This article is part of our Rounding Third series.
In two of the last three seasons, I've attempted to find targets for each 5x5 category for hitting and pitching for 15-team and 12-team mixed leagues, using data from the NFBC platform, taken from the 15-team Main Event, 15-team TGFBI contest and the 12-team RotoWire Online Championship. While I think that the results are interesting, they're necessarily backwards looking, unless you have inside knowledge on what the league is doing with the baseball. Nonetheless, I think this exercise helps give us a general idea of what we need to compete in each category, and to see the yearly trends. I didn't write this article after last season, because of the 60-game season with the imbalanced schedule. We didn't have the usual ebbs and flows of a season, players able to recover from slow starts and others crashing back to earth. I don't think that the titles won by competitors in 2020 should be diminished, but I question the probative value of the overall 2020 results.
We'll start off with the hitting category targets this week, and then move on to the pitchers next week. My first reaction to the results was astonishment in how far the numbers were down, but then with another look, I remembered just how much hitting was up in 2019 with the Happy Fun Ball. We have to remember that 2019 was not merely a prolific hitting season, but a record-setting, off-the-charts power season. Take a look at the league-wide stats since 2015 to see just