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Sorry for confusion, but that chart takes a percentage of the season stats for each player, as noted in the announcement last year: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17587
Excerpt from that post: It bears noting that the VORP portion of WARP isn't really computed by position, rather if a player has 80% of his PA at catcher, it takes 80% of his season-long VORP and then - for WARP - adds his FRAA at the position (divided by runs per win, of course).
While I think it's easy to agree that the Marmol projection is overly rosy, I also thought the Peavy projection last year was optimistic, as did almost everyone else.
PECOTA: 3.49 ERA, 1.25 WHIP
Steamer: 4.10 ERA, 1.32 WHIP
Actual: 3.37 ERA, 1.10 WHIP
I point out Peavy not to suggest that one example proves anything, but rather because I thought the projection was pretty unbelievable last year, yet he out-pitched even that.
Anonymous "friend": can I submit things to the BP "wrong predictions we've made" article on your behalf? :P
Rob: Rick van den Hurk says "no".
The erroneous numbers represented a much lower WARP total, and are not shown here.
You are correct that the numbers are inherently different based on the league offensive rates (among other things). While this chart seems to indicate that 2011 had a high level of wins for a 'replacement team' (a nebulous concept at best), that's a quirk of starting it at the year 2000 - going back further, 2011 is well within the range that was evidenced, not an outlier as it seems to be by choosing 2000 as the starting year.
Thanks for writing. It's not a constant. It changes over time as a function of BIP rates, mostly (the more TTO, the fewer BIP and so the less fielding matters and so the pitching WARP as a percentage of total WARP grows).
2013 projections should not be impacted in any way, so you won't see any PFM changes due to this.
From the Scoresheet site, the adjustments are:
BAvR OBvR SLvR BAvL OBvL SLvL
Rookie RHB -4 -8 -11 11 20 27
Rookie LHB 7 10 17 -21 -30 -50
Rookie BHB -1 1 1 3 -1 -2
Testing to see if I get a badge!
The sortable stats reports have the data you are looking for. McGuiness' batting stats vs RHP in AA are here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/sortable/index.php?cid=1384204 and include a .321 TAv.
Ah, true, we just have a very high playing time estimate and the accompanying "counting stats" for him in that hitter's park. Looking at PFM, I don't think the pricing is inappropriate given the projection. I am going to suggest we reduce Dunn's playing time estimate a bit - it may be okay if everything goes right, but the point of the playing time estimates (and why many are lower than people expect) is because it's an expected value, computing in the chances for missed time due to various causes. Dunn's durable, indeed, but everyone misses time sometime.
As far as the DH issue, selecting "DH" for your league requires that the player had 20 (or whatever you select) games at DH. Guys with 20 DH games are rather hard to come by, so Dunn gets a lot of scarcity value. Try running again with "Util" instead of DH?
We had some bad data that was generated during testing on our "research" server leak into production, fouling 3 of the various year-levels:
2010 Rookie League
2012 Rookie League
Thanks for pointing it out. These stats were quickly restored to their previously rational values quickly on the "research" server, but just now on production (and additional checks were added to the process to avoid a recurrence). None of them were used in PECOTA computations, though I fully understand your concerns now.
Mea culpa, I misunderstood your point.
This is the good thing about stats, instead of going by perceptions. I haven't run a query to check them all (so I'm just responding with perceptions, I realize), but just scanning the FIP leader list for 50+ IP pitchers in AA in 2010 (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/sortable/index.php?cid=1380439), I see quite a few names who got fairly rosy projections for 2013, including:
Got the problems with those league straightened out. Sorry for the trouble.
He comes out about 15th - so he's marginal for a top 15 list at best - in SSSIM among 1B using the Draft Aid (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/scoresheet/draftaid/)
... but a lot of his value is due to his durability, as he comes out much lower if sorting by R-TAv', which I usually look at first. (see http://www.baseballprospectus.com/u/images/Scoresheet_LaRoche.PNG for example)
I'd view him as a filler player if you have a very strong team elsewhere and need a conservative pick who is likely to not miss time, but not someone who will help drive a strong Scoresheet offense.
Mike Napoli and Shaun Marcum and some other "name" players are "X" players on the Scoresheet site. Those will show up as "available" in every league, but this will sort itself out as Scoresheet gives these guys player numbers.
It's working as designed, so be sure to double-check your Scoresheet league page if someone is available who probably shouldn't be.
Yep, as noted: "[...] look for upcoming improvements, including incorporation of the new prospect rankings by Jason Parks."
Alright, we're still showing a few players as available who are not, such as Mike Napoli in my BL_Kings league. This appears to be something involving the interface with the Scoresheet site, and we're in contact with them. But otherwise, things should be golden now.
Ah, I see - another problem with "*" leagues - fixing now.
Player lists should all be okay now.
It was working earlier, I changed some stuff to make the "*" leagues work okay. Will have it restored in moments.
Should be much better now - sorry for the inconvenience.
Individual leagues should work, but with multiple users using the system, the "*" league isn't working correctly for now. Working on a repair now.
I'm investigating now about Trout - player lists are being pulled directly from an application provided by Scoresheet Baseball for this purpose, so there's no inherent reason for anyone to be missing.
Targeted to roll out next week. Good thing those drafts take so long. We are working on pulling in that date, so stay tuned.
Could you please email email@example.com (or me using the "contact Rob by clicking here" link above) with details on what you're clicking to see this 18 PA problem? I just re-downloaded both the PECOTA spreadsheet and the CSV file from PFM, and both have 644 PA listed for De Aza's projection.
Version 2 of the spreadsheet is up. None of the numbers have changed, but we removed the batters who were being projected as pitchers (because they'd pitched some in the past).
Thanks for the feedback! We weren't really "official" until Monday, and it appears you caught a version while we were updating, as I show 0.7 for Barney's WARP on both sources.
I'd also point out (since we didn't mention it in the post above) that Visual Depth Charts are a part of Depth Charts, and are also live - giving a league-wide view of WARP (or TAv or FRAA or BRR) by position (by team).
Fixed, thanks for the heads-up.
Testing Baseball Prospectus Comment Notification system.
I wanted to have the first comment on the Cubs' Depth Chart - so I cheated.
It's still an imperfect test (because projections didn't exist for all pitchers), but running the 2006 query for pitchers NOT in the WBC came up with:
Proj ERA: 4.55
Actual ERA: 4.53 (for pitchers with projections)
Tentative order of teams is in draft order.
There was a bad character in the summary section that was probably causing some readers to balk. It should be fixed now, please let us know if there's still a problem. Thanks!
Do I get notified when someone comments here?
replying to .live test 2
.live test 2
These have been fixed. Sorry for confusion.
Yes, it does.
Testing "Post Reply"
I think the best way to keep the various components that go into the Playoff Odds straight is to first divide them into 2 groups: past 2012 performance and projected future performance (based on PECOTA).
All of the 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-order win% values are based on past performance in 2012.
The future performance projection is best seen in isolation on the Team Depth Chart page (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/dc/?tm=BAL). As you can see from that, PECOTA projects 216 RS and 244 RA for Baltimore. There are some slight further refinements that are done, so this doesn't equate exactly to .433, but using original Pythagorean, the depth-chart-based win% is under .440.
Testing again to see if comments send emails. Please disregard.
Testing to see if comments send emails. Please disregard.
In the "I wish I'd had time to write about" category for this list, I submit Erubiel Durazo's name.
For the colors, I took the range of values from highest team to lowest team, and color-coded the value based on the team's position in that range. Most often, a league-average value should come out as a light yellow or light green (slightly negative or slightly positive), but I see that for NL pinch-hitters, it's coming out red, presumably since Phillies pinch-hitters set the 'curve' so high.
Testing yet one more time...
Testing the other sort of comments.
Testing comments again.
I won't claim to be an injury expert, but Corey Dawkins says he will resume baseball activities later this week, and rotoworld cited a Tweet that he won't be allowed to pick up a bat until Thursday. Based on those statements, I'd be somewhat worried about his ability to be 100%.
But then again, his game doesn't rely on hammering the ball as much as most players' games do. I think the Yankees need him in there, and if he misses playing time, it will be more strategic than anything - if he sits against Jon Lester, it's not like you're likely to suffer much fantasy loss from that day off anyway. Unless (until) he hurts himself again, I wouldn't expect him to miss big chunks of time, and the possible reduction in his slugging (and probably batting average) will be barely noticeable, as he's in your lineup for his steals and runs anyway, and those will still come.
Abreu: I think I've started to upgrade my expectations of what older great players can do now, at least in terms of rate stats. Abreu's issue is playing time, since he's likely going to be a disaster afield. It will be interesting to see what LA does in the wake of the Rivera injury, not that he was hitting anyway. I think this may work out great for LA, in that they could do something of an offense/defense platoon, perhaps using Gwynn with flyball pitchers... and thus keep Abreu's legs fresh and get the most out of him. We'll see if that's really what they do, but I'd be very worried about playing time for Abreu, and probably would leave him alone in all but NL-only leagues (where he's probably gone already), or - possibly - OBP-based leagues.
Bernadina: Again with the playing time. With Bernadina, the question is whether he can help his real-life team enough, though. Because he should be fine for most fantasy formats if he gets the playing time - easily providing homers and steals at above a 10 HR/25 steal pace (per season), to make up for his mediocre batting average. The fact that his teammates can't hit is terrible for his run and RBI totals. I think I'd add a caution that he seems as prone as anyone to hot and cold streaks... I played both sides on him over a 3-week period last year (here's one such commentary: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=14576), as he had a monster game and got picked up in many leagues, and then went ice cold and got cut in a lot of leagues.
I think Dirks is good enough to be an excellent 4th OF, marginal full-time player, so I haven't been bullish about him earning enough playing time on the Tigers. He does enough of everything to be an asset without really getting attention. I guess I'd compare him to David Murphy, but without the ballpark to aid his stats. Since he's younger, that may still be plenty good enough, and it goes without saying that as long as he's hitting, he should get to play... he's been playing despite being dinged up as it is.
The Marlins bug was fixed within a couple hours of it being reported on Saturday. Sorry for the inconvenience.
I think Komatsu actually has more chance to help the Twins than Thomas did, since he has gotten on base in the minors pretty consistently, and may still develop a bit more, being relatively young. For fantasy value, a lot will depend on how much playing time he gets, but nobody else in that RF scramble has distinguished themselves (which is why Thomas was on the radar in the first place). Komatsu has even less pop than Thomas, but similar speed and should be less of a batting average liability, possibly even a slight positive in that category. What are your options for cutting if you pick him up? I know I'm going to submit a low FAAB bid on him this week.
Ouch, at least egg on my face beats a cleat (or Clete) to the face.
Well, I can't argue that he can hit, because I don't think he can hit much, and I think I made that clear. But - for perspective - here's the list of available batters who have playing time in my Fantasy Pros 911 Expert League (using NFBC rules):
I realize most people don't play in leagues that have that many players taken, but readers have commented in the past that we don't address deeper leagues enough. I think Thomas will play enough to have some value in many AL-only formats. PECOTA has him tabbed for a .250 TAv, which seems both reasonable to me and consistent with other projection systems, as does the SB rate of about 1 per 20 PA. That sort of performance will be worth positive dollars in many AL-only formats, assuming he keeps getting playing time.
It would be hard to argue against picking him up in an AL-only format, as he's certainly improved his chances of sticking when Gutierrez returns (whenever that may be). And he's always offered the fantasy allure of power/speed. Obviously, his park and teammates put a bit of a damper on his upside.
I'd have to do some digging to come up with a price for him in FAAB, but knowing how hard it can be to find outfielders in AL-only formats, I'd think it will take a double-digit bid (out of 100) to get him, as *somebody* will bid at least $10, and maybe much more. I'm not sure he's worth that much, but someone in dire need of an outfielder is likely to.
Heh - yeah, little things like "on base percentage" and "defensive range" come into play a lot more heavily in Strat leagues, but he is probably still a value pick in those environments, especially in a DH league like FOD.
Return dates are estimated based on past experience with that type of injury. The comments should (hopefully) dispel any thoughts of unreasonable returns, such as the ones you mention. We'll have to figure out a way to make that less confusing, because I agree it is.
Response has been fantastic, and we will officially stop accepting submissions today. Though, for practical matters, anyone interested in the position should still send their particulars this weekend.
It's difficult to compare to past percentages, with the extra Wild Card team this year.
I think the Nats have some upside, but I see some serious downside here, as well. They have a critically bad on-base percentage problem on offense (including the guys tabbed to bat 1-2 in the order), their two best SP are injury-prone, Gio has a 1.4 career WHIP in a pitcher's park, and while he's been better recently and strikes out a lot of people, he did lead the league in walks, too. Edwin Jackson may prove me wrong some year, but he currently has a 1.476 career WHIP. I'm worried about Storen now that he's hurt. All-in-all, the team seems to have a lot of talent, but it doesn't really seem to fit well together. If they'd signed Fielder and found a way to trade for Brett Gardner (for example), the pieces might have fit better. As it is, they either have to play Morse and 2 RF's in the OF (which seems like a defensive nightmare), or a near-replacement-level OF in CF and Morse at 1b. And THAT is whenever Harper is ready. Before then, it's even worse.
On the other hand, I'm bullish about all three Mets outfielders, especially Duda, and Ike Davis at first base. And even their weaker offensive players draw some walks (Thole and Tejeda), so I think the Mets will have a good team on-base. I think Francisco is a very good answer at closer, and if Johan recaptures some of his past performance, their rotation isn't awful. Of course, if Santana breaks down or suffers from post-injury badness, the pitching could become a nightmare with the new more-hitter-friendly fences. I certainly wouldn't bank on the Mets being good, but I think they finally know what they are doing organizationally, and that counts for a lot - I expect reactions to in-season problems to be a strong suit now, as opposed to problems causing the season to unravel.
"Chen tabbed as Royals' Opening Day starter".
This is a test comment.
Not ignoring these well-thought-out observations, sorry for slow reply.
The short answer is that PFM constantly revisits the player pool for available values in every category, and so there's a very accurate assessment of exactly how much each player is worth, in terms of lost opportunity and benefit to the team. Offhand, I don't know why this would end up with a flatter curve. I do know that the "player pool" for some other projection systems are not made in such a way as to come out to league totals, given league limits on playing time, whereas the BP Depth Charts account for 100% PT and so the PFM "pool" is always going to be exactly MLB. We are discussing this internally, and may end up with a more in-depth reply at some point -- this would be a good topic for the Fantasy team to cover in a full-length article at some point, in fact.
These are derived from the TAv' projections, which should be based on "Rest of Season" PECOTA projections, which will be updated daily, but I'll have to confirm this. They don't take into account any of the events in the various Scoresheet leagues themselves.
TAv' is a simple PF adjustment to TAv.
L-TAv' and R-TAv' are approximations based on a TAv estimator derived through a linear approximation using least squares of independent variables OBP and SLG with TAv as the dependent variable. The coefficients derived are then applied to the platoon ratings Scoresheet provides. The precision of such a method obviously isn't perfect, but in the context of projecting player performances, the expected error introduced by this process isn't very significant.
Good idea - Added * for lefties, and # for switch-hitters to both the Spring stats and the Scoresheet Draft Aid.
Scoresheet doesn't have a platoon factor for pitchers. The R-TAv' and L-TAv' for batters on the Draft Aid are based on the Scoresheet game platoon splits. For historical (as opposed to projected) values, TAv against is listed vsL and vsR for pitchers on the Statistics page report, e.g. http://bbp.cx/r/992228
That's just something quirky about the spring stats and him - he's been in the Depth Charts for weeks. I checked when I noticed he was missing on the spring stats, too.
Thanks for using PFM!
The most common cause of something like this is running up against the budgetary constraints you configured in the league. If you modify the the budget settings and still see issues such as this, feel free to send your CID (it's part of the URL for the PFM report you're looking at, so you can just paste in the entire URL) to me via the "Contact US" page, we can look into what's going on with your particular league.
These projections have been removed, they shouldn't have been getting displayed, as they didn't project to have WARP>-1.
We are making improvements to the UPSIDE formula for 2012, which extends out 10 years. This should help address part of this need, we hope. Look for it soon.
We have the data to project further out, but this comment captures the reason some players don't have all the years in the future projections - they are cut off at -1 WARP, representing players who are likely done. We are discussing whether to expand this a bit, as it's sort of fun to see *how* bad certain players might be.
Fixed, thank you.
This was due to a mistake in setting permissions on my part - only Beta Test customers were able to see them until 9AM ET this morning. My apologies - they should be fine now.
Ask and ye shall receive.
The projection for Altuve is .269/.300/.373, which hardly seems bullish to me, considering the damage he inflicted on the minors last year. For 4x4, he's fast, which always inflates a player's value.
I assume you're looking at PFM values, and this is where PFM can really help a fantasy owner get an edge. Second base is a very weak position (especially in the NL) this year. And while Altuve's low R and RBI totals hurt him, his batting average isn't terrible, his HR projection isn't quite as bad as you'd think based on his stature, his average is fairly neutral, and that speed really helps. All-in-all, PFM's scarcity-based valuations really bring to light how much a guy like that will help. And he's likely to cost only a fraction of his projected value in auctions.
Great idea. I've been working on adding a few bells and whistles to the current construct first, but adding a YTD version shouldn't be very difficult, and while I'm not going to make any promises, don't be surprised if we have it.
Not to split hairs too much, but it should be 50% in 50th Percentile, which is somewhat different than the Weighted Means lines, as, well, to put it simply, there's more room to go up than down.
Or, put another way, the difference between Weighted Mean and 50th Percentile is essentially the difference between statistical measures "mean" and "median".
Sorry, I added that last question and clicked Submit and then realized that you'd said you can't even see the boxes... Feel free to use Contact Us form to send questions about what you're trying to do and what's happening, please. I'm confused, but we'll make time to help.
If you mean the Scoresheet Draft Aid, reloading the page should remove any players who have been taken, as it polls the Scoresheet data directly.
Update Dates on the Depth Charts are changed whenever a Depth Chart playing time adjustment is made, not when projections are altered, as every change in PT for any player impacts all the projections, as the league baseline is reset, and that has a ripple effect. Obviously, it's usually a lot less impactful than this change was, however.
