Is there any reason to hope for a rebound from the Cardinals outfielder?
Entering draft season, Jason Heyward was something of a controversial player. Some (myself very much included) saw a young player who’d shown a consistently solid approach and flashed tantalizing power and speed components at various points in his career, enough to suggest that if the 25-year-old ever put everything together at once, there might just be top-10-in-fantasy-baseball upside in his bat. Others saw a passive hitter who couldn’t hit lefties and whose swing mechanics had devolved from his days as an elite prospect.
He ended up going 74th overall in NFBC drafts, but with a significant variance between high (36) and low (118) draft slots that reflected the uncertainties surrounding his profile. Fast forward through the first month of the season, and regardless of where in that range he went in your league, the returns have been… not good.
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See how Wilson built his team after shelling out $46 for the best player in the game.
Mike Gianella recently released his latest mixed league Bid Limits, which spurred an idea from Bret Sayre called Model Portfolios, wherein the fantasy staff (and anyone else on the BP roster who wants to participate) will create their own team within the confines of a standard 23-man, $260 budget. The roster being constructed includes: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, OFx5, UTx2, and Px9 along with the following standards issued by Sayre:
Paul bets on rebounds from Jason Heyward and Yoenis Cespedes, and spends no more than $14 on each of his pitchers.
On Friday, Mike Gianella released his latest mixed league Bid Limits, which spurred an idea from Bret Sayre called Model Portfolios, wherein the fantasy staff (and anyone else on the BP roster who wants to participate) will create their own team within the confines of a standard 23-man, $260 budget. The roster being constructed includes: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, OFx5, UTx2, and Px9 along with the following standards issued by Sayre:
A look at the players who could outperform their PECOTA projections when it comes to crossing the plate.
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’re taking a look at offense this week and pitching next. To read the earlier editions in this series, click below:
We just want to say three words to the Braves: "service time" and "extensions."
When it comes to building baseball teams, it’s generally good to be young, but bad to be the youngest. A young team tends to have fewer players who’ll get hurt or head downhill, which bodes well, all else being equal. But fielding an especially high percentage of young players is often a sign that a team plans to throw in the towel short term, making do with league minimum instead of ponying up for performance.
This is more true on offense than it is on the mound, because pitchers tend to arrive in the majors roughly as good as they’re going to get. Of the 10 clubs projected to have the youngest pitching staffs this season, six made the playoffs in 2013, and seven were winning teams. Of the 10 clubs projected to have the youngest batters, only two are coming off playoff appearances. Which is why it stood out, as I researched the potentially historically old Yankees, that the Atlanta Braves bucked that trend. Here are the teams with the five lowest projected average team batting ages for 2014, based on our depth charts:
These players excelled from July through the end of the regular season, but does that mean great things are in store in 2014?
It’s relatively easy to tell when a player has a full-on breakout. Matt Carpenter and Paul Goldschmidt both had easily the strongest seasons of their respective careers in 2013—it doesn’t take a baseball genius to figure that out. However, every pre-season, there is always be a lot of talk about how a player had a “breakout second half,” leading to talk that they will be able to build off that experience in the following season. At face value, that makes sense. But at face value, we’re also clearly dealing with sample size issues. For every Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson, who hinted at their offensive explosions towards the end of the prior season, there are many more who never capitalize on said promise.
For the purposes of this exercise, we’re going to be looking at hitters with a .900+ OPS during the second half of the previous season in at least 100 plate appearances. But before we dig into the 2013 members of this group, we’re going to take it one step further and look back at the last couple of seasons to see exactly how this control group fared.
Mariano Rivera bids farewell to New York, the Rangers and Indians win wild ones, and Jason Heyward has a big day.
The Thursday Takeaway
Moments after the Rays defeated the Yankees 4-0, last night, Mariano Rivera went out to the mound. He knelt down, gathered a handful of dirt, and, with that keepsake in hand, bid farewell to the ballpark in which he made 629 career appearances, 53 of them in the playoffs.
The Cardinals play the Braves in Atlanta for a spot in the Division Series
The last time the Cardinals met the Braves in the postseason, in 2000, St. Louis swept a three-game series by outscoring Atlanta 24-10. Only six players from that series remain active and two, Rafael Furcal and Chipper Jones, will attend this one. Fresher on the minds of both squads and their fans is what happened last year, when the Cardinals made a late-season surge and stole away the Braves’ postseason ticket on the season’s final night. Consider this Atlanta’s opportunity for revenge.