I’m a stat junkie. Way back in the pre-internet days when I was just a little Magoo, I would run outside first thing in the morning to grab the daily paper so I could immediately check out the previous night’s box scores. There’s Tony Gwynn leading the league in batting average yet again. A slam and legs (before I even knew what that was) by that Bonds fellow. The Big Unit piled up another dozen Ks. Another high scoring game in Colorado. What’s the deal with that place anyway?

This fascination with statistics has led to the fantasy baseball obsession that I’m burdened with today. Only now, with all of the advanced statistics and metrics that are available at the click of a button, the obsession is worse than ever. Fortunately for you, all of the man hours that I’ve wasted poring over stats this offseason has allowed me to discover some interesting nuggets of information that I think are fantasy-relevant for the upcoming season, and I’d like to share some of them with you today. At least, I find them to be interesting and potentially useful for fantasy purposes, and I hope that you will too.

From here on out, I’ll be listing various statistics with little to no analysis so that you can be the judge of how relevant each statistic and/or trend is in regards to the 2016 season. This article focuses on hitters only, and the stats that will be highlighted range from the basic (home runs, stolen bases, batting average, counting stats) to the slightly more advanced (plate discipline, batted ball profile).

And now, without further ado, here are some interesting stats and trends to consider for the 2016 fantasy baseball season:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

And the Tigerettes sang, “He was talked up as closer, but now he’s sent down… Da Bruce Rondon gone, Da Bruce Rondon… Somebody told me he made Leyland frown… Da Bruce Rondon gone, da Bruce Rondon… Yeah, he sucked in spring… Yes, his stats would sting… But now my team’s saves are boned… Da Bruce Rondon gone, Da Bruce Rondon…” As Randy Jackson would say, we got ourselves a pitchy competition, dawg! *sips from Pepsi cup, looks at Mariah for approval, fixes silver chain, sucks in gut under sweater that he’s wearing with no undershirt which makes it look really itchy, laughs at some Nicki Minaj nonsense, says to Seacrest, “I don’t know, we’ll have to see what America thinks” and smiles* So, Bruce Rondon was sent down and now the Tigers closer job is Hollywood Week. Auditions are down to Al Al’etc, Santa K, New Mexiclosero, Al Al, Coke Is It, Coke Is So 80’s Octavio Dotel Is It, Alquin Cokel, Octaquin BenCokel and Philquin Alburcoke. And that’s only four guys! Hang tight, guys and four girl readers, it’s a closerousel. Lots of possible outcomes here. All four guys could do well in a committee and Leyland utilizes it the whole year. Two guys do well and we get a portmanteau closer, let’s call it a SAGNOFtaur. Three guys could do well, let’s call that, The Three StoogeNOF. Another possibility: as we know from the past with Leyland’s ‘Set it and Forget It’ lineup card management, he likes to stick with one thing. So one guy takes the job by mid-April and holds it for the majority of the year. This is the best possibility for all involved. I think that’s also what happens. Leyland’s got cigarettes to smoke, he doesn’t have time to be walking to the mound to change pitchers! So who from Octavio Dotel, Al Alburquerque, Joaquin Benoit and Phil Coke does he go with? As the prude brothel’s sign announces, therein lies the rub. Al Al’etc is a monster for Ks, he’s my first option because he could provide solid value while the job is being decided. Then, I like Dotel. He reduced his walks last year and kept his Ks. He also has some closer experience. Next up: Joaquin Benoit. He was very successful last year in middle relief, but he can’t go on back-to-back days or stay healthy. Finally, Phil Coke. I wouldn’t grab him outside of AL-Only leagues. Big strike against him: he’s a lefty. In his favor: he closed games in the playoffs last year. It’s a shituation of epicloser proportions. Oh, and I wouldn’t grab more than one guy. I’d take a gamble on one guy, form a prayer rectangular and hope it works out. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Heath Bell is giving out two run innings like he’s Daryl Hannah giving out crazy vibes. Yesterday, was the fourth time in 8 appearances this year he’s allowed 2 runs.  His WHIP (2.70) looks like an ERA, his ERA looks a perfect score from a corrupt figure skater judge (10.80) and the Red Sox are wondering if he can be their closer.  Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We here at Deep League Thoughts love things cheap.  If the 5 finger discount were legal, we’d be doing it hand over Doug Fister.  Over the course of the year, we’re going to keep our eye on the bargain bin FA market, targeting the guys that are less than 5 percent owned and try to sprinkle you with tasty little nuggets of info on these gems.  Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It feels like yesterday the baseball regular season started.  You wrote “I heart baseball” in permanent marker on your arm, then you met a girl who wrote “I heart guys who heart baseball” on her arm, then, during sex in September, you screamed out “I love you, Marco Scutaro!” and now you don’t have baseball or a girlfriend.  Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

David Ortiz must not have fed the meter yesterday because he was fitted with a boot.  Southie police officer, “You ahr naht above the lah!  Now sign my badge for my boy, Tommy.”  Turns out Big Papi has right heel bursitis, which is a fancy word that eHow has seven useless articles about that is essentially inflammation.   Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

To discuss Francisco Liriano at Razzball HQ, I gathered the Random Italicized Voice, MR. AL CAPS and Larry King.  After eating me out of house and home — “The selection was pretty meager.  Freezer pops, really?” “NOT A THING TO DRINK,” “Anyone see where I put down my teeth?” —  we talked about Liriano.  Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?