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Monday, January 27, 2014

Brian Giles

Eligible in 2015

DL from MN Posted: January 27, 2014 at 12:42 PM | 56 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: January 27, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4646774)
http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/hall_of_merit/discussion/2012_ballot_discussion/
Posts 10 and 16


Comparing against Chone Smith WAR:


The first big discrepancy regards Giles's offensive value in San Diego. After converting wins to runs and adjusting for the DH where necessary, I have Giles at 242 batting runs above average through 2002, while Sean has him at 230--close enough. From 2003-08, however, I have him at 171 runs above average, while Sean only gives him 141. The fact that a big gap starts opening up right in 2003 suggests that maybe we are using different park factors? I use the multi-year ones from baseball-reference. Another would be if the Padres consistently scored fewer runs than their offensive stats would suggest over that time, since Sean works backwards from team runs whereas I use the same run values for each event across all teams in the same league-season. Here's a breakdown of his 2005, to use one example, in case anyone can catch a flaw in my work:

103 singles * 0.5 + 38 doubles * .72 + 8 triples * 1.04 + 15 home runs * 1.44 + 112 unintentional walks plus hit by pitches * .33 + 9 intentional walks * .25 + 8 sacrifice flies * .37 + + 317 fielded outs * -.106 + 64 strikeouts * -.115 + -3.3 net double plays * -.37 = 111.2 eXtrapolated Runs. Divide by a .92 park factor to get 120.9 XR. He made 317 + 64 + 8 - 3.3 = 385.7 outs. The average NL team that year made 4,143 batting outs, so on an average team, his teammates would have had 3,757.3 batting outs. The league scored .174 runs per batting out, so his teammates would produce 653.8 runs, plus his 120.9 makes 774.7. The average NL team scored 721 runs that year. 774.7 RS and 721 RA gives a Pythagenpat exponent of 1.88 and a winning percentage of .5337. .0337 * 162 games gives 5.5 wins above average, as can be seen in the BWAA1 column above.

The second big discrepancy has to do with fielding. I have him as an average fielder for his career; Sean has him with a poor -48 through 2008. Once again, our numbers line up through the Pittsburgh years, and diverge sharply in San Diego. I show Giles as a +8 fielder from 2004-08; Sean has him at -44. Here the play-by-play stats clearly back me up: Dewan's Plus/Minus puts him at +15 and UZR shows -7. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Fangraphs WAR has Giles at 57.8 for his career, a very close match for my score.


16. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 08, 2011 at 12:58 AM (#3745577)
I neglected to address the minor league credit issue for Giles. I would argue that 1995 was his "make-good" year in the minors (a Szymborski MLE of .369 OBP and .452 SLG), and therefore that he starts deserving minor league credit in 1996. His 1996 Symborski MLE of .378/.533, with corresponding playing time at corner outfield using his 1997-98 fielding rate regressed, say, 1/3 to the mean, comes out as:

SFrac BWAA1 BRWAA1 FWAA1 Rep1 WARP1 LgAdj BWAA2 BRWAA2 FWAA2 Rep2 WARP2
0.52 1.3 0.0 0.5 -0.9 2.7 0.941 1.2 0.0 0.5 -0.9 2.5


I also need to credit him for going 5-for-9 with a homer in 1995, which comes out as follows:

SFrac BWAA1 BRWAA1 FWAA1 Rep1 WARP1 LgAdj BWAA2 BRWAA2 FWAA2 Rep2 WARP2
0.01 0.3 0.0 0.0 -0.0 0.3 0.961 0.3 0.0 0.0 -0.0 0.3


However, this takes no account of the time Giles spent rotting on the Indians' bench. He clearly was good enough to start full-time from 1996-98, but was only used as a platoon player over that time. So here's how I'd fill in the "missing" PA:

1. Take his 1999-2008 SFrac per year as a measure of his "true" durability. That gives 0.95 a season.

2. Credit him with 0.95 SFrac for each 1.00 SFrac he did not play while on major league rosters from 1996-98. This gives a "missing" SFrac of .24 in 1996, .34 in 1997, and .17 in 1998, which translates to 170 "missing" PA in 1996, 236 in 1997 and 118 in 1998.

3. Compare his % of PA vs. RHP from 1996-98 to the rest of his career. In 1996 he had 118 PA vs. RHP and 25 vs. LHP; in 1997 he had 371 vs. RHP and 80 vs. LHP; and in 1998 he had 370 vs. RHP and 60 vs. LHP. For the rest of his career he had 4756 vs. RHP and 2055 vs. LHP, which is 69.8% RHP. So to get him to the same 69.8% ratio for 1996-98, we have to add 100 PA vs. RHP and 70 vs. LHP in 1996; 107 PA vs. RHP and 126 vs. LHP in 1997; and 12 vs. RHP and 106 vs. LHP in 1998.

4. Determine his true platoon split. Using Tangotiger's method, I get Giles' regressed career OBP vs. LHP at 89.33% of his OBP vs. RHP, and his regressed career eXtrapolated Runs/out vs. LHP at 71.65% of his XR/out vs. RHP. (The unregressed ratios are 87.7% and 65.77%).

