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Phil Double

Phil Double

AL Player Analysis-August 21st, 2014

Phil Hughes-Twins-SP Phil Hughes went 7 innings and gave up 1 ER on 5 hits and 8 strikeouts in the win against the Indians. Hughes has a 3.65 ERA over 165 innings with 148 strikeouts. Hughes has a 3.23 x FIP, which means that he has pitched better than traditional stats indicate. Hughes has used his cutter a career high 22% of the time. While the use of a good cutter does lead to more success, it also increases the likely hood of an injury. Pitching at Target Field will help keep Hughes relevant the rest of the way. David Price-Tigers-SP David Price went 8 shutout innings on 1 hit and 9 strikeouts in the loss to the Rays. Price...

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Michael Waldo

Michael Waldo

AL Player Analysis - August 21th 2014

Garrett Richards (LAA) - Garrett Richards took on the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night but left the game in the second inning on a stretcher. He was covering first base when his left knee gave out and was unable to make it off the field on his own power. He looked to be in a lot of pain and the team was vague on the details afterwards, simply saying it was a left patellar injury. It's too soon to say the severity but based on initial observation, I would be surprised if he played again this year. On the season, Richards had continued to build on his impressive first half and had an ERA of 2.61 along with 13...

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Josh Sperry

Josh Sperry

August 20th NL Coverage

Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs - And exhale... Cubs' fans can rest easy that Kris Bryant's to injury is nothing minor and the slugger returned to the lineup Tuesday and went 1-for-3 with his 14th double of the year. It's still unclear whether Bryant will get his first taste of the majors this season, but I have a hard time believing that when the rosters expand that he won't hear his name called. The arguably top prospect in baseball is triple slashing an insane .333/.441/.678 with 40 homers and 103 RBI in just 126 games. He's likely to be the opening day starter for the Cubs at third base next season, so I'm sure the team would like him to get...

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Nicholas Rossoletti

Nicholas Rossoletti

AL Player Blog- August 20, 2014

Austin Jackson- Austin Jackson is finally starting to run. After a disappointing season marked by his worst power output since he got called to the major leagues (3.3% HR/FB rate in both 2010 and 2014), Jackson has begun to show signs of life to fantasy owners with his legs. Jackson has always been a "speedy" outfielder, but he hasn't really helped fantasy owners with steals since 2011. It seems the change of scenery to Seattle may be changing that trend. His 5 attempts in the month of August are the most for any month this season, which is saying something considering we still have almost two full weeks left in the month. Jackson is 4 out of 5 on those...

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Paul Sauberer

Paul Sauberer

NL Player Notes- August 19, 2014

Will Harris- ARI- FYI- Harris was called up after posting an ERA of 0.83 since being sent back down to AAA in June. He got into the game last night and lost, running his major league record to 0-3. Harris allowed a walk off home run in 0.2 IP, increasing his ERA with Arizona this year to 9.45. He hasn't been able to duplicate the success he had in 2013 in 52.2 IP with the Diamondbacks, when he posted an ERA of 2.91 and FIP of 2.74. Harris's performance at AAA this year wasn't as good as it might have looked, as his 0.99 ERA for the season is paired with a 4.24 FIP. His K/9 in his 13.1 IP...

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Schuyler Dombroske

Schuyler Dombroske

AL Daily Notes - August 19th, 2014

Bud Norris - Norris pitched very well on Monday, holding the White Sox to 2 runs on 3 hits over 7 innings of work, striking out 5 without walking a batter. Norris has improved his control, GB rate, and velocity significantly this year, but it seems like the drop in K rate has helped his stats be viewed with a negative bias. You always have to be careful about cherry-picking data when trying to make a case for a player, but Norris has improved his offspeed pitches from major negatives to minor positives this season (mostly with the change, which has improved from his worst or second worst pitch to his best this season), which has likely allowed him to...

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Derek Carty

Derek Carty

AL Player Analysis - August 18th 2014

Kennys Vargas -- Vargas went 3-for-4 with a double, a homer, 3 RBI, and 2 runs on Sunday against the Royals. The big day brings Vargas' batting average up to .317, and the long-ball was his third of the season. Vargas wasn't considered an elite prospect, but he definitely was on the radar, especially when it came to his raw power, which is considered to be plus or plus-plus. His hitting tool was in question a bit, however, given that his swing can get long and he's more of a mistake hitter. He's striking out at a nearly 30% clip in his brief stint at the major league level, so while some more homers are likely, the batting average will...

