Script Splits: Using Advanced Stats to Rank SS

Pirates are surging and Mercer hits LHP to the tune of 319/359/458 and would like your attention
The Pirates are surging and Mercer hits LHP to the tune of .319/.359/.458

Shortstop is one of the toughest positions to fill not only in fantasy baseball, but in daily as well. With the top rated fantasy player at the position who cannot stay on the field, it makes the selection process much tougher. When Troy Tulowitzki is on the field, he is the top fantasy shortstop, period. However. that makes him the highest priced player at his position in daily and hard to roster. When he is on the disabled list, like now, it makes shortstop one of the hardest places to find production in fantasy. This exercise will help gamers navigate the rough waters as the last two months of the season are upon us. First, here are the categories in which I will explore:

wOBA: Weighted On Base Average represents all the ways a player gets on base (HBP counts in this metric). It is used to measure a player’s overall offensive value.

ISO: Isolated Power  is simply a player’s slugging percentage minus his batting average.

OPS: On base plus Slugging is exactly what it’s surname suggests, adding together both statistics (OBP and SLG%). In the daily game being getting on base via the extra base hit is preferred.

AB/HR: A simple stat. How many homers does a player hit between each at bat? The fewer the better.

wRC+: Weighted Runs Created Plus A measure of how many runs a player creates. The “+” accounts for differing ballpark factors. So a player who’s home park is Coors is weighted to equal one in Citi Field, for example.

There will be some interesting mid-range and cheaper players who will emerge to target. Using the splits view, here are the shortstops that excel against southpaws.

SS versus Left-Handed Pitching (minimum 70 plate appearances):

wOBA:
1. Troy Tulowitzki .555
2. Hanley Ramirez .402
3. Brandon Crawford .387
4. Jhonny Peralta .372
5. Elvis Andrus .364
6. Jordy Mercer .355
7. Ian Desmond .353
8. Yunel Escobar .351
9. Starlin Castro .345
10. Alcides Escobar .340
11. Xander Bogaerts .329
12. Ruben Tejada .325
13. Jose Reyes .325

ISO:
1. Troy Tulowitzki .436
2. Hanley Ramirez .265
3. Jhonny Peralta .235
4. Ian Desmond .198
5. Brandon Crawford .194
6. Eduardo Escobar .161
7. Asdrubal Cabrera .153
8. Alcides Escobar .144
9. Jordy Mercer .139
10. Xander Bogaerts .132
11. Jose Reyes .130
12. Jed Lowrie .120

OPS:
1. Troy Tulowitzki 1.348
2. Hanley Ramirez .924
3. Brandon Crawford .897
4. Jhonny Peralta .861
5. Elvis Andrus .821
6. Jordy Mercer .817
7. Ian Desmond .806
8. Yunel Escobar .796
9. Starlin Castro .794
10. Alcides Escobar .774
11. Xander Bogaerts .738
12. Eduardo Escobar .737

AB/HR:
1. Troy Tulowitzki 8.7
2. Hanley Ramirez 17
3. Ian Desmond 25.3
4. Jhonny Peralta 27
5. Brandon Crawford 34.3
6. Jordy Mercer 36
7. Xander Bogaerts 38
8. Brad Miller 40.5
9. Eduardo Escobar 43.5
10. Alexei Ramirez 50
11. Jimmy Rollins 51.5
12. Derek Jeter 58

wRC+:
1. Troy Tulowitzki 250
2. Hanley Ramirez 164
3. Brandon Crawford 156
4. Jhonny Peralta 141
5. Jordy Mercer 129
6. Yunel Escobar 129
7. Ian Desmond 126
8. Elvis Andrus 126
9. Starlin Castro 117
10. Alcides Escobar 115
11. Ruben Tejada 110
12. Xander Bogaerts 105

Overall Rankings Based on Aggregate Averages Above (2014 Stats vs LHP):
1. Troy Tulowitzki – 78 AB, 20 R, 9 HR, 17 RBI, 1 SB, 397/515/833
2. Hanley Ramirez – 68 AB, 12 R, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 1 SB, 279/380/544
3. Jhonny Peralta – 81 AB, 12 R, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 247/380/481
4. Brandon Crawford – 103 AB, 12 R, 3 HR, 15 RBI, 1 SB, 311/392/505
5. Ian Desmond – 101 AB, 13 R, 4 HR, 15 RBI, 1 SB, 277/330/475
6. Jordy Mercer – 72 AB, 9 R, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 1 SB, 319/359/458
7. Elvis Andrus – 102 AB, 13 R, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 3 SB, 333/389/431
8. Yunel Escobar – 67 AB, 4 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 313/378/418
9. Alcides Escobar – 90 AB, 8 R, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 2 SB, 300/330/444
10. Xander Bogaerts – 114 AB, 19 R, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 1 SB, 263/344/395
11. Starlin Castro – 88 AB, 11 R, 0 HR, 10 RBI, 307/374/420
12. Eduardo Escobar – 87 AB, 13 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 276/300/437

As I stated earlier, it is a distinct tier at the top with Tulowitzki one and Hanley Ramirez two. After that there is a smattering of players. Of note, Brandon Crawford has been excellent against lefties, like Brian McCann for the catchers. Jhonny Peralta and Ian Desmond provide pop but they are boom or bust. Lately, a hot option has been Jordy Mercer and he has been hitting second against lefties and makes a cheap target. I also like Xander Bogaerts against left-handed pitching and used him tonight against Mark Buehrle. His swing is dialing back in and when he is listed cheaply, is a great play in this split. Now a look at the shortstops who match up well with right-handed arms:

SS versus Right Handed Pitching (minimum 100 plate appearances):

wOBA:
1. Troy Tulowitzki .404
2. Didi Gregorius .362
3. Hanley Ramirez .358
4. Danny Santana .344
5. Josh Rutledge .336
6. Jimmy Rollins .333
7. Erick Aybar .329
8. Jhonny Peralta .328
9. Jose Reyes .326
10. Marwin Gonzalez .322
11. Starlin Castro .321
12. Alexei Ramirez .319

ISO:
1. Didi Gregorius .213
2. Troy Tulowitzki .207
3. Stephen Drew .192
4. Jhonny Peralta .176
5. Ian Desmond .176
6. Jimmy Rollins .174
7. Chris Owings .162
8. Starlin Castro .161
9. Hanley Ramirez .161
10. Brandon Crawford .150
11. Marwin Gonzalez .146
12. Josh Rutledge .146

OPS:
1. Troy Tulowitzki .930
2. Didi Gregorius .842
3. Hanley Ramirez .807
4. Danny Santana .788
5. Josh Rutledge .761
6. Jimmy Rollins .751
7. Erick Aybar .749
8. Jhonny Peralta .744
9. Jose Reyes .736
10. Starlin Castro .731
11. Marwin Gonzalez .726
12. Alexei Ramirez .722

AB/HR:
1. Troy Tulowitzki 19.8
2. Ian Desmond 22.8
3. Stephen Drew 24.8
4. Jimmy Rollins 24.9
5. Jhonny Peralta 25.3
6. Marwin Gonzalez 28.8
7. Didi Gregorius 29.7
8. Starlin Castro 29.9
9. Brad Miller 35
10. Hanley Ramirez 35.6
11. Asdrubal Cabrera 35.7
12. Alexei Ramirez 39

wRC+:
1. Troy Tulowitzki 145
2. Hanley Ramirez 133
3. Didi Gregorius 128
4. Danny Santana 119
5. Erick Aybar 114
6. Jimmy Rollins 112
7. Jhonny Peralta 110
8. Marwin Gonzalez 104
9. Jose Reyes 103
10. Starlin Castro 101
11. Asdrubal Cabrera 99
12. Josh Rutledge 98

Overall Rankings Based on Aggregate Averages Above (with 2014 vs RHP):
1. Troy Tulowitzki – 237 AB, 51 R, 12 HR, 35 RBI, 321/402/521
2. Didi Gregorius – 89 AB, 15 R, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 2 SB, 270/359/483
3. Hanley Ramirez – 249 AB, 36 R, 7 HR, 45 RBI, 11 SB, 277/369/438
4. Jimmy Rollins – 299 AB, 37 R, 12 HR, 37 RBI, 16 SB, 247/329/421
5. Jhonny Peralta – 278 AB, 25 R, 11 HR, 32 RBI, 2 SB, 255/313/432
6. Danny Santana – 126 AB, 17 R, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 3 SB, 317/336/452
7. Erick Aybar – 276 AB, 35 R, 5 HR, 41 RBI, 10 SB, 290/329/420
8. Stephen Drew – 99 AB, 7 R, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 202/275/394
9. Josh Rutledge – 103 AB, 15 R, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 282/333/427
10. Jose Reyes – 276 AB, 47 R, 7 HR, 21 RBI, 13 SB, 279/323/413
11. Ian Desmond – 296 AB, 28 R, 13 HR, 47 RBI, 8 SB, 240/292/416
12. Marwin Gonzalez – 144 AB, 16 R, 5 HR, 14 RBI, 1 SB, 264/316/410

Gregorius has been glorious against right handed pitching slashing 270/359/483 in the desert
Gregorius has been Greg-lorious against right handed pitching slashing .270/.359/.483 in the desert

Doing these articles has really helped me to identify some players who were not on my daily fantasy radar. Case in point is Didi Gregorius, who is quietly emerging in the dumpster fire that is the Diamondbacks. While Chris Owings got the fantasy love early in the year Gregorius is coming into his own and makes a great cheap option going forward against right-handed pitchers. I never would have thought that Erick Aybar had more RBI versus righties than Tulowitzki but it is right above. Two other sneaky plays are Danny Santana who was red hot before his injury but seems to be making adjustments and Josh Rutledge who will never replace Tulowitzki, but for daily and yearly leagues is filling in admirably. It isn’t always about having the most talent at a position, but the right matchup. That is why the splits are so important to monitor during the season.

Greg Jewett is The Sports Script’s senior fantasy baseball writer. Follow him on Twitter @gjewett9!

Statistical credits: Fangraphs.com, ESPN.com
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/7eJjbO (Mercer), http://goo.gl/kPOSgL (Gregorius)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s