The date for the spreadsheet is on http://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/
Is this a PFM question? We test PFM using Chrome on both PC and Mac. What happens when you select them?
Yeah, they haven't shown up in spreadsheets yet. In the interest of time, we haven't fully projected these players yet, but instead, we've used portions of PECOTA to provide interim forecasts so that standings and fantasy values could be computed reasonably. Expect slight changes to them at some point in the future.
You'll find the current projections for those guys in Depth Charts and in PFM.
Yes, they should be fine. E.g. Kershaw has a 2.95 projected ERA.
Added this note to the Hitters Glossary entries, which may clear up some confusion:
NOTE: VORP' values will be much higher than VORP for the same player, in general, as “replacement level” is defined by the awful replacement players that the Scoresheet game system inserts into the lineup when a player has to miss time. As such, baselines are much lower than the “replacement level” used for real-life baseball calculations. The net effect is to reward playing time more heavily.
This is correct. I confess I talked myself in circles trying to decide the best way to express this concept, which seems like it should be simple. But all the advanced stats are computed based on park-neutrality, and simply bypassing that code isn't as straightforward as it might sound, since the entire league has to be calibrated to figure out the baselines for replacement levels and averages.
Unfortunately, he's not showing up on the Dynamic Rosters on the Scoresheet site yet, and the feed we get uses the same data that is used to populate these, e.g.
PLAYERID, the Baseball Prospectus ID number, is now downloading when a table is exported. The ID -to- MLBAM ID mapping can be found at http://www.baseballprospectus.com/sortable/playerid_list.php (and there's a link up top for the entire database of players in CSV format).
Yes, great idea - and we are indeed working on this. It's obviously tricky business, but something involving Kevin's ratings and perhaps signing bonuses combined with UPSIDE (when we get that ready for 2012) should provide a useful "prospect metric".
Not sure when we'll have something we're happy with, but it's prominent in our plans.
I had those in the original version. If you look at the URLs, those have the BPID's in them, and those can be cross-referenced with the BP ID listing on the Statistics page. We'll try to come up with some more convenient way to incorporate IDs, but wanted to keep the display "light", as much as possible.
Thanks for the support, but my initial reaction was the same as that of Jack Thomas. And so, when I was writing this, I realized this may have been a PECOTA issue with slightly overrating steals for certain players and think I found something in the code which would reduce Holliday and Morgan SB totals somewhat if it's changed.
If I'd thought some issue with the projections had made these players into less desirable "buy low" candidates, I wouldn't have covered them, but I think both are being undervalued on the ADPs by enough to warrant serious attention.
We'll keep everyone posted - if I don't comment here (I will, but it may not happen before a Blog post), look for Blog posts by one of myself, Colin, or Dave Pease.
For the record, I agree that any projection system should be viewed with a certain amount of skepticism. Not to knock PECOTA past, but there were some pretty major mis-projections in the past, as well... Brooks Conrad is one I distinctly remember, as he was projected for an EqA very near the top among second basemen. This season, I have seen projections with Chris Parmelee projected as having the 5th-best offensive rate stats among position players and another with Yu Darvish leading MLB in ERA... and yet another had no TB starting pitcher with a sub-3.95 ERA in 2012. None of those three forecasts pass my personal "sniff test", either, but there are quirks in every system. We've run the current PECOTA algorithms against past seasons and done all sorts of tests to optimize the system, such as Colin's article about backweighting discussed. And yet, it's good to examine the outliers and quirks to see what still can be improved.
Forwarding this concern to the Depth Chart guys, which can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Glad to have people hold us accountable on these, so thanks for the feedback.
After much waffling, I kept Bonifacio in my NL Scoresheet league (13 keepers, 12 teams, 2 'crossover' players maximum per team, otherwise NL only) over guys like Tabata and Leake (and 2 very good relievers), and speed is much less important in Scoresheet than in typical fantasy leagues.
I cheated and emailed the staff Marlins experts and asked them to reply here, I'm curious to read what they write as well. :>
I guess my quick take opinion is that with as much speed as Bonifacio has, he has to be taken seriously, even if the bat experienced a fluky season in 2011... but as a guy who has experience as a utilityman, his floor is very low, despite the speed - if he gets off to a slow start, he could quickly find himself in the "Lillibridge" role, a role which Ozzie clearly likes to have filled. If I had a strong team which needed little to be a favorite, I probably wouldn't mess with him unless he was inordinately cheap or other SB contributors were in very short supply.
We've been discussing a way to include prospects, but so far SS/SIM is for current-season performance, based off the Depth Charts playing time estimates. If you have any suggestions, feel free to contact me, we want to give people what they want.
Oh, I agree - I'd be shocked silly if he produced $20, the point was that he's performed at that level in the past - his 740 PA from 2009-2010 in SF produced:
740 PA, .269/.343/.492 with 22 HR and 32 SB
740 PA is a normal number of PA for a team's leadoff hitter, and the New Citi Field is supposedly a much better hitting environment than either Old Citi Field or AT&T Park. If it was reasonable to assume there is a good chance he'll produce $20, the bidding wouldn't stop at $6 (or less) in the auctions. Clearly there are a myriad of reasons why he won't produce that much, but you have to admit that every year, there are players who exceed all expectations, and often owners who win their leagues have one or more such players.
Remember, the 2011 book is still great, while you wait for the 2012 book!
We realize it undermines the credibility when the 3 listed comparables don't pass the "sniff test", but mostly that's a matter of the filtering decisions used, which we've been working on - part of why the Player Cards (and the long lists of comparables) aren't live yet. We'll keep people posted when there are updates, but I wanted to let you know that we are aware of the fact that certain players end up with very odd-looking comparables on the PECOTA spreadsheet, and are taking steps to see how they can be improved.
Whenever we generate a new spreadsheet, the players in the various Depth Charts are given their projected playing time based on their Depth Chart entries (ones who are not in the DC are given the standard "book" playing time estimates, which are based on past seasons and have a "floor"). We've had a few relatively minor Depth Chart changes over the past few days, so you'll see a few stats changes
Hey Guancous -
Sorry that happened, I know what a pain it is to check off all those names again!
I'll try to dig up your league based on your userid, and see if I can figure out if we still have the data, but I'm not optimistic. Can you send me the league ID (the ?cid= after the PFM URL, such as 6430 in this URL http://pfm.baseballprospectus.com/index.php?cid=6430), if you have a lot of leagues.
For issues with individual leagues such as this, people can feel free to use the Contact Us form and send them to me directly, though I'll read these comments, also.
Added. It was under "FRA" and I added it to the PECOTA category. We do need to do some housekeeping on those outmoded stats, thanks for the heads up.
It was supposed to be closed until today. I hope you find the updates easier to decipher, but by all means keep the suggestions coming - thanks!
Actually, I was skeptical of some of the new PECOTA wrinkles myself, but it's actually quite similar to the "PECOTA of old" - in fact, Nate's early publications on PECOTA still apply almost in their entirety to the current PECOTA process.
And this past year, we've dramatically improved the ability to run the system against historical data, and it does amazingly well by any measure.
That said, I don't recall Kershaw coming out that badly in the preview PECOTA runs, I'll look into that now, thanks for the feedback.
Egg on my face, I was wrong - one more setting which was blocking a few people. *Now* everyone should be fine.
"manage your profile" is a link on top of the home page inside the blue login bar, just below the BP logo. It takes you to a page where you can view and edit information about your account, including your past few comments, password changes, and any downloads you're entitled to receive.
All access problems *should* be cleared up now, though I'll verify 100% that the people who posted here are not blocked. Feel free to use the Contact form to tell me directly if you're still having trouble.
Those are only for the players in the PFM. The PECOTA spreadsheet contains a lot more projections.
I'm fixing that link now... Premium subscribers can access it through their "manage profile" link on the login bar.
I guess I agree with you in principle, which is why I put him as a "NO" for Shallow leagues. I wasn't clear enough that the "practical logic" comment was meant as more of a strawman proposal, not the conclusion of my thoughts.
Trading for him if this drags on is its own risky proposition, but clearly if his troubles drive his value down enough, it's worth considering - hope it works out for you.
It might depend on the league format, but I cannot see keeping Presley at $11. Even if he's going to be worth that much - and that's far from certain - you'd have to have another league member willing to bid $12 on him in order to keep you from re-acquiring him at $11, and you might get him for significantly less. The only real way cutting him would be a losing proposition is if some news broke which made it clear that he was going to get 600 PA. And it's not like he's going to get bid up to $20 or anything, even if the door is wide open, is it? (again, depends on format and inflation) What are your other keeper options? I guess I'd view him as being sub-$0 in unadjusted profit at $11, though that could swing either direction. If your other options are also around $0, keep the guy you like, sure. It's always fun to be able to say, "I told you so", and Presley could do well enough to make that possible, even if I think it's not terribly likely.
Good catch - this has been removed now.
I think Cubs management is doing sensible moves, and - unless you consider the Free Agents they let go - their moves have been about age-neutral, but have been attempts to bring in better players (such as Stewart instead of LeMahieu, even though LeMahieu is younger, cheaper, and under control longer). They are trying to add lefty power and lefty pitchers and/or groundballers (Maholm, Wood, Volstad), which fit well in a park that favors lefty power.
If I start hearing serious rumors about Dempster and Marmol being traded, I'll believe they have given up on 2012. For now, I'm guessing they are going to keep some money in reserve so that if the team is doing surprisingly well (see: 2011 Diamondbacks, Arizona), they can trade for pieces at the break without panicking over budget constraints. If - as expected - they're out of it in mid-July, I do think Byrd is gone.
FWIW, I think Campana/Sappelt in CF (until Jackson is ready), with Soriano on the bench and Byrd/DeJesus on the wings is currently the best OF alignment (sorry Mr. LaHair), so anything they could possibly do to move Soriano seems like it would have to help - paying almost all his salary and getting a playable second baseman would be the best option, IMO. And if I'm wrong about the Muy Thai helping Byrd out, then Jackson's probably already better than him. Now, if Soriano had been training with Muy Thai, too (and had avoided injuries while doing so), I'd feel better about the OF situation in Chicago.
So, should I ask you for some money, or him where to get a fake ID?
I wouldn't be nearly as bullish about him if I didn't think he was entering his age-23 season, and instead was faking his age. But anything's possible - as with injuries, sometimes you have to make decisions based on conjecture, because the full truth just isn't available.
You are correct sir, downgrade my opinion on Heisey playing time and value slightly, though at the rate Ludwick's career has been moving backward, I'd expect the Reds to play Heisey a lot. I wrote that intro before he signed, it was not meant to be as dismissive of Ludwick as it reads.
Interestingly, though this split is one that often quickly reverses itself, both Ludwick and Heisey have been significantly better against right-handed pitching in their careers (and that's almost 3000 PA for Ludwick now).
Sure, good one. I was surprised to get Heyward 44th (final pick of 2nd round in a 22-team format) in a Scoresheet Mock draft this year, since that format is "keep indefinitely, no salaries", with 13 keeper slots per season (times 22 teams makes for a lot of keepers). My short answer is that I'll be stunned if he's not worth $11, even uninflated, in 2012... I'll have to dig some to decide how much more than that.
Ryan Braun: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15708
Michael Cuddyer (by Michael Jong): http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15331
Ben Revere: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15324
FWIW, the Cardinals from '82-'89 (I arbitrarily choice McGee's debut season to start) had the following ranks in OBP in the NL: 1,2,8,1,12 (last), 1,8,1. So, it wasn't *all* in the baserunning. :>
I think for Ken's point #4 semi-combined with the base-clogging point, the best argument I've heard in favor of it isn't that it's really that homers are "bad", but that it reduces the chances to hit-and-run. And if you have batters who can execute the hit-and-run well, it can turn a fairly low run expectancy situation into a passably good one, say: very good pitcher on the mound (making it a good playoff strategy, as those guys crop up in playoffs a lot), pitcher's park (hey, Cardinals), less than two outs (of course), runner being held on first base (opening a hole). Obviously, the H-n-R isn't typically a Sabr-friendly strategy, as you're essentially giving up the chance to walk, but if you have pedestrian hitters who nonetheless have good bat control - like Tommy Herr (.262 TAv, career) - in your lineup, and you can turn them into useful cogs by having them hit grounders-on-demand - even against good pitchers - that's something.
Had to laugh when I read the suggestion that Top 11's would be abandoned mid-stream. In fact, just the other day, I posted convenient links to the lists from past years going back to 2007. Check out:
I will point out that for testing purposes, having a high "floor" for PT (PA/IP) estimates is good - so that you don't have a projection of something like 1.49 HR in 27 PA rounding down to 1 HR, which could significantly influence slugging % (or, conversely, produce a stat line where the listed slugging % doesn't agree at all with the listed stats, as they are all rounded).
Anyway, please focus primarily on rate stats for now... though if you know a player is retired or similarly unavailable for 2012, it can't hurt to mention him, so that we are sure to capture that. (This means you, Brad Ausmus!)
There's no rhyme or reason, other than guys who seem like edge cases for the various sizes of leagues. And I should really mention each week that I'm happy to take requests.
They decided to go with NFBC Auction League rules this year, meaning:
Starting lineups will consist of:
1 First Baseman
1 Second Baseman
1 Third Baseman
1 Middle Infielder (2B/SS)
1 Corner Infielder (1B/3B)
1 Utility Player (any offensive position)
(http://nfbc.stats.com/baseball/leagues/rules/auction.asp for other rules details such as eligibility, cats, etc., though we didn't draft out to 30)
Probably over-slot by quite a bit. I hate the shortstop position this year, though, and was paying one of the few guys there that I don't hate. In hindsight, there were at least a couple guys I probably should have taken instead, though passing on Zimmerman allowed me to benefit from Sandoval's sliding, and as great as Lincecum is, I didn't want to take him yet, just to cite a couple examples of stars who went after Starlin.
I took Pedroia about as far over slot last year in the same draft, and he worked out great for me, so hoping for something similar here, I guess. Perhaps I'm hoping for too much, but time will tell.
Since they are publishing it, we are only allowed to discuss our individual draft picks.
Nope, the old fielding ratings are in there.
Good info. Thanks for posting.
I would have to think about exact category YES/NO ratings for Trout, and would hate to make a decision before the Angels figure out what they're doing with their four RH-batting outfielders. But with his tremendous speed, he has a lot more room to struggle with his core offensive stats and still have a lot of fantasy value.
And, yes, as Sharky points out, he's essentially a year ahead on the progress scale. And any "nerves" - or whatever you call it - that players experience when they first make it to the big leagues have already been experienced, so he has a head start dealing with the mental aspects of the game, as well.
Frankly, if I was in Mike Scioscia's position, I'd strongly consider handing the guy the leadoff job out of spring training and seeing what happened. Aybar has a career .322 OBP vsR, and while Maicer's is a more-palatable .338, having a leadoff hitter who's frequently injured can't be great for team continuity, not to mention that Trout should create enough more runs with his slugging and baserunning to make up for any OBP he's below Maicer. Kendrick might be a better leadoff guy than them all, but I hate wasting base hits in the leadoff slot, so I'd bat him 2nd, I think. Anyway, it's a moot point, as he's likely to bat 9th or in AAA to start the season, barring another move by the team.
Thank you. I removed the duplicate comment, and am working on this bug now.
Testing email comments.
Testing comment emails.
Testing Comment emails
First base is going to be an interesting position this year, I think. Morneau in the first 8 rounds seems nuts, with his concussive symptoms, but there are question marks with almost everyone after the top 10 or so (and Konerko at #44 still seems a bit risky, despite his putting together two great years in a row). Trumbo at 134, when he might become a bench player? Ugh. Guzman at 214 when he's fighting Petco, the Padres anemic offense, and a job threat from Rizzo? Personally, I'd feel better signing Pena ( #213) or D-Lee (not in top 250) even though they are free agents and not young... at least when they sign, they'll be playing. And both have done well in the past at times. Is Kotchman really worse than Huff and LaRoche? And where is Morales?
Anyway, lots of questions at this position. I haven't had to codify my picks for a draft or an article yet, so I don't have ready answers, but some of these ADPs smell bad already.
I'd certainly agree that he's overlooked. I got him for $3 in an AL-only expert league I was in with you last year, and was quite happy, even though he had only 8 HR.
Now, if only the owner who has him in my big SOM league overlooked him a bit more, so I could get a trade done. It's hard to find third basemen these days in 30-team leagues.
For anyone who had trouble finding the option years, the permissions were set wrong, so most users couldn't see them - they have been fixed now. Sorry for the inconvenience.
First, I only see 33 names here.
With two caveats (noted), I think these 16 are clear keepers:
Andrew Bailey, - assuming you can bench him if he's injured. And yes, I realize closers aren't worth nearly as much in 7x7.
Johan Santana*, - sort of a risk, but the name should make him a must-keep
I'm leaning toward Bourjos and Ogando for the next two. Ogando's clearly a keeper if he stays in the rotation and is healthy, but his late-season struggles, and the way he was used late in the year and in the postseason have me worried. Bourjos is a very odd case - before the year, I didn't see his offense developing the way it did, but with his defense, it's hard to see him leaving the lineup for a decade now. He involves some risk, but getting to play every day makes his playing time more slump-proof than a lesser defender, and I still think he has some SB upside, in addition to his natural growth as a hitter (in OBP/SLG).
Some guys I wouldn't keep that have asterisks by their names:
- Trumbo/Morales: I don't fully get the Trumbo fascination. One could compare him to Dave Kingman, perhaps, but Kingman was a first overall pick who played (or tried to play) some 3b and OF early in his career. Trumbo hits the ball a country mile, but he's stuck to first base, seems like his high-water mark for OBP won't be much above .300, has contention for his playing time (in Morales), and plays in a park that's now playing much more like a pitcher's park. Morales is good enough to keep, but I think I'd roll the dice and try to redraft him, I think he'll slide in drafts/auctions below some of these others... though Trumbo won't help his situation any, either.
- Francoeur: Seems a shame to cut him, too bad you couldn't trade him before the deadline. Still, he's a .270/.313/.433 career hitting outfielder with about 7 steals per full season. The best thing he has going for him is that his defense (and management's love of him) all but insure his playing time. But all that's true of Austin Jackson, as well, and he's 3 years younger and might have more upside left in his game.
Two other comments:
- Encarnacion seems like he'd be pretty good in your format, being qualified at 3b. Of course, if he doesn't see regular PT in 2012, it's all for naught, but he has hit .260/.336/.453 for his career, and while that's not Mike Schmidt, and you already have Beltre, that's still going to have a lot of value to someone (if he plays regularly).
- Russell Martin - no, I'm not just living in the past here. But if your league requires that two catchers be active, I might consider him. If not, forget it. But, especially with Montero on your squad, I'd give him a long look.
You know, the player cards now have oppAvg/OBP/SLG, and TAv on them - these are the composites of the pitchers faced by said player. Combined with BPF, it really does indicate that Sands had a very easy time of it in 2011 in Triple-A. And, while Sands posted only a .269 TAv in Triple-A, and .265 for the Dodgers, I still like him a lot. He doesn't have much experience, having barely played much full-season ball in 2009, and then skipping high-A ball in 2010, and then he continued his season with a torrid AFL. It's a bit early to start comparing him to Richie Sexson (an underrated player in his own right, slugging .499+ for nine straight years - though some seasons were partials), but he could hit like that in time, perhaps as soon as 2012. Though I think highly of his chances, I wouldn't give much thought to keeping him in any but the deepest leagues, but he's certainly someone to keep an eye on.
Well, I doubt I'd be eyeing Dirks all that closely until some news breaks that suggests the OF won't be Young, Jackson, and Boesch. But he plays better defense than Delmon and could also spell Boesch against tough lefties. Are those 36 rookies/prospects only players who played in 2011? If those guys include pre-MLB prospects as well, I would certainly try to get someone with more upside on which to use one of those slots.
One of my fantasy leagues is a 12-team AL-only league with 40-man rosters (25 active), where we can keep a lot of players (winner keeps 25, last place team keeps almost all 40 [I'd have to look, it may be all 40])... in a setting like that, you'd keep Dirks, especially since 5 outfielders need to be active to be legal. I think he'll go for $2 (instead of $1 or undrafted) in some [12-team] AL-only leagues next year. These are the sorts of environments when you'd be thinking about Dirks, barring some surprising news this offseason.
I thought about including a reference to Garrett Jones, but he's really just not as good as Duda. His age-28 season was his monster (vs RHP at least) partial season, compared to the age-25 season for Duda. And the year before Jones had such a big year, he'd hit just .279/.337/.484 in Triple-A. or, to use TAv:
Jones, 2008, age 27 AAA - .275 TAv
Jones, 2009, age 28 AAA - .292 TAv
Jones, 2009, age 28 MLB - .302 TAv
Duda, 2010, age 24 AA - .308 TAv (197 PA)
Duda, 2010, age 24 AAA - .324 TAv (298 PA)
Duda, 2011, age 25 AAA - .332 TAv (157 PA)
Duda, 2011, age 25 MLB - .309 TAv (347 PA)
Posting a .285-ish TAv at AAA at ages 27-28 (Jones) isn't really suggestive of a starting MLB corner player. Posting a .325+ TAv at AAA at ages 24-25 (Duda) is a lot more convincing. He may never exceed his 2011 rate stats (it would take more growth and/or luck and is possible but shouldn't be banked upon), but his 2011 rate stats were quite good as they are, and there's little reason to expect a Jonesian collapse.
As an aside, given his lack of pedigree, and relative success against right-handed pitching, if I was in a league where I didn't own Duda, and he started off slowly in 2012, I'd view him as a great trade target. I say this because coaching staffs are going to work hard over the winter to device a plan for right-handed pitchers to use against him, and it wouldn't be surprising if something works for a while, but baseball is a game of constant adjustments and there's no reason to assume Duda won't adjust. But if he starts out slowly, there will be owners selling cheaply in some leagues.
I certainly did when he came out of the draft, but the speed just hasn't developed into steals like I thought it would.
I listed 11 batters, and Barton was #8.
11-team league? Purcey seems like a very safe cut. I'm going to assume that's Brett Anderson, who's a certain keeper. Howell and Duensing seem like safe cuts to me, too. But Duensing did have that one surprising season.
It does seem like you'll easily be able to come up with 12 cuts before shedding R.Davis and Gamel, who should have some value.
Morse is interesting - in limited sample size before 2010, he had a .293 career batting average and .355 on-base percentage.
But he had just a .409 slugging. Over 2010-11, he's had a .298 batting average and a .357 on-base percentage, consistent with what he'd done before, but obviously he's hitting the ball a lot harder now. I have to assume that age will steal some of his batting average (and hence OBP) as it does for everyone. But a .200+ ISO seems a part of his game now. I have to think that .280/.335/.500 should be expected at this point.
I think Beachy and Dickey (and probably Espinosa) should earn more than their salaries, and I think Leake is very risky, but I'd probably keep Leake for $1 anyway, just because he's okay and the price is so low.
Well, I guess I'd cut in this order:
Then it gets tougher.
7. Saunders - though his AAA stats are promising.
8. Barton - sort of depends on how many teams you have and how many DH slots exist ... hard to cut him after such a useful card just last year, but he's still a powerless 1b, even if he plays good D.
9. Inge - could have some value if he gets a 1, so he's not as easy of a cut as his stats would suggest.
I guess R.Davis and Gamel would be the next two. I'd see if you couldn't trade Inge or Davis - they both play very good defense (will Inge get a 1?) and hit lefties (though in Inge's case, "hit" is questionable). Gamel's biggest selling point is that he hit AAA this year, and Fielder seems unlikely to return. But he's not very young for a prospect, nor has he shown the raw offense you want from a 1b in the minors consistently.
My 2c on Morrow - while I'm tempted to give up on him as well, I often go back and look at the career paths taken by Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson for a reminder of the perils of giving up on a pitcher with great stuff who has control issues. Not saying Morrow has even a chance to be as good as those guys, but then again, he hasn't shown nearly as bad of control, either.
This is entirely conjecture, but I'm going to guess that they are telling him to work on his defense over the winter, and his playing time in April-June will be predicated almost entirely on how he looks defensively in camp - subject to hitting enough (or at least making hard outs) to not embarrass himself. But he's a good line-drive hitter, so hitting *should* be the easy part for him.
new test run
NL or mixed?
People who read this column know I can be stubborn, and I've been slow to warm up to Kemp, but I don't see how you don't keep him at $45 in either NL or mixed. He may not be worth $50 again, but anytime you can lock in a 5-category player of this caliber, I think you have to do it. You're going to out-smart the other owners in the flotsam and jetsam picks, anyway, right? :> Seriously, don't you always find near the end of auctions that players are going for less than you thought? So, you have to sit tight for a some of the middle-round bidding, but those are often overpriced, anyway.
I think Tulowitzki is the best player in baseball. I think if you don't hold him, he's very likely to get bid up to $43+ again in either format. That said, he does get dinged up a lot. In an NL league, I'd ideally want to find out which league Reyes is playing in before deciding, as that might be the deciding factor as to whether there's enough "demand" at the position to push Tulowitzki's value that high. In a mixed league, I *really* like having the superstars, since the quality of "replacement level" is so high, if you know where to look (such as on this column each week).
How active is your league? Would you be able to trade these guys at those prices if you kept them (hypothetically speaking)? With so many keepers, you're not likely missing out on some good $1-for-$10 values as you would with just a handful of keepers, so investing in stars makes more sense.
I used lastplayerpicked.com for dollar values I cited, as noted about Pence ("Pence—using the dollar values from lastplayerpicked.com—came out as the 23rd-best position player in 2011 ($21)"). They use reasonable assumptions for YTD values, and while we've peppered the idea of doing YTD values around in-house, nothing ever came to fruition (I had some I did for another site last year, but the process wasn't nearly as automated as I wanted it to be, and I found the LPP values to be very similar in all instances anyway).
I can certainly be guilty of that, true. But in Melky's case, I liked him for much the same reason as Francoeur, not sure how he never made the cut, to be honest... we try to not review people who have high ownership %'s, though I made some exceptions for guys like Austin Jackson and Alex Rios, who were probably cut in many leagues. Considering Melky was hitting .274/.315/.430 through June 23, you'd think there would have been a time when he appeared to be undervalued and wasn't owned in enough leagues to be ineligible. But I'm not sure this was so - I see from the 5/11 edition (which Mike Petriello covered for me) that he was owned in 78% of ESPN leagues at the time (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=13872), hitting .282/.303/.456 at the time with just 3 SB. My belief that he's not all that good prevented me from expecting his fantastic .334/.361/.506 (with 11 SB) finish from that time onward. I'd certainly have liked to have said I saw this coming, but I didn't.
In fact, in real baseball terms, the Royals seem to have done a masterful job of identifying three outfielders who were able to far exceed expectations (I'm afraid to look at the preseason PECOTA TAv's for those three), and also exploit likely "market inefficiencies", as hitting doubles and throwing out runners aren't exactly "money" skills, and both are quite valuable - especially in that ballpark.
Hmmm, I guess I should have expounded on what MLE means: Major League Equivalency - exactly what you're describing here and it's coming.
I made a change so that the previous day's MiLB stats aren't wiped out when the MLB-only run is processed. Since the minor-league seasons are complete, this should not impact anything, though we are still scrubbing MiLB data, so updates will be fairly common until we're done.
BATTER or PITCHER should be available in the statistic selection page. Those are the BP ID codes, and if you want a player card page, they are at:
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=[BATTER or PITCHER number here]
It does seem reasonable that if we're going to make "stock" MiLB reports, we should add that. Suggestion duly noted, thanks.
I should have included this information - Minor League stats take longer to update in our daily stats run. When we have data errors in our feed, the re-run doesn't get completed until around 10am CT. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Comments coming soon.
Yeah, we don't change the cursor at all, but if you click, it should still sort. I'm not having any trouble at the page you linked, using Chrome, and I'm logged in as a "basic" user for testing purposes, so I don't think it's a case of extra privileges or anything.
If it works for you, and it's just a matter of us needing to document the functionality better (sort arrows, changing cursor, or something), we can look into that. I don't know what to say if it's not sorting for you, though. It works fine here in Windows 7 using IE, FF, Chrome, and Safari.
Could you please send a URL? All the columns should be sortable already, and I don't see any which are failing, but I could be missing a combination.
I put the contract history into a tooltip, if you mouse over the player's name. Let me know what you think.
Those are good players, indeed. Kevin just wrote about Bauer, and who knows what Arizona will do with him. I guess it's potentially worth a flier, as the word on the street is that he's somehow immune to pitch count abuse. I doubt I'd bother, unless you have really deep rosters.
Odorizzi could theoretically start games and have value, as KC isn't a terrible place for SP any more (as noted above). I don't see any opening in the Angels rotation for Cowart, though, and I don't think he'd have value as a reliever.
They seem to have taken the list down. I have a hard time imagining a guy who hasn't been available to this point being worth owning in a mixed league for the rest of 2011, though. Who are some names on the list that you're considering?
I almost put him in as an AL-only pick, but went with Plouffe instead, since I thought the possibility of multiple positions would be more valuable to people. I guess Wells could continue to get playing time if Smoak's hairline fracture is worse than it sounded.
RH power is really sapped in that park, as noted for Robinson, and that's Wells' calling card on offense. He plays good D - though not as good as any of the 3 primary OF, so there are many scenarios where he'll play more, even if Smoak returns. But, all-in-all, I don't see him as more than a decent 4th OF, so I'm betting against him. Meanwhile, Trayvon may play at that level in 2011, but has more upside.
I think I'd rank these guys as:
Yes! None of them
- I drafted Furbush in both my AL-only leagues before he was called up, based on his great Triple-A numbers. Seattle should have advantageous matchups (considering opposing offense, ballpark, and defense) the rest of the year. Unfortunately, they aren't advantageous for wins. But if I was worried about pitching quality alone, I'd rate him first.
- I'm loath to show Duensing any love, because I was *so* sure he was a complete fluke his first year. But he's been good long enough that I am "sold". I'd bank on his BABIP normalizing and him being just fine with good matchups. Like Furbush, it's hard to see him getting enough support to win many games, though.
- Nobody raves about the Royals with the eloquence of Rany Jazayerli, and he's been very bullish on Paulino. I think he's over-reacting to small sample size, but Paulino has always had skill, and KC has a reasonable offense and defense now. If he returns to throwing strikes, he's the best guy on this list. I'll put him 3rd because that's far from a sure thing.
- Hochevar could be #1 on this list. He's had a good month (3.58 ERA, 1.19 WHIP,.238/.299/.377 batting line against). As noted with Paulino, the Royals are no longer a team to avoid, when it comes to starters (of course, they don't really have any really good SP in the majors now, either). He's #4 (instead of higher) here because he has a 5.39 career ERA.
- Before the season, I would probably have ranked Fausto and Pavano 1-2 in some order among this group. I'm convinced something is wrong with Pavano, and who knows with Carmona? When his sinker is working and hitting the zone, he looks very tough. That's been too uncommon this year, though.
- Piniero would have been another preseason candidate, and is tempting with K's not mattering to you, but he's been so awful lately.
- Bruce Chen isn't tragically bad, really. But he seems to have decided that he's always going to nibble, and it's crushed his WHIP. I'd expect his ERA to be somewhat better than his peripherals, but it won't be enough, unless he has a really great matchup.
- Tommy Hunter isn't a bad pitcher, but he's on Baltimore.
- Nick Blackburn has a 4.51 career ERA and a 1.4+ WHIP. That probably means that he's better than his recent struggles indicate. But who cares?
- Tim Wakefield is who he is. I can't predict a knuckleball any more than hitters can. If you need wins and want to take a big risk, go for it - he's had good stretches before, and it's not like aging curves really apply.
It's been a while since Spence was critiqued at all, but the site search goes back, well, forever. So, if you search for "spence", sorted by Date, the last two were:
2010 College Super-Regionals coverage (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=11160):
"third-round selection Josh Spence pinched a nerve in his throwing elbow which cost him all of 2010 and dropped him back to the ninth round of this year’s draft."
2009 Kevin Goldstein Angels draft coverage (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=9072):
Spence is a pure pitchability type with a lot of polish, as evidenced when he battled Alex White to a draw in Arizona State's College World Series opener.
I don't mean to avoid the question, but I really think it's too early to tell. For him to have a full-time Red Sox outfield job in 2012, he'll have to continue to do well this year and inspire confidence. I think it remains to be seen how gracefully he handles his first slump after this extended period of success.
That being said, he does make great contact for someone with his power potential - the aspects of his game (along with his D) which made him appealing back in 2007. If even half of his improved patience (in small sample sizes) this year is for real, he has a good chance to be an above-average outfielder as soon as 2012, and the surrounding lineup could provide him with the possibility for 180+ runs+RBI, to go along with 25-30 homers.
If I had to do "expected values" for him right now, I'd probably say 50% chance of the full-time (85-90% PT) gig, 50% chance of a 40-50% PT 4th-OF role. Either way, my expectations for him would be about 90% of the above "possibility" numbers per 650 PA. How that valuates out depends on scoring systems.
Yeah, of course. I guess I thought that went without saying, and it was why I was discussing the possibility that his season would end prematurely. Stay on top of the news to see if he returns.
I've done a few studies on this myself over the years, sharing your intuition on the matter (it probably comes from playing too much Strat-O-Matic over the years). And I haven't been able to find any way to add any statistical significance to FIP by using SB/CS/PICKOFF stats. I honestly thought I would find some incremental boost, but didn't. There may be something there, but it's hiding pretty carefully.
I tried again using the queries Colin set up for this study a couple days ago, running the queries against some FIP_PLUS metrics with various parameters, and again failed to come up with anything useful.
I fixed UPSIDE in April and it was on the player cards.
At some point since then - after the first week they were up, as we were giving it constant scrutiny during that stretch, they were overwritten somehow with the old values. This is quite embarrassing, and probably means that someone ran a piece of pre-season prep code which needed to be deactivated. I take full responsibility for it being removed. I'm not clear on why the customers who were most interested in seeing it fixed (such as jrmayne) were not appropriately informed when it was published in April, but obviously it wasn't handled professionally on our part at any stage.
All customer suggestions are read and discussed. Some are "works as designed". Some are not possible to be fixed / implemented in a timely manner. Pre-season PECOTA modifications would generally come under one of these two categories. Some suggestions lead to re-evaluation of statistical methods, such as this FIP/SIERA discussion evinces. But ones such as UPSIDE - which are simply repairing/restoring stats that have been on the online before - should be fixed in a timely manner. We'll make sure that any such future fixes are addressed in a timely manner, and that these solutions are communicated.
Please feel free to email suggestions on the navigation on the stats pages to CS@baseballprospectus.com, or to me directly. We aim to please.
SIERA's formula has been in the glossary since it was introduced. You can get the glossary entry by clicking on SIERA in any stats report where it's a column. The link goes here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=SIERA
FWIW, I ran the same tests Colin ran against these other metrics for Nate Silver's QERA stat (which has always been available at BP), and for the "next year" normalized RMSE, it comes out marginally better than SIERA (and everything else):
So, it's difficult to paint this as a partisan dispute.
From the glossary:
We have definitely had our eye on Derek Lowe this season, and when Colin returns from the SABR convention, he may have more to add to this, but here's a big chunk of the apparent Halladay/Lowe discrepancy:
See the batting report, filtered to just pitchers:
Halladay: -0.5 BWARP, Lowe: +0.4 BWARP. BWARP here is non-pitching WARP, comprised of batting, fielding, and baserunning.
