Archive for the Fantasy Baseball Category

7 Reasons Why Women Should Play Fantasy Baseball

Reason #8: You can be just like Rihanna and own Matt Kemp!

Reason #8: You can be just like Rihanna and own Matt Kemp!


By Haley Dennis
 
You are either here because you have been sitting on the fence about whether or not to play fantasy baseball, or you are here because you were investigating your boyfriend’s computer history, you jumped to conclusions when you saw the word “fantasy”, and you assumed that he’s the reason those ads keep popping up.

 

Whichever case it may be, stop being skeptical. Here are 7 reasons why you should join a fantasy baseball league.
 
 1. Learn more about the game
 
Let’s be honest, you probably know who Bryce Harper is (Yes, the hot young outfielder for the Nationals.), although you might not know that he bats left-handed but throws right-handed. When you play fantasy baseball, you will learn all the statistics needed to impress every man you have a conversation with about baseball. Try it at a bar. You won’t pay for a thing, all night.
 
2. We love to be social
 
As women, we cannot deny our love affair with the social life. Fantasy baseball is a six-month-long social event, from the draft, to the playoffs, and everything in-between. For example, you will be constantly talking to your competitors about possible trades, and then, shooting them dirty emails when they decline your request. You can also use fantasy baseball as a way to make small talk in the office, and you can use social media to brag about how awesome your team is doing, as your beating the pants off of all the men in your league. That brings me to my next reason…
 
3. You get to shamelessly talk smack
 
Forget being ladylike, when it comes to fantasy sports. Females are the minority in most co-ed leagues, so we have to learn to talk trash with the boys. This is probably the only time it will be acceptable to dauntlessly tell your boss (if you are in an office league) that “a team of blind kids with no arms or legs could do better than the garbage he has in his lineup.” Talking smack is an essential part of fantasy baseball. They go together like Derek Jeter and Supermodels.
 
4. Experience the feeling of winning
 
If you are like me (a Cubs fan), and you don’t really know what it feels like for your team to win a World Series, then, by doing well in fantasy baseball, you will have the opportunity to experience the ecstasy that comes from winning a championship with a team that you care about. I only hope it takes your team less than 105+ years.
 
5. You are the boss
 
This is your team. You put Mike Trout into this lineup, and you can take him out of it (not that you ever would, barring injury)!! You make all of the executive decisions. You draft your own players. You set your own lineup. What woman wouldn’t get excited about picking her own group of guys, from hundreds of candidates? It’s like the Bachelorette, but with more men, and they are all in baseball pants. Plus, where else, besides fantasy baseball, can you trade a man out, whenever you want, and not feel bad about it?
 
 6. It is not as tough as you think
 
Your excuse for not playing last year might have been, “It seems too challenging and too difficult to keep up with.” Well, I guarantee you, fantasy baseball is much easier to keep up with than the plot twists of a daytime soap opera. There are cheat sheets to help you scout players, mock drafts to give you a sense of what your draft day will be like, and experts to tell you why it could be a bad idea to draft Dan Uggla. You are running out of excuses. Better start thinking of a witty team name.
 
 7. 162 games
 
There are 162 games in a regular season of baseball. That means, you have six months of winning most, losing some, smack talking, learning new things about the great game of baseball, excuses to eat your feelings when your players end up on the DL, being the coolest woman in the office, and the sheer pleasure of annihilating all of the men in your league.
 
Ladies, embrace fantasy baseball. You won’t regret it. Trust me, I am a woman, and we are always right.
 
Haley Dennis is a 24 year old aspiring sports journalist who lives in Oklahoma. She uses fantasy sports to escape the realities of being a Chicago Cubs and Dallas Cowboys fan and spends most of here free time defending Tony Romo. You can follow Haley at @hungoverhaley.
 

2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide

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We’ve been hunkered down for the last month or so working on the 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide and we’re pleased to announce that it’s finally ready! Just like last year, we’ve gotten some of the best and brightest minds in the fantasy baseball community to contribute and have upped the ante this year with both a PDF copy (like last year) and a brand-new iBook version (that looks pretty darn awesome on an iPad and includes some awesome interactive projections.

 

Included in this year’s Draft Guide, you’ll find:
 

  • Draft Day Tips/Strategies
  • Rankings that will be updated regularly
  • Player Projects
  • Expert Mock Drafts that will be updated weekly
  • Sleepers & Busts
  • Sabermetrics 101
  • Daily Fantasy Baseball 101
  • How 2013 can help 2014
  • A Look at Power vs Speed
  • Why Not to Pay for Saves
  • 30 Team Previews
  •  
    (scroll to the bottom for more image previews)
     

    The fee we are asking for the draft guide ($10) is a small price to pay for year-long bragging rights (and maybe some cash) in your personal leagues. To get a copy of the guide in PDF and iBook format, just donate $10 through the PayPal button below and we’ll get a copy to your inbox immediately!
     

