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C  -  1B  -  2B  -  SS  -  3B  -  OF  -  SP  -  RP

Is Stolen Base Rate Predictive of Anything?

Last week, I began an examination of stolen base rates. The process is messy with too many variables and nuances to consider. I’m examining the information through several different lenses and seeing what applies. Today, I’m going to look at how success rate plays a role.

Team Level Analysis

As sabermetric principles are being utilized more and more by front offices, they quickly came around to the idea that for stolen bases to be helpful, the success rate needs to be high. In 2000, the success rate was 69% for the entire league and it has increased to 73% last season.

Knowing that each team is made of different players and their individual success rate are a factor, here are the three-year success rate along with total stolen base attempt percentage ((CS+SB)/(1B+HBP+BB)).

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Underrated and Overrated: Scooter Gennett and Whit Merrifield Edition

2017 was the year of unexpected late-20s middle-infield breakouts, as the fantasy leaderboards at both second base and shortstop were populated by a number of players nearing 30 who went undrafted in the vast majority of leagues. Now that we have some draft data thanks to the National Fantasy Baseball Championship (NFBC), I figured it might be interesting to see which of these options fantasy owners are buying into going forward.

The players in question today include second basemen Whit Merrifield and Scooter Gennett. Let’s start with a quick look at where these guys finished 2017, and where they’re being drafted heading into 2018.

2017 Overall Rank 2018 Overall ADP 2017 2B Rank 2018 2B ADP
Merrifield 23 69.9 4 7
Gennett 87 192.8 13 18

The first thing I noticed is that not many fantasy owners expect either player to replicate their 2017 seasons, which is good! It’s unlikely that either of these guys are as good as they displayed last season, so this is a fine start. These seem like reasonable expectations on the surface.

With any offseason fantasy baseball article, I think the most important thing to figure out is where the bargains are. Asking the question, “Who are fantasy owners over and underpaying for,” helps us set our own personal targets for draft day. Keeping this in mind, I think it’s pretty obvious where the value is here. Let’s see if you agree.

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FanGraphs has NFBC ADP Data!

In case you missed the announcement in Paul Sporer‘s latest post:

FanGraphs now has NFBC ADP data!

NFBC ADP data used to be hosted at Stats, Inc. Prior to last week, 2018 data had only been available to NFBC contestants.

Anticipated FAQs:

Where can I find the data?

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A Minor Review of 2017: New York Yankees

It feels like the Yankees can do no wrong. They went out and stole Giancarlo Stanton… their club is littered with high-ceiling talent… and the minor league system still has a of gems, including underrated players like Matt Sauer and Miguel Andujar.

The Graduate: Aaron Judge, OF: He’s good. Really good.

First Taste of The Show: Miguel Andujar, 3B: I wrote a glowing report for Andujar in last year’s version of this series, and all those things continue to be true. The young third baseman showed very well in both double-A and triple-A, and even received a brief taste of The Show. He has a chance to be a .300 hitter with 20+ homers given his ability to make consistent, hard contact. Andujar is still too aggressive for his own good so his ability to produce a solid on-base average will rely heavily on the hit tool. I don’t think it’s out of line to expect an all-star caliber season or two from this prospect and I wouldn’t blame the Yankees if they decided to give Andujar a shot at the third base job in 2018 in an effort to save some money.

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Getting to Know Batter Average Fly Ball Distance

Last week, I unveiled the newest version of my xHR/FB rate, which incorporates two Statcast metrics. The first of those components was Barrels per True Fly Ball Rate (Brls/True FB), which I introduced last Wednesday, and then discussed further on Thursday. Today, I’m going to dive into the other Statcast metric, Average Fly Ball Distance (Avg FB Dist), which is found on the Statcast Search page.

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NFBC Hitting Sleepers

We added the average draft positions for National Fantasy Baseball Championship leagues to our projections pages! Right now only Steamer is up and so you can click here and find the ADP in the last column on the right. Once I was told they were live I thought let’s take this info and use it with the Steamer 600 projection (their normal projection normalized to 600 PA for everyone) to find some potential gems. Essentially, it’s a playing time sleeper list. If these guys were to find 600 PA, Steamer is suggesting they’ve got the skills to shine. I’m looking at players currently being drafted outside the top 200 in NFBC leagues.

Here are 12 names that stood out to me:

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10 Players I’m Excited to Watch In 2018 (Part 2)

Hard to believe January is already half finished.  Maybe even harder to accept that there are a significant number of talented MLB free agents left unsigned.  As we wait through the long winter days, I’m looking forward to seeing these players in action in 2018.

Part One

Garrett Richards

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Matt Olson Hit Two Doubles And Other First Baseman Facts

Matt Olson did many things with his 216 plate appearances in 2017. For example, he hit 24 home runs. Wow. Mr. Olson also hit two doubles. I’m not sure which total is more insane. Let’s do what we do best on internet blogs – convert a tiny factoid into 750 words.

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A Minor Review of 2017: Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays have an incredibly toolsy system with lots of potential littered throughout the minors. I could see quite a few Rays prospects breaking out into legit Top 100 prospects in 2018 — with another large contingency contributing at the big league level.

First Taste of The Show: Jose Alvarado, LHP: This fire-balling left-hander would probably be getting more press if he was in the Yankees or Dodgers system. His fastball sat at 98 mph in his MLB debut. He threw it 75% of the time but the mix of velo and sink makes him an incredibly overpowering arm. His curveball gives him a second potentially-plus pitch. Alvarado showed solid control in The Show with fewer than three walks per nine innings but he averaged close to six in the minors. If he made adjustments that will stick, Alvarado is a ninth-inning boss. If his control takes a step back in 2018 then he’s move of a seventh-inning guy.

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 517 – The Uncertain Closer Market

1/18/17

The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 18, the best baseball strategy game ever made – available NOW on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms! Go to ootpdevelopments.com to order now and save 10% with the code SLEEPER18!

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Notable Transactions/Rumors/Articles/Game Play

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