Spring training games are underway, and the new pitch clock is causing quite a stir. This is a sign – spring training games, not the pitch clock – that fantasy baseball prep is in high gear. I’m trying to cram my own fantasy baseball prep with my main league drafts starting this week. There is a lot to do and not a lot of time. Speaking of time, this post is to introduce a tool to help compare a key factor in a baseball player’s fantasy prospects – playing time.
Forecasting PA and IP
With all of the fantasy baseball projection systems available, one of the big differentiators from system to system is, playing time. Often the systems expect very similar metrics and ratios for players. But, how many plate appearances will the hitters get? How many innings will pitchers earn for the upcoming season?
If you can accurately forecast playing time, then you are miles ahead of your competition. I’m not an expert projecting baseball players. My knowledge of the player pool isn’t as strong for baseball as for football. So, I lean on fantasy analysts and the aforementioned projection systems to help me out. What I do well is collect and organize data.
Ultimately, injuries play a big part in actual playing time across the league, but performance on the field, prospect development, and the whims of the manager are factors too. It is a difficult task to stay on top of the day-to-day news for all thirty MLB teams. Perhaps a tool that summarizes projected playing time and compares to prior year stats would be useful.
Playing Time Projections Comparison Tool
Introducing the Playing Time Projections comparison tool. It displays projected plate appearances (hitters) and innings pitched (pitchers) from three different sources, plus actual PA and IP from the past two seasons. Select the team you want to review. Players who were on the team in either of the prior two years are included, so you can truly compare how many PA and IP left an organization, and who is projected to make them up.
Note, if for example a player played for an organization in 2021, but not 2022, then his 2022 stats and 2023 projections are not displayed. Those are not relevant to the team for this year. Also, there are plate appearances for pitchers but those are also excluded.
The tool compares THE BAT by Derek Carty, Razzball (Steamer) by Rudy Gamble, and Zeile from FantasyPros projections. I wanted to include three different sources I both respect, and are quite independent of one another for a better contrast. Please check the links for each, let’s give proper credit where credit is due.
Wrapping up, I hope you find this new tool useful. Now back to my own draft prep! Tick, tick, tick…