Everyone has their own method of determining their draft board and I imagine mine is rather unique. My early focus is on playing time/injuries so I can run Steamer rates against them and run the results through my Player Rater $ calculation. I then compare this against NFBC ADP and any expert drafts to get a sense for the outliers. As the preseason crawls on, I find myself digging into more and more players and determining whether they are players I want on my team based on their market value.

My tweak this year has been to analyze the outliers (guys my Player Rater is high/low on) earlier in the preseason. Projections are far from perfect and I have no problem drafting a guy above or below my $ value if I feel passionately about his value. These analyses are not terribly thorough – just scanning their FanGraphs pages for peripheral stats and reading Baseball Forecaster and Baseball Prospectus player summaries (the former of which being more helpful than the latter). I also check against Grey’s rankings so I can identify on which players we will inevitably debate.

Below are three pitchers – Julio Teheran, Mat Latos, Tyson Ross – where my Player Rater is way more pessimistic than the other sources I have reviewed. While my reasons vs Steamer’s reasons may differ, it still ends up with the same conclusion: I think these guys are being overvalued and I cannot see how any of three will end up on any of my teams.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

xps13_1160b-100249349-origI have been saddled (by employers) with mediocre PC laptops for years. Most companies have their IT
groups recycle (aka ‘refurbish’) laptops to save costs. Inevitably, all but a couple people end up with 3-year old models that are heavier, slower, and lamer than the latest/greatest model (kind of like comparing a Miguel Cabrera 2014 to Miggy 2011).

Just as my latest laptop started acting up, an e-mail popped into my inbox from Dell. They wanted me to test drive their XPS 13 laptop and share with all of you my thoughts on it. As an incentive, I could keep the laptop and give one out to our wonderful readers. Wow, last year I got a free book to review. This year, a laptop. Just putting it out there that Rudy could use a non-minivan to drive around in…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

2015 draft season has begun (at least for me)! The 2015 15-team mixed LABR draft took place on Friday, February 10th – nearly 2 months before the start of the regular season. Almost 60 full days where I can read the player news and play injury bingo (Jonathan Lucroy – woo-hoo, not on my board!).

This was a snake draft with standard 5×5 roto scoring. See here for the draft results and my illustrious leaguemates. I can say with a fair amount of certainty that no more than 2 of these people has ever killed a drifter.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The version 1 of our 2015 Steamer MLB hitter and pitcher projections are now available. As with last year, we project our own playing time (Games and Plate Appearances/At Bats for hitters, Games/Games Started/Innings Pitched for pitchers) as well as Saves, Holds, and Quality Starts. These projections will be updated regularly throughout the preseason in concert with playing time shifts driven by MLB depth chart changes or trades/signings. The links are below – you can access via ‘Stats’ in the top menu.

Grey’s projections will be available soon.

Fantasy baseball auction values are also available (accessible via Player Rater/2015 Pre-Season Player Rater in the top menu). We have two notable enhancements:

  1. We have added a $ per Game metric that estimates the dollar value of a hitter/pitcher based on their projected average game. Thus, if you have a different assessment than me on a player’s expected playing time, you can more easily adjust the player’s value. Projected PA and IP have been added to the Auction Value tables for handy reference.
  2. The Team field is now hyperlinked to a Team page specially designed for fantasy baseball usage. Each team page includes useful links (e.g, depth charts), an MLB news feed, projections, and previous year stats. Click here to see the Chicago Cubs page.

All auction values are based on a $ split of 67% hitting, 33% pitching. Please feel free to adjust based on your desired hit/pitch mix. We project for the ESPN/CBSSports standard roster (C/1B/2B/SS/3B/5 OF/CI/MI/UTIL/9 P, 20 game position eligibility) and the Yahoo! standard roster (C/1B/2B/SS/3B/3 OF/2 UTIL/2 SP/2 RP/4 P, 5 game position eligibility).

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It had been a couple years since I bought Ron Shandler’s Baseball Forecaster as my preseasons have been preoccupied with building our tools, running analyses, and optimizing our Steamer-based projections. But after enjoying Larry Schechter’s Winning Fantasy Baseball last January, it felt like a good time to solicit second opinions.

Baseball Forecaster has been a yearly production by BaseballHQ since 1986. While Ron Shandler is still involved, the book is produced by a team that is now led by Co-Editors Ray Murphy and Brent Hershey. I have played in a couple of expert leagues with BaseballHQ contributors and – to date – it has not gone so well for ol’ Rudy (if they played RCL, I’d like my chances).

So after last year’s frustrating expert league performance, I decided to leverage Baseball Forecaster as a sanity check against players that my system loved more/less than consensus…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There is so much great Hall of Fame analysis currently online – e.g., Jay Jaffe’s SI series, Bonah (Ben Lindbergh and Jonah Keri) on Grantland, Tom Tango, several ESPN writers – that I feel I have little to add. I find myself agreeing with much of this analysis and the general sabermetric consensus that the ballot is ridiculously packed with HOF-worthy talent.

So rather than provide derivative HOF analysis, this post provides a fantasy baseball spin on all the players I feel deserve HOF-entrance. I threw in a few non-fantasy points/links where I thought it interesting.

Please, blog, may I have some more?