Now it’s time for everyone’s favorite game, Fantasy Baseball, Fun With Numbers.  Ding, ding, ding… Bassoon… Triangle!  Triangle!  Triangle!  Cow bell!  More cow bell!  One last ding.  In today’s installment of Fantasy Baseball, Fun With Numbers, we’re going to look at some hitters and try to figure out if maybe the numbers tell a different story than their names tell.  Anyway, here’s the latest in Fantasy Baseball, Fun With Numbers:

Player A – In 241 Post-All-Star ABs, 40/12/33/.232
Player B – In 190 Post-All-Star ABs, 35/12/30/.316

Player A is Raul Ibanez, Player B is J.D. Drew.  This doesn’t negate everything I’ve said about Ibanez, but it’s a heads up for Drew late in deep leagues.

Player A – In 255 Post-All-Star ABs, 41/10/39/.298/6
Player B – In 300 Post-All-Star ABs, 33/13/45/.290/1

Player A is Ben Zobrist, Player B is Jose Lopez.  Sure, Zorilla also birthed Siamese Twins in August with his extra position eligibility, but Zobrist is being drafted 70 spots before Lopez.

Player A – Over the season, 28.9 K% and a .360 BABIP.
Player B – Over the season, 21.7 K% and a .222 BABIP.

Player A is Brad Hawpe, Player B is Jay Bruce.  One should play the lottery, one should not.

Player A – In 608 ABs, 78/21/93/.301/1
Player B – In 314 ABs, 45/21/44/.293/10

Player A is Billy Butler, Player B is Garrett Jones.  Aw, now I’m just picking on Moobler.

Player A – In 283 Post-All-Star ABs, 41/2/21/.254/18
Player B – In 243 Post-All-Star ABs, 37/3/25/.280/17

Player A is Everth Cabrera, Player B is Elvis Andrus.  Eight rounds after Andrus, I’d take the average hit.

Player A – In 267 Post-All-Star ABs, 48/9/45/.273/11
Player B – In 284 Post-All-Star ABs, 43/8/33/.271/11

Player A is Bobby Abreu, Player B is Franklin Gutierrez.  If Abreu loses a step in 2010, he might fall far in the 2011 rankings.

Player A – In 233 Post-All-Star ABs, 29/11/33/.262/5
Player B – In 231 Post-All-Star ABs, 32/10/34/.255/0

Player A is Will Venable, Player B is Manny Ramirez.  Zoinks!

  1. Eddy says:

    Great post, these actually come in useful late in the season!

    One notorious player known for his post All-star awesomeness is Bronson Arroyo.

    Do you think an after-the-break Haren compares?

  2. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Eddy: Arroyo’s the anti-Haren, for sure.

  3. Ben the M says:

    Great post sir!

    Just got an interesting keeper offer.

    20 team mix league 5×5 scoring. 6 keepers with no penalty for who is taken where (first 6 rounds get your 6 keepers).

    I was offered Ryan Zimmerman and Matt Holliday for Mark Reynolds, Nick Markakis and Adam Wainwright.

    My other keepers are Miguel Cabrera, Joey Votto, Felix & Greinke – Wainwright wouldn’t make my team as of right now, but could possibly net me an upgraded pick if I dealt him individually.

    Is the small upgrade of Reynolds to Zimmerman and Larger upgrade of Markakis to Holliday (but you give up something in age) worth Wainwright?

  4. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Ben the M: I’d want the Zimmerman side there.

  5. Nate Marcum says:

    I love this type of article…very interesting when put into perspective.

    I have another question though..How much validity/weight do you give the projections at MDC? I would love to say…”ahhh, those aren’t close, no way will I finish 8th with this team”. So let me ask where I would stand.
    BJ Upton
    Alcides Escobar
    Ian Stewart
    Travis Snider

  6. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Nate Marcum: I don’t even know where the MDC projections are, so I guess I don’t give them much validity. Anyway, that’s an 8th place finishing team. Joking. You have a good balance on hitting. I like all of the guys that are 20+ homer, 10+ steal threats and Alcides is a nice endgame flier. Your pitching has a good half with Lester and Hamels and nice fliers later. I like your team.

