2B Ranking Using Bill James 2012 Projections

Yesterday, the Bill James’s Projections were added to all the player pages here at Fangraphs. Bill James’s numbers seem to be on the optimistic side and are probably not regressed as much as other projection systems. It is all we have to work with for now though. With the projection numbers, I ranked the players according to their value among other 2B using Zach Sander’s formula for finding fantasy above replacement values.

Here are the ranking with some gaps at breaks in the data:

Name PA R RBI HR AVG SB Ranking Value
Ian Kinsler 647 108 78 25 0.271 25 6.7
Robinson Cano 671 96 101 25 0.302 5 5.9
Dustin Pedroia 642 95 73 17 0.299 17 5.1
Brandon Phillips 663 91 79 19 0.279 15 4.0
Chase Utley 570 85 79 21 0.280 14 3.9
Jason Kipnis 557 88 69 18 0.272 18 3.3
Ben Zobrist 646 88 80 18 0.262 18 3.3
Michael Cuddyer 646 86 85 21 0.275 8 2.9
Danny Espinosa 623 83 74 25 0.248 19 2.9
Dan Uggla 673 95 92 33 0.251 2 2.9
Michael Young 633 81 82 13 0.306 5 2.9
Howie Kendrick 601 80 74 14 0.287 13 2.7
Rickie Weeks 605 95 62 22 0.262 12 2.2
Neil Walker 649 77 88 15 0.273 9 1.9
Jemile Weeks 583 68 51 4 0.279 28 1.6
Johnny Giavotella 551 65 60 7 0.295 12 0.7
Kelly Johnson 589 78 62 19 0.251 13 0.5
Daniel Murphy 497 60 64 10 0.302 6 0.4
Dustin Ackley 697 82 60 11 0.255 14 0.0
Martin Prado 553 72 56 11 0.289 4 -0.3
Ryan Raburn 476 64 66 18 0.264 4 -0.8
Sean Rodriguez 462 66 57 15 0.252 12 -1.0
Aaron Hill 516 62 61 14 0.256 11 -1.0
Ryan Roberts 472 61 51 14 0.255 14 -1.1
Omar Infante 560 62 54 8 0.291 4 -1.2
Orlando Hudson 561 68 51 8 0.263 13 -1.2
Gordon Beckham 549 70 61 13 0.256 6 -1.5
Allen Craig 318 43 50 13 0.288 3 -2.1
Maicer Izturis 473 59 48 5 0.272 10 -2.2
Freddy Sanchez 487 53 47 6 0.284 1 -3.2
Brian Roberts 330 44 29 5 0.274 13 -3.3
Ryan Theriot 456 52 34 2 0.278 9 -3.5
Mark Ellis 450 49 45 8 0.255 9 -3.6
Justin Turner 393 45 39 5 0.271 6 -4.1
Chone Figgins 316 38 22 2 0.261 16 -4.6
Darwin Barney 321 36 25 2 0.275 6 -5.4
Robert Andino 296 34 24 4 0.253 7 -6.4
Tsuyoshi Nishioka 506 30 43 0 0.241 4 -7.3

• First, I would not be to worried about someone being a spot or two lower than expected. The key is to look at the Ranking Value and compare it to other players.

• The top 5 2B all seem pretty reasonable, but from 6 on down there could be much controversy.

• The rankings like Jason Kipnis quite a bit. Personally, I am not putting him at the same level as others around him. Johnny Giavotella is another player ranked higher than I expected. I don’t know if the Royals think he is the answer at 2B, so I could see playing time being a huge issue in 2012.

Dustin Ackley has little love except being predicted to some how have the most PA among 2B. Kelly Johnson is another player that is lower than I expected.

Some players have their values down because of playing time (ex. Ryan and Brian Roberts). To even out the numbers for playing time, here are the players ranked with their stats adjusted for 600 PAs:

Name Runs RBI HR AVG SB Ranking Value
Ian Kinsler 100 72 23 0.271 23 5.4
Robinson Cano 86 90 22 0.302 4 4.5
Chase Utley 89 83 22 0.280 15 4.5
Jason Kipnis 95 74 19 0.272 19 4.1
Allen Craig 81 94 25 0.288 6 4.0
Dustin Pedroia 89 68 16 0.299 16 3.7
Brandon Phillips 82 71 17 0.279 14 2.0
Howie Kendrick 80 74 14 0.287 13 1.9
Rickie Weeks 94 61 22 0.262 12 1.7
Michael Young 77 78 12 0.306 5 1.6
Danny Espinosa 80 71 24 0.248 18 1.6
Ben Zobrist 82 74 17 0.262 17 1.5
Michael Cuddyer 80 79 20 0.275 7 1.5
Sean Rodriguez 86 74 19 0.252 16 1.5
Ryan Raburn 81 83 23 0.264 5 1.4
Dan Uggla 85 82 29 0.251 2 1.4
Daniel Murphy 72 77 12 0.302 7 1.3
Brian Roberts 80 53 9 0.274 24 0.4
Ryan Roberts 78 65 18 0.255 18 0.3
Neil Walker 71 81 14 0.273 8 0.2
Johnny Giavotella 71 65 8 0.295 13 0.0
Jemile Weeks 70 52 4 0.279 29 -0.2
Kelly Johnson 79 63 19 0.251 13 -0.3
Aaron Hill 72 71 16 0.256 13 -0.6
Martin Prado 78 61 12 0.289 4 -0.7
Maicer Izturis 75 61 6 0.272 13 -1.5
Gordon Beckham 77 67 14 0.256 7 -1.7
Chone Figgins 72 42 4 0.261 30 -1.7
Orlando Hudson 73 55 9 0.263 14 -2.3
Omar Infante 66 58 9 0.291 4 -2.3
Justin Turner 69 60 8 0.271 9 -2.6
Mark Ellis 65 60 11 0.255 12 -3.0
Dustin Ackley 71 52 9 0.255 12 -3.3
Freddy Sanchez 65 58 7 0.284 1 -3.5
Ryan Theriot 68 45 3 0.278 12 -3.7
Robert Andino 69 49 8 0.253 14 -3.7
Darwin Barney 67 47 4 0.275 11 -3.7
Tsuyoshi Nishioka 36 51 0 0.241 5 -9.7

