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Monday, July 09, 2007

Andre Dawson

Eligible in 2002.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 09, 2007 at 01:35 AM | 109 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 09, 2007 at 01:37 AM (#2434231)
If he had only kept his legs healthy, he would have been in the HOF a long time ago.
   2. OCF Posted: July 09, 2007 at 01:52 AM (#2434253)
I ran him through my offensive system, and consdered him to be a CF - and it's not enough. I don't find enough offense there to place him ahead of Lynn, Berger, Cedeno, Murphy - or, for that matter, Ryan, Duffy, Van Haltren. Yes, he had quite a long career - but a lot of that longevity wasn't as a CF.
   3. Juan V Posted: July 09, 2007 at 01:57 AM (#2434256)
He'll be one of the fun guys to argue about this upcoming "year". Under my old system, he ended up close to the borderline but clearly on the wrong side of it - considered purely as a RF. I haven't run him on my actual one yet.
   4. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: July 09, 2007 at 03:07 AM (#2434334)
Just remember, this is all his fault.
   5. Chris Fluit Posted: July 09, 2007 at 04:27 AM (#2434407)
This is the big argument candidate of this election. All of the others are pretty clearly in (Smith and Trammell) or pretty clearly out. It will be interesting to see how Dawson fares.
   6. Esteban Rivera Posted: July 09, 2007 at 02:13 PM (#2434596)
Just remember, this is all his fault.


You got that right. Looking for info on Dawson was how I stumbled onto Joe's original site, which led to here and then... three years very well spent.
   7. Esteban Rivera Posted: July 09, 2007 at 02:18 PM (#2434605)
Two questions for the gallery:

1) How much credit does Dawson get for the strike seasons (I asume 81 is meaningful while 94 an 95 are negligible).

2) Defensively, did he switch to RF when he went to Chicago or before? And credit wise, even though it was RF, should he get a little boost for manning the toughest right field in the NL at the time (maybe even both leagues)?
   8. DL from MN Posted: July 09, 2007 at 02:45 PM (#2434631)
He's not very close (ahead of comparable player Willard Brown) at 60 but I haven't given any credits or demerits.
   9. Paul Wendt Posted: July 09, 2007 at 03:03 PM (#2434651)
Three full seasons RF in Montreal 1984-86. The transition coincides with drop of about 50 batting points and 100 slugging points for two seasons.

Starting CF in the all-star game 1987-88 but otherwise no games in CF after 1985.
Andre Dawson at baseball-reference
   10. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: July 09, 2007 at 03:40 PM (#2434699)
I'm very interested to see the electorate's views on his candidacy. In his favor, every eligible player in the top 35 all-time for Total Bases has been elected (Dawson ranks 24th), and every eligible player in the top 33 all-time for Extra-Base Hits has been elected (Dawson ranks 22nd). The only eligible player in the top 40 for either category not to have been elected to the Hall of Merit is Tony Perez, who has significantly less defensive value than Dawson. Furthermore, if you were to reduce Dawson's ABs by replacing his notably low walk rate with the above-average rate of 1 BB per 10 PA, he would still rank first in both categories among players on the ballot (keeping his TB/AB and XBH/AB the same).

Also of note, using Retrosheet data from the past 50 years (1957-2006), The Hardball Times has published outfielder arm ratings in terms of expected runs saved on baserunner advancement. Among center fielders, Dawson trails only Andy Van Slyke in runs saved per 162 games, at 5.1. Perhaps more impressively, in spite of having played CF for just 7 years, Dawson ranks 4th in career runs saved at the position, behind Van Slyke, Edmonds, and Griffey and narrowly ahead of Andruw Jones. I have not been able to find out to what extent arm ratings are factored into FRAA and Fielding Win Shares, though it seems that this would be an important consideration in ascertaining his overall value.
   11. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 09, 2007 at 05:00 PM (#2434766)
Is Wrigley's RF really tougher than Fenway's? I don't know Wrigley, but I've seen lots of ground/line doubles down past the Peskey pole botched into triples...or worse.
   12. Cabbage Posted: July 10, 2007 at 01:33 AM (#2435245)
FWIW, Sosa always hustled in the outfield, but he never figured out how to play caroms off the side wall.
   13. Howie Menckel Posted: July 10, 2007 at 01:55 AM (#2435260)
I watched a number of games from the Wrigley RF bleachers with Dawson, then with Sammy.

Hawk was the ultimate in elegance - cool, collected, barely acknowledged the crowd but each mere glance was treated as a thrill. all class.

Sosa, the people's prince - cupping his hand to his ear, pretending we weren't loud enough, tapping his heart, etc. all fun.

Can't say which I enjoyed more....
   14. OCF Posted: July 10, 2007 at 03:52 PM (#2435654)
Bump - Mark Shirk wondered where this was.
   15. TomH Posted: July 10, 2007 at 04:04 PM (#2435668)
</i>FWIW, Sosa always hustled in the outfield, but he never figured out how to play caroms off the side wall.</i>

I only see about one game live every other year, but I did get to watch Scott Rolen hit an in-the-park home run when Sosa misplayed a long hit to dead center (their regular CF was benched that day). Bouncy Astroturf in Philly didn't help. Rolen was almost out at the plate, after he had slowed down for about 2 seconds rounding 2nd before getting the big wave gesture toward home, but a nice fadeaway hand-tag slide got him in. A great moment.
   16. Chris Fluit Posted: July 10, 2007 at 06:12 PM (#2435830)
I've seen a lot of comments that suggest Andre Dawson spent too much time in RF to be considered a good candidate in CF. Okay. But is Dawson a good candidate in RF?

Dawson has 340 WS
here are the top corner outfielders in career WS:
Rusty Staub: 358
Lou Brock: 348
Andre Dawson: 340
Dave Parker: 327
Sam Rice: 327

Dawson has 108.0 WARP
here are the top corner outfielders by Warp:
Andre Dawson: 108.0
Rusty Staub: 102.3
Bob Johnson: 95.5
Jose Cruz: 94.9 (another CF/corner hybrid)
Jack Clark: 92.1 (a 1B/corner hybrid)

Dawson has 119 OPS+ in 10,769 PA
here are the corners with >10,000 PA:
Rusty Staub: 124 in 11,229
Dave Parker: 121 in 10,184
Andre Dawson: 119 in 10,769
Sam Rice: 112 in 10,246
Lou Brock: 109 in 11,239

Dawson has 1536 RC
here are the top corner outfielders by career RC:
Andre Dawson: 1536
Rusty Staub: 1522
Dave Parker: 1502
Sam Rice: 1468
Jim Rice: 1459

Dawson is 1st in WARP, 1st in RC, third in WS and third in OPS+ (though the PA advantage should push him ahead of Parker).
Going by the traditional stats: he's 1st in TB (24th overall), 2nd in RBI (31st overall), 2nd in HR (35th overall), 4th in 2B (43rd overall) and 3rd in H (45th overall).

Even as a corner outfielder, Dawson has a strong case as the best career candidate at that position.

Then, you consider that most of the other players in this consideration set were bad fielders. Brock, Parker, J. Rice and Staub are all C or D fielders. S. Rice is the only decent fielder in the bunch. Dawson is a well above-average fielder, good enough to win 4 Gold Gloves in RF.

Then, you consider that most of the other players in this consideration set couldn't run to save their lives. Clark, Parker, J. Rice and Staub have SB to CS numbers of 77 to 61, 154 to 113, 58 to 34 and 47 to 33. Only S. Rice is in the same company as Dawson on the basepaths (Rice: 351 to 143, Dawson: 314 to 109, 74%) while the foot specialist Brock is way ahead in totals if not percentage.

In Dawson, you have a player who could hit as well as Staub or Parker, plus he could run, plus he could play defense. And that's even before we consider that he was good enough to play 1027 games in CF and win 4 Gold Gloves at that position.

So what's holding Dawson back? Probably his relative lack of peak. He has only one season with an OPS+ over 150 and only three seasons with an OPS+ in the top ten. He has 7 seasons with an OPS+ over 125, but that still only puts him in the middle of the pack for that category. His 16 seasons with an OPS+ over 100 put him at the top of that category though again, that's a career consideration not a peak one.

However, while Dawson doesn't have a real high peak, that doesn't mean he's entirely lacking one. He has an early peak from 1980 to '83 in which he has consecutive OPS+ of 136, 157, 132 and 141. Plus, he was a Gold Glove center-fielder for those four seasons. Then, after a short dip in '84 and '85, he has an extended prime from '86 to '88 and '90 with OPS+ of 124, 129, 137 and 136. And again, he was a Gold Glove right-fielder for the two dip seasons in '84 and '85 as well as for two of the prime seasons in '87 and '88.

So Dawson is a strong career candidate, even for a corner outfielder. Then, you consider that his best four years came as a Gold Glove fielding centerfielder. He doesn't have too many games at RF to be a good CF candidate. He has too many games at CF to be a bad RF candidate.
   17. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 10, 2007 at 10:17 PM (#2436099)
Thanks for the bump, OCF!

Chris,

I think that I should mention that the four players that compared Dawson to are not very serious candidates at the moment, being better than Staub, Parker, Rice, and Rice means that you are probalby not in our top 20, maybe top 30 9dont' know exactly).

Second, Dawson's peak is woeful in WS as his OPS+ was always slugging heavy, making it even less impressive than it looks. His peak woudl be a good years 5-8, maybe 4-7, for someone I owuld vote for but not a good years 1-4.
   18. JPWF13 Posted: July 10, 2007 at 10:30 PM (#2436109)
Dawson played in a .265/.332/.396 context
and had a career OBP of .323- below average
a remarkably valuable player for someone with a below average OBP

just by way of comparison Sammy Sosa'a career has been played in a .268/.339/.422 context.
If Dawson had played 10-15 years later he'd LOOK like a much better candidate to the casual fan- possibly a 500 HR, 3000 hitter
   19. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 11, 2007 at 01:24 AM (#2436408)
best to worst OPS+es, minimum 250 PA
AD  (119157 141 137 136 136 132 129 124 115 115 115 114 111 110 106 102  91  90 82
TP  
(122163 159 145 140 125 124 122 121 120 119 118 117 111 109 104  98  91  83 
RS  
(124166 152 147 147 138 137 136 132 131 129 118 118 117 116 113 108 100  84 79 78
DwE 
(127163 156 149 147 137 136 131 129 125 124 120 119 115 111 110 110 106 103 93 


So, how often does Dawson lead the pack at any point? Never! Not even at the bitter end.

Is there reason to believe that Dawson was better than OPS+ suggest? Yes and no.
-Not only didn't he didn't walk at all, 143 of his 589 walks were intentional, so OPS+ may overstate his on-base ability/value somewhat.
-He was pretty good at keeping out of DPs, only bouncing into about 11 per 500 AB.
-His SB% was a reasonable 74%.
-He was durable, playing 130 or more games every year, and usually above 140.

Thinking about these four guys individually...

-Dawson versus Dawggie
Dawson's argument here has got to be about his CF defense overcoming his slight disadvantage in OPS+. But Perez played 3B in his peak years, a position roughly equivalent in importance/difficulty according to estimates seen in our discussions. Dawson was not uniformly a better CF (998 adj G, 101 RATE per BP) than Perez a 3B (728 adj G, 103 RATE), though the extra games help. But Perez was a rather better 1B (104 RATE) than Dawson a RF (99 RATE). Back to offense, Dawson's peak is significantly lower than Perez's, and the overall prime is too. At best they come out even, but there's good reason to think that Perez is superior. I don't think either should be a HOMer, personally.

-Dawson versus Danny
Staub has the career advantage in OPS+, the higher peak OPS+es, the OPS+ advantage in every year where he's over 100 (so all but three seasons). Staub is a 98 RATE right fielder, 1 point lower than Dawson in RF (300 games more in RF than Dawson), then Staub has 400 games of 99 RATE 1B and some DHing. Staub grounded into 4 more DPs per 500 ABs, and his SB game was fortunately not very active. Again, the argument coems down to position: if you think 1000 games of average CF are intrinsically so valuable as to supercede 400 games of average 1B + 300 games of average RF + another 300 or so DH games, all at a higher rate of offensive production, I'm fine with that. But the difference isn't night and day, and like with Perez, it's reasonable to ask how much better could Dawson realistically have been? WARP1 answers the question this way: 2.7 wins to Dawson. A mere 27 runs all told. But those 2.7 wins include decline years of Staub's that are not included in my analysis, and this one seems like a toss-up to me.

-Dawson versus Dewey
Here Dawson faces his biggest test. His OPS+ is 8 points lower AND this group voted Evans in with the belief that his defense was superb enough to boost his overall value above a career OPS+ that's rather pedestrian for a HOM RF. So you have an average CF/RF versus a Plus RF in the toughest right pasture in the AL. While WARP1 suggests that Dawson is worth about 2.6 more wins than Dewey, OPS+ is showing that Evans is better every year. Every year. The only advantages Dawson has on Evans are the intrinsic value of CF (mitigated by their relative competencies, perhaps), 200 PAs of above-replacement batting, and his SBs. Again, I think it's hard to see where Dawson is better than Dewey when Evans was so clearly the better hitter.

So to recap: Staub's about 25-30th in the back log and it would not be crazy to rank him ahead of or at worst even with Dawson; he can't be realistically considered markedly inferior. Perez is 10-15th in the backlog and he has good reasons to be seen as superior to Dawson and certainly no worse than even. Dewey is in---though elected on his first ballot his was not a triumphal march to victory, but a pluralistic win with Evans not getting blanket support. There are extremely compelling reasons not to see Dawson as clearly inferior to Evans, who is reasonably described as a borderline HOMer.

So the best Dawson can be, to my thinking, is near Perez (so around 15th in the log), and at worst around 30-50th, somewhere behind Staub. Dewey is essentially the HOM's worst non-mistake RF (so Thompson is not included here), and if Dawson can't top that, he probably isn't meritorious enough for me.

One last point. Gavy Cravath is, IMO, better than all these guys.
   20. Juan V Posted: July 11, 2007 at 01:31 AM (#2436441)
One last point. Gavy Cravath is, IMO, better than all these guys.


Of course he is. Friends of Pete Browning, there is still plenty of room in the Cravath bandwagon!
   21. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 11, 2007 at 04:01 AM (#2437096)
Isn't Reggie Smith far superior to any of the players being mentioned?
   22. Mike Green Posted: July 11, 2007 at 02:40 PM (#2437367)
I wouldn't say "far", but "clearly" works for me. Looking over Dawson's BBRef comparables, the one who actually kind of fits is his contemporary Dale Murphy. Roughly similar distribution of offensive skills- Dawson had a little more power once park adjustments were made, Murphy got on base a little more. The major differences really were Dawson's superior glove, and that Murphy's decline was a little more abrupt.

It seems to me that a HOM case for Dawson lives and dies with defence evaluation. WARP shows him as an average defensive centerfielder. Win Shares perhaps thinks a little more of him. He does have all those Gold Gloves; so what do the Zone Rating metrics say?
   23. Paul Wendt Posted: July 12, 2007 at 05:08 AM (#2438064)
19. Eric Chalek (Dr. Chaleeko) Posted: July 10, 2007 at 09:24 PM (#2436408)
best to worst OPS+es, minimum 250 PA
AD (119) 157 141 137 136 136 132 129 124 115 115 115 114 111 110 106 102 91 90 82
TP (122) 163 159 145 140 125 124 122 121 120 119 118 117 111 109 104 98 91 83
RS (124) 166 152 147 147 138 137 136 132 131 129 118 118 117 116 113 108 100 84 79 78
DwE (127) 163 156 149 147 137 136 131 129 125 124 120 119 115 111 110 110 106 103 93

So, how often does Dawson lead the pack at any point? Never! Not even at the bitter end.


I feel like repeating the TomH caricature of this favorite analytical tool.

Is there reason to believe that Dawson was better than OPS+ suggest? Yes and no.

and yes. Chris already showed Dawson and a bunch of right fielders whom he leads by Win Shares and WARP, or nearly so, although he trails most of them by OPS+.
(The latter is obscured by the very high 10000 PA threshold. For example, Jack Clark and Reggie Smith, both 8000+ at OPS+ 137; Jose Cruz almost 8931 at 120.)

