Something that holds a lot of fantasy baseball players back in their analysis is name value. Whether on the high end, in the middle or at the low end, fantasy owners put a lot of stock into name which can cost them when analyzing deals, pickups and start-sit decisions.
Oftentimes we’ll create a narrative to fit the name value of the player we are analyzing. A star-level player with a modest stat line is “working through a funk” or “about to turn it around” or “due to turn it up soon” and depending on the stat line in question, any or all of those may very well be true. But that’s no always the case. On the other end, a surging no-name is “getting lucky and sure to regress soon” or “a fluke that can’t keep this up” or “doing well, but definitely not better than *insert name of guy drafted 10 rounds before player in question*”. [Ed. note - Yes, this is the same opening for the other BRC and it will be the form opening for all of them right now.]
An eye-opening exercise is to look at a pair of resumes without the names, do your analysis and then uncover the names. Obviously, this can’t really be done solo for a bevy of reasons so I’m here to help! The first blind resume comparison (BRC) is with a pair of outfielders:
198 AB 209
.258 AVG .278
33 R 27
8 HR 9
34 RBI 32
7 SB 6
5th Draft Season ADP Undr.
The draft positions might give this one away, but it’s kind of surprising to see a top five pick performing on par with someone who went undrafted in many, many leagues. Rest assured, I am not for a second suggesting that anyone trade the one on the left for the one on the right in a 1-for-1 deal, just using these two to outline how things can be skewed even in a two month sample.
You hear time and time again throughout April and into May that “it’s too early” to analyze the stats we are seeing, in fact I say as much quite often at least in terms of the heavy outliers. I usually apply it to guys with high expectations who are struggling and causing owners to panic.
For the guy on the left, he was a very costly investment that ended April with a .228/.277/.304 line. The stink of that first month carried over into May and set up an ugly foundation that covered up the fact that he went .282/.375/.544 in May with seven home runs and 19 RBIs compared to one homer & 14 RBIs the month before.
Meanwhile Mr. Guy on the Right has done just the opposite where a .314/.357/.569 April offered enough cushion to help soften the blow of a .233/.287/.388 May that despite four home runs is more in line with what we would expect from him and shows why he was so often undrafted back in March.
Despite their similar season-long paces, you couldn’t get anyone to value them equally and this one has less to do with being tied to preseason values as it does to recognizing divergent starts that are nowhere near true talent levels.
Both players held to career form whereby Mr. Left often starts slow before turning it up in May and then really ramping it up in middle summer months. Meanwhile April is Mr. Right’s best month by far across his career. It’s his only above .800 OPS and it’s followed by a pair of sub-.700 months so you can reasonably expect things to get worse before maybe steadying for the remainder of the season.
Have an idea who the players are? Their names are in white font just below if you want to select the space and reveal them.