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Saturday, December 28, 2019

Fantasy Baseball All-Decade Team: Mike Trout, Justin Verlander, and the rest of the 2010s studs

The 2010s was a challenging decade for fantasy baseball managers, with pitchers and hitters each enjoying separate phases of league-wide dominance. As the league-wide plan shifted to drawing walks, increasing launch angles and avoiding risks on the basepaths, wise managers also shifted their priorities. With the decade coming to a close, let’s take a look at a team of players who dominated the fantasy landscape.

I will freely admit that I am not involved in fantasy baseball, and that the way they appraise players may not match my own- but does this list seem odd to anyone else in certain regards?

 

QLE Posted: December 28, 2019 at 02:09 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: all-decade team, buster posey, chris sale, clayton kershaw, craig kimbrel, fantasy baseball, ian desmond, jose altuve, justin verlander, max scherzer, miguel cabrera, mike trout, nelson cruz, nolan arenado, ryan braun, zack greinke

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: December 28, 2019 at 06:59 PM (#5911473)
It seems based on a traditional fantasy set-up where success is defined by BA, RBI, SBs, etc. If you look at the Rbat list for the 2010s, you'd come close to making the same choices (e.g. Nelson Cruz was 6th in Rbat for the decade). It's quite close whether you'd rather have Braun or McCutchen or Cruz. On offense alone, you'd take Cano over Altuve but Altuve led the majors in SB (and 220 more than Cano). Votto is a bit ahead of Miggy on Rbat but Miggy is ahead on BA, HR, RBI. Posey is pretty easily the best-hitting C of the decade.

So that leaves the big surprise of Ian Desmond at SS. Things get a little weird here -- somehow a PI search of the 2010s doesn't pick up Desmond at all. Anyway, he did have 180 steals in the decade ... but then he played SS for only about half of it. They correctly point out that the 2010s didn't have a dominant SS -- the current crop only showed up a few years ago. It probably comes down to how we're defining position eligibility for this decade-team (or what penalty we apply if your SS only played 5 of the 10 seasons at SS or whatever).

Still, it looks like the correct answer for SS is probably Jose Reyes, at least if we care about SB. He had more SB and better BA than Desmond but Desmond wins the other counting stats. Segura would also be a good choice -- I had no idea he had 181 SB and he has a better BA, slightly more RBI and nearly as many HR as Desmond. By Rbat the choice is Tulo, by overall fantasy quality it's probably Lindor (93 SB and plenty of other offense relative to position) but both of those guys only have about 5 full seasons of PT.

But the fundamental issue is the one they noted. Using PI's splits search, the decade's PA leader at SS is Elvis Andrus with 6300+ and he leads by about 1.5 seasons. He's really the only candidate for a guy who played SS for all 10 years. Next on the list is Alcides Escobar at 5400 then Brandon Crawford at fewer than 4700. The first guy with an OPS solidly above 700 is Asdrubal at 750 but just 4000 PA. Reyes, Segura and Desmond are 9th, 10th and 12th in SS PA, around 3700-4000. Xander Bogaerts is easily the OPS leader around this PA level.

Andrus wouldn't be a terrible choice -- a solid enough 275 BA, an average 26.5 SB and 80 runs a year, useless on HR and RBI. With the huge advantage of actually being a starting SS for the decade, I think he has to be the choice for a standard league.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: December 29, 2019 at 09:18 PM (#5911644)
Nobody cares about this thread but me :-( but I also looked at the decade's oWAR list which I found kinda interesting. Obviously Trout #1 by a mile but Cano was #2 and McCutchen #3 which seems particularly impressive for McCutchen given how the 2nd half of his decade. Miggy and Votto essentially tie so we'll put one at 1B and one at DH. Beltre squeaks it out over Donaldson for 3B while Altuve gets left off because of Cano. Jose Bautista (#10) barely beats out Cruz for the last OF spot and Posey #11 easily takes the C spot.

And at SS ... if we want to consider him a SS, it's Asdrubal at 29.2 oWAR (#28 overall) but Andrus and Bogaerts (tied at 27.6) are close enough we'd easily take their defense in the real world. Tulo's injuries limited him to just 25 oWAR and Lindor's late arrival limited him to 23. So even if you were in a saber fantasy league, there's no clear SS of the decade.

We did have something of a changing of the guard over the last few years with all these awesome young players debuting the last few years so I wondered if this decade was worse in an oWAR dominance sense than usual. (Even if it is, that's still more likely just due to randomness of who peaks/declines/debuts/retires when than any fundamental difference.) Anywy the answer is maybe. For 2000-2009, ARod actually slightly out-oWARed Trout (more seasons) and there were 5 other players that topped Cano's total. Tejada had 46 oWAR and can't even sniff the SS spot (ARod or Jeter, plus Chipper in the 3B mix).

For the 90s, Bonds comes up a bit short of Trout but again we have 5 other players who match/exceed Cano's total. Here with Thomas and Bagwell around, we don't really have room for Edgar or Mac. Larkin's 49.6 WAR way out-distances the 2010 SSs and Piazza takes the C honors. Unless I missed somebody, 3B is the clunker here with Matt Williams at 33 oWAR.

