As I begin to prepare my projections and rankings for the 2017 season, I like to look back on the previous season’s attempt to not only assess my work, but also to learn how I can do better next time. Projecting statistics in any sport is a tedious and arduous task. The variables, formulas and algorithms are constantly changing and if you don’t adapt with them, your results will lose their precision and accuracy. However, I’d like to make one point blatantly clear, projections are nothing more than calculated guesses. Some are better than the next, but none are even close to perfect.

Let’s see how I fared with my 2016 efforts. For all positions I will provide the following six numbers: projected points, actual points, projected rank, actual rank, projected points per plate appearance and actual points per plate appearance. I am including points per plate appearance because it helps put a player’s projections vs performance into perspective when they’ve missing time due to injury. For pitchers I’ve replaced points per plate appearance with points per start. I’ve also included a column showing the percentage by which my points projections were off. Any player with an “n/a” listed in this column is because that player spent at least 30 days on the disabled list.

Lastly, a quick note about the rankings listed in this post. These rankings are based purely on points. This season I plan to provide additional rankings that allow me to adjust them based on three important factors: intuition, gut and my sporadic conversations with Nostradumass.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Rough year to be a Prince.  Watch yourself William, Henry and the kid who played Fred in the atrocious Scooby-Doo movies.  Prince Fielder is done from baseball with 319 homers.  Of the tens of thousands of other baseball players that have played the game, the only other person retired with exactly 319 homers is Cecil Fielder.  They are also the only two members of the 300-300 club — 300 HR/LB.  This also leads me to believe we’re on an 18-year loop with 1998.  Wait until Hillary Clinton meets a young Jewish intern in the White House who is just back from Cuba with some cigars.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Gerrit Cole‘s start yesterday — 9 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.78 — wasn’t the most impressive start.  *walks around, shaking people out of their slumber*  Hey, what’s going on, guys and five girl readers?  Was it the opening sentence?  Okay, so Gerrit Cole didn’t look as good as, say, Dylan Bundy over five innings.  Cole looked solid, salt-of-the-earth, lumberjack-shirt-for-a-tablecloth-middle-class-sturdy-as-oak-workman-like for nine innings.  By the way, you know what they call a hyena with lines instead of spots?  Hyphena.  Take it, Highlights, it’s yours.  Do we have to have starters that are all lordy-me-I’m-fainting-with-a-handkerchief-to-my-forehead filled with upside?  Well, I’d like it, and Cole prolly has it somewhere in there.  *knocks on Cole’s chest*  Is a near-9 K/9 in there still?  Hello?  Okay, I think it is, but it’s just not answering now.  Maybe it’s taking a nap from Cole’s less-than-stellar K-rate.  That’s been the story of his season, actually.  Great results for real baseball, but a little lacking on the flash (7.5 K/9).  He’s still throwing hard (95 MPH), maybe he fell asleep while Contact was on late-night TV and woke up deciding to throw to contact.  Not sure, but if I had to bet, I’d bet every day on a 25-year-old who throws 95 returning to his previous flashy Ks while maintaining his excellent ERA results.  But there’s nothing wrong with a lumberjack shirt for a tablecloth.  It’s Murica!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In 1906, the Cubs won a major league record 116 games.  In 1907 and 1908, the Cubs won back-to-back World Series championships.  Anticipating a third championship in 1909, a young, enterprising Chicago man bought up all the toilet paper in Chicago, planning on selling the toilet paper back to the celebrators for twice the amount of money for their ticker tape parade.  The Cubs never won again, but it turned out people still needed toilet paper in their everyday life.  So, he still sold it back to them at a huge markup.  Now, most people would’ve been annoyed with this man, but he was so charming, which later became Charmin.  A titan of industry.  So, with this in mind, I’ve invested my life savings in toilet paper, and will sell it back to Cubs’ fans this October.  I’m gonna make money, y’all!  By the way, Cubs could be World Series champs within days of Donald Trump becoming president, that fallout shelter doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.  As for Aroldis Chapman, the trade was completed yesterday with him going to the Cubs for a bunch of prospects.  This kills Hector Rondon’s value for redraft leagues, since he’ll be pushed into the setup role with Aroldis closing.  Whereas in New York, Andrew Miller goes from a top setup man to a top five closer.  Now, here’s hoping for an Indians/Cubs World Series so I win either way with all of this TP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Naquin the Chef looks determined without being ruthless.  Something heroic in his manner.  There’s a courage about him.  Comes across so calm.  Acts like he has a dream.  Full of passion.  Well, you know why.  Knock homers out of the box all the time.  Pitches know his repertoire, big fly.  Yeah, straight up, Naquin mess your whole team up.  It’s for real though, ball connect with stick, ditto.  We could trade places, ball lifted run around the bases.  Word up, peace, infatuated redfaces.”  I almost didn’t write the title of the Naquin the Chef song, Infatuated Redfaces, but then I was like, “There’s a team named Redskins and a mascot named Chief Wahoo, I think I’m all right.”  Yesterday, Tyler Naquin kept it going with the insane run he’s been on — 3-for-4, 6 RBIs with two homers (11, 12).  He now has six homers in the last ten games.  That’s six homers in July to go with his six homers in June.  As I said back in spring training when I saw Naquin play, he had a nice stroke against righties, but looked kinda gnarly vs. lefties.  Looks like a 17/17 player that needs to platoon.  Right now, his power’s way above that, but will likely come down to earth at some point.  Of course, I’d still own him now.  Word up, peace, infatuated redfaces.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The sixth inning of every home Clayton Kershaw start isn’t going to be the same.  No longer will Angelenos be filing in as if it’s the first, suddenly realizing that Kershaw is pitching, but now they will be stuck talking about everything but baseball for the entirety of the game and not simply 95% of it.  “Ma, can I keep score on the back of my headshot?”  “We’re not here to see the game, Timmy, we’re here to run into commercial directors.  This is where Stew’s mom got him that Tropicana commercial.  You want to pay my bills, don’t you?”  “Sorry, ma.”  Like the oral sex scene in The World According to Garp, it’s a devastating blow losing Kershaw for any amount of time.  He was diagnosed with a herniated disc, but won’t require surgery.  The Dodgers are hoping he’s back (poor choice of words) from the DL right after the All-Star Game.  I’d pray with you, but I’m using my hands to clap for not drafting a pitcher in the 1st round.  The Dodgers did pick up Bud Norris in a trade to fill in.  Won’t see any fall off there!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Saturday, Michael Conforto was demoted to the minors.  Ouch.  Not only did he fall far from preseason expectations, but he seemed to be breaking out in April.  Coming out of April, he had 4 HRs and a .365 average.  In May and June, he hit .169 and .119 and, finally, the Mets threw in the towel just as Conforto’s head was bouncing on the canvas.  Shame, isn’t it?  Not a shame, a product of not being able to hit.  I’m sure he’ll be back at some point, but you can drop him in all but the deepest dynasty leagues.  In his place came, Brandon Nimmo.  Okay, let’s get them out of the way up front.  The Mets are finding Nimmo in a sea of prospects.  The Mets aren’t finding Drury because he’s on a different team.  Is Nimmo the Mets’ outfield fixar?  That’s a clown fish question, bro.  Nimmo’s minor league numbers look dynamite, but that’s because he was playing in the PCL, which is like playing on the moon with an aluminum bat.  He had five homers, five steals and a .331 average.  That seems to be his profile more or let’s be generous, maybe 10/15/.280.  Sounds downright Lagaresque.  Outside of deep mixed leagues and NL-Only, I’d ignore for now.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jake McGee hit the DL with a sprained MCL.  Damn, 1150 was a very bad year for him.  Wait, a new closer that no one owns is up for grabs!  When this news broke, I was sitting in a French cafe, wearing a beret to the side, flicking a Virginia Slim 120 like a French baller.  I immediately looked for Carlos Estevez, but he was gone.  Then I looked for Jason Motte — gone!  Then I looked for Boone Logan — there!  So, I grabbed him, then I wept quietly.  Was I really picking up the guy third down the SAGNOF totem for the Rockies?  I’m such a pitiful save vulture.  Get some dignity, man, you’re better than this, you’re rocking a beret and a Virginia Slim 120!  After Saturday’s game, Walt Weiss announced Estevez would be the closer, so now, even more pitifully, I will be dropping Boone Logan, who got me a cheap vulture save on Sunday due to Estevez being used too many days in a row.  That’s like the fantasy baseball walk of shame.  Everyone who sees you drop the guy that doesn’t get the closer job knows full well that you desperately tried to make the wrong guy work.  Now I have to pick up and drop twelve other guys to bury my move.  The fantasy baseball shame cycle!  As for Estevez, his outings will be like brother Emilio — short.  His performances may be like brother Charlie’s relationships — rocky.  Unlike his father, Martin, he will not be starring in an awful Netflix series canoodling with the DA from Law & Order.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

