RankingsMay 25, 2008

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Top 10 Year-to-Date 5×5 Mixed League Hitters

By Scott Swanay

With just over 25% of the 2008 season already in the books many experts are now putting forth their “Biggest Surprises” and “Biggest Disappointments” lists. I will do something similar in this article, but I will also give you the actual impact these players have had year-to-date in a league that uses the standard 5×5 scoring categories.

Let’s look at hitters first. The Sherpa Point system gives each hitter a score ranging from 0 to 1.00 in each of the 5 standard hitting categories (AVG, HR, RBI, SB, R). Essentially, the league leader in each category is given a score of 1.00, while all other hitters’ scores in that category are calculated as the ratio of their result to the league leader’s result.

For example, if Lance Berkman leads the league with 16 home runs, he gets a Sherpa Point score of 1.00 in the HR category; a hitter with 8 home runs gets a score of 0.50; a hitter with 4 home runs gets a score of 0.25, etc. A proxy statistic is used for average-based categories (e.g. – AVG, OBP, SLG, OPS)

The maximum hitter’s score is equal to the number of hitting categories, and the maximum pitcher’s score is equal to the number of pitching categories. Statistics are taken from games through Tuesday, 5/20/08.

Without further ado, here’s the list of the Top 10 Year-to-Date 5×5 Mixed League Hitters:

1. Lance Berkman 4.13 (Preseason Projection was 2.80)
2. Chipper Jones 3.03 (2.58)
3. Dan Uggla 2.72 (1.89)
4. Josh Hamilton 2.70 (1.74)
5. Nate McLouth 2.69 (1.82)
6. Chase Utley 2.66 (3.22)
7. Hanley Ramirez 2.64 (3.41)
8. Albert Pujols 2.61 (3.32)
9. Carlos Quentin 2.55 (1.92)
10. Miguel Tejada 2.51 (2.38)

Berkman is obviously outperforming his projections by the largest amount so far (and will likely come back down to earth in short order), but Dan Uggla, Josh Hamilton, and Nate McLouth have probably offered the greatest value so far relative to where they were picked in drafts and the amount paid for them in auctions. Of the Top 10 shown here, only three (Utley, Ramirez, and Pujols) were among the Preseason Top 10 Hitters.

Many others who went in the first round of many drafts have not fared well in the early stages of the season. Consensus top-pick Alex Rodriguez (1.01 Year-to-Date vs. 3.84 Preseason Projection) and reigning NL MVP Jimmy Rollins (1.22 vs. 3.05) have missed significant time due to injuries. Other highly touted players who have disappointed their owners so far: Jose Reyes (1.73 vs. 2.98), David Wright (2.11 vs. 3.40), Ryan Braun (2.29 vs. 2.82), Miguel Cabrera (1.51 vs. 3.40), David Ortiz (1.88 vs. 3.44), Matt Holliday (2.17 vs. 3.56), Carl Crawford (2.18 vs. 3.19), Vladimir Guerrero (1.17 vs. 3.08), and Ryan Howard (1.08 vs. 3.07).

The discrepancy between a player’s Year-to-Date Sherpa Point score vs. his Preseason Projected Sherpa Point score can also be used as an indicator for constructing trade proposals. If you have a player on your team who is outperforming his projection by half a point or more, and you have several glaring weaknesses elsewhere on your roster, I would definitely be looking to sell high on that player. Conversely, if some of these players have disappointed other owners in your league, it may be worth inquiring about the possibility of buying low. If you can flip an overperforming player for an underperforming one, you have mastered the art of trading!

I’ll put together a similar list for pitchers in my next article, Top 10 Year-to-Date 5×5 Mixed League Pitchers.

Scott is a huge Yankees' fan; his girlfriend is a huge Mets' fan. Somehow, it works! Fortunately, they didn't meet until well after the 2000 World Series. Catch up with Scott in the Cafe's Forums where he posts as The Sherpa.
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