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Sunday, June 12, 2005

Buck Leonard

Buck Leonard

Eligible in 1955.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 12, 2005 at 08:54 PM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 12, 2005 at 09:29 PM (#1399605)
With Josh Gibson, that tandem easily has to be mentioned when discussing the greatest baseball duos that played on the same team.
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: June 13, 2005 at 01:54 AM (#1400344)
1934-35 HOMers as Regular First Basemen:
Gehrig, Foxx, Greenberg, Terry, Charleston, JWilson, Leonard (ok, assumes)

In 1882 and 1885, we had:
Start, Anson, Brouthers, Stovey, Connor
   3. Chris Cobb Posted: June 13, 2005 at 12:58 PM (#1400970)
Buck Leonard Data from Holway

Teams: 1933 Brooklyn Royal Giants, 1934-50 Homestead Grays

1933 No Data
1934 .330 for Homestead, 1b
1935 .332 for Homestead, 1b
1936 .260 for Homestead, 1b
1937 .356 for Homestead, 10 hr (3rd), 33 hr/550 (3rd), 8 2b (2nd), 2 3b (5th); 1b
1938 .396 for Homestead (2nd), 8 hr (2nd), 42 hr/550 (2nd), 1b, all-star
1939 .397 for Grays (3rd), 8 hr (3rd), 57 hr/550 (2nd); 1b, all-star
1940 .378 for Grays (3rd), 11 hr (1st), 27 hr/550 (4th), 21 2b (1st), 5 3b (1st); 1b, all-star MVP
1941 .294 for Grays, 9 hr (1st), 26 hr/550 (3rd), 6 2b (5th), 9 3b (1st); 1b, all-star
1942 .172 for Grays, 1b
1943 .321 for Grays, 6 hr (3rd), 11 hr/550 (4th), 20 2b (2nd), 11 3b (2nd); 1b
1944 .350 for Grays, 9 hr (2nd), 15 hr/550 (2nd), 23 2b (1st), 7 3b (2nd); 1b
1945 .365 for Grays (5th), 4 hr (3rd), 13 hr/550 (4th); 1b, all-star
1946 .265 for Grays, 19 hr/550 (5th), 4 3b (5th); 1b
1947 .419 for Grays, 36 hr/550 (2nd); 1b, all-star
1948 .395 for Grays (1st), 13 hr (1st), 45 hr/550 (1st); 1b
1949 no data
1950 no data

Career totals from Holway
779-2325, .335
79 hr, 15 hr/550 ab
10-24, .417 vs. major-league competition
Black Ink 22
Gray Ink 105

Career Totals from Macmillan 10th:
462 g, 1601 ab, 525 hits, 74 2b, 23 3b, 69 hr, .328 ba, .532 sa

I'll have MLEs in the next couple of days, estimated win shares within the week.
   4. sunnyday2 Posted: June 13, 2005 at 01:40 PM (#1401002)
Whoa Nelly! Am I the only person surprised by these numbers?

In summary

Leonard .335-79 HR-1 per 37/22-105 black-gray ink
Beckwith .352-80-27.5
Suttles .341-237-14-56/145 black gray ink

I'm sure somebody can explain these!

Moore .355 (mean .365)
Wilson .354
Beckwith .352 (mean .366)
Gibson .351
Suttles .341
Charleston .340
Torriente .336
Leonard .335
Stearnes .332
Bell .328
Wells .328

Suttles 237 HR
Gibson 224
Charleston 197
Stearnes 197
Wells 138
Wilson 94
Beckwith 80
Leonard 79
Bell 73
Torriente 53
Moore 50

Gibson 1 HR/13 AB
Suttles 14
Stearnes 20
Charleston 24
Beckwith 27.5
Wells 27.5
Leonard 37
Moore 37
Wilson 46
Torriente 48
Bell 69

Suttles 56 black ink/145 gray ink
Charleston 54/174
Leonard 22/105

Torriente .436 vs. major league competition
Leonard .417 (10 for 24)
Stearnes .378
Gibson .375
Wells .353
Bell .342
Suttles .341
Charleston .330
Beckwith .319
Wilson .295
   5. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 13, 2005 at 01:53 PM (#1401023)
A big part of this is either underreporting or simply a lighter schedule. Notice that he was third in HR in 1945 with four. That's got to have something to do with the schedule he was playing or with the league context for power.

