If there’s one stat you will repeatedly find in my posts it’s “points per plate appearance”, commonly noted as PPPA. How many points does a batter get every time he steps into the batters box. I feel this is a very underrated stat in points leagues. To be honest, I’m not sure if many even given it a second thought or are even aware of this valuable stat. I find it a great indicator of a useful player, especially when browsing the waiver wire for potential fill ins or trying to decide between drafting one of two players.
It should come as no surprise to find that Bryce Harper had the highest PPPA (0.8547) of any qualified batter in the Major Leagues. And by “qualified” I mean they had at least 200 plate appearances. There were 353 batters that made the list. The average PPPA among all qualified batters was an abysmal 0.4928, but if we take just the top 100 batters the bar raises to 0.6368. The actual PPPA of the top 100 was 0.6423
Here are the top ten from last season:
Bryce Harper (0.8547)
Jose Bautista (0.8048)
Edwin Encarnacion (0.7980)
Josh Donaldson (0.7862)
Nolan Arenado (0.7774)
Paul Goldschmidt (0.7597)
David Ortiz (0.7540)
A.J. Pollock (0.7384)
Anthony Rizzo (0.7369)
Mark Teixeira (0.7316)
All but three of these players were likely candidates to be on this list heading into last season. Heck a few years ago and you could have added Ortiz and Teixeira to the that list of likely candidates. But at this point in their careers, a lot of the anticipated expectations have gone out the window. How do I gauge expectations? Three words. Average. Draft. Position. I’m wondering if I should have written that as “average, draft and position”. Never mind. A player’s ADP can tell us, on average, how the fantasy baseball community feels about a specific player.
Entering his age 40 season, David Ortiz has shown no signs of decline. As a matter of fact his numbers have steadily gotten better. He finished last season with 37 home runs and 108 runs batted in. His ADP of 93 made Ortiz an early 10th round steal in 10-team leagues and a late 8th round bargain in 12-teams. His PPPA of 0.7540 was 7th best in the league. Over the last three seasons, he has averaged 0.7867 which is the third best of any player over that three year span. Only Miguel Cabrera (0.7974) and Edwin Encarnacion (0.7953) were better. I wonder what Sloppy Papi has in store in his farewell season. 2016 buy
In recent years Mark Teixeira has become somewhat of a shoe in to hit the disabled list at least once a season. He has had more trips to the DL than Tim Lincecum has had to his pot dealer. Last season was no different for Tex. However, managing only 111 games and 462 plate appearances, he was still able to launch 31 home runs. Had he been able to stay healthy, it seems safe to say that he would have hit at least 40. With a PPPA of 0.7316, Tex slides into the ten spot. But I’m not sold. Over the last three seasons his PPPA is 0.6017 which seems a bit more Mark Teixeira to me than his 2015 numbers. 2016 sell
In many ways A.J. Pollack was last year’s fantasy baseball MVP. On average he was selected 166th. Considering he finished as a top ten batter, his value far outweighed his draft spot. I wish I could find out how many championship teams had Pollack on its roster. Mine did! He was one stolen base shy of the 20/40 club. Maybe it is true what they say about 27 year old baseball players. I think we are going to see similar numbers in 2016. How many Pollacks does it take to win a fantasy league? 2016 buy
Now let’s take a look at some players that had good PPPAs and favorable ADPs
Part of me wants to call this guy A.J. Pollack lite. His 0.6758 PPPA in his first full season gives fantasy owners reason to be intrigued. Betts is a 20/20 player, and I’m not talking about his vision. With an ADP of 144 he was actually drafted about two rounds earlier than A.J. Pollack in the the majority of 2015 drafts. His top 20 finish among batters in his first full season makes him a guy I will be keeping a close eye on. Speaking of Mookies, happy 60th birthday to Mookie Wilson! I am pretty sure he is a Razzball regular reader. 2016 buy
Sporting an ADP of 233, Lorenzo Cain was likely one of the biggest successes plucked from the waiver wire last season. He ended the season with 16 homers, 72 ribbies and 28 stolen bases. He was a poor man’s A.J. Pollack. With a great team around him, if he can stay healthy I think can repeat this 2015 performance and 0.6837 PPPA. Cain and able! 2016 maybe
If you are looking for 20 something home runs and about 90 RBIs, then Kendrys is your man. If we ignore his injury shortened seasons (2014, 2011, 2010), here are his average stats. 25 homers, 91 runs batted in, 46 walks, 73 runs scored, 386 fantasy points and a 0.645 PPPA. While that PPPA is only slightly above average as compared to 2015 top 100 batters, it puts Morales right about top 40. In a 10-team league that makes him a starter. For comparison purposes here are some similar 2015 player results. Ryan Braun (389 points, 0.684 PPPA), Shin-Soo Choo (384, 0.570), Robinson Cano (378, 0.560), Jason Heyward (370, 0.606) and Dee Gordon (370, 0.566). Go ahead and tell me he’s not worth owning. 2016 buy
This is the player I am most proud of drafting in every league. With an ADP of 165 I scooped him up in the 13th round in all of my 10-team leagues to make sure I got him. Besting my projections, Hosmer finished the season with 429 points and 0.6431 points per plate appearance, making him the 6th ranked first basemen in points leagues. That’s saying a lot considering his position. Overall he was a top 25 bat. Not too shabby for a 13th rounder. Not too shabby at all. If you switch the letters of his last name around by moving the “s” to the end, you get “homers”. 2016 buy
Those who drafted Robinson Cano in the 2nd or 3rd round realized it was time to panic about two months into the season. What about those that drafted Dustin Pedroia around his ADP of 88? Pedroia is actually a much better player to compare with Panik. In 425 plate appearances Dustin scored 248 points (0.5835). In 432 plate appearance Joe scored 276 points (0.6388). Advantage Panik. Oh yeah, let’s not forget that Panik went largely undrafted in most leagues with an ADP of 232. Here’s an interesting fact I stumbled across while doing my Joe Panik homework, he was best 0-2 hitter in the league. 2016 buy (if healthy)
Starting with 2011 here are Mike’s yearly PPPAs. 2011 (0.397), 2012 (0.477), 2013 (0.383), 2014 (0.430) and 2015 (0.646). One of these values in not like the other ones. Is Moustakas finally coming into his own? Or was this boost the benefit of being part of a great team? Perhaps a little bit of both? The main reason he makes this list is because of his 246 average draft position. Considering he finished the season as a top ten 3B, he deserves some attention. In case you haven’t noticed, he’s also the fourth Royal in the list. Coincidence? Moose taco’s 397 points were only 8 less than Todd Frazier. Frazier had an ADP of 73 and a PPPA of 0.5973. 2016 maybe
Here are a few players with similar PPPA as Russell Martin (0.619). Jose Abreu (0.616), Matt Carpenter (0.625), Jason Heyward (0.606) and Ian Kinsler (0.605). Here’s a big difference. Martin had an ADP of 200, making him a catcher teams grabbed as they scraped the bottom of the barrel towards the end of the draft. Abreu went in the 2nd round, Carpenter in the 10th, Heyward in the 8th and Kinsler in the 7th. As part of the offensively potent lineup in Toronto, Martin has every opportunity to produce runs. 2016 maybe.
Disclaimer: This post focuses on head-to-head points leagues.
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