5. Take his rate of offensive production for the time he did play in 1995-98, which was an OBP of .390 and .262 XR/out while facing 83.9% RHP, and separate it out into platoon splits. At the above ratios, that comes out to a .398 OBP and .275 XR/out vs. RHP, and a .356 OBP and .197 XR/out vs. LHP.

6. Normalize these splits to the corresponding league-seasons. The AL averages for OBP and XR/out from 1996-98 were .350, .340, .340 and .208, .191, and .194. Weighted for Giles's playing time, the overall averages for that period were .341 and .195. So for 1996 we get .398*.35/.341 = a .409 OBP and .275*.208/.195 = .293 XR/out vs. RHP, and a .356*.35/.341 = .365 OBP and .197*.208/.195 = .210 XR/out vs. LHP. Repeating the process, the figures are a .397 OBP and .269 XR/out vs RHP and a .355 OBP and .193 XR/out vs LHP for 1997, and a .397 OBP and .274 XR/out vs RHP and a .355 OBP and .196 XR/out vs LHP in 1998.

7. Fill in the blanks. In 1996 we're adding 100 PA of .409 OBP and .293 XR/out and 70 PA of .365 OBP and .210 XR/out. In 1997 we're adding 107 PA of .397 OBP and .269 XR/Out, and 126 PA of .355 OBP and .193 XR/out. And in 1998 we're adding 12 PA of .397 OBP and .274 XR/out and 106 PA of .355 OBP and .196 XR/out. In total, that's 104 extra outs and 26.7 extra XR in 1996, 146 and 33.0 in 1997, and 76 and 15.4 in 1998.

8. Put him in corner outfield using his 1997-98 fielding rate regressed 1/3 to the mean. Here's what the credit looks like:

Year SFrac BWAA1 BRWAA1 FWAA1 Rep1 WARP1 LgAdj BWAA2 BRWAA2 FWAA2 Rep2 WARP2
1996 0.24 0.4 0.0 0.2 -0.4 1.1 0.941 0.4 0.0 0.2 -0.4 1.0
1997 0.34 0.5 0.0 0.3 -0.6 1.4 0.976 0.5 0.0 0.3 -0.5 1.3
1998 0.17 0.0 0.0 0.2 -0.3 0.5 0.984 0.0 0.0 0.2 -0.3 0.5


...so add it all up, and what do you get??

Brian Giles

Year SFrac BWAA1 BRWAA1 FWAA1 Rep1 WARP1 LgAdj BWAA2 BRWAA2 FWAA2 Rep2 WARP2 PennAdd Salary
1995 0.01 0.3 0.0 0.0 -0.0 0.3 0.961 0.3 0.0 0.0 -0.0 0.3 0.003 $577,180
1996 0.96 2.8 0.0 0.8 -1.5 5.1 0.941 2.6 0.0 0.8 -1.4 4.8 0.064 $12,999,528
1997 0.98 1.5 0.0 1.0 -1.6 4.1 0.976 1.5 0.0 1.0 -1.6 4.0 0.052 $9,980,000
1998 0.79 1.4 -0.2 1.3 -1.2 3.7 0.984 1.4 -0.2 1.3 -1.2 3.6 0.046 $8,576,624
1999 0.90 4.9 0.2 0.0 -1.4 6.5 0.901 4.5 0.1 0.0 -1.3 5.9 0.081 $17,402,137
2000 0.99 5.9 0.3 0.6 -1.3 8.1 0.918 5.4 0.3 0.5 -1.2 7.4 0.107 $24,609,944
2001 0.99 4.8 0.0 -0.9 -1.2 5.1 0.943 4.6 0.0 -0.9 -1.1 4.8 0.064 $13,132,441
2002 0.94 7.1 -0.1 -1.6 -1.0 6.3 0.938 6.7 -0.1 -1.5 -0.9 5.9 0.082 $17,731,134
2003 0.89 4.5 -0.2 -0.6 -0.9 4.6 0.952 4.3 -0.2 -0.6 -0.9 4.4 0.057 $11,377,237
2004 1.03 4.2 0.4 1.0 -1.0 6.6 0.950 4.0 0.4 0.9 -0.9 6.2 0.087 $19,014,571
2005 0.99 5.5 -0.2 0.8 -1.0 7.0 0.979 5.4 -0.2 0.8 -1.0 6.9 0.098 $22,132,947
2006 1.04 1.6 -0.1 0.4 -1.0 2.9 0.979 1.6 -0.1 0.4 -1.0 2.8 0.035 $6,095,233
2007 0.80 1.2 0.5 -1.1 -0.8 1.3 0.979 1.1 0.4 -1.1 -0.7 1.2 0.014 $2,036,785
2008 0.95 3.9 0.2 -0.3 -0.9 4.7 0.979 3.9 0.1 -0.3 -0.9 4.6 0.061 $12,274,036
TOTL 12.26 49.6 0.8 1.4 -14.8 66.3 0.947 47.3 0.5 1.3 -14.1 62.8 0.851 $177,939,797


Well, that's certainly a Hall of Famer. It's somewhere between Zack Wheat and Al Simmons.

   2. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 27, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4646782)
No.
   3. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 27, 2014 at 03:19 PM (#4646844)
Well, that's certainly a Hall of Famer. It's somewhere between Zack Wheat and Al Simmons.

