I’d like to begin this OBP roundup by mentioning one of my favorite points that’s been discussed in the comments before: OBP and OPS are worth looking at in leagues that don’t use them. For example, if a player has a high OBP, then he has a greater likelihood of getting runs relative to a player with a lower OBP. The same goes for OPS or slugging, either of which can be a proxy for players who get homers, extra base hits, and rbis. These stats obviously have more value in leagues that use them, but they should be given attention in leagues that do not include them because they suggest which players have more value and are likely to retain their value over the course of the season. Anyway, time for a good ol’ fashioned OBP roundup:
Luis Valbuena continues to rank among the league leaders in OBP, currently sitting at .394, alongside Giancarlo Stanton and Shin-Soo Choo. He’s in the Cubs lineup most days and that should continue for the next couple months since the Cubs don’t have a better option on their current squad. That could eventually change when some minor league players begin to surface in the big leagues, but his spot is safe right now.
I feel like I need to mention Joey Votto again since he finally appears to be healthy. It’s amusing that a .409 OBP is considered a down year for him. I’m not worried about him and I expect his production to improve as the season progresses. A line near last season’s .305/.435/.491 going forward should be attainable.
Corey Dickerson should absolutely be owned in more leagues, especially with Michael Cuddyer going to the DL again. Speaking of injury, I’d recommend grabbing Stephen Drew if he is able to avoid the DL with his latest minor injury. He could provide a solid middle infield bat and I’d take him ahead of Brad Miller at this point.
About a month and a half ago, I said that Carlos Ruiz‘s “current .416 OBP isn’t as much of a fluke as it would seem, considering the several ~.380 OBP years he had prior to 2013.” Since then, it’s dropped to .390, which is still fantastic and he should be able to maintain it around there. On a different note, I was in D.C. a week and a half ago and ended up at the Nationals/Phillies game. It was my first time at a Nationals game and, for whatever reason, I was captivated by the age of the Phillies roster. I knew they were old, but sometimes things don’t process until you see them in person. Although the Yankees are probably still well ahead of them in that area… I guess my other observation was that Domonic Brown sadly looked lost at the plate. I never expected him to be elite, but I certainly expected more than his abysmal performance this year.
A month ago, I said, “Dexter Fowler continues to post a solid OBP. He’s still available in a lot of leagues, so he could be worth an add, especially in leagues without slugging.” He’s still somehow owned in less than half of ESPN leagues, despite him improving his slugging while maintaining his .393 OBP. As an aside, I’ll be on the road (again) this weekend so I may be slow to respond to comments. Feel free to chime in to help answer any questions from other commenters.
You can find Tom Jacks on Twitter @votetomjacks. He spends far too much time praying for the Cubs, planning his next concert, and wondering if there’s an instrument that could ever rival the theremin (there isn’t).