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04-14

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Auction Leagues and Salary/Contract Dynamics
by
Mike Gianella

04-09

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8

Fantasy Freestyle: Buying Low, Letting Go, and the Disposition Effect
by
Jeff Quinton

04-09

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: Small-Sample Numbers That Matter
by
Craig Goldstein

04-07

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22

Fantasy Freestyle: Home Cooking
by
Mike Gianella

04-02

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14

Fantasy Freestyle: Strategic Agility on Auction Day
by
Jeff Quinton

04-02

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11

Fantasy Freestyle: Now is the Season of My Discontent
by
Mike Gianella

03-27

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: Three Murky Closer Situations
by
Mauricio Rubio

03-26

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15

Fantasy Freestyle: My Favorite Endgame Targets
by
Bret Sayre

03-24

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: Is it Really All Currency?
by
Jeff Quinton

03-24

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Early-Season Strategic Decisions
by
Wilson Karaman

03-24

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22

Fantasy Freestyle: Two Deep-League Lessons From the Preseason
by
Ben Carsley

03-20

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11

Fantasy Freestyle: Beating the Success Trap
by
Jeff Quinton

03-19

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9

Fantasy Freestyle: Picking Fifth
by
Mauricio Rubio

03-18

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23

Fantasy Freestyle: The PFM, My Bid Limits, and You
by
Mike Gianella

03-13

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10

Fantasy Freestyle: Raise Decisions and the Fantasy Win Curve
by
Jeff Quinton

03-11

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13

Fantasy Freestyle: Fantasy Platoon Options
by
Bret Sayre

03-10

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Adjusting Bid Limits for Different League Sizes
by
Mike Gianella

03-07

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21

Fantasy Freestyle: Projecting the Top 15
by
Paul Sporer and BP Fantasy Staff

03-06

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11

Fantasy Freestyle: Prospect Theory on Draft Day
by
Jeff Quinton

02-27

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8

Fantasy Freestyle: The Rising Cost of Pitching
by
Mike Gianella

02-17

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: BP's Mixed LABR Draft
by
Bret Sayre

01-09

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: A First-Round Starting Pitcher? Maybe
by
Paul Sporer

01-09

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44

Fantasy Freestyle: The Top 50 2013 Signees for Dynasty Drafts
by
Bret Sayre

01-06

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: What is a Minor League Pick Worth?
by
Mike Gianella

12-27

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16

Fantasy Freestyle: A Review of Larry Schechter's Winning Fantasy Baseball
by
Mike Gianella

12-20

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15

Fantasy Freestyle: Top 2014 Pitching Risers
by
Paul Sporer

12-19

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10

Fantasy Freestyle: Going Beyond 5x5
by
Mike Gianella

12-17

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: Putting Stock in the Best Hitters of the Second Half
by
Bret Sayre

12-13

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Seven Hitting Prospects on the Rise
by
Ben Carsley

12-12

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9

Fantasy Freestyle: Mixed-League Pitcher Valuation
by
Mike Gianella

12-10

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14

Fantasy Freestyle: Mixed-League Hitter Valuation
by
Mike Gianella

11-27

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: Looking for 2014 Surprises
by
Paul Sporer

11-21

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: AFL First Pitch Forums Draft, Part Two
by
Paul Sporer

11-21

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15

Fantasy Freestyle: The Fantasy Fallout of the Fielder-Kinsler Swap
by
Bret Sayre

11-15

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11

Fantasy Freestyle: AFL First Pitch Forums Draft
by
Paul Sporer

10-31

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: Scary Shifts in First Base Positional Eligibility
by
Ben Carsley

10-29

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8

Fantasy Freestyle: Sifting Through Second-Half FIPs
by
Bret Sayre

10-29

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Matt Adams: First Base Fix
by
Craig Goldstein

10-24

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10

Fantasy Freestyle: Ten Could-Be Fantasy Aces for 2014
by
Bret Sayre

10-22

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8

Fantasy Freestyle: Brandon Phillips' Gradually Sudden Decline
by
Craig Goldstein

10-21

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Revisiting BABIP for Fantasy
by
Mike Gianella

