2014 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Real Offensive Value — Third Basemen, Part I

We’ve taken a break along with most of the league on our game wide rundown of real offensive value. Many of you might be new to the discussion, so first let’s talk a little bit about real offensive value (ROV). Real offensive value combines batting average and secondary average to create one statistic that looks like batting average. At the break, the league wide batting average was a shade above .250. The league wide ROV is fairly close at .245.

We could stop there, but we will include three other numbers as a simple gauge of how these guys are doing. The most important of these is runs produced. It is important because it reflects what these guys are actually doing fantasy wise. In particular, the difference between runs produced (RBI + Runs – HR) and runs created is important. Runs created is a complex formula that calculates how many runs a player creates on his own. A large separation between runs produced and runs created shows which players benefit the most from their supporting casts. Finally, we have wRC+ from Fangraphs.

ROV

RP

RC

wRC+

Lonnie Chisenhall

.311

67

50

162

Adrian Beltre

.302

84

53

146

Todd Frazier

.302

86

58

135

Carlos Santana

.300

56

38

115

Anthony Rendon

.299

100

56

131

Josh Donaldson

.287

103

50

118

Kyle Seager

.285

82

52

127

Pedro Alvarez

.271

68

40

108

Luis Valbuena

.271

49

37

109

Matt Carpenter

.270

85

56

123

Like many of the other positions (catcher and second base most notably) there are fewer elite third basemen than what we thought in the preseason. Some of them didn’t even make the top ten, so we have a few surprise names on this list. We should take a look at some of these guys as we move onto the second half.

Lonnie Chisenhall– Cleveland Indians

Chisenahall is the perfect example of what happens with many successful prospects. Most of them are not successful during the first go around. This was opportunity number three for Chisenhall and he has made the most of it. Mind you, he’s not likely to be this good for very long, but if he settles in as a top ten third basemen then the Indians will be very satisfied and it could go a long way in making the Indians competitive for the immediate future.

Carlos Santana– Cleveland Indians

While Chisenhall is proof of the virtue of patience, Santana is proof of how unimportant batting average can be. His .393 secondary average is astounding and why he ends up finishing fourth. Ironically, this is where we would expect him to finish among third basemen, but we would expect some better numbers along the way. That has always been the way with Santana. Every year more is expected and yet it is not delivered. As they say, it is time to appreciate what you have instead of what you think he should be.

Anthony Rendon– Washington Nationals

It looks like the Nationals are beginning to settle in with Ryan Zimmerman playing in the outfield for now. The long range plan probably has Zimmerman playing first base in 2015. Meanwhile, Rendon appears to have settled in as the third baseman of the future in Washington. He is one of a few players to produce more than 100 runs in the first half. Don’t look now, but he may end up being a better offensive player than Bryce Harper.

Josh Donaldson– Oakland Athletics

Donaldson has more runs produced than any player we have looked at so far. Granted, we are a week or two past looking at first basemen. He had a slow strecth, but otherwise he has been just as good this season as last season. The Athletics are for real as well. His +53 differential between runs produced and runs created is as high as any other in the game. So, while he ranks outside the top five according to ROV and wRC+, his runs produced puts him on top for third basemen.

Luis Valbuena– Chicago Cubs

You can’t help but feel sorry for Valbuena. He spent most of his career on the bench and once he seemed to gain a foothold on a position he has a Kris Bryant waiting in the wings. Maybe he will find another place to call home when Bryant takes over in 2015. As it stands now, he is an above average offensive player, which is a lot more than anyone would have thought possible even a couple of years ago.

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