And, with the first pick of the MLB draft, the Philadelphia Phillies take… Someone that was born in 1998.  I have a bottle of ketchup older than that.  In fact, I think I have an entire shelf of condiments older.  Mickey Moniak or Grey’s Worcestershire sauce?   What?  That doesn’t ever go bad and it’s used for one thing.  I think I dated a girl in 1998 who wanted a Bloody Mary.  What else am I going to do with it?!  Lea & Perrins conspired to add it in the recipe of the Bloody Mary so everyone would have to buy it.  But you done messed up, Lea & Perrins, because there’s no use-by date!  Seinfeld pulls me aside like Bania, “You have fifteen minutes of Worcestershire sauce material, maybe you diversify?  What’s the deal with soy sauce?  If it’s soy, shouldn’t it be white?”  Wanna feel really old, look at Mickey Moniak.  He makes Christian Yelich look like a blue-hair.  I’m sure Prospector Ralph will be along on Sunday to talk about the MLB Draft in total, but the Phils grabbed Mickey Moniak, an eighteen-year-old lefty who has a line-drive stroke.  Said to have a high floor, which means low upside.  Hey, he actually might be just like Christian Yelich, two brothers from nearly this millennial.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Do you remember back when you were in school when you were walking into class and your buddy asked you how much you studied for today’s test and your immediate response was “oh sh!t” when you realized that you had completely forgotten about said test? You then spent about six minutes trying to “study” all the while knowing you were not going to fare all that well. But hey, you were going to give a shot. You could have just bailed on the class and figured out how to make up the exam, but not today. Well the “oh sh!t” thought is what went through my head about ten minutes ago when I remembered that tonight was Tuesday (not Monday) and I had to write you clowns a post about fantasy baseball. I considered packing it in, but then decided I was going to give it a go.

Let’s take a look at the players that lead the league in the fewest number of plate appearances to accomplish a stat…

Please, blog, may I have some more?