Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Stan Musial Award Nominations: Fantasy Chapter

posted by Jon Williams
Once again, as President of the Baseball Blogger Association's Fantasy Chapter, I have the honor of presenting the chapter's Stan Musial Award Nominations.

The American League Stan Musial Award Nominations:

1. Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers (3)
2. Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays (1)
3. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
4. Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
5. Adrian Beltre, Boston Red Sox
6. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
7. Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Rays
8. Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
9. Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox
10. Shin-Soo Choo, Cleveland Indians

Justin Morneau, Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner also received votes.

The National League Stan Musial Award Nominations:

1. Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals (2)
2. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds (2)
3. Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies
4. Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals
5. Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies
6. Matt Holliday, St. Louis Cardinals
7. Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego Padres
8. Aubrey Huff, San Francisco Giants
9. Rickie Weeks, Milwaukee Brewers
10. Andres Torres, San Francisco Giants

Jayson Werth, Jay Bruce and Kelly Johnson also received votes.

Please check these links for more details:

http://thesportinghippeaux.blogspot.com/2010/10/bba-ballot-stan-musial-award.html

http://rotothinktank.blogspot.com/2010/10/al-mvp-2010.html

http://rotothinktank.blogspot.com/2010/10/nl-mvp-2010.html

http://cosfba.blogspot.com/2010/10/2010-fantasy-baseball-awards-10092010.html

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Roy Halladay and Felix Hernandez are Walter Johnson Award Winners

posted by Jon Williams
2010 was often referred to as “the year of the pitcher.” However, not all pitchers are created equal.

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance announced today that Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay was the unanimous selection for the National League Walter Johnson Award, receiving all nineteen first place votes. In the American League, Seattle’s Felix Hernandez was almost as dominant, garnering all but four of the first place selections from the BBA membership.

Halladay, who came over to Philadelphia in an off-season deal with Toronto, wasted no time getting comfortable in his new league, posting an 2.44 ERA, striking out 219 batters, winning 21 games, and throwing a perfect game to boot. While only the regular season was considered for voting, he also became only the second player to throw a post-season no-hitter when he faced the Reds in the National League Divisional Series. Halladay received 133 points, well ahead of the runner up, St. Louis’s Adam Wainwright, who received 66.

Hernandez’s win was statistically more impressive, due to more ballots being cast in the American League and a wider range of pitchers receiving votes. His 2010 season, where he put up a sparkling 2.27 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP, and struck out 232 in just under 250 innings pitched, led voters to bestow upon him 137 points, with second place being New York’s CC Sabathia, who received three first place votes and 62 points over all.

The complete voting results are as follows (first place votes in parenthesis):

American League
Felix Hernandez, Seattle (18) 137
CC Sabathia, New York (3) 62
David Price, Tampa Bay (1) 57
Cliff Lee, Seattle/Texas 41
Jered Weaver, Los Angeles 22
Jon Lester, Boston 18
Clay Buchholz, Boston 14
Francisco Liriano, Minnesota 13
Trevor Cahill, Oakland 5
Justin Verlander, Detroit 5

National League
Roy Halladay, Philadelphia (19) 133
Adam Wainwright, St. Louis 66
Ubaldo Jimenez, Colorado 52
Josh Johnson, Florida 43
Tim Hudson, Atlanta 16
Tim Lincecum, San Francisco 7
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles 2
Mat Latos, San Diego 2
Heath Bell, San Diego 1
Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee 1

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in the fall of 2009 to encourage cooperation and collaboration between baseball bloggers of all major league teams as well as those that follow baseball more generally. As of this writing, the organization consists of 233 blogs spanning all 30 major league squads as well as general baseball writing.

The BBA is organized under a similar structure as the Baseball Writers of America, where blogs that follow the same team are combined into “chapters” and only two votes from the chapter on an award are counted. The blog chapters that are focused on general baseball were allowed two votes as well, which they could use both on the same league or split between the two leagues.

Chapters generally followed one of two methods when casting their ballot. Either representatives of the chapter were given the ballots for voting or a “group ballot” was posted, accounting for both of their votes.

