Notes from the fantasy staff on several backstops you should consider selecting in your drafts this spring.
As our eminent leader Bret Sayre outlined in the Baseball Prospectus draft prep guide, the fantasy staff here at BP is aiming to bring you a comprehensive look at each and every position on a weekly basis. From prospects to veterans, superstars to scrubs and sleepers to potential busts, we want you to have a thorough understanding of every player at every position when you hit your drafts this winter and next spring.
With that in mind, we’ve polled the fantasy staff here for a player to target and a player to avoid for each position, to run every Monday and Friday, respectively. We don’t always agree on every player, which is why you’ll see some names pop up more than once, but we hope those debates give you even more insight as to who you should or shouldn’t select on draft day.
A fantasy-oriented look at the present and future behind the dish.
The beginning of each week of pre-season positional coverage here at BP is going to kick off with a high-level view of that position before we start diving too deeply into rankings, individual players and the like. And as a reminder, here is what the rest of the week’s schedule will look like:
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An early search for the players who could take the fantasy world by storm next year, the way Matt Carpenter and Jean Segura did in 2013.
Every new season offers another batch of surprises on both ends of the spectrum. Some players will drastically underperform their draft-day cost or auction value while several others will exceed a previous baseline and help you patch over the aforementioned mistakes. Obviously finding the latter is more fun, but of course all of your leaguemates are out on the prowl for these guys so even when you think you have a bead on someone, he might be the apple of everyone else’s eye, too. Matt Carpenter seemed to be that guy for me last year.
I will pat myself on the back for having checked, starred, and highlighted him on my list, but I was never the only one, so I will take back the back-patting kudos because I continually balked at what I thought was too high a price. I was going dollar-for-dollar with the eventual winner in my NL-only league, but eventually shrugged and let him go for a $15 dollar price tag that I believed to be just a little too high. I honestly hoped to get him somewhere around $11 in our 11-team OBP league, but I didn’t mind going a few bucks higher to secure a favorite target. Turns out we were both several dollars off on the eventual fantasy star.
After taking a look at some lefty mashers last week, Paul brings you five players who could help your fantasy squad on the long side of a platoon.
Last week, I dove into the world of streaming hitters by way of platoon advantages, particularly with guys who excel against lefties. In part two, we will look at some righty mashers. With these guys being on plus side of the playing-time split, they won’t all be as readily available as the lefty guys should be in your 10- and 12-team mixers, but if you have one of these guys you might consider getting someone from the first piece to pair with them instead of starting these guys all the time.
Here are five guys making life extremely difficult for right-handed pitchers so far this season.
Opening Day observations about James Shields, Jon Lester, Mike Moustakas and others.
Like many fans with MLB.tv access, I spent the first 24 hours of the new season binging on baseball. That meant taking in the Rangers-Astros, Red Sox-Yankees, and Royals-White Sox games. Along the way I wrote down some observations about a few players.
Jason Castro PECOTA and I disagree on Castro's offensive outlook. The algorithm sees Castro hitting .238/.319/.351 with eight home runs this season in a hair fewer than 500 plate appearances. I'm more optimistic about the Stanford product and former first-round pick's chances of being an offensive asset independent of his position. Castro's problem to date has been an inability to hit same-handed pitching. He boasts a career True Average of .286 against righties and .113 against lefties—that's the difference between Jason Kubel and Lucas Harrell's 2012 offensive production. Castro did me no favors on Sunday night, going 0-for-4 against southpaws Matt Harrison and Joseph Ortiz. Still, I came away pleased with Castro's efforts behind the plate.