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Equivalent Fantasy Average: Catchers

It's a new metric, a new sorting tool, but hey, who says new can't be better?


I'll be the first to admit that my Equivalent Fantasy Average metric has flaws. I think anyone who sits back and says "Well, Daniel's EFA says this guy is No. 1, so he's No. 1," is falling short of real examination.

That said, I think EFA can be one hell of a sorting tool. If one guy notches a .287 in EFA and another registers a .280, heck, maybe you want to look closer. But if one is .287 and another is .254? Yeah, I think it's safe to say Mr. .287 is a superior fantasy player.

For those unfamiliar, I have been developing the EFA metric over the past few weeks. It is a position-by-position relative statistic that measures the fantasy (and fantasy-only) contributions of each player, presented on a scale relative to batting average, simply to put it on a measuring stick we're used to. A player needs 300 plate appearances to qualify for EFA (so as to not skew the batting average component too awfully much), but otherwise everything else is presented as equal. As is the case with batting average, a .300 is good-to-great, and a .200 is "hope you're really good at defense."

This season, as part of our preseason position rankings and projections, I've applied the EFA to our season projections for each player. So at the bottom of each players' stat blurb in our rankings, you'll see a listing for that player's 2014 EFA, calculated from our 2014 projections from the helpful fellows at Rotobanter.

Because it's scaled against a position, guys who do things that their peers don't do score remarkably well. Hit a lot of homers as a shortstop? Enjoy your extra credit. So catchers - what we're working on this week - present a fun little look. Wilin Rosario hits more homers than most of his compatriots, and as such scores the highest at the position. Jonathan Lucroy is the only catcher likely to steal more than a base or two, and that keeps him highly ranked as well.

Meanwhile, someone like A.J. Pierzynski or Alex Avila - guys who have the big names - don't tally as well. EFA doesn't factor anything in that doesn't matter in 5x5 fantasy, so someone's OBP, or the way they frame pitches, or their leadership, or their propensity for doubles, is irrelevant.

(Disclaimer: I stand by EFA. I think it's good. But for now, all I can say is that it's good. It's not perfect. Read over my initial looks into EFA [here and here], and - particularly if you're math-savvy - chime in in the comments with any advice you might have to improve it. I need to find a way to scale the guys with 325 plate appearances against the guys with 675. I need to figure out if that will allow me to bring in the sub-300-PA guys. I need to calculate pitchers, for crying out loud. I'm open to advice.)

Anyway, below you'll find a list of the EFAs for all the catchers our friends at Rotobanter project to have 300 or more plate appearances, all the way from Wilin Rosario to Josmil Pinto:

Rank Catcher Team Projected 2014 EFA
1 Wilin Rosario COL .293
2 Jonathan Lucroy MIL .288
3 Buster Posey SFG .288
4 Carlos Santana CLE .280
5 Yadier Molina SLC .279
6 Brian McCann NYY .276
7 Joe Mauer MIN .275
8 Matt Wieters BAL .275
9 Salvador Perez KCR .272
10 Wilson Ramos WAS .269
11 Jason Castro HOU .268
12 Yan Gomes CLE .264
13 Miguel Montero ARI .264
14 Russell Martin PIT .263
15 Evan Gattis ATL .256
16 Mike Zunino SEA .255
17 A.J. Pierzynski BOS .254
18 Josh Phegley CWS .253
19 Travis d'Arnaud NYM .252
20 Dioner Navarro TOR .251
21 Hank Conger LAA .249
22 Jarrod Saltalamacchia MIA .249
23 Alex Avila DET .248
24 Ryan Lavarnway BOS .245
25 Devin Mesoraco CIN .245
26 Geovany Soto TEX .245
27 Carlos Ruiz PHI .244
28 A.J. Ellis LAD .242
29 John Jaso OAK .240
30 Josmil Pinto MIN .239