We recently went live here at “So-Called Fantasy Experts” with the 2015 Big Board, a draft assistant program that calculates player values and rankings for 2015. So far, we’ve shown off what it can do by finding undervalued infielders, outfielders, and pitchers, and even highlighting the big differences between points and Roto formats.
We consider this one of the best Fantasy Baseball draft tools you can buy this draft season — and it’s definitely the cheapest, at just $5!
The Big Board supports a ton of different projection systems, but the real value comes from the ability to customize and tweak player projections based on analysis and news you find in your preparation leading up to draft day.
Today, we take a look at 2015 Spring Training studs — pitchers whose values have changed most during the preseason, and the corresponding custom projections that we’ve included as part of the Big Board. We also looked at five pitchers that have dropped in the rankings because of their Spring Training performances!
People always say not to worry about spring training numbers, but between battles for rotation spots, lighting up radar guns, returns to full health, and even strikeout vs. walk rates, there are a ton of reasons to take a closer look at some of these pitchers as draft day approaches!
2015 Spring Training Studs
To make your own rankings/$ values and find more players like these for your specific league, check out the Big Board!
5 Pitchers Moving Up the 2015 Big Board
Taijuan Walker, SP, Seattle
Spring: 18 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.56 WHIP, 9.5 K/9, 2.0 BB/9
Projection: 160 IP, 150 K, 3.70 ERA, 1.26 WHIP
Walker came in to spring training with health concerns, control problems, and without a sure rotation spot. And while we can’t say he’s for sure kicked his love for BBs after just 18 innings, he’s silenced a lot of critics by holding his opponents to a miniscule .278 OPS and striking out over a batter per inning this spring.
Meanwhile, one of his main competitors (Roenis Elias) tops our list of pitchers having a rough spring, and the other (Erasmo Ramirez) has been cropping up in trade rumors. We’re confident in keeping the innings projection conservative for now, but Taijuan is an elite pitching prospect and could easily outdo his projected rate stats this year.
Matt Harvey, SP, N.Y. Mets
Spring: 14.1 IP, 1.26 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 7.5 K/9, 0.6 BB/9
Projection: 185 IP, 203 K, 3.30 ERA, 1.18 WHIP
He probably could have done an Edwin Jackson impression this spring and we’d still all be excited to see Matt Harvey is back in action. Three things that have him moving up: 1) If we take the Mets at their word, he’s going to make it to 200 innings this year if they make the playoffs, 2) No control problems (1 walk vs. 12 strikeouts), 3) He’s spitting hot fire at 99mph.
I’m still knocking his rate stats down a peg from Steamer/ZiPS given the tendency for TJ guys to experience some loss of command in their first season back, but buying in to the Harvey return to ace-dom is looking smarter every day.
Daniel Norris, SP, Toronto
Spring: 18.2 IP, 2.41 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 10.1 K/9, 1.9 BB/9
Projection: 160 IP, 153 K, 3.90 ERA, 1.27 WHIP
I was fully ready to leave him down at the bottom of the board after the 50th time I heard the tiresome “lives in a van down by the river” storyline about Norris, but between the Stroman injury and his lights out spring, I’m coming around quickly. Any time a rookie is pitching in a bandbox like Toronto I’ll worry for the possibility of blowup outings, but the K upside is undeniable.
We still have basically no sample-size for this guy above Double-A (23 IP at Triple-A last year, 7 IP in majors), so I’ll basically continue to watch his spring starts and see where his K- and BB-rates go. There is real breakout potential here, but keep in mind the likelihood of a late-season shutdown in H2H leagues.
Jason Hammel, SP, Chicago Cubs
Spring: 14 IP, 3.86 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 9.6 K/9, 1.9 BB/9
Projection: 180 IP, 159 K, 3.70 ERA, 1.23 WHIP
Lots of people are talking about the up-and-down season Hammel had between the Cubs and A’s last year, where he pretty much tanked following the trade that shipped him west. Now he’s back with the Cubs, and the easy story to write is that he’ll be back to something like his sparkly first-half 3.01 ERA/1.06 WHIP of 2014 which were powered by an 8.5 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9.
Based on the spring numbers so far, I’m starting to buy it. Longer-term, he’s got a weird history that could conceivably be hiding a guy that has gradually gotten better and better through his time in the majors, after spending three full seasons in Colorado and two injury-marred ones in Baltimore before last year.
T.J. House, SP, Cleveland
Spring: 17.2 IP, 5.60 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 7.6 K/9, 1.5 BB/9
Projection: 170 IP, 130 K, 3.80 ERA, 1.25 WHIP
There isn’t a lot that’s super exciting about House, and less-calm minds would see his ERA/WHIP and say he’s having a rough spring. But I love him given his great K/BB differential (look no further than the 1.5 BB/9 this spring) and elite groundball rate (over 60% last year).
While the ceiling is not super high, his floor is high, and after Gavin Floyd’s injury it’s looking like he has secured a rotation spot this year.
Daniel Norris Photo Credit: Tom Hagerty
- 2015 Spring Training Duds: 5 Pitchers Moving Down the 2015 Big Board - March 28, 2015
- 2015 Spring Training Studs: 5 Pitchers Moving Up the 2015 Big Board - March 27, 2015
- 8 Players Better In Points Leagues & 5 Players Better In Roto Leagues - March 23, 2015