2021 Asset Group Analysis — (A+)

(Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire)

Asset groups are a key component of the BABS system. They are our means to assemble players with comparable skills profiles and then review how the marketplace ranks them. The philosophy is that, if several players are comparable, they should be valued at about the same level. But that’s not always the case. Here is where we can uncover opportunities to build profit into our rosters. This is a sample Asset Group Analysis. There will be more in the next updates.

ADP R$ BATTER Pos Tm PT Pw Sp Av * Pk Rg Sk- Inj Ex Nw Ag Pk Rg
29 $25 LeMahieu,D.J. 2 NYY F A+ Rg-
92 $13 McNeil,Jeff O NYM F A+ Rg-
159 $8 Brantley,Michael D HOU F A+

This trio of hitters comprise the (A+) asset group, with the single rating of Extreme Batting Effectiveness. This tells us that we can count on these players to provide the potential for a .300-plus batting average. But beyond that, BABS is mum. Let’s take a closer look.

All three of these hitters posted fairly comparable stat lines in 2019. All hit over 20 homers and batted over .300. LeMahieu amassed more counting stats but also came to the plate more often.

BABS is not registering the power output; in all three cases, the supporting metrics are below average. A scan of the three histories shows that 2019 was a career year for HRs, and in the case of LeMahieu and McNeil, BABS specifically points to the probability of regression.

Once the expectation drops to less than 20 HRs, a player is going to lose BABS’ support for a power rating. These days, everyone and his uncle’s neighbor’s housekeeper can hit 20 HRs.

The most interesting aspect of this group is what each of these players will cost you at the draft table. LeMahieu has been going in the second round, a $25ish buy. Despite a comparable skills profile, according to BABS, McNeil is not going until Round 6 and Brantley in Round 11.

Odds are most of the premium is driven by LeMahieu’s outstanding production in 195 AB last year. But any presumption that his 10 HR, .364 BA pace can be sustained over 162 games (30 HR?) is foolhardy. Sample size alert! The market has routinely been over-weighting the short season; be cautious.

LeMahieu’s ADP could also be a Yankees premium, or the fact that he has 600-AB potential atop a strong lineup. But McNeil will arguably be near the top of a stronger lineup this year as well. As for Brantley, he’s amassed 1,315 AB over the past three years; LeMahieu has 1,330.

What we’re left with is three players with comparable skills. LeMahieu is probably overpriced. McNeil is probably close to par. And Brantley could be a steal in the middle rounds.