Nov 29, 2010

2010 Roto Results - Ranking the C (Fantasy Baseball)

The catcher position is never truly a source of fantasy baseball value for your team.  There's a multitude of reasons why but, regardless, there were only four catchers who produced any position value for your roto fantasy team last season.  If you didn't have one of the four, you were mainly trying to cut your losses.  Let's take a gander at how the signal callers fared in 2010.

  1. Mauer, Joe (2.11) - It would have been nice to get a .365 average and 28 HR's out of him again but fantasy owners still got nice value with his ridiculous batting average and solid run and RBI production. He should continue to produce good value and likely improve more next year after this slight down year for him.
  2. Martinez, Victor (1.42) - The fantasy impact of moving to Fenway wasn't felt in his batting average or power numbers; it was actually in his RBI and run totals.  However, he still was a great contributer at a thin position and the move to Detroit next year shouldn't change that at all.
  3. McCann, Brian (0.53) - The batting average may fluctuate from year-to-year with McCann but you can count on the 20-25 HR, 60-70 Runs and 80-90 RBIs.  He's nothing if not consistent and the batting average should rise up next year.  He represents the third of the safe, reliable catcher options that you can consider in the first half of drafts.
  4. Posey, Buster (0.33) - The rise of Buster has started.  He should likely surpass McCann in value next year and possible V-Mart.  His numbers should mirror Martinez more than a Mauer or McCann as he will hit for a very good average with decent power to go with it.  After Buster, there aren't any catchers worth hanging your hat on. 
  5. Buck, John (-0.43) - Here's a player that was out on your waiver wire and continued to produce nicely throughout the year.  He did his usual thing of hitting for power from the catcher position but this time he actually hit for more than his usual craptastic batting average.  Don't expect that to continue in the future (even if the Marlins do for some reason now that they signed him to a big deal).
  6. Napoli, Mike (-0.55) - Napoli may have switched bodies with John Buck as he somehow switched into craptastic batting average mode.  He's better than he played last year and is probably the best option for a catcher after the top four are gone.
  7. Olivo, Miguel (-1.01) - Much to my chagrin, he outplayed Chris Iannetta.  He secretly remains a decent option at the catcher position as long as he's starting as long as you can swallow his weak batting average.
  8. Soto, Geovany (-1.55) - Injuries shortened his season and, thus, his value.  But, he remains a decent option as long as he can stay healthy.  He has the power along with a respectable batting average and that's all you want out of a fantasy catcher.  If you draft him, don't expect a full season at this point until he proves otherwise.
  9. Posada, Jorge (-1.82) - The slow accent into mediocrity continues as he gets up in years.  It goes without saying that you shouldn't expect much out of him from here on out especially with a top prospect breathing down his neck. 
  10. Ruiz, Carlos (-1.95) - Ruiz was mildly valuable to fantasy teams and this is the peak of his ability as his .300 batting average does not seem to be sustainable due to a high BABIP.  So, expect some regression next year and don't invest too highly.

Nov 26, 2010

Chone's Best and Worst - 2010 Fantasy Baseball

In another part of the 2010 review I'm going through here, let's take a quick glance at some of the more egregious errors from the 2010 prediction systems as well as some of their spot-on predictions.  While the art of projecting lends itself to having some flies in the proverbial soup, it's interesting to take a second and see some of these unique cases.  Also, keep in mind that these projection systems aren't specifically designed for prediction of rotisserie fantasy baseball success and that I am merely applying my own system based on their projections which cover a much wider gamut than just five roto categories.  But, without further ado, let's take a glance at the Chone projection system.

Overall, it was a decent year for the Chone projection system in relation to fantasy baseball here.  As I touched upon previously, Chone's paired-t correlation to actual fantasy baseball results was quite good across the board.  And, if we use a Pearson correlation to look more closely at each result, the total projected roto value for each  player  shared about 30.25% of it's variability with actual total roto value (which would rank 2nd of our 4 projection systems).