Finally the 80s look a bit closer to the 2010s -- top is Rickey with 59 WAR, easily the lowest so far. Three more guys top Cano. If we want to count Yount as a SS (he played there about half the decade) then that's easily sorted (#2 by oWAR) then we have a virtual tie between Boggs and Schmidt with Brett not far back. Then depending on our Yount decision, we have a close bunch of Murphy, Trammell, Raines, Dw Evans and Ripken. Murray at 1B, Whitaker at 2B and Carter at C. Still I'd guess this is, on average, something like 5 oWAR better at each position than the 2010s.

So whether it's randomness (incl extra bad injury luck) or less talent or a shift in the aging curve or teams better understanding the aging curve or teams just going with cheaper players, the 2010s do look like a weak decade offensively and one where fewer players played (nearly) all of the decade.
   3. Booey Posted: December 29, 2019 at 09:46 PM (#5911649)
The full list for those who don't want to RTFA:

C - Buster Posey
1B - Miguel Cabrera
2B - Jose Altuve
SS - Ian Desmond
3B - Nolan Arenado
OF - Mike Trout
OF - Nelson Cruz
OF - Ryan Braun
SP - Clayton Kershaw
SP - Justin Verlander
SP - Max Scherzer
SP - Zack Greinke
SP - Chris Sale
RP - Craig Kimbrell

Desmond is a surprise, but other than that it's a pretty straightforward list. You could argue a few others, of course (Cano vs Altuve, Votto vs Cabrera, probably a couple other outfielders vs Cruz or Braun).
   4. bbmck Posted: December 30, 2019 at 03:01 AM (#5911677)
Most oWAR with 500+ games at the position except 1871-79 and/or P which is 70% of games at position, Any is most oWAR not listed:

1871-79

P - Al Spalding 8.0
C - Deacon White 22.3
2B - Ross Barnes 22.7
3B - Bob Ferguson 7.4
SS - George Wright 18.4

CF - Dave Eggler 6.9
LF/RF - Charley Jones 10.4
LF/RF - Tom York 10.0
1B - Joe Start 14.7

Any - Cal McVey 21.3
Any - Cap Anson 18.4
Any - Jim O'Rourke 17.0
Any - Lip Pike 16.1

1880-89

P - Jim Whitney 11.1
C - Buck Ewing 28.9
2B - Hardy Richardson 31.9
3B - Ned Williamson 25.8
SS - Jack Glasscock 35.5

CF - Paul Hines 31.2
LF/RF - King Kelly 39.3
LF/RF - Tip O'Neill 19.1
1B - Dan Brouthers 52.0

Any - Roger Conner 49.7
Any - Cap Anson 49.1
Any - Harry Stovey 33.9
Any - Jim O'Rourke 32.0

1890-99

P - Frank Killen 4.0
C - Jack Clements 24.5
2B - Cupid Childs 41.4
3B - George Davis 39.2
SS - Bill Dahlen 34.6

CF - Billy Hamilton 52.4
LF/RF - Ed Delahanty 50.4
LF/RF - Jesse Burkett 38.9
1B - Jake Beckley 31.5

Any - Bill Joyce 35.2
Any - John McGraw 34.7
Any - Hughie Jennings 34.5
Any - Joe Kelley 33.3

1900-09

P - George Mullin 7.9
C - Roger Bresnahan 31.3
2B - Nap Lajoie 57.6
3B - Bill Bradley 31.8
SS - Honus Wagner 80.9

CF - Roy Thomas 33.9
LF/RF - Sam Crawford 45.8
LF/RF - Elmer Flick 42.1
1B - Frank Chance 35.4

Any - Bobby Wallace 39.7
Any - Fred Clarke 34.4
Any - Topsy Hartsel 32.0
Any - George Davis 31.6
Any - Harry Davis 31.6

1910-19

P - Walter Johnson 8.7
C - Chief Meyers 21.5
2B - Eddie Collins 67.1
3B - Home Run Baker 50.6
SS - Donie Bush 33.6

CF - Ty Cobb 84.6
LF/RF - Shoeless Joe Jackson 54.3
LF/RF - Sam Crawford 34.1
1B - Jake Daubert 27.8

Any - Tris Speaker 69.1
Any - Larry Doyle 37.3
Any - Larry Gardner 34.8
Any - Clyde Milan 34.0
Any - Heinie Zimmerman 34.0

1920-29

P - George Uhle 7.8
C - Wally Schang 25.1
2B - Rogers Hornsby 91.0
3B - Pie Traynor 24.7
SS - Joe Sewell 44.7

CF - Tris Speaker 49.8
LF/RF - Babe Ruth 95.7
LF/RF - Harry Heilmann 60.2
1B - Lou Gehrig 37.2

Any - Eddie Collins 41.9
Any - Frankie Frisch 41.6
Any - Ty Cobb 41.4
Any - Ken Williams 38.9

