Sometimes we focus to closely on the here and now. At other times we focus on too small a sample size. In this piece we will avoid both those pitfalls and focus on the last three years of data in major league baseball.

This is by no means full analysis of what has occurred the last three years. However, we will take a look at the 10 basic categories in fantasy baseball. Note, that by looking at three years of data we are effectively removing things like good or bad luck, or at least attempting to. We’re also looking at a large enough sample size that we should feel good about removing a good deal of uncertainty that can happen from season-to-season.

*NOTE: For batting average batters required 1,500 plate appearances to qualify. For pitchers, the ERA and WHIP categories required a minimum of 450-innings pitched.

BATTING AVERAGE

Name

AVG

 

Name

AVG

Jose Altuve

.331

 

Melky Cabrera

.290

Miguel Cabrera

.320

 

Manny Machado

.288

Joey Votto

.309

 

Jonathan Lucroy

.288

Paul Goldschmidt

.307

 

Yadier Molina

.288

DJ LeMahieu

.307

 

Xander Bogaerts

.287

Buster Posey

.306

 

Denard Span

.287

Daniel Murphy

.305

 

Ian Kinsler

.286

Adrian Beltre

.304

 

Andrew McCutchen

.286

Mookie Betts

.304

 

Nelson Cruz

.286

Dee Gordon

.302

 

Ben Revere

.286

Mike Trout

.300

 

Anthony Rizzo

.285

Lorenzo Cain

.300

 

Ryan Braun

.285

Robinson Cano

.299

 

Brandon Phillips

.285

J.D. Martinez

.299

 

Bryce Harper

.284

Jose Abreu

.299

 

David Ortiz

.284

Charlie Blackmon

.299

 

Howie Kendrick

.282

Dustin Pedroia

.297

 

Nick Markakis

.280

Starling Marte

.296

 

Josh Donaldson

.279

Josh Harrison

.296

 

Adrian Gonzalez

.279

Christian Yelich

.293

 

Eric Hosmer

.278

Yunel Escobar

.293

 

Angel Pagan

.278

Victor Martinez

.293

 

Yoenis Cespedes

.277

Ender Inciarte

.292

 

Jean Segura

.277

Martin Prado

.292

 

Anthony Rendon

.276

Freddie Freeman

.290

 

Carlos Gonzalez

.276

Adam Eaton

.290

 

Starlin Castro

.275

Nolan Arenado

.290

     
 

Jose Altuve and Miguel Cabrera are in a league of their own.

There are two surprising .300 hitters in Adrian Beltre (.304) and Lorenzo Cain (.300). Beltre the aging star and Cain the oft-injured one.

J.D. Martinez and Jose Abreu aren’t just sluggers.

Dustin Pedroia might be aging, but he’s still extremely productive.

Two Pirates have posted a .296 mark in Starling Marte and Josh Harrison.

Yunel Escobar three points ahead of Nolan Arenado? That’s surprising.

Josh Donaldson is a first round pick in most setups. Still, he’s a sub .280 hitter the last three years.

Yoenis Cespedes has a one point lower mark than Angel Pagan. How surprising is that?

HOME RUNS

Name

HR

 

Name

HR

Nelson Cruz

127

 

Bryce Harper

79

Edwin Encarnacion

115

 

Evan Longoria

79

Chris Davis

111

 

Jay Bruce

77

David Ortiz

110

 

Paul Goldschmidt

76

Josh Donaldson

107

 

Curtis Granderson

76

Mike Trout

106

 

Carlos Gonzalez

76

Todd Frazier

104

 

Robinson Cano

74

Chris Carter

102

 

Ryan Braun

74

Nolan Arenado

101

 

Adrian Gonzalez

73

Albert Pujols

99

 

Andrew McCutchen

72

Jose Bautista

97

 

Brandon Moss

72

Anthony Rizzo

95

 

Ryan Howard

71

Brian Dozier

93

 

Freddie Freeman

70

Giancarlo Stanton

91

 

Victor Martinez

70

Jose Abreu

91

 

Adrian Beltre

69

Khris Davis

91

 