10-18

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: The 2014 First Round: A Look Ahead, Part Three
by
Paul Sporer

10-17

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Looking Back: Endgame Sleepers
by
Bret Sayre

10-15

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Carpenter's Tools
by
Craig Goldstein

10-10

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7

Fantasy Freestyle: Looking Back: 10 Bold Predictions
by
Bret Sayre

10-08

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Lake Effect
by
Craig Goldstein

10-07

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Searching for Strikeouts: Postseason Rookie Starters
by
Ben Carsley

10-03

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8

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Positioning
by
Craig Goldstein

10-01

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10

Fantasy Freestyle: Tout Wars in Review
by
Mike Gianella

09-23

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15

Fantasy Freestyle: What's Gotten Into Rick Porcello?
by
Craig Goldstein

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October 29, 2013 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Sifting Through Second-Half FIPs

8

Bret Sayre

A closer look at the 12 pitchers who fared best during the summer in the statistics they could directly control.

As the playoffs are coming to an end in a fashion that seems to get crazier and crazier by the game, we continue to use this opportunity to look back on the 2013 season to see what we can learn going forward. Two of the biggest areas to explore for uncovering undervalued assets are hidden improvements over the course of the previous season and digging beyond the raw stats to the more predictive ones. In this exercise, we’re going to combine the two to see if anything interesting is uncovered when using FIP to determine more of a true performance level after the dust cleared from the All-Star festivities in New York.

There were 12 pitchers who posted a FIP of 2.75 or lower in the second half of the 2013 season. Here they are in reverse order:

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October 29, 2013 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Matt Adams: First Base Fix

2

Craig Goldstein

The big man's 2014 role is unclear, so Craig examines what that means from a fantasy perspective.

We’re not quite to the offseason yet, though we will be by the time my next article rolls around, which is why I wanted to continue my theme of touching on the fantasy value of players who are either in the news (Brandon Phillips) or in the World Series (Matt Carpenter). While each team certainly has their fair share of interesting candidates and question marks heading into 2014, one of the most interesting is what St. Louis will do at first base. Not because they’re losing anyone though. Quite the opposite. With Matt Adams establishing himself over the course of the season, the Cardinals once again find themselves in a situation where they have too much of a good thing, a problem most teams are unfamiliar with.

While he’s struggled in the NLCS and World Series, Adams was a valuable contributor in the early rounds of the playoffs and even more so, over the course of the regular season. While he did appear in 108 games (exactly two-thirds of the MLB season) he accrued only 319 plate appearances which is about half (or less) than one would expect a player to gather over the course of a full season. It’s easy enough to do, right? Let’s say we double his plate appearances to 638, which is just about a full season depending on where one hits in a lineup. It’s easy enough to double his counting stats in that situation, which would put him right at 34 home runs, 92 runs, 102 RBI, and well, stolen bases aren’t his game. Combine that with his .284 average and we’re talking about elite numbers from the first base position.

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October 24, 2013 6:23 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Ten Could-Be Fantasy Aces for 2014

10

Bret Sayre

Frontline fantasy pitchers come and go, so Bret looks at the hurlers who seem poised to make the leap next year.

Conventional fantasy wisdom has always suggested that pitching is more volatile from year-to-year than hitting. In this case, conventional wisdom is absolutely correct—and the 2013 season bore this out even more than usual. When you look at the top ten fantasy starters in both 2013 and 2012, one thing becomes very apparent: there’s a ton of turnover. In fact, there was only one pitcher (Clayton Kershaw) who made both lists. For further effect, here they are side-by-side:

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October 22, 2013 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Brandon Phillips' Gradually Sudden Decline

8

Craig Goldstein

The Reds second baseman is on the big-league trade block, and a deal out of Cincinnati is likely to be bad news for his fantasy value.

“Next year” is a common refrain these days, especially amongst fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Detroit Tigers, though in reality, they’re just now joining the vast majority of fans in looking forward instead of at the here and now. There’s been plenty of coverage of the playoffs as their happening, recaps and previews dissecting the games and the decisions made therein. There’s even been the odd offseason splash with Jose Dariel Abreu signing with the White Sox, Alexander Guerrero’s expected signing with the Dodgers (third time’s the charm), and the inspiration for today’s article: Brandon Phillips’ placement on the trade block.

