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Thursday, September 04, 2008

AL MVP Race - Offense Plus Defense (OPD) - Through Sept 02, 2008

Carlos Quentin? Dustin Pedrioia? Alex Rodriguez?  Who is the best candidate for the AL MVP?  Has Pedroia’s recent hot streak and media hype lifted him to a top five candidate?  He’s certainly played well enough to be the best player on his team.  Or has he?

What follows is a discussion of the AL OPD (offense plus defense) leaders and who should be headed for the MVP.  Sometimes the month of September can be enough to move players in this ranking when they are tightly bunched.  So, while these are the leaders, the rankings are not cemented. 

The runs are rated above average at position.  The offense is XR, park-adjusted, and specific to the number of outs a player has used up.  The defense is DRS (Defensive Runs Saved: ZR converted to runs), explained in my previous work.  It is runs, not plays, above average. The units are the same, so I simply add the numbers together.  The decimal places are for consistency’s sake, not meant to represent accuracy.  There are several runs of give in these (and any) numbers, offense or defense. 

In this data, the catcher defense is properly calculated, including all passed ball, stolen base data, as well as incorporating the ZR data.  This is different from previous datasets, but the complaining about it was enough to get me to make the effort. 

There is some taint in some of the defensive data.  If a player played more than one position, I have summed all of his defensive contributions and using that total number for his DRS at his Primary defensive position.  There are very few players this affects, and none are impacted significantly.  Marco Scutaro is significantly affected.  He is a +4 at SS, but plays all over well enough to boost that to a +12 defender.  I believe using all the data more accurately reflects his total contribution to his team’s successes.  I also include Tony Pena’s and Jamie Burke’s pitching runs.  All of the AL, plus team totals is shared in a Google Doc here.  The green represents the top mark in a category at a position and the yellow represents the worst mark.

All that done, let’s talk about some players.  Scroll to the bottom if you want to see who the AL MVP leader is.

Designated Hitter

Player	Name	Team	Primary	DRS	XRa+	OPD
Thome	Jim	CHW	DH	0.00	15.79	15.79
Ortiz	David	BOS	DH	0.00	9.88	9.88
Floyd	Cliff	TBR	DH	0.00	7.65	7.65

Well, these guys are out of the running.  They have a smaller set to be compared to, so perhaps I should lump them in with 1Bs?  No, that drops these guys by three runs.

First Base

Player	Name	Team	Primary	DRS	XRa+	OPD
Youkilis	Kevin	BOS	1B	6.37	23.15	29.52
Huff	Aubrey	BAL	1B	-3.86	31.99	28.12
Morneau	Justin	MIN	1B	-1.30	25.30	24.00
Pena	Carlos	TBR	1B	2.24	19.04	21.28

Youkilis is a very strong player.  He is presently fifth in the league in OPD, with Huff at seventh.  Here’s the first Oriole in the top performers list.  They had some players with terrific seasons.  Some people have suggested Morneau for MVP, but I don’t see it.

Second Base

Player	Name	Team	Primary	DRS	XRa+	OPD
Pedroia	Dustin	BOS	2B	8.70	18.88	27.58
Kinsler	Ian	TEX	2B	-0.44	26.29	25.85
Roberts	Brian	BAL	2B	0.49	23.46	23.95

Pedroia is the best second baseman after his hot streak.  It’s hard to say if he’ll be there on October 3rd.  His defense gives him an edge, but Roberts and Kinsler are better hitters and Pedroia could lose ground there quickly.  He does have lots of home games, so we’ll see.  Pedroia is 8th in the AL, three slots behind his teammate Youkilis.  I don’t think he’s the MVP.  And Roberts - another Oriole.

Shortstop

Player	Name	Team	Primary	DRS	XRa+	OPD
Scutaro	Marco	TOR	SS	12.38	7.11	19.49
Aviles	Mike	KCR	SS	2.85	14.24	17.10
Jeter	Derek	NYY	SS	-0.09	11.72	11.62

Marco Scutaro is getting an eight run boost playing defense all around the diamond, so the real leader here is Aviles.  Look at Derek Jeter being average at defense!  You go, Derek!

Third Base

Player  Name	Team	Primary	DRS	XRa+	OPD
Rodriguez	Alex	NYY	3B	-3.28	34.73	31.45
Beltre	Adrian	SEA	3B	13.94	6.23	20.17
Guillen	Carlos	DET	3B	9.34	10.46	19.80
Longoria	Evan	TBR	3B	0.12	19.60	19.72

It turns out that Alex Rodriguez is a superior player.  His defense isn’t good, but close to average.  Adrian Beltre is giving the Mariners what they paid for this year.  A great glove and a good bat.  What?  His OPS+ is 109?  That sounds about right.  Evan Longoria chased up the charts pretty good.  ARod is number four on the AL OPD chart.

Catcher

Player	Name	Team	Primary	DRS	XRa+	OPD
Mauer	Joe	MIN	C	3.15	29.25	32.39
Shoppach	Kelly	CLE	C	5.07	14.14	19.21

Joe Mauer is just a great player.  Too bad he’s too tall to be good for very long.  That injury to Victor Martinez is positively Bledsoe-ian.  At the end of the page, I extended the top twenty to twenty-two so I could capture Scutaro and Shoppach.  Just a little recognition for players that couldn’t possibly be getting the attention they deserve.  Mauer is third in teh AL MVP race, and still seeing his teammate get the most attention.

Left Field

Player	Name	Team	Primary	DRS	XRa+	OPD
Quentin	Carlos	CHW	LF	-0.90	29.77	28.88
Scott	Luke	BAL	LF	8.78	13.63	22.40
Damon	Johnny	NYY	LF	-2.40	22.53	20.13

Carlos Quentin and Luke Scott.  Who?  What?  Quentin is 6th in the league in OPD, and really been just tremendous all year.  Here’s the third Oriole.  How is that team so bad?

 
Right Field

Player	Name	Team	Primary	DRS	XRa+	OPD
Bradley	Milton	TEX	RF	-1.96	36.06	34.10
Markakis	Nick	BAL	RF	-2.65	25.56	22.91

The old dinosaur Milton Bradley is having a great year.  Not being body-slammed by your coach is helpful.  Bradley has the second highest OPD in the AL, but I don’t suspect he’ll see any MVP votes.  And another Oriole.

Center Field

Player	Name	Team	Primary	DRS	XRa+	OPD
Sizemore	Grady	CLE	CF	9.27	35.47	44.74
Grandersn	Curtis	DET	CF	1.01	22.66	23.67
Hamilton	Josh	TEX	CF	-4.57	25.03	20.47

Josh Hamilton will get the Texas MVP votes because he has the story, and he’s really helped my fantasy baseball this sason (as has Bradley).  Curtis Granderson is having a great season as well.  But the league MVP should be Grady Sizemore (if not Cliff Lee).  Sizemore has been everything a player can be - top hitter in the league and the best defensive center fielder.  That’s a great player.  the Indians are staging a furious, albeit futile, comeback, so perhaps he will get some votes. 

