As Fantasy players, this is the time of year when our brain is overloaded with information from too many sources. ADP (average draft position) for snake drafts, dollar value projections for auction drafts, inflation calculation for keeper leagues, prospect rankings and every imaginable stat for each player who might be on a major league roster as of March 28th. So, how can you possibly get an edge in today’s Internet age where someone can go from neophyte to expert in the course of web-browsing weekend? One answer might be to look below the surface and find stats that others ignore. Recently in this space, you found the pitchers from 2018 who threw at least 66% strikes and had a minimum of 17% swings & misses. Of the 150+ hurlers who met the criteria of rotation starters or closers, only about 35 made the grade. Maybe a little asterisk next to their name on your draft sheet might not be a bad idea?
On this visit, once again with the help of the 2019 Bill James Handbook, we’ll look at league leader batting categories from last season in hopes of finding an occasional clue about future performance.
> Mallex Smith (.367) and Aaron Hicks (.366) were both in the top ten in On-Base Percentage.
> Miguel Andujar might not be a great defensive player but his Slugging Average (.527) was better than Giancarlo Stanton (.509). Andujar made league minimum while Stanton made $25 Million.
> Nelson Cruz hit 37 HR’s at age 38.
> The A’s double-play combo of Marcus Semien & Jed Lowrie combined for 1,383 plate appearances.
> Alex Bregman hit 51 Doubles.
> The Red Sox had three players score 100+ Runs…Mookie Betts 129, J.D. Martinez 111 & Andrew Benintendi 103.
> Despite missing 20+ games, Mike Trout led the league in Walks with 122…25 were intentional.
> Yoan Moncada (217), Stanton (211) and Joey Gallo (207) were the three players with 200+ Strikeouts.
> J.D. Martinez hit .800 with the bases loaded.
> Speaking of clutch, Joey Wendle hit .347 in the “BA Close & Late” category.
> Joe Mauer and Yuri Gurriel were the only two players to hit over .400 with runners in scoring position (RISP).
> Nick Castellanos led the league with a .381 BA against LH Pitchers.
> Jose Altuve had the best BA (.349) on the road.
> Rougned Odor had the lowest SB success percentage at 50% (12-for-24).
> Jose Ramirez was the only player to “see” over 3,000 pitches.
> Justin Upton had the best OPS vs. Curveballs (1.133) and Tyler White had the best (1.262) vs. Changeups.
> Omar Narvaez has the best OPS (.854) for a Catcher…Justin Smoak had the best (.805) for First Basemen.
> Andrelton Simmons had the lowest Strikeout rate (7.3%).
> Jake Cave had the league’s longest HR average (421 feet).
> Khris Davis led the league in Lead Changing RBI (41).
> Only three players had a .400 OBP…Joey Votto (.417), Brandon Nimmo (.404) & Christian Yelich (.402).
> Trevor Story had the 2nd best Slugging Average (.567)…Yelich was 1st (.598).
> Five players appeared in all 162 games…and one of them was Freddy Galvis.
> Ketel Marte led all of baseball with 12 Triples.
> Javier Baez (111) had more RBI than Nolan Arenado (110).
> Bryce Harper led all of baseball with 130 Walks.
>Chris Taylor led the league in Strikeouts with 178.
> Pablo Sandoval had the highest BA (.636) with the bases loaded.
> Dansby Swanson had the best BA (.375) in “Close & Late” situations.
> Brian Anderson was the best (.367) at hitting with RISP.
> Nolan Arenado hit .347 at home and Paul Goldschmidt hit .339 on the road.
> Five players had at least an 80% Stolen Base success rate…and one of them was Michael A. Taylor.
> Manuel Margot swiped 11 bases and was caught stealing 10 times (52.4%).
> Miguel Rojas grounded into 23 double-plays in 488 AB’s…Matt Carpenter grounded into none in 564 AB’s.
> Cesar Hernandez was the only player to “see” over 3,000 pitches.
> Eric Hosmer had the highest ground ball ratio (3.06).
> Rhys Hoskins had the lowest ground ball ratio (0.56)
> Max Muncy had the highest percentage of Pitches Taken with 62.9%.
> David Peralta had the best OPS vs. Curveballs with 1.137.
> Mike Moustakas had the best OPS vs. Sliders with 1.145.
> Three Catchers had an OPS over .800…Yasmani Grandal, J.T. Realmuto & Francisco Cervelli.
> Scooter Gennett had the best OPS (.856) among 2B. He also had the lowest average Home Run distance (377 feet).
> Ian Happ had the highest Swing and Miss Percentage with 37.7%.
> Anthony Rizzo led the league with 40 Lead Changing RBI.
To the untrained eye, this may all seem like a plethora of useless information, but you Rotisserie Ducklings have picked up a tidbit or two that you’ll remember at the Draft…you can thank me later.