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03-20

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10

Five to Watch: American League Post-Prospects
by
Ben Carsley

03-19

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4

Five to Watch: National League Post-Prospects
by
Craig Goldstein

03-18

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6

Five to Watch: National League Prospects
by
Bret Sayre

03-17

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6

Five to Watch: American League Prospects
by
Wilson Karaman

03-13

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5

Five to Watch: American League Hitters
by
Wilson Karaman

03-12

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10

Five to Watch: American League Starting Pitchers
by
Craig Goldstein

03-11

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6

Five to Watch: National League Hitters
by
Mauricio Rubio

03-10

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6

Five to Watch: National League Pitchers With Elevated BABIPs
by
Craig Goldstein

09-20

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5

Five to Watch: The Save Rush
by
Craig Goldstein

09-16

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8

Five to Watch: Hot Corner Conundrums
by
Ben Carsley

09-10

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0

Five to Watch: Injured NL Starting Pitchers
by
Craig Goldstein

09-06

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7

Five to Watch: Would-Be, Could-Be Closers
by
Craig Goldstein

08-28

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0

Five to Watch: September Call-Ups Unworthy of Your Immediate Attention
by
Ben Carsley

08-27

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12

Five to Watch: Positive Regression Candidates
by
Craig Goldstein

08-21

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7

Five to Watch: Good Prospects on Bad Teams
by
Ben Carsley

08-19

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4

Five to Watch: Post-Hype Prospects for 2014
by
Craig Goldstein

06-07

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10

Five to Watch: Checking in on the Holy Trinity
by
Bret Sayre

04-18

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3

Five to Watch: Contact Watch!
by
Bret Sayre

03-18

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4

Five to Watch: The Top Prospect Edition
by
Bret Sayre

03-13

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9

Five to Watch: Drawing Blanks
by
Josh Shepardson

02-22

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5

Five to Watch: National League Hitters
by
Bret Sayre

02-20

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4

Five to Watch: Impact Arms With Unclear Roles
by
Paul Sporer

02-15

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7

Five to Watch: American League Hitters
by
Bret Sayre

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August 28, 2013 6:48 am

Five to Watch: September Call-Ups Unworthy of Your Immediate Attention

0

Ben Carsley

These young players will look to make a strong impression on their big-league employers next month, but they're not likely to help your fantasy squad.

September call-ups, when used correctly, can make for great late -eason additions to fantasy squads. When used incorrectly, though, such players can do more harm than good—especially to your rate stats or to teams with short benches.

So while the majority of columns you read in the coming days will extol the fantasy virtues of the September call-up, this one will instead preach caution. With that in mind, here are four likely call-ups—and one recent call-up—you should let other owners fight over in the coming weeks.

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August 27, 2013 6:00 am

Five to Watch: Positive Regression Candidates

12

Craig Goldstein

A look at five scuffling pitchers whose luck might turn next year, and who could be fantasy bargains with better results.

When it comes to starting pitching, my philosophy has long been “it’s always available.” Even when it comes to deep/dynasty leagues where the talent is scarce, finding pitching depth isn’t as difficult as it might seem. With that in mind, we turn our spotlight to five pitchers who have struggled—to varying extents—in 2013, but who have the ability, history, and peripheral statistics to pique our interest. Note that, unsurprisingly, two of these pitchers appeared in the Starting Pitchers section of BP’s Mid-Season Outliers, which should be a good source if you’re looking for anyone beyond the five mentioned in this article.

Jeremy Hellickson, Rays
It’s been a rough season for pitchers who have made a habit of outperforming their FIP, and Hellickson has been chief among those types. He’s also been chief among those having a rough season, including last night’s putrid performance (2 2/3 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K). The interesting part though, is that unlike some of the others listed, Hellickson is actually producing better peripherals than he ever has, so instead of just relying on past performance, we can say that he’s actively getting better.


