• 2020 New Pitch Tracker
    by Jason Collette - 2/13 -  
     
    1
    This marks the seventh consecutive spring for tracking new pitches at Fangraphs. In 2014, the series was launched with a piece featuring both a retired and current pitcher and their insight into adding new pitches during the offseason and/or in camp.
  • Roto Riteup
    The most roto-relevant news of the previous day, recapped in a concise format for your morning coffee.
  • Bullpen Report
    Detailed daily updates and charts on every bullpen in the Major Leagues to help you manage your saves and holds.
  • Prospect Coverage
    Our prospect team mines the minors for top prospects and useful pieces alike.
  • MASH Report
    Award-winning in-depth injury report with analysis from Jeff Zimmerman.
  • The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast
    Paul Sporer, Justin Mason, and Jason Collette lead the RotoGraphs staff in a regular fantasy podcast.
  • Daily Fantasy Strategy
    The RotoGraphs team discusses daily fantasy strategy and then makes picks for the day.
  • Ottoneu Strategy
    Strategy for the year-round FanGraphs Fantasy game.
  • Top 50 Fantasy Prospects
    Marc Hulet adjusts (and updates) his prospect list for fantasy purposes.
  • Field of Streams
    A contest to see who can make the better picks: streaming pitcher and hitter choices for every day of the season in a podcast hosted by Dylan Higgins and Matthew Dewoskin.
C  -  1B  -  2B  -  SS  -  3B  -  OF  -  SP  -  RP

2020 Rookie ETA Projections

A new Ottoneu league has recently formed with a twist – despite the deep, dynasty-like structure of the platform, our league has decided on a single rule change this year: players without MLB experience (“rookies”) are ineligible for the annual spring player auction.  Instead, rookies may only be added to rosters through an in-season free agent player auction once they have accumulated their first MLB PA or IP.  Yes, this means Luis Robert cannot be owned (48 hour auction waiting period) until he completes his first PA, most likely to come on Opening Day (3/26) against the Royals.

This one simple rule change impacts a tremendous amount of Ottoneu strategy, a discussion for which I’ll reserve a future post.  For now, the purpose of this article is to list the rookies that have at least some opportunity to debut in 2020, and estimate which of these prospects might actually have some relevant fantasy impact this season.

The table below lists 130+ prospects that could potentially make their initial MLB rookie debut in 2020.  All players with existing MLB experience (Gavin Lux, Jesus Luzardo, Dustin May) have been removed.  The three columns to the far right should be the most useful:

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Playing Time Messes: Rays, Reds, Cards, & Orioles

I’ve got the draft and auction for two 12-team leagues coming. The Beat Jeff Zimmerman league is this Sunday night at 8 EST and also the mixed LABR auction in Florida. I’ve been grinding down the top-360 players (12 teams x 30 players per team). In these shallower formats, playing time is key for any mid to late-round targets. The following four teams are giving me pause when considering rostering some of their players.

Reds

The Reds have two or three too many players and several players will end up in the 450 to 550 PA range. When healthy, I believe Joey Votto, Mike Moustakas, Nicholas Castellanos, and Eugenio Suarez are safe. Freddy Galvis should be but his bat is so bad, he could lose playing time to possibly Nick Senzel.

The congestion starts in the outfield. Senzel is going to try to play center with Shogo Akiyama, Phillip Ervin, and Travis Jankowski as backup options. That leaves Akiyama along with Aristedes Aquino and Jesse Winker fighting it out for the right-field job.
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Draft and Hold My Beer: A Tout Wars Story

Season Two of Tout Wars: Draft and Hold kicked off earlier this afternoon. It is a 15-team league comprised of various industry bigwigs and heavyweights. This article will present an ongoing narrative of my attempts to improve upon my debut performance of fifth place.

The Draft and Hold format is designed to limit in-season management. We have no trades or waivers. Instead, we select 50 players throughout the course of Spring Training to fill a standard deep roster (2C, 5OF, CI, MI, UTIL). Our only resources are what we pick now. We can make weekly edits to our lineups.

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Refining Projections: Eaton, Buxton, Goldschmidt, & Urquidy

Adam Eaton: Fool’s Gold

In every actual or mock draft I’ve done so far this offseason, Eaton jumps to the top of my to draft list but I just can’t pull the trigger on him. First, Eaton’s projection is not sexy with 15 homers, 12 steals, and a .282 AVG (Depth Charts). It’s acceptable but not league winning.

