CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Nationa... (03/11)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Adj... (03/10)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Rai... (03/13)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Minor League Update: S... (03/11)

March 11, 2014

Fantasy Freestyle

Fantasy Platoon Options

by Bret Sayre


One of the first articles I wrote here at Baseball Prospectus was a detailed look at how platoon splits, when deployed tactically and objectively, can create a surplus of value by taking two roster spots and turning them into one “super position player.” And the great thing about this concept is that you can keep using it from year to year, just with different names. There are always going to be players with flaws available later in the draft, but there’s a competitive advantage to being able to use certainly players in a way that optimizes their strengths and negates their weaknesses. Here’s what the original experiment looked like:

The exercises below show the benefits of using one of your bench spots specifically to platoon one of your final offensive players, using the 2012 season as the example. The guidelines of the exercises are simple. For each scenario, I took two players who were drafted outside the top 200 last pre-season and set a fixed schedule of when one would be in the lineup over the other—leaving no room for subjectivity. The only exceptions to this were when one of the players was not in the starting lineup (out) or one of the players was participating in a doubleheader (in). Then, I went back through the 2012 game logs to determine the actual statistics and value earned out of this “alternative arrangement.” But before we dive in, we have to set a baseline of value for the roster spots.

Let’s assume, for the purpose of this demonstration, that this owner would have gone with a more standard strategy of taking one full-time offensive player and one flier on a starting pitcher with his/her two final draft picks. Let’s also assume that we’re dealing with a 12-14 team mixed league with five bench spots. The 200th player drafted in a league this size yields a positive return on investment if he earns $4 over the course of the season. Let’s even say that the owner is particularly prescient and is able to squeeze $6 of value out of the starting pitcher by sitting him for a few harsh matchups; even this brings us to a $10 overall value for the two picks.

The conclusion we came to is that by creating an objective framework to work within at the start of the season, a fantasy owner could replicate the season of a high-end position player with two players freely available later on in drafts. And there were two main ways to accomplish this—either the ballpark split or the platoon split. So to follow up on last year’s post, I’m going to dive into the players who you can use this strategy with in 2014 for various sized leagues.

For ballpark splits, there’s really not a whole lot to do as far as player evaluation. These player splits tend to skew towards the team level, so when we’re looking for players to use here, they’re going to come from the places you’d expect. Hitters on the Rockies, Diamondbacks, Reds, and Yankees are likely to be more valuable at home, and some of the names that fall into that draft range are Corey Dickerson, Kelly Johnson, and Ryan Ludwick. Conversely, hitters on the Giants, Padres, Pirates, and Marlins may be more likely to find success on the road. Take potential sluggers like Michael Morse, Garrett Jones, and Andrew Lambo as examples.

However, for the platoon splits, all of this is very player-dependent. We’re looking at players who have at least a .750 OPS versus opposite-side pitching over the last three years combined, and who demonstrated at least that mark specifically in 2013. Additionally, these are all going to be players who have ADPs outside of the top 200 overall (including some who are available much later). And here are the best players to try to use this strategy with:

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

13 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Nationa... (03/11)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Adj... (03/10)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Rai... (03/13)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Minor League Update: S... (03/11)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Tuesday, Augus...
Premium Article What You Need to Know: August 20, 2014
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Red Sox Place Their Be...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Being Wrong About Yovani ...
Fantasy Article They Hold No Quarter: Second Basemen
The Lineup Card: Sevin Epitaphs for Bud Seli...
Moonshot: The Analytic Value of the Crack of...

MORE FROM MARCH 11, 2014
Premium Article Draft Ten Pack: March 11, 2014
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: A New Challenger
Premium Article Minor League Update: Spring Training Games o...
Fantasy Article Five to Watch: National League Hitters
The BP Wayback Machine: Rick Ankiel and Guil...

MORE BY BRET SAYRE
2014-03-19 - Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Episode 11
2014-03-18 - Premium Article Five to Watch: National League Prospects
2014-03-12 - Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Episode 10
2014-03-11 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Fantasy Platoon Options
2014-03-07 - TINO (There Is No Offseason): Ep. 9: You Sou...
2014-03-06 - Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 75 R...
2014-03-04 - Fantasy Article The Top 101 Fantasy Prospects of 2014
More...

MORE FANTASY FREESTYLE
2014-03-19 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Picking Fifth
2014-03-18 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: The PFM, My Bid Limits, a...
2014-03-13 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Raise Decisions and the F...
2014-03-11 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Fantasy Platoon Options
2014-03-10 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Adjusting Bid Limits for ...
2014-03-07 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Projecting the Top 15
2014-03-06 - Fantasy Freestyle: Prospect Theory on Draft ...
More...