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Josh Sperry

Josh Sperry

Preseason Prep March 3rd

Congrats everyone, we have made it. Spring Training games officially start tomorrow (if you're reading this on Monday) or today (If you are reading this Tuesday). Atlanta Braves Center Field, The Dumpster Fire - Oh wow, the excitement in Braves camp grows more by the day. Now with BJ Upton out for potentially the first month of the season there is now another platoon for the Braves. (They could legitimately have three real platoons at LF,CF,2B and two partial platoons at 3B and C). Now the focus at centerfield turns to a pair of speedsters in Eric Young Jr. and Eury Perez. Both can swipe some bases if they play full time but neither has proven at the major league...

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Schuyler Dombroske

Schuyler Dombroske

Preseason Prep - March 2nd, 2015

Doug Fister - Fister is a major concern for me heading into 2015 after a superficially excellent 2014 (16-6, 2.41 ERA, 1.08 WHIP). Fister was able to succeed last year despite precipitous declines in swinging strike%, GB rate, and velocity thanks to some fantastic control and one of the best LOB%'s in the game. With an FIP ERA of 3.93 and a place on the wrong side of 30, I do not believe that he will be able to provide value commensurate with his current NFBC ADP spot as the 34th SP off the board, and with Tanner Roark likely lurking in the bullpen, the leash for all the Washington starters may be a bit tighter than you might expect....

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Kyle Elfrink

Kyle Elfrink

ADP: Yes, an 'Avulsion Fracture' Does Make a Difference by Kyle Elfrink

One of the greatest challenges for all of us over the next month will be salvaging useful information from spring camps. Each evening you can go dumpster-diving into a trove of information and reporting from Florida and Arizona. This guy looks great. This guy is in the 'best shape of his life.' This guy can't field and, thus, won't play. This guy will bat 6th, not 2nd. This guy has gotten lit up in his first two outings. And, of course, the biggie ... this guy is injured. With each injury, we receive a corresponding timetable for the players return, but it's a real ordeal to deduce if a team is giving you the most optimistic timetable or the most...

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Walter Kuberski

Walter Kuberski

An EYE Towards 2015: Exploring a Hitter's BB:K Ratio

A frequent topic on the Fantistics Insider Baseball Show on Sirius XM Fantasy this spring--besides my love for Mookie Betts--has been the type of contact a batter makes. Knowing if linedrives, groundballs, and flyballs are being hit and at what speed helps us make sense of their BABIP profile, yielding more nuanced projections in the process. However, underneath it all, a batter has to first make contact. Obviously, all else being equal, the more contact a batter is making, the better the chances good things will happen. You know--the runs, the RBI, and AVG contributions tend to increase. Heck, even the SB numbers can see a boost as well. Last year the league average contact rate dipped slightly below 80%....

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Anthony A. Perri

Anthony A. Perri

Weekly Player Consistency

Player Consistency Several years ago we introduced Consistency Factor and it's implications in  Head to Head and Daily leagues, as well as all Fantasy leagues regardless of their scoring setup. We run and update this piece every season because of it's veracity.  Consistency Factor gives us an indication of a batter's quality games or quality weekly output. The premise: established players who do not produce quality output on a consistent basis are a risk to achieve similar production in the future. Essentially we want players who produce consistently rather than in sporadic episodes. The reasoning is a derivative of the laws of probability, consistency is paramount to lowering our risk...the more observations the better.  Below is a list of the...

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Joseph LaPorta

Joseph LaPorta

Preseason Prep - February 28th, 2015

Melvin Upton (Atl-OF) could miss up to two months with foot inflammation. It has been a troubling couple of years for the 30 year old center fielder, with a 0.208 and 0.184 AVG in the past two seasons, respectively. Let's just say he's not starting on the right foot for 2015 either. From these dismal stats the last few years, most drafts have him going undrafted in standard leagues. This latest injury only further drops him down the ranks of outfielders. Josh Hamilton (OF - LAA) is expected to be suspended at least 25 games after a relapse of cocaine and alcohol use. Note, he still has that balky shoulder to deal with on top of his off-the-field issues. Hamilton's...

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Kyle Elfrink

Kyle Elfrink

A Final Fantasy Chance for Heyward? By Kyle Elfrink

Perspective is not in demand these days. In fact, it's mostly looked down upon. Life doesn't make room for the slow developing nature that is a hallmark of perspective. Why write something that has the audacity to present, investigate, and conclude with a well-thought opinion? Yes, you win. It's not found on Twitter ... and, I thank the heavens for that! Perspective and the level-headed assessment that goes with it, is critical to fantasy success over the long haul. Any random season offers the outlier ... the year where history didn't matter, the season where the unrepeatable happened, and the campaign where the unthinkable kept occurring. There's a moonshot player every year, but the exceptions don't disprove the rule. Perspective,...

