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Phil Double

Phil Double

NL Player Analysis-July 24, 2016

Vincent Velasquez-Phillies-SP Vincent Velasquez went 6 IP and gave up 4 ER on 7 H, 4 BB, and 5 K's against the Pirates. Velasquez has a 3.34 ERA with an excellent 27.8% K. He has an average walk rate (8.5%) and his 40% FB would normally lead to a lot of damage being done against him, but his strikeout rate allows for both of those to play. Pitching in the National League has been a big boost for the young right-hander. Velasquez also has a distinct home and road split. He has a 1.74 ERA at home vs. 4.74 on the road. There is also the issue of an innings limit for Velasquez. He has now eclipsed his innings total...

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Nathan Dokken

Nathan Dokken

AL Player Analysis - June 25th, 2016

Kennys Vargas (DH, Min): Vargas returned to the Twins earlier this month, and so far his success from Triple-A has carried over to the Major League level. He went 1-4 with a two run homer and a walk, and in his first 56 plate appearances this season he's put up a .326/.429/.717 slash with three home runs and nine doubles. He's still striking out 26.8% of the time, which is much too high, but he's making a ton of hard contact at 48.3%. His nine walks in those 56 PA's are encouraging as well; he's posted double-digit walk rates throughout many of his minor league seasons, but has only a career 6.2% BB% in the majors. He's a player with...

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Josh Sperry

Josh Sperry

AL Player Analysis, July 24th

Michael Saunders, Toronto Blue Jays - Saunders' blistering start to the season has slowed a ton as of late as he's now only homered four times since his three homer game on June 17th. Saunders launched a pair of homer Saturday giving him three bombs in the last two days. It's not like he's just in a power drought through... In that same span (June 18th-today) he's triple slashing .222/.307/.364 with a 29.8% K rate, all adding up to a 79 wRC+. We can't even chalk it up to a low BABIP either as it's still a .308 over this date span. He's stopped hitting fly balls at the same rate and that look to be really the only reason...

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Michael Waldo

Michael Waldo

NL Player Analysis - July 24, 2016

Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) - Giancarlo Stanton hit his 21st homerun of the season and added 3 other hits to lead the Marlins offense over Jacob deGrom and the Mets. It was Stanton's first home run since the Home Run Derby. Stanton has turned it around since the beginning of the month, but the contact issues have remained there (68.7% contact rate). Fortunately, it has been masked by an unreal 52.6% hard hit rate over that stretch. He should continue to produce elite power numbers in the second half, but don't be expecting it to come with a good batting average. It's going to be difficult for him to return 1st round value this year. Want some good news? He's just...

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Walter Kuberski

Walter Kuberski

NL Player News- July 23, 2016

Hernan Perez (3B/OF-MIL): Hernan Perez, who has nabbed full time AB's since the Aaron Hill trade, went 2-for-4, drove in a run, and stole his 12th base. Perez has a 43% chase-rate and a 24% strikeout-rate to go with a 4% walk-rate. He did show a more mature, contact-oriented approach in the minors, and look for him to continue to improve as the season progresses. He is already hitting the ball on the ground (45%), making solid contact (34%), and stealing bases at a high rate (12/15). Given the paucity of stolen bases in fantasy baseball, Perez should be owned in all leagues. Dexter Fowler (OF-CHC): In his first game back from a hamstring injury Dexter Fowler lit up the...

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Nathan Dokken

Nathan Dokken

AL Player Analysis - July 22nd, 2016

Dylan Bundy (SP/RP, Bal): Bundy was effective but inefficient against the Indians, allowing only one unearned run in his second start of the season. He needed 87 pitches to get through five innings, striking out five batters without issuing a walk. He threw 26 changeups averaging 85.9 MPH and got whiffs on 6 of them, which equates to 23.1%, or roughly 8.2% better than the average changeup. Pair that with his incredible fastball that averaged 95.2 MPH and generated roughly double the league average whiff rate at 12.5% and a curve that averaged 77.5 MPH and you've got three very different pitch speeds to keep batters guessing with. Digging into these results makes it easy to remember that he came...

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Kyle Elfrink

Kyle Elfrink

Week 17 Waiver Targets by Kyle Elfrink

Often when we think back to our best waiver grabs, we glom onto the hitters or pitchers that we grabbed in late-April or early-May and rode to 130 games of success. But, with August creeping up on us, we're not only down to just 60-plus games on the schedule, but we're also down to scraps and driftwood. You should be trying to snag streaky guys in the early stages of a hot streak. Sifting through very average pitchers with two-start weeks becomes more critical. Or, how about that player who's been stuck in a pinch-hitting role all year, but who now is set for everyday action because his team has waved the white flag of surrender, sending multiple starting bats...