Brian McCann

69

Yoenis Cespedes

88

 

Mike Napoli

69

Justin Upton

86

 

Mark Teixeira

68

Adam Jones

85

 

Pedro Alvarez

67

Manny Machado

84

 

Kris Bryant

65

J.D. Martinez

83

 

George Springer

65

Matt Kemp

83

 

Ian Desmond

65

Mark Trumbo

83

 

Charlie Blackmon

65

Kyle Seager

81

 

Joey Votto

64

Miguel Cabrera

81

 

Lucas Duda

64

Evan Gattis

81

 

Carlos Beltran

63

Carlos Santana

80

     
 

Nelson Cruz has hit 40 homers in 3-straight seasons.

Only nine men have hit 100 homers. One is retired (David Ortiz).

Sixteen men have averaged 30 homers a season the last three years.

Brian Dozier has more homers than Giancarlo Stanton who cannot stay on the field.

Evan Gattis has the same amount of homers as Miguel Cabrera.

Curtis Granderson has the same number of homers as Paul Goldschmidt.

RUNS BATTED IN

Name

RBI

 

Name

RBI

David Ortiz

339

 

Andrew McCutchen

258

Edwin Encarnacion

336

 

Carlos Santana

257

Nolan Arenado

324

 

Ryan Braun

256

Josh Donaldson

320

 

Eric Hosmer

255

Albert Pujols

319

 

Victor Martinez

253

Jose Abreu

308

 

Jay Bruce

252

Nelson Cruz

306

 

Ian Kinsler

248

Mike Trout

301

 

Brian Dozier

247

Matt Kemp

297

 

J.D. Martinez

246

Adrian Gonzalez

296

 

Chris Carter

246

Miguel Cabrera

293

 

Giancarlo Stanton

246

Yoenis Cespedes

291

 

Kendrys Morales

241

Anthony Rizzo

288

 

Ian Desmond

239

Jose Bautista

286

 

Khris Davis

237

Paul Goldschmidt

274

 

Brandon Crawford

237

Chris Davis

273

 

Melky Cabrera

236

Justin Upton

270

 

Freddie Freeman

235

Kyle Seager

269

 

Carlos Gonzalez

235

Todd Frazier

267

 

Hanley Ramirez

235

Robinson Cano

264

 

Daniel Murphy

234

Adrian Beltre

264

 

Mark Trumbo

233

Buster Posey

264

 

Ryan Howard

231

Evan Longoria

262

 

Brian McCann

227

Adam Jones

261

 

Jose Altuve

221

 

Eight players, seven active, have produced an average of 100 RBI a season the last three years.

Four men were within 10 driven in of joining the 100 RBI a season club.

Andrew McCutchen and Ryan Braun are just a handful of runs batted in ahead of Eric Hosmer.

Everyone hates on Jay Bruce, but he has more RBI the last three years than Giancarlo Stanton.

Shouldn’t Freddie Freeman and Carlos Gonzalez have more RBI? Melky Cabrera has one more RBI than that power hitting duo.

RUNS SCORED

Name

R

 

Name

R

Mike Trout

342

 

Adrian Beltre

251

Josh Donaldson

337

 

Ian Desmond

249

Brian Dozier

317

 

Mookie Betts

248

Ian Kinsler

311

 

Adam Jones

248

Charlie Blackmon

286

 

DJ LeMahieu

248

Paul Goldschmidt

284

 

Dexter Fowler

247

Matt Carpenter

281

 

Matt Kemp

246

Jose Altuve

279

 

Manny Machado

245

Anthony Rizzo

277

 

Kyle Seager

245

Jose Bautista

277

 

Anthony Rendon

245

Nelson Cruz

273

 

Albert Pujols

245

Nolan Arenado

271

 

Bryce Harper

243

Edwin Encarnacion

268

 

Justin Upton

243

Robinson Cano

266

 

Evan Longoria

238

Adam Eaton

265

 

Jason Kipnis

238

Chris Davis

264

 

Christian Yelich

235

Yoenis Cespedes

262

 

Jose Abreu

235

Andrew McCutchen

261

 

Ryan Braun

235

Brett Gardner

261

 

Eric Hosmer

232

Todd Frazier

259

 

Carlos Santana

229

Kole Calhoun

259

 

Buster Posey

228

Xander Bogaerts

259

 

Joey Votto

228

Curtis Granderson

259

 

Starling Marte

228

Miguel Cabrera

257

 

Adrian Gonzalez

228

Freddie Freeman

257

 

Dee Gordon

227

Ben Zobrist

253

     
 

Only four men have averaged 100 runs a season the last three years.