Also, was homepark were the Grays in during this period? I can never remember if they were in PIT or WAS, so....: If they were playing some or all of their schedule in Forbes Field, that might explain the seeming lack of HR power, and the same would be even more true if they were in Griffith Stadium.
   6. sunnyday2 Posted: June 13, 2005 at 02:27 PM (#1401089)
As for park effects, that's what I meant when I said somebody could probably explain why Leonard doesn't look better. But Gibson was his teammate. In 1945 Leonard hit 4 HR and .365, Gibson hit 11 and .323.

Gibson's big years were 1937 (21 HR, .462) and 1943 (22, .449). Leonard hit a total of 21 HR and .321 and .356. Gibson hit .351 to Leonard's .335 and 3X as many HR/AB. So at a glance I don't know about park effects.

But of course nobody was Josh Gibson except Josh Gibson. The real question is whether Leonard was really as good as Mule Suttles?
   7. DavidFoss Posted: June 13, 2005 at 02:57 PM (#1401126)
But of course nobody was Josh Gibson except Josh Gibson. The real question is whether Leonard was really as good as Mule Suttles?

We'll have to wait for the MLE's. The 1920's guys have better raw numbers because offense levels were much higher in the 1920s.
   8. karlmagnus Posted: June 13, 2005 at 02:59 PM (#1401128)
I wait patiently for Chris' wisdom, but Leonard once again appears to bear out my thesis that the HOF grossly overrated a number of players in the 1930s/40s NEL, at the expense of earlier eras. Thus the HOM/HOF ratio for the NEL, which has been 2 or 3 to 1 for the early eras, may turn out to be well under 1 to 1 for the period immediately prior to integration. Even at the very top level, I expect to find that Smokey Joe was better than Paige, for example.

Chris' numbers may disabuse me of this thought, of course...
   9. Chris Cobb Posted: June 13, 2005 at 03:03 PM (#1401134)
David Foss is right about waiting for the MLEs, but I don't think it's likely that Buck Leonard is going to show up as a better hitter than Suttles or Beckwith. He does, however, have a top-notch defensive reputation that they lack, so his overall value may be similar.
   10. Gadfly Posted: June 13, 2005 at 06:55 PM (#1401602)
Chris Cobb-

Actually Leonard, like Scales and the great Jud, may end up looking a lot better than you think because his OBP is going to be very VERY high. Buck Leonard walked a lot, a real lot.

After the collapse of the Homestead Grays at the end of the 1950 season, Leonard played in the Mexican League from 1951 to 1953. In those three years, he played 227 games and walked 235 times (with only 35 strikeouts).

In other words, he walked more than once a game. The published stats from his Negro League days support the fact that he was walking a ton then too (very very low AB per game ratios).

Basically Leonard was an awesome fastball hitter. His basic batting strategy seems to have been to work the count, laying off breaking stuff out of the zone, while waiting for a fastball to crush.

I think he'll end up looking pretty good.

Mexico League 1951 to 1953, reduced to 154 Games:
G-AB-R-H-2B-3B-HR-RBI-BA-SA-SB-BB-SO
154 514 104 168 37 3 18 117 .326 .515 14 159 24

The walk data I have for Leonard from Cuba is very similar, though small sample size.
   11. Chris Cobb Posted: June 13, 2005 at 07:17 PM (#1401665)
gadfly,

Thank you! I was just going to post asking if anyone had walk data from the Mexican League or the NeL for Leonard. The Riley biography mentions his high walk rates in Mexico, but it's good to have that confirmed by numbers and other anecdotal evidence.
   12. Chris Cobb Posted: June 13, 2005 at 11:55 PM (#1402157)
Buck Leonard MLEs

Notes

1. For walks, I have used Mel Ott and Dolf Camilli as models. The MeL data provided by gadfly shows that Leonard had great plate discipline, but I don’t know how to translate the rates of early 1950s MeL into the NL of the 1930s and 1940s. I assume, therefore, that Leonard was at or near the top of his league in walks but does not exceed the best actual major-league players.

