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Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Here's the link to this week's Fantasy Baseball Roundtable, hosted by RotoAuthority. The question:
Have you ever quit on a fantasy team of yours? If so, what were the circumstances? If not, how were you able to maintain your motivation even after you had no chance?
I tackled the question for THT this week, discussing a league I'm playing in this season.
Posted by Derek Carty at 12:52pm
Aaron Hill became a popular pick in 2008 after he hit 17 homers the year before. Then his power fell in the limited time he saw before dealing with-post concussion symptoms from colliding with teammate David Eckstein. This year, Hill has gone beyond every expectation and powered out 31 homers so far.
While Hill is experiencing a breakout, the fans in Minnesota are getting what they always expect from Justin Morneau. He has always had the ability to hit 30 homers along with a solid average, but this year he has started to walk a lot more and added a solid OBP to his attack.
Name GP AB R HR RBI SB CS K% BB% BABIP HR/F P/PA Aaron Hill 134 582 82 31 91 4 2 15.3% 5.2% 0.290 14.9% 3.5 Justin Morneau 128 483 83 29 97 0 0 17.0% 12.5% 0.288 17.3% 3.7
Another MVP award based on RBI totals in 2006 led to Morneau being a perennial top-five pick at first base. His totals were always solid in all categories except for steals. Since then he has been fairly solid, but has often fallen slightly below expectations in one of his categories. This year Morneau has put up 2006 numbers but added to his walks.
His strikeout rate has been solid over the years with slight ups and downs, but at a career level of 16% he has good contact skills. The change has been in walk rate the past few years going from 8.2% in 2005 and 2006 to 9.8% in 2007 and 10.9% in 2008. He again made very strong strides in 2009 by walking in 12.5% of his plate appearances.
Even with the increase in walks, his OBP is still not a career high. Thanks to a BABIP of only .288, his average and OBP are lower than they could be. This isn't all bad luck though with a LD% that has fallen to 16.2%. His line drives have fallen before, so I don't expect this to be a continued drop in BABIP.
He has small fluctuations, but Morneau is one of the more reliable choices at first base since 2006.
It's not much of a surprise that looking at HitTracker you find Aaron Hill is tied for the AL lead in "just enough" homers. His power growth went beyond any owner's wildest expectations and with 12 homers being "just enough," he has a 39% rate. That is way above the league average and calls for a regression in power. His HR/F rate has also shown his amazing power growth going from 8% in his breakout 2007 year to the 14.9% he is at this year.
Hill has trouble getting on base and his walk rate on his career stands at 6.7%. With a .335 career OBP his run totals have always dragged his value down. This year he is on pace to top 90 runs for the first time, but if he's unable to continue to hit 30 homers going forward he will likely return to 80 runs.
His speed on the bases has also hurt his value. He has only topped 4 steals once before and his speed score for his career is only 4.0. This has been lower this year at only 2.7 and has surely cost him several more runs. This lack of speed has also likely been part of the reason for his low BABIP this year, which is at .290 and only .311 on his career.
Not many leagues use OBP as a category, but ignore it at your own risk. Hill needs more runs to really get the most value, but just doesn't have the skills. Expecting less in all categories next year except his average is not encouraging for next year.
We can see pretty clearly that Morneau may have equal numbers to Hill this year, but Morneau is the more consistent player and more likely to repeat these numbers again. Hill has the advantage of second base eligibility, but these two won't be clones next year for sure based on the numbers. Looking at Fantasy Ball Junkie's 2010 very early Fantasy baseball draft we see Aaron Hill going in the fifth round. He also went right behind Ben Zobrist who I would recommend as the much better pick with five solid categories and a great OBP to back it up.
Posted by Troy Patterson at 2:01am
Today is the Sept. 8. Labor Day weekend is behind us, the kids are back to school, there's a new found briskness in the air (in New Jersey at least), and the baseball regular season is in its home stretch. Most teams have about 25 games left to play until postseason baseball begins.
With that finite number in mind, let's run through some numbers and see what we can expect over those 25 games.
Most starters will mostly likely get four or five more starts in before the season's end. Some will get more—like CC Sabathia last year with the Brewers—and plenty will get less. I'll say on average starting pitchers will get four more starts; or you will start them in your lineup four more times. And I'll also say those pitchers will average six and one-thirds innings per start, which is about league average.
As I'm sure is known, better pitchers will generally have longer outings. This chart has probably been produced a million times, but here are the innings pitched per start numbers for every pitcher with at least 100 innings thrown in 2009 compared to their ERA:
Following the dotted green line will show you the reverse correlation. If you want to get detailed, you can project seven innings a start for your elite pitchers and six innings for pitchers with ERAs over 4.00, but for now I'll stick to six and one-third for everyone since that 2.22 ERA pitcher of yours should only be expected to average seven innings a start if he will continue to pitch at a 2.22 ERA level. Otherwise, he should get the innings per start of his rest of season projection, not that anyone can reasonably predict what will happen over a mere four starts.
Anyway, 4 X 6.333 is 25.333 or, rounding down, 25 innings. So you can expect your starters to pitch about another 25 innings from now till the end of the season. Let that number give you a perspective on how selective you should be when deciding between sitting or starting a pitcher as you approach your league's maximum innings limit.
Twenty-five multiplied by your number of starting pitchers and you'll get approximately how many more innings of work your starting pitchers will give you if you start them every time. Depending on how far over or under your limit you project should determine how selective you are with playing your starting pitchers.
Relievers must also be taken into account. Closers and the best relievers (i.e. the ones owned on fantasy teams) pitch, on average, one inning every 2.34 games. That means we can expect relievers to pitch about another 10 to 11 innings before the end of the season.
Again, multiply 10 by the number of relievers you start, and add that to your projected starter-innings pitched total to get your very own, custom rest of season innings projection. If you are currently on pace to finish above or below your league's max innings limit, use these numbers to help you decide how many starters and relievers is best for you to carry.
Even if you have to sit decent pitchers because you are projected to overshoot, remain hesitant to drop those pitchers since then you are providing free talent to other teams who may have been smart enough to stay below the limit pace and will benefit from your cuts. Do not keep too many pitchers languishing on your bench either, though, if you are in that situation.
All in all, the most important thing is to maximize your limits, and if you did not do a great job of planning in the beginning of the season, at least now formulate a plan of how you will use your pitchers from now till the end of the season.
Posted by Paul Singman at 12:35am
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