Archive for Catchers

Red Sox Playing Time Battles: Hitters

We’ve started our annual Depth Chart Discussions, re-branded as Playing Time Battles for 2016. You can catch up on every team we’ve covered in the Playing Time Battles Summary post or following along using the Depth Chart Discussions tag.

A few bad contracts, delayed success for a sputtering prospect, and another Dustin Pedroia injury conspired together to sink the offense of the Boston Red Sox in 2015, leading to a disappointing 78-84 record. The Sox aren’t used to being a pedestrian offense, and that’s decidedly what they were a year ago, on an adjusted basis, ranking 13th in baseball with a weighted runs created-plus of 98 despite ranking fourth in total runs scored.

The Sox still did well getting on base despite an average walk rate, thanks in part to a .305 team batting average on balls in play and one of the league’s lowest strikeout rates. That represented a shift from the past two seasons, when they were far more true outcome-heavy, to strong results in 2013 but mediocre ones in 2014. A moderate lack of power outside of David Ortiz was somewhat unexpected, and relying on a 40-year-old in his victory lap season, however good that 40-year-old is, is a risky proposition.

With so much long-term money committed to Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, and Rusney Castillo, the Sox opted not to make an offseason splash on the lineup side. That doesn’t mean this offense won’t be better, though. Progression from several intriguing young players, the chance for veteran bounce-backs, and a better optimization of playing time will work together to make the Sox one of the most dangerous offenses in baseball once again.

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Cubs Playing Time Battles: Hitters

We’ve started our annual Depth Chart Discussions, re-branded as Playing Time Battles for 2016. You can catch up on every team we’ve covered in the Playing Time Battles Summary post or following along using the Depth Chart Discussions tag.

This time yesterday, there really weren’t any Cubs playing time battles to discuss. There’s always the token catcher chat, and we’ll flesh that out below. Some words could have been spilled regarding utility men Chris Coghlan and Javier Baez. Overall, it wouldn’t have been an exciting post. With Dexter Fowler‘s stunning agreement, there is a real battle to address.

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What is BARF? Bay Area Roto-Fantasy

The worst kept secret in the fantasy sports industry is that the people in it are amazing. A little over a year ago, with the help of some friends (with fantasy benefits), I entered the industry with a silly little podcast, a website, and no real expectations that it would ever turn into anything more than a hobby. I was pleasantly surprised to find out how helpful and encouraging the majority of the fantasy industry is. No one ever said no to an appearance. I was given a ton of advice on what works and what doesn’t in the industry. You read what these people write and listen to what they have to say, but what you don’t realize is that they are just as cool in real life as they appear to be from the outside. Read the rest of this entry »


Marlins Playing Time Battles: Hitters

We’ve started our annual Depth Chart Discussions, re-branded as Playing Time Battles for 2016. You can catch up on every team we’ve covered in the Playing Time Battles Summary post or following along using the Depth Chart Discussions tag.

We’re now three-quarters of the way through our playing time battles series. The remaining assignments in the series come in one of two flavors – nightmare or virtually battle free. The Marlins fall into the latter category.

The outfield will once again feature Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna with Ichiro Suzuki chasing hit records in the background. Derek Dietrich may be the fifth outfielder, or they might round up somebody who isn’t also a primary backup infielder. Whoever it is, they’ll only play when somebody suffers an injury.

Second base is Dee Gordon land. Dietrich is on backup duty here too. Gordon will team up with Adeiny Hechavarria for double plays. Scouts love Hechavarria’s defense (UZR finally liked it too last year), and he hits just enough to play regularly. That leaves us with three positions that are pseudo-unsettled. Even that’s a stretch.

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Mariners’ Playing Time Battles: Hitters

After 7 disappointing years under Jack Zduriencik (which followed 5 soul-crushing seasons under Bill Bavasi), new Mariners’ GM, Jerry Dipoto, raced up I-5 with a mandate to bring consistency and a fresh approach to the Emerald City. Faced with a number of holes to fill, the former Angels exec has already made a series of moves signaling a shift in the Mariners’ philosophy towards defense and on-base ability, a welcomed change from that of the last regime’s affinity for low on-base, immobile power hitters who strike out a lot. Huzzah.

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2016 Impact Rookies: The Catchers

Today we begin a series that looks at the potential top rookie producers at each position around the baseball diamond. This series should be valuable for anyone participating in a fantasy league that allows keepers. It will also help anyone playing in more traditional formats who may need to fill holes throughout the season or may be in need of an unexpected spark.

