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Hall of Merit
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Monday, January 14, 2008

Ranking Hall of Merit players not in the Hall of Fame: Group 1, Still Under BBWAA Jurisdiction

This is the discussion thread for ranking the non-Hall of Fame, Hall of Merit players. We’ve included the players off the BBWAA ballot due to the 5% rule - those players could still be reinstated to the BBWAA ballot with a rule change.

Alphaetically (year of induction to HoM in parenthesis):

Bert Blyleven (1998)
Will Clark (2006)
Andre Dawson (2005)
Dwight Evans (1997)
Keith Hernandez (1996)
Mark McGwire (2007)
Tim Raines (2008)
Willie Randolph (2001)
Bret Saberhagen (2008)
Dave Stieb (2002)
Alan Trammell (2002)
Lou Whitaker (2001)

Vote will be straight rank order ballot, with no bonus points, so 12-11-10 . . . 3-2-1.

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: January 14, 2008 at 02:31 PM | 167 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: January 19, 2008 at 09:38 PM (#2671911)
Huh? Trammell and Whitaker have the *exact* same stdevs--they played in the same league at the same time! (And on the same team, no less). Ease of domination (as I measure it) is a leaguewide, not position-specific phenomonon. (Replacement levels, which are a completely different issue from standard deviation, are of course position-specific and float over time). If Trammell receives a bigger boost than Whitaker in BP's WARP2>WARP3 adjustment, it is because of the transition from seasonally adjusted to all-time adjusted FRAR (which moves from floating to fixed positional weights).

My WARP 2.0 includes all sorts of goodies, but preliminary pitching info is sadly not among them. I do have pitcher numbers and would be happy to send them to you, but they come with three giant caveats: 1. no seasons where GS/G < 0.5 2. complete reliance on BP's DERA, with all of its attendant pros and cons and 3. no adjustment for career length, which makes many deadball guys look bad and many 70's guys look great.
   102. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: January 19, 2008 at 10:26 PM (#2671931)
Look at the page title, kevin. Jim Rice was not elected to the Hall of Merit; therefore, he is outside the scope of this discussion thread, which aims to evaluate the comparative merits of only the 12 players listed.
   103. sunnyday2 Posted: January 19, 2008 at 10:40 PM (#2671941)
Yeah, on a scale from 1 to 10, rating the problems with the HoM:

Discordant messages--4 (there's always some but sometimes it's part of the fun)

Staying on topic--8 (there's always a bunch but sometimes it's part of the fun)

;-)
   104. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 19, 2008 at 10:50 PM (#2671950)
He did deserve his '78 MVP

Guidry?
   105. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 19, 2008 at 10:56 PM (#2671955)
What is it about exactly?

It's a discussion thread for HoM voters.

BTW, OCF just notified me that we had this up. I guess I'm out of the loop now. ;-)

Quick and dirty, I would go with, for now:

1) Raines
2) Blyleven
3) McGwire
4) Trammell
5) Whitaker
6) Clark
7) Hernandez
8) Randolph
9) Stieb
10)Saberhagen
11)Dawson
12)Evans
   106. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: January 19, 2008 at 11:04 PM (#2671966)
AJM--whoooooooooops! I was just looking at position players. Good F'ing Call! Guidry was a bad-ass 9.8 WARP, light years ahead of Rice.
   107. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: January 19, 2008 at 11:48 PM (#2672011)
Ah, here's one way I can be useful: Here are Dan Fox's total Equivalent Baserunning Runs (which include SB), and Michael Humphreys's Defensive Regression Analysis stats for 2B/3B/SS/CF (all I have at this point):

