Welcome to the start of our 2019 Fantasy Baseball Season!
As I have written in the past, the art of MLB player projections continues to evolve. With the advances in data collection, there are new indicators introduced every season which aid us in breaking down a player's core skill/ability. Indicators that measure batted ball speed, quality of contact, and location are helping us refine our projections model into unprecedented territory. Indicators such as HR/FB rates are no longer looked at as universal or blanket rates. Each hitter has a unique ability to control and command these rates, and we're finding that the determining factors are more eloquent than just simply batted ball speed. Directional tendencies are now charted and those with a higher pull% tend to compensate for lower batted ball speeds, while those with higher opposite field ability tend to command a higher BABIP. Our batter projections model separates each projected plate appearance into one of three categories: ground balls, fly balls, and line drives. From there, indicators such as: quality of contact, speed, home park factors, and direction of contact help us ascertain the likely outcome of a player's batted balls. Needless to say, I'm excited about the correlation relationship that we're seeing in our baseball forecasting model.
2018 was once again a very good projection year for us, many of our targets went on and had a better than expected season. This was highlighted by NL MVP Javier Baez and runner up Christian Yelich, finally becoming the hitters we knew they would become. As we prepare for the release of the 2019 Fantistics Fantasy Baseball Player Projections/ Draft Advisory Software we wanted to take a look back at some of the calls from our 2018 Preseason. Below is an image of the players we were higher than consensus on coming into the 2018 fantasy baseball draft season. These images come directly from the draft software, are unaltered and include both hits and misses.
Here's some of our preseason analysis from last season:
Continues to progress in leveling his swing out, as GB/FB rate has dropped from 4.16 in 2015 to 2.20 in 2017. He did however lose some power on his swing last season, seeing his HR distance drop from 407 to 399, and his BBS drop from 104.7 to 103.3. At only 26, this is not an age related decline, and likely something that will reverse itself in 2018. Look for good things from Yelich as his RBI count will explode this season....buy in at the discount.
Last season in his limited 170 MLB Abs, Rhys was off the chart with 18 HRs and 48 RBIs! Those 18 HRs produced a HR/FB rate of 32%...which is not sustainable. His 46% Hard Hit rate was of course elite, and will be difficult to repeat, but his Batted ball profile on his HRs shows that several of his HRs were just enoughs, so in esseance his misses went as HRs...and that's a testiment to his power. What makes Hoskins unique is his EYE (.80)...which is a rarity for power hitters. He doesn't strikeout often with a 81% contact rate. There is alot to be excited about with this future star.
Bogaerts saw a big regression in production in 2017. His HR/FB rate dropped to only 7% and his batting average took a big hit in the 2nd half, posting only a .235 BA...thanks to an unlucky .225 Singles %. Look for a rebound in the power numbers as his 31% hard hit rate and 103.5 BBS on his HRs supports a rate closer to 11 or 12%.
Trevor's Hard Hit rate dropped last season from 45% in his rookie campaign to 40% last season, which is still elite. His 16% HR/FB rate on his 407|104.3 is sustainable, in fact that rate could easily climb to 18-20% considering he plays half his games in Coors. Then there is the heavy flyball rates (.70 GB/FB), which hurt his BA (along with the 35% K rate). The 22% ISO from a season ago appears to be depressed, so there is some upside in the RBI count. Let's also consider that he's only 25 YO, so his cieling hasn't been established yet.
Flyball centric hitter, with 5% walk rate. 75% contact rate hurts his BA, Runs Scored, and RBI categories. Has 20+ HR potential, but below average in other categories. Superior 107.7 BBS and 411 distance on HRs in 2017. Can take it to the next level if he can continue to hit lefties as he did last season in limited ABs.
Ozuna finally posted the breakout season we expected in 2017 with a massive 37/124/93/.312 season. It was inevitable based on his superior 39$ Hard Hit rate and huge 106.6 BBS on his HRs. Still in his prime at only 27, but it's going to be difficult to maintain that 23% HR/FB rate and the RBI count is likely to regress, as is his .312 BA
Mazara's main contribution last season was his 101 RBI's, a count that's not likely to repeat based on his underlying indicators. That said his HR/FB rate of only 14% has upward movement based on his 33% Hard Hit rate and superior 411 distance and 105.3 BBS o n his HRs. That next level will be attainable when Mazara picks it up verses LHP (.317 last season). For a power hitter his Swinging K K rate of only 11% is considered excellent, and at only 23, he's someone we're expecting to be an preinennial All Star down the line.
Improved considerably last season, posting a 86% contact rate along with a solid 33% Hard Hit rate. While his HR totals increased to 19 last season, there was a lot left on the table. For starters his 10% HR/FB rate is under represented and then consider what he can do if even half of his very high 17% infield popups go as flyballs in 2018.
Whether you are utilizing our player projections software to produce customized cheat sheets, research player historical trends, as a live draft advisor, or as a Mock Draft tool, the 2019 version is wired for your fantasy championship quest. Once again, back this year will be all of the essential season services including our Minor League Prospect Central, Daily Analysis & Press News, Player Production Charting, Player Recommendations, Player Tracker, online fantasy databases, 14 day pitching rotations, and our weekly lineup submission aid.
Over the coming days we're going bring you a different perspective served up by some of the best analysts in the business. If you are new to us, please be sure to sign up for our free player projections newsletter. The end game is of course providing you with a competitive season, and we hope that you'll start it with what we believe is our best product to date. Stacking the odds in your favor from draft day, round by round, to season's end. Click here to register for 2019.
Fantistics Draft Advisory Software
Helping you win your Fantasy Baseball League in 2019