     

    Thanks everyone for your continued support and we hope you enjoy the draft guide!

     


     

    “Perusing the Perimeter” 2014 Fantasy Baseball Player Profile: Andrew McCutchen

    Going into the 2013 season many of us thought there was a solid chance the Pittsburgh Pirates would compete within the NL division …But I doubt many of us outside of Pittsburgh thought they would do as well as they did… The Reigning National League MVP Andrew McCutchen rightfully deserves that title as the Pirates beat my beloved Cincinnati Reds in the wildcard play-in game and they would never been in position all year to do so without his stellar play….

    If you don’t follow ya boy on twitter …First, let me tell that you should fix that and follow me here @Whudey….Second, that you know my hate runs deep for Pittsburgh and many are wondering have I gone too far with the hate with my ranking of NL MVP Andrew McCutchen ?? As it stands right now, I currently have Andrew McCutchen ranked #14th and that is probably where he will stay for the most in the 12-16 area….While it is highly doubtful anyone would ever see @TheCutch22 hit the second round (currently the 4th to 8th selection in many drafts) I for one will not be drafting him unless he is available to me in the 2nd round and here is why…

    I like you and I think you are a beast…but early first round material…meh…..

     

    It was a banner year in 2013  not just for McCutchen but the team as a whole ….My first and initial feeling is that there is no way the supporting cast makes a race for the division crown two years in a row…When you have a guy entering his sophomore season in Starling Marte who had a ridiculous .363 BABIP to go with just a modest .280 AVG somethings has got to give here…I expect both numbers to drop in a major way…limiting McCutchen’s RBI potential …. and lets look behind him in the order where a guy in Pedro Alvarez who has hit 30+ bombs two years in a row ….the sub .240 AVG on the other hand could mean he may be this year’s version of a 2013 Dan Uggla where the big power just doesn’t translate into success….which hurts McCutchen #s in stolen bases and runs scored. Let alone the pitching staff being an unknown outside of Gerrit Cole for any kind of success.

    Now, let’s take a second to look at the man himself. Like I said before no doubt he deserved the NL MVP as his pre-ASB .302/.376/.471 versus his post-ASB .339/.441/.561 lines pretty much tell you all you need to know. Usually a hot starter so it was werid to see him struggle early on. He was hitting .360 in 2012 Pre-ASB. But folks this is just two years of excellent production ….In 2010 he was just in .286 hitter and in 2011 a robust .259 ……Not to mention his BABIP in 2011 of .291 compared to 2012′s .375 and 2013′s .353 …regression is gonna come at some point (previous career high was .327) …. Could he be just entering into his prime? Sure, but I still think that some regression will be there if not on the part Andrew McCutchen then his surrounding parts will fail him. A Great five-tool talent who I just cannot claim to be first rounder material…Sorry not sorry….

    “Perusing the Perimeter” 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Rankings

    It’s that time of year … the clocks getting sprung forward, the snow is beginning to melt, and peanuts and cracker jacks are now a part of a well balanced diet…This only means that Spring Training is here and the start of yet another long but fantastic MLB season is upon us….now is the time to prepare for your respective fantasy baseball drafts….

     

    Don’t worry Tupac, I was just as shocked to see how well I did last year in my Draft Rankings…

    In 2013, ya boy @Whudey finished 3rd out of 65 very talented fantasy baseball writers….read more about that here…While that is nice and I am very excited to have finished as high as I did…it is as they say “Old News” and the new year brings the new challenge of remaining in the Top 10 …a challenge I readily accept…….. So from now up until the first official pitch of the 2014 season…..let my fantasy baseball draft rankings be a loose guide for you to use for domination….check back here for daily updates….Happy Drafting…. Good Luck to you all……


    Fantasy Baseball Rankings powered by FantasyPros

     

    Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft Simulator


     
    Sick of doing mock drafts that are filled-up with draft bots and idiots who aren’t taking the mock seriously after the first three rounds?

     

    Luckily for all of us, our friends at FantasyPros.com have created an excellent mock draft simulator that takes mock drafting to a whole new level. Not only does it speed up the process by automating your opponents’ picks (using FantasyPros.com expert rankings – which include mine!), but it also offers you in-draft advice to help you make solid decisions. And best of all…it follows up with instant analysis of how you performed once your mock is over.

     

    Not only will you get a feel for when players will be drafted (including when your coveted sleepers are likely to be taken), but you’ll also be able to test out different draft strategies. Want to know what will happen if you take some stud pitchers early…or wait on filling your bullpen until the late rounds? No problem, just mock draft your way to a solid plan of attack.
     
    In addition to the great Draft Simulator tool you’ll find below, make sure you check out some other great drafting tools that FantasyPros has made available:
     

  • Come to your draft prepared with an easy-to-use Cheat Sheet Creator
  • Get in-draft help with FantasyPros’ Draft Assistant
  • Instantly analyze your draft with a brand-new Draft Analyzer
  •  

    Click below to give the Draft Simulator a try. It’s free and you can draft as many times as you want. Enjoy!

     

    MOCK DRAFT SIMULATOR
    The easiest way to prepare for your draft.
    Fast. No waiting for opponents to pick.
    Fun. Draft against the top fantasy experts.
    Free. You don’t even have to register.


    Fantasy Baseball Mock Drafts powered by FantasyPros

     

    RotoHobo’s 2014 Fantasy Baseball Rankings

    Miggy or Trout? Miggy or Trout? And who's number three?

    Miggy or Trout? Miggy or Trout? And who’s number three?

    Pitchers and catchers! Pitchers and catchers!!

     

    With baseball season (finally) here, it’s time for some rankings! I’ll have mine posted as part of the upcoming 2014 Draft Guide that will be out late-Feb/early-March, but Mr. Ryan Hodge (@RotoHobo) was kind enough to put together his preliminary 2014 Fantasy Baseball Rankings that you’ll find below.
     
    Ryan will be updating these throughout the spring (so keep checking back), but in the meantime…enjoy!
     

    Fantasy Baseball Rankings powered by FantasyPros

     

    Who Are The Best Fans?

    Are Cardinals fans the best fans in America?

    Are Cardinals fans the best fans in America?

    By Mike Gianella
     
    One of the most popular and longstanding forms of sports writing involves taking a trope and constructing an elaborate narrative around that trope. Often, these tropes revolve around an intangible asset that a player lends to the game. Examples of these types of constructs include “he’s gritty” or “he’s a gamer” or “he has the will to win”. These pieces are easy to write (what player doesn’t want to contribute to a story about how great he is?) and generally cannot be refuted (you can’t “prove” that Player A doesn’t have grit, so therefore my article about Player A’s grit is not without merit).
     
    Of late, a trope has appeared that surrounds not an individual or even a team but an entire group of fans. Unless you have been living on a Martian colony, not only are you familiar with the term “best fans in baseball” but you also know exactly which fan base I’m talking about. To hear some tell it, the St. Louis Cardinals have the best fans in baseball.
     
    Will Leitch of Sports on Earth makes the case through the lens of a Cardinals fan, while Howard Megdal of Sports on Earth – a New York-area guy and a Mets fan like me – makes the argument in favor of the notion that Cardinals fans are better through an arguably more objective lens.
     
    Is this correct? More importantly, how can this possibly be measured?
     
    Before I dive in, I’d like to address something Leitch said in his article
     
    Leitch: I have never, ever, ever ever ever ever ever, heard a Cardinals fan refer to him or herself as “one of the best fans in baseball.” I’m sure it has happened. I’ve just never seen it. And I hang out with a lot of Cardinals fans
     
    I haven’t directly interacted with many St. Louis Cardinals fans of late, but from 2002-2007 I worked for a St. Louis-based corporation. I spent a good deal of time talking with people who lived in the St. Louis area, and visited the corporate headquarters three or four times a year. The idea that St. Louis Cardinals fans were the best fans in baseball is something I heard from Cardinals fans. It wasn’t an incessant, unending topic of conversation, but was something that came up more than just a small handful of times. The conversation would typically go something like this:
     
    CARDINALS FAN: Cardinals fans are great.
     
    ME: Definitely, but I know a lot of great Mets/Phillies fans as well.
     
    CARDINALS FAN: No, it’s just not the same. They’re different here.
     
    Arguing about whether or not these fans exist in the Cardinals fan base is a pointless exercise. Leitch and Megdal could trot out anecdotal example after anecdotal example of fans that don’t do this and I could bring out my anecdotal examples as a counterpoint. They aren’t “right” any more than I am “right.” I only bring this up because I’m not the first person who has heard or seen something along these lines about Cardinals fans. The fact that Leitch and Megdal have never encountered this behavior in frequent encounters with Cardinals fans is more than a little bit surprising.
     
    However, my intention here isn’t to offer a critique or diatribe against Cardinals fans. The vast majority of Cardinals fans I have met are indeed terrific fans. I’m more interested in why the some members of the media continue to promulgate this tired trope.
     
