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Monday, July 27, 2015

Most Meritorious Player: 1908 Discussion

The Cubs beat Detroit again in the World Series.

Player			SH WS		BBR WAR
Honus Wagner		56.7		11.5
Napoleon Lajoie		35.3		7.9
Roger Bresnahan		26.8		5.9
Joe Tinker		33.0		7.9
Matty McIntyre		33.0		5.9
Tyrus Cobb		35.4		6.1
Mike Donlin		31.1		6.0
Tommy Leach		29.7		4.8
Hans Lobert		32.3		5.1
Art Devlin		23.5		4.3
Fielder Jones		32.6		4.8
Sherry Magee		25.5		4.7
Johnny Evers		29.3		5.6
Johnny Kling		22.9		3.9
Fred Clarke		27.8		4.8
Bobby Wallace		21.7		6.3
George Stovall		21.8		4.2
Doc Gessler		24.9		4.6
Sam Crawford		31.5		5.1
Al Bridwell		23.3		4.6
Hobe Ferris		20.1		4.0
George McBride		16.5		4.5
George Stone		26.4		4.1
Bill Dahlen		16.0		5.2
Joe Delahanty		13.7		1.2
John Titus		22.4		3.0
Frank Chance		20.8		3.7
Red Murray		25.6		3.8
Gabby Street		11.0		2.8

John Henry Lloyd
Pete Hill

Pitcher			SH WS		BBR WAR
Christy Mathewson	38.9		11.2
Ed Walsh		45.7		10.5
Cy Young		26.9		10.0
George McQuillan	33.1		9.2
Mordecai Brown		30.8		8.1
Addie Joss		31.5		8.4
Eddie Plank		17.0		7.1
Hooks Wiltse		24.9		6.7
Nap Rucker		23.5		5.7
Kaiser Wilhem		22.5		5.5
Bugs Raymond		21.4		5.3
Ed Reulbach		24.6		5.6
Walter Johnson		18.5		5.6
Rube Vickers		20.2		6.1

Rube Foster

DL from MN Posted: July 27, 2015 at 04:14 PM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: July 27, 2015 at 04:57 PM (#5007477)
JH Lloyd looks like the best NGL player this year.
   2. Chris Fluit Posted: July 27, 2015 at 05:15 PM (#5007487)
JH Lloyd looks like the best NGL player this year.

By a country mile.
   3. DL from MN Posted: July 29, 2015 at 10:49 AM (#5008754)
Fred Merkle is probably not the MMP this year. Pretty rowdy era in baseball.
   4. DL from MN Posted: July 29, 2015 at 11:49 AM (#5008800)
1908 prelim

1) Honus Wagner - 9 BWAA, next best is Cobb with 6. I have Wagner worth as much as #8 and #9 combined
2) Christy Mathewson - incredibly effective this season
3) John Henry Lloyd - By far the best hitter in black baseball this season. Good SS also
4) Napoleon Lajoie - ridiculously good fielding numbers
5) Ed Walsh - tons of innings
6) Cy Young
7) Roger Bresnahan - C bonus
8) Joe Tinker
9) Rube Foster - best black pitcher, good hitting year also
10) George McQuillan - good year for pitchers

11-15) Mordecai Brown, Matty McIntyre, Ty Cobb, Mike Donlin, Tommy Leach
16-22) Hans Lobert, Pete Hill, Art Devlin, Addie Joss, Fielder Jones, Sherry Magee, Eddie Plank
   5. OCF Posted: July 29, 2015 at 02:37 PM (#5008950)
Wagner had a monumental career, of course, but this season still manages to stick out above the rest of that career. And he was 34 years old! He was less than a year older than John McGraw, and McGraw hadn't mattered as a player for nearly a decade. Somehow it took nearly a century for Wagner's devotion to off-season conditioning to become the norm.

And yet, the Pirates didn't win the pennant - the Cubs squeaked it out in a razor-close 3-way race.

