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What It Takes To Win: Batting Average

Let's kick off the 2008 version of What It Takes To Win.  In this series, I examine my keeper league and determine the necessary thresholds to finish strong in each category.  I feel that my league is fairly standard: 23-man rosters, 12 teams, normal 5x5 categories.  I've got three years of data to work with, and my goal is to finish at least third in each category.  10 points times 10 categories equals 100 points, enough to win the league.

I have found a .288 team average to be a mark that is likely to earn a second or third place finish in the batting average category.

  • I see three catchers topping .288 in '08: Joe Mauer, Victor Martinez, and Brian McCann.   
  • I have eight first basemen who can manage the feat.
  • I also see eight second basemen likely to pull it off, with Howie Kendrick an interesting five-category sleeper.
  • Eight shortstops are at or above .288. 
  • This is getting odd...I have eight third basemen making the cut.
  • I see 17 outfielders cracking .288.  That's less than I would've guessed.  And of the 17, Ichiro, Willy Taveras, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Juan Pierre are not expected to reach double digits in home runs.  So taking one of those four means you need to compensate elsewhere in power.
  • How much would it hurt to own Adam Dunn, who is projected to hit .251?  Say everyone aside from Dunn is projected for 500 ABs and 144 hits, putting them all at .288.  Dunn would take your team average from .288 to .285.
  • Say you have Albert Pujols, projected to hit .327 in 553 ABs.  He takes your team average from .288 to .291.  I guess the point here is that at the extremes a single hitter can swing your average as much as three points.

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