Most fantasy rankings are forged on “gut calls” and the whimsical notions of whoever is compiling the list. Some experts don’t pay for saves, some don’t pay for steals, some wait on pitching, some value upside, some value reliability, and so on. While it might be nice to see plenty of different opinions, it probably doesn’t truly help unless you understand the biases of each individual ranker. This is why some of the writers here at The Hardball Times have created their own, objective valuation methods, outlined here and here (reading, or at least skimming, these introductory articles will give you a much better understanding of the rankings that follow and should help to answer most potential questions).
In accompaniment with
Oliver’s ZiPS’ rest-of-season forecasts, we will use these objective formulas to create objective rankings. You may not agree with a particular rank, but you will know how the ranking was calculated and you won’t have to guess what the ranker was thinking. This should make adding your own personal adjustments and biases much easier. And perhaps this type of ranking will introduce some potential buys and sells that you may have otherwise overlooked.
These rankings will assume a 12-team league in adjusting for league average. The ordering of players, however, is unaffected; players will rank in identical order for leagues of all sizes.
|Num||Name||AB||R||HR||RBI||SB||AVG||rPAA (ROS)||EYES (ROS)||Full Season*|
|37||Alejandro De Aza||178||28||3||17||8||0.275||-0.32||-0.38||8.50|
*Full season = the raw (non-adjusted) full season pace roto score using the roto points-above-replacement method. This is, essentially, the amount of expected roto points each player would score above an empty spot in a lineup over a full season.
Sometimes ZiPS has trouble projecting playing time for players who are currently on the disabled list. Since there are a lot of outfielders to get to, I will provide detailed analysis where I see fit, but if the issue is playing time, the analysis will be brief.
Playing time alterations:
Jose Bautista – Bautista’s wrist is still bothering him and there is no timetable for his return. ZiPS projects Bautista to play in 45 of the Blue Jays’ final 54 games. I’d exercise caution and arbitrarily project closer to 33 games. Using the same per-game production that ZiPS had projected, the lower playing time projection makes Bautista the 45th ranked outfielder going forward.
Michael Cuddyer – Cuddyer was placed on the disabled list on Saturday – retroactive to August 1 – with a strained oblique muscle, so he will be out until the middle of the month at the earliest. This means that Cuddyer will certainly fall shy of the 49 game projection that ZiPS has created for him. Reworking Cuddyer’s playing time projection to 40 games would slide him down to the number 50 slot among outfielders.
Bryce Harper – Harper has played in nearly every game since his call-up. I see no reason why we should expect that to change. Hence, an adjustment from 44 to 50 games played. This moves Harper up to number 40 at outfield.
Michael Morse – Since returning from the disabled list on June 2, Morse hasn’t shown any signs that warrants distrust in his health. I am confident enough in his ability to stay on the field to project 50 games played, an adjustment that boosts his ranking to 38th at outfield.
Shin-Soo Choo – Almost everything about Choo’s 2012 production is in symbiosis with his career averages. He is on pace to finish with roughly 20 home runs, 20 steals and an average around .290, which is basically what he did in both 2009 and 2010. In 2011, however, Choo struggled through injuries, playing just 85 games. If you believe that Choo’s performance at the plate last year was partly due to his injuries, then it shouldn’t be hard to fathom that he could be back to his pre-2011 form. I am a believer, but ZiPS doesn’t project on assumptions, just numbers.
ZiPS projects Choo to appear in just 44 games down the stretch, to go along with a .333 BABIP (career .353). I don’t see why Choo’s production needs to drop at all – his .355 BABIP and 21.9 percent strikeout rate are, again, in congruence with his career marks – so I would put far more weight on his 2009, 2010, and 2012 production than his injury riddled 2011, which appears to be an outlier of a season.
Arbitrary Adjustment: In 191 at bats and a fantasy line of 28/6/25/6/.290 makes Choo the 16th ranked outfielder.
Josh Reddick – Reddick has come out of relative obscurity this year to post very good fantasy and real life numbers. Perhaps ZiPS has been caught off guard. Reddick’s huge HR/FB spike from 7.4 percent to 16.4 percent is probably unsustainable, but with a fly ball rate just shy of 50 percent, he will give himself plenty of opportunities to deposit baseballs over outfield fences. ZiPS projects seven more home runs. That may be a bit stingy, but not egregious, so I won’t spend anymore time undressing Reddick’s power peripherals. The real issue I have with the projection is the low run and RBI totals.
Reddick is currently scoring 0.135 runs and driving in 0.124 runners per plate appearances. ZiPS projects 0.115 runs/PA and 0.100 RBI/PA going foreward. Over the course of a full season those rates would translate to about 12 runs and 14 RBI less than what Reddick is currently doing. Oakland’s lineup is currently producing a wRC+ of 90, so Reddick isn’t in a great situation to rack up counting stats, but he should still do better than what ZiPS is projecting.
Arbitrary Adjustment: I would project a fantasy line of 26/8/25/3/.247. This would move Reddick up to 39th at outfield.