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Frank Tomkins

Frank Tomkins

NL Player Notes August 18, 2014

Josh Collmenter (SP-ARZ). Collmenter owners had to be a bit disappointed, as he lasted only 4 innings against the Marlins in Miami on Sunday afternoon, giving up 5 runs on 7 hits while striking out 4. This should be about the end of Collmenter's regression to the mean, as his ERA now sits at 4.28 and he entered the game with an xFIP of 4.27. Although Collmenter has been a godsend to the decimated Diamondbacks rotation, he should not be a part of your fantasy rotation, even in the deepest of leagues, as he provides little help in any fantasy category with his below league average ERA and less than mediocre strikeout rate (5.96 K/9). Collmenter cannot even be reliably...

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Michael Waldo

Michael Waldo

AL Player Analysis - August 17th 2014

Drew Smyly (SP - TB) - Making his 3rd start for the Tampa Bay Rays, Smyly took on Shane Greene and the New York Yankees at home in the Trop. He tossed his second straight quality start by going 7 innings and giving up just 2 runs on 4 hits and a walk. On the season, Smyly's strikeout rate has dropped 6% from 2013, likely partially driven by a 1.2% drop in his swinging strike rate (down to 9.5%). Most of his key underlying statistical indicators remain better than league average so that's a good sign for the 25 year-old. He doesn't have the type of stuff to be a dominating starter but he turns in enough quality outings to...

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Josh Sperry

Josh Sperry

August 16th AL Coverage

Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox - Buchholz actually turned in his second straight quality start, tossing seven innings of two run baseball while striking out nine which is his second highest total for the season behind the 12 he struck out last time he faced the Astros. So Buchholz can pitch against the Astros, that's what we've learned based on this start but it doesn't erase the fact that he has been pretty terrible this season. After going 12-1 with a 2.76 FIP last year, Buchholz only has five wins this year with a 4.46 FIP. His strand rate has also dropped 20% so that will contribute to the huge rise in his ERA and FIP. While he's pitching better,...

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Steve Shumansky

Steve Shumansky

NL Player Analysis-August 15, 2014

Tyson Ross (SP-San Diego) Tyson Ross has emerged this season as a very strong pitcher for the hapless Padres. Tonight's performance was not his best as he gave up 3 runs in 6 innings on 5 hits and 4 walks in a losing effort. His pedestrian 11-11 won loss record belies the fact that he has averaged almost 9K's/9 innings, maintained the gains he made in control last year, and increased his swinging strike rate to a superb 12.4%. Ross discovered a way to miss bats last year and he is doing even better in 2014. At 27 years old, the big righty looks to have a bright future even though he is mainly a two pitch thrower with the...

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David Regan

David Regan

NL Daily Notes - August 15, 2014

A small sampling of today's player notes available to subscribers... Mike FIers (SP-MIL) - It's apparently a mismatch no matter what team Fiers faces these days. Thursday was no exception, as Fiers fanned a career-high 14 over six inning of three-hit ball against the anemic Cubs offense. FIers now has a 1.29 ERA in 21 inning with a 25:6 K:BB in 21 innings. Fiers had an eye-popping 129:17 K:BB in 102.1 Triple-A innings this year, so despite his being 29 already, Fiers has some deeper league potential. Andre Ethier (OF-LAD) - A red-hot Carl Crawford was for some reason given the day off Thursday, allowing Ethier to join the lineup against the Braves and go 0-for-4. For $17 million a...

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Paul Sauberer

Paul Sauberer

AL Player Notes- August 15, 2014

Nick Swisher- CLE- Inj Update- Even if Swisher gets a second opinion on his knee that doesn't include surgery, that doesn't mean he will be productive for the final weeks of the season. He has a HR/FB ratio of 8.3% this year. His previous career low in a season with more than 60 PAs was 11.6% and last year he was at 13.7%. Swisher's performance has undoubtedly been affected by his injured knee and he is unlikely to be recovered enough by the end of this season for that effect to be over. Jake Odorizzi- TB- Hot- Odorizzi has been experiencing some regression to the mean for the past couple of months. Heading into yesterday's start he had an ERA...

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Steve Shumansky

Steve Shumansky

AL Player Analysis- August 13th, 2014

Michael Pineda (SP-NYY) Michael Pineda returned to the mound today for his first start of the season since 4/23. He did not factor in the decision but pitched well giving up only 1 run and two hits while striking out 4 in 5 innings. The early returns before his April injury seemed particularly promising as a he had a 2-2 record with a 1.83 ERA. The pine tar incident notwithstanding, it was good to see him back on the mound again after various arm and muscle injuries cost him the two prior seasons. As we try to figure out what kind of performance we might expect from Pineda the remainder of the season, we should take note of an immediate...