The Top Twenty (Two)

Player	Name	Team	Primary	DRS	XRa+	OPD
Sizemore	Grady	CLE	CF	9.27	35.47	44.74
Bradley	Milton	TEX	RF	-1.96	36.06	34.10
Mauer	Joe	MIN	C	3.15	29.25	32.39
Rodriguez	Alex	NYY	3B	-3.28	34.73	31.45
Youkilis	Kevin	BOS	1B	6.37	23.15	29.52
Quentin	Carlos	CHW	LF	-0.90	29.77	28.88
Huff	Aubrey	BAL	1B	-3.86	31.99	28.12
Pedroia	Dustin	BOS	2B	8.70	18.88	27.58
Kinsler	Ian	TEX	2B	-0.44	26.29	25.85
Morneau	Justin	MIN	1B	-1.30	25.30	24.00
Roberts	Brian	BAL	2B	0.49	23.46	23.95
Grandersn	Curtis	DET	CF	1.01	22.66	23.67
Markakis	Nick	BAL	RF	-2.65	25.56	22.91
Scott	Luke	BAL	LF	8.78	13.63	22.40
Pena	Carlos	TBR	1B	2.24	19.04	21.28
Hamilton	Josh	TEX	CF	-4.57	25.03	20.47
Beltre	Adrian	SEA	3B	13.94	6.23	20.17
Damon	Johnny	NYY	LF	-2.40	22.53	20.13
Guillen	Carlos	DET	3B	9.34	10.46	19.80
Longoria	Evan	TBR	3B	0.12	19.60	19.72
Scutaro	Marco	TOR	SS	12.38	7.11	19.49
Shoppach	Kelly	CLE	C	5.07	14.14	19.21

 

Chris Dial Posted: September 04, 2008 at 09:37 PM | 190 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: September 04, 2008 at 10:26 PM (#2929418)
Josh Hamilton will get the Texas MVP votes because [...] he’s really helped my fantasy baseball this sason.

I hope this is either a blooper, or a defct in my sarcasm detector.
   2. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: September 04, 2008 at 10:27 PM (#2929421)
*I also have a defect in my spellchecker and my edit button...
   3. Boots Day Posted: September 04, 2008 at 10:33 PM (#2929429)
Pedroia is the best second baseman after his hot streak. It’s hard to say if he’ll be there on October 3rd. His defense gives him an edge, but Roberts and Kinsler are better hitters and Pedroia could lose ground there quickly.

Kinsler's gone for the season, isn't he? So all Pedroia has to do to be the best second baseman in the league is stay ahead of Roberts, which seems likely.
   4. rlc Posted: September 04, 2008 at 10:39 PM (#2929434)
I still can't comprehend what method you're using to assign "Primary Position." Aubrey Huff has 20 starts at first, 20 at third, and 95 at DH. Even fans who do not break out in cold sweats at the sight of Kevin Millar might suspect that Huff is not primarily a firstbaseman.
   5. Chris Dial Posted: September 04, 2008 at 10:43 PM (#2929439)
Kinsler's gone for the season, isn't he? So all Pedroia has to do to be the best second baseman in the league is stay ahead of Roberts, which seems likely.
No. Any regression could drop Pedroia behind Kinsler since his marks won't move.
   6. Chris Dial Posted: September 04, 2008 at 10:44 PM (#2929440)
rlc,
that's just benefit of the doubt. If you do play a position, I don't dump you at DH. DH is the bastion of guys teams just won't put on the field.

And wrt positions I use innings played.
   7. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: September 04, 2008 at 10:52 PM (#2929446)
No. Any regression could drop Pedroia behind Kinsler since his marks won't move.

Wait, aren't these counting stats. Expressing it in "runs above average" certainly indicates that to me. In which case Pedroia wouldn't just have to regress for Kinsler to catch him, but he'd have to fall to a level that's below average.
   8. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: September 04, 2008 at 11:08 PM (#2929452)
Here’s the third Oriole. How is that team so bad?

5.09 team ERA. The Orioles would be pretty good if they had some pitchers.
   9. Chris Dial Posted: September 04, 2008 at 11:45 PM (#2929462)
Wait, aren't these counting stats.
Only sort of. They are counted to this date. However, it's against average, which is moving. So Pedroia has created those runs above average int hese PAs. He will go 0-4, which is much worse than an average 2B. At the end his his totals will be compared to the league average. Whether or not that is the same it is now remains to be seen.
   10. Hugh Jorgan Posted: September 05, 2008 at 12:04 AM (#2929472)
Though your research is sound as per... As we all know with MVP voting, logic rarely dictates the choice.

Sizemore is having a great year by all measurements and should win. However, like Arod, Bradley and Huff...well his team sucks and it makes a difference to the voting. But you know that already.

Mauer is well, he's Mauer and should've won last year and I'm happy to award him for his incredibly high standards. However I'm putting him in the Quentin basket...if his team misses the playoffs, he won't win it.

Youk...having a great all around year. Covering both 1st and 3rd plays nicely with the voters. Missing time in Sept is hurting him.

Which of couse leaves us with Pedroia. Scrappy 5 foot 9 second baseman. If he wins the batting title with a .330+ average, gets those 20 HR and and gets 95% sb average coupled with perceived great defense then he comes close. If the Red Sox overtake the Rays, Pedroia continues to produce in the 4th spot, then he will win the MVP.
If these things don't happen for Pedroia then Sizemore wins it.

No, not alot of in depth analysis, but that's the way it will play out regardless.
   11. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 12:08 AM (#2929473)
Pedroia has gone bonkers the last few weeks to get his average up to 330. He'll regress.
   12. Hugh Jorgan Posted: September 05, 2008 at 12:26 AM (#2929476)
Pedroia has gone bonkers the last few weeks to get his average up to 330. He'll regress.

I agree, but I still reckon if he can win the batting crown that's a big feather in his cap towards the MVP.
Hey, I agree, I think Sizemore should get it, followed by Mauer(yeah, I just think he's brilliant, I'm biased here)

But the everyman size of Pedroia and the face time the Sox get, coupled with his success whilst hitting 4th is the sort of stuff the voters just lap up.

Its a fun discussion right now as I think Mauer, Quentin and the 2 Red Sox guys can each have a monster Sept. and win it in the end.
   13. konaforever Posted: September 05, 2008 at 01:50 AM (#2929506)
Pedroia has gone bonkers the last few weeks to get his average up to 330. He'll regress.


Try the last few months. Since June 1st, his OPS is 1.003.
   14. SkyKing162 Posted: September 05, 2008 at 02:02 AM (#2929511)
A replacement-level analysis would hurt the guys with lower PAs (Bradley and Mauer, notably) and help the guys with high PA totals (as if Sizemore needs more help.)

Also, it's amazing how different the STATS and BIS zone ratings are for a lot of players.
   15. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 02:05 AM (#2929512)
Since June 1st, his OPS is 1.003.
He was hitting .315 9 games ago. He's hit .538 in those 9 games to raise his average 18 points. He's *probably* not going to hit .333 the rest of the way, which means his BA will drop. He was hitting .260 on June 13. Since that day he's gone .399/.438/.631. That's remarkably few walks. 23 in 330 PAs. Now, I'm not a Red Sox fan, but I don't think he's a true talent .400 hitter.
   16. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 02:07 AM (#2929513)
Also, it's amazing how different the STATS and BIS zone ratings are for a lot of players.
I'm not staisfied with the consistency of the BIS zones yet. But I don't really see the definition.
   17. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 02:15 AM (#2929523)
I can revisit the Wright/Pedroia debate.
You claimed a while back there never was one.
   18. DCW3 Posted: September 05, 2008 at 04:54 AM (#2929640)
Scutaro's defense is one thing, but I don't see how he can possibly be seven runs better than the average hitter at his position. AL shortstops have been bad this year, but not *that* bad, and Scutaro has spent a lot of time at other positions. On the season, Scutaro's hitting .264/.345/.345 in a roughly neutral park, with 7 SB/2 CS. If you weight the AL positional averages by the number of games Scutaro has played at each position, then the average AL hitter at his position(s) has hit .272/.333/.408. Something's wrong with his numbers.
   19. Blackadder Posted: September 05, 2008 at 05:31 AM (#2929648)
Shouldn't Bradley count as a DH? 86 of his games are there, and I suspect doing so will knock him down considerably.

After Sizemore, everyone is really very tightly bunched, and would be even more so if one used replacement level as Skyking suggests (since Bradley, Mauer, and Rodriguez all have missed significant time). If for whatever reason you think Sizemore shouldn't count, it is very difficult to single out any one player as deserving of the award, and as such I would anticipate a pretty divided BBWAA ballot, presuming no one breaks out ahead over the last 20 games. Of course, this would not be an issue if they just did the right thing and gave it to Sizemore...
   20. Hugh Jorgan Posted: September 05, 2008 at 05:51 AM (#2929654)
Now, I'm not a Red Sox fan, but I don't think he's a true talent .400 hitter.

Sure he is. That classic stance, the classic swing, that patience....oh wait, yeah you're right.

Surely one of the 4 candidates on contending teams will just kill it in the last 25 days and just settle it for us.
   21. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: September 05, 2008 at 12:41 PM (#2929723)
Agree that Sizemore is terrific, but a lot of voters are going to see that pedestrian BA and look at the scrappy goodness that is Pedroia.

Boy, it would be great if Mauer got some recognition. His lack of power probably kills him in the voters' eyes.
   22. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 01:02 PM (#2929734)
Scutaro has spent a lot of time at other positions. On the season, Scutaro's hitting .264/.345/.345 in a roughly neutral park, with 7 SB/2 CS. If you weight the AL positional averages by the number of games Scutaro has played at each position, then the average AL hitter at his position(s) has hit .272/.333/.408. Something's wrong with his numbers.
I don't break it out that way.
   23. villageidiom Posted: September 05, 2008 at 02:31 PM (#2929807)
5.09 team ERA. The Orioles would be pretty good if they had some pitchers.
The Orioles and Blue Jays (if they can keep Burnett) really aren't that far away from being contenders in 2009. The wild card might not come out of the AL East next year.
   24. AROM Posted: September 05, 2008 at 02:43 PM (#2929820)
Don't know if he'll get much votes, but I'll take Cliff Lee over any position player this year.
   25. DCW3 Posted: September 05, 2008 at 02:56 PM (#2929834)
I don't break it out that way.

I don't know what this means.

Does it mean you only compare players to the average at their primary position, and don't weight the averages for multi-position players? For somebody like Scutaro, who's only played about a third of his games this year at shortstop, that approach is going to hugely overrate him.
   26. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 05, 2008 at 02:58 PM (#2929838)
So this probably a technical glich, but a memeber who I have on ignore (three guesses who!) is having his posts appear in this thread. Does the ignore only work on the main page?
   27. Randy Jones Posted: September 05, 2008 at 03:09 PM (#2929845)
So this probably a technical glich, but a memeber who I have on ignore (three guesses who!) is having his posts appear in this thread. Does the ignore only work on the main page?

Ignore only works on the newsblog.
   28. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 03:11 PM (#2929847)
Does it mean you only compare players to the average at their primary position, and don't weight the averages for multi-position players? For somebody like Scutaro, who's only played about a third of his games this year at shortstop, that approach is going to hugely overrate him.
It means that exactly. that's too much work. I've been doing this for 10 years and this is the first time Marco "Billy Goodman" has popped up. Or DeRosa. there are very few players for whom this is a problem, and IMO, doesn't warrant the extra work needed to break it out. You note him as an oddity and talk about Aviles.
   29. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 03:13 PM (#2929855)
When you consider the difference in stolen base efficiency, the defense both from a positional and a competence viewpoint, and the fact that Pedroia plays in a stronger league and a stronger division, that comparison I made 3 years ago is looking damned good.
The stolen base efficiency? that's included in these rankings. I do consider the defensive competency. that's included in these rankings. Your comparison is weak. You know Wright is much better.
   30. Sam M. Posted: September 05, 2008 at 03:23 PM (#2929871)
Pedroia Dustin BOS 2B 8.70 18.88 27.58

Wright David NYM 3B -0.4 29.6 29.2


Wright is better this year. Wright has a MUCH better track record.

And Pedroia plays on a better team.

So does every member of the Chicago Cubs. Is Ryan Theriot also better than David Wright? Who plays on the better team has absolutely zero to do with who is the better player. The Red Sox are also better than the Cardinals. Is Pedroia better than Albert Pujols. For that matter, Jason Varitek also plays on a better team than Pujols -- is he better than Pujols?

Just asking. It's your world, kevin, and your logic. I'm just playing in it.
   31. Cooperstown Schtick Posted: September 05, 2008 at 03:35 PM (#2929884)
If Ellsbury hadn't hurt his wrist, this wouldn't even be open to debate.