Halladay: -0.6 FRAA, -3.8 BVORP, -2.5 BRR ==> -0.5 BWARP
Lowe: +1.4 FRAA, +2.0 BVORP, -0.2 BRR ==> +0.4 BWARP
By contrast, baseball-reference.com appears to have 0's for fielding stats, batting runs above replacement computed by taking runs above average, positional adjustment, and then a replacement-level mod. I'll list the numbers in the same order as for the BP stats:
Halladay: n/a, -3 (-9+5+1), -0 ==> -0.3 WAR
Lowe: n/a, +3 (-2+4+1), -0 ==> +0.2 WAR
So, B-R has a difference of 0.5 WAR (+fielding), compared to
0.9 for BP. If you figure the 2 FRAA runs add 0.2 WARP, and take that out of the BP values, that becomes 0.7 for BP vs. 0.5 for B-R. Then, when you consider that each component at B-R is rounded to a whole number, who really knows how much difference there is? But it's not extreme.
My take has been that we may need to revisit the baserunning runs - those values seem to have too much magnitude, and my suspicion is they might not be getting regressed enough. This may or may not be the case, no promises. But I think this does indicate that *if* there is a bug in the coding, it's relatively small in scale, and the system - as designed - is the best available (though I think it took everyone multiple read-throughs of Colin's articles to adjust intuition on some things).
It could be that your browser is removing the trailing "/". We (I) really need to fix that, but - assuming a normal-looking URL is appearing, try adding a "/" at the end for now.
If you could email your browser information, that might help with future testing, as we haven't seen this on the browsers we use for testing. If not, I understand, and we (I) really need to make the URLs work without the trailing slash anyway.
Well, Juan Miranda certainly has experienced some "market correction" in recent weeks, but it's going to take some big shifts for Goldschmidt to get much playing time in 2011, as Brandon Allen is acquitting himself quite well in Triple-A, and a) Allen isn't very good in the outfield, and b) Parra is holding his own, considering his good defense. So, I'd say Blanks for 2011, despite the park differences. He can (sort of) play the outfield, if needed (Ludwick has been rumored to be all but traded already), and Rizzo doesn't look right yet.
Beyond 2011, I'd probably be a sucker for Goldschmidt's crazy power and that friendly ballpark, despite the cautions about his swing being questionable. I'm usually sold (that the flaws aren't likely to be fatal) when a guy can clobber Double-A pitching, so 2011 has really raised his stock in my view.
Presley has played 30 minor-league games in RF, presumably when the team was viewing him as a future 5th OF type, and wanted to be sure he could cover all three spots. By comparison, Tabata had 280 games in RF in his minor-league career. I'd say it's unclear which moves to RF, assuming both stay in the starting lineup. Presley is better than Sam Fuld, but remember Sam Fuld, and how quick a hot start can turn into a terrible season stat line - the best thing going for Presley now is that none of the Pirates' other corner players are doing much this year at all, with Jones' .339 OBP and .444 slugging being the best "at the plate" stats. So, the bar is pretty low.
I noticed that last night, good for him... he certainly has the talent to be a fantasy asset, but I had to remove someone.
I won't apologize for that, but I was sort of panicking Tuesday night because power was going out everywhere around here (Chicagoland), and I ended up sending it to the editors just minutes before I lost power (for almost 24 hours!) I felt uneasy writing it that way at the time, and if I'd taken another pass, I probably would have re-worded it.
That said, Eric Young is hitting .363/.462/.544 in Colorado Springs this season. Dexter Fowler hit .340/.435/.566 there last year before being called up, and Fowler hit .335/.431/.515 in a full season at Tulsa in his age-22 season compared to .297/.360/.484 for Blackmon in his age-23 season (during which he turned 24 on July 1, as Carson Cistulli points out amidst his rave). Sure, he could grow into his skills, but I'm not impressed with the numbers he's posted in those environments to date. With his speed, he's going to have fantasy value regardless... as long as he gets playing time. But I don't think there's any surety that he'll keep the starting job all year. I'd be a lot more sure if he was able to man center field (or maybe even a strong right field), but as a left fielder, the pressure is really on to hit.
In Scoresheet baseball, that's an easy question - I'd much rather have Cruz. In a fantasy league it's trickier. And, given that it's points, Cruz's steals (assuming his quad ever comes back to 100%) aren't worth nearly as much as standard category-based fantasy ball.
Given that Cruz has had 3 15-day DL stints since late April, 2010, I wouldn't be shocked if Morse out-points him for the rest of 2011, in fact I might put the chance at 50%. But if you have some roster flexibility, and can pick up good replacement players if Cruz gets dinged again, I'd have a hard time staying away from him - the ballpark magnifies the offensive totals of everyone on the team, and Cruz is good enough to have some crazy-good weeks in the middle of that lineup. There may be a feel-good sense to the Nats now, but the team is only hitting .236/.306/.377 for the season. Obviously, Zimmerman will bring that up, but it's still not Texas.
I'm aiming for a June 23 Scoresheet article to get back on a Thursday schedule.
Good notes, thanks.
The submission deadline has been moved up, so I actually wrote that stuff about Brown before seeing the game. I just wanted to remind people that a few PA of mediocrity doesn't turn a gold-plated prospect into a lump of lead. I actually picked him up in a shallow daily-move league for the double-header today. So far, that's not turning out so well, have to hope for a good 2nd game.
Yeah, I probably overstated that, but with his speed and reputation, he gets into good enough position to throw out overly-aggressive runners sometimes, as evidenced by his 18 minor-league OF assists. As you note, there's not really many other options, at least as long as Cuddyer is needed in the infield. Span has to return for it to become relevant, anyway.
With Bedard's constant health concerns and Choo's track record, I think that's a no-brainer, even if Choo has lost something - and my impression is that all he's lost is some confidence. Given his track record, I'm bullish about his ability to regain that shortly.
As a Bedard owner in Scoresheet, I'm counting my blessings and hoping for the best, but I'd jump on that trade offer if it presented itself, especially with the down year for offense in 2011.
I meant to allude to McLouth's injury, actually, but he is due back shortly anyway so it didn't seem like a big deal. I don't think Schafer is worth picking up, though I could have written him up saying that. But McLouth was "on the list" already, and I didn't want to punt him just yet. Having the break in time made it tricky how to handle McLouth.
PECOTA projections are run pre-season, not considering influence of the season in progress. The playing time will change based on the depth charts, but not the rate stats.
You understand these are remainder-of season projections, right? So, we have Butler playing 93% of the time, and Gordon 88%. Those seem reasonable.
As a Strat-O-Matic player, know that I agree with you, and will keep it as a priority. It's on the queue, but no promises on a date yet, sorry.
Baseball Prospectus ID codes are now available. These are:
Batting reports: BATTER
Pitching reports: PITCHER
Baserunning report: RUNNER_ID
They have to be added as custom fields (i.e. they don't show up in any default reports).
We have several goodies like this in the queue, and are working on them. Feel free to keep suggesting away, we are listening!
Well then. I read this and was thinking that it's an interesting topic for a study. Something like, say, smoothing a player's career stat line across a standard aging curve, and then taking the distance in run value from this plot on a week-by-week basis, and figuring out variance-by-player. Who knows, that's just my first-thought for how to approach it, probably other good approaches.
Anyway, I think that power hitters are inherently more "streaky", by any definition. For the population, ~10% of fly balls go out. The margin of error for turning a huge positive into an out on these plays is very tiny, even for players who have much higher than 10% HR/FB expectations. For many power hitters (and Gomes in 2011), this is somewhat counterbalanced by a higher-than-norm walk rate, and walks are generally not terribly streaky, relatively speaking. But walks don't help in most fantasy leagues, so in weeks where low average power hitters aren't getting it over the fence, they're going to be a big zero in most formats.
The better all-around hitters, who hit more of the "line drive" variety of home runs, can still help with batting average and extra-base hits (usually only helpful when they fetch RBIs) when not homering. Maybe it does look like "240 hitter, must be streaky", but I think it's more that power is streaky, and not many players are allowed to keep jobs hitting .240 without having great power.
Recommendations are always welcome, and Gomes was the final cut for inclusion this week, as he's been very popular. I'll likely add him next week, as he's a fine "value pick", especially with Lewis out (though the two made for a natural platoon anyway).
I don't think you can ignore the deluge of walks Gomes has shown. I didn't see his three-walk game where Marcum atypically walked five, but Larry Vanover was behind the plate, and he's been below-average in BB/9 each of the past 2 seasons -
I'd wondered for years where Gomes' on-base skills went after his age-24/25 seasons in TB. He walked 39 times and was hit 14 more in 407 PA in 2005, and 61/6/461 in 2006. He's obviously on a completely different pace this year, and an initial scan of his multi-walk games doesn't show any notoriously wild pitchers (Marcum, Happ, Kennedy all usually keep the ball in the zone quite well). I'll do some more sleuthing this week, but with his power, suffice it to say that he's going to be valuable whether the walk spike proves an aberration or not.
The difference here is that for SOM cards, all the information for the 2010 season is codified into card format already, so it's a matter of adding up run values for the various card events and comparing to whatever "replacement" value you have in your league. Since Strat-O-Matic sells their "ratings disk", you can get much of the specific card information and compute such things using a spreadsheet and the defensive values based on the X-charts. [some details are missing from the ratings disk, such as SI/DO/TR breakdowns for hits, though you know TB, and SI*/SI**/SI(open) distinctions, and fbA-fbC distinctions, nothing which impacts run values a lot]
With Scoresheet, the game is simmed based on current-year stats, and is at the whims of managerial decisions (such as the Napoli question in this thread). So PECOTA projections of batting stats and errors - as well as predicted playing time estimates - are part of the mix. What would be interesting would be a "preview" card rating for the following season's Strat-O-Matic set, but in many ways, that's just impossible, as the game company hasn't made decisions on the ratings for various players yet - most notably defensive ranges, which impact both position player values (directly) and pitcher values (indirectly).
Good advice here. I'd keep your options open for weeks where - for example - Scott is facing some weak Yankees righties in New Yankees Bandbox, or Maggs is back in Chicago for some US Cellular fun. But Span is a nice fallback plan, and probably fits a lineup role well - i.e. his lack of slugging isn't likely to cause as much distress when he's batting leadoff.
I do that, also. I haven't fully "baked" my lineups here, but I may end up with Alvarez batting 3rd vsR. In Strat-O-Matic, I work hard to avoid GDP guys in the 3-hole as well. #5 is an interesting spot, since it comes up a lot with runners in scoring position, begging for a hit to drive them in, but also leads off a lot. I actually originally entered these lineups with Rasmus and Alvarez flipped vsR, as that was my initial thinking. Some of it will depend on real-life matchups for the players for the upcoming week in Scoresheet, so I see some tinkering going on during the season.
We are happy with the way SSSIM turned out, after taking numerous iterations to make it so. It will be available as soon as - or very shortly thereafter - PFM data and Scoresheet defensive ratings are available in future years, so in plenty of time to aid in drafting.
Well, I've done it that way for years, but the authors of "The Book - Playing the Percentages in Baseball" let my secret (not really, but it certainly wasn't widely known) out a few years ago. The bottom line is that the #3 hitter sees the most bases-empty-2-out situations. But, really, unless one tries to undermine a lineup's effectiveness, getting more plate appearances for the better hitters works out pretty well. If shorting the #3 hitter isn't comfortable, go with the traditional best-hitter-third plan.
As far as my squad, I really need a potent RH bat, this is way worse than the Werth-less Phillies, even. Maybe if Alvarez starts out hot, I can trade him for an infielder who can produce some runs...
Well, I kept all of these rookies that I have. I don't know why Ramos and Mejia were tossed back, they seem like they'd at least have been of interest to rebuilding teams.
Yeah, pen is weak. Clippard comes in with the 43rd-best SSSIM score among RP in NL-only, as my top showing. I do like the other pitchers more than most do, however.
Oh sure, Kevin, now Marc Normandin knows I haven't been slaving 24/7 on site programming, and my league-mates think I'm a fraud. (just kidding)
Seriously, glad for the help. I pronounced myself "winner" of this year's draft the moment I took "Gauntlett Eldemire", though. Nobody's going to top that name, thank you Kevin.
It's sort of an odd mix in this league, as we draft anyone who either:
a. was drafted the previous year (everyone eligible), or
b. played minor-league ball at some point, without ever playing MLB
This makes some of the later picks who don't sign quite valuable. 2006 was the league's first year, and I grabbed Justin Smoak and Jemile Weeks. It's interesting, as players on our rosters are considered to be accruing minor-league years (for Rule 5 eligibility purposes) during their college careers, so it's a trade-off - getting talent later vs. getting players you don't have to put on 40-man roster for 5 years.
I'm looking forward to the 2011 draft... by one mock draft, my team has seven of the top 31 players.
Foreign signees who begin in the minors also end up in our draft.
I'll see about doing more Dodgers, but here are some which have been done this offseason:
Ethier/Gibbons (by Mike Petriello): http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=12964
I think it's extremely unlikely that we'll see Rasmus steal 20 bases. He hasn't stolen that many since A-ball in 2006, and the Cardinals are almost always well below average in steals. I'd suggest that Rasmus owners should be content with a repeat of his 12-SB season, and happy if he reaches 15.
I do like Colby's power, and agree that in real-life terms, there's no real comparison between Rios and Rasmus.
I don't see any reason he shouldn't lead off, given that roster. David Laurila's analysis was good, as usual; I was resting on that to indicate that I thought it was a good idea.
That said, fantasy ball rewards pragmatism, and I suspect that Dusty will not keep him in the leadoff spot all year, though.
The change Ben announced last night enabled QS to be used as a scoring category. It has worked in testing, both for Rotisserie-style scoring and points leagues. Is it not working for you?
Yeah, that's a typo on shortstop range. Will try to get that fixed ASAP, thanks for pointing it out. It should indeed read 4.75.
Lineup positional context is indeed important... For Strat-O-Matic listings, I look at 3 different values for each player - one based on leadoff PA, one based on #5 PA, and one based on #9 PA. Defense has more impact in SOM, though. Except for the extreme players, range can most definitely be masked, as you note. The two guys under discussion here are pretty close to average, however.
Any, yep, I did say that I probably should have taken A-Rod instead. Live and learn. I'm not unhappy to have Drew, but A-Rod would have been better.
We've had a lot of instances of having previous data being stored in browser caches causing issues with PFM (I had it happen myself while testing). If persistent settings of any type are lost, please try using a hard refresh of the browser first - i.e. holding SHIFT and clicking Refresh.
These issues arose from version changes of PFM, I am not suggesting there was any user error here. But doing this provides an easy workaround for now (for all of these sorts of issues we've found so far).
The CSV and TAB downloads should respect the current filter setting. I realize this isn't as easy as not having to use PFM, but once you have the results, "P" lists pitchers and "Util" lists batters. So, you can easily set the filter twice and download two separate files.
I considered getting into errors made, but I don't know any better way to estimate those than past experience, as you suggest.
If the R/G values seem high, it's probably due to the average defensive values above being higher than average. I just used a rough approximation of RC/27 based on rate stats only (so SB aren't credited either, though those are worth less in Scoresheet, and neither player in question here had enough to worry about). I should have added in SB-runs after multiplying by 17. It was recently posted on the Scoresheet forums that: "Craswell's Scoresheet weights were +.10 and -.18" ... and those values seem consistent with my Scoresheet experience.
I'd lean slightly toward Daniel Hudson, while acknowledging the risk is higher as his true skill level is still up for debate. I think he has higher upside, and while Arizona's defense isn't great, Milwaukee took MLB's 2nd-worst DER and replaced Alcides Escobar with Yuniesky Betancourt. Those balls which roll through the infield in Milwaukee? They count the same as line shots for Scoresheet purposes. At least the outfield is decent in Milwaukee, which should help Marcum.
As a tiebreaker, I would consider Marcum's health problems in 2009 a negative. I'd still like to have him, but would rather have Hudson.
Feel free to drop Strat-O-Matic related questions here. I've played that game for much longer than I've played Scoresheet, and there are other Strat-O-Matic experts at BP who will be happy to chime in.
Since it's a simulation based on previous years, it's sort of two steps removed from "fantasy", which is dependent (almost) entirely on current-season performance.
The Total Bases problem has been fixed. Thanks to both of you who reported it.
Depth Charts are now live. Comments after this are referencing the actual Depth Charts.
Depth Charts are now live. Comments after this are referencing the actual Depth Charts.
Working on the search features. Sorry for inconvenience.
Cody Ross it is. I will take the hit for the inflated GP2011 projection here. Those were done right after the season, and not vetted as thoroughly as I'd have wished. It does appear that his experience in Florida in 2010 wasn't taken into account enough, for whatever reason.
That admitted, it is a good discussion. Despite having a higher park factor for runs in general, Florida's RH HR factor has been 95 each of the past three seasons, while San Francisco's has been 99. And Ross did hit 58 homers in 1307 PA between 2007-2009. I'll take some time to try to better analyze what to expect from him in 2011. My gut is that not both the PT estimate (600 PA) and the rate stats (.276/.334/.485) can exist simultaneously, though either is possible, since he's clobbered lefties convincingly in the past.
Rollins swiped 165 bases between 2005-2008. For those of us in dinosaur leagues that still put a premium on steals, how many do you expect? My knee jerk reaction would be about 30, but I haven't researched the specifics of his lower-body injuries, and what they will do to his speed. [as Marc points out, they appear to be likely to have some impact]
I think some insights into this would help, and also how the Phillies will treat him if he's slower - knowing they try hard to avoid CS - seems to enter into the equation. Do you see much risk of his stolen base output cratering badly in 2011 (compared to his history, not compared to 2010 only)?
Hey there, I am sorry for long delay... I missed the new comment here. It wasn't flagged as "new", but I still should have checked.
Shin-soo Choo is a sore spot for me, having traded him away for very little after his great partial season in 2008, and finishing behind the guy who got him each of these past two seasons in my AL Keeper roto league. It's a good reminder whenever I'm tempted to punt a player who has a seemingly untenable BABIP (his was .367 that year).
With that in mind, I'd still keep the two more powerful hitters in a league where TB gets its own category. Fielder and Hamilton have chances to lead their leagues in HR and TB and RBI. Choo's more balanced for a fantasy team, and if your team is already the clear favorite, he is probably a lot safer than Hamilton, but the upside is just so crazy-high with Hamilton, I think that's the best play. Fielder, on top of everything else, is in a contract year, so expect him to get fat feasting on NL pitching this year.
