Early-April stats may be meaningless, but is even a full month of data enough to reach any significant conclusions? Mike investigates here.
Toward the end of April, something funny starts happening to fantasy baseball owners. After one week, nearly every fantasy player looks at the stats, looks at the sample size, and simply dismisses the numbers as the product of a good or a bad week. After three weeks, this mindset changes considerably.
For reasons I cannot comprehend, after about 20 games, fantasy owners start diving into the numbers and drawing conclusions about whether or not their players are going to have good years or bad ones. The difference between 25 plate appearances and 75 plate appearances isn’t significant—yet, in the minds of some, that 50-plat- appearance gap is the difference between an insignificant sample size and a reason to wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat screaming “Giancarlo Stanton, you’re killing me!”
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If you're looking for a scapegoat for Boston's struggles, skip the manager's office.
Tensions remain high in Boston following the Red Sox’ September collapse, and the departures of Terry Francona and Theo Epstein are still fresh in mind. The Red Sox’ slow start has exacerbated the situation, leading some to condemn the easiest scapegoat: Bobby Valentine. Even if the Red Sox’ season had started on more positive footing, Valentine’s return to the dugout was going to be an uphill battle—10 years is a long time to be out of a major league clubhouse and still have credibility with players who are too young to be aware of your illustrious credentials or too old to care. But in an organization plagued by injuries, struggling pitching, an inconsistent offense, and inexplicable strokes of bad luck, the hostility Valentine has received has been disproportionate to any possible responsibility he could have had for the state of the team.
The team’s struggles have left some nostalgic for Francona, who received a standing ovation and chants of “We want Tito” at Fenway’s 100th anniversary celebration Friday. Those chants are a sure sign of lost perspective: Francona managed the 2011 Red Sox to the team’s worst start since 1945 and an unprecedented September collapse, then departed in the wake of questions regarding his ability to control the clubhouse, and reports of beer-guzzling and chicken-eating pitchers.
Mike Aviles is in danger of being supplanted by the Royals' wave of young talent, but he says he still hopes to play a role on the next Kansas City winner.
The Royals' future has already started arriving. Two weeks ago, first baseman Eric Hosmer was called up from Triple-A Omaha after terrorizing the Pacific Coast League, and the 21-year-old hasn't disappointed, hitting .242/.333/.515 with a .297 True Average in his first 39 plate appearances. Today, left-hander Danny Duffy will be called up from Omaha to start for the Royals tonight against the Rangers in Kansas City.
Two Royals graduate from the VP list, but a backstop from Florida and one from Washington step up to replace them.
After last week's tumultuous Value Picks turnover, one week of baseball has passed and the VP portfolio has mostly remained steady, with a few changes. This week, a couple of middle infielders leave VP in favor of a plethora of catching options.
Injuries and quality performances mean almost total turnover in Michael's weekly edition of Value Picks.
There are a lot of changes going on this week's Value Picks portfolio, due to performances both good and bad, so it is definitely worth mentioning the players who are departing this week before welcoming in the fresh faces for this week's recommendations.
Do early-season phenoms fade once the rest of the league learns to stop giving them pitches to hit?
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.
Jason took part in a slow mock draft with other fantasy experts and is now here to share what he learned from the experience.
I recently had the pleasure of doing a slow—and I mean slow—mock draft over the past four weeks with a few of my friends and colleagues in the fantasy baseball industry. That group included most of the mlb.com folks, Fernando DiFino, and the legendary Joe Sheehan. The draft started on February 17 and survived a few lost weekends, DiFino’s nuptials (congrats!) and several copy and paste issues from some of us that are still using not-so-smartphones.
The Cubs face off against the Royals, with developments big and small.
As I noted yesterday, spring training is an exercise with its own echoes, whether as a matter of careers, characters, or ballclubs. Arriving at HoHoKam Stadium in Mesa provided me with ample opportunity to ponder the present and future as well as the past, because the Royals and Cubs gave us something to see, even in the course of what might get demeaned as “just” a 13-4 blowout.