    To be fair, both Megdal and Leitch’s articles aren’t simplistic rah rah pieces about how great Cardinals fans are. Both are well written pieces that offer concrete points in favor of their arguments. To summarize some of those points:
     

    1. The Cardinals mean more to their fans than other teams do to other teams’ fans
    2. People in St. Louis engage others about the Cardinals unprompted, all the time.
    3. Cardinals’ fans don’t boo, and in fact cheer opposing players for good plays.
    4. Fans show up in droves and appreciate their team without fail.
    5. There are roots in the St. Louis community that do not exist elsewhere, or at least not in the same way they exist elsewhere.

     
    Some of these points are true. Again, my experience with Cardinals fans is that they’re great fans. I have zero interest in refuting the notion that Cardinals fans are good or great; rather, I’m interested in debunking the myth that they are somehow the best fans based on any kind of rational evidence.
     
    The positive aspects that allegedly make Cardinals fans better than other fans typically fall into three categories:
     
    Value Judgments
    If you dislike booing and do not think that players should be booed under any circumstances, then your argument in favor of the Cardinals is “correct.” If, on the other hand, you think it is OK to boo certain players under certain circumstances, then this argument won’t hold a lot of water. Everyone is certainly entitled to an opinion on the subject, but there isn’t really a right or wrong answer that makes Cardinals fans better than another team’s fans.
     
    Conflating Success with Loyalty
    I don’t question or doubt the notion that Cardinals fans are extremely loyal. Keep in mind, though, that this extreme loyalty has come during a long stretch where the team has been extremely successful. Since 2001, the St. Louis Cardinals have a 1,179-926 record (.560 won/loss percentage). With very few exceptions, (I’m looking at you, Tampa Bay), baseball fans turn out when their team is winning. The last time the Cardinals had a prolonged playoff dry spell between 1972-1980, their attendance was slightly above average or mediocre. Fans show up and present a unified front when their teams win regardless of where they’re from.
     
    Along these lines, fans are more likely to talk about their teams unprompted when their teams are winning. You couldn’t go anywhere in 1986 in New York without someone bringing up the Mets and from 2007-2011 the Phillies were all anyone in Philadelphia could talk about. I lived in Philadelphia during that time as a displaced Mets fan. Trust me, everyone here talked about the Phillies at every possible opportunity.
     
    Confusing Environmental/Geographical Factors With Fan Attributes
    As far as “the best fans in baseball” construct goes, this last point pokes a moon-sized hole into the subjective nature of the argument. The talking points used here are accurate, but they are positive attributes about the city itself, not about the fans that live there. The Cardinals play in a great environment for baseball and have the advantage of excellent demographics, a great local radio station, and excellent municipal support. All of these factors are undeniably true, and do indeed lend to a more positive experience for players on the team and the fans of the team as well. However, for the most part this isn’t something that the fans in St. Louis control but rather an environmental factor that the fans in the city and its environs are able to take advantage of on a regular basis.
     
    If you took Mets fans and transported them to St. Louis and put these advantages at their disposal, would they behave differently? There is no obvious way of knowing, but it is entirely possible. This argument has less to do with the fans and more to do with the environmental factors that the fans are responding to.
     
    But even if you care to stretch this argument into a “the fans are better because the environment is better” argument, it is still a subjective judgment, and perhaps one that still doesn’t make St. Louis fans the “best” fans.
     
    My experience as a baseball fan has been formed entirely through a lifetime of living in the Northeastern United States. As a Northern New Jersey resident until 2005 and then as a Philadelphia resident since, my experience as a fan has been shaped and molded in an entirely different way than it has for fans of the St. Louis Cardinals. And while there are attributes that can be applied to St. Louis fans to label them the game’s best fans, it wouldn’t take much of a leap of the imagination to do the same for fans in the Northeastern United States.
     
    Below is how such a narrative might sound:
     
    Despite facing plenty of disadvantages, fans of teams in the Northeast show up in droves and are the most loyal fans in baseball. They live in an area where the cost of living is extremely high compared to most of the country yet are willing to spend their hard earned money to attend a game without blinking an eye. Northeastern fans face extremely challenging travel conditions to get to a baseball game, but that doesn’t stop them. A New York-area fan won’t flinch at spending three hours sitting in rush hour traffic if it means going to a baseball game. Nothing has stopped Northeastern fans from going to baseball games. The worst, most unimaginable acts of terrorism the United States has ever seen couldn’t keep Northeastern fans away from their teams. This doesn’t make them better, just…different.
     
    Is this argument fair? Of course not. But New York-area fans have as little control over their geographic disadvantages as St. Louis fans do over the fact that they don’t have to suffer through a horrible three-hour commute just to go to a baseball game. My assumption is that the great fans of St. Louis would sit through three hours of traffic to see their beloved Cardinals…but I would also assume that Mets fans would respond favorably to the midwestern conditions outlined above as long as it meant seeing their beloved Mets.
     
