Please see our player page for Luis Arraez to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

The great Jeff Zimmerman (Fangraphs, The Process, etc.) recently revisited a topic that’s always ripe for debate: what kind of extra value does a multi-position player get, compared to those who only play one position? We can all agree that multi-position is better than single; quantifying that value, however, proves more difficult. A few years ago, Rudy assessed this briefly in his seminal piece, “Debunking Positional Scarcity“, and recommends adding a $1 for multi-position players.

Jeff’s article took a different approach: instead of measuring what a player’s value should be, he attempted to measure the actual impact in terms of draft cost. In other words, what premium does the market place on these players? Read the full piece; Jeff estimates ~$3.20 bump on average.

While I like the goal (understanding market premiums), Jeff’s methodology (comparing the draft cost of two similarly-projected players) was limited in scope. So I’ve set out to do additional analysis with the same goal: measuring the market premium of multi-position players.

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Once upon a time in March, while ramping up to the previous start to the regular season, I put out this article on late-round hitters to target for specific categories. While some of it still applies to our shortened season, *cough* Adam Eaton *cough*, there are some players who have emerged as contenders. Next week, I’ll attempt to wade through the sh!t-show that is pitching categories. As more and more news emerges that indicates most starters will be throwing about 60 pitches per start to start the year, things will certainly be hairy. Let’s get to the hitters!

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On our Steamer Fantasy Baseball Rankings, which have been updated to a 60-game season, we have 1,310 players ranked. 645 of them gained value. Some, for unstints, gained $0.1 of value like Juan Soto. Another hundred had zero value change like Christian Yelich. Another 600+ lost value. These are their stories. *Law & Order sound effect chung-chung* This post will feature the top 20 players who lost the most value from doing nothing but bingeing Netflix for the last three months. Who knew Love Is Blind could hurt one’s fantasy value? “I’m gonna go with George, he’s so funny.” “Okay, Jenn, here’s George…He’s a sign spinner for State Farm!” Anyway, here’s the top 20 biggest negative value changes for fantasy baseball pre vs. post-shutdown:

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Maybe the real-life baseball season has stopped, but that doesn’t mean fantasy baseball has to. It’s all we have these days, really. Fantasy sports while we fantasize about real sports coming back. I feel bad for my fellow fantasy hockey folks – I get the feeling it ain’t coming back, even if regular hockey does. I’m not about that fantasy basketball life (I dabbled in my younger years – Tracy McGrady anyone? Had to have him on all my teams), but I fear it’s the same fate. Only fantasy football is unscathed…so far. Wild stuff happening on that front, too. Brady to the Bucs? Da BUCS?! DAFUQ! Gurley and Newton RELEASED?! Hopkins TRADED?! Maybe Watson, too?! Madness, I say!

Anyway. This is a fantasy baseball article. Almost forgot. It’s an important year for the fine ladies and gents here at Razzball: the inaugural season of RazzSlam! Big shoutout to the NFBC peeps for hosting it. Give ’em a follow on the Twitter at @TheNFBC. I had the honor of being accepted into League 2 (of 18). Some scrub ass writer for CBS is in it. Big deal. I’m kidding, he’ll probably whoop my ass.

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After assessing starting pitching the last couple of weeks (ERA, WHIP), today I turn my attention towards the hitting side. There are so many unknowns right now about the length of the upcoming season; possibilities include everything from no games, to a full 162-game season stretching until Christmas. With at bats & counting stats completely up in the air, evaluating hitters with rate stats makes sense. What are the best ones to use?

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Over these next two weeks, we’ll be focusing on late-round category targets. This week we’ll touch on hitting categories and follow it up next week with pitching categories. While these will be geared towards the standard 5×5 categories, feel free to leave a comment if you have a more specialized category.

For this exercise, I limited my player pool to hitters projected to get at least 350 plate appearances (with a handful of exceptions). I tried to stick with players being drafted beyond pick 175, but in my mind, the later a player’s going, the better. With that in mind, let’s get to it.

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One of my favorite traditions as a young fan was Peter Gammons profiling each team’s spring training focus points. 

I loved the spittle and shake of his voice, the depth of his details, and especially how he always shot the segments in front of people playing catch, gloves popping symphonically as we dreamed of a Royals club captained by Carlos Beltran and Jermaine Dye. 

It’s in that spirit that I begin our next prospect series—one that works in concert with Razzball’s Gammonsian team previews and one that involves a few nods to some non-prospects. Graduating from eligibility requirements doesn’t mean you’re a known quantity, nor that you’ve graduated to an everyday opportunity. Yesterday’s failed prospects are often tomorrow’s sleepers, so let’s take a lap around the division looking for some fantasy profit. 

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Last week in H2H Categories Strategy we discussed the merits of punting. This week, I want to talk about what I look for in hitters once we get past the early rounds – consistency. Since we play a game that resets every week, we want to roster players that will fluctuate less. Hot and cold streaks will happen even with the best players, but there are certain qualities we can look for in hitters that should minimize our risk.

Growing up, my dad was the coach of my little league team. He would tell us, get on base and good things will happen. While it seems really simplistic, I still follow my dad’s advice when I’m looking for consistent hitters – high contact rates and a low K-BB%. Basically, we’re looking for players with good plate skills. These might not be the sexiest names in the draft, but grabbing a handful of these players in the mid to late rounds will provide your team with an ample floor. Without further ado, let’s get to the list:

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We already gave you the top 50, so here’s the rest… of the top 100 outfielders for 2020 fantasy baseball. How’s that for a little SEO action? I’m a sad individual, I know. Well regardless, Grey Albright runs through his top 100 outfielders from 51-100, and gives you all the deets on who from this group is draftable, who’s too old, and who just stinks and is overrated. It’s Grey! You know you’re getting unfiltered opinions and truth bombs. Sorry guys but this is latest episode of the Razzball Baseball Podcast!

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Last week we took a very early look at the first base position for fantasy baseball in 2020, both with some early general thoughts that could apply to both deep and shallower leagues, as well as some more specific thoughts about NL-only, AL-only, or other deep leagues.  We’ll move along to the Keystone this week as we try to do some early navigation into the world of second basemen.  Since Grey has already kindly gifted you with his list of top 20 second basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball, I’ll began by quoting him directly — as he said, “First time I can remember a position, besides catcher, that didn’t have one guy in the top 20 overall.”  Two other important points he made which I largely agree with and will now paraphrase:  1) The guys at the very top of this position are probably not worth drafting at their current price in any format, but 2) There are lots of 2B bargains later on.  One other thing I noticed that I thought was interesting when looking at the second base landscape:  just off the top of my head, it looks to me that about two-thirds of the top 30 second basemen also qualify at another position, even when using a 20-games-played-in-2019 threshold.  I don’t remember any position having stats quite like that in the past, and what it means to me at first glance is that there are A LOT of guys who qualify at 2nd base this year.  Let’s take a look at some names, and how the current state of second base particularly affects those of us deep-leaguers.

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