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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Darrell Evans

Eligible in 1995.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 11, 2007 at 09:22 PM | 228 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 11, 2007 at 09:24 PM (#2295652)
I remember stories about him being a dependable journeyman player in The Sporting News before he went to the Tigers. Journeyman, my...
   2. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 11, 2007 at 11:17 PM (#2295730)
Darrell Evans comes out as a good lower-middle tier HOM selection in my WS-based Keltner-question system. The system gives out points in eight categories, and a guy can score up to a total of 90: 20 for the first question, 10 for the rest. Here's how Evans does.

Question 1: Was he ever the best position player in his league? [I answer this by looking at three-year intervals, the smallest unit of time in which, I think, a player could establish such credentials.]

Evans has no three-year period in which he could claim to be the best position player in his league. 0 points.

Question 2: Was he ever the best player in his league at his position? [Same idea, but only at position.]

Evans has three three-year intervals at which he is the best 3B in the NL: 1971-1973 through 1973-1975. A point for each: 3 points, total of three points.

Question 3: How many MVP type seasons did he have? [Measured by top five position players ranked by WS, or equivalent number in expanded league.]

Evans was an MVP candidate in 1973, 1974, 1975, 1980, 1983. A point for each year, so 5 points, total of 8 points.

Question 4: How many All-Star type seasons did he have? [Measured by top two at each position in WS, or eqivalent in expanded league.]

Evans was a WS All-Star in 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1978, 1980, 1983, a point each for 7 points, total of 15 points.

Question 5: Does he meet induction standards? [By position, I figure the 25th percentile 3, 5, 10, 15 year, and career WS totals to create a hypothetical minimum standard, to which I then compare each player; players who simply meet the standard get five, and really outstanding guys get 10. Because I use my system for both HOM and HOF purposes, I've calibrated certain things to the Hall, not the HOM; you can make a slight mental adjustment downward for this reason if you'd like.]

Evans meets the standards for 3Bs, particularly on the career end of the scale, but he's not stratospherically above the standard. 5 points, total of 20 points.

Question 6: Is his career comparable to other inductees? [I simply take the players' career WS and look at how many inducted players at the position would be above him in the institutional rankings, scaling a score from that based on the position's total number of inductees. Same cavaet as above regarding HOF/HOM calibration.]

Evans' career is very highly comparable to numerous HOF/HOM 3Bs. His 370 schedule adjusted WS place him 7th among all 3Bs, including 5 HOFs and 7 HOM. For this he gets 5 points, total of 25. He would be a slightly better HOFer than HOMer since the HOF lacks Sutton and White.

Question 7: How often would a team win a pennant if it had him as its best player? [I researched the leading WS score on each pennant team 1903-2005, figuring out what percent of pennants were won by teams with leaders at each total. Long story short, there's a sliding scale against which I compare the player's fifth-best season, with credit beginning around 24-25 WS and topping out around 40.]

Evans's fifth best season is 27 WS. 20.9% of all historical pennants were won by teams led by a player with 27 WS or fewer. 3 points, total of 28.

Question 8: Was the player durable and talented enough to play well after his prime? [Here I find the player's best 10 consecutive years and note all seasons of 15+ WS after its terminus, adding up the WS and applying to a sliding scale.]

Evans was durable and talented enough to hang on for a while. Evans' best ten years ended in 1981, but Evans put up another 105 WS in seasons of 15 WS thereafter, a very impressive total, actually, which nets him 6 points. Total of 34.

34 points is a very good total in my system. It ranks him 13th among currently eligible/HOMed candidates, 14th when Molitor retires. My system sees his case as roughly equivalent to Stan Hack, Sal Bando, Jimmy Collins, and Ezra Sutton among 3Bs. Among other positions, the following players score within a couple of Evans' total:

Keith Hernandez
George Siler
Norm Cash
Bid McPhee
Lou Whitaker
Nellie Fox
Earl Averill (no MiL credit)
Wally Berger
Zack Wheat
Joe Jackson
Jimmy Sheckard
Fred Clarke
George J Burns
Joe Kelley
Willie Stargell
Harry Heilmann
Willlie Keeler
Andre Dawson
Hughie Jennings
Joe Sewell
Bobby Wallace

3B is the second toughest position to accumulate lots of points, after C, which suggests that Evans' total is slightly more impressive relative to his position than the others mentioned above.

Anyway, my system ain't perfect, but it spits out some helpful information, and it suggests that Evans is a solid HOM candidate.
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: February 12, 2007 at 12:12 AM (#2295755)
Evans is 54 pct 3B, 32 pct 1B, 10 pct DH. worth keeping in mind.
He only played 95 G at 3B after 1982.

Very solid, 1442 G at 3B.
Top 10 in walks 15 times (every year from 1978-88).
10th-most walks in MLB history. More than Musial, Rose, Killebrew, Gehrig, Schmidt, Mays, Foxx, Aaron... and quit after his first sub-100 OPS+ in 13 years.
   4. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: February 12, 2007 at 01:20 AM (#2295774)
This is a guy, like Grich, Allen, Santo, Groh, and some others, that I will be proud to put into the HOM as we compare ourselves to those Cooperstown upstarts.
   5. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 12, 2007 at 02:05 AM (#2295786)
Seems like a surefire HoM'er to me. An MVP-caliber 1973, about 5 other strong All-Star seasons, and a very long career. Excellent fielder at third. Anyone disagree?
   6. OCF Posted: February 12, 2007 at 03:57 AM (#2295825)
An offensive table, my usual system:

Evans 52 49 34 31 27 25 25 22 22 20 20 15 9 8 7 2 1 -2 -3
Bando 68 60 42 37 32 30 29 25 14 11 5 1 -1 -5-14-15
Elliott 48 46 45 33 31 27 26 25 20 16 10 8 7 -1 -2

He's a career candidate. Note that Bando has him on offensive peak. None of these three guys is purely a 3B.
   7. OCF Posted: February 12, 2007 at 03:59 AM (#2295826)
Oh, #### Does that help?
   8. OCF Posted: February 12, 2007 at 04:44 AM (#2295838)
Properly lined up this time:

Evans   52 49 34 31 27 25 25 22 22 20 20 15  9  8  7  2  1 --3
Bando   68 60 42 37 32 30 29 25 14 11  5  1 
--5-14-15
Elliott 48 46 45 33 31 27 26 25 20 16 10  8  7 
--
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: February 12, 2007 at 04:55 AM (#2295841)
Elliott compares quite favorably, no surprise here, and all of his best years at are at 3B.
The Evans fans who ignore Elliott entirely will have to convince me that there is a huge defensive margin; I'm not sure of that.
   10. Mike Webber Posted: February 12, 2007 at 05:05 AM (#2295847)
The system gives out points in eight categories, and a guy can score up to a total of 90: 20 for the first question, 10 for the rest. Here's how Evans does.


WOW! Love the system.

Its like a Keltner list with a Value point system. Excellent.
   11. Chris Cobb Posted: February 12, 2007 at 05:48 AM (#2295858)
On Evans vs. Elliott:

Both WARP and WS show Evans as a very good third baseman: A- by WS (54.3 fws at 3rd), 83 FRAA by WARP, in 1441 games at third

Both WARP and WS show Elliott as an average third baseman: B- by WS (40.9 fws at 3rd), 9 FRAA by WARP, in 1365 games at third

That's about 8 defensive wins in the WARP system, 4.5 in win shares. So Evans was better defensively by a margin that was significant, but not perhaps huge.

Elliott was, by career rate, the better hitter, .296 EQA to Evans' .288; 124 to 119 in OPS+

Here's another point of comparison:

Elliott for his career earned 92.7 WARP1 in 1978 games
Evans, through his 1984 season, earned 90.1 WARP1 in 1984 games

So, in similar career lengths, Elliott's offensive advantage slightly outweighs Evans' defensive advantage, as WARP1 sees it.

In win shares, which likes Evans' offense a little more or Elliott's a little less the comparison looks like this

Elliott, 287 ws in 1978 games
Evans, 290 ws in 1984 games

Here, they are pretty much equal to this point in their careers.

However, Evans had another three above average seasons and two below average but decent seasons after this point, where Elliott has nothing, giving him a very substantial edge in career value.

One might argue that Elliott's career might have been similarly extended in the DH era, but it's clear that his hitting was slipping significantly in his final two seasons, so I am doubtful. Evans honed his old-player skills and put up two of his top 5 OPS+ seasons after the age of 37.

In my assessment, those five more years that Evans has and Elliott doesn't give Evans a solid prime/career case for the HoM. He would be a little short as a peak/prime candidate. Elliott is pretty much identical to Evans as a peak/prime candidate, and he falls a little short.
   12. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 12, 2007 at 05:59 AM (#2295861)
Here are my charts for the three...Evans seems light years ahead of the other two. Forgive me that two are sorted by year and one by salary.

Darrell Evans

Year BWAA/Yr BRWAA/Yr FWAA/Yr  Rep WARP1/Yr SFrac WARP1 LgAdj WARP2 WARP2/Yr PennAdd       Salary
1971     1.6      0.1     1.0 -1.1      3.8   .48   1.8  .958   1.7      3.6    .021   $2,052,403
1972     2.7      0.1     0.7 -1.3      4.9   .86   4.2  .963   4.0      4.7    .052   $5,625,653
1973     4.9      0.1     1.3 -1.4      7.7  1.15   8.9  .967   8.6      7.4    .128  $17,055,169
1974     2.2      0.1     2.1 -1.3      5.8  1.12   6.4  .978   6.3      5.6    .087  $10,047,414
1975     1.3      0.2     1.9 -1.3      4.8  1.08   5.2 1.000   5.2      4.8    .069   $7,315,638
1976     0.7      0.3     0.7  0.0      1.6   .48   0.8  .997   0.8      1.6    .009     $596,600
1977     1.2      0.2    -0.7 -0.7      1.5   .84   1.3  .985   1.2      1.5    .014     $898,078
1978     2.4      0.1     0.8 -1.7      4.9  1.06   5.2 1.027   5.3      5.0    .072   $7,886,980
1979     1.7      0.1     0.1 -1.6      3.4  1.04   3.6 1.015   3.6      3.5    .047   $4,163,733
1980     2.3      0.1     1.3 -1.6      5.3  1.03   5.4 1.036   5.6      5.5    .076   $8,758,504
1981     2.9      0.1    -0.5 -1.5      4.0   .98   3.9  .981   3.8      3.9    .050   $4,767,986
1982     2.4      0.1    -0.7 -1.3      3.1   .87   2.7 1.033   2.8      3.2    .035   $3,059,339
1983     4.6      0.1     0.4  0.0      5.1   .98   5.0 1.047   5.2      5.3    .070   $8,026,315
1984     1.0     -0.2     0.0  0.0      0.8   .75   0.6 1.014   0.6      0.8    .007     $348,271
1985     3.2     -0.2    -0.2 -0.3      3.0   .94   2.8 1.000   2.8      3.0    .034   $2,850,224
1986     1.8      0.0     0.1 -0.1      2.0   .95   1.9 1.019   1.9      2.0    .023   $1,572,606
1987     3.1      0.0     0.3 -0.2      3.5   .94   3.3  .998   3.3      3.5    .042   $3,802,717
1988     0.7     -0.3     0.0  0.0      0.4   .83   0.3 1.023   0.3      0.4    .003     $165,879
1989    -0.4      0.0    -1.1  0.0     -1.5   .51  -0.8 1.040  -0.8     -1.5   -.009           $0
TOTAL    2.3      0.0     0.5 -0.9      3.7 16.89  62.5  .996  62.2      3.7    .829  $88,993,420