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August 21, 2013 6:00 am

Five to Watch: Good Prospects on Bad Teams

7

Ben Carsley

These five players' MLB clubs might not be going to the playoffs, but they could help your fantasy squad get there.

A good prospect is a terrible thing to waste, even if he plays for a bad team. This is a lesson sometimes lost on fantasy owners who will scramble to pick up the likes of Xander Bogaerts or Kolten Wong, but may overlook younger players who are stuck on squads mired near the bottom of the standings.

Yet, while you may need to pay a pretty penny or risk a high waiver claim on a flashy prospect from a first-place team, you can often find bargains by scouring your free agent pool for forgotten call-ups, rookies, or post-prospects on non-contenders. Maybe the casual baseball fan doesn’t care who’s hitting ninth for the Astros or holding down a rotation spot in Miami, but as a fantasy owner, you should. If used selectively, such players can provide significant boosts for owners in deeper leagues. With that in mind, here are five players most owners will have forgotten about who can help in select categories down the stretch.

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August 19, 2013 6:00 am

Five to Watch: Post-Hype Prospects for 2014

4

Craig Goldstein

These young players may have lost some of their luster, but they could still offer plenty of fantasy value next year.

Despite the addition of a second wild card in each league, the playoff races aren’t exactly scintillating this year. For many teams, the season is over and it’s time to start evaluating talent. So it goes with fantasy. As we march on toward the end of August, there are many owners who are already looking toward 2014 and can use the remainder of this season to evaluate talent. One of the most important things an out-of-contention owner can do is correctly identify talent that could be undervalued heading into the offseason.

One reliable resource of undervalued talent that I’ve found is those players who are no longer prospects (and thus cannot be kept on a minor-league roster in keeper/dynasty leagues), but who have yet to establish themselves as full-time players or known quantities. In short, they’re post-hype prospects. Obviously, these types of players carry with them significant risk, hence the potential for undervaluing them. The flipside is the potentially huge payoff if they hit, with recent examples including Domonic Brown, Patrick Corbin, Josh Donaldson, and Starling Marte. All of these players flashed at some point or another, but not being able to stash them in a minor-league system hurt their keeper value and they were likely available for less than they should have been.

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June 7, 2013 5:00 am

Five to Watch: Checking in on the Holy Trinity

10

Bret Sayre

Bret looks at the quintet of hurlers that has met the strikeout, walk, and ground-ball benchmarks that generally ensure a pitcher's success.

About a month ago, Russell Carleton talked about pitcher stats and when they stabilize. And now that we’re two months into the season, the time has come where we can look at some of the high-ticket items my eyes drift toward on the stat page without worrying about being distracted by small sample sizes. These performances are real and whether or not they continue, we will always be able to look back upon them through sepia tones and Instagram filters.

If you’ve read my stuff from a previous life, you’ve undoubtedly heard me talk about the Holy Trinity as it comes to starting pitchers. It encompasses the three skills that are most important to the art of pitching: getting strikeouts, reducing walks, and keeping the ball on the ground. Any pitcher who does at least one of these things well can be a major leaguer. Just two of these qualities are enough to be a star, but the pitchers who can do all three are the ones who are special, because they have the largest amount of control over their downside risk.

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April 18, 2013 5:00 am

Five to Watch: Contact Watch!

3

Bret Sayre

These five players could see their values increase or decrease if their early-season contact markers persist.

There are very few things that we know for sure this early in the season. And it’s for that reason that we need to be cognizant of markers that are approaching in the near future and keep an eye out for them. One of the big ones I like to look at throughout April is a player’s developing contact rate. As we know, contact rate does not stabilize until around 150 plate appearances, but we’re nearly halfway there. Today, I’m going to look at five hitters who have put up surprising contact rates, either on the high side or low side. If these players continue on a path to stabilization at these rates, they could be looking at potentially significant changes in their value.

