A Collection of Five Category Hitters

When drafting hitters for a traditional five category league, my standard strategy is to target players who contribute in many categories – preferably all five. Today, in deference to my jet lag, we’re mostly going to dispense with analysis and break out some lists of players who fall into different buckets of production. All of the values below come from Steamer’s 2014 projections. Steamer and projection systems in general aren’t the best at predicting runs and RBI, so keep that in mind.

Creme de la Creme

Name PA HR R RBI SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Mike Trout 684 27 119 83 33 12 0.308 0.405 0.534
Carlos Gonzalez 579 28 87 91 19 8 0.297 0.365 0.544
Andrew McCutchen 644 23 89 89 20 10 0.300 0.389 0.507

This is a list of players projected for more than 80 runs and RBI, 20 home runs, 15 stolen bases, and a .280 average. No surprises here, these players are exceptionally good and their draft price reflects that fact. These are currently the first, fourth, and seventh overall picks. Hanley Ramirez missed the cutoff by one point in batting average.

Right Below the Creme

Name PA HR R RBI SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Ryan Braun 573 25 78 82 16 7 0.293 0.367 0.513
Yasiel Puig 618 26 79 84 20 13 0.290 0.359 0.502

As I mentioned, run and RBI projections can get a little wonky. If we scale back to greater than 70, we add just two players. Braun’s mixed in with the above names, but Puig may represent a buying opportunity. Personally, I’m perturbed by Puig’s 16.9 swinging strike rate, which makes Adam Dunn look like a contact oriented hitter. Still…

Steals Are Overrated

Name PA HR R RBI SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Joey Votto 609 23 84 79 5 3 0.296 0.424 0.507
Troy Tulowitzki 600 28 84 97 3 2 0.300 0.376 0.534
Paul Goldschmidt 661 32 96 99 13 7 0.289 0.382 0.533
Prince Fielder 635 27 90 97 1 1 0.286 0.386 0.498
Freddie Freeman 556 23 73 79 2 1 0.293 0.375 0.505
Buster Posey 635 21 81 90 2 2 0.304 0.383 0.49
David Ortiz 564 24 79 84 2 2 0.285 0.378 0.51
Matt Holliday 609 22 81 83 4 3 0.291 0.377 0.488
Albert Pujols 615 30 87 97 4 2 0.282 0.357 0.515
Adrian Beltre 635 28 85 101 1 1 0.296 0.347 0.504
Robinson Cano 635 23 83 90 4 3 0.292 0.363 0.487
Allen Craig 622 20 78 84 2 2 0.298 0.357 0.48
Billy Butler 645 20 83 89 1 1 0.293 0.373 0.467
Adrian Gonzalez 645 25 80 94 1 1 0.292 0.358 0.486
Pablo Sandoval 651 22 84 88 2 1 0.289 0.352 0.478
Eric Hosmer 661 21 84 90 11 6 0.288 0.353 0.462
Michael Cuddyer 584 21 75 82 8 4 0.281 0.343 0.474

Ah, now we get some names. Most of these players are still among the top picks, but there are a few that can be targeted mid-draft. Sandoval is currently the 147th pick off the board according to FantasyPros. Cuddyer is going 94th and Butler is 123rd, although the latter may be affected by position eligibility. Steamer is bullish about Pujols, but do your homework before betting on a renaissance.

Woe Be to Batting Average

Name PA HR R RBI SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Hanley Ramirez 564 20 70 74 15 7 0.279 0.349 0.463
Carlos Gomez 630 22 76 72 33 13 0.254 0.31 0.436

Ok, so this is really just Gomez. I filtered to see which players are 20/20 threats without worrying about batting average. As I mentioned earlier, Ramirez missed the first group by one point in batting average.

