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  1. 25 likes
    Decided to take a first pass at closer rankings as we start getting into draft season. Some of you will vehemently disagree with the below - while I'm curious as to the thoughts of others, these are my thoughts -- how I see things as they currently stand. They're just like... my opinion... man. Enjoy. Or don't. There is no try. (Also, please don't quote this whole thing...) Tier 1 1. Kenley Jansen (Romo? Not sure this one matters) 2. Aroldis Chapman (Betances) 3. Zach Britton (O’Day /Brad Brach – would be an interesting one if Britton went down) These three are getting combined into one… I’m not super likely to pay for these guys, as it’s just not my style… but I completely get it, especially in roto. The extra Ks are a big boost, the ratios are tremendous, you’re going to get the saves provided they’re healthy. Not my cup of tea, but doesn’t mean they’re not valuable. Tier 2 4. Seung-Hwan Oh (Siegrist) 5. Mark Melancon (Strickland) 6. Cody Allen (Miller) You could almost combine Tier 2 with Tier 3, and the ADP will see some guys in Tier 2 going far after Tier 3 guys. That’s OK by me. You’ve got the guys in this tier that are super safe – it’s their job as long as they’re healthy. Some of these are going to give the upper echelon a run for their money. Oh was a beast last year with 100+ Ks over 79.2 IP. The reason he’s not in the top tier is I’m not sure he’ll throw as many innings to reach those K numbers this year, but he’s 30+ saves in the bag, pending health of course. Melancon is in a great park with a team known for giving tons of save chances, and he just got paid. He’s got tons of leash and has been pretty good at what he does, though it won’t come with the K-rate of the other guys. Allen is probably ranked higher than you’ll see elsewhere. Part of this is the fact that he’s done it before, and done it repeatedly, and done it well – for years. To me, if I’m drafting a closer early, I want safety first, upside second. After Miller was acquired last year, he got 3 saves down the stretch to Allen’s 13 – and outside of one save in October, Miller wasn’t closing after the calendar turned to September… it was Allen’s gig with Miller being the unique weapon Tito used in the fireman role. I don’t see much changing, and you won’t have to pay as much for Allen given Miller’s presence. Allen, for his part, has 90 SVs in 101 opportunities the past 3 seasons with a 2.51 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 277Ks in 207 IP. Tier 3 7. Craig Kimbrel (Thornburg) 8. Edwin Diaz (Cishek) 9. Kelvin Herrera (Soria) 10. Roberto Osuna (Grilli) 11. Ken Giles (Gregerson) Here’s the young flamethrowers with elite upside, plus an old guard flamethrower. The young guys are the fun ones to draft, but these are also the dudes that can burn you badly (ask Ken Giles owners last year). Kimbrel, and Osuna have arguments for being in Tier 2 – they’re more accomplished (certainly so in Kimbrel’s case) than these Tier 3 guys. For Kimbrel, he’s definitely got the safety I look for in an early closer – if healthy, Kimbrel’s got a long, long leash. But there’s a couple things that give me pause. His velocity was down at the end of the year – still averaging 97+, but not the 98+ we’re used to seeing. His brooksbaseball.net page shows the slight downward tick. Perhaps more concerning, his BB-rate jumped to a career high 5.1 BB/9. His K-rate also reached a new career high, so everything isn’t negative here… but I think Craig’s got some offseason work to do. This ranking may still be higher than some you’ll find elsewhere, and Kimbrel’s a guy I’m willing to bet on… I just prefer him after the super safe guys. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see any of Diaz, Herrera, Osuna, or Giles become a locked-in top-5 closer by 2018. But there’s more risk with these guys than with Tier 2 in my rankings. I love Diaz – he could conceivably end up quite close to the top tier guys in Ks while getting a ton of saves in Seattle, but he’s not being drafted up there because he’s done it for part of one season, and the results weren’t quite as pristine late in the year. Herrera was a long time set-up man to Holland and Davis in KC before finally getting his chance last year. Of this tier, I feel he’s one of the more proven guys in terms of his performance, and now he’s got the gig. He’s definitely a target of mine, along with Diaz. Osuna is more proven than Diaz or Herrera, but his elbow was barking in August/September last year to the point they had to “manage” him during the stretch run and the playoffs. That doesn’t give me warm fuzzies. I’ll still draft Osuna, but I’ll probably want a bit of a discount there… and I’m totally OK with someone else taking that risk. That said, I’m not avoiding him, per se. Giles… There's an old saying in Tennessee. Man, the guy could be one of the best closers in baseball on a very, very good Houston ball club. Some crazy numbers: Giles gave up 4 HRs in April, then 4 more the rest of the season. Giles gave up 10 ERs in April, then only 20 more the rest of the season. May was still a little bumpy, but just removing April from his season nets you a 3.23 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP, a whopping 37.6% K-rate, a BB-rate of 9%, and a FIP of 2.16 with a xFIP of 2.57. His .336 BABIP played a decent role in that 3.23 ERA outpacing his FIP and xFIP. As long as Hinch is committed to Giles (and he seems to be as of now), and as long as Giles can get into a groove early and avoid those April homers… he could be one of the best closers in the game. But that risk… Tier 4 12. Wade Davis (Rondon / Koji Uehara) 13. Jeurys Familia (Reed) 14. Alex Colome (Boxberger) 15. Adam Ottavino (Holland) 16. David Robertson (Jones) 17. Sam Dyson (Bush/Jeffress) Most of these guys are pretty reliable. Some are downright nails, but one concern or another pushes their value into Tier 4. I’m admittedly nervous about Wade Davis, and this ranking may not get him in most leagues, and I’m OK with that – multiple forearm injuries last year requiring a couple trips to the DL. His velocity was down all year in 2016, and it steadily dipped even more after his July DL stints, and in September he was barely over 95 compared to averaging ~97 of 2015. Now, not cause for panic – Davis can still get it done at 95, but two red flags to me. However, the Cubs traded for him this offseason to replace Chapman, which gives me more confidence that two teams checked out his health and pronounced him OK as opposed to just having to take KC’s word for it. He was also pretty good in September – certainly good enough to get the job done with 6/7 Saves and a 3.12 ERA – including 13Ks in 8.2IP, though that 3.12 ERA isn’t sub-2 like we’ve come to expect. Also on the positive side, FWIW, his first outing of the spring had him at 94.8, harder than his prior March readings. I’ve bounced Davis back and forth between this Tier and Tier 3, but when push comes to shove, I think I would end up taking all those guys over Davis, but it’s very, very close. While I may be low on Davis, Familia is a guy I’m likely to end up with on a lot of teams. Last year he netted a whopping 51 saves on a very good Mets team who’s getting healthier in the starting rotation, after nailing down 43 saves in 2015. Without the looming suspension for a domestic violence incident in the offseason, we’d very likely see Familia up in Tier 2 if not knocking on the door of Tier 1 – this is a very strong closer. It’s a tricky situation as the charges were dropped, but I’d expect Familia’s going to get a few weeks off. I’d be shocked if he got more than the 30 games we saw Chapman get after his DV incident. Fun fact: Familia would’ve lost 10 SVs had he missed the first 30 games of last season, yet still netted 41. He’s falling too far, especially with a readymade handcuff in Reed. Colome is another great value at closer. A sub-2 ERA, near sub-1 WHIP, 70+ Ks, 37 saves – the price tag is depressed by everyone expecting him to be traded… but 1) those things don’t always happen; and 2) even if he is traded, you’re getting 4 months of saves with elite ratios. Adam Ottavino’s price is being suppressed due to the presence of Greg Holland, and it probably should be due to the risk. That said, this organization loves Ottavino beyond rational thought, and with Holland slow to get started this spring (and maybe even opening the season on the DL as he continues working his way back), I see Ottavino likely to open the season with the role… and I don’t think he’s likely to give it back. The vast majority of Holland’s dominance came when he was throwing 95-97. Something was up most of 2015 when he was averaging 93-94, and then the elbow went in late 2015. Every TJS is different, obviously, but I’m a bit skeptical of a guy still rehabbing from TJS that happened October 1, 2015. We’re basically 17 months removed from that, and according to Buster Olney’s blog, Holland was throwing 84-86 in January -- “He looked terrible,” said one evaluator. Color me skeptical that Holland’s going to magically find another 10 MPH in that arm. Add in Coors… I’ll gamble on Ottavino. Robertson really struggled last year (especially with his command, or so it seemed), and this ranking is more a reflection of what I think he’ll get back to than where he was last year. He’s not a target of mine, but I’d take him at the right price. He fits the mold of a guy that’s done this job at a very high level for a very long time. If the rumored deal to the Nationals ever manifests, he’s going to gain a ton of value. AL to NL; Hitters haven to Pitcher’s park – these are good things. Even without a trade, he’s a year removed from a sub-1 WHIP and 86 Ks (and he’s hit 100Ks before). Even last year, he got you 37 saves. Jones is the replacement plan in Chicago, supposedly, though I feel that’s been the case for the past 5 years (or so it seems). Dyson seems to not be getting much love either, and I presume it’s because of the handful of options in his own pen ready to take his job (Bush/Jeffress). That said, while Bush has the crazy heat and Jeffress was a fine closer in Milwaukee last year, Dyson strikes me as a guy that’s going to be hard to unseat. His sinker is one of the best in the game, and among closers is right behind Britton. His GB% is over 