: Is a manager running more or less than his predecessor did?

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May 13, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: What Happened to Last Year's Hot Starters

1

Mike Gianella

A look back at how the stars of April and May 2015 performed the rest of the way.

On average, we are now a little over 34 games into the regular season. Another way of phrasing this is a little over one-fifth of the season is behind us. We are at the stage of the season where we stop talking about small sample size flukes and start talking about sustainable performances.

The question is should we? A better way of phrasing this question is how much emphasis should we place on year-to-date performance?

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