2. For playing time, I looked at Gehrig, Foxx, Greenberg, Terry, and Mickey Vernon as models. It’s pretty clear that first basemen at the top of their game played 150+ games a year unless they were injured. Leonard suffered a broken hand in 1942 which caused him to miss the East-West game and hindered him in the World Series, so I posit considerable missed playing time that season, but high durability elsewhere. All of Leonard’s slugging contemporaries left the game at a much younger age than he did. I’ve modeled his decline in playing time loosely on Mickey Vernon, who did play regularly past the age of 35 and who was of lighter build than the big sluggers. Leonard had more power than Vernon, but he was not a slugger on the Gehrig/Foxx/Greenberg/Mize model.

3. You may notice that Leonard’s slugging average and batting average rise in his final two seasons, at age 40 and 41. This is partly an artifact of regression: Leonard’s off-year in 1942 exercises an unusual downward pull 1940-1944, which I am tempted to excise by leaving it out of the regression formulas. The late years outside this pull balance out Leonard’s record somewhat. Also, offensive levels were rising at this time, so OPS+ may diminish the jump somewhat. There is a third factor surely at play here, however, which is the decline in quality in the Negro Leagues with the beginning of integration. Bill Byrd shows marked improvement from 1946 to 1948 while he was in the over-40 age bracket, just as Leonard does. The standard conversion factor probably overestimates these seasons somewhat. However, it should be noted that since these seasons (though not Leonard’s stats in particular) are part of the set of seasons used in calculating the conversion factor, this is another bit of evidence suggesting that the standard conversion factor may be slightly low for the rest of NeL history.

4. In all other respects, these MLEs follow the earlier ones. I look forward to seeing OPS+ numbers for Leonard, at which point I will begin work on batting win shares.


Year Team  EqG  PA    BB Hits  TB   BA   OBP  SA
1934 Grays 126  529   77  148  210 .326 .424 .463
1935       154  647   96  166  223 .301 .404 .405
1936       153  643   98  165  270 .303 .409 .496
1937       151  634   98  170  264 .318 .424 .493
1938       152  638   99  185  305 .343 .445 .565
1939       154  647  103  183  312 .337 .443 .575
1940       154  647  105  177  291 .326 .436 .537
1941       151  634  105  145  244 .274 .394 .460
1942        85  357   58   65   92 .218 .346 .308
1943       154  647  107  146  217 .269 .390 .401
1944       152  638  108  157  222 .295 .414 .418
1945       140  588   92  157  207 .316 .422 .418
1946       135  540   81  131  197 .285 .392 .429
1947       120  480   72  143  221 .349 .447 .543
1948       100  400   60  118  201 .347 .445 .592
          2081 8669 1358 2255 3477 .308 .417 .476

   13. DavidFoss Posted: June 14, 2005 at 01:25 AM (#1402359)
-First you have Year, Team(s), PA.
-Second you have Chris's MLE's
-Third, in parentheses, you have pitchers-removed offense context. MLB for the 20s, then NL
-Fourth, you have AVG+/OBP+/SLG+
-Lastly, is the OPS+

1934 Grays  529  0.326/0.425/0.463   (0.287/0.342/0.408)   114/124/113    138
1935 Grays  647  0.301/0.405/0.405   (0.286/0.341/0.407)   105/119/100    118
1936 Grays  643  0.303/0.409/0.496   (0.286/0.345/0.400)   106/119/124    143
1937 Grays  634  0.318/0.423/0.493   (0.280/0.342/0.397)   114/124/124    148
1938 Grays  638  0.343/0.445/0.565   (0.275/0.339/0.391)   125/131/145    176
1939 Grays  647  0.337/0.442/0.575   (0.280/0.346/0.401)   120/128/143    171
1940 Grays  647  0.326/0.436/0.537   (0.272/0.337/0.391)   120/129/137    167
1941 Grays  634  0.274/0.394/0.460   (0.266/0.337/0.375)   103/117/123    140
1942 Grays  357  0.218/0.345/0.308   (0.256/0.328/0.356)    85/105/ 87     92
1943 Grays  647  0.269/0.391/0.401   (0.265/0.334/0.360)   102/117/111    128
1944 Grays  638  0.295/0.415/0.418   (0.268/0.335/0.377)   110/124/111    135
1945 Grays  588  0.316/0.423/0.418   (0.273/0.343/0.377)   116/123/111    134
1946 Grays  540  0.285/0.393/0.429   (0.263/0.338/0.368)   108/116/117    133
1947 Grays  480  0.349/0.448/0.543   (0.274/0.349/0.407)   127/128/133    162
1948 Grays  400  0.347/0.445/0.592   (0.269/0.343/0.398)   129/130/149    178
   14. DavidFoss Posted: June 14, 2005 at 01:27 AM (#1402367)
Using 1934-48 data for Buck Leonard