Catchers

Top Targets:

Willson Contreras, Cubs: Chicago has a solid veteran tandem for 2016 but it’s pretty clear that sophomore Kyle Schwarber’s future is no longer behind the dish. His bat is just too advanced to waste more time in the minors polishing his defensive skills so left field is likely his permanent home. That leaves the catcher-of-the-future tag for Contreras, who had a breakout year in Double-A in 2015. Now there is definitely risk that his one-year outburst was an outlier but scouts took a real shine to him. An injury to starter Miguel Montero could open up an opportunity for Contreras in 2016.

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Rays Playing Time Battles: Hitters

The Rays have two potential positional battles. One is more of a classic debate, whereas the other battle is a little more complex as it is not Player A vs. Player B for the same position. At catcher, the Rays will need to decide how much they value defense over offense with Curt Casali and Hank Conger slated to be behind the dish. Things are a little more complex with the addition of Corey Dickerson, who will certainly play right field with a righty on the mound. What will the Rays do when a lefty starts?

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2016 Ottoneu FGpts Rankings – Catcher

We’re starting to roll out Ottoneu FGpts rankings today.  We will start with catcher and work our way through the rest of the positions by the time auction drafts are in full swing.  In the context of Ottoneu, perhaps rankings are a misnomer, because you really want to know the dollar value each player is worth. We’ve included this information as well. In all, these rankings should help to give you a spread of four dollar values for each player, as well as a comparison to average prices (post-arbitration, pre-cut deadline) within the Ottoneu FGpts universe. Each player’s Ottoneu eligibility (5GS, 10 appearances) is included as well, though players are ranked at their most valuable position. If you have questions on a specific ranking, or a question for a specific ranker, feel free to let us know in the comments.

Consider this your very early, subject to change, Ottoneu pricing cheat sheet.
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Rotographs Rankings First Run – Catchers

Some of this is being repeated from the Primer piece that went up this morning. 

We’re bringing them to you earlier this year, but that also means that they’re far from set in stone so take that into consideration as you peruse them. There are still strong arms on the free agent market, let alone all the moving and shaking that happens once players start reporting to camp.

We’re using Yahoo! eligibility requirements which is 5 starts or 10 appearances. These rankings assume the standard 5×5 categories and a re-draft league.  If we forgot someone, please let us know in the comments and we’ll make sure he’s added for the updates. If you have questions for a specific ranker on something he did, let us know in the comments.

We can also be reached via Twitter:

There will be differences, sharp differences, within the rankings. The rankers have different philosophies when it comes to ranking, some of which you’re no doubt familiar with through previous iterations. Of course the idea that we’d all think the same would be silly because then what would be the point of including multiple rankers?!

Think someone should be higher or lower? Make a case. Let us know why you think that. Like I said, it’s early. Things are going to change.

The chart is sortable and by default it’s sorted by AVG. If a ranker didn’t rank someone that the others did, he was given that ranker’s last rank +1. That would be 38 for Zach, 36 for Mike, 38 for Brad, 53 for me, and 46 for Paul K. Everyone in the top 50 (let’s be honest, we probably only needed a top 30 here) were on the lists of Jeff and Dan so they don’t have any +1s. They are indicated in red on the chart.

I was the only one to rank to Tom Murphy from Colorado and I slotted him 38th. Just wanted to mention that.

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Astros Playing Time Battles: Hitters

We’ve started our annual Depth Chart Discussions, re-branded as Playing Time Battles for 2016. You can catch up on every team we’ve covered in the Playing Time Battles Summary post or following along using the Depth Chart Discussions tag.

The Astros shocked the baseball world in 2015, improving from a 70-92 record in 2014 to an 86-76 mark, which earned the team a playoff berth for the first time in a decade. Houston benefited from great pitching — finishing the season with the best team ERA in the American League — but that’s not to take anything away from the team’s prolific bats. The Astros were second in the majors in home runs (230) and on base plus slugging (.752), as well as sixth in runs scored (729).

Still, Houston approaches 2016 with a huge question mark at first base, as well as potentially complicated situations in the outfield and behind the plate. Time to sort these situations out, and see if there’s any sneaky fantasy appeal at hand.

FIRST BASE

Jon Singleton currently projects to be the Astros likely Opening Day first baseman, but his leash will unquestionably be mighty short. The 24-year-old hasn’t had much of an issue handling Triple-A pitching in the last two years, but neither his power nor his contact abilities have translated to the majors. That’s a bit of an issue when discussing a defensively limited 1B.

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