The halfway point of the season is upon us, so I thought it would be fun to take a look at the ottoneu All Stars through the first half of 2016. I didn’t want to make things messy with calculated dollar values or points over replacement, so I’ve simply taken the player with the most points (FGpts) at each position in the ottoneu starting lineup. There are some surprising names on these lists, so let’s jump right in with the hitters:
That’s right- Wilson Ramos has put up more points than either Buster Posey or Jonathan Lucroy. The Nationals backstop is putting up a career year (.400 wOBA), and while the rest of season projections expect him to be closer to the 5th best catcher going forward, his performance will still be a huge boon for ottoneu owners that employ him at a $3 average salary.
David Ortiz currently sports a .450 wOBA, just barely above his career high 2007 season of .449, despite being 40 years old and in his last season. Even with zero (or very little?) chance of playing next season, his $17 average salary represents a huge bargain.
The three middle infielders on this squad come as no surprise, as Jose Altuve, Manny Machado, and Matt Carpenter represented our #1 2B, #2 2B, and #1 SS in the preseason, but all three have been even better than expected and probably represent $5-10 surplus given their average salaries.
The starting 3B and Util on this ottoneu All Star team also come as no surprise, as Josh Donaldson and Paul Goldschmidt were both top ranked players at their respective positions before the season began.
Four of the five outfielders on the team are 25 years old or younger (Mike Trout, Kris Bryant, Mookie Betts, and Wil Myers), and represent a small sample of the almost historic level of young hitters in the game right now. Trout is arguably the best hitter in ottoneu, but he is being paid like it with an average salary just shy of $68, while Bryant/Betts/Myers should all represent quality surplus assets going into next year at their average salaries.
The one outfielder I neglected to mention is arguably the most surprising name on the team. Ian Desmond has certainly enjoyed his transition to the outfield (and the Rangers) with a .379 wOBA (although propped up by a .392 BABIP). Our consensus preseason rankings for Desmond had him as the 11th best SS, which would have put him somewhere around the 52nd OF if we had included him there.
Here’s a fun game- will Clayton Kershaw return from the DL before another starting pitcher reaches his current points total? Kershaw is expected to miss another month or so, but Johnny Cueto is currently 179.9 points shy of Clayton. At Cueto’s current 5.67 Pts/IP pace it will likely take him 31+ innings to make up the gap, probably during his 5th start.
Young aces Jose Fernandez and Noah Syndergaard look like the most likely challengers to Kershaw’s mantle as best pitcher in the game, but both need to avoid the injury bug that looms over all pitchers. Fernandez has had diminished command in his return from Tommy John, though the stuff is as good as ever, while Mets fans continue to pray that Thor’s recent elbow discomfort wasn’t being downplayed by the front office.
Kenley Jansen continues to perform like the best reliever in ottoneu, while Craig Kimbrel struggles in non-save situations and Aroldis Chapman spotted Kenley a month’s head start. Chapman’s teammate Dellin Betances continues to be an excellent ottoneu asset despite not accruing any saves in that stacked Yankees bullpen.
David Phelps is the big outlier among the relievers, and while his Pts/IP is lower than other relievers not on this squad he benefits from throwing 45 first half innings and his 20 holds are tied for second most in MLB.
Who are the biggest omissions on this ottoneu All Star team? Who do you expect to be there when the season is complete? Let me know in the comments!
Justin is a life long Cubs fan who has been playing fantasy baseball for 20+ years, and an ottoneu addict since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @justinvibber.