- FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball - https://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy -

Off Season Player Evaluations Start Now

It has been nice waking up over the past few days and having one less item to complete, specifically setting my fantasy baseball lineups. I am going to enjoy the extra time, but not for long. The off season for fantasy baseball has begun and it means that preparation for next season needs to begin. The following are a few concepts I follow during the off season.

Winterize Keeper Teams – I talked about this concept last year and still believe in it.

Begin a List of Questionable Players – Even though many owners are dumping their 2012 fantasy knowledge, they shouldn’t totally space out fantasy baseball. Players that owners have questions about should be noted now to be followed up on at a later date.

These players should not be the stars, but players out of the top 50 or 100. Owners know what is expected out of Miguel Cabrera or Justin Verlander. They should will be great fantasy players in 2013, barring injury or historic decline. Two players on the Tigers that I am not completely familiar with is Avisail Garcia and Drew Smyly. If these two part timers from 2012 are given full time positions, what should their owners expect from them in 2013?

I just keep a list of players in a document with links to articles. As I accumulate the data, I start to create a general ranking of the players. Creating an early idea of where players fit is great for draft or auction day when time is limited.

Dig Deep – A person has time for a few months to really look into a player’s stats and back ground. Is a player hitting the ball further? If so why? Change of swing? Why did a pitcher break down during the year? Loss of velocity? Bad Luck? I find it is best to really get to the know the players now instead of during spring training when too many variables are in motion.

Before the New Year, Talent, After the New Year, Playing Time – From now, until the beginning of the year, it is time to figure out player talent levels for the upcoming season. The players I am concentrating on are the questionable players and I am digging deep on them. I am trying to find diamonds in the rough and get their underlying talent level. Playing time blurbs can be noted, but it is a long time until spring training, so don’t concentrate on playing time just yet.

Playing time becomes important in the spring. The talent level of players are known and it is time to see which players have incriminating pictures of his manager and/or owner and therefor have a starting job for no real reason (see Jeff Francoeur). Counting stats from marginalized talent is important in all but the shallowest of leagues. Owner need to find who won the 3rd OF job or is a team’s 4th starter. It is not just limited to which player won a starting job, but also to the players that may be dealing with injuries.

While other news should not be ignored, like loss of velocity, playing time should be the focus of fantasy owners during the spring.