On Han-Ram’s 2013 Fantasy Value

Hanley Ramirez had a roller-coaster 2013 marked by bad luck with injuries and exceptional production with the bat.  He missed the first month with a torn thumb ligament and tore his hamstring in his third game back, causing him to miss another month of action.  Overall, Han-Ram played only 86 regular season games, but when we played he hit the cover off the ball.  In 336 plate appearances he hammered 20 home runs and a .442 wOBA (second only to Miguel Cabrera for players with over 100 PA).  While the title of this post should lead the reader to believe it is primarily about Han-Ram, that would be false.  In fact, it’s mainly about different methods to measure fantasy value, with Han-Ram used to illustrate a point.

Fantasy value above replacement (FVAR) is a metric that has been used (for example on FanGraphs) to estimate the auction value of historical or projected baseball statistics in a rotisserie league.  The most popular way to measure FVAR uses z-scores: the number of standard deviations above the mean for any given statistic(s).  Z-scores are handy because they put different stats, such as HR and SB, on a level playing field.  An unresolved question is whether FVAR should be calculated using total stats (e.g., Han-Ram hit 20 HRs) or rate stats (e.g., Han-Ram hit 0.06 HR per plate appearance).  In this post I’m calling the method using total stats the z-score and the method using rate stats the zz-score.    I looked at how Han-Ram’s fantasy value changed using both methods (assuming 12-team mixed 5×5 with $160 auction budget for hitters per team).

Han-Ram’s Value Based on z-Score

The table below summarizes the calculation of Han-Ram’s z-score in 2013.  The data is drawn from players with at least 100 plate appearances.  The z-score is Han-Ram’s stat minus league average (mean), divided by league standard deviation.

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

Han-Ram

0.345

62

20

57

10

Mean

0.259

43

10

41

6

Std. Dev.

0.036

25

8

26

9

z-score

2.4

0.8

1.2

0.6

0.5

Han-Ram’s overall z-score sums to 5.4.  The next table shows how that compares with other shortstops.  For an explanation of how the auction values were calculated see here and here.  (Erick Aybar was the replacement level shortstop, but his auction value is greater than zero because his z-score was higher than the replacement level Util player, Justin Ruggiano.)  Using the z-score method, Han-Ram ranked fourth among shortstops even though he played in only 86 games.

Name

G

PA

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

z-score

FVARz$

Jean Segura

146

623

0.294

74

12

49

44

7.2

$          24

Elvis Andrus

156

698

0.271

91

4

67

42

6.7

$          22

Ian Desmond

158

655

0.28

77

20

80

21

6.4

$          21

Hanley Ramirez

86

336

0.345

62

20

57

10

5.4

$          17

Troy Tulowitzki

126

512

0.312

72

25

82

1

5.4

$          17

Alexei Ramirez

158

674

0.284

68

6

48

30

4.3

$          12

Ben Zobrist

157

698

0.275

77

12

71

11

3.8

$          10

J.J. Hardy

159

644

0.263

66

25

76

2

3.7

$          10

Jed Lowrie

154

662

0.29

80

15

75

1

3.7

$          10

Everth Cabrera

95

435

0.283

54

4

31

37

3.6

$          10

Brian Dozier

147

623

0.244

72

18

66

14

3.6

$             9

Jose Reyes

93

419

0.296

58

10

37

15

2.6

$             5

Andrelton Simmons

157

658

0.248

76

17

59

6

2.5

$             5

Asdrubal Cabrera

136

562

0.242

66

14

64

9

2.2

$             3

Erick Aybar

138

589

0.271

68

6

54

12

2.1

$             3

Han-Ram’s Value Based on zz-Score

The calculation of Han-Ram’s zz-score is illustrated in the table below.  It’s identical to the z-score calculation, but rate stats (per PA) are used instead of season totals.

AVG

R/PA

HR/PA

RBI/PA

SB/PA

Han-Ram

0.345

0.18

0.06

0.17

0.03

Mean

0.259

0.11

0.02

0.10

0.01

Std. Dev.