Also, Pedroia and Wright are so close that their numbers are likely to flip flop several times over the many seasons of their long and productive careers.
   32. tjm1 Posted: September 05, 2008 at 03:43 PM (#2929889)
What are the known biases in these fielding stats? I was just looking at the Red Sox outfielders in particular. I have a hard time believing that Coco Crisp is the worst defensive centerfielder in the AL despite sitting more than 1/3 of the time, that JD Drew is a disaster in right, or that Ellsbury is below average, despite having spent a lot of his time in left and right. I find the low rating of Ellsbury and Crisp even more surprising in a system that gives little weight to throwing ability. I know there are known problems with left field in Fenway and right field in Yankee Stadium for these types of fielding stats, which explains why Abreu, Manny Ramirez, and Jason Bay all come out so bad, but is there something up at the other spots, too?
   33. Sam M. Posted: September 05, 2008 at 03:44 PM (#2929890)
If Ellsbury hadn't hurt his wrist, this wouldn't even be open to debate.

Ellsbury hurting his wrist would have changed the relative merits of Pedroia v. Wright?

Also, Pedroia and Wright are so close that their numbers are likely to flip flop several times over the many seasons of their long and productive careers.

We'll see. The other way to look at this is that Pedroia's numbers right now are at a crest, the top of a nice little hot streak he's been on. Robbie Cano's had similar hot streaks, and look where he is now. Consistent production over several years is a lot more reliable basis for knowing what a player's true talent level is. David Wright has been producing OPS+ between 133 and 150 for four straight years now (not to mention at least 25 HRs and 100 RBI) -- which is to say, every full season he's been in the major leagues. Let me know when Pedroia has a track record like that to base your speculation on.
   34. tjm1 Posted: September 05, 2008 at 03:50 PM (#2929895)
The other way to look at this is that Pedroia's numbers right now are at a crest, the top of a nice little hot streak he's been on.


The .390 or whatever batting average since June 15 - yeah. But his season as a whole includes a dismal start.
   35. Cooperstown Schtick Posted: September 05, 2008 at 03:51 PM (#2929898)
Ellsbury hurting his wrist would have changed the relative merits of Pedroia v. Wright?

No, sorry, I meant the AL MVP discussion. There are a couple going on here -- I should have been more specific.

Let me know when Pedroia has a track record like that to base your speculation on.


Meh. Sometimes you can just tell without a track record. Pedroia just has that "can't miss" vibe. But if you want to wait I guess that's fine, too.
   36. tjm1 Posted: September 05, 2008 at 03:58 PM (#2929905)
Meh. Sometimes you can just tell without a track record. Pedroia just has that "can't miss" vibe. But if you want to wait I guess that's fine, too.


Not to be a naysayer, but so did Nomar, and he was great for about five years, then tanked. Don't get me wrong - I think that, after Pujols, he's probably the active player who has the best chance of entering the 3500 hit club. It's just that guys can always miss. He has a great minor league and college track record to go with the big league one, though.
   37. tjm1 Posted: September 05, 2008 at 03:59 PM (#2929906)
Anyways, I find it especially strange that the Red Sox outfielders rate so lowly when Ellsbury, Crisp and Drew are all rated very highly in Win Shares fielding, despite the fact that that's a sum total ranking and they've all missed significant time. Something's funny here, either with ZR itself, or with the raters for Boston games.
   38. Sam M. Posted: September 05, 2008 at 04:11 PM (#2929922)
Don't get me wrong - I think that, after Pujols, he's probably the active player who has the best chance of entering the 3500 hit club.

Just for grins, I put David Wright's age and totals into Bill James's Favorite Toy. It came up with about a 9% chance of his getting 3500 hits, and a 22% of 3000 hits. That's pretty remarkable for a guy who currently has less than 800.

Jose Reyes -- who is a bit ahead of Wright in the career totals and has a higher established hit level -- has a 12.5% chance of 3500 hits, and 27.5% chance of 3000. Of course, the Favorite Toy doesn't know that Reyes is more dependent on speed than Wright is, and that his hit total is more likely to diminish into his 30s. But still, both of them have an established, though de minimis, chance at 3500.
   39. DCW3 Posted: September 05, 2008 at 04:13 PM (#2929924)
It means that exactly. that's too much work. I've been doing this for 10 years and this is the first time Marco "Billy Goodman" has popped up. Or DeRosa. there are very few players for whom this is a problem, and IMO, doesn't warrant the extra work needed to break it out. You note him as an oddity and talk about Aviles.

Of course, if you're going to talk about Aviles, then you might mention that he's played a couple dozen games at second and third base this year, and hasn't been nearly as valuable as these numbers show either. There's nobody else quite as bad as Scutaro, but Josh Hamilton's numbers would take a significant hit if you corrected for the number of games he's played in right field, and Kevin Youkilis would move up the list, at least a little, if you adjusted for the games he's played at third. And so forth. You've got these numbers calculated out to hundredths of a run--if you're going to pretend they have some real accuracy, as opposed to just generally getting the broad strokes right, then this is something that you need to correct for.
   40. bads85 Posted: September 05, 2008 at 04:16 PM (#2929928)
highly in Win Shares fielding, despite the fact that that's a sum total ranking and they've all missed significant time. Something's funny here, either with ZR itself, or with the raters for Boston games.


Or with Win Shares.
   41. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 05, 2008 at 04:22 PM (#2929936)
Sizemore has been everything a player can be - top hitter in the league and the best defensive center fielder.

Chris, can you explain how Sizemore ends up as the top hitter in the league? Just eyeballing it, he looks to be 11th in the league in OBP, 10th in the league in slugging, and 11th in OPS+. He's been durable, but not a lot more than people like Pedroia and Hamilton and Brian Roberts. Progressive Field plays like a slight hitter's park, so he shouldn't have a massive park adjustment. He's been brilliant at stealing bases, but I have a hard time seeing how that vaults him so far forward that he becomes the best offensive player in the league.
   42. DCW3 Posted: September 05, 2008 at 04:25 PM (#2929939)
Chris, can you explain how Sizemore ends up as the top hitter in the league?

I think Chris means top hitter *relative to position.*
   43. Sam M. Posted: September 05, 2008 at 04:27 PM (#2929948)
Grady Sizemore: 17.8% chance at 3000; 5.6% chance at 3500

Albert Pujols: 36.2% chance at 3000; 14.6% chance at 3500

Derek Jeter: 97% chance at 3000; 34.4% chance at 3500 (that second chance is going to drop when this year's numbers are factored in, because his established hit level of 208 is going to drop)

A-Rod: 97% chance at 3000; 30.8% at 3500
   44. tjm1 Posted: September 05, 2008 at 05:27 PM (#2930025)
I think Chris means top hitter *relative to position.*


Is centerfield a weaker position than second base now? I'm not being sarcastic at all here. It does seem like there has maybe been a shift in the defensive spectrum with all the slow, power hitting 2Bs we have nowadays. Whether it's the gap closing, or whether CF is now a more defensive position than 2B, I can't say.

Derek Jeter: 97% chance at 3000; 34.4% chance at 3500 (that second chance is going to drop when this year's numbers are factored in, because his established hit level of 208 is going to drop)

A-Rod: 97% chance at 3000; 30.8% at 3500


Forgot about Jeter and ARod. I don't know how.

highly in Win Shares fielding, despite the fact that that's a sum total ranking and they've all missed significant time. Something's funny here, either with ZR itself, or with the raters for Boston games.



Or with Win Shares.


Of course that's a possibility. However, I think just by watching Crisp, Ellsbury and Drew, you can see that they are not anything like the worst fielders at their positions in the majors. They are all guys with good reputations defensively. All are faster than average for their positions, especially considering Ellsbury has played a lot in left and right. In the Fielding Bible stats, they all come out as average or above. Essentially, the FB lists are nearly the same as the zone rating ones in relative ranks of players, except for the Boston outfielders. Revised zone rating at the hardball times shows Ellsbury as the best leftfielder other than Payton with over 100 innings played, essentially the same as Adam Jones, who's the centerfield leader among "qualified" guys (this seems to mean at least about 700 innings at the position), but 7th among guys with at least 100 innings when he plays center, and the third best rightfielder when he plays right, after Carlos Gonzalez and David Murphy (again, at least 100 innings required). JD Drew comes up as the best "qualified" rightfielder in RZR, but terrible in ZR. Coco Crisp comes out in the middle of the pack in RZR, but worst in ZR. I stand by the idea that ZR is underrating Boston outfielders for some reason. The difference is the out of zone plays. A lot of these are foul balls, but of course left fielders and right fielders in Fenway Park don't catch foul balls.
   45. SuperGrover Posted: September 05, 2008 at 06:20 PM (#2930109)
Also, Pedroia and Wright are so close that their numbers are likely to flip flop several times over the many seasons of their long and productive careers.


Really? Are they that close? Pedroia's career OPS+ is 114. Wright's is 138. Wright's best year is 150. Pedroia's is this season (127). Now, i understand Pedroia's had less than 1200 ABs and his numbers are somewhat skewed by a miserable 89 AB stretch in 2006, but I would hesitate to say their numbers are "close."
   46. tjm1 Posted: September 05, 2008 at 06:41 PM (#2930125)
Really? Are they that close? Pedroia's career OPS+ is 114. Wright's is 138. Wright's best year is 150. Pedroia's is this season (127). Now, i understand Pedroia's had less than 1200 ABs and his numbers are somewhat skewed by a miserable 89 AB stretch in 2006, but I would hesitate to say their numbers are "close."


Wright's a better hitter, for sure. However, OPS+ inflates the numbers of NL players. It's not just that the NL is a weaker league right now, although it is. It's also that OPS+ compares NL players to 8 position players, plus a combination of pitchers and pinch hitters, while it compares NL players to a combination of 8 position players and a DH. If you account for those issues, it becomes closer. Then, account for position, and I'd say that Pedroia and Wright are very comparable players.
   47. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 05, 2008 at 06:52 PM (#2930138)
Derek Jeter: 97% chance at 3000; 34.4% chance at 3500 (that second chance is going to drop when this year's numbers are factored in, because his established hit level of 208 is going to drop)
Giving Jeter 185 hits this season--which is about what he'll get barring a major change in performance or health--he still comes up around 30% for 3500 hits. That sounds about right to me.
   48. DCW3 Posted: September 05, 2008 at 06:53 PM (#2930141)
It's also that OPS+ compares NL players to 8 position players, plus a combination of pitchers and pinch hitters, while it compares NL players to a combination of 8 position players and a DH.

The baseline for OPS+ doesn't include pitcher hitting.
   49. DKDC Posted: September 05, 2008 at 07:00 PM (#2930149)
OPS+ compares NL players to 8 position players, plus a combination of pitchers and pinch hitters, while it compares NL players to a combination of 8 position players and a DH.


Actually, OPS+ removes pitchers for computing league averages.
   50. DKDC Posted: September 05, 2008 at 07:03 PM (#2930157)
Oops, how did I not see the nearly identical comment from 7 minutes before mine?

I'll contribute by adding another vote to the "Wright is almost certainly a better player than Pedroia because he has a much longer track record of being good" crowd.
   51. Dizzypaco Posted: September 05, 2008 at 07:08 PM (#2930161)
Then, account for position, and I'd say that Pedroia and Wright are very comparable players.

I'd say they are having very comparable years - all things considered, I'd take Pedroia this year over Wright by a slim margin. However, if you ask me who is likely to be better next year, I'd take Wright, pretty easily. Pedroia is a good player having a great year, but I'm guessing that this is as good as he's going to get (which is pretty damn good). Wright still has more room to grow, and is more likely to repeat this year's performance on an annual basis.
   52. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 07:09 PM (#2930163)
You've got these numbers calculated out to hundredths of a run--if you're going to pretend they have some real accuracy, as opposed to just generally getting the broad strokes right, then this is something that you need to correct for.
Well, if you read the piece I wrote I specifically state that I am merely posting two decimals NOT that it has that type of accuracy, so I am not "pretending" that.

And The ABs you are talking about aren't likely to move anyone a run or so. the average differences between positions multiplied by few at bats and then added to a larger score historically just don't move the number. Maybe it is 11.8 instead of 12.4, but is that important?

And while you say "boroad stroke", it is much more accurate than OPS+, or OPS (which I would call broad stroke). It isn't VORP. It's not meant to be and I often say feel free to take the defensive number and add your own offensive metric. Please do so if you consider it to be a deal-breaker. Let me know how far you think it moves the whole group. Since it is a league average, removing some stats from 1B and adding them to 3B will possibly lower his 1B status while changing his 3B status. The difference just isn't going to be there (I don't think). This is how I do it though.
   53. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 07:10 PM (#2930165)
I'd say they are having very comparable years - all things considered, I'd take Pedroia this year over Wright by a slim margin.
Are you a Red Sox fan?
   54. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 07:12 PM (#2930169)
Chris, can you explain how Sizemore ends up as the top hitter in the league?

I think Chris means top hitter *relative to position.*
Correct, and to me I think that's the appropriate way to do it. "hitter" isn't a position - centerfielder is.
   55. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 07:13 PM (#2930170)
Anyways, I find it especially strange that the Red Sox outfielders rate so lowly when Ellsbury, Crisp and Drew are all rated very highly in Win Shares fielding, despite the fact that that's a sum total ranking and they've all missed significant time. Something's funny here, either with ZR itself, or with the raters for Boston games.
The Sox CFs don't historically have this issue(IIRC, and IMN). I found it odd too.
   56. DCW3 Posted: September 05, 2008 at 07:25 PM (#2930194)
And while you say "boroad stroke", it is much more accurate than OPS+, or OPS (which I would call broad stroke). It isn't VORP. It's not meant to be and I often say feel free to take the defensive number and add your own offensive metric. Please do so if you consider it to be a deal-breaker. Let me know how far you think it moves the whole group. Since it is a league average, removing some stats from 1B and adding them to 3B will possibly lower his 1B status while changing his 3B status. The difference just isn't going to be there (I don't think). This is how I do it though.

Fair enough. In the case of Scutaro, though (whose numbers would be changed by a *lot* more than a run--probably more like fifteen, at a glance)--it does seem a little strange to go out of your way to specifically highlight his season when the only reason he comes anywhere close to the list is because of a hole in the system. But, whatever, it's your list.
   57. tjm1 Posted: September 05, 2008 at 07:32 PM (#2930206)
The baseline for OPS+ doesn't include pitcher hitting.

OK. My mistake. I thought it should, but looked it up and made the mistake of trusting Wikipedia. I know it was stupid.

The Sox CFs don't historically have this issue(IIRC, and IMN). I found it odd too.


So, out of curiosity, do you trust the ZR numbers or all the other metrics (win shares, fielding bible, RZR)?

I can see the foul ball making the difference in right and left, but obviously it doesn't matter in center.
   58. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 07:34 PM (#2930208)
highlight his season when the only reason he comes anywhere close to the list is because of a hole in the system.
I don't know if that is true. I highlighted him as someone who stood out because he fit through a hole. I know. But he's completely unusual in 10 years of doing this. I don't see overhauling as the benefit to accomodate a once a decade player.
   59. WillYoung Posted: September 05, 2008 at 07:35 PM (#2930213)
Chris, if you're adjusting for position, there's no way Sizemore is better than his peers more than Mauer is to the other catchers. Mauer should be the MVP of the league, but it's a shame that no one in Minnesota seems to even notice.
   60. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 07:37 PM (#2930219)
So, out of curiosity, do you trust the ZR numbers or all the other metrics (win shares, fielding bible, RZR)?
Win Shares is wrong, so I don't trust it at all. FB and RZR are effectively the same numbers. Defining in zone and OOZ for those is somewhat wonky to me, so I don't know how to credit that, plus they have no historical record and have changed processes. There's no doubt that Fenway (and Houston) have ZR issues. Big ones. I haven't seen CF in Fenway have this big of an effect before, and never in RF. I don't know how FB captures wall hits. In my discussions with Dewan it wasn't addressed. Joe Arthur has done some good H/A work with Fenway, but data limitation are a real problem.
   61. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 07:37 PM (#2930222)
Chris, if you're adjusting for position, there's no way Sizemore is better than his peers more than Mauer is to the other catchers. Mauer should be the MVP of the league, but it's a shame that no one in Minnesota seems to even notice.
I am, and yes, Sizemore is. I seperate the leagues.
   62. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 05, 2008 at 07:40 PM (#2930228)
Chris - thanks for doing this. It is appreciated.
   63. Blackadder Posted: September 05, 2008 at 07:56 PM (#2930255)
Please, can people stop the kevin-baiting? It's a free country, and he can say what he wants, but no one is under any obligation to respond to him.
   64. Dizzypaco Posted: September 05, 2008 at 08:14 PM (#2930295)
I'd say they are having very comparable years - all things considered, I'd take Pedroia this year over Wright by a slim margin.

Are you a Red Sox fan?


Yup. And you're a Mets fan, so that goes nowhere.

Lets look at the facts:
1. Pedroia has crated 111 runs, while using 411 outs. Wright has created 110 runs, while using 414 outs. About as close as you can get.
2. Pedroia plays in the better hitters park. Advantage Wright
3. Pedroia plays in the better league. Advantage Pedroia
4. Pedroia plays a middle infield position. Wright plays third. Advantage Pedroia
5. Wright is a little better defensively at his position than Pedroia is at his. Advantage Wright.
5. Pedroia has done exceedingly well in clutch situations, including late innings of close games, and high leverage situations. Wright has not. Advantage Pedroia.

Very close overall, but I'd still take Pedroia by a hair, this year so far.
   65. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 08:19 PM (#2930305)
Very close overall, but I'd still take Pedroia by a hair, this year so far.
I take all those things into account, except for the clutch, which is random, and not a function of "better". You aren't selecting Pedroia there, you are selecting the timing of his hits, which isn't a function of the player.
   66. Sam M. Posted: September 05, 2008 at 08:20 PM (#2930307)
Well, Dizzy -- at least you're not trying to argue that Pedroia is better because the Red Sox are the better team (kevin's gem). I guess I'll refrain from the equivalent response: Wright is better because the Mets are in first place. ;-)
   67. BirdsFan2632 Posted: September 05, 2008 at 08:21 PM (#2930310)
Chris, I'm a confused about the team totals. They don't seem to match the numbers on the individual page. For instance, the BAL 2B is listed as 0.5 on the team page, but hasn't Roberts (23.95 on the individual page) been the 2B for pretty much the whole year?

God knows I get tired of following this team, so maybe I'm missing some significant DL time for Roberts, but I don't think so.
   68. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 08:23 PM (#2930312)
Birdsfan, one tab is the "Defense Only", and the other is OPD totals. I had made an error on that earlier.
   69. BirdsFan2632 Posted: September 05, 2008 at 08:24 PM (#2930316)
Actually, looking at it closer, it looks like maybe the team page only shows defense. My mistake.
   70. BirdsFan2632 Posted: September 05, 2008 at 08:26 PM (#2930321)
Thanks, Chris. That third tab wasn't showing up for me until just now.
   71. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 08:26 PM (#2930323)
I just updated it to include OPD totals. It was my poor communication. I thought I had corrected it but I hadn't "republished". It should be good now.
   72. Sam M. Posted: September 05, 2008 at 08:33 PM (#2930338)
So I take it you've movedeon from that ridiculous argument you handed me 3 years ago that Wright and Pedroia could in no way be considered equivalent players?

No. They are not equivalent players. The fact that you still don't see this is your problem, not mine. The best indication of your failure to see this is the fact that you have to rely on silly nonsense like, "Pedroia plays on a better team," as if that is relevant to the question of who is the better player.

So I ask again: is Pedroia better than Albert Pujols? After all, he plays on a better team than Pujols.
   73. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 08:47 PM (#2930361)
Well, then how do you explain that Pedroia is outplaying Wright while being a year younger, then?
He isn't. Wright was much better at age 24 than Pedroia is. MUCH. I'll bet you right now that Pedroia's OPS+ ends up lower than it is right now.
   74. tjm1 Posted: September 05, 2008 at 08:49 PM (#2930364)
Of course, people have been saying this about Pedroia since he was in T-ball and he's exceeded everyone's expectations every step of the way.

So, if a clear pattern of improvement has been established, why do you expect it to stop now?