    As a Northeasterner, I value different things than are outlined in Leitch or Megdal’s articles. I have seen big cities come together during spirited playoff runs and fans as fanatical as fans in any other venue. The passion shown by Phillies fans during the team’s improbable run in 2007 and during the playoffs in 2009 was tremendous for the city. Personally, I prefer the yin and yang of passionate cheers to go along with lusty booing of the opposition to a polite, genteel refusal to boo the opponent. But that doesn’t make me “right” any more than it makes Leitch or Megdal “right”. These are merely preferences, not empirical statements of fact. To be a fan of a sports team is in and of itself a great thing. Instead of putting a value judgment on what it is to be a Cardinals fan or a Phillies fan – or any kind of fan for that matter – let’s focus instead on how great most fans are in supporting their teams through thick and thin under any circumstances.

     

    By Mike Gianella
     
    Mike is a fantasy baseball writer at Baseball Prospectus and the co-founder of RotoThinkTank
     

    Twisted Fantasy Wedensday: August 28, 2013

    Whoa. The next time I do one of these posts, it will be September. It seems like yesterday I got Giancarlo Stanton auto-drafted onto two teams which got me into a three-day alcoholic binge.

     

    With most leagues past their trade deadlines, it’s just you and the waiver wire for the rest of the season. Hopefully you’re still in a position to at least place in your leagues, if not gunning for the title. So let’s stop with the jibber jabber and see what’s been going on.

     

    Khris Davis is khrushing the ball

    He's just khruising in August (Davis, OF-MIL)

    He’s just khruising in August (Davis, OF-MIL)

     

    In what will undoubtedly lead to parents with the last name Davis naming their kids Ckhris, there’s been three Davis’s (Davisii?) contributing to fantasy this year: Obviously Crush Davis is one of the top players in fantasy, Rajai Davis is second in the MLB with 40 steals, and now Khris Davis of the Milwaukee Brewers is the #14 outfielder over the last month on ESPN’s player rater and Top-5 over the last couple of weeks. With a slash line of .314/.388/.674 and 8 home runs and 18 RBIs in just 86 at-bats this season, it’s easy to see why.

     

    Here’s the thing: If you’re still, by some miracle, in a league that allows trades, sell now. This is a guy who had 17 home runs in 356 at-bats in the Pacific Coast League (AAA), or one every 50ish at-bats. For those unfamiliar, the PCL is a bandbox league and greatly inflated offensive numbers are expected. So for a guy to go from one home run every 50 ABs in that league to one every 11 ABs in the majors is a huge stroke of luck. It’s been a great ride, and he seems like he could be a fine baseball player in real terms, but he’s nowhere this good in fantasy. Not only that, but he was on the big club back in April as a bench player and went 16 at-bats without a home run and added one as a call-up in the middle of July. So really, since his recent call-up, he has 8 home runs in 69 ABs, or one every 8.6 ABs. The other home run-hitting Davis, Crush, has averaged 10.2 AB/HR on the season.

     

    If you’re just looking for a quick fill-in, Davis could keep this up for another week or so maybe. But any hopes that he’s going to sustain this for the rest of the season are seriously misguided. He could be a nice bench player in the future – he has a career 1.61 K/BB ratio in the minors which indicates a pretty good eye – but his 2012 Orioles dust is going to wear off soon and he will come crashing back down to Earth. He’s still only 41% owned in Yahoo leagues, so if you need a push for this week, I’d be all for it. I wouldn’t count on him come September, though.

     

    Disabled pitchers return; are very abled

    Two pitchers I was targeting in the preseason were Jon Niese and Marco Estrada. I like them for different reasons, but I thought they’d both be good SP5 or SP6. Oh wow was I wrong.

     

    It was a very, very ugly start to the season for both of these guys. Here are their numbers before they went on the disabled list (Estrada for the second time):

     

    Niese:     77 IP, 4.33 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, 49 K

    Estrada: 69.1 IP, 5.32 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 62 K

     

    They both struggled, they both were not what I expected them to be. I had pegged at Niese on continuing to improve as he had in the past: His xFIP dropped from 4.13 in 2009 to 3.64 last year and he had a career-best ERA of 3.40 in 2012. Estrada had generally had high HR rates (it’s now 1.37 HR/9 for his career) but his low walk-rates (2.38 BB/9) meant I could live with the long-ball, probably. However, both of Estrada’s H/9 and HR/9 reached career-highs and that’s never a good combination.