Ballots are posted on the respective blogs and for this award, were tabulated on a 7-4-3-2-1 point scale for first through fifth place. In the interest of transparency, links are given below for the ballots. Chapter affiliation is in parenthesis. Those chapters that decided on the group method are noted with an asterisk.

American League
Camden Crazies (Baltimore)*
Boston Red Thoughts (Boston)*
The Tribe Daily (Cleveland)*
Motor City Bengals (Detroit)
Detroit Tigers Scorecard Blog (Detroit)
One Royal Way (Kansas City)*
Twins Target (Minnesota)
Bronx Baseball Daily (New York)*
Contract Year (Oakland)
Sodo Mojo (Seattle)
Tampa Bay Rays News (Tampa Bay)
1 Blue Jays Way (Toronto)
Infield Fly (Toronto)
Misc. Baseball (History)*
Advanced Fantasy Baseball (Fantasy)*
Blogging From The Bleachers (General)*
Victoria Seals Baseball Blog (Other)*

National League
Marlin Maniac (Florida)
Marlins Diehards (Florida)
Feeling Dodger Blue (Los Angeles)
The Eddie Kranepool Society (New York)*
Dugger’s Corner (Philadelphia)
Phighting On (Philadelphia)
Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke? (Pittsburgh)*
Stan Musial’s Stance (St. Louis)
C70 At The Bat (St. Louis)
Friar Forecast (San Diego)*
22gigantes (San Francisco)*
Misc. Baseball (History)*
Advanced Fantasy Baseball (Fantasy)*
Blogging From The Bleachers (General)*
Victoria Seals Baseball Blog (Other)*

Prior Winners: 2009: Zach Greinke, Kansas City; Tim Lincecum, San Francisco

The official website of the BBA is located at www.baseballbloggersalliance.com. The BBA can be found on Twitter by the handle @baseballblogs and by the hashmark #bbba. Members of the BBA may be heard at Blog Talk Radio every Tuesday night with their call-in show, BBA Baseball Talk, which may also be downloaded as a podcast from iTunes. For more information, contact Daniel Shoptaw at founder@baseballbloggersalliance.com.




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Friday, October 22, 2010

The Walter Johnson Award: BBA Fantasy Chapter Nominations

posted by Jon Williams
Once again, it is my pleasure and honor as the president of the Baseball Blogger Association's Fantasy Chapter, to present you with our nominations for the Walter Johnson Award given to the best Major League pitcher in both the American and National Leagues.

The American League Walter Johnson Award Nominations:

1. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
2. Cliff Lee, Texas Rangers
3. Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels
4. David Price, Tampa Bay Rays
5. CC Sabathia, New York Yankees

The National League Walter Johnson Award Nominations:

1. Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies
2. Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals
3. Ubaldo Jimenez, Colorado Rockies
4. Josh Johnson, Florida Marlins
5. Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants

http://cosfba.blogspot.com/2010/10/2010-fantasy-baseball-awards-10092010.html

http://rotothinktank.blogspot.com/2010/10/nl-cy-young.html

http://rotothinktank.blogspot.com/2010/10/al-cy-young-2010.html



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Advice: 2011 OBP League Starting From Scratch

posted by Jon Williams

I received a very interesting e-mail from a long-time reader. Mike also presents some great ideas for those teams that may be considering re-building. My response to Mike is below. If you have questions feel free to e-mail Jon@AdvancedFantasyBaseball.com anytime.

Here's Mike:
For the first time in this century my favorite league (the OBP league) is performing a one time scratch draft reset. It will be critical to get the very best keepers (since we have no contracts or salaries, once a player is owned he can be kept forever among the team's 10 year-to-year keepers). I'll be trying to draft a competitive team for 2011, but my emphasis will be on getting the best of the best in draft/trades. I'd be interested in your $0.02 on who your top ten for targets and/or strategies might be.
Here are some of mine thoughts:
  1. If he's not in AA yet, unlikely to help in this scenerio. Bryce Harper might eventually be a A+ Stud, but I'd still be unlikely to carry him all of 2010 on the bench and as one of my 10 best keeper options headed into 2011.
  2. Hitters early an often. They're the best keepers, so maximizing my roster with big bats just makes sense.
  3. Best player drafting. Don't take a closer based on a run. In this scenerio, Andrew McCutchen and a waiver wire RP are better than Jenks and a ww bat,
  4. What Kutchera calls the Combo makes sense. Sure there's a warm place in my heart for 35HR guys, but 15/40 or 25/25 is very sweet.
  5. During the draft, remember to use the six bench slots AND the five DL slots. Plan to draft Strasburg. And who cares if I have four 3B? One can play 3b, one CI, and the other two either become excellent trade bait from the bench.
  6. Punt catchers. It's a one catcher league. If I'm drafting Doumit or Jaso as the last catcher off the board that's because I went strong earlier in the draft.
  7. Punt closers. Only once in the last 5 years have I kept a closer from year to year. At ten keepers/yr that's 1/50 times I've elected a closer to keep. Don't bother ... I can use that 11th round pick on another big bat who might actually have a chance to be a keeper.

