Not unlike a pitcher tipping his pitches, Wil Myers has tipped his approach at the plate.
The ultimate equalizer in the batter vs. pitcher matchup—the one thing that can turn the hardest thing to do in sports into roughly the 37th-hardest thing to do in sports (right behind catching a Brett Favre spiral)—is a pitcher who’s tipping his pitches. Suddenly a deep and nasty repertoire starts to break down--a 95 mph fastball moves in slow motion when a hitter knows it's coming and a hard-biting slider out of the same arm slot is magically easy to spit on.
Many otherwise perfectly capable pitchers have been undone by hitters picking up on their small idiosyncrasies, and although usually ironed out in time, it can take the offender a while to even realize what he’s doing wrong. What about the reverse, though? What about a hitter tipping his ... well, tipping his thought process? Is it possible that a hitter can make some type of repeatable yet barely noticeable movement to cue in the opposition as to what he’s thinking?
Very few players make the sort of progress that this Padre has at his age, but does that mean you shouldn't buy into his breakout?
The world had forgotten about Wil Myers because patience is notoriously non-existent in fantasy baseball. Owners throw away historically consistent producers for flash-in-the-pan hot streaks every year. I join a random ESPN public league each year—I also enjoy flipping the difficulty mode on FIFA16 from professional to beginner from time to time so I can win by a dozen-plus goals—and someone dropped David Price after his early struggles. That’s obviously an extreme example of what I’m talking about; however, any serious fantasy player will be well acquainted with the impulse to make knee-jerk decisions based solely upon hot streaks.
See how Wilson built his team after shelling out $46 for the best player in the game.
Mike Gianella recently released his latest mixed league Bid Limits, which spurred an idea from Bret Sayre called Model Portfolios, wherein the fantasy staff (and anyone else on the BP roster who wants to participate) will create their own team within the confines of a standard 23-man, $260 budget. The roster being constructed includes: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, OFx5, UTx2, and Px9 along with the following standards issued by Sayre:
Which of these two high-ceiling outfielders should you target this spring?
In today’s “Tale of the Tape,” we’ll take a gander at a couple of American League sluggers and see if we can shed some light on what looks to be a very tough decision for fantasy owners. Should you be more willing to invest in a bounce-back season by 2012’s would-be AL Rookie of the Year (non-Mike Trout division), Oakland’s Yoenis Cespedes? Or is it a better bet to bank on a breakout first full season from the current reigning AL Rookie of the Year, Tampa Bay’s Wil Myers?
Cespedes burst onto the scene in his stateside debut two years ago with a scorching .311 TAv as an already-in-his-prime rookie, flashing 30/20 potential and solid on-base skills despite some issues with nagging injuries. Last season was a different story, though, as nearly everything in his offensive profile took several steps in the wrong direction and he again battled the injury bug, declining to a .275 TAv that returned just the 43rd-highest value among outfielders. Meanwhile, Tampa was quick to enjoy the spoils of last off-season’s infamous trade of James Shields that netted them the BP 101’s no. 7 prospect in all of baseball from Kansas City. Following a mid-June promotion Myers raked to the tune of a .296 TAv, and he looks poised to anchor the middle of the Rays lineup alongside Evan Longoria for a very, very long time. Both rate as three star options for 2014 according to Mike Gianella’s impressively exhaustive look at the outfield position, with Myers holding a nominal seven-spot advantage on the list. The two are currently going back-to-back in the middle of the fifth round of standard NFBC drafts (67th and 68th overall), and PECOTA projects nearly identical lines for the two (.260/.326/.454 for Myers vs. .261/.322/.457 for Cespedes). So let’s check these guys out and see if there might be a lil’ bit more upside with one of them for fantasy owners to gamble on.
“Myers” was the name they chanted, because it was easy. It’s two syllables, and that’s a good place to start. And Wil Myers had the most embarrassing play of the Devil Rays’ brief and sudden return to existence in the fourth inning Friday.
The staff casts its ballots for the Most Valuable Player, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year 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 choices 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.
Bret reviews the rewards offered by the players who once topped these rankings, and then unveils this week's top 20.
First, let’s start with the sad news. There will only be one more Stash List left for 2013 after today, and it will run as scheduled next Tuesday. We’re getting to the point in the season where a lot of the skill in putting together this list is becoming overshadowed by short-term randomness, and the overall usefulness is coming close to running its natural course. But, we’re not there yet. So let’s party like this column will never end.
Since this idea was birthed back in April, the list has seen seven different players occupy the top spot. And now that we’re just about three-quarters of the way through the season, it seems like a good time to check back in on how those players are doing.