Bob Elliott

Year BWAA/Yr BRWAA/Yr FWAA/Yr  Rep WARP1/Yr SFrac WARP1 LgAdj WARP2 WARP2/Yr PennAdd       Salary
1939     4.2      0.0     0.8 -0.5      5.5   .22   1.2  .846   1.0      4.7    .011   $1,412,630
1940     1.5      0.3    -0.8 -0.6      1.7   .92   1.6  .855   1.3      1.5    .016     $966,616
1941     1.0      0.2     0.5 -0.6      2.3   .91   2.1  .850   1.8      2.0    .021   $1,464,097
1942     2.6      0.0    -0.7 -1.2      3.3  1.03   3.4  .860   2.9      2.8    .036   $2,925,869
1943     3.5      0.1     0.3 -1.2      5.4   .98   5.3  .838   4.4      4.5    .058   $5,986,479
1944     3.6      0.2     0.2 -1.0      5.3   .94   5.0  .835   4.2      4.4    .054   $5,606,513
1945     1.9      0.1    -0.1 -1.0      3.3   .92   3.1  .803   2.5      2.7    .030   $2,379,128
1946     0.4      0.2     1.0 -0.4      2.0   .85   1.7  .886   1.5      1.8    .018   $1,192,489
1947     4.3      0.1     0.9 -1.0      6.3  1.06   6.7  .959   6.4      6.1    .090  $10,895,683
1948     4.5      0.1    -0.2 -0.9      5.5  1.13   6.2  .969   6.0      5.3    .082   $9,101,827
1949     3.6      0.0     1.2 -0.7      5.6   .95   5.3  .957   5.0      5.3    .068   $7,730,154
1950     3.9      0.0    -1.1 -0.6      3.5   .99   3.5  .942   3.3      3.3    .041   $3,629,576
1951     2.9      0.0    -1.0 -0.5      2.5   .90   2.2  .961   2.1      2.4    .026   $1,952,081
1952     0.2      0.0     0.2 -0.6      1.0   .52   0.5  .937   0.5      0.9    .005     $291,215
1953     1.1     -0.1    -0.8 -2.0      2.3   .72   1.6  .944   1.6      2.2    .018   $1,341,299
TOTAL    2.7      0.1     0.0 -0.9      3.8 13.04  49.4  .899  44.5      3.4    .574  $56,875,656


Sal Bando

Year BWAA/Yr BRWAA/Yr FWAA/Yr  Rep WARP1/Yr SFrac WARP1 LgAdj WARP2 WARP2/Yr PennAdd       Salary
1969     5.0     -0.2    -0.6 -0.8      5.1  1.18   6.0  .929   5.6      4.7    .076   $7,846,300
1978     2.6      0.1     0.5 -2.1      5.4  1.00   5.4  .959   5.1      5.2    .069   $7.721,101
1976     2.3      0.2     0.3 -1.9      4.6  1.02   4.7 1.014   4.7      4.7    .063   $6,619,318
1972     2.2      0.2     0.8 -1.3      4.6  1.07   4.9  .978   4.8      4.5    .064   $6,493,102
1973     4.1      0.0    -1.5 -1.8      4.4  1.08   4.8  .954   4.6      4.2    .061   $5,980,766
1971     4.0     -0.3    -0.4 -1.1      4.4  1.03   4.6  .959   4.4      4.2    .057   $5,716,368
1970     4.1     -0.4    -0.6 -1.0      4.3  1.00   4.3  .926   4.0      3.9    .051   $4,904,403
1974     2.8      0.3    -1.4 -1.7      3.4   .94   3.2  .997   3.2      3.4    .041   $3,643,581
1968     1.2      0.1     0.4 -0.9      2.6  1.09   2.8 1.010   2.8      2.6    .035   $2,733,137
1975     0.3      0.2     0.4 -1.7      2.6  1.06   2.7  .976   2.6      2.5    .033   $2,470,377
1977     0.2      0.1    -0.1 -2.0      2.3  1.05   2.4  .932   2.2      2.1    .027   $1,908,376
1979    -1.0      0.0    -0.6 -2.0      0.5   .86   0.4  .937   0.4      0.5    .004     $207,232
1967    -2.0      0.1     0.4 -1.0     -0.5   .24  -0.1  .976  -0.1     -0.5   -.002           $0
1981    -1.8     -0.1    -1.1 -1.9     -0.9   .17  -0.2  .937  -0.1     -0.8   -.002           $0
1980    -3.0     -0.2    -0.6 -2.0     -1.6   .45  -0.7  .964  -0.7     -1.6   -.008           $0
TOTAL    2.1      0.0    -0.3 -1.5      3.4 13.23 45.15  .965 43.55      3.3    .569  $56,244,062
   13. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 12, 2007 at 06:09 AM (#2295864)
In short: When they were playing, in terms of career rates, Elliott's advantage with the stick is basically cancelled out by Evans' with the glove (3.7/3.8 WARP1 per full season). But:

1. Evans had nearly four full seasons more than Elliott at that rate.
2. Elliott never had the monster MVP caliber year that Evans had in '73. In 1973, Evans hit AND fielded better than Elliott ever did in *any* single season AND kept up those superb rates over a whopping 722 plate appearances. Evans' 1973 is, by my count, the 12th best season by an NL third baseman since 1893 (after four of Mike Schmidt's years, McGraw's 1899, Beltre's 2004, Pedro Guerrero's 1985, Rolen's 2004, Caminiti's 1996, Sheffield's 1992, and Santo's 1967.) He was so valuable that season that you have to give the peak argument to Evans, IMO.
3. Elliott played half of his career in the easy-to-dominate pre-integration era, including three years of very soft wartime competition which I am not penalizing him for. By contrast, Evans played in the hardest-to-dominate era in MLB history.

Thus, I don't think they're even close.

As for Bando, he wasn't as good a hitter as Evans, was a much worse fielder, and had a shorter career. What's to like?

Evans seems like a *clear* HoM selection to me; the other two won't get anywhere near my ballot.
   14. OCF Posted: February 12, 2007 at 07:25 AM (#2295876)
Why does Evans's 1973 stand out so far in WARP1/WARP2 ? I don't see that the raw ingredients were much different than several of his other years, such as 1983. (In my tables, 1973 is the 52 and 1983 the 49).
   15. DCW3 Posted: February 12, 2007 at 09:14 AM (#2295887)
I have to say, Evans is one guy whose HoM support I don't understand at all. Here's what I wrote in Graig Nettles's thread:

I have trouble seeing much difference between Nettles and Evans. Very similar career lengths (Evans has about 500 more PAs). Evans was a better hitter (119 OPS+ vs. 110) with a better OBP, but I think positional adjustments erase a lot of the difference--Nettles played 89.3% of his career games at third base, vs. only 53.7% for Evans, who spent most of the remainder of his career as a 1B/DH. Evans had the better offensive peak, but keep in mind that most of his best years with the bat came after he had moved to first base, so the difference in their peak value isn't as great as it first appears. And Nettles was pretty much universally considered a much better defender, correct? (Not that it means anything, but they're both each other's most similar player on Baseball-Reference.)

I think Evans is better than Nettles, but not by a whole lot--and Nettles has received practically no support, only showing up on the bottom of a few ballots. Is the difference between them big enough to make Evans a "surefire HoM'er"?

The GWAA system I worked on, which tries to evenly weight peak and career, scores Evans at 15.05. That's not even remotely close to Hall of Fame caliber--borderline is around 28-30. That doesn't include defense, but I think a player would probably have to be an all-time great shortstop to close that gap. (For comparison, Ozzie Smith is at 17.05; Dave Concepcion is at 21.63.) Now, obviously this is a rather cursory system, with a great many flaws--but it does seem to match up awfully well with the HoM consensus for most players. When a player's score is that far off from general opinion, it just makes me wonder what I'm missing.
   16. sunnyday2 Posted: February 12, 2007 at 01:37 PM (#2295904)
The modern day 3Bs are tough, I'll admit. But once you get past the obvious ones--Mike, George, Wade--I'm skeptical about the rest, I suppose it's just because they're not Mike, George, Wade. And when you dig in, there are +s and -s on all of them. If Evans was such a great glove why did he move off of 3B so early? And regardless of why, he did. And so on. If the rest of you guys aren't slouching towards consensus, it makes it hard for me to overcome my initial skepticism about the lot of them.

One perspective I do want to think about, however, is this: If Evans, with his bat, had been a 1B all of his life, would he be a HoM candidate? A HoMer? If yes, then obviously he would be with the time he spent at 3B. How does he compare to Will Clark, e.g., or Tony Perez for that matter?
   17. Howie Menckel Posted: February 12, 2007 at 01:52 PM (#2295905)
I will be careful with Evans as well.
Elliott seemed to get taken down a notch since he wasn't "really a 3B," while Evans seems to get treated as one, even though Elliott has the better case there imo.

Tony Perez indeed is an interesting comparison I haven't made yet.
But Perez is 29 3B/68 1B to Evans' 54 3B/32 1B/10 DH. So Evans has about twice as much 3B pct to 1B pct.

Evans is a lot better than he's credited for, but let's not give him a pass into the HOM, either.
   18. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 12, 2007 at 02:44 PM (#2295919)
Here's why 1973 is in a class by itself:

1. He hit at a somewhat better rate in 1973: 4.9 batting wins above average per season/156 OPS+/.326 EqA in '73, versus 4.6 BWAA per season/150 OPS+/.315 EqA in 1983.

2. He had 122 more plate appearances in 1973, which is a *lot*.

3. He fielded a lot better in 1973 (1.5 fielding wins above average in 1973, 0.4 in 1983).

4. He played third base in 1973, and first base in 1983.

Add all those factors up, and the years aren't even close. In 1973, you have 5.0 offensive wins average plus 1.3 fielding wins above average per season, when replacement 3B were 1.3 wins below average per season, so that's 5 + 1.3 + 1.3 = 7.7 WARP1 per season with rounding, times 15% more PA than an average player for that year is a tremendous 8.9 WARP1. In 1983, you have 4.7 offensive wins above average plus 0.4 fielding wins above average per season, when replacement 1B were league-average hitters, so that's 4.7 + 0.4 + 0.0 = 5.1 WARP1 per season, times 2% fewer PA than an averagep layer for that year is 5.0 WARP1. Standard deviations slightly narrow the gap, bringing 1973 down to 8.6 and 1983 up to 5.2.

BP agrees for what it's worth, giving him 12.7 WARP1 in '73 and 8.1 in '83.

DCW3: I don't know how RCAP or your system are calculated. I *can* say that Evans was 39 wins above a league-average hitter for his career, ignoring his position, fielding, and replacement level. He was a further 8 fielding wins above average for his positions, making him 47 wins above a positionless league average player for his career. Then probably loses some in RCAP relative to RCAA, since he played a number of years as a 1B/DH. If you want to post your exact calculation (including how you get RCAP), I can try to figure out where we diverge.

sunnyday2--here's a chart for Pérez.