It’s amazing to think that Mike Trout has scored 99 more runs that Bryce Harper, isn’t it?

Is it more surprising that Matt Carpenter has two more runs than Jose Altuve?

Adam Eaton has never broken out, but he’s been remarkably consistent the last two seasons leading to three more runs scored than Yoenis Cespedes.

Brett Gardner has holes in his game. He’s still scored four more runs than Miggy.

STOLEN BASES

Name

SB

 

Name

SB

Billy Hamilton

171

 

Mookie Betts

54

Dee Gordon

152

 

Jason Heyward

54

Jose Altuve

124

 

Denard Span

54

Starling Marte

107

 

Ryan Braun

51

Rajai Davis

97

 

Brian Dozier

51

Ben Revere

94

 

Jason Kipnis

49

Jarrod Dyson

92

 

Todd Frazier

48

Charlie Blackmon

88

 

Adam Eaton

47

Jonathan Villar

86

 

Josh Harrison

47

Jacoby Ellsbury

80

 

Christian Yelich

46

Jean Segura

78

 

Alexei Ramirez

46

Elvis Andrus

76

 

Billy Burns

46

Lorenzo Cain

70

 

Chris Owings

45

Carlos Gomez

69

 

Jimmy Rollins

45

Leonys Martin

69

 

Jake Marisnick

45

Alcides Escobar

65

 

DJ LeMahieu

44

Jose Reyes

63

 

Dexter Fowler

44

Paul Goldschmidt

62

 

Kevin Kiermaier

44

Ian Desmond

58

 

Angel Pagan

43

Gregory Polanco

58

 

Kolten Wong

42

Mike Trout

57

 

Jose Ramirez

42

Brett Gardner

57

 

Cameron Maybin

42

Eduardo Nunez

57

 

Michael Bourn

42

A.J. Pollock

57

 

Odubel Herrera

41

Melvin Upton Jr.

56

 

Kevin Pillar

40

Ender Inciarte

56

 

Danny Santana

40

 

Two men have averaged 50 steals (Billy Hamilton & Dee Gordon)

Only four men have stolen 100 bases (Hamilton, Gordon, Jose Altuve, Starling Marte).

Only three men have averaged 40 steals a season (sorry Starling).

Only seven total players have averaged 30 steals a season the past three years (add in Rajai Davis, Ben Revere and Jarrod Dyson).

Mike Trout has one more steal than Melvin Upton who has two more steals than Mookie Betts, who has three more steals than Ryan Braun, who has three more steals than Todd Frazier. The third sacker, Frazier, has one more theft than Adan Eaton and two more than Christian Yelich.

WINS

Name

Wins

 

Name

Wins

Max Scherzer

52

 

Stephen Strasburg

40

Madison Bumgarner

51

 

Hisashi Iwakuma

40

David Price

50

 

Chris Tillman

40

Jake Arrieta

50

 

Masahiro Tanaka

39

Clayton Kershaw

49

 

John Lackey

38

Johnny Cueto

49

 

Yordano Ventura

38

Zack Greinke

49

 

Cole Hamels

37

Jon Lester

46

 

Gerrit Cole

37

Rick Porcello

46

 

Jered Weaver

37

Corey Kluber

45

 

Justin Verlander

36

Felix Hernandez

44

 

Jordan Zimmermann

36

Bartolo Colon

44

 

Edinson Volquez

36

Collin McHugh

43

 

Adam Wainwright

35

Chris Sale

42

 

Tanner Roark

35

J.A. Happ

42

 

Jason Hammel

35

Dallas Keuchel

41

 

R.A. Dickey

35

 

Only four men reached the 50-win level.

