If you are in to fantasy baseball then Sunday at 8:30pm EST is the time for you. For the first time, the MLB Network will air the MLB.com Fantasy Draft. You do not have to be a fantasy guru to watch this show. You can watch it to obviously, prepare yourself for your upcoming fantasy daft or to become more knowledgeable about the game and its players. “The average fantasy baseball fan knows more about baseball on his or her worst day than baseball fans who don’t play fantasy,” Cory Schwartz said. “If you want to understand why your guy is batting where he is, why a certain pitcher got left in — fantasy players understand that more and better because they have to.”
Cory Schwartz, director of stats at MLB Advanced Media and Mike Siano, director of multimedia production have known each other for quite sometime, and now they have the perfect opportunity, a launch pad if you will, to show the world just how big fantasy baseball and fantasy sports have become in the world today.
What you can expect during the show is position-by-position analysis, which will include full player rankings, strategy for you, your draft day and strategy for in-season transactions. Additional insight on bargain buys; breakout players, busts, and top pick prospects that can be expected to make a big impact through out the season. This analysis will be provided MLB network member Greg Amsinger and fomer Major League second baseball; Harold Reynolds.
What fantasy baseball is doing is educating the average fan, and along with that, Schwartz and Siano will join Amsinger and Reynolds on the 90-minute show and give the viewers their strategy and their picks. They will spend approximately 10 minutes on each position and once that is finished, MLB.com will announce their all-time fantasy team. “I’ve been involved in drafts, and the fantasy baseball fans definitely know more than your average baseball fans who don’t take part in fantasy,” Amsinger said. “The amount of research a fantasy fan goes through to learn the backup infielder of the Rockies, to know that Ian Stewart is going to play third base and first base and outfield — it’s amazing.
Everyone involved with the show has some sort of fantasy baseball experience, all except Reynolds. According to Reynolds, he has learned alot about the fantasy gaming world, since beginning production on the show. “Not being a fantasy guy before, I learned a lot doing this show,” Reynolds said. “I’ve never done a draft, never had a high interest in it, but thought it was fun. I think it’s interesting. I think the game on the field is what makes it important to follow, and fantasy makes it interesting because there are so many fans involved in it and it engages them”. “First of all, what Cory and Mike bring, they do a great job of doing their homework. To see how studied up they are, their information and depth is as good as anybody’s. Secondly, you have to recognize MLB.com’s whole research, with its projected lineups and outcomes of players. That is so valuable to a fan who watches this show.”
According to MLB.com, this is not only the first fantasy program for the new network but it is also the first branded MLB.com program. This shows the possibilities that the new network and MLB.com have. The multi-networking and mutliplatforming possibilities that a baseball fan has now is endless and we can only imagine what the network has in store next.
Devon Teeple is an author for the Business of Sports Network. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Devon is a former student within Sports Management Worldwide’s Baseball General Manager Class. Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective and is a intern with The Football Outsiders and contributor with the Plymouth River Eels.