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Players ottoneu Loved (and Hated): SS Edition

Posted By Chad Young On November 6, 2012 @ 8:15 am In Ottoneu,Rankings | No Comments

It turns out, I maybe should have done a MI Edition instead of both a SS and 2B Edition of this series. Of course, I didn’t know that until Zach Sanders posted his 5×5 SS rankings and I found that a couple of flames from a couple weeks back were reappearing in ottoneu’s little black book this week.

Ben Zobrist and Martin Prado, both of whom were covered in the 2B Edition were two of the five biggest SS climbers when you leave 5×5 and move to linear weights. And Everth Cabrera, who warranted but a brief mention in the 2B piece was the farthest faller at SS. But four of Sanders’s top 10 made meaningful moves when we switch the scoring format.

ottoneu’s True Loves
I already mentioned Zobrist, and I am not going to recount WHY he moved up (the reasons are basically the same they were at 2B), but you should know that the #7 SS in 5×5 was #1 in ottoneu. He leap-frogged on of the other biggest risers to get there.

Derek Jeter is not usually a name associated with a deep, abiding love from advanced statistics, but that is more related to his defense than his offense. And this year the good captain drew the eye of ottoneu, jumping from sixth in 5×5 to second in linear weights. How did he manage this? Well, putting up the second best OBP of all SS definitely helps. Doing that while being a run-away leader in hits helps. Jeter relied heavily on two factors – first, his position leading 740 plate appearances and second, any points-based scoring system’s willingness to reward players who get a lot of plate appearances. Basically, Jeter rode his 169 singles (22 more than any other SS) to more hits-based points (points earned 1B+2B+3B+HR) than anyone else. In 5×5, a single can help you get runs, can help you get RBI, but can never make up for HR. In linear weights, roughly three 1B will get you the equivalent of one HR (14 points per HR/4.6 points per 1B = 3.04 1B/HR). Jeter was only sixth on a per PA basis – but those extra PA made him second overall.

Three other risers matched or exceeded Jeter – the previously mentioned Martin Prado climbed from eighth to fourth, while Zack Cozart and Jhonny Peralta each made five-spot gains, from 23rd and 24th to 18th and 19th, respectively. These two, like Jeter, benefited heavily from playing time. Five of the six players they jumped past had fewer PA than either of them (the exception will show up in the next section). But that isn’t all they did. Peralta put up the 10th best BB% among SS. Cozart had the 11th best ISO. Those kinds of walk and extra-base numbers will help a team out quite a bit on ottoneu, without adding much 5×5 value. Neither became sure-fire starters with those efforts, but they definitely moved up in the world.

ottoneu’s Worst Enemies
So who was it that managed to get more PA than either Peralta or Cozart and still fell behind them? Alexei Ramirez, who was tied for the second largest fall (behind Everth Cabrera), dropped from 15th to 20th largely thanks to an abysmal 2.6% BB%. How bad is 2.6%? Dead last among qualified SS, and second to last among all position players with at least 300 PA in 2012 (Miguel Olivo “beat” Ramirez with 2.2% – yikes). And it’s not like he made up the gap by crushing the ball – his .099 ISO doesn’t even crack the top-20 at a not-so-strong position like SS. If you don’t walk and don’t hit for power, ottoneu has no time for you.

Two of ottoneu’s other dislikes are players who probably don’t deserve to be called “worst enemies.” Sanders’s list included two fellow NL Easters in the top three – Jimmy Rollins in the top spot and Ian Desmond third. ottoneu drops them both but still respects them greatly. Rollins ranked fifth in linear weights, Desmond eighth. For Desmond the story is relatively simple – some DL time cost him dearly, as he was the number one ranked SS by Points/PA, but his 547 PA ranked 21st. The fact that he finished eighth with such a relative lack of opportunities speaks volumes to the season Desmond put up. Rollins was just plain solid in all the areas ottoneu usually loves: fifth in PA, sixth in BB%, fourth in HR, seventh in 2B+3B, and fifth in SB% among players with at least 10 steals. But, as you can see, he was great at none of them, and that was enough to let a handful of players sneak past him. Interestingly, none of the guys who snuck past him had fewer points/PA – they actually just put up better seasons than he did.

A few final thoughts:
– Like Everth Cabrera, Mike Aviles joins the “ottoneu doesn’t like me no matter where I play” club, falling from 18th in 5×5 to 23rd in linear weights.
– Pro-rated to 650 PA, Ian Desmond is your top dog, as noted above. Zobrist follows close behind.
– The biggest surprise on the pro-rated list? Josh Rutledge, who finished 6th, ahead of Jeter, Jed Lowrie, Hanley Ramirez, and Rollins. Playing time is all that holds him back.
– No matter how you cut the data (5×5, linear weights, pro-rated to 650 PA) your least valuable fantasy SS of 2012 was Brendan Ryan. If only we counted defensive metrics in fantasy…

ottoneu Rank Sanders Rank Diff Name ottoneu Pts PA Pro-Rated to 650 PA
1 7 6 Ben Zobrist 928 668 903
2 6 4 Derek Jeter 916 740 805
3 2 -1 Jose Reyes 902 716 819
4 8 4 Martin Prado 876 690 825
5 1 -4 Jimmy Rollins 822 699 764
6 4 -2 Hanley Ramirez 797 667 777
7 5 -2 Starlin Castro 794 691 747
8 3 -5 Ian Desmond 791 547 940
9 9   Marco Scutaro 763 683 726
10 11 1 Elvis Andrus 746 711 682
11 12 1 Kyle Seager 727 651 726
12 14 2 Asdrubal Cabrera 723 616 763
13 10 -3 Alcides Escobar 718 648 720
14 13 -1 Danny Espinosa 706 658 697
15 17 2 J.J. Hardy 650 713 593
16 16   Erick Aybar 624 554 732
17 19 2 Michael Young 606 651 605
18 23 5 Zack Cozart 581 600 629
19 24 5 Jhonny Peralta 562 585 624
20 15 -5 Alexei Ramirez 542 621 567
21 22 1 Trevor Plouffe 535 465 748
22 25 3 Yunel Escobar 509 608 544
23 18 -5 Mike Aviles 493 546 587
24 21 -3 Rafael Furcal 492 531 602
25 26 1 Jamey Carroll 474 537 574
26 27 1 Jed Lowrie 466 387 783
27 29 2 Ruben Tejada 464 501 602
28 20 -8 Everth Cabrera 452 449 654
29 32 3 Brandon Crawford 399 476 545
30 28 -2 Josh Rutledge 363 291 811
31 34 3 Daniel Descalso 338 426 516
32 33 1 Clint Barmes 333 493 439
33 31 -2 Cliff Pennington 329 462 463
34 30 -4 Ryan Theriot 318 384 538
35 35   Robert Andino 291 431 439
36 36   Brendan Ryan 290 470 401

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