Tony Pérez

Year BWAA/Yr BRWAA/Yr FWAA/Yr  Rep WARP1/Yr SFrac WARP1 LgAdj WARP2 WARP2/Yr PennAdd       Salary
1965     1.2      0.0    -0.7  0.1      0.3   .48   0.2  .908   0.1      0.3    .001      $65,847
1966    -1.2      0.0     0.1  0.1     -1.2   .43  -0.5  .931  -0.5     -1.1   -.006           $0
1967     2.3      0.0    -0.2 -1.0      3.2  1.02   3.3  .959   3.1      3.1    .039   $3,291,133
1968     2.5      0.1     0.8 -0.9      4.2  1.09   4.6 1.015   4.7      4.3    .062   $6,141,634
1969     3.7      0.1     0.3 -0.8      4.9  1.11   5.5  .914   5.0      4.5    .067   $6,772,255
1970     5.7      0.1    -0.5 -1.0      6.5  1.06   6.9  .921   6.3      5.9    .088  $10,522,428
1971     2.0      0.1     0.5 -1.1      3.7  1.06   3.9  .958   3.8      3.6    .048   $4,356,879
1972     3.9      0.1     0.2  0.3      3.9   .96   3.8  .963   3.6      3.8    .047   $4,388,972
1973     5.4      0.1    -0.3  0.4      4.8  1.02   4.9  .967   4.7      4.6    .062   $6,501,559
1974     2.2      0.0     0.3  0.3      2.1  1.05   2.2  .978   2.2      2.1    .027   $1,855,577
1975     2.4      0.0     0.5  0.2      2.7   .91   2.5 1.000   2.5      2.7    .030   $2,448,458
1976     1.6      0.2     0.6  0.0      2.4   .93   2.3  .997   2.3      2.4    .028   $2,094,916
1977     2.0      0.1     0.6  0.0      2.8   .98   2.7  .985   2.7      2.7    .033   $2,610,634
1978     1.9      0.0     0.3  0.0      2.3   .95   2.2 1.027   2.2      2.3    .027   $1,998,334
1979     0.5      0.0    -0.1  0.0      0.5   .85   0.5 1.105   0.5      0.5    .005     $236,168
1980     0.5      0.0    -0.6 -0.3      0.2   .99   0.2  .964   0.2      0.2    .002     $102,480
1981    -0.2      0.0    -0.6 -0.3     -0.5   .81  -0.4  .937  -0.4     -0.4   -.005           $0
1982     0.1      0.0     0.0  0.0      0.1   .34   0.0  .982   0.0      0.1    .000      $14,262
1983    -0.2      0.0     0.5  0.0      0.3   .45   0.1 1.047   0.2      0.3    .001      $72,088
1984    -1.5      0.0    -0.8  0.1     -2.5   .24  -0.6 1.043  -0.6     -2.6   -.007           $0
1985     3.9      0.0    -0.4  0.1      3.3   .33   1.1 1.023   1.1      3.4    .013   $1,270,675
1986    -0.3      0.0    -0.9  0.3     -1.5   .36  -0.5 1.030  -0.5     -1.5   -.007           $0
TOTAL    2.2      0.1     0.1 -0.2      2.6 17.42  45.0  .963  43.3      2.5    .555  $54,744,299
   19. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 12, 2007 at 03:01 PM (#2295929)
So, comparing the two players:

1. Their careers were of similar lengths.

2. They were equal as hitters over their careers (both had 2.3 offensive wins above average per year).

3. Evans fielded his positions notably better than Pérez did (8.4 career fielding wins above average, versus 0.9 FWAA for Pérez). That's a very big difference.

4. Evans played twice as much 3B as Pérez did. Moreover, Evans played 3B when it was a scarcer position (in the late 1970s) than it was when Pérez did (from 1967-71). And Evans had more (and better) years in the AL, where replacement players look worse compared to average because of the DH. Thus, the players who would have replaced Evans if he went down would have cost their teams 15 wins below league average over his career, while the players that would have replaced Pérez would only have been 4.2 wins below league average over the course of his career. That's an enormous difference.

5. Evans debuted a bit later than Pérez, and played more and better years in the extremely hard-to-dominate 1980s, while Pérez played more in the easier-to-dominate 1960s. It's probably no coincidence that Pérez's two best years were 1969-70, when he could feast on expansion pitching and expansion hitters were dragging down the league average. Evans wasn't playing regularly in those years.

6. Pérez never had a year like Evans' 1973. He had years where he hit even better (1970 and 1973), but had below-average fielding seasons in those years. Evans' defensive peak matched up with his offensive one, giving him a huge MVP-deserving season.

Add it all up, and you see that Evans' career was some 44% more valuable than Pérez's and with a higher peak to boot. One will be in an elect-me spot, and the other off-ballot.

Howie Menckel, there's also the fact that Evans was a *good* 3B, while Elliott was merely average. That probably has something to do with it.
   20. Dizzypaco Posted: February 12, 2007 at 03:06 PM (#2295930)
There are certain players who virtually everyone on BTF can agree are underrated by the mainstream press. Blyleven is one, Darrell Evans another. What ends up happening, IMO, is that some people are so intent on proving that they are underrated that they become overrated by those arguing their case. I believed it about Blyleven during his debate, and I believe it about Evans. I wouldn't be surprised if Raines falls into that category, even though I'm a fan of his.

To me, the case that Evans is a clear HOM player rests on the belief that he was a great defensive third baseman - not good, but great. If he was only good, then combined with his offense - OPS+ typically of 110 to 120, slow baserunner, he was just not that special, with the exception of 1973. Most of his really good offensive years came as a first baseman with little defensive value.

I understand that his defensive statistics are very good, but this is a guy who, during the years that he is thought to be so good defensively, often played first base, which would be very unusual for someone supposedly so good. He certainly didn't have the reputation of being a great defensive third baseman. When reputation diverges from statistics to this degree, I get the feeling there may be something more to the story, and I would be wary of accepting the defensive numbers at face value.

If we don't think he was a truly great defensive thirdbaseman, I don't see how he was that much better than Nettles/Cey/Bando.
   21. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 12, 2007 at 03:52 PM (#2295942)
Like many players, his defensive peak came early in his career and didn't last long. From 1971-75, he averaged about 15 of my FRAA a season, and my FRAA are on Chris Dial's scale, which is to say extremely compressed. Thus, he wasn't peak Nettles or Brooks or Rolen or Clete Boyer with the glove for those years, but he was just one tier down--I have him as the best-fielding 3B in the NL by rate in 1971, 1974, and 1975, a close second to Cey in 1973, and third behind Don Money and Doug Rader in 1972. But after that, he dropped off in a hurry, and was merely above average from 1976-80. He was below average in '81-'82, and then was moved off third base.

I think he, Nettles, and Cey are all deserving of induction (and don't understand the love for Bando at all), but he is clearly the best of the lot (and the only one I think will actually make it in). Remember that due to the very low standard deviations of the era, a 120 OPS+ in the late 1970s "bought" considerably more wins than the same OPS+ just ten years earlier or 20 years later.
   22. TomH Posted: February 12, 2007 at 05:04 PM (#2295995)
While I agree it might be wise to exercise caution about Evans' defense (if it was so good, why so much time at 1B/DH?), he will easily pop in at #2 on my ballot next year. It's not that he's so much better than the other 3B candidates, but it's that my ballot is devoid of faves who have been IMHO dissed by the electorate. My HIGHEST backlog position player, Beckley, I rank above only 11 elected hitters. Highest backlog pitcher, Walters, has only 8 elected pitchers below him. I suspect this is far fewer than most other voters. Stated another way, only 15 elected players would not make this year's ballot. Ergo, my #2 spot is not too far removed from my #16 (or really, Red Faber, who would be 50th-ish today, and he made my ballot when we elected him). Darrell has too many plusses and too few minuses for me even to be initially cautious about, unless something is unearthed here that surprises me greatly.
   23. sunnyday2 Posted: February 12, 2007 at 05:15 PM (#2296005)
Big challenge just getting the 3Bs and part-time 3Bs and equivalent players on the defensive spectrum (19C and dead ball 2Bs) figured out. I have 13 of them in my top 39, 26 in my consideration set of now more than 120 players. And then I'm thinking that some of the players in this group (Perez, Da. Evans) could reasonably be compared to all the 1B in my consideration set as well, and the 1B of course need to be cross referenced with the corner OF as well, some of whom (R. Smith, Browning) also played a lot of CF. 80 players in all (not including CF). A mess.

Uber-3B only, place on prelim ballot

1. Schmidt--not Shirley
5. Doyle
14. Williamson
16. Leach
17. Da. Evans
18. Rosen
19. Perez
(22a. Boyer)
29. Bando
(30a. Sewell)
33. Stephens
39. Traynor
(39a. E. Sutton)
53. Nettles
57. Elliott
59. Dunlap
64. McGraw
80. Pesky
82. Clarkson
86. Bell
88. Lazzeri
HM. D. Lyons, Evers, Harrah, L. Cross

Adding in only the very top of the other clusters

1. Schmidt--not Shirley
4. Keller
5. Doyle
9. Cepeda
13. R. Smith
14. Williamson
15. Browning
16. Leach
17. Da. Evans
18. Rosen
19. Perez
21. Cravath
(22a. Boyer)
(24a. Keeler)
25. Easter
29. Bando
30. Klein
(30a. Sewell)

>I think he, Nettles, and Cey are all deserving of induction

I think all of my top 40 are all deserving of induction. I mean, I'm a small hall guy myself but the HoM is by my thinking a large hall and the differential between the guys we're electing and, say, Vern Stephens and Pie Traynor are pretty small. So I think all of my top 40 are deserving of induction. But I can still only have one #1, one #2...and one #40. At what point do Evans, Nettles and Cey all go to the top of the ballot because "they're deserving of induction" and they're the shiniest new candidates and I saw them play? Hopefully at no point. Guys like Laughing Larry Doyle and Tommy Leach and Pie Traynor need to be considered in that same breath that says Evans, Nettles and Cey.
   24. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 12, 2007 at 05:27 PM (#2296016)
...but unless you totally ignore how easy Doyle, Leach, and Traynor's leagues were to dominate (Doyle's less so, but when he played 2B was more like corner OF than 3B, and he played it terribly), those three are all markedly inferior...
   25. andrew siegel Posted: February 12, 2007 at 06:12 PM (#2296044)
Breaking down the careers of Evans and Perez into three segments:

Top seasons:

Perez had a seven-year-run in which he spent five years as a .300ish EQA, 103 Defensive Rate 3B; then two as a .320ish EQA, 104 Defensive Rate 1B.

Evans had seven years in a nine-year span (two poor years in the middle) in which he was a .295ish EQA, 108 Defensive Rate 3B.

Verdict: Advantage Evans. The consecutiveness of Perez's peak is a plus for roster-planning purposes and the overall gap isn't huge, but it is hard to imagine Evans's edge in defensive value not overcoming Perez's offensive advantage.

Second-tier seasons:

Perez had five consecutive years in which he was a .287ish EQA, 1110 Defensive Rate 1B.

Evans had seven consecutive seasons in which he was a .294ish, 105 Defensive Rate 1b (with 20% of his time as a 94 Defensive Rate 3B).

Verdict: Advantage Evans. On a season-by-season basis, Perez is ahead. Plus he played a few more games per season than Evans. But the gaps in those areas don't come close to making up for the fact that Evans did it for seven years and Perez for only five.

Remainder of career:

Perez put up 18.0 more WARP-1, in insignficant increments.

Evans put up 12.4 more WARP-1 in insignificant increments.

Verdict: Advantage Perez, but who cares?