Allen Craig (not 2B qualified in all leagues, but added per a reader’s request) takes a huge jump. Craig, along with Jason Kipnis, jump ahead of Dustin Pedroia. This discrepancy is where this projection system doesn’t regress enough. There is no way a player with little MLB experience should have more talent than established MLB stars. Putting each player at 600 PA is not a huge reach for all 3 in 2012. Having Kipnis and Craig putting up stats at a higher rate than Pedroia is a problem.

Dustin Ackley falls into the Mark Ellis and Freddy Sanchez level. I don’t even hate him that much.

The first 2012 projections are out. While not the best system, the Bill James Projections give fantasy owners a reference to start evaluating players for 2012.




Print This Post

Jeff writes for FanGraphs, The Hardball Times and Royals Review, as well as his own website, Baseball Heat Maps with his brother Darrell. In tandem with Bill Petti, he won the 2013 SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.


20 Responses to “2B Ranking Using Bill James 2012 Projections”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. johnnycuff says:

    i’m surprised how low dan uggla is. if the predictions are accurate there are going to be a ton of people overpaying for him.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Luke says:

      He’s especially low if you are in a league that counts walks. If he plays in 2012 like he did in the second half of 2011, that comes out to some pretty hefty numbers (35 hrs, etc.).

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Blue says:

      People discount way too much how badly a low BA hurts you in roto.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Chris R says:

    How about my lil buddy Jose Altuve? He is included in the James projections with a line of 64/46/10/19/.297, which looks as though it would put him in the middle of the pack here.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      I just didn’t have him on my list of players to query. When the other projections come out, I will add him to it.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Luke says:

    This thing doesn’t include the aging factor either (for Phillips & Utley). I have them a little lower on my rankings for that reason.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. batpig says:

    does this change your views on Espinosa? Even with the terrible AVG, a 2B who can put up 20+ HR and 15+ SB is pretty darn valuable in fantasy.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      I didn’t like the 2nd half drop off one bit. Whether it was his position in the lineup or pitchers pitching him differently, the drop in power and plate discipline was severe.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. batpig says:

    on a side note, Bill James projections are always ridiculously optimistic on the young guys who put up big numbers in the high minors (again probably because of the lack of regression). Every year there are guys like Kipnis or Craig who get big fatty projections and cause poor fantasy owners to overpay… just ask those who drafted Kila-monster last year.

    the projections for vets with established major league track records are solid (which makes sense because those are the easiest guys to project anyway) but I would take some of those eye-opening projections for rookies or sophs with a big grain of salt.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • short says:

      Then I don’t understand the hate for Ackley. He put up a .303/.421/.487 slash line in AAA over 331 PA’s last year and did well in AA as well. He hit .273 in the majors. James’ other numbers look about right for Ackley, but I would bet a lot of money Ackley hits better than .255 next season, barring injury. Looking at the other numbers for James on Ackley’s page a .388 SLG also looks low, by a bit.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. johnnycuff says:

    jeff, is there a way to get the bill james projections in a spreadsheet?

    i assume you didn’t look up and record each and every one of these numbers using just the player pages. going one player at a time is just not practical for doing any sort of serious analysis.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Isaac says:

    I don’t get why Dan Uggla gets such a bad ranking all the time. Among 2B, he was tied for 6th in runs, 1st in homers and 6th in RBI. He’s not perfect and his BA leaves some to be desired, but its a position with little offense and he’s not that hard to compensate for with a high BA guy at a different position. Whatever, I take him annually and my team’s have been in it in competitive leagues for quite a while, so please keep ranking him so low!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Blue says:

      “he’s not that hard to compensate for with a high BA guy at a different position.”

      You aren’t fully accounting for his negative effect on BA if you believe this.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • batpig says:

      and he is a total zero in SB.

      yes, he is a stud in 3 categories but unfortunately there are 5….. and he is TERRIBLE in the other two.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Brad Johnson says:

    On Kipnis, the Bill James projections are notoriously optimistic with youngsters. If I remember correctly, minor league data isn’t used at all (could be getting systems confused) and regression is light.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. lester bangs says:

    Some funny comments here. This James guy clearly isn’t going to make it. Hope he has a fallback career.

    (Seriously, it’s good to question anyone, even the sacred cows. But it’s unusual to hear James taken to task. Actually, maybe it’s refreshing, in a way. Question anyone, everything, in an intelligent, measured way of course.)

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>