Archive for March, 2015

Bullpen Report: March 31, 2015

It’s still March and the season has yet to start but that doesn’t mean the closer carousel isn’t in full swing. From here on out, as teams whittle down their major league rosters and we get more information on bullpen usage, we will be updating the BR regularly.

• Red Sox closer Koji Uehara has been on the shelf with a hamstring injury lately and it acted up again in a bullpen session Monday. While Uehara’s injury isn’t major, he’s still 39 years old without a clean medical bill. Uehara won’t be out for too long but it’s important to note Uehara said “I don’t know when I’ll be back […] It’s a day-to-day process. I have to do what I have to do to get ready.”  In Uehara’s place, expect Edward Mujica to take over the ninth with a little Junichi Tazawa thrown in. Mujica should now be owned in all leagues, even shallow ones. He can’t be relied upon for particularly strong ratio help or strikeouts, but saves are saves and Mujica will be tallying them in the first month of the season.

Read the rest of this entry »

RotoGraphs Audio: The Sleeper and the Bust 3/31/2015 – OF Preview, Pt. 1

Episode 210

The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is live!

In this episode, Paul Sporer and Eno Sarris have news about Anthony Rendon, Ryan Rua, Justin Verlander, Wil Myers, Carlos Rodon, and Domonic Brown before kicking off the Outfielder Preview.

Read the rest of this entry »

National League Starting Pitcher Tiers: March

We have been touring the diamond here at Rotographs with our first round of positional tiers. Here are the ones that have been posted so far:

Some guys took some creative license with the naming of their tiers (specifically David w/the AL OFs and Mike w/the AL SPs) and I’ll do the same naming my 10 tiers after 10 characters from my favorite movie ever: Rounders, the 1998 Matt Damon and Ed Norton vehicle centered on poker just before the poker craze hit.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Change: Strikeouts and Spring Training Stats

“Don’t read into Spring Training stats” is a good surface level mantra to hold on to. The competition is uneven, the results don’t matter, and the players are all working on things in preparation for the regular season. To some extent, it’s like looking at September numbers on a non-contending team: those are very different from May numbers.

Even the benefits of a huge surge in results is only slightly predictive. There’s the study from John Dewan about a huge slugging percentage breakout in the spring, but recently work by Ben Lindbergh and Jon Shepherd poked some holes in the theory.

If you look at when stats stabilize, however, there are a few stats worth checking out. We know from Jeff Zimmerman that fastball velocity stabilizes very quickly, and so it’s worth reading his MASH articles to find the most recent gun readings on pitchers.

And we know that strikeouts stabilize quickly — 100 plate appearances for batters, 126 batters faced for pitchers. A spring is something like a half of a September, so it doesn’t get to those thresholds, but the evidence is there that strikeouts become meaningful quicker than most stats, and so therefore spring strikeouts may be worth keeping an eye on.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Reds Infield: Some Decent Options, If You Pay Up

It’s time for our Depth Chart Discussions to begin. In an effort to suss out every team, we’ve divided them into four parts (infield, outfield, bullpen, and rotation) and will begin breaking them down for you over the next few weeks. You can find them gathered here.


Devin Mesoraco
Brayan Pena

Entering the 2014 season the RotoGraphs team ranked Devin Mesoraco 18th among catchers, but a “coming out party” for the former first-round selection lead to an end of season ranking of third among catchers according to Zach Sanders. In order to achieve said ranking, Mesoraco triple slashed .273/.359/.534 with 25 homers, 80 batted in and swiped a single base. Fantasy baseball owners apparently feel that more of the same is to come in ‘15 as Mesoraco sports an ADP of 81 (third among catchers) in NFBC and fourth among catchers — including the likes of Carlos Santana, who is no longer catcher eligible on some sites — at FantasyPros with an average ADP of 80.
Read the rest of this entry »

Five Actual Young Sleepers

Since certain commenters got all grumbly about yesterday’s boring veteran sleepers, we’ll discuss a handful of young players today. I’m using the same threshold to establish eligibility – anyone taken after pick 288 per NFBC ADP. For 12-team mixed leagues, that leaves everybody after the 24th round. The last cut is Carlos Martinez who otherwise would have made this list.

Read the rest of this entry »

Karl de Vries’ 10 Bold Predictions for the 2015 Season

It’s my favorite time of the year here at RotoGraphs, the season of bold predictions. (My least favorite time, naturally, is late September, when I have to atone for these forecasts.) As usual, the trick here is to balance imagination against reality, the impossible versus the attainable, the speculative against the demonstrable. It’s a tough task that, for me, often results in happy predictions, but then again, it’s March — ’tis the season to indulge in some fantasy baseball fantasies, right?
Read the rest of this entry »

I Spent 83% of My Auction Budget On Hitting

For many reasons, the majority of fantasy leagues in aggregate spend between 65% and 70% of their total auction budget on hitting. Though I haven’t kept all of my auction results since I founded my home league back in 2003, I’m fairly confident that I have exceeded that typical hitting budget nearly every year, if not in all of them. But I don’t believe I have ever spent as much as I did during my auction on Sunday. For some context, my local league is a shallow 12-team 5×5 (we switched to W+QS instead of Wins last year and it was fantastic, though it devalues closers a bit) mixer, with standard 23-man rosters and a six player bench acquired via snake draft after the auction.

Read the rest of this entry »

American League Outfield Rankings: March 2015

Time for another round of rankings for the American League outfield. As usual, the tiers and rankings reflect 5×5 redraft values for what the I believe the players will accomplish, not necessarily their present (or soon to be) numbers. For example, if someone starts slow, don’t expect them to drop too far. Without further delay, here are the tiers, represented by my favorite Nintendo 64 games.

Mike Trout

A player in a tier by himself, a nostalgic game in a tier by itself. Instead of droning on and on about Trout —something I could easily do — instead here is a video of the first level accomplished via speedrun.
Read the rest of this entry »

MASH Report (3/30/15)

• With everyone focusing on the increase in Tommy John operations, it is nice to see Rob Arthur look at how shoulder surgeries are on the decline (great graph).

• Well, a couple of players we expect to get hurt sometime during the season couldn’t even make it to Opening Day healthy. Carlos Gonzalez’s surgically repaired knee was feeling pain. He is supposed to be back today, but who knows how often his bum knee will keep flaring up.

Jaime Garcia is another player which can be counted on for a DL stint or four. Right now his arm is feeling sore and fatigued. He is out of the Cardinals rotation until he starts to feel better.

Read the rest of this entry »