Corner Infielders


#1

Why is it that there is a MI position but not a corner infield position? I feel like this increases the value of 2B/SS while decreasing 1B/3B value. It usually puts me in a position of having to play a 1B or 3B in the utility spot which makes it less fun. I know a few others in my league have expressed a similar opinion, so I wanted to know if it would be possible to add a corner infield spot at some point. Or to remove the MI spot and make it a second utility?


#2

I wonder if w/ 5 OF spots and no MI or CI, the UTIL spot normally gets used by first basemen and third basemen anyway. That’d be my guess – In my 3 OF leagues, corner infielders are often a good UTIL choice. I imagine they’d be the best UTIL choices w/ 5 OF leagues.

If that’s the case, the MI position forces people to use another MI in their lineups rather than just leaving a ton of MI players on the bench or waivers.


#3

I can understand that they make people pick up middle infielders and that corner infielders are more valuable, but what is the reasoning between forcing us to use middle infielders everyday, and limiting our use of corner infielders by forcing us to use them in a slot where we could play any position.
To get a better idea, I compared points per game by MI vs CI. I took the p/g data of all 2B/SS and 1B/3B, excluding any players that overlap (ie play either 2B/SS and 1B/3B). Doing this I got the following results:
1B/3B 2B/SS
Q3 6.22 5.82 (75th percentile)
Mean: 5.58 5.10 (50th percentile)
Q1 4.85 4.38 (25th percentile)

Why should I be forced to play a worse player (on average) everyday and have to use my utility spot to play another CI? It arbitrarily makes MI more valuable because you have to play more of them on a given day, even though they give worse points / game.


#4

I’m sure @nivshah can comment with more depth, but I suspect the reason for MI spot instead of the CI spot is because most MLB teams carry a utility man that can play MI as a priority over a backup 3B or 1B.


#5

Most of you nailed this, but since UTIL tends to be filled by a CI spot, in 12-team leagues with a UTIL and a MI and 5OF, OF and MI and CI are all set up to use about 60%-67% of ML starters.

60 OFs in a 12 team league, 90 starting OF jobs in MLB, 67%
36 MI in a 12 team league, 60 starting MI jobs in MLB, 60%
36-ish CI in a 12 team league, 60 starting CI jobs in MLB, 60%…ish

Comparing P/G at MI to P/G at CI is not the right way to think about it, because real major league teams can’t just not play a SS. Well, I dunno, I’m sure Joe Maddon will find a way.


#6

I look at us being “forced” to play more MI as adding more strategy to the game. Defensive value already is ignored so the positions add at least some of that into consideration.

If there are not enough good MI in the league for 12 teams to play 3, it increases the value of the best. With more offensive value throughout the CI crop, the value is more uniform from top to bottom.


#7

This makes more sense. Thanks for the reply everyone. Definitely made me feel at peace with the MI position now.