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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Matt Williams

Eligible 2009

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Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 16, 2008 at 11:37 PM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 16, 2008 at 11:51 PM (#3010317)
Top 6 in the MVP vote 4x. 378 HR, lost a chance at breaking the Maris record in 1994 due to the strike.

Probably comes up a little short, but an interesting candidate nonetheless.
   2. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 16, 2008 at 11:58 PM (#3010322)
An excellent defensive 3B. In his prime, similar in style and value to Nettles (although with a less extreme offense/defense split), but lacking the career bulk that got Graig in. Better than many may remember but, like Bell, not close. HoVG.
   3. OCF Posted: November 17, 2008 at 01:40 AM (#3010368)
In 1961, Roger Maris hit .269/.370/.620 in a .258/.332/.401 environment, giving him an OPB+ of 111, a SLG+ of 155, for an OPS+ of 167. He played in 161 of 162 team games, and had 698 PA. His 61 HR came at a rate of 11.44 PA/HR.

Also in 1961, Mickey Mantle hit .317/.448/.687 in the same .258/.332/.401 environment as Maris, giving him an OPB+ of 135, a SLG+ of 171, for an OPS+ of 206. He played in 153 of 162 team games, and had 646 PA. His 54 HR came at a rate of 11.96 PA/HR.

In 1994, Matt Williams hit .267/.319/.607 in a .267/.333/.418 environment, giving him an OPB+ of 96, a SLG+ of 145, for an OPS+ of 141. He played in 112 of 115 team games, and had 483 PA. His 43 HR came at a rate of 11.23 PA/HR. Linear projection to 162 team games gives him 61 HR.

Also in 1994, Barry Bonds hit .312/.426/.647 in the same .267/.333/.418 environment as Wiliams, giving him an OPB+ of 128, a SLG+ of 155, for an OPS+ of 183. He played in 112 of 115 team games, and had 474 PA. His 37 HR came at a rate of 12.81 PA/HR. Linear projection to 162 team games gives him 52 HR.

I've always seen 1994 Williams/Bonds in the context of 1961 Maris/Mantle. I did the HR rate as PA/HR because I was thinking about chances to hit 60 in a season; obviously the AB/HR rates are quite a bit different, especially for the walk machines Mantle and Bonds. By this analysis, Maris/Mantle come off somewhat better - in particular, Maris drew quite a few more walks and hence had a considerably better OBP than Williams, and Mantle had a noticeable SLG and overall advantage over Bonds, balanced against Mantle's lack of durability. Of course, there are other factors, including the relative weakness of the 1961 AL compared to the 1961 NL, and the fact that both 1961 and 1994 were peculiar years - but the 1961 AL was more peculiar.

None of this has much to do with the HoM candidacy for Williams. I haven't run him through my system yet, but < 2000 games with an OPS+ of 112 isn't a particularly promising start.
   4. Chris Cobb Posted: November 17, 2008 at 02:43 AM (#3010403)
Matt Williams' closest comp in my system is Pedro Guerrero. Next closest are Gil Hodges and Sal Bando. Ken Caminiti and Larry Gardner are also in the neighborhood.
   5. Chris Fluit Posted: November 17, 2008 at 03:45 AM (#3010435)
I always thought the "Matt Williams could have broken Maris' record" argument was completely over-hyped. He was on pace to tie it, not break it by any margin. If he tailed off at all in the last two months of the season, he would have fallen short. And his home runs per PA in the previous four seasons had been 20.2, 18.67, 28.8 and 16.28 so there was every reason in the world to think that he would tail off from the 11.23 rate he had so far. There was no way that anybody should have been talking about Williams as a serious candidate until he had at least 50. The strike didn't cost Williams his chance at the record. It immortalized him as a guy who could have had a chance when in all likelihood he would have finished in the mid to low 50s.
   6. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 17, 2008 at 04:03 AM (#3010441)
Well then, it did cost him a 50-jack season, which is notable in its own right, and was even more so before the likes of Brady Anderson, Luis González, and Greg Vaughn broke the barrier.
   7. JPWF13 Posted: November 17, 2008 at 07:03 PM (#3010782)
Better than many may remember


Until a few years ago my internal impression of Williams was that he was on par with Tim Wallach, maybe Tony Batista/Gaetti as hitters, maybe Larry Parrish with better D not a fan of his, didn't peruse his BBREF page etc..

Well that's why we actually tabulate the #s, he was significantly better with the bat than everyone I just named. Parrish was the closest- but Williams blows him away on the dee cide. Wallach and Williams are close on Dee, but Williams was a much better hitter.

Gaetti was significantly weaker on both sides, Gaetti just has a bizzarely long career... Batista- well he just sux
   8. OCF Posted: November 17, 2008 at 07:05 PM (#3010785)
Of course, Bonds could easily have had a 50-jack season. He made up for that some years later ...
   9.   Posted: November 17, 2008 at 07:46 PM (#3010822)
I think part of his "problem" in the underrated-ness is his completely generic name. "Matt Williams" just sound like some career bench player who bounced around from team to team ala Chris Gomez or Lenny Harris.

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