Thursday, April 28, 2016

MLB Pipeline 2016 Draft Preview - Top 100 vs Top 50

MLB Pipeline has an extensive preview of the players available for the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, which will be held on June 9th, 2016. The list was expanded from 50 to 100, which is great, but the order was updated as well. Unfortunately, the update meant the previous list was lost to the ages...


I found a cached source thanks to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Below you can find both lists compared side-by-side along with the difference, but only when it's available. Green is positive change and red is negative.

One of the names I first noticed missing from the original top four was Alec Hanson. It sounds like there are health concerns.

Here is a short list of the biggest movers:

Biggest Risers Biggest Fallers
Joey Wentz NA to 12 Nick Banks 16 to 95 (-79)
Forrest Whitley NA to 13 Bobby Dalbec 15 to 85 (-70)
Alex Kirilloff NA to 18 Alec Hanson 3 to 64 (-61)
Zack Collins NA to 20 Reggie Lawson 37 to 94 (-57)
Braxton Garrett 41 to 14 (+27) Jake Fraley 32 to 86 (-54)
Dakota Hudson 33 to 10 (+23) Kyle Funkhouser 23 to NA
Ian Anderson 28 to 11 (+17) Ian Hamilton 30 to NA

Thursday, March 12, 2015

2015 Overall Fantasy Baseball Rankings

Updated March 28, 2015 *The average draft round (ADR) presumes your participation in a standard 12 team league.
Click here if you don't see the spreadsheet

Code Source Twitter Weighted Value Last Update
CBS1 Scott White @CBSScottWhite
March 26
CBS2 Al Melchior @almelccbs
March 27
ESPN ESPN Fantasy @ESPNFantasy
March 27
FAKE The Fake Baseball @thefakebaseball
March 27
FAN FanGraphs @fangraphs
February 17
FA Fantasy Assembly @fantasyassembly
March 22
FBCJ Fantasy Baseball Crackerjacks @FBCrackerjacks
February 23
FGD Fantasy Gameday @Fantasy_Gameday
March 21
FS Fantasy Squads @AskROTObaseball
March 23
FOX Fox Sports @FoxSports
March 27
MLB Major League Baseball @MLB
March 28
MRCS Mr. Cheatsheet @MrCheatsheet
March 18
PGS Paul Greco Sports @PaulGreco
March 15
RAZZ Razzball @Razzball
March 28
RB RotoBanter @RotoBanter
March 11
RC RotoChamp @RotoChamp
March 28
SI Sports Illustrated @SInow
March 27
USA USA Today @usatoday
March 27
YHOO Yahoo Sports @YahooSports
March 25
ADP1 CBS Sports - ADP @cbsfantasy
March 28
March 28
ADP3 Fantrax - ADP @fantrax
March 28
ADP4 NFBC - ADP @thenfbc
March 28
ADP5 RTSports - ADP @rtfsnews
March 28
ADP6 Yahoo - ADP @YahooSports
March 28

Players with health concerns were removed. I will try to make every attempt to update this page to make sure the information is up to date. Please contact me with any errors you may discover or if you find another reputable website with a similar top overall ranking. I've compiled the data from the aforementioned websites to create the average rank for nearly 500 players. If a player did not appear on a resource's list, then they were assigned a static value of 500. : Fantasy Baseball Player Injury Updates & : MLB Injury Report

What is the purpose of this spreadsheet?
Everyone has their own opinions regarding where a baseball player should be ranked during a fantasy baseball draft. These opinions are ever evolving, especially during the offseason while some men are still seeking a new home. How can you trust one resource? This is a compilation of lists sorted using unweighted as well as weighted rankings.

Why weighted values?
Unweighted values are fine if you believe all data is created equal. Frankly, there is so much data compiled here that it is fairly comparable to my weighted averages. The weighted values were determined for each resource with an arbitrary methodology in addition to how many individuals were polled for their overall list and/or general confidence in the resource. I welcome critiques.
  • Individuals: 1
  • Compilations: 2
  • Experts: 3
  • Average draft results: 5

Why should I care about standard deviation?
A low standard deviation indicates the data points tend to be very close to the mean, whereas high standard deviation indicates the data points are spread out over a large range of values. The standard deviation represents that range. Simply put, it is a measure of confidence between every website I referenced. Zero is ideal, which was the acquired score of Mike Trout.

