$2 Shortstops in Ottoneu Points Leagues

Let’s say you blew all of your money on Albert Pujols, Michael Pineda, and Eric Hosmer, and need a super-cheap shortstop in an ottoneu fangraphs points league.  Or, maybe you’re scrambling because Stephen Drew is dealing with his day-to-day, negative-MRI, weeks-old abdominal injury.  You have $2 to spend, and you need a shortstop with a job.  Here are shortstops who have been going for two bucks in ottoneu points leagues:

Name wOBA:ZiPS wOBA:Oliver TAv:PECOTA Average %Owned
Jason Bartlett 0.318 0.312 0.254 0.295 47%
Brent Morel 0.308 0.308 0.252 0.289 47%
Miguel Tejada 0.317 0.304 0.246 0.289 50%
Erick Aybar 0.304 0.301 0.236 0.280 37%
Alex Gonzalez 0.305 0.290 0.236 0.277 43%
Clint Barmes 0.295 0.293 0.240 0.276 3%
Orlando Cabrera 0.291 0.290 0.235 0.272 7%
Brendan Ryan 0.277 0.269 0.232 0.259 7%

Since it’s a FanGraphs Points league, we can get a good idea of value by simply ranking players based on your favorite offensive rate stat, be it wOBA here or at Hardball Times, or TAv at BPro.  I took a dumb average of the three projections just so we could get an overall ranking, but the average itself has no meaning in and of itself.

I think it’s interesting that all of these guys are basically going for the same price, despite massive differences in projected performance (though admittedly the worst three are owned in far fewer leagues than the top guys–and Barmes, of course, is hurt).

Who would I take?  Obviously none of these guys is likely to hit very well, but there seems like a pretty clear tier between the top three and the rest (well, at least the non-Brendan Ryan rest).  Bartlett’s a puzzle for me.  He had a terrific year in 2009, but was awful last year.  He has ability, but we’re also looking for a rebound in PETCO Park.  Tejada…well, he’s been very durable.  But he’s old.  You have to think an injury is in his future one of these seasons, and he doesn’t hit like he used to.

The name that I think is most interesting in this group is Brent Morel.  Michael profiled him as a 3B a few days ago, but thanks to some minor league games at shortstop last year, he is SS eligible in ottoneu.  He’s known as a slick fielder at the hot corner, but there are questions about whether his bat can play at third.  As a hitter in the minor leagues, he’s been fine, but not exciting.  While he’s hit for a good average, he doesn’t walk much (~5% of PA’s last year), and only has shown 10-15 home run power.  He has something around a .365 wOBA in the minors–good, but not elite prospect level.  As a 3B, I don’t really see him as rosterable.  But as long as he has the starting job in Chicago, we can play him at shortstop in ottoneu.  And as a shortstop, he should offer a decent bit of value as an injury replacement player.

If I’m picking a shortstop for the rest of the season from this bunch, I probably go after Jason Bartlett or Miguel Tejada (if they’re available), because I don’t trust Morel to keep his job all season.  Chicago has too many other options, and he’s just not that good.  But if I’m just in the market for a short-term replacement, or a backup, Morel’s the guy I’d take a flier on.  It’s always fun to play the young guy.  I doubt he’ll be an above-average hitter in the majors, but if he can even approach league average–and he has a shot at it–he’s a nice deal at $2.




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Justin is a lifelong Reds fan, and first played fantasy baseball on Prodigy with a 2400 baud modem. His favorite Excel function is the vlookup(). You can find him on twitter @jinazreds, even though he no longer lives in AZ.


10 Responses to “$2 Shortstops in Ottoneu Points Leagues”

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  1. Justin Merry says:

    FWIW, I picked up Morel in my ottoneu league on March 22nd. He’s my starting SS until Stephen Drew comes back. I did blow my money on Pujols, though I only wish I had Pineda and Hosmer. :)
    -j

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    • jaywrong says:

      way to throw your fellow otto league mates off the scent!

      that being said, i actually think morel is going to be a pleasent surprise. he is basically a joe randa with defense, and part of that might show up this year. 260/10/50/50/5 is valuable in certain leagues. especially on the cheap.

      and honestly, ozzie is strange, but i think we can all agree that he’s not teahan strange…

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  2. Dale says:

    I really wish this Ottenou thing would get its own separate blog. Or at least a separate RSS feed.

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  3. bgrosnick says:

    Honestly, I’m really surprised that Bartlett is going for about $2 – as he seems to be markedly better than Tejada long-term. As for Morel – if you look at the difference between Morel and Bartlett, and factor in the keeper factor ($2 more to keep until next year), I’d have to think that Morel would be a better bet given the future. But will Morel be worth $4 as a 3B next year? Seems tough to imagine.

    If you have an additional roster spot – I’d definitely advocate taking Bartlett for this year (at $1 or $2) – and seeing if later in the year you could free up enough cash to win an auction for one from the Nick Franklin / Jose Iglesias / Osvaldo Martinez / Hak-Ju Lee groups. I’d imagine at least one of those guys didn’t get picked up in your draft.

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    • Justin Merry says:

      Yeah, Morel’s strictly a this-year player. He seems very unlikely to keep his SS eligibility next season, and, as you say, inflation probably makes him unkeepable. I generally would agree that Bartlett’s the better player, but I can see Morel having a slightly higher chance to put up league-average hitting numbers this year. That said, the “50%” expectation is lower than Bartlett’s.

      But if you need a sub at SS, and Bartlett (or maybe also Tejada) aren’t available, but Morel is, I wouldn’t hesitate to snag Morel.
      -j

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      • bgrosnick says:

        Agreed…it’s interesting to see just how close Morel projects to these other guys. Thanks for the post – and looking forward to more ottoneu fantasy posts this year!

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  4. David says:

    I don’t want to be a jerk or anything, but any chance you guys come up with a separate ottoneau blog? I really like reading your stuff on fantasy baseball in general, but I’m not playing this particular game and I can only download so many articles at a time to my RSS reader to read on the subway.

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      If you weren’t in an H2H league and we had H2H-specific analysis, or OBP-specific analysis (both things that are going to happen this year), would you be upset? It’s a format for which we are providing analysis.

      We put it in the title of the post, and we have about four articles a week about it… and we have about 30 articles a week on RG now. I’m sorry, there’s not enough content for its’ own blog, and it fits in just like any other format would on this blog. At most, once a day, you’ll have to click forward to one of the other five posts of the day.

      I’m glad to have you reading, and I do want us to be receptive, but I don’t what we can do here.

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      • jaywrong says:

        thanks eno. the haters and complainers like to quibble, but honestly. otto news is still fantasy news and usually can be applicable to other leagues.

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    • Niv Shah says:

      Now that leagues have mostly drafted, we’ll be limiting the ottoneu-related posts to 2 or so a week. Hopefully that will help. Thanks!

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