A Deep Impact series post this early in the preseason? Where I’m from, they call that Immediate Impact. HURRRR. Though… it’s hard to top my meow usage above, even with such a strong opener. Except maybe for the content of this post? Question mark, because I’m not sure what format you play in. Hint: If your league has a constitution longer than a college thesis on the European textile industry and its effect on the French bourgeoisie, well then, you’re probably in the right place. We’re here to take a short ‘n sweet look at some uncommon scoring categories that dynasty/deep leagues might use commonly. The fantasy laymen might ask why we would create such devilish inventions… and that’d be fine, because we seriously have no clue. Because it’s fun? Question mark, because it’s only fun if you know how to win with these cats. And it fits the lede’s theme. And that’s what I’m here to help you with. Theming? No. I mean, sorta. But yeah. About those cats…
Note: Football may be over, but we still have a great podcast series going into the offseason, along with NFL Draft content coming out soon. Join us?
On-base Percentage or On-base plus Slugging (OBP/OPS)
On-base percentage, and, as an accessory, OPS are becoming more common as the stat itself is finding a wide-birth in the mainstream of the MLB. I won’t spend too much time, since the stat itself is pretty easy to find on player pages, and all of you know exactly what they mean and how to utilize them. (In fact, our very own Phil B. covers OPS Leagues. Go check him out!) The one thing I will say is to always make sure and use OBP to your advantage. In that, create a balance. If you draft a Pedro Alvarez, why not draft someone like Dexter Fowler? That would net you a little pop at two positions where offense can get weird real fast, and you’re netting a combined .340-ish OBP… not too shabby.
Total Bases (TB)
I’ve come to love this scoring category, because on face value, good players are still good. I mean, you’re still going to want to draft Mike Trout and Bryce Harper first. But as you move away from the elite, you’d be surprised at how this category, moreso than any other, can reward a perceptive eye. Or eyes, if you’re not a pirate. Especially if there isn’t a Home Run or SLG cat, which is quite normal if your league uses TB. To illuminate my point, take a look at the table below, describing certain elements from certain players from the certain 2013 season. So much certainty! You should probably do it with a lamp on or something as well, to actually create the ‘illuminate’ effect Full immersion folks.
Note: I know this is old school data, but there’s a reason for it, and that’s because I took a championship back in 2013 because of delving deeper into the cat’s like we’re doing now.
So, there we are. First, let me reveal who the two elite hitters were of this group several years back. Obviously, Player B wasn’t, but then it gets a little iffy. Player A was none other than Robinson Cano. Player C was one of the top corners of the game for quite a while, and that’s Evan Longoria. Not to be confused with Eva Longoria, because, why would you? Cano, there’s no argument, he was a top-25 player in any format around this time. Evan Longoria, you could make the argument that he was a 1st Round talent “some years”, but I’m more comfortable slotting him in the 2nd or 3rd round tier for this exercise. Still, pretty valuable. You look at those two guys, and yeah, they were some of the best at their position, and we’d all be happy to have them on our teams. And this is where the Total Bases category can be taken advantage of.
Player B was Matt Carpenter. Now, Carpenter is a mighty fine player, and we might have already seen his peak in 2015, but look at those numbers again from 2013. If your league counts TB instead of HR and SLG, he was basically only 11 TB’s from matching the best keystone player in the game. Yes, this doesn’t include Runs and RBI’s, etc., but that’s not the point here. Look at the price difference around this time, and you’ll start realizing that if you research mid-tier guys, you can literally study your competition into the ground. Lest we forget that Hunter Pence is Player D. A fine player himself, but certainly no Evan Longoria. I would estimate that there would be at least a three-five round difference in their draft positions.
Stolen Bases minus Caught Stealing (SB – CS)
This cat is a bit harder than the others, simply because there’s so much probability involved as speed is usually dictated by lineup designs and a team’s coaching philosophy. I personally like to sprinkling my team with speed all around… think of the Brett Gardner’s or Gregory Poloanco’s of the world. Don’t forget about speed, but get something else with it. In this case, a little bit of power or OBP (in Gardner’s case).
Win’s plus Quality Starts (W+QS)
Another category that’s tough to peg (that’s what she said), you not only have to find pitchers that throw more than six innings on a regular basis, but ones that also have a chance of actually putting up six quality innings. I don’t pretend to have a secret formula here, but I do take into my process pitchers whose teams have a solid chance at being at least somewhat win positive, and/or have a pretty solid offense. Wins are a useless stat in any format, at least in terms of projections, so the lesson here is just keep doing what you were doing during the draft, but keep your targets painted on pitchers that show a tendency to go deep into games and a team that can score more than three runs a game. (RIP Padres.)
Two times Saves plus Holds (2*S+HLD)
I’m sure Smokey has nothing but positive things to say about this cat, and you’ll find me right behind him on the hype train. I’m not the biggest fan of saves in fantasy baseball, but adding value to middle relievers is a great concept to include a more robust strategy to gain points. In that regard, also do what Smokey says, and that’s target high-K/high-leverage relievers. My personal combination are to get two middle tier closers, say someone like Santiago Casilla or Jeanmar Gomez, just someone who falls a bit in the draft and just provides saves, and then I balance that out (remember the balance!) with guys like a Jason Grilli or Tyler Thornburg.
This is obviously a post that could go on forever with so many variations of how leagues are set up, but the overall point here is to look deeper in your deep leagues. Hey, sometimes the most obvious things should be reexamined. Just like your mother.
I have no idea what that means.
Want more of the Jay? Don’t we all folks? Don’t. We. All. Well, you, in fact, can have more. AMAZING. I know. You can find Jay enjoying his dig’s over at the Football side of Razz.