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11-26

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1

Fantasy Team Preview: Baltimore Orioles
by
Craig Goldstein

11-25

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Christian Yelich is Poised to Break Out
by
Matt Collins

11-25

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Offseason Trades and Responding to the Default Effect
by
Jeff Quinton

11-25

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: 40-Man Additions to Know
by
Craig Goldstein

11-24

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0

Fantasy Team Preview: Detroit Tigers
by
Nick Shlain

11-21

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5

Fantasy Team Preview: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
by
Wilson Karaman

11-20

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Offseason Trades and the Default Effect
by
Jeff Quinton

11-20

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0

Retrospective Player Valuation: National League Pitchers
by
Mike Gianella

11-19

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4

Fantasy Team Preview: Kansas City Royals
by
Ben Carsley

11-18

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3

Retrospective Player Valuation: National League Hitters
by
Mike Gianella

11-18

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9

Fantasy Freestyle: Five Fantasy Busts
by
J.P. Breen

11-17

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0

Fantasy Team Preview: Oakland Athletics
by
Keith Cromer

11-14

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Fantasy Team Preview: Seattle Mariners
by
Nick Shlain

11-13

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8

Retrospective Player Valuation: American League Pitchers
by
Mike Gianella

11-13

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Five Fantasy MVPs of 2014
by
J.P. Breen

11-12

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9

Fantasy Team Preview: Cleveland Indians
by
Matt Collins

11-12

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2

Five to Watch: More Post-Hype Prospects for 2015
by
Ben Carsley

11-11

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0

Fantasy Team Preview: New York Yankees
by
Bret Sayre

11-11

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1

Retrospective Player Valuation: American League Hitters
by
Mike Gianella

11-10

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7

Fantasy Team Preview: Toronto Blue Jays
by
Wilson Karaman

11-07

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Fantasy Team Preview: Tampa Bay Rays
by
Jeff Quinton

11-06

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5

Five to Watch: Post-Hype Prospects for 2015
by
Craig Goldstein

11-06

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: What to Make of Odrisamer Despaigne
by
Keith Cromer

11-05

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Curb Your Pitching Enthusiasm
by
Nick Shlain

11-05

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0

Fantasy Team Preview: Chicago White Sox
by
J.P. Breen

11-04

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Three Players Looking for Bounce-Back Power
by
Matt Collins

11-03

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2

Fantasy Team Preview: Boston Red Sox
by
Ben Carsley

10-31

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4

Fantasy Team Preview: Houston Astros
by
Keith Cromer

10-20

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: My Personal Scorecard: Part 2 - National League
by
Mike Gianella

10-17

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Joe Panik
by
Ben Carsley

10-16

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Jon Jay
by
Jeff Quinton

10-15

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Lorenzo Cain
by
J.P. Breen

10-14

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Looking Back: Prospect Predictions
by
Craig Goldstein

10-13

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: My Personal Scorecard: Part 1 - American League
by
Mike Gianella

10-10

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Shelby Miller
by
Wilson Karaman

10-08

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Looking Back at Super Subs
by
Paul Sporer

10-07

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: Looking Back: My Favorite Endgame Targets of 2014
by
Bret Sayre

10-06

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Sergio Romo
by
J.P. Breen

10-03

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Denard Span
by
Wilson Karaman

10-02

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8

Fantasy Freestyle: Trades and the Importance of Hustle
by
Jeff Quinton

10-02

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Edinson Volquez
by
Craig Goldstein

10-02

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Are Elite Pitchers Becoming More Numerous?
by
J.P. Breen

10-01

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Josh Donaldson
by
Paul Sporer

09-29

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: 2014 Expert-League Recaps
by
Mike Gianella

09-26

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7

Fantasy Freestyle: Prospect Rankings Review
by
Craig Goldstein

09-25

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Using FIP to Find Value
by
Wilson Karaman

09-25

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Theory-Driven Versus Context-Driven Strategy
by
Jeff Quinton

09-25

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1

They Hold No Quarter: Starting Pitchers
by
BP Fantasy Staff

09-24

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10

Dynasty Dynamics: Jumping Ship
by
Ben Carsley and Craig Goldstein

09-23

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12

Fantasy Freestyle: Backing Off Backstop Prospects
by
Ben Carsley

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November 5, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Team Preview: Chicago White Sox

0

J.P. Breen

Built around two superstars, the White Sox are not likely to contend, but they'll field useful fantasy assets.

The Chicago White Sox are a fascinating team because they possess two superstars—Chris Sale and Jose Abreu—yet remained decidedly poor. They won 73 games and do not project to contend in the American League Central in 2015, barring some unexpected steps forward and/or a crazy offseason. Some intriguing young talent exists in the everyday lineup; however, the back end of the starting rotation could a shambles once again, and the hell if anyone knows what their bullpen is going to offer fantasy owners.

Again, despite a pessimistic outlook for the team as we head into the upcoming campaign, numerous useful fantasy options should be available. In a few cases, it could present an opportunity for some owners to capitalize on a down-and-out team to which opposing owners have stopped paying attention. And, of course, we’ll all be paying attention to the White Sox during spring training in an attempt to decipher their plans regarding Carlos Rodon because he could be an immediate fantasy weapon.