Tim Raines: +103 EqBRR--F'ing insane. Between this, the defense, and the OBP-heaviness, few players are more underrated by OPS+ than Rock.
Mark McGwire: -22 EqBRR, and missing 1999 which according to James Click's numbers was horrifically bad.
Alan Trammell: +13 EqBRR, +39 DRA
Lou Whitaker: +19 EqBRR, +109 DRA (this is much more friendly than FRAA/FWS/Dial, which combined have Whitaker as above average but not superb).
Will Clark: -5 EqBRR
Keith Hernandez: -12 EqBRR
Willie Randolph: +25 EqBRR, +122 DRA (somewhat more favorable than FRAA/FWS/Dial, but not as big of an improvement as Whitaker. Only 11 second basemen score over 100 career runs since 1893 according to DRA, and these are two of them).
Andre Dawson: -11 EqBRR (but very good during his peak and awful in his decline phase), +16 DRA as a CF from 1978-83
Dwight Evans: -13 EqBRR
   108. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 19, 2008 at 11:56 PM (#2672022)
Tim Raines: +103 EqBRR--F'ing insane. Between this, the defense, and the OBP-heaviness, few players are more underrated by OPS+ than Rock.
Mark McGwire: -22 EqBRR, and missing 1999 which according to James Click's numbers was horrifically bad.
Alan Trammell: +13 EqBRR, +39 DRA
Lou Whitaker: +19 EqBRR, +109 DRA (this is much more friendly than FRAA/FWS/Dial, which combined have Whitaker as above average but not superb).
Will Clark: -5 EqBRR
Keith Hernandez: -12 EqBRR
Willie Randolph: +25 EqBRR, +122 DRA (somewhat more favorable than FRAA/FWS/Dial, but not as big of an improvement as Whitaker. Only 11 second basemen score over 100 career runs since 1893 according to DRA, and these are two of them).
Andre Dawson: -11 EqBRR (but very good during his peak and awful in his decline phase), +16 DRA as a CF from 1978-83
Dwight Evans: -13 EqBRR


I have that group lined up exactly the same way.
   109. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: January 20, 2008 at 12:00 AM (#2672031)
Hm, maybe that's because I copied the order from your previous post? My own ballot is on the prior page. :) No way I'd have Dewey last, I was one of his most vocal supporters. Great player.
   110. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 20, 2008 at 12:18 AM (#2672054)
Hm, maybe that's because I copied the order from your previous post? My own ballot is on the prior page. :)


Heh. Obviously, I thought you had it in best-to-worst order by my quick scan of your post. :-)
   111. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 20, 2008 at 12:21 AM (#2672062)
Here are Dan Fox's total Equivalent Baserunning Runs (which include SB), and Michael Humphreys's Defensive Regression Analysis stats for 2B/3B/SS/CF (all I have at this point):

Is there a site that has these numbers?
   112. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: January 20, 2008 at 01:03 AM (#2672091)
Nope, they were sent to me directly. Dan Fox has summarized some of his findings in a recent BP article, though, and Michael posted a few results from an earlier version of DRA in an article at the Hardball Times if I recall.
   113. AROM Posted: January 20, 2008 at 03:41 AM (#2672183)
Is there a site that has these numbers?


My approach to defensive numbers, from a THT article and discussed here:

At the end of the file there's a spreadsheet with everyone's defensive rating from 1956 to 1986. I talked with Michael Humphreys earlier this week and while our approaches are very different, we're getting similar results for most players we discussed.

It would be cool if somebody who's run the baserunning and outfield arms ratings to make a big file available with every player from the retrosheet years in it. If nobody else does I'll do it eventually.
   114. Juan V Posted: January 20, 2008 at 09:18 PM (#2672507)
Right now, I'd go for:

1-Raines
2-Trammell
3-McGwire
4-Blyleven
5-Evans
6-Saberhagen
7-Whitaker
8-Randolph
9-Clark
10-Hernandez
11-Stieb
12-Dawson
   115. OCF Posted: January 21, 2008 at 01:28 AM (#2672573)
Question: what are the dates for the election thread on this?
   116. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 21, 2008 at 02:39 AM (#2672601)
My approach to defensive numbers, from a THT article and discussed here:

I missed this when it was first posted. Thanks.


