With spring training well under way, and the regular season beginning in 3 weeks, it is time to take another look at the all free agent fantasy team. Since Spring Training numbers mean nothing as far as predictive value goes, I didn’t want to talk about how the players are performing this spring. Instead, I wanted to look at something different. Baseball Reference has unveiled what they call “OppQual” or “Quality of pitchers or batters faced”. Based on where each individual opponent played in 2012, the formula gives them a score from 1-10 (with 10 being a MLB player). The average of this is the OppQual. This is an attempt to measure who each player is facing in spring training and give it a little context. I thought this would be helpful for our team, as we can see which players are facing the best opponents. This may give us an insight as to who is most likely to make their respective teams, as it would seem that if a player is facing a bunch of AA players, then they aren’t very likely to make the team. I included their salaries below, because if a team has a lot committed to the player financially, then I don’t think what kind of opponents they are facing is very predictive.
|Name||Position||2013 $$||Future $$||OppQual|
|Bartolo Colon||SP||3 Mil||8.9|
|Oliver Perez||RP||1.5 Mil||9.3|
|Maicer Izturis||SS||3 Mil||6 mil||8.6|
|David Ross||Catcher||3.1 Mil||3.1 Mil||7.5|
|Juan Pierre||OF||1.6 mil||8.4|
|Melky Cabrera||OF||8 mil||8 mil||8.7|
|Scott Baker||SP||5.5 mil||–|
|Shawn Camp||RP||1.35 mil||8.3|
|Jeremy Guthrie||SP||5 mil||20 mil.||7.8|
|Hiroki Kuroda||SP||15 mil.||9.4|
|Ryan Madson||RP||3.5 mil||–|
|John Lannan||SP||2.5 mil||9.1|
|Andres Torres||OF||2 mil||9.1|
|Jack Hanahan||3B||2 mil||2 mil||8.7|
|Jason Grilli||RP||2.75 mil||4 mil||8|
|Ryan Ludwick||OF||7.5 mil||7.5 mil||8.9|
|Nate Schierholtz||OF||2.25 mil||9.3|
|Eric Chavez||3B||3 mil||9.6|
|Nate Mclouth||OF||2 mil||8.8|
|Marco Scutaro||2B||6.66 mil||13.33 mil||9.1|
|Jeff Keppinger||2B||4 mil||8 mil||9.2|
|Geovany Soto||Catcher||2.75 mil||8.7|
|James Loney||1B||2 mil||9.3|
|Scott Feldman||SP||6 mil||9|
|Ryan SweeneyFreddy Garcia||OFSP||MiLBMiLB||8.39.5|
6 of the players have not played any official spring training games. Madson, Baker, Byrdak, and I think Braddock as well, are all hurt as we know, but would hopefully be available soon in the season. McClellan may be hurt as well, though I am not sure, while I know Sadowski is not. They must have been just using him in minor league camp, which doesn’t really speak well to his chances of making the Majors.
The MiLB contract guys with OppQual of at least 9: Freddy Garcia, Chris Volstad, Kevin Slowey, Hisanori Takahashi, Mike Ekstrom, Randy Wells, Rich Thompson, Neal Cotts, and Carlos Torres. Obviously it seems like guys like Cotts and Thompson don’t have great chances of making their teams, but it seems that they are being given the opportunity. Guys like Garcia, Volstad, Slowey, and Takahashi are not real surprises, and I expect them to make their teams.
The only player with an OppQual of less than 7 was Ryan Reid. Other notable lows include Bill Bray (7.5), who was also sent to minor league camp, Dan Wheeler, Michael Olmsted, Mitch Maier, and Hector Rondon. These guys, even though Olmsted is on the 40 man roster and Maier and Wheeler have a lot of MLB experience, will probably not make their teams it would seem (at least if our assumption is right).