The Best of FanGraphs: April 7-11, 2014

If you missed the inaugural post of The Best Of FanGraphs, you can do so here. In case you don’t feel like clicking through though, here is how this post is structured:

We’ll pull from the whole FanGraphs family, picking 10-15 stories that we feel you really should read before the week draws to a close. The links are color coded — green for FanGraphs, burnt sienna for RotoGraphs, purple for NotGraphs, dark red for The Hardball Times and blue for Community. They are listed in this order as well in each day, just for the sake of consistency.

All Week

Over at RotoGraphs, we have multiple daily features for those who play daily fantasy games, be it DraftKings, Draftstreet or Fan Duel. You can find the Daily Grind (presented by Fan Duel) and Daily Fantasy Strategy (for Draftstreet) here, and the improperly spelled but always informative Roto Riteup (presented by DraftKings) here.


Position Player Contracts, Classified, by Wendy Thurm
The amount of work Wendy put into her two invaluable posts this week is staggering. She classified position player contracts on Monday, and then pitchers here on Tuesday. We’ll be referencing these posts all year.

Yunel Escobar and the Value of Chemistry Revealed, by Matt Klaassen
Matt breaks down both the dollars and sense, as well as the softer side, of Escobar’s recent contract extension.

MASH Report (4/7/14) — Sonny Gray and Danny Salazar In Depth, by Jeff Zimmerman
Two of the most talked about young pitchers in the game get broken down by Jeff.


Matt Adams and Beating the Shift, by Ben Duronio
It’s nice that Matt Adams the real baseball player is going to the opposite field more, but is that nice for Matt Adams the fantasy baseball player?

Remember the Five Minutes When People Thought Mike Moustakas was Going to Have a Great Season?, by Jeremy Blachman
The highs and lows of Spring Training and the start of the regular season come crashing together.


FanGraphs, Now Contributing to Fox Sports, by Dave Cameron
It was a big week for us here at FanGraphs, as Dave announced that we will be contributing regular content to Fox Sports. As Dave noted here, all the posts that go up on Fox Sports will be linked, as Jeff Sullivan’s was on Friday.

Jonathan Papelbon’s Issues Go Beyond Declining Velocity, by Mike Petriello
Just like with a certain group of robots, there is more going on here than meets the eye, except in Papelbon’s case it’s not in a good way.

The Fringe Five: Baseball’s Most Compelling Fringe Prospects, by Carson Cistulli
It’s baaaaaaaaaacccck!


Root For This Man, by Mississippi Matt Smith
The last man standing from a once-proud people.

The Riser, The Runner, and the Best Fastball to Hit the Majors This Year, by Noah Woodward
In this very comprehensive piece, Noah makes the case for Marcus Stroman.


The Wondrous and Withering Weather, by Brad Johnson and Daren Willman
Brad and Daren break down the game-time temperatures of every game in the Retrosheet database since 1980. Yes, that is as cool as it sounds.

2014’s Most Underpaid and Overpaid Hitters, by Foster Honeck
As Foster mentions, we all sort of implicitly understand who is under- and overpaid, but this comprehensive look — with a very cool infographic — is illuminating nonetheless.

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Paul Swydan is the managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for He has written for The Boston Globe, ESPN MLB Insider and ESPN the Magazine, among others. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.

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