No.


Well, if you are going to give anyone minor league credit it would seem to be Giles,
11th in the EL in OPS in 93
15th in the IL in 94 (only 2 same age or younger players did better, Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green, Green was up for good in 95, Delgado wasn't- but that was more due to wiping out in his 94 cup of coffee)
He was 7th in the American Assoc in 95
and 2nd in 96

Trouble is to me is that he needs MLE credit AND platoon/bench sitting credit to enter the gray area, he's at about 50-55 WAR, you can get him to 60-65, if he was already 55-60 and credit gets him to 65-70 then I'd be more likely to say yes.

He's guy who falls short, just falls short, even with credit
   4. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 27, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4646851)
Well, if you are going to give anyone minor league credit it would seem to be Giles


Yes. But as stupid as the Indians were to leave Giles rotting in the minors for so long, AAA is not the Negro Leagues and I simply can't bring myself to credit MLE's toward a HOM/HOF case. Brian Giles was a hell of a hitter there for a while. He's not Hall material. I realize my arguments here aren't as detailed with the lists and such, but I have Giles a clear tier below Gary Sheffield, and Sheff barely edges into my Halls depending on how kind I'm feeling that day.
   5. BDC Posted: January 27, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4646855)
I'm just an observer of these discussions, and my point has likely been hashed out here over and over. But (to agree with Sam): one can probably take Giles's career and make several adjustments (à la #1 here) for his "extra" capacity to do things he wasn't given a chance to do in the majors. But unless one were to do this systematically with everybody who ever played, all that does is make a special case for Giles. Practically everyone who ever had a career could have had more of a career, except that the careers they did have are what happened, if that's not too philosophical. The exceptions (frequently invoked) come when segregation or world war affect a large class of players in fairly regular ways across the board.
   6. DL from MN Posted: January 27, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4646863)
If you don't give Giles all the credit he still looks pretty close to Sammy Sosa on my list.
   7. Rob_Wood Posted: January 27, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4646865)
Well, the consensus seems to be a player who is stuck in the minors for several years due to organizational stupidity deserves some "minor league credit". Yes, we have to be careful to be consistent in this application, but I am a supporter of this extra consideration.
   8. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 27, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4646869)
How am I suddenly ignoring my own posts? That makes no sense at all!

And now I'm back. That was truly fantastically odd.
   9. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 27, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4646876)
But unless one were to do this systematically with everybody who ever played,


I think some HOM voters do just that.
   10. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 27, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4646879)
How am I suddenly ignoring my own posts? That makes no sense at all!


Have you ever read some of your own posts? I can easily see you stumbling across an old OTP post of yours, thinking, "what a jackass" and then clicking on "ignore member"
   11. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 27, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4646883)
Have you ever read some of your own posts? I can easily see you stumbling across an old OTP post of yours, thinking, "what a jackass" and then clicking on "ignore member"


Your lack of a sense of humor isn't something I can fix, man.
   12. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 27, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4646888)
Well, the consensus seems to be a player who is stuck in the minors for several years due to organizational stupidity deserves some "minor league credit".


But that gets too deep by half into counterfactual navel gazing, in a split second, IMHO. At some point you're so far down the rabbit hole you're talking about some theoretical farm boy super baller who would have been better than Ted Williams if he could have afforded a train ticket to Chicago that spring of '38. I understand the thinking here; it wasn't technically Brian Giles' fault that he didn't get a chance to perform until very late in his career. So it's tempting to "fair up" the case and give him credit for his various destructions of AAA. I draw the line there. There was nothing systematically preventing Giles from playing, like the color line, so I can only give him credit for what he did in Major League Baseball. And that's below my personal Hall cut.
   13. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 27, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4646890)
f you don't give Giles all the credit he still looks pretty close to Sammy Sosa on my list.


And so?
Sammy was a great player for a 5 year peak, he was not a great player at any time outside that 5 year window.

In fact take out 2001 and Sammy doesn't even sniff the HOM, as it is, I'm not sure Sosa gets in the HOM- he'll get more support than the HOF due to the lack of steroid moralizing, but here's a guy who was up at age 20 and played until he was toasty, he's got some MSM counting milestones, but he's under the 60 WAR line.

He finished 6th in HOM balloting last year, now he's got Randy Johnson, Pedro and Smoltz coming on, he'll finish 6th again- at best, Sheffield may (should imho) edge him as well.
Then after that you have Griffey, Edmonds, then Vlad, Manny, IRod, then Chipper, Thome, Rolen, Andruw Jones...
   14. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 27, 2014 at 04:08 PM (#4646891)
But that gets too deep by half into counterfactual navel gazing, in a split second, IMHO.


With an attitude like that you should be the one standing up for Ray when the crowd abuses him for his Ichiro No position.
   15. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 27, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4646901)
the consensus seems to be a player who is stuck in the minors for several years due to organizational stupidity deserves some "minor league credit".


