by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
There is a trend for leagues to move away from the traditional AVG category, and instead utilizing OBP or OPS. How does that type of change impact our rankings? In many cases it may not be dramatic, but there definitely are those who rise and those who fall. Let’s kick off our rankings for OBP formats with a look at the catching position, which includes a new name at the top as well as a few notable risers (the number in parenthesis is the players ranking for “standard” formats):
1. Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants (2)
2. Jonathan Lucroy – Texas Rangers (1)
3. Gary Sanchez – New York Yankees (3)
4. J.T. Realmuto – Miami Marlins (4)
5. Brian McCann – Houston Astros (8)
6. Yasmani Grandal – Los Angeles Dodgers (12)
7. Willson Contreras – Chicago Cubs (5)
8. Russell Martin – Toronto Blue Jays (11)
9. Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals (6)
10. Matt Wieters – Washington Nationals (7)
11. Tom Murphy – Colorado Rockies (9)
12. Stephen Vogt – Oakland A’s (10)
13. Evan Gattis – Houston Astros (13)
14. Travis d’Arnaud – New York Mets (14)
15. Welington Castillo – Baltimore Orioles (15)
- When we switch to OBP we see Buster Posey assume his typical spot atop the rankings. It shouldn’t be a surprising switch, especially with Posey outproducing Lucroy in the category last year (.362 for Posey vs. .355 for Lucroy). Posey simply does a better job of making consistent contact while drawing more walks, giving him the edge.
- One of the biggest risers thanks to the change is Yasmani Grandal, who hit .228 last season but carried a .339 OBP (eighth highest among catchers with at least 300 PA). That comes thanks to a 14.0% walk rate, as he showed a great approach (23.3% O-Swing%). When you couple that with the power, he clearly becomes one of the better options.
- What we said about Grandal can also be said, to some extent, in regards to Brian McCann (ninth best OBP) and Russell Martin (tenth best OBP). The veterans made similar jumps, as they’ve long shown an ability to get on base and hit for power.
- Salvador Perez’ drop in the rankings should not come as a surprise. He owns a career 3.6% walk rate, leading to a poor .302 OBP. That alone would send him spiraling, but with his strikeout spike (21.8%) and the perceived change in focus to hit for more power the OBP could fall even further. Considering his power is similar to that of Grandal/McCann/Martin, his lack of OBP has to send him below the trio.
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Make sure to check out our other Early 2017 Rankings:
|Starting Pitcher||#1-20 |02/27/17|