Dan, is Raines #1 for baserunning runs?
   117. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: January 21, 2008 at 02:53 AM (#2672613)
#3, after Willie Wilson and Rickey, but they're all between 100 and 110 and light years ahead of everyone else. Check out my NY Times piece on the subject for analysis: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/06/sports/baseball/06score.html.
   118. Howie Menckel Posted: January 22, 2008 at 03:46 PM (#2673656)
Are we supposed to be voting already?
   119. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 22, 2008 at 04:02 PM (#2673668)
Are we supposed to be voting already?


I don't know, Howie. It's Joe's call.
   120. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: January 22, 2008 at 05:37 PM (#2673769)
Yeah we are - sorry, been swamped and it slipped my mind. Don't worry, I've set reminders up on my phone now to open the threads. I'll post a ballot thread shortly.
   121. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: January 22, 2008 at 05:38 PM (#2673771)
Before I post the thread - when is a good date to close the balloting for the talliers? I remember Sunday, but wanted to make sure first . . .
   122. TomH Posted: January 22, 2008 at 09:19 PM (#2674046)
prelim

1-Raines
2-McGwire
3-Blyleven
4-Trammell
5-Whitaker
6-Evans
7-Clark
8-Randolph
9-Hernandez
10-Saberhagen
11-Stieb
12-Dawson
   123. Kenn Posted: January 23, 2008 at 12:00 AM (#2674222)
It's been a while, but I want to complement Dan R's post 87. I found that description of strengths and weaknesses of Trammell and Whitaker very informative.

With my rankings, I'm reluctant to use offensive comparisons as a proxy for defensive difficulty, instead using the proportions of plays made by position to create positional adjusments of value. By that measure, SS and 2B end up closer in defensive value. I wouldn't argue that my method is a better way of doing things (especially since I've only calculated values for a sampling of years over the century), but I like it as an alternative method of assessing value.

That post seems nice to me because I suspect most voter's could look at it, compare their own methods of determining merit (offense vs. defense, peak vs. career, etc.) and identify why they might agree or disagree with Dan's conclusions, and Dan makes a good explanation himself of why various systems differ.
   124. mulder & scully Posted: January 23, 2008 at 12:04 AM (#2674227)
Just wanted to let folks know that I plan on voting and that I'll post a prelim within the next day or two.

DanR, sorry to be responding so late, but could you please send me a copy of your pitching stats even with caveats? I'll email you my address. I'm having problems with the one listed on BTF.
   125. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 23, 2008 at 12:26 AM (#2674237)
Before I post the thread - when is a good date to close the balloting for the talliers? I remember Sunday, but wanted to make sure first . . .


Sunday is the day for me, Joe.
   126. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: January 23, 2008 at 01:04 AM (#2674261)
Kenn, thanks for the feedback. Two responses:

1. I have never suggested that offensive comparisons can or should be used as a proxy for defensive difficulty. My method is to take a player's *total* contribution--hitting and baserunning compared to overall league average plus fielding compared to positional average--and compare that to the *total* contribution of replacement players at the same position. It doesn't matter whether a guy or his replacements are +20 with the bat and -20 with the glove or vice versa--runs are runs. The result is a measure of marginal *value*--the number of wins above a replacement player he created for his team. The concept of difficulty does not factor in. You could certainly make a case that the replacement levels I calculate are an indicator of defnsive difficulty--they certainly correlate closely to the widely recognized defnsive spectrum--but I myself have never made that claim explicitly, nor does it particularly interest me. If you can accumulate a ton of value doing something that in some abstract absolute sense is relatively easy, it's still value; conversely, if you do something exceedingly difficult that doesn't add to your team's bottom line, it's still worthless.

2. If defensive difficulty is what you are after, however, I do *not* think simply using percentage of total team chacnes is a good way to go. 2B do get nearly as many chances as SS, but they are virtually all substantially easier, since the 2B has the shortest throw on the infield and the SS has the longest (yes, longer than the 3B's). You have to factor in the difficulty of those chances as well as the volume. There is a reason why virtually all major league 2B's come up as shortstops and get moved off once it's clear they can't handle the tougher position.

mulder & scully, I'd be happy to. Just let me know what address to send it to.
   127. Howie Menckel Posted: January 23, 2008 at 02:59 AM (#2674337)
"There is a reason why virtually all major league 2B's come up as shortstops and get moved off once it's clear they can't handle the tougher position."