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Nicholas Rossoletti

Nicholas Rossoletti

NL Player Blog- August 14, 2014

Todd Frazier- Perhaps not surprisingly, Todd Frazier has struggled to generate the power that made him such a successful piece of fantasy lineups in the early part of the season. Since the All-Star Break, Frazier has managed only 1 home run in 93 Plate Appearances. This is after averaging a home run every 19 or so plate appearances during the first half. Clearly, Frazier's power has slowed considerably. During the same period, Frazier has seen a large increase in his Ground Ball Rate. In July and August, Frazier has posted Ground Ball Rates of 49.4% and 51.4% after being consistently around 35% in the previous two months. This leads us to the conclusion that Frazier's contact rates are regressing back...

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Michael Waldo

Michael Waldo

NL Player Analysis - August 13th, 2014

Devin Mesoraco (CIN) - Devin Mesoraco had another big night at the plate going 3-for-4 with his 20th double and 62nd RBI. A case could be made for drafting Devin Mesoraco as the first catcher off the board next season. The Cincinnati Red is having a breakout year now that Dusty Baker is out of the dugout for the team. Mesoraco has always had the talent but failed to get regular playing time with Baker running the team. On the season, the backstop is slashing .300/.371/.586 and his .286 ISO is the highest among all catchers (with a min. 300 plate appearances) by over 50 points. He's also leading in homeruns (20) and wOBA (.412), 2nd in RBI (62), and...

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Nicholas Rossoletti

Nicholas Rossoletti

AL Player Blog- August 13, 2014

J.D. Martinez- It is always tough to change our perception of a player in-season. Bias from past seasons always seems to seep in no matter how large a sample size we are given to review, and we are almost always left thinking, "I won't let that player screw it up for me again." The problem with this mentality is that it leads to never adjusting our expectations as athletes change and grow. I'm guilty of this with J.D. Martinez. Over the last several years, I had owned Martinez, hung on to long and been negatively affected by his eventual regression. In 2014, it made sense to ignore that instinct initially and own him during his streak. Those owners, who managed...

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Paul Sauberer

Paul Sauberer

AL Player Notes- August 12, 2014

Yoenis Cespedes- BOS- FYI- Cespedes now has a single homer in his 35 PAs with Boston after hitting one out on Sunday. His HR/FB ratio had risen into double digits by the time of the trade from Oakland, but is at only 5.3% in his 8 games with the Red Sox. The odd thing about that number for Cespedes, as compared to his first two major league campaigns, is that he has had a pronounced home/road split. His HR/FB ratio is at 13.3%, close to his career numbers, while his road mark is 7.1%. Cespedes has only played 2 home games in Fenway so far so more games there should help him. His road number also seems like an anomaly...

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Schuyler Dombroske

Schuyler Dombroske

NL Daily Notes - August 12th, 2014

David Peralta - Through 8 August starts, Peralta has 5 multi-hit games to go along with 3 2Bs, a 3B, 2 HRs, and 2 SBs. He's also picked up 6 R and 10 RBI and has continued to show a contact rate that is improved from his first 100 ABs in the bigs. Lest we forget, this is a player that had 442 PAs as a hitter in the minors before his promotion, so: A) we don't know nearly as much about him as we know about most players, and B) it's safe to say that some latent growth is possible....even likely. He has some power, he has some speed, he's improved his LD rate to over 20%, and his...

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Phil Double

Phil Double

AL Player Analysis-August 10th, 2014

Miguel Cabrera-Tigers-1B Miguel Cabrera was 3-9 with 2 runs scored in the loss to the Blue Jays. Cabrera is slashing .304/17/84. Cabrera hasn't been hitting for power like we have all come to expect. Cabrera has been slowed by injuries in the past couple of seasons, injuries that limited his ability to swing over the off-season and could still be playing a factor in his decreased power. Cabrera's .512 SLG and .876 OPS are the lowest they have been since his rookie year. Hitters with Cabrera's body-type, do not age well and Cabrera is on the wrong side of 30. However, he still remains one of the games better hitters and fantasy owners will have to lower their expectations on...

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Key Articles
Fantistics Analysts Twitter Updates

May Pitcher Rankings 2014

In our continuing series on player recommendations, today we take a look at the pitchers who are deviating from their projected production. The past has shown us that pitchers have a more difficult time reverting to their historical mean. Especially...

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