Author Archive

Spring Training Quick Looks: Kim & Lindblom

Note: I’d like to grade out both of their pitches more but the camera angles where sh …. not good.

Kwang Hyun Kim

LHP on the Cardinals

Games watched

  • Feb 22: 1 IP (in rain with ump covering the catcher’s glove)
  • Mar 9: 3 IP

Projections and comps from earlier this offseason.

2020 Projections for Kwang-Hyun Kim
Projection IP G GS W K SV ERA WHIP
ZiPS 157.3 27 36 11 131 0 3.89 1.26
Davenport 150.7 28 28 11 152 0 4.04 1.34
Average 160.0 29 33 11 147 0 3.97 1.30
My Playing Time Adjustment 100.0 18 21 7 92 0 3.97 1.30

The projected talent should play with comparable projected pitchers being Jesus Luzardo (3.98 ERA, 1.26 WHIP), Sonny Gray (3.91, 1.30), and Carlos Martinez (3.97, 1.33).

One game that was not on MLB.tv had StatCast velocity readings and here are his pitch velocities.

  • Fastball: 90-93
  • Slider (Change): 83-86
  • Curve: 69-71
  • Cutter: 88- 89
  • Split: 77-78

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Dunning-Kreuger and the $1 Player

In my Tout Wars auction held just over a week ago, 72 players were rostered who cost just $1. While I rostered my standard four, one owner got 10 with two others at nine*. I wondered if there is a point that having too many $1 players on a team is a detriment.

First, a little background on the auction. Here is the plot of the auction bids compared to the actual 2019 results.

The 2019 production leader was at $47 (Razzball) and $43 (FanGraphs auction calculator). Six players went at or above the $47 mark and eight over $43. The idea of spending more early on is to grab some $2 to $8 guys in the end game for $1. In this auction, everyone was taking that approach. I used my standard “lesser stars and scrubs” approach.
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Tout Wars Recap: Prep, Auction, & Why

This past weekend, I missed out on one of my favorite weekends when I head to New York for the Tout Wars 15-team mixed auction and the NFBC Main Event. While the NFBC Main Event was postponed, the Tout Wars auction went on but from the confines of our homes. Here are a few observations on a team I may not get to manage this year and how can these industry drafts help the people in their own leagues.

Thanks to Fred Zinkie and Tanner Bell who both jumped on Skype with me to bounce ideas off and at least giving me someone to talk to.

Preparation

Simply, I have a whole book on how I prepped for the auction. I didn’t deviate from it except in the following few ways. Each will be incorporated into future editions of The Process.

First, I split apart the player pool into four groups: Catchers, non-catchers, starters, and closers. The tendencies of the league are set with each group having their own valuations. The big change for me is a separate catcher group. I didn’t go through the whole replacement level valuations that boost up some catchers into the top-20 players and mess with the auction dollar distribution. Instead, I made them their own player pool. After catchers messed up my hitter valuations in LABR, I adjusted and fewer in auction adjustments were needed.
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Mining The News (3/16/20)

Today’s edition is abbreviated but I felt I needed to draw a line from the first Spring Training to the second one whenever it occurs. A few tidbits snuck through before everything came to a halt.

For the next few articles, I’m going to grind through the velocity gainers and losers next, cross-check those with Jason Collette’s new pitch tracker, and find some possible breakouts.
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The Start of the Season is Delayed … Now What?

While moving the MLB season back was the best possible action with the given information, it leaves the fantasy game and analysts like me in a little bit of limbo. Today, I had planned on writing about closers or just do another addition of Mining the News. Also, I was supposed to be off to New York for my Tout Wars auction (moved online) and my NFBC Main Event draft (moved back). After both those drafts, it was to be a week of absorbing as much news as possible and then covering games that matter while scouring over lineups and pitching debuts. Now what?

At its core, fantasy baseball allows people to escape their real-world problems and that diversion has been taken away when they need it most. While many people will have more pressing matters as the COVID-19 spreads, it would have been nice for them to enjoy their favorite escape. And most other live entertainment is on hold for the time being. I don’t know what other options people have to keep themselves entertained but it might be a good time to spend some time with your family and learn a new skill or even read one of those “book” things.
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Mining The News (3/11/20)

The useful news coming out of camps is drying up. Reporters are transitioning to the standard format of regurgitating the boxscore with a few standard (i.e. lame) starting pitcher comments thrown in.

There may be a bit more content coming since I’m not going to New York for Tout Wars and instead it will be online. I will publish something late on Friday. It might be another Mining the News or I might rank the current closer crop.

