If “best shape of his life” is the most overused cliché in fantasy baseball, then “sample-size” is the most overused excuse for player-performance evaluation. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about a massive breakout performance or some a guy driving down I-40 and posting zeroes across the board for you; “sample-size” is the answer for everything…at least in April.

Think about it…  

You: “Hey Howard, what do you think of Anthony Rizzo hitting just .182 here on April 15th?”

Me: “Not much. Look at the sample size. Dude’s had 42 plate appearances. You gotta give him some time.”

You: “Hey Howard, how sick is Mike Moustakas , batting .452 with eight home runs?”

Me: “Big fan, but it’s a small sample-size, so don’t expect this pace to keep up.”

You can insert any player’s name and any statistic you want, good or bad, and you’ll probably get the same answer, at least up until about mid-May. You may think it’s a cop-out, especially if you’ve got a guy surging like Tim...