By now, thorough fantasy owners have pored through the data and cemented their views on many of the players in the 2018 draft pool. But in this game of numbers, additional information is always available to consider.The following 18 statistical tidbits are worth examining, as they may cause owners to
By now, thorough fantasy owners have pored through the data and cemented their views on many of the players in the 2018 draft pool. But in this game of numbers, additional information is always available to consider.
The following 18 statistical tidbits are worth examining, as they may cause owners to reassess certain players.
• MLB.com's player rankings
1.Clayton Kershaw will be the first pitcher selected in most drafts, but he has reached the 200-inning mark just once in the past four seasons. First-round candidates Max Scherzer (five), Corey Kluber (four) and Chris Sale (three) are all riding multi-year stretches of 200-plus frames.
2. Scherzer held opponents to a .178 average last season, which was the lowest mark of any pitcher who qualified for the ERA title since Pedro Martinez (.167) in 2000. While Scherzer is clearly a fantasy ace, he is unlikely to be quite as dominant in 2018.
3.Charlie Blackmon not only set the single-season RBI record for a leadoff hitter (104) last season, but he also posted the highest runs scored total (137) of any player since Alex Rodriguez (143) and Jimmy Rollins (139) in 2007. Owners should feel confident in Blackmon as a Round 1 pick, but repeating last year's special showing will be a tall task for the outfielder.
4.Jose Altuve owns three of the top five single-season batting averages since the outset of 2014 (.346 in 2017, .341 in '14, .338 in '16). No other player appears more than once in the top 10 during that four-year stretch.
5. Among players who logged at least 50 plate appearances after the 2017 All-Star break, only J.D. Martinez and Giancarlo Stanton produced a higher OPS than Matt Olson (1.089).
6. Four pitchers posted at least 20 saves and a sub-2.00 ERA last season: Kenley Jansen, Craig Kimbrel, Corey Knebel and Felipe Rivero. Rivero will likely still be available roughly three rounds after the other three come off draft boards.
7.Mookie Betts has produced at least 20 homers, 20 steals, 100 RBIs and 100 runs scored in each of the past two seasons. Michael Trout (2016) and Paul Goldschmidt (2015) are the only other players to accomplish the feat in any campaign during the past five years.
8. Although he struggled in the postseason, Ken Giles posted the lowest second-half ERA (1.19) of any pitcher who tallied more than one save after the 2017 All-Star break.
9. From July 18 (the day he returned to the Pirates' lineup) through the end of the season, Starling Marte ranked third in the Majors with 19 stolen bases. He's one of the few players who can be expected to challenge the 40-steal mark in 2018.
10. In 2017, Jose Ramirez became the first player in more than a decade to collect at least 85 extra-base hits (91) without hitting 30 home runs. Owners should feel safe securing his stable skill set in Round 2.
11. Goldschmidt compiled just six steals across his final 106 games last season. Owners expecting the slugger to produce 20-plus stolen bases this year should dial back projections.
12. The Twins led the American League in runs scored (412) after the 2017 All-Star break. Just one Minnesota player (James Dozier) has an ADP in the top 50 so far this year.
13. Although win totals are not a great indicator of a pitcher's ability and can vary significantly from year to year, 14 of the 17 hurlers with at least 15 wins in 2017 posted an ERA below 3.55. Meanwhile, no one won more than 13 games while logging an ERA of 4.20 or higher.
14. Owners who play in leagues with holds should be aware of the volatility in that category. In the past two years, 31 pitchers have posted at least one campaign with 24 or more holds. Andrew Miller is the only one of those hurlers to accomplish the feat in both seasons.
15. Of those who ranked among the top nine qualified pitchers in OPS allowed last season, eight produced a sub-3.00 ERA. The other pitcher, Michael Fulmer, logged a 3.83 mark. Fulmer has potential to greatly improve this season, especially if he can push his K/9 rate (6.2 in 2017) closer to his 7.5 mark from 2016.
16. Owners may be wise to chase whiffs, considering 10 of the hurlers who ranked among the top 11 qualified starters in K/9 rate last season logged an ERA under 3.55. The 11th member of the group, Chris Archer, produced a 4.07 ERA but had a 3.40 FIP.
17. Owners who are looking for a saves sleeper should consider C.J. Edwards, who held hitters to the lowest average (.134) of any pitcher with at least 17 innings last season. The righty also joined Kimbrel, Miller, Dellin Betances, Chad Green and Player Page for David Robertson as the only hurlers to throw at least 50 frames and record a sub-.150 opponents' average last year.
18. Although pitching on a losing team does not always lead to a low saves total, the 10 lowest team-wide marks in that department last season were compiled by clubs that won fewer than 80 games. Five of the six highest totals were compiled by teams that had more than 85 wins.