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

Finding Giolito: Intro & Freddy Peralta

I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked this offseason, “Who is this season’s Giolito?” So I’m supposed to know of a pitcher who was completely useless the previous season but is going to throw harder, find the strike zone, and rework his repertoire. Yea … I wish. But we can start diving in and I’ve found 10 arms who may pull it off.

The elusive list of 10 pitchers came taking anyone on Jason Collette’s New Pitch Tracker with anyone who saw a velocity increase in the first Spring Training. Initially, 12 pitchers made cut.

New Pitch and Velocity Up
Name FB Velo up New Pitch
Alec Mills 0.8 New 2 seam grip
Danny Duffy 0.6 faster slider
Devin Smeltzer 0.4 Adding a slider
Freddy Peralta 1.4 bringing back a slider
Garrett Richards 0.4 Bringing back his change
Jacob deGrom 0.6 Improve slider
John Means 1.7 Improving his curve
Kenley Jansen 1.0 New slider grip
Logan Webb 0.1 Adding a cutter & moving to a slurve. Lower arm angle
Nick Pivetta 0.9 New delivery and change
Sean Manaea -0.4 to +1.7 Refining slider and looking to add a cutter
Tyler Mahle 0.7 Adding slider

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Tout Wars Head to Head Points League – 2020 Recap – Part II

The following is the second part of my 2020 Tout Wars Head-to-Head Points League recap. You can read Part I of my recap here.

For the second straight year, I had the honor and privilege of participating in one of the most prestigious fantasy baseball industry leagues – Tout Wars (toutwars.com). This was my very first live Tout Wars auction. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we drafted online on the Sunday of March 15, 2020.

In Part I of my recap, I discussed the league rules, some of the homework that I had done on last year’s auction results, and how I obtained my auction values. I also talked about some of my other adjustments made due to the postponing of the MLB season.

Part II of my recap will be different than the typical recap article you tend to see. It will certainly differ from my usual writing style.

In today’s article, I will go through some of the intel that I had gathered on my opponents. I will dictate to you what I was looking for from the other touts and how I picked up on particular strategies during the auction. I will talk about what went right for me at the auction table and what went wrong. Finally, I will give a brief overview on my player selections.

The Touts

Well, I’m not sure that I would call members of the Tout Wars Head-to-Head Points my enemies. However, they most certainly were my opponents … at least for that Sunday afternoon in March. The quote above has appeared in folklore from many cultures, and of course, was one of the great lines of the movie “The Godfather.”

Fantasy baseball is largely about the numbers. If you often read my articles, you likely already know the importance that I place on projections and valuation.

Almost as important … perhaps even more important … is knowing your opponents. It is an advantage to be aware of the types of players that they bid on, how high they press bids, whether they nominate players they want to buy, the typical construct of their fantasy squads, etc.

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Building a $9 NFBC Pitching Staff

On Thursday, I had a bit of fun and shared my dominant, future category-leading $14 offense, assembled using NFBC auction values and selecting 14 $1 hitters. Today, I flip to the pitching side and share with you the pitching staff you fear will earn top points in each category.

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Spring Training Quick Looks: Kim & Lindblom

Note: I’d like to grade out both of their pitches more but the camera angles where sh …. not good.

Kwang Hyun Kim

LHP on the Cardinals

Games watched

  • Feb 22: 1 IP (in rain with ump covering the catcher’s glove)
  • Mar 9: 3 IP

Projections and comps from earlier this offseason.

2020 Projections for Kwang-Hyun Kim
Projection IP G GS W K SV ERA WHIP
ZiPS 157.3 27 36 11 131 0 3.89 1.26
Davenport 150.7 28 28 11 152 0 4.04 1.34
Average 160.0 29 33 11 147 0 3.97 1.30
My Playing Time Adjustment 100.0 18 21 7 92 0 3.97 1.30

The projected talent should play with comparable projected pitchers being Jesus Luzardo (3.98 ERA, 1.26 WHIP), Sonny Gray (3.91, 1.30), and Carlos Martinez (3.97, 1.33).

One game that was not on MLB.tv had StatCast velocity readings and here are his pitch velocities.

  • Fastball: 90-93
  • Slider (Change): 83-86
  • Curve: 69-71
  • Cutter: 88- 89
  • Split: 77-78

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 797 – Sitcom Draft

03/26/20

The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is live. Support the show by subscribing to Fangraphs! With a standard $20 membership, you help maintain and improve our database of stats and graphs as well as our staff of 8 full-time employees and over 50 contributors. The premium ad-free membership at $50 year supports site growth and also includes faster load speeds and better site performance. You can also support monthly for just $3.