Is it really THAT extreme? I'm curious...
   128. Wes Parkers Mood (Mike Green) Posted: January 23, 2008 at 03:39 AM (#2674376)
Well, Kent came up as 3B/2B, Biggio came up as a catcher, and Lind, Morgan, Kendrick, Giles, Alomar and Utley came up as a second basemen. On the other hand, Sandberg, Grich, Frank White, Mark Ellis, Orlando Hudson, Adam Kennedy, Placido Polanco, Brian Roberts, Dustin Pedroia and Aaron Hill all came up as shortstops.

It is probably true that most second baseman start out as shortstops, but the margin might be quite narrow. I don't agree that when they get moved off short it's clear they can't handle the position. It is probably often the case that the perception is that stretching a player defensively might affect their offensive development. This was certainly the case with Ripken, but Earl Weaver simply ignored the commonly held perception. I would have been shocked if Sandberg or Grich could not have played an adequate shortstop, but the thinking was probably that they would develop quicker as hitters at second base.
   129. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: January 23, 2008 at 03:52 AM (#2674381)
Let's see:

Pedroia: Played short through AAA.
Canó: Played short through A.
Hill: Played short through AAA.
Roberts: Played short through AAA.
Upton: Played short through AAA (and then was moved off 2B as well).

A. Cabrera: Played short through AAA.
Polanco: Played short through A (and some in the majors).
Casilla: Played short through AAA.
Iguchi: Did not play in the US minors.
Grudzielanek: Played short through AAA (and in the majors until he turned 30).

Kendrick: Second all the way through.
J López: Played short through AAA.
Ellis: Played short through AAA.
Kinsler: Played short through AA.

Utley: Second all the way through, with one year at third.
Castillo: Second all the way through.
K Johnson: Played short through AA.
Belliard: Second all the way through.
Uggla: Second and third in the minors.

DeRosa: Played short through AAA.
Weeks: Second all the way through.
Kennedy: Played short through AAA.
Biggio: Came up as a catcher.
Phillips: Played short through AAA.
Sánchez: Played short through AAA.

Hudson: Second and third in the minors.
Matsui: Did not play in the US minors.
M Giles: Second all the way through.
Kent: Played short through A.
Durham: Second all the way through.

So 17 of the 28 non-Japanese second basemen came up as shortstops--60%. That's well short of "virtually all," so I stand corrected. But it's a clear majority.
   130. Howie Menckel Posted: January 23, 2008 at 03:59 AM (#2674385)
Thanks, Dan.

It's also "17 SS, 7 2B, and other combinations."

I'm surprised it's quite that high, so I think you still win on points here.
   131. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: January 23, 2008 at 04:04 AM (#2674387)
BP says Grich was bad at SS in '73, but good in '77, in limited time in both cases.

If Sandberg was capable of playing a solid SS, the Cubs really squandered him. Didn't he start out at third, anyways?
   132. Wes Parkers Mood (Mike Green) Posted: January 23, 2008 at 04:53 AM (#2674408)
Sandberg was a shortstop in the Phils system, and was traded in 82 for Ivan DeJesus. The Cubs didn't really have an option at second, but converted him to third base because he looked kinda big for a second baseman, I guess. Late in March, they brought in Bump Wills to play second.

What did Bill James once say about images? We have this simple idea (I would describe it as a preconception) of what a shortstop looks like, and the trick is to build more complex images.
   133. Howie Menckel Posted: January 23, 2008 at 05:44 AM (#2674426)
Does all this relate in any way to "best Little Leaguer on the team plays SS"?

I mean, it's a little facetious, or is it?
   134. sunnyday2 Posted: January 23, 2008 at 01:44 PM (#2674537)
I think it's probably fair to say that guys who are good enough to play in the ML all start out as pitch-catch-SS. It's just a question of when they move somewhere easier on the defensive spectrum. If they move during HS they better be able to mash. If they move during college they better be able to mash. If they move after they're in "organized ball" they better be able to mash. If not, then they better be able to pitch-catch-SS. And if none of the above, then they play 2B.
   135. Mike Green Posted: January 23, 2008 at 02:07 PM (#2674540)
I do agree with DanR's original point (replacement level for shortstops is lower than for other positions). While some second basemen could just as easily have been shortstops, the group narrows with age. There are very few players, other than career shortstops, who could move to the position and play it somewhat respectably at age 30. Adapting to the increased defensive demands at that stage is very difficult. It is much, much easier to make the transition from shortstop to second base, or third base, or the outfield. The transition difficulty for players in mid career narrows the pool of possible replacement level players and thus lowers the level of their average performance.

Which is why Omar Vizquel is a near Hall of Meriter (at least from a career perspective), to my amazement.
   136. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: January 23, 2008 at 02:25 PM (#2674547)
Despite the late start, should we still close the balloting Sunday?
   137. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: January 23, 2008 at 02:31 PM (#2674550)
BTW, I was thinking the alernative being waiting until next Sunday (although that is Super Bowl Sunday, so it'd have to be an early deadline) not sometime during the week.
   138. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: January 23, 2008 at 03:05 PM (#2674563)
sunnyday, that's my favorite post of yours evar. So true, so true.

I value shortstops probably twice as much as anyone else in the electorate, and Omar Vizquel doesn't sniff my Hall of Very Good.
   139. DL from MN Posted: January 23, 2008 at 03:20 PM (#2674582)
> they better be able to pitch-catch-SS. And if none of the above, then they play 2B.

With the caveat of "if they're lefthanded they play P/CF and if still challenged move to the corner OF or 1B".
   140. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: January 23, 2008 at 04:00 PM (#2674614)
I was left-handed and played 2B in little league because I had no arm, but I could at least field the ball.

That was in the early 80s. You weren't really expected to turn a DP until Junior High (7th grade for us). Not sure if this has changed.
   141. Al Peterson Posted: January 23, 2008 at 05:17 PM (#2674675)
Despite the late start, should we still close the balloting Sunday?


I'd say end the election this Sunday 8pm. Why drag your feet when you're putting 12 guys in order? Its much easier in comparison to the 2008 election. By then we were sorting through so many players - we had over 100 make at least one person's ballot.
   142. Kenn Posted: January 23, 2008 at 09:49 PM (#2674870)
Re #133, Point 1, I thought that might be the case, but couldn't remember. If I interpret you correctly, by comparing fielding to average by position, and batting to all players, then obtaining a positional replacement level, your method does in effect scale fielding value by positional batting replacement levels. It's a darn good system, given the tools we have to work with.

Meanwhile, what I try to do, if not necessarily succeed at, is to compare players to average in batting and average in fielding separately, adjusting between positions purely on defensive grounds. However, that's very tough to do in practice. Like I said, I start with chances between position. I do adjust for difficulty, which isn't actually so important for 2B vs. SS or OF, but 3B and 1B tend to do extremely badly on opportunities alone. This involves trying to compare stats when players changed position, using players that are widely seen as very close in value to check my scaling, and a fair bit of subjectivity. Not very clean, but I keep working on it.

I think that if I translated my point scales for 2B vs SS, I would come up with +1.2 wins for shortstop, which sounds like it is slightly larger than your average finding over many years on the previous page. Without a difficulty adjustment I would get about +0.4 wins for shortstop, which would be lower than even your narrowest gap. What I don't see much evidence for is any change in defensive patterns for 2B vs. SS in the 80s, but I know my current methods don't pick those variations up well. That said, we had a debate a while back about CF having a higher replacement value than usual during Puckett's playing years, and I did look into that more and see some evidence of that in my measures, if not to the degree that you do (I still am quite high on Murphy, Puckett, and Lynn).

