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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Enos Slaughter

Eligible in 1965.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 13, 2005 at 11:22 PM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 14, 2005 at 12:12 AM (#1730140)
Does Slaughter make a "mad dash" into the HoM, or will some "pesky" voters throw him out at the plate in '65?
   2. sunnyday2 Posted: November 14, 2005 at 02:51 PM (#1730770)
GVH has not been on my ballot in a long time but there he is in our top 10 in 1963. And I thought that Enos Slaughter might be fairly comp to GVH. Both long-career OF with good speed, some doubles-type power but no huge peak.

GVH played 100 games (pro-rated to 154) 13 times and almost 2000 games total, a lot for his day and age. Slaughter played 100 games 15 times (one more year than Pee Wee) and it goes to 18 years if you do full WWII credit (I do 50 percent so it goes to 16.5; still a lot). For Country, WWII came right smack dab in the middle of his peak. Based on that adjustment:

* WWII extra credit year

WS

Slaughter 372.5 37-33*-29/154 B- WS fielding
Van Haltren 368 36-29-27/164 B WS fielding

OPS+

Slaughter 153-42*-41-39-31-31-30-30-27-20-16-11-9-4-0-(97)
Van Haltren 139-39-38-37-34-33-29-28-18-12-6-0

Obviously Slaughter has that slightly higher one year peak and an extra four years at the tail, but years #2-12 his edge is about 4 points per year and even the skimpy B versus B- fielding undoubtedly makes up for that, especially considering GVH was in the middle, Country in the corner.

Slaughter .300/.382/.453
Van Haltren .316/.386/.418

Considering that the OPS+ works out pretty even, Slaughter's extra slugging is pretty much a sign of the times. GVH's OBA is more hits and fewer walks, and Slaughter was a somewhat patient hitter. In his prime he got as many as 88 walks and with Musial and Mize in the lineup, I doubt that they were pitching around him.

I like Slaughter over GVH but they seem pretty comparable. Now I have to figure out why I think Slaughter will be on my ballot versus GVH who, as I said, has not been in a long time.
   3. karlmagnus Posted: November 14, 2005 at 06:05 PM (#1731064)
If you add in 3 reasonable peak wartime years for Enos, his OPS+ goes to 127, which puts him ahead of Van Haltren. On the other hand, even with 3 years extra credit his career's still short of Beckley's, and he played a less valuable position. He's about #12 on my provisional 1965 ballot.
   4. Paul Wendt Posted: November 14, 2005 at 06:50 PM (#1731179)
If you add in 3 reasonable peak wartime years for Enos, his OPS+ goes to 127

That is, 2000 plate appearances with OPS+ = 145
1800 PAs at OPS+ = 135 would give him career OPS+ = 125

It would probably further the case for Slaughter to isolate his 16 years, 13 seasons at about 600 PA, with St Louis (ages 22-37); and to isolate his 11-year, 8-season prime (1939-1949, ages 23-33).
   5. DavidFoss Posted: November 14, 2005 at 10:00 PM (#1731600)
with St Louis (ages 22-37)

Click 'C' on the age-comps list at bb-ref is an easy way to see career-to-date numbers. His career OPS+ was 126 after his final year in StL.

He really does need that war credit or he falls into the Kiki Cuyler, Bobby Veach group. You have to be careful with similarity scores because they aren't era adjusted and compare more traditional stats but the OPS+'s are also match at that age for Cuyler/Veach.

War Credit and how much will be the key issue here.
   6. Paul Wendt Posted: November 15, 2005 at 12:07 AM (#1731872)
Click 'C' on the age-comps list at bb-ref is an easy way to see career-to-date numbers. His career OPS+ was 126 after his final year in StL.

Thanks. Cuyler is also one of his best comps thru age 33; for Slaughter, that is thru the 1940s, his prime. OPS+ roughly 131 in 5400 PA for Slaughter and 130 in 5200 for Cuyler. (nothing to scoff at; I wouldn't have guessed that he was a batter in Cuyler's class).

He really does need that war credit or he falls into the Kiki Cuyler, Bobby Veach group.