65%, so in most cases, he’s going to need to be singled to death to blow a save. That makes it less likely, to me, that he blows the 3-5 chances in a row it often requires for a manager to pull the plug. You’re going to hear a lot about Bush having “more typical closer stuff,” because of the big fastball and high K-rates, but I think Dyson also has to lose the job. The one caveat to that – Dyson’s heavy GB lean would be very useful in a fireman role to get out of jams when a double play grounder is needed. It’s possible to me that Bannister chooses to go that route, leaving Bush in the 9th with Dyson putting out fires. That’s why Dyson’s at the bottom of tier 4 and not a lot higher. Tier 5 18. Neftali Feliz (Knebel) 19. Tony Watson (Daniel Hudson) 20. Jim Johnson (Vizcaino / Cabrera) 21. Francisco Rodriguez (Rondon) 22. Shawn Kelley (Trienen, Non-Roster guy) These guys start to get shaky, but even in a 15-team league, you’re into 2nd closer territory. While I do think the tier split between this one and the next is pretty firm, the rankings within this tier get pretty fungible at this point. Feliz saw his velocity return last year in Pittsburgh, averaging over 97 through the second half of the season. While his mid-3s ERA was higher than you’d like to see, it came on the back of 10 HRs allowed, which came with a HR/FB of 19.2% vs. his career 8.8%. I don’t see much threatening him in that pen aside from thoughts of a deadline deal, which as discussed previously with Colome, they don’t always happen… and if they do, you’ve gotten great production for 4 months, which is what’s allowing the team to trade him in the first place. I think Feliz has a chance to be a strong closer… and he’s only 28. Watson got it done last year after the Melancon deal, and the team brought in Daniel Hudson who was one of the best RPs in baseball for 3 months last year before the wheels came off. I kind of see Hudson as Pittsburgh’s new Feliz though, which doesn’t mean he’ll see saves. Felipe Rivero is around as well, with the high K-rate of a future closer and some triple digit heat, but Rivero’s entering arbitration next year, and when there’s no discernable need to force him into the role over two established options ahead of him (both on actual contracts, not arbitration)… it feels like an uphill climb for him to become Pittsburgh’s stopper. Watson’s earned his stripes here – been a great RP for Pittsburgh since 2012. I think Watson’s got a fair bit of leash. Jim Johnson feels much the same to me. After returning from a DL stint for a groin strain at the start of June, Johnson was nails to the tune of a 1.76 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 9.53 K/9, and 2.47 BB/9. Atlanta resigned him to a 2-year deal this offseason, and he still comes armed with that bowling ball sinker generating a GB% over 50. The Braves are a decent team this year, and I think with the 2-year deal, they’re going to get a strong haul for Johnson at the deadline, or be happy to let him close all year and come back again in 2018. As for someone taking his job - well Viz is a great pitcher, but he can't stay healthy. Cabrera throws it really hard, but has lacking command and MLB dudes square up velocity. K-Rod is entering the Trevor Hoffman/Mariano Rivera (though not as dominant) territory of just getting it done over such a long period of time. The skills aren’t the same anymore, with the k-rate falling below 9 for the first time in his career. Despite getting it done with less stuff, he’s still getting it done – 44, 38, and 44 saves the past three seasons. You may not love drafting him, but he’s pretty darn safe unless Father Time drops the hammer on the 35 YO. Shawn Kelley is another guy I feel like I’m higher on than the industry, and that’s due to Dusty playing his games and the Nationals making numerous overtures about acquiring a closer. I don’t think Washington wants to deplete the farm any further for a “proven” guy, and Kelley is a damn good pitcher as shown by last year’s sub-3 ERA and sub-1 WHIP. As to preserving his arm, or whatever Dusty keeps saying, the closer’s role is the most predictable role in the pen, meaning it’s probably the safest role for Kelley. And for all the talk of preserving his arm, Kelley was at his best down the stretch, posting nothing but zeroes from September through the postseason. Barring a late spring acquisition, I think he’s the guy… and I don’t see him faltering. It’s totally plausible to me that Kelley pitches well enough to have Washington searching for middle relief at the deadline, not a proven stopper. Tier 6 23. AJ Ramos (Ziegler) 24. Raisel Iglesias (Lorenzen, Storen) 25. Ryan Madson (Casilla, Dull, Doolittle) 26. Brandon Maurer (Carter Capps) 27. Brandon Kintzler (Accepting Applications) Welcome to the obvious save-chasing portion of the rankings. I know this ranking won’t get AJ Ramos, and I really don’t care. If Carter Capps hadn’t blown out his elbow, I doubt Ramos would’ve had the gig last year. Then despite a strong first half, the Marlins acquire Fernando Rodney and saw Ramos throw up his worst two months in July and August. The saving grace was that Rodney was worse – and Ramos, to his credit, righted the ship in September. Perhaps I’m being too negative on his prospects, but the team brought in Brad Ziegler who’s been a very steady closer in the past (though I’ve argued before these heavy GB guys are very useful in the fireman role). Barraclough is also still around off a 113K season out of the pen, and David Phelps may be their best pitcher, period. There’s options, and I don’t see Ramos having the leash his 40 saves in 2016 might suggest. Miami seems to repeatedly try to displace him… so I’m skeptical. Ziegler will be on speed dial for saves chasers. Iglesias will be a popular late game target, and with his SP-eligiblity, I completely understand why. He’s also a very good pitcher. What keeps him here in my rankings is the inherent disconnect between what Bryan Price is saying (he wants his closers throwing multiple innings) and what we know the closer role to almost always be. I can’t recall a single successful shared closer role in the past 25 years, with the closest being the Andrew Miller/Cody Allen situation in Cleveland where Allen still emerged as the go-to guy with Miller as the fireman. I’m concerned that Miller role is where Iglesias ends up, which inherently conflicts with being the primary 9th inning stopper. Lorenzen is also expected to share the role, and we’ve seen Drew Storen be a very, very good closer in the past (though he was kind of a wreck last year). I could see this playing out quite well for Cincinnati if Storen shows his Washington form, allowing them to mix and match Lorenzen and Iglesias in those multi-inning roles while Storen scoops up 25+ saves at the back end. There’s a lot of uncertainty here, though. We’ll see how it all plays out. Madson seems to be in the catbird seat in Oakland, but they’re also not without options. Doolittle was a boss before his shoulder injury, and we’ve seen flashes of that guy since, but that shoulder’s there lurking. I certainly don’t trust him. Ryan Dull emerged as a great late-inning option last year as well, and the team brought in Closer Cockroach Santiago Casilla to boot. There’s 4 legit options to close games in Oakland, and there have been rumors of not designating a closer to start the year. All that said, Madson ended up with 30 saves last year and probably is the favorite right now. At this point, all these guys feel like dart throws. Maurer has to hold off Carter Capps, and SD is a bad team, but Maurer was solid down the stretch in the closer’s role and enters camp with that advantage (plus Capps is still getting his feet wet post TJS). Aside from a 3-run shelling at Coors, Maurer was nails in September. Kintzler isn’t flashy, doesn’t strike anyone out, and won’t be very desirable in your drafts, but I also don’t see a lot of options to take the gig from him, especially if Trevor May truly moves to the rotation as they’ve said (wake me when Glen Perkins actually throws in a game with velocity and success). "Possession is 9/10ths of the law." Kintzler has the gig. Wouldn’t shock me at all if he’s the scrap heap closer that holds the gig all year and brings home 35 saves. Tier 7 28. Jeanmar Gomez (Hector Neris, Joaquin Benoit) 29. Huston Street Cam Bedrosian/Andrew Bailey (Huston? Still?) 30. Fernando Rodney (Burgos? Delgado? Idk) Gomez – say it with me again, “Possession is 9/10ths of the law.” I made a mistake last April ignoring Gomez, and I thought for sure he’d lose the gig as soon as he got it, and instead he puts up a 1st half with 24/26 saves and a sub-3 ERA. He doesn’t strike out anyone, but he held the gig. August wasn’t great, but he was fine… then September – yikes. 17 of his 37 ERs in 2016 came in the month of September. But, McCrackin came out and said Gomez heads into camp as the guy, and while Benoit and Neris are both options, what if Gomez puts up another first half like last year? I love Neris’ potential, and I think he’s a worthy target in roto for the ratios and Ks, but I think he could actually be 3rd in line for saves behind Gomez and Benoit. The question is… how long until Gomez turns into a pumpkin, and how long until Benoit gets hurt? Neris is the best arm, but he's also the guy getting ready to enter arbitration while the other two are under contract (I think Gomez is a FA after the year, actually). Doesn't mean Neris won't get it, but I think the Phils would be happy if Gomez took the gig and ran with it. The Angels guys… I think Street’s going to be hard pressed to make Opening Day, but don’t forget he rattled off a solid April last year before the injuries started. Alas, he’s a 33 YO with the body of a 50 YO. Bedrosian could be a solid closer, but I’m not sure they’ll give him the reins. Scioscia is an infuriating manager to predict, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Andrew Bailey open the year as the closer. Do you want that on your roster? Eh… Fernando Rodney… ah… now we get to see Rodney in a hitter’s haven. I’m not sure I’ll own him anywhere – that could get ugly really, really fast, or he could strike another deal with the devil and rattle off a sub-2 ERA for 3 months. Who knows with Rodney, and worse yet, who knows when the ride stops? It’s closer roulette.