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November 4, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Three Players Looking for Bounce-Back Power

4

Matt Collins

This trio saw its home run totals drop precipitously, but is there reason to hope for a rebound?

In any given year, you are going to be saddled with players who fail to come close to reasonable expectations. It’s frustrating, but it’s the nature of the game. The only upshot is finding the players who had a fluky down year, and those who are truly in the midst of a mid-career collapse. Last season, there were three players who stood out to me as disappointments, especially in the power department. Whether you’re in a dynasty league and trying to figure out how to view these players moving forward, or already looking for good buy-low players in re-draft leagues, the following players may be of some interest in 2015.

David Wright
There aren’t many good things to be said about Wright’s 2014. After entering the year as a top-25 pick, he finished with a dismal .269 batting average, just eight home runs, and 63 RBI. While the average was surely disappointing, what really killed his line was his utter lack of power. While he’s typically been a 25-plus-homer threat throughout his career, he finished this past season tied in ISO with Billy Hamilton. He had a career-low 5.1 percent HR:FB rate, and though that may sound like he suffered through some bad luck, it’s not that simple. For one thing, his average fly ball fell from 291 feet (right behind Edwin Encarnacion) in 2013 down to 261 (right being Nate Schierholtz) in 2014. The biggest reason for this dip could likely be his shoulder. He battled injuries to it throughout the season, costing him a total of 27 games, and it’s an injury that is notorious for sapping power. That injury is something to keep an eye on this winter, but if he’s fully recovered by Opening Day, he could see a big comeback, especially with the fences being moved in at Citi Field.


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November 3, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Team Preview: Boston Red Sox

2

Ben Carsley

Just one year removed from a championship, John Farrell's squad will look to bounce back in 2015.

The Boston Red Sox are a team in transition. They feature some established stars who figure to contribute significantly to fantasy squads once again in 2015. They roster plenty of young players and veterans who are inconsistent enough to make fantasy forecasting difficult. And they feature a handful of players who should send fantasy owners running for the hills.

But despite their disappointing 2014 campaign, there's a lot of talent both young and old on this roster. The Red Sox have a ton of talent on offense, some intriguing relief candidates, and there are people who still start, too, but shh, let's not talk about them.

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October 31, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Team Preview: Houston Astros

4

Keith Cromer

After showing a 19-game improvement in 2014, the slowly rebuilding Astros boast several intriguing fantasy options.

The 2017 World Series champs? Well, that’s what one publication boldly predicted earlier this year. Maybe that prediction was based on all the previous BP staffers on the current Astros payroll, maybe not, but while a 2017 World Series appearance may seem like a stretch for a team that has averaged 104 losses the past four seasons, and has only appeared in one World Series in their 53-year team history, there is reason for optimism for Astros fans. The next wave of top prospects—Carlos Correa, Mark Appel, Colin Moran, among others—should arrive in Houston over the next couple of years to join an already young nucleus of talented players.

The Astros did lose 92 games last year, but on the flipside, they improved by 19 games in 2014 with their core of young players. They also accomplished that 19-game improvement despite having players lose 902 games to the DL and a bullpen that blew a league-leading 25 saves. They are a young team that does swing and miss a bunch, but it’s an exciting roster and one that could yield multiple fantasy contributors.

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October 20, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: My Personal Scorecard: Part 2 - National League

0

Mike Gianella

In the second of a two-part series, Mike reviews how his senior-circuit bid value recommendations fared.

Last week, I took a look back at how my outlier predictions did for American League players in 2014. This week, I will take a look at the National League.

What you will find below is a complete list of players where my bid limit was $3 higher or lower than the average expert league price in the CBS, LABR, and Tout Wars NL-only auctions. In addition, based on a reader suggestion rather than simply “grade” how well my predictions did in retrospect, I will attempt to explain why each specific bid limit was particularly aggressive or timid.


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October 17, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Joe Panik

2

Ben Carsley

The former first-rounder plugged the Giants' hole at the keystone, but can he do the same for your fantasy squad?

Player Background
A first-round pick of the Giants back in 2011, Panik quietly hit his way up through the minors, landing a spot on the MLB roster halfway through the 2014 season. Once viewed as a shortstop, he’s settled in as a second baseman for San Francisco, and with Brandon Crawford firmly entrenched at short, Panik figures to stay at the keystone for the foreseeable future.

Panik’s rough 2013 campaign in Double-A tempered what was already pretty lukewarm enthusiasm about his future, but he answered his critics in a big way in 2014, both in Triple-A and in the majors. Once viewed as a surefire utility infielder, Panik now seems like he may at least be a second-division starter, and the Giants probably think there’s even more here.


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October 16, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Jon Jay

2

Jeff Quinton

The Cardinals center fielder isn't a sexy late-draft option, but could he still hold fantasy value in 2015?

