First Pitch Arizona - 2021 Speakers


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 is a BHQ veteran, contributing to the Eyes Have it series every week during the regular season. He is the co-host of BHQ's Eyes Have it podcast, a weekly fantasy prospect podcast discussing prospects he and co-host Brent Hershey scouted in person, which debuted during the 2021 season. Chris contributes to the Baseball Forecaster, the Minor League Baseball Analyst, USA Today's Sports Weekly and Lindy's Magazine's Baseball Preview. He also scouts prospects in Tennessee and Georgia for an MLB organization. Follow Chris on Twitter @C_Blessing.   

Ryan Bloomfield (
Ryan is a two-time FSWA award winner, most recently winning the 2020 Baseball Writer of the Year award. He has been writing for since 2011, where he currently pens a weekly Speculator column and doubles as the site's Social Media Director. Ryan is an Associate Editor for the Baseball Forecaster and has contributed to the book every year since 2013. You can follow Ryan's musings on Twitter at @RyanBHQ.

Derek Carty (THE BAT X Projection System; and
Derek is a DFS- and sports betting-focused analyst whose work you may find at ESPN, RotoGrinders, The Athletic, EV Analytics, VSiN, or any number of other places. He is the creator of THE BAT X projection system for season-long (at FanGraphs), DFS (at RotoGrinders), and sports betting (at EV Analytics).  He is also the creator of THE BLITZ for NFL. Derek has won 10 MLB expert league titles with 23 top-three finishes (roughly 50%), including being the youngest-ever winner of LABR. He is a proud graduate of MLB's Scout School.  

Matt Cederholm (
Matt has been playing Rotisserie baseball since before the reserve roster. He’s been a writer since 2010, and has written the Big Hurt column since 2017 (he’s not a doctor, but his cousin is). In his spare time, he is pursuing a PhD in Economics and even has a full-time job.

Ariel Cohen (
Ariel is the 2019 FSWA Baseball Writer of the Year, and the winner of the FSWA 2020 Baseball Article of the Year. He is the creator of the ATC (Average Total Cost) Projection System. He writes for FanGraphs, CBS Sports, SportsLine, RotoBaller and is the host of the Beat the Shift Podcast (@Beat_Shift_Pod). Ariel is the 2020 Tout Wars Head To Head Champion, plays in the NFBC, and is an inaugural member of the LABR Mixed Auction league. Follow Ariel on Twitter at @ATCNY.

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.

Chris Crawford (
Chris has covered prospects and fantasy baseball since 2009. He has written for publications like ESPN, VICE, Baseball Prospectus, and currently is a content creator for NBC Sports EDGE. 

Eric Cross (
Eric is the lead MLB/Fantasy Baseball writer and prospect analyst for FantraxHQ and has been with the site since March of 2017. In the past, he also wrote for FantasyPros and is also a contributor to the best-selling Fantasy Baseball Black Book. He is also the co-host of the Fantrax Toolshed Podcast. Eric was accepted into the FSWA (Fantasy Sports Writers Association) in 2018. He currently lives on the coast of Maine with his two children and can be found at various minor league ballparks around New England.

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.

Alain de Leonardis (
Alain is a writer/analyst (wranalyst?) at, where he types out a weekly column on playing time in the NL East. He's also contributed player commentaries to the Baseball Forecaster since 2019. Alain started playing fantasy baseball in the previous millennium and has since won over a dozen home league titles across several game formats. He’s a lifelong Mets fan, so your condolences are both appreciated and scorned. Follow Alain on Twitter at @acdeleon.

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).

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.

Greg Jewett (
Greg is the current closer expert for The Athletic, owner of Reliever Recon on Patreon and fantasy baseball analyst since 2013. Made the playoffs in rookie season of Tout Wars head-to-head points league in 2021, finished 47th in this year’s TGFBI overall and an avid fantasy baseball player.

Brad Johnson (
Brad has written about fantasy baseball since May of 2010 when he predicted Buster Posey's eminent (and obvious) rise to fame. He currently pens for NBC Sports EDGE. Find him on Twitter @BaseballATeam and

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.

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.

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.

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 an on-air analyst for MSG, published in Washington Post, contributed at RotoGraphs, and currently discusses starting pitching to his heart's content at his home site. Creator of the CSW stat and too many terrible fantasy baseball terms.

Eno Sarris (
Formerly the fantasy editor at FanGraphs, Eno Sarris is now the national baseball analytics writer and fantasy columnist 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.

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 The Athletic. Find his latest innovations at and look for his upcoming fantasy baseball history/memoir, "Fantasy Expert," in 2022. Ron owns dozens of top-3 finishes in national experts leagues since 1994. He tweets random brain flakes @RonShandler.

Rob Silver (Launch Angle Podcast)
Rob is the 2016 NFBC Main Event Overall Champion. He is currently the co-host of the Launch Angle Podcast.

Paul Sporer (

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.

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.