2014 MLB Offseason Stories: Big Winners Pt. II

Jan 05

2014 MLB Offseason Stories: Big Winners Pt. II

The holidays and the year 2013 are officially in the rearview mirror, but there is no slowing the 2014 MLB offseason. After a lengthy break from writing and most things Fantasy (except for Daily Fantasy Sports, I can’t quit that) I am back to recap a few more winners of the Fantasy Baseball offseason. A few more trades, free agent signings, and the continuing stalemate with Masahiro Tanaka (He will likely be in my next article), changed the landscape of the league, but of course, it isn’t over yet. So far the MLB offseason hasn’t disappointed. I will be writing even more going forward, as well as work on some early Prospect Previews, Positional Rankings, and Tiers over the next month or so. So keep your eyes peeled. Feel free to drop some comments below with your own Fantasy thoughts on some of these moves. More 2014 MLB Offseason Winners   TEXAS RANGERS (Pt II) We all knew the Rangers weren’t done after landing Prince Fielder in the Ian Kinsler trade, and they weren’t. They landed the much coveted free agent Shin-Soo Choo. He will now be patrolling left field for the Rangers, which should also help improve some of his defensive woes in Cincinnati last season. The only downside is Choo’s being 31 years old, and his propensity to land on the DL. However, adding a career .392 OBP player with the ability to take walks and score runs fits nicely in the Rangers new lineup. He has been named their lead off hitter for the upcoming season, and his lineup behind him could be as potent as the Reds were last season. Two new bats, that do nothing but produce fantasy wise every year, make the Rangers big winners. Look for Choo to put up ( .288/85/15/55/20) this season. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS The big trade that happened involving Arizona seems to leave many fans divided. Some feel the Diamondbacks gave up too much, others feel they made the right move, and adding the huge bat of Mark Trumbo to hit alongside Paul Goldschmidt was exactly what they needed. Having the Diamondbacks in my winners column, makes it obvious which side I am on. In this case it just works though. Tyler Skaggs was their top prospect, but with...

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Top 25 Starting Pitcher Busts: Oliver and Steamer Projections

Dec 30

Top 25 Starting Pitcher Busts: Oliver and Steamer Projections

We looked at outfield busts two weeks ago and infield busts lasts week, while our attention will turn to the biggest starting pitching busts of 2014 this week; we’ll look at closer busts next week. (If you read the previous two articles you can skip the next two paragraphs, which describe how we define a bust.) To ascribe an analytic value to how we quantify a bust, we will look at a player’s 2013 roto value and a hybrid of their Steamer and Oliver projections. Bust: Our formula for a bust will be a player’s projected 2014 roto value—this forecasted value will be composed of an average between a player’s Steamer and Oliver projections—minus their 2013 roto value. (Values will be calculated for a 12-team 5×5 roto league) Starting Pitcher Busts PlayerProjected 20142013DIFF Jason Marquis-9.11-4.40-4.71 Samuel Deduno-7.64-3.49-4.14 Clay Buchholz-2.601.52-4.11 Jorge de la Rosa-5.25-1.28-3.97 Jeff Locke-6.00-2.38-3.62 Tyler Chatwood-6.55-3.28-3.26 Martin Perez-5.73-2.63-3.10 Travis Wood-2.540.17-2.71 Hisashi Iwakuma1.724.36-2.64 Jeremy Guthrie-5.66-3.09-2.58 Julio Teheran-1.061.42-2.48 Jhoulys Chacin-3.03-0.67-2.36 Bronson Arroyo-2.66-0.32-2.34 Chris Tillman-1.570.69-2.26 Bartolo Colon0.042.19-2.15 Mike Leake-2.57-0.47-2.09 Shelby Miller-0.551.51-2.06 Chris Archer-2.82-0.91-1.91 Charlie Morton-4.42-2.52-1.90 Francisco Liriano-0.271.59-1.86 Jake Westbrook-6.64-4.88-1.75 Jeremy Hefner-5.81-4.13-1.68 Dillon Gee-2.92-1.25-1.67 Ricky Nolasco-1.64-0.149-1.49 Ubaldo Jimenez-1.200.21-1.42 Bartolo Colon: New York Mets Bartolo Colon is like that crazy friend everyone had in their mid twenties. You loved to party with him, he always had crazy stories, and he always knew girls that were five years younger, tan, had platinum blonde hair, and were built like pin up models; and then he went to rehab because no one can sustain that level of recreational indulgence for long. The same goes for Bartolo Colon. The last couple of years have been fun. You drafted him in the last round or spent a dollar on him, and you were thrilled when he produced like a top twenty pitcher. But, the writing is on the wall, and you don’t want to be the owner that spends money on Colon when the wheels fall off. Colon has been on the DL each of the last two seasons, and according to Jeff Zimmerman’s research done on injury prediction, Colon is the most likely pitcher in baseball to visit the DL in 2014. Clay Buchholz: Boston Red Sox Buchholz will see a regression toward the mean in terms of his 2013...