Thanks for your comments.
   143. Mike Green Posted: January 23, 2008 at 09:59 PM (#2674880)
DanR, Vizquel's WARP3 is as high as Concepcion's, and if you think that BP's replacement level for shortstop at least is approximately right, it is no great stretch to have Vizquel close to Concepcion from a career perspective.
   144. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: January 23, 2008 at 11:25 PM (#2674955)
Kenn,

Well, not really. Again, it's a total measure of offense plus defense. A roughly realistic example would be that replacement SS are -2.4 wins with the bat (compared to league average) and a further -.6 wins with the glove (compared to positional average), for a total of 3.0 wins below average, while replacement 1B are maybe -0.7 wins with the bat and +.3 wins with the glove, for a total of 0.4 wins below average. I don't see how you are coming to the conclusion that I am "scaling fielding value by positional batting replacement levels," at least by batting alone. I am comparing players to replacements at their position, based on the sum of their offensive and defensive contributions.

1.2 wins for SS relative to 2B is definitely in the ballpark, particularly if you are using a data set from the 1970s or early 1980s.

It may simply have been that more teams realized you could have a decent-hitting 2B in the 80s than those who realized you could have a decent-hitting SS. That would mean no net change in defensive stats, but a significant change in marginal value.

On Concepción vs. Vizquel, it's a world of difference. Concepción was--

a better hitter: 88 OPS+ to 84, which means something over a long career.

a much better fielder: 14 of my FWAA to 7.6 for Vizquel. For confirmation, DRA has Concepción at +110 runs missing a few of his partial seasons, and Vizquel actually *below* average

and played in an era when shortstop was far tougher to fill than it is now: rep level for SS was around 3.9 wins below average per 162 when Concepción played, and 3.1 wins below average per 162 during Vizquel's career.

I have Concepción's career as nearly 50% more valuable than Vizquel's, 61.9 WARP2 to 43.7. I'm happy to show you the math if you'd like.
   145. sunnyday2 Posted: January 24, 2008 at 12:57 AM (#2674997)
> they better be able to pitch-catch-SS. And if none of the above, then they play 2B.

With the caveat of "if they're lefthanded they play P/CF and if still challenged move to the corner OF or 1B".


Actually, my caveat would be "if none of the above and left-handed," can you say Omaha.
   146. Kenn Posted: January 24, 2008 at 02:05 AM (#2675021)
Dan, no I got that. I guess the way to explain my perspective using your example is that if you didn't take the replacement fielding into account, and you had league average hitters at 1B and at SS that were positionally average fielders at each position, the ability of the SS to play SS would be worth 1.7 wins, which is derived from hitting stats. Taking defensive ratings within position into account before figuring replacement simply further refines this, and is a nice way to do so. You're not just using batting data to scale fielding value, but in this example only the 1.7 wins comes from position versus position comparison, and that part is based on hitting. That's all I mean. Or maybe I still don't understand :) Thanks for the discussion.

Your theory on 2B vs. SS in the 80s is entirely plausible.
   147. Wes Parkers Mood (Mike Green) Posted: January 24, 2008 at 02:31 AM (#2675031)
DanR, I'd have to question DRA's suggestion that Vizquel was at an earlier point in his career a below average fielder. A number of quite reliable current sources have him as one of the best defensive shortstops in the game at age 38-40, and that kind of career path for a shortstop is not unlikely.

It looks like BP gets Concepcion and Vizquel as comparable via WARP1 to WARP3 adjustments. For reasons that you have outlined, I don't buy them as comparable but I think they are a fair bit closer than your numbers would suggest. For one thing, Vizquel has played 400 games more at short than Concepcion did, and that has considerable value in and of itself. He's not quite the Tommy John of shortstops, but he's getting there...
   148. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: January 24, 2008 at 02:40 AM (#2675037)
Mike Green, I think you mean not *likely* :). Yes, my understanding is indeed that Vizquel has enjoyed something of an improbable late-career defensive renaissance. Steroids?

