Top-250 Hitter Rankings & Comparison

It’s time to really get for the 2019 fantasy season and start and release out a set of hitter rankings to nitpick. In all fairness, some of the following projections need to be blown up. Normally, I just average several projections and use them for my fantasy values with great success. With a ‘wisdom of the crowd’ approach, I usually make sure one extreme value, high or low, doesn’t dominate my decision.

Some people get on me for just following these projections. Generally, I do follow them but just as a starting point. As I’ve shown this last week, I add in my own adjustments as I see fit into the baseline values. While Steamer has been out for a few months, other projections are now becoming available. Today, I just wanted to compare them to see who are some of the more divisive players.

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Justin Mason Baseball Chat- January, 15th 2019

Here is the transcript for today’s chat:



Justin Mason: Going to start shortly. Will be a shorter chat today, about 30-45 minutes. Please don’t repeat questions.


Justin Mason: If I don’t get to your question, you can always hit me up on facebook at or on twitter @justin


Justin Mason: @justinmasonfwfb


Justin Mason: Lots of cool stuff going on for me right now as well. New Sleeper and the bust should go up today, a bunch of pods at Friends with fantasy benefits and the new TGFBI pod dropped today in which you can hear how to win your way into the 2020 TGFBI


Faber: Why wouldn’t the Indians just trade Kluber for Senzel straight up?


Justin Mason: Because elite starting pitching is more expensive than that.

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Yasmani Grandal Heads to Milwaukee

Yesterday, catcher Yasmani Grandal signed a one-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, as he now joins his third team since 2012. Since he played for the Padres for three seasons and the Dodgers for four, if the pattern continues, the Brewers are going to sign him to a four-year deal next offseason to keep him in Milwaukee for five seasons! The now 30-year-old is coming off the best wOBA of his career. Let’s check in on the park factors to find out how much of an impact the change in parks might have on his 2019 performance.

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 629 – Fireside Chat: SPs Outside the Top 50


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 to order now and save 10% with the code SLEEPER19!

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SPs We Like Outside the Top 50:

  • NFBC ADP (set to 12/25/18 for the start date to follow along)

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Projection Adjustment: Tucker, Goodrum, Stewart, Ahmed, & Hays

My last few articles have been deep dives on hitters who I felt may need their projection adjusted. Today, I’m going through the last few. Remember, this analysis is focused on the player’s talent projection changing and not on playing time.

Kyle Tucker (220nd in NFBC ADP)

I knew Tucker would make this list before the list ever existed. The 22-year-old flew through the minors and just destroyed AAA with a .332/.400/.590 triple slash line last season. Once he got the majors, the results stunk with him hitting .141/.236 /.203 in just 72 plate appearances.

And now the xStats come to his rescue since he was extremely unlucky with his batted balls. Here are his various actual and expected values.

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A Minor Review of 2018: Los Angeles Angels

Welcome back to my annual off-season series that has a quick-and-dirty review of all 30 minor league systems around baseball. This feature began way back in 2008.

The Los Angeles Angels

First Taste of The Show: Jaime Barria, RHP: Barria was a godsend for the Angels’ rotation in 2018. He provided them with almost 130 innings of solid performance — owed almost exclusively to his slider… and a little luck. While he struggled with fastball command at times, Barria flashed above-average control at times, poise and that dangerous breaking ball. Going forward into 2019, he’ll want to try and keep more balls on the ground while spotting his fastball better and continuing to polish his changeup. He’s probably a stretch at anything more than a No. 4 starter but it’s possible he could settle into a mid-rotation innings-eater if he can make good on the above items.

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Pitch Type Performance: 2018 Summary

Shortly after the onset of last season, I dug into pitch-level statistics to see how much swinging strike rate (SwStr%), ground ball rate (GB%), and isolated power (ISO) varied by pitch type. I felt inspired after analyzing Madison Bumgarner before the 2018 season and noticed his fastball, once elite, was utterly broken after his dirt bike accident. (See his 2018 player caption and this July post in which I followed up MadBum’s lack of progress.) I felt encouraged by the praise the post received from readers and fellow analysts alike for the clarity it provided. I’d like to think it helped move the needle, even if only slightly, in terms of how we evaluate pitchers.

I wanted to refresh the guts of that post for the 2018 season with additional metrics. There’s not much else to discuss; this’ll be short and sweet. (I’ll toss in some gratuitous high-level analysis following these tables.)


  • All data is courtesy of PITCHf/x via Baseball Prospectus
  • All tables present average rates for starting pitchers only
  • Due to pitch tracking/stringing not being perfectly precise, the numbers below are highly accurate but not completely so and may not align exactly with FanGraphs’ batted ball data (for example, Baseball Info Solution strings far fewer line drives than does PITCHf/x)
  • Click headers to sort!

Batted ball outcomes by pitch:

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Nobody Cares About This Fantasy Team

I am not immune to self indulgence. Once a year, I whip off the covers of my simulation league set 11 years in the past. It was originally founded by the Astros resident Rasputin, Kevin Goldstein and still includes other baseball giants. It’s not just a sim league, it’s a sim league with cachet.

Before you run away, let’s pause to set some expectations. No, you won’t be able to use this information to win your 2019 fantasy league. However, if you were watching baseball back in 2008, you might enjoy reacquainting yourself with some forgotten names.

It’s a 20 team keeper league. We use a software called Diamond Mind Baseball (DMB) to simulate a full season and playoffs. Essentially, we’re playing a dynasty league where we already know how the players performed. Now we just need to manage them into the right spots.

It’s not so different from how we play normal fantasy baseball. We already mostly know which names are and aren’t good. So we let some humans bearing those names simulate stats for us.

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2018 Average Fly Ball Distance Decliners

On Thursday, I identified and discussed the hitters(with at least 30 fly balls in each year) who increased their average fly ball distance (AFBD) marks the most from 2017 to 2018. Now let’s take a look at the biggest decliners. If a hitter on this list suffered a dramatic drop in HR/FB rate, this is likely why.

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Paul Sporer Baseball Chat January 11th, 2019

Check out my first chat of 2019!

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