Six others won at least 45 games.

That means that 10 men have averaged at least 15 victories the last three years.

Bartolo Colon and Colin McHugh have more wins than Chris Sale.

Look at that. Hisashi Iwakuma matches Stephen Strasburg and has three more wins than Cole Hamels.

Jered Weaver has won more win than Justin Verlander.

EARNED RUN AVERAGE

Name

ERA

 

Name

ERA

Clayton Kershaw

1.89

 

Adam Wainwright

3.31

Jake Arrieta

2.42

 

Stephen Strasburg

3.36

Jacob deGrom

2.74

 

Danny Duffy

3.36

Jon Lester

2.74

 

Julio Teheran

3.37

Zack Greinke

2.76

 

Sonny Gray

3.51

Johnny Cueto

2.80

 

Chris Archer

3.52

Madison Bumgarner

2.88

 

Jordan Zimmermann

3.52

Kyle Hendricks

2.92

 

Marco Estrada

3.62

Max Scherzer

2.96

 

J.A. Happ

3.63

Corey Kluber

3.01

 

Scott Kazmir

3.66

Chris Sale

3.03

 

Justin Verlander

3.67

Felix Hernandez

3.05

 

Jason Hammel

3.68

Masahiro Tanaka

3.12

 

Collin McHugh

3.71

Cole Hamels

3.15

 

Jake Odorizzi

3.72

Tanner Roark

3.17

 

Rick Porcello

3.75

Dallas Keuchel

3.21

 

Ervin Santana

3.75

Carlos Carrasco

3.22

 

Hisashi Iwakuma

3.76

Carlos Martinez

3.22

 

Francisco Liriano

3.80

Gerrit Cole

3.23

 

Wei-Yin Chen

3.81

David Price

3.25

 

Ian Kennedy

3.84

Jose Quintana

3.29

 

Bartolo Colon

3.90

John Lackey

3.29

 

Jeff Samardzija

3.91

Adam Wainwright

3.31

 

Yordano Ventura

3.91

 

No one is within half a run of Clayton Kershaw which is amazing.

Zack Greinke has a better mark than Madison Bumgarner.

Tanner Roark inches ahead of Carlos Carrasco and Carlos Martinez.

How does Danny Duffy have the same mark as Stephen Strasburg?

Justin Verlander is behind J.A. Happ and Scott Kazmir. Nuff said for all you Verlander lovers.

WHIP

Name

WHIP

 

Name

WHIP

Clayton Kershaw

0.83

 

Danny Duffy

1.20

Jake Arrieta

0.97

 

Gerrit Cole

1.21

Max Scherzer

1.02

 

Cole Hamels

1.21

Chris Sale

1.03

 

Jake Odorizzi

1.21

Madison Bumgarner

1.04

 

Chris Archer

1.22

Masahiro Tanaka

1.04

 

Sonny Gray

1.22

Johnny Cueto

1.06

 

Bartolo Colon

1.22

Corey Kluber

1.07

 

Jose Quintana

1.23

Carlos Carrasco

1.07

 

Scott Kazmir

1.23

Zack Greinke

1.07

 

Mike Leake

1.24

Kyle Hendricks

1.07

 

Wei-Yin Chen

1.24

Jon Lester

1.08

 

Collin McHugh

1.25

Jacob deGrom

1.10

 

J.A. Happ

1.25

Stephen Strasburg

1.11

 

R.A. Dickey

1.26

Felix Hernandez

1.11

 

Ervin Santana

1.27

David Price

1.12

 

Ian Kennedy

1.27

Marco Estrada

1.12

 

Carlos Martinez

1.28

Dallas Keuchel

1.14

 

Chris Tillman

1.30

Julio Teheran

1.15

 

Jered Weaver

1.30

Hisashi Iwakuma

1.16

 

Colby Lewis

1.31

Jason Hammel

1.16

 

Francisco Liriano

1.32

Justin Verlander

1.17

 

Hector Santiago

1.32

Tanner Roark

1.17

 

Gio Gonzalez

1.33

John Lackey

1.18

 

Trevor Bauer

1.33

Adam Wainwright

1.19

 

Shelby Miller

1.34

Jordan Zimmermann

1.19

 

Yordano Ventura

1.35

Rick Porcello

1.19

 

Nathan Eovaldi

1.36

Jeff Samardzija

1.19

 

Edinson Volquez

1.36

     

James Shields

1.36

 
Clayton Kershaw. Wow.

