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Fantasy Baseball Word Problems: Question 4

USA Today Sports Images - 2013

We continue our Fantasy Baseball Word Problems series with Question number four. But first a quick recap:

  1. Question One dealt with trying to acquire a pitcher who can yield plenty of strikeouts, but do as little damage to a team’s ERA.
  2. Question Two dealt with an owner in desperate need for a spot starter in his daily league.
  3. Question Three dealt with an owner trying to apply the “buy low” idea in his league’s waiver wire.

Unlike Question Three, which dealt with five hitters mired in extended slumps, this next scenario deals with batters who have found plenty of recent success at the plate and on the basepaths. Before we move this along, here’s the mandatory disclaimer:

[All hitters listed have an Ownership percentage no higher than 70 percent of fantasy baseball leagues at CBS Sports. All stats are based on the last 30 days of play. Outside factors, such as what team will the hitter face this week or whether his next game is a home or road game do not play a role in scenario. While the stats are real, the scenarios are based on possible events, therefore the names used, along with the attached information, have no correlative relationship].

Joey, hailing from Isla Vista, CA is the team owner of the Cape Town Wagons. Joey is part of a 12-team, weekly, traditional 5X5, roto-league. He recently lost a big bat from his lineup for a long period of time due to a suspension. Joey does not have to worry about a replacement until next week, but he wants a chance to pick up the best player available now before other teams begin to raid the waiver wire on Sunday night and Monday morning as they get ready to lock in their lineups for the week on the first pitch on Monday afternoon.

Joey’s main concern is that he is going to pick up a player in the middle of a hot streak and as soon as he inserts him into the starting lineup he’ll put up bad stats for his team. He has been burned by streaky free agents all season long so he wants to take a different approach this time around. He decides that instead of picking up a player based on “need,” he would focus on picking up a hitter who can maintain a decent batting average for at least the upcoming week. He hopes that if the player can maintain a high batting average, the other stats will take care of themselves.

So Joey is looking for, more or less, a long-term replacement for a player who will be suspended for a long period of time. Joey is willing to sacrifice runs scored, home runs, etc., if it means that a high batting average would give him the peace of mind that he found a good sub for the duration of that player’s suspension.

So the ultimate question is, which of these hitters should Joey pick up from waivers?

THE GENERATORS: Roto Payoff Last 30 Days

Player

Own%

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

OBP

SLG

Player A

59%

7

0

3

1

0.276

0.323

0.362

Player B

70%

6

4

7

1

0.325

0.341

0.513

Player C

55%

4

0

11

3

0.329

0.388

0.356

Player D

70%

10

2

11

2

0.287

0.379

0.437

Player E

42%

16

5

20

1

0.286

0.384

0.571

Player F

22%

7

3

13

2

0.333

0.368

0.540

  • Player A has the lowest batting average in this group, but it’s still decent at .276.
  • Player F has the highest batting average in this group at .333.
  • Player E appears to have the best run production as he’s scored 16 runs, has driven in 20, and has hit five homers in a relatively short span.
  • Player B is only one behind Player E in the home run with four.
  • The lowest on-base percentage goes to Player A.
  • The highest on-base percentage belongs to Player C, but Player E is not too far behind either.
  • Player C, despite the very high OBP, has the lowest slugging percentage.
  • Not surprising, Player E has the highest SLG in this group.
  • Player D is the only other player that has scored more than 10 runs.
  • Player F has the second most RBI in this league.
  • Player D and C are the only other players with double digit RBI totals.
  • Player C has a slim lead in the stolen bases’ category.
  • Player B and C are the other two players with a batting average above .300.

Joey is impressed with Player E’s gaudy totals, but he’s left wondering if Player E is due for some regression. Player A’s totals look very weak, but Joey likes his pedigree. Either way, Joey is too unsure with just the basic stats in front of him. As mentioned, he been burned by the hot hitters who seem to end up cooling down as soon as he picks them from waivers. Joey decides to utilize advanced data for a deeper look into these hitters’ performances.

THE GENERATORS: Advanced Stats Last 30 Days

Player

BB%

K%

wRAA

BABIP

LD%

GB%

FB%

HR/FB%

Player A

6.5%

22.6%

-0.5

0.364

18.2%

65.9%

15.9%

0.0%

Player B

2.4%

24.1%

3.8

0.393

19.6%

44.6%

35.7%

20.0%

Player C

8.8%

11.3%

1.4

0.375

21.9%

45.3%

32.8%

0.0%

Player D

12.6%

19.4%

3.4

0.343

31.9%

34.8%

33.3%

8.7%

Player E

13.1%

24.2%

7.4

0.339

19.7%

42.6%

37.7%

21.7%

Player F

4.4%

14.7%

4.1

0.353

17.0%

39.6%

43.4%

13.0%

  • Player A has shown bad plate discipline. He’s also proven to be a very unproductive batter at the plate. The bit of success that Player A has seen comes via a very high BABIP, a result of a very high GroundBall percentage. Joey has all but eliminated Player A from making his team for next week.
  • Player B probably has the worst plate discipline out of anybody in this group. Because of his output numbers, Player B has the third highest wRAA. He also happens to have the highest BABIP as well. Despite the high home run totals, Player B doesn’t really possess a high Line-Drive percentage. His 20% Home Run per Fly Ball percentage seems a bit fluky with a low FlyBall rate of 35.7.
  • Player C might just be the most highly skilled hitter in this group. He’s armed with an unrivaled approach at the plate as he’s clearly the toughest hitter to strike out in this group. Unfortunately, the discipline at the plate has not resulted in much power or production scoring the penultimate lowest wRAA on the table. Even though he has a very high BABIP, with his great skills at the plate along with the second highest LD%, perhaps Player C is doing enough to create his own luck.
  • Player D has the second best plate discipline in this group. Unlike Player C, however, Player D has proven to be very productive lately. He also has the highest LD% in this group. Even though his HR/FB% doesn’t show it, Player D can still drive the ball with authority and along with his plate discipline and a lower BABIP, Player D is making the most of his opportunities.
  • Player E has the highest K%, but he also has the highest BB% as well. He’s also proven to be the most productive hitter, posting a wRAA of 7.4. Interestingly enough, Player E has the lowest BABIP in this group, but unlike Player C and D, Player E does not possess the LD% that his brethren have. His HR/FB% is the highest on the table, but judging by his FB% being below 40%, it’s hard to feel optimistic about Player E’s recent good fortune.
  • Player F has sloppy skills at the plate, but he does have the second highest wRAA in this group. Even though his BABIP is high, his LD% is the lowest of the group. However, Player F is constantly looking to drive the ball into the air so his HR/FB% is pretty legit.

WARNING: THE HITTERS’ IDENTITIES ARE BELOW!

So judging by the numbers, who would you pick for J0ey’s team? Please cast your vote on our poll now:

[poll id=”6″]

Stats courtesy of fangraphs.com and are good through August 7, 2013.

 

Player A: Christian Yelich

Player B: Junior Lake

Player C: Yonder Alonso

Player D: Andre Ethier

Player E: Michael Saunders

Player F: Cody Ross

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