Part of his low cost may be that he’s a 31-year-old, who after two near 700 plate appearance seasons, struggled to stay healthy in 2017 and 2018. Both injuries were to start the season, a knee injury in 2017 and an ankle injury in 2018. Besides missing a couple of days to a knee injury in early September, he was completely healthy last season. BaseballHQ still gives him a health grade of “F” which never helps. My own inputs point to his value going in different directions. I have him rebounding from the injury because his spring speed jumped from 27.5 ft/s to 28.3. But I project his plate appearances to be 492 bases off his age, hitting ability, and past playing time.
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2020 Forecast — Hitter BABIP Decliners

Last week, I used my hitter xBABIP equation to identify and discuss 8 hitters who could enjoy significant BABIP spikes this season, if they maintained the underlying skills driving those marks. Today, I’ll talk about the other side of the coin, those hitters whose xBABIP marks suggests serious downside this season, unless they improve their underlying skills.

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 780 – J&J feat. Vlad Sedler

02/16/20

The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is live. Support the show by subscribing to Fangraphs! With a standard $20 membership, you help maintain and improve our database of stats and graphs as well as our staff of 8 full-time employees and over 50 contributors. The premium ad-free membership at $50 year supports site growth and also includes faster load speeds and better site performance. You can also support monthly for just $3.

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NOTABLE TRANSACTIONS/INJURIES/RUMORS

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Mining the News – 2/14/20

In an effort to lighten the load on Jeff for this fantastic series he started, I’ll be doing some MtN pieces during the spring.

Shohei Ohtani is targeting a mid-May return to the mound

Ohtani will open the 2020 season as a DH, Billy Eppler said. They’re targeting a mid-May return for him on the mound. The new rules let him rehab while remaining on the big league roster.

I had been hearing something to this effect on MLB Network recently just in passing from different analysts but without any concrete news so I wasn’t sure if it was their speculation or news. We now have the concrete news. Of course, given his excellent bat this isn’t a total disaster for us in the fantasy realm. In a weird twist, I might actually be moving him up my rankings since he’s locked in the lineup everyday for 6 weeks so he’ll pile up the hitting stats early and then shift into the pitcher/hitter hybrid over the last four and a half months.

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Steamer vs NFBC 2020 – RBI Bargains

Over this off-season, I have uncovered potential undervalued players by comparing the Steamer projections to the current NFBC ADP. So far I have gone through undervalued speedsters, power bats and outstanding batting average players. The exercise now continues for runs batted in.

In 2019, there were 57 players with least 85 RBI. There were 28 players who exceeded the 95 RBI mark, and 17 with at least 105. Anthony Rendon of the Nationals led all of baseball with 126 runs batted in. Jose Abreu led the American league with 123. Following them were NL East first basemen Freddie Freeman (121) and Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso (120).

As we have seen in batting average, prospective projections are more conservative. Steamer projects J.D. Martinez to lead baseball in the RBI category with only 119. Only six players are projected to knock in more than 110 runs.

For this year’s analysis, I will focus on all players with a Steamer projection of at least 85 RBI. This should give us a group of players who can greatly help your team’s RBI totals in the upcoming fantasy season.

For today’s draft value comparisons, I look at:

  • The player ranks as computed by the FanGraphs Auction Calculator with Steamer projections (standard NFBC 15 team roto league settings).
  • The current NFBC ADP (of all non-auction leagues from January 27, 2020 to present). 48 leagues in total were observed.

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Highly Custom League: Battery

The Highly Custom League series is back with, well, something silly. Previous entries covered 2×2 Roto, Split Auctions, Roto-to-HeadRotating DivisionsWAR warsCategory WarsPublic Trade NegotiationsIf Only, Elimination, Home Team, and Owners & Managers.

Last night, I stumbled upon this hungry Ray Flowers tweet.

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2020 Re-Draft Top 25

Prospects have become increasingly key to winning re-draft fantasy leagues. They’ve always been major in-season acquisitions, but now they are more prevalent than ever at the draft table. With more fantasy managers knowing the prospects who are likely to make an impact in that season, the battle for their services has become much more fervent, leading some to just stash them for a month or two rather than take the chance of being able to pluck them off the wire once they are called up and risk losing them.

These rankings are now available on The Board on the 2020 Fantasy Rankings tab, where you can also see Shelly Verougstraete’s Top Dynasty Rankings!

The average draft position (ADP) data used is for 12-team NFBC Online Championship leagues that have a standard 23-man roster and 7-man bench with no IL spots. 

1. Luis Robert | CHW, OF | Top 100: 7; ADP: 73

The dynamic outfielder is especially desirable on the fantasy landscape because the White Sox gave him a long-term contract ahead of his debut and guaranteed his roster spot from Opening Day. While the dream would be his 32 HR/36 SB/.326 AVG season from 2019 replicated at the big-league level, there’s plenty of wiggle room to deliver substantial profit while adjusting to the rigors of major league baseball. The premium speed and solid pop should keep him floor high.

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