Counting stats (+/- 2 for rounding?)
8669 PA
7318 AB
2256 H
3478 TB

Percentages
Leonard -- 0.308/0.417/0.475
Context -- (0.274/0.340/0.388)
Plusses -- 113/123/122

OPS+ = 145
   15. karlmagnus Posted: June 14, 2005 at 02:07 AM (#1402444)
Marginal, IMHO, but like Wells, probably just the right side of the line. Probably the first HOMer who made it primarily because of his walks -- the HOM Kevin Youkilis.
   16. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 14, 2005 at 02:21 AM (#1402475)
Among the list of OPS+ career leaders, only Edgar is coming across as a likely comp. Here's everyone within three OPS+ points of Leonard's MLEs:

Rank Player        Adjusted OPS+
40.  Lance Berkman 148  
40.  Harry Heilmann  148  
40.  Willie McCovey  148  
43.  Vladimir Guerrero 147 
43.  Edgar Martinez  147  
43.  Mike Schmidt 147 
43.  Gary Sheffield  147 
43.  Willie Stargell  147  
48.  Brian Giles 146  
48.  Todd Helton 146  
48.  Sam Thompson  146 
51.  Sam Crawford  144 
51.  Mike Donlin  144 
51.  Ken Griffey 144 
51.  Bill Joyce  144 
51.  Hack Wilson  144 
56.  Albert Belle  143 
56.  Harmon Killebrew  143 
56.  Eddie Mathews  143  
56.  Lefty O'Doul  143  
56.  Alex Rodriguez  143  
56.  George Stone  143 
56.  Harry Stovey  143 
63.  Jack Fournier  142 
63.  Frank Howard  142 
63.  Kevin Mitchell  142 
63.  Tip O'Neill  142 


Is he Edgar Martinez or Jaques Fournier with a glove?

Is he as good a hitter as Jud Wilson?
   17. Chris Cobb Posted: June 14, 2005 at 02:38 AM (#1402507)
I'd say Edgar with a (superior) glove fits my image of Buck Leonard pretty well. They both seem to approach the maximum batting value for a player who is more of a line-drive, doubles hitter than a home-run hitter. Leonard's developing this still of hitting may have been influenced by his home ballparks -- Forbes Field and Griffith Stadium -- which were not homer-friendly but which gave good value for doubles and triples.

One could also say that he is like Goose Goslin, who also lost his home-run power to Griffith stadium, with a bit more plate discipline.
   18. ronw Posted: June 14, 2005 at 03:07 PM (#1403276)
The Negro League summary table with Leonard added:

Player   Pos    Begin   End     BA      OBP     SA      OPS+
Gibson   C      1931    1946    0.327   0.431   0.595   180
Leonard  1B     1934    1948    0.308   0.417   0.476   145
Suttles  1B-OF  1923    1941    0.302   0.366   0.538   137
Beckwith 3B-SS  1919    1935    0.333   0.387   0.522   137
Wilson   3B-1B  1922    1938    0.336   0.431   0.447   132
Scales H 2B-IF  1923    1938    0.292   0.392   0.440   118
Wells    SS     1926    1946    0.294   0.371   0.425   114
Scales M 2B-IF  1923    1938    0.277   0.382   0.413   109
Bell     OF     1924    1946    0.297   0.365   0.382   100
Mackey   C      1920    1941    0.301   0.359   0.393   98
Lundy    SS     1919    1935    0.299   0.333   0.391   92