[on Dawson and Staub]
Again, the argument coems down to position: if you think "1000 games of average CF are intrinsically so valuable"

It isn't "intrinsically so valuable" . .

as to supercede 400 games of average 1B + 300 games of average RF + another 300 or so DH games, all at a higher rate of offensive production, I'm fine with that. But the difference isn't night and day, and like with Perez, it's reasonable to ask how much better could Dawson realistically have been? WARP1 answers the question this way: 2.7 wins to Dawson. A mere 27 runs all told. But those 2.7 wins include decline years of Staub's that are not included in my analysis,

That clause implies this is some sort of mitigating circumstance working in Staub's favor. But look at both through age 37 (17 season for Dawson, Montreal and Chicago only; 19 seasons for Staub), Dawson leads by WARP1 106 to 102.9, slightly greater than his full-career lead. --because WARP1 thinks Dawson's decline ultimately (age 38-41 for both) slightly more severe than Staub's.

Mike Green:
It seems to me that a HOM case for Dawson lives and dies with defence evaluation. WARP shows him as an average defensive centerfielder.

WARP may think that is enough. Beside Maranville, Bancroft, Tinker and Evers, how many eligible players beat Dawson by WARP1?
How many rough contemporaries? I don't know the answer. Tanana and Perez and ??

Win Shares perhaps thinks a little more of him. He does have all those Gold Gloves; so what do the Zone Rating metrics say?

See also #10, second paragraph. Baserunner advancement on (outs and?) hits to center is a separate point where there is more to Dawson than OPS+, or the "ubermetrics.
   24. Sean Gilman Posted: July 12, 2007 at 09:28 PM (#2438691)
Second, Dawson's peak is woeful in WS as his OPS+ was always slugging heavy, making it even less impressive than it looks. His peak woudl be a good years 5-8, maybe 4-7, for someone I owuld vote for but not a good years 1-4.

It doesn't help that his best season was the strike-shortened 1981. Adjust those 25 WS in 108 games to 38 in 162, and his peak looks a whole lot better, right in line with the other good OF candidates out there.

Dawson's looking surprisingly good to me right now. If I had to vote today, he'd probably be third.
   25. andrew siegel Posted: July 12, 2007 at 10:39 PM (#2438787)
Give Dawson 37 or 38 for 1981 and lay out his season and Perez's best to worst in either WS or WARP1 and the two look like dead ringers.
   26. Sean Gilman Posted: July 12, 2007 at 11:01 PM (#2438809)
Yup. Then it's a CF/RF vs. 3B/1B comparison.
   27. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: July 13, 2007 at 07:19 PM (#2440144)
Isn't Reggie Smith far superior to any of the players being mentioned?

Reggie Smith is one of the most fascinating candidates from my perspective. Some of his career numbers make him look like a slam dunk. He had over 8000 plate appearances, a 137 OPS+, and 43% of his games as a center fielder. However, he was never able to combine these 3 attributes into a single-season:
1. Reasonably full year of PAs
2. Elite offensive player
3. Center fielder

At the beginning of his MLB career, Reggie was able to accomplish 1 and 3. In 1967 and 1968, he played in 155+ games almost exclusively in CF, though he wasn’t yet a great offensive player. In 1969 he missed a few more games but still managed over 600 PAs, while playing CF and posting a 143 OPS+. Unfortunately, his terrible baserunning really hurt his overall value. He stole 7 bases in 20 attempts, for a 35% success rate (not to mention the fact that a 143 OPS+ in 1969’s massive expansion was less impressive than it would have been any other year since integration). In 1970 he once again fell short of his career standard offensively, and in 1971 he split the year between CF and RF.

The latter stage of Smith’s career unfolded much like his 1972 season. He became an elite offensive player, but as a right fielder who missed a lot of games. From 1972 onward, he put up .300+ EQAs almost every year. Smith switched back to CF for the 1973 season and would have met all 3 of the above criteria if he could have just stayed on the field. That season he missed 47 games and totaled fewer than 500 PAs. Back in RF, he remained one of the best hitters in the league for several years thereafter and was quite valuable in 1974 and 1977 when he played in 140+ games. Due to his general lack of durability otherwise, those were the only seasons in which he had a WARP of 8.0 or above.

Surprisingly, in spite of Smith’s outstanding rate stats, I think he would finish last of all the players being mentioned in peak/prime considerations by any conventional definition. Since his best offensive performance came as a RF when he missed so many games each year, he simply wasn’t nearly as valuable as his overall numbers suggest.
   28. TomH Posted: July 17, 2007 at 01:24 PM (#2443620)
Mike Green, post 22: It seems to me that a HOM case for Dawson lives and dies with defence evaluation. WARP shows him as an average defensive centerfielder. Win Shares perhaps thinks a little more of him. He does have all those Gold Gloves; so what do the Zone Rating metrics say?

Agree. If he was an avg CF-RF, he's well off my ballot. If he was a gold glove CF and later gold glove RF, he's in my top 10, maybe top 5.

Help!
   29. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 17, 2007 at 01:35 PM (#2443625)
and had a career OBP of .323- below average
a remarkably valuable player for someone with a below average OBP


Andre is a proud member of the "400 not 600" club

more than 400 lifetime HRs, fewer than 600 BBs

only one other guy in that esteemed pantheon
   30. baudib Posted: July 17, 2007 at 01:48 PM (#2443633)
I'll give you my subjective impressions of Dawson as a center fielder: He was fantastic.

First, I don't think anyone will argue that he had one of the greatest throwing arms of the past 25 years. In fact, if you remove Barfield from the equation I think we'd have a clear winner.

Second, The Hawk was very fast, deceptively fast and smooth in the outfield. Remember he came up in an era of speed and artificial turf and championships won with Cesar Geronimo, Omar Moreno and Garry Maddox in center. Not only were those speed merchants/defensive specialists in center, they were in left, too. The 1970s/early 80s was the second era in baseball history when many teams emphasized defense in the outfield, even in left (the other being the deadball era). Think about the guys like Rickey Henderson, Willie Wilson, Jose Cruz, Gene Richards, Vince Coleman, Miguel Dilone. Yeah, the Phillies had Luzinski, but they won those division titles with Bake McBride in right and replaced the Bull with the greatest fielding sensation of all time: Lonnie Smith! <G>

Dawson pushed two guys to left who easily could have been center fielders: Ron Leflore, who was a center fielder (although not a great one) and Tim Raines.
   31. DL from MN Posted: July 17, 2007 at 02:18 PM (#2443668)
I think he's rating as an average CF partly because there were a ton of great defensive CF in the 1980s.
   32. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 17, 2007 at 03:27 PM (#2443746)
baudib--I think that defense was emphasized in general much more then than it is now (logically, since K and HR rates were much lower then), but I believe the data show that much more emphasis was placed on IF defense than OF defense--which makes sense since so many of the guys you are mentioning were slap hitters whose own batted balls had to be fielded by infielders. My own research shows that the gap between IF and OF replacement levels was bigger in the 70's and early 80's than in any other period of the 20th century. Teams were still able to find league-average hitters at OF fairly easily in those days--it was very rare to see starting OF with OPS+ much under 90. By contrast, finding any warm body who could handle the middle infield without sinking one's offense altogether was a tall order (unless you were the Reds and had David Concepción :)). Just take a look at the OPS+ of the Rangers' starting shortstops from 1978-85: 37, 43, 48, 54, 57, 60, 55, 65. Ouch! And remember that this was also the lowest standard deviation period in MLB history, when a 155-170 OPS+ was usually good enough to lead the league, so those SS were nearly as far *below* average as the best hitter in the league was above it! Hard to do. It was a different game in those days, and viewed against that backdrop, guys like Concepción were legitimate MVP candidates. (Not to mention the Holy Trinity of Ripken, Yount, and Trammell, which was probably the greatest concentration of talent relative to positional competition in one league in MLB history--it's no surprise their teams each won an AL pennant during their reign of 1982-84).

