Saturday, May 09, 2015
Mays beats A-Rod by nine lengths.
An easy way to measure Mays’ dominance over A-Rod is to look at the all-time wins above replacement (WAR) leaderboard1. By total WAR, Mays ranks as the fifth most-productive player in major-league history, trailing only Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds and pitchers Cy Young and Walter Johnson. Mays also ranks as the third-best non-pitcher ever, according to JAWS, which attempts to balance a player’s aggregate WAR compilation against the brilliance of his peak. Among position players in the history of baseball, only Ruth had a better prime — as measured by WAR in a player’s best seven seasons — than Mays did when he was at the top of his game.
Rodriguez also ranks highly in WAR, but his numbers are nowhere near those of Mays. A-Rod ranks 17th all-time in total WAR, trailing Mays by about 40 wins. At his career rate of WAR per 162 games, Rodriguez would have to play five and a half more seasons of 162 games apiece — that is, until age 44 — to catch Mays. It also bears mentioning that Rodriguez hasn’t even played more than 150 games in a season since 2007; at a more realistic rate of 125 games per year, he’d have to play until age 46 (with no decline in performance) to reach Mays’ total.
Since Rodriguez has recently missed big chunks of playing time in which he could have been accumulating raw WAR, his peak ranking fares a bit better than his overall WAR rank. That’s why A-Rod sits at 12th all-time in JAWS. But the difference in JAWS between No. 3 Mays and No. 12 Rodriguez is the same as the difference between Rodriguez and No. 33 Charlie Gehringer.
And the gap isn’t likely to close much before Rodriguez retires. While A-Rod is having a resurgent start to the 2015 season, Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projection system still only predicts about 0.7 more wins above replacement left in his career before his contract runs out (and, coincidentally, he begins to provide negative value) following the 2017 season.
So, any way you cut it, Mays provided much more value in his career than A-Rod.
Posted: May 09, 2015 at 01:12 PM | 171 comment(s)
Thursday, April 30, 2015
1. Josh Hamilton (5 years, $125 million)
2. Mike Hampton (8 years, $121 million)
3. Melvin Upton Jr. (5 years, $72.25 million)
4. Manny Ramirez (2 years, $45 million)
5. Chan Ho Park (5 years, $65 million)
HM. Carl Pavano (4 years, $39.9 million with the Yankees)
HM. Jason Bay (4 years, $66 million with the Mets)
HM. Chone Figgins (4 years, $36 million with the Mariners)
HM. Gary Matthews Jr. (5 years, $65 million with the Angels)
HM. Andruw Jones (2 years, $36.2 million with the Dodgers)
Additionally: Jason Schmidt, Barry Zito, Denny Neagle, Kei Igawa, Shin-Soo Choo, A-Rod.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Hold off on the glue.
However, the sabermetric canon also includes a caveat to “Voros’s law” about the volatility of small sample sizes. Although the overwhelming majority of events that can transpire in baseball over a brief time period cannot be distinguished statistically from random variation, a handful of accomplishments are so rare that even a single game can contain impressive predictive power. Bill James, the father of modern baseball analysis, called this principle “signature significance”. In one well-known example, of the 14 pitchers who have struck out 18 or more batters in a nine-inning game during the past century, 12 were at least All-Stars, and six are in the Hall of Fame. Mr Rodríguez’s mammoth blast might well be a similar case. After all, of the 38,143 homers hit in MLB since 2007—the first year that HitTracker recorded the path of every ball to leave the yard—just 25 (0.06%, or one in 1,525) traveled 477 feet or more. ...
In order to determine how much predictive power a single deep home run can provide, I started with every batter who played between 2007 and 2014. I first discarded all their ground balls and pop-ups, since balls on those trajectories cannot become homers no matter how hard they are hit. I then measured the share of their other batted balls—the line drives and outfield flies—that turned into home runs, a standard measure of a batter’s power. If ultra-long home runs truly have signature significance, then players who hit even one ball as deep as Mr Rodríguez’s should fare well above average in this category over the course of an entire season.
As one might expect, the data were extremely noisy—using a single swing to project what will happen on as many as 300 others is a tall order. But buried within them was a powerful and highly statistically significant trend. For each foot beyond the distance of a league-average longball (usually just under 400 feet) that any individual home run travels, an additional 0.06% of that batter’s other line drives and outfield fly balls in that season become home runs (see chart).
In most cases, this amounts to a rounding error. But for the biggest of blows, those percentage points add up in a hurry. If a player about whom we had no other information—say, a recent arrival from Cuba—hit a home run of average distance in his first at-bat, we would expect him to hit about 6% more homers than an average player for the rest of the season. In contrast, if the player hit a 477-foot home run like Mr Rodríguez’s in his first at-bat, we would expect him to hit around 50% more homers than average. That is as strong an example of signature significance as one could hope to find.
Posted: April 22, 2015 at 09:43 AM | 1 comment(s)
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Do dead centaurs bounce?
In other all-time HR list news, Trout passes Drew.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Alex Rodriguez, in preparation for the upcoming season, worked out with legendary slugger Barry Bonds in January at the Future Prospects Baseball facility in San Rafael, California.
“He was funny,” Bonds told the San Francisco Chronicle. “He said, ‘I want to take your record.’ I said, ‘That’s OK. If that’s what you want to do, we’ve got a lot of work to do.’ I was excited he wanted to do it.”
Posted: February 10, 2015 at 05:09 PM | 51 comment(s)
Friday, February 06, 2015
“Alex considers everything with the Yankees to be family business and family business stays within the family,” Rodriguez’s spokesman Ron Berkowitz said Friday.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Pasta diving Lupica:
The organization that talks more about winning-or-bust than any other — maybe more than all the others combined — last year prioritized Derek Jeter’s farewell tour over victories.
Let us count the ways:
Hal Steinbrenner ordered his re-signing — and at decent money — though Jeter was coming back from a horrific ankle injury, there was infinitesimal history of a shortstop succeeding at Jeter’s age and despite there being pretty much zero chance Jeter was going to soil his legacy by trying to get paid more to play somewhere else.
Brian Cashman never put a shortstop on the roster better than Brendan Ryan or Stephen Drew who would have offered a no-brainer alternative to Jeter. And Joe Girardi persisted with the absurdist statement that playing Jeter day after day at shortstop and batting him second gave the Yankees their best chance to win.
There was not a scout or stat that backed up that contention on either side of the ball. For example, just 89 players accumulated 200 plate appearances from Aug. 1 until the end of the season. Only one member of that group finished in the bottom six in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. And Girardi let that obviously tiring player be the only Yankee to hit that plate-appearance benchmark while desperate to find the wins to get into the playoffs. That player was, yes, Jeter.
If you did not see this decaying performance, you were watching with your heart, not your eyes, and/or you get all of your baseball information from The Players’ Tribune.
I understood the charade. Steinbrenner did not want to be the owner who let Jeter go and Girardi did not want to be the manager who benched him. Not in Jeter’s victory-lap season when an entire sport wrapped him in loving embrace.
But the contrast to how the Yankees are handling Alex Rodriguez is stark.
Posted: December 23, 2014 at 03:48 PM | 41 comment(s)
for his generous support.
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