As we move into September we move along with the total point series. Second base is a surprisingly deep position. It may not have the upper echelon talent that first base has, but they are certainly deep enough. Unlike standard head to head leagues, the total points revolution is taking over the sport through daily fantasy sports (DFS). Unlike the standard five categories it strives to encompass everything an offensive player contributes.
Naturally, there are different formulas that various sites use, so we have developed one of our own to track player performance. Results may vary depending on which site you peruse, so you shouldn’t take these as gospel. The numbers you see are accurate as of Friday September 1st. Walks, stolen bases, and hit by pitches are combined into positive events and strikeouts, caught stealing, and grounded into double plays are combined into negative events.
Total Bases= 1 point each SO= -1 point each
Runs= 1 point each CS= -1 point each
RBI= 1 point each GIDP= -1 point each
SB= 1 point Each
HBP= 1 point each
BB= 1 point each
We begin any analysis by looking at players that surprised us. There are two reasons why players might surprise us. Either we underestimated them or they took a giant step forward in their development. We see both cases among the elite performers at the position. Schoop is one that obviously took a big step forward. He has always been a dynamic power bat at the position, but no one expected 30 home runs or 100 RBI out of him. Unfortunately for him, he matches a lack of patience with high negatives. That will likely keep him from reaching the top of the list, but he sits comfortably in the top five.
LeMahieu fits the underestimation crowd. He won the National League batting title last season, so this shouldn’t be a total surprise. The key for him is the ratio between positives and negatives. Low strikeouts are crucial in total points formats. Only Altuve has a better ratio between positives and negatives in the first group. Of course, the rest of the top group was expected to be there and believe it or not, this makes second base one of the more stable positions in fantasy baseball.
Rank and File
Second base happens to be an extreme example of a phenomenon we see at just about every position. The distance between the 8th best second baseman and the 13th best second baseman is a mere 17 points. So, it really doesn’t matter how you rank these guys because they could change spots in a manner of days. That also means that prioritizing between one guy or another really doesn’t make a great deal of sense.
This is a huge advantage when playing DFS, but it also means that once you get outside the top six or seven guys you can wait to get your guy on draft day. The middle group is often a mixture of guys that disappointed (Ian Kinsler) with guys that came out of nowhere (Whit Merrifield and Scooter Gennett). So, you can even get your guy after the draft if you pay enough attention.
The last group is usually populated with guys that have missed time due to injury or rookies who were not initially called up. The only two notable exceptions are Panik and Odor. Panik exists on the outside of the median group normally, so he is not such a big deal. Most pundits put Odor in the top group coming into the season based on great power numbers and decent speed numbers. That represents the difference between DFS and a standard five by five league.
After the season, we will revisit these numbers and include points per game. That will help separate the men from the boys and put everyone’s season in its proper context. In particular, guys like Happ, Zobrist, and Pedroia will come out looking considerably better when we look at them on a per game basis.