DL from MN--everything is relative...the overall quality of defensive play doesn't matter. What matters is how many total wins you represent relative to your league context. If everyone else has a Zone Rating of .99 and you're .97, you're the worst fielder at your position in your league, and you're costing your team wins in the field (although if the competition is over-emphasizing fielding you might be more than able to make it up at the plate).
   33. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 17, 2007 at 03:51 PM (#2443783)
more than 400 lifetime HRs, fewer than 600 BBs

Oh, that's fun! Andre's actually worse looking than Pasta suggests. 438 lifetime HR. 446 lifetime UiBBs. Wow.

How many guys with lots of homers are even close to that? Here's everyone I could find within 100 UiBB of their HR total, minimum 300 homers. Only one man has a HR/UiBB ratio over 1.00, but Andre's ratio is third:

NAME             HR  known UIBB diff
-------------------------------------
Juan Gonzalez    434    383     51
Matt Williams    378    383     
-  6
ANDRE DAWSON     438    446     
-  8
Vlad Guerrero    352    376     
24
Vinny Castilla   320    359     
39
Joe Carter       396    441     
45
Lee May          354    402     
48
Ernie Banks
*     512    565     53
Orlando Cepeda   379    434     
55     
Andres Galarraga 399    477     
78
Dave Kingman     442    536     
94

*HOMer 


Fun stuff.
   34. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 17, 2007 at 04:01 PM (#2443791)
then there's the >400HRs, OPB< .350

1 Dave Kingman .302 442
2 Andre Dawson .323 438
3 Ernie Banks .330 512
4 Cal Ripken .340 431
5 Juan Gonzalez .343 434
6 Sammy Sosa .344 602

another pretty exclusive club
   35. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 17, 2007 at 04:13 PM (#2443802)
Wow, I didn't realize Juan Gone's walk rate was that poor. He was my favorite player growing up. In retrospect, he was as juicy as they get.

For my WhatIfSports simulated teams, I always try to put a high-HR low-BB guy in the #8 spot in a non-DH league, since walks before the pitcher spot are not usually that valuable. 1968 Ernie Banks is my man of choice, since all his stats get a boost due to run environment normalization and he had a terrific fielding percentage and range factor at 1B. 1975 Dave Kingman is cheaper, but a defensive liability.

I wonder if we could put together a WhatIfSports league of HoM voters. That would be fun--certainly one well-informed group.

Michael Humphreys writes in his paper on his Defensive Regression Analysis statistic that both Dawson and Puckett were only "OK centerfielders."
   36. DL from MN Posted: July 17, 2007 at 04:14 PM (#2443804)
I guess what I'm saying is his true talent level as an outfielder was really high. It's just that he has to be compared against some other really good outfielders which is why his numbers rate as "average". So it's possible to be both a subjectively fantastic outfielder and objectively average at the same time.
   37. rawagman Posted: July 17, 2007 at 11:02 PM (#2444182)
I wonder if we could put together a WhatIfSports league of HoM voters. That would be fun--certainly one well-informed group.


Dan - I used to play the baseball game, but I have moved on to exclusively playing the hardball dynasty game. Much more involved, I find.
   38. Sean Gilman Posted: July 17, 2007 at 11:32 PM (#2444215)
Me too.
   39. TomH Posted: July 18, 2007 at 12:45 AM (#2444290)
I'm a Scoresheet guy myself
   40. Esteban Rivera Posted: July 18, 2007 at 12:49 AM (#2444299)
Other than not walking enough, what exactly are Dawson's negatives? What are his positives? Do all of these outweigh his "did not walk enough?
   41. yest Posted: July 18, 2007 at 05:34 AM (#2444778)
I wonder if we could put together a WhatIfSports league of HoM voters. That would be fun--certainly one well-informed group.

the first time I played it they pulled my starting pitcher (I think it was Cy Young) out in the 9th with slight lead for some trashy pitcher I picked just to fill up the roster who lost the game
   42. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 18, 2007 at 01:21 PM (#2444882)
Other than not walking enough, what exactly are Dawson's negatives? What are his positives? Do all of these outweigh his "did not walk enough?

It's a pretty interesting question when posed this way, but his lack of on-base skill does prevent him from racking up the value of corner OFs (or CFs) just above him in the rankings. Billy Williams, Willie Stargell, Dave Winfield all had more on-base ability and turned that into value that Dawson couldn't. Dawson may have been a better player in many facets of the game than they were, but it seems to me that he has many or all of the same attributes as those guys but the lack of on-base really holds him back.

Actually, let me make a little chart here. These guys have superficially similar careers and attributes in many ways. To balance out parks and eras, I used BP's translated stats to figure out their component runs with XR. BP doesn't translate SH, SF, IBB, and GIDP, so I left the first two the same as his real career, made his translated IBB the same percentage of his total walks as in real life and prorated his GIDP based on the change in ABs bewteen real life and translated life. I've grouped those components into broad categories to show how much each category contributes to a player's overall positive XR contribution, and I've also listed how many negative runs of outs he created---i'm rounding by the way:
NAME         ON-BASE    ADVANCEMENT    SB      OUTMAKING
------------------------------------------------------------
DAWSON      1027 (41%)  1458 (58%)   49 (2%)  -792 (-31%)
B WILLIAMS  1150 (48%)  1295 (53%)   17 (1%)  -687 (-28%)  
WINFIELD    1442 (48%)  1515 (51%)   39 (1%)  -872 (-29%)    
KALINE      1357 (51%)  1263 (48%)   29 (1%)  -776 (-29%)  
DW EVANS    1137 (48%)  1223 (52%)   14 (1%)  -678 (-28%) 
CLEMENTE    1283 (54%)  1096 (46%)   18 (1%)  -702 (-29%) 


This is a bit more dramatic than I'd thought it would be, though it's fair to say that I've stacked the deck against The Hawk a little bit. I chose guys who were superficially alike in that they played after 1960ish, who had long careers, and who were mid-tier to borderline HOMers. I didn't include a guy like Willie Stargell, however, because he was too slow and simply didn't bat often enough.

Dawson's on-base abilities represent 7-10% less of his total value than these other players, and consequently his advancement abilities represent 5-12% more of his total value than theirs. His baserunning is the highest of the group. But the kicker is that the negative value of his outs rates out at 2-3% more of his positive contribution than the other guys' outs do. That's a secondary area where his lack of on-base skills comes into play and negatively impacts his run creation. I did include CS in the outmaking category, but even when you pull it out, he's still 1-2% ahead of the other guys. [in the bigger picture, XR sees Dawson as coming out 17 runs ahead on the SBs.]

What consequence does this have for his total XR and his rate of run creation?
NAME      XR    OUTS  RC/27
--------------------------
Dawson    1742  7842   5.33
Williams  1175  6891   6.18
Winfield  2124  8400   6.07
Kaline    1873  7655   5.87
Evans     1696  6824   5.97
Clemente  1696  6804   5.98 


So Dawson creates 10-12% fewer runs per game as a result of his lack of on-base ability.

So yes, it seems like Dawson's inability to draw walks is of primary significance since it causes him to lose on-base events and to create more outs. The question now is can his glove, or perhaps more accurately the intrinsic value of 998 games of CF, make up some of the ground on these guys? And that's been the question all through this thread.
   43. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: July 18, 2007 at 05:04 PM (#2445047)
Other than not walking enough, what exactly are Dawson's negatives? What are his positives? Do all of these outweigh his "did not walk enough?

One of Dawson's other negatives is that he wasn't especially durable within each season. He averaged 146 strike-adjusted games per year for his 16 seasons in Montreal and Chicago. Interestingly, however, he bested his games-played average in every one of his top 7 seasons by OPS+ (1980-83, 87, 88, 90). In those years, he averaged 153 games while stealing bases with a 79% success rate. As a result, it is fair to say that OPS+ underrates his prime compared to many of the other candidates. Dawson had a .300+ EQA in 6 of those 7 seasons, including all 4 of his years as a gold-glove CF. With the exception of his unusual "MVP" season (the only year with a sub-.300 EQA), Dawson had a respectable .351 OBP compared to a .331 league average over this period.