  2. 21 likes
    All of them if he's healthy. Big fan of Mr. Peralta. He was a pretty substantial and universal sleeper going into 2016 and spent the vast majority of the year injured. People forget just how good Peralta was down the stretch in 2015, with a .360/.401/.577 slash in the second half of 2015. I’d like to see him look healthy in Spring Training but I don’t necessarily know if it’s fair to call him injury prone, and I really like him from a talent standpoint. I dug deep into his 2015 as if we were in 2016 to see what I would come up with. Firstly, there are injury concerns here as Peralta had two separate ailments last year and the last of which was a wrist injury, so there is some reason to be concerned about the future, but I think the concern has gone too far in pushing his ADP to the 300+ range. A lot of times I comp players at some point, mostly towards the end, but I’m going to do this one up front: the person David Peralta consistently reminds me of is Christian Yelich with fewer walks. Along with both being left handed outfielders, they are comparable to me in terms of contact, strikeouts, they both possess low FB%s, they both have good power for those FB%s, they have similar speed, etc. I’ll start with a list of comparisons: O-Contact% / Z-Contact%: Yelich (Career): 57.4% / 88.2% Peralta (2015): 60.2% / 88.4% K%: Yelich (Career): 20.9% Peralta (2015): 20.7% Elevated K% v. LHP: Yelich (Career): 23.5% Peralta (2015): 25.6% FB%: Yelich (Career): 17.3% (and 20.0% for the first time in 2016) Peralta (2015): 26.6% LD%: Yelich (Career): 22.5% Peralta (2015): 21.3% Hard%: Yelich (Career): 35.1% Peralta (2015): 35.4% SB/600 PAs: Yelich (Career): 16 per 600 PAs (only 9 in 2016 in 659 PAs) Peralta (2015): 10.5 per 600 PAs SLG v. LHP: Yelich (Career): 0.367 Peralta (2015): 0.375 And I feel like I could make a few more if I really tried. Now in terms of 2015 performance, Peralta’s .312 BA was held up by a combination of a .368 BABIP and a light platooning v. LHP, but I’d project Peralta’s BABIP to be pretty high based on what he did that year. Peralta has a GB/LD lean, he’s pretty fast, and he hits the ball pretty hard. Peralta’s xBABIP runs about .333 and considering Chase field, I think a .340+ BABIP based on what he did in 2015 is pretty fair. Here’s another thing to consider: one of the problems with Hard% is that it counts all batted ball types, but sometimes you can get a good exit velocity with a bad launch angle, i.e. a very hard hit grounder or a ball very hard hit right into the ground and popped up on a bounce. According to this fangraphs article written prior to the 2016 season, Peralta’s Hard contact rate on Line Drives and Fly balls was actually considerably higher (50%) and was good for 10th best in baseball. So on the balls the perhaps count the most, Peralta hit the ball particularly hard. Now I’m not going to project Peralta to hit even .300 this year, especially off of injury, but I think he definitely has that in his bat, and I think that if he can make the smallest of improvements v. LHPs he could even threaten .310 again. And I don’t think the healthy floor in BA is really all that low. This guy makes good, hard contact in Chase and runs well. His BABIP should stay healthily above .300. Now, Peralta has a somewhat low Oppo% at less than 22%, but for the most part, I’m not really concerned at all. (I’m less concerned when you see the plate coverage information below.) For one, Peralta’s Oppo% is pretty bad on Ground balls, so perhaps they employ some sort of shift, but that’s harder to do with someone of his speed, and when you split his batted balls and take a look at his Line Drives, his Oppo% goes up to 26%. Take a look at his spray chart particularly with Line Drives, this does not seem to me to be a guy whose BABIP will suffer because of a lack of an ability to drive the ball to the opposite field: David Peralta Spray Chart In terms of his basic splits, to be honest, I have little complaints for a first year lefty. I mean, no they weren’t ideal, but for a guy seeing left handed pitching at the major league level for the first time in his career, a .250/.311/.375 slash line just really isn’t all that bad to me. Take the aforementioned Christian Yelich, who hit .287/.329/.387 v. LHP last year. Now that line is better, I’ll grant you that, but not by a whole lot, and a difference of 30 points of OPS (.686 v. .716). In regards to his batted balls versus lefties, he used the Opposite field a bit more (25.4% v. 20.8%), had zero pop-ups, and still delivered a worse but solid and above average 32.2% Hard%. That in combination with his speed make me believe that the .328 BABIP he put up v. LHPs is probably pretty legitimate, and while Peralta isn’t incredibly young in years (29), if he improves in terms of experience, I could see him getting a little bit better, potentially cutting his 25.6% K% v. LHP down towards even just the 22-23% range, which could continue to push his BA overall up, because I think he’s going to mash righties, even if not to the .325/.384/.552 slash of 2015, I’m pretty confident in his ability of players on that side. Peralta’s HR/FB% is a bit high, and for a semi-low FB hitter, I do think that he may struggle to hit 20, but I also think he has that in his bat too. For one, if you believe anything chased with the baseballs in 2016, Peralta was not the beneficiary of those inflated stats. I also really like Peralta’s homers in terms of distance and spread. Peralta averaged over 400 Ft. per HR and hit multiple HRs to center and left center. It seems like he does hit a few more low launch angle, high exit velo homers, which is consistent with the rest of his batted ball profile. I think, like Yelich, that Peralta can potentially defy his FB% and possess 20+ HR power, but I’ll probably project him to fall just short. In terms of Plate Discipline, Peralta is ever-so-slightly aggressive, with a chase rate that is a mere 1.2% above average, and a zone swing rate that is about 1.4% above average. So that in combination of an 8+% BB% in 2015 give me the sense that Peralta is right around a league average walker. Looking through his zones, it seems that he chases low balls with bad results just a little too much, but nothing substantially concerning. Peralta has a pretty normal to slightly elevated chase rate on pitches missing low and away (35.63%). By his Brooks’ profile, Peralta’s worst chase zone is middle up, but he SLGs over .500 in that range. Peralta does struggle and swings a lot at balls on the inner third of the plate but high, whiffing a good amount and with no base hits in this range, so he could work on this, but overall he seems like a pretty average PD hitter who will have a healthy but not-double-digit BB% to me. David Peralta 2015 Swing% Peralta does have a relatively high whiff rate on low balls, and in some of the higher ranges. David Peralta 2015 Whiff% However, I’m also rather impressed with Peralta’s plate coverage. While he does have a bit of a pull tendency, as referenced with his Spray Chart earlier, Peralta does seem to show a good opposite field approach when necessary. Peralta was excellent at hitting balls outside, even those that were off the plate outside. Peralta slugged .567 on the outer 3rd of the plate and an even better .618 on pitches that were out of the zone outside but not on the corners. Peralta did struggle with balls that were low, particularly balls between middle low and the low and away pitch, but for the most part his plate coverage looks really good to me: David Peralta 2015 SLG% Took a look at Peralta’s pitch specifics and didn’t find too much to worry about, though I am convinced that if he wants to make strides v. LHPs, it will have to come with improvements against the Slider. Here are Peralta’s Whiff%’s by pitch typing: 4SFB: 11.11% Sinker: 4.66% Change: 16.00% Slider: 17.37% Curve: 14.98% Cutter: 11.03% So the only thing that sticks out to me here is that Peralta definitely prefers sinkers to 4-seamers. I am I would always expect 4-Seamers to have a higher whiff rate, but not only is the 4-seam whiff rate a tad high for my taste, Peralta absolutely mashed Sinkers. Sinkers were Peralta’s favorite pitch type as he mashed a .447 BA and .262 ISO for a .709 SLG. Aside from Cutters, which he also mashed to a .395 ISO (!!) and .711 SLG, this was by far his favorite pitch type. Thus, as one would expect, Peralta did dominate groundball oriented pitchers: Split by Pitcher Type via Baseball Reference: GB: .349/.441/.586 G/F: .308/.350/.510 FB: .265/.307/.451 And like his lefty split, looking at his FB line may not be the best, but if his “bad” split is a .758 OPS, we’ll be just fine. The whiff rate on 4 seamers is a bit high, but I attribute it partially to eagerness to chase high pitches. I think this is something he can bring down and either way isn't an overwhelming weakness. Back to those Sliders. The whiff% on sliders is not that bad, nor are the overall results. Peralta had a .119 ISO v. Sliders and a .373 SLG, neither of which are particularly bad for your worst pitch. I did however run a lefty split because I assumed Peralta had a high Whiff% and K% against Sliders, and sure enough, Peralta whiffed on 23.38% of Lefty Sliders, and had 11 of his 25 PAs ending in Sliders end in a strikeout (44%). Now again, it’s odd to say because he was 27 then and 29 now, but this is a guy who was facing top level lefties for the first time in his life, so while I do not give him a PASS, I find it’s likely he can improve to a small degree and help him to achieve a high Batting Average. The rest of Peralta's pitch specific data looks pretty good, with solid ISOs and SLGs. The only thing even perhaps worth mentioning is that he did not homer off of a change up, but also had 6 doubles and 2 triples and a .266/.422 line, so it's not something I'm all that concerned with. Updated Bottom Line Projection: .290/79/19/88/11 Bottom Line: I’ve already made the Bold Prediction that Joc Pederson will beat out George Springer on the 2017 Player Rater. The idea with that projection is they’re somewhat similar players to me with somewhat similar skillsets, not necessarily that I think Joc will win, but I think Joc is a discounted version of George that could potentially return similar value far later. In this same vein, I’m tempted to take David Peralta over another hitter I like quite a bit, the aforementioned Christian Yelich. And again, it’s not that I believe Peralta is better, but if he’s fully healthy going into 2017, I foresee this as a player who is well suited for Chase Field, who will maintain a high BABIP and a strong BA in the .290-.305 range, hit over 15 HRs and threaten 20 or more, and potentially steal double digit bases. Peralta is also looking to bat in the top probably four of what should be a pretty potent top of the lineup if health remains stable for fellow injured OFer Pollack and slugger Paul Goldschmidt. So I think Peralta could be a good source of average, HR+SBs, and R+RBIs this year, and he’s going as a forgotten man with an ADP passed 300 according to fantasypros. Now again, health could be a concern for Peralta, but Peralta constitutes someone who could also be a massive steal in fantasy drafts and is at a price where there’s very little risk. I’ll be jumping him quite a few rounds in a few drafts, and can also see myself bumping him up my rankings. This is a top 100 player to me if it were 2016, and he's not going at an 85% price like teammate AJ Pollock. Here’s to hoping he can stay healthy through the 2017 season.
