First Pitch Arizona - 2019 Speakers

James Anderson (
James is the Lead Prospect Analyst and Assistant Baseball Editor at RotoWire. He is in charge of maintaining the site’s top 400 prospect rankings year round, and is the co-host of Farm Fridays on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and RotoWire’s Prospect Podcast.

Andy Andres (
Andy teaches Natural Sciences and Mathematics at Boston University, but also developed and teaches the highly successful MOOC “Sabermetrics 101: An Introduction to Baseball Analytics” to about 50,000 registered learners on the edX platform during its two runs in 2014 and 2015. As a Datacaster/Stringer for MLBAM, he is responsible for keeping score of games at Fenway Park for various Internet applications like's Gameday and ESPN’s Gamecast. 

Jeff Barton (
Jeff and Dave Barton started Scoresheet Sports in 1987. Unlike other Rotisserie or fantasy games, Scoresheet Baseball teams play complete simulated head-to-head games, using the current week’s major league stats. Scoresheet Baseball currently has over 5000 teams participating in the current season.

Chris Blessing (
Chris has written about and scouted prospects for a decade. The past 5 years, his scouting reports have mostly appeared at BaseballHQ. Chris is also an Associate Scout for the Cleveland Indians, assisting the area scout with coverage of prep and college prospects in Georgia. Follow Chris on Twitter @C_Blessing.  

Ryan Bloomfield (
Ryan is the Director of Social Media for, where he also writes a weekly Speculator column and has contributed to the Baseball Forecaster every year since 2013. In 2015, he penned the FSWA’s Baseball Article of the Year (online) and was a finalist for Baseball Writer of the Year. You can find Ryan's musings on Twitter at @RyanBHQ.

Derek Carty ( and
Derek is a DFS-focused analyst for ESPN and RotoGrinders. He is the creator of THE BAT season-long (at FanGraphs) and DFS (at RotoGrinders) projection system, found by multiple studies to be the most accurate projection system in fantasy last year.  He is also the creator of THE BLITZ NFL Projection System.  Prior to DFS, Derek honed his statistical chops as the fantasy manager of two of the biggest sabermetric outlets, Baseball Prospectus and the Hardball Times, and was a regular on ESPN's Baseball Tonight in 2015. Derek has won 8 expert league titles with 21 top-three finishes (roughly 50%), including being the youngest-ever winner of LABR.  He is a proud graduate of MLB's Scout School.  

Alex Chamberlain (
Alex writes at RotoGraphs and is the FSWA's reigning Baseball Writer of the Year. He also contributes to Lindy's Sports' Fantasy Baseball magazine and will contribute to Joe Pisapia's Fantasy Baseball Black Book in 2020. He obsesses over cognitive biases and, through his work, seeks to educate and empower the everyman fantasy enthusiast. You can find him on Twitter, regretfully, @DolphHauldhagen.

Tristan Cockcroft (
A Senior Writer for and co-host of the Fantasy Focus Baseball podcast, Tristan has analyzed fantasy sports since 1998, specializing in baseball and football. He is a three-time FSWA finalist for fantasy baseball writer of the year and is a member of the FSWA Hall of Fame. Tristan also owns two LABR-NL (2002, 2008) and three Tout Wars (2012-14) experts league titles. Follow Tristan on Twitter @SultanofStat.

Jason Collette (
Jason has been helping fantasy owners since 2001 at RotoJunkie, Fanball, and currently at RotoWire where his Collette Calls column won best baseball column in 2018. He was also the 2013 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year (bribes pay off!). You can hear Jason on Saturdays on the RotoWire SiriusXM Fantasy show throughout the season as well as on The Sleeper and The Bust podcast with Paul Sporer and Justin Mason each Sunday. You can follow his work on Twitter at @jasoncollette.

