Michael graduates his first VP of the season, but he still points out plenty of undervalued corner infielders to be found on your league’s waiver wires.
For our nation’s scholars, graduation is just around the corner, but we start things early here at Value Picks, bidding adieu to our first departee. He leaves the list after quickly exceeding ownership thresholds, but I’ve got lots of other players ready to prove themselves to VP readers, including several bubble candidates in Playing Pepper.
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Michael digs in the bargain barrel to find Value Picks at the end of your draft, including Edwin Encarnacion, Brent Morel, Ian Stewart, and Travis Hafner
The early stages of a fantasy draft are like shopping in an upscale department store. It’s easy to find what you want and you know all the brands, but it’s pricey too. The late stages, on the other hand, are more like shopping at a thrift store. You never know whether you’ll find something you like and you’re lucky to find a name you recognize, but anything can be had for just a few bucks. And while fantasy seasons can be lost in the early rounds from overpayment and injury, they’re usually won in the middle and late rounds, when scouting and shrewd valuation can help you find the thrift-store jewel that everyone else passed over.
So this week, I’m looking at the thrift-store, bargain-barrel phase of your draft: round twenty and beyond. All of these designated hitters and corner infielders are being drafted then, and they’re all projected by PECOTA to earn $5 or less in standard leagues. This latter group includes other good players like David Freese, Justin Morneau, Mike Moustakas, Chipper Jones, and Todd Helton, but their Average Draft Position is higher than their PECOTA projections. In classic department-store style, owners are overpaying for name-brand merchandise.
Tying up the loose ends from Dallas, as the Brewers bring in Alex Gonzalez to replace Yuniesky Betancourt, the Angels sign LaTroy Hawkins, the Orioles trade for Dana Eveland, and the Rockies and Cubs swap flawed former prospects.
The Team Injury Projections are here, driven by our brand new injury forecasting system, the Comprehensive Health Index [of] Pitchers [and] Players [with] Evaluative Results—or, more succinctly, CHIPPER. Thanks to work by Colin Wyers and Dan Turkenkopf and a database loaded with injuries dating back to the 2002 season—that's nearly 4,600 players and well over 400,000 days lost to injury—we now have a system that produces injury-risk assessments to three different degrees. CHIPPER projects ratings for players based on their injury history—these ratings measure the probability of a player missing one or more games, 15 or more games, or 30 or more games. CHIPPER will have additional features added to it throughout the spring and early season that will enhance the accuracy of our injury coverage.
These ratings are also available in the Player Forecast Manager (pfm.baseballprospectus.com), where they'll be sortable by league or position—you won’t have to wait for us to finish writing this series in order to see the health ratings for all of the players.
A rematch from the '07 postseason makes for a great showdown of two teams with very different virtues.
Well, here we are again, with the Phillies and Rockies set to battle one another in the National League Division Series for the second time in three seasons. Just as it was in 2007, the Phillies enter the fray with a division title while the Rockies used an incredibly strong second half to win the NL Wild Card. Unlike that entertaining 2007 season, however, in which the Phillies ousted the Mets from the top spot of the NL East on the final day of the season, only to have their spotlight stolen soon thereafter by a Rockies team that won a controversial play-in game, this year's Phillies controlled their division practically all season. In addition, the Rockies' second-half surge proved so strong that they actually gave the division-leading Dodgers a run for their money in the final week. A good chunk of the 2007 cast of characters remains intact for each team, but enough has changed to merit a new writeup instead of a recycled version of the prior Phillies/Rockies preview.
Picking the ballplayers who might find redemption for their ugly early-season production in the second half.
The official, non-numerical second half of the season is upon us, and there are some players that can't put the first half of the year behind them fast enough. Not everything goes according to plan, no matter how good some of these guys are, but first half struggles are nothing that cannot be forgotten with a post All-Star break revival. Today we will take a look at some of the best candidates for a strong second half among those that didn't start the year out so hot.
How far can Colorado go in blazing a trail back to competitiveness in the National League?
With nods to Cliff Lee and the never-ending dramas in New York City, the story in baseball on this June 15 is the Colorado Rockies, who two weeks ago were rumored to be firing their manager, and now find themselves on an 11-game winning streak. The streak, tying the franchise record set two seasons ago, is bringing back memories of that late-season run that culminated in the first pennant in Rockies history.
All we are say-ing, give these guys a chance... and reap the benefits in the fantasy realm as well as in real life.
Just because a player spends most of his time on the bench does not mean that he lacks the skills to start. Some players ride the pine solely because there is already someone with the same skill set-or an unwieldy contract-on the team, which can dictate how roster spots are used and playing time gets handed out. For those players that could perform if they were given the chance, they are just one injury or a starter's extended slump away from getting more playing time-it's already happened on plenty of major league rosters this season, and as we will see a little later, it happened again this weekend. Recognizing in advance which bench players you should target for your roster in these scenarios can give you a leg up on your competition.