And since I’m feeling particularly optimistic, we’ll start with the players who could see their values rise for this reason:

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March 18, 2013 5:00 am

Five to Watch: The Top Prospect Edition

4

Bret Sayre

A look at five erstwhile top 100 prospects that could have surprising fantasy value in 2013.

While it’s true that spring training statistics are barely worth the internet parchment on which they are printed, spring training performances are another story. Racking up impressive statistics has little to no value to you, the fantasy player, but overall performances beget changes in player roles and confidence (or lack thereof) in player health. And it’s the contextual nature of the performance that is a net positive or negative for a player’s fantasy value in the upcoming season. To paraphrase a modern-day proverb, Rick Porcello doesn’t have to be faster than the bear—he just has to be faster than Drew Smyly to get a fantasy bump for the 2013 season.

This mini-series will focus on players who have a chance to increase or decrease their fantasy values based on their performances during spring training. And we’ll continue today by looking at five more players who have been impact prospects at some point in their careers. Each of these five players, now fighting for fantasy relevance, was once considered one of the top 50 prospects in baseball (some more recently than others), as ranked here at Baseball Prospectus or by Baseball America.

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March 13, 2013 5:00 am

Five to Watch: Drawing Blanks

9

Josh Shepardson

An oft-injured Padres slugger is among the quintet of players Josh is monitoring this week.

Madison Bumgarner

There is a lot to like about Bumgarner, such as his age, strong walk rate, ability to miss bats, home ballpark, and the fact that he's coming off his most successful season in the majors. Not everything is coming up roses for the young left-hander, though: a significant drop in velocity toward the end of 2012 makes the zip on his fastball worth monitoring this spring.

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February 22, 2013 5:00 am

Five to Watch: National League Hitters

5

Bret Sayre

This quintet includes a fragile second baseman, two catchers, and a couple of big whiffers.

While it’s true that spring training statistics are barely worth the internet parchment on which they are printed, spring training performances are another story. Racking up impressive statistics has little to no value to you, the fantasy player, but overall performances beget changes in player roles and confidence (or lack thereof) in player health. And it’s the contextual nature of the performance that is a net positive or negative for a player’s fantasy value in the upcoming season. To paraphrase a modern-day proverb, Rick Porcello doesn’t have to be faster than the bear—he just has to be faster than Drew Smyly to get a fantasy bump for the 2013 season.

This mini-series will focus on players who have a chance to increase or decrease their fantasy values based on their performances during spring training. And we’ll continue today by looking at some National League hitters.

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February 20, 2013 5:00 am

Five to Watch: Impact Arms With Unclear Roles

4

Paul Sporer

A pair of triple-digit hurlers top this group of pitchers, whose upside is high, but whose specific jobs are up in the air.

One of new segments coming to you from the BP fantasy team is the Five to Watch in Spring Training series, with Bret Sayre handling the hitters (as he did in the debut post last week) and yours truly covering the pitchers. The noteworthy players will be generally be guys on their way back from an injury, those fighting for playing time, and prospects looking to make an impression. Today’s group features an intriguing set of arms who could be high-impact assets if all goes as planned.

Aroldis Chapman

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February 15, 2013 5:00 am

Five to Watch: American League Hitters

7

Bret Sayre

Leonys Martin leads off a list that includes three outfielders, a third baseman, and a shortstop.

While it’s true that spring training statistics are barely worth the internet parchment on which they are printed, spring training performances are another story. Racking up impressive statistics has little to no value to you, the fantasy player, but overall performances beget changes in player roles and confidence (or lack thereof) in player health. And it’s the contextual nature of the performance that is a net positive or negative for a player’s fantasy value in the upcoming season. To paraphrase a modern-day proverb, Rick Porcello doesn’t have to be faster than the bear, he just has to be faster than Drew Smyly to get a fantasy bump for the 2013 season.

This mini-series will focus on players who have a chance to increase or decrease their fantasy values based on their performances during spring training. And we’ll start by looking at some American League hitters.

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