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Top 25 Infield Busts: Steamer and Oliver Projections

Dec 22

Top 25 Infield Busts: Steamer and Oliver Projections

As a continuation of our 2014 series on Fantasy Baseball busts, we will look at infield busts this week. We looked at outfield busts last week, and, as a reminder, we will look at closers next week, and starting pitching the week after that. (If you read the previous article you can skip the next two paragraphs, which entail how we define a bust.) To ascribe an analytic value to how we quantify a bust we will look at a player’s 2013 roto value and a hybrid of their Steamer and Oliver projections. Bust: Our formula for a bust will be a player’s projected 2014 roto value—this forecasted value will be composed of an average between a player’s Steamer and Oliver projections—minus their 2013 roto value. (Values will be calculated for a 12-team 5×5 roto league) Top 25 Infield Busts Player2014 Projection2013 TotalDiff Jarrod Saltalamacchia-5.57-0.76-4.81 Matt Carpenter0.374.92-4.55 A.J. Pierzynski-6.19-1.64-4.55 David Wright-3.061.39-4.45 Jed Lowrie-3.211.03-4.24 Jose Lobaton-9.79-5.7-4.09 Yadier Molina-2.531.41-3.94 Zack Cozart-5.78-1.95-3.83 Ruben Tejada-12.83-9.01-3.82 Alexi Amarista-10.06-6.28-3.78 Ryan Raburn-6.68-2.98-3.70 Manny Machado-2.321.36-3.68 Brandon Moss-1.751.81-3.56 Josh Donaldson0.704.25-3.55 James Loney-3.72-0.2-3.52 Alberto Callaspo-6.70-3.36-3.34 John Mayberry-8.03-4.69-3.34 Pedro Florimon-7.67-4.35-3.32 Eric Sogard-7.84-4.53-3.31 Ian Desmond-0.332.97-3.30 Brandon Phillips-1.621.66-3.28 Chris Getz-9.75-6.48-3.27 Denard Span-3.57-0.66-2.91 Elvis Andrus-0.132.77-2.90 Clint Barmes-10.96-8.22-2.74 Jarrod Saltalamacchia: Florida Marlins The world champion has moved on from Boston to the fairer weather of Miami. However, with the summer breeze may come dry fields. Saltalamacchia has been projected for a similar power output as he had last year, but is expected to regress in the AVG, runs, and RBI categories. Steamer projects the backstop to score 43 runs and 48 RBI in Miami, while Steamer and Oliver unanimously see a regression from his .273 AVG in 2013 to a career norm: .226 AVG by Steamer, and .230 AVG by Oliver. Matt Carpenter: St Louis Cardinals In his second big league season, at the age of 27, Matt Carpenter was Fantasy Baseball’s 2013 MVP. Whether you were in a snake or auction draft, Carpenter returned massive dividends on the mid round draft pick or few dollars you spent to acquire his talent. However, in the eyes of Steamer and Oliver, the problem with Carpenter’s future value is his age. When you look at the most successful qualified batters who were rookies at the age...

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Top 25 Outfield Busts: Steamer & Oliver Projections

Dec 16

Top 25 Outfield Busts: Steamer & Oliver Projections

For the next four weeks we will look at potential bust candidates for the 2014 Fantasy Baseball season. Our attention will be focused on outfield busts this week and infield busts next week. To ascribe an analytic value to how we quantify a bust we will look at a player’s 2013 roto value and a hybrid of their Steamer and Oliver projections. Bust: Our formula for a bust will be a player’s projected 2014 roto value—this projected value will be composed of an average between a players Steamer and Oliver projections—minus their 2013 roto value. (Values will be calculated for a 12-team 5×5 roto league) Top 25 Outfield Busts Row Labels2014 Projection2013 TotalDiff Marlon Byrd-7.422.43-9.85 Eric Young-9.39-0.84-8.55 Jon Jay-7.87-0.43-7.44 Alfonso Soriano-2.584.57-7.15 Chris Denorfia-7.05-1.28-5.77 Raul Ibanez-6.79-1.28-5.51 Gregor Blanco-8.73-3.57-5.16 Daniel Nava-4.650.27-4.92 Ichiro Suzuki-7.47-2.62-4.85 Jayson Werth-0.314.36-4.67 Drew Stubbs-7.40-2.85-4.55 Gerardo Parra-5.27-1.09-4.18 Torii Hunter-0.933.1-4.03 Rajai Davis-5.26-1.35-3.91 Hunter Pence1.915.73-3.82 Michael Brantley-3.130.66-3.79 Alex Rios1.194.93-3.74 Brandon Moss-1.751.81-3.56 Nate McLouth-3.73-0.18-3.55 Denard Span-3.57-0.66-2.91 Craig Gentry-6.54-3.89-2.65 Alejandro De Aza-1.261.36-2.62 J.B. Shuck-5.41-2.79-2.62 Justin Ruggiano-5.14-2.79-2.35 Jarrod Dyson-6.39-4.13-2.26 Alfonso Soriano: New York Yankees Alfonso Soriano wound the clock back in 2013, but there is reason beyond his 2014 projection to be skeptical about his future. The aging slugger had an average flyball distance of 292.58 feet in 2013, which was up from 2012, but correlates to a 13.6% HR/FB ratio, as opposed to his 18.9% HR/FB power output last year. Soriano stole 18 bases in 2013, but only swiped 17 bags from 2009 to 2012 all together; Steamer projects 8 and Oliver projects 10 stolen bases for Soriano in 2014, and believes more in the credibility of the long-term track record than last season. With less power and speed, Soriano is less likely to feed fantasy owners’ appetites. Raul Ibanez: Free Agent Ibanez hit 29 home runs in a season where he turned 41 years old: impressive. That’s the second most home runs ever by a player in an age 41 season; only five players have ever hit 20 or more home runs at the age of 41. Guess how many players hit more than 20 home runs in a season where they turned 42? This is easy, and you should be able to get it. Yes, just one: Barry Bonds. Do you...

