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.

David Ortiz

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

Mark Teixeira

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

A.J. Pollack

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

Mookie Betts

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

Lorenzo Cain

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

Kendrys Morales

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

Eric Hosmer

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

Joe Panik

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)

Mike Moustakas

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

Russell Martin

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.

With all of these Royals and Blue Jays standing out when it comes to points per plate appearance it’s no wonder they were the top two teams in the American League last season…

Complete 2015 Spreadsheet.

Disclaimer: This post focuses on head-to-head points leagues.

Follow me at @malamoney

   
    • malamoney says:
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      @FrankGrimes: Love the baba booeys!!!

      • zk says:
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        @malamoney: FOUR INCHES IS FINE

        • malamoney says:
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          @zk: ROBIN!!! (said in a Dr. Ruth voice)…

      • FrankGrimes says:
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        @malamoney: is

        I watched it Noine times

        • malamoney says:
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          @FrankGrimes: Is that Gary or Sour?

    • malamoney says:
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      @FrankGrimes: I’ve been listening to the Baba Booey 25 year specials on demand this week. The old shit cracks me up. The show was so much better in the 80s and 90s…

  1. Clint says:
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    Every time I read your take on points leagues, I feel like I’m gonna have to invert Grey’s rankings to fit h2h points formats efficiently. Feels SO different to me than roto even after playing in it for two years now but maybe I’m making more of it than there is?

    • malamoney says:
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      @Clint: There is definitely a fair difference in a player’s ranking/value between roto and H2H points leagues. Especially when you factor in leagues that subtract for strikeouts (which should be most of them). I will have my points leagues projections and rankings out in March…

  2. Chad says:
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    1. It’s Pollock

    2. This probably gives similar results, but what do you think about doing points per game to account for batters that have more plate appearances per game (those at the top of lineups or in high-scoring offenses)?

    For example, in 2015 Encarnacion had 4.27 PA/G while Donaldson had 4.5 PA/G… So even though Encarnacion was better than Donaldson in PPPA, he was worse on a PPG basis (Donaldson 3.54 PPG vs. Encarnacion 3.41 PPG)

    • malamoney says:
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      @Chad: I will be discussing points per game in a near future post. As well as points per start for pitchers…

  3. B says:
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    Pardon my ignorance, but how do you come up with those values? What goes into the calculation?

    • malamoney says:
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      @B: Fantasy points scored divided by number of plate appearances…

      • B says:
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        @malamoney:

        But how do you calculate fantasy points? e.g. Runs x 1, HR x 4 etc.? I would assume there isn’t one standard type of points league and not everyone who reads this post knows how the values are calculated. This information should be provided in the introduction of each post so readers know what you are using.

        • malamoney says:
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          @B: You are correct. I actually did that last year and totally forgot to do so with post. Thanks for the reminder. The scoring system I use is:

          RUN (+1), RBI (+1), 1B (+1), 2B (+2), 3B (+3), HR (+4), BB (+1), KO (-1), HBP (+1), SB (+1), CS (-1), SF (+1)

          Also, going forward when I attach a spreadsheet, I will create it in a way that is easy for readers to change the point scoring system so that the spreadsheet automatically updates. When I get a chance today I will do that for this one and post a link. Good input B!

          • B says:
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            @malamoney:

            That’s great, thanks.

  4. Gus says:
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    Can I get a copy of the complete speadsheet? Great info I hadn’t considered!

    • malamoney says:
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      @Gus: It was supposed to be attached to the link at the bottom on the post, but I see that did not happen. I will get it fixed. Check back soon…

    • malamoney says:
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      @Gus: Should be good now…

  5. Lville Jim says:
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    I use the same system in my points league. After finding the averages I then determine if they are capable of repeating, bettering, or falling short of the previous years performance. It does come in handy when ranking players.

    • malamoney says:
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      @Lville Jim: Good stuff Jim! What averages?

      • Lville Jim says:
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        @malamoney: sorry, their pppa

        • malamoney says:
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          @Lville Jim: Gotcha. All good…

  6. Ante GALIC says:
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    Malomoney!

    This is solid gold, bro. Keep up the good work.

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • malamoney says:
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      @Ante GALIC: Thanks man! Lots more to come over the next many weeks and the course of the season…

  7. booya says:
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    This is a 10 team H2H 6×6 keeper league with OPS & K/9 as the extra categories. My keepers that I’ve decided on so far are: Rizzo, Stanton, Marte, Bautista, Votto, Rendon, Buxton, JFern, & Carrasco. On offense we start C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, MI, CI, 4 OF, 2 Util.

    Based on our point system I can add either Jacob deGrom to that list or a combination of any 3 of these other guys: Carlos Martinez, Stroman, Gausman, Billy Hamilton, Baez.

    I’m leaning towards deGrom but would love to hear what any of you think.

    Thanks all!

    • CMUTimmah says:
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      @booya: Carlos Martinez and DeGrom > Buxton IMO.

      Highly touted prospect, but SAGNOF. His power is below original projections, which weren’t lofty to begin with. He’s lost a lot of seasoning time due to injuries. I don’t see him being keeper worthy for a year or two IF he pans out. Send him back to the pond, and see if you can re-draft him.

      • booya says:
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        @CMUTimmah: Thanks Timmah. I actually get to keep Buxton for free, he qualifies as my 1 free prospect still.

