I’m here. I made it!
I’m extremely excited to be joining the FanGraphs team under the RotoGraphs banner. I honestly can’t recall the last day I didn’t come to FanGraphs at least once 15 times. The player pages are enough to keep the Ripken-like streak going, but the evolving and ever-improving content ensures multiple trips per day and now I get to be a part of that. Most of you, if you’re familiar with me, will know me from the Starting Pitching Guide. I started it back in 2008 on the Rotojunkie.com forums as a top 100 list and it has developed into the 384-pitcher, 123,000-word behemoth that Doug Thorburn and I released last year. We are neck-deep in the 2015 version as I type this. All the versions in between are available at paulsporer.com, too.
I switched to baseball full-time in late-2012 after several years in IT at Dell and then Tableau Software. I’ve worked for/still work for Rotowire, Baseball Prospectus, Rotogrinders, The Fantasy Fix, Draft Day, and PaintTheBlack.com – my own website centered around pitching which will be back for a second season starting soon! I’ve written for each of the last three Baseball Prospectus Annuals, contributed to Rotowire’s 2015 magazine (they even put my name on the cover!), and spoke at each of the last two BaseballHQ First Pitch Arizona events. And now RotoGraphs becomes my central focus.
I’ve done several podcasts including a popular one with our own Jason Collette which will essentially be re-launched once a week via The Sleeper and The Bust. Meanwhile Doug and I will continue our pitching-focused pod, TINSTAAPP.
It’s safe to say I’m obsessed with pitching and I’d rather watch a Corey Kluber curve than the latest celebrity nip slip any day of the week. That said, I do consider myself well-versed in the entire game. I’ve been playing fantasy baseball since I was 12 (21 years) and getting to join my dad’s work league (AL-only 10 teams) at 14 was the biggest thrill of my life to that point… and then I drafted Mike MacFarlane in the fifth round in my second season and I thought he was going to ground me. I still remember the now-hilarious “WTF?” look he gave me as his head snapped into my direction as the “ane” of MacFarlane left my mouth.
I don’t know who I drafted him ahead of, but it doesn’t really matter because he was 60th in wRC+ that season so there’s no way he was the best player available even considering the fact that it was a keeper league. I’ll take my 19 homers at catcher thank you very much! Oh, Terry Steinbach hit 35 homers at 100 years old that season and was probably taken several rounds later? Cool. Anyway, I won my sixth title in that league this past season, fourth in a row, and passed my dad for most titles in the league. He’s much more likely to ground me for that.
I’m in entirely too many leagues with last year’s number clocking in around 18 which was actually a cutback. That figure is on the rise in 2015. I will play any and all formats of fantasy baseball whether it is a local league like the one described above or the industry leagues like LABR Mixed where I’m partnering with Collette yet again as we hope to improve upon our third place finish from last year.
I’m also flying solo in the Tout Wars Mixed draft again in 2015 where the only place to go is up after a 12th place finish. Although, that’s technically not true since it’s a 15-team league, but I don’t plan on dipping down any further (you’ll never guess who was in
15th edit: I mean 14th… does the name Reno Tarris ring a bell? Or something like that.). Turns out I just might’ve been a year early in that league. The site used full 2014 stats of everyone’s final roster for the current iteration of the standings and I vaulted from 12th to 3rd. OK, literally nobody cares about that. I don’t even care about that. But I mean, hey, third place.
Anyway, let’s wrap this up. There is a ton of work to be done and I can’t wait to get started. I’m always available via Twitter if you have any baseball-related questions or if you just want to talk about cool dogs like mine, Curtis (named after Granderson back when he was still a Tiger):
He’s really pudgy and enjoys tea parties with my niece.
Just 68 days away from Opening Day.