To determine who disappointed, I collected the information on any hitters who saw more than a $10 decline in value from their draft-day price. I didn’t want to just use the difference in ranks because the gap from #1 to #15 could be over $10 but the difference between #250 to #300 might just be $1. I only analyzed the hitters who had a positive draft day value.
Like with the pitchers, injuries dominate the list with about three-quarters of the 43 hitters spending some time of the IL. Most of the rest just sucked. So here are the hitters and some observation.
|Name (43 Total)||PA||OPS||PA||OPS||Age||Injury||Bad OPS||OPS drop||SB drop||Rookie||Got platooned||Superhyped|
|Cedric Mullins II||191||.671||74||.337||24||x||.337||-.334|
|Jung Ho Kang||6||.667||185||.617||32||x||.617|
|Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||\N||\N||514||.772||20||x||.772||x||x|
- Again, 30 of the 43 spent some time on the IL with their median plate appearances dropping from 581 in 2018 to 259 last season. Additionally, the performance of these hitters suffered with 16 seeing their OPS drop by at least 100 points. After combining all their OPS differences, they saw a drop of 101 points. It seems like most of these hitters who come back from injuries under-perform compared to their previous season. The injury likely caused the production drop either before and/or after the IL stint.
- The average age for the injured hitters was 28.6 years which is a little older than the league’s average age of 27.9. Those who were 29 years and older saw a median drop of 282 plate appearances while the younger group saw about half the decline (152). When the older players broke down, they had problems getting back into the lineup.
- Of the 13 who didn’t go on the IL, three didn’t completely suck (Betts, Benintendi, Tucker). Of the other 10, they saw their median OPS drop from .744 to .593. With a .650 OPS being around the level which keeps a hitter as a major league regular, all but one were below the threshold. The exception was Aguilar who moved to a platoon role. Also, their median playing time dropped by about 300 PA (561 to 267). From my First Pitch Arizona presentation, I found that job security can be shaky for hitters who have a projected sub-.750 OPS.
- Betts and Benintendi under-performed their projections because their stolen base totals dropped by at least 10.
It’s tough to find any new actionable items besides ones I already follow like take the player who is 1) good at baseball and 2) younger. One item I need to look into is to see if an early-season injury hampers projected production. While there are always exceptions to a rule, it might be worth lowering expectations of someone already hurt beyond just replacement production.
I need further examine some injury information with pitchers and these hitters. After that, it’s time to dive into more of my offseason to-do list. If you’re not moving ahead, you’re falling behind.
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.