• 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

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!

Read the rest of this entry »


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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Bullpen Report: April 24, 2017

Brad Brach had his 10th scoreless appearance tonight getting his fourth save on the year. Brach most likely will give up a run this year and he won’t run a .063 much longer but his FIP/xFIP is currently at 1.50/2.96, proving he’s pretty damn good and not just benefiting from some batted ball luck. Brach will continue to close while Britton is on the DL with Darren O’Day and Mychal Givens setting up. O’Day has been more effective in his last couple of appearances but has been shakier than normal this year. He’s been a staple in the O’s pen for so long that I think Showalter will give him a pretty long leash but if he keeps struggling, Givens could leapfrog him on the totem pole. In between blaming Dustin Pedroia for not controlling his teammates, Britton can be found playing catch and should be back in Baltimore soon. Brach is certainly worth owning even if he’s not seeing the ninth inning, and so long as Britton is on the shelf he’s a near top tier option for saves.

Read the rest of this entry »


Mixing Fantasy & Reality: Montgomery & Cueto

Quick Look: Jordan Montgomery

Montgomery is probably getting a little more press than the average 24-year-old mildly-touted pitching prospect because he’s a Yankee. I decided to see what is behind the hype by watching yesterday’s start.

• He’s a left-handed pitcher with a high 3/4 arm slot and pitches straight to home. No weird left-handed pitcher angles going on here.

• Fastball (Four-seam: 30, 2-seam: 50): He has a two and four-season fastball which both sit at 89-92 mph. He’s able to command both of them around the plate, but the two-seamer should perform better. It has some nice late life as seen here.

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SSNS: Vargas, Bautista, Miley, Gausman

Last week, I inaugurated RotoGraphs’ Small-Sample Normalization Services, or SSNS. Said services attempt to contextualize good and bad starts within a particular player’s history of achievements (or lack thereof). Assessing player performance based on small samples seems distinctly difficult in April, when, for whatever reason, we perceive players with tattered histories as blank slates. Occasionally, there’s merit to these perceptions. More often, we find out a player’s April is no different than his May or June or July, for example, when a small-sample performance might go less noticed than it would when starting from zeroes.

Here are a handful of players that have caught my eye lately.

Name: Jason Vargas, KCR SP
Read the rest of this entry »


The 33rd Eugenio: A Suarez Story

32 Eugenios.

According to Wikipedia, there are 32 notable athletes with the first name Eugenio. Among them are the likes of retired handballer Eugenio Serrano, and the luchador Eugenio “Konan Big” Torres Villarreal. There’s even a baseball player on there, Eugenio Velez! You might remember Velez as the guy who wore the “SAN FRANCICSO” jersey, or for being the MLB record-holder for most consecutive at-bats without a hit (46).

You know who’s *not* one of The 32 Eugenios? Eugenio Suarez, that’s who! As if this wasn’t enough of a crime already, one of The 32 is named Eugenio Suarez Santos, a low-level Spanish footballer. It’s like the Wikipedia curator (is that a thing) for #The32Eugenios — an undoubtedly high-level position within the internal Wikiheirarchy — decided that one Eugenio Suarez was enough for this list, and went with the soccer player whose most notable achievement was a season-long scoreless streak that coincided with his team’s relegation to the Spanish third division.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez — almost definitely motivated by his Wikipedia snub — is making his case to be the best Eugenio of them all. While we’re still in small-sample land, we’re not quite in teeny-tiny-sampleville anymore, and Suarez looks like he may be in the midst of a breakout.

Read the rest of this entry »


Prospect Stock Watch: Jeimer Candelario

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.

The club also has one of the top third base prospects in the game in Jeimer Candelario, who is beginning his second year in triple-A. Last season, he hit .333/.417/.542 in 76 games. So far this year, he’s hitting .308/.410/.692 in his first 15 games. And he’s not a recent pop-up prospect, either. He’s been on prospect radars since 2012 when he hit well as a teenager during his North American debut. Inconsistencies, though, plagued Candelario throughout much of his career and as recently as 2016 when he opened the year by hitting just .219 with a .690 OPS in double-A before earning a challenge-promotion to triple-A where he hit much better and saw his OPS jump almost .300 points.

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The Daily Grind: Personal Playing Update

A new week and a new Grind. Let’s get to it.

AGENDA

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

Read the rest of this entry »