I actually agree with you here. I'd imagine people said very similar things about Pete Rose in 1965 that they're saying about Pedroia now. Rose only had one season that was a lot better than that one, but he had many seasons that were a little better. Essentially the same goes for Ryne Sandberg in 1984 - he had a couple years about as good, but none a lot better.

Pedroia actually has a better track record to date than Rose and Sandberg did then. I would like to see what Pedroia's comparable players list looks like after this year.
   75. Sam M. Posted: September 05, 2008 at 08:52 PM (#2930371)
Well, then how do you explain that Pedroia is outplaying Wright while being a year younger, then?

Wright was better at age 24 than Pedroia is this year, and Wright is better at age 25 than Pedroia is this year. But you go on clinging to your fanboy fantasy. It gives you pleasure and it doesn't hurt anyone else. So what's the harm?

So I ask again: is Pedroia better than Albert Pujols? After all, he plays on a better team than Pujols.

A rather transparent and feeble attempt at changing the subject, wouldn't you say, Sam?


No, actually, it's an attempt to get you to admit your argument ("Pedroia plays on a better team") was moronic. Or, perhaps, to see if you will stick to your guns and really argue that Pedroia is better than Pujols -- thus showing everyone how ridiculous you are. Either way, I win.
   76. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 08:53 PM (#2930374)
Pedroia is better, and he's a year younger too.
Actually, he *isn't* better. He's close to Wright's level at the peak moment of his 2008 season, and at the bottom of Wright's. The gap between them will widen in the next three weeks. You are just wrong.

In addition, what makes Pedroia "appear" good is the complete shittiness of Cano.
   77. Marcel Posted: September 05, 2008 at 08:54 PM (#2930376)
Prove it. The cold numbers certainly don't say so. And Pedroia plays on a better team.


Since when do you care about the cold numbers? Weren't you just saying in a thread a couple days ago that Manny's numbers are worthless because he's a pain in the ass?
   78. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 09:02 PM (#2930385)
Rose only had one season that was a lot better than that one, but he had many seasons that were a little better.
This grossly understates how consistently great Rose was. First, in the *14* seasons after 1965 (age 24 OPS+ 127), Rose *AVERAGED* an OPS+ over 130. SO while he only had 3 (not one) seasons significantly over 127, he averaged higher than that for 14 years. Rose was better at AGE 38 than Pedroia is right now.

Pete Rose was a great, great player.
   79. wickedwitch Posted: September 05, 2008 at 09:05 PM (#2930388)
I'm skeptical of any defense metric that has Markakis's defense as below average.
   80. Sam M. Posted: September 05, 2008 at 09:10 PM (#2930392)
It really bears emphasis: Dustin Pedroia's OPS+ right now is 127; it is on the basis of this deity-like performance that kevin wishes to exalt him. Pedroia, in the fullness of his magnificence, is at a .378 OBP and a .508 SLG.

These numbers are not only all lower than David Wright's this year. They are lower than his career averages. They are lower than Wright's OPS+, OBP, and SLG in every one of his full seasons in the major leagues. Every one. Pedroia at 24 isn't as good as Wright was at 22, 23, or 24. He's not as good as Wright is at 25.

Now completing his fourth full season in the majors, David Wright has never had a full season in the major leagues in which his OPS+ was lower than 133. He's never had an OBP lower than .380, or a slugging percentage lower than .516. All these numbers exceed Pedroia's career high to date. Wright's lows exceed Pedroia's career highs, even though Wright plays in a pitcher's park.

There is one reason, and one reason only, that kevin says he believes that Pedroia is an equivalent (or better) player. Because of the uniform he wears.
   81. Conor Posted: September 05, 2008 at 09:43 PM (#2930420)
1. God (997)
2. Babe Ruth (991)
3. William the Conqueror (989)
4. Alexander the Great(931)
5. Superman (942)
6. Frank Merriwell (937)
7. Chip Hilton (921)
8. Moby Dick (917)
9. William Wallace (909)
10.Moses (989) (While he can part the Red Sea, the similarity score is somehwoat low because Pedroia isn't Jewish)


If Pedroia was so great, he wouldn't have 9 players with a sim score over 900.
   82. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 10:05 PM (#2930440)
I think Grady should get it for the following 3 reasons:
1) he plays for the Tribe,
2) he is cute, and
3) I got an autographed ball from him this season!

(Posted by someone else in the Dial household)
   83. tjm1 Posted: September 05, 2008 at 10:05 PM (#2930441)
Rose was better at AGE 38 than Pedroia is right now.


No. Rose was a better hitter at age 38 than Pedroia is now. There is no way that 3 points in OPS+ makes up for 10 caught stealings and the difference between playing first base reasonably well and being the second best defensive 2B in the league. By the time Rose had any seasons where he hit much better than Pedroia is hitting now, he had been moved to much less demanding defensive positions. The few years where he played 3B later on, he wasn't very good defensively. I suppose he deserves some bonus points, because he played third well enough that the Reds could put him there and hence get Griffey and Foster into the lineup, but he was by no means a really good defender anywhere except the corner outfield positions.
   84. JPWF13 Posted: September 05, 2008 at 10:40 PM (#2930459)
Pedroia actually has a better track record to date than Rose and Sandberg did then. I would like to see what Pedroia's comparable players list looks like after this year.


Sandberg at 24: OPS+ 140, better baserunner than Pedroia, better defensive player than Pedroia, BETTER PLAYER THAN PEDROIA

of course Sandberg was never quite that good again, but came close during his second peak ages 29-32.

Rose is an interesting comp- very comparable at 24 to Petunia- both got a lot of "grief" for being unathletic (compared to baseball scout tools ideals).

In Rose's case it was absurd- he was stronger, faster and had better reflexes than Petunia-

my comp for Petunia is this guy- Petunia's better, but Ray had even less athleticism than Petunia to work with.
   85. tjm1 Posted: September 05, 2008 at 10:52 PM (#2930463)
Let me put Pedroia in a historial perspective: since 1948, there have been 17 seasons in which a 2B no older than 24 put up an OPS+ of at least 120 - Pedroia is on track to be number 18. This includes three seasons by Joe Morgan, and two each by Carlos Baerga, Jorge Orta, Robinson Cano and Paul Molitor. This means that there are 11 distinct players in the group before Pedroia. The others are Rose, Sandberg, Alomar, Carew, plus Jim Lefebvre and Cass Michaels. I think there are some pretty clear reasons why Pedroia belongs with the Hall of Famers in that group, and not the weaker players. Lefebvre and Orta were moved off 2B for their age 25 seasons. Baerga was a known late-night carouser, got fat, and faded away, plus he wasn't really much of a 2B defensively even in his prime. Michaels had been in the league for quite some time, and never approached the numbers he put up at 24 before, and approached them after only once. It was a clear fluke season for him, and nothing that looked remotely like a natural development. Pedroia's career path so far looks a lot like Rose's and Sandberg's. Carew and Morgan are the only ones who were really better through age 24. Molitor was better when he was on the field, but he was missing a lot of games at that stage in his career. My point, I guess, is that we really are talking about a once or twice a decade type player with Pedroia.
   86. tjm1 Posted: September 05, 2008 at 10:56 PM (#2930465)
my comp for Petunia is this guy- Petunia's better, but Ray had even less athleticism than Petunia to work with.


