Archive for December, 2017

Festivus Airing of Grievances

It’s Festivus, the best and most important holiday of the year. Popularized on Seinfeld, Festivus includes The Airing of Grievances, which normally takes place after dinner, but we’re moving it up this year because as Frank Costanza says: “I got a lotta problems with you people, and now you’re going to hear about it!” Frank aptly explains the AoG:  “At the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around, and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year!”

So we’re virtually gathering the baseball family around and it’s time to let ‘em know what’s what!

Read the rest of this entry »

Winter Moves Update: Longo Dealt, 1B Week, & Chacin Leaves SD

The market hasn’t been all that robust since the last Winter Moves update, but there have been enough moves for another piece. We’re in the holiday lull and probably won’t see much for the next week or so and then a flurry of activity in January.

Longoria is a Tampa Bay institution, spending his first 10 years there as the foundation of the organization, but now heads out west on the heels of his worst season ever (96 wRC+). Even if the wRC+ jumps back up, it likely won’t net any fantasy benefit given his new park. His last four years have seen 22, 21, 36, and 20 HR all in full seasons so that trend paired with the park should put expectations at a .260/20 HR/80 RBI. In other words, a mixed league corner infielder. The best I can say about this move is at least he’s not a left-handed batter or we might be looking a low-to-mid teens HR output.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Minor Review of 2017: Philadelphia Phillies

The Graduate: Rhys Hoskins, 1B/OF: Talent evaluators were generally cautious when projecting big numbers for Hoskins in the Majors despite strong pro numbers in the minors — including 39 homers in ’16. But he slugged another 29 homers in 115 triple-A games and the Phillies could ignore him no longer. He was unconscious as a big leaguer with anothet 18 long balls in just 50 games. He struck out a bit too much (almost 22%) but he also walked 17.5% of the time. Hoskins isn’t going to produce a .359 isolated slugging rate again but he can still be a stud. The signing of Carlos Santana curiously pushes Hoskins to left field where he may struggle to be average.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 513 – I Never Forget Bush


The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 18, the best baseball strategy game ever made – available NOW on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms! Go to to order now and save 10% with the code SLEEPER18!

Follow us on Twitter

Notable Transactions/Rumors/Articles/Game Play

Read the rest of this entry »

So Much For an Evan Longoria Home Run Rebound

Yesterday, the Giants decided that Pablo Sandoval wasn’t actually the answer at third base for them in 2018 and traded for Rays-lifer Evan Longoria. Now, Longoria’s chances of rebounding in the home run category have just gone splat. While he has posted HR/FB rates in the mid-to-high teens for most of his career, that mark dipped just below 11% in 2014 and 2015, before rebounding back into the mid-teens in 2016, en route to a career high homer total. The rebound was short-lived though, as his HR/FB rate fell back down to just 10.5% — a career low — this season. Given that he’s not so totally over the hill and he has shown strong power skills as recently as that 2016 season, you had to have figured some sort of dead cat bounce. But now, that bounce is far less likely to occur.

Read the rest of this entry »

Me v. the Early NFBC Market: SPs

The NFBC is conducting drafts already and has generated an ADP from nine leagues. We will soon be hosting NFBC ADP here at Fangraphs, but right now it’s only available to those with a league on the site so you’ll have to take my word on these prices. I decided to look at how my Top 50 starters (updated since this October run so don’t get too hung up on those… update coming after the New Year) matched up with the market and highlight some of the biggest discrepancies. Today we’re focused on the guys I like more than the market.


Michael Wacha – 45th for me; 72nd in NFBC

Not to undercut the entire premise of this piece, but I have to mention how tight the middle group of starters really is again in 2017. Seeing a 27-spot difference feels stark, but just comparing my own 72nd guy to Wacha – Patrick Corbin – highlights how close it is in that range. That isn’t to say that the rankings don’t matter, there are still factors that will have you preferring one guy over another. I still see upside in the 27-year old (July 1st birthday which has him right on that cusp so he’ll be listed as age-26 some places, age-27 at others) righty for the Cards.

Read the rest of this entry »

Elite Middle Relievers

I’m nearly done with a 15-team, 50-player draft-and-hold league. To say the least, the pickings are slim at this point in the draft. Players I like to concentrate at this point are high talent middle relievers who could close. I can either use them for their rate stats or hope one eventually gets some Saves. Here are pitchers whose projections, especially the strikeouts, I find intriguing.

Josh Hader
11.6 K/9
4.2 BB/9
3.74 ERA

Read the rest of this entry »

Four Players with Volatile 2018 Outlooks

I wrote a feature for a forthcoming fantasy baseball magazine about players with the potential to make or break your season. Due to space constraints, some of the copy lay on the cutting room floor as the magazine shipped to print. Rather than let it go to waste, I figured someone may enjoy reading my leftover snippets for players with volatile outlooks for the 2018 seasons. (The rest you’ll find on physical and digital bookshelves sometime in spring.)

I’ll present each blurb as is and, afterward, provide links to relevant work I’ve written related to that player as well as any final thoughts I couldn’t originally fit into my word count limits. It’s worth noting the target audience includes fantasy baseball enthusiasts of all skill levels, some of which invariably fall short of those of typical RotoGraphs frequenters. Alas, I made my best effort to conduct worthwhile analysis without getting overly technical.

Ordered roughly by expected average draft position (ADP).

Read the rest of this entry »

Evaluating Trades (plus an Ottoneu Trade Calculator)

My previous article detailed the steps all ottoneu owners should be taking this offseason (ottoneu never sleeps!), and today I wanted to expand upon offseason trading (and keeper decisions, to a lesser extent) through the context of surplus and inflation (read through that article if you need a refresher on those terms). One caveat before we begin- fantasy baseball player valuations are often a very fluid and subjective process, so this breakdown is less about the specific players and their values and more about evaluating things at a more general level.

Read the rest of this entry »

Iterative Trade Tango

Trades often begin fairly simply. One owner wants to swap his asset for a rival’s better asset. Typically, some version of the following response is sent: “Big Player is available, but I want more than Medium Player. I prefer a 1-for-1 swap involving Needed Position.”

The thing is, everybody wants the best player in the deal – in part because analysts like me frequently tell you to go get the best player in the deal. And so the dance begins with both owners circling the other; almost but not quite touching upon an agreeable trade. It looks something like this…

Read the rest of this entry »