Best of Pitcher List in 2018
As we all sit down on this New Year’s Eve and reflect upon 2018, Pitcher List is doing the same. Therefore, for all of you wonderful people, I have compiled 30 of the best articles from throughout 2018 for your reading pleasure. These were the most in-depth, the most creative, the most groundbreaking, and simply the best of 2018. There are so many more that deserve to be featured and I urge you to read through them all as I did (though you don’t have to do it in one day as I did). Happy 2019 to all of you from the Pitcher List staff!
FEBRUARY AND MARCH
He may not have gotten it perfectly right, but the keys to success were all there, clearly identified by our own Nick Pollack.
You Don’t Know Jack Flaherty– Alex Fast
Alex made a huge fuss during Spring Training about this kid from the Cardinals and it turns out he was on to something. Flaherty burst on the scene for St. Louis this year and became one of the top young starters in the game.
Didi Gregorius’ Mysterious Power– Dave Cherman
Dave pulled his hair out attempting to uncover the secret to Didi’s power numbers, but the answer is still elusive. A follow-up article might be necessary.
German Marquez Has an Interesting New Pitch– Ben Palmer
Ben deserves credit for spotting the key change that helped spur German Marquez’s emergence in the second half of 2018. And he spotted it all the way back in April!
In beautiful GIF form, Ian followed up on Alex’s rave reviews as Flaherty had a dominant debut. Check out the GIFs to see just how good Flaherty is.
Nick Pivetta Spinning into Form– Paul Martin
Paul was early on the Pivetta train, highlighting spin rates on his curveball for his success. The underlying numbers still look beautiful for Pivetta, as beautiful as when Paul spotted them.
Chaz showed us precisely what we need to look for in the swamp of plate discipline metrics to get the information we need.
The New Hyun-Jin Ryu– Ben Palmer
With the help of some charts and graphs, Ben uncovered a changed pitch mix which helped fantasy owners find this gem early on. Ryu may not have given a ton of innings but was sterling when he pitched.
The apple of Austin Bristow’s eye, Soroka did not spend a long time in the majors this year, but Nick found reasons for optimism that have fantasy owners excited going into 2019.
xStats, the Shift, and Pull Hitters– Michael Augustine
Michael examined the fantasy impact of statcast data on an emerging trend in the game- shifts.
Chaz’s article, but for hitters, Dave sheds some light on how to interpret plate discipline metrics for hitters.
Markakis was a major asset for fantasy owners in 2018 and Ben helped point that out with this excellent in-depth piece.
Pitcher List’s New Stat VPR: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?– Myles Nelson & Nick Pollack
The Intentionality of Stolen Bases– Austin Bristow II
Austin’s first attempt at creating a new stat, one that is increasingly valuable nowadays, with SBs as hard to find as ever.
JUNE AND JULY
Danny Jansen Should Be On Your Rader– Adam Garland
Catching is a wasteland and Adam pointed out a strong candidate to provide long-term fantasy value at the position coming out of the Great White North.
Using Pitch Acceleration to Predict Batted Ball Quality– Alex Isherwood
These articles that go beyond a single player are some of the best here at Pitcher List because they can help find value on a league-wide scale.
Which Hitters are Suffering the Most From the Shift?- Alex Isherwood
With the shift becoming an ever more prevalent part of the game, Alex gave us excellent insight into who was suffering the most and who could maybe hit their way out of it.
GIF Breakdown: Touki Toussaint’s MLB Debut in 22 GIFs– Nick Pollack
Another Braves rookie, another GIF Breakdown. If you’re wondering what kind of stuff Touki has, Nick has you taken care of.
Effective Velocity and Reaction Time– Michael Augustine
While working with Perry Husband, Michael Augustine uncovered a new perspective on pitch sequencing and how pitchers can use it to their advantage.
Meet Me in the Biddle– Mike the Roto Cop
Mike took a deep look at an underrated middle reliever. It’s less a fantasy post and more an acknowledgment of a baseball player who wasn’t getting enough love.
There Must be Something in the Water– Dan Richards
Hard contact has risen league-wide in 2018. Dan looks at how that happened and how to interpret it for fantasy leagues.
AlbertWOAH Mondesi– Dan Richards
A darling who won many a fantasy league, Mondesi needed a deeper look, which Dan Richards expertly provides in this piece.
Jeff McNeil Looks Like the Real Deal– Austin Perodeau
In a lost season for the Mets, Austin points out that Jeff McNeil emerged as a legitimate fantasy asset to keep your eye on for 2019.
The “Lowe-down” on the Rays’ Next Great Slugger– Adam Garland
Adam Garland went deep on a name to keep your eye on in 2019, despite the fact that he is nowhere to be found on top prospect lists.
One Change German Marquez Should Make– Michael Augustine
Hopefully, Marquez finds this piece so, in 2019, he can consistently be the fantasy darling he was in the second half of 2018.
Adam vs Adam: 2018 Top 30 OFers to Own in Dynasty Leagues- Adam Lawler & Adam Garland
What’s not to love about Adam vs Adam? Two of the smartest dynasty minds in the game debating rankings is a recipe for fun.
The Next Great Cincinnati Red– Jamie Sayer
In his debut piece, Jamie points readers to the breakout of Jesse Winker and how you can get sneaky value with him in 2019.
The Coming of Jesus Luzardo– Adam Garland
Dubbed “2019’s Blake Snell” by Mr. Garland himself, Adam writes about the minor league pitcher we should all keep our eye on next year.
Is Bryce Harper This Generation’s J.D. Drew?– Travis Sherer
In a piece that should frighten some Harper fans, Travis brings our attention to the alarming similarities between a modern generational talent and one that could have been.
(Graphic courtesy of Justin Paradis)