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Position scarcity: Fact or fiction?

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Postby Pogotheostrich » Fri Nov 07, 2003 9:31 am

Erboes wrote:I'm a bit surprised that the only real defense for your philosophy was a two team draft that falls a bit short of realistic. The main defense seems to be, "Hey, everyone does it, so that proves it works." I'm sorry, but I don't buy into that type of logic. Can't someone here use some facts to back it up?


You might want to look at my post. The numbers are pretty clear. There is a 6.67 standard deviation at OF and a 8.64 deviation at C.

Think of it this way if you had a C and an OF with the exact same numbers, who are you going to take? If you said it doesn't matter then, there isn't an position scarcity. But if you took the C, position scarcity it alive and well.
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Postby rotodog » Fri Nov 07, 2003 10:20 am

Guys......I think this might help all arguments.Its only my opinion but in a draft,You must pick the best ,most reliable player available in the first 4-5 rds regardless of position.After that position scarcity becomes a very real issue! The draft will dictate which positions are getting scarce and you adjust.No 2 drafts are the same.I agree with a lot of opinions im reading here.This is why placing players in tiers is so important.As your team takes shape,you must grab a player at a scarce position when there is a big drop off until the next tier.It becomes even more complicated when keepers are involved.I try to talk to owners b4 keepers are announced and figure out who they are keepeing.This excercise helps to see what is actually going to be available in your draft.If everyone is keepeing stud 3b and you are on the fence about keeping Troy Glaus or (insert any servicable decent OF here),then you have to consider keeping glaus because after him you have batista and joe randa availableI hope this support both sides of the debate....
PS....pitchers are unreliable and are another story altogether :-P
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Postby Grenade Teeth » Fri Nov 07, 2003 10:53 am

Pogotheostrich wrote:
Erboes wrote:I'm a bit surprised that the only real defense for your philosophy was a two team draft that falls a bit short of realistic. The main defense seems to be, "Hey, everyone does it, so that proves it works." I'm sorry, but I don't buy into that type of logic. Can't someone here use some facts to back it up?


You might want to look at my post. The numbers are pretty clear. There is a 6.67 standard deviation at OF and a 8.64 deviation at C.

Think of it this way if you had a C and an OF with the exact same numbers, who are you going to take? If you said it doesn't matter then, there isn't an position scarcity. But if you took the C, position scarcity it alive and well.


Even if their numbers aren't the same, there is a case where taking a 'lesser' catcher over the OF would be smart. if the average starting fantasy team catcher (that is 1-12) is worth $15 and the average OF $25, and the top two players on the board are a $30 catcher and a $35 OF, who do you take?
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Postby Erboes » Fri Nov 07, 2003 11:03 am

In my quest for the truth and the perfect fantasy team, I've stumbled upon something that not only is quite useful, it proves us both right (and wrong) at the same time. What I've created is a "Median positional average". What I did was to lop off the top couple performers (6 for OF) and bottom 2 (again, 6 for OF) of the top 12 players at each position (36 for OF), and average the rest. Maybe the best way to explain it is to use median gross income as an example. If you were to average four incomes of, $1 mill, $100 G's, $100G's, and $0 you'd have $300 G's, but that isn't really accurate because the guy with the million distorts the average so much that the data is worthless. So, if you lop off the top and bottom incomes, you get the median gross income of $100 G's, which is far more accurate. By the same token, Soriano is so much better at 2b than anyone else that his numbers would make the average of the top 12 2b's worthless, so if you take him out along with Bret Boone, who was a distant second, and the bottom two of the twelve, and average the rest you get a much more accurate median average of $21 for 2b's. I did this for all 6 offensive positions and this is what I found:

Catcher - $16
1b - $28
2b - $21
SS - $24
3b - $21
OF - $26

What this does is give you what you want to achieve to get average production out of each position. For example, Posada earned $21 last season and Sosa $26, but if you compare their value to the median average on the above chart, Posada was a +5 and Sosa was at +0, or the average for OF's. This does prove that position scarcity exists. Using this as a way to rate players for '03, the list would look like this:

Sheffield +$17
Pujols (1b) +16
Soriano +16
J. Lopez +15
A Rodriguez +14
B. Boone +11
Rentaria +11
Helton +10
Beltran +10
Bonds + 9
Rolen +9
Nomar +8
Wilson +7
M. Ramirez +6
I. Rodriguez +6
V. Wells +6
M. Giles +6
Posada +5
Delgado +5
Furcal +4
A. Boone (2b) +4
C. Lee (+4)
Abreu +4
Susuki +4
Cabrara +3
Huff (1b)+3
Chavez +3
Thome +2
Bagwell +2
Ordonez +2
G. Anderson +2
M. Young +2
Hidalgo + 1
Tejada +1
Castillo +1
Kent +1
A. Jones +1
C. Jones +1
Sexson +1

