• Thinking About Future Alex Bregman
    by Randy Holt - 10/18 -  8
    Alex Bregman came into the 2017 with rather large expectations, to the point where I opined that he might end up in the top five third basemen in Major League Baseball by year's end in my bold predictions at the beginning of the year.
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    Eno Sarris, Paul Sporer, and Jason Collette lead the RotoGraphs staff in a regular fantasy podcast.
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    Marc Hulet adjusts (and updates) his prospect list for fantasy purposes.
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Pitchers with Divergent Strikeout (& Walk) Rates (Part 2)

Last week, I examined pitchers whose strikeout per nine (K/9) increased while the strikeout per plate appearance (K%) dropped. This article focuses on the pitchers who saw their strikeout rates go in the opposite directions. Besides the strikeout divergers, I’m going to include the walk rate divergers since both player sets aren’t long.

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A Minor Review of 2017: Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers have an exciting young team and there is more impact talent on the way.

The Graduate: Josh Hader, LHP: You don’t often receive a promotion to the Majors when your ERA is 5.37 but the Brewers knew Hader had a chance to help by shifting from the rotation to the bullpen. It was an astute move and he threw 47.2 innings in The Show and allowed just 25 hits. He overpowered big league hitters with his fastball-slider mix and struck out 68 batters. To have success in the Majors as a starter, though, Hader will have to throw more strikes; he walked almost as many hitters as he allowed hits to in 2017: 22 walks to 25 hits. He’ll also want to continue to polish his changeup. Even if he sticks in the ‘pen, the left-hander has a chance to be an impact arm for the Brewers.

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Paul Sporer Baseball Chat- October 20th, 2017

Thanks for coming out to chat ahead of Game 6 of the ALCS! Go JV!

5:30

Paul Sporer: Almost time for Game 6 of the ALCS! Let’s talk some baseball!!!

5:31

CT: Hey Paul, thanks for doing this, hope all is well. In my 6×6 12 team roto w/ $260 budget and 3 keepers, my best options (because I don’t wanna keep SPs) are C. Seager $35, C. Bellinger $10, T. Mancini $10, and R. Devers $10. Thoughts?

5:32

Paul Sporer: Bellinger and Dever for sure. I like what Mancini did, but I still think I’d rather pay the freight on Seager

5:33

Mike: 18 team H2H point Auction league only 2 keepers –  who do you keep.

5:33

Paul Sporer: Ideally Trout and Harper ;)

5:35

Mike: Who do you keep?   Betts for $13 with 1 year left or J.Ramirez with 2 yrs left.   Other keeper is Bellinger for $4 for 3yr

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Pitchers with Divergent Strikeout Rates (Part 1)

The season seems to never end for fantasy baseball writers. Once the regular season is over, it’s time to begin writing player previews for the next season. Pitchers who’ve had their strikeout (K% and K/9) and walk rates change in different directions spin me for a loop. Now, I query these schizophrenic pitchers to start the preseason previews. I’ll give a quick look at some of these pitchers. I’ll start with those pitchers who’ve seen their K% (strikeout per batter faced) drop while K/9 (strikeouts per nine innings) increase.

Two reasons exist for why the rates diverge. The key for both is increasing the number of plate appearances per innings. More plate appearances lead to their K% dropping if the strikeouts remain constant per inning. The other factor is how many hits a pitcher allows (basically BABIP). If a pitcher had good luck on balls in play and recorded more outs, they could quickly get through an inning and thereby raise their K%. Once the BABIP normalizes, the K% will drop.
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Unlikely Pairs: Man Versus Fish

Most people in fantasy baseball have tiers of players. You likely believe that certain players are roughly interchangeable, and others are definitely superior or inferior to one another. Sometimes the differences between players appears so vast that it is obvious where you would draw the distinction, and other times it feels more fluid and dynamic. Intuitively you might feel there is a strong distinction between the two tiers, but it may be difficult to find a precise line in the sand.

In the past few days I have been going through my xStats, looking at where certain players fell on certain metrics. In doing so, I have noticed several pairs of players. Players who have performed very similarly on several different metrics. Some of these pairs, arguably, cross skill tiers. And boy do I love when players cross tiers. Read the rest of this entry »


2017 Bargain Hitters

Justin Vibber has released his final 2017 dollar values by player.  I’ve captured Ottoneu average player salaries as of the end of the season (prior to inflation and arbitration).  Let’s combine the two to determine which hitters were the best bargains of 2017, and take a quick look at what might be in the crystal ball for 2018.

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A Minor Review of 2017: Chicago Cubs

The Cubs system has been hurt by promotions and trades but there are still some interesting players throughout the minors.

The Graduate: Ian Happ, IF/OF: Happ (aka Mr. Ben-Zobrist-lite) reached the Majors more quickly than expected thanks to the injuries that plagued the team in May. He produced some outstanding power numbers with 24 of him 92 hits going for home runs (good for a .261 ISO). Impressively, he also managed to hit .253 despite striking out more than 31% of the time. His versatility makes him incredibly valuable and he played mostly second base and center field but also dabbled in third base and both corner outfield spots. Happ, 23, needs some work to become a more complete player with the bat but he should continue to play every day in 2018.

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Paul Sporer Baseball Chat – October 19th, 2017

Filling in for Eno today!

11:02

Paul Sporer: Gooooood morning (for me, at least), everyone! Eno is a little under the weather so I’m filling in!

11:02

hscer: so what do you got that eno don’t

11:02

Paul Sporer: Health, currently

11:02

RonWeasley: Edwin or Jake Lamb next season?

11:03

Paul Sporer: Gimme Rake Lamb, maybe ’18 is the year he dominates for a whole season instead of a 2H swoon again

11:03

Jaime: Any Padres worth drafting next year?

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Scooter Gennett, Giancarlo Stanton, and RBI Luck

This being FanGraphs, I don’t spend a ton of time thinking about RBI and runs. Both of those stats are contextual in nature and say less about a player’s quality of performance than many of this site’s context-neutral metrics, such as wOBA and WAR. But I still play in a number of roto leagues where RBI and runs are categories, and just because they mean less in real life doesn’t mean I can’t put some analytical thought into how players accumulated them.

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Reviewing The 2017 Starting Pitcher Strikeout Rate Downsiders

Yesterday, I reviewed my 2017 starting pitcher strikeout rate upsider list, which produced embarrassing results. Let’s hope the downsider results look much improved. Once again, this list was compiled by using my pitcher xK% equation to identify starters whose 2016 xK% marks were significantly above their actual K% marks.

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