The 50 Most Valuable Position Players in the 2019 MLB Season

Modern baseball has become a game that is built around sabermetrics and in-depth analytical statistics. In other words, baseball has become sort of a nerd sport. If that’s the case, then I’m a nerd because I love the stats centered around the game of baseball. I love these stats so much so that I decided to try my hand at creating a new statistic that I designed to measure the overall value of a position player in the 2019 MLB season.

I’ve designed the OPVS, “Overall Player Value Statistic”, by combining several of my favorite metrics. My first goal of making this statistic was to incorporate all five tools in the game. I used the Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) and FanGraphs’ Speed Score metric to measure fielding, speed, and baserunning ability.

I also used a variety of smaller statistics, to measure the strengths of a player. I decided to use Statcast numbers like expected Batting Average (xBA), expected Slugging Percentage (xSLG) and expected Weighted On-Base Average (xwOBA) to measure the expected performance of the player based on how the ball is being hit off their bat. I feel that these numbers better reflect a player’s ability with the bat than the simpler versions of them. To measure actual production, I chose to use Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) and FanGraphs’ Wins Above Replacement (fWAR) metric.

To calculate, I multiplied each number with a set weight. For example, if Mike Trout has a 179 wRC+, I’d multiply that by my set weight for wRC+, which is 0.80. The statistic not only measures the performance of the player, but it can give us a dose of what to expect from said player moving forward. This stat is still a work-in-progress, and I’m not going to release the formula to calculate it just yet. I’m going to drop the Top 50 rankings below, and you can evaluate them however you’d like. Lastly, before you get upset at someone ranked too high or too low, remember that defense and speed play a part in the overall numbers too. I hope you enjoy!

Top 50:

  1. Angels OF Mike Trout
  2. Brewers OF Christian Yelich
  3. Astros 3B Alex Bregman
  4. Dodgers OF Cody Bellinger
  5. Nationals 3B Anthony Rendon
  6. Diamondbacks OF Ketel Marte
  7. Astros OF George Springer
  8. Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts
  9. Athletics 3B Matt Chapman
  10. Red Sox OF Mookie Betts
  11. Brewers C Yasmani Grandal
  12. White Sox 3B Yoan Moncada
  13. Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado
  14. Yankees OF Aaron Judge
  15. Rockies SS Trevor Story
  16. Yankees IF DJ LeMahieu
  17. Mets OF Jeff McNeil
  18. Red Sox 3B Rafael Devers
  19. Indians SS Francisco Lindor
  20. Athletics OF Mark Canha
  21. Nationals OF Juan Soto
  22. Braves 3B Josh Donaldson
  23. Cubs SS Javier Báez
  24. Twins DH Nelson Cruz
  25. Reds 3B Eugenio Suarez
  26. Twins OF Max Kepler
  27. Mets 1B Peter Alonso
  28. Astros 2B Jose Altuve
  29. Yankees 3B Gio Urshela
  30. Cubs 3B Kris Bryant
  31. Rays OF Austin Meadows
  32. Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo
  33. Dodgers 2B Max Muncy
  34. Phillies OF Bryce Harper
  35. Athletics 1B Matt Olson
  36. Braves OF Ronald Acuña Jr.
  37. Astros OF Michael Brantley
  38. Athletics OF Ramon Laureano
  39. Yankees 2B Gleyber Torres
  40. White Sox SS Tim Anderson
  41. Indians 1B Carlos Santana
  42. Pirates OF Bryan Reynolds
  43. Braves 2B Ozzie Albies
  44. Dodgers 3B Justin Turner
  45. Cardinals SS Paul DeJong
  46. Yankees OF Brett Gardner
  47. Braves 1B Freddie Freeman
  48. Twins 3B Miguel Sano
  49. Astros 1B Yuli Gurriel
  50. Red Sox DH J.D. Martinez

Thank you for checking out my new stat and corresponding rankings! I hope you found it useful. Next week, be on the lookout for fan voting to open up for Diamond Digest’s 2019 MLB Awards. Have a great day! Peace!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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