Posted on: March 12, 2008 2:19 am
Edited on: May 8, 2008 7:57 pm

OCD over OBP

Checked my e-mail today and found one I rather liked. It comes to us from Tony Weaver in Sarasota, Fla.:

"My leagues are all 5X5 Rotisserie with on-base percentage as a category instead of batting average. Since walks come into play with OBP, is there any players you would shoot up or down the tiers (see March 5 post) that come to mind? Thanks for your help!"

See kids? You don't necessarily send those e-mails into a black hole. Not necessarily.

Tony actually hit on a subject close to my heart, and I applaud his league for replacing batting average with on-base percentage. I think the latter gives a more accurate assessment of a player's ability and real-life worth (which Fantasy should attempt to model as closely as possible). Now if only his league could replace home runs with slugging percentage. Then, it'd really be cooking.

I love walks. I pay close attention to them and tend to factor them into my player rankings even in standard Rotisserie. You might call such behavior a bias of some sort, but I think players with good plate discipline tend to become good players sooner, remain good players longer, and post good numbers more consistently.

In leagues that count walks, I often try to draft only the players listed here. I don't do anything stupid, obviously, but I end up with a lot more hits than misses. And if you're like me, you'll often find yourself in leagues where your competitors hardly adjust their rankings for the walk. If so, you shouldn't either. You want to maximize value whenever possible, after all. Just make sure you know how late is too late, or someone else in your league will steal a player from you without even recognizing his true value. Talk about frustrating.

Now, I don't have an exact cutoff for the players on this list. I won't say everyone listed here walks a certain number of times per at-bat or anything like that. But from what I've noticed, these players stand out as the ones that walk most often at their positions. If you want to suggest one or two that I missed, feel free. Hey, I want to know about them for my own Fantasy purposes.

Oh, and just to keep the list from becoming too crowded, I omitted anyone I named in "The Elite" tier at his particular position. The Elite is the elite no matter the format.

I present to you the OBP All-Stars (or at least guys who walk a lot):

Catcher (The Elite: Victor Martinez, Russell Martin)
Joe Mauer, Jorge Posada, Jason Varitek, Carlos Ruiz, Gregg Zaun, Chris Iannetta

First Base/DH (The Elite: Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols, David Ortiz)
Ryan Howard, Lance Berkman, Travis Hafner, Gary Sheffield, Jim Thome, Todd Helton, Nick Swisher, Kevin Youkilis, Nick Johnson, Frank Thomas, Daric Barton

Second Base (The Elite: Chase Utley)
B.J. Upton, Brian Roberts, Rickie Weeks, Kelly Johnson, Jeff Kent

Third Base (The Elite: Alex Rodriguez, David Wright, Miguel Cabrera)
Chipper Jones, Troy Glaus

Shortstop (The Elite: Hanley Ramirez, Jose B. Reyes, Jimmy Rollins)
Derek Jeter, Carlos Guillen, Stephen Drew (But each is a reach just to give shortstop some candidates. Guess I have another reason to target the Big Three this year.)

Outfield (The Elite: Matt Holliday, Vladimir Guerrero)
Lance Berkman, Grady Sizemore, Manny Ramirez, Bobby Abreu, Adam Dunn, Nick Swisher, Brad Hawpe, Jason Bay, Pat Burrell, Jack Cust, J.D. Drew, Milton Bradley, Luke Scott

That's all for now.
Category: MLB
Tags: OBP, tiers, walks
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