Surveying the ninth-inning situations around the league.
Somehow it’s already June, and it seems there is finally some actual action coming our way on the closer front. It still seems like a relatively quiet year in this regard, but there has been some moving and shaking this week. As always, you can check out the closer grid here, and the changes since last week are highlighted. Let’s get to it.
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Examining a handful of Eastern and Southern League prospects who are worthy of your attention.
Around this time last year, I started taking a look at prospects whose early-season performance had their dynasty stocks on the rise. While it’s awfully early to be diving into minor league stat lines, it’s not an exercise completely devoid of merit. You may well miss more than you hit, but last year’s early-June leaderboard mining revealed prospects such as Jacob Nottingham, Trey Mancini, and Cody Reed as prospects whose value was changing dramatically.
I hope it goes without saying that you should always try to pair stat line scouting with actual reports if you can find the information. To that end, you should definitely be reading the amazing work done by our prospect team: daily minor league updates, Monday morning ten packs, eyewitness accounts, notes from the field, chats, mailbag Q&As. It’s quite staggering how prolific they are as a unit, and how much my dynasty game has improved by soaking it all in.
A look at whether now's the time to buy or sell four notable prospects.
Normally, I focus on the majors in this space and try to offer some thoughts as to why fantasy owners should buy/sell different players. With dynasty leagues getting ever more popular, though, it’s seems valuable to cast our gaze to the young ‘uns and place “buy” or “sell” tags on them, too—as the savvy dynasty owners are focusing just as much on their minor-league rosters as on their major-league ones.
Helping you set your fantasy rotation for next week with a look at the two-start pitchers.
Welcome to the starting pitcher planner, where every Friday I’ll be taking a look at the pitchers slated for two turns in the upcoming week. The hope is that the planner can help guide lineup and FAAB decisions that need to be made over the weekend. Of course, my information isn’t perfect and I don’t have a crystal ball. Rain, injuries, and teams reshuffling between when I write and Monday’s first pitch will definitely happen. If new information comes to light after we publish, I’ll try to tackle it in the comments. Feel free to beat me to it if you have any info, and I’ll be glad to offer my opinion there if you want it.
Let’s get some ground rules out the way before getting started. The pitchers will be split by league and then by category. Here are some general thoughts about the categories:
The Outcomes help you evaluate your Scoresheet squad through one-third of the season, and discuss the best things they saw this week.
This Week’s Podcast
We’re one-third of the way through the regular season! This week on the podcast we talk about evaluating your Scoresheet teams at this point in the season, and we engage in some banter about MLB current events. We talk about the team level metrics you’d want to review in deciding whether your team is likely to contend this year or not, and we debate the merits of calling the ball this early in the season. We finish, as always, with the best things we saw this week, and one of the outcomes gets emotional.
A look at the fantasy dollar values returned by players in AL- and NL-only formats to date.
Last year, I released a handful of in-season valuation articles for my readers who play in AL- and NL-only leagues. Due to limited feedback, I decided not to publish them this year. Of course, you know how this works. People wanted to know why the in-season valuation updates weren’t coming out this year, and an impassioned email-writing campaign was followed in turn by an angry swarm of readers screaming “give me valuations” outside of Baseball Prospectus’ downtown Manhattan offices. In the end dear readers, we decided that your voices mattered. What you see below is the product not just of my efforts but of what your emails, tweets, and in-person protests were telling us. You spoke… and we listened.1
In the linked document, you will find values through games of Wednesday, June 1st for:
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?
Examining players who might pique your interest in deeper formats.
Multiple guys named Matt, maybe? Alliteration? There might not be a single, consistent theme running through the players profiled in this week’s Deep League Report besides their potential production. If you notice one, let me know in the comments. The value on display this week, however, is surprisingly substantial. Fling that FAAB freely.
Examining whether now's the time to buy or sell a bundle of prospects who are off to hot starts.
So you’ve missed out on Ronald Acuna, Harrison Bader is gone, Dylan Cozens never loved you, someone snapped up Hunter Dozier in April, and even The Other Cody Reed is owned. It’s been tough sledding for you when it comes to grabbing the hot new talent in the minors this season, and your dynasty league’s MiLB roster is looking a bit thin as a result.