Fantasy Baseball Player Charts

 

 

 
To view a Player Trend Chart, select a player from the list below:

show extended info
Click here to view Full player list or
click here to view Extended info player list

Membership has it's privileges, select one of our plans and get the charts updated with the 2013 Preseason Projections, as well as year round trend analysis.

Pitching Charts Defined

Balls Hit into Play Success Rate (BHIP%) : defined as the number of balls hit into play that are registered as hits against a pitcher.   Balls Hit into Play Success %: defined as the number of balls hit into play that are registered as hits against a pitcher. Much has been written on the correlation between balls hit into play and the pitcher’s ability to coax them in their favor. Similar to the research conducted by Voros McCracken, Fantistics internal analysis of the topic leads us to the following conclusion: Overall, pitchers do not have control over balls hit into play, as it is more a function of the batter's ability. However (in disagreement to the McCracken study), when you only consider the top echelon of hurlers, there is a significant correlation which indicates that some pitchers, particularly successful ones, do have influence over balls hit into play.

Hits allowed is a category which is directly tied to many major pitching categories including Wins, WHIP, & ERA. So understanding this indicator can be a valuable tool in forecasting success.

In our study, we considered the top 30 pitchers (the criterion being that they must have a 4 year track record) whose Deserved Wins (QS *.58) were above 12 (we are basically taking the top 30 pitchers who have been around for at least 4 years), the results show a fairly strong 3 year correlation (.31, .58, .37). However, when taken as a whole (top 150 pitchers) the correlation is barely existent (.18, .12, .08).

So what does this all mean? If we can identify the pitchers who do not have control over balls hit into play (inconsistent yearly BHIP% results) then we can extrapolate which pitchers were stricken by bad luck or good luck in the most recent season. Using this information, along with the law of averages, we can then predict which pitchers are due for a rebound/drop the following season. Additionally, by identifying pitchers who have shown a consistent BHIP% in the past, extreme deviations in the most recent year could indicate an erosion of skills, injury, or conversely a lucky period.

The average BHIP% given up by pitchers is .286 (given up by the top 130 starters)

As an example, Ryan Dempster's BHIP% jumped to .321 in 2011 after sitting slightly above league average in 2010 (.289), 2009 (.298), 2008 (.276). At the same time his K/Inning ratio was within his normal range, an indication that Dempster was healthly in his cumulative starts. Therefore Dempster was likely a victim of bad luck on balls hit into play. This is one of the reasons we are expecting Ryan Dempster to have a bounce back season in 2012.

During the 2012 season we'll utilize these graphs to identify trends that are likely to reverse themselves. These trends will be highlighted in our periodic player recommendation reports.

Fantasy Value / Fantasy Production Indicator (FPI)

Fantasy Value is the relative value of each player based on a 5x5 Rotisserie team with a budget of $260.  This is not a draft value. Seeing a player's Fantasy Value decline might only be an indication of a playing time reduction. We consider FPI (see below) a more useful indicator as it does not consider playing time.

Fantasy Production Indicator (FPI) gives us the player's quality per inning pitched. It considers some easily attainable statistics to produce a numeric value which is highly correlated to fantasy production. Stat categories within this indicator include and are valued accordingly for pitchers : ( IP +4.5, H -2.5,  HR -6, W +3, L -3,  BB -1 ) These categories are then divided by the player’s innings pitched.

Similarly with the pitchers, FPI is one of the top indicators of Fantasy worth, although WHIP and OOBP (Opposition On Base Percentage) also make for excellent stand alone indicators. However, when you measure the relationship between fantasy value and these other indicators on their own (ERA, WHIP, Quality Start %, Opposition Batting Average) FPI is the leader of the pack.

FPI

Equivalent

Player Example

> 2.00+

Fantasy God

Justin Verlander

1.80-2.00

Super Star

Roy Halladay

1.60-1.80

Fantasy Star

Matt Cain

1.40-1.60

Above Average

Kyle Loshe

1.20-1.40

Average

Joe Blanton

1.00-1.20

Below Average

Derek Lowe

< 1.00

Fantasy Fool

Nick Blackburn

Expected ERA (XERA) depicts a pitcher’s "True ERA" as it bases its expectation on factors within a pitcher's control. These factors include Hits, Walks, Home Runs allowed and K’s. When you consider the inequity with the ERA calculation, specifically related to errors and base runners inherited/left, many including myself consider XERA to be a more precise gauge of ability.

Expected ERA is a term coined by 2 stat researchers (Gill and Reeve), which developed the following mathematical formula ((.575 * H/9 ) + (.94 * HR/9 ) + (.28 * BB/9 ) - (.01 * K/9 ) - Normalizing Factor). The normalizing factor is based on the league (typically in the .270 and .285 range)

The best way to use XERA is to compare it to the actual ERA. Using the delta between the two indicators we can make observations as to whether the pitcher’s ERA was a true gauge of his ability for the given period. For example, in 2011 Gavin Floyd posted a 4.37 ERA, yet his expected ERA was .88 points lower. A rebound in 2012 is likely.

