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July 9, 2013

Fantasy Focus

Visual Depth Charts

by Rob McQuown

There are three products at BP that use the name "Depth Charts." Here's a quick explanation of the differences, and a reminder that one of them is Visual Depth Charts (complete with Visual Year-to-Date stats).

  • The most recent addition, a sort of "next week" depth chart, is geared toward the avid fantasy player and updated frequently by Jason Martinez, the founder of MLBDepthCharts.com.
  • The version that has been around the longest is the "rest of season" depth charts, wherein the team experts at Baseball Prospectus attempt to predict the playing time for the players on every roster. This displays the data that is used to generate "rest of season" PECOTA. We'll have more on this in a future edition of Feature Focus.
  • The graphical version is called Visual Depth Charts, which uses the same data as the "rest of season" depth charts. It contains a quick-look matrix of all the (batter) positions for each team, and allows selection of various stats, including WARP, TAv, FRAA, and BRR.

All three versions are accessible through the "Depth Charts" button on the navbar at the top of every BP page.

The aim of the Visual Depth Chart is convenience. To see which players enter into a positional total, simply mouse over the number and the names will appear. For example, here's the Rays' first base situation:

  • The numbers in parentheses by each position in the headings are averages for the league (AL or NL) at that position, for reference.
  • Clicking on the various stats (WARP, TAv, FRAA, BRR) changes the numbers in the table (and the mouseover values).
  • Clicking on the "Depth Chrt" button brings up the classic "rest of season" depth charts.

Clicking on "2013 Stats" brings you to the Visual Year-to-Date stats, described in this article. For instance, here's an excerpt from the FRAA report, showing Manny Machado's great season with the glove:

Note: It's important to remember that rounding to one digit means that sometimes numbers don't appear to "add up," even though they do. It also bears noting that the VORP portion of WARP isn't really computed by position; rather, if a player has 80 percent of his PA at catcher, it takes 80 percent of his season-long VORP and then—for WARP—adds his FRAA at the position (divided by runs per win, of course).

That's it for Visual Depth Charts. As always, comments and suggestions are welcome.

Rob McQuown is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Rob's other articles. You can contact Rob by clicking here

Related Content:  Depth Charts,  Visual Depth Charts

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