But was it "organizational stupidity" that kept Giles in the minors or the fact that the Indians starting outfield was Albert Belle, Kenny Lofton, and Manny Ramirez? And if Giles "belonged" in the minor leagues behind those three guys, does that change the view? Because now you're drifting much closer to what Rickey is talking about - the counterfactual isn't, "What if he'd played for an organization that recognized his greatness", but instead, "What if the Indians had traded him away three years earlier?" The latter question seems much more speculative / random alternate-universe navel-gazing.
   16. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 27, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4646902)
With an attitude like that you should be the one standing up for Ray when the crowd abuses him for his Ichiro No position.


When I bother to get involved with those threads, I do. Now, as with most things, I wouldn't take it as far as Ray. Because, Ray. But I have some deep seated reservations about Ichiro's case for the HOM. I have less with his case for the HOF. I recognize his time in Japan as distinct and uniquely differentiated from his MLB career. Playing in Japan isn't quite the same as the color barrier in the US, in my opinion at least, but it's a real structural disconnect between career halves. So I give Ichiro more of the Satchel Paige thought process than I would allow for Brian Giles. Nothing kept Giles out of MLB aside from scouts who didn't like his defense, or maybe some inability to connect with the ML coaching staff, or just being another bopper in an organization full to the brim of slugging maniacs as it was. That sucks for Giles, but it's not playing in Japan, and it's certainly not being denied access to MLB entirely due to the color of your skin.

I would vote for Ichiro for the HOF, but not the HOM (unless the HOM gurus specifically told me his Japaneses career should be considered; at that point he's a shoe-in.) For the HOF, I take a marginally qualified star who broke the MLB/Japan barrier and give him credit for his historic trailblazing. He's Hideo Nomo if Nomo had Kevin Appier's career.
   17. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: January 27, 2014 at 04:32 PM (#4646913)
He's Hideo Nomo if Nomo had Kevin Appier's career.


Can you parse that out for me. I don't understand but it's really intriguing.
   18. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 27, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4646914)
But was it "organizational stupidity" that kept Giles in the minors or the fact that the Indians starting outfield was Albert Belle, Kenny Lofton, and Manny Ramirez? And if Giles "belonged" in the minor leagues behind those three guys, does that change the view? Because now you're drifting much closer to what Rickey is talking about - the counterfactual isn't, "What if he'd played for an organization that recognized his greatness", but instead, "What if the Indians had traded him away three years earlier?" The latter question seems much more speculative / random alternate-universe navel-gazing.


Well... saying "Giles was a very good player at 23 but wasn't in the majors because he wasn't good enough to crack the Indians' outfield, and doesn't deserve credit for that" is a bit like arguing Richie Ashburn wasn't really a Hall of Fame/Merit player because he was only the fourth-best CF in his era, isn't it? It's a hell of a piece of bad luck for Giles that he happened to come through the system of the only team in the major leagues that didn't have room for him.

I don't really think Giles can get enough extra credit for his couple of extra years in the minors/as a bench player to push him into the HOM, in any case.
   19. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 27, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4646918)
Kevin Appier is my current go-to reference for a guy that I really, desperately want to recognize as a great player from the 1990s. His debut and peak years, prior to the injury, were on par with the Clemens/Maddux tier of greatness in some ways. Then he got hurt and hung around for another decade or so as a league average starter. I personally want to argue that he's "Sandy Koufax, but with a 10 year add-on of league average usefulness rather than the retirement ceremony." (I realize this is a strong statement that would be open for some debate.) Regardless, my point is, for me Kevin Appier is right on the line for the HOF. He's sort of like Dale Murphy. I want him in personally, but if someone puts together even a moderately sources argument against him, I generally back off and pull a Dude and rely on "well that's just your opinion, man." The point for this comparison is that Kevin Appier more or less lives on the cusp of HOF induction in my world. He lives in the doorway.

If Hideo Nomo had put up Kevin Appier's career, I would argue *strongly* that he should be in the Hall, because in addition to being "Kevin Appier" by the numbers, he was also the first major Japanese star to come over to MLB. So in addition to his raw career track, he has the "trailblazer" status as the guy that bridged the Pacific. So, if Hideo Nomo had Kevin Appier's raw numbers, I'd be very vehement in my support for him for the Hall of FAME because he was also historic to the game itself, as a trailblazer.

I think of Ichiro Suzuki in those terms. He has a reasonable case for the HOF on his numbers, even without the Japanese league stats. I don't think I'd vote him in on those raw numbers alone, but combined with his numbers he's also the first position player to make the jump across the Pacific, and I think that counts toward the Hall of FAME, but not toward the Hall of MERIT. (Unless the HOM guys tell me to consider trailblazing, or to give him some credit for his Japanese career.)
   20. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: January 27, 2014 at 04:53 PM (#4646923)
How am I suddenly ignoring my own posts?
And why do I see the "Edit" option under each of your posts, but only yours, and only in this thread?

[Edited to add: which promptly disappeared once I posted myself.]
   21. DL from MN Posted: January 27, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4646936)
finished 6th in HOM balloting last year


Sosa finished way ahead of the pre-1990 backlog.


RK  LY  Player             PTS Bal  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15
 4   5  Curt Schilling     589 30      9  7  8  3  2  1                        
 5  n/e Mike Mussina       543 30      2  8  7  9  3     1                     
 6   6  Sammy Sosa         348 28         1     1  3  6  4  2  4  3  1  1  2   
 7  15  Kenny Lofton       200 18                  5        4  3     2  1     3
 8  n/e Jeff Kent          190 15         1  3     1  1  3  1  1           2  2
 9  12  Luis Tiant         157 15                  1  2  2     2  1  2  3  2   


Schilling and Mussina exceed HoM standards and are just biding their time waiting for an open slot. Sosa is on 10 more ballots than the 7th place guy. He's quite likely to make it.