Five Category Lite

Name PA HR R RBI SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Shin-Soo Choo 642 18 91 70 17 8 0.279 0.39 0.449
David Wright 608 19 77 78 14 7 0.29 0.376 0.476
Jason Heyward 544 21 70 72 10 6 0.271 0.362 0.479
Bryce Harper 557 22 76 68 13 7 0.271 0.356 0.48
Hanley Ramirez 564 20 70 74 15 7 0.279 0.349 0.463
Dustin Pedroia 614 12 79 71 13 6 0.288 0.362 0.431
Matt Kemp 567 22 72 75 13 6 0.271 0.342 0.464
Kole Calhoun 498 15 63 62 10 6 0.273 0.341 0.447
Brett Lawrie 570 18 75 67 13 7 0.274 0.336 0.451
Hunter Pence 628 21 75 84 10 6 0.274 0.337 0.452
Austin Jackson 646 13 90 60 13 6 0.275 0.347 0.423
Jose Reyes 588 10 77 62 22 9 0.29 0.348 0.426
Jacoby Ellsbury 662 15 86 68 35 12 0.276 0.334 0.417
Brad Miller 564 13 65 62 11 7 0.268 0.331 0.413
Ian Desmond 556 16 62 61 15 7 0.266 0.317 0.426
Alex Rios 580 16 67 71 22 9 0.268 0.313 0.426
Starlin Castro 604 11 64 63 13 8 0.277 0.32 0.411
Alexei Ramirez 653 11 75 62 19 10 0.271 0.309 0.381

Now we’re looking at something. This is a list of players who are projected for better than 60 runs and RBI, 10 home runs and stolen bases, and a .265 average. Most of the list is populated with players who just missed my previous cutoffs, like Wright, Choo, and Harper. However, a few possible bargains reveal themselves including A. Ramirez, Miller, and Calhoun.

Power Club

Name PA HR R RBI SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Jose Bautista 574 33 85 91 6 4 0.262 0.375 0.519
Edwin Encarnacion 644 33 91 100 6 4 0.271 0.364 0.505
Anthony Rizzo 654 31 86 94 7 5 0.268 0.35 0.501

I ratcheted down the stolen base requirement to five and batting average to .250 while filtering for hitters with a 30 plus home run projection. Rizzo isn’t a bargain, he’s being picked 87th overall.

Five Category Ultra-Lite

Name PA HR R RBI SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Justin Upton 531 22 69 73 9 4 0.276 0.363 0.485
Domonic Brown 608 24 70 79 9 5 0.272 0.336 0.47
Adam Jones 578 25 72 85 9 5 0.278 0.32 0.479
Alex Gordon 660 18 90 75 9 5 0.274 0.348 0.442
Ben Zobrist 646 15 79 74 10 5 0.264 0.355 0.421
Wil Myers 597 22 75 77 9 5 0.263 0.333 0.452
Martin Prado 678 14 89 67 7 5 0.289 0.345 0.434
Yoenis Cespedes 529 22 66 77 8 5 0.261 0.324 0.462
Chase Utley 537 16 63 64 8 3 0.263 0.342 0.434
Aaron Hill 641 20 80 74 9 5 0.271 0.332 0.443
Ian Kinsler 651 19 81 83 17 8 0.261 0.336 0.426
Jason Kipnis 630 16 85 67 22 10 0.262 0.344 0.415
Melky Cabrera 539 11 64 64 8 4 0.285 0.336 0.427
Justin Ruggiano 554 18 63 65 17 9 0.257 0.324 0.432
Kyle Seager 598 17 66 68 8 5 0.261 0.332 0.418
Xander Bogaerts 564 14 66 65 8 5 0.261 0.325 0.413
Howie Kendrick 603 13 65 67 9 5 0.276 0.322 0.416
Asdrubal Cabrera 528 13 60 63 8 4 0.259 0.32 0.408
Andrelton Simmons 597 13 61 63 9 6 0.267 0.318 0.408
Brandon Phillips 609 16 66 68 7 4 0.266 0.317 0.408
Erick Aybar 630 8 77 61 15 7 0.274 0.313 0.389

Last table. The top half of this list just barely missed the filter conditions to appear on some of the above lists. As we get to the second half, we find a number of cost effective options who could help glue a roster together. Guys like Cabrera, Ruggiano, Simmons, and Aybar can fall through the cracks entirely despite providing relatively well-rounded production. They don’t stand out in any one category, which is something that fantasy owners tend to notice.

Overall, we tagged 66 players who offer some variation of five category production. Speaking from personal experience, drafting players who can contribute across the board makes it a lot easier to adjust to injuries and performance shortfalls. The waiver wire generally doesn’t have players who are exceptional in even one category, but there are a lot of players who are useful under the right conditions. If you’re lucky, a roster that emphasizes five category production could make it easier to use waiver bait while still pursuing every category.



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scrivenergm
Guest
scrivenergm

I find it hard to believe that Brad Miller’s line will be that close to Ian Desmond’s.

Grant
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I don’t at all.

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