Fantasy Baseball 2013: Where to Look for OBP Help

By Professor Bush
Derick Hingle – USA Today Sports

Since all of the fantasy baseball stats are given equal weight in the rotisserie format, it is important that you do not overlook OBP, on-base percentage.

Now you might usually think of two sources of players to help with that stat. First, you would think about a classic leadoff hitter that seeks to get on base anyway that he can: walks, bunts, whatever it takes. But if you look at the top twelve players from last year in OBP with at least 250 AB, you only find one lead off hitter, Mike Trout. And since Trout hit 30 HR last year, he doesn’t exactly fit the description of a scratch-hitting lead-off batter.

Next you would think of power hitters who might draw a lot of intentional walks if they are not protected in their lineup. And indeed you find four such players in the top 12: David Ortiz, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, and Miguel Cabrera.

But what really surprised me is that I found four catchers in the top 12: Joe Mauer, Buster Posey, John Jaso, and Miguel Montero. All four had OBPs above .390.  This is puzzling to me.  Is this because the catchers see so many pitches in their defensive position that they develop a better batting eye and are able to lay off pitches just off the plate?  I searched the usual reliable sources of data and spin to try to find a suitable explanation for this, but I failed.

So all I can say is that if during your draft you become concerned about your eventual seasonal OBP, don’t be afraid to look in the catching ranks for some help.

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