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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 768 – Potential March Surgers with Dusty Wagner

01/17/19

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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10 PLAYERS WHO COULD SURGE IN MARCH DRAFTS

Current Price is January 1st-17th Draft Champions ADP

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Mining the News (1/17/20)

I’m finally able to mine a few useful bits of information with players, coaches, and owners talking at Fan Fests and caravans.

Maikel Franco played through a hand bruise last season. When I collected information on players who played through an injury, he didn’t come up. The injury happened in early August and initially, his production suffered (.572 OPS). It bounced back in September (.703 OPS) hopefully meaning it’s not major.

Brandon Nimmo is another hitter I missed who played through an injury.

Dragging down the above numbers is Nimmo’s performance last April and May, when he played through a bulging disk in his neck.

• Also, while investigating all the hitters who played through an injury, I found this nugget on Matt Carpenter from 2017.

Carpenter sat out the Cardinals’ final three games and underwent a follow-up MRI to the one he had a month ago. The exam showed the same thing now that the doctors knew then, which is that Carpenter is dealing with inflammation and not a structural issue.

Since then, he has missed a considerable amount of time with back injuries. I just can’t pay for any kind of rebound with what seems to be a chronic injury.

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Show Me What You Got

Fantasy baseball season is heating up. Dynasty drafts are escaping the early rounds, NFBC ADPs are starting to get a serious sample size behind them, and the interminable football season finally ended when Tom Brady didn’t see his shadow. If you’re waiting to get started on your 2020 baseball prep, well… stop waiting! Get crackin’.

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 767 – Fireside Chat: Nick Assesses Paul’s Rankings

01/16/19

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

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Should I Care About Sprint Speed?

Sprint Speed values have been publicly available for a few seasons. While I see it mentioned for this or that, I don’t know how predictive it is or if should I care about it at all. After analyzing the data, Sprint Speed might need to be ignored in favor of Time-to-First. The stopwatch still rules.

The key, in my opinion, is if the ability to run fast can be predictive in any way. No one that I know of is playing in a Sprint Score league, so the speed with have a secondary effect. If a player is running slower, do their stolen bases drop? How about how many infield hits they can leg out? Generally, how will the players change in speed affect their stolen bases and batting average.

One factor to keep in mind is that the aging curve for stolen bases is just a drop with all humans reaching their peak sprinting speed in their early 20’s.  There are going to be a lot of negative speed values coming up but that’s just aging pulling players down.

A second factor to remember is that teams are not allowing hitters to run as much. In 2015, there were over 2500 stolen bases league-wide. Last season, the value was under 2300 for a 9% decline. Again, more negative numbers.

Sprint Speed was first introduced in 2015 at Baseball Savant (links to Time-to-First values) and it is widely cited. Sprint Speed is not the only measured speed metric available. For one fewer season, Baseball Savant has each hitter’s run times to first base which have been the traditional measure of a player’s speed and it’s still used in scouting players. With the two metrics, it’s table time to what conclusions can be drawn.

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2019 Review — Surprising Barrels Per True Fly Balls Laggards

Yesterday, I identified and discussed a smattering of hitters who made surprising appearances near the top of the barrels per true fly ball (Brls/TFB) leaderboard. Today, we flip to the opposite end of the list, moving to the laggards. These are going to be fantasy relevant guys you never expected to appear closer to the bottom of the leaderboard than the top.

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 766 – Donaldson Choose Minnesota

01/15/19

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

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Steamer vs NFBC 2020 – Batting Average Bargains

In my last two columns, I uncovered potential undervalued speedsters and power bats by comparing the Steamer projections to the current NFBC ADP. The exercise now continues this week for batting average.

In 2019, there were 55 qualified players with least a .280 batting average. There were 36 players above the .290 mark, and 19 above .300. Tim Anderson led all of baseball with a .335 BA, followed by National Leaguers Christian Yelich and Ketel Marte who each hit .329.

Though 2019 had almost two dozen players who hit at least .300, you won’t find a projection set that will have that many BA studs. Projections are typically more conservative. Steamer only projects 17 regular players to bat over .290 in 2020, and only 5 players to eclipse the .300 mark.

For this year’s potential batting average bargains, we will focus on all players with a Steamer projection of a .278 BA or more. This will give us a number of players who can greatly help your fantasy team’s batting average in in 2020.

For these draft value comparisons, I look at:

  • The player ranks as computed by the FanGraphs Auction Calculator with Steamer projections (standard NFBC 15 team roto league settings).
  • The current NFBC ADP (of Draft Championship leagues from December 4, 2019 to present).

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In The Name Of Peace

Over the last week, a scandal has rocked the quiet rural community of Dynasty To Be Named Later (DTBNL). My attempts to chronicle the tale have undoubtedly made matters worse. For a full accounting of events, see Episode 1: Quantity Versus Quality and Episode 2: Dances With Rules.

If you’d rather read the short version of this heady action-thriller, here goes. Last time on Dynasty Drama…

Brad traded of Luis Urias, Cristian Pache, Ke’Bryan Hayes, and Taylor Trammell for Christian Yelich. He’s also the commissioner of DTBNL, a 25-team, keep-30 dynasty league. Outrage ensued, and the former Yelich-owner was peer-pressured into revoking the trade under the “24-hour revocability” rule in the league constitution. However, the revocation occurred during the 26th hour after the trade which led to extra-constitutional hijinx as the commissioner attempted to fairly resolve the dispute while simultaneously defending his interests…

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2019 Review — Surprising Barrels Per True Fly Balls Leaders

Last week, I listed and discussed the barrels per true fly ball (Brls/TFB) surgers and decliners. As a reminder, Brls/TFB is one of the main components of my xHR/FB rate equation. Today, let’s review some of the surprising Brls/TFB leaders. We’ll define surprise as hitters we didn’t predict to appear anywhere near the top tier in the rankings. I’ll only call out fantasy relevant names.

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