As others have pointed out, your opinion on the extent to which his defense should be considered a positive has an enormous impact on your answer to the last question above. I noted in #10 that THT's study on outfielder arms shows Dawson to be the 2nd best throwing CF of the past 50 years on a rate basis and 4th best on a total runs saved basis. The other 4 players in his class -- Van Slyke, Edmonds, Griffey, and Andruw Jones -- all came after Dawson's CF career was over. None of Dawson's contemporaries is anywhere near him in this regard. The study only measured baserunner advancement (on hits and outs), meaning that it is overwhelmingly likely to understate the overall run impact at the extremes. If an outfielder is especially adept or poor at preventing baserunner advancement, he will logically have similar results with respect to hitters taking the extra base. Thus, the quantifiable 5.1 runs saved per 162 games should be considered the minimum impact of Dawson's arm in center, with the actual amount some fraction higher.

FRAA shows Dawson to be roughly average as a CF. I am unfamiliar with Defensive Regression Analysis, but apparently it leads to a similar conclusion. Considering his arm, in order for Dawson to be average, wouldn't he need to be -5 runs or worse per year in terms of turning fly balls into outs? He was typically at or near the top of the league in putouts/range throughout his time in center. I know that this isn't the best statistic, but it seems conceptually difficult to imagine that someone leading this category could be substantially below average at the skill upon which it is based. Am I misinterpreting something? Are the PBP defensive stats ever likely to be available for the 70s and 80s?
   44. AROM Posted: July 18, 2007 at 05:33 PM (#2445074)
Are the PBP defensive stats ever likely to be available for the 70s and 80s?

Did anyone score games in a way that would allow PBP defensive stats? The concept of zones wasn't even invented yet. I wonder if maybe Elias has some data that would help, but good luck ever convincing them to release it.
   45. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 18, 2007 at 07:40 PM (#2445219)
rawagman/dan/anyone else, get in touch w/Gleeman (let me know) about our Hardball Dynasty league that he runs, our WS is ending today or tomorrow, and we'll need a few owners. It's a good league, very few deadbeat owners, heading into our 4th season. Drop me an email if interested and I'll forward you to Aaron . . .
   46. Sean Gilman Posted: July 18, 2007 at 08:20 PM (#2445252)
What's your WIFS username, Joe? Mine's 'sdedalus'. I was just looking to get another Hardball Dynasty franchise.
   47. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 18, 2007 at 08:22 PM (#2445254)
BTW, I'm going to weigh in on Dawson saw. He's basically the inspiration for this project, so I'm going to have a lot to say about my all-time favorite player.
   48. rawagman Posted: July 18, 2007 at 08:56 PM (#2445295)
sean - my user name is rawagman (who'd a think it?) - we may have an early dropout in Happy Jack world - very early in year 5 and - for the most part - a great group of owners.
   49. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 18, 2007 at 08:59 PM (#2445302)
goosegoslin is mine.
   50. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 18, 2007 at 09:00 PM (#2445304)
"BTW, I'm going to weigh in on Dawson saw" - that should be 'soon'. Very strange typo!
   51. Sean Gilman Posted: July 18, 2007 at 09:20 PM (#2445325)
I know I've been in leagues with goosegoslin, but that was years ago. Small world.
   52. Sean Gilman Posted: July 18, 2007 at 09:33 PM (#2445331)
We're early in season 5 of Buckner. So early that I'm not yet panicking about my team's horrendous play.
   53. rawagman Posted: July 18, 2007 at 10:46 PM (#2445392)
maybe when our other current leagues wind down, we can form a HOM world.
   54. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 19, 2007 at 01:32 AM (#2445678)
yeah Sean, I definitely recognize the name sdedalus, wow! Can't remember where from though.

I've got a D-III (Elizabethtown, my alma mater) in Iba, a D-II (Mercyhurst, where I'm defending National Champ!) in Rupp and a D-I in Smith (where I'm Hawaii, via Marietta; Minnesota, Crookston and Oral Roberts).
   55. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 19, 2007 at 01:36 AM (#2445693)
Found the connection - season 16 in Smith, my first at Hawaii (Pac-10 in WIS for you non-players) was your last in Washington before you took the Gonzaga gig . . .

Anticipating the question all leagues are 12 teams, that's why Hawaii and Fresno St. are in the Pac-10.
   56. Sean Gilman Posted: July 19, 2007 at 08:30 AM (#2446149)
Right on. I was sure we'd been in the same baseball leagues before as well, but it looks like you've never played in any. I've probably been challenging you to HD exhibitions for 2 years, just on the basis of your baseball-related username.
   57. baudib Posted: July 19, 2007 at 09:46 AM (#2446158)
By the way, the best sim baseball game is Imagine Sports. It's the company that owns Diamond Mind:

www.simnasium.com
   58. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 19, 2007 at 12:35 PM (#2446185)
I definitely recognize the name sdedalus, wow! Can't remember where from though.

Maybe from the James Joyce league?
   59. AJMcCringleberry Posted: July 20, 2007 at 12:21 AM (#2447018)
I used to play the baseball game, but I have moved on to exclusively playing the hardball dynasty game. Much more involved, I find.

Same here. I haven't done a Sim League in a year after having 90 teams in 4 years.

Though I realize that I have a Sim League team that was credited to me a year ago that I haven't used, so if anyone does a HoM or BTF league I might join. My user name is bgfoot1000.
   60. Paul Wendt Posted: July 22, 2007 at 09:31 PM (#2450761)
THT's study on outfielder arms shows Dawson to be the 2nd best throwing CF of the past 50 years on a rate basis and 4th best on a total runs saved basis. The other 4 players in his class -- Van Slyke, Edmonds, Griffey, and Andruw Jones -- all came after Dawson's CF career was over. None of Dawson's contemporaries is anywhere near him in this regard. The study only measured baserunner advancement (on hits and outs), meaning that it is overwhelmingly likely to understate the overall run impact at the extremes. If an outfielder is especially adept or poor at preventing baserunner advancement, he will logically have similar results with respect to hitters taking the extra base.

Analysis of advancement on outs depends on complete play-by-play only. PBP data is also sufficient for advancement on errors. For Dawson in center, putout 8 and error 8 include the relevant albeit crude zone data. For advancement on hits, zone data is independent of the play-by-play. The same is true for the batter-baserunner "taking the extra base."

From these observations I infer that variations in missing data may be extremely influential for this work. What if baserunner advancement on hits and outs is complete for 1995 but 5% missing for 1980 and 10% missing for 1965? What if 95% of one-base hits are attributed to left/center/right/infield (crude zone data) for 1995, but only 90% for 1980 and 85% for 1965? What if all this is complete for Montreal home games in 1980 but 10% missing for Pittsburgh 1980, 20% missing for Pittsburgh 1965, 30% missing for Cincinnati 1980, and 40% missing for Cincinnati 1965?

These missing data rates are for illustration of the general point. I don't know whether there are significant differences in completeness of the data across cities so late as 1980 and I don't know whether a missing rate such as 10% for base-hit location is good or bad in 1980 or in 1965.
   61. Paul Wendt Posted: July 24, 2007 at 04:18 AM (#2452657)
baudib #30
Not only were those speed merchants/defensive specialists in center, they were in left, too. The 1970s/early 80s was the second era in baseball history when many teams emphasized defense in the outfield, even in left (the other being the deadball era). Think about the guys like Rickey Henderson, Willie Wilson, Jose Cruz, Gene Richards, Vince Coleman, Miguel Dilone. Yeah, the Phillies had Luzinski, but they won those division titles with Bake McBride in right and replaced the Bull with the greatest fielding sensation of all time: Lonnie Smith!

It may be useful and possible to distinguish speed and defense, which are positively correlated but not identical.

How commonly does the leadoff batter play centerfield? (or play center or left? or play in the outfield?)

Speed is not the only correlate of batting first but others such as on-base rate may be little or unrelated to defense. That leftfielders frequently bat first, for example, is strong evidence that they are speedy, independent of whether they are good fielders (as in "emphasis on outfield defense").
   62. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 25, 2007 at 03:51 AM (#2454336)
I don't have a ton of time right now, but one important thing I noticed when breaking down Dawson is that he gets a whole lot of 'negative credit' for 1993-1996, when he wasn't a replacement level player.

For the pitchers, I systematically drop all below replacement level seasons, and it can have a bigger impact than you'd think. I don't think any player should EVER get negative value (short of throwing games) if the organization is willing to play him.