I know, I know ... you always play to win. But having won this league the last two years, I can see finishing 3rd and ready for 2012. That seems better than scratching out another win in 2011 but having a lesser 2012 & beyond possibility.

Talk to me ... I value your input.

Big Mike

Hey Mike, I think you have a lot of great ideas already. While I do believe we should play to win every season I also know that sometimes timing and certain events (like starting from scratch) make it advantageous to consider a more long-term view. However, as much as I agree you should seek out the best possible keepers I don't think that is necessarily mutually exclusive from also trying to win in 2011.

Minor Leaguers: You suggest limiting any minor leaguers you acquire to those at the AAA-level and in general that is good thinking when considering the present season only. However, I think in the case of minor league players it is better to look at the resume and accomplishments of the hitter rather than the level they've reached. For instance, I'd take Angels outfield prospect, Mike Trout (who reached High-A in 2010) over just about any minor leaguer at a higher level. When it comes to minor leaguers I want the greatest star potential over experience. I would definitely consider carrying him on my bench for a year in a team-building situation.

Starting Pitchers: If you chase big name pitchers like the Phillies' Roy Halladay and the Giants' Tim Lincecum chances are you will have to overpay for them. It doesn't matter that they are the best at their position if they cause you to sacrifice in other areas. The key to building a cost-effective and winning pitching staff is to be ahead of the game.

Here are some pitchers that could potentially be undervalued for various reasons and also worth drafting in 2011 (in no particular order):
Catchers: In a one catcher league it does make sense to wait and pick the 12th ranked player rather than over draft a slightly better one. However, In a one catcher league having a catcher that is clearly superior to the other options can be a huge advantage. Consider using a pick in rounds four to six on Buster Posey or Joe Mauer. Mauer was banged up in 2010 and should be better in 2011, keep the faith. Posey is an extremely talented hitter and a capable catcher, he is a fantasy superstar in the making.

If you choose to pass on those guys here are a few sleepers I like at catcher in 2011:
Fantasy's Most Wanted: I am far from ready to present my sleepers and position rankings for 2011 but I do have some players I would like to see on a bunch of my rosters in 2o11. Some of these guys will be early picks and others middle round picks but all will be contributors on fantasy leagues of all types in 2011.
Thanks for writing Mike, I hope I sparked some ideas for you.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What You Overlooked About the Texas Rangers

posted by Shaun Payne

Coming into the American League Championship Series against the Yankees, the Texas Rangers were undersold. They were undersold because of their starting pitching. Their second- and third-best starting pitchers (C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis) are almost as good as the Yankees’ best starting pitcher (C.C. Sabathia), or at least they are in 2010. This should have been obvious to every avid baseball fan, at least, and we shouldn’t be surprised that the Rangers hold a 3-games-to-1 lead as I write this.

Let’s look at some numbers that tell us about underlying performance, shall we.

Here are the 2010 FIP’s (Fielding Independent Pitching on an ERA scale, from FanGraphs.com) for Cliff Lee, Sabathia, Lewis and Wilson:

Lee: 2.58

Sabathia: 3.54

Lewis: 3.55

Wilson: 3.56

Lee’s FIP was the second-best in all of baseball. Clearly he’s the best starting pitcher we’ll see in this series. But it may come as a surprise that Sabathis, Lewis and Wilson were essentially equal at least in terms of FIP.

Here are their 2010 WAR’s (Wins Above Replacement, again from FanGraphs):

Lee: 7

Sabathia: 5.1

Wilson: 4.4

Lewis: 4.4

Sabathia has a bigger edge in WAR than in FIP but it’s still closer than most fans probably realize. The gap between Lee and Sabathia is greater than the gap between Sabathia, Wilson and Lee. Lee let major league pitchers in WAR, Sabathia was 13th and Wilson and Lewis were tied at 18th with Dan Haren. No other Yankees pitcher was in the top 35 while the Rangers had three pitchers in the top 18.

Here are their ERA+ (ERA adjusted for league and parks, this from BaseballReference.com):

Lee: 130

Sabathia: 134

Wilson: 129

Lewis: 116

Things are a little more bunched up here. Sabathia looks better here than he does in the other statistics we’ve looked at, actually out-shining Lee. But this stat is based on ERA, and ERA is influenced by defense and luck. While ERA+ takes into account league and parks, it does not account for defense and luck. So it is not a great measure of the fundamental, underlying performance level of a pitcher; it’s much more results-based than performance-based.

Cliff Lee is obviously head-and-shoulders above any pitcher we’ve seen or will see in the ALCS and quite possibly in the playoffs. But the Rangers have two other starters that are almost as good as any starter their ALCS opponent has or will throw at them. Many probably overrated the bigger names of Sabathia and Pettite and overlooked the 2010 performances of CJ Wilson and Colby Lewis. But name recognition doesn’t always mean more talent, at least not current talent level.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Goose Gossage Award: Fantasy Chapter Nominations

posted by Jon Williams
It is my pleasure as President of the Baseball Bloggers Association's Fantasy Chapter to present our chapter's nominations for the Goose Gossage Award.

American League Goose Gossage Award Nominations:

1. Rafael Soriano, Tampa Bay Rays - On our 5,3,1 scale Soriano received 17 points with two first place votes.

2. Joakim Soria, Kansas City Royals - Soria received 12 points and one first place vote.

3. Joaquin Benoit, Tampa Bay Rays - Benoit received 8 points and one first place vote.

Neftali Feliz and Matt Thornton also received votes in the nomination procedure.

National League Goose Gossage Award Nominations

1. Carlos Marmol, Chicago Cubs - Marmol received three first place votes for a total of 15 points.

2. Brian Wilson, San Francisco Giants - Wilson received 12 total points and one first place vote.

3. Billy Wagner, Atlanta Braves - Wagner received one first place vote and a total of nine points.

Hong-Chih Kuo and Heath Bell also received votes in the nomination procedure.

Please check out these links for more information on the voting.



http://thesportinghippeaux.blogspot.com/2010/10/bba-award-ballot-goose-gossage-award.html

http://rotothinktank.blogspot.com/2010/10/best-nl-reliever-2010.html

http://rotothinktank.blogspot.com/2010/10/best-al-reliever-2010.html

http://cosfba.blogspot.com/2010/10/2010-fantasy-baseball-awards-10092010.html

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Buster Posey and Neftali Feliz are the BBA's Top Rookies

posted by Jon Williams

POSEY, FELIZ WIN TWO-MAN RACES FOR WILLIE MAYS AWARD

The battle for the Willie Mays Award, given by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance to the top rookie in each division, turned out to be a two-man affair in both leagues, with Texas Rangers closer Neftali Feliz and San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey finishing solidly ahead of their closest competition, Detroit Tigers outfielder Austin Jackson and Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward, respectively.

Feliz posted a 2.73 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP while tallying 40 saves and helping Texas into the postseason for the first time since 1999. Feliz only blew three save opportunities while fashioning a 3.94 strikeout to walk ratio.

Feliz garnered eighteen first-place votes and 102 points overall, finishing 22 points ahead of Jackson, who received six nods at the top of the ballot.

Posey did not begin the season in the major leagues, but did so much with his time in San Francisco that voters selected him as the National League’s top rookie. Posey hit .305 and slugged .505 in just 108 games, tallying 18 home runs and 67 RBI after his callup at the end of May. Posey’s offense helped San Francisco make up ground and eventually pass San Diego for the divisional crown.

