News broke on Friday that Francisco Lindor would be out seven to nine weeks with a strained calf. The reaction to the injury was swift. In NFBC’s Online Championship before the injury news, he had a 4.8 ADP in ten contests. In the two contests over the weekend, his ADP dropped to 16.5 after Jose Altuve, Javier Baez, Alex Bregman, and Trevor Story. So, is the drop deserved or did they drop him too far or not far enough? I’m going to fully breakdown how much I would change his value in a sample league.
With so many league variations, I need to pick a lane with his value adjustment. I going to take a 15-team roto league using AVG. For this league, I’ll use the Standing Gains Points (formulas in my book) as a shortcut to help determine his value and use couple tools to help speed along the process.
Add in replacement level
Going with the high estimate of nine weeks places his return in mid-April. I’ll be conservative and give him a 90% share and 10% to the replacement, thereby missing about two weeks. Before the injury, he was projected for about 700 PA and a 29.5 SGP value. Keeping his projections constant but dropping his plate appearances to the 630 PA adjusts him to 26.6 SGP putting him as the 10th overall hitter.
But for that missing 10%, a replacement level hitter can be used. In this league, the replacement level hitter generates 12.9 SGP for a full season. So, for a tenth of a season, it’s 1.3 SGP. Adding this value to Lindor’s 26.6 SGP puts him at 27.9 SGP or the 6th overall hitter.
He may seem like a deal with the price drop over the weekend but with a hurt calf, how much can we expect his production to drop? I’ll start with the hitting production and then move to the steals.
Change in hitting production
This procedure is not the most intuitive but it works. If anyone has any questions, let me know in the comments.
First, I took all the hitters back to 2010 (Steamer projections go back that far) who spent time on the DL (it was still the DL then) in March or April for either a sprained ankle or calf. The total was 30 batters. I would have like to just use sprained calves but the sample size was too small.
First, I compared the batters projected OPS versus the actual results weighted by the harmonic mean of the plate appearances. What I found was that these hitters underperformed their projections by 27 points of OPS.
While OPS doesn’t easily convert to standard roto stats, I created a formula which allows it to happen. Over the course of his 630 projected plate appearances, he’ll lose about 15 points of AVG, 5 Runs, 2.5 HR, and 5.5 RBIs. All combined, the values work out to about 1.3 SGP or the replacement level production is wiped out and he drops down to the 10th hitter (26.6 SGP).
One other question I ‘ve seen pop up is that he may struggle when he returns. This is easily testable. With the same sample of hitters, they saw their actual May OPS be 57 points lower than their projected OPS. With Lindor, this drop is not an issue since he’s projected for an OPS at about .865.
Dropping him down to a .800 OPS puts in company with Javier Baez, Trea Turner, and Matt Chapman. All players who will be starting in any league. If a player is not projected for such a high initial OPS, they may be benchable until they get 100% healthy.
Change in steals
Lindor would not have had such a high draft slot if it wasn’t for his steals. And how will the injured shin affect his propensity to steal? Like with OPS, I found all the hitters change in steals per 600 plate appearances. The rate works out to an average drop of 1.8 bases per 600 PA.
Most of the players examined did steal as much and only six were projected for over 10 steals. Here is how they performed:
|Name||Season||PA||SB||SB/600 PA||PA||SB||SB/600 PA||Difference in SB/600|
The six hitters average value lines up with the overall value but five of these six stolen base threats were down with the drop between 3 and 7 bases.
Going back to the SGP formula, it took an average of 4.7 steals (whoa, coincidence) to move one spot up in the standings. I’d have no problem dropping Lindor 1 SGP for the potential stolen base loss but I could understand someone picking anywhere between a 0.5 and a 2.0 SGP drop. Here is how he’d rank among hitters with different stolen base adjustments assuming he’s at 26.6 SGP from the previous adjustments.
|SB drop||SGP drop||Hitter ranking|
Depending on how many pitchers go ahead of him, he should be a late first-round pick. Maybe an early 2nd round pick depending on an owner’s risk tolerance.
His projected value is in line with how owners adjusted his value over the weekend. The NFBC is a sharp lot of drafters and they put is value right where I would adjust him to going through all the adjustment steps. He won’t be the first or last player needing an adjustment as spring training chugs along but the preceding is a great outline for making such adjustments.
Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.