Overall, I think Evans is slightly but clearly ahead of Perez even before you begin to adjust for league quality, DH, and standard deviations of performance. Perez is 18th on my list for this year. Evans is clearly above that and almost certainly on ballot. Whether he is 5th or 15th is still up in the air.
   26. Boots Day Posted: February 12, 2007 at 06:23 PM (#2296055)
Evans' 1973 came in one of the most unusual offensive environments in the modern era; while he was hitting 41 homers that year, Davey Johnson across the infield was hitting 43, despite having popped only 5 the year before. And Hank Aaron was hitting 40 homers in just 392 AB, posting the second-highest slugging percentage of his career at the age of 39.

Clearly, there was something funky going on here, although BB-ref lists the hitting park factor at just 108. There were 11.08 runs scored per game at AFCS that summer, as opposed to 8.35 in Braves road games, a whopping 33 percent increase at home. The Braves as a whole finished 76-85, suggesting they were not quite the offensive juggernaut that a team with three 40-homer sluggers ought to be.

Evans himself didn't have an overpowering home-field advantage that year, but still, I think you need to be careful before you anoint such a season as one of the greatest of all time.
   27. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 12, 2007 at 06:44 PM (#2296075)
Anyone got component park factors? My guess is that Atlanta was ++ for HR and maybe neutral or even negative for everything else, making it perfectly suited for a Three True Outcomes hitter like Evans. Then you'd just get into the debate about taking extra advantage of your home park--an argument that has never hurt Mel Ott, is wide open about Gavvy Cravath, and killed Chuck Klein's candidacy.

As for the 76-85 record, record, they actually scored 25 more runs than they allowed for a Pythagorean record of 83-78, suggesting a mixture of bad luck and maybe bad bullpen. 83-78 sounds just right to me for a team with a 112 OPS+ and 92 ERA+.
   28. DavidFoss Posted: February 12, 2007 at 07:07 PM (#2296091)
Then you'd just get into the debate about taking extra advantage of your home park--an argument that has never hurt Mel Ott, is wide open about Gavvy Cravath, and killed Chuck Klein's candidacy.

I try not to worry about home/road splits outside of park factor. Extra advantages (or disadvantages) help teams win games. The converse works as well (it really 'hurt' CPBell to play in a bandbox which is one of the reasons I was never high on him).

Klein's career just too short and his peak was just not high enough. Bob Johnson has a higher OPS+ with 900 more PA. Frank Howard has a higher OPS+. Klein's era is not exactly underrepresented either.

Cravath's case depends on MLE's. If Cravath's MLE's were actual seasons (even in the Baker Bowl), then I think he would have been inducted by now.

So, if Darrell Evans knew how to take special advantage of the launching pad, then more power to him I say.
   29. Boots Day Posted: February 12, 2007 at 07:46 PM (#2296126)
But Evans didn't take special advantage of the Launching Pad, at least not in 1973. He hit 24 homers at home and 17 on the road. My point is that the park factor for AFCS for that season appears to be woefully understated, at least by BB-ref. And therefore, Evans' performance for that season has been overrated.
   30. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 12, 2007 at 08:03 PM (#2296163)
Well, there *is* such a thing as random fluctuation, which is why one takes multi-year averages...the raw run park factors for 72-74 seem to be 115/2 = 107.5 for 1972, 133/2 = 116.5 for 1973, and 106/2 = 103 for 1974. A three-year average of that is 109, just one off baseball-reference's 108. It's possible that the wind was just blowing out in Atlanta in 1973, but we can't really know...it's also possible that the Braves just happened to score even more runs at home that year than they usually did by pure chance. I'm fine using 108 and leaving it at that.
   31. Dizzypaco Posted: February 12, 2007 at 08:50 PM (#2296186)
It is worth noting that Evans played 100 games at third in only seven different seasons, which isn't an awful lot.

Anyway, I was curious why Evans moved from third to first base after the 1975 season, a year in which he had a great range factor. Was it an injury? Did they get someone new?

Looking back at the Sporting News from the fall of 1975 (Thank you Paper of Record!) I found the following quotes:

10/11/75: "Evans has struggled through a frustrating year, both offensively and defensively... He apparently is of the opinion that a change of scenary would help."

11/29/75: "That means Darrell Evans, who had 37 boots at third base last season, can be moved to first base and either Ed Goodson, Rod Gailbreath, or perhaps Larvell Blanks can take over at third... Evans had problems all around last season. he did not hit as expected, and it carried over to defense, where the veteran infielder had problems catching the ball and throwing it. A move to first base at least would ease the throwing phase of the game... Evans move would leave a battle royal at third base..."

So the answer is that the Braves thought he was so bad defensively at third he had to move to first, even they had absolutely no one to replace him. And this was during the heart of his prime. Now the Braves could have been wrong, of course, but doesn't it seem strange that someone who's case is in large part based on defense was considered so bad when he was playing that he had to move to an easier position?
   32. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 12, 2007 at 09:00 PM (#2296191)
Very strange indeed. BP has him with an outstanding 18 FRAA in 1975, and Win Shares gives him an outstanding 7.7, tops in the league by a huge margin (Cey was second with 6.0).
   33. OCF Posted: February 12, 2007 at 09:37 PM (#2296228)
One perspective I do want to think about, however, is this: If Evans, with his bat, had been a 1B all of his life, would he be a HoM candidate? A HoMer? If yes, then obviously he would be with the time he spent at 3B. How does he compare to Will Clark, e.g., or Tony Perez for that matter?

I think he compares pretty closely with Perez. Neither has a great peak - I might like Perez a little better there. Perez, Beckley, Vernon (or rather what Vernon might be with some war credit). This grouping is well behind Cepeda, Cash, and even Boog Powell on offense in my system.

Looking forward a few years, what about Keith Hernandez? My system does really like Hernandez's OBP-heavy offense, and you're comparing a 3B/1B to someone who is all 1B but very good at that.
   34. Mark Donelson Posted: February 12, 2007 at 09:42 PM (#2296235)
Very strange indeed. BP has him with an outstanding 18 FRAA in 1975, and Win Shares gives him an outstanding 7.7, tops in the league by a huge margin (Cey was second with 6.0).

It's stuff like this disparity that make me loath to put a really vast amount of faith in the various fielding metrics.

Of course, that's not exactly a new thought, I realize...
   35. sunnyday2 Posted: February 12, 2007 at 09:43 PM (#2296236)
>...but unless you totally ignore how easy Doyle, Leach, and Traynor's leagues were to dominate (Doyle's less so, but when he played 2B was more like corner OF than 3B, and he played it terribly), those three are all markedly inferior...

Well, then I guess you have to totally ignore their leagues, and I'm not willing to do that.
   36. Boots Day Posted: February 12, 2007 at 09:46 PM (#2296239)
That wasn't the only time Evans was moved off of third, of course. When the Giants traded for Bill Madlock in 1977, they moved Evans to left field and let Madlock play third. But Evans was so incredibly bad in the outfield that they eventually tried Madlock at second in September, putting Evans back at third base. Then in 1978 Madlock played mostly second, and Evans exclusively at third.

And of course in 1983, the Giants moved him off of third base for good, to make room for Tom O'Malley. That makes three times in his career, under three different managers, that Evans was moved from third base.
   37. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 12, 2007 at 10:08 PM (#2296249)
OCF--when you say "on offense," is that including a positional adjustment? Without accounting for position, how many non-1B or OF would be in the Hall of Merit? And then there's quality of fielding, which is another big argument for Evans.
Again, Evans matches Pérez's offense, with twice as much time at 3B, in an era when 3B were scarcer, with vastly better fielding, in leagues that were harder to dominate, and has a huge MVP-type season that Pérez doesn't (Pérez's 1970 was marred by mediocre fielding). The gap is so vast I'm not sure why they're being mentioned in the same sentence.
Even accounting for the low stdevs of Keith Hernández's time and his excellent, he just didn't produce enough offense given how plentiful 1B were. If you think that a great 1B can consistently make a 15-20 run contribution in the field, then it's possible he's deserving.

sunnyday2--so you're agreeing with me, then? I'm saying that Doyle, Leach, and Traynor played in easy-to-dominate leagues and thus did not stand out from their peers nearly as much as Evans, Cey, and Nettles. What is your response to that argument?

Boots Day--he did keep getting moved back...

Is it possible managers' perception of his fielding was biased by their dismay at his low batting averages?
   38. Dizzypaco Posted: February 12, 2007 at 10:24 PM (#2296263)
Again, Evans matches Pérez's offense, with twice as much time at 3B, in an era when 3B were scarcer, with vastly better fielding, in leagues that were harder to dominate, and has a huge MVP-type season that Pérez doesn't (Pérez's 1970 was marred by mediocre fielding). The gap is so vast I'm not sure why they're being mentioned in the same sentence.

1. I personally don't think Evans matched Perez's offense. I know their EQA is similar, but I don't buy it. They played in a similar offensive context, and Perez numbers look a lot more impressive to me. His OPS in his prime was much higher than Evans.

2. As I mentioned above, Evans had seven seasons in which he played 100 games at third. Perez had five.

3. 3B were scarcer? I don't know how the fact that Ron Santo was playing for the Cubs gives Evans an advantage over Perez, but it should be noted that Evans overlapped with Schmidt, Brett, Bell, Cey, Nettles, etc.

4. Perez and Evans career largely overlapped, playing in the same league. How is it possible that Evans' league was harder to dominate? Perez's prime occurred only four or five years before Evans'.

5. Evans had one season that was far out of context with the rest of his career, and yet was matched at least offensively by Perez in 1970.

6. As I noted above, while people continue to claim that Evans was vastly better than Perez defensively, Evans was considered a mediocre or worse defender when he played. I don't know that its a given that Evans was as brilliant defensively as his stats suggest.

All in all, I think they are pretty comparable, although I think Perez is a little better overall. I can understand how someone would prefer Evans, but I can't understand thinking its a complete slam dunk.
   39. DL from MN Posted: February 12, 2007 at 10:25 PM (#2296265)
> Looking forward a few years, what about Keith Hernandez?

If I guess correctly at the next few inductions I'm afraid Hernandez will top my ballot in his debut which really doesn't feel right. Still, he's way better than Bill Terry.
   40. DavidFoss Posted: February 12, 2007 at 10:29 PM (#2296267)
3. 3B were scarcer? I don't know how the fact that Ron Santo was playing for the Cubs gives Evans an advantage over Perez, but it should be noted that Evans overlapped with Schmidt, Brett, Bell, Cey, Nettles, etc.

Agreed, plus there's is also Bando. The floodgates open up for 3B at around 1970 or so. I think the bar rises for them. Boyer should be thankful he got inducted before all those guys became eligible.
   41. Steve Treder Posted: February 12, 2007 at 10:34 PM (#2296270)
Is it possible managers' perception of his fielding was biased by their dismay at his low batting averages?

I think this is stretching it.

I saw Evans play a whole lot; granted most of it was 1976-83, after his early prime. My assessment at the time was that he was a decent defensive third baseman, and it frustrated me that the Giants constantly seemed to be trying to find an excuse to move him off of third (Tom O'Malley? Give us a break.).

But the notion that Evans was some kind of unappreciated Gold Glover just doesn't wash, and seems to reveal more around the limitations of fielding metrics than reality. Evans moved very well to his left, and as such was terrific at starting the 4-5-3 double play. But that was the extent of what he did particularly well at 3B: his arm was nothing special for a third baseman's, so he wasn't especially adept at throwing guys out after backhanding the ball behind the bag. He wasn't particularly quick or agile at coming in to field slow toppers or bunts. And most distressingly, he was the kind of fielder who's streaky: he'd go along for weeks or months at a time making all the routine plays, but then he'd suddenly fall into a fielding slump and make a rash of errors, both fielding and throwing, for a few weeks. It was frustrating, and I'm sure that's what happened to him in 1975 to cause the Braves to move him to 1B.
   42. OCF Posted: February 12, 2007 at 10:36 PM (#2296272)
Dan (#37) - that's with no positional adjustment. I was responding to sunnyday2's hypothetical in post #16.
   43. DCW3 Posted: February 12, 2007 at 10:37 PM (#2296276)
Then probably loses some in RCAP relative to RCAA, since he played a number of years as a 1B/DH.