  3. 16 likes
    My Overall Top 250 (First Pass) w/Projections/Blurbs/Profiles/etc. So I just finished by blurbs for my first pass at my 2017 overall top 250 for 5x5 Roto leagues. Before I get into anything I wanted to establish a bit of a framework or context for my ranks. This framework I’ll mark by sections and will briefly cover my philosophy as to my intentions with posting my ranks, my method of creating projections, and a bit of a “usage guide” so to speak about how I view the relationship between Rankings, Projections and ADP data. If you want to skip the framework and just click the links to the bottom links I won’t fault you for it at all, but I definitely recommend reading at least the guide because I do find my interpretation of the relationship between Rankings, Projections, and ADP to be important to a reading of my ranks. Intent -- I get two comments typically in regards to ranks: “When will you post them,” and “Why do you post them, because I play in leagues with people who frequent this forum and I don’t want them to know what I’m thinking at the draft board.” I completely understand the latter point, but it has (obviously) never really been my approach to withhold information. Typically if I have information that I haven’t posted yet it is because I’m either working on it or haven’t had the time to develop a profile in a way that makes it more easily viewable. I love playing Fantasy Baseball and I love winning leagues but that’s really never been my big thing. When you boil it down, I’m just not that competitive, at least in that way. I’m competitive in the sense that I want my opinion to be as accurate as possible, I want to be right as often as possible, and perhaps most important, if there’s something that can help me identify where I’m wrong, I’d like to know where it is, identify it, and adjust my own rankings. That’s the real intention of posting this: on the one hand, it does have something to do with giving information and enjoying that aspect of the game, but on the other hand, placing my personal ranks up for public scrutiny creates the easiest avenue for my rankings to be as accurate as possible. In simplistic terms: you get all my work, all my research, and all of my opinions placed simply in front of you with less work; I get you to read it over, identify possible flaws, fix my mistakes, and I get to manipulate ya'll into giving me more sources of information and allowing me to create at least to me what will be the best possible ranking set I can have come draft day. Now, if it’s a player like Story, Blackmon, Baez, Votto, Polanco, or someone that I have a fairly strong opinion on, most likely it’s not going to change without a very surprising bit of information I may have missed, but obviously I haven’t profiled every baseball player quite to the extent that I have guys like Polanco or Story. This thread and these ranks will help create an impetus by which I will be persuaded in various directions to make various more inquiries and, again, create what I believe to be the best possible ranking set. Projections -- This will be brief, because there isn’t necessarily one direct way I go about making projections. My typical path which I followed with most if not all of these players is to do the following: -Project BB% based on past performance, trends, and other patience metrics. -Project K% based on past performance, trends, and other patience and contact metrics. -Project BABIP based on past performance, trends, and predictors including Hard%, Oppo%, GB/LD/FB distribution, Speed, and more. -Project FB% based on past FB%’s and weighing trends. -Project HR/FB% based on career marks, recent trends, and distances -Project PAs -Formulate -Adjust The biggest one here is adjust. I do create a baseline with some sort of model, but for the most part, when my model (read: Calculator) spits out a baseline, I don’t just copy/paste it into my excel. I adjust. A ton of factors can go into these adjustments. Pitch specific data is the biggest that I’ve worked with more heavily this year, but as I said earlier, I just haven’t profiled everybody. So more or less, there are projections that are fairly close to the “baseline” which is pretty much my version of a Steamer or ZiPS, albeit with more weight in trends in players and of advanced stats metrics like Hard%, etc, and there are projections that I’ve worked on a lot and have moved up down and around to get to what I think is the fair projection to make for said player. I’m not worried to break from what a mathematical model spits out to me to create a projection I feel is more accurate for the player. Using My Ranks -- Relating Proj./Rank./ADP -- I find a lot if not most of the people who create their own projections model their Rankings heavily based on their projections. While my projections were done first, and no doubt informed my Rankings, I view them as almost mutually exclusive. Many players will have projections that suggest they should be ranked higher, lower, or differently. One primary factor that can go into this is safety. Rizzo is a prime example of someone who doesn’t have the greatest projection but still has a high ranking because the last few years aside from some stolen base fluctuation, he has been a metronome. A high upside guy I’m confident in like Keon Broxton will inevitably have a projection that would vastly over-earn their ranking because in general I can’t have a complete confidence in them achieving that upside. For the most part, my rankings represent the order in which I would draft with no outside pressuring or constantly in a vacuum, and my projections are a combination of a prediction and a method of balancing numbers so that I can figure out how to balance categories in a 5x5. When ADP comes into play things get really messy. I have many players ranked near 100 picks off of where they are currently ranked by Yahoo!’s draft room, so how do I adjust for that? I don’t believe in constantly passing on superior players in the hopes that they continuously slip, but if I rank players within a marginal range or find another player that I really like and could perhaps support a different path of categorical value, I can find a way to justify passing on someone I rank higher and hoping they slip another round. For example, I have Jose Ramirez ranked 110ish spots above where he’s ranked in Yahoo, but I also have Sanchez, Beltre and Hanley in that range. So if I were in a position where I felt like I could justify getting a little more power first, or getting one of the top catchers, I could justify doing so instead of getting Ramirez and hoping he slips. However, once we exit players that I consider to be of a similar quality, I will draft Ramirez. Even if it’s pick 80 and he’s ranked 160 by the website. If he’s in a tier by himself in my rankings, he’s a must draft. Period. Dot. End. Of. Story. Another thing in regards to rankings: I have a really hard time ranking pitchers alongside relief pitchers alongside hitters, because at a certain point it’s obviously categorical. If you pick a hitter but you really need a pitcher because I have them ranked higher, than you’re probably not doing the right thing. After the top 30-40 picks, where I’d take a pitcher gets really complex, so for the most part, the pitchers are scattered through my ranks, not completely at random, but I never evaluate pitchers versus hitters for my overall after a certain point. Same for closers after the first few tiers. These are three separate markets in a draft to me so the overlap has to do with the way the draft is going. After a point, I didn’t know what relievers would get jobs, but I wanted to reserve the spots for later, so you’ll notice I have some RP spots reserved for future use. I don’t know if this is the best way to go about it, but it’s the way I did it. Here are my rankings in an excel spreadsheet. I didn’t do pitching projections. Maybe I will maybe I won’t, but they’re so much more variable that it’s so frustrating to do: Top 250 w/ Offensive Projections Here are my rankings listed with blurbs. I wrote small blurbs for most but not all offensive players. The blurbs at times link to content on this forum that I have written previously. There are no links to outside websites other than Rotoworld Forum Posts. Most of the blurbs I have written within the past 24-36 hours so if anything reads weird, I apologize, and let me know because I’ll edit it. On both these documents it has a publication date at the top. Edits will change the date, i.e. “Published 2/20” will become “Editted 3/1” to acknowledge changes. This is largely a compilation of my profiles: Overall Top 250 w/ Blurbs I did not write any blurbs for starting pitchers. I decided instead to use the ones I had previously written for my SP Ranks: My SP Ranks And will also add to this my recent profile of Tanner Roark: Tanner Roark Outlook and Profile So cheers, have at it boys, like I said, the goal is to attract criticism with the intent of improving rankings. I got in a mind set that I just wanted to finally get this first pass out so I've been working pretty much non stop on that Google Doc for about 24-36 hours minus elements of sleeping so it may sound a little rushed but I hope it comes across well. Sorry if it lacks the humor, we can't all be @ChicksDigTheOPS
  4. 15 likes
    Don't think many people will find this as funny as you thought they would
  5. 15 likes
    wow who gives a s--- about what muscle group you worked on at the gym... wtf man
  6. 15 likes
    No worries. Capps is currently working in this new pitch, since the other is banned.