Jake Arrieta really struggled down the stretch last season, see his Player Profile, but boy has he been good the last three years.

Masahiro Tanaka still makes me nervous, like his arm is gonna fly off, but I have to tip my hat to his performance since he games to North America.

Even with his tank job last season, Felix Hernandez has still posted the same WHIP the last three years as Stephen Strasburg.

Dallas Keuchel was still better than Justin Verlander the last three years, even with the horrible effort he tossed out there last season.

Rick Porcello, the AL CY Young winner, has the same mark as Jeff Samardzija whom seemingly everyone dislikes.

Jake Odorizzi better than Chris Archer. Interesting.

STRIKEOUTS

Name

SO

 

Name

SO

Max Scherzer

812

 

James Shields

531

Corey Kluber

741

 

Justin Verlander

526

David Price

724

 

Julio Teheran

524

Chris Sale

715

 

John Lackey

519

Clayton Kershaw

712

 

Dallas Keuchel

506

Madison Bumgarner

704

 

Carlos Carrasco

506

Chris Archer

658

 

Collin McHugh

505

Jon Lester

624

 

Gio Gonzalez

502

Johnny Cueto

616

 

Jacob deGrom

492

Cole Hamels

613

 

Jake Odorizzi

490

Jake Arrieta

593

 

Trevor Bauer

481

Stephen Strasburg

580

 

Danny Salazar

476

Ian Kennedy

565

 

Jason Hammel

474

Felix Hernandez

561

 

Rick Porcello

467

Francisco Liriano

548

 

Wade Miley

467

Zack Greinke

541

 

Yordano Ventura

459

Jose Quintana

536

 

Scott Kazmir

453

Jeff Samardzija

532

     
 

Ten men have averaged 200 strikeouts the last three years.

Max Scherzer has averaged 271 strikeouts the last three seasons. Corey Kluber who is second on the list has never struck out 271 batters in a season.

Cole Hamels is a really good pitcher. Scherzer has 199 more strikeouts the last three seasons than Hamels.

Jon Lester has 100 more strikeouts than Julio Teheran.

James Shields has more punchouts the last three years than Justin Verlander.

SAVES

Name

SV

 

Name

SV

Mark Melancon

131

 

Mark Melancon

131

Kenley Jansen

127

 

Steve Cishek

68

Francisco Rodriguez

126

 

Glen Perkins

66

Zach Britton

120

 

Koji Uehara

58

Craig Kimbrel

117

 

Roberto Osuna

56

David Robertson

110

 

Brad Ziegler

53

Trevor Rosenthal

107

 

Andrew Miller

49

Aroldis Chapman

105

 

Luke Gregerson

49

Jeurys Familia

99

 

Wade Davis

47

Cody Allen

90

 

Shawn Tolleson

46

Huston Street

90

 

Drew Storen

43

Fernando Rodney

89

 

Joakim Soria

43

Santiago Casilla

88

 

Brad Boxberger

43

Jonathan Papelbon

82

 

Sam Dyson

40

Greg Holland

78

 

Jake McGee

40

Hector Rondon

77

 

Jason Grilli

40

 

Look at that list. You’re a top-35 save man the last three seasons if you saved 40 games. That’s less than 14 a season even though there were six men who had 40-saves in 2016. The turnover is relatively massive at the position, something you can read more about in Never Draft a Closer Early.

Only eight men produced 100-saves.

Only three more produced 90 saves.

That means the last three years there are only 11 men who have averaged 30-saves a season.

Consistency at the position just isn’t as easy to attain as so many seem to believe.