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BABS in 2021: In Case You’re Wondering

What can you say about 2020? Here are a few brief words from my Introduction in the just-released 2021 Baseball Forecaster:

(When it comes to the pandemic,) I hope you have not been badly affected. I take solace in knowing that this is just our reality of the moment. Thankfully, reality is fluid and often healed with the passage of time. I take heart in knowing that the pandemic will eventually ease and bring some semblance of normality. Until we get there, I am happy to share this dark room with all of you. We can turn on the light together.

When it comes to baseball, we should be grateful that we had a season at all, and that for all the talk of illegitimacy, the best two teams did end up in the World Series. For fantasy, we need to resign ourselves to the fact that the hot mess of 2020 is going to frame all of our off-season analyses.

Whether as a long-awaited ray of hope or just a welcome distraction, BABS will be back in 2021. Here are some early thoughts on what we might have ahead of us:

For starters, we are all anxiously awaiting word on what the MLB season will look like. Will there be a universal designated hitter? Odds are yes, but until a decision is final, we can’t follow that path. Despite a full 162-game schedule already on the books, will that happen? As a spring training season ticket-holder, all I know is that my calendar says the Mets will be hosting the Marlins on Saturday, February 27.

I’m not holding that date open if I get a better offer.

Given the uncertainty, it’s tough to finalize BABS ratings for 2021. I am currently building out the database and uncovering some of the challenges that we’ll be facing this coming season. BABS thrives with large data samples, and baseball is now populated with many more players generating ever smaller sets of plate appearances and innings. It’s a challenge.

The uncertainty also makes it tough to consider any significant changes to the BABS model or methodology in the short term. I have gone through The BABS Project 3.0 ebook and made a few tweaks, which is probably going to be an annual exercise. The changes were nothing significant enough to force a re-read if you’re a BABS pro. Still, it’s always good for an off-season read as a refresher.

The 2021 BABS Draft Plan will include four major site updates like last year, unless MLB scheduling forces us to change direction. A preliminary database posting with 2021 ratings will likely appear in late January or early February, regardless of when MLB is set to return — this is not something you should take to the bank. Hopefully, we’ll have a clearer picture by then and be able to figure out when is the best time to post subsequent updates.

Doug Gruber and Pat Cloghessy will both be back with their expert analysis.

For those with auto renewals, they will be processed according to your existing annual schedule, as usual. Some of you are probably already seeing those coming through. If you wish to be taken off of auto-renew, you can cancel that option on your PayPal account.

Help Wanted

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3 thoughts on “BABS in 2021: In Case You’re Wondering

  1. Richard McCormick

    I look forward to the 2021 baseball season and all the challenges that covid brings to the table . As usual the unique BABS insight will be an integral part of that season

  2. Tom Mulhall

    Any chance we’ll get an adjustment on risk factors on players drafted in the lower rounds? There seems to be a huge difference in a “Risk” player taken in the first five rounds as apposed to a “Risk” player taken in the last five rounds. I’d love to see a way we can adjust the debits on players taken in the lower rounds. Maybe a full debit on players taken in the first third of the draft, 2/3’s of a debit for players taken in the second third, and 1/3 of a debit on players taken in the final third of the draft. Frankly, other than getting lucky in the final third part of the draft, those players are essentially fungible with free agents. I don’t really care if I have five or even ten INJ risks if I took them in the final third of the draft, while I’d be very concerned if I took even three in the first third of the draft. Thanks!

    1. shandler Post author

      Given all the uncertainties with the upcoming season, I opted not to make any major changes to the BABS model this year. Your idea has a ton of merit and it is already on my List of Cool Stuff To Do. Maybe we’ll toy with it once this year’s MLB rules get nailed down. We’ll see. But it makes too much sense not to consider.

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