     

    Both players went on the DL for different reasons and since they have returned, both have been exceptional:

     

    Niese:    28 IP, 1.93 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 28 K

    Estrada: 24 IP, 1.88 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 21 K

     

    Granted, these are small sample sizes (four starts each), but they have both rebounded remarkably.

     

    Neither of these guys will keep up these exceptional numbers, but both have the ability to do what I thought they could do: At least be Top-60 pitchers the rest of the season and hopefully Top-50. Estrada (13.1% ESPN, 39% Yahoo!) is more readily available than Niese is (56.4% ESPN, 48% Yahoo!) but both are worthy adds for an extra push in the final month and certainly for head-to-head playoffs.

     

    Troutin’ Every Damn Day

    I desperately want one of these hats.

    I desperately want one of these hats.

     

    To trout someone, in local lingo, means to really fuck someone over on something that’s relatively insignificant to you, but can be a huge deal to someone else. Did you go to a strip club with your buddies, one of whom is married? To trout him out would be by telling his wife (or worse, one of her friends).

     

    I have to think that some fantasy analysts were really trying to trout people by down-playing Mike Trout before the season. I know Mr. Ray Flowers recently owned up to it on BaseballGuys and even I personally had him at #5 overall on FantasyPros, behind where most other fanalysts had him. I didn’t take my own advice.

     

    In a chat about draft preparation before the season started, I had an offline conversation with the owner of this website, Mr. Nick Raducanu, about the value of Trout going into the season. It’s no secret that X likes him (he had him at #1 on FantasyPros) and the reasoning we came to on why he definitely wouldn’t flame out was this: We expected, at worst, a good Carlos Gonzalez-esque season from Trout this year, something along the lines of CarGo’s 2012 season: .303/22 HR/85 RBI/89 R/20 SB. That “at-worst” scenario for Trout landed CarGo as a Top-10 OF in 2012 and a Top-20 hitter overall. For us, that was worst-case.

     

    Best-case? Probably better than what he’s doing this year, which is pretty astounding considering he has a higher batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage right now than he did last year. His steals haven’t been where we’d like them – with 28 right now, he’ll be hard-pressed to get to 40, which is kind of what I was hoping for – but he’s been exceptional.

     

    Not every player repeats performances like Mike Trout did in 2012. What we have to understand is that just because a rookie has a great season it doesn’t mean he can’t do better. Albert Pujols finished second in MVP voting in his sophomore season; Alex Rodriguez’s season after his rookie campaign was one of the best of his career; Ryan Braun’s BA and consequently his OPS dropped from his rookie to his second season, although he still managed to hit 37 home runs and knock in 106. Just because a player finds success early doesn’t mean he can’t again, it has to be taken on a case-by-case basis. Even if he did fall off a bit (as I noted in the CarGo comparison), he was still going to be one of the best. It’s time we stopped trouting each other. But you sir, Trouty20, Trout on my man. Trout all the damn day.

    Twisted Fantasy Wednesdays – August 21, 2013

    With less than 25% left in the baseball season and fantasy football right around the corner (hey, don’t forget fantasy hockey too!), there is no doubt that fantasy baseball has taken a backseat for most people. Not without reason either; in a 12-team roto league, there’s probably only four or so people still able to make the money so at least half the league has probably stopped paying attention to their teams.

     

    This also means that there are some things that you may have missed. This is what today’s post is about.

     

    So in case you haven’t noticed…

    He's still one of the best. Just not in fantasy. (Cano, NYY-2B)

    He’s still one of the best. Just not in fantasy. (Cano, NYY-2B)

     

    Robinson Cano has now found his way to the Top-20 on ESPN’s player rater after going 6-8 with 5 RBIs and a home run in a double-header yesterday. He’s now the 13th-ranked hitter and 18th overall.

     

    This also means that he’s still a long ways away from the lofty Top-5 pre-season consensus ranking on Fantasy Pros MLB. Cano’s 24.1 HR/FB% last year was over 7% higher than in any previous season, so seeing it come down to 19.2% so far this year should be a shock to no one. He’s currently T-12th in RBIs with 81 and 16th in batting average at .308. Not only that, he’s only one stolen base away from tying a career high of eight. With all these gaudy numbers, he’s still not a Top-12 hitter.

     

    The only reason for thinking Cano is worthy of a Top-5 ranking, this year or any subsequent year, is position scarcity. The thing with position scarcity is that it’s not like there aren’t other good players at the position. Martin Prado and Ben Zobrist haven’t had nearly the season that Cano has, but they also offer you positional flexibility. Everth Cabrera is still a Top-5 2B/SS on the Player Rater and he hasn’t been on the field in over two weeks (and won’t be for several more, I know). Jason Kipnis was probably the 2B to draft this year, so kudos if you did.