For Dawson this is significant. He looks much better under the lens of 1977-1992 than 1976-1996. For one, his OPS+ would be 124 instead of 119.

I realize all players have a decline phase, so did Dawson. What most players do not have is an extended period of 1100 plate appearances where teams continue to play them after they should be retired. Dawson made $10.3 million dollars those 4 years, you can't blame him for continuing to play. And he certainly didn't cost any otherwise great teams a shot a playoff berth or anything during those seasons either.

This would qualify under the Keltner question - is this player significantly better or worse than his statistics would lead you to believe . . .
   63. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 25, 2007 at 03:56 AM (#2454343)
Another thing that would qualify under that question, and has already been touched upon is his best season, by far was 1981, and that was cut short due to the strike. The Expos still made the playoffs that year, hell it was the greatest month in the history of the franchise, and Dawson doesn't get enough credit in the raw stats for that. A 157 OPS+ from a Gold Glove CF with a cannon arm (in an era and park where CF defense was as valuable as it ever was) and 26/30 on stolen bases is an MVP year - unless the greatest 3B of all time happens to have his best season the same year.

So sure he didn't deserve the 1987 MVP Award, but I have no problem counting him as an MVP with that 1981.
   64. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 25, 2007 at 04:03 AM (#2454347)
Right now he scores at 72.2 in my system. It doesn't matter much how I get it right now (not ready for publication :-), and I only use it as a guide as it is too peaky and doesn't value in season durability enough, and it isn't quite calibrated right for position. But it is a nice guide to start working from, see who a player compares too, etc. It incorporates OWP, FRAA, positions played.

Compared to other CF, Jimmy Wynn 73.3, Earl Averill 71.9, Fred Lynn 73.6, Larry Doby 74.2, Duke Snider 74.3, Reggie Smith 77.9, Richie Ashburn 78.5, Kirby Puckett 69.7, Dom DiMaggio 69.1 (w/war credit), Cesar Cedeno 66.2, Max Carey 65.6 (w/out credit for short seasons).

If you consider him a RF instead, Rusty Staub 74.3, Tommy Henrich 74.3 (w/war credit), Ken Singleton 74.8, Jack Clark 73.5, Bobby Bonds 69.7 - the RF are much more clear cut, there aren't nearly as many tweeners as with the CF.
   65. OCF Posted: July 25, 2007 at 04:25 AM (#2454369)
I tried that - cutting his career off after 1992. In my system, that doesn't make very much difference, and he's still tangled up with the likes of Lynn, Murcer, and Cedeno, and still not in my top 30.
   66. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 25, 2007 at 11:48 AM (#2454508)
So sure he didn't deserve the 1987 MVP Award, but I have no problem counting him as an MVP with that 1981.


Over Schmidt? I can't buy that, Joe.
   67. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 25, 2007 at 02:01 PM (#2454586)
John, in my comment above (#63) I said Schmidt deserved it. I said in a normal year (one where the greatest 3B of all time wasn't having his greatest season), he would have been the MVP.
   68. DL from MN Posted: July 25, 2007 at 02:04 PM (#2454589)
I already deleted the negative years but haven't added 1981 credit yet because I haven't been adding it systematically. I get him between Kiki Cuyler and Jose Cruz in the 50s.
   69. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 25, 2007 at 03:36 PM (#2454690)
John, in my comment above (#63) I said Schmidt deserved it. I said in a normal year (one where the greatest 3B of all time wasn't having his greatest season), he would have been the MVP.


I missed that part while speed reading, Joe. Sorry about that.
   70. Spahn Insane Posted: July 25, 2007 at 04:02 PM (#2454717)
(Not to mention the Holy Trinity of Ripken, Yount, and Trammell, which was probably the greatest concentration of talent relative to positional competition in one league in MLB history--it's no surprise their teams each won an AL pennant during their reign of 1982-84).

I'm not even sure it's the greatest concentration of talent at the *shortstop* position in my memory, let alone baseball history. I think ARod/Jeter/Nomar is that trio's equal, if not its superior.
   71. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 25, 2007 at 04:16 PM (#2454745)
I think Ripken/Yount/Trammell is definitely better than ARod/Jeter/Nomar. ARod/Jeter/Nomar were better *hitting* shortstops, but Ripken/Yount/Trammell make that up with their fielding. Plus the baseline for SS in the early 80s (Alfredo Griffin) was far lower than it was in the late 90s.
   72. Spahn Insane Posted: July 25, 2007 at 04:30 PM (#2454768)
How good a defensive shortstop was Yount? He was moved to center in '85.
   73. Spahn Insane Posted: July 25, 2007 at 04:32 PM (#2454773)
Huh--Yount's RFg at short in '84 was 5.01, compared to a league average of 3.93. Why the hell'd they move him?
   74. DavidFoss Posted: July 25, 2007 at 04:35 PM (#2454778)
Baseballlibrary.com:

Shoulder surgery after the 1984 season threatened to end Yount's career before his 30th birthday, but he held on, moving to center field to put a little less pressure on his throwing arm.
   75. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 25, 2007 at 04:35 PM (#2454780)
Don't forget retro-shiite - the standard for SS defense was a helluva lot higher in the mid-80s than it is now. Several of the current star-hitting shortstops, IMO would not be able to field the ball adequately in a league that was predominantly turf. A bunch of these guys would have wound up as 3B/2B/CF in that era, depending on their specific skill sets.
   76. Spahn Insane Posted: July 25, 2007 at 04:41 PM (#2454789)
All right--I'll agree that the 80s trio has a good argument. The fielding metrics show ARod as an above average (though not superior) defender, and he's the best of the ARod/Jeter/Nomar trio (the other two were/are average at best). I knew Ripken was an excellent defender, but didn't recall that Yount and Trammell were also very good; looks like all three of the 80s group were better on defense than the best of the 90s group.

Whether that offsets the difference in offense, I have no idea. Trammell's bat sort of ran hot and cold (a few average/slightly below average seasons mixed in with the excellent ones), and ARod's got enough of an edge on Ripken offensively that I'd rank him ahead of Ripken despite Cal's better defense, but it's certainly an interesting argument, in any event. (I wouldn't say either is "definitely" better, but I'm open to persuasion.)
   77. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 25, 2007 at 05:33 PM (#2454867)
Remember that today, the existence of one Neifi Pérez draws catcalls from the saber community, whereas in the early 80s half the major leagues were starting players of that caliber at SS--or worse. The consequences a team suffered by NOT having one of Ripken/Yount/Trammell (like Alfredo Griffin) were far more dire than the consequences a team suffered by NOT having one of ARod/Nomar/Jeter (Desi Relaford, roughly).
   78. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 25, 2007 at 05:37 PM (#2454871)
(Not to mention the Holy Trinity of Ripken, Yount, and Trammell, which was probably the greatest concentration of talent relative to positional competition in one league in MLB history--it's no surprise their teams each won an AL pennant during their reign of 1982-84).

Gehrig
Foxx
Greenberg
In an 8 team league
And Hal Trosky had a heckuva prime, too.
   79. Spahn Insane Posted: July 25, 2007 at 05:38 PM (#2454874)
whereas in the early 80s half the major leagues were starting players of that caliber at SS--or worse.

Ah, the days of a 38-year-old Larry Bowa starting at short for the Cubs (not that Cub shortstops have gotten much better since then).
   80. AROM Posted: July 25, 2007 at 05:41 PM (#2454880)
Shoulder surgery after the 1984 season threatened to end Yount's career before his 30th birthday, but he held on, moving to center field to put a little less pressure on his throwing arm.

After the injury, Yount spent 1 year in left before regaining enough arm strength to handle center.
   81. Spahn Insane Posted: July 25, 2007 at 05:43 PM (#2454887)
Shoulder surgery after the 1984 season threatened to end Yount's career before his 30th birthday, but he held on, moving to center field to put a little less pressure on his throwing arm.

