Relative Position Value – DH


Below are the RPV values for designated hitters in 2013, using wRAA for a 10-team mixed league.

74.09% 27.53 David Ortiz
45.09% 22.94 Edwin Encarnacion
44.36% 22.83 Billy Butler
30.60% 20.65 Paul Konerko
17.50% 18.58 Evan Longoria
4.30% 16.49 Joe Mauer
-46.63% 8.44 Adam Dunn
-47.67% 8.28 Travis Hafner
-60.46% 6.25 Adam Lind
-61.18% 6.14 John Jaso
-68.50% 4.98 Justin Morneau
-70.21% 4.71 Jonny Gomes
-70.78% 4.62 Kendrys Morales
-72.51% 4.35 Alex Rodriguez
-75.46% 3.88 Delmon Young
-77.25% 3.60 Chris Davis


Relative Position Values – Outfield

Below are the RPV values for outfielders in 2013, using wRAA for a 10-team mixed league.  OF1 refers to the top 10, OF2 refers to 11-20, and OF3 refers to 21-30.


40.96% 42.05 Giancarlo Stanton
31.64% 39.27 Ryan Braun
13.76% 33.93 Jose Bautista
4.80% 31.26 Mike Trout
3.32% 30.82 Carlos Gonzalez
-8.33% 27.34 Matt Kemp
-9.39% 59.34% 27.03 Andrew McCutchen
-24.56% 32.65% 22.50 Matt Holliday
-25.78% 30.52% 22.14 Bryce Harper
-26.42% 29.39% 21.95 Shin-Soo Choo
23.31% 20.92 Dexter Fowler
12.10% 19.02 Jay Bruce
3.64% 17.58 Michael Cuddyer
-1.72% 16.67 Jason Heyward
-2.18% 16.59 Curtis Granderson
-3.78% 16.32 Ben Zobrist
-5.17% 25.53% 16.09 Corey Hart
-6.00% 24.43% 15.94 Josh Willingham
-7.70% 22.18% 15.66 Carlos Quentin
-12.49% 15.84% 14.84 Adam Jones
-13.16% 14.96% 14.73 Alex Gordon
-15.49% 11.87% 14.33 Justin Upton
-17.13% 9.70% 14.06 Yoenis Cespedes
-23.59% 1.15% 12.96 Allen Craig
-24.12% 0.45% 12.87 Melky Cabrera
0.07% 12.82 Jason Kubel
-4.82% 12.20 Josh Hamilton
-8.90% 11.67 Torii Hunter
-9.38% 11.61 Nelson Cruz
-15.11% 10.88 Carlos Beltran
-17.38% 10.59 Martin Prado
-17.41% 10.58 Logan Morrison
-17.81% 10.53 Mark Trumbo
-18.36% 10.46 Nick Swisher
-18.64% 10.43 B.J. Upton
-22.12% 9.98 Domonic Brown
-22.65% 9.91 Nick Markakis
-23.38% 9.82 Adam Eaton
-28.92% 9.11 Austin Jackson
-31.88% 8.73 Matt Joyce
-33.88% 8.47 Andre Ethier


Relative Position Values – Third Base

Below are the RPV values for third basemen in 2013, using wRAA for a 10-team mixed league.

  RPV wRAA wRAA Name
140.25% 44.67 Miguel Cabrera
11.60% 20.75 Adrian Beltre
-0.05% 18.58 Evan Longoria
-6.33% 17.41 Aramis Ramirez
-8.21% 17.06 Ryan Zimmerman
-13.81% 16.02 Kevin Youkilis
-18.30% 15.19 David Wright
-30.68% 12.89 Brett Lawrie
-35.92% 11.91 Chase Headley
-38.55% 11.42 Pablo Sandoval
-46.02% 10.04 Hanley Ramirez
-63.36% 6.81 Chipper Jones
-63.96% 6.70 David Freese
-66.08% 6.31 Ryan Wheeler
-68.37% 5.88 Pedro Alvarez


Relative Position Values – Shortstop

Below are the RPV values for first basemen in 2013, using wRAA for a 10-team mixed league.


147.01% 24.07 Troy Tulowitzki
67.50% 16.32 Ben Zobrist
21.27% 11.82 Jose Reyes
6.50% 10.38 Starlin Castro
3.00% 10.04 Hanley Ramirez
-28.20% 7.00 Josh Rutledge
-31.20% 6.70 Asdrubal Cabrera
-54.74% 4.41 Jurickson Profar
-61.36% 3.77 Jimmy Rollins
-69.78% 2.94 Ian Desmond
-83.58% 1.60 Jed Lowrie
-100.00% 0.00 Jean Segura
-103.72% -0.36 Stephen Drew
-105.79% -0.56 Elvis Andrus
-109.64% -0.94 J.J. Hardy
-115.04% -1.47 Maicer Izturis
-118.30% -1.78 Derek Jeter


Relative Position Values – Second Base

Below are the RPV values for second basemen in 2013, using wRAA for a 10-team mixed league.


137.97% 31.31 Robinson Cano
37.58% 18.10 Dustin Pedroia
24.07% 16.32 Ben Zobrist
14.03% 15.00 Ian Kinsler
3.94% 13.67 Rickie Weeks
-23.07% 10.12 Chase Utley
-35.23% 8.52 Aaron Hill
-51.03% 6.44 Neil Walker
-51.58% 6.37 Dan Uggla
-56.68% 5.70 Brandon Phillips
-66.48% 4.41 Jurickson Profar
-75.38% 3.24 Jose Altuve
-92.56% 0.98 Jason Kipnis


Relative Position Values – First Base

Below are the RPV values for first basemen in 2013, using wRAA for a 10-team mixed league.


58.11% 42.79 Joey Votto
29.65% 35.08 Prince Fielder
1.74% 27.53 David Ortiz
-4.72% 25.78 Anthony Rizzo
-7.21% 25.11 Albert Pujols
-15.21% 22.94 Edwin Encarnacion
-15.63% 22.83 Billy Butler
-23.06% 20.82 Freddie Freeman
-23.67% 20.65 Paul Konerko
-28.51% 19.34 Adrian Gonzalez
-33.55% 17.98 Mark Teixeira
-35.03% 17.58 Michael Cuddyer
-40.56% 16.09 Corey Hart
-42.56% 15.54 Paul Goldschmidt
-43.58% 15.27 Mike Napoli
-52.10% 12.96 Allen Craig
-54.79% 12.23 Brandon Belt
-59.47% 10.97 Chris Carter
-60.89% 10.58 Logan Morrison
-61.34% 10.46 Nick Swisher
-64.87% 9.51 Lance Berkman
-65.54% 9.33 Eric Hosmer
-65.72% 9.28 Carlos Pena
-68.81% 8.44 Adam Dunn
-70.02% 8.11 Ike Davis


Relative Position Values – Catcher

Below are the RPV values for catchers in 2013, using wRAA for a 10-team mixed league.


100.62% 24.35 Buster Posey
35.89% 16.49 Joe Mauer
25.79% 15.27 Mike Napoli
23.09% 14.94 Carlos Santana
-13.63% 10.48 Carlos Ruiz
-19.64% 9.75 Miguel Montero
-24.26% 9.19 Yadier Molina
-34.87% 7.91 Brian McCann
-46.08% 6.54 Matt Wieters
-46.90% 6.44 Alex Avila
-47.27% 6.40 Yasmani Grandal
-49.42% 6.14 John Jaso
-54.14% 5.57 Wilin Rosario
-66.52% 4.06 Jonathan Lucroy
-76.42% 2.86 Evan Gattis
-83.92% 1.95 Devin Mesoraco
-87.48% 1.52 Salvador Perez
-90.59% 1.14 A.J. Pierzynski
-93.39% 0.80 Chris Iannetta
-96.93% 0.37 J.P. Arencibia
-97.06% 0.36 George Kottaras
-100.00% 0.00 Travis D’Arnaud
-100.00% 0.00 Geovany Soto


Programming Note: The Fake Baseball

I’ve taken the circus over to The Fake Baseball recently.  You can find all my posts over there for the time being.  Check back here as any time I want to do something that overlaps with the regular programming there I may still toss it up here.

And, with the NFL season coming up, any Fantasy Football content will be posted here first.

Of course, you can also find me on Twitter @statmind.  Hope to see you there and thanks for reading.


Fantasy Baseball Weekend Update 4/8

  • Yoenis Cespedes might be the most interesting player to start the 2012 fantasy baseball season.  By now you’ve certainly seen his mammoth shot off of Jason Vargas, and know that he’s leading baseball with three HRs.  75% of his fly balls are HR!  He’s slugging +1.000!  To state the obvious: he might just outperform his projections.  But a lot of that will depend on how well he can adjust to offspeed pitches.  So far he’s been crushing the fastball- which is about what we all expected him to do- and yet he’s still striking out in nearly half of his ABs.  So he’s proven he can hit a heater- it won’t take teams long to figure out not to throw him many of those up in the strike zone.  What we still need to learn is if he can hit offspeed and breaking pitches.  So far, it doesn’t look good, but it’s extremely early.  I’d increase my projections for him a bit toward the three true outcomes, something like .240 with 26 HRs.
  • Everyone’s ‘bummed’ about Madison‘s (see what I did there?) first start of 2012, and with good reason: he gave up 9 base-runners and 4 runs in only 4 innings of work.  So what’s up?  Turns out not much.  Bumgarner’s velocities in his first start were right in line with last season’s averages.  And his slider that has been his go-to pitch (and which some say is cause for concern about injury risk) was working to the tune of +6 wSL/C.  He apparently recognized its effectiveness, because he threw it for 40% of his pitches.  Quite simply, he just suffered a bit of bad luck but everything appears to be in functioning for him.  I won’t expect him to throw 40% sliders in all his starts, I’m guessing that was a function of him trying to pitch his way out of trouble by relying on his best pitch.  Nothing to see here, move along.
  • Kendres Morales and Justin Morneau are off to encouraging starts.  If you took a flyer on these guys, you’re feeling pretty smug right about now.  But let’s not get carried away- especially with Morneau, who has admitted outright his biggest challenge will be endurance.  So wipe that smug grin off your face and sit tight a little longer before ordering the championship banners.
  • I’m not thrilled with what I’ve seen so far from Ichiro.  Despite his new batting approach and move to #3 in the order, he looks like the same hitter he’s always been: 50% ground balls and 19% line drives.  Although he’s hitting, he’s not hitting for any kind of power yet this season- only one of his 6 hits has gone for extra bases.  Dial down those fantasies of a 20+ HR season and expect more of the same: a good average slap hitter, with a few more RBI than he’s had in past years.
  • Dammit I wish I owned Greinke somewhere.  I have a hunch he’s on his way to a historic season.
  • Gio Gonzalez took the bad end of some bad luck, but much like Bumgarner his peripherals look fine.  Don’t sweat it too much: he suffered a .583 BABIP and 60% LOB rate in his first start: when you walk as many guys as he sometimes does, that kind of bad luck is going to come around to score and get you pulled early.  But long-range forecast is fine, he’ll be what you expected.






OF: Outfield Rankings for 2012

Outfield is usually thought of as a deep position.  There’s some truth to that, in that over the course of the season it will be easier to find players who’ve come out of nowhere and are freely available on your league’s waiver wire.  But when drafting or bidding on players, OF is surprisingly shallow of top-tier talent.  It’s similar to 1B in this way- if you miss on the first third, you’re going to be struggling to field a competitive offense.  Keep in mind that in a 10 team league there are typically 30- OF: so the top 10 OF are comparable to the top 3 or 4 players at any other position.  Just like at 1B, there’s a steep cliff once you get past that top tier.

It is for this reason it’s not a bad move to invest in OF this season.  It seems counter-intuitive since there’s so many available in the game, but use that to your advantage– when there’s a run on catchers you can be taking those mid-tier OF knowing that the performance gap between the guy you get and the replacement level will outweigh the positional scarcity concern.