  7. Nate Marcum says:

    @Grey: Thanks…the projections actually had me finishing last. HA! In reality though, the projections still have Beltran among others will full season projections.

    I am just freaking out because I am actually participating in the NFBC this year because its in St.Louis. Finally! If I could draft a team like this, I would be pretty happy as well.

    Thanks again.

  8. weas says:

    Hey Grey, what about Rajai Davis?

    Post ASB:

    Player A: 253 AB/38 R/29 RBI/16 SB/.300 AVG/.831 OPS
    Player B: 291 AB/47 R/31 RBI/30 SB/.306 AVG/.796 OPS
    Player C: 277 AB/46 R/42 RBI/30 SB/.325 AVG/.823 OPS

    In order:

    Carl Crawford (16 ADP)
    Jacoby Ellsbury (19 ADP)
    Rajai Davis (164 ADP)

    Rajai doesn’t seem all that different than these two guys being taken 150 spots earlier.

  9. weas says:

    Hurrrr I left off HRs, personally I wouldn’t draft a guy 150 spots earlier for 6 more HRs.

    Crawford: 7
    Ellsbury: 3
    Davis: 1

  10. Steve says:

    Grey – this probably belongs in the previous post, but whatevs.

    I know you’re as a rule drafting on value as it presents itself, but am I right in thinking that 2010 Grey is a little more willing to look a pitching a little earlier than the 2008 or 2009 vintages?

    And the Cliff Lee selection – could you see youself doing that under normal drafting circumstances?

  11. Freak says:

    So here’s the question.

    Who’s Will Venable?

  12. Grey

    Grey says:

    @weas: Wow, that’s a great one! Nicely done.

    @Steve: I could see myself taking Cliff Lee and that previous post draft is a bit a symptom of my rankings. Lee seems to go earlier than I have him and Hamels seems to be going later than I have him ranked, so if I might take Hamels in the 8th and Cain in the 10th in a real draft. I was taking Peavy in the 4th round last year, so I don’t know if it’s earlier.

  13. Steve says:

    @Grey: That’s true – so was I.

    My bad – it’s obviously just you valuing different pitchers differently from year to year.

  14. royce! says:

    @Nate Marcum: The projections for MDC are wrong. They seem to be very ESPN-ish. Or maybe CBS-ish. For example, in my last MDC mock the projected winner’s first 10 picks were: Fielder, Reynolds, V Mart, Haren, Jeter, Carpenter, McCutchen, Adam Jones, Cain, and Andrew Bailey. If all of these players perform as well or better in 2010 as they did in 2009, then sure, this is a championship team. But I don’t think that anyone that regularly reads this site would think that’s gonna happen.

  15. Tony says:

    @Nate Marcum: I think MDC projections are a joke. How can you project how a team would finish in a year? How can they account for what Mark Reynolds did last year? YA KNOW WHAT I”M SAYING….

    Take them with a grain of salt.

  16. Eddy says:

    If you ask me, MDC weighs its projections based on 2009 stats and NOT 2010. I used to pay attention to it but now I just use it for a good laugh when I see who 1st place has on his team.
    You have Pence projected to out-produce Adam Jones in almost every category for 2010 yet Pence is about 15 spots lower. Is this because Pence is over on his stats and Jones is under?

    And for the sake of throwing out stats here’s the Haren and Arroyo comparison post all-star break.

    Haren: 5-5/4.62/1.25/ 94 K
    Arroyo: 6-5/2.24/1.04/68 K

  17. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Eddy: Don’t need to convince me on Haren and Arroyo. I like Jones’s upside a bit more.

  18. nate marcum says:

    @royce!: @Tony: @Simply Fred:

    Thanks a lot fellas! I just really get sick of reading the other mockers’ comments about how they “dominated” with a bunch of schmohawks on their team.

    On another note….Anybody going to be at the NFBC draft in St.Louis?

  19. Steve says:

    @Grey: Would you still draft Haren in the right spot (some time in the 5th?)? Or are you sick of his Jekyll and Hyde act?