While he’s not the biggest name on said block (David Price), he might be the most likely to be moved given that it won’t require a king’s ransom in prospects to acquire him and the Reds may even be willing to eat some of the contract. The issue of course is what any team acquiring Brandon Phillips would actually be receiving. It’s likely at this point you’ve read about his overall decline in offense these past two seasons. It’s also likely that you know he’s a plus with the glove and that he’s what Vin Scully would call a “big butter and egg man” (he drives runners in). One of the pleasures I get in writing for BP is that it’s also likely that you (this specific audience) also know that RBI is a context-dependent statistic and that Phillips’ high totals in that category are inflated because he gets to hit behind two of the better on-base men in the business: Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto.

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October 21, 2013 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Revisiting BABIP for Fantasy

0

Mike Gianella

Mike reexamines how much you should factor in a player's BABIP this year when forecasting his performance for next year.

Every offseason, there is a hitter or two who is dubbed as a poor bet for next year because of an extremely high BABIP. While the warnings are usually valid, they are often vague and don’t give us enough information. Should we avoid a hitter entirely because of a high BABIP? Or are there circumstances where a strong BABIP hitter might be a decent investment the following season?

Table 1: Top 50 BABIPs 2008-2012

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October 18, 2013 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: The 2014 First Round: A Look Ahead, Part Three

4

Paul Sporer

Paul updates his mid-season forecast of the top 15 picks in fantasy drafts next spring, with the two usual suspects at the top.

During the summer I did a two-part series (Part I, Part II) taking my first look at the 2014 first round. It’s time to once again take a look at the top 15 and see where we stand with the regular season in the rearview mirror. We also have a pair of industry mock drafts to look at to see how some of the best fantasy baseballers around are mapping out their top picks.

NO CHANGE AT THE TOP
Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout remain the top two pick in some form, though my first iteration, both mock drafts, and now this assessment of the top 15 has it with Cabrera first and Trout second. The gap might be larger if Cabrera hadn’t essentially missed September. He played 21 games and only missed 14 the entire season, but he was clearly playing at something well below 100 percent throughout the month. He has just one homer, seven RBI, eight runs scored, and a .278 batting average. That said, he still took the top spot on ESPN’s Player Rater and remains my top choice.


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October 17, 2013 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Looking Back: Endgame Sleepers

2

Bret Sayre

Bret advised you to gamble on these players seven months ago; now it's time to look back and see how he did.

Welcome to the second installment of “Bret looks back on his favorite 2013 columns and grades himself.” Last week, I took a look at my 10 bold predictions based on April’s small samples, but today we’ll go even further back in the time machine.

My favorite column to write every year looks at my favorite endgame sleepers just as Spring Training is coming to a close. In the past I’ve stopped at 10, but this year I turned the dial all the way up to 20—putting the spotlight on players in leagues of varying depths.

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October 15, 2013 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Carpenter's Tools

2

Craig Goldstein

Matt Carpenter sparked the Cardinals' lineup throughout the 2013 season, but can he replicate his fantasy production next year?

With a lot of talk surrounding the NLCS and the concept of the money-rich Dodgers versus the development-rich Cardinals, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at one of the more celebrated products of the Cardinals developmental system: 13th-round draft pick Matt Carpenter.

Carpenter wasn’t celebrated much before 2013, as he was drafted as a fifth-year senior and signed for a mere $1,000. He moved quickly through the system, necessarily so, given his age upon entering pro ball was 23. As you might expect from an older player, Carpenter showed a strong awareness of the strike zone, a trait that’s carried over to his major league success. When he impressed as a super-utility player in 2012, Carpenter did so by keeping his strikeout to walk ratio under control, allowing his plus hit-tool to take over, resulting in a .294/.365/.463 slash line in 296 at-bats. The question of course, following his impressive debut campaign, was where would he earn his at-bats going forward as Carpenter had previous earned most of his playing time at first base, where Allen Craig would be playing in 2013. That question was answered when the Cardinals decided they could forego some defense in at the keystone, and play Carpenter there, full time. While Carpenter has proven adept at turning the double play, his defense has largely been as anticipated at the position. Of course that doesn’t much matter when one produces as he has at the plate.

