The great Jeff Zimmerman (Fangraphs, The Process, etc.) recently revisited a topic that’s always ripe for debate: what kind of extra value does a multi-position player get, compared to those who only play one position? We can all agree that multi-position is better than single; quantifying that value, however, proves more difficult. A few years ago, Rudy assessed this briefly in his seminal piece, “Debunking Positional Scarcity“, and recommends adding a $1 for multi-position players.
Jeff’s article took a different approach: instead of measuring what a player’s value should be, he attempted to measure the actual impact in terms of draft cost. In other words, what premium does the market place on these players? Read the full piece; Jeff estimates ~$3.20 bump on average.
While I like the goal (understanding market premiums), Jeff’s methodology (comparing the draft cost of two similarly-projected players) was limited in scope. So I’ve set out to do additional analysis with the same goal: measuring the market premium of multi-position players.
I’ve always enjoyed good knock offs. Are those Mikes or Nikes? Why does the horse logo on your Polo shirt only have three legs? Some of my favorite were Dolce & Banana, Johnnie Worker Red Labial, Adidos, and Skerpie. In the baseball world, knock offs are prevalent as well. Sometimes intentional, as younger players try to pattern their games after another, but more often than not, players just end up profiling very similarly. Yulieski Gurriel (57.9% owned – increase of 12.7%) has always reminded me of Martin Prado – high batting average, high contact, limited power, and low strikeout hitter from the right side of the plate. For his career, Prado has a .290 batting average, 11.2% strikeout rate, 6.7% walk rate, and .129 ISO. Gurriel has a career .296 batting average, 10.6% strikeout rate, 3.9% walk rate, and .162 ISO. Yes, Yuli has slightly more power, but that’s not saying much. So, why is Yuli one of the highest-added players in ESPN leagues over the past week? Since July 1st, he has a seven-game hitting streak and is batting .367/.444/.667 with 2 home runs. The ISO is .300 and strikeout rate is at 13.9%. Yuli has value, as he will hit for a high average. Just like Mikes can allow you to walk around, but try playing in a tournament with those bad boys and…..TRASH
The American League West. Home to the defending World Series Champion Houston Astros. Home to the best player in baseball. Is that Mike Trout or Shohei Ohtani? Home to the team that has a need for speed, as the Seattle Mariners acquired Dee Gordon. Can some of that speed and “other stuff” be transferred to the arm of Felix Hernandez? Home to the only team that has had a Bush own the team, pitch for the team, and had, not one, but two POTUS’s. Or is it POTI? Home to the team with the second-lowest payroll in all of baseball. The Oakland Athletics are at $50.7 million for the 2018 season, while the Boston Red Sox have a $229.7 million payroll for the upcoming season. Ladies and gentlemen, the American League West.
Doh! A deer, a female deer and also what the Dodgers say. Ray, a drop of golden filth. Me, a name I call myself who owns J.D. Martinez and Robbie Ray. Fa, a long long way to run if a Bostonian is saying far. SO another name for strikeouts. LA is where the game took place. Ti I dribble down my face, when J.D. Martinez and Robbie Ray play. Yesterday, Ray went 7 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 3 hits, zero walks, 14 Ks, ERA down to 2.80. Robbie Ray is an ace. No matter how you slice that pecan pie, he’s an ace. No matter how you put that pancake batter on the skittle. No matter how you put whipped cream in my mouth. My God, I’m so hungry. Cougs has got me doing this Whole30 diet and I’m legit about to eat my hand. At Endorphin Ralph’s top 100 starters for this week, Ray’s ranked 6th. Can’t argue that, and last night he dunked all over the LA K’ers. Then, J.D. Martinez got my goosepimples all a-titter. He went 4-for-5, 6 RBIs with his 31st, 32nd, 33rd and 34th homer. Someone has to Just Dong, so who better than Just Dong? Who?! Sorry, I’m writing this wearing an owl costume. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
I’m going to break this down to you nice and simple like Minnie Pearl would’ve liked it. Guys that bust and you don’t want next year, you should be rooting for in the 2nd half. That’s guys that bust, not guys with a bust. Please, Billy Butler, stop pretending to lactate by dripping milk on your shirt. The reason you want them to succeed in August and September, because A) They’re prolly on teams that have checked out and are checking on our fantasy football content (Football RCLs sign up today; smooth transition), so no harm, no foul. B) You want people to get excited about them next March because of their 2nd half, while you ignore them, because you know they’re not good. Then the cycle starts again. They draft players that were good in the 2nd half, those players are not good in the 1st half next year, and they check out again. Rinse, repeat. C) There’s no C. Yesterday, Josh Donaldson (2-for-4, 4 RBIs) hit his 14th and 15th homers, and has four homers this month. Here’s to him helping all of those tenth place teams move up to ninth and exciting everyone again next year! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