Overall, based on the MLB pitcher population, XERA and ERA are very close to the same. On average, for the top 150 pitchers, both hover around 3.90.

Runners Stranded Percentage: The percentage of batters that reach base but do not score (more specifically, are not credited to the pitcher’s Earned Runs). The average stranded percentage for starters is .71. Pitchers with Stranded Percentages of about .75 usually have successful ERA and Win totals. Typically, veteran pitchers work around good hitters and bear down on the hitters whom they believe they can retire. A perfect example would be Tim Lincecum. Lincecum's Strand Percentage is typically between .75 and .79. Pitchers with Stranded Percentages below .68 typically have difficulty maintaining a good ERA.

Deserved Wins:  We define Deserved Wins as Quality Starts *  .58.  Typically a pitcher wins 58% of his Quality Starts (defined as a start where the pitcher has gone at least 6 innings and has given up 3 runs or fewer). Using this indicator we can determine if the pitcher was unfortunate or fortunate in his pitching Win totals. Another consideration is pitchers who may be stuck on a poor offensive team; their deserved wins totals will be less than their Win totals. Conversely a pitcher on a good offensive team may have actual win totals which may exceed his deserved totals. Depending on the quality of the offensive unit, this could account for a 4-5 win swing or 2-3 wins above or below expectations.  

From a forecasting standpoint, we can forecast a pitcher’s win totals the following season based on the improvement or degradation of his team support. At the same time keep an eye on the players who were unusually lucky in their totals. Consider the SF Giants Matt Cain who had 7 fewer wins in 2011 versus his deserved win totals, or Kyle McClellan who had 5 more wins than his deserved win totals.

Ballpark Production Indicator measures the 3 year historical run output at the home stadiums of each player. The benchmark median is 100, for a batter it's an advantage to be home at a park above 100, while the opposite is true for the pitchers.

The Projected 2012 team production indicator measures the quality of each team's starting position players (which means just the opening day batters in the lineup). As we all know, pitchers are susceptible when playing for a team with a lackluster offense (Wins, Innings Pitched, & Strikeouts are all at stake). Conversely mediocre pitchers can become serviceable when playing for a team that produces offensively. Although it's not commonly considered, but a fact, batters who play on an offensively productive team see an increase in their own offensive production (categories greatly affected include ABs, AVG, Runs, & RBIs). In summary, the median benchmark is 100, anything above that for pitchers and batters is considered favorable.

Forecast Risk considers the jump in Fantasy Production Indicator in this season's forecast over a player's previous two.  This indicator is from a purely statistical perspective and does not consider the threat of injury (as some players are more injury prone than others), nor does it consider the risk of playing time loss/gain. The player’s overall projections should take these two aforementioned factors into account.

 

 

 

 

  Batting Charts Defined

Singles Average (BHIPx%) – defined as the success percentage of batted balls hit into play (Singles/(AB-K-2B-3B-HR)).  The typical percentage for singles is around .250. Every year there are outliers that hit significantly below or significantly above this average. Of these, 80 to 85% revert toward the mean the following season. Using this historical indicator, we can surmise which players will have a comeback or are due for a drop-off season (with regard to batting average).

Several years ago we conducted a study on this indicator (full text) to determine if there was a relationship between the individual batter and his Singles Rate. Secondly, if there is a correlation, how we can forecast the direction of Batting Average based on this information?

Overall, a relationship does exist between the Singles Average and batters, but it only exists because of a subset of players. Specifically, approximately 45% of hitters have little or no control over balls hit into play (could be a single, could be an out). 45% have an unfavorable control over balls in play (likely causes include poor bat speed and poor bat control). 10% appear to have a favorable control over balls in play.

Using this indicator we can find the players who had an anomaly season or players who are losing/gaining skill.

Conclusion: 1. If a player has a consistent history at or above the average Singles rate (.250) and follows it up with a poor Singles % season (20 points below his 3 year average) he's a good candidate to increase his Batting Average the following season (taking into consideration age factors, and batting eye indicators). 2. The reverse is true for a player that hits 20 points (or greater) above his 3 year average. 3. If a player is consistently at .270 or above in singles % and has a poor singles average in the most recent year, we could expect a bounce back in singles average the following season (which will most likely lead to an increase in BA.) 4. If a player is consistently at a .230 singles average or below and has a singles percentage above .260 in the most recent year, then excluding favorable batting eye indicators and age indicators, we should expect a downturn).

Ballpark Production Indicator measures the 2 year historical run output at the home stadiums of each player. The benchmark median is 100. For a batter, it's an advantage to be home at a park above 100, while the opposite is true for the pitchers.

The Projected 2012 team production indicator measures the quality of each team's starting position players (which means just the opening day batters in the lineup). As we all know pitchers are susceptible when playing for a team with a lackluster offense (Wins, Innings Pitched, & Strikeouts are all at stake). Conversely, mediocre pitchers can become serviceable when playing for a team that produces offensively. Although it's not commonly considered, but a fact, batters who play on an offensively productive team see an increase in their own offensive production (categories greatly affected include ABs, AVG, Runs, & RBIs). In summary, the median benchmark is 100; anything above that for pitchers and batters is considered favorable.