Hm. A move to center seems like a hell of a strange way to save a shoulder that's in bad enough shape to jeopardize a guy's career (granted, CF requires fewer throws than SS, but it still puts a premium on a strong arm [I know--don't tell that to Juan Pierre]), but I reckon it worked out OK for Yount.
   82. Spahn Insane Posted: July 25, 2007 at 05:44 PM (#2454890)
And #80 preempts me as I'm typing #81. That makes more sense.
   83. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 25, 2007 at 06:36 PM (#2454970)
Ya know, I'll still take the 80s shortstops. Here's how I've got them, measured by standard deviation-adjusted WARP2, year by year:

1. 1983 AL SS. Ripken 10.1, Yount 9.8, Trammell 7.3, total 27.2
2. 2000 AL SS. ARod 12.3, Nomar 7.3, Jeter 6.0, total 25.6
3. 1984 AL SS. Ripken 10.6, Trammell 7.8, Yount 7.1, total 25.5.
4. 1935 AL 1B. Foxx 8.7, Gehrig 8.4, Greenberg 7.9, total 25.0.
5. 1934 AL 1B. Gehrig 10.5, Foxx 8.2, Greenberg 6.2, total 24.9.
6. 1999 AL SS. Jeter 9.5, Nomar 8.3, ARod 6.4, total 24.2.
7. 2002 AL SS. ARod 11.2, Nomar 6.9, Jeter 4.2, total 22.3.
8. 1998 AL SS. ARod 8.5, Jeter 6.8, Nomar 6.7, total 22.0.
9. 1982 AL SS. Yount 10.3, Ripken 5.7, Trammell 4.8, total 20.8.
10. 1937 AL 1B. Greenberg 8.0, Gehrig 7.5, Foxx 4.5, total 20.0.

Top 3: 1982-84 AL SS, 73.5.
Top 2: 1983-84 AL SS, 52.7.
   84. Esteban Rivera Posted: July 25, 2007 at 06:42 PM (#2454973)
Are those standard deviation-adjusted WARP2 scores for the 1B adjusted for schedule length?
   85. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 25, 2007 at 06:44 PM (#2454975)
A note about Yount's 1983: According to James Click, it was the fourth-best non-SB baserunning season from 1972 to 2005 (after Carew in his monster '77, Terry Pendleton in 1985, and the anonymous Eddie Milner in 1985). Add that to a 151 OPS+ in the toughest-to-dominate league ever and the scarcest time for shortstops ever, and you get a cool 9.8 WARP2.
   86. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 25, 2007 at 07:45 PM (#2455015)
Yes, all my numbers are always straight-line adjusted for schedule length.
   87. TomH Posted: July 25, 2007 at 07:53 PM (#2455025)
by that chart, the 98-02 shortstops sure look like a great top 5!
   88. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 25, 2007 at 07:59 PM (#2455030)
Nomar's injury in '01 puts a dent in it. If you want to sub in Tejada, he had a 4.7 in 2001. Jeter was 5.1 and ARod was 10.7.
   89. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 25, 2007 at 09:21 PM (#2455095)
I decided to get definitive answers. I first thought I'd just look at the top WARP2 totals by 3 players in the same league at the same position, but I was just getting a bunch of Bonds and Ruth seasons mixed in with whoever else was on those leaderboards, so I'm switching to a version of the Bill James power/speed index approach: (3*Guy1*Guy2*Guy3)/(Guy1+Guy2+Guy3). This should give me seasons where all three players did well. Note that this still doesn't adjust for league size, so it will of course be biased towards candidates of recent vintage. Nonetheless, here goes:

1. 2001 NL LF. Barry Bonds 14.3, Luis González 9.2, Lance Berkman 6.5. Index 85.5, total 30.0.
2. 1896 NL LF. Joe Kelley 9.4, Ed Delahanty 9.1, Jesse Burkett 8.8. Index 82.7, total 27.3.
3. 1983 AL SS. Cal Ripken Jr. 10.1, Robin Yount 9.8, Alan Trammell 7.3. Index 79.7, total 27.2.
4. 1896 NL SS. Hughie Jennings 12.5, Bill Dahlen 10.0, Gene DeMontreville 5.6. Index 74.7, total 28.1.
5. 1935 AL 1B. Jimmie Foxx 8.7, Lou Gehrig 8.4, Hank Greenberg 7.9. Index 69.3, total 25.0.
6. 1984 AL SS. Cal Ripken Jr. 10.6, Alan Trammell 7.8, Robin Yount 7.1. Index 69.0, total 25.5.
7. 2002 NL LF. Barry Bonds 13.0, Chipper Jones 7.1, Brian Giles 6.5. Index 67.7, total 26.6.
8. 1912 AL CF. Tris Speaker 11.9, Ty Cobb 9.3, Clyde Milan 5.3. Index 66.4, total 26.5.
9. 2003 NL LF. Albert Pujols 10.3, Barry Bonds 9.8, Chipper Jones 5.6. Index 66.0, total 25.7.
10. 1895 NL LF. Ed Delahanty 8.6, Jesse Burkett 8.2, Joe Kelley 7.5. Index 65.3, total 24.3.
11. 1905 NL CF. Cy Seymour 9.0, Mike Donlin 7.9, Roy Thomas 7.4. Index 65.0, total 24.3.
12. 1934 AL 1B. Lou Gehrig 10.5, Jimmie Foxx 8.2, Hank Greenberg 6.2. Index 64.3, total 24.9.
13. 1901 NL LF. Jesse Burkett 8.2, Jimmy Sheckard 8.1, Ed Delahanty 7.7. Index 64.0, total 24.0.
14. 2002 AL SS. Alex Rodríguez 11.2, Nomar Garciaparra 6.9, League MVP Miguel Tejada 6.8. Index 63.3, total 24.9.
15. 1917 AL CF. Ty Cobb 12.3, Tris Speaker 8.8, Happy Felsch 5.1. Index 63.2, total 26.2.
16. 2000 AL SS. Alex Rodríguez 12.3, Nomar Garciaparra 7.3, Derek Jeter 6.0. Index 63.1, total 25.6.
17. 1951 NL LF. Stan Musial 9.7, Ralph Kiner 7.9, Monte Irvin 6.6. Index 62.7, total 24.2.
18. 1999 AL SS. Derek Jeter 9.5, Nomar Garciaparra 8.3, Alex Rodríguez 6.4. Index 62.6, total 24.2.
19. 1981 AL SS. Rick Burleson 8.5, Robin Yount 8.2, Alan Trammell 6.8. Index 65.4, total 23.5.
20. 1932 NL RF. Chuck Klein 8.3, Mel Ott 8.0, Babe Herman 6.9. Index 59.2, total 23.2.
21. 1955 NL CF. Willie Mays 9.7, Duke Snider 8.2, Richie Ashburn 5.9. Index 59.2, total 23.8.
22. 1908 NL SS. Honus Wagner 13.7, Joe Tinker 7.5, Al Bridwell 4.9. Index 57.9, total 26.1.
23. 1894 NL CF. Billy Hamilton 9.5, Hugh Duffy 8.7, Mike Griffin 5.5. Index 57.5, total 23.7.
24. 1954 NL CF. Willie Mays 10.2, Duke Snider 7.2, Richie Ashburn 6.1. Index 57.2, total 23.5.
25. 1924 NL 2B. Rogers Hornsby 13.0, Frankie Frisch 7.4, Andy High 5.0. Index 56.8, total 25.4.
   90. DL from MN Posted: July 25, 2007 at 09:32 PM (#2455103)
Wow on Burkett/Delahanty/Kelley, learned something new today.

What was the best couple years for C and 3B?
   91. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 25, 2007 at 09:58 PM (#2455129)
I'd note that I think my 1890s OF rep level is a little low; you might want to knock off 0.4 wins or so from those totals. Nonetheless, they're still in the top batch.

Tops for 3B is the 2001 NL, when Pujols, Chipper, and Rolen were all in the 7's, followed by the 2004 NL(Beltre 9.7, Rolen 8.6, Lowell 4.9) and the 1898 NL (McGraw 8.4, Jimmy Collins 8, Bobby Wallace 5.8).

