2014 Fantasy Baseball: Wade Miley Is Getting Better

Arizona Diamondbacks v Colorado Rockies

Wade Miley dug himself quite a hole in April, posting a 5.36 ERA and allowing opposing batters to post a .349 wOBA against him. Pitching that poorly in April assures two things: either your line will never look good or you’ll have to pitch really, really well the rest of the season to have a decent line. It’s difficult to have a good season after spending 42 innings allowing that many runs. Miley’s done the latter, for the most part.

Since May 4 (Miley’s first May start), Miley has posted a 3.65 ERA (3.61 FIP; 3.25 xFIP) in a little over 103 innings. Perhaps more importantly, Miley’s strikeout rate has been well over his career high during this stretch. He’s struck out 22% of the batter he’s faced in that frame, walking only 6.7%; his career numbers are 18.3% and 6.8%, respectively. Maybe best of all, these extra strikeouts haven’t come from nowhere, they’re backed up by his swinging strike percentage.

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2014 Fantasy Baseball: Marcus Stroman, Disturbingly Underdiscussed

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It’s kind of hard to remember that Marcus Stroman was called up this season. It was a huge deal when it happened, but there hasn’t been much noise around him since, maybe it’s because the Blue Jays have fallen off. Still, he joined a struggling rotation that was basically just being asked to not blow games, because Toronto’s offense was so good. Well, he’s been everything they/we expected of him, possibly more.

Prospect coverage is so good in baseball today, that we’re immediately onto the next thing after one person is called up. Stroman’s up? Cool, what about Gregory Polanco, though? After Polanco was called up, we began focusing on Mookie Betts and Arismendy Alcantara. That isn’t a bad thing; it’s our nature. always looking at what’s on the horizon (Hi, Kris Bryant!) makes us miss what is happening in front of us, though. So, today, let’s appreciate Marcus Stroman.

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2014 Fantasy Baseball: The Farm Report, July 22

baez land

The MiLB report is back.

Mookie Betts, after a short stint in Boston, is back in Triple-A. His long term prospects haven’t changed, though; his talent will likely shine through next season, when he should be in line for regular at-bats.

Another stalwart, who bursted onto the scene, has struggled mightily lately – if you’re thinking about Gregory Polanco, we’re on the same wavelength. In his last 100 plate appearances, Polanco has posted a 62 wRC+. Much like Betts, he’s fine. He’s just another example, that despite any prospect’s pedigree, immediate success isn’t guaranteed.

As for players still in the minors… [Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Danny Salazar, Return from the Milk Carton?

salazar land

Remember Danny Salazar? I do, because I paid way too much for him in my Ottoneu auction. I knew he had his warts – home runs, perhaps stamina issues, and injury history. Nonetheless, I pulled the trigger because of his ability to miss bats. It didn’t quite work out for me. After posting a 5.53 ERA (4.71 FIP) in 40.2 innings, and seeing his strikeout and walk rates go in the wrong direction, he was sent to Triple-A. So, how’s that gone?

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2014 Fantasy Baseball: The Rookie Report, All-Star Break Update

Philadelphia Phillies v St. Louis Cardinals

Apologies for not having an update for a few weeks. Between work and my summer vacation – I went to Denver; it was delightful – I just haven’t been able to write much. That changes now and everything is back to normal, which is nice.

Name Team PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
Xander Bogaerts Red Sox 367 39 6 22 2 0.235 0.311 0.348 0.296
Billy Hamilton Reds 359 47 5 38 38 0.285 0.319 0.423 0.325
Jose Abreu White Sox 351 49 29 73 1 0.292 0.342 0.630 0.409
George Springer Astros 337 44 19 50 5 0.233 0.338 0.465 0.351
Nick Castellanos Tigers 329 29 6 34 2 0.262 0.307 0.394 0.309
Chris Owings Diamondbacks 254 26 6 21 7 0.277 0.313 0.458 0.336
Kolten Wong Cardinals 203 22 6 24 12 0.242 0.299 0.392 0.305
Rougned Odor Rangers 183 17 3 18 2 0.26 0.296 0.391 0.300
Josmil Pinto Twins 158 19 7 16 0.222 0.323 0.407 0.326
Jon Singleton Astros 155 16 6 21 1 0.184 0.277 0.360 0.284
Mookie Betts Red Sox 37 5 1 2 1 0.235 0.278 0.382 0.293
Arismendy Alcantara Cubs 25 6 1 5 1 0.391 0.4 0.739 0.474

[Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Wily Peralta is Useful

Wily Peralta

This season has #blessed us with a ton of good stories from a pitching perspective. Clayton Kershaw has, somehow, gotten better. Corey Kluber, Dallas Keuchel, and Phil Hughes have taken huge leaps forward. And veterans, like John Lackey, have put their demise on hold for one more year. Wily Peralta got lost in the mix somewhere. We don’t talk about him much, despite his place on a first place Milwaukee Brewers team.

The nonexistent coverage of Peralta is because he isn’t sexy. Nothing he does is. I wouldn’t have even had the idea to write about him if I didn’t stumble onto his page. He’s just there; throwing well, inning after inning. Peralta’s always been on prospect radars thanks to his heater. His fastball, in 2014, has averaged 95.4 mph, according to Fangraphs. Heat was never issue. Missing bats and walking batters, however, were.