     

    So if you haven’t noticed, as talented as Robinson Cano is, he’ll be hard-pressed to ever truly deserve a Top-5 pick again.

     

    —–

     

    Speaking of Martin Prado, guess who’s the top 2B of the last 30 days? Anyone that stuck by him, good on you, because I was getting a little worried after a month of June that saw a slash line of .209/.267/.319. Since July 1st (170 ABs) he’s batting .347 with an ISO (which is slugging% less batting average) that is approaching .200.

     

    With the tear he’s been on, Prado is actually approaching career-highs. He now has 12 home runs on the season with his career high being 15 and is up to 59 RBIs, a previous career-high of 70 was set last year. He’s batted in the two-hole, fourth or fifth in every game this month except one, so more RBI opportunities are coming.

     

    I think his batting average will just keep growing. His underlying numbers are very similar to career norms (even his infield-fly% is a career-low right now), meaning his BABIP of .288 (career .312) is only going to go up. In conjunction with hopefully a few more home runs, it’s plausible that Prado gets to .300 this year. Considering he was batting .245 after his first 305 ABs this seasons, that’s a pretty significant accomplishment.

     

    In case you were busy with your fantasy football prep, Martin Prado is proving himself one of the top fantasy baseball commodities this year (one league I have him in he’s eligible as 2B, 3B, SS, OF).

     

    ——

     

    I was having a conversation on Twitter a few nights ago on the topic of catchers. At the time, there were zero catchers in the Top-100 players on ESPN’s Player Rather. Since then, three have crept into the Top-100 (Y. Molina at 78, Mauer at 94 and Rosario at 97). With Joe Mauer on the disabled list, it’s pretty likely we don’t get more than two catchers in the Top-100, and I’m not totally convinced Rosario will.

     

    This speaks volumes to what you hear from a few reliable fantasy outlets, “Don’t waste your time on catchers”. In 2011 and 2012 fantasy baseball, there were five catchers in the Top-100. None of those catchers were repeats (per Yahoo!) – Victor Martinez (2011-55), Mike Napoli (2011-58), Buster Posey (2012-31), Joe Mauer (2012-75), Yadier Molina (2012-78). Molina is the only one with a good chance of repeating from last year. For the love of fuck, Buster Posey was voted the best hitter in the National League by MLB managers and he’s not a Top-100 fantasy player.

     

     

    So in case you haven’t noticed, catchers are so volatile that you are not only investing an early round pick with a lot of risk and minimal upside built into it, but you’re foregoing the opportunity to draft other players in that round that aren’t nearly as risky. Remember this for 2014.

    —–

    Just to touch on a hurler for a second (and no, by hurler I don’t mean the 2013 Blue Jays season),

    Great pitcher, but goofy, man. (Bumgarner, SFG-SP)

    Great pitcher, but goofy, man. (Bumgarner, SFG-SP)

    one guy that’s flying low because of how bad his team is is Madison Bumgarner.

     

    Aside from the plethora of fantasy team names this guy provides, he’s making me strongly consider him as a Top-5 starter next year. Again, using Yahoo! standard rankings (ESPN doesn’t go back to 2011), MadBum has finished as SP-21 in 2011, SP-14 in 2012 and he’s SP-9 so far this year.

     

    This marks the third straight year that MadBum has seen his H/9 decline, from 9.6 in 2010 to 6.4 this year. His BB/9 are up a bit at 2.8 but with the H/9 trade-off, I can live with that and I think that drops next year anyway. His K/9 will hover around the 8.5 mark going forward, which is great for any starter.

     

    Here’s where some mistake how good MadBum is; I hear a lot of “oh well he pitches in San Francisco”. Here are his home/road splits so far in 2013:

     

    Home: slash line against of .192/.260/.326, .242 BABIP, 0.98 WHIP

    Away: slash line against of .206/.273/.293, .252 BABIP, 1.04 WHIP

     

    Pretty similar numbers across the board and he even sports a lower SLG% on the road than at home, something we probably wouldn’t expect with AT&T Park.

     

    We always look for players who are taking that next step and MadBum has been taking those steps every year since he came into the league.

     

    If you’ve been busy with other things, you may have missed Madison Bumgarner throwing his hat into the ring as one of the dominant pitchers in baseball, and he just turned 24 years old earlier this month.

    Prospect Report: Mining the Farm

    The Twins 27 year old rookie Andrew Albers has been opening up some eyes since making his debut on the Aug. 6, against the Royals. The lefty went eight and a third innings giving up four hits, but giving up zero runs striking out two and walking just one, in a gem of a game against their division foe. In his second outing he pitched well again; this time dueling against the Indians rookie pitcher Danny Salazar, where he won his second game by throwing a complete game two hit shutout. Albers doesn’t own electric stuff, but he does possess a great deal of command that allows him to maneuver in and out of the strike zone. He could be useful down the stretch and it’s never a bad idea to ride a streak, and if he cools off then it won’t be that hard to drop him.

