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Players ottoneu Loved (and Hated): 2B Edition

In last week’s edition, we saw a couple first basemen who made pretty large jumps when we looked at them through the prism of ottoneu, rather than Zach Sanders’s rankings. Well, ottoneu doesn’t love any second basemen as much as it loves Joey Votto and Paul Konerko, who were ranked 11 and 7 spots higher in ottoneu points than they were in the 5×5 rankings.

In fact, when Sanders posted his 2B rankings yesterday, I was surprised to see that no one was ranked more than five spots lower in 5×5 than in ottoneu, with only a couple relevant players ranked even six spots higher. But a couple of players moved from borderline top-10 to the top-4, while two others dropped from 4th and 6th to 10th and 12th.

ottoneu’s True Loves
Sanders’s ranking had plenty of love for Ben Zobrist, ranking him 7th among 2B with a value of $15, but in a linear weights based scoring system, Zobrist deserves even more credit. Interestingly, Zobrist is weak in one of the areas that linear weights typically punishes players who succeed in 5×5 – high-volume, low-success base stealing. His 14 stolen bases offered some of the value keeping him in the top-10, but his nine CS leave him with a net-negative score for SB attempts in ottoneu. On the other hand, Zobrist is second among the position in OBP at .377 (Robinson Cano leads at .379), thanks to a 14.5% BB-rate, also second among his cohort (Dan Uggla leads here). His 39 2B and 7 3B give him another boost that 5×5 leagues don’t value.

Martin Prado similarly gets a boost from his OBP – .359 – and his 48 non-HR extra base hits are third among 2B. So it makes sense that he would rank higher in ottoneu (4th) than he does in 5×5 (9th).

But the real boost to their ranking is that they were not as reliant on their teammates as the players ahead of them in 5×5. Zobrist and Prado were 8th and 10th in R+RBI among 2B, and almost all the players who were ranked ahead of them in 5×5 all rank ahead of them in this stat. The one exception to the rule is Dustin Pedroia, who ranked 8th in 5×5, 9th (ahead of Prado) in R+RBI and – sure enough – passed a couple of the guys who were more teammate-dependent to finish 6th in ottoneu.

Rickie Weeks also makes a jump, moving from 14th (and outside the realm of starting 2B in most leagues) to 9th in the ottoneu rankings. He didn’t benefit from his .328 OBP, nor did he wrack up a ton of extra base hits. Instead, like Prado and Zobrist, he looked better in ottoneu because outside factors weren’t holding him down. At least at first glance. Weeks had only 63 RBI, and with about half his PA in the top two spots in the lineup, and another large chunk coming in the sixth slot, it would seem Weeks didn’t have many chances to knock in runs. But in reality he has more PA with RISP than teammates Ryan Braun and Corey Hart. In this case, Weeks didn’t so much acquire the love of ottoneu as he earned the ire of 5×5 by failing to drive in enough runs.

ottoneu’s Worst Enemies
This one hurts me to write, as I gathered two top-three finishes in ottoneu leagues thanks, in part, to this 2B, but ottoneu has no love for Jason Kipnis. Kipnis, the number four 2B in Sanders’s rankings dropped to 10th in linear weights. Not surprisingly, Kipnis made much of his 5×5 value came from runs and RBI (162 combined, seventh among 2B) and SB (31, third among 2B). Linear weights sees these as fairly empty stats and recognizes his OBP (.335, 15th ranked) and power (14 HR, 13th) as being barely worthy of a starter. Kipnis added 22 doubles, but seeing as that was outdone by players such as Darwin Barney and Gordon Beckham, ottoneu didn’t think much of them. In fact, Kipnis becomes a viable fantasy starter only by being consistently marginal in all categories. His lack of a true spike is balanced enough by his lack of a true valley to make him a usable linear weights player.

The story for Brandon Phillips isn’t all that different. He has one more R+RBI than Kipnis, but with a much better BA (.290 vs. .257) and many fewer SB (15 vs. 31). With a handful fewer HR (18 vs 22), it should be no surprise that he ranks sixth, just two spots below Kipnis, in 5×5. Translated to linear weights, Phillips fares no better. His .321 OBP is worse than Kipnis’s, but on the other hand he doesn’t suffer as much from the decreased value placed on SB, and he ends up 12th in ottoneu.

The lessons are not that different from last week. At 1B, we primarily saw players who had skills that ottoneu appreciated being recognized in a linear weights system. This time we have players who moved up or down in ottoneu primarily because of how they fared in stats linear weights does not value, but 5×5 does.

Maybe next week we can combine the two, and find a player who combines low R+RBI totals, and weak SB numbers (punishing his 5×5 value) with a high number of 2B+3B and a great BB% (accenting his ottoneu value)!

And like last week, we will finish up with a table, but first, a few final thoughts:
Trevor Plouffe, Kelly Johnson and Jemile Weeks all also got a boost in ottoneu, with Plouffe and Johnson becoming almost sure-fire MI options, and Weeks becoming…well…slightly less unusable but still pretty much unusable.
Everth Cabrera, Mike Aviles, Ryan Theriot, and Robert Andino were all shown more love by 5×5 scoring than by linear weights. Cabrera’s speed alone made him a viable play in 5×5, but wasn’t really rosterable in ottoneu.
– Pro-rating players to 650 PA gave Allen Craig a boost from 8th to 3rd and turned Michael Cuddyer, Chase Utley and Chris Nelson into studs ranked 5th, 6th, and 7th respectively. That could be worth keeping an eye on if the first two stay healthy and the last gets a shot to play more regularly in 2013.

ON Rank Sanders Rk Diff Name ON Pts PA Pro-rated to 650 PA
1 1   Robinson Cano 1130 697 1054
2 2   Aaron Hill 1008 668 981
3 7 4 Ben Zobrist 928 668 903
4 9 5 Martin Prado 876 690 825
5 3 -2 Ian Kinsler 839 731 746
6 8 2 Dustin Pedroia 801 623 836
7 10 3 Marco Scutaro 763 683 726
8 5 -3 Allen Craig 761 514 962
9 14 5 Rickie Weeks 755 677 725
10 4 -6 Jason Kipnis 734 672 710
11 12 1 Kyle Seager 727 651 726
12 6 -6 Brandon Phillips 726 623 757
13 11 -2 Jose Altuve 716 630 739
14 13 -1 Danny Espinosa 706 658 697
15 18 3 Dan Uggla 695 630 717
16 19 3 Daniel Murphy 673 612 715
17 17   Howie Kendrick 629 594 688
18 15 -3 Omar Infante 627 588 693
19 16 -3 Neil Walker 623 530 764
20 20   Michael Young 606 651 605
21 25 4 Kelly Johnson 570 581 638
22 22   Dustin Ackley 542 668 527
23.5 26 2.5 Jeff Keppinger 535 418 832
23.5 29 5.5 Trevor Plouffe 535 465 748
25 28 3 Gordon Beckham 523 582 584
26 23 -3 Michael Cuddyer 514 394 848
27 30 3 Darwin Barney 511 588 565
28 21 -7 Mike Aviles 493 512 626
29 27 -2 Chris Nelson 485 377 836
30 32 2 Jamey Carroll 474 537 574
31 31   Chase Utley 472 362 848
32 34 2 Mark Ellis 467 464 654
33 35 2 Ruben Tejada 464 501 602
34 24 -10 Everth Cabrera 452 449 654
35 33 -2 Ryan Roberts 431 489 573
36 40 4 Jemile Weeks 394 511 501
37 36 -1 Logan Forsythe 389 350 722
38 38   Steve Lombardozzi 372 416 581
40 41 1 Daniel Descalso 338 426 516
42 39 -3 Cliff Pennington 329 462 463
43 37 -6 Ryan Theriot 318 384 538
48 42 -6 Robert Andino 291 431 439