Here are a few examples and my possible explanations:

Final Thoughts
Standard deviation may not actually indicate a possible performance issue or injury problems. It may just represent indecision, so do your homework before you commit to anything questionable. This guide provided me with success in 2012 and 2014 (I took a hiatus in 2013), and it's back again for 2015. I hope this helps others prepare for this season. Please give me a shout out if it helps you as the motivation helps me along. Good luck in your drafts!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Pirates 2015 40-Man Payroll Early Projection

Please be aware these are rough estimates using my judgment based upon information gathered from Pirates Prospects, Cot's Baseball Contracts, and MLB Depth Charts.

Full credit goes to Tim Williams who typically spearheads this project. I intend to provide a link to his website once he releases his much more reliable projection.

  • All salaries in bold are official.
  • All ages are as of the start of the 2015 Pittsburgh Pirates season.
  • Players in the minor leagues make $40,750 in their first year on the 40-man roster, $81,500 in their second year, and $122,250 in their third year. Any player with major league service time makes at least $81,500, regardless of how many years of service.
  • This is my own estimation and not an official projection.

According to Pirates Prospects the current payroll is approximately ~$78 million, so $10 million toward free agency actually seems like a bit of an underestimate. Ideally, the Buccos would pursue Russell Martin in addition to a pitcher before the 2014 July trade deadline and/or another pitcher from 2015 offseason free agency.

Friday, June 6, 2014

How to Fix the Pirates Rotation Later (2015)

The Pirates rotation is bad now, however it won’t magically get better next season unless all of our pitchers get lucky. (Good) Luck is not something to rely upon unless you are already a lottery winner or something along those lines.

What happens if the Buccos fail to acquire a more capable arm before the trade deadline? What will they need to do to recover and prepare during the offseason? Wandy Rodriguez is gone and Francisco Liriano will (probably) become a free agent as well as Edinson Volquez. So who’s left?

James Santelli wrote a piece last August explaining why he thought the 2015 Pirates could be a 100-win team, although the prediction was made before Jameson Taillon needed Tommy John surgery. Nick Kingham still has a chance to make an appearance later this season, even though I expect the "standard" he’s-still-learning-no-really-we’re-not-just-trying-to-save-money-guys June or September call up. With any luck, we may see Taillon around this time next year as well.

I started out this post stating I did not like luck, not to mention there are quite a few games between Opening Day and June, so who will accompany Gerrit Cole and Charlie Morton? If we are left with the status quo, then the Pirates will probably rely upon Jeff Locke, Brandon Cumpton, Stolmy Pimentel, and/or Casey Sadler.

I typically rely upon Pirates Prospects for this data, but their early look at the Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 payroll was last updated in January of 2012. The values in the table below are my best estimation as I attempted to imitate their work using MLB Depth Charts and Cot's Baseball Contracts, then comparing them to the dated information on Pirates Prospects.

If the Pirates choose to allow all of our potential free agents to leave, then they should have approximately $10 million to spend during the offseason. They very well may beg for Russell Martin to return and I would not criticize them for it. However, we are trying to address their rotation, so let’s see what we can afford if that money was dedicated to a starting pitcher. Sorry James, but I don't intend to suggest Johan Santana this time around.

These spreadsheets were compiled using data I gathered from FanGraphs. The players included in the following spreadsheets are all free agent starting pitchers included on MLB Trade Rumors 2015 Free Agents post.

There are 41 starting pitchers in the free agent pool according to MLBTR, however a few have not appeared yet this season and we can expect several to sign extensions before the season's end. I sorted them using WAR/GS, which is simply wins above replacement divided by their total games started. This should give us a basic understanding of how valuable a pitcher has been during each start.