One thing to keep in mind is that Evans's years at 3B don't really help him when it comes to positional adjustments--they just hurt him less than his years at 1B/DH. Here's the league-average OPS+ for a player at Evans's position each year of his career:

69  98
70 107
71  99
72 103
73 107
74 103
75 103
76 113
77 110
78 102
79 110
80 103
81 114
82 106
83 110
84 108
85 113
86 110
87 110
87 116
88 110
89 113
______
Ca 108 


Since Evans's career OPS+ was only 119, that takes a big chunk out of his value--and that's without any extra DH adjustment. I have his career RCAP at 105.
   44. Al Peterson Posted: February 12, 2007 at 10:37 PM (#2296277)
3. 3B were scarcer? I don't know how the fact that Ron Santo was playing for the Cubs gives Evans an advantage over Perez, but it should be noted that Evans overlapped with Schmidt, Brett, Bell, Cey, Nettles, etc.

Besides the ones David mentions in #40 you have Pete Rose who stops at 3B for a few years and a slew of hitters/questionable fielders like Bill Madlock, Toby Harrah, Richie Hebner. If something happened in the 70s it was many guys could suddenly swing the stick while playing the hot corner.
   45. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 12, 2007 at 10:38 PM (#2296278)
-I've got Hernandez as the 15th best 1B through 1995. That means he'll draw support from me. He'd make my ballot in a backlog election year.

-I've got Perez as the 20th best 1B candiate through 1995. Which means he's a little below the in/out line. He'll drop further below that line as the 1990s generation of great 1Bs matures.

-I forgot in my analysis of Evans' case to consider him as a multiposition guy. As a 3B, it's as I've mentioned above. As a 1B, Evans would be the next guy after Hernandez, so 16th at 1B. But at 3B, he's about 14th. So call him a 15th-ranked player at the combo of 3B and 1B. (He'd be the top DH, by the way.)

So in my system, he's a solid candidate. Not spectacular, certainly in the HOM's lower half, maybe its lower 33rd or 25th percetile, but in.
   46. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 12, 2007 at 10:46 PM (#2296287)
1. Their career OPS+ are within 3 of each other as well...I can send you a spreadsheet with Extrapolated Runs and BRAA for each of their seasons so you can see the underlying math that shows their equivalence, if you're interested. You are right that Pérez's best offensive seasons (1970 and 1973) were better than anything Evans did, but he didn't field well those years making the peak lower overall, and 1970 was just one year removed from expansion; a lot of guys were feasting on the new pitchers then. Anyways, Evans makes up the offensive difference over the whole career. But fine, peak offense alone goes to Pérez.

2. Umm, Evans had literally twice as many games at 3B as Pérez. Seasons over 100 games seems like some mighty selective endpointing to me...

3. Well, replacement 3B were much worse during much of Evans' time at third than during Pérez's. Again, I'm happy to show you the players and calculations if you'd find that useful.

4. Evans remained productive into the very tough to dominate 1980s, whereas Pérez had his best years right after the second expansion in one decade. That said, that's only a differential of 1.4 wins over the career, but counts for more if you discount Pérez's peak (as I think you should).

5. True--in fact exceeded offensively on a rate basis. But there was a two-win glove difference between Evans' 73 and Pérez's 70, plus Evans had more plate appearances at that rate, plus Pérez was much closer to the expansion.

6. Well, *if* you're not convinced that Evans was the best-fielding 3B in the NL from 1971-75, then it's a different issue. I have him at $88 million, where the in/out line is about $80; if you call him a league-average defender from 71-75, he falls to $71, which isn't close to electable. I'll keep my faith in averaging FRAA and FWS, but you of course are not obliged to. I imagine that if you were to grant that Evans was the best defensive 3B in the league for those five years, you then would see him as Meritorious...in which case our debate would boil down to just that.
   47. DL from MN Posted: February 12, 2007 at 10:50 PM (#2296291)
How do I account for the 300 games at DH defensively? Does he get negative defensive value? These are the questions I'm asking myself.
   48. Jose Canusee Posted: February 12, 2007 at 10:55 PM (#2296296)
41. Steve Treder Posted: February 12, 2007 at 04:34 PM (#2296270)



I saw Evans play a whole lot; granted most of it was 1976-83, after his early prime. My assessment at the time was that he was a decent defensive third baseman, and it frustrated me that the Giants constantly seemed to be trying to find an excuse to move him off of third (Tom O'Malley? Give us a break.).


Seems I remember him moving to SSfor O'Malley, with LeMaster becoming a defensive replacement instead of a starter.
   49. Steve Treder Posted: February 12, 2007 at 11:00 PM (#2296299)
Seems I remember him moving to SSfor O'Malley, with LeMaster becoming a defensive replacement instead of a starter.

That was only on an emergency and partial-game basis for a handful of games in '82 and '83. Vastly more often, O'Malley moved Evans to 1B.

The very fact that Evans was used as an emergency SS in 22 games at the ages of 35 and 36 says something positive about his defensive skill. (It also says something about Frank Robinson's managerial tendencies; he also used Joel Youngblood as a starter at 2B.) But Evans would be the first to tell you he wasn't capable of providing good major league SS defense at that point in his career, if ever.
   50. Dizzypaco Posted: February 12, 2007 at 11:02 PM (#2296302)
The very fact that Evans was used as an emergency SS in 22 games at the ages of 35 and 36 says something positive about his defensive skill.

It would if he was playing for anyone other than the Giants. They did weird things with defense for years. At one point, Dave Kingman was playing third.
   51. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 12, 2007 at 11:03 PM (#2296305)
Well, the 60s had Mathews, Boyer, Santo, Allen, Jim Ray Hart, and Pérez just in the NL, so I'm not sure if there were more stars in the 70s. I *am* sure that the freely available talent level was lower--if you're curious to see the evidence, I'd be happy to show you.
   52. Steve Treder Posted: February 12, 2007 at 11:05 PM (#2296306)
They did weird things with defense for years.

Tell me about it.

At one point, Dave Kingman was playing third.

True, but that was a decade earlier than Evans at SS, under a different ownership and management. The two cases really aren't related.
   53. DCW3 Posted: February 12, 2007 at 11:05 PM (#2296307)
To provide a comparison to the numbers in #43, the average positional OPS+ for Tony Perez's career--which was longer, withe a higher OPS+ than Evans--was 110. (And Perez only DHed in 3.0% of his games, vs. 9.4% for Evans.)
   54. Ron Johnson Posted: February 12, 2007 at 11:10 PM (#2296315)
Bill James wrote something to the effect that you can ignore the defensive spectrum when discussing the Giants.

And on another ... interesting defensive decision (Madlock to second) he wrote of Madlock's complaints:

"This is understandable; bears don't like to roller skate, cows don't like to dance and the Pope rarely appears on game shows. Playing second base was not among Madlock's considerable talents."
   55. BDC Posted: February 12, 2007 at 11:16 PM (#2296319)
I don't know that Evans belongs in any Hall, but one number I was amazed at when it was given above was the 1,605 walks, a Yostian total. Every once in a while there is a player who is not an inner-circle type who has some amazing career total, like Bert Blyleven's shutouts, or Al Oliver's doubles total (which looked much more impressive when Oliver retired). It may not really mean a hill of beans in terms of overall Hall-worth, but you have to be some kind of big-league hitter to walk 1,605 times or hit 529 doubles.
   56. BDC Posted: February 12, 2007 at 11:21 PM (#2296323)
the Pope rarely appears on game shows

Odd that, considering the infallibility and all.
   57. Steve Treder Posted: February 12, 2007 at 11:26 PM (#2296329)
Odd that, considering the infallibility and all.

I'm reminded of the old joke ...

The angel talking to God: "Hey, God, look. I know you're all-knowing, all-omnisicient, and all that. But would it kill you, when someone says, 'Knock! Knock!' to remember to answer, 'Who's there?'"
   58. Boots Day Posted: February 12, 2007 at 11:44 PM (#2296345)
Seems I remember him moving to SSfor O'Malley, with LeMaster becoming a defensive replacement instead of a starter.

Evans started eight games at shortstop for the 1982 Giants. It appears to have been a weeklong experiment (from August 8 to 13) that didn't pan out; Evans was quickly moved back to third, with Joe Pettini and Guy Sularz taking over at short.
   59. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 12, 2007 at 11:45 PM (#2296348)
DCW3--yeah, but playing 1B in the NL isn't that different than playing DH in the AL--since teams can't stick the oafs at DH, they put them at 1B and just eat the defense. NL 1B rep level is only about two-tenths of a win below AL DH rep level.
   60. Steve Treder Posted: February 12, 2007 at 11:50 PM (#2296354)
It appears to have been a weeklong experiment

It wasn't an "experiment." It was a response to LeMaster's injury. If Evans had been capable of handling SS on a sustained basis, LeMaster never would have been the regular in the first place.
   61. Boots Day Posted: February 13, 2007 at 12:17 AM (#2296374)
Well, Steve, you certainly know more about this than I do, but it's still a bit murky to me. Forgive me if I'm going off into the weeds here, but here's what I can glean from Retrosheet:

In the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday, August 8, 1982, Johnnie LeMaster was the Giants shortstop. He played the entire game. In the second game of the DH, Darrell Evans played shortstop. It's possible that LeMaster got hurt in the first game, but he wasn't replaced. For the remainder of that week, through Friday August 13, Evans played every inning at shortstop for the Giants. Then on Saturday, LeMaster started again, but was replaced with one out in the bottom of the eighth after Ron Cey grounded out (to LeMaster himself, as it happens). Duane Kuiper took over at second, Evans went to short, and Joe Morgan moved to third base.

So LeMaster either got hurt in that game, or re-aggravated an injury. He wouldn't play again until September 3. But Evans was done starting at shortstop for the year; Frank Robinson had seen enough, and the immortal Joe Pettini and Guy Sularz manned the position instead.

Anyway, that's why I called it an experiment. Evans was tried at shortstop and found lacking. I don't know whether LeMaster was hurt whle Evans spent his week at short or not. He was definitely hurt in the second half of August, and during that time, F. Robby chose someone other than Evans to play shortstop.
   62. jimd Posted: February 13, 2007 at 12:24 AM (#2296381)
Well, there *is* such a thing as random fluctuation, which is why one takes multi-year averages...the raw run park factors for 72-74 seem to be 115/2 = 107.5 for 1972, 133/2 = 116.5 for 1973, and 106/2 = 103 for 1974

ballparks.com notes various changes in dimensions at AFCS; of interest is that in 1974 the power alleys in Atlanta were increased from 375 to 385 ft, perhaps in reaction to the HR barrage of 1973.

Also a quote from the write-up:

"For many years, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium was also known as the home of baseball’s worst playing surface. The ballpark didn’t even have a full-time groundskeeper until 1989. Before that, it had been tended by a city streets crew. "
   63. Steve Treder Posted: February 13, 2007 at 12:41 AM (#2296392)
Anyway, that's why I called it an experiment. Evans was tried at shortstop and found lacking. I don't know whether LeMaster was hurt whle Evans spent his week at short or not. He was definitely hurt in the second half of August, and during that time, F. Robby chose someone other than Evans to play shortstop.