  7. 15 likes
    Me: Finally, conley's back! It's time to win! Fantasy: LOL. Me: NO NOT CP3....Good thing I have IR. --- Me: Finally, after months CP3 is back! Time to chase that #6 seed! Fantasy: HA HOW CUTE. Me: ....KD.....
  8. 14 likes
    Time to update this with HOT TAEK 2, 15 days after the first pass at these. The Disclaimer: Some of you will vehemently disagree with the below - while I'm curious as to the thoughts of others, these are my thoughts -- how I see things as they currently stand. They're just like... my opinion... man. Enjoy. Or don't. There is no try. (Also, please don't quote this whole thing...) The Rankings: Tier 1 1. Kenley Jansen (Romo? Not sure this one matters) 2. Aroldis Chapman (Betances) 3. Zach Britton (Brad Brach/O’Day – would be an interesting one if Britton went down, though I lean Brach) No change here… They’re great. Tier 2 4. Edwin Diaz (Cishek) 5. Seung-Hwan Oh (Siegrist) 6. Wade Davis (Carl Edwards Jr.) 7. Mark Melancon (Strickland) Couple of changes here – I’m absolutely sold on Edwin Diaz, and I’m drafting him as soon as the elites from Tier 1 start to go. He’s cheaper than those guys, so you don’t have to “start the closer run” by taking him, and yet I think he absolutely has a very good chance of being right there with the top guys when it’s all said and done. The Mariners are a good club, and Diaz has had a great WBC. His K-rate last year was 15.33. Stealing from FanGraphs here: Since 1987, only 8 qualified relievers posted a better FIP in their debut season than Edwin Diaz – in order: Kimbrel, Jansen, Rafael Soriano, Giles, Takashi Saito, Betances, Danny Farquhar, Joba Chamberlain. Pretty good company, and Diaz is working on a change-up this spring, which would just be unfair. I’m expecting triple digit Ks. Davis also moves up as I’ve grown more comfortable with his health and situation. As I said before, two teams signed off on his medicals (so we’re not left trusting the Royals to tell us everything is fine). Davis’ velocity looks fine this spring, and he had 13 Ks over his last 8.2 IP to close the season last year. Chicago is going to win a whole bunch of games, and Davis is getting paid, so I expect some leash. Again stealing a bit from FanGraphs - over the past 3 years his ERA is 1.18 (20 points better than the next closest guy in Britton). His FIP over that stretch is 1.86 (5th best in the league). Per Brooksbaseball.net, Davis is averaging 95 on the FB this spring, better than last year at this time, better than 2014, and right on par with 2015’s velocity. Also, Carl Edwards Jr. is a boss – and I expect it shows up this year. Should Davis go down, that’s a tremendous handcuff. Still like Oh and Melancon just fine, but I’ll take the extra Ks if I can get them. Tier 3 8. Craig Kimbrel (Thornburg) 9. Kelvin Herrera (Soria) 10. Cody Allen (Miller) 11. Roberto Osuna (Grilli) 12. Ken Giles (Gregerson) Just a little bit of shuffling here – Allen moves down a few spots. I still like Allen and still believe he nets most of the saves for Cleveland, but I’d take all the saves from Boston ahead of him. Herrera vs. Allen is tricky, and one I’d honestly debate in the draft room. I think I’d take Herrera given the job is his and his alone, while Allen still has Miller looking over his shoulder. Osuna and Giles are still great, but Osuna’s health down the stretch last year has me kinda wary of him, and I got burned last year on Giles. Giles absolutely has the stuff to be right there with the best in the game by the end of the year, but the Astros have already shown just last year that they’ll turn to Gregerson if things get rocky. Tier 4 13. Jeurys Familia (Reed) 14. Alex Colome (Boxberger) 15. Jim Johnson (Vizcaino / Cabrera) 16. Neftali Feliz (Knebel) 17. David Robertson (Jones) 18. Francisco Rodriguez (Rondon) 19. Sam Dyson (Bush/Jeffress) Unless I’m planning to chase saves (which I generally do anyway), I want 2 closers from these 19. I feel like that gives you a pretty solid foundation heading into this year. Some of these top-19 will still lose the job due to injury or ineffectiveness, but that’s the saves game. Take the discount on Familia while you still can – I pointed out in the last update that even without a month, you’d have gotten 30+ saves and great ratios and Ks (even if they didn’t match his stellar 2015). Colume remains under-appreciated. The next 5 guys could be shuffled in almost any order, and I wouldn’t argue too much. Dyson falls to the back not because I don’t trust him, but because the Rangers have plenty of alternatives, and I actually think Dyson may be best used in a fireman role where that heavy sinker can generate double play balls. Matt Bush is probably next-in-line. Jim Johnson and Neftali Feliz are getting grossly underrated right now IMO – I think both are pretty safe, pitching for teams that are better than you’d think at first blush. Either could get dealt at the deadline, but I’d bet they’re not traded for a bucket of balls – they’re going to fetch good prospects if they move at all. And if they do get traded, then it’s because they’ve done well for you for 4 months. You could do a lot worse. Still like Robertson and K-Rod just fine. I think K-Rod has as long a leash as anyone given the alternatives in Detroit, but another year older and at some point Father Time wins… I’ve found myself letting others take that chance. Tier 5 I was going to split these next guys into multiple tiers, but then I honestly couldn’t really decide a good way to do that given what we know today. Possession is 9/10ths of the law -- but this is also where the saves chasers are going to focus. I prefer some of these guys to others … I think this is the order in which I’d draft them, assuming I don't already have enough saves guys above to focus on ratio and K guys with my late relievers. 20. Greg Holland (Adam Ottavino) 21. Tony Watson (Daniel Hudson) 22. Brandon Maurer (Carter Capps) 23. Koda Glover (Kelley/Trienen) 24. Raisel Iglesias (Lorenzen/Storen) 25. AJ Ramos (Ziegler/Barraclough) 26. Ryan Madson (Casilla/Dull/Doolittle) 27. Cam Bedrosian (Huston Street/Andrew Bailey?) 28. Brandon Kintzler (Ryan Pressley) 29. Jeanmar Gomez (Hector Neris) 30. Fernando Rodney (Burgos? Delgado? Idk) Greg Holland is rumored to be the guy, per the beat writers. We assume they’re getting tips from the coaches or FO or somewhere, but, as we learned last year with Ken Giles, sometimes these beat writers are just blowhards who think they know everything. Holland at 94-96 has been a great closer (though not in Coors); we’ve seen Ottavino be successful in Coors. Hopefully we get clarity before most of us have to draft, but as of today I’d take Holland first and do my absolute best to handcuff with Ottavino. I think either guy, with the clear role and some leash, could be a top-15 closer, and if one is named to the gig before I draft, he'll jump up to Tier 4. Tony Watson has been declared the guy by the GM, and I expect he’ll open the season in the role. His FIP last year wasn’t good (4.37), and he doesn’t strike out a lot of guys (7.7 K/9 after 7.4 K/9 in 2015). His spring has been rough. Daniel Hudson was brought in and spent the first 3 months of last year as one of the best relievers in the game (albeit not closing) – and Hudson looks great this spring. One to watch closesly (I’d roster Hudson in deeper leagues). Maurer is solid, if unspectacular, and I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t open the season in the closer role for the Padres. So why isn’t he higher? Carter Capps is a tremendous reliever with a K-rate among the best RPs in the game, and Capps is pitching in spring already. He may not be ready to go in April, but even if Capps returns in May, I expect Maurer’s leash to be short. I heard one "expert" on SiriusXM state that Padres Manager Andy Green said he viewed Capps as a top-3 reliever in baseball when he’s healthy. Argue the merits of the claim all you want, but it would still suffice to say the manager thinks Capps is better than Maurer. The best guy doesn’t ALWAYS pitch the 9th, but I could see it happening here if Maurer has any trouble. Koda Glover is everyone’s favorite shiny new toy. He’s got the goods to K a ton of dudes, no doubt. I think he could *probably* handle the gig, but I still find it odd that Dusty’s now going to trust a rookie after basically burying young players for his entire managerial career. Kelley is more than capable. Some scouts like Trienen for the role. Joe Nathan is still hanging around (which feels like the Dusty move). Until we know more, you gotta treat Glover like the guy. High risk/high reward here – he probably won’t have a tremendously long leash. Raisel Iglesias would be a great closer (pending health – his elbow is sore, his back has something going on, and the team is now giving him a “more thorough once over” for which results are pending). Price says he wants his closers to pitch multiple innings. Iglesias is on record as saying he generally needs a couple days of rest after pitching 2 innings, which is going to limit saves chances. Price is also saying he wants to have a committee approach here with Iglesias and Lorenzen as the primary guys (but again, if they’re throwing 40 pitches a night, this gets weird). If Storen makes the team, we’ve seen him be an excellent closer in the past, though he was pretty awful last year. The dark horse that I’ll mention: Barrett Astin. Astin was a closer at Arkansas, and moved to the bullpen last year in AA, then had a great showing in the AFL. If the Reds are taking the best talent north, Astin’s going to make the roster. He’s rocking a 12/0 K/BB in 7.2IP with a 1.17 ERA and a 0.78 WHIP – keep the name in mind. AJ Ramos is a fine closer, in theory. I’ll fully admit that this ranking won’t get him anywhere, and I’m OK with that. I’m willing to be wrong here. Capps may have had this job last year had he not blown out his elbow. The Marlins brought in Rodney at the deadline last year, then flirted with every big name reliever this offseason in an effort to displace Ramos. They ultimately signed Ziegler after whiffing on Jansen and Chapman. They’ve seemingly tried to displace Ramos at every chance. I don’t really know the *why* behind that, but reading the tea leaves, I doubt he has much leash. Ziegler has done it before and is probably the handcuff, despite all of us wanting Barraclough’s Ks coming along with saves. Madson – it’s not sexy, but he netted 30 saves last year. He’s entering closer cockroach territory at this point of his career, and I wouldn’t blame anyone for betting on one of the other dudes around him. Doolittle is great when he’s healthy, but I don’t trust that shoulder. Dull may be the sleeper here… but another cockroach (Casilla) lurks as well. Bedrosian on talent probably belongs higher on the list, but his manager is infuriating when it comes to roster decisions. Street is close to throwing again (I believe I read) and may very well get the gig back when he’s healthy, especially if Bedrosian has any hiccups. Kintzler has the job now, and again, possession is 9/10ths of the law. I’m not sure how much of this is being drummed up by the media vs. the coaching staff just giving a guy a tip of the cap for a strong spring, but Ryan Pressly is supposedly pressing him for the gig, which if nothing else shortens Kintzler’s leash. Pressly throws a power sinker in the mid-upper 90s, if you were wondering, with a slider and curve as well. I assume he mostly throws 2 pitches, and I’m not sure which breaking ball he defaults to. Gomez has the gig now. He held it for 30+ saves last year and could very well do so again. Neris is a great arm and could take the gig by the 2nd week of April, and I wouldn’t be surprised. Neris could also pitch the 7th and 8th all year, and I wouldn’t be surprised. Benoit also lurks in camp, but has been getting blasted and is old. Edubray Ramos may be a dark horse. Rodney still wears a cocked cap and shoots fake arrows after saves. Ride the lightning.
  9. 14 likes
    I went into Brandon Drury today as a potential addition to my top 250. Drury’s set to have a pretty good opportunity to earn the everyday Second Baseman job for the Diamondbacks and has flexibility to play all over the infield, at least at the corners should an injury or otherwise befall either of the Diamondbacks’ corners. There are a few too many mouths to feed, but out of all those players I think I like Drury the most, and think he can solidify himself as the Second Baseman this year for the Dbacks, and after digging into Drury, he’ll be in my top 250 (which will make it a top 253 technically) come my second Friday Update. First thing with Drury is that he hit .282 in 2016 and accompanied it with a .327 BABIP, which for a first year player, projection systems like Steamer are completely unwilling to buy into this potential BABIP, and have him regressing towards league average and finishing with a BA of between .262 and .268. (Curiously though, Fans LOVES Drury, giving him a .342 BABIP and .298 BA). I’m inclined to believe Drury’s far more likely to maintain something in his 2016 range than be a league average BABIP hitter. Now Drury’s batted ball data isn’t perfect, and he does have a pull tendency that I’ll get into a bit later, but Drury does have quite a few things going for him in terms of BABIP: Drury has a GB/LD lean in his batted ball profile, he possesses an above average Hard% (32.9%), and plays in one of the best home parks in all of baseball to stimulate BABIP in the Desert of Arizona. So no matter what I believe Drury will or won’t do in 2017, I definitely do not believe that Drury’s .327 BABIP in 2016 was a factor of “luck,” or at least driven solely by luck, but rather his batted ball data. I checked Drury’s home run distances and they looked pretty good to me. Mostly pull power but did blast a few to the oppo field, and he’s showed a few times that he can really get a hold of one (http://m.mlb.com/video/v636907383/stlari-drury-belts-a-homer-off-the-second-deck/?c_id=mlb). I don’t necessarily know what Drury’s ceiling is though, at least for 2017, as he is a relatively limited flyball hitter, as discussed in his BABIP. I’d put his power ceiling at or near 20 but not much above (18-22?), but that’s still pretty good. One thing I am sure about, Drury has excellent gap power in a park that is excellent to have gap power in. Drury hit 31 Doubles in just 499 PAs which would be a pretty strong and near 40 Double pace for a full season. The Doubles I think are completely legit and they’re something I think will help him in terms of ISO and driving in Runners. I do see potential in the future for Drury to put the ball in the air more and get a further increase from his power output, but as of now I think it’s fair to project right around 20 as leaning optimistic. Drury also had very even splits in 2016, hitting .283 v. RHP and .280 v. LHP. He also showed a very good ability to drive the ball against both hands, with a .205 ISO v. LHP and a worse but still very strong for same handed .164 ISO v. RHP. Drury was able to hit home runs off of both hands at a pretty good rate. Drury had a slightly elevated K% against his same hand (21.2% v. 17.0%), but overall, Drury’s splits are very encouraging to me, particularly because in his situation he doesn’t want to give managers any excuses to put him on the bench for a “platoon” advantage, so being able to produce especially those numbers against righties is crucial for his ability to see playing time in 2017, and I think he could actually hit a little better against lefties. Maybe the fortune argument could be made both ways, but it definitely seems like he should’ve hit lefties a little better than righties. So one primary thing I noticed on Drury right away was that is O-Swing/Z-Swing plate discipline metrics look really bad. The odd thing though was that not just his K% but his BB% and K% weren’t as bad as those numbers suggested, so I wondered if they may not have been a very accurate representation of Drury’s batting eye, and sure enough, Drury’s zone profile sheds some light onto why he actually has pretty solid PD. For one, Drury’s chase rate on pitches low and away is incredibly low, sitting at 14.97%. These outside pitches in general seem to be ones that Drury has no interest in going after, as he chased only 17.8% of all pitches that were off the plate outside. This seems to play into Drury’s current intent as a hitter with his bit of a pull tendency: Lay off pitches away, get pitches in, crush pitches in. Now while this plan will assuredly work for Drury plenty of times, Drury is also a bit hesitant to swing at pitches that landed on the outer third in the strikezone. Specifically, Drury didn’t chase many pitches at all that ended on the outside corner of the strikezone. So there’s 9 zones in the strikezone and I decided to break up Drury’s Swing% on zones by the Inner third of the plate and the dead center (4 Squares), the Outside Corner (only 1 square) and the other squares in the middle/outer thirds (4 Squares). Here are his swing rates by these zones: Inner: 71.6% Middle-Out: 56.3% Outside Corner: 38.1% Drury also saw a very high number of pitches low and away both outside AND inside the strikezone, so this seems to be the plan for pitchers against Drury and the plan for Drury: Pitchers try to steal strikes on the outside, keep it away from him, force him into an out. Drury tries to lay off pitches outside, get ahead of the count, and drive the ball. Here’s some Graphs. Keying in on where Drury is laying off pitches: Swing% Keying in on where Drury is being pitched, mainly down and away: Pitch% A semblance of an opposite field approach could drastically change things for Drury if he felt that he could handle outside pitches. For now, it’s a ***** in the armor and a flaw, but it does seem like it’s a flaw he’s aware of and one that is accompanied by a strength of pulling the ball and making contact that Drury uses for his advantage. I do think this will keep him from being a really good BA hitter until he makes the adjustment though. Briefly, Drury had relatively high whiff rates both high and low, whiffing at 17.6% of pitches that were high (minus the high outside corner, where Drury did not chase) and whiffing at 16.9% of pitches low (minus the low outside corner, which, as discussed earlier, Drury rarely chased). The high number in particular is one I think Drury can work on because it probably suggests he’s chasing a few “eager” fastballs up in the zone. Here’s a quick graphic: Whiff% So it seems pitchers sneak the inside ball up on him and beat him at times. Now I like the power and I like the splits and even the pull tendency doesn’t bother me too much, so at this point I do like Drury, but the pitch specific data pretty much sold me on Drury. He’s pretty strong across the board on all pitch types. I’ve been using this preface a lot recently, but usually I look for about 20% rates as concerns, close to 20 I usually look into pitches, and fastballs have lower thresholds. Here are his Whiff%’s by pitch type: 4SFB: 7.58% Sink: 6.48% Change: 11.38% Slider: 16.04% Curve: 14.40% I consider all of those very good with little weakness. I checked his splits to see if there was any substantial change v. RHP and while the numbers jumbled a bit, I didn’t see a glaring weakness v. same handed pitching. Drury also generated ISO’s of at least .149 on every major pitch type on Brooks. Most of his pitch types are in the mid to high .100’s, with Curves and Cutters being in the low .200s. His lowest SLG on any pitch type was a .389 on a Slider. Having a worst pitch type be near .400 is pretty solid. His second