While I'm with you for building a baseball (or Strat-O-Matic or Scoresheet or DMB or Box Baseball or probably any other sim game) team, in standard 5x5 fantasy baseball scoring, Crawford would have to break a leg (or a rib, Jacoby Ellsbury) to lose his steals value. Since you can earn as many standings points in steals as any of the other 4, and since he's only going to hurt a team in RBI, I have a hard time looking away from that value.
On the other hand, the slower (but not slow) middle-of-order guys (like Werth and Choo and especially Mark Reynolds - 24 SB in 2009) scare me a lot when adding up SB totals, since they are much more likely to have their manager say, "stop running" if they are nursing a minor leg injury. If a "speed guy" isn't 100%, he'll get time off to regain his legs. And along the lines of Tuck's observation, we're not talking about Jose Reyes in terms of regaining and maintaining his health here.
"Maddon is impossible to get a pulse on right now. I believe that he'll use Rodriguez as he has Zobrist the last few seasons.
I see an opening day lineup with Zobrist at 2B, Joyce in RF, and DanJo at 1B. Rodriguez gets the PT vs most lefties either in RF or at 1B depending on the matchup.
Only one of Fuld or Ruggiano is going to make the club and I'd be stunned if it wasn't Fuld because they love his makeup and Ruggiano is a bit of a, um, [I'll let Jason go into it, but it's rather a contrast to loving his makeup].
Damon has played 140+ games for 14 straight seasons - I don't see why he doesn't get a 15th with Fuld spelling him from time to time. "
==> My thanks to both R.J. and Jason
I honestly thought that Brad Penny was done when the Red Sox cut him, but apparently, he's now looked good in tryouts two years in a row, to collect multi-million dollar contracts. He's never been a great pitcher, but when he's healthy, he's solidly above-average. Watching him pitch, it's hard to believe that he's only struck out 6.3 batters per nine innings, and it's been even lower in recent years. With Peralta and Guillen (if he's able) up the middle and all those balls in play, it's rather difficult to imagine a situation where he's much of an asset to a Scoresheet team. At least the outfield is rather large, and A-Jax rangy.
I begged some of the TB experts to help with some of the TB questions. I mentioned some of the 1b dynamic in a fantasy post, and will comment later on the other positions if they aren't available... stay tuned...
Thanks for the note.
Dan Haren (64)
-> He slots in 7th on the AL list.
-> Everyone from Greinke on down moves up a slot.
I thought I'd moved him, but I guess not. Will try to get the tables fixed, and that does slighly balance the SP-by-league.
It will be interesting to see how he does upon his return to the AL. His peripherals were still excellent in 2010.
I'd go with JDLR. Those road games in San Diego should be treats, and the Diamondbacks don't look like they have much of an offense. Obviously, there will be more weeks when you don't want him active, but his peripherals are solid enough.
I think Wells is pretty good, but he should be very underrated, unless your league has other Cubs fans in it. With the depth of NL starting pitching, he should be available quite late.
Peavy may be the consensus choice here, and he went #199 in the mock, compared to JDLR at #268. But I think if I were keeping him and contending, I'd wait for the first semi-positive news about his rehab and burn up the trade wires to get someone I thought could help me more in 2011.
This is a good point, and Ben is someone to pay attention to, as he has a lot of successful Scoresheet experience. The only reason I mentioned it is that coming off an injury, Beltran has to be considered to have a lower floor than many outfielders. It's always tricky to balance floor and ceiling, and Ben's right that a .270/.360/.440 expectancy with a lower floor and higher ceiling is - on balance - more useful to winning a championship.
Then again, if he's lost CF range in real life, his Scoresheet ratings may catch up as quickly as next year, and he's no spring chicken. Given the usual preferential treatment given to youth by Scoresheet owners, I was more surprised than critical.
I do think that for a 2011-contending team, Beltran is a fine risk to take. The fact that he's in the final year of a contract can't hurt, either.
JRM is spot-on with this, and you really do need to "play the market", at least to some extent. No need bidding against your self, so to speak.
That said, I wrote about him recently from a fantasy baseball perspective:
I'd listed a pre-distribution PECOTA in that article, and with the official ones out today, it's seen that the official PECOTA is even more bearish than the pre-distribution version, predicting .273/.320/.399
My sense is that if you think he'll do better than that, you still won't have to worry about too many other people sharing that outlook and sniping you. The problem, obviously, is that it only takes one. But if you draft him too early, he almost has to reach his peak (again) to become worth the investment.
Next article coming Monday. I just submitted keepers for P-NL300, and kept far more than the 4 suggested minor-leagues... let's hope it works out.
MLB: Hundley,Ni; Zito,Ba; Saltalamac,Ja; Wallace,Br; Adams,Mi
MiLB: Cumberland,An; Vizcaino,Ar
I concur with Mike.
- Not that you need any additional motivation, but I raved about Gonzalez here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=12537 and agree that keeping him is a no-brainer.
- I think A-Rod owners and Yankees fans have to be encouraged by him finishing with 16 HR in the 2nd half (just 236 PA). He isn't likely to recapture his early-career power, but that suggests that his injury isn't much to worry about, and now it's just Father Time vs. Future First-Ballot Hall-of-Famer.
- I sort of hate commenting on Howard, because he is overpaid and I've personally long felt he's been overhyped. But he's also just entering his age-31 season, and hit 198 homers and drove in 572 runs from 2006-2009 (inclusive). If you let him go, be prepared for the chance that he'll obliterate "replacement level" in any format...
But, in considering the options, 3b really does run off a cliff after the top guys, so A-Rod is the conservative play. All-time great hitter, good offense surrounding him, good park for power... only questions are age and health, and he seemed fine when we last saw him.
Ouch, that really did come off badly, but I really didn't mean it that way - I do my own projections, have for years, and know how impossible it is to get them right all the time.
It was a good projection system - CHONE - when it was available. I wouldn't have bothered using one which wasn't good as an example (e.g. If ihatethebraves.com projected Heyward to hit .100/.120/.133 and miss half the season... who cares?) Besides, as noted in the article I linked to, CHONE blew away other systems by being bearish on Wieters the year before.
I just googled "Jason Heyward projections 2010" and found that article. PECOTA handled Heyward's minor-league comps well, that was the point. The follow-up point is that I think Heyward is going to exceed "system" projections again in 2011. Maybe I'm wrong, time will tell.
In hindsight, I should have left the other projection system anonymous, but it wasn't meant as disrespect.
That will teach you to draft Jacoby Ellsbury, as that can ruin a team right quick.
Oh, wait, that's the league you won.... nevermind.
FYI - Marc Normandin actually did a bit more in-depth review of Danny Valencia in an article I was looking for but couldn't find at press time: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=12108
Good question - the graphs are from Graphical Player 2011, as published (in December, and always with "old" team for players who moved - not applicable in Valencia's case).
The PECOTA values may not end up the same as the ones I showed here, as they aren't finalized yet, either. But they are coming soon!
Hey, that's a great topic, possibly for a future article itself. While I sort of dislike the concepts of "competition cycle" and "windows of competition", I do think the team's status enters into the equation in terms of rookie keeper decisions. My main point with that quip was to suggest that an owner shouldn't feel compelled to shed their 5th (and subsequent) rookies.
It's clearly of diminishing returns to keep more rookies, as each one costs a better pick. But it's important to always keep in mind that the odds of finding a keeper-level MLB player late in a draft are very low. And some sub-5-star prospects have pretty good long-term Scoresheet outlooks. E.g. I think Wilmer Flores got a 3-star rating, for example, and many think he'll be a middle-of-lineup type hitter. I agree that a lot of it depends on how easily traded prospects are in a given league - if a prospect has a hot April and May, and still can't be traded to a rebuilding team, then it's right to go along with market pressures in the league and not overpay for prospects (by keeping too many of them, for example).
Musing on this topic... Looking back at my P-NL300 league and the top team on the orphans list (to give an NL and AL example), here are the round 31 picks from last year:
Round 31 NL:
SS Tommy Manzella
P Bryan Augenstein
1B Gaby Sanchez (with team 6's pick)
SS Augie Ojeda
P Lance Lynn
2B Anderson Hernandez
C Jason LaRue
Round 31 AL:
OF David Murphy
C Brayan Pena
P Chien-Ming Wang
C Rob Johnson
SR J.J. Putz
3B Bill Hall
P Jason Vargas
... That AL draft would tend to undermine the suggestion to keep more than 4 rookies (as that's a pretty strong group), and my team was the one drafting Gaby Sanchez in the NL, but I'd also traded for some extra picks. There wasn't much else in that NL draft even worth a roster spot.
I'm going to change this now. I - of course - meant this, and just made a typo, thanks for catching it, and it does indeed make a world of difference. My apologies to anyone I misled.
For BP subscribers, expect the PFM / Depth Chart information to be much better this season than in past years, for a variety of reasons - not the least of which is Marc Normandin's oversight of BP Fantasy.
I handled depth charts during spring training for another site last year, and for two teams in Heater Magazine throughout the season (the Chicago teams). It's sort of complicated to make good playing time and depth chart estimates, and I am not sure that MLB.com always has the best information - they do tend to go off latest quotes from managers, but sometimes things don't get said. For instance, as I type this, MLB.com has Melky Cabrera listed as the starting CF in KC. This may happen, but my understanding (without doing hours of investigation) is that Cain will have every shot to win that job in spring training, with Melky becoming the 4th OF.
Anyway, we'll try to have the best depth chart information possible here at BP. And I do think that the links cited here by hotstatrat are worth keeping in mind for Scoresheet players.
I was going through replies in order, and I see that I could have saved some time, but I'm glad that my comment agrees for the most part with JRM's comments here; he *is* good at this stuff. And very helpful to others.
As far as time/week, I'd say that running a Scoresheet team takes much less constant interaction than a weekly-move fantasy league (with a waiver queue, not first-come/first-served). Like a weekly-move league, there's a deadline each week when you enter lineup and pitching changes. And getting the email with the box scores of the games played that week becomes something to anticipate, as looking through the box scores is an enjoyable aspect of the game. Player distribution is done in 3 in-season drafts (of 3 rounds per team), and those require some preparation. So, the weekly time spent (in traditional fantasy leagues) on the waiver wire is instead focused into 3 drafts.
I will say this - a lot of people play Scoresheet, with a wide variety of skill levels. And I think the skill level required to compete in a public league will vary from league to league. I do think that understanding even 50% of the stuff that's posted at BP and treating a Scoresheet like it was a baseball team (as opposed to trying to min-max the Scoresheet system) will allow for a competitive situation that should be enjoyable.
That being said, if you're playing for blood, here are some things to keep in mind to become a "shark":
1. Get a good orphaned team! It's first-come, first-served from the list on the Scoresheet site.
a) Some teams are so bad that Scoresheet will offer a discount - the process of turning these around is enjoyable for some people (like myself), but not everyone's cup of tea.
b) New continuing leagues form each year, and cost a little more, but if you don't like the available selection of orphans, this puts you on even footing at least.
2. Get into an active league, if you want to trade your way to the top quickly. The orphaned teams currently have links back to 2010 season, and you can see how many transactions took place.
3. Being a successful fantasy owner on top of understanding baseball should make for a very successful run. A lot of the traditional fantasy concepts apply, as you're still trying to collect a better set of players than your competitors.
4. I think that even the worst team should be able to compete after 2 years of building. Yes, that's a "long view" compared to traditional fantasy, and - as noted above - building up a dog team isn't for everyone, but if an owner relentlessly spins off assets to get extra draft picks (and hence roster spots), and amasses as many high-upside rookies as possible (read those Future Shock articles), the edge of having the high draft picks for all those drafts should be enough after 2 off years.
5. Usually, after building for 2 years, you have a team which is molded into something you really like. That's the reward for having the patience to build across multiple years.
Well, I'd mostly echo Mike's thoughts here. I like Fielder more than most analysts - don't tell Marc Normandin! - and view him as one of the few candidates to lead the NL in homers. But when Youkilis qualifies at third base, he's going to be worth a lot in any format, and could be positively sick in OBP leagues. I view him as a bit of an injury risk, so don't expect league-leading totals stats, but he should be great for rates. Given the expected qualification at 3b, I'd look into keeping him.
Back to Morneau, if it wasn't for the head injury, I'd will have some difficulty viewing him as a locked-in-stone keeper. His TAv was between .284 and .305 from 2006-2009, before going nuts with a .360 in 2010. Clearly, the adjustments he made in 2010 helped him, but taking a snapshot of his season halfway through (as the injury did) makes it unclear how well the pitchers would be able to adjust to his changes and how that would impact going forward. I'm willing to believe that he's figured something new out - the "Twins Way" of beating fundamentals into their players longer than most organizations (hence some of the reason they don't promote as aggressively as many orgs do) means that the successful Twins hitters have solid fundamentals to fall back on, and so adjustments should be easier and more likely to result in marginal gains in production that stick with a player. The flip side is that age catches up with everyone, so it's a constant race. Minus the injury, I'd have expected Morneau to be a step ahead in the "race" for 2011, but for things to not be nearly as easy as he made them look in 2010.
That's a long-winded way of saying I'd expect close to his 2006-2009 maximum of .305 TAv if he wasn't hurt. As with my commentary on Bay, I'd chalk the concussion up to "more likely than most to miss time with injury", with the caveat that there's also a higher likelihood of an "injury" (recurring concussive symptoms) being season-ending.
Napoli updates were requested today, and I added some thoughts, though essentially in agreement with Mike Jong's good points here.
Well, I think Mike Jong is going to be covering Napoli's bounces (under ss/2b/C), though the timing worked out poorly for coverage in our format... he did update with a comment for now, at least:
I agree with him that it's a bit of a confusing situation. I do wonder if Torrealba's salary will be enough to stave off Napoli's big bat. Yorvit has hit only .256/.323/.382 during the seasons when he wasn't calling Coors his home park. That's probably enough to justify playing as a good defensive catcher, but if both Moreland and Napoli are hitting the ball, there should be a lot of pressure to keep them both in the lineup.
I promised to do Reimold and Morgan, and dropped the ball on them, thanks for your patience.
Thanks for the compliment, glad it helps.
I'll add Jennings, but the signings of Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon sort of push back his ETA.
Yeah, well, *I* would probably run Brantley out there every day, as well, and just see how he does. But the manager is closer to the situation, and we've all seen players struggle in spring training and "earn" a demotion, for whatever reason. My primary point is that taking 650 PA from Brantley for granted is still optimistic. It could happen, but it could still happen that Sizemore is healthy, Kearns is hitting .400 in spring with tons of power, and the team wants Brantley to play every day with Crowe being the 4th OF. I do see the OF being Brantley-Sizemore-Choo with Kearns and Crowe as 4/5, but Brantley hasn't earned job security yet. As far as leading off, the team has Grady Sizemore and Asdrubal Cabrera as leadoff options, though I don't disagree that Brantley could become the team's leadoff hitter going forward. It's not like the 2010 Blue Jays, though, where nobody had leadoff skills of any kind, really.
No, it's totally fine... just explaining that I'm not blowing off requests...
Late August is to avoid any complications with teams loading up for playoffs and/or making strange category-based moves. The thought process is that that's a time when the 2010 players were relatively "stable". Obviously, September callups get overlooked that way, but I'll try to keep the information relevant on them.
3. "Owned" is ownership % in 5x5 mixed fantasy leagues, as of late August. Over 100 leagues were polled. The book (Graphical Player 2011) includes this % for all players.
Yeah, he's a good guy to be concerned about... already in the queue from Monday's comments.
... and now this in-depth writeup by Craig Brown: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=12745
I'll try to do ten of these guys, unless I get going on one too long. The ones I'm not going to do tomorrow, with quick takes...
Jason Bay - all depends on return to health, will watch for news the next few days and weeks.
Michael Brantley - playing time question marks. Could be quite good for fantasy, ala Coco Crisp 2010, if he wins the job out of spring.
Peter Bourjos - playing time question marks. Has the defense to warrant playing, and could rack up some steals if he does.
Michael Saunders - I'll have to research into him some more, I liked him a lot before his 2010 season. Have to think about how that impacts his outlook.
Brett Wallace - playing time question marks, with C-Lee playing 1b? I'm a bit higher on him now than most other analysts, maybe in reaction to the fact that I prematurely wrote off Adrian Gonzalez after a couple nondescript minor-league seasons, and, well, we know what he's done. No account of Wallace's skill set has ever included concerns about his hitting ability (before 2010, at least), so it wouldn't shock me if he is better than the standard outlooks now. That said, I wouldn't overpay for him. More analysis to come...
Roger Bernadina - Ugh, he hit .246/.307/.384 in 2010, and will be 27 in June. He does have enough power and speed and defensive chops to deserve some playing time and to earn some fantasy value if he gets it, but he shouldn't be a full-timer except under duress.
Carlos Pena covered here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=12575
Presuming you mean Adam Jones here, not Andruw, though both are interesting cases for 2011.
Solid requests, thanks. If I get more, I'll still make sure they get answered somehow - at least in a comment, or the following week, so keep them coming.
This is certainly true, I hope nothing I wrote led anyone to believe otherwise. That's why his career WARP is below 0, despite hitting a little bit.
All the GP projections are from the book - i.e. last year's team (Arizona). I agree that in Washington, that's far too optimistic.
You know - Cleveland pulled from 13.5 games out (on July 7, when they traded Sabathia) to 7 games out (at the end of the season) after trading CC in 2008. They had pulled to within 6 before losing the season finale. In "alternate futures", it's fun to muse over how the Indians history would look now if they'd been able to get CC's torrid 2nd half (as Milwaukee did), and taken the 2 compensation picks instead of LaPorta and Brantley.
Anyway, I certainly agree that more was expected from LaPorta already. I haven't quite given up on Brantley, especially for a fantasy team, but he wasn't considered the primary piece so that's more of a consolation prize if he turns out.
This raises a good point as to what a "successful" projection is.
