An Interesting Intersection of Real and Fantasy

Posted by Dave Nichols | Thursday, May 31, 2007 | 0 comments »

So I was doing a little research the other day and came to a surprising and interesting realization. There are 14 players in the AL that have the majority of their games played at DH. In the fantasy context, that means that in most leagues, including the AL-only league I'm in, these players will be eligible to be drafted ONLY at DH. Last year there were eight such players, and they are all on pace again.

Here's the list:

F. Thomas, TOR
D. Ortiz, BOS
J. Vidro, SEA
T. Hafner, CLE
G. Sheffield, DET
J. Giambi, NYY
M. Sweeney, KC
S. Hillenbrand, ANA
S. Sosa, TEX
J. Thome, CWS
M. Piazza, OAK
J. Cust, OAK
M. Cirillo, MIN
J. Gomes, TB

Some of these names are an interesting study in themselves. Sosa has 13 games in the OF, he almost certainly will get enough time in the OF. Will Gomes or Cirillo even matter enough to be drafted next year? When Piazza comes back and Cust is still hitting, does Piazza catch enough games to qualify there, or does Cust have to stumble around in the OF for the A's? Time will tell. One thing we do know is that everyone else on the list will only play on the field during interleague play, if then.

So on to the two points I want to make out of all this.

1) Isn't it time to make DH a position to be voted on for AL All-Star? These guys don't play in the field. Five of the 14 haven't put a glove on yet. Seven have played less than five games in the field. These guys ARE DHs. That's their position. Put them on the permanent ballot. It's ludacris (intentional) that Ortiz is listed at 1B for BOS on the ballot and Youkilis is no where to be found. Youkilis could be hitting .400 and not be voted as an all-star. Who cares that you'd vote for 9 positions in the AL and 8 in the NL?

2) There in one team in the AL that does not have a "permanent" DH. That's right, your Baltimore Orioles. Millar/Huff/Gibbons all have plenty of DH appearances, but only Millar has more games at DH than in the field, and that's only by 4 games. He'll make that up. He is, unfortunately, the O's best defensive 1B-not counting Chris Gomez, which makes me even with Sam Perlozzo. So if every other team is doing it, does that make what the O's are doing wrong? Looking at the numbers, the O's DHs rank 12th in average, 12th in on-base pct, 9th in slugging, 6th in homers, 11th in RBIs and 11th in runs.