• Prospect Performers: The NL East
    by Marc Hulet - 5/22 -  5
    At the beginning of the 2017 season, I wrote pieces reviewing the potential impact rookie hitters in each league for 2017. Today, we continue a semi-regular review of how those players are actually performing.
  • The Overshooters
    by Andrew Perpetua - 5/18 -  12
    Last week I touched on a few misconceptions about launch angles and exit velocity. This article is a Part II, so you may be interested in going back and reading Part I if you haven’t already.
  • 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
    A contest to see who can make the better picks: streaming pitcher and hitter choices for every day of the season in a podcast hosted by Dylan Higgins and Matthew Dewoskin.
C  -  1B  -  2B  -  SS  -  3B  -  OF  -  SP  -  RP

Brad Johnson Baseball Chat – 5/23/2017

Today’s chat transcript, starting with Sam Travis before moving on to players I like less than Yonder Alonso.

3:45
Brad Johnson: Every time I open the chat early, it always amazes me how quickly I start getting questions.

3:45
Brad Johnson: Took 10 seconds

3:46
Brad Johnson: The new thing of the hour is Sam Travis. He’s joining the Red Sox.

3:46
Brad Johnson: I haven’t looked into why he’s joining the team – seemingly HanRam and Moreland are healthy enough to absorb all/most of the 1B/DH work

3:47
Brad Johnson: As for who he is as a player, I think he may have some initial contact issues before he figures things out. Some power, but less than you’d expect from a 1B. More speed than you’d expect, but still not much

3:48
Brad Johnson: Like I said, the history of high averages in the minors might not show up immediately.

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Mixing Fantasy & Reality: Alford, Pitching Staffs, & Sage Advice

On Friday the Blue Jays called up Anthony Alford. The move surprised me since he struggled in 2016 with a 29% K% in High-A. He was doing better in Double-A this season (17K%, .393 wOBA) but I figured he would follow a progressive advancement with a Tripe-A stint.

Here’s a quick dive into what we know about his possible production. First here are his available prospect grades.

Scouting Grades for Anthony Alford
Source Year Batting Power (Raw/Game) Speed Defense Arm
FanGraphs 2017 40 60/50 70 55 40
MLB 2017 50 50 70 60 45
MLB 2016 60 45 70 60 45
MLB 2015 60 45 70 60 55
BA 2017 60 50 60 55 40
BA 2016 60 45 70 60 40

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Five Under 50%: May 23, 2017

Back in early April, I wrote a Five Under 50% post in which I implored fantasy owners to invest in the likes of Nick Franklin and Dan Altavilla. I urged readers to steer clear of Marwin Gonzalez, and promised that Edwin Diaz’s job was as safe as they come.

Naturally, Franklin has a 38 wRC+, Altavilla has a 6.60 ERA, Gonzalez has a .419 wOBA, and Diaz is no longer the Mariners closer. Sorry about that.

Before you quit reading this post because, really, why should you trust me, just know that my predictions weren’t all terrible. I also forecasted success for Scott Schebler (.365 wOBA), Mark Reynolds (.419 wOBA), and Ryan Zimmerman (.469 wOBA), who have been among the best hitters in baseball this year.

Not every gamble will pay off. But when it does, it can transform a fantasy team. It’s been about a month and a half since my last Five Under 50% post, and with renewed confidence, I’m prepared to do it again now.

Below are five (actually seven; I cheated) players owned in less than 50% of Ottoneu leagues whom I think may be worth an add in most leagues. There’s no need to jealously yearn for these players later when you can win them now for pennies on the dollar.

1. Chris Taylor (2B/SS/3B; 39%) Read the rest of this entry »


The Daily Grind: Everything You Expected

The thing I envy most about professional baseball players? Getting four plate appearances every day.

AGENDA

  1. The Defensive Play You Expected
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. Hitters to Use
  5. SaberSim Says…
  6. TDG Invitational Returns!

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HR/FB Rate Validations Using xHR/FB Rate – The Laggards

Yesterday, I used my xHR/FB rate to validate which of the surprise HR/FB rate leaders appear to have legitimately enjoyed a power surge in the early going. Today, I’ll look at the surprising names closer to the bottom of the HR/FB rate leaderboard, all of whom are validated by shockingly low xHR/FB rate marks. Like for the leaders, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s panic time if you’re an owner, but simply that it appears poor fortune has little to do with the power outage. The batter simply hasn’t been barreling it up like he typically has, for whatever reason.

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Roto Riteup: May 23, 2017

I am not a fan of in-game interviews, but this one is amazing:

 

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HR/FB Rate Validations Using xHR/FB Rate – The Leaders

For the third week in a row, we once again use Statcast’s Brls/BBE (barrels per batted ball event) as the primary component of my xHR/FB rate, to analyze hitter HR/FB rates. Today, I’ll use xHR/FB rate to validate some of the surprise HR/FB rate leaders. This doesn’t necessarily mean the hitter is going to sustain this pace — their Brls/BBE could certainly decline, and given that it’s likely quite high now, it probably will — but that what has happened so far looks like a legitimate power breakout, rather than a small sample fluke.

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Prospect Performers: The NL East

At the beginning of the 2017 season, I wrote pieces reviewing the potential impact rookie hitters in each league for 2017. Today, we continue a semi-regular review of how those players are actually performing. The American League East was the first up for review and we hit the NL East today.

1. Dansby Swanson, SS, Braves: Swanson entered the year as one of the favorites for NL Rookie of the Year after performing well in a brief MLB showing in ’16. The 23-year-old infielder has seen his BABIP drop from .383 to .242, though, and that’s dragged down his triple-slash line to just .190/.261/.270.  He’s hitting .255 in May – up from .156 in April – but the swing-and-miss rate is actually up and nearing 30% this month. The team wasn’t expected to win in 2017 so the club can be patient with Swanson but he has a lot of work to do before he’ll consistently produce at even a league-average rate.

2. Koda Glover, RHP, Nationals: Glover was expected to be a key high-leverage reliever for the Nationals in 2017 but an injury knocked him out for close to three weeks. When healthy, he’s shown excellent control with just two walks in 11.2 innings. However, he’s struck out just nine batters and his swinging strike rate is just 8.4% (In comparison, Craig Kimbrel leads relievers at 23.7% and Chris Devenski is second at 21.1%). Glover has some work to do before he’s considered an elite relief option — but the potential is still there.

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Field of Streams: Episode 265 – The Ubaldo Filter

Episode 265 – The Ubaldo Filter

The latest episode of “Field of Streams” is live!

In this episode, Dylan Higgins and Matthew Dewoskin discuss Yovani Gallardo’s tough start, flirting with Christian Bergman, Rick Porcello’s controversial Cy Young Award, Freddie Freeman’s reputation as a hitter and unfortunate injury, quitting while you’re ahead with Matt Garza, Masato Tanaka, Jered Weaver’s “injury,” and Matt surviving his move.

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The Daily Grind: Gauche Personal Update

This column is usually named after section one. The other sections are always the same. Except for the one that keeps changing.

AGENDA

  1. Personal Update
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. Hitters to Use
  5. SaberSim Says…
  6. TDG Invitational Returns!

Read the rest of this entry »