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Sunday, June 12, 2005

Joe Medwick

Joe Medwick

Eligible in 1954.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 12, 2005 at 09:01 PM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 12, 2005 at 09:20 PM (#1399579)
How many of us thought for years that Medwick's beaning hurt his career, instead of realizing that he was a victim of park effects instead?
   2. andrew siegel Posted: June 14, 2005 at 01:32 PM (#1403099)
If you trust win shares' evaluation of his play and apply no war discount, Medwick had a 12-14 year career where he was a superstar for three years and merely a good player for the remaining time. That sounds like a fairly standard story, right?

Actually, completely wrong. Using total WS (300-325), WS per season (24-27), and peak three seasons (100+), I looked for comparable players to see where to slot Ducky. THERE ARE NONE. And it's not even particularly close.

There are some guys who have vaguely similar careers, but most of them didn't have the same kind of peak or only had two good years or played so poorly the rest of their career that their rate stats are much lower. A classic example of such a player is Jimmy Ryan; Edd Roush and Bob Johnson also fit to some degree. On WS, Medwick is clearly better than those guys.

There are also some guys who had similar rate and peak stats but played longer or had one or two more great years, therefore racking up 50-80 more total WS. A classic example of someone with that pattern is Ryne Sandberg. Absent other adjustments, those guys are clearly better than Medwick.

When push comes to shove, WS has Medwick half way between a group of guys who are lock HoMers (and would be somewhere between 2nd and 4th on this ballot) and a group of guys who would (and do) rank 19th-27th on this ballot. Based on that assessment, I tentatively plan to start him in the knot of OF's who will rank 7th-10th (right now Van Haltren, then Averill, then Duffy, then Medwick).

Now all I have to do is see whether I trust WS's assessment of his play (after evaulating WARP and raw stats).
   3. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 14, 2005 at 03:10 PM (#1403279)
To bring over a comparison drawn on the ballot discussion thread, here's Ducky, Gavy, and J. Burns by WS.

-WS adj to a 162 schedule
-Medwick's 1943-1945 seasons discounted by 10%
-Cravath inclueds MiL credit for 1907, 1909-1911 (some may disagree, this is just my opinion about him).

MEDWK   BURNS   CRAVATH
=========================
42      37      37
38      36      36
35      33      32
25      30      30
25      26      29
25      25      27
25      25      27
23      23      22
22      23      21
20      21      19
18      20      16
9        6      14
5        6      12
5        2       2
4        0       x
3        x       x   
0        x       x
===================
324      314      325


        MEDWK   BURNS   CRAVATH
===============================
BEST  3   114     105       105
BEST  5   165     161       165
BEST 10   280     279       281
BEST 15   321     314       325
CAREER    324     314       325


These are substantially similar candidates--- perhaps even eerily similar candidates---once you adjust for the contexts of their careers.

Given that Burns was more of a leadoff guy, I'd suggest that Cravath and Medwick are extremely similar players in that both were boomers, though I'd imagine that Cravath is more weighted to OBP than Medwick.

Earl Averill is also substantially similar, though he's a CF. Johnson may be similar, but as a WinSharesista I don't like him as much. Were I a Warpster, I might.
   4. Michael Bass Posted: June 14, 2005 at 08:24 PM (#1404206)
A newbie I'm not quite as impressed with, though he's top 25. Below Bob Johnson, probably below Sisler...pretty even with Hack, I'd say.
   5. OCF Posted: June 15, 2005 at 03:59 PM (#1406087)
It's my day for making posts about Bucky and Ducky Wucky.

In my offensive system:

Medwick's triple crown year is a very special year. Neither Ott nor Greenberg ever had a single year to match that. In fact the only people I've got recorded as ever having a single offensive year that good are from the very short list of the very famous - Ruth, Gehrig, Foxx, Cobb, Speaker, Wagner, Lajoie.

Well, George Stone nearly had a year that good. And that's the issue. Medwick is clearly much more than a one-year wonder like Stone, but the rest of his career doesn't consist of all-time great years one after the other.

There are two people he brings to mind for me: George Sisler and Charlie Keller.

Compared to Sisler, I think he has a clearly higher peak, that his best three years are significantly better than Sisler's best three years. He also doesn't have quite the kind of knife-edge division of his years into good and bad as Sisler - but it still looks like quite a bit of the same career pattern, and a significant fraction of his career (especially the war years) is just bulk padding. I will have Medwick well ahead of Sisler - but the resemblence is there.

Keller doesn't come close to Medwick for single best year - but his second and third best years are offensively equivalent to Medwick's second and third best (at least by my numbers) and his 4th and 5th best years are better than Medwick's. For offensive peak, it's about a wash. The advantage Medwick has is in in career bulk, in years as a near-average player.
   6. sunnyday2 Posted: June 15, 2005 at 04:08 PM (#1406114)
I see Medwick as comparable in career shape if not career value to Klein and Simmons. A few great years and a bunch of good to very good years, but with a sum total of career value that is lower than the peak, taken alone, might imply.

Sisler could be placed in that class, too, except that we know why he declined. I'm not so clear about the others.

Hack Wilson is a different breed of cat in that his shortage of career value is explained by a very short career. Keller too.

The modern equivalent to this class (the Medwick, Klein class, not the Wilson class) will someday be Jose Canseco, when future generations come along that don't know what an idiot he was.
   7. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 15, 2005 at 05:01 PM (#1406323)
Since we're talking about personalities and Canseco...wasn't Medwick supposed to be a really big jerk?

Also, the comparison to Sisler might be especially apt in that, IIRC, a severe beaning left Medwick only part of the player he once was and sort of marked a turning point in his career as Sisler's sinuses did for him.
   8. sunnyday2 Posted: June 15, 2005 at 05:16 PM (#1406381)
Doc, Bill James has shown that Medwick's supposed decline after the beaning is pretty much a park effect. That's why I see him as more of a better version of Chuck Klein (same thing after leaving Philly, still the same player but different results).
   9. Cblau Posted: June 16, 2005 at 01:31 AM (#1407754)
Hey, he moved to Ebbets Field, not Griffith Stadium. Anyway, Mr. James says it was partly park, partly the overall reduction in offense. In 1940, he hit better with the Dodgers than with the Cardinals, and in 1941 had his best OPS+ since 1937. After that, he was over 30 and faded out fairly fast.
   10. OCF Posted: June 16, 2005 at 02:30 AM (#1407993)
In 1940, he hit better with the Dodgers than with the Cardinals, and in 1941 had his best OPS+ since 1937.

My system agrees with that although mostly it shows 1940 as a down year. In arbitrary units, after his run of 66, 64, 97 in 1935-37, I have his next several years as 29, 28, 16, 33, 24. The "16" in 1940 and the "33" is 1941. It's technically true that that's his best year since 1937, but it has a lot more in common with 1938 and 1939 than it does with 1937. The big drop happened from 1937 to 1938, not with the later trade.

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