Come on. Johnny Ray was a minor leaguer when he was Pedroia's age, not a Rookie of the Year going towards an MVP candidacy season.

Sandberg at 24: OPS+ 140, better baserunner than Pedroia, better defensive player than Pedroia, BETTER PLAYER THAN PEDROIA


He was better at 24, but that season came out of nowhere. At 22 and 23 he was a below average hitter. I'll grant you that he was faster, but I'm not so sure about being better defensively.
   87. Chris Dial Posted: September 05, 2008 at 11:13 PM (#2930479)
since 1948, there have been 17 seasons in which a 2B no older than 24 put up an OPS+ of at least 120 - Pedroia is on track to be number 18.
We had this conversation during Beltre's big season too. It's early.

You are right about Rose; I was just referring to him as a hitter as it was a response to your making a comp to him (based on his hitting I assumed, and you made a comment about how Rose hit going forward). Pedroia won't have a career remotely as good as Rose's.

Kevin is remarkably ignorant of the run scoring differentials between the 1970s and the 2000s.
   88. Mister High Standards Posted: September 05, 2008 at 11:18 PM (#2930484)
1. David Wright has been a better player than Dustin career to date, by FAR.
2. David Wright will likely have a better career than Dustin will have.
3. Prior to this year by Wright every year he has had has likely been better than the best year Dustin has had including this year.
4. Next year, Wright will likely be better than Dustin.
5. It is better than 50/50 that Wright will have better season ending totals than Dustin will.
6. It is near flummary to say Wright has been better THIS year to date than Dustin has been. It's pretty clear as of 7:17 on 9/5 Dustin has been a better player since the start of the 08 season. I think it's pretty poor analysis to say anything else, even if you grant that wright is a "better" player in general.
   89. Mister High Standards Posted: September 05, 2008 at 11:23 PM (#2930495)
Its very possible that Dustin has been better than Wright this year. Dial and Sam M. are just not being reasonable in saying that Wright has been better.

Kevin was right about the quality of player Dustin has turned into. Most people were wrong. It's amazing to me how many otherwise smart people still don't "get the joke".
   90. Sam M. Posted: September 05, 2008 at 11:24 PM (#2930496)
Let me put Pedroia in a historial perspective: since 1948, there have been 17 seasons in which a 2B no older than 24 put up an OPS+ of at least 120 - Pedroia is on track to be number 18.

OK. Let me put David Wright in historical perspective. In ALL OF MAJOR LEAGUE HISTORY, there has been one -- one -- third baseman who has had an OPS+ of 130 or above in each of his first four full seasons. David Wright.

There have been two who have had seasons of at least 25 home runs in each of their first four full seasons. The first was Eddie Mathews. David Wright is the second.

David Wright is off to a better start in his career than George Brett, Mike Schmidt, Wade Boggs, Chipper Jones -- every single third baseman in the history of the game other than Eddie Mathews. No one at the position had accomplished as much as Wright by the time he was 25, except Mathews.

Give me a ####### break with Petunia. Wright has had four HOF-caliber seasons for a third baseman, back-to-back-to-back-to-back. Classic HOF seasons. It is ludicrous to elevate Pedroia to his level; Pedroia as a second baseman has just begun the path that Wright is well along the way. There aren't going to be any detours for David.
   91. Mister High Standards Posted: September 05, 2008 at 11:30 PM (#2930507)
105. point 6 was too strongly worded.
   92. Sam M. Posted: September 05, 2008 at 11:35 PM (#2930515)
And let me say, because I probably haven't made this clear: I would LOVE to have Dustin Pedroia. The Mets could sure as hell use a second baseman like him; just about any team not named the Philadelphia Phillies could, and I'm sure the Phillies could find a place for him, too. I think he's a damn good bet to be the best second baseman in the game over the next 10 years, and I even agree w/ kevin that he's a solid bet to be at least as good over that period as he's been this year, if not a bit better.

Nothing in saying he's not David Wright is meant to demean Pedroia or detract from what I agree has been a breakout season for him.
   93. Mister High Standards Posted: September 05, 2008 at 11:37 PM (#2930518)
Now sam just admit dustin has likely been better this year so far :)
   94. Sam M. Posted: September 05, 2008 at 11:53 PM (#2930546)
I would LOVE to have Dustin Pedroia. The Mets could sure as hell use a second baseman like him;

BTW, the Mets hope they drafted a guy in Pedroia's mold, with one of their first-round picks this year. Reese Havens got off to a pretty solid start in short-season A ball at Brooklyn (11 XBH, .841 OPS, in very limited play, just 85 ABs) So maybe -- someday -- he'll get to that point, and make an outstanding DP combo with Reyes. Fingers crossed.
   95. Sam M. Posted: September 05, 2008 at 11:57 PM (#2930548)
Yes but what about the guys in the high 120s who knew you could get someone out merely by touching the bag before the runner got there?

Don't you think that line is the Eight Belles of your BBTF schtick, kevin? But you keep beating that dead horse if you like.

Would you like to compare Buchholz v. Pelfrey next?
   96. Ben Posted: September 06, 2008 at 12:22 AM (#2930592)
"I'll say this quite honestly. I have NEVER seen Pedroia make a mental mistake and I've seen him play about 200 MLB games so far. Not once."


What sort of mistake was it by Pedroia to have career highs lower than Wright's career lows, again?
   97. Greg K Posted: September 06, 2008 at 12:29 AM (#2930610)
A question in all honesty for kevin, I really hate to get into arguments so I don't want to stick my nose into one...

But don't you find a pattern, in that it's always Red Sox or Celtic players that you're sure are better than common perception?
Do you feel there is a general bias against Boston players? Or is it just that you're not really concerned about under-appreciated players from other cities?
   98. konaforever Posted: September 06, 2008 at 12:31 AM (#2930613)
"What sort of mistake was it by Pedroia to have career highs lower than Wright's career lows, again?"

You do realize that they play different positions and need to adjust for it, don't you?
   99. Chris Dial Posted: September 06, 2008 at 12:34 AM (#2930620)
You do realize that they play different positions and need to adjust for it, don't you?
I AM adjusting for it.
   100. Greg K Posted: September 06, 2008 at 12:35 AM (#2930622)
I appreciate the reasonable answer kevin
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