You’ve Never Played Fantasy Baseball Like This — SABR Style

Fantasy baseball, as we know it today, began more than 30 years ago when a group of friends met at a New York City restaurant to create the first rotisserie league. A lot has changed since then.

4 spots left! If you’re interested in joining our league, contact Matt Adams at or CJ Hangen at

For one, the number of people who play fantasy baseball has grown into the millions. Another thing that has changed is the way in which baseball players are evaluated. From Bill James to Billy Beane, we have seen how statistical analysis has become a major part of the game. We are now in an age where statistical analysts are collaborating with MLB personnel to make baseball decisions.

Fantasy baseball, however, has remained relatively unchanged from its early inception. Many of the commonly used statistics in traditional fantasy baseball are no longer valued in such high regard among MLB front offices.

We’re looking to bridge the gap between modern-day baseball and traditional fantasy baseball. Welcome to Fantasy Baseball — SABR Style.

We’re looking to run a 16-team “pilot” league, exclusive to SABR members. Teams will play at no charge and the winner will receive a prize, courtesy of SABR.

The scoring system will differ from traditional fantasy baseball. Players will be judged on measures that contribute to wins for their team — and not those that only look good on the back of their baseball card. In this regard, members of the SABR fantasy league will manage their roster as would a modern-day general manager.

In SABR Fantasy Baseball, hitters score based on their ability to:

  • Get on base
  • Hit for extra bases
  • Avoid hitting into double plays
  • Avoid striking out
  • Efficiently steal bases

Pitchers are separated by starters and relievers. Starting pitchers score based on their ability to:

  • Strike batters out
  • Avoid letting hitters reach base
  • Pitch deep into games
  • Induce ground balls

Relief pitchers score based on their ability to:

  • Strike batters out
  • Avoid letting hitters reach base

Since this is a pilot league, we are looking for committed fantasy players to help us develop the league throughout the upcoming season. We will actively be seeking input from team owners as to how to improve the format, scoring system, and overall game play.

Originally published: March 14, 2011. Last Updated: March 14, 2011.