Archive for November, 2015

Trade Intransigence In Keeper And Dynasty Leagues

Tell me if this sounds familiar. You try to acquire a top prospect using a high quality established veteran – say J.D. Martinez or Charlie Blackmon. You’re quickly rebuffed. Sensing the possibility of market distortion, you try to sell your top prospects – like Nomar Mazara. You’re offered piles of dross.

Or how about this? You try to sell an over-30 core player. Crickets. You try to buy an over-30 core player. You’re told, and I quote “there’s no one on your roster that would get Robinson Cano.” Said roster still includes Martinez, Blackmon, Mazara, and many other quality keepers.

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Zimmermann and Happ Signings: Fantasy Implications

Jordan Zimmermann signed by the Tigers

The move to Detroit for the 29-year-old Zimmermann would be considered a downgrade based mainly on him facing a DH more often than a pitcher. The other factors are about the sasme. The ballpark factors are both league average. The 2015 Tigers defense was better than the Nationals according to UZR, but the Tigers also lost their top-rated defender in Cespedes.

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A Minor Review of 2015: Texas Rangers

Welcome to the annual series: ‘A Minor (League) Review of 2015.” This series is a great way to receive a quick recap of the ’15 minor league season for your favorite club(s), while also receiving a brief look toward the 2016 season and beyond. It can also be a handy feature for fantasy baseball players in keeper and Dynasty leagues.

A Minor Review of 2015: Texas Rangers

The Graduate: Delino DeShields Jr., OF: I definitely raised an eyebrow when the Astros left DeShields Jr. vulnerable to the 2014 Rule 5 draft. Selected by the Rangers, he had a solid rookie season and was a key contributor to a club that narrowly edged Houston for the American League West title. And the Astros certainly could have used the young speedster after injuries to the likes of George Springer and Jed Lowrie. The infielder-turned-outfielder played 121 games and stole 25 bases but he’ll need to continue to work on his defence in the outfield to become more than a league-average contributor.

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2015 Expected ISO (xISO) in Review

Back in May, I introduced an equation that would calculate expected isolated power (thus, “xISO”) numbers for hitters based on their batted ball profile. The idea was to generate an equation that could accurately describe for how much power a hitter should be hitting based entirely on publicly available data (provided to FanGraphs by Baseball Info Solutions), as opposed to proprietary data, so all fantasy baseball enthusiasts could use it.

I won’t get into the nitty gritty again — you can click on the link in the first sentence if you want to open that can of worms — but I will provide the equation again for posterity:
xISO = –.1396 + .1814*Pull% + .5136*Hard% + .2344*FB%

I’ll provide a table of xISOs for all qualified hitters below and deliver some insight regarding potential buy-lows and sell-highs.

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Reviewing Steamer and I: Corey Dickerson

The Steamer and I reviews continue this week, which pits a player’s preseason Pod Projection against his Steamer projection. Today, I’ll review 2014 breakout Corey Dickerson, who unfortunately saw his plate appearance total cut in half due to various injuries. I was far more bullish on his prospects than Steamer was.

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The Sleeper and the Bust 11/29/2015 – Jordan Zimmermann Heads to Motown

Episode 291

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

In this episode, Paul Sporer and Jason Collette are back talking Hot Stove! The big Jordan Zimmermann signing is first on the docket along with J.A. Happ in Toronto plus some rumored teams for key free agents. They start the series of Collette’s Calls the audio edition (same name as his Rotowire Column) where he’ll try to guess some free agents signings. We’ll do 3-5 each week starting with Justin Upton, Chris Davis, and Howie Kendrick.

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Hilarious Negotiations

It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and we’re all still digesting yesterday’s dinner. You may be wondering why you went back for that third helping of pie. In retrospect, two was enough, wasn’t it.

Let’s keep things light and easy to digest today by celebrating our most hilarious negotiations of the year. I’ll get things started with a scenario from yesterday. The rest of you should share in the comments.

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The Cardinals Outfield: Next Generation

Last winter, the Cardinals paid a steep price to acquire one season of Jason Heyward. The club is poised to let Heyward walk via free agency. My colleagues at MLBTR predict a 10-year, $200 million contract. Luckily for St. Louis, there’s very little pressure to bring Heyward back. That’s because Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk had successful seasons.

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2015 Visualized: Outfield

2015 Visualized: Shortstop
2015 Visualized: Third Base
2015 Visualized: Second Base
2015 Visualized: First Base
2015 Visualized: Catcher

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For the next few weeks, the RotoGraphs staff will devote an entire week to each defensive position, including spotlights on particular players as well as trends throughout the 2015 season. This week, we’re highlighting outfielders.

I don’t claim to be a Tableau (or data visualization) whiz by any means, but I thought it would be cool to visually represent the outfield landscape in 2015 — with some analysis sprinkled in.

Steamer and ZiPS represent premier player projection systems; FanGraphs’ Depth Charts combines the two, and the writing staff allocate playing time accordingly. The playing time part is less important relative to the combined projections, as aggregated projections tend to perform better than standalones.

I compared projected wOBA (weighted on-base average) from the preseason to actual wOBA (1) by team and (2) by player within team. Unlike WAR, wOBA is a rate metric, so it does not need to be scaled according to playing time.

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Reviewing 2015 Pod Projections: Yasmany Tomas

For our second Pod Projection review of the season, I will recap what was predicted and what actually happened for rookie Yasmany Tomas. Refresh your memory by checking back on my original Pod Projection post.

As a Cuban rookie with no minor league data to work with and limited statistics to analyze from his work in Cuba, Tomas was a challenge to forecast. Essentially, everyone was really just taking an educated guess and it was more like a 3rd grade education than grad school level.

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