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Players ottoneu Loved (and Hated): OF Edition

After a brief Holiday respite, Zach Sanders continued his end-of-season positional rankings by posting his OF rankings on Monday. With far more players than at any other position (103 players qualified for the OF rankings) the differences between where a player falls in 5×5 vs. linear weights can be more drastic.

In fact, instead of talking a few spots here or there, there were six players who “fell” at least 20 spots when we shifted to linear weights, and six who “rose” at least 20. We’ll see a couple old friends on this list and once again OBP and SB go a long way towards explaining the differences.

ottoneu’s True Loves
Ben Zobrist and Martin Prado, how does ottoneu love thee? Let me count the ways. You both appeared more than a month ago when we talked 2B, and both made another appearance two weeks later when we flipped to the other side of the MI. In the week in between, ottoneu could not contain it’s adoration, and Prado made the list at the hot corner, as well.

Oh, but ottoneu is not done with you two yet. Sitting as solid middle-of-the-pack options in 5×5, in the land of linear weights, Zobrist ranked 10th (32nd in 5×5) and Prado 17th (39th in 5×5). Those other three links provide the details on why these two multi-talented players are oh-so-valuable in ottoneu, but there is one other quick point to make. Both finished near the top in total PA (Prado was 5th, Zobrist 14th), and on a per PA basis, they ranked 48th (Prado) and 24th (Zobrist). Clearly these two guys took advantage of health and playing time, and that provided an awful lot of value in ottoneu leagues.

We have another repeat recipient of ottoneu’s love in this list, as well – Nick Swisher made a leap at 1B and climbed from 42nd in Sanders’s rankings to 20th in ottoneu. The reasons are mostly the same ones covered in the 1B article.

That leaves us with three new crushes for linear weights leagues. Yonder Alonso and David DeJesus bordered on irrelevance in 5×5 leagues, ranking 86th and 76th, respectively, but moved well within the ranks of useful players in ottoneu, where they ranked 48th and 53rd. Both, however, may be the beneficiaries of playing time as much as scoring systems. Alonso posted a .348 OBP and DeJesus barely bested him at .350. Neither relied heavily on 5×5 counting stats (DeJesus was a bit more successful in SB with 10 and R with 76, and Alonso bested him with 62 RBI, but neither player was particularly valuable in any of those stats). So some small increase was to be expected. And on a per PA basis, that is what you got, with Alonso finishing 77th and DeJesus 74th. Add the 29th most PA for Alonso and the 45th most for DeJesus, and you will accentuate that improvement. Basically, these are not players who were anchoring your OF but, as their ranks suggest, you could have slotted them in as a 5th, maybe even a 4th, OF every single day, known just what you were going to get, and been content with the results.

The other riser in linear weights rose to much higher heights. Alex Gordon followed up his breakout 2011 with an almost-as-good 2012, but still finished just 36th in the 5×5 rankings. Not bad, but likely disappointing to many fantasy players. Not anyone using linear weights, though. Gordon slotted in 7th in points, with a total of 957. And he did this by being solid across the board – a .294/.368/.455 line – while driving huge numbers of in-the-park extra-base-hits (a position-leading 51 doubles and five triples to boot!) which help an awful lot in linear weights but get ignored in 5×5. Gordon is, in many ways, the ideal example of an ottoneu true love – lots of doubles, little reliance on teammates, a ton of PA. If you are in a league with owners not accustomed to linear weights, these are the types of players you want to target in auctions and drafts.

ottoneu’s Worst Enemies
Recipe for a player ottoneu hates:
1 cup of stolen bases (30+ preferred)
1 tbsp of too few PA (ideally under 500)
1 tbsp lack of power (single-digit HR ideal, will accept anything under 20)
A dash of free-swinging (BB% under 6%)
A touch of out-creation (OBP .330 and below)

Take that mix and you are very likely to end up with the six outfields ottoneu really did not like. Rajai Davis (49th in 5×5, 80th in linear weights), Ben Revere (51, 74), Carlos Gomez (37, 71), Juan Pierre (58, 84), B.J. Upton (15, 37) and Drew Stubbs (69, 92) all cracked the 30 SB plateau and all fell at least 20 spots between the two systems. For most of these guys, the reasons are clear – Davis, Revere, and Pierre are one-trick ponies (at least offensively) who are not great at reaching base, hitting for power, or anything other than running really fast, really often. Stubbs has a bit more pop, but takes “not great at reaching base” part to a new high (low?).

