Giants and Tigers projected with the best records in the NL and AL.
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Ain't no young Griffeys in MLB right now, that's for sure.
Then explain to me how anyone could presume to predict the "players of the decade" in year one of said decade.
Someone explain to me why Mike Trout, in February 2011, should be considered ahead of, oh, crap, Jordan Schafer or someone.
Actually, I think you do have point, but Jordan Schafer is a terrible example to trot out as no one outside of crazed Braves fanboy would prefer him over Trout even in the immediate short term
Well, that's part of the point of this series of articles Neyer's doing. He started off by going over who we would have predicted were the players of the decade for the 2000s back in 2000, and can we do any better this time around, and what can we learn from how wrong we were last time, and so on.
A Trio Of 24-Year-Olds In Center Field
I remember the original articles he wrote and thought it was a great thought exercise and think that doing it again is another fun read. He's going into it with one year of data already under his belt though so hopefully he could do better this time.
So far his choices have been along with his prior decade pick (and the guy who in reality was it)
Third Base- Longoria---Fernando Tatis (Rolen)
first base- Pujols---Nick Johnson (Helton)
Scott Rolen, 2000-2009: WAR 47.1
Chipper Jones, 2000-2009: WAR 50.0
Were Chipper's two seasons as a LF during the time frame the reason he tipped the scales toward Rolen?
Actually, Pujols was his (and the correct) choice for first baseman of the previous decade.
I don't know, but I guess that's at least a valid argument. Not convincing, IMHO, but valid. Chipper moved to LF because the Braves thought Vinny Castilla was a better FA option than the corner OF options on that market, not because he couldn't play 3B. I think it's splitting hairs to attempt to "adjust" Chipper's value based on two years out in LF that were driven more by his willingness to do what asked rather than any inability to field his position
Also, I'm not familiar with the defensive components of WAR, but Chipper has always been undervalued defensively by metrics IMHO.
have you actually ever seen a good defensive third baseman? Chipper is like Jeter, just watching him play you know his defense is sub par and you can't fathom how experts can't see that. Not saying Chipper is as bad as Jeter, but you watch Chipper play and mentally compare him to good or even average fielders and it's very apparent that he just isn't on their level.
Chipper isn't on Rolen's level defensively, certainly. But he's not been "bad" there more than a couple of outlier seasons over the course of his career. He does some things well, some things poorly, and a few things exceptionally well.
Left Field- Crawford----Ben Grieve (Bonds)
I don't know, not even looking at any numbers, but he just doesn't look good there, he seems fine if it's not a reaction play(which of course most plays at third are reaction) he just doesn't seem to move his body as soon as you would expect a good thirdbaseman to move his body. From memory he has solid hands, below average reaction time, and fairly accurate arm, not real strong though. To me that is a below average thirdbaseman. The most important skill is that initial reaction and I don't think Chipper has it.
According to BB-REF, he is -17 runs below average for his 21 year career -- which, within the margin of error, is essentially average for his career.
Ben Grieve (Bonds)
if he's basing it strictly on positional value, then it's fair not to count the seasons that Chipper didn't play third base, it doesn't matter why he didn't, just that he didn't. I would consider Chipper a third baseman when ranking his career, but when doing an exercise like this, I think it's right to only include time at the position you are being rated at.
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