October 5, 2012 posted by Collin Hager

2012 Fantasy Baseball: HVaC Top-200 Hitters

2012 Fantasy Baseball: HVaC Top-200 Hitters
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Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim OF

This was a learning year for the HVaC. It was the first time taking a chance on running a model like this. The good news in my mind is that the formula required very little tweaking over the course of the season. As I look at the postings that were put up over the course of the season I feel that they accurately reflected what head-to-head owners needed to value. Moreover, looking at the top-200 players at the bottom here, it seems just as accurate.

As we head to the off-season, here are the final rankings for all hitters and some insights as to what is surprising as we look back. If you have any thoughts as to what you would like to see next year, please let me know. We have some things planned to help use this more efficiently as well. Get ready for the fun and hope this helped you all win a title or two!

  • Triple-Crown winner Miguel Cabrera and outfielder Ryan Braun finished head and shoulders above the competition. Cabrera’s numbers overshadowed players at both corners of the infield. The power and RBI totals to go with scoring 109 runs obviously put him into a different category. He was three points better than anyone at third base and four points better than anyone at first base. Braun had a similar impact across the outfield as he was one of only three outfielders with 100 runs scored and 100 RBI.
  • The first interesting name shows up at number three overall. Chase Headley had the biggest anomaly in the eyes of many. There was virtually no one expecting a 30 home run, 100 RBI season from the San Diego third baseman. He ends up at number two for third basemen overall, beating out Adrian Beltre largely due to Headley’s 17 steals. His score of 4.25 overall puts him comfortably in an elite category for 2012.
  • How about the best at Second Base? Not Ian Kinsler, Robinson Cano, or Dustin Pedroia. This year that belongs to Aaron Hill. Why Hill over Cano? Honestly, they were similar players. Cano had seven more home runs, 12 more runs scored, nine more RBI, but 11 fewer stolen bases. The steals really hurt the Yankee. At Second Base you can pass on the power to gain the speed. The scores were incredibly close, but Hill edges him out.
  • At Shortstop, it was another chance to be somewhat surprised. Jimmy Rollins led the way. It is a bit of a surprise, but he is the only Shortstop to score more than 100 runs and finished tied for second at the position in home runs with 23. Second place? Ian Desmond and his .292 average and 21 steals with 25 home runs edges out Hanley Ramirez, Derek Jeter, and Starlin Castro. This was a position where we did not value average or RBI totals as much as home runs, runs scored, and steals. The rankings show that.
  • What about Mike Trout? He finishes eighth overall thanks to 49 steals and 30 home runs. He produced an incredibly balanced season and certainly found his way into an elite player in all fantasy formats. Trout finishes behind only Braun and Andrew McCutchen in the Outfield and largely because there was slightly more emphasis on RBI than there was on steals. The steals were pushed down slightly only because of the availability of the category in the outfield.
  • How about a few negative surprises? Justin Upton was an early-round selection that finished 78th overall, just ahead of Yoenis Cespedes. Nelson Cruz and Alex Rodriguez finished 83rd and 84th overall. Then we get Joe Mauer who once again finished with fewer than 15 home runs and gets ranked 76th overall. Brian McCann was largely the first catcher off the board and fell outside the top 100 at 123 overall.
  • On the positive side, we got a rebound year from Alex Rios, who finishes 25th overall. Wilin Rosario’s year is just a sign of good things to come. He finishes 28th overall and ends up the third ranked catcher, ahead of Matt Wieters. Chris Davis is inside the top-50 after disappointing many owners multiple times over the last few seasons. Not much was expected from Marco Scutaro, but his 87 runs scored and .306 average put him 29th on the board. Then we have both Alexei Ramirez and Pedro Alvarez rebounding from sub-par years in 2011 to be top-50 players in 2012.

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