RotoGraphs Audio: The Sleeper and the Bust 10/08/2014

Episode 173

The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is live!

RotoGraphs writer Zach Sanders and Nicholas Minnix discuss:

Alex Rios; Adam Wainwright; Yasiel Puig; Bryce Harper; Shelby Miller; and, right in Zach’s wheelhouse, the end-of-season catcher rankings, which went up at the beginning of this week.

As usual, don’t hesitate to tweet us or comment with fantasy questions so that we may answer them in our next episode.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or via the feed.

Thanks to Ian Miller, aka Teen Archer, for the intro/outro music. Approximately 53 minutes of joyous analysis.

Nicholas Minnix oversaw baseball content for six years at KFFL, where he held the loose title of Managing Editor for seven and a half before he joined FanGraphs. He played in both Tout Wars and LABR from 2010 through 2014. Follow him on Twitter @NicholasMinnix.

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Maybe Zach can explain this…

If i take the top 200 batters by ab’s for 2014, the batting average of the group is .267. If I take for example, Jose Altuve (.341 avg over 660 abs), his z-score for batting avg comes out somewhere near 3.2.

To achieve a z-score equivalent of 3.2 for Stolen Bases, one would have needed to swipe 44 (using same group of players as used above).

So using the above assumptions, 44 sbs = .341 avg over 660 ab’s.

44 sb’s would conservatively represent about 22% of what a team would need to win sb’s in a 12 team league (im assuming 200 gets you there, that may be high).

Altuves 660 abs would represent somewhere near 11% of the total AB’s your team might accumulate (i assumed 11 total batter spots, which is probably light unless your talking about yahoo standard leagues, so even the 11% is probably high). His .341 avg over those ab’s is more or less valuable depending on the batting avg of the balance of your team, but nonetheless stays somewhere between 10-13% of total contribution to the category.

Based on this, it seems as though the z-score method overvalues a rate stat such as avg. So why do you use this method versus others?

Ryan Brock

You’re talking about roto, so standings gain points would be more appropriate…

Maybe they’ll cover in the podcast but I think part of the answer to your question is that rate stats like AVG are actually weighted by ABs or PAs in this method to convert them into counting stats.