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

Revisiting The Quadrinity: Slow But Cheap

We reintroduced the Quadrinity to you last week in its original application, to pitchers. As we discovered last year when we looked at 2017, it also works well—perhaps better—with hitters. And it worked great last season as well. So let’s see whom it turns up now.

To review our approach briefly: we look for the inverse of what we looked for with pitchers last week. This means hitters who were in the upper half of Hard-Hit Ball Percentage and Walk Percentage, and in the lower half—in other words, the upper half—of Strikeout Percentage and Soft(ly)-Hit Ball Percentage. The rationale should be apparent. Just as with the pitcher Quadrinity, this approach yields some very obvious hitters. But what we’re really looking for is moderately-priced or cheap guys who might outperform market expectations.

This sure worked well in 2018. We wound up recommending nine hitters: Brian McCann, Tucker Barnhart, Joe Mauer, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jed Lowrie, Dexter Fowler, Shin-Soo Choo, Nick Markakis, and Victor Martinez. This group of hitters would have cost you about $25, and as we calculate it returned nearly $100 in value.

So are we recommending that you populate your roster exclusively with Quadrinity bargains? Not exactly. The group we just mentioned did fine, but to get enough power you’ll have to pay up for it, perhaps with pricey Quadrinity guys like Betts, Arenado, Machado, Freeman, or Yelich, perhaps with someone else. Even more importantly, if you get nothing but Quadrinity guys you’re going to have to punt stolen bases. As you might imagine, players who hit hard, draw walks, don’t strike out, and run fast are rare at any price. Betts and Yelich are the only Quadrinitarians who fit that description this year. What we’re suggesting is that you season your roster with them.

A complete list of Quadrinitarians appears at the end of this article. Some are expensive. Some, all of whom except perhaps Butch Posey strike us as fantastic bargains, are moderately priced, as measured by NFBC Average Auction Values. That leaves us with 12 guys selling for less than $10: Yairo Munoz, Kendrys Morales, Brian Anderson, Joc Pederson, Jedd Gyorko, Jed Lowrie, Tucker Barnhart (again), Miguel Cabrera, Ryan Zimmerman, Steve Pearce, Matt Kemp, and Jesse Winker.

We now need to do a little pruning. Let’s eliminate, as we did last year, anyone who doesn’t have a starting job. That would be Munoz, Gyorko, Pearce (who’s the weak side of a platoon), and Kemp. We should probably add Pederson to that list, much as we like him, because we suspect that Enrique Hernandez’s newfound ability to hit right-handed pitching will make him the Dodgers’ everyday left fielder. And we should probably toss Lowrie, because who knows how badly hurt he is or how long he’ll be out? Note, however, that we can easily envision all of those guys getting significant playing time, and that we not only would be but actually are delighted to have all of them on our reserve roster in one league or another.

So we’re down to six guys: Morales, Anderson, Barnhart, Cabrera, Zimmerman, and Winker. Those six players together will cost you about $18. Toss in a couple of the moderately-priced Quadrinitarians—McCutchen for sure, and maybe Turner. Figure on a $2 catcher, of whom there is a great abundance. That should leave you with at least $120 for the remaining five hitters. You can take it from there.

Expensive Quadrinitarians: Yelich, Freeman, Barnhart, Arenado, Bogaerts, Votto, Betts, Machado, Lindor, Rendon.

Moderately Priced Quadrinitarians: McCutchen, N. Cruz, Cano, Turner, Posey.


A Minor Review of 2018: Atlanta Braves

Welcome back to my annual off-season series that has a quick-and-dirty review of all 30 minor league systems around baseball. This feature began way back in 2008.

If you had been perusing this series back in 2015 you would have read:

The ’15 Draft Pick: Austin Riley, 3B: The Braves went the prep route with their first four picks of the 2015 draft all coming before the third round, and scored some impressive talents. Riley, 18, showed excellent power for his age and slugged seven homers in just 30 rookie league games, which earned him a promotion to advanced rookie ball. All combined, he hit more than .300 and had a total of 12 long balls in 60 games. He had his fair share of strikeouts but that’s to be expected for a young slugger and he offset them, to a degree, with a walk rate of almost 10%. If he can trim his swings-and-misses, Riley could be a Top-100 talent within a year.