It's more interesting to look at who was incorrectly picked than the correct picks because we can start to wonder about what happened in these cases.  But, here are the top five biggest misses by the Chone system in comparison to real results:

  1. Carlos Gonzalez
    Actual: 9.90 (Total), 1.81 (Runs), 1.87 (HR), 2.86 (AVG), 1.97 (RBI), 1.39 (SB)
    Proj: -0.11 (Total), -0.4 (Runs), -0.3 (HR), 0.5 (AVG), -0.1( RBI), 0.2 (SB)
  2. Josh Hamilton
    Actual: 7.46 (Total), 1.18 (Runs), 1.67 (HR), 3.39 (AVG), 1.36 (RBI), -0.13 (SB)
    Proj: -1.46 (Total), -0.8 (Runs), 0.1 (HR), -0.3 (AVG), 0.0 (RBI), -0.4 (SB)
  3. David Price
    Actual: 4.53 (Total), 1.88 (Wins), 1.10 (K), -0.55 (S), 1.46 (ERA), 0.63 (WHIP)
    Proj: -3.90 (Total), -0.3 (Wins), -0.3 (K), -0.6 (S), -1.4 (ERA), -1.3 (WHIP)
  4. Javier Vazquez
    Actual: -3.16 (Total), 0.18 (Wins), -0.02 (K), -0.55 (S), -1.85 (ERA), -0.91 (WHIP)
    Proj: 4.45 (Total), 1.7 (Wins), 1.4 (K), -0.6 (S), 0.5 (ERA), 1.4 (WHIP)
  5. Jason Bay
    Actual: -2.50 (Total), -0.68 (Runs), -0.94 (HR), -0.37 (AVG), -0.55 (RBI), 0.04 (SB)
    Proj: 4.31 (Total), 1.6 (Runs), 1.9 (HR), -0.7 (AVG), 1.8 (RBI), -0.3 (SB)
So, even when you're one of the best projection systems out there, you can have some big misses as the players don't follow through on what past history expects of them.  The first three represent players who were major prospects that came into the majors and failed to fully deliver on that promise immediately and then finally brought it completely together.  That's a tricky scenario to pinpoint for projections. The last two represent guys who changed leagues and changed parks and thus changed their capability all at once.  That also is a tricky scenario to nail down.  So, lesson learned here: team/league changes and late-delivering prospects are harder to project.

As I said earlier, it's a lot less exciting to simply point out where somebody made the right call but here are five guys that came as advertised by Chone:
  1. Justin Upton
    Actual: 1.49 (Total), 0.31 (Runs), 0.16 (HR), 0.06 (AVG), 0.24 (RBI), 0.72 (SB)
    Proj: 1.47 (Total), -0.1 (Runs), 0.4 (HR), 0.8 (AVG), 0.0 (RBI), 0.3 (SB)
  2. Cole Hamels
    Actual: 3.21 (Total), 0.55 (Wins), 1.49 (K), -0.55 (S), 0.95 (ERA), 0.76 (WHIP)
    Proj: 3.18 (Total), 1.4 (Wins), 1.1 (K), -0.6 (S), 0.1 (ERA), 1.2 (WHIP)
  3. Justin Verlander
    Actual: 4.27 (Total), 1.69 (Wins), 1.63 (K), -0.55 (S), 0.52 (ERA), 0.98 (WHIP)
    Proj: 4.23 (Total), 1.1 (Wins), 1.6 (K), -0.6 (S), 1.0 (ERA), 1.1 (WHIP)
  4. Kevin Slowey
    Actual: -0.95 (Total), 0.74 (Wins), -0.11 (K), -0.55 (S), -0.85 (ERA), 0.20 (WHIP)
    Proj: -0.9 (Total), 0.0 (Wins), -0.2 (K), -0.6 (S), -0.7 (ERA), 0.7 (WHIP)
  5. Albert Pujols
    Actual: 8.82 (Total), 1.97 (Runs), 2.67 (HR), 1.81 (AVG), 2.01 (RBI), 0.38 (SB)
    Proj: 8.9 (Total), 1.7 (Runs), 2.5 (HR), 2.6 (AVG), 2.5 (RBI), -0.4 (SB)
It's almost scary how good the prediction for Justin Upton was, especially given that the fantasy baseball world was so high on him going into the year.  Could it be that predicting a relative fall from grace for a young guy like that may be something that is easier for projection systems?  Something to keep in mind.