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David Regan

David Regan

Preseason Prep - February 27, 2015

Brett Cecil (RP-TOR) - If you're on the lookout for projected non-closers who could become closers by Opening Day, Cecil is one guy to look at. As of now, the role for Aaron Sanchez is TBD at best, as the decision whether to place Sanchez in the rotation or the bullpen won't be made until mid-March. If he is in the bullpen, closer is his most likely role given last year's sparkling 1.09 ERA in 33 innings. Most likely though Sanchez slots in the bullpen, as the Blue Jays have an abundance of rotation options, including promising rookie Daniel Norris, who probably doesn't have a slot even if Sanchez opens in the bullpen. Cecil though is worth keeping an eye...

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Frank Tomkins

Frank Tomkins

Preseason Prep - February 26, 2015

Can the Tigers repeat as Central Division Champions? Coming off an offseason that saw significant changes in its starting rotation, as well as injuries to its two best hitters, the ability of the Tigers to repeat as AL Central champs is in serious question for the first time in several years. Aside from needing to get Cabrera and V. Martinez healthy, the performance of the following players will go a long way toward determining whether the Tigers can capture the Central flag for the fifth year in a row: Shane Greene (SP-DET). After an off-season trade from the Yankees, Greene is penciled in as the Tigers' fifth starter coming into spring training. Despite his lack of a top prospect pedigree,...

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Josh Sperry

Josh Sperry

Preseason Prep February 25th

Atlanta Braves Braves Final Rotation Spot- On a team littered with potential position battles and platoons set to be decided this spring, the Braves rotation seems pretty well set in stone with the top four pitchers. The fifth starter battle could be interesting though as a top prospect, a form top prospect, and a wily veteran will be set to fight for the final spot. The newly acquired Mike Foltynewicz is probably the most enticing fantasy option among the three and that mainly stems from his career 7.65 K/9 numbers through the minors, and he struck out 14 in 16.2 innings in his brief call-up with the Astros last September. He also has the best pure stuff of the group,...

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Anthony A. Perri

Anthony A. Perri

2015 Shortstop Projection Sabermetric Notes

Sabermetric analysis is and has been the foundation of our Fantasy Baseball player projections since 1999. This analysis along with our founding concept of position scarcity, has helped us achieve superior consistency in projections accuracy. All of which can be customized to your league settings in our 2015 Player Projections Software. Let's start by looking at some of the Sabermetric indicators that are defining our 2015 Shortstop projections: SS Rollins, Jimmy His production popped back up in 2014, but at 36, his Batted Ball Spped (BBS) on his HRs continues to fall (98.2), making him risky to continue the mid teens in HRs in 2015, especially in his new home. To his credit, his speed component continues to impress...

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Paul Sauberer

Paul Sauberer

Preseason Prep- February 24, 2015

Notes from the Florida and Arizona camps... Padres The Padres were one of the most active teams this offseason, and that's really saying something this year as many teams were wheeling, dealing, and signing. San Diego acquired basically an entirely new outfield, with Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, and Wil Myers moving to southern California. At least one of the incumbents isn't ready to quietly cede his position in the lineup. Cameron Maybin- OF- SD- Maybin has been the centerfielder for the Padres the past few seasons, at least in name. Injuries have severely limited his playing time. For those of you who may have forgotten, Maybin was a highly regarded prospect back in the day, even being considered a key...

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Kyle Elfrink

Kyle Elfrink

ADP: Spring Means Something for These Guys by Kyle Elfrink

Even after all these years, we still struggle to understand and interpret what Spring Training numbers mean. A year ago, Kansas City's Mike Moustakas pounded the ball in the thin Arizona air, finishing his spring with four HRs, 18 RBIs, a .429 batting average, and 11 walks to just eight strikeouts ... all in less than 60 at-bats. That shot him up the ADP boards and, foolishly, even those in 12-team mixed leagues were gunning to draft Moustakas as their starting 3B. We all know what happened. He didn't surpass his spring home run total until June 10th. He didn't equal his RBI total until June 2nd. He finally earned his 11th walk on May 16th. And, of course, his...

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Paul Sauberer

Paul Sauberer

Preseason Prep- February 23, 2015

Notes from the Florida and Arizona camps... Deep in the heart of Texas Well, Surprise AZ at this time of year. If there was one word to describe the Rangers' 2014 season, it was, "Ouch!." They should have replaced the red and white in their red, white and blue official colors with black. The season became painful in more ways than one right from spring training. A lot of this spring will be spent watching to see how healthy a bunch of players are coming into this spring, including two players who were big free agent signings in the last offseason. Prince Fielder- 1B- TEX- Fielder was arguably the biggest injury of the season for the Rangers, and that can...

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Michael Waldo

Michael Waldo

Preseason Prep - February 21, 2015

Did Back to the Future actually Predict the Future? Part II of the classic movie franchise predicted that the Chicago Cubs would defeat Miami in the 2015 World Series. In 1989, the year the movie was released, neither Miami nor Florida had a major league baseball team. While it would be impossible for the Cubs to actually play Miami in the World Series since they're both NL, it's still pretty interesting that the film writers correctly predicted the addition of a baseball team in Miami. Can they also predict the Cubs winning this year? Judging by the attention the Cubs are receiving this off-season, it would seem the media would think so. In fact, I can't remember another team that...

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Kyle Elfrink

Kyle Elfrink

5 Who Could Pull a 'Brantley' in 2015 by Kyle Elfrink

On the eve of the 2014 Major League Baseball season, Cleveland's Michael Brantley, was just another ho-hum guy. Over the course of two full seasons and parts of three others, the outfielder had shown little to turn heads. With nearly 2,000 at-bats to his name, he had just a .711 career OPS. He often was showered with the compliment that said he was a player who 'wouldn't hurt you,' in the fantasy game. Brantley did not hurt a fantasy playing soul in '14. In fact, he ended up being one of the top performers in all the game. He entered the rarified air of legitimate 5-cat producer with a monstrous .327 average that was buttressed by nearly 100 RBIs, nearly...

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David Regan

David Regan

Preseason Prep - Feb. 20th, 2015

Jung-Ho Kang (SS-PIT) - Between the contract and the posting fee, the Pirates are invested to the tune of $16 million over four years with Kang, but he will reportedly open the year as a utility infielder. He obviously wasn't going to unseat Neil Walker or Josh Harrison, but Kang was thought to be a strong competitor for shortstop duties given Jordy Mercer clocked in with a .692 OPS a year ago. Kang hit a robust .256/.383/.503 with 40 home runs in 117 games in Korea last year, but there are significant questions as to how those numbers will translate stateside. He's an interesting NL-only and dynasty league grab, but he's probably more of a 15-homer guy with full-time at-bats....

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Menachem Greenfeld

Menachem Greenfeld

Preseason Prep - Feb. 19th, 2015

Andrew Cashner, SD Cashner pitched well when healthy in 2014, finishing with a 2.55 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 93 K's in 123.1 IP. For the 2nd year in a row, his BABIP (.274) and HR/FB% (6.0 %) were well below league average, and while he could be in for some regression, these numbers may have a lot to do with his home park. Over the past two seasons with the Padres, Cashner's home/road splits have been quite drastic. At home, he has posted a 1.70 ERA and allowed a .279 SLG, .241 BABIP, and 5.7 HR/FB% over 2013-2014 combined, compared to a 4.11 ERA, .417 SLG, .301 BABIP, and 8.3 HR/FB% on the road over the same time span. He...

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Phil Double

Phil Double

Preseason Prep-February 18, 2015

Will the real Padres please stand up? Every year at least one team goes out and spends big and is deemed the winner of the off-season and a pre-season favorite to win their division. I wouldn't go as far as to say the Padres are the favorite to win their division, because Los Angeles clearly is the favorite, but the Padres have made a number of significant moves this off-season. Kemp's Redemption Matt Kemp's unhappiness with being moved out of centerfield, was well published last season. Although Kemp struggled out of the gate offensively and defensively, he put together a very nice bounce back season in 2014. He finished with a .287/25/89 slash line and even added in 8 SB...

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Menachem Greenfeld

Menachem Greenfeld

Preseason Prep - February 17th 2015

Chris Davis, 1B, Baltimore Orioles Davis was one of the biggest fantasy busts in 2014, following up his monstrous 53 HR, 138 RBI campaign in 2013 by hitting a major league low .196 with 26 HRs last season. Davis had a league high K% of 33.0%, although this is not much higher than his career rate of 31.0%. What really hurt him was a career low .242 BABIP (3rd lowest among qualified hitters), which is significantly lower than his lifetime .320 mark. He maintained an above average line drive rate (24.6%) but suffered from a line drive BABIP of .591, over 100 points lower than any other season of his career, which would seem to simply be bad luck. While...

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Fantistics Analysts Twitter Updates

2015 SiriusXM FSTA Fantasy Baseball Draft

I've been fortunate to have fantasy sports in my life. This time of the year, after the extended family is gone and the post holiday blues are about to set in....there's fantasy baseball waiting in the wings. As tradition has...

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