Mike Newman is a former college baseball player who became enamored with scouting during his playing career. Once it concluded, he began coaching at a local Miami, Florida high school, scouting players in his spare time and passing that information along to cold weather schools looking for talent. He took a hiatus from baseball to start a family, but began attending games after moving to Savannah, Georgia. With a stadium just a few block away from his home, the pull was too much to resist. In 2008, Mike began taking notes at the park and publishing reports online.
Six years later and Mike has enjoyed a long stint writing at FanGraphs and guest appearances on SirusXM’s Fantasy Baseball Channel. In addition, his own sites including Scouting The Sally and ROTOscouting have enjoyed success serving a niche prospect market.
What most readers do not know is Mike has also played fantasy baseball for more than 20 years. He won the Ottoneu Experts League in his first season after taking over a bottom feeder and followed it up with a second place finish in 2013. More recently, he joined “The Big Show”, Reality Fantasy Baseball’s most competitive league.
Brad Kullman has spent a career spanning three decades in Major League Baseball, most recently as a Major League professional scout with the Chicago Cubs. In more than ten years as an assistant to the general manager with the Cincinnati Reds, he supervised the professional scouting staff and spearheaded several R&D initiatives in scouting and player development.
During the 2003 season, Brad was named interim general manager of the Reds, a post he would hold for the next four months. Despite just over 48 hours remaining before the MLB non-waiver trade deadline, he aggressively engineered four trades in the next two days, and would go on to execute a total of eight deals over the next month, mostly strategically paring expiring contracts. These moves not only netted the Reds future staff ace Aaron Harang, but also reversed a significant budget deficit that had led to a primary focus on signability in the amateur draft. These trades enabled the Reds to draft and sign pitcher Homer Bailey and outfielder Jay Bruce inthe next two years and laid the groundwork for their return to playoff contention.
Pre-dating his professional career, Brad created an auction keeper NL-only fantasy baseball league back in 1989 which is still going strong today. He has had a front row seat to witness the evolution of both professional and fantasy baseball from the days of anxiously awaiting the box scores in the morning paper. The Columbus, Ohio resident recently left Major League Baseball due to family considerations and to explore other opportunities.
Tory Hernandez has 14 years of professional experience in the baseball industry, which includes a seven-year stint with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. With the Angels, Tory first served as the club’s Player Performance Analyst. Later, upon promotion, he became the Manager of Baseball Operations. His responsibilities were comprised of contract negotiation, arbitration, advance/amateur & professional scouting, and the development and implementation of the organization’s statistical research methods and use of analytics. Most recently, Tory served as the Director of Pro Scouting & Recruiting for Boras Corporation.
Currently, Tory is part owner of RealityFantasyBaseball.com with his father. In RFB’s flagship league, “The Big Show”, Tory serves as both a commissioner and team owner.
Ben Flajole started in the marketing department for the Mariners (among his roles was DJ and, yes, players DO choose their walk-up music), Ben Flajole went south to the Bay Area and worked in scouting for the Giants. Following his time with the Giants, he headed to Arizona to work for the Padres in player development. Ben was also formerly a summer ball coach, with seven former players drafted. He can be seen appreciating the gem of a stadium that is Safeco Field.
In addition to the Mariners, the Seattle native and resident is a big Seahawks and Washington Huskies fan. He holds a M.A. in Sport Management from the University of San Francisco and is currently pursuing his MBA from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.
Fabian McNally began blogging back when Blogspot was cutting-edge and all you needed was your mom’s basement, a love for OBP and skepticism of the mainstream media. What began at Minor Yankee Blog and then eventually took him to appearances on the Replacement Level Yankees Weblog and The Hardball Times was an obsession with identifying stars before they were stars. Fabian counts Robinson Cano and Tyler Clippard as two of his biggest hits and is hopeful that 2014 is the year the whole there’s not that much separating Dioner Navarro and Joe Mauer thing is blooped over the outstretched glove of the 2B and into CF. Fabian has also spent time working for Octagon Sports, the New York Yankees and Major League Baseball’s Office of the Commissioner, filing documents, researching the return on investment of International Free Agent signing bonuses, announcing the latter rounds of the 2008 MLB Draft and everything in-between.
In his non-baseball time, Fabian is an attorney by day and a voracious consumer of the NBA, WWE, pop culture and any all forms of workout supplements promising lean gains by whatever free time is leftover from the practice of law. He currently resides in Washington, D.C. where he spends most Sundays swallowing his Yankee pride and impartially taking in Nationals games with his fiancée.
Chris Blessing is a prospect writer based in the Southeastern United States. He has covered prospects for six seasons, primarily in the Southern and South Atlantic Leagues. His coverage has extended to the Appalachian, Midwest and Pacific Coast Leagues.
Chris’ writing credits include stints at Scouting The Sally and Bullpen Banter. From Alcantara to Zunino, Chris has covered many of baseball’s top prospects and uncovered future stars including Gregory Polanco. After a six month break from writing, Chris joined the writing team at ROTOscouting.com. Branching out his coverage to include MLB Analysis, his bread and butter remains prospect coverage.
Jeff Reese has spent much of his life following baseball and has had some tangible involvement since he was six years old. Jeff’s playing career stalled at the PONY level, but he spent the next 12 years umpiring at various levels, joining the Mon Valley Umpire Association when he was 18 years old. He started writing at Bullpen Banter a year after its establishment, growing ever more engulfed in the scouting side of baseball from that point. Jeff has also spent some time writing about amateur prospects at the former SB Nation blog MLB Bonus Baby.
Interests outside of baseball are highly varied, ranging from Austrian Economics to hockey to learning Latin – independent study for its own sake. He admires Thomas Jefferson, Murray Rothbard, and Bob Dylan.
Joel Henard is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA), and has been a podcaster since his first show “Hoosier Fantasy Baseball Insider” debuted in 2009. Shortly thereafter, Joel met injury expert Will Carroll, who was integral in Joel adding “Baseball Prospectus Radio” and “Baseball Daily Digest Radio” to his broadcast catalog. He’s also hosted the “Sports Illustrated Fantasy Podcast”, “The Nickel”, “Fantasy Pros 911′s Podcast” and “The Fantasy Alarm Podcast.”
In addition to being the host of the “Fantasy Insiders Show” (along with all of the above mentioned shows/podcasts), Joel has put together an impressive collection of MLB interviews, including Bryce Harper, Nick Franklin, Dustin Ackely, Eric Hosmer, Gregory Planaco, Russell Martin, Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto, Paul Konerko, Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith, and Andre Dawson.
Joel lives in Indianapolis with his wife Aimee, and their 3 dogs Luci, Ike and Hugo. Outside of the world of sports, Joel’s hobbies include movies, camping and cooking… all of which he loves to share with his wonderful wife.
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Grant Schiller has been writing about baseball since 2005, when he started the blog Texas Rangers Trades. After years of writing about the major leagues, his interests morphed into following the minor leagues and the site shifted as well. Grant lives in the heart of the Texas League and is able to watch many top prospects before they become MLB stars.
Grant has attended games in every major league stadium and many minor league stadiums. When not enjoying baseball, Grant can normally be found watching or playing some other sport, usually basketball or football. He is an avid fantasy player across multiple sports. There are very few moments in Grant’s life that don’t involve sports in one form or another.
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