- Tristan H. Cockcroft, Fantasy
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Patience is the name of the game at least in rotisserie leagues.
Let's toss out some facts, using both year-to-date Player Rater, and the numbers contained in this space, our updated Consistency Ratings through June 2:
• Mike Trout is the No. 7 player overall on our Player Rater, yet in only six of the nine weeks in the books this season did he register a seven-day Player Rater score that would've warranted having him in an ESPN standard lineup.
• Jay Bruce, 120th on the Player Rater, has been worth having in your lineup a whopping seven out of those nine weeks, and in points-based leagues he has scored a total that warranted a start in eight of nine.
• Carlos Gomez, eighth on the Player Rater, has barely been worth the spot in rotisserie leagues half of the time, earning a start in only five weeks in those formats, and only six times in his nine weeks in points-based formats.
Tuck those nuggets away the next time your prominent player endures a 2-for-21, zero-homer week, or gets touched up for an out-of-nowhere, seven-run, 1 2/3-inning stinker. The perils of believing in small sample sizes are lessons taught all over these pages, week-over-week consistency as compelling as any.
To provide a refresher, here's how the Consistency Ratings formula works: Using weekly statistics -- a "week" for these purposes equals one scoring period in ESPN's standard game, meaning "Week 1" ran from Sunday, March 31, through Sunday, April 7, despite that being an eight-day span -- we've graded players in rotisserie leagues based upon how they scored that week on our Player Rater, or in points-based leagues based upon the points total that they accrued. For the latter, we used our standard-league points scoring system: For hitters, that's one point apiece per total base (1 for single, 2 for double, 3 for triple, 4 for home run), run scored, RBI, walk or stolen base, and minus-1 per caught stealing. For pitchers, that's one point per out recorded (or 3 per inning pitched) or strikeout, five points per win or save, minus-5 per loss, minus-2 per earned run and minus-1 per hit or walk allowed.
Now, here's how the grading system works:
A "Start": A player earns one of these in a given week by ranking on our Player Rater or scoring a point total that would've made the maximum cutoff for active roster spots at his position in a standard ESPN league. This means that he would've been one of the 10 best catchers, first basemen, second basemen, third basemen or shortstops (one starter apiece at each times 10 teams), the 30 best corner or middle infielders (three starters apiece at each times 10 teams), the 130 best hitters overall (13 active hitters times 10 teams, meaning, at worst, he'd have filled your utility spot) or the 90 best pitchers (nine active pitchers times 10 teams).
A "Stud": This works similarly to a "Start," except that the standards are greater. The player had to be one of the top three catchers, top 10 corner or middle infielders, top 20 outfielders, top 25 hitters overall or top 30 pitchers.
A "Stiff": A player is graded this if his Player Rater ranking or point total for the week not only missed the "Start" cutoff, but missed it by such a wide margin that he'd have severely damaged your team's performance. We double the "Start" cutoffs to score this: This means the player finished outside the top 20 catchers, first basemen, second basemen, third basemen or shortstops, the top 60 corner or middle infielders, the top 260 hitters overall or the top 180 pitchers.
These categories are tabulated, then converted into a "Consistency Rating" formula, which represents the percentage of the season's weeks in which the player was worth the "Start." This docks a player for missed time -- these missed weeks are tallied in a category called "Sat" -- and to answer the inevitable follow-up question as to why we dock for missed time: If the player is of no service to you during his missed time, why should he be credited with anything positive for it?
You can see the full 2013 Consistency Ratings in the chart at column's end. Before we get to that, however, let's discuss some of the year's biggest surprises:
Jean Segura: No. 5 overall on our Player Rater (through June 2), Segura has actually been one of the more inconsistent players thus far, in two of nine weeks failing to earn Start status. In both of those weeks, he registered a negative score on the Player Rater, and in Week 8 he scarcely dodged being scored a Stiff. Perhaps that's unsurprising, considering how much of his value is generated by his legs; he has endured stretches of 13, 10 and seven games without stealing a base.
Hisashi Iwakuma: Beyond his Consistency Rating, few facts encapsulate Iwakuma's consistent production than that he has only twice in his career thus far gone as many as two turns without a quality start: his first two career starts on July 2 and 15, 2012, and his Sept. 8 and 14, 2012 turns. Iwakuma's 2.70 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in seven road starts show that he's not a ballpark-generated breakout, and his 45.8 percent ground ball rate and 5.69 strikeout-to-walk ratio represent a low-risk combination going forward. It's well past time to believe.
Chris Davis: What's most amazing about Davis' hot start is how much he has slashed his strikeout rate; he has whiffed 7 percent less often than he did in 2012. Maybe his .398 BABIP seems high and due for some regression, but his Consistency Rating (88.9 percent -- or 8 Starts in nine weeks) shows that he hasn't been the inconsistent, slump-prone player he once was. Davis not only should set a new career high with his year-end batting average, his number in the category from today forward might exceed his .270 number from 2012.
Clay Buchholz: Even with his missed May 27 start -- that due to irritating his AC joint near his collarbone by sleeping awkwardly on his side -- Buchholz has been a perfect 9-for-9 in Starts, making him one of only three players overall, and the only pitcher, to have a perfect 100 percent Consistency Rating. It's all about the strikeout bump: Buchholz's 8.92 K's per nine ratio, as well as his 25.8 percent K rate (that as a percentage of batters faced), easily represent career bests.
Consistency Ratings: 2013 Weeks 1-9
Players are initially ranked in order of their Consistency Rating in rotisserie leagues (Roto%), calculated as the percentage of the season's five weeks -- not weeks the player played, but total weeks on the MLB schedule -- in which his Player Rater standing registered a "Start" score. All categories are sortable both ascending and descending; just click on the headers to sort. Players must have a Consistency Rating of 50 percent or greater in either rotisserie or points-based formats in order to be included on the chart.
Tristan H. Cockcroft lays out the consistency ratings, using his detailed criteria, for the first nine weeks of the 2013 season, noting which of this year's top stars have been very consistent and which is very streaky.