• The Prospect Stock Watch: Rooker, Cody, Atkinson
    by Marc Hulet - 8/18 -  0
    Today’s Prospect Stock Watch takes a look at a breakout 2017 draftee, a fast-rising starter who’s leaving the controversy of a failed physical behind him, and an undrafted pitcher who has become one of the top strikeout pitchers in the minors.
  • 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: 489 – We See You, Hoskins!


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!

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Leading Off: Question of the Day

Notable Transactions/Rumors/Articles/Game Play

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Bullpen Report: August 20, 2017

Another busy weekend for bullpen activity around the major leagues. We’ll start with a few notes from Saturday:

  • Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced on Saturday that Aroldis Chapman was removed from the closer role. Dellin Betances got save later that night, striking out two in a perfect inning. It’s been well documented that something doesn’t look right with Chapman this season, especially lately, and thankfully for the Yankees Betances is more than capable of filling in for the remainder of the season if need be. Despite struggling with command more than usual this season, Betances has an outstanding 40.5 percent strikeout rate, and he’s allowed just one home run this year in 47 innings. He’s been an superb reliever in his career, and this year doesn’t look very different except for the uptick in walks. Girardi didn’t “officially” name Betances the closer just yet (in fact, he said that David Robertson was also in the mix), but Betances should be the heavy favorite. Chapman pitched in the sixth and seventh on Sunday, allowing one walk and striking out two.

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Roto Riteup: August 20, 2017

Jackie Bradley Jr. is such a stud:

On the Agenda

  • Two-Homer Games Galore!
  • Bregman Continues to Mash
  • Chapman Out as Closer
  • DeJong Smacks His 20th
  • Marte with a Combo Meal

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Bullpen Report: August 18, 2017

It has now been a full week since Aroldis Chapman put himself in jeopardy of blowing a save against the Red Sox by starting the ninth inning with three consecutive walks. Little has gone right since then.

To recap, he blew a save on Sunday, recorded a save on Tuesday despite allowing an Amed Rosario two-run homer and sat out Wednesday and Thursday due to a hamstring injury. Though Joe Girardi has insisted that Chapman is still his closer, on Friday, he brought him in for the bottom of the eighth inning against the Red Sox even though the Yankees trailed by a run. Once again, Chapman dug himself a hole, allowing a leadoff single to Rafael Devers (who homered off him on Sunday), walking Christian Vazquez and then allowing a double steal. That set up a two-RBI single by Jackie Bradley, Jr., all before Chapman recorded his first out.
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Paul Sporer Baseball Chat – August 18th, 2017

Thanks for coming out and supporting the chat today, we went a little longer than normal. Still need at least one more marathon session before the end of the season!


Paul Sporer: Good afternoon, everyone!!


Y’llo: Drop my Steve Pearce for Solarte or Wong?


Paul Sporer: Seems lateral, isn’t Pearce raking lately, too?


Andrew Heaney: Do you think I make an impact for teams in the running with injured SP’s?


Paul Sporer: I’m a Heaney fan overall, but I keep expectations very low with arms returning from major injury


Nathan: Is this up and running?

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Roto Riteup: August 18, 2017

Pedro Martinez was back on the mound Thursday:

Man oh man, he was so good – especially in 2000.

On the Agenda:

  • Severino Bounces Back
  • Corbin with Another Gem
  • Jackson Drops ERA Below 3.00 w/Washington
  • Donaldson Clubs Two More HRs
  • Other News

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Pitchers Improving their Expected Results

If you’ve followed baseball over the course of of the past few seasons, you’ve probably noticed the new data available to us with the advent of Statcast. This has led to the development of new metrics to measure player performance, with xwOBA being one of the most notable. If you’re familiar with xwOBA, you have likely seen it used to examine the quality of contact made or induced by hitters or pitchers.

Today, I want to look at the pitcher side of things. While it is generally accepted that some pitchers are better at inducing weak contact than others, to this point, the baseball community is still working through the best ways to process the implications of the relatively new data available to us.  As Craig Edwards wrote yesterday on the main site, there isn’t a strong relationship between weak contact year to year.

Acknowledging all of this, I want to look at pitchers who have recently improved the quality of contact they have allowed. There are a couple assumptions to acknowledge here (included at the bottom of the following table). First, I am only looking at pitchers with over 1000 pitches in 2017 before the All-Star Game. Additionally, I am only including pitchers who have thrown 500 pitches since the All-Star Game.

My intent with this is to try to get a better look at starting pitchers, who have made more than a couple of starts, and remove relief pitchers. I have also limited the group to players who’s post All-Star Game expected wOBA is less than the sample average at the time of the break (this works out to be around .315, for reference). The last stipulation I have included is that I am only showing pitchers who have seen an improvement of .010 or greater in their expected results (10 points or greater). The reason for this is simple, I would rather show 25 results than 45.

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The Daily Grind: The Other Sweet Erv

Invitationalists should note the words of section five.


  1. Sweet Erv 2.0
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. SaberSim Says…
  5. TDG Invitational Returns!

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Field of Streams: Episode 289 – The “Hold My Beer” White Sox

Episode 289 – The “Hold My Beer” White Sox

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

In this episode, Dylan Higgins and Matthew Dewoskin discuss Jose Urena being just okay, streaming against the Giants, Rhys Hoskins, Kolten Wong being good again, Dominic Smith, Luis Castillo’s success, Alejandro De Aza’s return to MLB, Doug Fister still starting for Boston, Mallex Smith not running lately, Hawk Harrelson and Carl Yastrzemski, and Matt’s first softball game of the new season.

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The Prospect Stock Watch: Rooker, Cody, Atkinson

Today’s Prospect Stock Watch takes a look at a breakout 2017 draftee, a fast-rising starter who’s leaving the controversy of a failed physical behind him, and an undrafted pitcher who has become one of the top strikeout pitchers in the minors.

Brent Rooker, OF, Twins: I don’t typically write about same-season draft picks in the Prospect Stock Watch because first-year (half-season) stats often don’t mean much after long amateur seasons. Rooker, though, deserves some ink. Selected 35th overall out of Mississippi State University, this outfielder has defied his scouting reports and is quickly proving that his outstanding junior season in college was not a fluke.

He has some swing-and-miss to his game (50 Ks in 51 games) but he also has some of the best useable power in the low minors; he’s slugged 13 homers so far. Along with the power, he’s also shown a willingness to take a walk. Rooker opened his pro career in advanced-rookie ball but, after 22 games, was pushed all the way up to high-A ball where he’s continued to hit well with an .826 OPS. The first-year pro may return to high-A ball to open up the 2018 season but it may not take long for him to experience double-A. He has middle-of-the-order potential for the Twins.

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