2015 Steamer (Position-Adjusted) Fantasy Baseball Rankings

*Updated 10/23/2014 with Position Tiers ($5.00 USD).

The 2015 Steamer projections are up on FanGraphs! “Steamer” uses playing time projections from our depth charts, but right now there are important players (Dustin Pedroia and Jon Lester for examples) missing actual projected playing time. I therefore went into mensch-mode and manually updated Plate Appearance and Innings Pitched projections – very manually, but at least somewhat rational. What I did for these players was go into their “Steamer 600” projections and took their HR, R, RBI and SB per Plate Appearance projected rates (W, SV, SO per Inning Pitched for pitchers) and outputted associated counting stats connected to the quantity of Plate Appearances/Innings Pitched.

*To see which players I manipulated, go into the “P” and “H” tabs in the below embedded file: click on the “…” tab to the left of the current depicted tab. I highlighted all names and counting stats per plate appearance or innings pitched that I edited in Yellow so that I can associate some accountability with the end-rankings. I edited a few catchers’ PA totals even though Steamer already had totals for them (Lucroy, Mesoraco, etc.). I also edited Troy Tulowitzki‘s and Carlos Gonzalez’s PA totals, because…well, you know. I could spend all month editing the PA totals, but I’m not that much of a mensch.

I am also not that eloquent, but I recommend reading all of the content to understand the context, otherwise, if you trust me, go ahead and skip to your rankings below.

Sample and z-scores: 

One additional note before I get onto the general approach – regarding sample size: I wanted and equal number of hitters and pitchers in the rankings because it has an effect on the overall value so I omitted approximately 50 pitchers after manually omitting retirees, young rookies, etc. There will still be random retirees and rookies that won’t have a PA or IP projections I’m sure. I can only do so much. Both pitchers and hitters also have (<50) players still without PA/IP projections, but they were not included in finding the 5×5 (HR,R,RBI,SB,AVG/W,K,SV,ERA,WHIP) categorical means and standard deviations for the z-scores so don’t be concerned.

FAVRz Approach:

To understand the approach and $ value association, you can read this series by our Zach Sanders. I use this approach vs. Standard Gain Points (SGP) for a number of reasons. In short, I don’t know your leagues’ history or the amount within each category you require to go up in your leagues’ rankings. I simply want to understand all player values relative to all others.

Categorical/Player Value: 

Initially, the mean and standard deviations are calculated for all hitters and pitchers beyond a qualifying PA/IP total within each category. The z-scores ((value-mean)/standard deviation) for all 5 standard categories (HR,R,RBI,SB,AVG/W,K,SV,ERA,WHIP) are then summed. This is the “5x5zsum” in the embedded file below.

Adjustment for Position:

Zach explains everything infinitely better in his series. In short, I am using the following average number of players (12 teams x 23 players = 276 players total) drafted per position to come up with our position replacement values, which are used to adjust fantasy value based on position eligibility:

  • C=14
  • 1B=24
  • 2B=18
  • SS=18
  • 3B=18
  • OF=72
  • P=112

You can argue these year-to-year, sure.

Note: I place all players in their scarcest position and tried to use 20 games as my filter meaning Carlos Santana is not a catcher next year. Even though he is a 1B, he also played 20+ games at 3B, and that is more valuable to us. Most 1B/OF combos (Brandon Moss) go into the OF since it is more scarce.

Based on the above numbers and each player’s 5x5zsum, these 7 players wind up being our “replacement players/values:”

Each z-sum associated with these players are used to adjust all other players’ z-sums within their same position. For example, Wilson Ramos’ z-sum (after I manipulated his PA total) = -1.61. This value is the most negative of all the replacement values i.e. the catching position is most scarce…no surprise. 1.61 is added to all other catchers making Wilson Ramos now 0.00 ($1.00 once we associate a dollar value). Buster Posey’s z-sum of 4.13 turns into 5.74.

This new value is our position-adjusted z-sum. You can find this in the 2nd to last column below titled “PosAdj.” It is these values that get put into our $ formula, per Zach’s series: (260-(1*23))/23]*(FVARz / average FVARz for above-replacement players) + 1, whereby “FVARz” is the “PosAdj” value and “average FVARz for above-replacement players” is just that and winds up being 2.89 for our sample. This means the average position-adjusted value for all players above Ramos, Teixiera, Phillips, Segura, Freese, Blanco and Martinez is 2.89. The end dollar values are obviously in the last column, “$.” 

…Deep Breath…

Finally, your 2015 Steamer Rankings – adjusted by position with rationally manual PA/IP manual adjustments as needed:

*Updated 10/23/2014 with Position Tiers ($5.00 USD). Sort the “Pos” column ‘By Ascending.’ 

Holy Mookie Betts!

…Oh yeah, “1B” in Red (Ortiz, Vagas, etc.) means technically they are DH’s, but don’t de-value them much based on that.

Daniel Schwartz contributes for RotoGraphs when he's not selling industry leading thermal packaging. You can follow him on twitter @RotoBanter

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Ryan Brockmember
8 years ago

Did you calculate or adjust your total value allocated to hitters vs. pitchers? With Kershaw that high, I’d guess your split is something between 50/50 and 60/40… I think 67/33 is a lot more common isn’t it?

Also, why does everyone on this site keep calling it “FAVRz”? Isn’t it Fantasy Value Above Replacement?

Ryan Brockmember
8 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Brock

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10WxTM5kyu_O8QngEp-qURVQZ-i75J0GE-nPA2nWqn2Y/edit#gid=0 This is what I came up with last week based on a 65/35 hitter/pitcher split.

Ryan Brockmember
8 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Brock

I think the argument usually made for this is that pitchers get docked value for potential risk/volatility though. (Citation needed)

I’m totally good with presenting the ‘true’ FVARz values, but I don’t think anyone is taking this ranking into a draft room without devaluing the pitchers first, right?