Nov 23, 2010

2010 Roto Results - Ranking the SS (Fantasy Baseball)

The shortstop position seemed to end up even being a bit thinner than usual with only five guys producing more than 1 total roto point of value for your team.  With Hanley and Tulo standing far above the rest, it accentuates their value since nobody is even close to their value at this position.  The next tier of three players was somewhat strong but it was a huge dropoff from there on out in 2010.
  1. Ramirez, Hanley (5.19) - In an "off year" for Hanley, he still is the best shortstop in fantasy baseball and one of the most valuable players in league, especially given the scarcity of this position.
  2. Tulowitzki, Troy (4.93) - He was nearly as valuable in total as Hanley at this thin position and should be a top draft pick next year because of it.  There's no significant reason to expect a major dropoff in any category; the only concern is durability.
  3. Reyes, Jose (2.17) - Durability is also a concern here and also the fact that he couldn't seem to steal bases at the rate that he used to. Regardless, 10+ HR's and 30 SB's goes a long way for a fantasy team.  He should continue to produce at least those totals (and possibly better) for next year.
  4. Jeter, Derek (2.14) - Even in one of his weakest years across the board, he's still got value for his ability to get a huge amount of Runs in that lineup.  I'm always hesitant to invest highly in someone who is getting towards the end of their career but Jeter has another year or two of fantasy productivity left in him.
  5. Ramirez, Alexei  (2.03) - Alexei was the last of the shortstops to give any significant value in 2010.  He's established himself as a consistent contributer who will get you about 15 HR, 15 SB and a decent average.  His youth and consistency should give him a couple extra points on your charts next year as well.
  6. Drew, Stephen (0.96) - This is where the drop-off started.  He had a decent year that was very similar to Derek Jeter but without the ton of Runs to go with it.  But this might be the ceiling for what Drew can accomplish as a slight drop-off in his not-so-great batting average might come next year.
  7. Furcal, Rafael (0.44) - In only 97 games, he found a way to be quite valuable with 22 SB's and a .300 batting average.  While he may never hit 15 HR's and steal 40+ bases again, he's still got some nice value for when he's healthy.  Just be sure to plan for injury if you draft him next year.
  8. Gonzalez, Alex (0.39) - He's a very up and down player but when he's hot you get a bunch of home runs for your team at least.  But, to expect anything more than 20 HR's and a .250 batting average would be foolish.  This is his peak.
  9. Scutaro, Marco (0.22) - Nothing really impressive across the board except for getting an above average amount of Runs for your team.  He is what he is and that's a mediocre player across the board who doesn't help or hurt you too much.
  10. Andrus, Elvis (0.03) - I had high hopes for Andrus but he ended up showing no improvement from his promising 2009 season.  A .265 average with 30+ SB's and no power might be about par for the course for him instead of something more exciting, which we had hoped for.
  11. Uribe, Juan (0.01) - I've touched upon him in both the 2B and 3B posts and frankly I'm tired of doing it.  I don't think he was eligible at any more positions, thankfully.
  12. Desmond, Ian (-0.14) - If he played in a lineup where he would have gotten more Runs and RBI's, he would have been quite valuable as his numbers were comparable to both Stephen Drew and Derek Jeter.  His 10 HR and 17 SB were nice but he needs to contribute in the other areas before he's truly a valuable player.
  13. Tejada, Miguel (-0.20) - He's like 800 years old but he still finds a way to contribute some value.  I assume he will continue to do so forever.  His elite batting average is now mediocre but he has decent pop which brings in Runs and RBI's.
  14. Aviles, Mike (-0.53) - See Desmond, Ian (at least the first sentence).
  15. Peralta, Jhonny (-1.20) - Jhonny's a lot less exciting when he hits only 11 or 15 HR's to go with his crappy batting average.  He always gets extra points for his wacky first name though.