If we only use this near-sighted information, then we can observe some players are pitching very well, while others are playing at or below replacement level. Contract value is typically determined with greater scope than just a single season, so it would be best to increase our scale to the past three years. Finally, you may wonder why some rows are colored green, orange, or blue. I will touch upon that after this final table:

Green = Workhorse, dependable (>360IP, averaged >120IP per season)
Orange = Sub-par reliability (180-360IP, averaged 60-120IP per season)
Blue = Injury prone, high risk (<180IP, averaged <60IP per season)

Neal Huntington has targeted pitchers as recovery projects over the past few seasons, but it would be ideal to see him select at least one reliable, dependable arm for a change. We saw mild success in the past with A.J. Burnett, Liriano, and even Volquez is playing better than expected. We also saw (eventual) disasters with Kevin Correia, Erik Bedard, Jonathan Sanchez, and Wandy. I understand the Pirates may not be able to afford the best arms on the market (Max Scherzer, Jon Lester, Johnny Cueto) and other pitchers may expect a big raise (Aaron Harang, Jason Hammel, Ervin Santana) whether or not they truly deserve it.

In order to predict contract values, I borrowed research conducted by Dave Cameron on FanGraphs and Lewie Pollis on Beyond the Box Score (The Cost of a Win in the 2014 Off-Season and How Much Does a Win Really Cost?). They determined a win is worth somewhere between $5 and $7 million. With this knowledge in hand, I awarded certain win values to pitchers depending upon their previously noted reliability. If a pitcher was deemed dependable, then I allotted him $6 million per win; if sub-par, $5.5; and if high risk, $5.

I would expect the Pirates have a chance to target anyone I pointed out in the table above. If it were me, then I would take my pick between Yovani Gallardo, Dan Haren, or Justin Masterson at $10 million. If they rolled the dice with a little more risk, then I would not be upset if they ended up with Brandon Morrow, Chad Billingsley, Brett Anderson, Chris Capuano, or even Josh Johnson, but only at a price tag of $6 million or less.

Who would you like to see wear black and gold while standing atop our mound?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

How to Fix the Pirates Rotation Now (2014)

Yesterday I was lurking Twitter while scouring for interesting tidbits of news worth retweeting when I stumbled upon a conversation between two of my favorite Pirates informants: Pat Lackey and Tim Williams. Pat started by referencing an article that was published to Fangraphs on Wednesday ("Gregory Polanco Won’t Fix The Pirates’ Real Problem" by Mike Petriello) and they started to roll from there:

The above conversation was compiled using Conweets

We have complained about the Pirates' sluggish slugging when they are actually very close to league average. Poor pitching is the real dilemma, but how and when do they fix this problem? According to Mike, he would see Neal Huntington shock us with a trade to acquire either James Shields or Jeff Samardzija. Pat and Tim did not like the short-sightedness of Shields, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, and agreed upon Smartzilla. They also mentioned David Price as another alternative.

Any of these pitchers would be exciting additions to the Pirates rotation, but will they be buyers at the deadline? Perhaps. Who will be selling? The race is still relatively close, however it is fairly safe to assume the Diamondbacks, Phillies, Rays, Astros, Padres, and Cubs could all be potential sellers. Currently, they each own a losing record and their playoff expectancy is below ten percent. (Playoff Odds)

Who could be considered from these preemptive basement sales? If we only pay attention to players without attractive team-friendly contracts who remain under team control for at least one additional season, then the list could include the following:

How many of these aforementioned pitchers will actually appear on the trade block? I would be surprised to see more than half of these names mentioned, but I listed them regardless as they fit the description: A starting pitcher in their arbitration years who is currently or historically capable of pitching better than average.

All the options listed above appear to be better options than Edinson Volquez except Eric Stults and Trevor Cahill. Price or Samardzija are certainly the best options, but there are others to consider as well.

Who would you like to see in the rotation in addition to (or to substitute) any of our current Pirates starting pitchers? Who would you avoid?