Player   Pos    Begin   End     G       PA      BB      H       TB
Gibson   C      1931    1946    1930    7837    1210    2165    3941
Leonard 1B      1934    1948    2081    8669    1358    2255    3477
Suttles  1B-OF  1923    1941    2420    10163   924     2791    4967
Beckwith 3B-SS  1919    1935    1905    8010    648     2451    3847
Wilson   3B-1B  1922    1938    2352    9879    1413    2845    3789
Scales H 2B-IF  1923    1938    1986    8136    1153    2039    3072
Wells    SS     1926    1946    2682    10836   1181    2839    4502
Scales M 2B-IF  1923    1938    1986    8136    1174    1936    2876
Bell     OF     1924    1946    3230    13637   1371    3710    4665
Mackey   C      1920    1941    2255    9020    745     2493    3249
Lundy    SS     1919    1935    2212    9160    451     2600    3408



Looks HOM material to me. He'll probably be #1 on my ballot in 1955.
   19. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: June 14, 2005 at 09:30 PM (#1404346)
I would like to see WS estimates but right now I do like him more than Suttles (I have a soft spot for high OBP guys) and Mule will be #3 on my ballot in 1954. Likely #1 for 1955 right now.
   20. Michael Bass Posted: June 14, 2005 at 10:02 PM (#1404387)
I also am waiting for WS estimates, but he looks like a very strong #1 candidate for 1955, with better hitting than Suttles, plus an actual glove.

His best competition may be Ray Brown, who also looks awfully impressive on a quick glance.
   21. sunnyday2 Posted: June 14, 2005 at 11:25 PM (#1404519)
Well, I kinda knocked Leonard based on his raw numbers (above), which didn't include any BB data that I could see. Assuming the BB analysis is accurate, he now looks damn good--maybe not quite as dominant as I had expected. I had expected Josh Gibson. But short of Arky Vaughan failing to get elected in 1954, I don't see any reason why my 1955 ballot won't be:

1. Leonard
2. R. Brown

But, yes, I suppose I should shut up until the WS are in....and yes, Suttles is not that far behind.
   22. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 21, 2005 at 02:35 PM (#1419766)
Bump.
   23. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 21, 2005 at 05:21 PM (#1420232)
BUCK LEONARD MLE WIN SHARES

This is just my best guesstimate for Leonard. I used David Foss’s OPS+ numbers and the usual method of comparing Chris's MLE OPS+ to MLB OPS+es. Given Leonard's strong defensive reputation, I used Bill Terry as a general proxy with a rate of 3 fws per 154 games.

year  bws   fws    ws
======================
1934   19.6  2.9  22.5
1935   17.5  3.5  21.0
1936   24.4  3.5  27.9
1937   26.9  3.5  30.4
1938   28.7  3.5  32.2
1939   29.1  3.5  32.6
1940   29.1  3.5  32.6
1941   25.4  3.5  28.9
1942    5.4  2.0   7.4
1943   19.4  3.5  22.9
1944   23.0  3.5  26.5
1945   20.6  3.2  23.8
1946   17.8  3.0  20.8
1947   20.4  2.6  23.0
1948   18.4  2.2  20.6
----------------------
TOTAL 325.7 47.4 373.1


I’d love some feedback from our translation experts. Someone let me know if these look wrong. Thanks!
   24. Chris Cobb Posted: June 29, 2005 at 04:17 PM (#1438858)
This estimate looks pretty good to me, but a little on the high side.

The batting win shares are plausible. If one prorates Harmon Killebrew's (OPS+ 143) batting win shares to Leonard's PAs, one gets 298.7. If one prorates Eddie Mathews' (OPS+ 143) batting win shares to Leonard's PAs, one gets 337.6, so I'd guess that Leonard's total would fall somewhere between 295 and 340. Leonard and Mathews are higher OBP players, so that would suggest that Leonard should project more like Mathews. I'd have to go season-by-season to get a more precise estimate.

