Rotoman’s Fantasy Baseball Guide 2021 is Coming!

The bad news is that the publisher decided the retail prospects were still poor enough that publishing The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2021 was not a good idea. We’re holding out hope for the football magazine, and all we can do is see.

The good news (and I hope you agree) is that I’m writing Rotoman’s Fantasy Baseball Guide 2021, kind of the same but obviously different, too.

What’s the same? There will be a lot of profiles, prices, and projections. How many? We’ll see. Everyone who is projected to be a regular, for sure, and lots of other players who might contribute in deep leagues will be profiled. I’m writing all the profiles myself, so there may not be quite as many bits about back-of-the-bullpen arms as usual. But if the season doesn’t start until June, maybe I’ll get to everyone.

There will also be draft at a glance lists by position, and some pieces about strategy and ways to play fantasy that I’m working on.

What’s different? No mock draft. I don’t think it makes sense when the start of the season is indefinite. Once we know for sure maybe we try one.

No Strategies of Champions. I inveigle my colleagues to contribute to the Guide each year by asking them to explain why they’re so good at this game. And so lucky. They do it for a copy of the printed Guide, which I greatly appreciate. That won’t be possible this year, so I let them off the hook.

There may not be a print version. My goal is to have a print-on-demand version of the book available at the start of February. But my experience with this tech is limited, I don’t think I can promise that at this point. But I’m going to try.

There will be an ebook version available in February if the season is going to start in April. It will be pushed back if the start of the season is.

In the meantime, please sign up for The Newsletter. I’ll be putting out an issue each week, containing the player profiles I’ve been working on, some notes on the news, recommended reading, answer reader asks, and some other fun stuff I hope. It will be free, so you have nothing to lose! Click here to sign up for The Newsletter.

I’m also publishing all the player profiles at Alex and Colin have made a special membership level for Rotoman’s Guide. For $10 my profiles for each player will appear at the top of each player page. Subscribers to the big package will have access, too, for no extra charge. Please check out the site, it’s great even if you don’t subscribe but you do have to sign up, the subscription page goes live on December 15th, and the first profiles go up about then, too, once we work out the kinks.

Ask Rotoman News, June 25 Edition

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.

Feel free to ask Rotoman any questions about this strange and endangered season.

Despite pessimism about the chance the full 60 games get played, I’m looking forward to reconsidering baseball again.

Last time I bought this team in the Tout Wars NL auction back in March.

OUT NOW! The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2020

People are finding it in Barnes and Noble stores in New York City and Cincinnati, so it’s out there. 160 pages of fantasy baseball info, enough I hope to last you through all of a 2020 season that will answer a lot of questions we have about home runs and strike outs.

More than 30 fantasy experts, people whose online columns you read, podcasts you listen to, radio shows you follow, Twitter feeds you devour, folks you mostly know, have written hundreds of Picks and Pans. They are funny, perceptive, opinionated, and sometimes right!

We (mostly Rob Blackstien, HC Green, Jeff Zimmerman and Rotoman) profile more than 1400 players, so that when you want to know something about a callup or a trade, there’s a good chance we’ll have an answer.

The Guide also features a Top 30 Rookies column, with extra sleeper prospect picks, and JD Bolick’s Unheralded column, which each season has pointed out non-prospects who have gone on to have major league impact that year.

Plus, a great group of fantasy experts gathers in November for our mock draft, and helps us by writing comments on why they made their picks. It’s a fun time for us, and a trove of fantasy baseball opinion by some of the game’s best writers.

Plus there’s more! We hope you enjoy.

The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2020 is coming soon!

The files are off to the printer, and it should start showing up on newsstands in a couple weeks.

Rating the Picks and Pans

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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, 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.

Good work, Don!

The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2017 Projections Update Is Here.

Actually, it was here a week ago, but a screwup on my part made it very hard to find.

If you would like the FBG projections and prices update, it is here. The password is the last name of the first player profiled on page 90 of the 2017 Fantasy Baseball Guide. It is case sensitive.

You do not have to sign up for Dropbox, or even sign in, to download the file.

You can track what changes I’ve made to the projections since March 15 here.

Corrections for The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2017

fbg2017-cover-largeFirst off, if you want to read the Mock Draft Commentaries, go here.

If you would like the FBG projections and prices update, it is here. The password is the last name of the first player profiled on page 90 of the 2017 Fantasy Baseball Guide. It is case sensitive.

This is the place where I’ll post corrections and updates to the 2017 Guide. There is a link in the top nav bar, so you can always find it.

