Chris Archer broke out last season, throwing more than 200 innings for the first time in his career, posting another ERA in the low 3.00's and adding nearly eight percentage points to his strikeout rate. He finished with 252 total Ks, and after his first start of 2016 it looked like he was on his way to another dynamite season. Sure, he walked three batters and gave up three runs (two earned) and only lasted 5.0 innings (despite throwing 107 pitches), but a dozen strikeouts have a way of distracting attention and the final tally wasn't so bad when considering his hard-hitting opponent that day, the Toronto Blue Jays.
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Doug looks for signs of mechanical progress by Yordano Ventura, Trevor Bauer, Chris Archer, and Erasmo Ramirez.
This is my third year writing Raising Aces for Baseball Prospectus, and one of the perks is the dynamic nature of the series (aided by the leniency of our editors). I’m always searching for better ways to communicate ideas about pitching or to broaden the discussion, and transparency has been an integral part of the process.
These young players have exhausted their rookie eligibility, but they retain plenty of fantasy intrigue.
As a fantasy player, prospect junkie, and wannabe scout, nothing appeals to me more than evaluating young MLB talent and seeing how players’ skills translate into big-league results. This most often comes in the form of prospect evaluation, as we're always clamoring to find the next best thing, and to find that ultimate fantasy prospect whose flaws have not yet been exposed to the world.
Yet now that I've been doing this for a while, I find that it's often post-prospects—players who've recently lost their rookie eligibility—who yield the greatest rewards in fantasy leagues. Once a player struggles or is simply mortal in the majors, he tends to fall off of fantasy radars as we collectively look to the next best things. This is a mistake, and it ignores standard developmental curves, which is why post-prospects are such a great source of surplus fantasy value year after year.
There is plenty of attractive pitching on Joe Maddon's roster, but the closer role is up in the air.
Baseball is awash in money, with each team receiving a substantial bump in revenue thanks to new national television contracts that kick in for the upcoming season. With that in mind the Rays finally ventured into the free agent market, and even took on money in trades. So what did they get for all their free-spending ways? James Loney, Ryan Hanigan, and Heath Bell. I know, it might not seem like much, but given the revolving door* at first base they’ve had these last several years, this commitment to Loney is a big one (the biggest free agent contract in club history, no less). Let’s not forget last season’s late pickup of David DeJesus, who was signed to a three year deal as well. Add in Bell and Hanigan (acquired in Andrew Friedman’s long awaited first three team trade) and the Rays made shrewd moves to bolster key roster spots, all on the relative cheap. The new Rays are the same as the old Rays, eh?
*It’s worth noting that revolving door might have rejuvenating powers
These three hurlers can rack up the Ks, but just how valuable will they be come draft season next spring?
There’s nothing quite as sexy in fantasy baseball as a young, strikeout-heavy starter. Fortunately for baseball fans everywhere, the 2013 postseason is chock full of them.
From Shelby Miller to Gerrit Cole to Matt Moore and beyond, those in the next wave of stud fantasy strikeout-heavy starters are making their presence felt this October. As we get to watch these young hurlers baffle hitters many years their elder, let’s take a look at how three comparatively under-hyped arms stack up heading into 2014.
The staff casts its ballots for the Most Valuable Player, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year awards.
Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff choices for the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year) in the American and National Leagues. Each staff member's choices may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results.
For the MVP voting, we've slightly amended the traditional points system in place that has been used elsewhere, dropping fourth- and fifth-place votes to make it 10-7-5 for the MVP Award, and the regular 5-3-1 for the Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year Awards (that's 5 points for a first-place vote, 3 points for a second-place vote, etc.). Next to each of these selections we've listed the total number of ballots, followed by the total number of points, and then the number of first-place votes in parentheses, if any were received.
News and notes from around the league for June 13, 2013.
Thanks to Jason Martinez and Clint Chisam of MLB Depth Charts, we'll now be bringing you daily news, notes, transactions, injury updates, and notable performances from the previous day's games...throughout the entire season! And if you like what you see here, don't forget to check out MLBDC's Insider subscription, which also includes starting pitcher rankings and matchups, top 25 batter vs. pitcher stat rankings, lineup tracker (includes lineups from past seven games), rotation report, stat tracker, and more!
Jurickson Profar leads off the inaugural edition of Bret's look at little-owned players worthy of a spot on your bench.
If you’re a long-time rotisserie baseball player, you surely remember the days of just having an active lineup and nothing else. In fact, I’m sure some readers still play in leagues like that—my biggest home league is like that, and has been since it was formed back in 1984. However, as the game has expanded and developed, it has changed. It is now the norm to have multiple reserve/bench spots, and I play in leagues where that number ranges anywhere from three to eight. Those bench spots are valuable commodities and can be used in any number of ways.
Essentially, the choice of how you use your each of your bench spots comes down to the following question: Do I want to extract small pieces of value throughout the entire season or do I want to stash a high-upside player who may have potentially significant value down the line? More often than not, these bench spots are used on pitchers who can be plugged in as need be to boost your performance in pitching categories. But there are other options. In fact, I wrote back in February about the potential benefit to using the opportunity cost of a bench spot as part of a position player platoon. However, the ends of benches are best left for the potential fantasy gold mines—and that’s why this column exists.
The Baseball Prospectus 2013 Top 101 Prospects, by Position, by Organization, and by Age
Yesterday, Jason Parks and the Baseball Prospectus prospect crew released our Top 101 Prospects of 2013, also newly available in printed form in the now-shipping Baseball Prospectus 2013 annual. The festivities were wild and raucous for all, perhaps tempered slightly for fans of the Chicago White Sox. Here is the Top 101 list displayed by position, by organization, and by prospect age. Enjoy!