Nov 19, 2010

2010 Roto Results - Ranking the 3B (Fantasy Baseball)

If you drafted any third basemen other than Pablo Sandoval or Mark Reynolds in the first three rounds then you likely were fairly happy with your pick (though Kevin Youkilis' season-ending injury probably irked you despite his production before then).  Meanwhile, within the top ten third basemen, there were four of them still sitting out there in the 14th round that you could have grabbed: Beltre, Prado, McGehee, Rolen.  It was a bit all over the map but let's see how it all shook out when the fat lady sung:
  1. Wright, David (5.03) - While Wright didn't represent extreme value in any area, he was a contributer in all five roto categories and thus ended the most valuable third basemen.  He's a consistent contributer and a solid first round pick again next season.
  2. Beltre, Adrian (5.01) - Right behind David Wright was Beltre and his career year.  Beltre has been all over the map in his career.  He can hit for .255 or .334 and hit 48 HR's or 8 HR's.  He's hard to predict but one thing I can say with certainly is that batting average will drop next year and that was the main reason for him being this high on the rankings. I wouldn't invest in him heavily. 
  3. Longoria, Evan (4.84) - Power dropped off with his ISO dipping by .32 but he made up for it with more stolen bases and a better batting average.  Provided nice value with only 22 HR's.  Expect the power to return in 2011 and big results across the board.
  4. Rodriguez, Alex (3.56) - If he still a first round pick without his speed and high batting average? Well, even at his age, I would say that 2010 was the worst case scenario for him in all about all categories except for RBIs (and he still finished 4th overall).  At this point, the potential is there for another big year or two from A-Rod and you can buy lower than normal now.
  5. Zimmerman, Ryan (3.50) - Zimmerman has established himself nicely, even if this was a slight drop-off in numbers for him.  He should remain planted within the top 5 third basemen for years to come.
  6. Young, Michael (3.13) - The drop-off after the top five starts to become more severe with each name.  Michael Young has found ways to be sneakily productive for the past three years and all signs point towards that continuing.  Depending on draft position, he can be a nice find.
  7. Prado, Martin (2.71) - Touched upon in the 2B post and now we'll have to wait and see what effect Uggla has on his playing time for next season.
  8. McGehee, Casey (2.39) - Touched upon previously in the 2B post.
  9. Youkilis, Kevin (1.27) - He was having a great year overall until an injury shortened his season to 102 games.  Despite that, he still found himself in the top 10 overall.  Take advantage of possible buy-low status for next year.
  10. Rolen, Scott (0.99) - He fell off everyone's radar to a certain degree and came out of the blue with a productive season.  Not necessarily a fluke but I still wouldn't think about drafting him next year and hoping for the same production.
  11. Headley, Chase (0.20) - He had a quietly season that contributed across the board slightly, including stolen bases.  He's a nice guy to have on the team if you can get him cheap as he won't hurt you in any particular category.
  12. Reynolds, Mark (0.08) - He's been talked about several times already.  No more words need to be typed.
  13. Uribe, Juan (0.01) - He also came up already in the 2B post.
  14. Figgins, Chone (-0.32) - The 42 SBs aren't quite as fun when he hurts you in runs, RBIs and batting average instead of just HRs.
  15. Ramirez, Aramis (-0.33) - He was only having a decent year before injury hit and shortened his season.  Still, I'd take him as a potential buy-low candidate next year if you can balance him out with someone who can handle some expected injury time.

Nov 16, 2010

2010 Roto Results - Ranking the 2B (Fantasy Baseball)

If you drafted a second baseman within the first three rounds of your 2010 draft, you did not end up with one of the top five 2B.  In fact, at the start of Round 15, you had four players you could have chosen that would outproduce the likes of Chase Utley, Ian Kinsler or Brandon Phillips on the year.  Granted, injuries hindered Utley and Kinsler's seasons.  But, regardless, there were some unfamiliar names at the top of the list for 2B, leaving lots of questions about the position for next year.