American League

Athletics

Chris Bassitt is likely making the rotation.

Puk’s recent shoulder injury likely flips he and Bassitt’s roles to begin the season. The A’s have not announced an Opening Day starter yet, but let’s assume Mike Fiers gets the nod again. You’re looking at a starting five of Fiers, Sean Manaea, Frankie Montas, Jesus Luzardo and Bassitt.

Blue Jays

Shun Yamaguchi has not perfected a grip on the MLB ball and may be headed to the bullpen.

Yamaguchi, who is a contender for Toronto’s fifth rotation spot but might slot in as a reliever when the team breaks camp, has spent every day of Spring Training getting acquainted with the baseballs he will be using in the Majors. But he admits that his education will continue when he travels to the new locations and the varying climates he will experience for the first time.

Yamaguchi’s primary focus has been on his grip, as he continues to search for the spin he had in Japan. Facing the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Toronto’s 4-2 win on Tuesday, the hurler made progress over his three innings, allowing one run — a Kyle Higashioka homer — on two hits with one walk and two strikeouts.

What I took from the article, is that he’s just not comfortable and probably going to relieve. I think his status could change mid-season once everything clicks. I’m backing off for now, but I’ll keep an eye on him and could pick up shares once the Jays believe he is ready.
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Mining The News (3/9/20)

I’ll be Mining the News until Thursday and then I’m off to New York for Tout Wars and an NFBC Main Event Draft. I’ll be back around Tuesday to start up again.

American League

Angels

Matt Andriese is trying to bring back his slider.

Andriese is working on his slider this spring, as it’s a pitch he utilizes more when he starts than when he’s in relief. He hasn’t thrown it much over the last four seasons, but Andriese did throw a slider regularly as a rookie in 2015.

This might be a huge improvement for him. While not a great pitch (12% SwStr%, 52% GB%), it’s significantly better than his curve (7% SwStr%, 56% GB%). His change (16% SwStr%, 62% GB%) is still his best non-fastball.
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Mining the News (3/5/20)

I’m caught up with a mix of recent or older news. I’m now off to the Spring Training fastball velocity tracker to catch it up.

American League

Astros

• While Kyle Tucker hasn’t dialed in his swing yet he seems to have a spot on the MLB team.’

Tucker seems to have a spot locked up on the big league club, and he will push for playing time in right field with Reddick, but there’s progress that needs to be made at the plate.

Baker said he sees signs that Tucker’s long left-handed swing is coming around.

“That’s why I’m trying to give him as much time to get ready as possible, because he’s a long-lever guy and the long-lever guys tend to take longer, just like older players take longer to get their timing and get warmed up,” Baker said. “The shorter-lever guys tend to have a shorter stroke, tend to get it quicker than the guys like him being a longer-lever guy.”

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Mining The News (3/4/20)

After taking last week off from Mining the News, I’m back with a partial recap and almost no in-depth commentary. It’s still almost 3000 words of projection altering nuggets. Also, I’m trying to catch up on the Spring Training fastball velocity tracker. Hopefully, both will be up-to-date in a day or so.

American League

Angels

• The Angels are considering Patrick Sandoval, Jose Suarez, Matt Andriese, and Jaime Barria for the rotation.

Patrick Sandoval (the Angels’ top pitching prospect, according to MLB Pipeline) started one of the team’s two games on Sunday, while Jose Suarez took the ball in the other. Both are considered candidates for the rotation, as are Matt Andriese and Jaime Barria.

“The candidates are great, it’s just a matter of experience and how they’ll be able to deal with all that,” Maddon said of the 22-year-old Suarez and 23-year-old Sandoval. “If you’re a scout and maybe just ran a fantasy baseball team, you kind of like this stuff. …

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I Tried To Outsmart The Market … And Failed

This past Sunday, I participated in the first-ever 12-team mixed LABR auction. I have a whole Process on how to create auction values, though one input that was missing for my analysis was any historical league context. While I’ve competed against some of the other owners, there was no league or ownership history like the other LABR leagues to incorporate. Here is how I approached the league and where I failed to take the market into account and rostered a subpar, unbalanced team.

Just so everyone knows, it’s a 12-team standard (AVG) mixed league with 14 hitters and nine pitchers with five reserves (which dropped from six mid-draft). We have $100 FAAB with $1 minimum bids and any player (besides minor leaguers or players on the IL) picked up must be started that week. After that week, they can move freely to and from the reserve list. Also, there are unlimited IL slots.
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