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2014 Fantasy Baseball: The Rookie Report, June 24

Philadelphia Phillies v St. Louis Cardinals

There haven’t been a ton of changes on the rookie front, of late. Mostly, the rookie class is performing to expectations.

Name Team PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
Jose Abreu White Sox 266 39 21 57 - 0.270 0.320 0.598 0.388
George Springer Astros 258 32 13 38 1 0.241 0.345 0.459 0.355
Rougned Odor Rangers 112 12 3 17 1 0.291 0.321 0.466 0.342
Chris Owings Diamondbacks 250 26 6 21 7 0.282 0.319 0.466 0.342
Xander Bogaerts Red Sox 305 36 6 19 2 0.264 0.348 0.401 0.335
Yangervis Solarte Yankees 262 26 6 29 - 0.263 0.345 0.404 0.334
Josmil Pinto Twins 158 19 7 16 - 0.222 0.323 0.407 0.326
Nick Castellanos Tigers 252 20 5 27 1 0.269 0.306 0.406 0.312
Billy Hamilton Reds 266 36 4 23 31 0.273 0.309 0.396 0.310
Jon Singleton Astros 74 10 4 10 1 0.200 0.284 0.415 0.303
Mike Olt Cubs 174 15 10 25 - 0.149 0.230 0.364 0.263
Kolten Wong Cardinals 171 14 1 16 9 0.228 0.282 0.304 0.263

[Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Sean Doolittle’s Historic Campaign

Sean+Doolittle+Division+Series+Detroit+Tigers+8sdFuNyAfyml

For the most part, fantasy players don’t pay for saves anymore. Nearly every guide during draft season contains advice about not spending much of your budget on closers. As we know, closers are fickle. They fall out of favor with managers and quickly lose their jobs. Hell, we’re lucky if half of the teams don’t replace their closer with a more talented pitcher at some point during the season. Case in point: Sean Doolittle.

Jim Johnson was acquired in the offseason by the Athletics. He was supposed to be their “closer”; they’re paying him $10 million, after all. Things didn’t work out. Johnson hasn’t been very good. Maybe he hasn’t bad as bad as his ERA shows, but he hasn’t pitched well, nonetheless. The Athletics were forced to make a change. Luckily for them, they had one of the best relievers in the major leagues already in their fold.
[Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Baseball: The Farm Report

baez land

Gregory Polanco graduated, and promptly had a perfect 5 for 5 night, while hitting a game winning home run. He’s very good.

Name Franchise Level PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Addison Russell Athletics AA 7 2 1 2 1 0.714 0.714 1.286
Arismendy Alcantara Cubs AAA 269 45 8 30 12 0.273 0.312 0.506
Byron Buxton Twins A+ 20 3 1 2 0.150 0.150 0.350
Carlos Correa Astros A+ 280 46 5 54 19 0.329 0.421 0.502
Javier Baez Cubs AAA 237 30 10 35 12 0.219 0.274 0.423
Joc Pederson Dodgers AAA 303 55 17 40 18 0.327 0.442 0.598
Joey Gallo Rangers A+ 246 53 21 50 5 0.323 0.463 0.735
Joey Gallo Rangers AA 34 6 4 10 0.296 0.441 0.778
Kris Bryant Cubs AA 297 61 22 58 8 0.355 0.458 0.702
Maikel Franco Phillies AAA 281 31 5 26 1 0.216 0.278 0.340
Matt Davidson White Sox AAA 250 19 11 23 0.186 0.256 0.372
Mookie Betts Red Sox AA 253 56 6 34 22 0.355 0.443 0.551
Mookie Betts Red Sox AAA 57 7 2 5 2 0.292 0.404 0.479

[Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Revisiting Justin Upton

jup land

Source: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America)

A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece about Justin Upton and his struggles with pitches up in the zone, fastballs in particular. The piece was published on a Friday. Upton, obviously wishing to make me look stupid, homered twice the night before the piece went live. It didn’t render the piece worthless, the numbers still told a story, but the timing was terrible. So today, I want to update you on Upton’s status.

Below, you’ll find a table, in which there are a few numbers (surprise!). The first row is populated with the numbers used in the original piece. The second row is comprised of his year-to-date totals.

Justin Upton BB% K% O-Contact% Z-Contact% Contact% swSTR%
Original Article: 4/11 9.1% 33.3% 77.8% 64.3% 67.6% 17.4%
4/12 – 6/09 11.2% 30.6% 55.8% 77.7% 70.3% 13.8%

At the time of the original article, Justin Upton was swinging through pitches like it was his life’s mission. He’s improved some. He’s still swung and missed at more fastballs than anyone in baseball, except for his brother, but he’s swung and missed less since we last spoke. And that’s important because a 17% swinging strike rate is a lot different than a 14% one, even if it doesn’t seem like a huge difference.

I was worried I might come off as someone who was overly concerned with a small sample size. I was concerned about his early April performance (swings and misses; not counting stats, etc.) but I wasn’t really worried until I put the numbers in context with his career rates. Now we have a larger sample size, and thus, we can paint a clearer picture.Read the rest of this article by logging in or purchasing The Fix's "Front Office" package.