     

    Andrew Albers, SP

    Andrew Albers, SP

     

    Big city living:

     

     

     

    Danny Salazar, SP – As stated above Salazar was on the losing end of that two hit complete game shutout thrown by Albers, but that was the bad game. The good game was against the division leading rival Detroit Tigers, in which he pitched seven and two thirds innings giving up four earned runs on as many hits while walking one and striking out 10. Salazar got a no decision for his efforts, but showed he has the makeup to pitch against the big boys. Fantasy status:He has the talent and is worth a look in most leagues.

     

     

     

     

    Cody Asche, 3B – Once Cody Asche was called up from Lehigh Valley most people assumed that Michael Young was on his way out, but that’s not how it played out. Instead the Phillies shifted Young to man first while Ryan Howard is on the mend, and let Asche get some MLB action at the hot corner. Asche only has a .209 average and a pair of home runs to go with his seven RBI and runs, but he should be able to start to come around as long as he keeps getting the opportunity to do so. Fantasy status: Keeper and NL only leagues for now. It’s a strange situation with Young still there so he could get the boot when Howard comes back.

     

     

     

    Sonny Gray, SP – Sonny Gray got his first MLB start against the Blue Jays, and even in a losing effort he still pitched well. Gray went six innings giving up four runs two of which were earned on four hits and three walks, but he struck out five and still came away with a 1.80 ERA. He has the stuff to help your fantasy team and is now in the rotation to do so, it can’t hurt to give him a shot. Fantasy status:He’s a power pitcher, and is playing in a weaker division. Take a risk in mixed leagues, but AL-only for sure and keepers should hold on to him as well.

     

     

     

    Panning for Gold:

     

     

    Nick Castellanos, OF –By now everyone should know about Nick Castellanos, so this is more of a preview of a few guys that will likely get the call in the next few weeks that you can stash away if they’re not already gone. Castellanos has been producing down in Triple-A all season and there were rumors he may come up earlier in the year, whenever he does make the move he should be able to compete for the left field spot. Fantasy status:Could be a nice stash in mixed leagues, but he’s probably gone in most keeper leagues by now.

     

     

     

    Xander Bogaerts, SS/3B – The Red Sox have been giving Xander Bogaerts reps at third base, and that’s not all that shocking. The more shocking news is that they called Will Middlebrooks back up, but it seems that was more due to Bogearts not being ready than the fact that they completely trust Middlebrooks. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to think he could be on his way up real soon. Fantasy status:Middlebrooks hasn’t been impressive since making his return, so this looks closer by the day. Stash away while you can.

     

     

     

    Travis d'Arnaud, C

    Travis d’Arnaud, C

    Travis d’Arnaud, C – With the early emergence of John Buck this season, coupled with the early season struggles Travis d’Arnaud quieted the call for the minor leaguer to get brought up. No with the season winding down and the Mets a good distance away from making a playoff run, it looks like it could be time to see what they have in d’Arnaud. Fantasy status: If you’re looking for the next Yadier Molina, maybe somewhere down the line but not right off the bat. Keeper/NL-only leagues for now

     

     

    Archie Bradley, SP – Considering all the issues the Diamondbacks have been dealing with in the rotation and that they’re still in a playoff hunt, it’s surprising they haven’t given Archie Bradley his shot yet. Though that could and probably should change very soon, as the big righty has been mowing down the competition in the minors this season. It’s not a bad idea to start to stash him away if he’s still available. Fantasy status: He may be the real deal, and he could debut soon. NL-only/keeper leaguers already have a hold of him, if you have a spot in mixed leagues you could do worse.

     

     

     

    Untapped resources:

     

     


    D.J. Peterson, 1B – The Mariners took a D.J. Peterson as the 12th overall pick in this years MLB Amateur Draft, and so far it seems like a great choice. Since debuting Peterson has played in 48 games between to levels, and owns a combined .296 average with 32 runs 12 home runs and 40 RBI. He was drafted as a 3B, but they may push him across the diamond and hope he develops into a future power hitter. Either position he plays he will be one to watch for in the next few seasons.

     

    D.J. Peterson, 1B

    D.J. Peterson, 1B

     

     

    Born and raised in Massachusetts, Robert now resides in Philadelphia, PA. Has been playing fantasy football since 2003, and is a former high school football coach. Always a student of the game, he uses knowledge of coaching for fantasy wins. He’s always available for advice on twitter at @RoJoPal.