Archive for First Base

Anthony Rizzo Gets A Boost Of Speed

Anthony Rizzo ended up as the #3 overall first baseman according to Zack Sanders end-of-season rankings. Looking over Rizzo’s stat line about everything lined up with expectations. The 31 home runs and .278 average are well within expectations. A few additions around him in the lineup boosted up his counting stats. The only change in his stat was a huge jump in stolen bases to 17. In his previous four seasons, he only had 16 stolen bases total. I am going to examine Rizzo today especially the chances of his stolen base total staying up.

Not Stolen Base Information

The 26-year-old’s stats were in line with expectations, if not a bit better. One item which improved was his 19% K% in 2014 (and it is near his career average) dropped to 15% in 2015. Rizzo went with the approach of swinging more (44.5% to 46.8%) and making more contact (79.7% to 83.1%). If a few more of these batted balls fall in play, he could push a .300 AVG.

I could even expect his Run and RBI total to increase as the rest of the Cubs grow and mature. The team’s wRC+ has gone from 81 in 2012 to 96 this season. The 2012 to 2014 teams averaged 609 runs a season with the 2015 squad scoring 689 runs. With Rizzo hitting in the middle of the lineup, he could easily top 100 Runs and 120 RBI.

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2015 Visualized: First Base

2015 Visualized: Catcher

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For the next few weeks, the RotoGraphs staff will devote an entire week to each defensive position, including spotlights on particular players as well as trends throughout the 2015 season. This week, we’re highlighting first basemen.

I don’t claim to be a Tableau (or data visualization) whiz by any means, but I thought it would be cool to visually represent the first base landscape in 2015 — with some analysis sprinkled in.

Steamer and ZiPS represent premier player projection systems; FanGraphs’ Depth Charts combines the two, and the writing staff allocate playing time accordingly. The playing time part is less important relative to the combined projections, as aggregated projections tend to perform better than standalones.

Previously, I compared actual WAR (wins above replacement) to projected WAR. This is not entirely helpful in a fantasy context, however, given WAR is a catch-all component metric for offense and defense. Defense doesn’t do us a whole lot of good for fantasy purposes.

Thus, I figured out a way to compare projected wOBA (weighted on-base average) from the preseason to actual wOBA (1) by team and (2) by player within team. Unlike WAR, wOBA is a rate metric, so it does not need to be scaled according to playing time.

First: the difference between a team’s wOBA generated by first basemen and their projected wOBA. Blue represents the highest expected wOBA; yellow represents lowest expected wOBA. The size of the bar above (below) the line represents actual wOBA above (below) expectations.

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2015 End of Season Rankings: First Basemen

The 2015 fantasy baseball season has come to a close, so it is time to look back at the season past and determine which players were the most valuable at each position. After looking at catchers last week, we start moving around the diamond and focus on first basemen.

The players were ranked based on their 2015 production, using the evaluation system explained and updated on this site some time ago. The valuations are built for $260 budgets and standard 5×5 roto fantasy leagues, where only one catcher is started. Players are listed only at their primary positions from 2015.

One important thing to note is the premium (or lack thereof) placed on the position a player occupies in your lineup. For example, while a first baseman may be able to accumulate superior overall numbers, the availability of such production lower in the rankings severely dampers the amount the player was worth. These rankings are meant to reflect a player’s value should he have occupied this spot in your lineup for the entire year. A player who missed time due to injury but put up great numbers during his time on the field would be worth less.

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Is Mike Trout Playing Hurt? (With Batted Ball Velo Leaders)

Mike Trout hurt his wrist in late July. Since then, in the 101 plate appearances headed into his game last night, the Angels outfielder has hit .224/.347/.388 with two home runs and a caught stealing. He’s been 11% better than league average, but that’s like 50% below average on the Trout scale. Is he still hurt?

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Brandon Belt as Joey Votto

As we have learned more about what drives hitter BABIP in recent years, we have talked a lot about batted ball type distribution. Joey Votto is always the example of what the ideal profile looks like for posting an inflated BABIP. It’s not necessarily the profile that leads to the highest wOBA (that’s more an individual ideal), but what would typically result in the highest rate of balls in play falling for hits.

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Rotographs Midseason Rankings – First Base

We’re back at it again today with our midseason rankings. After covering Catchers yesterday, we jump to First Base today. I put my rankings in last and added some names that were forgotten on my initial list and the guys haven’t been able to update theirs to include these guys just yet. I’m sure you can expect some dissent on Frazier, but for now I left him in that two spot despite having just my ranking. I think of Frazier more as a 3B, but the incredible depth at the position means you could realistically have two of the superstuds over there at third, pushing Frazier to your 1B where he definitely still holds up.

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Cesar Hernandez & Xavier Scruggs: Deep League Wire

Our journey to the far reaches of the fantasy dumpster take us to two National Leaguers who have recently come into playing time and are being introduced to owners for the first time. As usual, the players listed in this column are better suited for mono leagues, and the ownership percentages are by way of CBS.
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Chris Parmelee & James Jones: Deep League Wire

This week’s edition highlights two hitters who have just been freshly recalled from the minors. They could return there by the time you read this sentence or remain on the big league roster for some time! That’s the joy of picking from scraps in deep leagues.

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C.J. Cron & Ruben Tejada: Deep League Wire

Would it be too awful a pun (or half-pun) to say this week’s column is a tribute to fallen angels? Probably, so I’ll rephrase: Here are two former full-time players who lost their jobs after some struggles but have now returned to regular playing time. As usual, the players featured in this column are better suited for mono leagues, and the ownership percentages are by way of CBS.
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Randal Grichuk & Mark Reynolds: Deep League Wire

Whatever it is they do in St. Louis, it works: The Cardinals are 33-18, the best record in the majors, and if the past decade is any gauge, we might as well go ahead and put them down for another postseason berth in 2015. With such success, let’s see if two little-owned position players on the team, both of whom have recently come into playing time, can provide help to deep-leaguers.

As usual, the players discussed in this space are better suited for mono leagues, and the ownership percentages are by way of CBS.
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