Weird WAR-fueled thought experiment: What if the Pirates had traded Wagner and their several sub-replacement first basemen to the Cubs for Tinker and Chance? The WAR suggestion is that that might have slightly favored the Pirates. Such is the damage caused by having a hole in your lineup. (And Tinker wasn't exactly shabby.)
   6. bjhanke Posted: August 04, 2015 at 03:26 PM (#5013083)
If your two aces are Three-Finger Brown and Ed Reulbach, and the other teams' are Ed Summers and George Mullin, that other team is in trouble. - Brock Hanke
   7. OCF Posted: August 04, 2015 at 07:13 PM (#5013387)
Dead ball baseball and the dead ball mindset.

Wagner had the highest SLG in either league by nearly 70 points, and the highest SLG in the NL by a full 100 points. He slugged .542. Cobb, the leader of the AL, was at .475; Donlin was 2nd in the NL at .452. And yet Wagner is credited with 14 sacrifices for the year - which would be unimaginable in our times for such a player.

To be fair, several other Pirates had quite a few more sacrifices than that.

(Brock: you made me look up a name or two just to figure out what you were talking about. Which turned out to be the World Series.)
   8. bjhanke Posted: August 04, 2015 at 07:49 PM (#5013418)
OCF - Sorry. I should have put a label on that comment. - Brock
   9. AndrewJ Posted: August 04, 2015 at 08:34 PM (#5013457)
The 1908 Pirates have got to be one of the few cases in history where one player singlehandedly raised a genuinely average team to contention. They had significant deficits at catcher, first and (apparently) RF, and their best pitcher by WAR was only 10th in the league...
   10. OCF Posted: August 04, 2015 at 09:01 PM (#5013476)
They had significant deficits at catcher, first and (apparently) RF

I don't think that's really a deficit at catcher. Gibson played 143 games, which is pretty extraordinary, and his OPS+ of 78 wasn't all that bad by the standards of catchers. It's just that the two teams they had to beat had conspicuous strengths at catcher. Bresnahan played 140 games himself, with an OPS+ of 138 (note that DL's prelim puts Bresnahan in the top 10) and Kling played 126 games with an OPS+ of 119, and the Cubs had a decent backup as well.

But agreed that one outfield spot was subpar, and they had a serious problem at 1B.
   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 05, 2015 at 01:16 PM (#5013936)
Prelim:

1) Honus Wagner









2) Ed Walsh
3) Christy Mathewson
4) Mordecai Brown
5) George McQuillan
6) Cy Young
7) Addie Joss
8) Ty Cobb
9) Nap Lajoie
10) Matty McIntyre
   12. bjhanke Posted: August 06, 2015 at 10:48 AM (#5014589)
Heh. Nice one, Grandma. - Brock
   13. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 06, 2015 at 12:50 PM (#5014695)
Heh. Nice one, Grandma. - Brock


:-)

Easily the most dominating season we have seen so far for this project.
   14. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 12, 2015 at 11:25 AM (#5017800)
Worth mentioning that Cy Young is putting up an ERA+ of 193 this year at the age of 41. He already has 457 wins and 6473 IP on that arm.
   15. Mike Emeigh Posted: August 13, 2015 at 08:38 PM (#5019038)
Worth mentioning that Cy Young is putting up an ERA+ of 193 this year at the age of 41.


With almost no leveraging to speak of: 6 starts against the Senators, 5 each against the Indians, White Sox, and Tigers, 4 each against the other three teams.

On the other hand, Mordecai Brown's starts, in order of decreasing opponent's record:

Giants 6
Pirates 6
Phillies 5
Reds 3
Doves 8
Superbas 1
Cardinals 2

Pfiester's:

Giants 8
Pirates 6
Phillies 3
Reds 1
Doves 4
Superbas 5
Cardinals 0

Overall's:

Giants 2
Pirates 2
Phillies 4
Reds 4
Doves 4
Superbas 4
Cardinals 7

and Reulbach's:

Giants 4
Pirates 3
Phillies 6
Reds 6
Doves 5
Superbas 7
Cardinals 4

You can see some of the impacts from leveraging there.