   22. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 27, 2014 at 05:14 PM (#4646938)
And why do I see the "Edit" option under each of your posts, but only yours, and only in this thread?


I have a theory that Jimmy is using my account for testing some sort of nefarious worm virus.
   23. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: January 27, 2014 at 06:53 PM (#4646983)
Ah, I see. Thanks for the clarification.
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 27, 2014 at 07:02 PM (#4646987)

Sosa finished way ahead of the pre-1990 backlog.


RK LY Player PTS Bal 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
4 5 Curt Schilling 589 30 9 7 8 3 2 1
5 n/e Mike Mussina 543 30 2 8 7 9 3 1
6 6 Sammy Sosa 348 28 1 1 3 6 4 2 4 3 1 1 2
7 15 Kenny Lofton 200 18 5 4 3 2 1 3
8 n/e Jeff Kent 190 15 1 3 1 1 3 1 1 2 2
9 12 Luis Tiant 157 15 1 2 2 2 1 2 3 2



I'm really surprised the HoM voters have him so far ahead of Lofton and Kent.

I mean Sosa's got a 128 OPS+ as a RF. That's Tim Salmon, Kent Hrbek, Jim Rice territory.
   25. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 27, 2014 at 07:20 PM (#4646995)
Sosa is on 10 more ballots than the 7th place guy. He's quite likely to make it.


When?
He's not getting in next year, not with Randy Johnson, Pedro, Smoltz and Sheffield on the ballot (let's say he drops to 7th)
then 2016, Griffey and Edmonds, let's say he moves to 6th
2017, Vlad, Manny, IRod: stays at 6th
2018: Chipper, Thome, Rolen, Andruw Jones... drops to 7th again

after that?
Halladay, Mariano then at some point 2019-2022 you will see

Alex Rodriguez
Albert Pujols
Derek Jeter
Adrian Beltre
Carlos Beltran
Todd Helton
Andy Pettitte
Ichiro Suzuki
Chase Utley
Tim Hudson
Miguel Cabrera

etc.
And this being the HOM I wouldn't be surprised if by this time Lofton overtakes him, I really don't see Sosa getting any closer in HOM voting than he is now
   26. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 27, 2014 at 07:24 PM (#4646996)
I mean Sosa's got a 128 OPS+ as a RF. That's Tim Salmon, Kent Hrbek, Jim Rice territory.


Sosa is basically Rice if you took Rice's best year, and multiplied it by 3 and added it back to Rice's career.

Which makes him a signifcantly better candidate than Rice
   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 27, 2014 at 08:21 PM (#4647025)
Sosa is basically Rice if you took Rice's best year, and multiplied it by 3 and added it back to Rice's career.

Which makes him a signifcantly better candidate than Rice


He has 900 more PAs at the same level, and a better peak. So, yeah he's better. But not enough better to be in the HoF/HoM.
   28. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 27, 2014 at 08:26 PM (#4647030)
To follow up @25, I would personally vote for Kenny Lofton over Sammy Sosa on every ballot where that was an option.
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 27, 2014 at 08:35 PM (#4647032)
To follow up @25, I would personally vote for Kenny Lofton over Sammy Sosa on every ballot where that was an option.

Concur. And I'd vote for Kent over Sosa too. 123 wRC+ in 9500 PAs at 2B, vs. 124 wRC+ in 9900 PAs in RF.
   30. Booey Posted: January 27, 2014 at 09:50 PM (#4647048)
I always thought of Giles as Todd Helton light. Both looked like HOFers when they were averaging 35-40 homers a year during their peaks (4 years for Giles, 6 for Helton) to go with their AVG/OBP/SLG numbers above .300/.400/.600. Hell, put prime Giles in pre-humidifier Coors and he probably produces numbers just as ridiculous as Helton's 2000-2001.

But then both of them lost their power basically overnight and dropped from 35-40 homers per to around 15-20 (or about half of where they used to be). They still walked enough to make them better hitters than their power numbers made them look, but the HOLY CRAP!!! days were gone.

Since Helton's peak lasted a little longer than Giles', he finished with the better career...and he's still borderline. Which means Giles is a clear "no", IMO.
   31. alilisd Posted: January 27, 2014 at 11:15 PM (#4647077)
Petco was the anti-Coors when Giles came to SD. It's still pretty tough on hitters.
   32. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 12:24 AM (#4647110)
What cap would Giles wear in the Hall of Pretty Damn Good? He spent the most time with the Padres, but had his best years with the Pirates (not that anybody noticed).

I think spending his whole career in Cleveland, Pittsburgh and San Diego made him a hell of a lot less famous than he would have been if he'd spent it in, say, St. Louis, New York and San Francisco or something.
   33. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:24 AM (#4647154)
But then both of them lost their power basically overnight and dropped from 35-40 homers per to around 15-20 (or about half of where they used to be). They still walked enough to make them better hitters than their power numbers made them look, but the HOLY CRAP!!! days were gone.


