Paul and Jason take you from Homer Bailey to A.J. Griffin, with 38 other pitchers in between.
The Baseball Prospectus fantasy team has been rolling out its positional rankings over the past couple of weeks, and this edition concludes the process. Each team member assigned to cover a position will create an initial top 15 (more for outfielders and starting pitchers) on his own. He will then send that list to the rest of the team for discussion, at which point we will debate the rankings, both in terms of each player’s specific placement and the merits on which he was included in the top 15. This back-and-forth debate will yield the final list, which will be presented by the original author with notes on the pertinent players. We encourage you to bring your opinions into the fray using the comment section below.
Why wait around to find out what's going to happen -- or even to find out what people think is going to happen? Matt's ready now.
Great thing about the internet: lowered barriers to entry for writers everywhere. This is good for people like me and at least debatable for people like you. But there’s a far less important side effect to all of this. It makes being the first to an idea next to impossible.
An example: some time ago I thought up a piece about the Worst Baseball Game of the Year. Proud of myself, I emailed my editor, who kindly informed me that 1) it was a wonderful idea, and 2) he had written it himself. Last year. Whoops.
Deadline Day this year contained nine trades and involved the following 14 general managers: Brian Cashman, Ben Cherington, Kevin Towers, Chris Antonetti, Jed Hoyer, Jon Daniels, Dayton Moore, Walt Jocketty, Michael Hill, John Mozeliak, Neal Huntington, Ruben Amaro, Ned Colletti, and Brian Sabean. You've read the analysis on this site, but it's time to go deeper. What follows are nine one-paragraph, 150-word (exactly) short stories (or, in one case, a one-act play) about the men who do the business.
A look at just how excited people were about the 1986 rookie class at the time.
"This year is one of those that 15 years from now, a bunch of baseball people will be sitting around shaking their heads about because so much good talent came up all at once."
It's the goal of any general manager at the draft—maybe not in the collective sense, but certainly in each individual case—that, when their drafted talent finally makes it to the big leagues, baseball people will remember that time for years and decades to come. When multiple general managers reach their goal at the same time, it becomes a smorgasbord for baseball fans and quotes like the one above are uttered. Sure, they lack proper historical perspective at the time, but it certainly feels true to the speaker.
Josh Shepardson joins the BP Fantasy crew to examine up-the-middle fantasy options
BP Readers, I’m very happy to introduce you to BP’s newest fantasy writer, Josh Shepardson. Josh is a talented fantasy player who used to write for me when I was with The Hardball Times, and I’m excited to have him join us now at Baseball Prospectus to handle up-the-middle VP duties. Welcome, Josh! —Derek Carty, Fantasy Manager
Paul helps you sort out the fantasy pitchers worth starting in this week's planner
In last week’s season debut of the Weekly Planner, I said of Phil Hughes and Clay Buchholz, “If you aren’t starting them in these matchups, then why even roster them at this point?” While both still have their weekend start yet to come, neither impressed in their first start of the week with Buchholz completely imploding against Oakland. You can safely move on from both.
Two AL sits, Jason Hammel and Kyle Drabek, excelled in their first starts this week, both of which came against the tougher of their two opponents (New York and Texas, respectively). I stand by both calls, but both proved a lot in their starts. This is especially true of Hammel, who almost seems to be getting better with each outing. In the NL, Chris Volstad was only listed as a “consider,” but he is not improving at all and is an unequivocal “sit” at this point.
Capuano, Bass, McDonald, and Wei-Yin Chen join the VP ranks this week
Another week has gone by, and we have flipped the calendar over to May. We’re reaching the point where even the fantasy managers who try to practice patience with their rosters begin to feel comfortable making a decision on a guy who is off to a slow start. If your league is populated by these types of managers, you will start to see more activity on your waiver, forcing you to act more swiftly when you see someone who strikes your fancy. Without further ado, let’s dive into the week’s value picks.
As the first month of the season closes, Michael's Value Picks list only loses two players, although it won't be long until the list graduates a few more members.
A compulsive lineup tinkerer, I have a rule with my fantasy teams to mess with them as little as possible the first month of the season, except in the case of injury or outright demotion. It’s too easy to overreact to small sample sizes, hot and cold streaks, or that tweet suggesting the manager’s secret man-crush on an obscure player in Double-A.
If you can figure out Davey Johnson's bullpen philosophy, you're smarter than I am.
Yes, there is a big yellow tube that says, "You know you love it" on it, located in front of the new Cubs-owned merchandise mart. That's what the club has done with the southern part of the McDonald's lot across Clark Street from Wrigley Field. The Ricketts family purchased the property over the winter and pledged to do great things with it. If that means getting rid of that infernal McDonald's, I'll consider it progress.
In Michael's column this week, he looks at San Francisco's first base battle, as well as how injuries are affecting the values of Ike Davis and Justin Morneau.
Two of the main considerations for real-world and fantasy baseball managers during Spring Training are injuries (which I looked at last week) and playing time. This week, I’ll look at a little of both at first base, starting with the Giants’ positional battle and moving onto the futures of two players with mysterious—or at least difficult-to-detect—ailments.