I saw you were editor and chief of my favorite magazine…”The Fantasy Baseball Guide”. We use this as our bible to set values for our league. Because of Covid I realize things may be delayed etc. Could you let me know if the magazine is coming out on time this year? Thank you!
The publisher decided the retail environment was not conducive to publishing the Guide this year, so they have us on hold until next year (we hope).
I’ve been writing profiles and published a full price list and projections yesterday, available to Subscribers to the Rotoman Special at pattonandco.com (pattonandco.com/rotoman). It costs $10. We don’t yet have an automatic link to the prices page for a silly tech reason, but if you subscribe let me know and I’ll send you the link.
I also started a newsletter that contains samples of the profiles. It’s free and you can subscribe at rotoman.substack.com.
Thanks for asking. I’m sorry we don’t have a Guide this year.
I play in a roto 5×5 league which uses OBP instead of BA. Why is Mark Canha rated so low?
First thing, my prices and rankings are for batting average leagues. I’m a big fan of using OBP, it makes total sense to credit hitters with walks, especially when we penalize pitchers for them, but OBP hasn’t caught on yet. So my price, $11, reflects Canha’s weak batting average, not his very good on base percentage.
That said, a few facts argue against that $11 price.
Canha earned $17 last year, and $11 the year before.
He went for $15 and $14 in the CBS and LABR expert leagues this year, both BA leagues, and $16 in Tout Wars, which uses OBP.
My own projection is rosier than any of those carried at FanGraphs, and when you price it it suggests Canha is a $16 player on par in BA leagues, a dollar or two more in OBP leagues.
Absent a transcript of what I was thinking when I priced him at $9 in March, and bumped him to $11 earlier this month in the update, here are the caveats:
He shined last year as a full time player after the break, a career year really, but that’s a small sample after more spotty playing time because he’s generally been weak against lefties. He hit eight homers last year against lefties, good, with a .221 BA. Bad. If he loses at bats he loses value.
He’s 31 years old and falls into that class of player who is older, less athletic, platoonable and more prone to lose his job to younger and more athletic players at any time. And if his gains the last two years are real, he’s a classic late bloomer, a type of hitter who generally falls apart quickly as he ages.
Will Canha lose his job this year? Probably not. Could he match last year’s numbers? Certainly, but is that guaranteed? Far from it, and there is some little risk of collapse.
So, I gave him an $11 price because he’s not the sort of player you want to bid up to his career best price, he’s the sort you want to sneak in after all the sexier choices are gone and the boring choice goes a little cheaply.
Still, $11 is probably a little too pessimistic. That’s the price you want to pay for him, but odds are good in BA leagues he’ll go for $13-15, as he did in the expert leagues that use BA, and $16 as he did in Tout. That’s okay. I’ve bumped his price to $13, because it might make sense for you to pay that at some point. In OBP maybe you want to go $14.
And, of course, if you’re a big fan and you want to take him to $16, that may well work out. So, feel free, but you won’t find me bidding against you if you do.
The biggest news is that The Fantasy Football Guide 2020 is shelved. The publisher was getting too few advance orders from skittish retailers, and so we’re taking a pass for this season. We hope there’s a football season this fall and you can enjoy it without the Guide.
The goal is to be back for baseball come January, if possible.
In the meantime, we have baseball potentially starting up. Updated projections and prices for buyers of The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2020, reflecting the 60 game season and the unbalanced schedule, will be available on July 9th on the Updates and Corrections page here.
Is your fantasy baseball draft coming up? Are you not ready? Or would you like to see what lists Alex Patton and Rotoman (FSWA Hall of Famers) are using this year? No matter what you need, they are here to help.
We’ve extracted all the ranked position charts from the PattonandCo.com annual subscriber package (which we’ve been selling for 20 years and you can buy here) and made Fantasy Baseball Cheat Sheets based on Alex’s 4×4 and Rotoman’s 5×5 lists for AL, NL and Mixed leagues.
These lists are great for reviewing your own opinions, or as the basis for your auction/draft itself. These are the Cheat Sheets Alex and Rotoman will be taking to their own AL and NL only auctions this week and next.
Every year I’m asked by quite a few people why we don’t rate the Picks and Pans from the Guide. There are two answers:
There isn’t time. There are more than 300 of these comments in the Guide in any given year, and to do a fair evaluation each has to be looked at closely. Many Picks suggest modest gains for very marginal players, and many Pans concede good but not great performance for stars. Two comments, one pick and one pan, can predict the same things.
It would be a little rude. I ask a lot of smart fantasy baseball people to participate in the fun of the Picks and Pans. When we first pick up the Guide after its January release, it’s hard to resist the lure of who’s picking/panning who. “Rick Porcello, 11 Pans! Incredible!” We all get some right, and some wrong, but the fun comes from the jokes, the word play, the odd stats, that crop up in the comments. I’m afraid putting them up on a scoreboard, from which reputation could be inferred immediately would spoil things. Everyone would be obligated to be more exacting, less free wheeling, or possibly suffer for it. That’s no fun!
But Don Drooker, the Rotisserie Duck (not a la orange), grades his own picks at his excellent blog, rotisserieduck.com. Maybe because they’re so good, or so much fun. This is something I endorse. Reading his comments and then his explanation of why he graded the P+Ps as he did is almost as informative as reading the original predictions.
The bottom line in fantasy baseball is where are you in the standings. Absolutely.
But the bottom line is a moving target as the season goes along. The top performers in the first half don’t usually perform as well in the second half, and some folks we’ve left for dead in the first half reemerge in the second half full of life. All of which aligns with what we know about regression to the mean. If you’re the best (or worst) at something for a little while, you’re likely to do worse (or better) for the next little while.
Top 20 Pitching Profiteers in the First Half of 2017:
Of course, everyone wants to know who is killing their team, as if they didn’t already know.
The Bottom Ten Biggest Losers in the First Half of 2017:
No. 11 is Jason Verlander, BTW. You have to decide whether to bail on bad first halfs by historically good pitchers. I would bet on a better second half for Tanaka and Verlander, and worry more about Tillman and Glasnow.
But Tillman and Glasnow are talented, and history says that if they stay healthy they will have their moments.
Yesterday I posted lists of the Top 20 hitters and pitchers in 2017, sorted by the Most Costly (with 2017 earnings), and the Most Earned (with 2017 prices).
Today I’m dumping the whole spreadsheets, sorted right now by Biggest Profit to Biggest Loss.
The most profitable hitters so far this year are:
The Top Losers? From worst to less worst…
That’s enough, right? These are guys someone paid real money for, and the results have not been good.
Hitters are generally considered more reliable than pitchers, in large part because they do not get hurt as catastrophically as do hurlers. But a look at the Top 20 hitters ranked by auction day 5×5 price shows disasters for owners of Mike Trout, Josh Donaldson, Freddie Freeman and Starling Marte.
Still, the Top 20 hitters cost $695 and earned $491, a better ratio than the Top 20 pitchers.
A closer look at the list shows that most of the attrition is due to injury, and a slight overvaluing of the best players, who also happen to put up big stats even when they’re not having a great season.
Another way to look at the pitching pool is to see what the top earners are earning, and just how much they cost on auction day.
The ratio of cost to earnings in this group reverses. The Top 20 players cost $313 and earn $596.
The biggest earner, Max Scherzer, was the third most costly pitcher, while Clayton Kershaw, also on this list was the most costly by a lot, but the big differences are the guys nobody expected so see here. Jason Vargas, Ervin Santana, Alex Wood, Ivan Nova!?!?!? No bigger surprise comes in at No. 20 on the list, Chase Anderson, who was not even bought by the experts on draft day.
Here’s the whole list of biggest 2017 earners so far (click to enlarge):