Posey received 103 total points, including fifteen first-place selections, to outpace Heyward by 17 points. Heyward received ten first-place votes for his work in helping Atlanta secure the National League Wild Card.

The complete voting results are as follows (first place votes in parenthesis):

American League

Neftali Feliz, Texas (18) 102
Austin Jackson, Detroit (6) 78
Danny Valencia, Minnesota 16
Brian Matusz, Baltimore (1) 12
Brennan Boesch, Detroit 11
Wade Davis, Tampa Bay 3
John Jaso, Tampa Bay 3

National League

Buster Posey, San Francisco (15) 103
Jason Heyward, Atlanta (10) 86
Jaime Garcia, St. Louis 20
Starlin Castro, Chicago 7
Ike Davis, New York 7
Gaby Sanchez, Florida (1) 6
Tyler Colvin, Chicago 2
Mike Stanton, Florida 2
Neil Walker, Pittsburgh 2

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in the fall of 2009 to encourage cooperation and collaboration between baseball bloggers of all major league teams as well as those that follow baseball more generally. As of this writing, the organization consists of 233blogs spanning all 30 major league squads as well as general baseball writing.

The BBA is organized under a similar structure as the Baseball Writers of America, where blogs that follow the same team are combined into “chapters” and only two votes from the chapter on an award are counted. The blog chapters that are focused on general baseball were allowed two votes as well, which they could use both on the same league or split between the two leagues.

Chapters generally followed one of two methods when casting their ballot. Either representatives of the chapter were given the ballots for voting or a “group ballot” was posted, accounting for both of their votes.

Ballots are posted on the respective blogs and tabulated on a 5-3-1 point scale for first, second and third. In the interest of transparency, links are given below for the ballots. Chapter affiliation is in parenthesis. Those chapters that decided on the group method are noted with an asterisk.

American League

Camden Crazies (Baltimore)*
Boston Red Thoughts (Boston)*
The Tribe Daily (Cleveland)*
Detroit Tigers Scorecard (Detroit)
Switch Hitting Pitchers (Detroit)
One Royal Way (Kansas City)
Seth Speaks (Minnesota)
Twins Target (Minnesota)
Bronx Baseball Daily (New York)*
Contract Year (Oakland)
Rise of the Rays (Tampa Bay)
Tampa Bay Rays News (Tampa Bay)
Baseball Is My Boyfriend (Texas)*
The Blue Jay Hunter (Toronto)
500 Level Fan (Toronto)
Advanced Fantasy Baseball (Fantasy)*
Misc. Baseball (History)*
Victoria Seals Baseball Blog (Other)*
Blogging From The Bleachers (General)*

National League

Prose and Ivy (Chicago)*
Cincinnati Reds Blog (Cincinnati)
Marlin Maniac (Florida)
Marlins Diehards (Florida)
Feeling Dodger Blue (Los Angeles)
Bernies Crew (Milwaukee)*
Brewers Bar (Milwaukee)*
The Eddie Kranepool Society (New York)*
Duggers Corner (Philadelphia)
Phighting On (Philadelphia)
Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke? (Pittsburgh)*
i70 Baseball (St. Louis)
Pitchers Hit Eighth (St. Louis)
Friar Forecast (San Diego)*
22gigantes (San Francisco)*
Advanced Fantasy Baseball (Fantasy)*
Misc. Baseball (History)*
Victoria Seals Baseball Blog (Other)*
Blogging From The Bleachers (General)*
Ron Kaplans Baseball Bookshelf (Miscellaneous)*

Ballots that were unofficial or helped make up their chapter ballot:

Bottom Line Sox (Boston)
Raise the Jolly Roger (Pittsburgh)
The Crazy Crabbers (San Francisco)
Stan Musials Stance (St. Louis--unofficial)

Prior Winners

2009: Andrew Bailey, Oakland; Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh

The official website of the BBA is located at www.baseballbloggersalliance.com. The BBA can be found on Twitter by the handle @baseballblogs and by the hashmark #bbba. Members of the BBA may be heard at Blog Talk Radio every Tuesday night with their call-in show, BBA Baseball Talk, which may also be downloaded as a podcast from iTunes. For more information, contact Daniel Shoptaw at founder@baseballbloggersalliance.com.

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