by **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?