Unless I missed someone, this is the list of players who gave you positive numbers for their positions. The rest are equal or in the negative. On the surface, these numbers prove that position scarcity is a viable strategy, but that's only to a point. In fact, position scarcity may be more prevalent at 1b and in the OF than at second and SS. According to the list, there were 7 2b's who gave you positive value at that position and 5 SS's, but only 15 (out of 36 starting spots) of OF's and 6 1b's. In fact, the average numbers at 1b and the outfield are so hard to achieve that if you had Giambi and his 41 homers at first (-$5) and an outfield of Sosa and his 40 homers (+0), Berkman (-1) and Edmunds (-2), it would have taken a golden infield for you to get back to even.

The point I'm trying to make is, that while the top level of supposed scarce positions may give you a great return, don't assume you can get by with what you'd think would be average 1b's and OF's because most likely they're not average but below.

Well, at least that's the way I look at it. Any thoughts?
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Postby Madison » Fri Nov 07, 2003 11:31 am

Erboes wrote:Sheffield +$17
Pujols (1b) +16
Soriano +16
J. Lopez +15
A Rodriguez +14
B. Boone +11
Rentaria +11
Helton +10
Beltran +10
Bonds + 9
Rolen +9
Nomar +8
Wilson +7
M. Ramirez +6
I. Rodriguez +6
V. Wells +6
M. Giles +6
Posada +5
Delgado +5
Furcal +4
A. Boone (2b) +4
C. Lee (+4)
Abreu +4
Susuki +4
Cabrara +3
Huff (1b)+3
Chavez +3
Thome +2
Bagwell +2
Ordonez +2
G. Anderson +2
M. Young +2
Hidalgo + 1
Tejada +1
Castillo +1
Kent +1
A. Jones +1
C. Jones +1
Sexson +1

Unless I missed someone, this is the players who'll give you positive numbers for their positions.

Well, at least that's the I look at it. Any thoughts?


Pierre didn't earn more than the average? :-? Hmmm......I could understand if Podsednik fell a little short (even though it does surprise me), and I am surprised that Crawford didn't earn more than the average, but Pierre is under average? 8-o That's a total shocker to me.

Maybe those guys got overlooked? :-o
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Postby Erboes » Fri Nov 07, 2003 11:35 am

You're right, I missed Pierre (+6) and Podsenik (+3). Crawford was -1. There may be a few more if you look carefully. It's not like I have a secretary to check this stuff you know.

Here's 6 more that I omitted.

Kendall (+3)
Varitek (+1)
Liebertha (+1)
Lowell (+2)
Blalock (+2)
Mueller (+1)

Please note that though these 8 players were missing from the above list, they were included when averaging the median player values. The three added catchers and three added 3b's does illustrate my point futher, though. What is scarce in mind may not be scarce in fact.
Last edited by Erboes on Fri Nov 07, 2003 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Arlo » Fri Nov 07, 2003 11:40 am

I think Erdoes makes a good and extremely important point: positional scarcity exists, but it's not always at the positions we expect to find it.

Figuring out just where scarcity kicks in, including the changes from one season to the next, is the tricky part...
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Postby Madison » Fri Nov 07, 2003 11:41 am

Erboes wrote:You're right, I missed Pierre (+6) and Podsenik (+3). Crawford was -1. There may be a few more if you look carefully. It's not like I have a secretary to check this stuff you know.


No problems here :-) . That was just my first thought when I saw the list. Everyone has been trying to nail down exactly what Pierre's value is for next season, including myself, so I was looking for his name from the get go on the list. When I didn't see it, Pods and Crawford came to mind. They were not listed either, so I just figured maybe the speedy guys were forgotten. Thanks for the info. ;-D
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Postby Arlo » Fri Nov 07, 2003 11:51 am

Good point about Pierre. :-)

And maybe this opens up a whole new can of worms. We're used to talking about position scarcity (whether we agree on its existence/impact or not :-D ), but we always examine it using dollar values. But do dollar values tell the whole story? In light of players like Pierre, should we be looking at category scarcity as well? :-?
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Postby Erboes » Fri Nov 07, 2003 12:00 pm

Arlo,

In the case of Pierre, a +6 from last year puts him equal to Manny Ramirez, and Podednic's +3 is better than many OF's who'll go ahead of him in any draft. I believe their fairly valued, considering their deficiencies in other scoring areas. This means little next year because I have my doubts whether they can repeat their performances, but I think it's good to know what makes a positive contributor to your roster.
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