The fielding win shares look a bit high. I project 8.7 defensive innings per game played, which gives Leonard 18,104.7 defensive innings. If his fws rate were as good as Bill Terry's (2.28/1000, and A+ rate, among the best of all time), that would give him 41.3 fws. Given that Terry retired young and most of the players with similar rates by win shares also did so and that Leonard played past 40, I would project him more around 2.10/1000, which would give a career total of 38.0 fws.
   25. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 29, 2005 at 04:43 PM (#1438932)
Thanks Chris,

Given that information, everyone should probably nick about .5 FWS per season off of my estimates.
   26. sunnyday2 Posted: June 29, 2005 at 04:50 PM (#1438951)
Actually, just as a nit from a Twins fan, Mathews hit .271 and Killebrew .256, but Harmon walked more than 100 more times than Eddie and both have OBP .376.

Both hit over 500 HR, of course, with Harmon hitting an extra 60 HR. But Mathews hit more than 100 extra 2B and 3B, and amazingly both also have SA of .509. Mathews' .509 is incrementally higher, however, and Jeff Heath of all people squeezes between them on the all-time list. Mathews is 66th, Heath 67th and Harmon 68th (or was, as of the end of the 2003 season); there are a number of active players in the .510 range--Shawn Green, Bobby Abreu, Scott Rolen, Moises Alou--so the ranking could have changed a bit, but all 3 will still be at a nominal .509).
   27. Michael Bass Posted: June 30, 2005 at 12:44 AM (#1440324)
Big fan of Buck, but his peak isn't quite high enough, I think, but me to put him ahead of the two long-time peak candidates which lurk near the top of my ballot (or Brown, for that matter, who is the 2nd best NL pitcher we've seen, and easily, obviously the best pitcher currently on the ballot, IMO).

So my ballot will look like:

1. Brown
2. Ferrell
3. Jennings
4. Leonard

FWIW, if I were still doing my PHOM, Leonard would be inducted this year, as Wes and Hughie would have long ago been in (Hughie almost 50 years ago now!)
   28. Michael Bass Posted: June 30, 2005 at 12:47 AM (#1440332)
Actually, just as a nit from a Twins fan, Mathews hit .271 and Killebrew .256, but Harmon walked more than 100 more times than Eddie and both have OBP .376.

Not that this is a huge difference, but the context OBP was 4 points lower for Matthews while the SLG was 7 points higher. So while they amazingly enough have the exact same OBP and SLG, Matthews' OPS+ is slightly more OBP heavy than Killebrew's.
   29. Jeff M Posted: July 04, 2005 at 05:39 PM (#1448110)
Big fan of Buck, but his peak isn't quite high enough...

Guess it depends on what you consider peak. Brown beats Buck on 3-year and 5-year peaks if you ignore consistency. But keep in mind that Brown was erratic with his best seasons. Buck was not.

Brown's three best seasons were 108.2. Buck's were 95.9. But Brown's three best consecutive seasons were 92.0. Buck's were 95.9. Brown's five best consecutive seasons were 140.6. Buck's were 154.2.

IMO, Buck had the better peak (and Buck has the better 7 and 9 year peaks no matter how you measure).

As for Jennings, it will be hard to find someone with a better 3 and 5 year peak, but take it to 7 years and Buck is right there with him. Brown lags behind a tad. (Of course Hughie basically stopped right there, while Buck and Browning kept going for another 100 or so WS).

All of Ferrell's peaks and career measures are behind Buck and Brown.
   30. Michael Bass Posted: July 04, 2005 at 06:40 PM (#1448299)
They are by WS...they are not by WARP (Buck at least; I have Brown #1 on my ballot. Of course, I'm sort of having to fudge a bit from WS to an imaginary WARP conversion as a primarily WARP voter, but you get the picture). As you know, WARP has a significantly more favorable view of both Hughie and Ferrell than does WS.

I also do not compare pitcher WS or WARP directly to hitter; the pitcher will lose out every time. There has to be some adjustment upward, especially for career, when comparing pitchers to hitters, or candidly I wouldn't have a single non-Ferrell/Brown/Mendez pitcher on my ballot.

I also do not count consecutive peak at all, so that's not affecting my rankings.
   31. Jeff M Posted: July 04, 2005 at 07:06 PM (#1448371)
I also do not count consecutive peak at all, so that's not affecting my rankings.

