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October 25, 2013

Sporer Report

Six Super Subs

by Paul Sporer


Go to the leaderboard for any of your favorite baseball statistics sites and you are bound to get some useful information. However, you will almost always miss a particular subset of players: the unqualified. All leaderboards default to show only the hitters who qualified for the batting average title, which means they must have 3.1 PA per team game.

Almost all sites allow you to adjust the plate appearance threshold you want to look at, but the default keeps those below the batting title threshold out of sight. Today we are going to look at six guys who fell below the threshold, but did good work in their allotted time, suggesting that they could do some nice work with a full-time role in 2014.

For this exercise I’m using the 150-400 PA range of anyone who is 26 years old or younger. While the batting title cutoff is 502 PA, I wanted to dig a little deeper, as those in the 401-501 PA range likely made a big enough impact not to be forgotten. In fact, some of the players in our sample made a similar impact and for that reason you won’t find them profiled in this piece: Wil Myers, Matt Adams, and Evan Gattis. Myers was a huge prospect that everyone was waiting for, Adams took over because of a high-profile injury (Allen Craig), and Gattis owned the first two months of the season with 6 HR/16 RBI in each.

From here I gave all of our remaining players 600 PA to see how their stats looked. Pure extrapolation is dangerous for any number of reasons, so keep that firmly in mind as we continue. Those closer to the 150 PA range are most susceptible to small-sample-size caveats as a couple of hot weeks might have seriously inflated their line which will in turn blow up their 600 PA line. Then there is the league getting a thicker book on a batter as he grinds through 600 PA, which can expose weaknesses, and finally just the overall fatigue from a full season.

So again: these extrapolations shouldn’t be seen as pure guides for the ceiling of these players, but rather we can dig deeper into some of the interesting results to see if might portend future full-time success. Looking at this subset of players last year might have turned you on to Matt Carpenter as quality 2B option (600 PA extrapolation of .294 AVG-75 R-10 HR-79 RBI-2 SB) or Josh Donaldson as a late-round corner infield power option (.241-58-15-57-7).

You could’ve seen Chris Carter’s big power potential with a full-time role in hand (.239-65-27-67-0) or dreamt on what could’ve been had Jonathan Lucroy not gotten hurt (.320-79-21-99-7). The first two paid dividends well beyond those extrapolations while the other two were almost down to the number of theirs.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: Wo... (10/24)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Sporer Report: Under t... (09/25)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Sporer Report: Three W... (11/01)
Next Article >>
Dollar Sign on the Mus... (10/25)

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