1930-39

P - Schoolboy Rowe 3.5
C - Bill Dickey 41.9
2B - Charlie Gehringer 55.4
3B - Harlond Clift 26.0
SS - Arky Vaughan 51.6

CF - Earl Averill 46.5
LF/RF - Mel Ott 63.9
LF/RF - Paul Waner 42.8
1B - Lou Gehrig 75.1

Any - Jimmie Foxx 71.2
Any - Joe Cronin 46.6
Any - Chuck Klein 41.3
Any - Babe Ruth 40.2

1940-49

P - Jim Tobin 4.5
C - Walker Cooper 20.2
C - Ernie Lombardi 20.2
2B - Bobby Doerr 36.9
3B - Bob Elliott 39.5
SS - Lou Boudreau 48.2

CF - Joe DiMaggio 41.9
LF/RF - Ted Williams 65.5
LF/RF - Stan Musial 53.7
1B - Johnny Mize 39.3

Any - Luke Appling 38.6
Any - Bill Nicholson 37.8
Any - Vern Stephens 36.7
Any - Charlie Keller 34.0
Any - Dixie Walker 34.0

1950-59

P - Don Newcombe 8.4
C - Yogi Berra 44.5
2B - Nellie Fox 31.4
3B - Eddie Mathews 53.5
SS - Ernie Banks 39.4

CF - Mickey Mantle 66.1
LF/RF and 1B - Stan Musial 62.7
LF/RF - Ted Williams 49.6
LF/RF - Minnie Minoso 41.6
1B - Gil Hodges 38.4

Any - Duke Snider 58.3
Any - Willie Mays 52.3
Any - Richie Ashburn 44.0
Any - Larry Doby 41.1

1960-69

P - Earl Wilson 7.1
C - Joe Torre 35.0
2B - Pete Rose 32.9
3B - Ron Santo 53.1
SS - Jim Fregosi 36.9

CF - Willie Mays 71.0
LF/RF - Hank Aaron 71.1
LF/RF - Frank Robinson 65.4
1B - Harmon Killebrew 53.0

Any - Roberto Clemente 54.0
Any - Mickey Mantle 50.3
Any - Willie McCovey 46.6
Any - Al Kaline 43.5

1970-79

P - Steve Carlton 3.7
C - Johnny Bench 48.9
2B - Joe Morgan 66.1
3B and LF/RF - Pete Rose 47.4
3B - Sal Bando 46.0
SS - Toby Harrah 38.6

CF - Amos Otis 43.8
LF/RF - Reggie Jackson 49.6
LF/RF - Bobby Bonds 44.2
1B - Rod Carew 56.5

Any - Thurman Munson 42.9
Any - Cesar Cedeno 41.7
Any - Gene Tenace 40.6
Any - Willie Stargell 40.4

1980-89

P - Bob Forsch 3.9
P - Rick Rhoden 3.9
C - Gary Carter 36.0
2B - Lou Whitaker 39.0
3B - Wade Boggs 52.4
SS and CF - Robin Yount 56.9
SS - Alan Trammell 45.1

CF and LF/RF - Dale Murphy 46.0
CF - Andre Dawson 38.3
LF/RF - Rickey Henderson 59.2
LF/RF - Tim Raines 44.5
1B - Eddie Murray 41.4

Any - Mike Schmidt 51.5
Any - George Brett 47.8
Any - Dwight Evans 44.1
Any - Cal Ripken Jr 43.1

1990-99

P - Tom Glavine 4.8
C - Mike Piazza 42.9
2B - Craig Biggio 53.3
3B - Matt Williams 33.4
SS - Barry Larkin 49.6

CF - Ken Griffey Jr 61.2
LF/RF - Barry Bonds 68.4
LF/RF - Albert Belle 45.3
1B - Frank Thomas 59.3

Any - Jeff Bagwell 52.5
Any - Edgar Martinez 50.3
Any - Mark McGwire 49.0
Any - Roberto Alomar 46.8

2000-09

P - Mike Hampton 4.6
C - Jorge Posada 41.8
2B - Jeff Kent 37.9
3B and SS - Alex Rodriguez 76.5
3B - Chipper Jones 51.9
SS - Derek Jeter 59.3

CF - Carlos Beltran 46.2
LF/RF - Barry Bonds 60.4
LF/RF - Manny Ramirez 53.0
1B - Albert Pujols 63.5

Any - Todd Helton 48.1
Any - Lance Berkman 47.3
Any - Bobby Abreu 46.6
Any - Miguel Tejada 45.9

2010-19

P - Zack Greinke 4.9
C - Buster Posey 36.8
2B - Robinson Cano 50.4
3B - Adrian Beltre 40.8
SS - Asdrubal Cabrera 29.2

CF - Mike Trout 71.5
LF/RF - Jose Bautista 37.4
LF/RF - Nelson Cruz 36.5
1B - Miguel Cabrera 47.9

Any - Andrew McCutchen 48.5
Any - Joey Votto 47.3
Any - Jose Altuve 40.4
Any - Paul Goldschmidt 37.8

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