        My decision is between deGrom OR any 3 of CMart, Stroman, Gausman, Hamilton, Baez…

    • malamoney says:
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      @booya: Definitely got to go with deGrom. If we were two years in the future, I might be saying Martinez, Stroman and Gausman, but today I choose deGrom hands down…

  8. Dude Just Wants His Rug Back says:
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    I’ve actually been using Points Per At Bat and Points Per Inning Pitched for about 10 years or so. The issue I was trying to solve when I came up with my system was valuing Hitters vs Pitchers. I was a novice fantasy baseballer (Grey’s Mom’s Term!) and as a result was not very good at draft prep. Also with our league being points based there was and is far less information available being that most industry info is Roto based.

    What would be the advantage/disadvantage to using AB vs PA and INN/P vs Game? I ran the averages for my league set up and the top 10 came out to:

    Bryce Harper LF | WAS
    Paul Goldschmidt 1B | ARI
    Jose Bautista RF | TOR
    Edwin Encarnacion 1B | TOR
    Josh Donaldson 3B | TOR
    Giancarlo Stanton RF | MIA
    Joey Votto 1B | CIN
    Corey Seager SS | LAD
    Mike Trout CF | LAA
    David Ortiz DH | BOS

    I will say that even though Razzball is mostly dedicated to Roto baseball it has helped me win a league championship and finish in the money several seasons in my points league. Just gotta draft a few pitchers earlier than is the gospel here. (somewhere Grey just got a cold chill and has no idea why….lol)

    • malamoney says:
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      @Dude Just Wants His Rug Back: At bats don’t account for walks, hit by pitches and sacrifices. Yet those categories often result in points for the batter. At least walks do. So using points per at bats doesn’t really give you an accurate result. For the most part the ordering of the players will be very near the same, but using plate appearances is more accurate. If your league does not award points for walks, hit by pitches or sacrifices, then using at-bats is equivalent.

      If you followed me last year I picked Clayton Kershaw as my top pick over Trout. I also had Scherzer and Felix as first rounders in points leagues. You will find my points league rankings to have pitchers higher than Grey’s roto rankings.

  9. Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
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    pts league. need 4 keepers, carrasco/posey/correa are easy. here’s settings:
    Singles (1B) 1 Doubles (2B) 2
    Triples (3B) 3 Home Runs (HR) 4
    Walks (BB) 1 Runs Scored (R) 1
    Runs Batted In (RBI) 1 Stolen Bases (SB) 2
    Strikeouts (K) -1 Extra Base Hits (XBH) 1
    Sacrifices (SAC) 1 Game Winning RBI (GWRBI) 1
    Hitting for the Cycle (CYC) 2 Grand Slam Home Runs (GSHR) 1
    Pitching
    Innings Pitched (IP) 1 Wins (W) 5
    Saves (SV) 5 Strikeouts (K) 1
    Shutouts (SO) 1 Holds (HD) 5
    Complete Games (CG) 3 Quality Starts (QS) 1
    No Hitters (NH) 10 Perfect Games (PG) 50

    this being the case do i keep (pts per game shown with from last year)
    schwarber (3)
    odor (2.7)
    ortiz (3.8)
    matz (15.4, carrasco’s was 16.5)
    stroman (17)
    iglesias (12.3)
    start 1 of each position with 1 util, 3 SP, 2 RP. 6 BN spots and at least 5 of these should be SP at any given time. SP are crazy valuable in this league.

    • malamoney says:
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      @Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey: If you didn’t have Posey the answer would be easy. It would be Schwarber. I need to think about it some more. It still might be Schwarber, but I have to weigh things out. I think Ortiz might score more points, but he done after this year.

      And anytime you find it necessary to use 5 of your 6 bench spots (83%) on pitchers that means that your scoring system is skewed and should be amended to even out the value of hitters and pitchers. But that’s obviously not going to happen this season. Just saying though.

      I will get back to you over the weekend…

      • Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
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        @malamoney: schwarber’s K’s and likely platooning loom as not great. Grey went Matz. last year i dealt with that as having either a 1B something else eligible guy as lone BN player and moving posey to C on schwarber off days. having 2 top 25 ish SP here sounds nice (and matz is young too). settings are screwy, but they likely ain’t getting changed either, i did pretty well exploiting these settings last year (streaming 1 spot 5.7/7ths of days, we get around 130 adds per year)

        • Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
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          @Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey: also, pretty sure Grey would say for standard leagues that 5/6 of BN slots are best used for SP (in H2H leagues), not just point leagues.

          • malamoney says:
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            @Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey: If you want the player that will score the most points in 2016 then it’s Ortiz. If you want a better longer term investment, it’s Schwarber or Odor. I guess since you have Posey, Odor might be the better option. If you want to keep an arm then I’d go with Stroman…

            • Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
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              @malamoney: good points (interesting on stroman over matz long term). steals worth +2 here (none against for caught) making odor better than in standard pts leagues. as far as strategic drafting it’s much more likely i could get back odor than schwarber in a draft (i’m sure his high ADP/overall ranking isn’t properly lowered by average espn drafters taking into account his high K’s). i came into this league in may or so last year, so i don’t know how much higher pitchers get drafted (they clearly should by league specs).

  10. Todd says:
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    Malamoney, what’s up!

    I asked Grey, but I need a second opinion. And you’re the points league guru.

    Two questions: I have six keepers. Five are Kershaw, Cole, Kluber, Arenado, Corey Seager. Should Keeper 6 be Cano, Puig, or Salazar? I know four pitchers is a lot, but I’m not sold on Cano or Puig.

    Second question: Another owner offered me Archer for Kluber straight up. Thoughts?

    Thanks!

    • malamoney says:
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      @Todd: What up Todd! It partially depends on your league’s scoring system, but most likely I am keeping Cano.

      I’d rather have Kluber…

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