Well, I was following the team on a close daily basis, listening on the radio and watching as often as possible on TV. I can't remember for sure, but I may well have attended that Sunday August 8th doubleheader at Candlestick against the Astros, as my parents had season tickets and they attended every Sunday game for years, and I was very frequently their delighted guest.

LeMaster had already been hurt for about a week (slight hammy pull, or something, not enough to put him on the DL but enough to keep him from playing), and Evans had already been sliding over to SS for partial games. After that Evans started at SS for about a week, and then when it became clear that LeMaster couldn't make it back (he re-aggravated his injury), they then called up Pettini from the minors, and IIRC LeMaster went on the 15-day DL.
   64. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: February 13, 2007 at 05:11 AM (#2296609)
"he also used Joel Youngblood as a starter at 2B"

The next year they moved him to 3rd, where he was stink-tactular with 36 errors in 117 games and an .887 fielding pct (with a league average RF).
   65. DCW3 Posted: February 13, 2007 at 09:35 PM (#2297014)
DCW3--yeah, but playing 1B in the NL isn't that different than playing DH in the AL--since teams can't stick the oafs at DH, they put them at 1B and just eat the defense. NL 1B rep level is only about two-tenths of a win below AL DH rep level.

Hmm...Keith Woolner has said that replacement level for 1B is actually lower relative to positional average than it is for other positions because it's so hard to find a player who can come close to hitting at the level of the average first baseman. And I'm still not convinced that comparing players to the lowest level of freely available talent is the best way to go in determining the all-time greats. Regardless, if the Perez comparison doesn't sway you, how about Graig Nettles? Here are the position-adjusted OPS+ numbers (i.e., comparing them to the average at their position rather than overall league average) for Perez, Nettles and Evans each year of their careers, with their career average at the bottom:

TP   GN   DE

-18  220   37
100  116  107
 69   88  113
109   95  118
127  106  147
142  121  117
152  103  107
112  113   70
123  116   96
145  133  116
107  120  101
105  125  108
104  101  107
104  111  112
110  113  137
 93   95   98
 95  118  123
 91  107  106
 97  124  118
 80   84   95
 67   62   74
122   35
 76
_____________
111  109  110 


Perez had about 120 more PAs than Evans, who had about 500 more than Nettles. And, again, does anyone really believe that Evans was a better defender than Nettles?
   66. DCW3 Posted: February 13, 2007 at 09:36 PM (#2297015)
Hmm, I wish that had lined up better. I think it's still readable, though.
   67. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 13, 2007 at 10:05 PM (#2297043)
Lower relative to *positional* average may be true, I don't look at positional averages. But relative to *league* average, which is what seems to me to be relevant, it's most certainly not--particularly before 1973 in the AL and 1978 in the NL.

If you don't think the Freely Available Talent level in a given league-season-position is the best benchmark against which to compare a player, then we're just talking past each other, discussing technicalities of calculation when you dispute the whole premise. Which is fine.

Nettles definitely had more career value than Evans. But Evans' peak advantage seems notably greater to me. Both deserve to get in the HoM, in my opinion, but I think only a pure career voter would put Nettles in first.
   68. DCW3 Posted: February 13, 2007 at 10:31 PM (#2297079)
If you don't think the Freely Available Talent level in a given league-season-position is the best benchmark against which to compare a player, then we're just talking past each other, discussing technicalities of calculation when you dispute the whole premise. Which is fine.

Of course. Those numbers I posted are really for the benefit of the whole electorate, since people have different biases, and I thought they might be interesting to other people who aren't convinced that replacement level is the way to go.

Nettles definitely had more career value than Evans. But Evans' peak advantage seems notably greater to me. Both deserve to get in the HoM, in my opinion, but I think only a pure career voter would put Nettles in first.

I can see saying that Evans was a little better than Nettles--it just seems odd to me that Nettles got very little support while Evans appears likely to get in rather quickly. And, really, I would think that a voter who placed any emphasis on peak wouldn't vote for Evans either, not unless they really believed that he was a excellent defender in his prime (which is fine, but, of course, debatable) and an MVP candidate in 1974 and 1975.
   69. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 13, 2007 at 10:50 PM (#2297100)
I agree that Nettles is a strong candidate and ultimately deserving of induction, I have Evans at $88M and Nettles at $82, which is a bigger difference than the margin of error but not by much. However, I can see why the electorate would see the gap between them as bigger than I do, because:

1. A greater percentage of Evans' value lies in his hitting. To support Nettles, you have to believe he was providing 15 runs a year in the field throughout his prime, and 25 or even 30 at his peak. I think he did, but people who are even more cautious about defense than I am (and I consider myself cautious) won't.

2. Evans has at least the One Big Year that Nettles doesn't, which is a big factor for pure peak voters.

Evans' only real MVP-caliber season was 1973 (albeit a particularly strong one). He played at a high All-Star level in '74, '75, '78, and '80, but not within spitting distance of MVP hardware. You definitely don't need to think he was an MVP contender in 74 and 75 as well as 73 to consider him a shoo-in.
   70. DCW3 Posted: February 13, 2007 at 11:24 PM (#2297128)
1. A greater percentage of Evans' value lies in his hitting. To support Nettles, you have to believe he was providing 15 runs a year in the field throughout his prime, and 25 or even 30 at his peak. I think he did, but people who are even more cautious about defense than I am (and I consider myself cautious) won't.

2. Evans has at least the One Big Year that Nettles doesn't, which is a big factor for pure peak voters.


Okay, here's what it comes down to for me:

- If one is cautious about defense and puts a lot of value on peak offensive performance, then Evans doesn't really look any better than Perez.

- If one puts a lot of faith in defensive statistics and is a less peak-oriented voter, then Evans doesn't really look any better than Nettles.

I think you basically have to give Evans every benefit of the doubt in order to separate him from the other two.
   71. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 13, 2007 at 11:42 PM (#2297144)
DCW3--the former is true only if you ignore the fact that Evans played twice as many games at 3B as Pérez did. I agree with you about the latter.

I put what I would consider to be average faith in defensive statistics--which is to say, I trust them but regress them. I put a lot of emphasis on position, with the relative weights varying by era--I penalize NL 1B in the 70s heavily, and reward the other infielders substantially, due to my research on replacement levels of the time period. And I am rather strongly biased towards overall peak rate performance, combining offense and defense. That approach makes Evans look meaningfully but not overwhelmingly better than Nettles, whose election I also support, and worlds better than Pérez. Seem reasonable? I don't think that classifies me as bending over backwards to support Evans--it's just the conclusion my approach yields.
   72. Boots Day Posted: February 13, 2007 at 11:59 PM (#2297153)
And, really, I would think that a voter who placed any emphasis on peak wouldn't vote for Evans either, not unless they really believed that he was a excellent defender in his prime (which is fine, but, of course, debatable) and an MVP candidate in 1974 and 1975.

I was surprised that Eric rated him as an MVP candidate in 1974 and 1975, way back in post No. 2, when Evans' offensive numbers aren't anything special those years. In 1975, for example, he hit .243/.361/.406, for an OPS+ of 110. You'd have to be the Ozzie Smith of third basemen to make that an MVP-caliber season.

So I went back and checked those MVP-candidate seasons, and here's what I found:

1973: Evans ties for fifth (with Bobby Bonds) in the NL in WS, nine behind WS MVP Joe Morgan.
1974: Evans ties for sixth (with Phil Niekro), 11 behind WS MVP Mike Schmidt.
1975: Evans is fourth in Win Shares, in a four-way tie (a six-way tie for fourth if pitchers are included), 16 behind WS MVP Joe Morgan.
1980: Evans is sixth in the NL (seventh if pitchers are included), 10 behind WS MVP Schmidt.
1983: Evans is tied for seventh (with Andre Dawson), 7 behind WS MVP Schmidt.

Eric may have used another source for Win Shares; I am using James' original "Win Shares" book. By that measure, Evans' best placing in Win Shares was a four-way (or six-way) tie for fourth, and the closest he ever came to the actual WS MVP was 7 Win Shares.
   73. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 14, 2007 at 12:34 AM (#2297169)
In order:

Regarding Evans' 1973, remember that Atlanta underperformed its Pythagorean win total by seven games, which is exactly what leads Win Shares to underrate you. Even after accounting for that, I don't know what James is smoking here--then again, I rarely do when it comes to WS. He had a 156 OPS+ in 733 plate appearances, which is good for 78 BP BRAR. Tony Pérez had a 159 OPS+ in 647 PA, which is 75 BRAR, Bobby Bonds had a 143 in 738 PA which is 68 BRAR, and Rose had a 138 in 752 PA which is 67 BRAR. Yet WS credits them with 5, 3, and 5 more batting WS than Evans. Nuts. Evans was clearly the third-best offensive player in the league, behind only one of Willie Stargell's two best seasons and peak Joe Morgan. Add on that he was the second-best defensive third baseman in the league (although WS has him as first by a big margin), and his season becomes definitely more valuable than the immobile Stargell's, IMO, albeit not quite as great as the immortal Morgan. As I've said, I think his 1973 just misses the top 10 NL 3B seasons since 1893.

He played at a high All-Star level in 1974, but nowhere near Morgan or the first great Mike Schcmidt year. He was one of the ten best players in the league in 1975, but it was Morgan's greatest year of all. He was one of the top 5 position players in the league in 1980, but Schmidt lapped the field. And he was one of the ten best again in 1983, albeit well behind Schmidt agian.

I think Eric is using "MVP candidate" loosely to mean "top ten player." The only year Evans would have actually been a plausible MVP selection was '73, although Morgan was greater, Stargell's hitting numbers were gaudier, and the voters picked Rose. That said, he doesn't need multiple MVP caliber seasons--the one, plus his many years at a strong All-Star level and long career, make him a clear elect in my book.
   74. DCW3 Posted: February 14, 2007 at 12:41 AM (#2297173)
DCW3--the former is true only if you ignore the fact that Evans played twice as many games at 3B as Pérez did.

I don't think that's necessarily the case. If you look at #65, when adjusting for position compared to average rather than replacement level, Perez still ranks as a more valuable hitter than Evans on both career and peak. If you penalize 1Bs to a greater level than other positions, then that still wouldn't benefit Evans on peak terms, since just as many of his best seasons were spent at 1B as Perez's. The argument that Evans was superior to Perez seems to rest on:

- defensive statistics
- the idea that there was a much bigger difference between average and replacement level for first baseman in the 1980s than in the 1970s

And I'm sure you've done the work on the latter point, but it strikes me as a rather arcane argument for declaring that Evans was "worlds better" than Perez
   75. DL from MN Posted: February 14, 2007 at 12:52 AM (#2297182)
I have Perez career pretty much equally as good as Evans. I have Evans ranked a couple slots higher but the difference is meaningless.
   76. OCF Posted: February 14, 2007 at 01:05 AM (#2297193)
[Evans] had a 156 OPS+ in 733 plate appearances, which is good for 78 BP BRAR. Tony Pérez had a 159 OPS+ in 647 PA, which is 75 BRAR, Bobby Bonds had a 143 in 738 PA which is 68 BRAR, and Rose had a 138 in 752 PA which is 67 BRAR. Yet WS credits them with 5, 3, and 5 more batting WS than Evans.

