In the debut edition, Jeff looks at the DH options of the NL clubs who will visit AL parks and the lineup changes for AL clubs losing the DH.
I am excited to introduce our weekly fantasy baseball Interleague Report. With interleague play now being year-round, we can benefit from keeping tabs on teams that have played or will be playing games in opposing leagues. The plan is to give you helpful info whether it relates to daily or weekly lineups, waiver or FAAB pickups, or changes in positional eligibility. The Interleague Report will cover last week, this week, and the following week.
These young players have officially graduated from the minors and are ready to help your fantasy squad this year.
I’ve been partial to the phrase prospect fatigue as it applies to players who are on the radar for so long that we start to ding them for being (somewhat) known quantities as opposed to the younger players who let our minds run free, unencumbered by the shackles of previous performance. Well after the prospect fatigue guys come post-prospects. They live in stasis in our brains, some purgatory of youthful but not eligible for a minor league roster spot, yet still not useful enough for a major league keeper spot. Before this turns into the final season of LOST though, we should note that these players tend to be divisive, riding the line between being overvalued thanks to a perceived undervaluing or just straight up undervalued. Here’s a look at five in the NL:
Wily Peralta, P, Brewers
Peralta put together a nice second half of the season last year, making it two years in a row he’s put together small sample sizes of good performance that could lead one to hope for more the next year. The problem of course was his brutal first half, as he only struck out 14 percent of batters and got rocked to the tune of a 4.61 ERA. He was better, though not great, in the second half, with a 3.99 ERA, but the real improvement showed up in his ability to miss bats. Peralta saw his strikeout rate jump to 19% once he started incorporating his slider more consistently. In the first three months of the season he never used it more than 22.68 percent but starting in June (32.34 percent), Peralta never saw his slider usage dip below 24.38 percent and twice registered a number above 30 percent. The ability to miss bats to his exceptional ability to burn worms is a much needed addition, and one Peralta is poised to exploit in the upcoming season.
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.
These part-time players could provide considerable fantasy value if given a full-time role in 2014.
Go to the leaderboard for any of your favorite baseball statistics sites and you are bound to get some useful information. However, you will almost always miss a particular subset of players: the unqualified. All leaderboards default to show only the hitters who qualified for the batting average title, which means they must have 3.1 PA per team game.
Almost all sites allow you to adjust the plate appearance threshold you want to look at, but the default keeps those below the batting title threshold out of sight. Today we are going to look at six guys who fell below the threshold, but did good work in their allotted time, suggesting that they could do some nice work with a full-time role in 2014.