I should have clarified that my numbers on Vizquel were only through 2005. I can't imagine the last two seasons would move the needle much, but I haven't actually done the calculation.
   149. Wes Parkers Mood (Mike Green) Posted: January 24, 2008 at 03:04 AM (#2675054)
"Steroquel" has an interesting exotic ring to it. After the adventures of Neifi, anything is possible.:)
   150. DL from MN Posted: January 25, 2008 at 07:48 PM (#2676137)
Don't forget to post a "group 2" thread this weekend...

Dick Allen
Ken Boyer
Darrell Evans
Bill Freehan
Bobby Grich
Minnie Minoso
Graig Nettles
Billy Pierce
Ron Santo
Ted Simmons
Joe Torre
Jim Wynn

Where did Chaleeko go?
   151. Howie Menckel Posted: January 26, 2008 at 06:42 AM (#2676479)
top of my head:

I guess Grich and Santo in a battle royale - with Allen?
Simmons and Torre and Freehan, a neat confrontation.
Pierce the lone pitcher.
tough for Boyer? Wynn? Nettles?
where do Minoso and DaEvans go?
   152. AROM Posted: January 26, 2008 at 07:10 AM (#2676484)
I'd have to question DRA's suggestion that Vizquel was at an earlier point in his career a below average fielder.


Me too. Zone rating is available for Omar's entire career. He's +97 by ZR. No Ozzie, but a very good shortstop. It does show him as having a career year defensively at age 40, +24 last year. His previous best was +14 in 1998, and he has 8 years of at least +10 defense.
   153. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: January 26, 2008 at 01:55 PM (#2676527)
I have lost a *lot* of faith in Zone Rating after seeing this from Michael Humphreys, the creator of DRA:

"The zones are too small in the infield, so that errors literally count 10 or 20 times more than assists, especially at short, but also at second and third. You get this result by regressing ESPN Zone Ratings (from their website, 2001-07) onto E/9ip and A/9ip. The coefficient for E/9ip is at least 10 or more times higher than A/9ip.

Stated differently, you should only use DZR for middle infielders if you believe fielding percentage is a better measure than Range Factor.

This causes a huge overrating for low errors shortstops such as Omar Vizquel and Ozzie Smith (in his post-86 career). Note also A-Rod's low-error years: one rating is something like +25 or +30. Absurd."

Hah, he even mentions Vizquel himself. There ya go.
   154. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: January 26, 2008 at 01:57 PM (#2676528)
Note that this is consistent with the well-known problem that ZR adds out of zone plays both to the numerator and to the denominator.
   155. Wes Parkers Mood (Mike Green) Posted: January 26, 2008 at 05:35 PM (#2676556)
"Stated differently, you should only use DZR for middle infielders if you believe fielding percentage is a better measure than Range Factor.

This causes a huge overrating for low errors shortstops such as Omar Vizquel and Ozzie Smith (in his post-86 career). Note also A-Rod's low-error years: one rating is something like +25 or +30. Absurd."

Which explains Zone Rating's love for Derek Jeter!

DanR, if you run your numbers for Vizquel's entire career, how different a figure do you get from Zone Rating's +97, after conversion to replacement? And, how does it compare with Concepcion? BP has Vizquel at +99 FRAA (unusually strong correlation with ZR) or +471 FRAR, and Concepcion at +124 FRAA or +613 FRAR.
   156. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: January 26, 2008 at 08:19 PM (#2676605)
Well, my numbers are based on an average of FRAA, Fielding Win Shares, and (gasp!) Zone Rating, so they're definitely behind the curve on this. Michael has only provided me with DRA scores for seasons over 130 games played, so I can't address partial seasons. Morover, I strongly disagree with the concept of a fielding score after conversion to replacement. I've said it once, and I'll say it again: there are no replacement statistics, only replacement players. Replacement level is derived by averaging the *total* production of replacement players, summing their offensive and defensive contributions. Some replacement SS are -50 with the bat and +20 with the glove (John McDonald?), others are -10 with the bat and -20 with the glove (Brendan Harris?). It all adds up to -30 any way you slice it. So I really don't know how to answer a question about fielding alone "after conversion to replacement;" I don't think it makes sense.

