We have now posted the 2009 Point Shares for 12-team MLB leagues.
For those unfamiliar, Point Shares are our home-grown methodology (inspired by Bill James’ Win Shares) for rating fantasy players. They represent the estimated difference in an average fantasy team’s points if they were to substitute a given player for the average player at his position. For example, Albert Pujols’ 9.19 Point Shares mean he was worth 9.19 points more to the average team than an average 1B (closest player to ‘average 1B’ was Jorge Cantu). Point Shares are estimated for each statistical category – Pujols’ points are broken out as: 2.2 Runs, 2.1 HRs, 2.3 RBI, 1.0 SB, and 1.6 AVG.
2009 – Top 20 Point Shares
Our top 20 ended up with an even split of pitchers (9 SP/1 RP) and hitters with Zack Greinke taking top honors. You’ll see some similarities between the ESPN Player Rater and our Point Shares but we’ll point out two notable differences:
1) ESPN loves speedy players (is that why they employed Eric Young for more than a second?) – it generously credits SBs and doesn’t penalize weak HR/RBI. Where Crawford and Ellsbury are 5th and 6th overall and almost even with Braun in ESPN they are 17th and 21st in ours and over 2.5 points or $10 less valuable than Braun. I like SBs as much as the next fantasy player but Braun’s 113/32/114/20/.320 is going to help the average team a lot more than Crawford’s 96/15/68/60/.305. Take ESPN ranking of guys with high SBs with a grain of salt.
2) ESPN Puts Less Stock on Position Scarcity – Joe Mauer is #6 in our ranking vs. #17 in ESPN. Do you realize who the 4th most valuable catcher was in fantasy? Kurt Suzuki! Mauer’s stats for an OF would’ve qualified him for #17. As a Catcher, his stats were an easy top 10 value.
2009 – Top 20 Draft Values
In what should amount to no surprise to anyone who followed baseball in 2009, our Point Shares have Mark Reynolds as the #1 best value (using ESPN Average Draft Position). He wasn’t even drafted in many leagues yet ended up as the 15th most valuable fantasy player in the majors (according to Point Shares). 13 of the 20 best values are pitchers (9 SP, 4 RP) lending credence to the claim that pitchers are more unpredictable and more bargains may be available later in the draft.
2) Matthew Berry – It might’ve been an awkward interview we had with him last year but we asked for the best undervalued OF and he nailed it with Shin Soo-Choo.
3) Razzball. In my NL Blogger draft, I managed to snag 4 of the 11 NLers in the top 20 in value: Razzball 2009 crush / #1 value Mark Reynolds, #15 Huston Street, #18 Ryan Franklin, #20 Randy Wolf. The relievers were complete and utter luck but still…
2009 – Bottom 20 Draft Values
Interestingly, only 5 of the top 20 worst values are pitchers. (Note: If a hitter/pitcher missed the majority of the year, we capped their negative Point Shares as the lowest drafted slot – #260). This is a mix of tough breaks (Beltran, Reyes, Webb, Manny) with a few guys that we warned were being overvalued in drafts (Chris Davis, Francisco Liriano, Josh Hamilton). I don’t feel like giving out some anti-Nostradamus (Ignoramus?) awards but I will admit to drafting Geovany Soto AND Russ Martin in my NL Blogger Draft.
Last note: 2010 Point Shares based on CHONE data will be posted in the next week!