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Collette Calls: The Last 365

Jason Collette

Jason Collette

Jason has been helping fantasy owners since 1999 at RotoJunkie, Fanball, Baseball Prospectus and now here at RotoWire. He covers the Tampa Bay Rays at theprocessreport.net. You can hear Jason weekly on many of the Sirius/XM Fantasy channel offerings throughout the season as well as on the Towers of Power Baseball Hour Podcast on iTunes. He was selected as the Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year by FSWA in 2013.

Over the past calendar year, there is an outfielder that has totaled 660 plate appearances. He has hit 25 doubles, three triples, 28 home runs, and has stolen 23 bases. Despite that counting category production, he is hitting .211/.273/.404 and fantasy owners are actively talking about cutting this player that was a top 40 draft pick this year - B.J. Upton.

It is admittedly impossible to not get frustrated about how a player like Upton and other similar players are struggling in 2013 as we are one-third of the way through the season. Around this time, I always find it helpful to look back over the past calendar year to see who are the leaders in the standard 5x5 categories. I find it sometimes tempers excitement with certain players who have been great recently but not so much over a larger sample size while others can somewhat sneak up on you about how great they have actually been.

A classic example of this is Aramis Ramirez. Over the past calendar year, he has has a .409 weighted on base average. wOBA is based on linear weights to measure a player's overall offensive contributions and was created by Tom Tango (who should be a must read for you & Twitter follow at @tangotiger). That .409 wOBA for Ramirez trails only three players in that timeframe: Miguel Cabrera (.443), Joey Votto (.435), & Buster Posey (.411). Yes, he is one point ahead of Mike Trout, but I could have given you 20 guesses and you never would have made the correct choice.

With that said, here are the top-10 lists for each of the standard categories over the past 365 days.

Batting Average

1. Miguel Cabrera - .348
2. Joey Votto - .346
3. Buster Posey - .335
4. Joe Mauer - .332
5. Marco Scutaro - .330
6. Torii Hunter - .325
7. Alex Gordon - .324
8. Aramis Ramirez - .324
9. Yadier Molina - .322
10. Mike Trout - .319

Hunter may be getting up there in age, but you would never know it from the .325/.373/.452 slash line he has put up over this last 665 plate appearances. Scutaro continues to surprise; someone that struggled to hit in Colorado but is hitting .330/.369/.435 over his last 701 plate appearances.

Runs

1. Mike Trout - 151
2. Miguel Cabrera - 126
3. Andrew McCutchen - 114
4. Justin Upton - 113
5. Austin Jackson - 107
6. Bryce Harper - 106
7. Alex Gordon - 104
8. Adam Jones - 104
9. Alex Rios - 103
10. Shin-Soo Choo - 102

Remember how Upton was a bust last year? Yeah, about that. Harper, while playing in Trout's statistical shadow, was quite productive in scoring runs.

Runs Batted In

1. Miguel Cabrera - 157
2. Adrian Gonzalez - 120
3. Prince Fielder - 119
4. Edwin Encarnacion - 113
5. Chris Davis - 112
6. Ryan Braun - 111
7. Allen Craig - 110
8. Albert Pujols - 108
9. Robinson Cano - 107
10. Buster Posey - 107

RBI is a stat of opportunity, but these 10 guys are making the most of it. Fielder's 119 is impressive considering Cabrera is often cleaning the table in front of him. Craig having more RBI than Pujols is equally impressive as Craig did not have a Mike Trout in front of him to drive in.

Home Runs

1. Miguel Cabrera - 50
2. Chris Davis - 43
3. Robinson Cano - 39
4. Edwin Encarnacion - 39
5. Adam Dunn - 37
6. Ryan Braun - 36
7. Adrian Beltre - 36
8. Mike Trout - 35
9. Adam LaRoche - 35
10. Mark Trumbo - 34

Yes, Adam LaRoche has more home runs than the likes of Fielder, Hamilton, Bruce, Harper, and Mark Reynolds over the past calendar year.

Stolen Bases

1. Everth Cabrera - 59
2. Mike Trout - 53
3. Rajai Davis - 46
4. Ben Revere - 46
5. Coco Crisp - 43
6. Carlos Gomez - 42
7. Alcides Escobar - 37
8. Michael Bourn - 36
9. Jacoby Ellsbury - 35
10. Norichika Aoki - 34

There are no real surprises on that list outside of the fact Cabrera is that far ahead of everyone else.

Wins

1. Max Scherzer - 19
2. Matt Moore - 18
3. Justin Verlander - 18
4. Hiroki Kuroda - 18
5. Tim Hudson - 17
6. R.A. Dickey - 17
7. Lance Lynn - 17
8. Justin Masterson - 17
9. Jordan Zimmermann - 17
10. Gio Gonzalez - 17

Masterson should be the surprise there, but that is how good his 2013 work has been. The improvement to his slider and his sequencing has been rather dramatic this season, something Terry Francona discussed last month with Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer:

Q: What about his slider? You've talked a lot about it in the first month of the season.

A: "His breaking ball (slider), at times, has been outstanding. He's even mixing in a change-up from time to time. The slider is bigger, sharper and has more depth. It's been a really good one.
"He can back door a left-hander with it or wrap it around his ankle. Or he can freeze a right-hander. It gives him a lot of options."


Saves

1. Jim Johnson - 52
2. Rafael Soriano - 50
3. Aroldis Chapman - 48
4. Fernando Rodney - 43
5. Craig Kimbrel - 43
6. Joe Nathan - 42
7. Tom Wilhelmsen - 40
8. Addison Reed - 40
9. Jonathan Papelbon - 35
10. Jason Motte - 34

Motte, despite missing all of the time in 2013, makes the list. Wilhelmsen, someone who was drafted as a lower-tier closer this season, is doing quite well.

Strikeouts

1. Yu Darvish - 260
2. Clayton Kershaw - 242
3. Max Scherzer - 240
4. Justin Verlander - 239
5. Felix Hernandez - 235
6. R.A. Dickey - 228
7. A.J. Burnett - 227
8. James Shields - 222
9. Cliff Lee - 216
10. Madison Bumgarner - 213

I never would have guessed Bumgarner had more strikeouts over the past calendar year than Cole Hamels, David Price, Mat Latos, or Adam Wainwright. Dickey did most of his damage last year while focusing his damage this year on your ERA and WHIP.

Earned Run Average

1. Kris Medlen - 1.96
2. Clayton Kershaw - 2.27
3. Hisashi Iwakuma - 2.61
4. Mike Minor - 2.64
5. Jordan Zimmermann - 2.77
6. Felix Hernandez - 2.79
7. Clay Buchholz - 2.84
8. Hiroki Kuroda - 2.87
9. Johnny Cueto - 2.87
10. Cliff Lee - 2.91

There are four American League pitchers on that list and it is Iwakuma with the best ERA of all of them and yet still has doubters. The same can be said for Buchholz.

WHIP

1. Mike Minor - 0.97
2. Clayton Kershaw - 0.98
3. Kris Medlen - 1.03
4. Hiroki Kuroda - 1.06
5. Max Scherzer - 1.08
6. Felix Hernandez - 1.09
7. Cliff Lee - 1.09
8. James Shields - 1.09
9. Clay Buchholz - 1.09
10. Madison Bumgarner - 1.09

Poor Shields. He makes the top 10 for strikeouts and WHIP, and comes in 62nd on the wins list with 11. If you had any doubts about Minor, it should be safe to erase them. He's held hitters to a .203 average over his last 31 games.