I know I said I would talk about my potential trades in Fantasy Baseball 2008 – Hitter draft, but even though I’ve tried nothing has materialized. For the record, I’m trying to trade off Kouzmanoff or Encarnacion for those weak at 3B, in the 40 man league. In the mean time, I thought it might be interesting to analyze players in respect to a normal 5×5 league.
HR is by far this most important stat in a normal 5×5 league. As mentioned by me before, HR count not only for a HR but also a R and a RBI with a bit of a bump to AVG. We therefore need to rate high HR above all other categories. As a matter of fact the only traditional 5×5 category HR does not effect is SB. HR will even be a little bit of a boost over the normal one RBI by a bit, by the fact that not every HR is a solo-shot. We might safely asume that a HR is worth a R, 2 RBI a HR. AVG though affected will remain little affected from year to year by the number of HRs. Give this I assume a factor of x4 per projected HR in a normal 5×5 league. Given that the league leader in R (143) and RBI (156) both by Alex Rodriguez is slightly higher than the high HR total x4 of (54 x 4 = 216) also by Alex Rodriguez, we can determine that HR are worth a lot in 5×5 leagues. The problem is that in any draft, you can not obtain 3 of the top 20 HR producers. You will need to shore up the R, RBI and AVG stats with other players.
R (Runs) indicate a few things, the ability to get on base (AVG), speed – stretching a single into a double, a double into a triple, or a stolen base, and finally getting on base in front of high average hitters. The last tright coupled with the first traight usually spells a leadoff or second place hitter. Managers usually make good of this by placing a speedy hitter in the 1st or second place in the batting order. Due to the depth of Detroits lineup, look for top of the order Detroit players to give you a bunch of R’s
Given the fact that fast, high AVG players will be batting in the top of the order, look for high RBI producers to make up the meat of the order – 3rd through 6th. These will likely be your power hitters as well. A classic example is Ortiz and Rameriz batting 3rd and 4th in Boston with Lowell finishing up a murders row. With their off season acquisitions, look for Detroit hitters in this range to give you a lot of RBI. Teams with high RBI potential based on 2007 numbers are NYY (929), DET (857), PHI (850), BOS (829) and COL (823). Since RBI roughly equates to R, these teams will help you in Rs as well.
AVG (Average), is largely an individual statistic, for this you can look back on past performance and a change in location , especially a batting order change. Players with more protection will see a better pitch selection than those without protection. Usually those with protection will be batting 3rd or 4th. Again refer to Ortiz and Rameriz. Players that hit high in the order also tend to have a higher AVG; after all it is better to have men on base when the power hitters come up in the 3rd, 4th and 5th spots. Drafting players in the top of the order will also give you an AB (at bat) bonus. Generally each spot in the order gets about 20 less at bats than the spot above. This means that if a lead off hitter gets 650 ABs during the season the 6 spot will get about 120 less or about 430. This means 120 less chances for a HR, 120 less chances for a RBI, 120 less chances for … well you get the idea.
Finally SB is almost a totally individual statistic. The only thing it really depends on other than the individuals skills, is the teams game play philosophy. Teams like the A’s don’t steal where as teams like the Mets steal as much as they can, last year the A’s only had 52 SB where as the Mets had 200 SB. Following the Mets were the Orioles (144) Angels (139) and Phillies (138) while the Padres (55), Cardinals (56) and Blue Jays (57) lead the A’s. Since team philosophy does play in SB, you need to identify where that philosophy may have changed. For example, Joe Torre moved from New York to Los Angeles, each team had similar steals last year with NYY at 123 and LAD at 137 so there should not be a big swing for the LAD.
Since SB indicates speed, you can generally account for these players being able to streatch out 1Bs into 2Bs, and 2Bs into 3Bs setting up more scoring opportunites thus more Rs. They will also be able to score more often from first base on 2Bs or second base on 1Bs. So, if you get a speedster expect a little bump to Rs.
Here are my top 25 hitters for 2008 and my projections for their statistics.
Until next time.