Patrick Davitt (
Patrick (“PD”) started playing 4x4 Rotisserie in 1991 in a home lague, and now plays 5x5 (OBA) in Tout Wars (first Mixed Auction, now AL), finishing second in Tout-AL in 2016 and winning the Tout Daily Tournament in 2017. He joined the BaseballHQ team in 1999, despite writing an audition piece insisting Brad Fullmer would be a perennial all-star and Ichiro Suzuki would never hit in the big leagues. Since then, he has written columns and news coverage, and continues to write research articles and Facts & Flukes "Spotlight" reports. He currently writes BaseballHQ's weekly "Master Notes" column, and produces and hosts "BaseballHQ Radio," the weekly podcast that was named 2013 Podcast of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. Follow PD on Twitter @patrickdavitt.

Doug Dennis (
Doug has been Baseball HQ's Bullpen Buyers Guide columnist since 1999. In addition, he has written articles for the Baseball Forecaster, USA Today, Sports Weekly,, ESPN the Magazine and he assisted the St. Louis Cardinals with player analysis for two years.

Jeff Erickson ( and Sirius/XM Radio)
Jeff is a co-founder of RotoWire and the only two-time winner of Baseball Writer of the Year from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He's also in the FSWA Hall of Fame. He roots for the Reds, Bengals, Red Wings, Pacers and Northwestern University (the real NU).

James Ferretti, DO (
Jim is a a licensed and board certified osteopathic physician with over 10 years of experience as a radiologist and as an educator and medical lecturer. Winner of the 2016 E. Robert Heitzman Award for Teaching Excellence while at SUNY Upstate in Syracuse, Jim looks forward to combining his passion for teaching and injury analysis to help you gain a big advantage over your fantasy baseball competition.

Brent Hershey (
Brent is the General Manager of Content for and serves as co-editor of the Baseball Forecaster and editor of the Minor League Baseball Analyst annuals. He has been writing at since 1998. Follow him on Twitter @BrentHQ.

Eric Karabell (
Eric is a senior writer for, covering fantasy baseball and football since 2001. He is a host of the Fantasy Focus Baseball Podcast and contributes to ESPN The Magazine and ESPN Radio. He has been honored twice as Fantasy Sports Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, his blog was named best fantasy baseball series for 2007 and he was inducted into the inaugural FSWA Hall of Fame class in 2010.

Wilson Karaman (
Wilson is an editor and senior writer at Baseball Prospectus, where he has written about fantasy and prospects since 2013. By day he sometimes works as a political strategist and sometimes as a stay-at-home dad, depending on the whims of the calendar. He scouts the California League and amateur ball out of Los Angeles, and oversees a nationwide team of scouts in his current role as BP's content editor for prospect coverage. He's been playing fantasy baseball since 2005 and strongly believes in the superiority of OBP formats. You can find him on Twitter @vocaljavelins.

Peter Kreutzer (
Peter has been the editor of the Fantasy Baseball Guide since 2000, on newsstands in January. He's contributed to Alex Patton's Predictions for Fantasy Baseball, Peter Golenbock's How to Win at Rotisserie Baseball, and from 1996 to 2009, his Ask Rotoman column was featured on ESPN, then Baseball Prospectus, and then His 1995 projections were the first fantasy content published on He was inducted into the Fantasy Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame in 2016. Find his writing online at and

Brad Kullman (
Brad is a human performance specialist who has studied the brain and biomechanics for more than 25 years. In a three-decade Major League Baseball career, he served as a high-ranking executive and scout, including appointments as interim GM for the Cincinnati Reds on two separate occasions. As assistant general manager of the Reds, he directed the first formal R&D department in MLB. Follow Brad on Twitter @BradKullman.

Andrea LaMont  (

Clay Link (
Clay is the MLB Editor at RotoWire. He won The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational in its inaugural year and finished top 10 in the NFBC Online Championship in 2018. Clay co-hosts RotoWire's baseball podcasts, is a regular on their SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio show during baseball season, and can also be heard every Saturday on MLB Network Radio.