The main reason Giles "lost his power overnight" is that he started playing his home games at PETCO. It you strip out park effects, it looks much more like a normal age-related decline.
   34. Chris Fluit Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:25 AM (#4647155)
BbRef gives the nod to Pittsburgh- 29.5 war on five seasons with the Bucs to 17.1 in seven seasons with the Padres.
   35. Dan The Mediocre Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:43 AM (#4647165)
He has 900 more PAs at the same level, and a better peak. So, yeah he's better. But not enough better to be in the HoF/HoM.


He also played a harder defensive position and played defense much better relative to his position. BR has that difference as being worth about 8 wins.
   36. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4647186)
BR has that difference as being worth about 8 wins.


"8 wins better than Jim Rice" still doesn't get in the door.
   37. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4647190)
"8 wins better than Jim Rice" still doesn't get in the door.

Exactly.
   38. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 28, 2014 at 11:29 AM (#4647254)
For those voicing opinions against the candidacies of Sosa and Giles, what would your hall of merit 2005 ballot look like?
Sosa and Giles provided base running and defensive value beyond kent, so quoting ops seems one sided.
Helton's war is well Above the historical in/out line, he is only borderline if you dock him for coors field or capping the number of elected 1b from his time era.
As dl mentions, Sosa is a clear mid-log candidate that is in line for election once the no brains are elected.
Sosa and Giles are not no-brainers, as u can see from dl's ballot, just curious to see everyone else's ballot/dismissal of these guys.
   39. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 28, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4647255)
2015 ballot, not 2005, my apologies
   40. DL from MN Posted: January 28, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4647264)
When?


Don't forget that we're tossing in an "Elect 4" year now and then going forward. I don't know exactly when but Sosa has strong support.

If you're not a fan of Sosa (or if you are) and would like your opinion counted please consider submitting a ballot. Our numbers are slowly declining.
   41. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4647302)
For those voicing opinions against the candidacies of Sosa and Giles, what would your hall of merit 2005 ballot look like?
Sosa and Giles provided base running and defensive value beyond kent, so quoting ops seems one sided.
Helton's war is well Above the historical in/out line, he is only borderline if you dock him for coors field or capping the number of elected 1b from his time era.
As dl mentions, Sosa is a clear mid-log candidate that is in line for election once the no brains are elected.
Sosa and Giles are not no-brainers, as u can see from dl's ballot, just curious to see everyone else's ballot/dismissal of these guys.


I don't have a systematic ranking system, and I'm grossly unqualified to speak on the older candidates. That said, only voting on guys I remember (no deep baglog):

My top-4 would be 1 RJ, 2 Pedro, 3/4 Schilling/Mussina. Not sure on my ordering of Schilling/Mussina; they are very very close in my mind.

After that, Lofton and Smoltz are close at 5/6, and then Sheffield/Kent at 7/8, and Sosa/Tiant at 9/10.

Also, I used wRC+ to compare Sosa and Kent, that includes baserunning.
   42. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4647308)
If you're not a fan of Sosa (or if you are) and would like your opinion counted please consider submitting a ballot. Our numbers are slowly declining.

How far back do I have to be able to intelligently speak to enter a ballot?

I'm fine ranking the guys post-WW2, but I fear I have neither the knowledge, nor time to give 1880-1940 players a fair hearing.
   43. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 28, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4647311)
How far back do I have to be able to intelligently speak to enter a ballot?


The ballots are basically synced with modern candidates for the Hall now. My understanding is that all of the historic candidacies have been vetted and we're basically to the point of discussing players from the late 80s and 90s. Which is why I'm part of the HOM threads now, personally.
   44. Chris Fluit Posted: January 28, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4647351)
I'm fine ranking the guys post-WW2, but I fear I have neither the knowledge, nor time to give 1880-1940 players a fair hearing.


You don't have to look at all of the players pre-WW II but you should be familiar with the handful of candidates who remain in the high backlog (Duffy, Willis, Taylor, Redding, Bridges, Bob Johnson, Walters, et al) and, more importantly, you should be open to including them in your rankings if they appear worthy.
   45. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 03:38 PM (#4647506)
You don't have to look at all of the players pre-WW II but you should be familiar with the handful of candidates who remain in the high backlog (Duffy, Willis, Taylor, Redding, Bridges, Bob Johnson, Walters, et al) and, more importantly, you should be open to including them in your rankings if they appear worthy.

Seems fair.

Must I have a formal ranking system? Or can I cobble my list together?
   46. DL from MN Posted: January 28, 2014 at 04:08 PM (#4647542)
You have to rank them on the final ballot. Comments are necessary.
   47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4647551)
You have to rank them on the final ballot. Comments are necessary.

Thanks
   48. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 28, 2014 at 06:52 PM (#4647673)
Don't forget that we're tossing in an "Elect 4" year now and then going forward.


Actually that kind of changes my opinion on whether he'll get it (not whether he should or not, just whether or not hell get in)

If 3 get in each year I kind of see him stalled at 6-7 at fort then slowly drifting away, if 4 are elected each year he'll likely slowly drift in and get in.
   49. Chris Cobb Posted: February 04, 2014 at 10:44 AM (#4651302)
Giles is a player whose basic BB-Ref profile (which is usually where estimates of "Is he a HoMer?" start) appear a bit short of the mark--hence the focus on MLE credit for his minor league seasons.

Another point to examine is the BB-Ref assessment of his defense. The available fielding evaluations often show great discrepancies in their estimates, so it's worth checking to see if other fielding metrics make a better case for Giles. Here's the set of career fielding runs above average from the four metrics I consult, listed from best to worst:

DRA +17
BP -21
BB-Ref -28
Davenport -89

In Giles' case, BB-Ref is about in the middle of the range, so even the best-case reading of Giles' defensive value only adds 4.5 wins to his career value, which probably doesn't put him over the top in most cases. If Giles has a case, it will be based on the inclusion of MLE credit or on peak/prime rather than career.
   50. AROM Posted: February 04, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4651387)
BbRef gives the nod to Pittsburgh- 29.5 war on five seasons with the Bucs to 17.1 in seven seasons with the Padres.


That he played longer with the Padres blows my mind. If I had to guess without looking it up I would have said 6 years for the Pirates and maybe 3-4 for the Padres. Those Pirate years were so good they have more weight than a chronological year.

   51. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: February 04, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4651506)
DRA +17
BP -21
BB-Ref -28
Davenport -89

Chris, doesn't that list speak volumes about the defensive metrics? Looking at that tells you virtually nothing about the quality of Giles' defense. Just from watching him, knowing how his teams chose to deploy him and his general athletic skills (young Giles was pretty quick) the best option would be to abandon most of the defensive metrics and just make him a 'minus' in center and a touch above average in the corners (a clear plus as a young player, a slight minus when older). Doesn't that info tell you more than a series of advanced metrics that can't decide whether he was significantly above average or awful?

When younger he was capable enough to be deployed in center (where admittedly he was stretched) and no one seemed to have any reservations about his arm as he was deployed in right field more than left field. You could ballpark a number from that info and probably get as close if not closer to reality than trying to use the metrics.
   52. Chris Cobb Posted: February 04, 2014 at 08:06 PM (#4651739)
Chris, doesn't that list speak volumes about the defensive metrics? Looking at that tells you virtually nothing about the quality of Giles' defense.

Certainly the lack of even basic agreement among the metrics indicates that none should be relied upon uncritically. I am just beginning to seriously examine the metrics available, so I am far from ready to jump to the conclusion that they should simply be discarded. Also, for the purpose of evaluating players for the Hall of Merit, working with the metrics has some advantages. For example, it quantifies fielding in a way that enables it to be weighed with offensive value. From my experience of watching HoM voting over a long period of time, my sense is that when defensive value isn't quantified, it tends to be underrated. Having a quantification makes it harder to dismiss. In addition, the metrics do enable one to distinguish with some confidence between the defensive value of a Gary Sheffield, a Brian Giles, and a Barry Bonds among corner outfielders. Sure, you could ballpark numbers in this case, but when I have hundreds of players to evaluate, many of whom I have little non-statistical information about, if I can rely on the fielding metrics sufficiently to get a ballpark estimate, that's quite helpful.

So, yes, I am posting the numbers partly to encourage people not to simply rely on BB-Ref's WAR as if it gives us a completely reliable assessment of each player's value, but I don't advocate for discarding the metrics. Yes, fielding analysis is still in its infancy, but I don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
   53. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: February 04, 2014 at 08:29 PM (#4651758)
Chris it seems to me that averaging a bunch of unreliable numbers doesn't get you any closer to a reliable number, particularly if several of the sources of unreliability are problems the metrics share.

My point is exactly that we _should_ be conservative in how we value defense precisely because we do not know with near the level of accuracy as we do with hitting. We also should evaluate defense using _all_ the information we have available to us, and if there's a necessity for a numerical way to express that, metrics can be developed. Probably the easiest way is to take a 2 to 8 scale with no half numbers and just throw a number on everyone. So that for left field Bonds would be a 7 or 8, Giles a 5 or 6, and peak Sheffield a 3 or 4. And then extract value in terms of wins from there.

But the Andruw Joneses and Adam Dunns and Andrleton Simmonses of the world throw that completely out of whack by racking up defensive WAR well in excess of any realistic confidence we should have in those numbers. Simmons is a great defender, so is Zack Cozart but not quite as great. If I were to guess, the gap between the two is a hell of a lot smaller than the 37 runs WAR has for last year.
   54. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 07, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4653106)
My point is exactly that we _should_ be conservative in how we value defense precisely because we do not know with near the level of accuracy as we do with hitting.


Concur.

Implicit in WAR is the assertion that a fielder has earned all of the credit for his fielding numbers, and that there are no factors other than the fielder that have a significant impact on those numbers. As I have said before, I think that's an unreasonable assertion - there is enough of a relationship between team pitching staff characteristics (both in terms of power vs finesse and GB vs FB) and overall team defense to suggest otherwise. I would much rather see one use a reasonable estimate of the percentage that is due to other factors besides the fielder (pitching staff effects, park effects, opportunity) - as Clay Davenport and Bill James both did - and work from there.