Forecast Risk considers the jump in FPI in this season's forecast over a player's previous two. This indicator is from a purely statistical perspective and does not consider the threat of injury (as some players are more injury prone than others), nor does it consider the risk of playing time loss/gain. The player overall projections should take these two aforementioned factors into account.

Batting Average (BA) –one of the most recognized indicators in the baseball world, but not a valued indicator of  performance. When we look at full time players, consider that the difference between the league average of .274 and that of a .310 hitter is only 16 singles. Thus it’s easy to see how a player can drop in batting average from one year to the next, after just a few weeks of nursing an injury or a bout of bad timing.

In the graphic chart “BHIPx%  - BA” we are using BA to show the relationship between a batter’s Singles Rate and overall Batting Average. An example of its application would be to observe wide gaps (with BA being the greater number) as an indication that the batter attributes most of his average to extra base hits, while gaps in the reverse order (BHIPx% being the greater number) are an indication that the batter may be striking out (not making contact) at a greater than typical rate. At the same time, seeing the difference between a hitter who has a batting average moving closer to his singles rate, is an indication that the hitter is losing power.

If a player's current season Singles Average is below his 3 year Singles average, and we have not seen any increase in HR% or OPS, then this player’s star may be fading.

In this historical example, Sammy Sosa was the difference between his average and BHIPx% (Singles Average) drop precipitously between 2002 and 2005. Consider the change between his 2002 season (60) and that over his last 3. His HR rate and OPS confirm a hitter who is losing his ability to hit the long ball.

Sammy Sosa

BHIPx

BA

Delta

HR Rate

OPS

2002

  0.268

  0.328

60

9.2

1.177

2003

  0.263

  0.288

25

7.4

0.933

2004

  0.263

  0.279

16

6.9

0.909

2005

  0.225

  0.250

25

6.5

0.848

Fantasy Value / Fantasy Production Indicator (FPI)

Fantasy Value is the relative value of each player based on a 5x5 Rotisserie team with a budget of $260. This is not a draft value. Seeing a player's Fantasy Value decline might only be an indication of a playing time reduction. We consider FPI (see below) a more useful indicator to evaluate players as it does not consider playing time.

Fantasy Production Indicator (FPI) provides us with the player's quality per plate appearance in a fantasy environment. It considers some of the most available statistics to produce a numeric value which is highly correlated to fantasy production. In the bestseller Moneyball, Michael Lewis describes the importance of the Walk as explained by guru GM Billy Beane. Similarly we've been touting the importance of the Walk in Fantasy Baseball since 1999, as Walks lead to many other relevant fantasy categories such as runs, stolen bases, and ultimately every other offensive player category (as opposing pitchers are inclined to make better pitches to those players who have a keen eye).

Stat categories within this indicator include and are valued accordingly for batters :  AB*-.5+ H*3 + 2B*4 + 3B*5 + HR*6 +  BB* 1.5 + SB*2 + CS*-1 /  Plate Appearances)

Roto categories such as RBI’s & Runs scored are not included in this calculation because of their dependence on outside influences (i.e. teammates getting on base and teammates driving them in).   

FPI

Equivalent

Player Example

> .82+

Fantasy God

Albert Pujols

0.76-0.81

Super Star

Robinson Cano

0.71-0.75

Fantasy Star

Carl Crawford

0.65-0.70

Above Average

Jay Bruce

0.58-0.64

Average

Michael Cuddyer

0.52-0.57

Slightly below Average

Daniel Murphy

0.45-0.51

Below Average

Cliff Pennington

< 0.44

Fantasy Irrelevant

Russ Adams

This indicator has a higher correlation to fantasy value than does any single widely know indicators such as SLUG, OPS, AVG, EYE, K ratio, etc...for more on FPI click here.

EYE (BB/K) - Also called Batting Eye, considers a players judgment skills at the plate. When Walks are greater than Strikeouts, the batter is considered to  have an excellent EYE (>1.00), and this usually correlates to the league’s top hitters in terms of batting average (>.300). Batters who have a batting eye of less than .40 are considered risky and usually are the hitters well below average in raw skill (there are exceptions). The average EYE for a MLB batter over the last 10 years (with over 400 ABs) is approximately .60.

EYE, when coupled with Batting Average, can reveal and justify trends in performance. For example, if EYE is increasing and so is his BA, then the hitter is said to be locking in or shrinking his volatile strike zone (this is a good sign). Conversely if a batter has a dropping BA and a dropping EYE, then he's lost control of the plate. If these trends continue for sustained periods, it could indicate an erosion of skill.

BB%  /  K% - A breakout of EYE showing walk (over Plate appearance) percentage and strikeout (over Plate appearance) percentage . If a batter is walking at a higher rate but his K percentage has remained the same, his EYE will rise.  However, if his AVG is not rising then his production from a fantasy standpoint may be moot point.

The average BB% for a batter is .10, the average K% for a batter is .16