Eric Longenhagen (
Eric is FanGraphs' Lead Prospect Analyst and contributes to He resides in Tempe, AZ.

Stephen Lyman
Stephen has been conducting sports injury research for more than 20 years and his study with Dr. James Andrews and USA Baseball established the pitch count limits that are still used in Little League Baseball today. He’s previously contributed analysis to the MLB Redbook (a publication produced by MLB’s insurance underwriters) and has been active in fantasy baseball since the days of hand calculations using the USA Today stats pages. He currently resides in Fukuoka, Japan, home of the 2-time defending Japan Series champion Softbank Hawks.  

Jeff Mans (
Jeff is the CEO of and hosts his Guru Elite Show from 2-4 PM ET every weekday. Jeff is a 11-time daily fantasy sports live final qualifier, a two-time DFS live final winner, seasonal high stakes league winner, 2012 Cynopsis Sports Award nominee for Best Radio Show and winner of the 2015 FSWA Radio Show of the Year. He was also one of the featured leads in the 2015 documentary film “Living The Fantasy.”

Justin Mason (
Justin is the Lead Fantasy Writer and co-owner of Friends with Fantasy Benefits, the owner The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, and a certified addiction specialist. Justin writes for FWFB and FanGraphs and can be heard via podcast on the Sleeper and the Bust, TGFBI, and FWFB podcasts. He can be found on twitter @JustinMasonFWFB.

Adam McInturff (
Adam currently serves as the Assistant Director of Professional Scouting Content at 2080 Baseball. Previously, he worked in the Baseball Operations departments of the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers, and was a Senior Prospect Writer at Baseball Prospectus. Adam resides in Washington, D.C.

Al Melchior (
Al writes on fantasy baseball for The Athletic Fantasy and RotoGraphs, and has written for several other websites and publications, including, and BaseballHQ. He is the host of Almost Daily on the The Athletic, and his prior podcast/radio show The Fantasy Baseball Hour with Al Melchior (FNTSY Radio) was an FSWA finalist for Podcast of the Year, Baseball. Al is a former political science professor and has a Ph.D. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland. You can follow him on Twitter @almelchiorbb

Lenny Melnick (

Matt Modica (
Matt is a fantasy baseball writer and podcast contributor for The Athletic. He is an accomplished high stakes player, who has won several titles in various formats across the NFBC. Matt survived running with the bulls on Wall St. for over a decade and now invests in fantasy sports.

Ray Murphy (
Ray is the General Manager of Administration for and co-editor of the Baseball Forecaster annual. He has been writing at since 1999. Primarily a mixed-league player, he is a four-time league champion in the NFBC Main Event (including 4th-overall finishes in both 2012 and 2016), and also won (in a tie) the inaugural LABR mixed league in 2012, plus a TGFBI league title in 2018.

Stephen Nickrand (
Stephen is Director of Skills Analysis for and currently writes two weekly Buyers Guide columns on Starting Pitchers and Batters. 

Dean Peterson (National Fantasy Baseball Championship)
Dean is a facilitator for live NFBC events in Chicago and a fomer 12-year Tout Wars veteran representing STATS LLC, where he also kept the data flowing to support your favorite fantasy games for many years. He is a life-long fan of Strat-O-Matic baseball, where he currently administers one league and participates in 3 others.

Nick Pollack (
Nick founded in 2014 after years pitching in college, coaching travel baseball, and giving private pitching instruction. He has been published in Washington Post and CBS Sports, and currently contributes for RotoGraphs while enjoying the freedom to discuss starting pitching to his heart's content at his home site. Creator of the CSW stat and too many terrible fantasy baseball terms.

Dave Potts (
Dave is a full-time fantasy baseball player and analyst, and a longtime subscriber. He has used BHQ tools to win at the highest level of both season-long and DFS baseball, including two $1 million wins in the 2014 FanDuel DFBC and the 2015 DraftKings MLB Main Event. He has also won the Main Event Overall Championship as well as the Platinum League in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. In 2017, he was inducted into the NFBC Hall Of Fame.

