From being a consumer of Razzball for a few years, I’m sure many of you already know about OBP or On-Base Percentage league(s). Chances are, if you’re playing in an OBP league, you’re playing with some seasoned teams. The metric has eased into MLB broadcasts and has become an important measurement as to a players overall worth, more so than batting average. However, the player gets on first, whether he leaves the bat on his shoulder or gets plunked, the idea is, it’s just the same as a base knock. If you play in competitive leagues, I advocate changing from AVG to OBP. For me, it increased my understanding of different players who didn’t always get the recognition but are valuable to their teams.

One of the positions where the OBP skill is most helpful is catcher (think Scott Hatteberg in the book/movie “Moneyball”). Successful catchers often fall into two categories; someone who can hit well, but isn’t athletic (Devin Mesoraco), or an elite hitter who can manage the position in his prime and then transition out to 1st base or the OF (Buster Poseyor Joe Mauer). What both of those player types generally have in common is a great batting eye. In an OBP league, it helps to know the difference between the AVG. ranking, and the OBP ranking to pick up value at a difficult position to scout for.

Looking at a few metrics can find some values in the mid-late rounds if you do not secure a stud at catcher early. This chart below also highlights how much better Posey and  Carlos Santana are in an OBP format, they can provide .70-.80 point in OBP higher than the next tier and that’s significantly more than AVG. Using Grey’s Top-20 at catcher, here are players OBA, AVG, and OBA-AVG to demonstrate which catchers stand out the most. The stats are compiled over the last three years, and I would strongly encourage teams to always consider ancillary factors such as park adjustments (Derek Norris) or adjustment to major league pitching (looking at you Mike Zunino). The walk rate (BB %) is an important barometer as well, only elite contact hitters can manage a good OBP % with a poor BB%. So here are two mid round suggestions and two late round suggestions:

 

Mid-Round

Jonathan Lucroy 396 8.50% 0.297 0.359 0.062
Yadier Molina 384 6.60% 0.307 0.357 0.05

Lucroy the Jedi is coming off some monster years and is due for some regression, his power may sink some, but he has a great OBP and should sustain worth if he falls in your draft due to that (monitor his sore hamstring in Spring Training, but he should be good to go) .

Molina must demonstrate health in spring training, but if he does so, should be worth what you’ll pay for him in a mid to late round slot.

 

Late rounds

Russell Martin 371 11.70% 0.241 0.345 0.104
Miguel Montero 393 11.20% 0.254 0.348 0.094

Martin and Montero both have been picked up on the open market, Martin finds himself in hitter friendly Toronto, and Montero in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field in Chicago. Both have excellent walk rates and should produce for what you will need to invest. A full look at OBP-AV in the context of Grey’s top 20 catchers in the last 3 seasons below and until next time, good luck drafting Razzballers.

 

2012-2014 MLB

Name G BB% AVG OBP OB-AV
Carlos Santana 449 15.50% 0.25 0.369 0.119
Buster Posey 443 9.70% 0.314 0.381 0.067
Evan Gattis 213 5.50% 0.253 0.304 0.051
Yan Gomes 266 5.00% 0.275 0.318 0.043
Devin Mesoraco 271 8.40% 0.249 0.32 0.071
Salvador Perez 364 3.80% 0.28 0.31 0.03
Wilin Rosario 344 4.80% 0.277 0.311 0.034
Matt Wieters 318 8.50% 0.248 0.311 0.063
Wilson Ramos 191 5.80% 0.269 0.309 0.04
Jonathan Lucroy 396 8.50% 0.297 0.359 0.062
Yadier Molina 384 6.60% 0.307 0.357 0.05
Travis d’Arnaud 139 8.30% 0.233 0.299 0.066
Mike Zunino 183 4.90% 0.203 0.265 0.062
Yasmani Grandal 216 13.80% 0.245 0.35 0.105
Hank Conger 179 7.40% 0.232 0.299 0.067
Russell Martin 371 11.70% 0.241 0.345 0.104
Miguel Montero 393 11.20% 0.254 0.348 0.094
Robinson Chirinos 106 5.20% 0.234 0.286 0.052
Brian McCann 363 8.10% 0.238 0.305 0.067
Derek Norris 285 11.40% 0.246 0.336 0.09

 

 

 
  1. Wake Up says:
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    Buddy Guy and Junior Wells is some of my favorite blues to listen to…as well as, Lightnin acoustic from TX…and of course, Taj Mahal…

    No need to change from AVG to OBP though, just as I’ve been advocating here for years, IMO
    AVG + OPS is the best option…gives you the true triple slash that everyone references all the time…AVG/OBP/SLG

    Just like you shouldn’t replace W with QS…you should have W + QS…same idea, the truest representation of skill for your league. 6×6 add QS and OPS.

