Author Archive

2019 Bold Predictions

I went just 2.5/10 last year, but I’m smashing that mark this year and going 3/10!!! For me, the real value in these is putting some names on your radar in a context you might not have considered. I’d love to be right, but these are bold predictions meaning they are unlikely to come to fruition without major skills development (I went all positive this year) and a good bit of luck. Getting the stars to align like that on one player and one pitcher is hard enough, let alone five of each. But there is still wiggle room between these bold predictions and the player’s projections to be wins for us and contribute to our fantasy titles. So without further ado…

Ramon Laureano goes 25 HR/40 SB

This is the culmination of a winter spent gushing over Laureano. I just didn’t see how I could leave him out of this piece. Same with another Oakland Athletic coming up. It’s no surprise I’m a huge fan, but I wanted to express just exactly what I think the high end could be with a bold prediction for each. Laureano’s elite defense should absolutely secure his playing time and he’s a premium speedster with emerging pop. He matched Dee Gordon’s 29.0 ft/sec sprint speed last year and stole 36 bases per 600 PA in the minors. Hopefully the A’s let him maximize the wheels.

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

3/21/19

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NOTABLE TRANSACTIONS/INJURIES/RUMORS

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10 Top 100 Fades

Spring is the time for optimism. That’s why you see a lot more articles about breakouts and sleepers than busts. It’s easier to see the good in a player and how things can go right. But not today. It’s time to journey over to the dark side.

The truth of it is that many flops have some sort of injury component tied to them. The obvious ones are where they miss a ton of time and don’t really perform once they return. But then there’s ones like Brian Dozier’s 2018. We didn’t learn until late in 2018 that played most of the season with a deep bone bruise that undoubtedly played a role in his 90 wRC+, a six-year low. Sometimes a player just falls back and fails to meet expectations, though.

I’ve identified 10 players within the top 100 that I’m fading. Cost plays a major role here as I could see myself buying some of them if they became available several rounds later. In addition to their draft cost, I’m going to focus on their skills profile for reasons why I’m fading them and not just lean on potential injury.

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 659 – Late Round Hitters to Target

3/19/19

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 – PRE-ORDERS AVAILABLE NOW on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms for the March 22nd release! Go to ootpdevelopments.com to order now and save 10% with the code SLEEPER20!

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Late Hitters I Like

ADP (select Main Event in the second column)

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 658 – Draft Weekend in NYC

3/18/19

The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 19, 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 SLEEPER19!

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Notable transactions

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The Marquez Group

When I released my SP rankings yesterday, I was fairly certain that the German Marquez slotting would continue to garner attention. There were questions when I had him 34th back in February and after more research and shuffling, he actually dropped a spot to 35 on the March list. Part of me definitely finds it weird that I have to keep justifying my Marquez ranking while those with him in the Top 25 just skate by unchallenged. How is anyone comfortable ranking someone that high when they must contend with Coors Field for half their games?

Furthermore, are we just completely ignoring Marquez’s career before last summer now? He undoubtedly made improvements, namely the excellent curve and surge in fastball performance. But I’m just not sure that 113 excellent innings is enough to say he’s a completely new pitcher, especially with Coors lingering overhead. Let me be clear about one thing: I think German Marquez is a good pitcher. I don’t want my ranking to be seen as some indictment of him. I just don’t think he’s ready to be an unmitigated fantasy ace.

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2019 Starting Pitcher Rankings

This is always the most difficult ranking for me. I research and re-slot. Research and re-slot. And even after settling on this list, I could still draft a team differently as I start to draft for need over best available once I have 3-4 starters.

At any rate, I’ll keep this intro short because I have much more on the way about starting pitching, but I’ll reiterate as I do in all of these SP rankings to not focus too much on the number. I’ve discussed The Glob™ regularly since last year and it’s more prominent than ever. The basic takeaway is that the tiers get huge after the top 30 or so and thus the true talent gap between something like pitcher #56 and #82 isn’t as large as a 26-point difference might otherwise suggest.

That’s not a copout to avoid accountability. I’ve ranked these guys in my order and I will still defend my rankings with evidence of why I like one over the other, but I will stress that the differences just aren’t always as vast as a number might usually suggest. Realistically if I wanted to focus heavily on the number, I’d probably have ties, but instead let’s just focus more on the tier and talent instead of the number.

Previous iteration: Top 120 – Feb.

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 657 – Starting Pitcher Preview Pt. 2

3/12/19

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 – PRE-ORDERS AVAILABLE NOW on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms for the March 22nd release! Go to ootpdevelopments.com to order now and save 10% with the code SLEEPER20!

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2019 Outfield Rankings

I think we’ve been ranking outfielders incorrectly as an industry. A straight 1-to-whatever list loses some value after the top 50 or so. Once you’ve got your first 2-3 OFs, the last few are often strategically picked to attack categories instead of just going with best available.

Say you need a speed asset for that 4th OF, but the best one is the 12th ranked guy on your remaining board, do you just take him knowing it fills the need or do you internally justify taking someone higher because he’s more talented even though he doesn’t really help the team construction? I’m sure some of you have no issue just taking the needed player, but plenty of us waffle on those decisions and it can cost us in the end.

I’ve ranked my top 50 in order of how I’m drafting them for the most part. I do have some clusters of speedsters and I’d only take one from a cluster even if the others were available the next time I was looking at outfield. I have Dee Gordon and Mallex Smith at 40 and 41, but I’m not going to roster both. Beyond that, it’s a straight draft list. After 50, I broke 106 OFs down by standout skill. Within each skill tier, the guys are slotted in my preferred order. The tiers are most self-explanatory, but just to cover my bases, here they are:

AVG – Player offers a strong batting average (usually .280+… maybe .270+ for some later ones). He may bring other assets to the table but strengthening your AVG is the goal with these picks.

PWR – I told you they were self-explanatory. These guys are capable of or have already shown the ability to club 25+ HRs (30+ at the top end).

PWR/SPD – These guys can bring a double/double (10+ HR & SB) to the table with enough playing time.

SPD – These guys have 20+ SB upside.

TIME/UTIL– Most of this group doesn’t have a standout skill and even if they do, it’s on the fringes of the qualifications for the groups above so their real asset is playing time. I grouped these two together as there were only four utility guys (players with at least 3 eligible positions) and their ability to bounce around helps them get playing time.

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2019 Reliever Rankings

I remember back in mid-December when first putting together a reliever ranking that I eventually threw my hands up around the early-20s and comforting myself with the idea that things would be much clearer by the time draft season kicked into high gear.

I was wrong.

A few situations have become clearer, but what I didn’t quite anticipate was that even more teams would push toward a more open setup rather than committing to one guy. Even a team like Philadelphia that brought in David Robertson and his 137 career saves has acknowledged that he will still share some of the duties with Seranthony Dominguez.

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