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Question:
I’m wondering why there’s such a huge gap between BaseballHQ’s value for Dunn and yours. HQ has him 72nd and your player rater has him 22nd for batters in mixed 12 team regular 5×5. HQ assigns $ values but I think it’s effectively the same thing. PECOTA likes Dunn so i assume the difference lies in the valuation method. Do you know what theirs is? I’m tempted to lean toward your method because i understand it and it mostly makes sense to me, but i just want to make sure that you fully endorse that ranking. right now i have him between Pence and Manny.

Also, do you have the replacement level averages you used for the point shares handy?

Rudy’s Response:
Regarding Dunn, here are the baseline projections for us and Baseball HQ:

Razzball: 513 AB / 100 R / 38 HR / 100 RBI / 7 SB / .256
Baseball HQ: 553 AB / 105 R / 41 HR / 104 RBI / 7 SB / .251

Can’t say that I’m familiar w/ Baseball HQ’s Player Rater (have the book and access to online projections) but I’m looking in the book and Dunn is drafted 62nd overall in their 15 team mixed league snake draft and tied for about 52nd place overall in projected dollar value at $24. Our Point Shares project him at #40. Blogmate Grey ranks Dunn at #33 in his top 100.

I think if you took Baseball HQ’s ranks and put them next to ours, you would find more dramatic differences than this. I see them having Pierre in the top 30 where he barely cracks our top 100 b/c we dock him for his crap HR/RBI (on a side note, I ended up with Dunn and Pierre in my expert league).

Here is one thought for the differences and a reason that compelled me to do Point Shares. Sites like Baseball HQ and BP tend to be snobs on fantasy league structures. They prefer single league auctions or – in the case of Baseball HQ’s simulated snake draft – a 15 team league (which I’ve never seen). I think the majority of players are in 10 or 12 team mixed leagues so the rankings have to be filtered through the scarcity/needs of that universe.

I think 10-12 team mixed leagues aren’t as starved for speed and middle infielders as the leagues that a Baseball HQ projects for. Pierre went in the 9th round of my 12 team expert league and no one was patting me on the back for great value (including myself).

Let’s dig into Dunn a bit more. While no one loves Dunn, look at where his projections rank him in his position:
1) Projected at #1 for OF HR (38)
2) Projected at #3 for OF Runs (100)
3) Projected at #4 for OF RBI (100)

Compared to the other power positions (1B/3B), the average OF has lesser power numbers: 78/20/77 vs. 1B’s 85/28/95 and 3B’s 85/25/90. So our point shares system likes Dunn a lot for those three categories. It would value him less if he was a 1B/3B, more if he played 2B/SS/C.

Now if he hit .300, I think he’d go in the 2nd round. He’s projected to hit in the .250 – .260 range. Not good since we’ve got the average 12 team BA at .282. His walks help because he’s slated only for 500-550 AB vs. 600-650 AB. The Point Shares takes all this into account and basically says that his crappy average neutralizes his Runs or RBI advantage (BA is -1.5, RBI is +1.5). So an OF hitting .260 with 100 RBIs and an OF hitting .282 with 77 RBIs are worth the same points on an average team (note: for comparison’s sake, universally loved OFs like Granderson and Sizemore are set to hit about 77 RBIs and only hit .275. their RBI + AVG point shares equal 0 and -0.4 respectively)

So Dunn’s remaining two category advantage and not awful 7 SBs still give him overall positive value. I’d take the Point Shares rank at face value and say he’s worthy of a 4th round pick in a 10 team or 12 team league – particularly if a team drafted speed or a pitcher in the first three and needs to compensate on power. His batting average is a drag but it’s an overrated drag. Yes, a switch to Ichiro would give you an estimated swing of 3.6 points in AVG but you’d also lose 3 points in RBI and 4.2 points in HR (surprisingly, SBs don’t make up this dramatic difference…hence, Ichiro barely makes the top 100 in player rater and is our consensus worst 2nd round pick).

Not sure if this fully answered your question but hope it shed more light on why Dunn does well on Point Shares and why he might end up on more than one of my teams.

Regarding replacement value, I decided to stop using them with our 2008 Player Rater and stick to position averages (making average player stat = 0 vs. replacement player stat = 0). My reasoning is that replacement player stats regress to a similar mean, exacerbated by disproportionate slotting of 1B/3B/OF in the UTIL slot. So the replacement player at every position looks about the same. I think this is misleading as a 1B/3B/OF with that average stat line hurts your team vs. competition more than a 2B/SS/C. By using average, it gives you a better indication that Figgins KILLS a team at 3B (think of the HR/RBI difference vs. teams w/ A-Rod, Wright, Braun, Cabrera, A-Ram, and Atkins) but is pretty valuable as a 2B.

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  2. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
    (link)

    I think the same argument can be made for Dunn, Andruw Jones or Pat Burrell… Three capable guys who hit the ball far if they ever make contact with it and will probably hover around .260 if they’re lucky. I’d say that if you’re thinking of taking an OF with the 62nd pick, you might as well take a Hart/Victorino-type and wait until 100 or so to grab Burrell.

  3. My concern with Andruw Jones and Pat Burrell is that they aren’t as reliable as Dunn for R/HR/RBI and they are both a bit older.

    So I wouldn’t want either as my first two OFs but I’d consider them if they stayed on the board too long…

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