worst pitch type was even more impressive, as his second worst pitch type was a .456 SLG on Curves. That’s pretty damn good. If your second worst pitch you have a SLG in the mid-.450s, you have very few issues in terms of certain pitches. Now are some of these variable by potentially inflated BABIP’s? Of course, but again, he plays in a pretty good park to get decently inflated BABIPs. Here’s his SLG by pitch type just to get an idea: 4SFB: .461 SINK: .505 Change: .483 Slider: .389 Curve: .456 Cutter: .516 That’s really strong, especially for a 2nd Baseman. Bottom Line Projection: If everyday 2B: .278/72/20/77/2 Bottom Line: I like Brandon Drury. He has a really good situation apart from having a few extra mouths to feed, but with good performance if he can play nearly every day at 2nd then he’ll be in a strong line-up with an excellent ballpark. I especially think his power in particular works well with the ballpark just because of the number of XBH and doubles in particular he generated during 2016. It may be a weird comp to make but a guy that Drury kind of reminds me of in a lot of ways is Devon Travis. They have similar K/BB rates, with Drury walking a little bit more but still below MLB average, and both having K%’s at 20.0 (Drury) and 20.1% (Travis). They have similar contact skills. Travis has the better overall contact tool because he’s better at getting pitches out of the zone, but their in the zone contact rates are about as identical as their K rates (90.4% for Drury, 90.2% for Travis in 2015 and 91.4% in 2016). They’re just different in the way they’ve sort of developed their skill sets. Travis sprays the ball, uses the opposite field extremely well, and can drive a high BABIP without elite exit velocities, whereas Drury is more pull conscious, but also has a bit more power in the bat. The thing I kinda like about Drury though is that his weakness is mitigated by Chase. I think Drury’s slight issues with the outer third and his pull tendencies would drop his BA a bit lower to me if not for the fact that I think Chase keeps it up. Drury won’t be ranked near Travis, who I’m particularly high on, but I do think his upside is in the same range with a bit more power and maybe a bit less BA. Drury’s non-guaranteed PT will probably drive him outside of my top 200, but he’s probably not gonna be too far outside it. Impressed with most of the things I found on Brandon Drury.
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    Spent some time on Robert Gsellman. Watched some of his game tape and went through his profile. Gonna start a bit with the arsenal. So Gsellman’s arsenal evaluation is really all centered around his Sinker. It averaged 94.53 MPH according to Brooksbaseball and just watching the pitch it has really good horizontal movement. I’ve seen him use it often on lefties and move it off the plate away as it tails. It generates a very strong number of whiffs for a sinker (9.72%) as well as producing a high GB% (62+%). So his Sinker is rare in two ways: Combination of Velocity and Movement, and Combination of Swing & Miss and GB%. It's a really good pitch and if other things go well or take minor strides, having that pitch as the primary can help in a lot of ways. I think the command is solid, but I’ve seen him be a bit wild and I’ve seen him miss the glove in the zone quite a bit. The good news is that his Sinker is still hard to square up so it’s not like he’s missing locations at 88, but it is something I’m looking at, and hoping to see the 23 Y.O. improve. I’d also like to see Gsellman sustain velocity a little bit better later into games. He didn’t quite lose a full tick of velocity from the first time through the order to the third time, and 0.80 MPH is nothing to “worry” about, but I did see quite a few more 92’s as he got deeper into games, though it did seem like he was able to ramp up to 95 when he needed to, but that goes back to the relationship with command as well because he overthrew some of those pitches as well IMO. Gsellman throws the high velo slider as well, like a good number of the Mets. Brooks actually classifies it as a Cutter most of the time and has him using a Cutter and a Slider but I’m fairly certain it’s a classification issue and that these are the same pitch. Looks like it goes around 88.5 MPH and produces a whiff% up in the high teens. Like his Sinker it had a strong combination of limiting damage, getting whiffs, and producing a high level of groundballs. I think he’s got these two pitches down. Now, Gsellman throws a curve and has occasionally thrown in a change, but I feel like these aren’t really established options for him at this point. I think Gsellman in a lot of ways is really similar to Joe Ross, but with slightly less command, and better stuff specifically on the sinker. I also think particularly that Gsellman’s Curve is a bit further along than any of Ross’ third offerings. But, I do think this is where we begin to get towards the downsides for Gsellman. He throws it a bit more than 10%, and isn’t special in terms of whiffs or groundballs. It also doesn’t produce a ton of Swings. So very small sample size but I looked at the splits I’d typically expect to be bad for this kind of arsenal and he didn’t do well in a very limited sample third time through the order: 8.2 IP, 8.31 ERA, and a WHIP over 2.00. Again, very limited sample, but I also didn’t see anything in his pitch mix that suggested he was changing things up on hitters later in the game, and for a guy who leans on a FB+SNK+SL combination 83+% of the time, this is something I’d expect to be a concern. I think he needs to develop his curve in particular, or it could be the change, and work on how he mixes pitches to batters if he wants to have more sustained success and work deeper into games. Now, he didn’t have bad L v. R splits, but there’s a bit of potential flukey-ness in the numbers. For one, I have a hard time believing that his K/9 v. LHB, which was far higher than v. RHB, is going to sustain north of 10 K/9. If that normalizes closer to his rate v. RHBs, not only do I think it will dip his overall K/9 back towards the low 8’s or even high 7’s, I think he’ll give up a bit more to LHBs. Gsellman also had a similar BABIP v. LHB and v. RHB, but the quality of contact he surrendered between lefties and righties was quite a bit different. Here’s a chart for some differentials: Differential from Righties to Lefties: BABIP: +.003 LD%: +3.4% Oppo%: +10.0% Soft%: -17.6% Hard%: +13.8% So he saw a pretty stark difference in the typical metrics I personally feel predict BABIP. Produced much less soft contact, produced way more hard contact, and gave up more Line Drives to Lefties but had a similar BABIP. So I think while the baseline numbers v. Lefties are good, the combination of his arsenal and a few underlying metrics cause me some concern. Bottom Line: I think he’s a slightly-more-wealthy-man’s Joe Ross. I like both, but I’ll take Gsellman’s better sinker and his more developed Curve over Ross’s better command. However, I question a couple of the same things on Gsellman as I do on Ross. I worry about him the third time through and against lefties primarily. I also wonder where his K/9 will eventually end up. His Whiff% was a little underwhelming for his K%, and particularly his K/9 v. LHBs seems very unsustainable to me. I think he has a good shot of being a solid value but I wonder if his K/9 falls south of 8.0 and if his other numbers represent more of a high-end back of the rotation MLB starter than a true difference maker. I do think though, like Ross, it’s not hard to see the next step. It’s just not there yet IMO.
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    Not a lot of talk but Mr. Harris has been great. I expected big things and he has delivered.
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    We should make a thread where we can talk about Spring Training.
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    Current view of his draft stock:
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    wow....if hes throwing in upper 90's the exit velocity on all the home runs he will give up will be well over a 100
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    honestly i'm disappointed they aren't starting the year playing carter over him just because it deprives us of the opportunity to yell "free bird" for a couple months
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    Gausman Conforto ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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    I didn't want people getting confused him confused with Jamal Crawford. 75% can't spell on this thread, I doubt they can read either!
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    Silver: We scheduled 5 games for the Blazers this week? That's kinda unfair to people playing fantasy basketball. They don't need an extra game. NBA Staff: But isn't that unfair to the Wolves? They'll be down to 3 games. Silver: Who's on Mark Tatum's team again? NBA Staff: Towns, Wiggins, and Dieng Silver: Cut the game
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    That's a really, really dumb way to make decisions. What the best decision is is independent of what other people decide to do. If you're basing your decisions on doing the opposite of what the consensus owner does, you wouldn't take Trout in the first, and you'd aim for the worst possible stats.
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    Complaining about stats on a bye? I've seen it all now.
  23. 10 likes
    Is that an opinion or statistically based?
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    If I'm running an MLB team it's Correa and its not very close. If I'm running a fantasy team it's damn close. And... Im not running an MLB team just for the record.
