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Thursday, December 30, 2004

Fred Dunlap

There has been some talk about “Sure Shot” lately, so I thought a thread was in order.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 30, 2004 at 03:19 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. 1k5v3L Posted: December 30, 2004 at 04:12 AM (#1046006)
John Murphy of 2004 WSOP fame?
   2. Michael Bass Posted: December 30, 2004 at 04:17 AM (#1046018)
Copying the relevant portion of my post from the Discussion thread....

-----------------------------

I'm in the midst of my complete reconsideration (very early, in fact, working my way through the 1890s right now). I find myself wondering where there love is for Fred Dunlap, especially from peak voters like myself.

Using a slightly played-with version of WARP1, I have Dunlap as one of the 10 best players in baseball for 6 of 7 years from 1880 to 1886. And the one year he didn't make it was his expidition into the Union Association, where it is quite possible that I'm hitting him too hard.

Admittedly, he has little outside of that, so career voters won't find much to like. And Win Shares seems to disagree entirely. But still, I find myself, at the moment, liking Dunlap a lot.

Some quick numbers:

.305 lifetime EQA. Probably more like .300 with an appropriate discount of the UA season. 133 OPS+, probably more like 128ish with the UA discount.

127 fielding runs above average. Also given an A- fielding rating by Win Shares. The former probably needs a UA discount, maybe to 115-120 FRAA.

So we have a .300 EQA second baseman who was an excellent fielder. No, 2B was not as important defensively then as 3B, but it still was on the tough side of the spectrum. Feels like Win Shares dropped the ball on this one to me.

Like I said, I see why career voters don't love him. But for peak/prime voters, he's got that in spades.

-----------------------

FWIW, he's not going to be #1 on my ballot or anything. If he makes it, he's toward the bottom. But I still think he deserves some attention.
   3. jimd Posted: December 30, 2004 at 05:18 AM (#1046082)
Some notes on Dunlap:

From the 19th Century Transactions Register (link courtesy of Paul Wendt):

August 6, 1886: Detroit purchased second baseman Fred Dunlap for a reported $4,700, generally described as the largest price paid for a player to that date.

Note that Detroit was buying a pennant-contender at this time, having purchased Buffalo the year before (Deacon White, Dan Brouthers, Hardy Richardson, etc.)

****

He was supposed to be quite the fielder. His raw range factors are about .5/game better than the league (which is about 70 hits per year, if each extra play is equivalent to a hit). He also made less errors, about a dozen less per season on average. Win Shares caps fielding credit, and gives it to the pitcher, so its view of the 1880's has severe problems when it comes to great fielders at glove positions.

****

Offensively he was almost equivalent to Cupid Childs (see their WARP-2 EQA's, .281 to .284). I don't know if he got "lost" because 1884 is hard to deal with or if the career is too short for some tastes or what, but he should appeal to those who like peak/prime.
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 30, 2004 at 06:26 AM (#1046169)
John Murphy of 2004 WSOP fame?

I'm not too shabby at the game, but I'm definitely not World Series material, levski. :-)

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