Archive for Busts

J.T. Realmuto’s Strong Season, and One Other Thing

It’s hard to call J.T. Realmuto under the radar when he appeared here on FanGraphs’ Top 200 preseason, Baseball America’s Top-100 and Keith Law’s Top-100 (Insider required), yet here we are. Realmuto finished as the ninth best catcher among according to our End of Season Rankings despite ranking a modest 21st in our Mid Season Update. His .259/.290/.406 line translates to an 86 wRC+, though he still managed to be fantasy relevant in a fair amount of leagues. Realmuto smacked 10 home runs and even stole eight bags in his 467 plate appearances, with the steals leading all catchers with at least 300 PAs. Read the rest of this entry »

Javier Baez and Swinging Strike Rate

Javier Baez has been getting quite a bit of acclaim since returning to the Cubs with his reduced strikeout rate. In 2014, Baez had a 42% strikeout rate (K%) in the majors and 2015 value of 22% K% looks to be a huge improvement. Don’t get too excited about this small sample of data as his swing strike rate (SwStr%) points to a strikeout rate which will likely increase quickly.

Historically, a hitter’s strikeout rate correlates almost identically to their swinging strike rate. The reason to use SwStr% instead of K%  is because it stabilizes a bit faster. I took all hitters since 2002 who had at least 200 plate appearances in a season and found the linear correlation between their strikeout rate and swinging strike rate. The R-squared between the two values was .947 with the equation working out to:

K% = 2.25 * SwStr%

With this little bit of information, here is a look at Baez’s stats in the majors the past two seasons.

Season: SwStr%, Predicted K%, Actual K%
2014: 19.2%, 43.2%, 41.5%
2015: 18.5%, 41.6%, 22.2%

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The Starting Pitcher Strikeout Rate Decline Candidates

Yesterday, I took the first look of the 2015 season at starting pitcher’s xK%. I began with the potential surgers, those pitchers whose expected strikeout rates were most above their actual marks. Today will be the opposite side of the coin. These pitchers have posted strikeout rates significantly above what their mix of strike percentage, swinging, called and foul strike rates suggest. They could be in for strikeout rate collapses if they don’t improve those peripherals.

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3 AL Starting Pitchers You Can Actually Sell High On

The buy low and sell high strategy has been a favorite one of fantasy leaguers for as long as fantasy sports has existed, I would imagine. Unfortunately, it’s nearly dead given the wealth of freely available information and the deeper knowledge we now possess about how to evaluate player performance. Nearly dead, not completely dead. To buy low or sell high on a player, you need a story, a narrative that essentially offers up confirmation bias and makes the owner you’re dealing with feel all fuzzy inside when agreeing to the trade.

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2015 Pod’s Picks: Starting Pitcher

Opening day is finally upon us! I conclude this year’s (condensed) Pod’s Picks series with starting pitchers. If you missed them, here are the infielders and outfielders. The bullish group will only include those I ranked within my top 75 and the bearish only players the consensus ranked within their top 75.

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2015 Pod’s Picks: Outfield

Yesterday, I opened 2015 Pod’s Picks season with my infield bullish and bearish selections. Today I’ll finish my look at hitters by moving into the outfield. The bullish group will only include those I ranked within my top 60 and the bearish only players the consensus ranked within their top 60.

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Five Pitchers I Avoid

“Baseball is a game of fives.” So said my best childhood coach. And while the statement doesn’t make much sense in retrospect (it had something to do with there being no five-run home runs), it did come to mind while pondering the present work. It would seem that fantasy baseball writing is also a game of fives – five hitters I avoid, five actual sleepers, and five actual young sleepers.

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2015 Pod’s Picks: Infield

Due to the busy preseason schedule of posts I had to publish, the 2015 version of Pod’s Picks is being unveiled later than ever before. But I refuse to skip a year because it’s always fun comparing my rankings to the rest of the rankers and discovering who was closer at season’s end. Rather than drag things out by posting just one position a day like I have in the past, I’m grouping them into infield, outfield and starting pitchers to bring us into the start of the season (finally!).

I calculated the average rank of the three rankers in the Rotographs Rankings Update and then compared to my ranking within each position. As usual, I will limit my Bullish picks to those I have ranked as startable players in a standard 12-team league and Bearish picks to those the consensus has ranked as startable.

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Five Hitters I Avoid

It’s bold prediction season here at RotoGraphs. By extension, it’s also sleeper and bust season. Most of my bold predictions were overwhelmingly positive, so it’s time to highlight a few hitters I avoid. I’ll follow up with pitchers at some point this week.

To be clear, I’m not necessarily saying you should avoid these guys. I’m just informing you that avoid them.

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Nothing But Negative Predictions

Last week we did bold predictions. As a commenter on my post pointed out, the majority of the staff’s predictions were of the positive nature. More “player x will reach or exceed y” than “player x will fail to reach y.” My predictions were ten guys who I think could give you starter-level production in 12-team mixed leagues despite not being ranked as a starter by a single expert whose rankings are compiled by

Today I’ll do the opposite and identify at least one hitter from each position who is ranked as a starter by every FantasyPros expert that I think might not end up with starter-level production. To be clear, these predictions do not come with the claim of being bold, although I think some of them are. And I’m also not of the opinion that most of these will come true. But even if these guys don’t turn out to be busts, they are candidates to underperform and are guys I’ll likely be avoiding.

If you’d like to see my personal ranks, both overall and positional, I’ve got them in a Google doc here. Read the rest of this entry »