• Let Us Avoid Wasted Plate Appearances
    by Andrew Perpetua - 4/27 -  8
    Statcast has given us many new ways to evaluate quality of contact.  You can look at exit velocity and launch angle (although I wouldn’t recommend it). You can look at my xOBA, or MLB’s xwOBA (cough).
  • An Early Jake Lamb Update
    by Randy Holt - 4/26 -  6
    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

Minor to the Majors: Minor League Plate Discipline

Our Dark Overlord, David Appelman, finally acquired a minor league pitch-by-pitch database as seen by the new minor league stats available like Contact and Groundball rates. I hoped it would help to better understand the disconnect between a prospect’s Hit tool grades and major league results.  I made some progress but created more questions than answers.

When I examined the database, I was hoping to find some batted ball information as Eli Ben-Porat used at the Hardball Times. No such luck. But there was some x,y data … for every pitch.

Read the rest of this entry »


Let Us Avoid Wasted Plate Appearances

Statcast has given us many new ways to evaluate quality of contact.  You can look at exit velocity and launch angle (although I wouldn’t recommend it). You can look at my xOBA, or MLB’s xwOBA (cough). You can look at Value Hits, or MLB’s Barreled Balls. Each of these focus primarily on great contact, or frequency of good contact with respect to plate appearances.  However, bad contact is important too, right?

In the past I have written about Poorly Hit balls, which you may find interesting to read. These combined with Value Hits paint a picture of the upper and lowest levels of contact a batter creates or a pitcher surrenders. Well, there is a different way of looking at these figures, and with my notoriously bad ability for naming things (the title of my senior thesis in college was “Introduction”), I have come to call this “Wasted At Bats.”  Others have told me that’s a terrible, misleading name.  To which I have no response other than “I’m sorry.” But let me explain.

This stat, which I will call henceforth “Wasted”, represents the ratio between plate appearances that end in a near automatic out to at bats that end with a near automatic extra base hit.  The formula is simple:

(PH% + K%) / VH%

You know strikeouts are almost always outs. Very, very rarely can a batter reach first base, although it *can* happen.  Well, PH% (Poorly Hit) are somewhat similar, although not *quite* as automatic. Poorly Hit balls are outs about 98% of the time. Not automatic, but as close as you’re going to get.

To put this in perspective, Bartolo Colon has 309 plate appearances in his career to date. He has five extra base hits. Base hits on Poorly Hit balls are about as common as Bartolo Colon extra base hits.  It happens, but don’t count on it. Read the rest of this entry »


The Daily Grind: Poll of the Future Results

I tinkered this guy out of my lineup yesterday in favor of Jake Lamb. Whoops.

AGENDA

  1. Poll of the Future Results
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. Players to Avoid
  5. SaberSim Says…
  6. TDG Invitational Returns!

Read the rest of this entry »


AL Starting Pitcher Z-Contact% Regressers

Last week, I discussed the American League starting pitchers that have improved their Z-Contact% the most. Let’s now check in on the pitchers whose Z-Contact% has risen the most.

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Roto Riteup: April 27, 2017

Today’s Roto Riteup would like to remind everyone that even on a slow news day, baseball is a gift:

 

On the Agenda:
1. Gift Ngoepe

2. Various News and Notes

3. Streaming Pitcher Options Read the rest of this entry »


Bullpen Report: April 26, 2017

Two of the more noteworthy closer developments occurred off the field on Wednesday. Terry Collins told the Bergen Record that Jeurys Familia has been returned to the closer’s role. This means the end to his phase-in period following his 15-game suspension for a violation of Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. Collins had used Familia in non-save situations for his first three appearances. This also means the end of Addison Reed‘s solid run as the Mets’ closer, which resulted in four saves but also a loss to the Marlins in which he gave up a walk-off home run to J.T. Riddle to break a ninth-inning tie.

In his 2 2/3 innings to date, Familia has six strikeouts and 11 swinging strikes, but he has also walked four batters. If I own Reed, I’m hanging on to him if possible, at least until Familia shows that he will be reliable now that he is back in the closer’s role.

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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

Read the rest of this entry »


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.

Read the rest of this entry »


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!

Read the rest of this entry »


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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