Player Background
The 29-year-old Jay has seemingly been around forever, but he has in fact only been playing baseball at the major-league level since 2010. Honestly (but there is no way you can really know), heading into the 2014 season, a playoff spotlight on the former second-round pick out of the University of Miami was the last thing I thought I would be writing in October. Why? Because after an unexciting 2013, Jay seemed destined to be replaced by the newer and apparently shinier Peter Bourjos. Additionally, super-prospect Oscar Taveras and notable prospect Randall Grichuk were waiting in the wings.

While players like Jay have almost no use in shallow leagues, finding affordable (cheaply acquirable) players to fill out your roster is a key to success in deeper leagues. Prospect theory tells us that when our expectations are lowered, such as at the end of drafts or auctions, we tend to be more risk-seeking (think buying lottery tickets). Consequentially, boring, lower-ceiling players like Jay tend to be passed up in favor of boom or bust type players (in the fantasy sense) such as Borjous, Cameron Maybin, or Chris Young. Sometimes these lottery tickets workout, but in knowing our behavioral biases, we know that the odds are not in our favor. Conversely, steady players like Jay with no ceiling to dream on can often come at a discount. Given all of this, let us see what happened in 2014.


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October 15, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Lorenzo Cain

2

J.P. Breen

The Royals center fielder has put his stamp on the postseason, but can he do the same for your fantasy team in 2015?

Player Background
Though he’s 28 years old, Lorenzo Cain hasn’t played baseball as long as many of the guys in Double-A and Triple-A. As a child, his love was on the basketball court, but as a freshman in high school, he failed to make the team. That heartbreak pushed him onto the diamond, where he flourished… after many growing pains.

Anyway, read this magnificent article by Andy McCullough on Cain’s unlikely and uneven journey in baseball. He chronicles the story much better than I could hope to in this space. It was one of my favorite baseball reads of the year.


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October 14, 2014 12:05 pm

Fantasy Freestyle: Looking Back: Prospect Predictions

4

Craig Goldstein

Craig reviews and grades his preseason prospect evaluations.

Look. I’m not one to toot my own horn exactly, though I’m not averse to it when it’s earned. More so, though, I hate admitting I’m wrong, so when our benevolent overlord Bret Sayre suggested we look back at our own predictions, I immediately began digging for something, anything I did right. Three weeks and two playoff spotlights later, I found it.

Just prior to the start of the season I wrote about five NL Post-Prospects to watch, and I’ll be damaged if I didn’t light that country music award on fire knock this one out of the park. Let’s ignore the fact that I rarely make firm predictions because I’m a big wuss (and did I mention I hate being wrong), but rather endorsed or advised against players more generally. Still, let’s see how that worked.

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October 13, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: My Personal Scorecard: Part 1 - American League

2

Mike Gianella

In the first of a two-part series, Mike reviews how his junior-circuit bid value recommendations fared.

If you have read my work for any appreciable amount of time (either here at Baseball Prospectus or previously at my blog), you know that I am a significant believer in accountability. Many of us post our predictions in the spring. In turn, many of you rely on these predictions to construct your fantasy teams. Unfortunately, few fantasy writers revisit their work after the season and offer an honest assessment of how well or poorly they did. There are many reasons for this, and I could write an entire piece simply discussing why we as an “industry” are not very good at self-auditing. The short answer is that while it is human nature to pat ourselves on the back for our successes, we don’t really like to call attention to our failures.

I was guilty of this last year as well. After posting bids at BP for the first time in 2013, I wrote absolutely nothing about how I did (which kind of stinks, because I actually had a pretty good year). It is easy to criticize others for not auditing their work, but at a minimum I have to hold myself up to my own standard.

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October 10, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Shelby Miller

1

Wilson Karaman

After he held his own against Clayton Kershaw in the deciding game of the NLDS, is the righty's arrow pointing upward for 2015?

And on we march to the LCS! Unfortunately, one of the teams making that claim this year yet again is the Cardinals, who dispatched my Dodgers to the golf courses of Southern California for the second straight year. And one of the guys who helped set up their 412th-straight NLCS clash with the Giants was 23-year-old Shelby Miller, who pitched 5 2/3 reasonably strong innings in the Division Series clincher.

Now, if you rewind just two months to the beginning of August, this highlight would’ve been an improbable one to predict. At the time, Miller was staggering his way through a terribly disappointing sophomore campaign. His 4.14 ERA and 1.39 WHIP through July were paired with ugly strikeout and walk rates, resulting in a brief demotion from the rotation and an ownership rate that cratered at 67 percent in Sportsline leagues after the All-Star break. Hope for the breakout that many envisioned pre-season looked to be as fleeting as Miller’s command, and those with long-term dynasty league investments in the talented right-hander were exploring options to ship him for cents on the dollar as trading deadlines approached.

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October 8, 2014 10:50 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Looking Back at Super Subs

2

Paul Sporer

Paul thought these players might break out with regular playing time; how did they do?

I personally enjoy looking back on some early season predictions, even when they didn’t turn out as well as you might’ve hoped. I think things can be learned from the processes that hopefully make you sharper when going forward. Not every incorrect prediction came because of a poor process, nor does every successful prediction validate your process.

Let’s take a look back at a set of predictions I made this past spring. We’ll look at the results from a deep-dive into some substitute players who impressed enough to suggest that they might be big fantasy assets with a full-time role.

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