This is an excerpt of a phone call Razzball intercepted during Sunday’s afternoon games. Since every state involved is a two-party consent for recording, we cannot reveal who recorded the call, but it rhymes with Trudy Gramble. Here, let’s listen in: “Hello, this is the CEO of Super Ball, the world’s hardest, bounciest, craziest, shouldn’t-be-used-as-a-baseballiest ball. Who is this calling?” Our Commissioner Rob Manfred disguises his voice so he sounds raspy, “I’m Kathleen Turner. I was wondering if you would sell me 70,000 Super Balls to not be used for baseball purposes.” “Body Heat Kathleen Turner? Not to get all James Lipton, but I am a huge fan of your–” “Okay, toots…” Manfred lowers the phone receiver, to his secretary, “Toots?” Back into the phone, “Um, so don’t make me kill you and blame a different femme fatale. I need those Super Balls.” So, yesterday was bonkers for homers, yet again. I will now list the home runs by guys in just the Astros game: Yulieski Gurriel (2-for-5, 2 runs) hit his 11th; Jose Altuve (3-for-4, 4 runs, 3 RBIs, hitting .347) hit his 13th; Evan Gattis (2-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs) hit his 8th and Carlos Correa (4-for-5, 5 RBIs) and two homers, his 19th and 20th. Holy Salami Tom, there’s a crapton of home runs this year. I have two mixed leagues where I feel like if I’m not getting at least five homers per day, I’m falling behind. Also, on a pitching front, if I can just maintain a 3.50 ERA, I could come in first for ERA. By the way, I hope we’re not sued by Our Commissioner Rob Manfred, but something must be done. Get the Super Balls out of baseball! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
I need to come clean about something. It’s embarrassing, and I hope once I tell you you don’t judge me. This is a bit of a trust fall for me. Okay, the truth is, whenever a player breaks out, I start singing Breakout by Swing Out Sister. I put down the convertible top on my canary yellow Sebring, flipping down my sunglasses, adjusting my spandex shorts, because they ride up all the time, and Tommy Pham, fist pump, BREAKOUT!
In Triple-A, Pham had 10 homers and 20 steals in 2014, but, like some many young hitters with the Cardinals (really, only hitters; pitchers they have no problem promoting and playing), they’ll play someone like The Federalist and never give a prospect hitter an opportunity. Now that Pham’s about to turn 30 (in nine months), the Cards have finally given him playing time. There’s nothing here long-term, but he does have power, speed and, finally, the playing time, so, Swing Out Sister and BREAKOUT! And, y’all who think I don’t keep it real, Tupac would date Swing Out Sister, then send her a letter from prison, breaking it off, only to realize halfway through the letter, he shouldn’t break it off, he should BREAKOUT!
Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Thankfully, I no longer do 4th of July like I used to, because when you have a holiday weekend that lasts five days, you will get alcohol poisoning if you go too hard, and the 4th is especially dangerous because: day drinking. At least with New Year’s Eve, it’s at night. The Fourth is lying on a discarded sofa on the side of a highway at 3 PM and being like, “The hum of 75 MPH cars is so peaceful, I go to sleep now,” and waking up with a flashlight you mistake for a fleshlight and now you’re a registered sex offender. Hopefully, none of that happened to any of you, well, maybe the fleshlight part, and you all had a safe holiday. Any hoo! Yesterday, Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-4 and his 15th and 16th homers as he hits .288. He found the Fountain of Youth sometime in May and has been a Zombino eating brain custard ever since. I’m still half expecting — cting? — McCutchen will resort to blah in the 2nd half, but it looks like I wrote off McCutchen before his sell-by date. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
The Yankees called up Clint Frazier on Saturday. The Yankees are like you at a concert after your first bathroom break. “I had sixteen beers and I really gotta whizz.” *goes to the bathroom, then sips your seventeen beer* “Damn, I just took a whizz, and now I have to go again.” The childproof seal has been broken. The Yankees waited about five years too long to promote some of their rookies, and now they’re taking a whizz every third day. (I’m mixing metaphors, aren’t I?) I wonder if the Yankees are aggressively promoting rookies now because of how well Judge is doing. It’s confirmation bias, or some Psych 1010 term. In the minors, Frazier went 12 HRs, 9 SBs and .257 in 73 games. His strikeouts weren’t terrible, and that line looks like it could hold in the majors, i.e, 20/15/.250 in 162 games. That’s if he has playing time the rest of the year, which is, of course, no guarantee with Holliday, Hicks, Gardner, Ellsbury, though if they were candy, they’d all be brittle. I’d grab Frazier in all leagues to see what he can do. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Oakland promoted Franklin Barreto this weekend, and a friend of mine who I only see when he’s mowing my lawn said, “You got to go to The Mission if you really want a Barreto.” Recalling my 1600 Yelp reviews of every Chipotle in Los Angeles county, I exclaimed, “No way, Jose!” But he replied, “Mr. Grey, my name is Julio.” Then we laughed, and, even though he laughed with jajajajaja and I laughed with hahahaha, we found a common ground. As for fantasy, Prospector Ralph said, “Barreto offers hard contact, some speed. Gets caught a lot, and who knows how much the A’s send him. He’s exciting though. Upside guy with a low floor this season. Now can I go back to bitching about Tanaka?” There ya go! Right from the prospect whore’s mouth! I tried to get Barreto in all of my leagues, but, alas, he was gone. Yesterday, he went 2-for-5, 1 run, after homering in his first game on Saturday. He’s worth a flyer in all leagues in case he sticks with Semien. Ew. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball: