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|
|49||47||-2||Alejandro De Aza||686||585||762.2|