Now on to the new stuff:

First Taste of The Show: Kyle Wright, RHP: A top college hurler, Wright was selected fifth overall in 2017. He reached The Show in late 2018 and may never return to the minor leagues. Despite having just six innings of experience in the majors, injuries to other promising, young pitchers like Luiz Gohara and Mike Soroka have opened the door for Wright to slide into a starting gig. He has a four-pitch mix, good velocity on his heater, and solid control/command. Wright is also coming off of a strong spring that, to date, has seen him post a K-BB ratio of 16-2 in 12 innings.

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Roto Riteup: March 22, 2019

It’s so hard, to say goodbye, to yesterday……

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 660 – News & Notes Roundup

3/21/19

The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 20, 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 SLEEPER20!

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NOTABLE TRANSACTIONS/INJURIES/RUMORS

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Bullpen Report: The First One of 2019

Welcome to the 2019 RotoGraphs Bullpen Report!

As in past seasons, we will update and publish our team-by-team bullpen grid on a daily basis and provide analysis on relievers to pick up, drop or monitor. I’m unveiling the first iteration of the grid just below, and then we will begin our daily updates beginning next Friday.

With a week to go until Opening Day, Part 2, one-third of the closer situations are still very much in flux. For each of those 10 teams, I have denoted the relievers in the grid as being part of a committee. With the possible exception of the Giants, Diamondbacks and White Sox, a committee is a probable outcome for these teams once the season gets under way.
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Player Value Changes Based On Present Season Performance

Yes. We’re going to look at two games worth of data to find value changes for the remainder of draft season. Since you’re savvy FanGraphs readers, you know that nobody actually changed in value based on two games. Well, there’s one notable exception. We’ll get to him.

Still, there’s real baseball, and I’ll be damned if we don’t try to use it. Let’s break this into a few buckets.

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Alex Chamberlain’s 10 Bold Predictions for 2019

Another year, another set of bold predictions, and another introduction to The ProcessTM. I did well last year, hitting on Matt Chapman and Miles Mikolas out-earning their teammates Matt Olson and Luke Weaver despite enormous divides in National Fantasy Baseball Championship (NFBC) average draft position (ADP) as well as Madison Bumgarner being worse than a not-top-20 starting pitcher (with an asterisk for his late start in 2019). I might’ve hit more bold predictions last year than in my previous three seasons combined.

Bold predictions can but don’t have to be a frivolous exercise. As fun as it is to slap a 40-homer projection on Franmil Reyes (…should I do that?), I don’t find it particularly illuminating unless it’s supported by evidence. You can make bold predictions without being outrageously bold — it’s exactly what I intended to accomplish last year simply by leveraging what I observed to be extreme market inefficiencies at play. I stuck my neck out for Chapman and Mikolas and Bumgarner, but not as far as folks might think. There was enough evidence in their (and, where applicable, in their teammates’) bodies of work for me to make objectively bold predictions on the basis of draft price or market consensus without them feeling particularly bold to me.

While endeavoring to go 6-for-10 this year just to match last year’s hit rate would be absurd, I do think I can hit another three, at least, in 2019 if I pick my spots correctly. So, here goes: my 10 bold predictions for 2019.

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Men Of Goodwill: The Birchwood Brothers’ Ten Bold Predictions

One of us happens to live hard by a Goodwill Super Store, and he occasionally drops in just to see what people are giving away. All right, he sometimes buys stuff too, but it’s nice stuff, and the price is right. And we like to think of ourselves as the Goodwill Store of Fantasy Baseball, setting out a rack of bargains for you while others urge you to pay full price for name brands.

Hence our annual feature: not the humdrum Ten Bold Predictions you might find elsewhere, though of course never on Rotographs. Rather they are the outre, gauche, and louche Ten Bold Predictions in which we specialize. This year, we’ve tried to concentrate on players that you might take, either for a dollar or in the reserve rounds, in even a relatively shallow draft—say the 30-player NFBC Main Event. But we wouldn’t be the Birchwood Brothers if we didn’t offer at least one Ouija Board longshot, and since we are in fact the Birchwood Brothers, we did. And, as always, we add an eleventh Bold Prediction, about a guy who’ll cost considerably more than a dollar. Read the rest of this entry »


2019 Pod vs Steamer — ERA Downside

Yesterday, I identified and discussed 13 starting pitchers the 2019 Pod Projections forecasted a significantly lower ERA than Steamer. Today, I’ll take on the other group — those the Pod Projections are more bearish on than Steamer in ERA. I’ll only discuss those pitchers you truly care about.

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Roto Riteup: March 21, 2019

Bat Flips Are Back!

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