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Then he'd airmail a routine grounder into the 15th row and I'd remember why.
I might even go so far as to say that Posnanski has Jeter underrated. (And others.) I kind of wish Joe would go more into justifying his ratings, as well as explaining why he prefers one player over another, or others, who are very similar. After a while I get the sense that much of his ratings are mired in unexplained arbitrariness. Keen observations and smart comments otherwise, though.
Yeah I don't think he's worried about exactly where someone slots, or at least he spends almost no time justifying 57 vs 61 or something.
few things in the current iteration of stat-dork analytic tendencies more annoying and played than the ordinal list of rankings
But yeah, the point here is clearly the biographies and not the rankings. I almost would prefer it to be "100 remarkable players."
There's only two players who are clearly better, for their careers, than Jeter. That's Wagner and Ripken. After that comes Jeter, Ozzie, Vaughn, Appling, Trammell, and Larkin. Those six can be placed in almost any order you wish, which would put Jeter in 8th place, at worst. For Jeter to be outside of the top 10 of shortstops would require you to consider him the equivalent of Pee Wee Reese or Lou Bourdreau, while at the same time ranking guys above him who spent barely half their career at the position. That's at the very least not "easily" 10 better shortstops.
I personally have Jeter about 25th all-time
Jeter at -5 in his prime? I'll buy that. Jeter at -25? I have a much harder time with that. (Note that if you do the same for Bernie, it's basically the difference between the HOVG and the HOF.)
I worry about this concept and our perceptions around the idea of baseball smarts. Ever since George Will's article on Cal Ripken claiming he was the smartest, had the best sense of where the ball was going, was a positional genius, etc. The other guys who were playing baseball their whole lives didn't figure the same things out? None of them? Heck, the DR guys were living and breathing baseball while Cal was doing geometry and captaining his school's soccer team.
As someone who has watched Yuniansky Betancourt and Willie Bloomquist make incredible plays, I'm skeptical that our perceptions are accurate on the Jeters and Ripkens of the world.
Or, at best, a pretty wide open and selective definition of what qualifies as best.
Both Jeter and Bernie Williams were very well regarded by scouts. Both won GG's. Both are awful by the metric. The Yankees won a ton of games in that time frame, and while their pitchers reflect poor defensive support, I have a hard time believing that two key positions were manned by all-time bad defensive players.
He had long arms and very good fast twitch reactions, so played "faster" in defense than he ran. I don't think it was about brains
I personally have Jeter about 25th all-time
To get there, given his offense, you have to penalize his defense far, far more than WAR or UZR do, right? So how does that work? Do you discard all their defensive numbers since the ones for Jeter are so far off from your system? Or just his?
No, I just used BB-Ref's WAA numbers to get there.
I'm sure our perceptions are wrong, maybe often so, but someone has to be the best and someone has to be the worst. Just to use Ripken as an example, you have a guy who was not especially fast and built vastly different from his early-career contemporaries who was unquestionably a great defender. It seems logical to suggest that his baseball IQ might be a good reason for that.
And were Ripken's arms really that long? How much of an advantage to longer arms give a defensive player?
Negro Leaguers: Bell, Rogan, Leonard, Williams, Stearnes (partial Irvin and Campanella)
Japan: Oh (partial Ichiro)
19th Century Players: Radbourn, Nichols
Active Players: Ichiro, Cabrera, Jeter
I think you may need to revisit your math then.
No offense intended, but the idea that one can easily find 10 better SS than Jeter (which implies that with a little effort it could be 15 or 20) kinda feels like troll territory and sour grapes. Or, at best, a pretty wide open and selective definition of what qualifies as best. If ya follow that logic ...
The odd thing with Jeter is the stats show him as worse is his late 20's and early 30's than in his late 30's. Doesn't make a lot of sense, so people tend to distrust the less reliable early numbers.
But then Vaughan missed the 44-46 seasons, I assume due to the war.
Player oWAR dWAR OPS+ POS %Honus Wagner 46.3 8.9 183 99Alex Rodriguez 41.2 8.3 153 100Arky Vaughan 37.9 6.0 154 100Derek Jeter 36.4 0.3 132 100Ernie Banks 35.8 10.4 148 100Cal Ripken 34.0 15.3 136 100Robin Yount 33.4 6.5 138 91Barry Larkin 30.9 4.8 137 100Lou Boudreau 30.9 14.0 137 100Alan Trammell 30.6 7.7 136 96Nomar Garciaparra 30.6 4.8 139 100Hughie Jennings 29.9 8.9 140 95Joe Cronin 29.2 10.2 130 100Luke Appling 28.2 9.1 125 100George Davis 25.4 12.8 125 99Ozzie Smith 20.5 16.3 100 100
It seems illogical to me to rate Jeter above Yount at peak but behind at career as a reward for Yount moving off of shortstop.
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