Huff's 2009 stats: .241/.310/.384 (~.237 TAv @ age 32)
Here are BP and some other fairly well-known free projections for Aubrey Huff entering 2010:
BP: .278/.341/.461 [weighted means from site] (.278 TAv)
Bill James Handbook: .267/.334/.445
Interestingly, all 3 of Wigginton, Lopez, and Stewart throw right-handed. I think that means that Stewart stays at 3b. They are happy with his defense there, from everything I've heard and read. If Stewart was the only lefty thrower among them, I think they'd be more likely to try him there.
- Agreed that it's very possible that Nady ends up essentially in 2 semi-platoons.
- Sorry, I'm sort of waiting on Nats, since I have been expecting to read that they have signed LaRoche any day now. :> Of course, it could be Derrek Lee, instead... but they will probably sign someone. Branyan might not be a bad play, though he's rumored to go to SD now.
I have to think that Wigginton is more writing on the wall for Helton, who is in the last year of his deal (well, the team has an option for 2012, but it's $23mil vs. $4.6mil buyout). I do think that the team has no confidence in Stewart's ability to hit left-handed pitching, though. It's funny, because he's been quite good at it - which could mean that Tracy has done a great job of spotting him, or that he's actually pretty much okay against lefties. I don't think we'll find out, though.
I think the guy getting the vote of no-confidence is Chris Nelson. I thought he was a good pick in the final Scoresheet draft last year, as you can keep rookies in that format without using one of your 13 keeper slots. But now, with Young and Lopez in front of him on the depth chart, he almost has to start in AAA.
Alright, these are entirely guesses, mind you, based on previous behavior by the organizations:
- I think Xavier Nady plays almost every day. I plan to write him up as a first-baseman next time.
- I have a hard time seeing Juan Miranda as a starting MLB player, but both Brandon Allen and Gerardo Parra bat lefty, so he could end up effectively platooning with one of them, with Nady shifting positions as needed.
- Parra is reportedly a very good fielder, and the metrics agreed with that in 2010. I think if Allen hits enough in spring to win at least the big portion of the 1b platoon, Parra will end up as a 4th OF, albeit an oft-used one, like Endy Chavez or Fred Lewis when they were younger.
I think if I was participating in an NL draft right now, I'd expect Allen to end up at AAA, posting great numbers, but not getting called up due to the strikeouts. I'd expect Parra to get tried against both types of pitchers, unless he had a bad spring. But I do think that Gibson will pay a lot of attention to spring performances, so everything could change.
Hey all - there have been some queries about admission, and names will be checked at the door. If you are using someone else's entry, contact Joe Hamrahi (email above) and work out details in advance if possible.
Good question. I definitely think that Craig will play against lefties, and should have mentioned that. He's battered AAA pitching for 2 years running, but it does seem that the longer Tony LaRussa manages, the more adamant he is about having to have "his guys", so estimating playing time in St. Louis based on stats is going to be confounding.
I usually won't use it except for comparing players to themselves or other guys with very similar "shape" of stats, and then only as a 1-off value, since people seem to know what the various "good" and "bad" ranges are for it.
I should add that for fantasy, it's sometimes right to compare non-adjusted stats, as opposed to looking at adjusted stats like TAv. TAv gives a much better answer to the "how good is he?" question, in an objective sense, but if you're comparing different settings, the adjustments which TAv makes for park, league, own team's pitchers are counterproductive, and need to be "undone". To note, using "RawTAv" could work for Fantasy analysis, removing this step (from the Glossary):
Convert RawTAv into EqR, taking into account the league TAv LgTAv, league runs per plate appearance, the park factor PF, an adjustment pitadj for not having to face your own team's pitchers, and the difficulty rating. Again, you can ignore some of these as the situation requires. xmul can simply be called "2", while the PF, diffic, and pitadj can be set to "1".
Well, I agree with your point that Venable will play against most RHP (at least I hope so, as he's on one of my Strat-O-Matic teams). The point is that it seems possible that Hoyer and the Padres are looking for RH batters who hit RHP better than the norm. As noted, the sample sizes for Maybin and Denorfia are still too small to conclude anything, but it will be fun to watch. I didn't mean to imply that we'd be seeing these three guys all the time.
I don't know what you mean about modifying the data... I was just citing the vsL and vsR numbers for those three outfielders for their careers, and I just double-checked them - they appear to be accurate.
The bigger point - for fantasy purposes - is that I wouldn't write off Maybin based on him going to Petco. It seems reasonable that the Padres concluded that he'd do okay in their park based on his approach at the plate against righty pitching so far in his career and his spray charts when he does make contact. While trading relievers for center fielders is usually a pretty safe gamble, the two guys given up for Maybin both seem like good pitchers, and they just let Gwynn go, so their actions indicate a lot of confidence in Maybin.
Testing comments for hockey articles.
ouch. Gotta hate the feeling of inevitability in the last week, eh? I was thinking that the other day when Max Scherzer was unable to deal with the Tribe effectively. :(
Thanks for reading and commenting all year, everyone!
Well, you know how often fall/winter rosters can change, but Taylor is one of 3 OF listed on Phoenix Desert Dogs (http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=l119&t=t_ros&cid=454), while the Surprise Rafters have five OF, including Beltre (http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=l119&t=t_ros&cid=527). I can't seem to find even blog rumors that either will be backing out of AFL participation yet, so I'd think it's likely they'll play.
Both could use the boost, so I'd think that inasmuch as they have input into the decision, they'd want to play - Taylor had a disappointing season, and while Beltre is still very young for AA, no top prospect wants to look at his most recent stat line being .254/.301/.337 any longer than he has to. :>
I must confess that my first reaction was that it's hard to take a guy seriously whose PECOTA (Weighted Means) was .261/.315/.409 entering the season, if he's not going to do something like steal 30 bases or get himself traded to Colorado...
But I see that Morse now has 609 career PA with a line of .294/.350/.444, which is very playable, even for a corner outfielder.
In looking into things like his career walk and strikeout percentages, his propensity to swing at everything, his lack of any real defensive value, and career .353 BABIP, I think I'm going to have to revert to first reaction and assume it's not someone you want to worry about too much.
Jim Riggleman knows him well, and maybe he's spotting him against guys he can hit (although looking at his top "PA against" list, names pop out like Hamels, Johan, Hudson, and Lilly, so it's hard to think he'd gotten any favors)... but I don't know if that matters too much; in short, I have a very hard time believing that he has any job security for 2011, unless he continues his torrid pace through the end of 2010 and also has a big spring. Even then, he'll still be a cold month away from returning to utility/bench duty, though one would hope that the minors are a thing of his past.
Thanks for the comment - appreciated as always.
It will be interesting to see how he turns out; when he posted two 0-fers in his first two games, I was worried about him getting benched, but he doesn't look completely lost, and seems to have a better idea of how to play the outfield than would be expected from a converted first baseman.
I'm pretty sure that the Mets weren't envisioning a lineup with Pagan-Duda-Carter batting 1-2-3 in September when they entered the season. But getting AB's for Duda and Carter makes sense in preparing for 2011.
Not to debate the good point that 14 innings is a meaningless sample size, but I followed Hudson for the past couple years closely, writing about the White Sox. Frankly, if the rumors that Washington could have landed him for 2 months of Adam Dunn were true, then I'm baffled why GM Mike Rizzo didn't jump on that deal. Given Rizzo's deservedly great reputation as a talent evaluator, I'd consider that at least a cautionary point against Hudson.
But that's really the only worry point.
In his Sophomore year at Old Dominion, Hudson established himself as a first-round pitching talent, but his velocity slid in his junior year, so he slid to the 5th round of the draft. He signed right away in 2008, and struck out 90 rookie leaguers in 69.2 innings. Then, in 2009, he had as good of a year as any minor-league pitcher. He was doing great in AAA in 2010 before his promotion and subsequent trade. Overall, his minor-league stats are tremendous. One could worry about the fact that he doesn't work down in the zone, but that seems like nit-picking when a guy is blowing away hitters like Hudson has been. Now, for 2010 fantasy value, he has to worry about the fact that his new team doesn't play much defense or provide much bullpen support (and doesn't score as much as you'd hope). But I think Bill is right on target in expecting a sub-4.00 ERA (and a low WHIP).
He gets bashed a lot by the Chicago media, but I don't know how fairly. The problem has been clutch hitting, really... The Cubs have hit .258/.322/.408 as a team (compared to league average of .257/.325/.401), in spite of the two guys they were really counting on (Lee and Ramirez) going into the tank. It's sort of hard to blame the collapses of two established veterans on the hitting coach, and guys like Byrd, Colvin, and Castro have all out-hit expectations, while Soto and Soriano (the 2009 albatrosses) have rebounded well. Still, the run scoring is down a ton due to some epic failures in clutch situations.
In fact, combining the "clutch" failures of the pitchers in the 7th and 8th innings with those of the hitters, at one point, the Cubs were 15 games under .500 despite having a better AVG/OBP/SLG by their hitters than that allowed by their pitchers... it's been a very distressing season.
The only information which has been provided is that Lou wants him to stop swinging at so many bad pitches, but the more likely answer is that the Cubs are making a last-ditch effort to showcase Fukudome and Nady before the final trade deadline. It might make sense to cut him until a trade of Fukudome (Cubs are probably dreaming), if you think you can re-claim him. I'm working on depth chart updates for Heater tonight, and it's frustrating to try to anticipate his PT, honestly. The Lee trade can't hurt, reducing the chance that Nady will play the outfield.
This is a good example of where going through upcoming schedules would be helpful. Without digging deeper, it seems like Cain and Moreland would be the two guys I'd think about first. I'll try to look into them further later tonight.
Yeah, I don't think I wrote anything I'd change about Brantley in the past... if he's able to keep slapping the ball on the ground, he should have a high BABIP, and he doesn't strike out, so that equates to a high batting average. He clearly has the wheels. Obviously, when a guy's stats are not good, he's always at risk of losing PT during a cold streak.
I bounced this off Joe Hamrahi, who watches the Mets much more than I do, and his perception is that Beltran isn't back yet, health-wise. I'd personally have a difficult time cutting him, but I cut Utley in one of those super-shallow ESPN leagues the week he got hurt, so sometimes you have to do what you have to do to free up roster space. If Beltran isn't 100%, then at least you're not losing much in the way of SB, anyway.
Good suggestion for a study, and I did mean to link Craig's fine article in mine: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=11659
Yeah, I agree about Wells. As a Cubs fan, I really had to work hard to be unbiased about him, but I really thought people were selling him short. Learning to pitch takes time, and he's a converted position player... I admit to having somewhat of a preference for such guys, as they have avoided being abused during their younger years as a pitcher.
Anyway, wrt Braun, this may be overly simplistic, but I think sometimes too much analysis can be poured into a player's recent samples. Guys have up and down seasons, and I'd be downright shocked if Braun didn't rebound strong in 2011, and perhaps even enough in 2010 to "fix" his stat line for the year. If you can find someone panicking, especially if you can lock him up, I'd go for it. He's 26, and has a career batting line of .302/.357/.553 - it's not like you need him to improve on that to be a superstar.
As a P.S.: In the wake of the Pods trade, two players become semi-interesting on the Royals: Chris Getz, for steals, and Kila Ka'aihue, for everything else. Keep on ear on what comes out of the Royals, but both could help a fantasy team down the stretch.
Good comments by Mike, with Ibanez heating up in July, Brown would probably have to kill the ball to avoid becoming Ben Francisco II. (Phillies insight courtesy of Heater writer and Phillies fan Brian Joseph)
If you're in a gambling situation, I might consider replacing Wigginton with Dom Brown. Brown's Davenport Translations from AAA are huge (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/pageINTyear.shtml), and indicate a big step forward from preseason PECOTA levels. Obviously, Wiggy brings positional flexibility, but he's not a very good hitter, all things considered, and if guys like this are available on waivers, I think you'll be able to get someone comparable back even if someone else picks him up and Brown doesn't work out.
I don't know what's up with Bay, but without the concussion, I'd be sorely tempted by him, though I can be a sucker for career stats, and his career stat line is .278/.374/.508, and he's been pretty durable.
Fixed, thanks. Got the R/HR columns reversed.
This is a great idea. Last week's All-Star edition was supposed to spotlight some of the 2nd-half guys to pay attention to, but I agree that there are some very specific ones which will come up as trades become more imminent.
The Royals situation is a particularly interesting question, and one which may not be getting talked about enough for fantasy purposes. For KC, the ideal situation would be for them to trade Dejesus for a lot of prospect value (since there's a cheap club option on him in 2011 - well, $6mil cheap), and then see if they can't get a couple shiny pennies for Jose Guillen. As Craig Brown pointed out (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=11540), Ankiel is due back imminently, though with a $6mil mutual option for 2011 and his constant health issues, he doesn't appear to have much of a future with KC. So...
If I had to guess, I'd guess that Betemit is allowed to DH until he struggles, at which point Kila Ka'aihue (.302/.455/.580 at AAA) will again be overlooked for the job. Alex Gordon is facing a tough situation, in that all of Pods, Maier, and Ankiel also bat left-handed, but Maier is nothing more than a 4th OF anyway, so Gordon's best hope is that Ankiel shows himself capable of manning CF and Maier struggles. Still, if I was going to roll the dice that both vets get traded, I'd probably go with Betemit first, since he's already playing a lot, then Gordon over Ka'aihue, since the organization seems determined to avoid finding out whether Kila can handle MLB pitching.
Davenport Translations. Available on the stats page: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/minoreqa.php
Pardon, I try to put the full term in print before using the abbreviation, but I must have edited it out.
From E-BABIP's, I see that Sandoval's is just .307 predicted for 2010. That isn't much different than the .294 he's posted so far. His GB/LD/FB rates are about the same as last year, but his HR/FB% is down a ton. Applying a similar reasoning to that which Marc used in his Hill article, it appears that Panda has been swinging at - and contacting - balls outside the zone at a very similar pace to 2009.
Looking at his 2009 vs. 2010 spray charts, it appears that - confirming the %'s - his fly balls haven't been travelling as far. Also, he's hitting more balls to the left side. In 2009, he pulled a lot of balls, hammering many of them for homers and other base hits, including some very long homers. Looking at the Pitch F/X charts, pitchers appear to be working him in almost exactly the same manner, at least at the composite level (don't have it broken down by count or game situation).
Putting it all together, I'd be somewhat worried. I haven't read anything about his strength being down, but the tale of the tape shows something is missing. Combining that with the fact that he's probably not a .350 BABIP hitter, but more like a .300-.310 guy, that's a big drop in performance. The flip side is that he's almost certainly endured some ill fortune this year, and can be expected to rebound somewhat. But 2009 levels seem out of reach, even for the rest of the year.
I'm sure I had a good reason for typing "rest of April" (not), but I meant "rest of July", if it isn't obvious.
Obviously, you know all these guys have talent. I think the question you'd have to think about is who you could get back if they have a slow stretch the rest of April, coupled with who's most likely to have a slow stretch.
Guillen - I think there's little doubt that he's the worst player among this group. Add in a hostile home ballpark and few other offensive contributors, and he has all the makings of a terrible fantasy player as well. He hit .340 in June, but it was fairly empty, as his OBP was .382 and his SLG .466. And he's begun July in a slump. I think at this point, you take what you've gotten from him and let him go. He's hit .263/.317/.428 over his last 1800+ PA, and even if PECOTA W.M. indicates he's better than that, I wouldn't bother.
Matsui - I suppose he's the next guy (or maybe the first) to shed. He's hitting a paltry .253/.333/.404, has been ice cold, and - especially if Texas upgrades their rotation - his upcoming schedule is bleak.
Quentin - It's amazing to me that the schedule worked this way, but the White Sox literally play only the M's and A's for 2 straight weeks to end the month. Quentin's finally looking alive, but - at least with Lee still in Seattle as I write this - those two teams aren't much fun. But I'd definitely want him back in August!
Pagan - As noted here in the past, he has hit righty pitchers quite well all through his (admittedly short) career. That's a great trend for a base-stealer, as they are usually easier to swipe against. I'd only cut him if you thought that the Mets were going to be stupid and play Francoeur so much that Pagan is relegated to 4th OF duties. From an informal poll of some smart people via IM, this appears to have about a 50% chance of happening. :(
Don't cut Werth or Beltran. I think you're seeing what you can expect from Maggs - not a superstar (10 HR, 1 SB), but certainly useful (.300-ish AVG, RBIs and Runs).
Thinking about what to say on this. Obviously, it's very complicated, but the bottom line is what to expect for the 2nd half of 2010 and in 2011... I circulated it around the other writers, and we should give you some solid analysis at some point soon.
On a personal level, I have Hill in an AL Expert League, and keep hoping for the best, but that's hardly "analysis".
Okay, piece by piece:
1. Garcia is a good pitcher. Is he 2.10 ERA (what he had before tonight) good? No way. His SIERA was 3.67 before this game, and I wouldn't worry overly much about one sub-par outing in Colorado. A pitcher with mid-3's talent pitching for the Cardinals with Dave Duncan and their offense and park to help him is a good pitcher to have.
2. Tony LaRussa plays his starting players almost the entire game in spring training games. I have very little evidence that he'd be worried about something like an inning restriction on a young pitcher. Barring a trade for Cliff Lee and/or miraculous recoveries by Penny and Lohse, the Cards desperately need Garcia to take the ball. He may not reach 200 IP, but 170+ wouldn't shock me.
3. Beltran is the wild card here. With your pitching, the ability to trade surplus for a guy who can help in almost every category is probably a no-brainer. Now, can he? I would certainly like to roll those dice, though I have a suspicion that his speed won't be there, at least at first.
4. Also entering the discussion would be the available SP you'd be backfilling the rotation with. I recently picked up Bumgarner and D.Hudson in the 15-team BDD fantasy league, for example - both could be excellent, but both come with very high risk.
Anyway, my gut says that this is probably a good trade in your situation, but it's never easy to send away good starting pitchers from good teams in good ballparks - like Garcia.
Yep, I couldn't agree more. But I have my own xBABIP system, which has long indicated that Quentin's BABIP would increase. So did Matt Swartz's published E-BABIP for Quentin in 2010 (.280). Some links:
Matt's 3-part article on E-BABIP:
Google Docs with 2010 E-BABIPs (the link in the article has a typo): http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=tMC8mqXiVL6gP9bnd74jrEw&single=true&gid=0&output=html).
