Thursday, January 31, 2008

David Wright – Way Cool, Cool Base Batting Practice Jersey

My latest apparel habit involves the Cool Base Patting Practice jerseys that Major League Baseball Introduced in spring training last year. They’re pretty cool and I like the way they leverage technology in a baseball jersey. They are designed to be breathable and comfortable. Of course I’ll most likely be manning the barbeque grill rather than taking cuts in a batting cage. This David Wright Cool Base BP jersey from joins my Carl Crawford one that visa clause bought me for Christmas.

Shop for your David Wright baseball jersey on eBay!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Custom Fantasy Baseball Auction Dollar Values from

One of the key features for RotoWire’s 2008 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit is it’s custom dollar value feature. I’ve used this to help determine relative value for different players that I’m targeting across multiple leagues. Their system allows you to enter the salary cap for your league, the number of teams, number of players and scoring categories. Press a button and “bang” custom dollar values for your fantasy baseball league – pretty sweet!

Get Fantasy Baseball Auction Values in Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster 2009 on Amazon

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Heater Magazine – Weekly Fantasy Baseball PDF, Download Free Sample!

I signed up for Heater last year primarily because I decided to do the National Fantasy Baseball Championship and needed some tools to help keep pace with some of the real fantasy baseball legends. Visit Heater’s site, to download a free sample. Each week they have a new full magazine issued in PDF format and then a weekend edition with numbers for the week to help set your weekend line up.

Last year I use Heater to set my lineup based on pitching match ups. They also have a minor league section which is solid gold for keeper leagues or super deep leagues like the NFBC.

They have some new features in various states of work for the upcoming baseball season.

  • A monthly minor league section with all stats for AAA
  • Spring Training abbreviated issue of heater
  • 2 pages of Graphical Player fantasy baseball charts
  • They also have a killer projection tool called Wheelhouse, I haven’t used it yet but it sounds cool and they’ve made a lot of updates to it

If you’re serious about fantasy baseball and need an in-season source, give Heater a look.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Cy Young T206 Baseball Card – Nice Fantasy Football Trophy

I recently purchased this Cy Young with Bare Hand Showing T206 baseball card with my fantasy football winnings. This T206 has an El Principe De Gales back by the cigarette maker from Havana Cuba. According to the seller I bought this off of on eBay, this is the only Cy Young with Bare Hand Showing graded by PSA to also have the somewhat rare El Principe De Gales back. It’s graded as a PSA 3 which is pretty good for a baseball card of this age and rarity. As long as I keep winning my fantasy baseball and football leagues I can keep scoring sweet T206 cards – can’t wait for baseball to start up!

Find Cy Young T206 baseball cards on eBay!

Here’s a link to the Walter Johnson T206 card I bought with last year’s fantasy football winnings and the Ty Cobb baseball card I bought with my fantasy baseball bounty.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Fantasy Baseball Tune Up – First NFBC Style Mock Draft

I signed up for Mock Draft Central last week to start getting some practice for the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. It’s very easy to use and there are a lot of draft options so you should find something that matches your fantasy baseball league. I did have the auto draft on accidentally several times so it messed up my overall strategy but I was just shooting for a good look at the first few rounds anyway. Following the NFBC format this was a 15 team draft, 23 rounds and I was picking out of the 10 hole.

1) Carl Crawford, OF – I would have slept well last night knowing I got him, 2 sick kids had other plans for me
2) Ichiro Suzuki, OF – it was between him or Carlos Lee, I was hesitant to go with Ichiro since I already had some wheels in Crawford, but check out the next pick
3) Adam Dunn, OF – match his power with Ichiro’s average and you end up with 2 pretty sick, balanced players
4) Joe Nathan, RP – great closer at a good spot
5) Vernon Wells, OF – getting a little OF happy but he should bounce back and if he does it’s like getting Carlos Lee on the cheap
6) Jose Valverde, RP – this was an auto draft error on my part, I’ll take it
7) Billy Wagner, RP – déjà vu all over again, see this time I figured out that I was on auto draft, no one needs 3 closers in the first 7 rounds of the NFBC, but should make things interesting
8) Tim Lincecum, SP – I’d like a little more experience in my #1 starter, but 200 Ks is 200 Ks
9) Chien-ming Wang, SP – could push 20 wins and with the heat he throws I expect the K rate to rise
10) Yovani Gallardo, SP – I had him and Lincecum real close so Gallardo 2 rounds later is pretty sweet, still overall 3 young starters has me a little nervous
11) Johnny Peralta, SS – a little early for him but I needed some power at a non-OF spot
12) Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C – for a league that requires 2 catchers this is a nice pick, could crack 20 HRs
13) Mike Jacobs, 1B – another auto draft gaff but fills the need
14) Rocco Baldelli, OF – ditto with auto draft, he does have 20/20 type skills but his health is laughable, I would have liked him a couple of rounds later
15) Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B – he really started to figure it out down the stretch, if he live up to the hype he should push 30 HRs and a 300 BA
16) Zack Greinke, SP – thanks auto draft! I needed a pitcher and he’s coming around so I can’t complain too much
17) Richie Sexson, 1B – he’s a masher, if Sexson bounces back he fills a huge hole
18) Geoff Jenkins, OF – a little washed up but he’s lefty and plays in Coors Field East (Philly) so 30 HRs is likely even in a platoon
19) Mark DeRosa, 2B – I’ve never given DeRosa a second thought in my life prior to last night, I was desparate for a 2B and he should hit 290ish, with 10 HRs and a handful of steals, he’ll do as a band aide until I figure something else out
20) Wandy Rodriguez, SP – bit of a flier but he has a nice K rate and it’s that point of the draft
21) Chris Snyder, C – has some power, smidge of upside, OK #2 catcher this late
22) Erick Aybar, SS – high average multi-tool prospect, hopefully he grows up fast
23) Chris Capuano, SP – was great in 05 & 06, awful in 07, if he returns to form he could be my ace, if he repeats 2007 I wouldn’t feel bad kicking him to the curb

I need a lot more prep to put together a quality team for the National Fantasy Baseball Championship but this was a nice warm up with some interesting challenges.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Spray Charts for Fantasy Baseball from Graphical Player

One of the things I like most about Graphical Player so far are the spray charts they have for every batter. In fantasy baseball it’s important to distinguish between trends and flukes. For sleeper picks, rookies or possible breakout candidates with short track records, I’ve found the spray charts to be a helpful tool.

The spray charts for Graphical Player show dark lines for fly balls, gray for grounders, white circles for major league home runs and black circles for minor league homers. I believe the application for fantasy baseball is this – stay away from righties that only hit home runs to left field (see J.J. Hardy, Austin Kearns, Elijah Dukes). Anyone in the bigs can crush an inside pitch and once the scouting report is out look for a lot fewer. I’m much less worried about lefties because most pitchers are righty so balls will still tend to break in making it a little more difficult to avoid inside mistakes (see Jeremy Hermida, Jason Kubel and Hideki Matsui).

On the other hand I have a lot of confidence in baseball players that have a wide distribution in their spray chart home runs (see Brandon Philips pictured above, Nick Markakis and David Wright). These spray charts tell me that these guys know how to hit, making them safe fantasy baseball players that may display more upside this season. For a batter to hit the ball to all fields with power they will need some combination of the following – early pitch recognition which allows for the proper body adjustments, the ability to hit lefties and righties well or ungodly strength. Either way they are more likely to maintain or improve upon last year’s fantasy baseball stats because we can infer that they have real baseball skills. I wouldn’t take Philips or Markakis in the first round (yet) but if you have an opportunity, I think you’re safe grabbing them up to a half round early for your 2008 fantasy baseball team.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Baseball Forecaster – Early Bird Fantasy Baseball Resource

I received my annual Baseball Forecaster last week and have started going through it. It has a log of detailed fantasy baseball info and projections for 2008. I like their Prospects section which includes top prospects as well as major league equivalent stats. If you’re in deeper fantasy baseball leagues these two sections can go a long way to scouting some deeper picks. You can check out more about the Baseball Forecaster and Ron Shandler at also offers a free newsletter and podcast which is updated weekly throughout the season. I find the podcast to be completely indispensable for fantasy baseball. I appreciate the fact that they dedicate a segment to each podcast to provide an overview of one of their sabermetric stats. I’m still fairly new to sabermetrics in fantasy baseball but I’m getting a great education from Baseball Forecaster and’s resources.

Order Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster 2009 on Amazon