OK, what I have been doing is use the RC and RC/27 outs from a Stats Handbook, using offensive levels to convert that into RCAA, finding a win value per run based on offensive level, and reporting the answer in terms of tenths of wins. In that system, for 1973, I get:

Evans 52
Perez 64
Bonds 46
Rose 58

The specific problem Evans has is that I'm not measuring per PA, I'm measuring per out - and Evans, with his low BA, made lots of outs. So did Bonds, so the same effect burdens him as well. But in this system I don't see the objection to Perez and Rose scoring ahead of Evans. Also, this is measured against average, not against replacement, which increases the cost of the outs.
   77. DCW3 Posted: February 14, 2007 at 01:28 AM (#2297210)
You know, I'm really starting to wonder about those WARP numbers on BPro. In 1976, playing almost exclusively first base, Evans put up a fairly dreadful line of .205/.326/.316 in 471 PAs, good for an 80 OPS+. I have his RCAP at -20.6, which is below replacement level by any reasonable definition. His VORP was -1.4. According to BPro's numbers, he was a below-average fielder, with an FRAA of -2. Yet WARP has him being worth nearly two wins *more* than a replacement-level player (1.9 WARP1, 1.8 WARP3). How on Earth is that supposed to be right?
   78. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 14, 2007 at 02:12 AM (#2297267)
DCW3--that's *precisely* why I don't compare to positional average, but rather to positional replacement level. It says nothing about Evans' value to his teams that he played in the same league as Mike Schmidt, Ron Cey, and Pete Rose--none of those guys would have been available if he had been hurt. The NL 3B average was presumably pretty high due to the presence of the four stars, even if the replacement level was fairly low compared to its historical average--they just happened to be four great players at the same time, and I think all of them deserve to be in the HoM. Similarly, Pérez didn't win any more games for his team because the best full-time NL 1B during his prime was the sublimely underwhelming Garvey (McCovey was into the half-season phase of his career by then)--hitters like Guillermo "Willie" Montañez were still available for next to nothing, and Cincinnati would have barely lost two wins a year if it had swapped Pérez for Montañez. Does Miguel Tejada look like a slouch in your system because he played at the same time as A-Rod, Jeter, and Nomar, even though the A's would have had to make do with Neifi Pérez had he gone down?

I have Evans's time with Detroit as a 1B/DH as worth very little, icing on the cake; just as I have the bulk of Pérez's career as worth very little. While the average-to-replacement gap for 1B almost certainly was bigger in the 80s than the 70s (it stands to reason due to the DH), that's a very minor adjustment, particularly since Evans spent a lot of time in Detroit DH'ing. It's the 74, 75, 78, 80, and of course above all 73--all third base seasons--where he makes an extremely strong peak case.

OCF--do you mind walking me through the math on this? Of course I take the number of outs a player made into account. Here's a very simple chart, with the players' park-adjusted eXtrapolated Runs (XR), outs, outs remaining for teammates on an otherwise league-average team in 1973, the XR the rest of the team would generate in those remaining outs, total theoretical-team XR (XR + TmmateXR), and BRAA (total theoretical-team XR minus 671 XR per team which was the 1973 average).

Player  XR Out TmmateOut TmmateXR TotXR BRAA
Evans  123 431      3721      602   725   54
Pérez  114 387      3765      609   723   52
Rose   115 450      3702      599   714   43
Bonds  119 478      3674      594   713   42


Since those runs are all from the same season and park-adjusted, they are just as comparable to each other as wins.

How are you getting results that are so drastically different?
   79. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 14, 2007 at 02:22 AM (#2297274)
DCW3: BP's replacement level is notoriously low--Clay Davenport, who designed the system, is on record saying he believes replacement level is the 20-134 1899 Cleveland Spiders (who were, indeed, 0.8 WARP as a team). A general rule of thumb (assuming you accept BP's positional weightings) is to subtract 3.0 WARP1 per 162 games to transform BP replacement level into real replacement level.
   80. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 14, 2007 at 02:55 AM (#2297303)
OCF--and furthermore, Evans had a higher OBP than Rose did in 1973! So this clearly has nothing to do with per-out vs. per-PA...are you sure you don't have a typo somewhere in your spreadsheet?
   81. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:03 AM (#2297307)
Eric may have used another source for Win Shares; I am using James' original "Win Shares" book. By that measure, Evans' best placing in Win Shares was a four-way (or six-way) tie for fourth, and the closest he ever came to the actual WS MVP was 7 Win Shares.

Boots, thanks for the query. I count MVP-type seasons for batters as finishing in the top five among position players in an 8-team league, or the equivalent in an expanded league. In a 12-team league, that means the top 7 or 8 positional players (I round up, you may prefer to round down). So Evans finishing 7th in the league in a 12-team league qualifies as an MVP-type year. Not an MVP year, just a year in which WS sees him as among the more prominent candidates.
   82. Chris Cobb Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:26 AM (#2297327)
DCW3 wrote:
You know, I'm really starting to wonder about those WARP numbers on BPro. In 1976, playing almost exclusively first base, Evans put up a fairly dreadful line of .205/.326/.316 in 471 PAs, good for an 80 OPS+. I have his RCAP at -20.6, which is below replacement level by any reasonable definition. His VORP was -1.4. According to BPro's numbers, he was a below-average fielder, with an FRAA of -2. Yet WARP has him being worth nearly two wins *more* than a replacement-level player (1.9 WARP1, 1.8 WARP3). How on Earth is that supposed to be right?

Dan R wrote:

DCW3: BP's replacement level is notoriously low--Clay Davenport, who designed the system, is on record saying he believes replacement level is the 20-134 1899 Cleveland Spiders (who were, indeed, 0.8 WARP as a team). A general rule of thumb (assuming you accept BP's positional weightings) is to subtract 3.0 WARP1 per 162 games to transform BP replacement level into real replacement level.

Of course, win shares' zero point for batting win shares is even lower than WARP's replacement level: the win shares system awards Evans 9 WS (7.3 batting & 1.8 fielding) for 1976.

OPS+ underrates Evans' hitting in 1976 somewhat: his BA was very low, but his OBP wasn't bad. His slugging went completely in the tank when he was in Atlanta, rebounding in SF.

How much of the problem with WARP's replacement level is batting related and how much is fielding related? Dan will argue, probably correctly, that there are not separate replacement levels for each, but can we examine how much each is generally contributing to the problem?
   83. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:03 AM (#2297353)
The fielding are MUCH more problematic than the batting. Batting replacement level is always set to a .230 EqA, which is about two wins below average per 162 games. That's about equal to modern replacement level for a second baseman in the AL (it's obviously 0.4 wins higher in the NL, since pitchers pull down that league average whille DH's pull up the AL one). At least it's consistent, though. The fielding ones are a) massive and b) all over the place. I think the concept is, how many runs would Mo Vaughn allow below average if he played this position. And they vary drastically with time. Rabbit Maranville is credited with a whopping 56 season-adjusted FRAA-FRAR in 1916, for example, while Miguel Tejada only gets 24 in 2004. The all time adjusted numbers are versus a constant baseline, but they have those opaque quality of competition adjustments.

Here's a simple way to reality-adjust BP WARP:

1. Start with the following numbers: 2.9 for SS, 1.9 for C, 1.5 for 2B, 1.3 for 3B and CF, 0.9 for LF/RF, 0.2 for 1B. (Nate Silver's Freely Available Talent levels). Add 0.4 to seasons that include the DH (for AL DH's, just use 0.0 and don't add anything). Multiply by the player's games played, and divide by 162. This is the gap between overall league average and the positional FAT level.
2. Add up BRAA + FRAA and divide by 9 (regressing FRAA if you wish, particularly necessary for 1B). This is the player's wins above league average.
3. Add 1 and 2 to get WARP.

If you want to get more creative and adjust these for historical scarcity or depth, here are basic modifiers (I don't have C yet, sorry):

1B: 1893-1904 1.0, 1905-1925 0.3, 1926-1989 -0.1, 1990-2006 0.2
2B: 1893-1904 2.0, 1905-1919 1.0, 1920-1970 2.0, 1971-1982 2.4, 1983-2006 1.5
3B: 1893-1902 1.8, 1903-1941 1.5, 1942-1971 1.0, 1972-2006 1.4
SS: 1893-1948 2.7, 1949-1962 2.2, 1963-1989 3.2, 1990-2006 2.7
LF/RF: 1893-1903 0.8, 1904-1964 0.5, 1965-2006 1.0
CF: 1893-1903 1.2, 1904-1964 0.9, 1965-2006 1.4
   84. DCW3 Posted: February 14, 2007 at 08:29 AM (#2297454)
Dan,

I haven't read through your work as thoroughly as I should have, so I apologize if this is something you've already addressed. I just dug out my copy of Baseball Between the Numbers, and in it, Keith Woolner, creator of VORP, presents a chart that compares the positional average to replacement level for each position throughout the 20th century. For almost every position, replacement level hangs around 80 percent of average. But for first basemen, the gap between average and replacement level is almost always larger than it is for any other position, and this is especially true for the period between 1960 and 1985. Which would mean that, if anything, comparing a player to positional average rather than replacement would *underrate* a player like Perez in comparison to one like Evans. Yet your system, if I understand correctly, appears to say the exact opposite. How do you account for the difference?
   85. DCW3 Posted: February 14, 2007 at 08:51 AM (#2297458)
DCW3--that's *precisely* why I don't compare to positional average, but rather to positional replacement level. It says nothing about Evans' value to his teams that he played in the same league as Mike Schmidt, Ron Cey, and Pete Rose--none of those guys would have been available if he had been hurt. The NL 3B average was presumably pretty high due to the presence of the four stars, even if the replacement level was fairly low compared to its historical average--they just happened to be four great players at the same time, and I think all of them deserve to be in the HoM.

Well, Rose only overlapped with Evans at 3B for two years, during which he put up OPS+ of 132 and 119--not exactly wrecking the curve. (And even Cey, while a fine hitter, only had two years where he overlapped at 3B with Evans and ranked in the league's top ten in OPS+.)
   86. OCF Posted: February 14, 2007 at 09:08 AM (#2297462)
Dan - A big chunk of it is the park factors. I've been using a Stats Handbook as my primary source, and that includes using its park factors. Those park factors are supposed to be multi-year averages, except when there's a break in park characteristics. For Atlanta, they must have inserted a break between 1973 and 1974. For the three years 72-73-74, the bb-ref hitters park factors for Atlanta are 109, 108, 104; for the Stats Handbook, they are 107, 115, 101. And Cincinnati had a park factor of 94 (roughly agreeing with its 95 in bb-ref). So Rose gets a better rating despite worse raw stats because of the park factor. The other thing I've been doing is back-calculating outs from RC and RC/27 instead of going after them directly, essentially trusting the handbook's calculations. That gives me about 448 outs for Evans instead of the 437 you're using in #78, but also 469 outs for Rose instead of 450. That might be a different accounting for such things as GDP and CS.

If I replace that 115 park factor for Evans by a more in line number, like 107, his rating in my system goes from 52 to 59 - about even with Rose, still a little behind Perez.
   87. DCW3 Posted: February 14, 2007 at 09:42 AM (#2297467)
It's the 74, 75, 78, 80, and of course above all 73--all third base seasons--where he makes an extremely strong peak case.