But, anyway, I think we're in agreement that the empirical data for Quentin outweighs the significance of the models of what his BABIP could be expected to be at this point.
I blame my co-manager. :>
It's a minor point, but I think leadoff hitters actually have a slightly lower walk rate than other lineup slots other than P. From 2008-2010, here are the numbers:
#1: 4923 BB in 55974 PA (8.80%)
all non-P: 39689 BB in 443068 PA (8.96%)
all: 40249 BB in 457678 PA (8.79%)
Of course, one would have to assume that leadoff hitters are much more skilled at drawing walks than the norm, but pitchers are also highly motivated to avoid walking them.
Can't be much help with that question I guess, as I just got back to this, and drafts are over, I'm sure. I honestly haven't scoured the "next starter" options, I was primarily trying to stay focused on keeper types with some lip service paid to relievers who were likely to be available (even then, I probably should have mentioned Ryan Webb and Venters, though they were likely already gone in many leagues, as NL leagues have 2 more teams). With the feedback to this thread, expect to see more SS coverage this season, and next year as well - getting on the first draft may be even more crucial for these "current season utility" types.
Without doing my homework, I'd probably suggest looking at AAA starters for teams in pitcher's parks to find a good dice roll for 2nd half SP, such as Will Inman or Cesar Carillo of San Diego. Madison Bumgarner will likely be a good play whenever he gets called up, but I'd assume he's long gone in every league.
Well, there's no denying that Hosmer is raking like mad this year, and Benoit will return to more of his historic norms than he's been so far.
As far as those other three guys, I agree that all three have great talent, but sometimes it's about throwing strikes, and Benoit seems to have the edge in that department right now. My thoughts on those guys:
- I follow the Chicago teams and write about them for Heater weekly, and yet somehow hadn't realized quite how badly Santos had fallen apart, hidden as it's been in the middle innings of overall team effectiveness. But he's allowed batters to hit a disgusting .467/.609/.600 since June 1, and with the starters doing so well, hasn't been in a game in a week.
- I've always thought Jensen Lewis would turn into a good pitcher (for a while, I'd been hoping that he'd start), but his WHIP this year is 1.6, with a career mark of 1.4. That's not really getting it done.
- Good luck with Farnsworth.
I think I'd risk Ogando at this point instead of those three, to be honest. I realize he's walked 4 guys in less than 4 innings, but I would take the chance that those were more a matter of "new to MLB" nerves than anything, given his recent success in AAA. There are some other lesser-known relief pitchers doing quite well - for Scoresheet purposes - in the AL this year. Who's available besides the three guys you named?
For the curious, the drafts kicked off tonight, and the two leagues I participate in (with co-managers in each) have their draft results at these URL's (or is that "URL"s?):
300 NL: http://www.scoresheet.com/htm-lib/picks.htm?dir_lgw=/FOR_WWW1/P_NL300#now
BP Kings: http://www.scoresheet.com/htm-lib/picks.htm?dir_lgw=/FOR_WWW1/BL_Kings#now
"no" - do "they" quote a "lot" of "things", also?
It may be a minor thing, but the A's have been bad against lefty pitching this year, at .252/.317/.372, and all their "easy" defensive positions are manned by lefty batters with Crisp out:
LF: Patterson/Gross, as noted
... and Pennington has been much better against righty pitching in his young career, to the point of being helpless against lefties.
The presence of Co-Jack should have a subtle influence of reducing opposing managers' willingness to bring in a LOOGY every time the heart of the A's lineup is due up, which could have a somewhat beneficial effect on the batting stats of the aforementioned guys (the ones who keep their jobs), as they see more righty pitchers. One has to believe that Billy Beane had originally envisioned Jake Fox filling this role of "righty intimidator". :>
P.S. Yes, Gross was essentially worthless, but he was propping up my dismal AL-only league outfield in the FantasyPros911 experts league. I wonder how much of my FAAB I will need to sign Jackson, not that he's a prize in 5x5 scoring.
Sorry, Mike, I made a Piniella comment and directed people here for Soto commentary. Following the Cubs closely as I do, I'd agree with your position here, and would add that part of what makes Soto so valuable in real life doesn't help in most fantasy formats - namely, his willingness to take walks. In the abstract, he seems like a great "buy low" candidate, but then again, I would have said the same thing about Chris Iannetta early this year when he started losing PT to Miguel Olivo, too.
Gah! Well, good thing I didn't use that piece of "data" in a feature. I had pulled up his page, and read the line under Davenport Translations, which has 11 SB, but that's scaled for full-season. I stand corrected.
The reduced speed does reduce his fantasy value considerably, though he's still a power hitter who calls Philly home, and that lineup should be good, recent performances notwithstanding.
Well, I drafted Lewis in all my leagues this year, and am thrilled with the outcome - surpassing even the seemingly optimistic PECOTA pre-season projections. He's shown a little less fine control than expected, and while his BABIP should remain under .300 with the good defense and his flyball tendencies both helping suppress it, it will rise from .244 and he'll always allow home runs, so it seems safe to assume that he won't remain as effective as he's been.
Until Werth started slumping, he was playing like an MVP candidate, and is stealing more bases than ever before, making him a great fantasy option. I tend to shrug off most in-season "trends" for hitters, since they go through streaks and slumps, and Werth's season stat line is still great, and consistent with a very strong pre-season projection (W-M is .281/.372/.517).
Even with outfielders being much easier to replace than good starting pitchers (in most formats), I think this is a no-brainer, and a great deal for you.
If Will thinks Beltran's return is imminent, my experience with long-time vets like him is that the "rust" comes off pretty quickly, and we all know that he has elite fantasy potential with his "floor" being pretty good, too. It always depends on what you'd be giving up, but it seems like a great play with him so close to returning. I wouldn't expect vintage-level steals from him, but his other contributions are fine.
Fixed, thank you.
If you're not scoring walks, and don't need the 2b eligibility, I'd take Byrd. All else being equal, he's likely to be more durable, which is a big asset in fantasy. Neither team has been scoring much lately.
Not really related to the strikeout rate, nor exactly defending the Pirates' lineup here, since this is the lowest-scoring team in MLB and Doumit was sitting, but if you look at the weighted average TAv for the lineup they put out there (yeah, I know, that's back-of-envelope type calculation):
Andrew McCutchen .307
Neil Walker .316
Lastings Milledge .242
Garrett Jones .276
Delwyn Young .258
Andy LaRoche .239
Ronny Cedeno .238
Jason Jaramillo .194
Weighted by league-average PA-per-slot: TAv= .261.
If you include:
Jeff Karstens .170
Ryan Church .211
... the TAv drops to .254, still much higher than their season rate of .240. This is due mostly to having Clement (.198 TAv) and Iwamura (.217) out of the lineup.
Not saying they have a *good* lineup, but the ballpark and the early struggles of two regulars certainly are contributing factors to their bottom-of-league placement in runs/game. As Colin showed, they aren't really a high-K lineup, nor are they nearly as awful as their reputation (due, in large part, to having such an excellent offensive player batting atop the lineup).
I think that dalbano addresses the core of the answer here, in that it rather depends on what the alternatives are. For the Braves, both Melky Cabrera and Matt Diaz followed Nate McLouth like lemmings off the cliff, which is why playing time has opened up in left field for Hinke. Jordan Schafer's career is mired, and that leaves Gregor Blanco.
The only pieces of good news at this point for McLouth owners are that a) he can't possibly be *this* bad, and b) Bobby Cox is one of the most "patient" managers around - he believes his assessment of a player's skill level much more than any stats, and is perfectly willing to suffer through much longer slumps than most most managers would. And it's clear that Cox sees McLouth as at least a borderline "star" player, while viewing Blanco as the "5th outfielder" type he probably is. With Melky Cabrera being new to the organization this year, it seems as though he's not really viewed as being an acceptable fielder for everyday CF duties, though if he and Hinske both get hot at the same time, Cox's famous "patience" with McLouth will be tested.
So, if your options are better than those of the Braves, it's probably past time to make a swap.
He's 29 years old this year, and his Weighted-means rate stats are .249/.295/.347, with a steal rate of 6-per-345 PA. I haven't given the possibility of him sticking any thought at all, though stranger - ahem, Garrett Jones - things have happened, so who knows?
A friend who is somewhat of an amateur expert on Latin-American players has been talking about Durango since last year (as a good ballplayer, not just as a fantasy player), and with his 44 SB in <600 PA last year, I think he'd be the fringy SD player I'd consider first. Honestly, I don't see either one doing much of anything, but at least Durango helps in a category.
That's a very rough quandry. I do the "Spot Talent" projections for Heater, and show Jones at .272/.322/.452 for the rest of the season, while ZiPS (Rest of Season) has him at .273/.325/.457. Stubbs is a much worse "rate stat" hitter, and his impotence in the minors in 2009 push those same predictors to .231/.318/.385 (Heater) and .234/.306/.360 (ZiPS).
I honestly am more convinced by Stubbs' recent power than the math-based systems are, but there's no denying that he's going to put the hurt on your batting average and K's. I think the OBP/SLG shortages he will have (compared to Jones) will be offset by the R/RBI, so it's really a matter of whether the steals can make up for the K/AVG.
Picking endpoints (which will always lead to a rosier outlook), Adam Jones has been decent since May 8, or even since April 30th. But, pulling up the O's schedule online, I see that he has these two games against NY, then Boston, Yankees, Mets, @SF, @SD, Florida, Washington, then Oakland. Only the Nats series really sounds great, and with Strasburg pushing out the 5th starter, even those games could be rough. The Mets don't have great pitching, but June is essentially devoid of creampuff matchups for the O's hitters.
I've been a firm believer in Jones, and usually come down on the side of "patience" in such cases, but he's swinging at more balls outside the zone, and drawing a dramatically reduced number of walks, isn't stealing bases, and is part of an O's offense which hasn't gotten going yet. Combined with a tough month of June for pitching matchups, and I think I'd go "ADHD" in this case and give Stubbs a chance, even with the high number of categories diluting the value of his speed.
Well, that's clearly a concern, but I can't see how any manager could conclude that Francoeur is the better option against righty pitching than Pagan at this point. And the Mets have talked about playing Beltran in RF to cut down on wear and tear. With the current ETA on Beltran being "after the All-Star Game sometime", I really wouldn't worry about Pagan's competition. That's a long enough period that if he continues to hit righty pitching the way he has in his career, his playing time against righties should be secure by the time Beltran recovers. And if he stops hitting, you'll have cut him by then anyway.
I agree with Mike's reply about Chone in 5x5. All my commentary above was based on the statements about the much-reduced value of batting average and steals in that points league.
I sort of like Polanco in a 5x5 league. The Phillies really should score a lot of runs, and that guy can hit .290 in his sleep. And I really think he'll continue to surprise with his power... coming to Philly (NL) from Detroit (AL) has to help.
I could see Callaspo being a lot like Polanco, perhaps with even more power. If he didn't play in a tougher ballpark for a team which rates to score many fewer runs, I'd prefer him, based on youth->health->playing time, if for no other reason.
My 2c on this:
- Given what you've written, it's very hard to see the value in Chone Figgins at all. Casey Blake is very consistent, year-to-year - not great, but you know what you're getting, and it's better than Chone if SB don't get an entire category to themselves.
- Pardon me for asking, but why not play Chase Headley at 3b? Anyway, he's the best of this crowd. I really like Jason Kubel as a ballplayer, but he's been terrible, and starting off June with series at Oakland and at Seattle doesn't seem like a great way for him to get back on track. I suppose a 2nd choice would be Drew Stubbs, since he has extra-base power, adds a few points for SB's, gets a nice home park in which to hit, doesn't hurt you with the low batting average, and - at least yesterday - the Reds were leading the NL in Runs/G. Without batting average helping you much, it's hard to see Ryan Sweeney, Placido Polanco, or Austin Jackson helping much, though Polanco has always had more power than people think [he's played in some rough parks], and the Phillies *should* score a lot of runs.
Long story short, I'd go with Blake and Headley, I think.
Ohman should do well against the lefty-vulnerable Blue Jays this weekend, if he pitches. The Orioles then have a 9-game gauntlet against the Yankees (6 games) and Boston from June 1-10. After that, however, June is a relative cakewalk for them (their pitchers, at least), including 3 games each at SF and SD.
Green are the new additions this week. Yellow are being removed after this week.
Hope these help - seems like a pretty consistent perspective of not jumping to conclusions, but not getting your hopes too high, at least for the immediate future.
Mike Petriello wrote:
Sizemore's on the DL, right? If it was me, I'd just stash him there rather than dump him completely. Actually, if I saw he was dropped in one of my leagues, I'd probably pick him up immediately just to put him on the DL.
Marc Normandin wrote:
Depends on the context, too. If it's keeper, how many, etc. I would caution he waits until we know exactly what he's doing, rehab or surgery. It's too late to trade him for anything worthwhile, so he has to either hold him and hope he plays in 2010 or drop him when we know more.
Michael Street wrote:
The other concern is whether his league has a DL slot, or whether he's got a higher value player stashed there already. IMO, if this owner could have stashed him on the DL, he probably wouldn't be asking whether to cut him or not, but that assumes this reader is a rational actor :)
Still, Marc's advice is good: never overreact to bad news until the extent of it is clear. With all of us fantasy writers out there, a tempest can sometimes be created in a teacup, esp. with a higher profile player like Sizemore.
I'm somewhat familiar with microfracture surgery, living in Portland (Greg Oden underwent the procedure), and there's a good track record among NBA players--basketball being a more impact-intensive sport, I'd imagine that Sizemore would recover well, though this would put him out for the season. Anyway, this all to say that Will is reading a lot of tea leaves in his commentary, and he could be overreacting.
His Weighted Means PECOTA is .293/.344/.506. I think that's optimistic, but I'd really need to dig into his stats to see whether there's any reason to worry. I know he went on a mini-tear recently, which is cause to think he'll come out of his "prolonged slump", but then again, he's always been a power/contact guy and his strikeouts are way up this year, suggesting that there may be reason to be worried.
In the context of the guys covered as "Value Picks", he's probably still a cut above.
Tell you what, I'll circulate this around the other "Hot Spots" writers, in case they aren't checking here. This is the million-dollar question, isn't it? :(
FWIW, the answers may depend on league configurations. I'd think that in a shallow league like Yahoo or ESPN, where you either have 9 active players (Yahoo standard league), or very few bench spots (ESPN standard league), it borders on impossible to keep a guy who isn't producing. I know that Jose Reyes has been killing my ESPN team, and Sizemore/Reyes almost did me in last year. Also, looking at it strategically, you might want to make sure that a certain key competitor or two don't get him, which may involve trading him for nothing (i.e. someone you plan to cut anyway) to a team you aren't worried as much about.
Heh, I thought I worked him over last week, was giving him a break... watch out for that upcoming gauntlet of rough pitching, though.
Yeah, I read that, but I tend to be pretty skeptical with commentary like that from any team. If he's hurt so badly that he can't hit, to the extent that they are trying Huff in the outfield, you'd think he'd go on the DL. Joe Borchard has gotten plenty of chances, so it's unlikely he'd hit, either, but he's tearing up AAA, and would reduce the redundancies of having all three of Huff, Schierholtz, and Bowker being lefty batters playing left field.
Probably the biggest problem is that the DeRosa injury provided a real window in which Schierholtz had a chance to prove that he was indispensable. Unfortunately for him, Torres has gone a lot further toward doing that, instead. Be may never be loved by Sabermetricians, but I maintain that he'll hit enough to be valuable when he's healthy and given a chance. So, do keep an eye on the entire SF outfield as the season progresses. Sadly for SF fans, the two guys who might most deserve to be backups are the two who are most likely to get spots when everyone is healthy - Rowand and DeRosa. But I do feel good about Torres, mostly from the perspective of: "This team really needs him, even if his OBP drops all the way to the .340-.350 range."
It's all fun and games until Mike tries to write about Omar Vizquel, the DH. Then things get ugly. :>
For Heater, I do the "Spot Talent" projections, and here's how they came out for Friday's edition:
Willingham, Josh $13.00
Quentin, Carlos $12.54
Ibanez, Raul $12.42
Jones, Andruw $5.06
While I think that's overly penalizing of Andruw based on past years, he did have a good April in 2009, also, and he's having neck problems now, and the White Sox don't rate to score a lot, so I'd rank him 4th, but the sort of guy I'd love to have for home series against Cleveland, and such.
I think it comes down to personal preference among the other three. I think Quentin still has the most upside, despite the anemic Sox attack, but getting a guy like Ibanez - situated in a potent lineup like the Phillies have - is almost always a safe thing, even if his numbers so far have been far from "safe". And, as noted in this column in the past, it's hard to knock Willingham, though you're going to have to suffer through dry spells to get the outbursts... I think the Nats have a fairly well-designed offense, honestly [though Kearns' 2010 stats would certainly improve their RF situation!]
I would probably waffle at least 3 times trying to decide among the 3, so take the one you'll regret the most if you miss out on him, I guess. :>
Daytona Cubs: http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?pos=LF&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=571804
He's the "next J.D. Drew", don't forget the name! :>
[seriously, thanks for the tip, fixed it]
Well, I hope he hurries back... I have him in the FantasyPros911.com AL Expert League, and I don't want Normandin beating me down when his army of injured guys rejoin the battle!
Good question on Kearns. I will start off by admitting that last year, I was still writing about how bad of a pickup Garrett Jones would be after he'd been raking for 2 months, so I'm slower than most fantasy players to believe in a fluky advance in skills.
The difference with Kearns, of course, is that when he was much younger, he showed a lot more promise than Jones, who was a sort of fringy prospect even back in his youth.
As far as 2010 Kearns, I think this is a case where there's a stronger-than-usual likelihood that the old cliche about the league "catching up to him" is going to happen. He's new to the AL, and while there may be a "book" on how to get him out that has worked well for several years now in the NL, he also obviously has the natural skills to punish pitchers who make mistakes. So, his .447 BABIP is going to drop, likely all the way down to his career norm of about .300. He's not hitting for power or stealing bases. So, I certainly wouldn't invest anything long-term into him.