  1. Cano, Robinson (6.25) - Head and shoulders above all other 2B this past year as he made the transition from good player to great player.  He could arguably be taken in the 1st round of drafts next year.
  2. Uggla, Dan (4.92) - The biggest difference between 2010 Dan Uggla and the past Dan Ugglas is that this one hit for average (RBIs and Runs also went up, possibly as a result).  I wouldn't expect the average to stick around though with his high BABIP rate.  He's still a valuable player but not the second most valuable 2B on a yearly basis. 
  3. Weeks, Rickie (4.02) - Rickie Weeks getting injured has basically been like a law of nature up until now. But, Weeks finally put together a year with 160 games played and he did his usual act of hitting for nice power, stealing a handful of bases and hitting for a so-so average.  All of that, combined with 112 runs made him a great value this year. Now, the question is: can he stay healthy again?
  4. Johnson, Kelly (3.34) - Like the phoenix, Kelly Johnson rose from the ashes and fantasy owners rejoiced.  The HR/FB rate may be slightly unsustainable so expect a dip in HRs and maybe a slight drop in batting average next year.  But, he should still be a fairly valuable piece next year depending on the draft position.
  5. Prado, Martin (2.71) - Martin didn't want the Braves to feel bad for letting Kelly Johnson go so he decided to have a nice little year too.  His .307 AVG and 100 Runs were above average value while he provided average value in all other roto categories.  His stat line wasn't extremely drool worthy but he provides some sneaky roto value at 2B.
  6. McGehee, Casey (2.39) - McGehee showed some power in his trip to the majors in '09 and he continued that power streak in '10 by bashing the ball for 23 HR's with 104 RBI's.  He won't be eligible at 2B in most leagues anymore but he's a cheap power option for next year's drafts.
  7. Phillips, Brandon (2.27) - He was once a 30-30 player and that was fun but he has slowly continued to decline in both power and speed each year after until we got the 2010 Brandon Phillips who gave us 18 HR and 16 SB.  This seems to be what to expect out of him now.  It's not necessarily poor value by any means but he's no longer an elite fantasy option.
  8. Utley, Chase (0.93) - He only played in 115 games and may have not been fully healthy in all of those games too but he had a huge dip in power numbers with his ISO being about .050 lower than normal (that's a big drop).  Based on his track record, I really wouldn't be worried and would expect him to be in the top three again next year.  Buy him next year at a discount price.
  9. Kendrick, Howie (0.76) - Kendrick falls into this spot by default even though his overall numbers look pretty poor across the board.  He provided very fantasy average numbers with slight value in SBs and batting average. He won't blow you away but he'll keep your team from sinking.
  10. Zobrist, Ben (0.28) - While he certainly did play up to his 2009 potential, he still provided decent value in most categories with the exception of batting average.  Much like BJ Upton, if the batting average was there, it would have been a nice year for him.  His BABIP leads me to believe he'll bounce back a bit and could be a nice value pick next season.
  11. Uribe, Juan (0.01) - Representing the last 2B to give you positive overall fantasy value, Uribe gave the world exactly what he normally does with a good amount of power and not much else to go with it.  The power numbers actually provided positive RBI value as well but I wouldn't expect him to be a fantasy contributer again for you. This was his peak.
  12. Kinsler, Ian (-0.10) - Injuries are the story of his career but he's a great player when he actually does play.  Except in 2010, when he was only so-so when he did play.  Regardless, a bounceback is in order and you may be able to buy low.
  13. Polanco, Placido (-0.15) - Polanco did what he usually does by not helping you or hurting you badly in most fantasy categories while hitting for average.  This is what you get with him.  It can be surprisingly valuable in deeper leagues.
  14. Stewart, Ian (-1.09) - If he could stay healthy for a full year, he could get you maybe 20 HR, 10 SB and a .250 average with some decent R and RBI numbers.  But, when he doesn't stay healthy, it's frustrating.  Hard to rely on him as a fantasy player but he nice potential in four out of five categories.
  15. Pedroia, Dustin (-1.32) - He's been a healthy player in his career so his injury that cost him this season isn't much a long-term concern.  You should expect him to return to hitting close to 20/20 while bring you lots of runs too.

