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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Jules Thomas

You say you want another Deadball centerfielder to analyze? You got it!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 17, 2004 at 09:27 PM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Chris Cobb Posted: August 18, 2004 at 02:05 AM (#803252)
Here's the data I've gathered on Jules Thomas from Holway, Riley, and i9s.org.

No careful interpretations yet to offer, but Thomas was certainly a very good player.

Jules Thomas Data

From Holway

1909 -- listed as pitcher for Brooklyn Royal Giants – no dec.
1910 -- .371 (13-35) for Bkn Royal Giants; Holway all-star
1911 -- .350 for Bkn Royal Giants; Holway all-star
1912 -- .357 (35-98) for Stl Giants; avg. was 6th highest in west, led west w/ 3 HR
.100 for Bkn. Royal Giants
1913 -- .235 for Bkn Royal Giants
1914 -- .286 (18-64 ish) for Bkn Royal Giants; led east w/2 HR, 17 HR/550 ab, tied with five others for lead in doubles with 3; Holway all-star
5-39 for Lincolns in Cuba
1915 -- .429 for NY Lincoln Giants; Holway all-star
6-16 vs. major-league competition
1916 -- .308 for NY Lincoln Giants
4-13 in Florida Winter Ball
1917 -- .359 for NY Lincoln Giants; Holway all-star
0-7 vs. major-league competition
1918 -- .275 for NY Lincoln Giants
1919 -- .246 for NY Lincoln Giants
1920 -- .500 for NY Lincoln Giants; Holway all-star
1921 -- no ba listed for NY Lincoln Giants
1922 – listed as manager of NY Lincoln Giants, not player
1923 -- .264 for NY Lincoln Giants
1924 -- .281 for Bkn Royal Giants
1925 -- listed as manager of NY Lincoln Stars, hit .407 in utility role
1926 – no data
1927 – no data
1928 -- no BA data, listed as outfielder for NY Lincoln Giants, 0-1 as pitcher

Career Totals

13 documented seasons as regular, 1910-20, 23-34, probably a regular but undocumented in 1921 and 1922
.320 mean avg. for 13 documented seasons
5-39 (.128) in Cuban Play
6-23 (.261) vs. major-league competition

Defensive positions:
1909 P
1910-11 CF for Bkn Royal Giants
1912 LF for StL Giants, CF for Bkn Royal Giants
1913-15 CF for Bkn (13, 14) and NY Lincoln Giants
1916 RF for NY Lincoln Giants (Spots Poles plays CF)
1917 LF for NY Lincoln Giants (Poles again in CF)
1918-19 CF for NY Lincoln Giants (Poles in army)
1920 CF for NY Lincoln Giants (Poles in LF)
1921 CF for NY Lincoln Giants
1922 no fielding info
1923 CF for NY Lincoln Giants
1924 CF for Bkn Royal Giants
1925 UT for NY Lincoln Stars
1928 CF for NY Lincoln Giants, when he played


From Riley

General description of Thomas a as a player
“He was one of the biggest men in baseball, and his great bulk made him a good power hitter, but the big outfielder also hit for a high average. In the field he had a wide range and an outstanding glove, making spectacular running and shoestring catches . . . He also showed very good speed on the bases and considerable skill as an accomplished base stealer.”

1917 – hit .517, slugged .833 against all levels of competition
1918 – hit .316
1919 – hit .340
1924 – released by NY Lincoln Giants, signed with Brooklyn Royal Giants, hit .312
1925 – hit .372 for Brooklyn Royal Giants

i9s career projections
1909-1925
8451 ab, 2482 hits, 451 2b, 104 3b, 141 hr, 621 bb, .294 ba, .342 obp, .422 slg, 764 ops, 1211 rc

It looks to me like the usual 5% reduction to i9s will be about right. His .320 mean avg., multiplied by .87 comes out to .278 MLE, i9s multiplied by .95 comes out to .279 . Since this checks out, I’ll work out win share projections based on their seasonal projections over the course of the next week.
   2. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 18, 2004 at 02:12 AM (#803290)
Chris, do you have an idea what percentage of games he played in CF?
   3. Chris Cobb Posted: August 18, 2004 at 02:24 AM (#803333)
No; the only info I have are Holway's seasonal assignments, and I don't have a good sense of how definitive/reliable those are.

