2014 Fantasy Baseball: Determining Mike Trout's Trade Value

By Robert Reidell
Fantasy Baseball: Trade Value of CF Mike Trout
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Those lucky enough to have the first overall pick in fantasy baseball drafts this season have been benefiting from the immense production of Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout. While Trout is undoubtedly the best player in fantasy baseball, he alone does not make a championship-caliber roster. Doing the unthinkable and trading Trout could actually prove to be the right move, assuming the return package is worthwhile.

Naturally, this begs the question, “What is the right asking price for Trout?” Since various formats are used in fantasy baseball and every league is different, there is unfortunately no clear-cut answer to this question.

As it stands, Trout has recorded 16 HRs, 19 doubles, five triples, 54 RBIs, 49 runs scored, nine stolen bases, 42 walks and 74 strikeouts. These well-rounded statistics have resulted in a .306 BA, a .395 OBP and a .593 SLG through 70 games, 319 plate appearances and 268 official at-bats so far this season.

These all-category numbers are what make Trout one of the best players in the fantasy game today. Essentially, Trout’s output this season combined with that of just about any other everyday player creates a lethal pairing.

In fact, the statistics of an outfield-first base pairing of Trout (1.0 ADP on ESPN) and Anthony Rizzo (104) has produced similar statistics to the outfield-first base pairing of Andrew McCutchen (3.0) and Miguel Cabrera (2.0). The following statistics are as of June 23, 2014. Statistical categories accounted for and point totals assigned are based on categories and assigned point values used in standard rotisserie and point-scoring leagues.

Combination No. 1: Trout and Rizzo

Rotisserie League Scoring:

Home Runs: 31
Runs Batted In: 96
Batting Average: .292
Stolen Bases: 10
Runs Scored: 98

Points League Scoring:

Home Runs: 124 points
Runs Batted In: 192 points
Hits: 77 points
Stolen Bases: 20 points
Runs Scored: 196 points
Total: 609 points

Combination No. 2: Cabrera and McCutcheon

Rotisserie League Scoring:

Home Runs: 24
RBI: 104
Batting Average: .317
Stolen Bases: 10
Runs: 82

Points League Scoring:

Home Runs: 96 points
Runs Batted In: 208 points
Hits: 88 points
Stolen Bases: 20 points
Runs Scored: 164 points
Total: 576 points

As revealed by the statistics shown above, both combination No. 1 and combination No. 2 have yielded similar results to this point in the MLB season. If combination No. 1 and combination No. 2 were to be judged head-to-head, the result would be a 2-2-1 tie in a rotisserie league, and combination No. 1 would win 609 to 576 in a points league.

While Rizzo has certainly outperformed his average draft position, it is simply ridiculous that the combined production of Trout and a player who was drafted outside of the top 100 on average has yielded slightly better results than the combined totals of the players who were selected with the second and third overall picks in 2014 drafts.

All of these statistics prove one simple fact: The trade value of Trout is off the charts. It is a distinct possibility that one could fill two or even three holes on their roster by trading away Trout in what would still widely be considered to be a “fair trade”.

The best way to approach trading the most valuable asset in fantasy baseball is to find a team that is filled with players who have produced above-average numbers this season and who are projected to continue or improve their output. Examples of these type of players may include Robinson Cano, Hanley Ramirez, Josh Donaldson, Jose Altuve or even Rizzo.

While your team would lose the best player a fantasy baseball team can roster this season, your team will become more well-rounded and, in turn, more difficult to defeat.

Another benefit to this strategy is that it gives the former Trout owner an opportunity to spread out their production instead of banking on just one player to be the difference-maker in a given matchup. Having multiple key players versus just one provides protection from one season-ending injury ruining a team’s playoff chances, and decreases the likelihood of an extended hitting slump defining a matchup or season.

Fantasy baseball players in any league will salivate over the opportunity to acquire Trout and his matchup-altering production. Taking advantage of this attraction may very well be the difference in a roster being strong enough to just make league playoffs and being a championship contender.

Robert Reidell is a Contributing Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+

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