Page 6:  Talking about team names, as we do sometimes, Yoan Moncada and Lucas Giolito were traded from Boston and Washington respectively last winter. While the team changes for both, to the White Sox, made it into their capsules, the wrong team names linger on this page of rookies.

Page 6: Very embarrassing. The photo credit is wrong. The picture of Yoan Moncada is by friend and new contributor Buck Davidson. I’m sooo sorry Buck, and will get a fixed PDF for you to use as a clip.

A Reader Writes:

The Fantasy Baseball Guide is a great pub and is most useful.  I have one question and one suggestion:

Q. It appears to me that Matt Moore’s “Big Price” of $14 is not consistent with his projected stats of 4.44 ERA and 1.35 Whip.   I believe his Win and K totals of 11 W and 127 K are very average.  I understand he has upside potential, but it appears too me that the $14 projection is not supported by your projections. Please explain.

S. It seems to me it would take little effort on your part to include the player’s team either in the “Player’s by Position” section or the Full Profiles.  I play in a hybrid NL + 2AL teams (Houston and Texas) and many of us have limited knowledge of other AL players.  I understand there will be changes between the start of the season and your publication date, but that’s not near the problem of having no idea of the player’s team (and whether or not he is on one of our teams).  Please consider including the team for each player.

Thank you for your consideration.

Dear Reader. The projection in the Guide was the mechanical projection that derived from Moore’s history, and as you note looked rather pessimistic for a player I’m fairly keen on and three other writers made PICKS of this year. I work on the projections all winter and at some point I upgraded Moore to a 3.72 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. It just so happens this projection, also in 150 innings pitched, is worth about $12 and I’ve dropped his bid price to $13. Note that in CBS and LABR, Moore went for $13 and $11, so I was definitely in the ballpark on Moore’s bid price if not his projection in the Guide.

The Guide projections and price update is due tomorrow, probably in the evening, here on the corrections page. It will have hugely reworked projections and bid prices for those who bought the Guide. You may still find it on the shelves at Barnes and Noble and other magazine retailers, and you can also buy the online version at Use the promo code Rotoman17 and get $1 off.

As to the issue of team names, they are available in the stat lines for all the players with major league experience last year. And I do add team names to the end of the prospect capsules because readers very much want them, but it really is a problem to be more definitive. The magazine heads off to the printer just days after the Winter Meetings conclude, and at that point there are still hundreds of free agents out there. Plus, trades will be made. So, the choices are to either list the team name that the player ended last year with, which in hundreds of cases will be wrong, or their team name at press time, which means hundreds will be listed as a Free Agent.

It’s always seemed to me that the team name in the stats is just as reliable as either of the above methods, and doesn’t pretend to an authority that we don’t have in mid December. I’m open to suggestions, surely, so please feel free to send them along.

A reader named Jeffrey reports: I figure that if Tyler Anderson and Jon Gray are worth $2 apiece, then Tyler Chatwood should be worth a bid of $1. If I see anything else of note, I will send another email.

Read moreCorrections for The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2017

Updated Projections for Fantasy Baseball Guide 2016 Buyers, out now!

fbg2016-cover 600wSlip over to the Corrections and Updates page for the 2016 Fantasy Baseball Guide for an Excel spreadsheet  with updated projections and Big Prices.

The update is for FBG buyers only. The password is the lower case version of the last name of the only $14 player on page 66 of this year’s Guide.  You can look it up!

ASK ROTOMAN: Panik Attack

How did Joe Panik not get drafted in your mock draft in the Guide?

“Ordinary Joe”

Shocking, isn’t it? I have a few ideas, which may be of interest to those who follow mock and industry drafts.

  1. When you draft in November, there are no rankings. So the draft software (, thank you very much) throws up a list based off of who knows what. This doesn’t much matter early, when everyone is working off their own lists, but in the frenzy and late night (of all our souls) it is human nature to lean on the list in the endgame. Panik must have been ranked down the list after missing two months, and was overlooked.
  2. He’s just not ranked that highly. In last night’s Tout Wars Mixed Draft, he was taken in the 20th round. With the last pick in the 20th round. That’s number 300 overall. I think we may be undervaluing the power surge he showed before he was hurt last year, but that placement has been pretty consistent. If he hits 12-15 homers and .300+ someone (in this case Rudy Gamble) is going to be very happy.
  3. Not many 2B were taken in the endgame. Scarcity means those who are taken are taken earlier, and makes it easier for someone to slip through. In the last three rounds of the mock, after Panik’s place in Tout, the only second basemen taken were Micah Johnson and Jurrickson Profar.


