FanPost

Fantasy Baseball: 2012 Position Strength Review

2012 Position Strength Review

The 2012 season is coming to a close, and it's time to review how the season played out in order to re-calibrate for the 2013 season. One of my favorite activities is to compare the performances of each offensive position to see which position had the most top performers and which ones gave managers fits. Fair warning: things are about to get pretty nerdy in the next few paragraphs. If you don't care to understand how I pulled my numbers, feel free to skip a few paragraphs for the analysis.

My metric of choice for this exercise is Fantasy Value Above Replacement (FVARz), which was created by Zach Sanders over at Fangraphs (Link). FVARz sums the number of standard deviations above or below the mean that a player has accrued for each stat of relevance to a particular league. I believe this statistic does the best job of comparing all players on a level playing field while incorporating only the statistics of importance for a specific league. It is essentially WAR for fantasy, but computes the final number by weighing only the stats of significance to a particular league.

For the sake of this discussion, I used my 6x6 (R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, OPS) 14-team dynasty league as the structure for my calculations. After calculating each player's Z-score as compared to the entire population of hitters (which I'd gladly share if anyone is curious how I calculated my numbers, just shoot me an e-mail at bcreagh119@gmail.com), I grouped players by their position according to Yahoo's position eligibility requirements. If a player was eligible for multiple positions, I included him in every group he was eligible for.

Next, I needed to determine the replacement value for each individual position. I used the current number of players owned in my league to determine how many players are considered above replacements. Since 21 C-eligible players are owned, then the Z-Score for the 22nd Catcher in my list is the value of a replacement player at Catcher. After doing this for every position, I now have the replacement value in terms of a Z-Score for every position. This gives us one statistic that we can compare across positions to see which position was strongest in 2012. My final step was to breakdown the number of players that were above replacement in each position and placing them in three buckets: Pre-Prime, Prime, or Post-Prime. Big thanks to Bret Sayre for sparking this idea in this post. Finally, here are my results:


Pos.

FVARz

Players Above Replacement

Pre-Prime

%

Prime

%

Post-Prime

%

CF

2.0206

40

18

45.00%

17

42.50%

5

12.50%

LF

-0.2784

53

18

33.96%

23

43.40%

12

22.64%

RF

-0.6002

57

16

28.07%

32

56.14%

9

15.79%

1B

-1.8442

52

19

36.54%

21

40.38%

12

23.08%

3B

-1.9745

38

11

28.95%

17

44.74%

10

26.32%

2B

-1.9745

35

11

31.43%

16

45.71%

7

20.00%

SS

-2.0777

30

13

43.33%

12

40.00%

5

16.67%

C

-2.9983

21

8

38.10%

11

52.38%

2

9.52%

CF was far and away the strongest position this season, which isn't surprising as there are 15 CF-eligible players inside the Top 100 according to Yahoo Rankings. The 2B & 3B results jump out at me right away. Unless you drafted David Wright or Miguel Cabrera, it's not a shock to see that 3B was a black hole for fantasy owners all season. Not only was it equally as poor as 2B, but it has the largest percentage of players in the "Post-Prime" bucket. Those looking for a rebound at 3B next season may be disappointed. Consider that Edwin Encarnacion, and Jose Bautista both have one appearance at 3B this season and likely won't be eligible next season, and we received relatively healthy seasons from Adrian Beltre, Aramis Ramirez, and Ryan Zimmerman - a rare feat.

I'm also optimistic on the outlook of 2B for 2013. If guys like Howie Kendrick, Dan Uggla, and Rickie Weeks can pull off any semblance of a rebound to go along with the progression of Jason Kipnis and Jose Altuve (also the lingering possibility of Jurickson Profar playing enough 2B to be eligible next season), the position may actually outperform 3B in 2013.

I'd love to hear other people's take from the above graph. I realize a lot of the Pre-Prime, Prime, and Post-Prime breakdown is a result of the defensive spectrum and older players tend to move to the corner infield/outfield positions, but I do like to keep this big picture in mind when selecting keepers for the next season. Maybe I by-pass keeping an above-average CF in favor of a high-upside 3B since there appear to be plenty of CF to go around and grabbing a 3B may prove difficult in 2013.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Fake Teams

You must be a member of Fake Teams to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Fake Teams. You should read them.

Join Fake Teams

You must be a member of Fake Teams to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Fake Teams. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker