Archive for Rankings

2015 Second Base Tier Rankings: April

I’m entering my first full season doing second-base tiers, after a midseason call-up last year. One small housekeeping item to get out of the way is that I prefer to only include players who are more or less universally eligible at the position. For example, Mookie Betts played 14 games at 2B last year, making him eligible on some sites and ineligible on others. Thus, he does not appear on this list. Additionally, I only ranked players who are currently on Major League rosters.

One thing that was interesting for me as I assembled these rankings is that I don’t have particularly strong feelings about the specific order within some of the tiers, but I have a considerable amount of conviction regarding the tiers themselves. In other words, this year’s 2B crop has some pretty clear-cut groups of elite, near-elite, above-average, etc. With that, let’s get to the rankings:

Jose Altuve
Robinson Cano

I quite nearly gave Altuve his own tier, but I believe enough in a Cano bounceback that I made room for him too. I wrote about the Houston infield a few weeks ago, so you can check that out for more of my thoughts on Altuve. Short version: I absolutely love Altuve, and do not expect much regression in 2015.

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Eno’s Pitcher Ranks, Updated

It’s been a bit more than a month, so it’s time to update my rankings, maybe in time for your last draft. Mostly injuries have moved the needle, but a few spring training strikeout rates and pitch changes may have factored into the moves. I gave you the new NFBC ADP and my old rankings so you could see the movements in the rankings.

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National League Starting Pitcher Tiers: March

We have been touring the diamond here at Rotographs with our first round of positional tiers. Here are the ones that have been posted so far:

Some guys took some creative license with the naming of their tiers (specifically David w/the AL OFs and Mike w/the AL SPs) and I’ll do the same naming my 10 tiers after 10 characters from my favorite movie ever: Rounders, the 1998 Matt Damon and Ed Norton vehicle centered on poker just before the poker craze hit.

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2015 AL Starting Pitcher Tiers: April

With just a week to go before the 2015 baseball season is underway and my social life comes to an end as I hole up in my condo in front of my Extra Innings packaged up television, it’s time to shed some tiers. Starting pitcher tiers of course. And specifically, American League starting pitchers.

My tier rankings are based on projected value moving forward with no accounting for what the pitcher has already done (which of course is nothing at the moment, but is important to remember when perusing through my mid-season updates). Essentially, these represent my value projections if you were to draft a team on this very day. Though tier rankings are supposed to consider all pitchers within a tier as essentially interchangeable, this initial set of rankings is a straight copy and paste from my projected dollar values, so it will begin in order.

Before diving into the tiers, you must understand how heavy a role innings pitched plays when valuing pitchers. That would explain a lot of some of the more controversial ranks. Furthermore, do not mistake this list as a precise order in which I would personally draft these pitchers. This is certainly not the case. When it gets toward the later tiers, I tend to prefer a younger, potential breakout performer than an established veteran whose value is primarily driven by his 180-200 innings (propping up both wins and strikeouts), rather than strong ratios.

For your debating pleasure, my tiers have been named after the brilliant FXX show, Man Seeking Woman (of which I hope more than two of you readers actually watch).

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Rotographs Rankings Update

Hey y’all, I mentioned in my chat that I’d get a ranking update out there ASAP. I wanted to finish last night, but I couldn’t. This is a little dirtier than our original ranks for two reasons: 1) only three rankers involve and 2) I didn’t have time to weave the three together for a composite as Zach and Dan sent me files and I had mine on a separate file. Given the time crunch I’m in to get this out for y’all, I just put all of ours on one file, but separately. I can clean it up next week, but here it is for now! Oh and there’s no overall, but frankly I think positional rankings are much more useful. Again, I know it’s a little dirty, but I wanted to get something out for everyone.

Rotographs Late-March Update

NL Outfield Tiered Rankings: March

Every year, we here at RotoGraphs publish tiered rankings for every position and update them throughout the year. What you will read below are, more or less, my end-of-season projections for National League outfielders, since the season hasn’t started yet. However, these rankings will change as the year progresses, and I would be a fool to tell you the tiers below will look the same in September.

No doubt, this is a contentious matter, and you can tell me how much of a moron I am in the comments.

Without further ado, here is the 2015 season’s first installment of tiered rankings for NL outfielders.

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Two Last Draft Tools

I’m a dweller in general. In slow drafts, I am the ultimate dweller. In the past, I would have ten+ tabs open at a given time when my draft slots were approaching: FanGraphs player profiles; RotoGraphs consensus rankings; Brooks Baseball Player Cards; BP’s PITCHf/x leaderboard; Rotoworld player news; the list goes on.

Then, prior to draft season, Jeff, Eno and I worked on these Arsenal Scores so that you can compare pitcher repertoires. You now have a go-to pitcher matrix if you’re dwelling on a cluster of pitchers.

Last week, Jeff Zimmerman furnished this glorious Hitter Analytics post, which provided us with a go-to hitter matrix when we’re dwelling on a cluster of hitters.

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Top NL Outfield Prospects: A Different Take

This is meant to be less of an overly serious analysis as it is an exercise in projecting minor league players in a new and different way. Unfortunately, Chris Mitchell has largely done what I’m about to present, and with more sophistication at that, so I’ll have to strike out the new part. But different? Sure, to an extent.

While Chris’ KATOH predicts a hitter’s probability of major league success by projecting career wins above replacement (WAR) thresholds, my model predicts probability of future success in the context of various career accomplishments: Will he be a better-than-replacement level starter? An All-Star? A future MVP? Ultimately, the exercise is simpler and more qualitative, evaluating strictly AAA stats (rather than all minor league levels, as KATOH does) and making predictions according to various marginal changes in common statistics such as isolated power (ISO), stolen base rate (SB/PA) and age. Think of the model as a series of player comparisons. Also, please think of the model as not a replacement or substitute for KATOH but a complement to it, albeit a less intense one. I will use this tool for analysis, but only infrequently; I recommend you keep up with all of Chris’ KATOH posts (as well as Kiley McDaniels‘ prospect coverage) to fulfill your prospect consumption needs.

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May this Schwartz be with you: 2015 Fantasy Baseball Rankings

Last week, we came out with our Top 300. The outcomes looked excellent and I would not hesitate simply using the presented composites for your drafts.

CoolWinnebago asked if we would present our approaches. I provided a high level summary under bago’s comment, but I’ll summarize and then embed my personal rankings (without all the highlighting of my targets of course).

Feel free to skip toward the bottom for my embedded rankings, but here is the context/approach:

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Yasmany Tomas’ Plate Discipline Makes Me Nervous

The baseball community — owners, scouts, fantasy analysts et al. — is slowly learning how Cuban hitters plucked from the Cuban National Series (CNS) perform in Major League Baseball. Unfortunately, the sample size is not increasing very quickly. The common fantasy owner is helplessly resigned to rely on a) scouting reports, and/or b) his or her own eyes, probably via a batting practice video uploaded online. Ideally, a Cuban hitter’s salary would serve as a proxy for what one could expect offensively and defensively from his imported bat and glove, but the market, and the information that defines it, is far from perfect.

The market for Cuban hitters is a pendulum, but rather than coming to rest, it is in full swing: hitters such as Yoenis Cespedes, Yasiel Puig and Jose Abreu, who are all but locks to fulfill the value of their modest contracts and then some, have plumped up the market for international signees. The Diamondbacks’ Yasmany Tomas, therefore, should not be compared to Abreu simply because the average annual values (AAV) of their contracts are almost identical. The dynamics of this particular market are nebulous, changing with every transaction.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t compare Tomas and Abreu statistically. Comparing the CNS and MLB performances of hitters more recently signed out of Cuba can still give us at least a faint idea of how we can expect Tomas to perform. This is my hope, at least. I’ll be the first to admit the analysis that follows is not as rigorous as I wish it could be, as the sample of contemporary, fantasy-relevant Cuban hitters who recently played in the CNS simply lacks breadth.

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