  25. 10 likes
    Hey, Zaza here, just checking my fantasy updates during halftime. I did not hear a pop, but the leader in my league had KD so it had to be done tonight. Sorry to all the owners.
  26. 10 likes
    in related news: American citizens have to file their income tax returns by April 15th this year
  27. 10 likes
    I base my fbb decisions on doing the opposite of what Melvins does
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    The average owner doesn't win but also doesn't finish in last place. So the same logic applies.
  29. 10 likes
    From today's interview with Luke Walton: Reporter: "This thing with Zubac, is that imminent or is that down the line, as far as him starting?" Walton (dismissive hand gesture): "Oh, it's down the line. We'll get him out there at some point" The RW blurb seemed to suggest that he's going to start right away, but maybe expectations should be tempered for now.
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    Tough crowd. I could take all the guys listed in this thread so far and win the league.
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    I would almost argue the exact inverse of your order.
  32. 9 likes
    Mine was to drop Nikola Mirotic, have an opponent pick him up after missing the past 4 games and watch him have the best game of his season against me on monday of 1st playoff week. I hate fantasy lol.
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    Coach Kidd: Khris Middleton will start again tonight. His first back-to-back of the season.
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    traded an inactive manager for someone who actually gives a s---.
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    i spit my beer out when i saw BRUCE as an OF2.....lol
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    Damn - some people are never satisfied.. A 21 yr old rookie drops 10/5/12/2 and people complain about his fg! You picked him up off waivers not drafted him in the first round. Let's all complain how harden and beastbrook kill your TOs ..
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    well, let me update the post and see where we are updated thoughts: guys i've bailed on since this post: kazmir: i was hoping he was healthy now and could rebuild his mechanics, but the moment the same hip started acting up again, i bailed immediately. i cut him even in a league where every move costs money. ain't nobody got time for that tanner roark: not bailing on him, but, i've bothered to look up where he's getting drafted now, and, it's actually pretty high. so not necessarily a big value play worth mentioning cody anderson: obviously goes in the "no" pile with the TJ. still interested in him long-term, but, next year now volquez: upon further thought, i'm kinda putting volquez in the "he is what he is" pile: a guy with good stuff but iffy command. the marlins did poach that one pitching coordinator from the pirates, i guess that might help. so he's still not a terrible play, but, not really one of my favorites at this point devenski and montgomery: as i expected, neither one looks like they're getting a rotation slot to start the year. still like both as pitchers, continue to monitor. although both are probably going to be owned in a lot of places anyway jhoulys: mehh guys i've gone a little higher on: steven wright - healthy, throwing hitless innings, price is down for now so wright's in the sox rotation... if you take one thing from my pitcher posts, please take that you should get steven wright. i believe that he's about to do his own version of the wakefield/dickey knuckleballer peak burst. and he's still incredibly cheap charlie morton - it's happening jharel cotton - not really higher on him than i was, just saying that i'm not bothered by the wonky start yesterday. it's spring training. he's fine. hope it knocks the hype / his price down a little new guys i'm getting into since this post: ed-rod, BOS - should have mentioned him the first time, but with the knee and the crowded BOS rotation i thought he'd probably get bumped. now that he's in, you should def get him, although the price has probably gone up now for the same reasons. get him anyway folty ATL - get him too while you're at it anibal sanchez and/or matt boyd, DET: this 5th starter battle has suddenly gotten pretty interesting. i like boyd a lot, but this mechanical adjustment two starts ago seems to have anibal dealing all of a sudden. he's a Loathed Bad Veteran, which is sometimes great profit. both guys are worth grabbing. i'll predict that anibal winds up with the slot out of ST just based on salary and veteran-ness, but boyd will get in there too if he keeps this up, which i think he will (boyd has also made a mechanical change, adjusted his arm slot late last year and it seems to be working) james shields CHW - see his thread that i just bumped. good free shot at a bounceback, easy cut if he goes south again. similar to anibal kyle freeland + antonio senzatela, COL - i don't really want to roll out rockies pitchers any more than you do, but if it was any other team, i'd really like both of these guys. senzatela is throwing 94-97 with command. freeland's K rate was terrible in AAA last year but they rockies say they were making him use certain pitches and his slider will bring that rate up once they unleash him. and he grew up in denver, which i feel like is encouraging. either or both may make the COL rotation at this point and i'm not SURE they're going to be able to put up usable numbers but it's worth a look. sal romano CIN - my best guess is he falls just short of their rotation even with all the openings, but he's really dealing and should be up sometime this year miguel gonzalez CHW - just got hit around today, but i've decided i like him as a streamer type. not much for Ks, but for solid starts. no real hashtag-analysis here, he was just really good in the second half last year. this isn't actual excitement, just, i don't think he's worthless bronson arroyo CIN - i just have a soft spot for this dude. don't worry about it
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    You ever see the McDonalds commercial where two guys are on an interview and the guy who brings the boss a bag of mcmuffins gets the job? I imagine that's along the lines of how this one will be decided
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    Cue the music... "Caaalifornia Looooove!!!!" 🎵🎵🎵
  43. 8 likes
    Let this be a lesson to everyone about the dangers of substance abuse.
  44. 8 likes
    Commish should veto this like in fantasy.
  45. 8 likes
    Niners are that guy in the auction draft with 90 bucks to spend on three bench players
  46. 8 likes
    As usual, props to all the leagues that have already drafted and the people who defend them by saying "you get values that you can't get closer to Opening Day" /s
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    Gonna throw this out there fully realizing it's probably flawed, but I'm not quite seeing how it's flawed... so maybe the forum can help me out. I discussed the Kershaw strategy earlier in this thread -- draft Kershaw, maybe get an elite closer or falling second star SP, and then just WAIT. Why do we have to have Kershaw to do that though? Heard Eno Sarris mention this on The Sleeper and the Bust podcast over the weekend (maybe it was a couple weeks ago - don't remember exactly) that his thoughts on SP were starting to shift to where it's SO deep and there are SO many potential breakouts and SO many potential busts (as we saw last year with the perceived top guys at SP) that he may just take a spaghetti approach. In other words, he was planning to get an ace early (preferably one of the top-5 guys before the tier drop, but someone with a consensus low(er) risk than his counterparts, potentially get an elite closer if the value presented itself, and maybe 2 of these guys (although closers this year -- I could go nearly15 deep with guys who either have previously been elite in their careers, were elite last year, or are poised to be elite now -- it feels deeper at the top than in years). And then just WAIT, and WAIT, and WAIT, and in Eno's terms, jump back in and draft a bunch of SP4s knowing that some of them you'll cut, and some of them will likely be SP4s, and some of them (hopefully) will break out. His point was that the margin between SP2s and SP4s right now is pretty small... we're talking SP2s slightly underperforming or even hitting projections while an SP4 slightly outperforms or exceeds projections, and they're basically the same guy. How this might work (I'll use Yahoo's rankings cause I have them handy - ESPN isn't showing ADP for me). Yahoo standard league... 1) ACE - Scherzer (13.4), Bumgarner (15.3), Syndergaard (19.2), Sale (22.2), Kluber (26.3) WAAAAAAIIIIIIIIITTTTT 2) Spaghetti - Fulmer (116.5) Duffy (121.9), Hill (124.7), Sanchez (129.5), Taillon (135.8), Stroman (140.5), Nola (143.5), Matz (147.3), Gausman (149.7), Roark (156.2), McCullers (158.4), Gray (164.7), Paxton (174.3), Manaea (180.9), Rodon (199.6), Pineda (200.2) Moore (201.5), Walker (204.2), Shoemaker (206.5), Jon Gray (208.2), Eickhoff (213), Richards (214.3), Ray (223.2), Pomeranz (224.0), Nova (234.8), Severino (237.4), Bundy (240.7), E-Rod (240.7), Wacha (242.7), Gsellman (243.4), Lynn (244.2), Skaggs (244.4), Cotton (244.5), Folty (246.4), Glasnow (250.7), Cobb (252.4) Snell (253.6), Maybe you even ignore the top end of that in those high 1-teen guys and early 130s and just start throwing spaghetti in the 140s with whomever has fallen. You won't get all of these guys, and if you're drafting with @mysonx3 Paxton will go in the 90s, but you still get my point. There are SOOOOO MANY UPSIDE guys past pick 140 in a draft... Heck a ton of them are after Pick 175 or 200 Why couldn't a staff of Kluber, Stroman, Roark, Rodon, Pomeranz, Bundy, Wacha, Gsellman, Glasnow, Cobb with some strong closers be very, very competitive? Meanwhile, you've used 9 of your first 12 picks on offense where you should be pretty stacked. 1) Bat 2) Bat 3) Kluber/Sale 4) Bat 5) Bat 6) Elite Closer (maybe even wait till 7th depending on the board) 7) Bat 8) Bat 9) Closer 10) Bat 11) Bat 12) Bat 13) Spaghetti pitching time
  49. 8 likes
    this is the worst list ive ever read of anything anywhere ever
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    That there is exactly why he wouldn't drive in 100