I agree. And I think that three years good enough to give him career OPS+ 127, per karl, is generous. Slaughter achieved 145 only once, in his last season before military sevice. And he achieved 667 PA, on track for 2000 in three years, only twice, in his last pre-MS and first post-MS season. I think karl's estimate for each 1943 to 1945 is simply the average of 1942 and 1946.
   7. Paul Wendt Posted: November 15, 2005 at 12:24 AM (#1731894)
On the baseball-reference feature, here is both a warning and a commendation.
The part-career report displays career to age X or career from age Y for the player and his ten players most similar thru any given age Z.

First select age Z.
On the player page, find Most Similar by Age and Z; click "C"
Then select age X or age Y on the auxiliary comparison age.

For Slaughter and Cuyler, the comparisons to-33, from-34, and to-37, are all pretty good, and from-38 isn't ridiculous.
   8. karlmagnus Posted: November 15, 2005 at 01:02 AM (#1731933)
Paul, spot on, it was the average of 42 and 46. You cracked my incredibly sophisticated secret scoring system!
   9. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: November 15, 2005 at 01:09 AM (#1731943)
Right now I am on the fence as to whether or not Coutnry will be on my ballot. He is below Medwick, Keller, Doby, and Kiner for me. The OFers on the edge of my ballot are Browning and GVH, I think he fits in there.
   10. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 17, 2005 at 05:13 AM (#1735167)
He's at 120 WARP3 if you give him 8 per year from 1943-45. He exceeded that 3-times in his career - I think it's reasonable to give that considering he's missing age 27-29, and averaged 9.7 in the two surrounding years. At a minimum I think you have to give him 7 WARP per year at a minimum. He exceed that 6 times and again, these are his prime years. That puts him at 117 WARP3.

He's got some peak (1942, 1946, both directly impacted pennant races as well - we'll never know about the rest of his peak, since he was in the military), and conservatively 117 WARP3 and 375-400 WS. You need to have a lot of things going against you to not be a HoMer with that on the resume.

I cannot see voting Charlie Keller over Slaughter. Slaughter's peak nothing to sneeze at. His 1942 is as good as any Keller year according to WARP, and Slaughter was a better defensive player with more in-season durability.

Keller only lost 1 2/3 years to war, Slaughter lost 3. Giving them credit for the war, Keller had 8 good years (1939-46). Slaughter had 14, and then a pretty good run as a PH after that. Keller's peak was better, but not so much better as to have made Slaughter's other 6 productive years and PH career completely irrelevant. Keller's career is basically 1425 games even with war credit. Slaughter's is nearly twice that. Anyone that has Keller high on a ballot should have Frank Chance right next to him, IMO.
   11. sunnyday2 Posted: November 17, 2005 at 12:58 PM (#1735269)
Joe, re. our conversation on the Mickey Vernon thread, yeah, as a peak voter I have Slaughter over Keller because I do consider prime/career.

As to giving half credit for WWII, I don't use WARP anymore but if I did I would take the 9.7 X 1.5 = about 14.5 and he would be at 110 for his career. And his peak would actually be higher than what you're giving him at 8-8-8.
   12. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 24, 2008 at 02:58 PM (#2952712)
Here's a war-credited Slaughter in my WARP:

Year SFrac BWAA BRWAA FWAA Replc WARP
1938  0.66  0.5   0.0 
-0.2  -0.5  0.8
1939  1.02  2.6   0.0  1.7  
-0.8  5.1
1940  0.87  3.2   0.1  0.4  
-0.7  4.4
1941  0.73  3.2   0.0 
-0.4  -0.6  3.4
1942  1.07  6.0   0.1  1.5  
-0.9  8.5
1943  0.97  3.9   0.0  0.7  
-0.8  5.4
1944  0.97  3.9   0.0  0.7  
-0.8  5.4
1945  0.97  3.9   0.0  0.7  
-0.8  5.4
1946  1.05  3.8   0.1  0.8  
-0.8  5.5
1947  0.94  1.5   0.0  1.3  
-0.8  3.6
1948  0.97  3.3   0.0  0.5  
-0.8  4.6
1949  0.99  4.3   0.0  1.3  
-0.8  6.4
1950  0.95  0.8   0.0  0.3  
-0.9  1.9
1951  0.73  1.3   0.1  0.5  
-0.7  2.6
1952  0.90  3.0   0.2  0.7  
-0.8  4.8
1953  0.88  1.9  
-0.1  0.4  -0.8  3.1
1954  0.23  0.5  
-0.1 -0.3  -0.2  0.3
1955  0.49  1.5   0.0 
-0.2  -0.4  1.7
1956  0.52  0.2   0.1 
-0.3  -0.4  0.4
1957  0.39  0.6  
-0.1 -0.2  -0.3  0.7
1958  0.25  1.0   0.1 
-0.3  -0.2  1.0
1959  0.21 
-0.4   0.0 -0.4  -0.1 -0.6
TOTL 16.75 50.5   0.6  9.1 
-13.8 74.3
TXBR 16.54 50.9   0.6  9.5 
-13.7 74.9
AVRG  1.00  3.0   0.0  0.5  
-0.8  4.4 