When I do WS projections based on i9s, I'll use their games played and treat him as playing the position Holway assigned him during those games. In 1912, I'm going to treat him as 3/4 LF, 1/4 CF, because he played most of the year in St. Louis.

Since it looks like Poles displaced him as centerfielder for the Giants, I will set Thomas's fielding value a bit lower than I set Poles's.
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 18, 2004 at 02:26 AM (#803340)
Since it looks like Poles displaced him as centerfielder for the Giants, I will set Thomas's fielding value a bit lower than I set Poles's.

Sounds reasonable.
   5. Chris Cobb Posted: August 18, 2004 at 02:56 AM (#803473)
Forgot the expert evaluation summary for Jules Thomas. It's somewhat less impressive than the data.

Expert Evaluations
Bill James -- not ranked
CPPD -- no expert votes to elect to HoF
John Holway -- six all-star selections.
   6. The definitely immoral Eric Enders Posted: August 18, 2004 at 03:23 AM (#803516)
Since it looks like Poles displaced him as centerfielder for the Giants, I will set Thomas's fielding value a bit lower than I set Poles's.
....
Sounds reasonable.


Reasonable, yes. A safe assumption, no. This year alone, witness Derek Jeter/ARod and Steve Finley/Milton Bradley for 2 examples of a superior defensive player being relegated to the inferior position.
   7. Chris Cobb Posted: August 18, 2004 at 12:50 PM (#803804)
A safe assumption, no.

But is there anything else to go on? If there isn't, I have to go with the most likely interpretation of the historical record. Was Poles such a star at the time (he certainly has the posthumous reputation that Thomas lacks, although the data don't suggest he was a far superior player) that he got the centerfield job for his star aura, or that he got the CF job because his arm was too weak to play right field? These are both imaginable scenarios, but is evidence suggesting that one of them is more likely that the obvious scenario, which is that Poles was the better outfielder (at least during the teens)?
   8. The definitely immoral Eric Enders Posted: August 18, 2004 at 01:03 PM (#803812)
But is there anything else to go on? If there isn't, I have to go with the most likely interpretation of the historical record.

I absolutely agree, which is why I said it was a reasonable inference. I just think we should bear in mind that it's only an educated guess, and we probably shouldn't put an undue amount of emphasis on it.
   9. The definitely immoral Eric Enders Posted: August 18, 2004 at 01:05 PM (#803814)
By the way Chris, I'm checking in late on this one, but I just wanted to give you a big thumbs up for your posts a few weeks ago on Rube Foster. They shed a great deal of light on his career -- thanks.
   10. KJOK Posted: August 19, 2004 at 12:14 AM (#805046)
The Pitcher that was 0-1 for the 1928 Lincoln Giants appears to be HERB Thomas, not Jules Thomas.
   11. Guapo Posted: August 31, 2005 at 06:14 PM (#1587816)
Anyone know when this guy became eligible?
   12. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 31, 2005 at 06:24 PM (#1587842)
Roughly 1930-1935ish IIRC.
   13. Chris Cobb Posted: August 31, 2005 at 07:03 PM (#1587955)
Jules Thomas became eligible in 1934.
   14. sunnyday2 Posted: August 31, 2005 at 07:16 PM (#1587993)
Chris, I see that you promised MLEs on Thomas, but my recollection is that in view of his MLE of about .278-.279 with only modest power and moderate fielding it was thought that no MLEs were really needed. I'm not sure Jules is in the top 200, much less the top 100, or top 15.
   15. Guapo Posted: August 31, 2005 at 08:16 PM (#1588160)
Thank you, Dr. C and Chris.
   16. burniswright Posted: December 07, 2007 at 09:25 AM (#2637790)
If we're going to have a Jules Thomas thread, could we have a Charlie Mason thread please? Mason was more of an impact player than Thomas, and there are *lots* of reasonable questions about how good he was.
   17. KJOK Posted: September 17, 2011 at 07:38 AM (#3927878)
   18. KJOK Posted: September 17, 2011 at 08:26 PM (#3928194)
CORRECTED LINK:

Jules Thomas' Real Stats

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