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NOTABLE TRANSACTIONS/INJURIES/RUMORS

SITCOM DRAFT

  • Draft Board

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Building a $14 NFBC Offense

Auction day is one of my favorite days of the year. Luckily, I get to enjoy three of those days annually. Unfortunately, COVID-19 and the delayed season has caused me to postpone the local league auction I commish, while a second AL-Only keeper league was postponed as well. So what to do when you love auctioning, but won’t have the chance to for a while? Fake buy players from auctions that did actually take place! For fun, I decided to check out the NFBC average auction values and build a standard 14-player offense for $14. That’s right, every player I selected had to be a buck. Imagine the pitching staff you could assemble with $246!

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Paul Sporer Baseball Chat

Chat starts at 1:00 PM CT on March 25th, 2020

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Are NFBC Drafters Correctly Adjusting Prices Post-Delay News?

MLB announced the season would be delayed by at last two weeks on March 12. Since, it’s become pretty clear that the season will start much later than previously anticipated. The later start will have a dramatic effect on many players’ values. As I’ve discussed recently, there are a bunch of less obvious players who should see a boost in value, as well as a group of players who should suffer a decline in value. Are NFBC drafters correctly making those adjustments? Let’s compare March 1-11 ADP (pre-delay) to March 18-24 ADP (post-delay) to find out. I chose to start the post-delay period on March 18 somewhat arbitrarily, but wanted it to be more recent to account for the assumption that we won’t have baseball until sometime in May, at the earliest.

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Brad Johnson Baseball Chat: 3/24/2020

The chat is complete!

4:00
Brad Johnson: Here we go. Real actual baseball news to discuss! But first, some advertisements…

4:01
Brad Johnson:

  1. I’m running a best ball auction on Fantrax tomorrow night at 7pm ET. Presently, there are only 2 participants. Follow the instructions herein to get an invite: https://fantasy.fangraphs.com/best-ball-auction-results-plus-second-dr…
4:02
Brad Johnson: 2. The Real MLB League kicks off tonight with our first simulated day (no games). Opening Day is on Thursday!

4:03
Brad Johnson: 3. I just posted the ninth episode of my podcast, Juiced Balls, featuring D.B. Firstman. https://www.patreon.com/posts/35195750

4:04
Brad Johnson: 4. Patrons are nice in these trying times. Now, let’s chat!

4:04
Thor: How mad are my fantasy owners right now?

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Tout Wars Head to Head Points League – 2020 Recap – Part I

Introduction

This year, I again had the great fortune and the amazing honor of being invited to one of the most prestigious fantasy baseball industry leagues – Tout Wars (toutwars.com). It was my second year participating in Tout Wars.

Last year, I was a member of the inaugural Tout Wars Draft & Hold league. This year, I was invited to take part in one of the four live auctions – the Tout Wars Head-to-Head Points league. It was originally scheduled to be held live in Midtown Manhattan on Sunday, March 15.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we were unable to hold this auction live. Though the NFBC had chosen to cancel their live auctions, and many of my home leagues agreed to postpone – the Tout Wars board had decided to proceed onward. Rather than postpone – all four remaining Tour Wars leagues competed online, with Fantrax as the provider platform.

Aside from the benefits of the social aspect of a live auction (one of the key reasons we do this in the first place), we lose many of its intangible aspects when moving to the online arena. You can no longer look a league mate in the eye as they bid. It is much harder to pick up on ‘tells’ by simply reading out your computer monitor. The art of using my voice to hypnotize others goes away (yes, that’s right – I said hypnotize). It isn’t the same.

Personally, I have played in many online auction leagues. It was a dynamic that I was used to, and I have previously played on the Fantrax software. My home office setup is quite decent for an online auction. I use two 27-inch monitors, plus a side 15-inch auxiliary monitor. I used one screen to see the auction room. One screen contained my homemade draft software. Displayed on the third monitor was my plan of attack for the day. Technologically, I was primed for the event. Perhaps, this medium of fantasy baseball drafting was even an advantage for me.

You can view the results of our auction on Fantrax here. Full spreadsheet results of all Tout Wars auctions and drafts are compiled here.

For Part I of my Tout Wars auction recap, rather than simply break down my player selections – I wanted to share with you some of my process and preparation. I might comment about one or two of my player selections along the way, but I thought that you – the reader – would benefit more from a discussion of my approach and from my overall observations.

Both in fantasy sports, as well as in real life – the process is always more important than the specific or situational results.

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