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Walter Kuberski

Walter Kuberski

NL Player News- July 22, 2016

Ryan Schimpf (2B-SD): Ryan Schimpf went 1-for-3 with two runs and one walk as he continues to log regular playing time for the Padres. While Schimpf has displayed questionable contact and bat-to-ball skills throughout his MiLB career, he has done one thing consistently well: hit for power. However, while 45% hard-contact rate is elite, his batted-ball speed and homerun distance numbers suggest his 24% HR/FB rate is inflated. As long as you temper expectation about the batting average, I still see Schimpf delivering solid fantasy value for deep-leaguers down the stretch. Where there is full-time playing time, there is value. Andrew Cashner (SP-SD): Andrew Cashner allowed one earned run on three hits in 5 and 2/3 innings while striking out...

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David Regan

David Regan

Prospect Spreadsheet Updates - July 22, 2016

1 Yoan Moncada BOS 2B A AA Has found his power stroke in AA and is looking like a 2016 callup candidate. 2 Alex Bregman HOU SS A- AAA Playing some 3B and OF now, so expect an August callup. 3 J.P. Crawford PHI SS A- AAA Has overcome slow first half to hit .353 with 3 HR in July. 4 Andrew Benintendi BOS OF A- AA .985 OPS and a 6:7 K:BB. Might be ready for a 2016 callup. 5 Trea Turner WAS SS A- MLB Four straight starts due to injuries and has three steals. May be tough to bench him. 29 Justus Sheffield CLE SP B A+ 34 K in last 25.1 innings and pitching above his...

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James Turvey

James Turvey

AL Player Analysis - July 21, 2016

Tyler Duffey Duffey had another start in what has been a frustrating 2016 season. Duffey went just 2.1 innings against the Red Sox on Thursday, giving up six runs on nine hits and a walk, and striking out none. It was clear to see coming in that the match up didn't favor Duffey, and the Sox can hit the piss out of the ball, and Fenway eats up pitchers and spits them out. Hopefully if you have Duffey on your squad (likely in AL-Only or 18+ team leagues), you saw the writing on the wall and benched him. That being said, I still like Duffey as an AL-Only option. He is just 25 years old, and last season sported...

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Walter Kuberski

Walter Kuberski

AL Player News- July 21, 2016

Byron Buxton (OF-MIN): While the Twins bats squeaked out the win, Bryon Buxton continued to struggle, going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. The former top-prospect now carries a 9:70 BB:K ratio in 182 plate appearances with one homer and seven steals. Quite simply, he isn't making enough contact (68% contact rate, 15% swinging-strike rate), and when he does, he isn't making the solid variety (27% hard-hit rate). The problem for keeper leaguers is that his value has dropped so far that it now makes sense to hold. I wouldn't give him away and still believe in the talent. Some guys take the long route. Evan Gattis (C/DH-HOU): Evan Gattis went hitless in two at-bats before exiting in the game in the...

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David Regan

David Regan

NL Daily Notes - July 20, 2016

Jameson Taillon (SP-PIT) - Taillon made his return from a shoulder injury an interesting one Tuesday against the Brewers. Despite taking a 105 mph comebacker off the back of his head, Taillon stayed in the game to allow just one run in six innings in a no-decision. He allowed five hits while walking one and striking out three. Taillon made just 65 pitches in the efficient outing that lowered his ERA to 3.44, but it seems likely he would have gone deeper into the game if not for getting hit on the head. The strikeouts aren't quite where we would like them as fantasy owners (24:5 K:BB in 34 IP), but as he gains strength and experience with his secondary...

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Nathan Dokken

Nathan Dokken

AL Player Analysis - July 19th, 2016

Brian Flynn (SP/RP, KC): Flynn fell to 1-1 after a rough start against the Indians. Moving from the bullpen to take Chris Young's spot in the rotation, Flynn made his first MLB start since 2014. He allowed three earned runs on four hits and a walk in two and one-third innings, striking out only one batter. He threw 43 pitches but they clearly didn't get him deep into the game, and if the Royals decide to give him another start or two, he will be let loose for larger pitch counts. It's an experiment best left to the Royals and not fantasy players at this point, as they try to catch lightning in a bottle twice after what Danny Duffy...

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Menachem Greenfeld

Menachem Greenfeld

AL Player Analysis - July 19, 2016

Kevin Gausman, SP, BAL It's amazing that Gausman is only 1-7 this year considering that he hasn't really pitched so poorly. While his 4.05 ERA is nothing to write home about, he does have a very solid 88:20 K:BB through 93.1 IP this season (16 starts). The area in which he most needs to improve is with regards to the long ball as he has already 16 HR's on the year. His 16.2% HR/FB should still regress some, and if he can keep the ball in the yard more consistently, he has a chance to take his game to the next level. Roberto Perez, C, CLE Perez has been activated from the DL, and with Yan Gomes out for an...

