Fantasy fallout: Teixeira signs with Yankees

I’m sure everyone has heard that Mark Teixeira signed with the New York Yankees earlier this evening, and since I’m under a bit of a time crunch with Christmas tomorrow (and since many of you probably are too), let’s jump right into things.

Power

If you’re new to THT Fantasy Focus and are unfamiliar with True Home Runs (tHR) or any of the other stats I’m using, check out our quick reference guide. These stats provide a much clearer picture of a player’s talent, so it’s well worth taking a couple of minutes to learn them.

+------+-----+---------+-----+----+-------+-------+--------+--------+-----+--------+
| YEAR | AGE | TEAM    | AB  | HR | tHR   | HR/FB | tHR/FB | nHR/FB | RAW | OF FB% |
+------+-----+---------+-----+----+-------+-------+--------+--------+-----+--------+
| 2006 |  25 | Rangers | 628 | 33 | 31/33 |    18 |  17/18 |     19 | 6.6 |  36/38 |
| 2007 |  26 | Rangers | 286 | 13 | 18/21 |    17 |  24/28 |     29 | 6.6 |  34/36 |
| 2007 |  26 | Braves  | 208 | 17 |  9/11 |    25 |  13/16 |     16 | 6.0 |  41/42 |
| 2008 |  27 | Braves  | 381 | 20 | 15/11 |    19 |  14/10 |     13 | 0.0 |  34/35 |
| 2008 |  27 | Angels  | 193 | 13 |  9/10 |    22 |  16/18 |     17 | 0.0 |  33/33 |
+------+-----+---------+-----+----+-------+-------+--------+--------+-----+--------+

Teixeira has bounced all over the place over the past couple of years, so my apologies if this looks like a lot to take in. The most important thing you want to take away from this is that Teixeira is a very good power hitter (duh), though not quite elite. On a yearly basis, he’s also been remarkably consistent. He fell off a little this year (in terms of tHR) due to a sub-par campaign with the Braves, but with the Angels he resumed his old ways.

The best news here, though, is that Yankee Stadium would have been very kind to Teixeira. It bumps his tHR/FB up two points most years, and it also should have a favorable impact on his fly ball rate. All in all, if Teixeira gets 600 at-bats, it would be very easy to expect 30-35 home runs. The drop-off in 2007 was a little disconcerting, but he has had success in the past and will still be just 28 years old, so I’d have no problem owning Tex in 2009.

We must make one note, however. The Yankees are moving to a new stadium this year, so these numbers might not be relevant. New Yankee stadium does have similar dimensions and will experience similar weather, so the old figures very well could serve as a rough approximation.

The one thing I worry about is the orientation of the stadium. If it is oriented differently, the wind would have a different impact (though it was just 1.1 MPH on average from 2002 to 2006). I checked Google Earth, but the pictures there don’t show anything built yet where New Yankee Stadium will be, and I haven’t found any articles about the orientation. If anyone has found something like this, please let me know.

Contact

+-------+---------+-----+-------+-------+-------+-------+--------+
| YEAR  | TEAM    | AB  | BA    | tBA   | CT%   | BABIP | mBABIP |
+-------+---------+-----+-------+-------+-------+-------+--------+
| 06-08 | Yankees | 561 | 0.298 | 0.276 | 80/80 | 0.323 |  0.306 |
+-------+---------+-----+-------+-------+-------+-------+--------+

You’ll notice that the above table isn’t the normal one you see in these articles. The problem is, Teixeira has moved all over the place over the past three years, and I still have some Christmas-related things to take care of, so trying to reverse engineer Marcels (for mBABIP) to account for the park change for each season is just unrealistic for tonight.

Instead, to arrive at the mBABIP column here, I park and league-adjusted Teixeira’s lines at each stop and then did a quick Marcels-esque 5/4/3 weighting on them. I did the same with contact rate (turns out there’s no difference) and then combined these two with the weighted True Home Runs figures from above to arrive at a very rough, three year, Yankee True Batting Average for Teixeira.

While this isn’t the most scientific way of doing things, it doesn’t paint the rosiest picture for Teixeira. His tBA is more than 20 points lower than his actual batting average over the past three years, though we must note again that there’s no guarantee New Yankee Stadium will play like Old Yankee Stadium. The vast majority of this drop-off comes from the park change, so if it plays differently, he could definitely do much better.

Concluding thoughts

While we can’t say for certain, it looks as though the move to the Yankees will help Teixera’s power but hurt his batting average. Last year, Teixeira was a favorite of mine in the second round of mixed leagues. I actually debated taking him in the first round in some leagues. This year, I still would likely take him in the second round. While there’s a chance the batting average will fall off, playing for the Yankees (and presumably batting third or fourth) should allow Tex to wrack up the RBIs and runs.

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Comments

  1. TLA said...

    I have been on site and they are oriented in the same direction and the field has the same dimensions.  However, I don’t know if those are the only factors in how the park will play.  Two features that may have an impact are (1) the new stadium has open air concourses (like Citizen’s Bank Ballpark in Philly) and (2) the new stadium is more bowl shaped, whereas the upper deck in the old stadium hangs over the lower levels much more.  Finally, when I was there, I did not pay attention to the cityscape around the two stadiums which, if different, may impact the effects of wind in the two stadiums.

  2. TLA said...

    I just realized that my comment on the dimensions may be misleading.  The outfield fence is the same.  I believe the distance from home plate to the backstop is roughly 20 feet shorter at the new stadium.  This may favor hitters more than pitchers in comparison to the old Stadium, presuming that there is less foul territory.

  3. Derek Carty said...

    Thanks for the pictures and information guys.  Having them oriented the same definitely allows us to trust the old numbers better.  In old Yankee Stadium, the wind blew in from the outfield.  If more wind is able to come through, that could suppress homers a bit and have some sort of effect on the rest of the factors, though I don’t imagine the effects will be enormous.  I think the old numbers serve pretty well as a rough estimate, with of course a larger margin for error than other park factors.

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