-- MWE
   16. DL from MN Posted: August 14, 2015 at 02:43 PM (#5019468)
Best 21 seasons of 1901-1908 according to my calculator (no stdev or scoring adjustments)

Wagner 1908 25.4
Wagner 1907 20.9
Wagner 1906 20.1
Lajoie 1901 20.1
Wagner 1905 20.0

Lajoie 1904 20.0
Waddell 1902 19.6
Lajoie 1906 19.3
Stone 1906 18.2
Cy Young 1901 17.8

Devlin 1906 16.9
Wagner 1902 16.6
Wagner 1903 16.3
Lajoie 1903 16.0
Wagner 1901 16.0

Wagner 1904 15.8
Mathewson 1905 15.6
Seymour 1905 15.5
Turner 1906 15.2
Cy Young 1902 15.0
Mathewson 1908 15.0

Wagner has 9 of the top 16 seasons and 4 of the top 5.
   17. Chris Fluit Posted: August 14, 2015 at 04:34 PM (#5019570)
1908 Prelim- NL Only

1. Honus Wagner, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates: even more dominant than 1907, 205 OPS+ leads the league by 50 points
2. Christy Mathewson, P, New York Giants: 168 ERA+ in league-leading 390 innings
3. George McQuillan, P, Philadelphia Phillies: 157 ERA+ is 3rd in NL, 359 IP are 2nd
4. Mike Donlin, RF, New York Giants: a nice comeback season, 2nd in OPS+ and RC
5. Roger Bresnahan, C, New York Giants: top ten offensive numbers from the man in the mask
6. Mordecai Brown, P, Chicago Cubs: 160 ERA+ is 2nd in NL though 312 IP barely crack the top ten
7. Joe Tinker, SS, Chicago Cubs: one of the great defensive seasons of all-time (+23 fielding runs) to go with a 119 OPS+
8. Johnny Evers, 2B, Chicago Cubs: 144 OPS+ is good for 4th, +6 fielding
9. Hans Lobert, 3B, Cincinnati Reds: a butcher with the glove (-10 fielding) but most teams will take a 143 OPS+ at third
10. Kaiser Wilhelm, P, Brooklyn Superbas: probably regretting that nickname now
   18. Chris Fluit Posted: August 14, 2015 at 04:58 PM (#5019594)
1908 Prelim- AL Only

1. Addie Joss, P, Cleveland Naps
2. Ed Walsh, P, Chicago White Sox
3. Cy Young, P, Boston Red Sox: dominant pitching from the big 3; Joss' 1.16 ERA is good for a 204 ERA+; Walsh's 464 IP are paired with a 162 ERA+; and some guy named Cy Young had a 1.26 ERA for a 193 ERA+
4. Napoleon Lajoie, 2B, Cleveland Naps: holds off Ty Cobb as the best position player due to still superior defense
5. Ty Cobb, RF, Detroit Tigers
6. Sam Crawford, CF, Detroit Tigers
7. Matty McIntyre, LF, Detroit Tigers: the three Tiger outfielders are 1st, 3rd and 4th in OPS+
8. Doc Gessler, RF, Boston Red Sox: 2nd in OPS+ with 163 but trails the Detroit trio due to position (RF) and fielding (0)
9. Harry Howell, P, St. Louis Browns: sneaks into the top ten in both ERA+ and IP
10. Bobby Wallace, SS, St. Louis Browns: stellar defense (+17 fielding runs) and a better-than-usual bat (112 OPS+)
   19. Chris Fluit Posted: August 14, 2015 at 05:19 PM (#5019610)
1908 Prelim- Combined

1. Honus Wagner, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates: even more dominant than 1907, 205 OPS+ leads the league by 50 points
2. Addie Joss, P, Cleveland Naps: Joss' 1.16 ERA is good for a 204 ERA+
3. Ed Walsh, P, Chicago White Sox: Walsh's 464 IP are paired with a 162 ERA+
4. John Henry Lloyd, SS, Philadelphia Giants: a 231 OPS+; 10.2 Win Shares nearly double the next position player
5. Christy Mathewson, P, New York Giants: 168 ERA+ in NL-leading 390 innings
6. Cy Young, P, Boston Red Sox: 1.26 ERA is good for a 193 ERA+
7. Napoleon Lajoie, 2B, Cleveland Naps: holds off Ty Cobb as the best position player in the AL due to still superior defense
8. Ty Cobb, RF, Detroit Tigers: leads the AL in OPS+ with 169 and RC with 100
9. George McQuillan, P, Philadelphia Phillies: 157 ERA+ is 3rd in NL, 359 IP are 2nd
10. Mike Donlin, RF, New York Giants: a nice comeback season, 2nd in OPS+ and RC

11. Sam Crawford, CF, Detroit Tigers
12. Roger Bresnahan, C, New York Giants
13. Mordecai Brown, P, Chicago Cubs
14. Charles Earle, P, Brooklyn Royal Giants
15. Joe Tinker, SS, Chicago Cubs
16. Matty McIntyre, LF, Detroit Tigers
17. Bill Monroe, 3B, Brooklyn Royal Giants
18. Johnny Evers, 2B, Chicago Cubs
19. Hans Lobert, 3B, Cincinnati Reds
20. Doc Gessler, RF, Boston Red Sox
   20. Chris Fluit Posted: August 14, 2015 at 05:25 PM (#5019615)
John Henry Lloyd was the only Negro Leagues player to crack the final ballot but he wasn't the only player worth looking at. Charles Earle of the Brooklyn Royal Giants was the best pitcher- 11.7 Win Shares, 127 ERA+ and 134 OPS+. The usual suspects Harry Buckner and Rube Foster also had good years. Buckner had a 126 ERA+ in 75 innings and Foster a 204 in 54 IP. I'd put Foster just behind Wallace in the top 25. Finally, Bill Monroe had a solid year at third- a 186 OPS+, 9.1 RC per 27 and 6.3 Win Shares. That's comparable to- and arguably slightly better than- other glove men Evers and Lobert.
   21. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 16, 2015 at 10:13 AM (#5020190)
FWIW, the MLE's for this particular season that was posted on Lloyd's HoM page years ago indicate he was a good player in 1907, but not top-ten material. Same goes for Rube Foster.
   22. Chris Fluit Posted: August 19, 2015 at 07:17 PM (#5022419)
Thanks, Grandma. I work off the Seamheads data rather than Chris Cobb's MLEs as those are more recent numbers. I agree that Foster isn't a top ten player in 1908 but I'm not sure you're right about Lloyd. MLEs intentionally smoothed out a player's peak because they were based on estimates but Lloyd looks completely dominant this season. However, I'll take another look as it's possible that I have Lloyd too high and that he should drop to 8 or so behind Cobb.
   23. DL from MN Posted: August 20, 2015 at 10:15 AM (#5022731)
Lloyd sustains his success into 1909. I think this is the breakout season.

I can get behind Lobert as a comp for Bill Monroe.

Rube Foster versus Charles Earle for best pitcher is going to take more analysis for me. Unearned runs appear to be a big issue in the accounting. Foster's ERA looks pretty nice but there are 10 unearned runs.

Rube Foster RA: 3.50
Charles Earle RA: 3.64

Foster strikes out more but also walks more. Foster had an .821 OPS and Earle's was .730. Foster has about half the recorded playing time of Earle but I don't know if he was hurt or they just had fewer games recorded. It looks like Foster is a little better but it's close and the unearned runs drop Foster off my ballot.

Looking ahead, Foster's 1910 looks great.
   24. Chris Fluit Posted: August 20, 2015 at 03:30 PM (#5022926)
Foster has about half the recorded playing time of Earle but I don't know if he was hurt or they just had fewer games recorded.

It looks like it's a question of recorded games rather than injury. Earle played for the Brooklyn Giants who were part of the National Association of Colored Professional Clubs, which was the closest thing to a league at the time. Brooklyn has 31 recorded games, second to the Philadelphia Giants. Meanwhile, Foster played for the Chicago Leland Giants in 1908 as pitcher/manager. The Leland Giants were an independent barnstorming team, though they do have 21 recorded games, ahead of one of the Association teams. Considering that Foster started 28.5% of Leland's record games (6 of 21), you have to figure he would have gotten 2-3 more starts if the schedules were even. That doesn't mean he would have sustained the same level of success, but it is worth considering.

