After spending time to explain the method to the madness, here is a look at how the top-50 works out in the HVaCÂ model. Overall, you will notice that the cream of the crop stays relatively constant. There are a few changes in some of the ranks, but largely by justÂ a spot or two. Remember that the model is taking into account positional scarcity as well as how a category plays out in any given position and is based on current FP911 projections.
Some overall thoughts:
- Five catchers show up in the top-50 hitters with Mike Napoli leading the way. When you look at the position from any perspective, it is certainly thin once the top backstops are off the board. Given the ability for Napoli, Buster Posey, Brian McCann, Matt Wieters, and Miguel Montero to carry a team offensively, they should be given credit for that. Noticeably absent from the top-tier – Joe Mauer.
- Another position heavy in the top hitters is Third Base, whichÂ really drops off once the best of the best are off the board. Everyone is projecting big things for Brett Lawrie, and this model is no exception. Lawrie checks in with an HVaC score of 5.81, just behind Pablo Sandoval and good for third overall at the position. What puts him behind Sandoval? Lawrie projects a 20 point lower average and steals at Third Base have little weight.
- The average Shortstop provides more steals than the average player at any other position. The 16 steal average means it is hard to dig a hole in this category. It is also why Starlin Castro checks in just behind Troy Tulowitzki. While Tulo will give you five category performance, it is hard to ignore how Castro can compete with a similar average and run total while blowing out the steals number.
- David Ortiz falls into the top-50 and would be the number six overall First Baseman if he qualified at the position. Utility positions are tough to draft this early, but Ortiz’s production has yet to drop off and he will certainly produce in at least three if not four key categories.
- Most surprising names in the Top-50:Â Zack Cozart and Jesus Montero. With the expected production levels, both fall well inside the upper tier of players. Still, an even more shocking name was Emilio Bonifacio. If he qualifies at shortstop, the projected near 50 steals and .280 average make him enticing. Not to mention the fact he should score plenty of runs in the revamped Marlins lineup.
- Big surprises not in the Top-50: What about Mark Teixeira?Â He comes in as the number 14 player at the position and largely because he continues to produce in basically two categories. His BABIP has fallen off in each of the last four years and the power has not jumped up in that stadium enough to offset. Yes, he still likely comes in with 100 RBI and 30 home runs, but that is common at First Base. Carlos Santana is another. He does not differentiate enough in the three power categories from the others to offset the major drop in average.
Here is how the rest of the Top HVaC Players shake out: