• An Early Jake Lamb Update
    by Randy Holt - 4/26 -  4
    I'm nothing if not consistent. As we close in on the end of the season's first month, I figured it'd be pertinent to review the early performance of one of the more intriguing players the third base position has to offer in Jake Lamb.
  • Prospect Stock Watch: Jeimer Candelario
    by Marc Hulet - 4/24 -  0
    The Chicago Cubs have a pretty good, young third baseman named Kris Bryant. You may have heard of him. He has two MLB seasons under his belt and his awards shelf already has both a Rookie of the Year and a MVP award.
  • Replacing Starling Marte
    by Paul Sporer - 4/19 -  5
    Starling Marte was suspended for 80 games on Tuesday after testing positive for Nandrolone back in Spring Training and then losing the subsequent appeal.
  • Is Chase Headley Actually Good Again?
    by Randy Holt - 4/19 -  8
    The only time that recent history shows me discussing Chase Headley is that time during the offseason where I declared that the New York Yankees should look at Luis Valbuena as a potential upgrade at the position.
  • Roto Riteup
    The most roto-relevant news of the previous day, recapped in a concise format for your morning coffee.
  • Bullpen Report
    Detailed daily updates and charts on every bullpen in the Major Leagues to help you manage your saves and holds.
  • Prospect Coverage
    Our prospect team mines the minors for top prospects and useful pieces alike.
  • MASH Report
    Award-winning in-depth injury report with analysis from Jeff Zimmerman.
  • The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast
    Eno Sarris, Paul Sporer, and Jason Collette lead the RotoGraphs staff in a regular fantasy podcast.
  • Daily Fantasy Strategy
    The RotoGraphs team discusses daily fantasy strategy and then makes picks for the day.
  • Ottoneu Strategy
    Strategy for the year-round FanGraphs Fantasy game.
  • Top 50 Fantasy Prospects
    Marc Hulet adjusts (and updates) his prospect list for fantasy purposes.
  • Field of Streams
    Pitching picks in a quick daily podcast hosted by Dylan Higgins, featuring regular guests including Matthew Dewoskin.
C  -  1B  -  2B  -  SS  -  3B  -  OF  -  SP  -  RP

The Early Surprises: Hitters

I am working on a deeper dive into Eric Thames, but he left Wednesday’s game with an apparent injury so I wanted to table it just to see where he’s at because it dive into his value on the trade market and what you should hold out for if you’re looking to sell him. With that said, he won’t be included here. I’ve got five other hot hitters both young and old who are doing big things thus far. Let’s examine what – if anything – is different and then I’ll let you know if I think it’s sustainable and to what level.

Chase Headley | New York Yankees | .339/.431/.565 with 3 HR, 3 SB, 7 RBI, and 14 R in 72 PA

  • Riding career-best strikeout (18%) and walk rates (14%)
  • The walk rate is the bigger improvement from career (22% K, 10% BB)
  • Getting and staying ahead: 46% first-pitch strike rate (F-Strike) & 17% O-Swing are career-bests
  • Last year he had 59% F-Strike and 28% O-Swing rates
  • Not hitting the ball any harder as his 25% Hard contact rate is a six-year low
  • Meanwhile, his 20% Soft contact rate is a career-high
  • Looking healthy with 3 SB which could yield first double-digit total since 2012

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An Early Jake Lamb Update

I’m nothing if not consistent. As we close in on the end of the season’s first month, I figured it’d be pertinent to review the early performance of one of the more intriguing players the third base position has to offer in Jake Lamb. That intrigue stems from a tremendously strong start last year, followed by a notably terrible decline that was largely attributed to injuries (as well as perhaps a lack of trust vs. left-handed pitching from his former manager).

The Arizona Diamondbacks are off to a strong start, and while their pitching is still relatively suspect, it’s hard not to love what they bring to the mix on offense. Serving as an offensive catalyst for the Snakes is their third sacker, in Jake Lamb. Lamb has followed up what was a strong start to the 2016 campaign with a rebound from last year’s second half, looking to showcase himself as a valuable entity not only to the Diamondbacks, but also as a fantasy entity at one of the corner spots.

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The Daily Grind: Contrarian Failures

Tonight’s main slate has 12 games. We’ll focus on the big group. Obvious MVP Eric Thames is not in the correct time slot. You’ll have to find another first baseman today.

AGENDA

  1. Admitting Faults
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. Contrarian Picks
  5. SaberSim Says…
  6. TDG Invitational Returns!

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Bullpen Report: April 25, 2017

A couple of postponed games and blowouts but here’s a few notes on the bullpens last night…

• The Rays used five pitchers for a two hit shutout against the Orioles tonight, which was capped off by Alex Colome‘s fifth save. Colome took very kindly to the bullpen full time last year posting career bests in his strikeout rate and walk rates but the strikeouts have eluded him early on this year. It’s only been 10 innings but Colome has a meager five strikeouts and a swinging strike percentage of 8.2%, well below last season’s 15.1%. This isn’t to say that Colome could fall drastically in the same way I spoke about Brandon Kintzler last night, but his .179 BABIP might be making his owners overrate his standing among the elite relievers. Colome’s a good closer and I wouldn’t be mining for his backups but his shiny ERA is a bit misleading thus far. I expect him to continue to have a solid year but I would love to see his whiff percentage/strikeouts increase over his next few outings.

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Ryan Rua & Cory Spangenberg: Deep League Wire

It’s time once again to dive into the free agent pool to uncover some hidden gems.

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Roto Riteup: April 26, 2017

We at the Roto Riteup have been taught to soar above the haters:


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Robbie Grossman Figured Out Lefties, Is Relevant

At the time of this writing, there are 37 major league hitters with a wRC+ of 150 or higher. There are the usual suspects: Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, and Nolan Arenado are on the leaderboard to no one’s surprise. There are exciting young prospects, including Mitch Haniger, Aaron Judge, and Joey Gallo. Then there are unexpected names like Eric ThamesCesar Hernandez, and Robbie Grossman.

Lengthy articles could be, and have been, written about any of the players above. One player who hasn’t received much publicity despite some relatively prolonged success is Grossman.

He checks in with a 158 wRC+ in 67 plate appearances so far this year. Steamer projects a .322 wOBA and 99 wRC+ for the rest of the season (ROS), and that projection puts him just a few ticks behind his highly-touted teammate Max Kepler. Although Kepler is three years younger and may have a higher ceiling, the point is that name recognition can play a pretty big role in how we analyze players.

Also, Grossman used to be bad. From 2013 to 2015, he had just a .281 wOBA and 77 wRC+ in 202 plate appearances against left-handed pitching, despite being a switch hitter. Since 2016, however, Grossman has a .417 wOBA and 166 wRC+ in 170 plate appearances against lefties. Even with his early-career struggles against lefties, Grossman now has a lifetime .344 wOBA and 118 wRC+ against them. Read the rest of this entry »


The Daily Grind: Thames Time

Some nights, I’ll go against my gut on pitching matchups just to force myself to pay attention to a certain guy. That was Jason Vargas last night, and it was not the correct play. The rest of my lineup worked out though despite lacking any Rockies or Eric Thameses.

AGENDA

  1. Taming Thames
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. Contrarian Picks
  5. SaberSim Says…
  6. TDG Invitational Returns!

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Fly Ball Pull% Gainers

Earlier this year, I developed the newest incarnation of my xHR/FB ratio, this time taking advantage of the Splits Leaderboard sent from the heavens. When researching the components of the equation, I calculated a 0.229 correlation between Fly Ball Pull% and HR/FB rate. That’s no surprise, as most batters have far greater pull power than power to any other part of the field. So then it follows that a batter who suddenly pulls their fly balls at a significantly higher rate could enjoy a power breakout. Let’s take a gander at the fantasy relevant hitters that have seen the largest gains in Fly Ball Pull% versus last year.

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Roto Riteup: April 25, 2017

The Roto Riteup would like to remind you that there is no place in baseball for firearms:

 

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