The best year for C is the 1993 NL, where Darren Daulton, Mike Piazza, and Rick Wilkins were all between 5.6 and 6.1. Then it's the 1997 NL (Piazza 9.0, Todd Hundley 5.1, Jason Kendall 4.3), the 2000 AL (Jorge Posada 6.3, Charles Johnson 5.0, Pudge Rodríguez 4.8), and the 1977 NL (Gene Tenace 5.4, Gary Carter 5.3, Ted Simmons 4.9, as well as Johnny Bench at 4.3 and Joe Ferguson at 4.1 for good measure).
   92. OCF Posted: July 25, 2007 at 10:53 PM (#2455204)
The power-speed number is the harmonic mean of two numbers. What can you do with three numbers? The mean Dan R uses isn't one with a name that I recognize, meaning that it isn't the harmonic mean of three numbers. (Incidentally, I'd take the square root of that to preserve being homogenous of degree one and a mean of some sort). I tried sorting the list according to two other means: the harmonic mean and the geometric mean. To summarize:

Dan R's mean (homogenous version): M = sqrt(3*A*B*C/(A+B+C))

Harmonic mean of three numbers: M = 3*A*B*C/(A*B+A*C+B*C)

Geometric mean of three numbers: M = (A*B*C)^(1/3) (That is, the cube root of the product of the three numbers).

I didn't go back into the whole database - Dan R can do that if he likes. But I did sort the list of 25 seasons given in post 89 above.

Sorted by Dan R's mean, the list in is #89 (taking the square root doesn't change the order). The numercial values, with that square root, range from 9.25 for the 2001 NL LF and 9.10 for the 1896 NL LF to 7.54 for the 1924 NL 2B.

Sorted by harmonic mean:

1. 1896 NL LF 9.09
2. 2000 NL LF 9.02
3. 1983 AL SS 8.87
4. 1896 NL SS 8.37
5. 1935 AL 1B 8.32
6. 1984 AL SS 8.26
7. 1895 NL LF 8.07
8. 2002 NL LF 8.07
9. 1905 NL CF 8.05
10. 1901 NL LF 7.99
11. 2003 NL LF 7.94
12. 1934 AL 1B 7.93
13. 1912 AL CF 7.89
14. 1951 NL LF 7.87
15. 2002 AL SS 7.87
16. 1999 AL SS 7.85
17. 2000 AL SS 7.79
18. 1981 AL SS 7.79
19. 1932 NL RF 7.70
20. 1917 AL CF 7.67
21. 1955 NL CF 7.60
22. 1954 NL CF 7.48
23. 1894 NL CF 7.46
24. 1908 NL SS 7.31
25. 1924 NL 2B 7.54

- to be continued.
   93. OCF Posted: July 25, 2007 at 11:04 PM (#2455223)
Now, sorted by geometric mean.

1. 2000 NL LF 9.49
2. 1896 NL LF 9.10
3. 1983 AL SS 8.97
4. 1896 NL SS 8.88
5. 2002 NL LF 8.43
6. 1984 AL SS 8.37
7. 1912 AL CF 8.37
8. 1935 AL 1B 8.33
9. 2003 NL LF 8.27
10. 1917 AL CF 8.20
11. 2000 AL SS 8.14
12. 1934 AL 1B 8.11
13. 1895 NL LF 8.09
14. 1905 NL CF 8.07
15. 2002 AL SS 8.07
16. 1901 NL LF 8.00
17. 1951 NL LF 7.97
18. 1999 AL SS 7.96
19. 1908 NL SS 7.96
20. 1924 NL 2B 7.84
21. 1981 AL SS 7.80
22. 1955 NL CF 7.77
23. 1932 NL RF 7.71
24. 1894 NL CF 7.69
25. 1953 NL CF 7.65

I'll leave to Dan R's opinion which of these orderings "looks right" to him. We could devise many more possible means, placing more or less weight on the largest number or more or less weight on the smallest number - it's all a matter of what you want.
   94. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 26, 2007 at 01:40 AM (#2455649)
All I did was follow James' methodology except for three numbers rather than two. It seemed to give reasonable results, although with a number clearly far removed from the actual WARP totals. The numbers and rankings you're providing both look better (particularly the harmonic). Anyways, I was just looking to see which years had the greatest concentration of talent in one league at one position, and this list looks pretty good. Thanks for doing that.
   95. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: August 25, 2007 at 07:03 PM (#2499431)
A year-by-year look at Dawson among his contemporaries.

I have to say, while, as sunnyday pointed out on the mainsite thread, this isn't very useful for just one player, I don't feel this helps Dawson all that much. Particularly, it raises the Dale Murphy comparison - are we voting Dawson higher because his career didn't crater like Murphy's? And is that the right thing to do? On the one hand, we might be rewarding Dawson for essentially replacement-level play, but on the other hand it looks like Murphy couldn't even give us that.
   96. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: August 25, 2007 at 08:07 PM (#2499481)
For a bit of context, here's a quick look at the Stewart List numbers for some other Hall of Fame candidate outfielders of recent vintage:

[b]Andre Dawson[/b]
(as a CF)
1977   7
1978   10
1979   9
1980   2
1981   1
1982   2
1983   2
(Switch to RF here)
1984   34
1985   19
1986   13
1987   5
1988   6
1989   14
1990   2
1991   17
1992   9


[b]Dwight Evans
:[/b]

1973 28 
1974 15 
1975 14 
1976 17 
1977 
(lost to injury
1978 17 
1979 15 
1980 9 
1981 1 
1982 1 
1983 14 
1984 1 
1985 8 
1986 6 
1987 2 
(as a 1B)
1988 4 
1989 2 
1990 10 
(as a DH)


[b]Bernie Williams:[/b]

1993 19 
1994 5 
1995 1 
1996 3 
1997 3 
1998 2 
1999 1 
2000 5 
2001 2 
2002 3 
2003 15 
2004 13 
2005 37 
2006 22 
(as a DH)

(
This is pretty impressiveThere are several years in which Bernie isn't #1, but is way closer to #1 than the guy behind him.)


[b]Albert Belle:[/b]

1991 4 
1992 3 (as a DH)
1993 4 
1994 1 
1995 1 
1996 2 
1997 6 
1998 2 
1999 7 (as a RF)
2000 22 (as a RF)

(The back-to-back #1s are extremely impressive when you consider his career overlaps that of Barry Bonds.)


[b]Tony Gwynn:[/b]

1984 4
1985 12
1986 2
1987 1
1988 7
1989 4
1990 5
1991 14
1992 6
1993 1
1994 1
1995 3
1996 9
1997 2
1998 14
1999 14 
   97. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: August 25, 2007 at 08:08 PM (#2499485)
Heh... that's messed up. Sorry about the ugliness. If an admin wants to strip the unnecessary tags to make that look better, feel free.
   98. Esteban Rivera Posted: August 25, 2007 at 08:44 PM (#2499545)
1984 34


I don't get this. How many teams were there? This is why I don't like VORP. Some guy with the equivalent of two months playing time (stretched out through the season and who may only be put in situations that are advantageous to them) is seen as greatly more valuable to a team than someone who plays the entire season (and who is penalized for the cold periods of the season while the other guy is getting splinters from riding the pine). Theriot last year for the Cubs is an example of the first type of player (although he was bounced up and down from the minors and also rode the bench for a while, the example holds in his case since he was the second most valuable in VORP with a fraction of playing time).
   99. DCW3 Posted: August 25, 2007 at 09:26 PM (#2499610)
This is why I don't like VORP. Some guy with the equivalent of two months playing time (stretched out through the season and who may only be put in situations that are advantageous to them) is seen as greatly more valuable to a team than someone who plays the entire season (and who is penalized for the cold periods of the season while the other guy is getting splinters from riding the pine).

Isn't this the exact *opposite* of what VORP does?
   100. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: August 25, 2007 at 09:34 PM (#2499622)
Well, the problem is, sometimes a guy who is very good in short playing time does provide more value to his team than a guy who is around replacement level over the entire season. That's the entire concept of replacement level: It's the level of performance any team can easily obtain simply by grabbing somebody from AAA. If you're not far above that level--as Dawson wasn't in 1984--you just aren't helping your team at all.

Who has provided more value for his team this year: Matt Kemp or Delmon Young? Matt Kemp has, and it's not close, because Kemp has been awesome in his limited playing time (.335/.371/.527 in 197 PA), while Delmon Young has been not much better than J. Random AAA Right Fielder in his full season (.287/.317/.402 in 533 PA). Kemp has added more to the Dodgers' W column than Young has added to the D-Rays', when you compare them to freely available talent.
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