Corrections and Updates for the Fantasy Baseball Guide 2016

This is the place you’ll find updates and corrections and explanatory notes about the Fantasy Baseball Guide 2016. If you have a question or comment and don’t see it addressed here, please email

Download updated projections and bid prices for purchasers of the Guide right here. FBGUIDE2016-March Update-pro The password is the last name (in lower case) of the only $14 player on page 66 of the Fantasy Baseball Guide 2016.

Raisel Iglesias (Page 28 and Page 122): This is a doozy. In the Draft at a Glance Chart on page 28 he’s listed twice, at $10 and $7. And then he’s profiled on page 122 with a Big Price of $8. You’ll note that along with his profile, in which HC Green says he has “considerable upside,” he scored seven picks and a single pan. Steve Moyer’s Pan was contrarian, based on what seemed like excessive enthusiasm from the chattering roto classes at Shandlerfest. Iglesias signed a long contract out of Cuba last spring, and was not considered a top prospect. A reliever in Cuba, he converted quickly to starting, was sent down to Triple-A to build his arm strength, and was excellent from August onward. That is, 45 strikeouts in 39.7 innings and a 2.27 ERA from August on. I can explain how he ended up twice in the Draft at a Glance chart. I changed his price from $7 to $10 late in the magazine’s production because of all those Picks. No way was he going for single digits this spring. We messed up the edit of the chart, and I missed the mess up while proofing. I have no idea how the $8 price ended up in the profile box. That must have been another fidget about his price.

And this might be another one. Tony Blengino broke Iglesias’s game down at Fangraphs in January, which is worth reading here. He’s a fan. The main takeaway: “He’s in the immediate next tier, in a virtual dead hear with Gerrit Cole, Kyle Hendricks, Carlos Martinez and Shelby Miller. Pretty good company. Plus, a bunch of those guys owe their 2015 rankings to BIP authority allowed, which fluctuates more than Ks and BBs, more so than Iglesias.”

I think that may be a fair assessment of how Iglesias expressed his talent last year, but it would be a mistake to bid him up that high (into the $15-$20 range) based on his small sample of success. $10 seems fair, maybe $12 if your psyched, but odds are that’s not going to get him. Thanks to Jeffrey of Brooklyn for finding this mistake and a few others. It’s much appreciated.

Will in Chicago Writes: “You asked for corrections?

Page 3 Paragraph 2

In the letter from the editor, you mention Ernie Lombardo. You were referring to Hall of Famer Ernie Lombardi. (Ed. Yes I was.)

Perhaps you play the guitar and you were thinking of the guitar maker Ernie Lombardo? Or maybe you were writing this during New Year’s Eve and thinking of the late Guy Lombardo? (Ed. I’ve seen Guy Lombardo lead, have not seen Ernie Lombardo make a guitar, but I have seen Mike Lombardo win three Tout Wars NL titles.)

I look forward to reading the rest of the magazine. Does this correction make the blog?

Will in Chicago”

Kelby Tomlinson (page 89): Called up at the end of the season, when Joe Panik was down, Tomlinson had a very nice stint as the Giants regular second baseman. This comes on the heels of a good season in split between Double and Triple-A, during which he put up a MLE of 2 homers and 17 steals with a .275 BA in 375 AB. In the Guide I gave him 184 AB for 2016, because he’s blocked at second and short by players who are regulars when healthy. I also gave him a $9 Big Price, which reflects my enthusiasm for him should he find his way to at bats. Good contact speed guys in the middle infield are potent forces in deep fantasy leagues, but given the lack of a path to playing time Tomlinson’s price should have been $4, which is still enthusiastic. Also, his projected BA should be .275, good but not great.

Jarrett Parker (Page 72): He had a sweet cup of coffee in September, but it was only 29 at bats (and really one 3 homer/7 ribbie game in Oakland). The formula chewed that into quite a 2016 season for the young slugger and strikeout fiend. Those numbers are way wrong. Parker’s MLE in Fresno for 2015 was a .224 BA, with 14 homers and 14 steals in 400+ at bats. His contact issues are a problem going forward, but the bigger change since the Guide closed is that the Giants added Denard Span, which makes Parker at least the fourth outfielder on their depth chart, if not the fifth. If he gets 295 at bats, as originally projected, he could hit seven homers and steal nine bases, while hitting .235 or so. At the same time, guys with solid minor league production but low contact rates do sometimes mash, at least for a while, if they get the chance to play. If Parker falls into some PT he’s certainly worth a short term for the power/speed thing, but his batting average is going to eventually hurt.