Gomez and Upton are a the more interesting cases. Gomez suffered due to a lack of playing time. On a per PA basis, he would have ranked 42nd – not far from his ranking of 37th in 5×5. His .305 OBP is not ideal, and he will need to bring up his 4.4% BB% to really jump in the ottoneu rankings, but he was not purely a speed play. He hit 19 HR and had 23 other extra-base hits in his 452 PA. He was only caught stealing 6 times, so his 37 steals brought in real value (about the same as 4 HR). Gomez will be over-valued by anyone who thinks in 5×5 terms, but will be undervalued if your opposition sees him as base-stealer and little more.

Upton, in the meantime, looks much worse on a per PA basis, ranking 61st. He stole six fewer bases than Gomez and was caught the same number of times – ottoneu does not like that lack of efficiency. In 181 extra PA, Upton had nine more HR but also had only 9 more other extra-base hits (and one less triple). Like Gomez, Upton’s biggest issue is just making outs, which linear weights leagues punish harshly. A sub-.300 OBP is not going to fly in any format, but it is much easier to hide in 5×5 than linear weights.

A few final notes:
Brandon Moss (4th), Justin Ruggiano (8th), Carlos Quentin (17th) and Jonny Gomes (18th) all cracked the top 20 per PA without accruing the PA needed to make the list – but all deserve some recognition for their ottoneu seasons.
Mike Trout and Ryan Braun were numbers 1 and 2, respectively, in Sanders’s rankings. They flip-flopped for ottoneu and stayed Braun-Trout on a per PA basis. These two are clearly head and shoulders above the rest.
Giancarlo Stanton was 3rd, per PA, in ottoneu. His 5×5 numbers will take a hit since, you know, the Marlins traded everyone (unless he gets traded), but that should not be a problem in linear weights.
Michael Bourn was 27th in ottoneu, after being 16th in 5×5. But on a per PA basis? 84th.

ON Rank Sanders Rank Diff Name Pts PA Pro-Rated to 650 PA
1 2 1 Ryan Braun 1238 677 1188.6
2 1 -1 Mike Trout 1164 639 1184.0
3 3   Andrew McCutchen 1133 673 1094.3
4 4   Josh Hamilton 1037 636 1059.8
5 9 4 Matt Holliday 1010 688 954.2
6 6   Adam Jones 976 697 910.2
7 36 29 Alex Gordon 957 721 862.8
8 5 -3 Alex Rios 930 640 944.5
9 12 3 Josh Willingham 929 615 981.9
10 32 22 Ben Zobrist 928 668 903.0
11 27 16 Shin-Soo Choo 916 686 867.9
12 7 -5 Curtis Granderson 907 684 861.9
13 13   Jay Bruce 886 633 909.8
14 8 -6 Carlos Gonzalez 884 579 992.4
15 26 11 Adrian Gonzalez 880 684 836.3
16 14 -2 Giancarlo Stanton 878 501 1139.1
17 39 22 Martin Prado 876 690 825.2
18.5 10 -8.5 Jason Heyward 870 651 868.7
18.5 20 1.5 Corey Hart 870 622 909.2
20 11 -9 Carlos Beltran 867 619 910.4
21 19 -2 Austin Jackson 866 617 912.3
22 42 20 Nick Swisher 849 624 884.4
23 38 15 Adam Dunn 837 649 838.3
24 22 -2 Alfonso Soriano 829 615 876.2
25.5 28 2.5 Angel Pagan 820 659 808.8
25.5 29 3.5 Josh Reddick 820 673 792.0
27 16 -11 Michael Bourn 813 703 751.7
28 41 13 Andre Ethier 802 618 843.5
29 24 -5 Bryce Harper 798 597 868.8
30 23 -7 Yoenis Cespedes 795 540 956.9
31 31   Nelson Cruz 785 642 794.8
32 21 -11 Melky Cabrera 783 501 1015.9
33 17 -16 Justin Upton 782 628 809.4
34.5 18 -16.5 Torii Hunter 779 584 867.0
34.5 45 10.5 Jason Kubel 779 571 886.8
36 30 -6 Hunter Pence 773 688 730.3
37.5 15 -22.5 B.J. Upton 761 633 781.4
37.5 25 -12.5 Allen Craig 761 514 962.4
39 34 -5 Mark Trumbo 760 586 843.0
40 33 -7 Chris Davis 759 562 877.8
41 54 13 Dexter Fowler 758 530 929.6
42 40 -2 Norichika Aoki 747 588 825.8
43 52 9 David Murphy 743 521 927.0
44 44   Shane Victorino 718 666 700.8
45 46 1 Garrett Jones 708 515 893.6
46 35 -11 Matt Kemp 707 449 1023.5
47 57 10 Ryan Ludwick 697 472 959.9
48 86 38 Yonder Alonso 689 619 723.5
49 47 -2 Alejandro De Aza 686 585 762.2
50 65 15 Michael Brantley 682 609 727.9
51 55 4 Cody Ross 677 528 833.4
52 43 -9 Ichiro Suzuki 675 663 661.8
53 76 23 David DeJesus 651 582 727.1
54 61 7 Kendrys Morales 645 522 803.2
55.5 53 -2.5 Tyler Colvin 642 452 923.2
55.5 67 11.5 Ryan Doumit 642 528 790.3
57 56 -1 Michael Saunders 639 553 751.1
58 75 17 Nick Markakis 638 471 880.5
59.5 71 11.5 Denard Span 629 568 719.8
59.5 62 2.5 Howie Kendrick 629 594 688.3
61 68 7 Todd Frazier 627 465 876.5
62 48 -14 Coco Crisp 620 508 793.3
63.5 50 -13.5 Desmond Jennings 613 563 707.7
63.5 79 15.5 Carlos Lee 613 615 647.9
65 73 8 Delmon Young 611 608 653.2
66.5 64 -2.5 Colby Rasmus 607 625 631.3
66.5 59 -7.5 Dayan Viciedo 607 543 726.6
68 63 -5 Jose Bautista 603 399 982.3
69 60 -9 Jon Jay 601 502 778.2
70 80 10 Brandon Belt 588 472 809.7
71 37 -34 Carlos Gomez 584 452 839.8
72 66 -6 Will Venable 571 470 789.7
73 83 10 Matt Joyce 550 462 773.8
74 51 -23 Ben Revere 548 553 644.1
75 70 -5 Michael Morse 536 430 810.2
76 82 6 Trevor Plouffe 535 465 747.8
77 89 12 Jeff Francoeur 532 603 573.5
78 74 -4 Scott Hairston 525 398 857.4
79 72 -7 Cameron Maybin 517 561 599.0
80 49 -31 Rajai Davis 515 487 687.4
81 77 -4 Michael Cuddyer 514 394 848.0
82.5 84 1.5 Raul Ibanez 505 425 772.4
82.5 91 8.5 Seth Smith 505 441 744.3
84.5 58 -26.5 Juan Pierre 488 439 722.6
84.5 94 9.5 Lucas Duda 488 459 691.1
86 78 -8 Chris Denorfia 485 382 825.3
87 93 6 John Mayberry 475 479 644.6
88 92 4 Bryan LaHair 472 380 807.4
89 81 -8 Gerardo Parra 455 430 687.8
90 85 -5 Gregor Blanco 452 453 648.6
91 90 -1 Brennan Boesch 447 503 577.6
92 69 -23 Drew Stubbs 445 544 531.7
93 87 -6 Mitch Moreland 441 357 802.9
94 88 -6 Justin Maxwell 423 352 781.1
95 95   Wilson Betemit 419 376 724.3
96 97 1 Chris Young 417 363 746.7
97 98 1 J.D. Martinez 416 439 615.9
98 100 2 Andres Torres 401 434 600.6
99 96 -3 Chris Heisey 387 375 670.8
100 101 1 Steve Lombardozzi 372 416 581.3
101 103 2 Ty Wigginton 354 360 639.2
102 99 -3 Alex Presley 345 370 606.1
103 104 1 Brian Bogusevic 313 404 503.6
104 105 1 Jose Tabata 311 374 540.5
105 102 -3 Jordan Schafer 278 360 501.9