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2013 MLB Winter Meetings: “Winter Is Coming” The Biggest Winners (Part 1)

Dec 12

2013 MLB Winter Meetings: “Winter Is Coming” The Biggest Winners (Part 1)

This will be the first in a series of 2013 MLB Winter Meetings and evaluating Fantasy impact of the moves that are made. Come back throughout the Fantasy Baseball offseason, as we’ll be tracking the trades, signings and roster cuts, and sharing how we think it affects the upcoming draft season. Feel free to drop some comments below with your own Fantasy thoughts on some of these moves. Letting the Dust Settle What a crazy few days of 2013 MLB Winter Meetings so far! It has been one of the busiest offseasons with some major moves, and signings happening over the past three weeks. Many moves happened before the meetings began on Monday. I will be monitoring, and recapping some of these moves and their potential fantasy impact for the 2014 season.  There are still plenty of big names, and stories to follow at the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings, and if you’ve followed in the past, there are always some more big splashes to be made. The 2013 MLB Winter Meeting Winners … So Far Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers Both of these teams sent waves through MLB on November 21, as a trade occurred that didn’t even allow the rumor mill to really start up. Prince Fielder was traded to Texas for Ian Kinsler. With a little cash incentive going to Texas to help with the contract difference, this deal works out well for both squads now and in the future. Detroit now has a legitimate second baseman, and a leadoff or top=of-the-order hitter. They also can move Miguel Cabrera back to first base, opening up third  base for highly touted prospect Nick Castellanos.   Castellanos played some outfield at the end of last season, but third was his natural position. Clearly the Tigers want him in their lineup. They also have some room to play with for another potential big move. Detroit adding Rajai Davis (50 steal/80 run potential) gives them some more legitimate speed, and a starter or platoon player with Detroit favorite, Andy Dirks. They also signed aging veteran reliever Joe Nathan (who could still notch 40 saves) to solidify the back-end of their bullpen — a weakness for Detroit all season last year. These...

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2014 Fantasy Baseball — 7 Stories to Watch This OffSeason

Nov 22

2014 Fantasy Baseball — 7 Stories to Watch This OffSeason

The Fantasy Football season is in full throttle right now and you may be managing your team(s) to championship greatness as you read this. However, the 2014 Fantasy Baseball season is closing in and fanatics like me, who monitor the sport year round by tuning into MLB network and reading the Fantasy blogs, want to stay informed. Things always happen quickly! For instance, Prince Fielder was literally just traded for Ian Kinsler. 2014 Fantasy Season Storylines There is still plenty of time before the 2014 Fantasy Baseball season starts, but for those wondering what and who to keep tabs on during this offseason, here are a few storylines to follow. 1. David Price and the Rays Rotation Nothing is certain, but the trade rumors swirling around David Price have only continued to, well, swirl. That being said, it is the No. 1 story to follow in the 2014 Fantasy Baseball offseason. Even though he has two years remaining, Tampa has been notorious in the past for moving elite pitchers and getting huge returns. Think James Shields and Matt Garza. The trade may not happen soon, but it will likely happen. We’ll watch Hot Stove reports like a hawk, with this move being the biggest attraction. If Price indeed leaves the Rays this season, the Rays’ rotation will have a huge opening. The likely candidates to fill the fifth spot will be Jake Odorizzi and Alex Colome, unless, of course, the Rays get another solid starter in a trade. 2. The Braves Rotation & B.J. Upton It may be a little farfetched to say B.J. Upton was the most disappointing Fantasy player last season, but he was definitely in the 15 worst. No one could have expected a line of BA: .184, 9 HR, 30 R, and 26 RBI, 12 SB. Upton always had a propensity for striking out and a career batting average around .250, but even with those strikeouts and BA, he at least still supplied power and stole bases. That did not happen last season. These 2013 numbers were career lows across the board. The excitement that followed the Upton brothers arriving in Atlanta waned quickly last year. Although, I can see B.J. finding his swagger again...

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