On the plus side, the Indians lineup leans to the left, and while Kearns has a less pronounced platoon split than I'd remembered from his Strat cards, the fact still remains that he has only been effective against righties a couple times in his career, while having several good seasons against lefties. So, having teammates who inspire opponents to use their less-good lefty pitchers more often should help him somewhat - assuming he's lodged between a Branyan and a Valbuena or some such. And his good glove - I haven't watched him much in the past couple years, but he used to be a great defender - should keep him in the lineup even if his bat fizzles somewhat.
I guess it makes him non-newsworthy in my book, since he'd probably cost too much in an AL-only context now, and for shallow mixed leagues, he'd only be the sort of guy I'd pick up for road trips to hitter-happy parks like Chicago or Texas, when those teams had 2 lefties on the agenda.
I wouldn't even consider dropping Latos. Garcia is almost in that category, too, especially if you aren't in a great situation with wins.
I'd drop Norris, personally. Sure, the Berkman-led offense will score more than it did without him, and Kennedy's home games don't offer a great situation for pitching. But the D-backs should score some runs for Kennedy, and getting the more frequent starts at Petco is a great bonus. I guess Norris at Pittsburgh is nice, but I'd have a hard time making him active in any other situation. I'd probably activate Kennedy at both SF and SD now, and maybe some other times as well. As a general plan, I'd also rather have the starting pitcher with control in roto formats. Guys who walk a lot can have "effective" outings which still really cripple a team's WHIP, as they pitch around their walks. No thanks.
I can feel your pain, Jay. I have him "contracted" in an AL keeper league, where the contracted players can't be demoted.
I have to assume you're either talking a deep mixed league (20+ teams) or an AL league. If not, kick the bum to the curb in a typical 10-12 team mixed format like Yahoo or ESPN. :( He has value in being able to play both SS and 3B (and MI/CI), but since his great 2005 season, he's hit only .262/.326/.413 in 2638 PA.
But in a deeper league, playing time is definitely king, and Peralta doesn't appear to be in danger of losing his job. He's also been one of the healthier players in the game. I'd expect something like the post-2005 stat line of .262/.326/.413 from him. That's not terrible for a shortstop.
We meant this to become an ongoing dialogue, with players entering or leaving the "Value" list each week. I will note that inside the articles in the future, as people can look at previous editions for commentary on players in the chart who don't get discussed in a given week.
In short, Blanks should be good for homers and little else, though if you're able to roster him and play him only in road-heavy weeks, he could be a great addition; he certainly has top-notch power. In a daily-move context, playing him against - for example - the Colorado lefties (in Colorado) could amount to some very good 4-category production.
Yes, fixed those column headings just now, thanks for the tip.
These ratings (L/R and range) will be in Heater this season as well, so they will be handily available when considering lineups, trades, and in-season drafts.
For anyone who hasn't checked out Heater yet, a sample of the preseason edition is here: http://www.heatermagazine.com/download.php?id=1059. Frankly, I don't yet know how John Burnson is going to squeeze in the SS ratings, but he's a magician with layouts.
I certainly don't think McCoy will be leading off; I was trying to say that while he has leadoff-type skills, he's not good enough. Yes, I realize that Bautista will be leading off, and while I also realize that Cito loves him, I am guessing he doesn't love having to use him as a leadoff hitter for lack of better options.
That should read "...replacing Blanco's projected PT at 2b..."
BP has the smartest readers. :)
Here's how the process went:
We try to use our knowledge to predict what's signal and what's noise when it comes to pre-season pronouncements. That said, Michael's comment is true, and I predicted the Cubs infield on Thursday night, and I actually ADDED playing time to Fontenot at that time:
- Fontenot plays 10% at shortstop, with Blanco failing to make the roster - this stemming from Lou's confidence in Fontenot's ability to play shortstop, at least as a backup.
- Tracy makes the team (taking Blanco's roster spot), and gets the backup PT at third base.
- Baker's projected time backing up at 3b is moved to 2b, replacing Blanco's projected PT at 3b (10% in both cases).
- Fontenot's projected time at 2b remained the same (40%, which was already on the way up, but Baker had won this job last year... but the dearth of lefty bats on Chicago, and Fontenot's better defense [presumably] earn him significant time.)
That was last week. Fontenot is now hitting .474 and Baker .111. No matter how meaningless spring stats supposedly are, Piniella is certain to reward the guy who's hitting on opening day, and I'll bump up the near-term PT projection for Fontenot this week.
Joe Hamrahi is co-managing the team listed under my name, and talked me out of drafting all starting pitching for the first 6 rounds. But a late-night email ended up resulting in an 11th-hour trade of Aramis Ramirez for a draft pick which became Luis Valbuena, Simon Castro, Wilmer Flores, and a slight draft upgrade. Here are the picks with our current position-by-position roster:
11. Marc Rzepczynski.
12a. Carlos Ruiz
12b. Alex Rios
--> extra pick was acquired for Scott Kazmir, allowing us to retain Homer Bailey. Is Rios+Bailey for Kazmir a good return? We'll find out; both sides seem risky for now, though Kazmir in a new division should rebound nicely.
13. Huston Street
14. Matt Diaz
15. Bobby Jenks
16. Alex Avila
c: Ruiz, Avila, Salome, (Tony Sanchez), (Hank Conger)
2b: Valbuena, Todd Frazier
ss: Alcides Escobar, (Wilmer Flores)
lf: Coghlan, Michael Saunders
cf: Bourn, Rios, (Brett Jackson)
rf: Matt Diaz
sp: Brett Anderson
sp: James Shields
sp: Ervin Santana
sp: Aaron Harang
sp: Homer Bailey
sp: Marc Rzepczynski
sp: Aaron Poreda
sp: (Simon Castro)
rp: Huston Street
rp: Bobby Jenks
Yeah, early in the preseason, opinions can vary wildly - as can be seen from the contradictory comments here. And I'm sure that's how sports books make a lot of their money, getting 7 months of usage on money on both sides of each line, from people who see "sure things". I thought this would generate some interesting discussion about which teams were over- and under-rated by various sources, so feel free to share yours! I'll be happy to review outcomes after the season, and people who out-predicted the Heater experts on given teams will be welcome to point out those predictions. :>
Some things are certain: a) People won't agree, which is how the sports books make their money, b) every projection/handicapping system will end up being relatively far off on a few teams, and c) hopefully - all will become more accurate as the season approaches.
I thought of this, especially since there are at present some huge gaps between the two sites - but to start with most sites have a 15% margin right now (or "vig" or "juice" or whatever you want to call it). Still, if one was to bet 115 units on, say, Baltimore UNDER 76 and 115 units on Baltimore OVER 73, that person would then in essence be risking 15 units to win 215 units if the win total fell between 73 and 76, or 115 in case of a "push" (either exactly 73 or 76).
I was in the same "Redistribution Draft" that Geoff references. My initiation to the league was to have my first deal result in a league-wide comment about how the other owner was the early leader for "best trade of 2010"... doh!
And I went the other way from Geoff in redistribution, scooping up a herd of older players after the other drafters were done. He was correct that none were in demand, and I left myself with a couple hard decisions for my last roster spots. Scutaro got a very nice defensive rating this year, and I think will be quite an asset for some team in contention. I just couldn't convince myself that I was in contention, given how stratified the league is (see: Team "Murphy, Ben" above for an example of a team in the upper stratum). I also waffled several times on Milton Bradley.
At the 11th hour, I was able to get a 12th-round pick for Scott Kazmir, allowing me to keep another "bubble" player in addition to the pick. I could see that working out either way, but I figure I got Homer Bailey and a pick (and the extra roster slot!) for Kazmir, and who knows with pitchers?
Anyway, I had also drafted several near-MLB guys in the redistribution, and so I figured I'd protect more pitchers than position players, as I am expecting to want to keep some of my position players next year, and we only get 10 MLB keepers per season. Here's my team by position now:
C: Angel Salome (milb), Hank Conger (milb), Jorge Sanchez (milb)
1b: Aramis Ramirez [can play out of position in Scoresheet]
2b: Todd Frazier (milb)
3b: Ryan Zimmerman
ss: Alcides Escobar (milb)
lf: Chris Coghlan, Michael Saunders(milb)
cf: Michael Bourn, Brett Jackson (milb)
rf: Nick Swisher
sp: Brett Anderson
sp: Ervin Santana
sp: James Shields
sp: Aaron Harang
sp: Homer Bailey
sp: Aaron Poreda (milb)
Joe Hamrahi has since joined up to co-manage, and will probably be doing most of the drafting this year. Both of us are new to Scoresheet baseball (I got my first team last July as a bad abandoned team so I have a head start), but have played Strat-O-Matic and fantasy sports for a long time.
Some clarifications on my points:
- Actually, the starting win% (again, per walkoffbalk.com) is .281 with 1st/2nd, 0 outs, -2 score differential.
- I'm not sure I agree that Murphy goes to 3rd base all that often on a single. Computing %'s while runners are in motion - as the 3rd-base coach must do - is far harder than at the beginning of the play. Sending the runners to home and third (risking an out) instead of "settling" for a bases-loaded/nobody-out situation is a hard call, and I'm guessing that the runners get held up most of the time there, even though the 2nd runner is the tying run. Him gong for 3rd would run contrary to that old maxim of not making the 1st out at 3rd base, if we're presuming the Mets are doing their computations with an abacus instead of a computer here.
- Yep, obviously not all GB's are GDP. I think Francoeur's DP% is under 12%, IIRC, while his GB% is much higher. My point was merely that avoiding one has an enormous impact in that situation, and since GDP are much more common than LDP, that's a big part of why managers run.
When analyzing an endgame position like this, the "run expectancy" of an event is virtually meaningless. The win expectancies (I used the retrosheet interface at walkoffbalk.com) show that you might be understating some of the benefits:
A) Avoiding a GDP results in a 2nd/3rd, 1 out, -2 situation for a .305 win% as opposed to 3rd base, 2 outs, -2 situation (.063). +.242 win%
B) Even avoiding a fielder's choice (at 2nd base) changes a 1st/3rd, 1 out -2 situation (.167) into 2nd/3rd, 1 out -2 situation (.305). +.138 win%
C) Single: A single raises the win expectancy from .514 (1st/2nd, 0 outs, -1 in 9th) to .644 (1st/3rd, 0 outs, -1 in 9th). That's pretty hefty, not just a "slight win". +.130 win%.
Now, these are all based on empirical historical data, and the personnel involved in the Mets game would have altered the values somewhat, but these values are close enough to indicate there were some significant gains to be made.
And - as another commenter noted - Lidge hasn't exactly shut down the running game in his career (40-15 against him). Certainly, on a busted H&R, the CS% will be higher, but he's not fast to the plate, and a righty batter makes the play at 3rd harder.
Now, it may have been the wrong play - I haven't done due diligence to prove one way or the other. But my sense is that if anyone can handle swinging at a pitch outside the strike zone, it's Francoeur, and he's 80th of 221 players this year in terms of DP% (300+ PA - http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/sortable/index.php?cid=525831). So, there were a lot of ways things could have gone very wrong for the Mets without the runners in motion, too. And it's not like he's going to walk. :>
I think because of the hindsight, this deal is going to be viewed as a LOT less of a total blunder than it was. Burnett was a very injury-prone starting pitcher who was great when healthy. To further compound the risk of his contract by putting an "out" into the deal seems like a departure from any fiscal responsibility.
When does Burnett exercise the "out"? When he's pitching well (see: what really happened). When does he stay with the Jays? When he's hurt and has to miss work. So, the way the deal was structured, the "upside" was taken away without any protection from the risk.
This was a case where if that was the clause required to get a deal done, the Jays needed to just do without Burnett.
To me, some of the value of the LaRoche acquisition will be determined by how often he gets "rested" against LHP. He's a career .275/.346/.500 hitter against RHP, which - while not Mark Teixeira (.279/.369/.543 vsR, career) - isn't bad. And while he hasn't been buried in Petco or the like, he hasn't played in great hitting environments, either. The dark side of this is that he really doesn't deserve a lineup spot against LHP.
I think you have to be careful using "career splits" for Kotchman. His brutal 2004 was almost entirely "first half", as were his unthinkably bad 88 PA in 2006. Meanwhile, his good 2005 season was almost all "second half". Those three (albeit very partial) seasons account for a lot of his split.
LaRoche, on the other hand has seemingly turned into a different player in 2nd halves of full seasons. Of course, such a trend is very frequently NOT repeatable, even if we've seen it several times. But it is historically a real same-season improvement, as opposed to Kotchman's career split differences.
- Liriano has also been very limited in playing time by his injuries, and age matters very little, as after 6 years, it's free market economics anyway (though the picks are nice).
- Rolen is better than AJ. But the Twins didn't get anyone of EE's ability either.
There was some hyperbole to it, too. :>
How embarrassing - as someone figured out, he went to UCLA. I'm not going to pretend that I had something clever in mind for "BL" replacing "LA", but there you have it.
I think he's a serious closer candidate. It's not all about age. His first exposure to full-season ball was 2007, when his seasonal age was 24, and his seasonal age in 2010 will be 27. If he'd been a position player for those "missing" years, we wouldn't think twice about it. Reports I've read since posting this are that he's actually been clocked at 100 this year. As noted, the prospects *could* be nothing, but a guy who can throw strikes with that much velocity and has something resembling a 2nd pitch has to be considered promising.
The .262 represents the NL tying it in either the 8th or 9th.
I assigned 50% chance for Nathan/Mo to hold them scoreless (I took the 75% of the time they pitch scoreless innings and squared it for .56, since precision at this point is very low, based on all the assumptions, I didn't worry that they actually throw scoreless innings more often than 75%, and I "adjusted" .56 down to .50 - 50% - to account for the higher-quality hitters than the norm).
So, what I had was (home eWin% after ":") -
Scenario 1: NL escapes 8th: .637 (could be adjusted downward per your comment on Nathan being used)
Scenario 2: NL allows a run...
A) Nathan/Mo hold NL scoreless (50%): .000
B) Nathan/Mo allow a run (50%): .523 (50% of .523 is .262, after rounding)
Could have added...
2.C) Nathan/Mo allow 2+ runs (10-15%??): .800??
Scenario 3: NL allows 2+ runs...
A) Nathan/Mo hold NL <2 runs (85-90%??): .000
B) Nathan/Mo allow NL to tie (9-14%%??): .523
C) Nathan/Mo allow NL to gain the lead (~1%??): .800??
Yes, those results would dilute the overwhelming 38:12 ratio. No, I don't believe they alter the conclusions one bit.
I agree that it's nice to see WPA's being discussed so much. I used to monkey around in my spare time with events tables when I was at STATS, Inc. in the early 90's.... RunExp, Scoring%, Win% for various situations and environments (the big one there for me was trying to figure out how Coors impacted the components, since it was a new phenomenon). Should have stuck with it, it's too fun. As it was, it mostly just helped my strat game. :>
I agree with all this. I did post his career vsR numbers, which are notably inferior to his 2009 numbers, but still exceptional. I tried not to dwell on any platoon advantage gained against Bell later on, when I was summing up the pros and cons. I wrote "slightly worse against LHB", and I'll stand by that. He may have been slightly "reverse" entering 2009, but the recent data have to be considered as well. But I fully concur that Bell's vsR splits are certainly not the make-or-break aspects of this move.
On a side note, it's much more likely for a reliever - amongst all groups of baseball players - to suddenly develop a previously unseen tendency, so if he does develop into a pitcher who cans RHB, it wouldn't be the most shocking thing in the world. It's not like his 280 career IP before 2009 (612 PA vs RHB) are an overwhelmingly large sample size.
The .523 isn't discounted, it's the chance the home team has to win a tie (start of inning) 9th+ game. Arguably, we could assume that the AL is x% better, and reduce every win% herein by x%, but that would just change the magnitude of the WPA's, not the ratios to one another.
Perhaps the .637 could be discounted, if you assume, as I have here, that Nathan and Mariano are better than your run-o-mill All-Stars. The assumption was that a tie game would keep them in the pen instead of on the diamond, as would happen in a regular season game these days, as setup/closer usage is pretty strictly adhered to by most managers. I can see where that might be a bad assumption for an All-Star game.
I debated whether to mention this topic, but I think it's significant that Adrian is probably the best Mexican player in the game today (his bio says he was born in CA, but moved to MX at age 1, before moving back at age 13), and the Padres have so many Mexican fans. It would be different if he was of questionable value-to-cost, but I have to believe that trading him away would be a PR nightmare.
Lest I see completely out of line, I found a quote from a NYT article about the Padres fan enthusiasm during the 1998 playoffs:
"Mayor Susan Golding of San Diego agrees, while also giving credit to the balmy weather. 'Padre fans are a cross-section from all over the county,' she said. 'Downtown, suburban, rural, east, north, ranchers and farmers to high-tech engineers, yuppies to the new kids -- the X generation. A lot from across the border. The Padres are extremely popular in Tijuana.[...]"
Heh. I have a great field manager in FOD (as some BP guys know from NASA), so I get some leeway in team construction. :> That said, if the $150mil/6yr bid to retain Pujols holds up, the other players are are just fluff. Never thought I'd be happy to spend >25% of the team budget on a first baseman.
This is a good observation. I didn't mean to draw too many conclusions, which is why I used the "Unfiltered" forum instead of a full analytical piece. I am still waffling on how I think the rest of the season will go for their pitching staff, but - other than avoiding some notable offensive stars, as other comments have noted above - there's little debate about how great they've been so far.
"I DON'T KNOW WHAT WE'RE YELLING ABOUT!!!" - Tamland.
You realize that this predicts -41 wins for the NL Central? Are those teams really that much worse, collectively? I realize that CC and Sheets are gone, but Harden's around for a whole season (or what passes for one in his world), and Carpenter might be back. And the Reds are predicted to pick up 8 games.
I removed all the duplicates on April 3 (which was Sean Gallagher), and the totals were still over 162 (77-90).
The factoid I find ironic in the discussion of the Shouse usage is that Burrell has yet to ground into a double play against a lefty pitcher this year (177 PA).