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2017 Fantasy Baseball: How do SCOUTscores Help You Dominate Your League?

Rainman Fantasy Baseball Expert, Shawn Childs, reintroduces the SCOUTscore tool to help you defeat your opponents in 2017!

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Over the past two years, I've been working on baseball and football tools to help Fantasy owners make better decisions during drafts and throughout the season. Last year, I developed the SCOUTscore for baseball. These scores will not only help Fantasy owners see the values at different positions, they will allow you to compare players at different positions.

Our SCOUTscore is built for 12-team, 5-by-5 Roto leagues with once a week pitching moves. In the future, we will modify the options for 10-team and 15-team leagues, and we may even add bi-weekly pitching move leagues.

The toughest part for any Fantasy owner to understand is draft rankings or cheat sheets. This is due to the underlying information behind each player's profile. At any position in baseball, I may only like a handful of players. When I rank them, I can't leave players I don't like off the cheat sheet, and it wouldn't be fair to rank them poorly just based on my opinion.

Here’s a look at medium value in 2016 in a field of 1,632 Fantasy teams in all 10 categories:

BA: .2672, R: 1061, HR: 300, RBI: 1036, SB: 126, W: 89, SV: 81, ERA: 3.801, WHIP: 1.243, K: 1330

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In today's Fantasy Baseball market, owners use ADPs (average draft position) to better prepare for the upcoming draft season. ADP give Fantasy owners a feel for a player's value in the open market. This is a great tool, but a Fantasy owner must understand the value of the information. ADP data from mock drafts have less value than you think, as many mocks aren't completed by a full roster of owners and drafters often lose interest at some point of the draft. I believe the best information in Fantasy Baseball comes from owners playing for real money or owners competing in a real league that will be played out during the season.

Our SCOUTscore can work with any projections to deliver results. This season, we did all the research on all 30 baseball teams.  We then did our team profiles for each team's projections. With this information, I delivered my Scout rankings based on the SCOUTscores. In addition, we can back check the results from the previous season to see how each player stacked up against their competition.

What is the SCOUTscore? It is a score that gives a Fantasy owner a feel for a player's value based on his projections or even past results. A player's SCOUTscore shows a Fantasy owner how much a player impacts a Fantasy team's roster when he is drafted. The theory is built on each team drafting average player stats for all remaining positions. If you drafted Mike Trout in 2014 (.287 with 115 runs, 36 HRs, 111 RBI, and 16 SBs in 602 at bats), he finished with a SCOUTscore of +11.24.  By drafting him, you gained 11.24 points in the standings in the five offensive categories if you were able to draft the average player stats for your other 13 offensive positions.

BA

R

HR

RBI

SB

Total

0.93

3.57

2.92

2.85

0.97

11.24

This year, Mike Trout is projected to have a SCOUTscore of 13.50 (.319 with 122 runs, 35 HRs, 115 RBI, and 28 SBs in 581 at-bats). Trout would help a Fantasy owner gain 2.00 points in batting average, 3.60 points in runs, 2.14 in HRs, 2.72 in RBI, and 3.04 in SBs based on his at-bats.

Note: Each season, the SCOUTscore equation is adjusted for the current playing field in Major League Baseball. If HRs are declining, a big power hitter will be rewarded for his edge in homeruns.

Once we have each player's projections matched up with the SCOUTscore, we have a way to compare values of all players.  For this information to have more value, we really need to compare players at like positions. We know Trout is an edge over every other player, but how much is he an edge over all outfielders? How much is Clayton Kershaw an edge over the pitching inventory? Is Kershaw more of an edge in pitching than Trout is in hitting? This is when ADPs and player's draft value comes in play.

After we run the SCOUTscores with our projections, we then need to run the +/- scores for each position. To help Fantasy owners make better decisions, we totaled the projections for the top 12 players at each position. We then ran the SCOUTscore for the average of those 12 players, giving us a value to compare players at the same position.

At the catcher position, Buster Posey is the top catcher again in 2017 with a SCOUTscore of 1.14 based on our projections.

When you compare him to the top 12 catchers based on 2017 projections, Posey has a rank score of 1.94.

With these rank scores by ScoutFantasy.com, a Fantasy owner can see how each player ranks compared to all other players. Once a Fantasy owner has this information, he then must decide how much he trusts or agrees with a player’s projections. He then should compare that player with other players at the same position in the projected ADPs.

When we ran our overall projections through the SCOUTscores, the average top 12 starting pitchers came in with a score of 6.94. In today's game, we have seen huge results by starting pitchers over the last couple of years, which has led to deflated value in batters. Clayton Kershaw was the most impactful player in 2014 (+14.24 SCOUTscore) when he went 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA and 301 Ks over 232.2 innings

W

Ks

ERA

WHIP

SVs

Total

3.94

3.73

3.50

4.81

-1.74

14.24

He delivered these results even with six missed starts due to a bad back (loss of 18.2 percent of the season). As much of an edge as he provided, Kershaw still only beat the next three pitchers in 2014 by a few points - Johnny Cueto (+12.95), Felix Hernandez (+12.12), and Corey Kluber (+10.47).

Kershaw has established himself as a huge edge and his projections give him the most value headed into the 2017 draft season.

When on the clock at the draft table, a Fantasy baseball owner can see the huge advantage of Mike Tout and Clayton Kershaw. A winning decision will come down to both players delivering on their projections plus the rest of your draft selections. If you look at the possible options on the 2/3 turn in 12 team drafts, you will have the opportunity to draft an injured Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish, or Jon Lester. Here’s a look at each of those pitchers’ projections and SCOUTscore:

All three arms pitched well in 2016. If you now look at the possible options to pair with Kershaw on the 2/3 turn, you have more information to make a fair comparison. The batters most likely to be available are: Xander Bogaerts, Francisco Lindor, Trevor Story, Robinson Cano, and George Springer. Here's a look at their SCOUTscores with our 2017 projections:

The quality of the pitcher on the 2/3 turn appears to offer more impact value than these hitting options. This is a positive for a Trout and Mookie Betts owners if they want a foundation ace. However, a Fantasy owner who selects Kershaw may have better see better options for their first bat than the players listed above based on the fact that Kershaw is being drafted later than Trout and Betts.

The bottom line here is that a Fantasy owner is trying to gain an edge with each of his first few picks in the draft while filling as many categories as possible. Each decision takes a Fantasy owner on a different path.

The SCOUTscore was developed to help Fantasy players make better decisions. Fantasy Baseball is a real complex game and there are many underlying values late in the draft or even on the waiver wire. This score will help owners see how a player will help a Fantasy team in all five categories if they deliver on their projections. Our rank score isn't a draft rank. It is a ranking to show which players we believe will have the biggest impact in the standings at each position. We hope this will help Fantasy owners make better decisions during drafts.