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The Great American League Power Outage

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For those of us playing in AL-Only leagues, we cannot help but notice there appears to be no power available anywhere. I began looking at it last week, when the AL SLG was .398. Through Monday's games, the AL SLG now stands at .397. The sample size is small, but, across the board, the NL is out-homering the AL at every position but DH/P-PH.

The question is how do fantasy players adapt if this turns out to be a persistant condition for 2008? In deep mixed leagues, I suspect rosters already tilt toward the NL even if those participants have not yet noticed.

In AL-Only leagues, though, the adaptation has different effects. Participants accustomed to going out and getting power via trades or the free agent pool will need recalibrate what they expect in return for what they have to offer.

What kind of starting pitcher could fetch J.D. Drew? Before the Great American League Power Outage (GALPO), an Andy Pettitte-like SP could do it. Now, it may take a step-up from Pettitte into the lower echeleon of #2 fantasy SPs.

I know I'm not quite ready to accept the new valuation of hitters like J.D. Drew, but those who believe GALPO is a persitant feature of the 2008 season will benefit by striking early and scooping-up whatever excess power is available before his competitors recognize the condition.

Courtesy of Baseball Prospectus, here are the average HRs and slash stats per postion in the AL and the NL throush Monday April 21, 2008. Notice the difference in middle infield power between the AL & NL.

POS HR AVG OBP SLG
C 22 0.269 0.322 0.399
1B 40 0.256 0.362 0.438
2B 11 0.254 0.322 0.344
3B 33 0.271 0.343 0.43
SS 12 0.265 0.317 0.357
LF 32 0.268 0.341 0.429
CF 21 0.274 0.341 0.392
RF 24 0.264 0.342 0.406
DH 31 0.24 0.334 0.388
POS HR AVG OBP SLG
P 2 0.123 0.161 0.155
C 28 0.263 0.338 0.405
1B 50 0.26 0.35 0.453
2B 30 0.249 0.322 0.387
3B 49 0.273 0.338 0.468
SS 30 0.269 0.333 0.419
LF 39 0.27 0.355 0.441
CF 32 0.254 0.332 0.408
RF 40 0.299 0.362 0.482
PH 7 0.183 0.27 0.263