Which is better:

Player 1:

WS:
15
22
22
32
32
32
15

Player 2:

32
15
22
32
15
32
22

They have the same career totals (170), and the same three year peak (96) and five year peak (140). Player 1 has a three year consecutive peak of 96 and Player 2 has a three year consecutive peak of 69. Player 1 has a five year consecutive peak of 140. Player 2 has a five year consecutive peak of 123.

IMO, Player 1 is better because consistency matters in baseball and you can count on player 1. Also, now that we know what an incredible amount of randomness is involved in pitching stats (see McCracken's DERA formula), and how little control the pitcher actually has, if Player 2's numbers are somewhat inconsistent from year to year, it seems like those random factors are a significant part of his numbers.
   32. Michael Bass Posted: July 04, 2005 at 07:28 PM (#1448418)
Seems to me Player 1 and Player 2 won exactly the same amount of games for their team, so they are equal. The unexpected bad years are balanced out by unexpected good years.

As for DERA, pretty sure WARP incorporates that to a degree, at least moreso than WS (which does so on the team pitching level, but not the individual level, and thus swings with luck among pitchers on a staff). Yet another reason WARP is superior.
   33. Chris Cobb Posted: July 04, 2005 at 07:29 PM (#1448419)
On this business of consistency: if you're using "consistency" as a reason to have Leonard #1 and Brown #2 on your ballot this year, ok, Leonard probably was more consistent than Brown, but it's crucial to remember that "consistency" in the MLEs for Negro-League players is partly an artifact of the translation system.

Negro-League position players are generally going to look quite consistent in comparison to major-league players because their seasonal totals are regressed in the translations to try to get the general height of their peak correct.

Negro-League pitche3rs are generally going to look quite inconsistent in comparison to major-league players because their seasonal totals are _not_ regressed in the translations. I haven't regressed pitcher MLEs because (1) pitchers tend to have greater variance season-to-season than position players due to smaller sample sizes and greater frequency of injuries affecting performance and (2) I don't have any good ideas for how the regression should be handled.

But if you look at Leonard's regressed MLEs and say "consistent" and Brown's MLEs and say "inconsistent," much of what you are judging is what the translation system has determined that you will find.
   34. Jeff M Posted: July 04, 2005 at 08:45 PM (#1448577)
Good to know, Chris, thanks.
   35. Jeff M Posted: July 05, 2005 at 12:17 PM (#1449666)
Of course, I'm sort of having to fudge a bit from WS to an imaginary WARP conversion as a primarily WARP voter, but you get the picture).

I'd be interested in knowing more about how you are converting WS to WARP -- not for purposes of evaluating your player rankings, but because I am interested in the relationship between the two. Seems like if you derive WARP from WS you still have WS, just in another form (i.e., WS in WARP's clothing).

There is a straightforward relationship between Batting Win Shares and the hitting portion of WARP1. It seems to me that for position players, WARP differs primarily in three ways: (1) treatment of fielding, (2) season-length adjustment, which isn't significant during this era and (3) the timeline, which to my knowledge no one outside of the BP insiders knows the formula for.

By contrast, there seems to be very little consistency between pitching WS and the pitching portion of WARP1.

Anyway, just curious.
   36. Michael Bass Posted: July 05, 2005 at 12:29 PM (#1449672)
Definately agree on the pitching point...my rankings of Mendez/Redding/Brown et al are not based on any sort of number conversion, more a look at the WS, the DERA estimates, and the career shape, and comparing to the white players in my rankings. My Mendez comp is Ed Walsh (slightly shorter peak, but more value outside the peak) as an example.

I do something similar for batters. Using our OPS+ estimates, fielding rep, etc., I try to find someone similar and adjust from there. For Buck, it, like most people in the thread, was Bill Terry. Somewhat better hitter, longer career, so he's above where Terry would be, but I still try to find a benchmark white player from our MLEs, and then move up or down.

(FWIW, Mackey's comp is Schalk; higher OPS+, much higher peak, shorter productive career; Schalk is in my top 50, Mackey is just off the ballot. Bell is, of course, Carey. Some players defy comparison, unfortunately...their rankings tend to be more fluid.)

Good question though...something I hadn't really fully thought about. To answer it as best I can, I use batting WS, and then WS for a basic career shape (Does he have a peak? How long's the productive career?), but lean just as much on the MLEs for thought in a WARP world.

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