My rankings are a bit unorthodox this year.  I like Braun, Upton and Ellsbury, even though I recognize the risks and naysayers of each. Kemp is good, but he seems overpriced to me this season, meanwhile Bruce, Holiday and Cruz seem like good values in most drafts.


1 Ryan Braun For the sake of argument, let’s assume he was on PEDs and that it had a measurable impact on his performance that will be absent this year. OK so lower his stats by 10%. That leaves you with a .299 average, 30 HR and 30 SB. That still leaves him as one of the top 5 OF in the game. Although I know no more than you do, I suspect Braun may have used PEDs but I don’t anticipate it will impact his numbers significantly. However, the mental aspects of the first half of the season might- he’s been getting blasted by the fans this Spring. I’ll call him for that 10% reduction and not ask questions why it happened: .300-95-30-100-20.
2 Justin Upton Upton swung the bat more in 2011, raising his swing rates by about 7 points. This resulted in more balls in play, and thus more hits and home runs. Impressively, he was able to reduce his K% to 19% and maintain his 9% BB rate despite the additional hacks. All this adds up to a player who is maturing and improving as he enters his prime. If 2010 was his breakout, this is his step into superstardom. 40 HR is not out of the question, but also not without some risk. .290-95-38-105-20
3 Jacoby Ellsbury There certainly is a lot of doubt in fantasy-land about Ellsbury’s power. Consider this though: his FB% was in line with his career average, it was his HR/FB ratio that saw the leap to 16.9%. That puts him amongst the sluggers, sure– so his HRs must’ve been flukes, right? Wrong- he only had 4 “Just Enough” home runs on the year (the rest were “Plenty” with 8 being “No Doubt”). I think his power surge was real, if not slightly exaggerated. Look for a HR/FB ratio around 14% which puts him around 27 HR. I like his LD% to sustain meaning the average and doubles will be there again as well. Don’t pay for a career year, but pay for his 2012 which will be almost as good. .315-100-27-100-35
4 Carlos Gonzalez His 2011 looks to me about like his true talent level. Book him for more of the same, with however much playing time as you’re willing to wager on. .300-32/20
5 Matt Kemp He’s in for a big decline, but still one of the top at the position. His sky-high .380 BABIP and 21% HR/FB ratio tells you all you need to know. Expect something more like .290/28 with 35 SB.
6 Curtis Granderson Another player the fantasy community likes to tag as a potential bust. But there’s a difference between regression and a fluke. Much like Ellsbury, I like Granderson to continue, although at a slightly tempered pace. Don’t forget that his turnaround began in late 2010 after he adopted a new batting approach that allowed him to take full advantage of his new home in Yankee stadium. Last year he put it all together, I think he’ll continue to do so this year. .280-100-34-110-20
7 Andrew McCutchen Here is a player who: had a BB% between Youklis and Ortiz, increased LD% each season of his career, saw a 50% increase in his HR/FB ratio has he matured, has room to improve his luck with a .291 BABIP, and is 25 years of age. “The Dread Pirate” is poised for a Kemp-like breakout. The question is whether it happens in 2012 or 2013. I’m a bit of an optimist so I’m playing the come: .285-90-30-100-30
8 Jay Bruce I’ll see your Giancarlo Stanton and raise you a Jay Bruce. Bruce has a similar skill set, but with one noteworthy difference: a track record of hitting for high average in the minors. Bruce is a little older, and strikes out only 24% of the time, compared to Stanton’s nearly 30%. Bruce’s power is totally legit and not inflated in any one metric, in fact if anything he’s been a bit unlucky given his BABIP. His hit tracker shows that he’s pulled the ball more of each of the last three seasons- a trend that bodes well for his ability to hit for power. I expect a slight increase in power with a signfiicant increase in average and counting stats. .280-85-36-100-10