3-year peak: 20.4
7-year prime: 41.5
Career: 74.8
Salary: $201,012,215, virtually tied with Clemente, above Heilmann and Billy Williams, below Burkett, Joe Jackson, Gwynn, and Clarke.

This is surprisingly good for a corner outfielder with a 123 OPS+--and, I think, perhaps misleadingly so. The key here is defense--FRAA and Fielding WS show Country as an excellent fielder, Gold Glove caliber in 2-4 seasons and well above average for his entire career as a regular. If you took away the hits Slaughter purportedly saved with his glove by these metrics and added them to his offensive line, his career OPS+ would go up from 123 to something more like 130. Then adding in three years of war credit would increase it further to 133 over a very lengthy career which includes one clear MVP-type year, making such a placement reasonable.

But DRA is not nearly as enthusiastic about Slaughter's fielding as the other metrics: it has his '39 as a knockout, but the rest of his career as rather average. If I use DRA instead of the FRAA/FWS hybrid, he tumbles all the way down to $169M, which is the land of Kelley, Sheckard with full defensive credit, Miñoso, Carey, Larry Walker, Winfield, Wheat, and Magee.

Faced with conflicting quantitative data, some anecdotal evidence might be helpful. What was Slaughter's defensive reputation?
   13. DL from MN Posted: September 24, 2008 at 04:12 PM (#2952823)
Slaughter was a prototypical hustle player so his reputation as a fielder and baserunner was very good.

For those that consider post-season performance he had a .291/.406/.468 line in 95 World Series PA over 5 different series. That's 1/5 of a very good season.

That war credit is _more_ generous than mine. It bumps him ahead of Gwynn into my top 100 all-time.
   14. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 24, 2008 at 05:47 PM (#2952981)
OK, but this is suggesting that Slaughter was an absolutely superlative defensive outfielder, right up there with guys like Hooper, Clarke, and Dwight Evans. (Aaron and Musial also figure around there, but that's largely due to their longevity). Somehow I feel like if Slaughter were THAT good of a fielder, I would have heard something about it before now, and DRA's dissent strongly reinforces my skepticism. This isn't a Darrell Evans case, where we have extremely detailed Retrosheet data to testify to his prowess at third base, and every different attempt to interpret it (DRA, TotalZone, SFR) confirms that he was outstanding with the glove in his youth. This is a situation where the numbers are sketchier, and the interpretations of them diverge. If I don't see some very strong testimonies about Slaughter being a truly terrific fielder, I'm dropping him down on my ballot.

The war credit I'm assigning is scarcely different from a straight 41-42-46-47 average...
   15. Mike Webber Posted: September 25, 2008 at 02:51 PM (#2954660)
The war credit I'm assigning is scarcely different from a straight 41-42-46-47 average...


Considering that he is missing his age 27,28,29 seasons, does that effect how you view the missing years?
   16. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 25, 2008 at 03:50 PM (#2954739)
No. I got no correlation between age and effectiveness in my study to determine the war credit equations, even after trying things like a polynomial fit since we wouldn't expect the results to be linear. Basically, the expected improvement for ages 27-29 versus ages 25-26-30-31 is so small that it didn't show up as statistically significant. The only place age got a meaningful result was in relation to playing time, and that's a direct linear inverse relationship (younger = more durable).
   17. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 30, 2008 at 02:03 PM (#2961017)
Cross-posting:

BP FRAA loves Slaughter's D; Win Shares likes it a good bit. Both are quite poor defensive statistics that show weak correlations to modern play-by-play metrics. Defensive Regression Analysis, which is a far superior fielding stat, thinks Slaughter was just about average for his career, as well as average over the 41-42-46-47 span that would determine his war credit. Now, there IS positive fielding value there that's hidden by his decline phase; DRA has him at +57 through 1949, and then giving it all back in the 1950's. But my FWAA (the FRAA/Fielding WS hybrid) doesn't see him start to tail off until 1954, and then only mildly so. If I use DRA instead of the FRAA/Fielding WS hybrid, I get Slaughter at $175M including war credit, a rather different story from the $200M he was at before, although still waay over the HoM in/out line. That's similar to Willie Keeler, Dwight Evans, Joe Kelley, Minnie Miñoso, and Dave Winfield, as well as ineligibles Sammy Sosa and Larry Walker. I was just looking for anecdotal reports to see if there was anything to back up FRAA and Fielding WS here, and it doesn't seem like there is--not just judging by bjhanke's lukewarm comment, but also by the absence of rave reviews. This is where I will vote on Slaughter, and I would encourage voters who make use of my WARP to do the same. Here are Slaughter's seasonal WARP2, including war credit, if we use DRA instead of FRAA/Fielding WS:

1938 0.7
1939 7.0
1940 4.1
1941 2.6
1942 7.4
1943 4.8
1944 4.8
1945 4.8
1946 4.0
1947 3.3
1948 5.8
1949 6.0
1950 0.7
1951 1.6
1952 4.4
1953 1.4
1954 -0.2
1955 0.5
1956 0.5
1957 0.7
1958 1.0
1959 -0.6

3-year peak: 20.4
7-year prime: 40.5
Career: 66.0
Salary: $175,870,543
   18. Paul Wendt Posted: September 30, 2008 at 02:23 PM (#2961038)
Dan,
Do you know any review of fielding measures/ratings? something with greater scope than just two, "mine and his", a la Bill James on win shares and Pete Palmer.

Anyway, do you know the data requirements for DRA?
   19. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 30, 2008 at 02:29 PM (#2961046)
I've done my own studies over the 2004-07 time period on the correlations of SFR, TotalZone, DRA, Dial's RSpt, Fielding WS, and FRAA to the play-by-play metrics...

What do you mean the data requirements?
   20. Paul Wendt Posted: September 30, 2008 at 08:25 PM (#2961424)
Review = critical exposition such as Bill James on win shares and linear weights ("mine and his").

Data requirements:
Season fielding data, game fielding data, play by play data, batted ball location data.
As we "progress" from having only the first to having all four, which new fielding measures become available at which stage?
   21. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 30, 2008 at 08:40 PM (#2961441)
Fielding WS: Available for all seasons
BP FRAA: Available for all seasons
DRA-1: Available from 1893 to the present
DRA-2 (more accurate): Available from 1956-98, 2000-present
SFR-1: Available from 1956-1983 and 2000-02, only for infielders
TotalZone: Available from 1956-98, 2000-present
RSpt: Available from 1987 to the present
SFR-2 (same as SFR-1, but with 40% more information on hit types): Available from 1986-98 only for infielders and from 2003 to the present for all players
UZR: Available from 2000 to the present
Plus/Minus: Available from 2003 to the present
PMR: Available from 2004 to the present
   22. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 20, 2008 at 10:54 PM (#2990482)
Dan, hopefully you are around, realize it's short notice - but does this change the numbers for people besides Slaughter?
   23. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 20, 2008 at 11:15 PM (#2990489)
I haven't systematically checked. But if you download the TotalZone and SFR spreadsheets, they should serve as a good check on my current FWAA for the Retrosheet era (those metrics will of course be incorporated into a subsequent version of my WARP). As for pre-'56, I have some DRA numbers, but it's of limited reliability (team-level data using an outdated model), so I think the right approach is just to do your own reputational spot check for guys whose value is highly dependent on fielding quality, and regress to the mean when in doubt.
   24. Paul Wendt Posted: October 21, 2008 at 01:17 AM (#2990553)
Dan #21,
Thanks for that summary!

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