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

When Plate Discipline Sticks

A few days ago, Jake Leech asked me if Zack Cozart’s 2017 improved plate discipline would stick into 2018.

He saw quite a bit of improvement with his K%-BB% drop by 6% points.

Note: I like using K%-B% to get an overall value for a hitters plate discipline. Early this year, I investigated what early season stats point to a true breakout. K%-BB%, along with launch angle (FB%), are the two key factors to focus on.

Zach Cozart’s Plate Disciple
Season BB% K% K%-BB%
2016 7.3% 16.5% 9.2%
2017 12.2% 15.4% 3.2%
2018 (Steamer) 8.8% 15.6% 6.8%

The Steamer projection has his K%-BB% regressing closer to his 2016 values than his ones from 2017. This is how projections work with previous season stats having some weight along with some regression.

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A Minor Review of 2017: Kansas City Royals

The Royals system lacks can’t-miss, high-impact talent but it has some depth. I’m a big fan of catcher M.J. Melendez.

The Graduate: Scott Alexander, LHP: This southpaw (who’s equally successful against both right- and left-handed hitters) is one of the most underrated relievers in the game — especially during this period of juiced balls. His eye-popping ground-ball rate of 78% led the Majors and he struck out a quite a few more batters (21%) than the typical sinker ball pitcher. He was also an anomaly because threw his 94 mph heater a whopping 94% of the time with his slider a very distant 4.5%. His success is somewhat impress considering big league hitters always know what’s coming.

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Rule Change Season

From now until the end of the calendar year, overeager fantasy baseball enthusiasts will be discussing potential rule changes for the 2018 season and beyond. We’ve just begun the process of voting on a couple subjects in my 20-team dynasty. We keep 560 of 900 rostered players (including amateur teenagers). It’s a deep format. We have a bit of problem with owners getting stuck in rebuild mode.

Up for debate at this time are two issues. I suggested moving the trade deadline back from August 10. Another owner wants to add a fifth outfielder slot. We also always talk about increasing the quantity of keepers too. No matter what’s on the table, it’s important to be wary of how new rules will affect competitive balance.

When designing a league or tinkering with an existing one, I seek to accomplish the following:

Positional Overview: Catcher

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to review every position and take stock of where we’re at heading into the offseason. We will tackle the primary skills, look at some playing time jumpers, check in on some prospects, peek back at 2017’s ADP, and get an early look at the 2018 pool. There is definitely going to be similarities across all the positions with these overviews, but each will have its own idiosyncrasies tailored to the depth and expectations. Let’s start with fantasy baseball’s thinnest position and dive in on catchers!

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Reviewing 2017 Pod vs Steamer Projections — Home Run Downside

Before taking a short vacation, I reviewed the first preseason Pod vs Steamer Projections series posts, focused on home run upside. That article discussed the hitters whose home run Pod Projection was significantly greater than his Steamer projection. Today, I’ll recap the players I identified as possessing significant home run downside compared with Steamer. With the record setting home run total, this shall be interesting.

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Paul Sporer Baseball Chat – November 17th, 2017

Thanks for coming out!


Paul Sporer: Yo yo yoooo!!! Let’s talk some baseball!!!


Jordan: Akil Baddoo has some pretty incredible stats for an 18 year old in the Appy league. Think he’s the type of prospect that can really shoot up lists in dynasty circles?


Paul Sporer: :Googles Akil Baddoo:


Paul Sporer: Ohhhh THAT Akil Baddoo


Paul Sporer: I’m sorry, I know literally zero about him and I don’t wanna pretend and mislead you


Dusty: Anything to report on Twins SS Prospect Wander Javier?

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Shohei Ohtani Projection and Comparables

A few days ago, Travis Sawchik ask me to help find some comps for the Shohei Ohtani using a 2016 Davenport translation. The list of potential hitters with similar 2018 Steamer projections was impressive (Charlie Blackmon, George Springer, Mookie Betts, Carlos Correa, Yasiel Puig, and Aaron Judge). Additionally, I found pitchers who had similar 2018 projections to his 2016 translation but the list wasn’t as impressive (Jimmy Nelson, James Paxton, Jon Gray, Luis Castillo, Luke Weaver). Thanks to Dan “The Man” Szymborski, a 2018 projection now exists and results will be a little disappointing.

First, from what I heard from most fantasy websites, Ohtani’s will be two separate draftable players. Ohtani the pitcher and Ohtani the hitter. No site, that I know of, has yet to combine the two. If they did, they will likely have to count all the hitting stats accumulated by all pitchers. I hope this doesn’t ever happen.

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A Minor Review of 2017: Detroit Tigers

Last season’s trades — especially those with Houston and Chicago (NL) — gave new life to the Tigers system. Plus, 2016 first rounder Matt Manning could be an absolute stud and should see his value skyrocket in 2018 as he enters pro ball. The club should also consider moving Matt Hall from the starting rotation (where he’s a fringe prospect) to the bullpen (where he could develop into a key reliever).

The Graduate: Jeimer Candelario, 3B: The Cubs flipped veteran players Justin Wilson and Alex Avila to the Cubs at last season’s trade deadline with Candelario as the key player received in return. However, I’ve never been a huge fan of the young third baseman and I doubt he’s going to be a star. Candelario, who turns 24 in a few days, is pretty average across the board in terms of his ability to hit for average or power (although the juiced ball has everyone hitting 20-30 homers). His biggest asset at the plate is his strong eye, which allows him to produce good on-base numbers. Defensively, he has a chance to be steady but unspectacular.

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 506 – Happy Birthday, Justin!


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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Ground Balls Are Changing.

Major league batters are generally shifting towards a fly ball approach. The idea is to hit more balls in the air. Not necessarily fly balls, in fact there are those who wish to only hit line drives. When I say in the air, I mean ‘not on the ground.’ You want the ball to leave the infield before it bounces, ideally. Preferably this happens at a very high speed.

Duh, no kidding, right? Well, yeah. Obviously hitting the ball out of the infield is the goal for just about everyone. The goal isn’t the key, we’re talking about the approach used to actualize the goal. Read the rest of this entry »