Phil Hughes, Jamie Garcia, Chris Capuano, and Jake Peavy get the Preseason VP treatment this week
It’s March 1 as you’re reading this, and that is noteworthy if only because we’re finally into a month where there’s going to be real, live Major League Baseball that counts—even if the Japan-based series between the M’s and A’s will take place in the middle of the night for most of us. With the season fast approaching, fantasy drafts are really starting to heat up. Here are some thoughts on four pitchers who may or may not be on your radar for various reasons…
Desmond, Giavotella, Escobar, and Lucroy are among this week's Value Picks
The purpose of Preseason Value Picks is to focus on names that may be lacking in interest early in the draft season. Even if the names involved here are providing only slight edges in dollar value compared to market value, these small incremental edges could be the difference between a championship and second place. Even in draft season, getting an edge using PECOTA and Value Picks can contribute to the bottom line. Here are some names of interest in the up-the-middle categories.
In this week’s Value Picks, Michael shows you how to love the players that other owners hate, including Carlos Pena, James Loney, Mat Gamel, Brent Morel, and Chase Headley.
Over the last twoweeks, I’ve looked at several players that are easy to love based on their history and PECOTA’s projection for a resurgent season. As a result, for many of those players—such as Albert Pujols, Joey Votto, and David Wright—their ADPs tended to closely match their PECOTA rankings. What about the players you (or opposing owners) love to hate? These guys have an ADP below their PECOTA rankings because they’ve disappointed in the past or are just misunderstood by most fantasy owners.
So this week, we get into the real Value Picks—those players outside the Usual Suspects which you can squeeze some value out of. Just like bad medicine, you may find some of this hard to swallow come Draft Day, but it’ll be good for your fantasy team if taken in the right doses. Let’s face it: sometimes it’s good to be hated.
A look at why Scott Baker, Brandon Beachy, Anibal Sanchez, and, yes, A.J. Burnett can be value picks in 2012 drafts
It’s a fun time of year, isn’t it? Pitchers and catchers have reported to camps across Arizona and Florida, Frank McCourt is set to be exiled on a rocket into the sun—from what I understand—and fantasy drafts are really starting to get moving. Remember, it’s fun to look for the big trade as the deadline approaches over the summer, but the overwhelming majority of leagues are won and lost now, when keepers are decided upon and draft strategies are solidified. Here’s a look at four starting pitchers who may not be first round picks but should be on your mind when draft day arrives. As always, feel free to suggest others in the comments.
Michael looks at some expected (and unexpected) values among PECOTA projections for corner infielders in 2012
As Draft Day approaches, many owners must make last-minute keeper decisions, which are often more complex than the binary, keep-him-or-dump-him variety of decision-making. In many leagues, owners can’t keep players for free; instead, a keeper’s cost depends on his Draft Day acquisition price or his 2011 performance. For these decisions, it’s helpful to identify rebound players—those who PECOTA projects will increase in value in 2012—although owners in redraft leagues will also find it helpful to identify Draft Day bargains. When your competitors are short-sighted, as is often the case, they will undervalue these rebound candidates, and owners in snake drafts can see who might slip to later rounds as a result.
Continuing last week’s theme, I’m looking at those players whose value is projected to rebound the most in 2012, leaving out players who lost most of the season due to injury or who should return less than $5 in 2012. Because PECOTA tends to project players conservatively, it’s notable when it expects top-shelf players to increase in value for 2012. I was surprised to find some of the names below, and I expect that BP Fantasy readers will be too.
Mets Duda and Torres, Matt Holliday, and Tony Plush make the first outfield edition of Preseason VP
“Preseason Value Picks” is an interesting notion to begin with… who is going to benefit from such analysis? The obvious answer is owners whose drafts come the earliest, and Scoresheet baseball drafts are already progressing. These are very slow processes, from the perspective of traditional fantasy players, in keeping with the more ponderous tone of Scoresheet. Most Scoresheet leagues allow at least 13 keepers without salaries to worry about. The games are simulated, generating a weekly report with, you guessed it, score sheets for each game. So, before diving in to outfielders this week, I wanted to mention a tool we released yesterday for aiding with Scoresheet drafts (but which is available to all Fantasy and Premium subscribers): The Scoresheet Draft Aid. I'm working on a blog post with some more details, but in the meantime, feel free to utilize it knowing that it's specifically geared toward things that help a Scoresheet team (offense, defense, pitching), not typical fantasy categories.
Returning from that Scoresheet tangent to some “real” fantasy (is that an oxymoron?), drafts are kicking off very soon. Most people know that the top outfielders are Matt Kemp, Jose Bautista, Jacoby Ellsbury, Justin Upton, Carlos Gonzalez, Curtis Granderson, Mike Stanton, and Andrew McCutchen, in some order (and we've covered several of these guys with Keeper Reaper articles). The order in which they are taken is as much personal preference as cold, hard analysis. In the USA Today mock draft I participated in, those guys went: Kemp, Ellsbury, Bautista, [gap], Upton, CarGo, [gap], Granderson, McCutchen, then Jay Bruce and Josh Hamilton (this draft was held last December) went before Stanton.
Oswalt, Norris, Morrow, and Hanson all make the cut for the first SP Value Pick column of 2012
Baseball Prospectus Fantasy 2012 is GO. With PECOTA and the PFM now available for public consumption, we’re back for another season of fantasy analysis. Today, I follow the first twoMikes by kicking off my portion of the preseason series with a look at a few starting pitchers who may be undervalued in early drafts, plus a check in on the health of one of the most promising young starters in the game.
Hanley Ramirez, Brandon Phillips, Alexei Ramirez, and Ryan Doumit highlight the first middle infield/catcher Preseason Value Picks column
Value Picks returns this week for another exciting season of Baseball Prospectus Fantasy. As mentioned yesterday by one of my Mike partners-in-crime, Michael Street, we will be taking a look at a few players we believe will see a hefty increase in fantasy value and how they can help you in 2012. In order to determine projected 2012 value, we will be using the Player Forecast Manager backed by the power of PECOTA.
Now that the new PECOTA projections are out, Michael looks at which fantasy corner infielders you might fall in love with this Valentine’s Day.
For those who have just fallen in love with fantasy baseball, draft day can seem like a box of chocolates: you never know what you might get. Will you get the coveted chocolate caramel, the dreaded orange cream, or the boring plain milk chocolate? Of course, savvy fantasy owners know to come armed with projections and predictions, and the wisest fantasy owners look to Baseball Prospectus for guidance. What better way to distinguish coconut from cherry-filled chocolate—or next year’s Matt Kemp from Carl Crawford?
Like any fantasy lover, I tore into last week’s PECOTA release with reckless abandon to come up with some sweet finds for next season—aka the players predicted for the biggest turnaround (or, if you like, the ones you can catch on the rebound.) Using the Player Forecast Manager, I found the corner infielders and designated hitters with the heftiest projected increase in dollar value, excluding those who are projected to remain below the $5 threshold or who missed most of last season. Rankings are based on a 12-team mixed league, and Average Draft Position (ADP) comes from mockdraftcentral.com.