It was a wonderful, magical age 27 season for Michael Brantley last year. He wound up as the 4th most valuable asset according to Zach Sanders’ 2014 End of Season Rankings with a 24HR-94R-97RBI-23SB-.327 line based on a career-best isolated slugging rate 55+ points beyond his career rate. From 2011 to 2013, his ISO rates were .118, .114 and .112. A .178 last year was almost 40 points higher than the average outfielder ISO rate.
For all hitters between 25 and 29 (the magical 27 +/-2), Michael Brantley had the 2nd best contact rate (91.3%) after Ben Revere. His contact rate was two standard deviations from the mean. His ISO was .78 standard deviations from the mean. His combined contact+ISO z-score was 2.78, which ranks 2nd overall in this age group, which was sandwiched between Troy Tulowitzki and Buster Posey:
Only 38 players of age had a combined contact and ISO z-score beyond 1.00. Look who winds up in 4th. Let’s add another filter into the equation. If we remove all players who weren’t .50 or more standard deviations from the mean in both contact% and ISO, we are left with the following 10 players (excluding Tulowitzki and Zimmerman who will be 30 next year):
Value-add, A.J. Pollock also leads this group in speed which helps verify the elevated BABIP. You can argue a lucky infield-hit%, but his liner rate should jump a bit displacing the value.
As it stands, chances are Pollock hits leadoff for the Diamondbacks and could go 80R-15HR-50RBI-25SB-.290BA with some luck, health, and the magical-mystery-kind age 27 season. In any case, he won’t provide nearly the value that Brantley did last year based on his lineup spot and associated counting stats, but even his grounded 2015 Steamer projections are around or above outfield replacement level (column 1 = OF rank; column 2 = overall rank):
Pollock is all Queue’d up for my round 14/15 turn in our (very) slow mock draft!
Daniel Schwartz contributes for RotoGraphs when he's not selling industry leading thermal packaging. You can follow him on twitter @RotoBanter