How Much A Difference Does Moving From BA to OBP Make?

Votto: Keeping a good eye on the base on balls.

Votto: Keeping a good eye on the base on balls.

Tout Wars Weekend is coming up, which means thinking about On Base Percentage. The Tout Wars leagues use 5×5 OBP instead of 5×5 BA, which can change player values a surprising amount.

There was a lot of talk last year about how much of an impact the change was going to have on player values, and we saw in the auctions that players associated with good OBP increased in value.

Derek VanRiper was one owner who seemed to focus on OBP in the auction last year, and he won Tout Mixed Auction. The AL champs, Glenn Colton and Rick Wolf, led that league in OBP. But Tim McLeod in Mixed Draft and Tristan Cockcroft in NL, champs both, were middle of the pack in OBP.

Last year Carlos Santana was the biggest gainer in value, nearly doubling his value after he walked 113 times with 541 AB.

The big loser in OBP was contactmaking swipemeister Ben Revere, who walked just 13 times, with 601 AB.

I published a similar piece last year. Feel free to draw comparisons and find your own hidden OBP value.

I think the most hidden value is found in guys who put up a low OBP generally, but derive a lot of it from walking. These are unglamorous names, like Adam LaRoche and Curtis Granderson and Mike Napoli, whose walks make substantial contributions to your team. You may not know whether they’re going to hit .235 or .270, BA jumps around because of luck, but you know that they’re going to get their bases on balls. That’s a skill.

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