0.036

0.02

0.01

0.03

0.02

zz-score

2.4

3.1

2.3

2.1

0.8

Han-Ram’s zz-score in 2013 summed to 10.7, putting him at the top of the heap for shortstops.  To calculate Han-Ram’s FVAR in 2013 I multiplied his zz-score by his plate appearances, adjusted for replacement level and then calculated auction values.  Results are shown below.

Name

G

PA

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

zz-score

FVARzz$

Hanley Ramirez

86

336

0.345

62

20

57

10

10.7

$          33

Troy Tulowitzki

126

512

0.312

72

25

82

1

5.6

$          25

Jean Segura

146

623

0.294

74

12

49

44

3.2

$          17

Ian Desmond

158

655

0.28

77

20

80

21

2.9

$          16

Elvis Andrus

156

698

0.271

91

4

67

42

2.1

$          12

Everth Cabrera

95

435

0.283

54

4

31

37

3.0

$          11

Jose Reyes

93

419

0.296

58

10

37

15

2.9

$          11

Jhonny Peralta

107

448

0.303

50

11

55

3

1.6

$             6

Mike Aviles

124

394

0.252

54

9

46

8

1.6

$             5

Jed Lowrie

154

662

0.29

80

15

75

1

1.0

$             4

Stephen Drew

124

501

0.253

57

13

67

6

1.0

$             4

J.J. Hardy

159

644

0.263

66

25

76

2

0.8

$             3

Brian Dozier

147

623

0.244

72

18

66

14

0.7

$             3

Brad Miller

76

335

0.265

41

8

36

5

0.9

$             3

Josh Rutledge

88

314

0.235

45

7

19

12

0.6

$             1

 Han-Ram’s Fantasy Value

Depending on how we look at the world, Han-Ram was either the most valuable fantasy SS in 2013 or the fourth-best.  I think both methods are legitimate, but I prefer zz-score for a few reasons.  As Zach Sanders has noted on FanGraphs, z-score makes a broad assumption:

“These rankings are meant to reflect a player’s value should he have occupied this spot in your lineup for the entire year.”

In other words, z-score assumes my SS roster spot was empty when Han-Ram was on the DL.  That’s obviously not a good assumption, because in a 12-team mixed league I would have easily found a replacement-level SS to plug in while Han-Ram was sidelined.

To illustrate the point, I looked at the 2013 stats for Jean Segura (the highest-ranked SS using z-score) compared to Han-Ram for 86 games plus a replacement SS.  Using the zz-score method, and the league assumptions noted above, Asdrubal Cabrera was identified as the replacement level SS in 2013 with a zz-score of 0.4.  For the sake of this comparison I assumed the replacement added value in steals and was league average in all other categories.  It should be pretty obvious that Han-Ram plus a replacement was more valuable than Jean Segura.

G

PA

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

Jean Segura

146

623

0.294

74

12

49

44

Han-Ram

86

336

0.345

62

20

57

10

Replacement SS

60

287

0.259

31

7

29

6

Han-Ram + Replacement SS

146

623

0.305

93

27

86

16

What does this tell us?  In leagues where it is fairly easy to plug in replacement-level players (e.g., shallow leagues with daily transactions and plenty of DL spots) zz-score is a better method for determining fantasy value.  In leagues where it’s hard to replace an injured player or plug in serviceable options, playing time becomes a more valuable commodity and z-score is probably a better reflection of real value.  As is often the case, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, between z and zz.

Twitter: @FVARBaseball

Website: fvarbaseball.wordpress.com




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3 Responses to “On Han-Ram’s 2013 Fantasy Value”

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  1. PutOnSwole says:

    I like the concept of comparing players based on their zz-scores. We can’t assume players who battle injuries one season will have the same issues the next. Is there anywhere I can find z-scores and zz-scores for other positions?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Aaron Levy says:

    I have z and zz-scores for every hitter w/ at least 100 PA going back to 1901. I’ll look into ways to make it accessible on my wordpress blog: fvarbaseball.wordpress.com. If folks have suggestions that would be great.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. nick says:

    Any chance of getting a similar article regarding pitchers?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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