  20. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: I’d draft him in the 5th-6th round, but I’d trade him for someone (Arroyo?) in July. Only half joking about Arroyo.

  21. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    ALL: Just take me out back and shoot me. I convinced Lou to add my ranking box to the War Room. I found an error in it (wasn’t calc’ing SB in totals). It is now fixed. Again, this box is limited to 12-teamers. If you want to see your 12-teamer ranked correctly via Grey’s, you will need to download version IV again.

    My apologies to Lou, Grey, and Razzballers for my slipshod work and any inconvenience to you.

  22. Steve says:

    @Grey: Yeah – was gonna say latter half of the 5th or sneaking into the 6th, given where you have ranked him.

    Yeah #2 – you need to pick your time and target if you’re a Haren owner. Even at the ASB last year I couldn’t give him away in a league where I doubt most knew of his 2nd half lame-ness.

  23. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @Simply Fred: None of this impacts Lou’s work. Only the ranking box.

  24. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @Simply Fred: If you know spreadsheets, you can just look at the top cell in “tot” and add the missing column, then copy down that column. That will auto re-calc anything you have loaded already.

  25. How do you feel about aybar vs izturis for 2010?

    I am most likely punting SS is my keepers league and am exploring any and all SS options.

    Do you think either player warrants full time status in a 12 team league 5×5 where only 12 SS will be drafted?

  26. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    @Simply Fred: What a royal pain. When I make the changes to the War Room it appears to save, but does not. I will send the update to Lou. He will have to load the corrected ranking table to the War Room.

    You may never hear from me again. :-(

  27. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:

    War Room IV (Grey’s) has been updated with the correct ranking table. No, other changes.

  28. Atomic says:

    Add this line to your 2nd basemen, post all-star game comparison: 50/11/32/.246/14 -> Chase Utley. Interestingly, last year I drafted Lopez, got bored and picked up Weeks, who got hurt, then I traded for Utley and picked up Zobrist off waivers, and went on to finish in 1st. I got Utley and Zobrist at about the same time in June, and from then on, those 2 guys were about even in most categories.

  29. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Atomic: Yeah, I saw the Utley line post-ASB, but I didn’t think it was wise to infer to people to ignore Utley for Jose Lopez.

  30. Rabbit says:

    So this question doesn’t totally fit in with the theme of this post, but I figure starting with a disclaimer gives me carte blanche to ask about whatever I want…

    On advice of other Razzballers I have started to poke around in stats that Fangraphs offer, particularly under the “Advanced” tab (I now consider myself “Advanced”). For pitching, I have become enamored of the xFIP stat, or expected Fielding-Independent Pitching (as I understand it, this stat takes a pitcher’s FIP and normalizes the HR rate). Does it make sense to use a pitcher’s xFIP in the preceding year or two as the starting point for predicting the pitcher’s upcoming success this year, taking into account any obvious external differences (e.g., injuries, change in team/league, etc.)? Is there a pitching stat that others prefer to use as the basis for predicting, or maybe use in cinjunction with xFIP? Is xFIP really better than FIP?

    After six years of doing this fantasy baseball think I am finally trying to figure some stuff out…

  31. royce! says:

    @Rabbit: Makes sense to me, but I don’t know how valuable it would be bc I don’t know how variable swings in HR/FB rates are. It does seem that with newer good pitchers (felix, lincecum, etc, et al), HR/FB rates trend downwards in their first few years. The part of me that likes tidy stories wants to think that this is because as these pitchers mature, they don’t make stupid pitches as often. I’m not sure how the math dudes explain this. If they can’t do so convincingly, I’d say stick with FIP.

  32. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Rabbit: Nice segueway into your comment. xFIP does normalize HR/FB. I think normalizing makes better sense in the big picture. HR/FB rates can a huge variable. Specifically, there’s probably pitchers who can fight the variable, like royce! mentioned. I tend to look at xFIP, FIP, K/9, BB/9 and HR/FB. If those things add up if my head, I stop. If there’s something puzzling, I’ll look at GBs, FBs and LDs.

    re: how many years, I think it’s the same as any stat, the bigger the sample size, the better. If you see outliers between three years, you have to take those things into account.

    You’ll be happy to know tomorrow’s post deals specifically with how to evaluate certain pitchers.

  33. Atomic says:

    @Grey: Sure thing. It just caught my eye as all those guys were on my team last year. Also surprised me with Utley in that you usually think of him as a big power hitter who hits .300, but at least in the 2nd half last year he was more of a runs/steals guy. Of course the lesson to learn here is that in fantasy baseball even plan C can work out for you and there is more than one path to the top of the standings. Just keep on tryin’.

  34. Eddy says:

    Cant wait for tomorrow’s post because upon reading Rabbit’s comment I dug into fangraphs for a while and man, that is some tough jargon to take in in 30 minutes.

    But on that same note, I was looking at Derek Holland’s minor league numbers on their site. I was surprised to say the least. In A-, A, A+, and AA ball, he had a K/9 of 11.15, 8.74, 10.74, and 10.04 respectively. This in a combined 217.2 IP. His MLB was in the low 6, but what can you expect from kid who pitched in low A ball a couple of years ago?

    So would he be a better late round flier than say a Homer Bailey, Masterson, or Lilly?

  35. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Eddy: He’s going to be an exciting name to look at in Spring Training. Right now, I don’t see him having any value in a preseason draft outside of AL-Only leagues. If he looks good in the preseason though, I’ll definitely be talking about him.

  36. Pops says:

    @ Grey: I’m watching Verducci on the MLB Network. Are you going to post something on risky pitchers for 2010? That article was very helpful last year.

  37. Steve says:

    @Grey: Whoa – get a load of the maths guy!

  38. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Pops: It’s actually coming tomorrow.

    @Steve: Hehe

  39. Keith says:

    Okay I’m in a standard format keeper league with 8 keepers. I have Fielder, Utley, Bartlett, Braun, Victorino, Blanks, McCann and Cliff Lee. I was offered a deal Fielder and my 1st round pick (10th overall) for Chris Davis, Ethier (who would replace Blanks) and the 1st overall pick which would be Strasburg.

    Is that a deal you would make?

  40. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Keith: I’d do it.

  41. Keith says:

    If I took the deal above I would also be offered a deal of Lind, Adam Jones and the 11th pick for the 1st overall pick.

    So basically I could turn Fielder into Davis, Ethier, Lind and Jones and move back 1 spot.

    I guess I talked myself into this one.

  42. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Keith: Yeah, I’d do that too. Nice stacking of keepers.

  43. Keith says:

    Damn it I know what I have to do but wow this is gonna hurt. I picked Fielder up 4 years ago and he’s like “my guy” but the math works out.

    I just don’t trust Davis.

  44. CocoPoolies says:

    6×5 (+OPS), ten team

    Ethier and Hill or Zobrist for Rollins?

  45. Grey

    Grey says:

    @CocoPoolies: I’d want Rollins, I’d give Zobrist.

  46. CocoPoolies says:

    @Grey: Would you still make the deal if I had to include Bay instead of Ethier?

  47. matthole says:

    For what its worth he mentioned that Johnson should be okay since hes a big guy in stature and is on the older side. Says F-Her could be in trouble too bc he also has added IPs bc of WBC too.

  48. Wyatt says:


    I like to go Braun in the first round followed by Crawford late in the 2nd round. I’ve been reading up lately and found that maybe taking Reyes instead of Crawford in that position could be a better fit considering his SS eligibility, i’ve read your projections on Reyes this year, but given the oppurtunity haven already take Braun in the First round, who would you take late 2nd?

  49. majortommy says:

    Grey, loved the Hawpe<Bruce comparison! You ever see the Rockies giving Seth Smith the job over Hawpe? The dude can rake. My fear is the Rockies like his bat off the bench too much to make the switch.

  50. Grey

    Grey says:

    @CocoPoolies: Nah

    @Pat: Yeah, inauspicious.

    @Wyatt: Reyes is slightly over Crawford.

    @majortommy: I think Hawpe has to get traded one of these days and Smith takes over.

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