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James Turvey

James Turvey

NL Player Analysis - July 18, 2016

Aaron Nola Nola returned to form Monday, going six shutout innings, while only allowing two hits and striking out five compared to just one walk. Nola was getting absolutely rocked in his five starts before the All-Star break, getting hit to the tune of a 13.50 (!) in 18.0 innings. Monday's start was a great sign for a pitcher who owned a 2.65 ERA before that brutal stretch, and still sports a 2.95 xFIP (and 3.11 FIP). This is a great time to buy on Nola. The 4.41 ERA that he still sports will scare off most potential owners, but you - the smart fantasy player - should snag Nola either as soon as possible, or before his next...

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Phil Double

Phil Double

NL Player Analysis-July 17, 2016

Christian Yelich-Marlins-OF Christian Yelich was 2-4 with a run scored and 3 RBI in the win against the Cardinals. Yelich has his season line up to .318 with 7 HR and 48 RBI to go along with 4 SB. Yelich has always had the ability to make contact, but he is showing growth in the power department. His ISO has risen to .158, which is up from .116 a year ago. He is also pulling the ball in the air more. They are not huge increases, but they are encouraging signs for Yelich and his fantasy potential going forward. He will continue to be a source of AVG., but without elite steal totals, he needs to add power to his...

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Schuyler Dombroske

Schuyler Dombroske

AL Daily Notes - July 18th, 2016

Tyler Naquin (OF) CLE - Naquin hit his fourth homer in the past 8 games on Sunday, and he's now hitting 314/373/598 through 169 AB. The hard contact rate of 41% and avg HR distance of 404 feet lead me to believe that the power spike has some legs for the 25 year old, although the .422 BABIP casts some doubt on the likelihood of the AVG staying in the elite level. All in all, he appears likely to maintain enough value to be a viable starting OF in most formats even with some AVG regression. Dylan Bundy (SP) BAL - Growing pains. Bundy's first major league start was mostly negative, with 5 hits, 4 runs, 3 walks, and 3...

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Walter Kuberski

Walter Kuberski

NL Player News- July 17, 2016

Stephen Piscotty (OF-STL): Stephen Piscotty went 2-for-3, scored 1 run, drove in 2, and added 1 walk to lead the Cardinals. The super sophomore now carries a .374 wOBA and a 135 wRC+ and is establishing himself as one of the more reliable OF options in fantasy. While his swing isn't geared for the power game, Piscotty is due for a bump in his 12% HR/FB rate, as his 34% hard-hit rate and 407/104 average HR distance/batted ball speed numbers suggest. In addition to the yearly game, he typically makes for a steal in DFS play, especially against your average lefty. Adam Wainwright (SP-SLT): Adam Wainwright tossed a complete-game-shutout against the Marlins, allowing 3 hits and 2 walks while striking...

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Josh Sperry

Josh Sperry

AL Player Analysis, July 17th

Sonny Gray, Oakland A's - Sonny Gray's first start since the All Star Break could be described as a less than stellar outing, but he still managed to pick up his fourth win of the season with a quality start. He allowed three runs over six innings but walked four against two strikeouts. With this start, his K/9 is now under 7.00 for the season and his BB/9 has climbed a full walk compared to his 2015 campaign. Digging into his Fangraphs page really only tells me that his swinging strike rate is down, and that his HR/FB% is high but other than that he's the same pitcher that he's always been. Gray has never been an elite swing and...

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Phil Double

Phil Double

NL Player Analysis-July 15, 2016

Francisco Liriano-Pirates-SP Francisco Liriano went 6 IP and gave up 3 ER on 5 H, 4 BB, and 5 K's against the Nationals. Liriano finished the first half with a disappointing 5.15 ERA (5.01 SIERA). The strikeout rate is down (20.5%) and the walks are up (13.5% BB). Liriano turned his career around in Pittsburgh by improving his command, which led to more strikeouts and ground balls. Right now Liriano is leaving the majority of his pitches over the middle of the plate. The only thing that is a positive for Liriano is his velocity has been the same, which means that it is something mechanical and mechanical can be fixed. Unfortunately, at this point in the year you can't...

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Fantistics Analysts Twitter Updates

Pitchers: Hard Hit Rate and the relationship to BABIP against

It's widely accepted and understood that hitters do have control on their BABIP range. BABIP or Batting Average on Balls in Play is not a one size fits all indicator. Examples of this include quick runners who have a higher...

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