Baseball's Cousin Oliver, baseball's do-gooder cartoons, baseball's sadistic game show, and the most soap-opera name ever.
If you follow the entertainment industry, you’ve no doubt heard of upfronts—the annual meeting at which broadcasters preview their fall slate for advertisers. Upfronts are a lavish affair, held at grand venues in New York City. TV networks delivered their upfront pitches two weeks ago.
What you may not know is that Major League Baseball also holds upfronts for their prospective sponsors. This year’s event was on Friday, May 18 at the Office Suites of Bayonne in the Gateway Region of New Jersey. Baseball Prospectus’ entertainment correspondent, Ian Miller, attended this year’s event, and has these highlights of fall baseball programming. Part 1, the American League, appeared last week.
Derek may not bet the house on these coming true, but he's sure not betting against them.
Taking a page out of the book of industry friends Pat DiCaprio and Mike Podhorzer, who used to engage in this exercise at the start of the season as far back as their Fantasy Baseball Generals days, today I’m going to make 10 bold predictions for the coming season. These aren’t meant to be most-likely scenarios by any means. These aren’t average expected performances. We’ll define “bold” as Pat and Mike did, which is to say that I believe these things have at least a 20 percent chance of occurring. Feel free to let me know what you think of these predictions and what bold predictions you’re making yourself for the 2012 season!
Clayton Kershaw maintains a BB/9 below 2.75 PECOTA has Kershaw pegged for a 3.4 BB/9 after he posted rates of 4.8, 3.6, and 2.1 from 2009-2011, but PECOTA fails to take into consideration the breaking-ball change Kershaw made last year that contributed heavily to his improvement. In 2011, Kershaw shifted away from a tougher-to-control, big breaking curve and toward a tighter pitch that he can spot more easily in the zone. A 2.1 BB/9 might be nearly impossible to repeat, but expect him to keep most of the gains.
Whether he was expecting them or not, these guys are all over Derek's drafts.
With my final draft completed late last week, draft season is officially over for me, and I’m ready for the season to begin! While we’re waiting for the first pitch (or at least the first pitch thrown in the United States), I thought it might be interesting to look at which players wound up on more than one of my teams. I’m playing in six experts leagues this year, so I had plenty of opportunities to draft a player multiple times.
Before we get started, it’s important to remember that just because a player wound up on several of my teams doesn't mean he was a "have to have" guy for me or that I was targeting him specifically. Take this list for what it's worth: Simply that these players, for one reason or another, wound up on my team multiple times. Some guys I had a feeling ahead of time would wind up on my team (like Boesch, Ludwick, and Encarnacion) while others merely happened to end up on my team through no real preconceived plan (like Holliday, Soto, Hernandez, and Rivera). Then there are others that I thought would be on more of my teams but, for whatever reason, aren't (Mark Reynolds, Brandon Morrow, and Adam Dunn, among many others).
Counting on a player to transition from teeny bopper to Bash Brother at age 27 isn't a good fantasy strategy.
Twenty-seven. Oh, the age of 27. As you might be aware, age 27 gets a lot of attention in fantasy baseball circles, often cited as a “magic” number when a hitter reaches his physical peak and is most likely to break out. It doesn’t take much effort to stumble upon a fantasy writer who discusses this theory, heraldingtheupcomingseason’scrop ofage-27ers.
The theory goes that because a player is reaching his physical peak, he is most likely to have a career year during his age-27 season. Unfortunately, most of the support offered for this theory comes in the form of conjecture or anecdotal evidence. I wrote an article last offseason at THT that examined whether age 27 actually is the prime age for breakouts. Unsurprisingly, I found that it wasn’t. Of course, this won’t stop people from continuing to write about it, as they see a player like Rickie Weeks post a 29-home run season in 2010 at the age of 27 and assume that the age is somehow magical. But these people ignore the age-27 players who stumble, such as Adam Lind in 2010, and the players who break out at other ages, such as Jose Bautista at age 29. Anecdotal evidence is never sufficient and can often lead to season-sinking assumptions.
Now that the regular season has wrapped up, here's a look at who BP staffers think should win the major 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 predictions 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.