2018 Primer: Early Observations
2018 Primer: Early Observations

This article is part of our Baseball Draft Kit series.

A common topic in our discussion of the 2017 season was the power explosion in Major League Baseball – what was its cause, and was it sustainable? The latter question has been resoundingly resolved – yes, indeed it is sustainable. The 2017 season was a record-breaking year both in terms of total homers (6,105) and home runs per game (1.26). That second metric might not seem significant to you, but consider that there have only been 21 seasons where there has been an average of one homer per game, or that the previous high was 1.17 in 2000 (slightly ahead of 2016's 1.16 pace). As for the cause of this power explosion, there's been credible evidence that the ball is indeed more lively than it has been in previous seasons, and that swing-path changes have taken advantage of that lively ball.

The more compelling issue is what to do with this information. It should be obvious that our standards in terms of what we need to compete are changing. Consider the Main Event in the NFBC. The Main Event consists of 15-team mixed leagues, with an overall contest consisting of 30-plus leagues. Because of the overall prize and the no-trade rule in the league, typically one needs to do well in every category, and punting a category isn't an option. While there's some room to be stronger in one category and weaker another, typically you need to average a position in the 70th percentile per category to cash in your

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Erickson
Jeff Erickson is a co-founder of RotoWire and the only two-time winner of Baseball Writer of the Year from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He's also in the FSWA Hall of Fame. He roots for the Reds, Bengals, Red Wings, Pacers and Northwestern University (the real NU).
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