Full Count Dollar Values are based on a
straightforward valuation method. A valuation method approach determines pitcher
values by combining individual values for each available item: wins, saves, and,
although somewhat more difficult to achieve, units of ERA and WHIP.
When developing a valuation approach, values
for each item must be derived. Begin by determining how much money is available
in your league. In a 12-team Rotisserie League with each team spending $260,
there is a total of $3120 available to be spent in the league.
The next step is to determine how much of this
amount will be spent on pitching. The best guideline is to determine how the
owners in your league typically spend money. Most leagues tacitly recognize the
comparative instability of pitchers and commit well less than 50% of available
dollars to pitching. The Full Count valuations assign about 32%, or $1000, to
The next step is to break the budget for
pitching into the categories you will need to compete in. Full Count valuations
use the 4 standard Rotisserie categories and split the $1000 pitching budget
into 4 equal parts of $250 each. You may have reason to split the budget
differently. For example, if you are in a carryover league and are holding over
all the closers you need to compete in saves, you should apportion your pitching
budget toward the other three categories, since that is what you will want to
use your money to buy. Dollars assigned to saves are dollars misappropriated for
your drafting purposes.
Then determine unit values within each
category. The Full Count valuations are based on actual data. You can use data
provided by your league. In preparing for a draft, I use projections I determine
for the upcoming season. Let's say there were 1,000 wins in your league. If you
have assigned $250 to the wins category, the unit value of a win is $.25.
Determining the unit value of saves is just as simple and straightforward.
The process for determining unit values for
ERA and WHIP is a little more involved. The Full Count valuation method converts
these ratio figures into quantitative units. You just need to determine three
numbers for each category - the league ERA or WHIP, the average number of
innings pitched by a pitcher in your league and the average number of earned
runs or baserunners (hits plus walks) allowed by a pitcher in your league.
If teams in your league have 9 pitchers, construct a hypothetical pitching staff of eight average pitchers using the average number of innings pitched and earned runs/baserunners allowed. Then, for each individual pitcher add the earned runs/baserunners allowed and innings pitched for the pitcher and calculate the ERA. The resulting number indicates the impact the individual pitcher has upon the perfectly average team, and is different for each pitcher.
Subtract the league ERA from this figure and
the resulting number represents the relative differential on ERA/WHIP.
The Full Count method takes an additional step
by rank ordering pitchers by these differential values from high to low. In a
league with 12 teams and 9 pitchers per team, the impact value (typically a
negative value) of the 108th pitcher on the list is added to the
value of all pitchers. (What this step essentially does is adjust the league ERA
downward to set it equal to the ERA of the 108th best pitcher
available.) The resulting numbers are positive units of ERA/WHIP impact for the
top 108 pitchers and can be totaled. The resulting sum divided into the amount
(say, $250) provided for ERA or WHIP determines a value for each unit of ERA
The dollar value for each pitcher can now be
derived. A pitcher with 12 wins in a league where a win is worth $.25 has a
"wins value" of $3.00. Similarly compute his values for saves, ERA and
WHIP, add the four category values together and the result is a very precise
value of what contribution that player makes to your team.
Some valuation methods take a somewhat
different approach and argue that unit value is less important than deriving a
value based on the average number of units needed to move up one space in the
standings. The argument goes something like this: "Buying 30 saves is
useless if the next-to last place team has 35. What you need to know is how many
saves it will take you, on average, to move up each place in the standings and
base your values on that." This is nonsense. It is like saying when you
climb a mountain, you don't need to concern yourself with getting up the first
95%, just the last few 100-yard segments. Each win, save, etc. is equally
important to get into contention.
For practical purposes such as determining
draft-bidding prices, however, one remaining step usually must be taken. Leagues
invariably shift money toward premium players. While this phenomenon creates
opportunities for the savvy owner with a solid understanding of valuation
methods, few owners can afford to completely ignore modifying their draft
Full Count Dollar Values are established by
setting the 108th most valuable pitcher equal to $1 and
redistributing values through regression. The result is invariably a list of
values that provide a realistic reflection of how owners in your league value