It's also worth noting that Foster broke his leg in 1909 and missed a big chunk of that season. If he had sustained a serious injury in 1908 as well, that would have probably been recorded.
   25. neilsen Posted: August 23, 2015 at 07:59 PM (#5024699)
1, Honus Wagner
2. John Henry Llyod
3. Ed Walsh
4. Christy Mathewson
5. Nap Lajoie
6. Ty Cobb
7. Cy Young
8. Addie Joss
9. Sam Crawford
10. Joe Tinker


11-15 . Pete Hill, Mordecai Brown, Rube Foster, Charles Earle, Art Devlin
   26. bjhanke Posted: August 26, 2015 at 09:15 AM (#5026739)
On Roger Bresnahan: I think I may have missed a year or two of this already, but Bresnahan has top-three claims in various scattered years, simply because of how thoroughly he dominated catcher, when he played a full, healthy season at that spot. This year, for example, Roger has 26.8 Win Shares, which is normal for a full, healthy year of Roger at catcher. Johnny Kling, who was more consistent, but didn't have the big seasons, had 22.9, which is a VERY high total for him. Then there's Gabby Street, with 11.0. This is normal for a big Roger year, except that Kling was a bit over his head. Roger will have a number in the high 20s, and maybe one more guy will have a number near 20, and then it's quickly down to guys who have ten or fewer. Except for Honus at SS, there really isn't anyone who dominates a position like that. The odd thing is that Roger is horribly inconsistent. In 1909, for example, he has about 8 Win Shares. He'd get hurt, or would end up playing center field or something. But, since we're voting individual years here, it's always worth it to see if Roger is having a big year behind the plate. If he is, he probably dominates his position more than anyone in the game other than Honus, which justifies more than just the usual catcher bonus.

Also, Chris (#22) seems to be talking about Pop Lloyd in 1908, responding to Grandma (#21), who is talking about Lloyd in 1907. What those years look like to me is the very earliest part of a young superstar kid on the way up. It's very reasonable to think that Lloyd might have gained a huge amount between 1907 and 1908. - Brock Hanke
   27. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 26, 2015 at 10:14 AM (#5026781)
The 1908 Pirates have got to be one of the few cases in history where one player singlehandedly raised a genuinely average team to contention. They had significant deficits at catcher, first and (apparently) RF, and their best pitcher by WAR was only 10th in the league...

In that same year, Ed Walsh had 40 wins, 42 CG, 11 shutouts and 6 saves for a team with 88 wins and a team OPS+ of 87. The White Sox lost the pennant on the final day of the season in great part because their manager refused to start his second best pitcher due to an ongoing disciplinary dispute that had gone on for months.

Addie Joss had better rate stats than Walsh, but also pitched 139 fewer innings. No way he contributed more value to the Naps than Walsh did to the Hitless Wonders.
   28. bjhanke Posted: August 27, 2015 at 03:07 PM (#5027841)
Mike - Your #15 is VERY VERY useful info to have. I'm very glad it's here. In fact, if there was any way to get one of the big database sites to run that for every starter every year, I'd love to have that data. - Brock
   29. toratoratora Posted: September 05, 2015 at 12:09 PM (#5032549)
The height, or should that be trough, of deadball. League average BA for teams is .239. Three players crest an OBP of .400. Seven break .300 BA. One cracks a .500 slg %.

And Honus at 34 has a season for the ages. Ties with Cal's 1991 for the best WAR season by a SS ever. Third best in history by an IF, trailing only Hornsby 24 and Gehrig 27.

My prelim. The usual blend of WAR systems. No adjustments. No NL players yet but from afar I'm betting Lloyd makes it.

1-The Flying Dutchman-Because who doesn't like a SS with a 205 OPS+?
2-Matty
3-Gettysburg Ed
4-Tinker
5-Nap
6-McQuillan (Tied with Nap)
7-Cy
8-The Georgia Peach ( Tied with Young)
9-McIntyre
10-Joss

The Best of the Rest, in descending order:
Turkey Mike
Miner
Fielder
Evers
Lobert

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