Rymer Liriano (page 64): For some reason he doesn’t have 2015 stats in his statbox. He played in Triple-A El Paso all year and the stats looked good:.292 BA, 14 homers, 16 steals, but Triple-A El Paso is not a real hitting environment. What looks like a rebound from 2014 struggles really wasn’t. The MLE for his 2015 Triple-A season is .229, with nine homers and 12 steals, not the stats of a major league corner outfielder, which perhaps explains why the Padres dropped him from their 40 man roster today (Jan. 22, 2016). He’s still young, he still has a chance to find a role as a useful parttimer perhaps, but clearly the Pads don’t think he has a chance to be a ML regular.

CATCHER At A Glance (page 19): Devin Mesoraco was left off this chart because he only played four games last year. Usually a guy like him shows up in the DH section, and then I move him over. I don’t know how I missed him, especially because I have him priced at an aggressive $15. That’s a good price for him if he’s totally recovered from his hip problems, but that is hardly a sure thing. Hips are tricky. It’s too early to know, and upon reconsideration I would say that at this point he’s probably a $7 player, understanding that he could drop to $0 if he is reinjured, and likely to cost as much as $15-17 if he is actually healthy.

Kris Bryant’s Projection (page 37): There is no mechanical projection that can take a first year look at a player who played a part of a year in the majors and nail it. So, years ago I stopped pretending and started handling the one-year guys manually. The problem is that what comes out of the spreadsheet looks a lot like their first year numbers, and sometimes when I go through the list while putting the projections together for the magazine, I miss one. I missed Bryant. Partly because I think the quantitatives are pretty reasonable. It’s the batting average that bugs me. A 64 percent contact rate should be a .220 batting average. Bryant hits the ball so hard and has so consistently put up huge BABIPs, that you have to give him extra credit. So, maybe his BA should be .240-.250. No way can he sustain .275 striking out 30 percent of the time. So, .240, 90 R, 30 HR, 100 RBI, 13 SB seems about right.

THE GUIDE, Lawr Michaels’ Picks and Pans: He sent them in in plenty of time. I didn’t cut them into my master file. They aren’t in this year’s Guide. Sorry about that, Lawr. But here they are . . .


Wilmer Flores: When Ruben Tejada lost his knee to Chase Utley in the playoffs, I heard people ask if the Mets could win without Tejada. Huh? Flores, who did play 137 games last year, hit 16 big flies and didn’t turn 24 till August. He is going to be good.

Henry Owens: For a team struggling so deeply to identify decent starting pitching in 2015, it is impressive that the team was so concerted with the development and promotion of lefty Owens. The tall (6’6”) hurler whiffed 572 over 516 minor league frames, and then went 2-2, 3.38 over last five starts at Fenway. Not that it matters, but he does have the strange Twitter handle of @H____O_______.

Anthony DeSclafani: Sneaky good starter, DeSclafani might well be dismissed by owners who look to ERA, but if he can build on the 9.6 K per nine innings he grabbed the last month, the righty makes a nice fourth starter gamble for probably cheap.

Brandon Finnegan: Potentially dominant, Finnegan, the Royals #1 pick in 2014 had enough skills to debut that same year. 55 whiffs over 55 big league innings, Finnegan might be overlooked based upon his 2015 line.

Greg Bird: Arod and Teix are 75 years old between them, and if anyone thinks they can knock off 500 at-bats each, I know of tickets on a space shuttle trip to Alpha Centauri you might like. Bird will establish himself as a starter by June, and that will be that.

Stephen Piscotty: Pretty hard to not like a Stanford alum who debuts as well as Piscotty did last year.

Xander Bogaerts: Big jump in skill mastery last year as Bogaerts knocked out 199 hits. With his youthful Boston mates, Bogaerts will simply get better.

Gary Sanchez: He is big and slow and has a lot of pop, and just looks like he should be a Yankees catcher. What is not to like?

Marcell Ozuna: So, talented, but pushed forward so quickly, I am guessing Ozuna matures a little and settles down with the Fish, or better gets swapped, picks it up, and haunts Miami for the next ten years.

Randall Grichuk: First round pick of the Angels in 2009, then stolen by the Cards for David Freese, Grichuk has the stuff to replace Matt Holliday in all ways except a crappy attitude.

Ender Inciarte: Finished fifth in ROY polling in 2014, and stepped it up last year and hit .303 while steaking 21. This kid is good.

Brad Miller: More power first half, more plate discipline second half. I am guessing he learned.


Scott Kazmir: Great story. Great comeback. Learned to pitch, but I fear the ride is over.

Gerrado Parra: Baseline is probably a lot closer to his Baltimore 2015 line as opposed to his Milwaukee one.

Taylor Jungman: A 4.10 minor league ERA with a 1.358 WHIP tells me 2015 was an anomaly, and 2016 means a correction.