Play Ball: Fantasy Baseball Returns on ESPN.com

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Play Ball: Fantasy Baseball Returns on ESPN.com

To Tweet this release: http://es.pn/FBB2012

Free to Play with Live Scoring, Mobile Alerts and Expert Analysis;

Baseball Tonight Fantasy Draft Show presented by Scotts to Air Thursday, March 15 at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Spring Training is underway, Opening Day is around the corner, and ESPN is ready with the return of ESPN Fantasy Baseball on ESPN.com.  For the sixth consecutive year, the game will feature a broad array of coverage across online, television, podcasts and mobile devices — all for free.  To kick off the season, ESPN has launched a new marketing campaign titled “Every Fan Should Play” featuring the diversity of fans – from Lucha Libre players to professional clowns – and how they draft, trade and more within their fantasy baseball leagues.

In 2011, total registered players to ESPN Fantasy Baseball were up 9 percent compared to the previous season.  To kick off the 2012 season, ESPN will air the Baseball Tonight Fantasy Draft Show presented by Scotts on Thursday, March 15 at 9:30 p.m. ET to break down this year’s roster of players and to analyze the playing field with Baseball Tonight host Steve Berthiaume featuring senior fantasy analyst Matthew Berry, MLB Insiders Buster Olney, Keith Law and Eric Karabell, baseball analyst Chris Singleton, and injury expert Stephania Bell.

ESPN Fantasy Baseball

For the sixth straight year, ESPN Fantasy Baseball will be entirely free and will deliver fans a host of advantages. Returning features for ESPN Fantasy Baseball include:

  • Online Draft Kit: Includes complete rankings, projections and profiles for more than 850 players, rankings for the top 100 prospects for 2012, cheat sheets and dollar values for mixed, AL- and NL-only leagues, updated average draft and auction results, draft and auction strategies, mock drafts, in-depth analysis and a look at the most pressing questions for all 30 major league teams;
  • Mock Draft Lobby: Lets players drop in at any time to run through a draft, try out a new draft strategy or just see who and how other players are drafting;
  • Live Draft Lobby: Allows players to find and join a league and hold a draft, anytime day or night;
  • Multiple Draft Options: Including live online Auction drafts, Private drafts, Live Draft Lobby, Automated drafts and offline drafts;
  • Draft Pick Trading: Players have the option to trade draft picks in leagues with a fixed draft order;
  • ESPN FantasyCast: An interactive tool that uses live scoring and real-time results to track fantasy team players as the games are being played;
  • Live Scoring: Live player-by-player scoring and results, including live updating box scores;
  • Player Cards 2.0: Embedded player information cards allow players to see recent news, analysis and game-by-game stats without leaving the site;
  • Keeper Options: Any number of players may be kept on owners rosters from season to season without needing to be redrafted;
  • Customizable Rules and Scoring: Hundreds of custom settings from roster size to transaction type to statistics used for scoring;
  • League Message Boards, Chat and Polls: Players can discuss news, create their own polls and even chat online – all from within their ESPN.com league.

ESPN.com and ESPN Insider

ESPN will continue to provide the most useful and comprehensive information, analysis and insights in the industry with an unmatched roster of writers, analysts and media personalities.  The ESPN Fantasy Baseball team includes Berry, Karabell, Tristan H. Cockcroft, Brendan Roberts, James Quintong, AJ Mass, Nate Ravitz and injury analyst Bell. Fans will also find baseball news and insights from leading pro baseball experts, including ESPN.com’s Olney, Jayson Stark, Jerry Crasnick and Tim Kurkjian.

Additionally, ESPN Insiders receive premium access to features and tools including:

  • Insider Recommends: First launched on fantasy football and new to baseball this season, this seamless tool integrated within the ESPN.com Online Draft window helps managers make decisions on which player would be best to take with their next pick.  For auction drafts, the tool also informs users when a player is a good value or overpriced;
  • Eric Karabell Blog: With 2-to-5 entries each day, Eric provides expert insight into the latest news affecting fantasy players;
  • Buster Olney’s Blog: Daily one-stop morning shot of opinion, news and notes on all 30 teams;
  • Keith Law’s Blog: Full scouting reports and analysis of baseball’s best players, biggest deals and key stories, including a ranking of the top 100 prospects in baseball;
  • Jim Bowden’s “The GM Office” Blog: Well-connected former league GM has the inside scoop on roster moves, position battles and trade rumors;
  • MLB Rumor Central: A daily must-read for the best reporting and insight on baseball rumors from ESPN experts;
  • Advanced Analysis: Gives users access to the best from the world of advanced statistical thinking, with regular weekly contributions from top analysts at Baseball Prospectus, FanGraphs, Baseball Think Factory and Baseball Info Solutions.

ESPN Mobile

The free ESPN Fantasy Baseball app is once again available on iPhone and Android devices, allowing users to:

  • Access live scoring for fantasy teams, both rotisserie and H2H scoring supported;
  • Access General Fantasy News, Videos and Tweets from ESPN¹s Fantasy analysts -View and post messages to your league¹s message board;
  • Complete full transactions (add, remove, waiver wire pickups, propose trade) from the app;
  • Track and manage multiple teams across leagues;
  • View player cards.

ESPN Insiders will have the added benefits of receiving trade and lineup alerts through the app as well as access to premium video content, all free through their Insider membership.  All players will have full team management capabilities via mobile devices with access to the ESPN mobile Web.  Additionally, fantasy baseball-related video content will be available on ESPN Mobile TV and Mobile On Demand.

ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Podcasts

This season, ESPN will continue to bring fans fantasy baseball insights, information and analysis on its television programs:

  • Baseball Tonight Fantasy Draft Show presented by Scotts:  On Thursday, March 15 at 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN will televise a 90-minute special hosted by Berthiaume and featuring Berry, Olney, Law, Karabell, Singleton and Bell.  The program breaks down each position, potential sleepers and busts, draft strategies, rookies and more;
  • SportsCenter:  Is featuring a debate series with Berthiaume and Curt Schilling analyzing players by position next week.  ESPN’s signature news, information and analysis programs will feature fantasy baseball content integration, including additional in-depth attention to fantasy baseball in late March;
  • The Bottom Line: Will integrate custom fantasy content with Baseball Tonight and live games.
  • Fantasy Focus Baseball Podcast: With hosts Berry and Ravitz and producer Jay “Pod Vader” Soderberg, the podcast is one of the most popular on iTunes. With regular appearances from Bell as well as MLB reporters and players along with an assortment of celebrities, the show blends fantasy sports and pop culture into a daily experience for fans.

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Kristie Adler

Kristie is Director of Communications. She graduated from Penn State University and is based in New York City.
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