Thursday, February 26, 2009

Is Alexei Ramirez worth his ADP if he duplicates his 2008 stats?

There are countless ways to determine the value of a player in fantasy baseball, but a common and relatively unscientific method is to glance at a players’ stats and then rely on gut in deciding if that player is going to improve, regress, or simply maintain his current rate of production.

For example, it seems many owners think Alexei Ramirez—who hit .290 with 65 R, 21 HR, 77 RBI, and 13 SB in only 480 at bats in 2008—will improve in 2009, which explains why he is currently being drafted in the fourth round of Yahoo (Y!) mock drafts. While participating in a recent mock draft, I witnessed an owner bragging about getting Alexei with the 54th overall pick. “Getting Alexei here with this pick is amazing value. He’s gonna mash this year,” the proud owner wrote. “At worst, he’ll duplicate his stats from last year, which would easily make him a top 50 pick.”

Which got me thinking. If Alexei were to duplicate his stats from last year, would he be a top fifty pick? Turns out, the answer is no. Alexei was the 114th-best player in the Y! last year, which puts his value somewhere in the middle of the ninth round.

Part of the reason his value was suppressed in the end-of-year 2008 Y! rankings was his 480-at-bat total limited his potential in the counting stats (R, RBI, HR, SB). So what if we were to extrapolate his stats for a 580-at-bat season? How would this change his value?

Your wish is my command:

Alexei Ramirez’s 2008 stats extrapolated out for 580-at-bat season:
79 R, 25 HR, 93 RBI, 16 SB, and a .290 AVG.

The player closest to having these same stats in 2008 was Vlad Guerrero:
85 R, 27 HR, 91 RBI, 5 SB, and a .303 AVG.

Vlad was the 56th-best player in the game in 2008. If Alexei were to duplicate a extrapolated version of his 2008 stats in 2009, he would be almost exactly worth his 50th-overall draft value. No more, no less.

This list should help give you a better sense of which second basemen might outperform their 2009 Average Draft Position (ADP):


(Note: my explanation of this list is a little convoluted, but hopefully it makes sense.)

Other required Alexei Ramirez reading:

  • Bill James projects Alexei to hit .289 with 88 R, 24 HR, 97 RBI, and 14 SB.

  • Turns out FB Junk also played around with this same data: Who is Really Under/Over Valued?

  • Razzball likes Alexei better than that likeable wood gnome, Dustin Pedroia.

    Want more draft strategy? Click here for 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, OF, C, SP, and RP position primers.

    Daniel Butter said...

    I worry that Alexei won't duplicate his stole base total of 2008. No coach will let him continue to attempt steals if he continues to get caught so frequently.

    Anonymous said...

    I do not think that your analysis is right. Alexei Ramirez is a SS/2B, making him more valuable. If you are to look where Vlad is, in terms of OF depth, he is proximately 30th. Alexei Ramirez is projected to be the 5th best 2b, after Utley, Kinsler, Roberts and Pedroia. Even though the numbers are the same, you are getting the production out of a very scarce position.

    DrGravitee said...

    Hi Anon. Ah, position scarcity. Sure. As you note, position scarcity is certainly a factor in fantasy drafts, but the question becomes, how much should we let this factor influence our drafting choices? Take Russell Martin, who is projected to be the 117th player in the Y! game. Would you draft him at slot 42 just because of position scarcity? Many do. But it is a big enough reach that it causes me to pause. But in the case of Alexei, who, as this post shows, is already projected to play up to his draft position (about 50), position scarcity is actually less of a factor. Instead, the question becomes, do I want to get a 100% return on my investment with Alexei, or wait on my middle infield slot, pick an OF instead, and then try to see if I can get an even better return on my investment by taking Tulo or Lopez or some other MI later in the draft.

    I like Alexei. As I noted in one of my recent posts, I took him in my money league draft this year. His 2B/SS/OF flexibility in the Y! game is going to be very useful in my daily league.

    Anonymous said...

    Hey there.
    I was wondering your opinion on this.
    I was offered J.J. Hardy and Rich Harden for Alexei Ramirez. Should I do it?

    DrGravitee said...

    I love giving advice! I was able to give a lot of it this past fall when I wrote for a Rotoworld football column. I'll make your question a full on the top of the page (or use the TKSink search box) to find the post in which I answer your question.