• There's Nothing Wrong With Jake Lamb
    by Randy Holt - 8/16 -  3
    How long did you think you were going to get away with this column not being devoted to Jake Lamb in a given week? Regardless, as I listened to the hyperbolic Arizona sports radio throughout this week, Lamb represented a focal point.
  • 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

The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 488 – Jeff Zimmerman on Breakout Metrics

8/17/17

The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 18, the best baseball strategy game ever made – available NOW on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms! Go to ootpdevelopments.com to order now and save 10% with the code SLEEPER18!

Follow us on Twitter

Strategy Section

Read the rest of this entry »


Pros & Cons: Jose Berrios

Jose Berrios was a heralded prospect coming up through the minors for the Minnesota Twins. The big expectations were unmet a year ago as he struggled mightily through his MLB debut. He managed just a paltry 5% K-BB rate en route to an 8.02 ERA and 1.87 WHIP in 58.3 innings of work. He admits to not being as mentally prepared as possible for the big leagues, something that plagues countless rookies and even many veterans over the course of the season. Pitching can be as mentally grinding as it is physically.

The heartening aspect of Berrios’ 2016 season is that he continued to excel in the minors. In 111.3 innings, he posted a 21% K-BB, 2.51 ERA, and 0.99 WHIP, finding consistent success even as he shuttled between Rochester and Minnesota (three stops in each). His success in the minors kept expectations high for the 23-year old right-hander. He didn’t break camp with the club, instead logging six strong starts at Triple-A Rochester (20% K-BB, 1.13 ERA, 0.81 WHIP in 39.7 IP) before his May 13th season debut.

Read the rest of this entry »


Adjusting Exit Velocity For Pitch Speed And Location

The relationship between batter exit velocity and league exit velocity is not fully understood. There are many factors to exit velocity that a batter controls. Some of these are physical, such as bat speed and swing path. Others are more psychological, such as pitch selection. However, the batter certainly does not control everything. Pitch speed, for example, is a big factor. There are also environmental effects, like temperature and humidity.

I have been working on this problem with Eno Saris for some time now, bouncing ideas, building small projects, and examining the results. Some of it has been fruitful, others have fallen flat, but each time I feel like I’m getting closer to an answer, and along the way I have accidentally bumped into useful nuggets. Today I want to share one of those nuggets with you. I call it adjusted Exit Velocity, and it is the result of combining and comparing batter exit velocity, league exit velocity, pitch location, and pitch speed.

Yesterday, Eno Saris wrote a bit about our findings, which I suggest reading. Today I wish to explain the methodology, delve a bit into the findings, and conclude with how it may be useful to you going forward. Read the rest of this entry »


Yasiel Puig Entices Yet Again

Over the last two weeks, the hitter walk rate leaderboard features some usual suspects. Joey Votto is first at 31.7 percent. Mike Trout is third at 25.9 percent. But sandwiched between them is Yasiel Puig at 27.3 percent. 27.3 percent! This is the same player who finished the 2016 season with a 6.5 percent walk rate over 368 plate appearances. This is the same player who swung at this pitch:

Read the rest of this entry »


The Daily Grind: Good Story Bro

Let me tell you a story…

AGENDA

  1. Good Story Bro
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. SaberSim Says…
  5. TDG Invitational Returns!

Read the rest of this entry »


Danny Salazar is Back

I wasn’t a fan of Danny Salazar heading into the season. In fact, I foolishly made the bold prediction that Jaime Garcia would outearn him. HA! It wasn’t due to doubts about the quality of his stuff, obviously. It was concerns about the health of his arm paired with a walk rate that spiked in 2016. And I was right to question his health, though last year it was his elbow which worried me, this time he landed on the DL for his shoulder. And before hitting the DL, his ERA swelled to 5.40. But after missing over a month and a half, Salazar has returned to make five starts and has absolutely dominated like a completely new man. Or maybe just the man we always dreamed he could be.

Read the rest of this entry »


Roto Riteup: August 17, 2017

Which Wednesday walk-off was better?

Read the rest of this entry »


Bullpen Report: August 16, 2017

In a tumultuous season for the Cardinals’ bullpen, it was starting to look like Trevor Rosenthal was creating some stability. He had rattled off seven consecutive saves over a 16-day period, the first six of which were scoreless.

On Wednesday night, it took just eight pitches to ruin that placid state. On his second pitch — a 91.4 mph four-seam fastball — Rosenthal gave up a home run to Xander Bogaerts. Six pitches later, Mitch Moreland took a free pass. Mike Matheny was sufficiently concerned that he removed Rosenthal for Zach Duke. Rosenthal averaged 94.3 mph on the six four-seam fastballs he threw, after he had hovered around 97 mph over his previous six appearances. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, Duke and John Brebbia didn’t fare much better, and the latter gave up Mookie Betts‘ walk-off double.
Read the rest of this entry »


Hitter Breakouts: Stickiness Of Stats

A few days back, I start the process of trying to find breakout hitters. I found some possible traits which point to hitters breaking out but didn’t get into the stickiness of the stats over different time frames. I’m back to see how the “breakout” stats main their values over time.

For a quick review, here are the claims I made in the previous article.

Overall, here are the rules.
• K%-BB% (plate discipline) changes by +/- 4.5%.
• Flyball rate (FB%) changes by +/- 3%.
If the above two items can’t explain the change move onto the following three points.
• Pull% change (only) by +/- 5% this value can good or bad depending on the hitter’s other traits.
• Raw power can start decline once a player reaches 30-years-old.
• BABIP changed by +/- 30 points. (A change in plate discipline can cause this change)

I will just start walking through the points comparing the results for the year after the breakout. Also, I will look for hitters breaking out in the season’s first month and how those stats carried forward.

Read the rest of this entry »


There’s Nothing Wrong With Jake Lamb

How long did you think you were going to get away with this column not being devoted to Jake Lamb in a given week? Regardless, as I listened to the hyperbolic Arizona sports radio throughout this week, Lamb represented a focal point. With the Diamondbacks hitting the strugglebus since just before the second half of the season began, Lamb was a target for the talking heads, despite this particular instance of discussion taking place a day after he went 3-for-4 against the Chicago Cubs.

With that in mind, it’s probably important to note that there is nothing wrong with Jake Lamb. At least not now.

Read the rest of this entry »