Author Archive

Top-75 Stats-Based Hitting Prospects

It’s time for the bi-weekly look at under-the-radar hitting prospects. There seemed to be some confusion on the point of the rankings which is to find under promote good prospects. Today, I will try to clear up the and dive into a few hitters not represented on top-100 prospect lists.

The last time I ran this report, there was some questions on why some hitters were missing. After investing, I found out it’s was a database issue which missed some newly signed players, changed the position labeling, and mislabeled when players lost their rookie eligibility. I’ve made sure everyone is included but added a few adjustments.

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pERA Rankings With Starting Pitcher Sleepers

I’ve decided to update my 2018 pERA rankings since I’ve been diving for some starter sleepers. Usually, this procedure helps to find underperformers with inflated ERAs. This time, it was mainly under the radar pitchers.

If anyone is unfamiliar with pERA, it combines the swinging strike rate and batted ball data from each pitch along with the walk rate into an overall ERA estimator (full explanation). Besides the few pitchers listed below, here is a link to the full 2018 values.

The top starters are as expected:

Rank. Name: pERA
1. Max Scherzer: 2.34
2. Chris Sale: 2.44
3. Jacob deGrom: 2.52
4. Noah Syndergaard: 2.57
5. Ross Stripling (w/ RP stats): 2.65
6. Trevor Bauer: 2.75
7. Gerrit Cole: 2.83
8. Justin Verlander: 2.88
9. Patrick Corbin: 2.91
10. Dereck Rodriguez: 2.92

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Two Intriguing Starters: Eovaldi & Suarez

During last night’s chat, I got the usual “Rank these five pitchers….” questions. Similar names kept popping up and I felt I was using dated information. I decided to dive into a couple pitchers to see if my previous valuations should be adjusted.

Nathan Eovaldi

The 28-year-old righty has always been a disappointment with a mid-90s fastball and a sub-7 K/9 strikeout rate. After missing the 2017 season for Tommy John surgery, the Rays starter is putting up his best season ever with a 3.35 ERA with matching ERA estimators.

The reasons for the turnaround can be inferred from this simple graph.

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Waiver Wire & FAAB Chat


Jeff Zimmerman: Welcome this week. I didn’t have time to run the FAAB reports from Tout Wars


Rob: Whos the guy to grab if Chapman is injured:  Robertson or Betances?


Jeff Zimmerman: Betances


Jeff Zimmerman: and follow our bullpen report for the latest news:


Jake Junis Priest: Even without a lot of K’s, Frankie Montas has a solid FIP. Should I keep holding/playing match-ups in AL Only? Thanks!


Jeff Zimmerman: Sure in AL-only. He might be a must own in that format

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Week 16 FAAB Estimates

After my first attempt into the estimating FAAB bids, I’ve been working away matching up ownership jumps with the actual bids. I’m close to being done as I work backward from the most recent weeks to the season’s beginning. By using these most recent values I found some interesting conclusions along with FAAB estimates for this week.

First, thanks again to everyone who has suggested any improvements. I’m trying to implement as many as possible. Second, if you are reading this more than a week from the publish date, look for newer articles. I’m just at the initial stages of creating the FAAB estimate equations.

As for information I’ve found out.

1. Owners spend a ton of FAAB chasing Saves. Of the top-10 players with the most money spent on them from week 13 to week 15, six were potential closers with 27 teams spending $1550 on A.J. Minter in week 14.
One issue possibly driving this high value is that for a team to win the overall NFBC prize, they must beat all the other 509 owners. They can’t dump a category. Owners who are behind with Saves are still grinding away. Other leagues may not see values this high.

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Top-75 Stats-Based Pitching Prospects

It’s time for my latest computer based pitching prospects. In my last article, there was some confusion on how the rankings are to be used. Here’s a breakdown of what the rankings are and aren’t.


  • A supplement to Eric’s and Kiley’s prospect rankings. This set utilizes stats, age, role, and some regression to find potential overlooked prospects before they start showing up on major prospect lists.


  • A complete list of every prospect. Some will be missed. I don’t care as I’m digging for one-offs. The most likely reason for not being on the list is they haven’t performed, not played much (major factor), or have graduated to the majors. Major league results are also not included.
  • The order doesn’t matter at all, at least to me. Why one person is #8 over some guy at #14 compared to other lists is irrelevant. These top prospects are already owned in most leagues. I feel the order only matters to desperate fan bases looking for some much-needed hope.

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Estimating Weekly FAAB: Step One

A couple weekends ago, Dave Appelman asked my fellow writers and me what features we’d like to see available at RotoGraphs (more additions are in the works) and a FAAB (free agent acquisition budget) bid estimator was discussed. With so many leagues and so many bidding setups, I accepted the daunting challenge. I’m beginning to produce some limited usable results.

Before I go into the many inputs in FAAB bids such as declining budgets and absentee owners, I needed:

1. A way to measure owner seniment before the normal Sunday FAAB bids.

2. A reliable source of FAAB bids.

For the first source, I’d like to thank fellow RotoGraphs contributor, Al Melchior for pointing out that CBS Sportsline displays historic weekly ownership rates. Every host website will display ownership rates. What was important with this source is they have a ton of quick grab waiver wire leagues. As soon as a player bursts on the scene, owners can go pick them up off the wire. The ownership rates for these hot commodities immediately begin ticking up. These values are available but the bases need rounding a few times to collect them.

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Sunday FAAB & Waiver Wire Chat

Jeff Zimmerman: As normal, I will answer all waiver wire and FAAB questions. Including as much league and team, context is desirable.

Jeff Zimmerman: Here are the FAAB bids from the two 15-team Tout Wars mixed leagues this week:

Jeff Zimmerman: Auction

Jeff Zimmerman: ADeSclafani: 87
TClippard: 83
FPena: 39
YSanchez: 38
AMejia: 37
WSmith: 36
KBroxton: 30
RTapia: 18
WPeralta: 13
MFried: 11
ELauer: 9
RBorucki: 5
NHundley: 5
APujols: 2
TWatson: 2
EDiaz: 1
MCanha: 1
CBassitt: 0

Jeff Zimmerman: Draft:

Jeff Zimmerman: KBroxton: 61
JPolanco: 58
ABarnes: 47
WSmith: 35
AMondesi: 33
NEovaldi: 31
DRodriguez: 27
KTucker: 22
MMaldonado: 21
RTapia: 21
SOh: 16
DWinkler: 16
JShields: 12
EJimenez: 6
HPerez: 4
MFried: 3
JMarisnick: 3
CMoran: 3
JAlfaro: 2
HBader: 2
CStratton: 2
CCulberson: 1
AGarrett: 1
DHolland: 1
KPlawecki: 0
RMartin: 0

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Top-75 Fantasy Hitting Prospects w/ Potts, Chang, & Santana

I’ve updated my hitter prospect rankings (any name ideas?) based on age, level, position, and production with some regression baked in to handle small samples (link to last pitcher rankings). Besides the top-75 list, I’ve included some additional information on three lesser-known players.

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Is Dereck Rodriguez for Real?

Short answer

Yes, Dereck Rodriguez been decent and could get significantly better. Pick him up in all formats because if you don’t, someone else soon will.

Long answer

I had my doubts when I heard the 26-year-old-righty got promoted to the big leagues. The main reason his promotion got any press was that he’s Ivan Rodriguez’s son. In all fairness, no one was on him. I couldn’t find a specific prospect report on him.

The Twins drafted the high school outfielder in the 2011 draft’s sixth round. In 2014, he decided to pitch fulltime which might explain the lack of prospect reports. I was able to find a couple articles when he made the transition from hitter to pitcher which provide some insight.

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