Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Greatest Fanstasy Season Ever

While we are in the doom known as winter, I thought breaking down the greatest fantasy season of all time would be a fun way to pass the time. A stipulation on how I am going to select this: I will be analyzing the numbers based on today's average stat lines. Without this stipulation, the Triple Crown winners in history would easily end the argument. Seeing that most of the Triple Crown winners won with a whopping 30 home runs, this would not qualify as the greatest fantasy season ever. As a standard, we will be looking at the classic offensive fantasy stats: Runs/HR/RBI/SB/AVG.

Off the top of my head, there are a few candidates that stick out. Bonds in 2001, Big Mac/Sosa in 1998, Yaz in '67, Maris/Mantle in '61, or one of Stray-Rod's, Pujol's, or Manny's seasons? I'll take you through all of these seasons and a few more in hopes to find the greatest Fantasy season of All Time.

Roger Maris, 1961, He hit a lot of home runs
132 R/61 HR/ 142 RBI/0 SB/ .269 AVG. As far as runs, home runs, and RBI's go, that is just about as good as you are going to get. But that run of the mill Average, and 0 stolen bases. I would like to have a guy not completely tank two categories, I mean this is the greatest of all time. Next.

Mickey Mantle, 1956, A great all around year
132 R/ 54 HR/ 130 RBI/ 10 SB/ .353 AVG. Great Run total. Great HR total. Good RBI's. A few Stolen Bases with that Average! That is a stat line good enough to name a child after.

Carl Yastrzemski, 1967, The Triple Crown
112 R/ 44 HR/ 121 RBI/ 10 SB/ .326 AVG. Ok, those numbers are great. But would that win a Triple Crown today? No. No doubt that is a great stat line, and he would be drafted top 3 in any fantasy league with those numbers. But look at them next to Mantle's best season. Do they even compare? Honestly, I don't even think it was Yaz's best fantasy season. That may have came in 1970: 125/ 40/ 102/ 23/ .329. Better or close to the numbers in every category except RBI's.

Mark McGwire, 1998, Home Run King
130 R/ 70 HR/ 147 RBI/ 1 SB/ .299 AVG. Wow! What can 'roids do for you? That season blew Mantle's HR and RBI out of the water. But Mantle has a sizable lead in AVG and SB. Mantle Played that year in the OF, Big Mac at 1B. Both typical power positions, so no real edge there. So what makes more of a difference, HR/RBI or AVG/SB? The way I see it is All power hitters are going to put up sick HR/RBI numbers, there are very few guys that would match those AVG/SB numbers. Mantle is still our leader, but by a hair.

Sammy Sosa, 1998, Second Best Juicer
134 R/ 66 HR/ 158 RBI/ 18 SB/ .308 AVG. Is this a better line than Big Mac's? Yes! Mac has him in Home Runs, but Sammy has the edge in every other category. Does this mean that Sammy is our current leader as best fantasy season ever? Unfortunately, yes. I must correct this.

Alfonso Soriano, 2002, Second base 30/30 Season
128 R/ 39 HR/ 102 RBI/ 41 SB/ .300 AVG. Is it that much of a positive that Soriano played Second? I think it definitely puts him on this list, but since he wasn't the best statistical player that season, I don't think he can qualify.

Alex Rodriguez, 1998 and 2007, All around Greatness
1998: 123 R/ 42 HR/ 124 RBI/ 46 SB/ .310 AVG. At SS! This is a phenomenal season, at a position that may lack a little power. Was this better than Sosa's line in 1998? I don't think the edge in SB and the positional differences make up the difference in the power stats.
2007: 143 R/ 54 HR/ 156 RBI/ 24 SB/ .314 AVG. He gives up 12 home runs to 1998 Sammy, but is better or equal in every other stat, and he qualifies at 3B. I'm giving this one to A-Rod.

Nick Punto, 2007, All Around Suck
53 R/ 1 HR/ 25 RBI/ 16 SB/ .210 AVG. This was his line for an entire season!!!! And he kept his starting job!!!!

Albert Pujols, 2003, Quality Year
137 R/ 43 HR/ 124 RBI/ 5 SB/ .359 AVG. Quite the year, but better than A-Rod. No sir!

Barry Lamar, 2001, The Main Event
I hate Barry Bonds. But look at this line. 129 R/73 HR/ 137 RBI/ 13 SB/ .328 AVG. Yowza! Stray Rod wins Runs, RBI, and SB and Bonds wins Home Runs (by a lot) and average. Are 19 Home Runs better than 20 runs, 20 RBI and 10 steals? I don't think so.



  1. I would argue that Sammy Sosa's best season was 2001. 146 runs 160 rbi's 64 homers and a .328 average. 0 stolen bases though. How does this compare to 2007 A-Rod?

  2. A-Rod: 143 R/ 54 HR/ 156 RBI/ 24 SB/ .314 AVG
    Sosa: 146 R/ 64 HR/ 160 RBI/ 0 SB/ .328 AVG

    Wow, how the hell did Sosa manage to hit .328. I don't care about steroids, he was a career .270 hitter, who hits .328 one season and gains power. That is absolutely rediculous.

    Fantasy wise, Sosa wins the Runs by 3, HR by 10, RBI by 4, and AVG by .014. If we are just talking numbers it looks like Sosa wins. The stolen base disparity is huge though. How many leagues are won by 10 more home runs? A few. This may get you an extra win/point where needed. But how many fantasy leauges would have changed with an extra 24 SB? I say quite a bit more. In a head-to-head league, this would absolutely win you 3-4 weeks when you lost by 1 SB. In a Roto league this would definitely move you up 3 points, changing standings with one stat.

    Other than that, I would point to the position differences. At 3B, it is harder to find value, especially value that puts up numbers like that. While Sosa's numbers are astounding, couldn't you grab another OF that puts up 100R/40HR/120RBI/10SB/.290AVG easier than you could find that at 3B?

    That is definitely splitting hairs, but since I could never vote a Cub into this honored position, I'm going with A Rod.

  3. Yeah, those were video game numbers for Sosa. Must have been the peak of his roids. I enjoy the blog. Keeps me very entertained.