9 Matt Holliday Really very consistant- and for some reason he seems to be under-valued in drafts. Pencil him in more more of the same: .310, 26 HR, 90 R, 100 RBI. Great for OBP/OPS leagues with his 11% BB rate.
10 Giancarlo Stanton Gotta love his power, but at nearly 30% K rate I’m concerned pitchers will figure out how to exploit the youngster. Will he turn into Mark Reynolds or Prince Fielder? I would say probably more in the middle, like a Ryan Howard– or then again maybe he’s more like Rob Deer… I don’t know, just plan on 35+ HR and a mediocre average. .250-85-36-95
11 Nelson Cruz Another one of those always-injured guys. I tend to fall for the trap and buy these guys. Cruz is among the most tantalizing, with a .233 career ISO and 3 of the last 4 years over 18% HR/FB. Still in his prime, he has premier power if he can ever put together a full season. .275 38 HR.
12 Josh Hamilton Impossible to predict health, but a solid option when playing. More valuable in H2H format since he can help you win the weeks he plays, even if you get replacement-level while he’s on the DL.
13 Michael Morse A strange case: hits loads of fly balls and grounders yet has a history of .340+ BABIP. Newfound power appears to be legit, but he’s certainly not without risk of regression.
14 Adam Jones I like his growth over the last few years and expect it to continue. May be a good value in many leagues that think last year was his ceiling.
15 Desmond Jennings Kind of a sneaky play- he can give you all your counting stats at the cost of a little average. But if you’re in a OBP or OPS league, if you blur your eyes you can see a hint of pre-2011 Ellsbury in him. .260 25 HR.
16 Hunter Pence He’s in for a decline. And I’ve personally not been that high on him for most of his career. A .270-.280 hitter with 25 HR power doesn’t excite me. His average last year was inflated, and yet he struck out more often than he has since 2008. .275-80-24-80-12
17 Shin-Soo Choo He’s in the BSOHL and is poised for a rebound. .290 22/20
18 Lance Berkman Possibly under-rated due to his age and concerns over his fluke-factor, but he’s a solid option for power and OBP. But, he’s certainly an injury risk- he’s kind of like an old Nelson Cruz who walks instead of striking out. Cruz is on his way up while Berkman is on his way down.
19 Jason Heyward
20 Corey Hart
21 Alex Gordon Last year’s post-hype sleeper lived up to potential in 2011. Hitting his stride in his prime makes him a good bet to continue, but not necessarilly improve, his performance. Expect a slight drop in BA due to his BABIP 44 points over his career average. .270 with 24
22 Nick Swisher Overlooked but if he’d hit one more HR in 2009 and 2010 to reach 30 for each of those years, we’d be hearing about him in the Michael Morse tier. Solid value pick and also delivers consistency with incredible OBP.
23 Brandon Belt If he can get the playing time, I love his chances for a breakout season. BUY.
24 Jayson Werth
25 Andre Ethier
26 Logan Morrison Wish I owned him in more leagues- going to be solid value if he can stay healthy
27 B.J. Upton
28 Carlos Beltran
29 Michael Cuddyer
30 Colby Rasmus Like his chance for a solid upside value play. Ideal late round pick.
31 Michael Bourn No thanks- his BA is consistently 70-80 points lower than his BABIP due to his 20% K rate, with no power and no fun at all. PASS. .275-1-55
31 Brennan Boesch Something of a fantasy darling, he may actually be slightly overvalued for being on so many sleeper lists. Still, a decent option for an OF3.
32 Carl Crawford Spending the first few months on DL.
33 Shane Victorino
34 Brett Gardner
35 Drew Stubbs
36 Ichiro Suzuki
37 Carlos Lee
38 Nick Markakis
39 Chris B. Young
40 Cameron Maybin
41 Melky Cabrera No thanks. Nearly 50% ground balls, doesn’t walk, won’t hit for average or OBP… no thanks. Last year was his ceiling.
42 Peter Bourjos
43 Alex Rios
44 Kendrys Morales
45 Carlos Quentin
46 Alfonso Soriano
99 Lorenzo Cain Smells like hype. Don’t buy into the smoke-and-mirrors of spring training stats.