PECOTA helps pick the best player in baseball for every age, from Julio Urias to Bartolo Colon and all the superstars in between.
I have a vivid memory from my little league days of sitting in the dugout after practice and listening intently as a teammate read Baseball America’s rankings of the best players in the country by age. The best player on our team, who later went on to play Division I ball, was annoyed by the notion of a 13-year-old somewhere else getting so much attention for what couldn’t possibly be (he figured) superior talent. The sixth-best player on our team, who later went on to write this article, found it fascinating that there was a 13-year-old so good at baseball that they were being written about in magazines.
A weak position gets weaker, and a bleak outlook gets bleaker.
We, at Baseball Prospectus, have been talking about catchers for a while now (three days and change to be exact, depending on when you are reading this) and the party continues to rage on. Yet before we rage, we shall calibrate—since rankings aren’t useful without knowing what you’re reading. The list you are about to read here presupposes a 16-team standard (read: 5x5 roto) dynasty format, in which there are no contracts/salaries, players can be kept forever, and owners have minor-league farm systems in which to hoard prospects. So feel free to adjust this as necessary for your individual league, whether it’s moving non-elite prospects without 2016 ETAs down if you don’t have separate farm teams or moving lower-risk, lower-reward players up in deeper mixed or -only formats. And if this list doesn't go deep enough for you (god bless your soul), Wilson Karaman has you covered with his Ocean's Floor column as well. We leave no stone unturned here.
It may seem crazy, but there might be an argument to be made for a catcher--yes, a catcher!--deserving Cy Young votes.
It’s been an interesting year in baseball and in general (and it’s not over!). Maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself, but I’m personally looking forward to seeing what happens in the voting in November. The Cy Young voting. (Is there another vote thing going on?)
Looking back on three targets from the pre-season. Wistfully.
One of our annual traditions I most look forward to here at BP is the Target/Avoid series we run as part of our pre-season positional coverage, as it allows us to get a little more in-depth with player recommendations and strategic examples that we feel particularly passionate about. The way the cards were dealt this year I ended up mildly unbalanced in my assignments, so we’ll start today with a look back at my “target” selections and then work our way through the “avoid” guys next week.
No, really: Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner are the Mike Trout, the Steph Curry, the Tesla battery of... batteries.
There are a lot of easy storylines when considering the coming season for San Francisco. It’s 2016, which is, by my calculation, an even year, so we could talk about their forthcoming championship season in that light. There’s the departure from previous norms in regards to spending as they’ve rebuilt their rotation from scratch. There’s the incredible amount of homegrown talent they feature, including their new-found ability to channel #CardinalsDevilMagic by churning out above-average bats from seemingly middling (offensive) talent (Crawford, Panik, Duffy). But there are a couple obvious reasons why the Giants are poised to challenge for a fourth championship in seven years, too. In the words of our dearly departed R.J. Anderson “we’ll spend a thousand words on Austin Hedges but can’t do the same for Buster Posey because he’s old.” Let's rectify.
Looking for an advantage at the position in DFS and daily transaction leagues? Here are the splits you should know.
It's January. Fantasy football season is over. Playoff DFS for football is getting weird due to the short slates. It's that time of year when baseball junkies begin poring over stats and scenarios in preparation for the fantasy baseball season that lies ahead. The anticipation of Draft Day (aka Best Holiday of the Year) is unparalleled in the fantasy world, and the sheer volume of data that is generated each baseball season makes for the best off-season analysis in sports.
How do the Giants continue to produce major leaguers who outperform their perceived ceilings?
No matter how much baseball we watch, no matter how much we think we know, we’re always surprised by something. Whether it’s the underperformance or the ability to exceed expectations of a certain player or team, every new season always brings about something that makes one wonder how it’s happening. It seems as though the San Francisco Giants are able to repeatedly be that team, although they do seem to limit it to some sort of even-year magic.
Of course, the even- and odd-year stuff holds no water; this is a legitimately strong team. When they rebounded from a 3-9 start to get to 10 games over .500 in late May, I decided to take a look at what was going on with them this season. To my surprise, after years of seeing a dominant pitching staff carry the Giants into the playoffs, it was the offense that was the strength of this year’s team.
A look at the hitters who could outperform their PECOTA projections in RBI.
One of the fun ways we all try to outsmart our opponents in fantasy is by searching for hidden value in players who, for one reason or another, we suspect have the ability to outpace their projections (and, relatedly, their draft cost). Our Darkhorses series features staff picks for players who could very well outpace their PECOTA projections for the year and provide the top overall production in one of the standard five-by-five categories. We’ve all picked one player currently projected by PECOTA to fall outside of the top 10 and one longer-shot player currently projected outside of the top 25. We’ll take a look at offense this week and pitching next. For the earlier editions in this series, click below:
From Buster Posey to Christian Bethancourt, this list is loaded with both big leaguers and high-upside prospects.
Because dynasty league rankings are relatively league dependent, I set up parameters for ranking the players below (and the ones who will follow at other positions). The list here presupposes a 16-team standard dynasty format, in which there are no contracts/salaries, players can be kept forever, and owners have minor-league farm systems in which to hoard prospects. Feel free to adjust this as necessary for your individual league, whether it’s moving non-elite prospects without 2014 ETAs down if you don’t have separate farm teams or moving lower-risk, lower-reward players up in deeper mixed or league–only formats.
The catcher position is a tricky one, as there are a lot of players at or near the top of the list who may be playing another position in three or so years. That, plus with most leagues using one active catcher, prospects are featured a little more prominently due to both the major-league depth right now and the fact that there are diminishing returns to carrying too many backstops.