DRA has Concepción at +109 in 10 2/3 full-time seasons (counting 1981 as 2/3) with a peak of 26-25-14 (with the 14 in the strike year, so pace for 21), and Vizquel at -58 in 15 full-time seasons (not including Vizquel's apparently excellent 2007) with a peak of 12-6-2. I'm afraid that's all I can offer at this point.
   157. Paul Wendt Posted: January 27, 2008 at 09:10 PM (#2677106)
there are no replacement statistics, only replacement players. Replacement level is derived by averaging the *total* production of replacement players, summing their offensive and defensive contributions. Some replacement SS are -50 with the bat and +20 with the glove (John McDonald?), others are -10 with the bat and -20 with the glove (Brendan Harris?). It all adds up to -30 any way you slice it. So I really don't know how to answer a question about fielding alone "after conversion to replacement;" I don't think it makes sense.

So replacement fielding at some time and position is not a "level" (quantity) but a function of batting level. The elements of the function are ordered pairs, batting level and fielding level for some standard duration such as 140 games, 162 games, 600 PA, 8000 PA, 10000 innings, whatever. One interesting pair in this context is Omar Vizquel's lifetime batting level paired with that fielding level which puts him at lifetime replacement level --that is, the shortstop replacement function in his time evaluated at his lifetime batting level.

It may be useful to visualize players or player-careers at fielding positions, as triangles or right angle line segments defined by three points <Bv, Fv>, <Bv, F0>, and <B0, Fv> where Bv and Fv are Omar Vizquel's lifetime batting and ss-fielding levels, F0 is that ss-fielding level which makes Vizquel the batter (Bv) a replacement-level player in his time, B0 is that batting level which makes Vizquel the shortstop a replacement level player in his time.

Actual generation of some 2-dimensional plots, such as one representing the careers of the 20 longest-serving shortstops by 20 triangles or 60 points, would be instructive.
   158. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: January 27, 2008 at 10:01 PM (#2677119)
Well, using my published numbers (i.e., without DRA), and ignoring his sub-replacement rookie year and the 2006 and 2007 seasons that I don't have numbers for, and after adjusting for standard deviation, I have Vizquel at 12.8 wins below average for batting + baserunning, 7.6 wins above average for fielding, and a replacement shortstop in his playing time at 49.3 wins below average. So to be a replacement player for his whole career, Vizquel the hitter/baserunner would have to have been 36.5 wins below average with the glove, while Vizquel the fielder would have to have been 56.9 wins below average with the bat. Is that what you're asking for, Paul?
   159. mulder & scully Posted: January 29, 2008 at 09:23 AM (#2678276)
Not to sidetrack the great discussion going on above, but here is my prelim (to be followed soon by my official) ballot for Group 1. I am now using a mix of WS and DanR WARP numbers.
The numbers are where the player ranks using the same weights, but WS first, WARP second. Pitchers are fitted in using WS only. 6th through 8th are very tightly bunched.
1. Tim Raines (1st WS)(2nd WARP)
2. Bert Blyleven
3. Mark McGwire (3rd/3rd)
4. Will Clark (2nd/4th tie)
5. Alan Trammell (7th/1st)
6. Keith Hernandez (4th tie/4th tie)
7. Lou Whitaker (8th/7th)
8. Dwight Evans (4th tie/6th)
9. Bret Saberhagen
10. Dave Stieb
11. Andre Dawson (6th/8th)
12. Willie Randolph (9th/9th)
   160. Mike Green Posted: January 29, 2008 at 05:34 PM (#2678455)
DanR,

Does DRA adjust for handedness of the pitching staff? During Vizquel's salad days in Cleveland from 1995-99, the starters were all right-handed, and so they faced disproportionately more left-handed hitters (one year, they faced more LHB than RHB). More LHB means more GB4 and fewer GB6.

That's likely why Alomar's range factor in 1999 with Cleveland at age 31 was higher than it had been in Toronto at ages 24-26, and why Baerga's range factors were so spectacular. Fernandez' range factor was also very good at second for Cleveland in 1997.
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