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October 10, 2013 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Looking Back: 10 Bold Predictions

7

Bret Sayre

Bret went out on 10 limbs based on small samples from April; it's time to find out how he did.

April is a time of goldmines and landmines for fantasy players. The annals of rotisserie leagues are filled with owners who jumped in head first on a player who could not maintain a small-sample stretch. And we see it every year. Using 2013 as an example, let’s take a look back at the 10 players who hit eight or more homers in April (see if you can spot the two players who actually hit more than 15 homers from May 1 on):

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October 8, 2013 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Lake Effect

0

Craig Goldstein

Junior Lake posted impressive surface stats in his first taste of The Show, but should fantasy players be eager to draft him in 2014?

If you’ll forgive me an absolutely cliché start to an article, a lake effect is defined as “a meteorological phenomenon in which warm moist air rising from a body of water mixes with cold dry air overhead resulting in precipitation especially downwind—usually hyphenated when used attributively” per Merriam-Webster. Similarly, if you’re a Cubs fan, this article might be raining on your parade, after the rookie put together an impressive debut season. Sure, Lake put together a .284/.332/.428 slash line over 236 at-bats, adding six home runs and four stolen bases. He looks the part, standing 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, and displays incredible athleticism in the field. Lake came up through the minors as a shortstop, then as a third baseman, but he’s settled in to the majors as an outfielder, making his starts in left and center field for Chicago.

Ben Carsley mentioned Lake as an option for the hot corner in Chicago in his Hot Corner Conundrums article, and while that would certainly be a boost to his fantasy value, I’m not sure we can bank on that happening. Lake couldn’t crack a third base rotation that included Luis Valbuena, Cody Ransom and, wait for it, Donnie Murphy this season. So it might be a tall task to get the requisite numbers of appearances there next season, when there’s a chance that Javier Baez might be playing there. Even if it’s not Baez (that would be an aggressive move), it could be Christian Villanueva, Valbuena again or anyone else who could actually provide defensive value, which Lake can’t. So while it’s not unreasonable to hope for some sweet, sweet infield eligibility, counting on it would be foolish.

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October 7, 2013 4:22 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Searching for Strikeouts: Postseason Rookie Starters

4

Ben Carsley

These three hurlers can rack up the Ks, but just how valuable will they be come draft season next spring?

There’s nothing quite as sexy in fantasy baseball as a young, strikeout-heavy starter. Fortunately for baseball fans everywhere, the 2013 postseason is chock full of them.

From Shelby Miller to Gerrit Cole to Matt Moore and beyond, those in the next wave of stud fantasy strikeout-heavy starters are making their presence felt this October. As we get to watch these young hurlers baffle hitters many years their elder, let’s take a look at how three comparatively under-hyped arms stack up heading into 2014.

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October 3, 2013 6:47 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Positioning

8

Craig Goldstein

These four players could boost their playing time—and their fantasy values—in 2014 by performing well this postseason.

With the fantasy season wrapped up and champions counting their jellybeans, it’s not too early to take a look at the future for anyone in keeper or dynasty leagues. Even for those who prefer redrafts though, it’s always nice to have something to look for in the playoffs, especially if you don’t have a rooting interest in any of the remaining teams. With that in mind, here are four players who could position themselves for bigger roles n 2014 with impactful playoff performances.

Matt Adams - St. Louis Cardinals
For a guy who has appeared in two-thirds of a season and produced an .839 OPS, Matt Adams has gone a bit under the radar. With Allen Craig dinged up and likely off the roster for the National League Division Series, Adams will have an opportunity to make his case for a full-time starting gig in 2014. After slashing .284/.335/.503, it shouldn’t take much convincing for the Cardinals management to see the light. I’d expect a similar slash line for Adams over the course of a full season, as he’s not a part-time player who will be exposed with increased PT so much as he is a talented player blocked by incredible organizational depth.


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