-- MWE
   55. DL from MN Posted: February 07, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4653119)
It is also implicit that the batter has earned all the credit for his hitting numbers. We don't adjust for quality of pitchers faced.
   56. Chris Cobb Posted: February 07, 2014 at 10:48 PM (#4653523)
Rejoining this conversation after a hiatus:

Chris it seems to me that averaging a bunch of unreliable numbers doesn't get you any closer to a reliable number, particularly if several of the sources of unreliability are problems the metrics share.

I would agree that magnifying errors by averaging metrics that share the same source of unreliability is a problem, and I haven’t made any decisions yet about how exactly I would combine the metrics. I have begun studying how each metric is calculated and the fielding data that underlies it to try to arrive at a set that, by their methods, seem reasonable, but that work on the problem using different methods applied to different data sets. The problem I discovered with my old approach to averaging comprehensive metrics is that for players before 2000ish, bWAR and fWAR are using the same TotalZone numbers for fielding, so averaging those metrics' WAR with others is not providing any offset to TZ's fielding values. So I am trying to set up a basket of fielding metrics that offers a diverse range of methods and datasets, so that the sources of unreliability may be offset rather than magnified.

My point is exactly that we _should_ be conservative in how we value defense precisely because we do not know with near the level of accuracy as we do with hitting

The problem with this position, from a Hall of Merit perspective, is that if one chooses to be conservative due to uncertainty, one is choosing systematically to risk underrating one particular class of players--outstanding fielders. The HoM debated this same issue with respect to Negro League players: we do not know the value of Negro League players with the nearly as much accuracy as we know the value of American League and National League players. If, in response to this recognized level of uncertainty, we are conservative in how we value those players, we are in fact systematically under representing them, since, if we really are uncertain, then our evaluations probably underrate some players while overrating others. After much debate, the electorate in the main concluded that we should establish the most plausible interpretation of the data, and then apply it without further discount. Obviously, we regressed to the mean and that sort of thing, but we didn't rate a player below what our best evaluation indicated just because we had less certainty about that evaluation than about the evaluation of a player from the American League or National League. With outstanding fielders, the choice to be conservative would not be perpetuating the effects of a historic injustice, but the evaluative principle is the same. When faced with uncertainty in an aspect of evaluation, go with your best estimate, because that distributes the risk of mistaken evaluation evenly across the whole spectrum of players rather than subjecting one class of players to a different standard.

If, when you make your best estimate of value, you conclude that Andrelton Simmons doesn't look like he was 37 runs better defensively than Zack Cozart, go with your best estimate. If you think drs fielding runs are bogus, don't use them, but don't systematically value defense lower than your best estimate indicates that it is just because you know the level of accuracy is lower. Myself, I am not prepared to conclude without close investigation that Simmons wasn't 37 runs better. He did have 120 more assists than Cozart in about 50 more defensive innings. Now, fielding value is tricky, so it is quite possible that those 120 extra assists weren't worth nearly what they appear to be worth in isolation, but it's such a large number of additional plays that I can hardly see how a 37-run difference could be judged to be impossible.

For what it's worth, DRA sees Simmons as 22 runs better than Cozart in 2013. Clay Davenport sees him also as 22 runs better. Baseball Prospectus sees him as 31 runs better. UZR sees him as 19 runs better. All four of these systems use different underlying data and/or different methods than bWAR's drs does, and all of them affirm a very large difference. It's smaller than the 37 runs bWAR calculates, but it's high enough that bWAR's view doesn't look crazy or impossible. Is a 37-run difference too high? Probably, but is it so high that we are better off throwing out that data instead of averaging it in some fashion with others? Probably not, unless we can demonstrate that drs consistently produces outlying evaluations beyond a reasonable construal of the data.

I would much rather see one use a reasonable estimate of the percentage that is due to other factors besides the fielder (pitching staff effects, park effects, opportunity) - as Clay
Davenport and Bill James both did - and work from there.


I would note that I am by no means against including Clay Davenport's work in the discussion of fielding (no surprise since I've been : it brings another significant methodology to the table. I would also note that my own (limited) examination of his data does not suggest that his system routinely assigns less value to fielders, in runs at position above or below average, than the other systems do. I don't use win shares because its melding together of positional adjustment and value at position makes it difficult to combine with other systems, and the lack of a direct connection in its calculation of fielding value between the run value of fielding events and the fielding value assigned to the player seems to me to lead to estimates that are significantly presupposed by the system. I think James's approaches to analyzing fielding data are often shrewd, however, and other systems could be checked against his, but I don't see a good way to use fielding win shares as part of an evaluation system that draws upon multiple metrics.

What I'd like to see is extensive examinations of multiple fielding metrics to help us to identify which metrics have the larger variance and to assess whether that variance is plausible, given the underlying data, and to try to identify the particular strengths and weaknesses of the metrics. For example, looking at how metrics assign value among groups of fielders with overlapping responsibilities, like outfielders or 3B-SS-2B, might be illuminating. (I have started looking into the question of overlap with the major HoM centerfield candidates from the 1990-2010, but I’m not very far with it yet.) I am actually surprised at how little comparative analysis of fielding metrics is out there: maybe that work is being done but it isn’t freely available on the web? I have a lot to learn and only a small amount of time in my life to spend learning it!

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