I just completed my first revision of this year's projections and rankings found here. Some important things of note that were updates:
As always, please leave a comment if you have any questions.
"Sleeper" is a term that almost all fantasy baseball players are familiar with. However, the term sleeper has changed from what it once was many years ago. When I first started playing fantasy baseball roughly a decade ago, sleeper meant the following:
While this is a generalization and others might have a slightly different definition, the overall idea is accepted by most... or at least was. I would argue this is no longer an applicable definition. The way fantasy baseball enthusiasts play the game and gather our information in today's world is vastly different than a decade ago. The internet is now essentially the only way the game is played and almost everyone is connected to some sort of social media outlet to get the latest and greatest news on popular prospects. It's almost impossible not to know who the June call-ups will be and which high-profile prospects will have an impact at the MLB level.
Lets take last year for example: Kris Bryant, Carlos Correa, Addison Russell and Joc Pederson were essentially household names by opening day without ever having a major league at bat. There are many more besides these four, however this small sample quickly shows how easy it is to recognize high level young prospects with just a little research now a days. Because they were so well known, it was very tough to get them at a bargain in most drafts last season. If anything, they were over-hyped and overvalued in many drafts I saw.
I would argue that the following players were much better bargains last year: Brandon Phillips, Kendrys Morales, Alex Rodriguez, and John Lackey. What do these players have in common? They are older and boring. Last year this group all had an ADP over 200, but provided a significantly greater return on investment.
In today's game, there are many bias's, however one of them that I feel are more prevalent than others. I strongly feel that most fantasy players overvalue young talent. Everyone wants to get the next Mike Trout or Bryce Harper, but in reality, that happens so rarely it is usually more of a detriment than positive for your team. With the over-valuing of youth come under-valuing of the older player pool. Everyone expects that players in their mid-late 30's will always be hurt and skills will regress to an unproductive level. While there usually is a bell curve in a players production through his career, that does not at all mean that they should be undervalued at a certain age. More-so, they should be valued exactly at what you feel their projected stats would be. It may be difficult to rank them with a lot of upside, however they shouldn't be undervalued either simply because of age. I strongly feel that this perception (which is more and more common now a days) is leading to a changing of the guard with the term sleeper. I would re-define it as this:
While this statement indicates nothing about age, it's almost natural for this type of player to be a old and boring. Those are the types of players that get under-valued, however those are the types I'm happy to target. At the end of the day, I'm only concerned with statistical production of a player. When i do my projections, i try to be as objective and realistic with every player and let the chips fall where they may. I often find if I then compare my ranks to others or ADP data, it's easy to find who I feel this year's sleepers may be.
There are a number of high profile players that now have new homes. Each move has fantasy implications and here is my analysis of some of the larger signings:
While this topic doesn't necessarily have anything to do with fantasy, as an avid baseball fan I feel obligated to at least touch on the topic a bit. Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were inducted and both were deserving in my humble opinion. Griffey should have received 100% of the vote and I will rant about that in just a bit.
Other that I felt strongly for that should and I think will eventually get in:
There are others that I'm still not sure about. I think I'm more selective than most and feel the elite of the elite should be the only ones in the hall. Sure Hoffman compiled 600 saves over a very long career, but Wagner was an infinitely more dominant pitcher looking at their respective peripherals. I wouldn't throw a tantrum if Hoffman was inducted, I'm just not as much of a fan of compilers getting in. I'd rather have the uber elite even if it was for a shorter period of time.
It was nice to see Griffey set the record for highest % of the vote for an induction, but it's time for the voters to get off of their high horse. Seriously, there isn't a valid reason not to vote for him. It was a class act that everyone loved AND was amazing to watch. Multiple elite seasons AND compiled gaudy career stats that only a few have ever done before. So what is the reason not to vote for him: Because if Ruth, Gehrig, Williams, etc... didn't get 100% of the vote, then no one should? I say who cares. Just because other mistakes were made in the past doesn't mean we should keep making them. There are a number of players that should have already received 100% of the vote, and while in the scheme of things it's really not a big deal, it really does rub me the wrong way. I was very much hoping he got 100% for another reason other than him deserving it: I believe once it happens once, that will set the new precedent. After that it should happen much more easily for other deserving players.
I would love to see what happens in the next few years when there are even more polarizing players than Griffey. Who wouldn't vote for Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter (and I'm a Yankee hater saying this)?
I just finished my first iteration of this seasons projections and rankings, and I found myself questioning a few things:
Based on my first set of of projections and rankings, all of these statements are true. Frankly, I don't think any of them are that outlandish either. It's early in the year and spring training hasn't even started. As more moves are made and player news breaks, I will continue to update these accordingly until opening day is here.
If you have any questions about a specific player(s), feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you.
While I play fantasy football and enjoy it to an extent, it cannot compare to fantasy baseball. Now that the NFL regular season has come to an end, MLB projections and rankings are in full swing. I'm targeting to have my first iteration completed by February 1st. Between now and then however I will post a few articles I have brewing, including:
- Winter Meetings: Big moves and fantasy implications
- Review of the 2016 HOF Class
- The Metamorphosis of the Sleeper
Stay tuned for some new content as we head into spring training.
Also, one shameless plug, my e-book is now available in paperback on amazon and can be found: here.