    Enjoying your stuff so far Mr. Blues…

    • Blues

      Blues says:
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      @Wake Up: Was fortunate enough to meet Junior Wells at a young age and Buddy tipped a cap to his memory when I seen him last year, thought was cool tribute to an old friend.

      I agree with Avg + OPS since it bakes in SLG and OBP – we use OP and SLG to replace HR and Avg. and I think both ways (what you mention above and what I play) both capture those advanced hitting metrics.

      Thanks for compliment Wake Up, means a lot and look forward to contributing more.

      • Shalacken says:
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        This is my first year in an ave and OPS league. I use .274 for an average draft goal when forming a team in a normal league. What is a good number to shoot for as an average OPS while drafting?

        • Blues

          Blues says:
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          @Shalacken: Good question Shalacken, elite OPS is 1.000 (Tulowitzski before injury last year, Cabrera 2013), .900 1.000 is awesome (Puig 2013, Braun 2012, Rizzo 2014, Staton 2012, 2014), .800-.900 is still a huge impact (Puig, 2014, Braun 2013, Longoria 2013), and .750-.800 is above average (Arcia 2014, Khris Davis 2014)…

          • Shalacken says:
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            Thanks for the info, but my question was more directed at year end team statistics. What kind of OPS would I be looking at to get 12, 11, 10, 9 roto points in a twelve team league?

            • Wake Up says:
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              @Shalacken:
              League AVG is around .320OBP /.400 SLG / .720 OPS
              adjust from there…

            • Blues

              Blues says:
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              @Shalacken: Shalacken, my league has 13-14 offensive starters so these numbers may be watered down compared to your league if you have less team.

              Last year .791 (12), .778 (11), .767 (10) – .757-.755 was when you got into the middle. I’d adjust up a little for less positional players. Maybe + .10 but hard to estimate.

  2. Dave says:
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    Santana doesn’t as of yet qualify at Catcher in ESPN leagues.

    Much to my chagrin as a Santana owner in a dynasty league… No other replacement catcher either, so he slides into my UTIL position. Could be worse, but man would I love for Santana to some how achieve C eligibility in ESPN this year! Don’t see it happening unfortunately….

    • Blues

      Blues says:
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      @Dave: I caught that an intended to update, Santana qualifies in weaker position eligibility leagues like Yahoo (11), but not ESPN or any leagues I play in. What an incredible hitting eye and I’m jealous of that keeper still.

    • Can you imagine..., the gallons of human spit says:
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      @Dave: he’s still a very valuable 3B.

  3. Matt says:
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    Better keeper in a weekly 6×6 roto league (OBP) assuming equal value each ($23) A.Wood with SP/RP eligibility or Chris Davis?

    • Matt says:
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      @Matt: and would this change if A.Wood was $18 and Davis remained $23

      • Blues

        Blues says:
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        @Matt: A 6’3 left multi-positional masher and a 6’4 lefty, tough one. I like Crush, even though he has a much lower floor than A Wood. May be your appetite for risk, but I like Crush although neither is a bargain at said price.

        • Matt says:
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          @Blues: exactly, none great bargains…nothing like deliberating over the last keeper slot..haha thanks for the input

          • Blues

            Blues says:
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            @Matt: I’m right there with you in a complete rebuilding mode. I tried not to be bias because Crush sank my offense so much last year.

            • Matt says:
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              @Blues: I’d expect a .240 avg with 30 homers 80 ribbies from him now that he has his ADHD med exemption

  4. Otto v B says:
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    Any chance you’ll do a position by position breakdown of which players are more valuable in OBP leagues? That’d be super cool. Thanks.

  5. J-FOH says:
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    Good stuff, welcome to the team

    • Blues

      Blues says:
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      @J-FOH: Thanks J-HOF, fun to be here. Much appreciated.

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