Tagged: RBI

Some Things to Consider When Measuring Player Value

By Eriq Gardner
Let’s pretend we have two teams each drafting one batter at C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, OF1, OF2, OF3.
The roster of Team A is the following: Alex Rodriguez, Mark Reynolds, Jason Bay, Jayson Werth, Nelson Cruz, Ben Zobrist, Elvis Andrus, and Mike Napoli.
The roster of Team B is the following: Adrian Gonzalez, Nick Markakis, Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Jones, Robinson Cano, Alex Rios, Orlando Cabrera, and Bengie Molina.
Team A should be the far superior team if you go by any Average Draft Position measure. These are all heavy hitters who contribute some nice speed; however, when we take a look at projections, we’re not quite that certain that Team A would finish ahead of Team B.
Here are the projected team statistics for Team A:
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And here are the projected team statistics for Team B:
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As you’ll see above, Team A has the clear upper-hand in HRs and SBs. However, Team B holds a small edge in RBIs and Rs and a big edge in AVG. How did we pull this trick?
The answer tells us something important about player value and is something to keep in mind when using player raters and managing a roster into the season.
Team A is a squad comprised of the top-rated players at every position who each project for less than 550 at-bats.
Team B is a squad comprised of players who are rated relatively lower compared to the other squad, but who each project for somewhere between 575 to 650 at-bats.
In other words, the extra ABs translate to added counting numbers, particularly important in context stats such as R and RBI. In addition, more ABs mean a bigger contribution to the overall team average. Last year’s best best performers against draft position included Aaron HillChone Figgins, and Victor Martinez. Is it a coincidence that each of these players led their position in ABs?
We’re all trained to weight heavily the categories that are seemingly dependent on core skills like power and speed; player raters in particular give a little bit of extra credit to steals because of the overall scarcity. But HRs and SBs aren’t the only categories worth considering when taking a look at a player. And core skills are not the only factors worth examining. Teams doing well in undervalued categories and teams healthy enough to gain a playing time advantage can find their way to fantasy success, perhaps to the astonishment of their league-mates.
For more on competitive factors in fantasy baseball, check out Bloomberg Sports’ fantasy kits.

The (Always) Underrated Torii Hunter

By Eriq Gardner
In 2009, only four players in baseball put up at least 90 RBIs, 16 SBs, and a .299 AVG — Hanley Ramirez, Albert Pujols, Ryan Braun, and Torii Hunter.

fantasy baseball, we’re always looking for the player who can provide
all-around value. To most people, this means a guy with both power and
speed. Every year, we’ll see about a dozen guys crack 20/20. Last year,
there were 14 of them. 

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my money, though, the rarest commodity in baseball is a player who can
both steal bases and drive in runs. After all, speedy players usually
hit at the top of the lineup and have only limited RBI opportunities.
Last year, there were only four batters who drove in 100 and swiped 20
Torii Hunter came very close last
season — and would have made it happen if not for a strained oblique
that limited him to 451 at bats. If it wasn’t for missed playing time,
Hunter would have posted above-average totals in all five of the main
statistical categories. As it was, Hunter only fell short in the
category of runs.

Most people might not
appreciate the kind of pace that Hunter was on last season. Sporting a
slugging percentage (.508) that was greater than players such as Jayson
, Carlos Lee, and Matt Kemp, Hunter may well have flirted
with 30 HR with an extra 100-150 AB. Here’s a look at how he performed
against several outfielders going well ahead of him in drafts right now
who finished last season with relatively similar OPS numbers:

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Picture 34.pngWhen
projecting Hunter’s 2010 season, there’s another consideration
to make. Besides having the rare ability to provide speed and the
opportunity to knock in runs, Hunter is one of only about 20 players in
baseball with 25-HR power and the ability to make contact with the ball
in at least 80 percent of his at-bats. Combined with the ability to run
quickly to first base after the ball is hit into play, this typically
translates to a pretty solid average. Last year, Hunter finished at
.299. Bloomberg Sports projects .289 for the upcoming season.

ranked 46th on the B-Rank scale, yet is being drafted well below his
projections. That’s nothing new. Hunter has a pretty long history of
being underrated in drafts year after year, and at age 34, few see him
as having the kind of statistical upside offered by many youngsters.
But is that assessment accurate? A player who provides power, speed,
RBI production, and average? Those kinds of players are a very rare
breed. Just ask Pujols, Hanley, and Braun.
For more information on Torii Hunter and other speed-RBI options, check out Bloomberg Sports’ fantasy kit.