Nov 10, 2010

2010 Roto Results - Ranking the 1B (Fantasy Baseball)

The 2010 fantasy baseball season was a wild ride and now is the the time to step back and admire the rubble from it.  If I had told you at the beginning of the year that Albert Pujols, Joey Votto and Miguel Cabrera would be the top three first basemen in the league, you probably would have thought it was a fairly reasonable guess.  But how about Paul Konerko and Aubrey Huff outproducing Adrian GonzalezMark Teixeria and Prince Fielder?  Yes, things certainly got a tad bit crazy.  In order to see just how crazy, let's take a glance at who had (or was having until injury hit) the best fantasy seasons from first basemen from last year:

  1. Cabrera, Miguel (7.63) - Miggy lived up to his first-round value and then some by outproducing even mighty Albert Pujols.  With his consistency and ability, he should likely be considered even with the top three picks next year. 
  2. Votto, Joey (7.45) - He was a third round fantasy pick but was able to produce huge value in four categories with even positive value in SB. And, to think that he was drafted after Grady Sizemore on average (that would be a 10 roto point swing between the two of them). His 25% HR/FB rate was by far league-high and could be cause for concern about whether he'll repeat his power numbers.
  3. Pujols, Albert (6.92) - Even though he didn't produce as the top overall player, he was close enough to validate his top-pick status and should be back there next year.
  4. Konerko, Paul (5.15) - Briefly touched upon in our Looking Back series, he was a legitimate fantasy stud out of the blue. A batting average over .300 is likely unsustainable with his abnormally high BABIP but the power should stick around next year.
  5. Morneau, Justin (4.47) - While he only had 348 AB's, they were extremely productive and he produced at an alarming rate during that time.  If he had kept on pace, he would have been a top five 1B as we see here.  As long as he's healthy, he might be a nice value pick next year.
  6. Youkilis, Kevin (4.30) - Much like Morneau, he was limited by getting injured which held him to 435 AB's yet he was hitting extremely well until the injury.  Players bouncing back from injury can often be had for good value and he is another example of that.
  7. Morales, Kendry (3.21) - Here's another one that was on pace to put up great numbers and a great season overall but may be forgotten due to an injury that destroyed his season.  If he played it out, he would have easily been a top ten fantasy 1B.  Keep him in mind next year as he may also be forgotten by drafters.
  8. Howard, Ryan (2.96) - He was largely a disappointment to fantasy owners who spent a first round pick on him. He averaged 52 HR's per year the four years prior and hit 31 this past year which greatly changed his value (though he was still an RBI machine).  Judging by most metrics, it seems to be a blip on the radar and not a new trend for The Big Piece.
  9. Huff, Aubrey (2.37) - This is another one that came out of the blue, like Konerko, but it's hard to say that you can fully trust Huff to do this again. He's an inconsistent player and this was his best year at age 33.
  10. Swisher, Nick (2.33) - Though this was somewhat surprising, Swisher matched most of his usual numbers this year from the past.  The big change that made him so valuable was a batting average that had gone from .219 in '08 to .249 in '09 to .288 last season. His 29 HR and 90 R and RBI are a lot more valuable when you have a good average to hang them on. Unfortunately, his BABIP leads us to believe it's unsustainable. 
  11. Gonzalez, Adrian (2.06) - Though his season isn't classified in the top ten fantasy 1B of the year, he stayed healthy all year long as usual so he truly was a more valuable piece than guys like Morales and Morneau.  While each plate appearance wasn't at the pace they were producing, he did it all year long.
  12. Dunn, Adam (1.97) - Dunn has remained frighteningly consistent over the past six or seven years with his HR and RBI totals remaining nearly identical from year-to-year no matter the team he's on. It was a solid season across the board for Dunn again.  
  13. Teixeira, Mark (1.94) - Tex's power numbers dipped a bit and his batting average fell quite far too, causing his to lose a bit of value.  The good news is that both of those things seem to be anomalies and he should return to normal next year with a near .300 average and near 40 HR's to go with his 100+ R and RBI.
  14. Prado, Martin (1.38) - This was a surprising name to see on this list.  He was eligible at 1B but provided more value at 2B or 3B.  His high batting average and 100 runs were the main reason for his value being so high here as he was marginal in other categories.
  15. Martinez, Victor (1.36) - He's mostly known for being a high value fantasy catcher but he can also be eligible at 1B.  He provides good average and power numbers but his R and RBI numbers dipped last year.  He should be even more valuable next year if those numbers go back up as they should.
  16. LaRoche, Adam (0.56) - In a stroke of luck perhaps, LaRoche got 100 RBI's this past season to go with 25 HR's and 75 R's.  That gave him a nice rise in value but he wasn't necessarily a fantasy stud.
  17. Butler, Billy (0.09) - While he didn't become the fantasy superstar that some people felt he may become, he still did produce a great batting average and decent numbers across the board in other areas.  He still has a chance of becoming a great fantasy player if the R and RBI numbers ever come around.
  18. Fielder, Prince (-0.03) - He didn't produce at the pace that we all had hoped but that's largely due to a drop in batting average and a huge dip in ISO.  Despite having the same number of AB's, he also had 60 less RBI's than the previous season.  The 2009 season may have been Prince's best case scenario and 2010 his worst case scenario.  It's best to expect something in between for 2011 and make him a third or fourth round pick. 
  19. Cuddyer, Michael (-0.34) - The up-and-down career of Cuddy continues as he drops from 32 HRs in 2009 to 14 in 2010.  Unfortunately for Twins fans, it seems that the 14 HR's is closer to the true Michael Cuddyer.
  20. Reynolds, Mark (-0.39) - Power dropped, stolen bases disappeared, batting average was absolutely embarrassingly horrible. He was a major dud.

