2014 Fantasy BaseballFantasy BaseballTotal Run Index

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Total Run Index – TRI vs. ADP Second Base

A wise man once said that you should always go with the devil you know over the devil you don’t know. Apparently, the early drafters in fantasy baseball don’t agree at the second base position. We can see two players that have virtually no experience at the big league level and one with minimal experience being taken among the top twenty second basemen.

On the other hand, we have three traditional regulars (who all had positive TRI scores over their three and/or five year average) that fell off most draft boards. Go figure. I suppose there is some defense for it whenever you consider the risk vs. reward. All three players with limited to no experience were selected as backups.

All fantasy champions have to take a certain amount of risk. You can play it safe all the way down the line and that might get you into the playoffs of your fantasy league, but as someone once said, greatness courts failure. Few mistakes are made when picking fantasy backups, but some championships can be won.

POS

ADP

Index

Rank

Robinson Cano

1

11.62

+34.6

1

Jason Kipnis

2

22.41

+12.8

7

Dustin Pedroia

3

33.69

+18.7

3

Matt Carpenter

4

48.93

+16.7

4

Ian Kinsler

5

65.52

+13.2

6

Ben Zobrist

6

77.41

+24.2

2

Jose Altuve

7

89.97

-3.1

20

Daniel Murphy

8

101.48

+7.5

10

Jedd Gyorko

9

101.55

+5.9

13

Brandon Phillips

10

107.17

+5.3

15

Aaron Hill

11

113.03

+5.9

13

Chase Utley

12

142.41

+14.6

5

Howie Kendrick

13

168.14

+9.8

9

Jurickson Profar

14

174.83

-4.9

21

Brian Dozier

15

189.38

-5.2

22

Neil Walker

16

213.28

+7.2

11

Anthony Rendon

17

225.31

-0.3

19

Kolten Wong

18

267.24

NR

NR

Alexander Guerrero

19

269.14

NR

NR

Omar Infante

20

273.00

+2.0

17

TRI Bargains

Ben Zobrist

Ben Zobrist could be the most underrated player in baseball when you consider his versatility. That versatility really comes in handy on your fantasy team. He’s spent considerable time at second base, shortstop, and in the outfield over the years. Beyond that, he gets on base and that is becoming a more and more important stat as more leagues are adding an OBP component

Chase Utley

This one is a tough selection as fantasy players are choosing him as a starter (assuming you are playing in a twelve team league). So, it’s difficult to say he is seriously undervalued. If he plays 150 games he will be a top five fantasy second basemen. Of course, if he plays 150 games it would be a shock to nearly everyone. Can he give fantasy owners 120 solid games? If so, he is worth a starter’s spot.

TRI Players to Avoid

Jose Altuve

I’m an Astros fan, so it is difficult for me to put him on this list, but I have to. Let’s forget the respectable batting average and the stolen bases. Bill James developed a statistic he called secondary average years ago. It combined isolated power and isolated patience. He sported a .113 secondary average a year ago. Even in his 2012 “breakout” season he had a .159 secondary average. Yes, he steals bases, but that is really all he is doing at this point.

Brandon Phillips

The Reds have tried to trade Phillips this offseason to no avail. Consider that the Yankees would rather have Brian Roberts than trade for Phillips. Let that sink in for a minute. Eight consecutive seasons of 17 or more home runs is nice, but after sporting an OPS of .810 in 2011, he came back with a .750 and .706 OPS the past two seasons. Yes, he drove in more than 100 runs, but he seems to be slipping into oblivion.

TRI Waiver Wire Possibilities

Scooter Gennett (338.55 ADP)

He surprised everyone with a +10.2 TRI last season and I guess it might be too good to be true. Still, I would think someone would either take a flyer on him or his teammate Rickie Weeks. His 10.2 would have put him eighth among second sackers coming into the season. Yet, he was selected 25th. Ideally, we would see a splitting of the difference. Either way, I’d pay very careful attention to the Brewers second base battle in Spring Training.

Marco Scutaro (389.14 ADP)

No one wants to pick players like Scutaro with too many of their backup slots. I get it. He has a low ceiling and if you see a Jurickson Profar or Kolten Wong on the board you want to take the chance they could blossom into stars. Still, considering that Scutaro is likely eligible at multiple positions he still could be a valuable bench player added after draft day.

Previous post

Fantasy Basketball 2014: Codename Bloodsport

Next post

The Tragedy of Alex Rodriguez

2 Comments

  1. January 29, 2014 at 5:59 am — Reply

    Scott,

    Nice work here. I played with something similar over at Faketeams using 3-year average for wOBA plus qualified plate appearances to look at players who 1. were not only offensively productive (compared to league average, but also 2. who were durable over the same period of time. It’s called the “Deep League Drafting” series if you want to look it up. Same idea–stop trying to predict and look at the descriptive to see what they’ve actually done. Also, re: Altuve, I’m not sure that his lack of power thus far merits an “avoid” label. Other than Kipnis, who’s obviously a top 2-3 2B, is there anyone that’s going to come close to stealing the amount of bases as Altuve at 2B? I could make the argument that a return to leadoff, and an improving lineup around him (w/ Carter, Fowler, Singleton, Springer, etc.) could help him improve on his numbers this year. I think he’s slipped into the underrated category. Thoughts? I’m on Twitter (@agape4argentina)

    • January 29, 2014 at 1:44 pm — Reply

      Thanks for your thoughts Joseph. Altuve will not be leading off in all likelihood. Dexter Fowler will be leading off and if Bo Porter is smart, Jonathan Villar, L.J. Hoes, or Robbie Grossman will hit second. That likely throws Altuve down in the order to the 8th or 9th slot. I do acknowledge a difference between what the Index says is the quality of the player and what fantasy baseball values. Altuve is likely to steal 30 bases and will play nearly everyday. That by itself has value, but I don’t see making him a top five second baseman given the circumstances.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.