Author Archive

Eno Sarris’ Bold Predictions for 2014 Fantasy Baseball

I keep making these bold predictions, and keep hitting about .300 on them. No idea if that says I’m not bold enough or if there’s some predictability in the crazy things that happen each year.

Really, that last reason is why we make these predictions every year. Crazy stuff happens every year, and it takes a little elasticity of the mind to consider the possibilities of the coming season. Maybe by doing this we’ll be in a better spot to reap the rewards when crazy things do happen. Sure, 70% of the following will not happen. But 30% probably will! And as long as you don’t invest too much in the possibility, and keep an eye on the floor, you might be able to use our bold predictions to your advantage.

This year, there’s a bit of a wrinkle: Jay Long of Razzball and I are having a gentleman’s wager regarding our Bold Predictions. With some right of veto on each other’s predictions, we’re putting our ten up against each other. His will publish on Razzball later today. Loser buys the winner a six pack of craft beer.

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Eno’s Bats for 2014 Fantasy Baseball

Here’s a super easy post, I’ll admit it. All I did was take the difference between my rankings and the consensus rankings (which you can find on the right-hand nav bar) and sort. But I’ll do a little writeup for each group of hitters so you can know why I like them. The numbers listed for each player are steamer projections, which aren’t exactly what I used, but can give you an idea of how useful the player will be in your league. Good luck drafting.

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Let’s Try This Again: AL-LABR, Year Two

I stunk up the joint last year in AL LABR, one of the longest-going super leagues in the business. I combined terrible draft choices with terrible free agent auction decisions and even a bad trade in order to end up tenth of twelve. I showed poor restraint and discipline at the draft, I lacked the context necessary for making good decisions, and I panicked a bit late in the season. I’m not so proud of that season.

At least this year I feel a lot better about the draft. As Razzball’s Grey Albright said at the after-party, there’s a long way from feeling good to doing good in the final tally. Admitted. But since I actually didn’t even feel great about my draft results last year, I’ll take this as a positive sign.

Let’s take a look at the team and the better decision-making process that went into it.

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FanGraphs Consensus Rankings Draft Spreadsheet

Hope this is just in time for your draft!

Our ranks, plus Steamer projected hitter numbers and ZiPs projected pitcher values, all in one downloadable place.

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RotoGraphs Consensus Ranks: Starting Pitchers

Starting pitchers are the best. For whatever reason — perhaps their true talent changes more year to year, or they have less control over their results than hitters, or injury is more pervasive — pitchers are harder to project than hitters. I personally believe it’s because the power of changing your pitching mix can make you a new pitcher.

Look at Dallas Keuchel. He used to have a meh curve, he ditched it for a good slider. How relevant are his past stats now? You move a pitcher from the tougher league to the easier one, and you have to guess at how much that will matter, to some extent. Because the defense behind them will change too. In Doug Fister‘s case, it always seemed like he’d get better defense at his new stop. Is that the case? Or consider the case of Jose Fernandez and the lack of major league sample size. You regress him, and he’s still great. Or Masahiro Tanaka, the complete lack of major league stats.

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RotoGraphs Consensus Ranks: Outfielders

The Outfield. It’s a bear. If you’re in a three-outfielder league, it’s easy: wait. There are so many outfielders that actually play the outfield, and then when you add outfield-eligible players, there’s even more. Most leagues have responded by going to five outfielders to create a little positional scarcity, so we rank with five outfielders.

There’s a consensus number one, but that’s where the love between our rankers ends. That’s being a bit dramatic, but since we rank 1-105 on these, you’ll see wider disparities in the raw numbers of our rankings. The difference in opinion is about the same.

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RotoGraphs Consensus Ranks: Third Base

Now we’re talking. You can keep my interest all the way down to the high twenties on this list of third basemen. I love Chris Johnson‘s line drive game as much now as I used to distrust it. Todd Frazier grips it and rips it, but has power. Anthony Rendon is on the cusp. Matt Dominguez finished strong. Nolan Arenado makes contact and has power. Cody Asche even has something going in his favor — a little bit of everything.

I don’t even have many questions about the top six or seven. Sure, Josh Donaldson broke out, but most of his rates are right in line with his minor league numbers. Ryan Zimmerman has the health thing and the throwing thing, but otherwise, he’s good when he’s in.

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RotoGraphs Consensus Ranks: Shortstop

You’ve been told position scarcity doesn’t exist because you can get a shortstop late in the draft, he’ll be there for you, he’ll exist. Position scarcity never meant an abject lack of players at a position to me, though. It just meant, to me, that finding useful players at that position gets really hard late in the draft. Just because there was once a Ben Zobrist or a Jean Segura available late in the draft, just because Yunel Escobar exists at the plate for a full season and has some value in a deep league, doesn’t mean the position doesn’t suck pretty hard core once you get about 18 deep.

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RotoGraphs Consensus Ranks: Second Base

Maybe we all use rankings differently. Most of the time, I look at rankings and try to find where I value players differently. That’s gold! A ranking that’s too high for my liking means I can throw that player to get money on the table, or wait a round because I’m sure someone will take him. A player I like better than others is someone I can wait for.

I guess there might be a ranking out there that would be perfect for me, that I would take and use for myself without editing. Not even sure my rankings are those rankings. Because we’re getting information daily and that can nudge a guy up or down. But sure, I’ll be using my rankings in my drafts, in some form.

What you could also do is use the spreadsheet that will come at the end of these rankings, bump guys up or down a bit as you see fit, and really personalize your ranks for your needs, wants, desires and outlook on life. That might work, too.

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RotoGraphs Consensus Ranks: First Base

Time for the first basemen! At least one entrant here will cause some consternation, but it’s probably a good time to remember that the bar for offense at first base is incredibly high. The 15th-ranked first baseman this year might hit .275 with 30 homers. Heck, the 20th-rhanked guy could do that.

So enjoy this list twice. They’ll probably fill two (to three) positions on your roster.

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