Author Archive

FanGraphs Staff Two Ottoneu Draft – Market Analysis

On Sunday, I participated in the FanGraphs Staff Two Ottoneu auction. One of my favorite things about Ottoneu and auction drafts in general is the ability to compare their results to the greater market. If you trust crowdsourcing as a fair representation of a player’s value, then the team that came away from the auction with the most surplus value relative to player average prices across all Ottoneu leagues is the best team entering the season. You can find those total surplus dollars listed for each team below, as well as best and worst values by the same criteria. To see Ottoneu market prices, click here.
Read the rest of this entry »


The Pirates Rotation – Absent Russell Martin

It’s time for our Depth Chart Discussions to begin. In an effort to suss out every team, we’ve divided them into four parts (infield, outfield, bullpen, and rotation) and will begin breaking them down for you over the next few weeks. You can find them gathered here.

The biggest change for the Pirates rotation in 2015 is not a pitcher but the loss of catcher Russell Martin. Even Martin’s sterling reputation might undersell his importance to a staff. In particular, he is an exceptional pitch framer. By Baseball Info Solutions’ Strike Zone Runs Saved metric, Martin has saved his pitchers 48 runs with his framing since 2010, which is the second highest total in baseball over the period, trailing only Jonathan Lucroy (85).
Read the rest of this entry »


The Brewers Bullpen: Can Broxton Return to Glory

It’s time for our Depth Chart Discussions to begin. In an effort to suss out every team, we’ve divided them into four parts (infield, outfield, bullpen, and rotation) and will begin breaking them down for you over the next few weeks. You can find them gathered here.

The Brewers lost half of what was a decent bullpen to free agency (Francisco Rodriguez, Zach Duke, and Tom Gorzelanny) and trades (Marco Estrada) this offseason and would enter the 2015 season pretty thin as currently constituted. That makes Milwaukee a relief corps in flux for fantasy. K-Rod recorded 44 of the team’s 45 saves last season, and Duke earned 1.3 WAR in a dominant campaign that featured 11.4 strikeouts per nine, which placed him in the top 25 of relievers with at least 50 innings pitched last season. Duke is now a White Sox and cannot return, but K-Rod remains unsigned. His return would mute much of the intrigue that centers on a likely new old closer.
Read the rest of this entry »


The Toronto Infield: Some Elite Some Upside

It’s time for our Depth Chart Discussions to begin. In an effort to suss out every team, we’ve divided them into four parts (infield, outfield, bullpen, and rotation) and will begin breaking them down for you over the next few weeks. You can find them gathered here.

The Blue Jays enter the 2015 season with high expectations, which is a common refrain from recent seasons that has yet to turn into a playoff berth. Despite that real-life disappointment, many of the team’s moves in recent seasons have created fantasy success. Elite players Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion anchor their lineup, and some new additions offer fantasy potential to varying degrees, especially in the infield.
Read the rest of this entry »


The Tampa Outfield: Another Youth Movement

It’s time for our Depth Chart Discussions to begin. In an effort to suss out every team, we’ve divided them into four parts (infield, outfield, bullpen, and rotation) and will begin breaking them down for you over the next few weeks. You can find them gathered here.

With their recent dedication to platoons and positional flexibility, the Rays have never really been easy to recognize in the outfield. But that is especially true entering 2015. Understated sometimes-outfield star Ben Zobrist is now in Oakland. Elite prospect Wil Myers is in San Diego. Matt Joyce is in Los Angeles. What’s left in Tampa is a collection of young outfielders who are likely more valuable in real life than in fantasy. However, one of those players offers a bit more fantasy value than you might expect.
Read the rest of this entry »


Mock Battle: George Springer vs. Matt Kemp

I am participating in the ongoing mock draft, and Eno Sarris and Daniel Schwartz have already written about a pair of compelling draft choices they made. The pick I made that sparked the most interest was of George Springer, who I took in the fifth round with the 55th overall pick. Chris Cwik selected Matt Kemp with the next pick, which provides a compelling player for comparison.

Read the rest of this entry »


Three Things the Red Sox Will Do For Rick Porcello

When the Cubs inked Jon Lester, it put a cap—at least until the team acquires another front-line starter—on a series of pitcher moves that will likely underwhelm the majority of Red Sox fans and fantasy players. Among Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, and Justin Masterson, Porcello is the closest to obvious fantasy relevance. Last season, he led the bunch with a 3.43 ERA and 1.8 walks per nine, but the three wins of real-world value are a more difficult fantasy sell for a pitcher who reached 200 innings pitched but failed to reach 130 strikeouts.

Read the rest of this entry »


Mike Fiers to the Max

A 7.25 ERA in a season can do wonders for your sleeper status. Mike Fiers can attest to that. Fiers was limited to just 22.1 major league innings in 2013 after a batted ball struck and broke his arm, but that was enough time for him to allow eight home runs and 18 earned runs. It’s a pretty alarming streak, especially for a former 22nd-round draft pick who tops out just shy of 90 mph. Perhaps that’s why I can’t find Fiers in the top 250 for 2015 on ESPN or anywhere else I look.

Read the rest of this entry »


Jorge Soler is the Safest Cubs Prospect

Over the next few months, we’ll find out if the Cubs plan to contend in 2015. Team president Theo Epstein teased as much during a press conference at the end of the season, and if a pitcher like Jon Lester or Max Scherzer joins a rotation that has already dramatically exceeded expectations thanks to the breakouts of Jake Arrieta and rookie Kyle Hendricks, there will be little reason to doubt him.

Read the rest of this entry »


Third Basemen of Past and Future

I find third base the most interesting position in terms of eligibility in fantasy. It seems to be the crossroads that connect all other positions. Shortstops with poor range often end up at third. Third basemen with poor arms often end up in the outfield. Carlos Santana tried some third this season to get him out from behind the plate, and many future first basemen try to survive at third so teams can add an extra power bat to their lineups.

Read the rest of this entry »