First Pitch Arizona - Day 1

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From 2015: Audience renders their verdict on a Fact/Fluke panel.

REMINDER: SCHEDULE IS TENTATIVE AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE 

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2021

12:35 PM: AFL ballgames (on your own)
     Glendale at Peoria
     Salt River at Surprise

4:00 PM: FPAZ21 Check-in at Hotel Lobby
Pick up your registration packet, which includes AFL game tickets, weekend program and all the information you'll need for a successful weekend. If you didn't submit your vaccination card and sign the liability waiver through our online portal ahead of time, you'll need to have proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test or current vaccination card before you we can check you in. (Refer to our COVID-19 section if you have questions.) The table will be staffed until 6:00 pm.

5:30 PM: Welcome Reception
Our annual informal ice-breaker meets an hour before gametime at one of the Party Decks at Sloan Park in Mesa. Rub shoulders with presenters and attendees over appetizers and a cash bar. For our first timers, this is a chance to get a quick "lay of the land" of the weekend experience to come, as you'll informally meet FPAZ veterans and speakers who will answer all your questions. For veterans, the perfect place to reconnect with old friends and make some new ones via that legendary First Pitch comradarie! Then grab a seat (if you wish) and take in the weekend's first ballgame, Scottsdale at Mesa, starting at 6:35.
     Scottsdale at Mesa (6:35 pm)

9:45 PM: Thursday Post-Game Hangouts
The day's ballgames are over, but the night is young! Optional meetups and informal activities back at the hotel include:

  • The Podcast Room, session 1: Several popular fantasy baseball podcasts will be doing epidodes from First Pitch Arizona, live from the Podcast Room. And you can be a part. Each will include interactive segments with attendees, special guests, and of course, plenty of baseball chatter. Catch one or catch 'em all! Thursday schedule:
    • 9:45-11pm: Beat the Shift, with Ariel Cohen and Reuven Guy
  • Batflip, the Card Game: Playtest a brand new baseball card game and help mold it’s future! Participants will receive free pre-release card packs.
  • Or, just enjoy good baseball (or other) talk over cold beverages of your choice at the indoor/outdoor hotel meeting places

 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2021

8:00 AM:  Welcome and Announcements
Brent Hershey & Ray Murphy (BaseballHQ)

8:15 AM:  Opening presentation
Brent Hershey & Ray Murphy (BaseballHQ.com) and Ron Shandler (Baseball Forecaster)

8:45 AM:  Arizona Fall League Scouting Report 
Find out about the players you need to watch at the parks this weekend, with insightful multimedia scouting reports. Identify the most upwardly mobile AFL prospects in this entertaining, rapid-fire panel session to kick things off.
PANELISTS: Eric Longenhagen (FanGraphs); TBA
MODERATOR: Brent Hershey (BaseballHQ.com)

10:10 AM:  Sarris: What is Pitching+ and why fantasy manager should care
Eno Sarris of The Athletic returns with an explanation and application of the Pitching+ system, which uses velocity, movement, spin and location of pitches to strip away all the noise. Detailed yet practical, Eno's presentations are a yearly FPAZ highlight. 
PANELIST: Eno Sarris (The Athletic)

11:25 AM: Lunch (on your own)
Congregate with fellow attendees before the ballgame at a host of local eateries (list provided in the information packet).

12:35 PM: AFL afternoon ballgames 
     Mesa at Surprise (attendee game)
     Scottsdale at Glendale

  • 1pm: Ballpark Q&As: Specialists in several topics will be set up in different seating sections of Surprise Stadium to field questions or just chat informally throughout the game. Subjects include:
    • Commissioner's Corner  •  Dave Adler (BaseballHQ), Nick Richards (BaseballHQ)
    • Wanna Be a Tout? Tips for Breaking into the Industry •  Todd Zola (RotoWire/ESPN), Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ)
    • Scoresheet baseball  •  Jeff Barton (Scoresheet)
    • Strat-O-Matic baseball  •  Dean Peterson (NFBC)

3:45 PM: Friday Featured Breakouts (choose 1; each runs until 5:00 pm; Surprise Stadium upper concourse)

  • Prospect Q&A:  Knowing your prospects is an increasingly important aspect to managing your fantasy roster, in both the short- and long-term. Our panel of scouts will give input on prospects you need to know for 2022 and beyond, as well as answer any and all questions you may have on the world of the minor leagues. Come ready for lots of info! 
    PANELISTS: Eric Longenhagen (FanGraphs), Chris Blessing (BaseballHQ)
    MODERATOR: Brent Hershey (BaseballHQ)
  • Lessons from the 2021 NFBC: Hear from top players in NFBC national contests on what they learned from the 2021 season and how to prep for 2022.
    PANELISTS: Rob Silver, Clay Link (RotoWire); Justin Mason (TGFBI.com)
    MODERATOR: Ryan Bloomfield (BaseballHQ.com)

6:35 PM: AFL Ballgame
     Salt River at Peoria

10:00 PM: Friday Post-Game Hangouts
The day's ballgames are over, but the night is young! Optional meetups and informal activities back at the hotel include:

  • The Podcast Room, session 2: Several popular fantasy baseball podcasts will be doing epidodes from First Pitch Arizona, live from the Podcast Room. And you can be a part. Each will include interactive segments with attendees, special guests, and of course, plenty of baseball chatter. Catch one or catch 'em all! Friday schedule:
    • 10:00-11:15pm: On the Corner from PitcherList with Nick Pollack
  • 10:15-11:00pm: Friday Night Breakouts
    • Deep Rosters: A Draft and Hold and Best Ball Primer Todd Zola (Masterball), Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs), Alain de Leonardis (BaseballHQ)
    • Fantasy Toolbox: The Importance ot Statcast Expected Leaderboards  •  Andy Andres (BaseballHQ)
  • Or, just enjoy good baseball (or other) talk over cold beverages of your choice at the indoor/outdoor hotel meeting places!

 

REMINDER: SCHEDULE IS TENTATIVE AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE