In 1847 in Self-Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson said “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”. He actually said more than that, but I have taken just those words. Did I just start out my fantasy baseball post with a partial Emerson quote about goblins?! For some reason I apparently have. In one of my preseason rants, I said something about consistency being key. I’d much rather have a hitter that scores about the same number of points each week, than one that is hit or miss. For example, over a five week span, I’d rather have my hitter get 20 points a week than have him score 5 the first week, 45 the second week, 5 week three, 5 week four and 40 in the fifth week. While the two 40-point weeks are awesome, the 5-point weeks are awful. That might now have been the best example, but I believe it sufficient enough to get my point across.
This is really an arbitrary stat, but it’s something I was playing around with, so I am using this forum to report my findings. I was trying to find hitters with the least variance in their weekly point totals. Using standard deviation on each player’s list of weekly tallies, here is what I discovered.
In a 12-team league where each teams start 10 batters, the average number of points per week for a batter is 15.05 points. I calculated this by taking the top 120 hitters (12 teams, 10 batters each) based on points, found each player’s weekly average and then averaged all of those averages together. That seems pretty average.
The average standard deviation for each of those player’s weekly totals was 9.01. I’m not even sure the average of a collection of standard deviations is even a valid mathematical value. But, nonetheless, I’m going with it. For what it’s worth the standard deviation of all weekly totals of the top 120 hitters is 9.35.
So for some unbeknownst mathematical reason I have decided to highlight the players that have averaged greater than 15.05 points per week and boast a standard deviation in weekly totals of less than 9. Here are the results:
Paul Goldschmidt should come as no surprise being on any “good” list. With 445 points (23.4 weekly average) he leads all hitters. 13 of his 19 weekly totals have been at least 20 points, and four of those have been greater than 30. Goldschmidt is certainly my pick for points league MVP. Only a few other hitters have a weekly average greater than 20. Those players are Anthony Rizzo (21.47), Bryce Harper (21), Miguel Cabrera (20.21), Wil Myers (20.2), Mike Trout (20.16), Nelson Cruz (20.11), and Jose Bautista (20). Pretty much a who’s who list of who’s awesome in points leagues. However, Goldschmidt is the only one of the group to officially make the cut in today’s analysis.
I am a big fan of the next two players on our list. Manny Machado (18.89) is going to be a star for the next many years. I’ve been praising him for most of this season and is a player I will definitely be targeting next year. And then there’s Buster Posey. Preseason I was shouting that he had first round value. I didn’t say you should pick him in the first round since he was going, on average, in the 4th. I suggested grabbing him before the 4th. I hope you took my advice. Posey has about 100 points more than the next catcher!
Of all qualifying hitters, Nori Aoki had the lowest variance in his weekly point totals at 5.7791
Then there are three names that are listed above that technically qualify, however they are not in the top 120 hitters in points. These players are Carlos Correa, Denard Span and Wil Myers. Myers unfortunately has been sidelined since week 5, but his totals in those first five weeks was pretty impressive (15, 20, 20, 24, 22). Talk about consistency. Span is another guy I was high on in points leagues in my preseason posts. He has always been a great points league asset. As for Carlos Correa, if you’ve reading my weekly posts, you will know that I love him.
Here’s another stat worthy of mention. 27 players, including Brock Holt, have had at least one week of at least 40 points. Of those 27, only five did it more than once. Those five are Nelson Cruz, Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson, Todd Frazier and Bryce Harper. Cruz is the only player to do it three times.
Tip of the week. If you are in a league where you set your lineups weekly, make sure you are not starting a pitcher that has a decent shot of having his start skipped to keep his innings count down…