Eno Sarris (
Formerly the fantasy editor at FanGraphs, Eno Sarris is now the national baseball analytics columnist and editor at The Athletic. He's still in the clubhouse bugging players about their latest adjustment and in the computer lab bugging the nerds about their latest findings. Find him wherever the good beer is.

Vlad Sedler (
Vlad writes about season-long and DFS baseball for Elite Fantasy. A high-stakes NFBC player and a member of the CDM Sports Hall of Fame, Vlad was a FSWA award finalist in 2015 and qualified for the 2017 FanDuel live championship, finishing 10th among 100 teams. Vlad won the H2H Tout Wars league in his first year playing.

Ron Shandler (
Ron is the founder of and author of the Baseball Forecaster, the longest running publication in the fantasy baseball industry (since 1986). He was the first baseball analyst to develop sabermetric applications for fantasy league play, and he has written for numerous publications and websites, including USA Today, ESPN and currently The Athletic. His latest innovation, the Broad Assessment Balance Sheet (BABS) can be found at Ron owns dozens of top-3 finishes in national experts leagues since 1994. He tweets random brain flakes @RonShandler.

Rob Silver (
Rob is the 2016 NFBC Main Event Overall Champion. He is currently the co-host of the Launch Angle Podcast and writes about fantasy baseball at Baseball

Paul Sporer (

Derek VanRiper (
Derek (“DVR”) is a Podcast Host, Producer and Writer at The Athletic. He's a four-time season-long industry league champion including Mixed Tout Wars 2014, Mixed LABR in 2018, and NL LABR (2015 and 2019). His current fantasy baseball podcasts include Rates & Barrels with Eno Sarris, Under the Radar with Nando Di Fino & Ian Kahn, and Almost Daily with Al Melchior and Matt Modica. You can follow him on Twitter @DerekVanRiper

Emily Waldon (
Emily began covering the Detroit Tigers minor-league system in 2015, beginning with the Class-A West Michigan Whitecaps and moving on to include affiliates from the Gulf Coast League to Triple-A Toledo. Emily transitioned to 2080Baseball in 2016, focusing on entry-level scouting and player evaluation, video content and player features, and joined The Athletic: Detroit in 2017. Waldon helped launch national prospect coverage at The Athletic MLB in 2018, while continuing her system coverage of the Tigers organization. She also began contributing to Baseball America in 2019. She has been quoted in The Detroit News, and FanGraphs and has made appearances on multiple podcasts and radio programs, including ESPN Radio.

Brian Walton (
Brian is one of the managing principals of, where he writes a weekly column. He also contributes to the Fantasy Baseball Guide while competing in the XFL, Xperts Fantasy League, and National League LABR. Brian was the 2009 National League Tout Wars champion, scoring the most points in the league history. His work can also be found daily at, where he writes about the St. Louis Cardinals and their minor league system.

Steve Weimer (Arkansas State University)
Steve is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Arkansas State University. He specializes in applied ethics and has published several articles addressing issues in sports ethics, including the moral status of pitcher retaliation and catcher framing. His most recent publication, a version of which was presented at last year’s First Pitch Arizona, defends fantasy sports against several ethical objections.

Jeff Zimmerman (
Jeff writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, RotoWire, Baseball America, Sportsline, and BaseballHQ. Along with Tanner Bell, he wrote "The Process: Integrating Valuations and Biases into a Winning Fantasy Baseball Formula" book. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including one for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he won the H2H and Mixed Auction league.

Todd Zola (
Todd is the principal owner at where he manages the Platinum subscription content, featuring the industry's earliest player projections. Todd also writes for Rotowire and ESPN along with being a regular guest on BaseballHQ Radio. Todd participates in LABR, Tout Wars and the XFL and is a multiple time champion in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. In 2017, Todd was named the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Baseball Writer of the Year.