Nov 5, 2010

2010 Fantasy Baseball Final Cheatsheet

As DJ Kool once said, "some of y'all might get with this and some of y'all won't."  But, regardless, I have drawn up a cheatsheet that gives the final WERTH roto values for any league type you can dream up.  If you really have a lot of free time, you can even punch in the players for your entire league and see how accurately this recreates the standings for your league.  But, really, I think this is most handy for just glancing back and seeing how well everyone produced from last season.  So, if this is up your alley, feel free to download the 2010 Final Roto Cheatsheet.

Nov 4, 2010

Double-Edged Swords of Fantasy Baseball - 2010

We recently looked at the Most Average Fantasy Player, Cody Ross, to give an example of a player who was closest to fantasy baseball average across the board in all roto categories.  On the opposite side of the spectrum, today we'll see who gave you biggest benefits in one category while costing you dearly in another category.  In other words, who are the double-edged swords of fantasy baseball?

The ones who appear the most on this type of list would be those who can steal a lot of bases but not hit for any power.  They're quite common in rotisserie leagues and most people understand the risk of these players when they enlist them for their team.  If you have a speedster like this, you better have a power hitter to balance him out.  Here are just a few of those who fit that criteria from the top of the list:

Juan Pierre: 4.76 SB, -1.50 HR, 6.26 difference
Michael Bourn: 3.44 SB, -1.40 HR, 4.85 difference
Rajai Davis: 3.28 SB, -1.11 HR, 4.39 difference
Brett Gardner: 3.03 SB, -1.11 HR, 4.14 difference
Chone Figgins: 2.62 SB, -1.50 HR, 4.13 difference
Ichiro Suzuki: 2.62 SB, -1.01 HR, 3.63 difference
Nyjer Morgan: 1.97 SB, -1.60 HR, 3.57 difference
Elvis Andrus: 1.80 SB, -1.60 HR, 3.40 difference
Scott Podsednik: 2.05 SB, -1.01 HR, 3.06 difference

The other most common type of player who fits this double-edged sword criteria would be those who can hit for a significant amount of power but can't really hit the ball otherwise.  In other words, they'll give you a nice boost in HR's for your roto team but kill your batting average.  There were three players who fit that criteria much more than anyone else:

Mark Reynolds: 1.55 HR, -2.70 AVG, 4.25 difference
Carlos Pena: 1.16 HR, -2.69 AVG, 3.85 difference
Aaron Hill: 0.96 HR, -2.58 AVG, 3.54 difference

Other than that, the top of our double-edged sword list were filled with those that had unique reasons for having a big difference between their best and worst roto category output.  Let's take a quick glance at the players in question:

B.J. Upton: 2.62 SB, -1.01 AVG, 3.99 difference
Josh Hamilton: 3.26 HR, -0.17 SB, 3.42 difference
James Shields: 1.01 K, -2.26 ERA, 3.27 difference
Paul Konerko: 2.24 HR, -0.82 SB, 3.06 difference

B.J. Upton was unique since he was a speedster who actually hit for a bit of power yet he couldn't get on base.  He had a unique mix of a power hitter's inability to hit for average yet with speedster qualities.  Josh Hamilton showing up on the list is deceiving because it's merely a reflection on just how good he was in the HR category.  James Shields is the only pitcher on the list as he was able to give you good amount of strikeouts but his ERA was flat-out horrible.  Paul Konerko was also a unique case because he hit for good power while registering zero stolen bases, costing you in that category.

And, I suppose if we were to give an award here, we'd have give the award to Juan Pierre for being the Most Extreme Fantasy Player in 2010 given having by far the largest extreme between good and bad.  Congrats, you weak little speedster.

Nov 2, 2010

2010's Most Average Fantasy Player

As the baseball playoffs rolled along, one name has been at the tip of everyone's tongue: Cody Ross.  As a Phillies fan, I hate to give Mr. Ross even more press but I actually have an award to hand out to the little firecracker.  After tabulating the most average fantasy baseball team possible, I went one step further and tabulated the most average fantasy baseball player from 2010.  Instead of just looking at the WERTH value closest to 0.00, I wanted to see who was most average in all categories across the board as the premier example of our "average" player that we compare others to in a 12-team league.

There were actually two men who stood above all the rest by contributing and costing the closest to nothing in all categories: Chase Utley and the aforementioned Cody Ross.  Utley's injury and more limited AB's makes his average showing a little more understandable so instead I give this prestigious award to Cody Ross.  Let's take a gander at both of their average lines:

                            R       HR     AVG     RBI      SB
          Cody Ross        0.14   -0.22   -0.12   -0.01   -0.08
                           (71)    (14)   (.269)   (65)    (09)

          Chase Utley      0.31   -0.03    0.06   -0.01    0.24
                           (75)    (16)   (.275)   (65)    (13)

Let's give both of these men a round of applause for being the most average fantasy baseball players across the board that they could be in 2010.  And, many congratulations to Cody Ross for his playoff performance, World Series title and being 2010's Most Average Fantasy Player (MAFP?).

Nov 1, 2010

2010's Most Average Fantasy Team

When looking at a few baseball stats out there like Wins Above Replacement (WAR) or VORP, they're quite interesting because they are comparing each player to a benchmark.  The benchmark in most cases is a mystery replacement player and the player in question is either better or worse than that replacement player.

In my WERTH calculations, each player is compared to a benchmark as well but that benchmark is an average fantasy player as opposed to a replacement player.  A team with all 0.00 WERTH values would finish in the exact middle of the standings.  Within the cheatsheets here, WERTH values change by whether that league is a 10-team, 12-team or 14-team (and what positions are required to start) because an average fantasy player in each league is different.

Now that the year has concluded, it's time to sit and wonder about what the most average fantasy team would have looked like.  So, for a 12-team league, here you have it...

If you had set this as your lineup on opening day and not touched it all year, you would have finished in the middle of the standings:
  • C - Buster Posey (-0.04)
  • 1B - James Loney (-0.02)
  • 2B - Ben Zobrist (-0.07)
  • 3B - Chase Headley (-0.16)
  • SS - Rafael Furcal (0.04)
  • OF - Denard Span (0.11)
  • OF - Carlos Lee (-0.11)
  • OF - Garrett Jones (-0.24)
  • OF - Jason Kubel (-0.24)
  • OF - Cody Ross (-0.29)
  • DH - Hideki Matsui (-0.13)
  • SP - Anibal Sanchez (-0.04)
  • SP - Jeremy Guthrie (-0.14)
  • SP - Ian Kennedy (0.16)
  • SP - Chad Billingsley (0.26)
  • SP - Johnny Cueto (-0.26)
  • RP - Jonathan Papelbon (-0.05)
  • RP - Ryan Franklin (-0.24)
  • P - Francisco Rodriguez (-0.24)
That team is the definition of middle-of-the-road for the 2010 season.  Not surprisingly, most of these players were middle round draft picks and delivered appropriate value.  With all of that being said, it's funny to think that this team of average fantasy players would have still beat half of the other teams in a 12-team league.