And, again, a "peak case" that rests on Evans's '74, '75, '78 and '80 isn't impressive in the least unless one agrees that he was an unbelievable defender in those seasons. Here are his offensive numbers those four years, and, in parentheses, the regular NL 3Bs with higher OPS+ each year:

1974: .240/.381/.419, 121 OPS+ (Schmidt 158, Hebner 131, Madlock 124)
1975: .243/.361/.406, 110 OPS+ (Schmidt 142, Madlock 141, Cey 138, Rose 132)
1978: .243/.360/.404, 118 OPS+ (Cey 133, Schmidt 122, Rose 119)
1980: .264/.359/.414, 118 OPS+ (Schmidt 170, Cey 122 [also Horner at 127 in 495 PAs])

No, OPS+ isn't the very most sophisticated metric. But, come on--there isn't a year in the past half-century, at least, when any of those years would be considered anywhere close to superstar-level performance from a third baseman. And, outside of Schmidt's 1980--when he was the only really great-hitting 3B in the league--it's not like there are a bunch of historic 3B seasons skewing the league averages.
   88. TomH Posted: February 14, 2007 at 02:03 PM (#2297491)
I have trouble seeing much difference between Nettles and Evans. Very similar career lengths (Evans has about 500 more PAs). Evans was a better hitter (119 OPS+ vs. 110) with a better OBP, but I think positional adjustments erase a lot of the difference--Nettles played 89.3% of his career games at third base, vs. only 53.7% for Evans

...and...

I think Evans is better than Nettles, but not by a whole lot--and Nettles has received practically no support, only showing up on the bottom of a few ballots. Is the difference between them big enough to make Evans a "surefire HoM'er"?


I think the diff is big.
Darrell Evans, 1970-89 10709 PA +30 OBP +40 SLG
Graig Nettles,, 1967-86 ..9921 PA .+4 OBP +39 SLG

"OBP +30" means OBP is 30 pts higher than park-adjusted MLB avg hitter.

26 pts of career on base avg is BIG. Another 700 PA is a bonus. I have Evans as more than 150 runs offensively above Nettles; much more than the defensive difference.
   89. Dizzypaco Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:43 PM (#2297528)
I have Evans as more than 150 runs offensively above Nettles; much more than the defensive difference.

This ignores the fact that virtually all of the offensive difference results from Evans' resurgence in the 1980's when he had virtually no defensive value.

Evans had two careers - one as a third baseman, where he was roughly average offensively, and, in my opinion, probably pretty close to average defensively. He had a second career as a firstbaseman/DH, in which he was well above average offensively, but had virtually no defensive value.

Nettles, was pretty similar to Evans offensively during Evans 3B days, but better defensively, making Nettles better overall during this time. Comparing Nettles other seasons to Evans during the 80's is more problematic, given that Evans clearly had more offensive value while Nettles had far more defensive value. Overall, I agree that Evans is a little better than Nettles, but I'm in the camp that its pretty close. Its not that easy a comparison.
   90. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:53 PM (#2297540)
Overall, I agree that Evans is a little better than Nettles, but I'm in the camp that its pretty close. Its not that easy a comparison.

You know, Diz, I'm probably voting for Evans (though I'm not certain yet whether he'll get a higher or lower ballot slot), and I'm not currently supporting Nettles, but I wholly agree with you here. That's because I see Nettles are truly either just over or just under the in/out line among 3Bs. Literally on the razor's edge. Evans is a bit over it and will be a solid, but lower third or quarter HOMer. However, they are nonetheless very, very close to one another, much more so than, say, Gehrig to Foxx or Schmidt to Mathews or Berra to Fisk or Al Simmons to Stargell.
   91. Chris Cobb Posted: February 14, 2007 at 07:47 PM (#2297742)
I'm finding the comparative analysis of Evans, Perez, and Nettles fascinating and useful.

Could we add Buddy Bell into this consideration set?

On the Buddy Bell thread (since buried), I posted to make the argument that my system sees him and Nettles as nearly identical in value.

Do others' analyses concur or differ?

If Nettles is right on the edge of Dr. Chaleeko's surgical scalpel, does Bell make the cut, or not?

Where does Dan Rosenheck's system place him?

What's the word on the street about his glove work?
   92. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 14, 2007 at 08:23 PM (#2297781)
Chris,

My system sees Bell as somewhat lower down the pecking order than Nettles and Evans. It sees the substance of his case for the HOM as similar to those of Gardner, Kurowski, Yost, Boyer, Cey, and Bradley. (Those are all VERY different cases in their details, but they end up coming out similarly in the system.) I think Gardner is probably the best overall match to bell within this group.

Where's the difference between Nettles and Bell? (Remembering that I use WS)

-Neither could ever claim to be the best position player in his league.

-Neither had significant long-term claims as the best at his position (due to intrapositional competition). In the early 1970s AL, WS has Bando as the top 3B, by the mid 1970s it's Brett. Soon it would be Boggs. Both guys went NL late in their career, where Schmidt had a hammerlock on best-at-position. Nettles and Bell were overshadowed by others, but they did each manage to sneak in a three-year period where they were the top 3B in their league.

-Nettles career WS total is ever so slightly more comparable to HOF/HOM members.

-Both are career-oriented guys, but Nettles' peak offers a point of differentiation which shows up when I measure their performance against positional standards.

-Nettles had one more All-Star type year than Bell.

-Nettles had a little more value as a regular after his prime than Bell did.

-Nettles had three seasons where he had an MVP-type year, Bell only one.

-A team would be equally likely to win a pennant with either of them as its leader.

So it's a series of small advantages for Nettles that push him up over Bell. Naturally, if you use the WARPs or another stat, you'll likely get a different result. This is just what my system says.


Chris I don't know much about his glovework; I'd always had the gut feeling that he was above average but not superb, however, I don't know how that jibes with contemporary opinion or the various fielding metrics.
   93. Rob_Wood Posted: February 14, 2007 at 09:09 PM (#2297818)
Great stuff guys. My overall evaluation is:

Nettles
Evans
Perez
Bell

I consider Nettles and Evans strong HOM candidates, Perez a middling candidate, and Bell a marginal candidate.

Nettles truly was a great defensive third baseman. Evans was decent. Bell was in between. Perez was substandard.
   94. DCW3 Posted: February 14, 2007 at 09:18 PM (#2297829)
I have Bell at 13.69 GWAA (excluding defense, of course), versus 15.05 for Evans and 12.92 for Nettles. His career positional OPS+ was 108.

One thing that should be kept in mind in regards to Bell is that he was one of the least effective basestealers of all time, stealing 55 bases in 134 attempts.
   95. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: February 14, 2007 at 11:01 PM (#2297918)
It's the 74, 75, 78, 80, and of course above all 73--all third base seasons--where he makes an extremely strong peak case.

I'm having difficulty accepting the argument that Evans had a HOM-level peak. As a 3B, he only hit for a .300+ EQA once, in 1973. That was also the only year in which he compiled more than 45 BRAR while playing that position. Evans is credited as an excellent defender by his proponents, but I question the evidence. BPro lists him with 59 FRAA for 1973-75, though after the 1975 season it appears that Evans and his coaches agreed that his defensive struggles warranted a change of position, in spite of a lack of an obvious replacement. This is not the only inconsistency in his defensive record. In 73, 74, 75, 78, and 80, Evans accumulated 79 FRAA, but he rates as slightly below-average to slightly above-average defensively in all of his other years as a 3B. His remaining defensive value comes from his work as a 1B. Such a pattern of mixing extremely good defensive years with fairly bad ones inflates his apparent peak value over a player who is rated slightly above-average consistently.

My other issue with his peak concerns the value of his 1973 season offensively. It was clearly a highly abnormal year for the Braves as a team, and I can't help but think that the AIR and park factor listed on B-Ref are insufficient for the extent to which offense was aided. Of the top 4 players in the league in HR, 3 were on the Braves. Of the top 4 players in the league in SLG, 3 were on the Braves. The other guy at the top of those leaderboards was Willie Stargell, who also finished in the top 2 in SLG in 1971, 1972, and 1974. The Braves players were more conspicuous in their appearances. Davey Johnson, who was 2nd in HR and 4th in SLG, had never made either leaderboard previously and never would again. He hit 43 HR that year, and his second highest annual total was 18. Hank Aaron had obviously been up there before, but he also would never be there again. It would certainly be possible for him to put up numbers like that without some outside help, but the fact that he wouldn't approach those numbers in any of his remaining seasons adds to the idea that a more offensive environment existed. Evans, of course, was a 110-125 OPS+ guy in all of his other years as a 3B, never hitting more than 25 HR or slugging above .440. His 156 OPS+, 41 HR, and .556 SLG in 1973 represent an amazing single-season spike, and considering the similar spikes of his teammates, seem tremendously influenced by the environment.
   96. Paul Wendt Posted: February 15, 2007 at 12:00 AM (#2297966)
David Foss #28:
Klein's career just too short and his peak was just not high enough. Bob Johnson has a higher OPS+ with 900 more PA. Frank Howard has a higher OPS+. Klein's era is not exactly underrepresented either.

Yes but how many players outside the Hall have Bob Johnson's combination of OPS+ and playing time? One, eh?
Ducky doesn't have it.
I'm not arguing for Klein but I suspect DanR is right that Baker Bowl doubts made him a nonstarter here.
   97. Cblau Posted: February 15, 2007 at 12:40 AM (#2298004)
Dandy:
In 1973, the Braves hit and allowed 60 more HRs at home than on the road.
In 1972, the Braves hit and allowed 49 more HRs at home than on the road.

In 1972, there were 299 HRs in Braves games. In 1973, there were 320, in 7 more games.

Home run-wise the biggest difference is that in 1972, the Braves were outhomered by their opponents by 11, while in 1973 they hit 62 more than their opponents. So, while 1973 was an unusual year for the Braves, it is hard to see that it was due to something at the Launching Pad.
   98. Boots Day Posted: February 15, 2007 at 12:48 AM (#2298011)
It was clearly a highly abnormal year for the Braves as a team, and I can't help but think that the AIR and park factor listed on B-Ref are insufficient for the extent to which offense was aided.

As I said above, run scoring was up 33 percent in AFCS that year as opposed to road games. I can understand why people would want to devalue that, but when you have a tremendous ballpark spike alongside a tremendous individal player spike, it's worth being suspicious over.

You could look at it this way: Evans was not close to being the best hitter on that Braves' team. Aaron was, although in many fewer PAs. Evans was arguably not the most valuable man on the team; Davey Johnson put up a 143 OPS+ as opposed to Evans' 156, in four fewer games, while playing a more difficult position. And Johnson was a good defensive second baseman as well.

So you've got an inner circle HoFer having a good year by his own standards, another player having as good a year as Evans, and another Hall of Famer in Phil Niekro, having a so-so year by his own standards. And still they were a bad team. Doesn't it make sense to be just a mite suspicious of Evans' value that year?
   99. OCF Posted: February 15, 2007 at 12:57 AM (#2298022)
Doesn't it make sense to be just a mite suspicious of Evans' value that year?

Which gets back to what I was saying in #86: which park factor to use? The wild 115 from the Stats Handbook or the more sedate 107 from bb-ref?
   100. kwarren Posted: February 15, 2007 at 01:18 AM (#2298031)
Very strange indeed. BP has him with an outstanding 18 FRAA in 1975, and Win Shares gives him an outstanding 7.7, tops in the league by a huge margin (Cey was second with 6.0).

It's stuff like this disparity that make me loath to put a really vast amount of faith in the various fielding metrics.

Of course, that's not exactly a new thought, I realize...


I take the exact opposite point of view. It's stuff like this that makes me loath of put a really vast amount of faith in subjective human observation, perception, and memory which all kinds of studies have shown to be be next to useless in cataloging empirical data.
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