The Z Files: AL Playing Time Overview
The Z Files: AL Playing Time Overview

This article is part of our The Z Files series.

Have you ever wondered how columnists come up with topics? I can't speak for all my colleagues but sometimes it's difficult. Any time you can come up with a series like I just completed, it obviously makes things easier.

Truth be told, I planned on wrapping up the recent comparison of initial expectations to current production by reviewing a list of lessons learned. When I went back over my notes I discovered I'd be using the phrase, "It's a small sample size, but…" a lot. As Tom Tango once said on Twitter, those two things don't belong in the same sentence.

As such, I was at a loss for a topic this week. On weeks I don't have a topic at the ready, I spend some time pontificating. But, since I thought I was set, my mind was elsewhere.

So, I went back over the lists and my notes and unearthed a lesson not needing a full season to manifest. I was struck by the number of surprise hitters on non-competing teams. Here's a partial list: Jorge Soler, Teoscar Hernandez, Jon Jay, Denard Span, Starlin Castro, Christian Villanueva, Matt Davidson and Brian Anderson.

Keep in mind, these aren't just surprise players, but essentially Top-100 hitters, maybe Top-150 overall at the time of the analysis. Some, like Span, Castro, Anderson and Jay were expected to play but were discounted heavily in drafts due to team context. Others like Soler, Hernandez and Davidson were in

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Todd Zola
Todd has been writing about fantasy baseball since 1997. He won NL Tout Wars and Mixed LABR in 2016 as well as a multi-time league winner in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. Todd is now setting his sights even higher: The Rotowire Staff League. Lord Zola, as he's known in the industry, won the 2013 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Article of the Year award and was named the 2017 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year. Todd is a five-time FSWA awards finalist.
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