A look at how well you've done if you followed some of J.P.'s preseason recommendations.
As we near the All-Star break, I thought it would be useful to critique myself and my fantasy advice throughout the year. This allows me to own up to mistaken guidance or faulty analysis, while also celebrating my own home runs. In other words, this article hopes to be the “accountability” for which people crave.
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Is the Royals third baseman's hot start a sign of a breakout in progress?
Glowing scouting reports and minor-league numbers are no guarantees of major-league success. While both are intensely valuable and help us project future big-league stars far better than we otherwise could, there’s something special about the jump from Triple-A to the major leagues that proves too much for some top prospects.
Starting a new series with a 12-pitch battle between Mike Moustakas and Chris Sale.
I’ve always loved long plate appearances. If one of the best thing about baseball is the batter-pitcher matchup, and one of the other best things about baseball is that it has no clock or appointed time for anything to end, then it stands to reason (sort of) that double-digit-pitch batter-pitcher matchups would be the absolute best thing about baseball. So each Friday, I’m going to highlight the most extended sequence of the seven-day period from the previous Thursday-Wednesday. If there’s a tie, I’ll pick the most interesting plate appearance.
Opening Day observations about James Shields, Jon Lester, Mike Moustakas and others.
Like many fans with MLB.tv access, I spent the first 24 hours of the new season binging on baseball. That meant taking in the Rangers-Astros, Red Sox-Yankees, and Royals-White Sox games. Along the way I wrote down some observations about a few players.
Jason Castro PECOTA and I disagree on Castro's offensive outlook. The algorithm sees Castro hitting .238/.319/.351 with eight home runs this season in a hair fewer than 500 plate appearances. I'm more optimistic about the Stanford product and former first-round pick's chances of being an offensive asset independent of his position. Castro's problem to date has been an inability to hit same-handed pitching. He boasts a career True Average of .286 against righties and .113 against lefties—that's the difference between Jason Kubel and Lucas Harrell's 2012 offensive production. Castro did me no favors on Sunday night, going 0-for-4 against southpaws Matt Harrison and Joseph Ortiz. Still, I came away pleased with Castro's efforts behind the plate.
With Eric Hosmer in the bigs, who will be the next of the Royals' stash of young prospects to make a fantasy impact?
Eric Hosmer is in the major leagues, and earlier than expected. He is just the first of many prospects who may become Royals in 2011; what kind of fantasy impact is the rest of the bunch likely to have this year?
Pegging BP's favorites in both leagues, both in the standings and for the major awards.
Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff predictions for the division standings and the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year) in the American and National Leagues. Each staff member's division standings predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results. In each table you'll find the average rank of each team in their division with first-place votes in parentheses, plus the results of our pre-season MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year voting.
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 and Rookie 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.
Which AL rookies can give your team a boost late on draft day?
It's often the case that what separates your fantasy team from the rest of the pack isn't the player you picked in round one or round two. Instead, the players you picked late in the draft—your sleepers and your riskier picks—are the ones who either pay off or backfire, and in doing so determine the course of your season. Knowing which youngsters are worth a look late in your draft helps, so let's check out some rookie non-pitchers from the American League.
As talented as the Royals system's top prospects are, nobody's perfect, are they?
Falling in love with prospects is like dating someone because of their physical beauty. At first, you are blinded by the fact that you are involved with someone who is attractive, because, let’s face it, ours is a superficial society, and waking up next to David Beckham or Megan Fox is more appealing than waking up next to Clint Howard or Roseanne Barr. It's a little like having a system headlined by Eric Hosmer and Mike Montgomery being obviously more appealing than a system headlined by Mark Rogers and Cody Scarpetta.
But as the relationship advances, you might get to witness the weaknesses of your new dream partner consume their strengths. In the end you could still be left with a good-looking uniform, but it's draped on a prospect who ultimately failed to live up to the ceiling their initial attractiveness suggested was possible. Once you see the light, you promise yourself that you will no longer fall for a face... except that then you once again start looking for pretty faces, and the cycle repeats itself. Eventually, the aesthetic beauty that tickles your fancy actualizes into the complete package, and the world rejoices at your good fortune.