Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, January 15, 2018

Andruw of Center Field

The real issue is that people who see themselves as pro-analytical or post-analytical revolution, people who see themselves as sophisticated consumers of information, are in fact behaving in a manner which is identical to the pre-analytic arguments commonly used before 1975.  They argue that Andruw Jones has 63 WAR or whatever it is and that other players who have 58 WAR are in the Hall of Fame, therefore Andruw should be in the Hall of Fame as well.  This is no different than arguing that Herb Pennock won 240 games and he is in the Hall of Fame and Waite Hoyt won 237 games and he is in the Hall of Fame and Whitey Ford won 236 games and he is in the Hall of Fame, so David Wells, with 239 wins, obviously deserves to be in the Hall of Fame as well.  It is precisely the same argument; it is just using a “new” statistical category, rather than an old one.  Or, to apply it to a hitter, Yogi Berra drove in 1,430 runs, Charlie Gehringer drove in 1,427 runs, Joe Cronin drove in 1,424, Jim Bottomley drove in 1,422, Robin Yount drove in 1,406 and Ed Delahanty 1,400, and all of those guys are in the Hall of Fame, so how can you say that Joe Carter shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame when he drove in 1,445 runs, you moron, you.

Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: January 15, 2018 at 08:38 AM | 213 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: andruw jones, bill james, hall of fame, sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 3 of 3 pages  < 1 2 3
   201. Howie Menckel Posted: January 19, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5609540)
   202. Sunday silence Posted: January 19, 2018 at 04:40 PM (#5609789)
Dont say "bump." Someone's name might be Bump.
   203. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 19, 2018 at 04:43 PM (#5609792)
And they might play for the Rangers, and be terrible, and you'd hurt their feelings.
   204. Sunday silence Posted: January 19, 2018 at 04:47 PM (#5609798)
I think people on this site know the "Willie falling down in the World Series" story is more due to a fluke play or bad field conditions than a player who just didn't have it anymore.

Yeah I effin hate this meme and I wish people would stop repeating it. Tony Kornheiser on local radio here would sometimes mention it. The Coliseum was a notorious sun field, and someone else in left missed a fly ball that day too.. Sure Willie falling down in a desperate attempt looked bad but it was a desperate attempt. He covered CF the year before quite well at the age of 40. He was a remarkable as an old player and a young player.
   205. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 19, 2018 at 04:58 PM (#5609804)
And there hasn't been a disagreement on that particular issue for going on a decade now, just because James decided to read up on the state of saber studies from 2007, doesn't mean we have to give him credence for being vastly out of date on the studies. He's way out of touch with current research, and he's acting like he is the first person to discover the flaws of the numbers being used, and he's pushing strawman arguments out there that nobody is making.. These are all of the things he used to rail against, and now he's doing exactly the same thing. The Andruw Jones defensive arguments were common in 2007 if not earlier, and including the points that James is making and acting like he's the first person to think of them, when in reality the rest of the stat community has moved on from it long ago.

Bill James and Paul Krugman should have a beer sometime.
   206. Sunday silence Posted: January 19, 2018 at 04:58 PM (#5609805)

Outside of the late 90s Oakland A's I don't know if any team ever collected so many DH types. And even then, Billy Beane put faster, non-slugger options in center field. He could have played Jeremy Giambi there (between Matt Stairs and Ben Grieve) but it never happened in real life, only in the wildest imaginations of the Baseball Prospectus writers.

Do you have any idea of what my point was in all of that, moreover the overall point (out of several) in this thread about establishing an upper limit for defensive prowess? Cause I really dont think you do.
   207. GuyM Posted: January 19, 2018 at 05:02 PM (#5609807)
Bill James and Paul Krugman should have a beer sometime.

Yes, I'm sure your brain is much larger than theirs, and your career far more impressive.
   208. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 19, 2018 at 05:05 PM (#5609812)
Yes, I'm sure your brain is much larger than theirs, and your career far more impressive.

Better than some jackass loser who fails at making any meaningful contributions to a baseball website, such as yourself?

Welcome to the Ignored file.
   209. Sunday silence Posted: January 19, 2018 at 05:12 PM (#5609820)
What do you think his fielding numbers in CF would have been? The one year he played any significant time in the field, he put up a -11 in 50 some games at 1B. What would he be in 140 games in CF? I doubt very much that he could have produced more with the bat than he gave away in the field.


We dont deploy people like that out there cause they'd be giving up more than 25 runs or probably more than 25 or something like that.

And yes there's an issue here that even if we distort one end of a presumably bell shaped curve by loading up on bad CF'ers it still doesnt tell us how far above normal the outstanding CFers would be on the other end of the curve.

I already acknowledged this flaw in my suggestion some time earlier in the thread.

But I think theres a better way to approach the issue that for better or worse will call it CFB's complaint: That defensive metrics (even though they're already being regressed) arent taking into account discretionary chances. I am not trying to belittle CFB but am trying to clearly ID that particular argument cause its already obvious that in a thread like this we got people who cant keep the arguments straight.

OK so earlier I had proposed that we look at something like the videos from playoffs for the last x number of years and try to determine just how often an elite CF makes a play that an ordinary CF cant.

CFB seems to think this ability (catch a flyball that's headed for extra bases) is worth 15 runs a year. Presumably he said this because at one pt he said 15 runs (in response to my query) and earlier he said 22-29 which presumably includes OF assists and baserunner holds.

I think Jones is getting to extra base fly balls (EBFBs) more like once every 5 games (say worth 25 weighted runs) and CFB seems to maintain its like 1 every ten game. I am pretty sure we could go to the videos of past playoffs and find plays like that probably 0.4 times a game (which given 2 CF per game works out to 1/ every 5 games).

BUt CFB says we cant do that cause we dont know the positioning, etc. OK that's a fair point too. Although I may look at the video anyhow. Here's my counter proposal:

Doesnt Fangraphs or whatever, group these catches by outfilders into various baskets: a 0-10% probability a 10-25% probability etc . in order to produce a def. run measure? OK so we go back to that data and try to find out how often a CF makes a discretionary catch and then we substract that from the fangraphs numbers?

My guess is that the fan graph basket thing already accounts for that. But how about just for the hell of it we look at video of the baseball playoffs and determine just how often there'a a 5 second pop up behind the infield ? right? Like why cant we find a rate for discretionary pop ups? I dont understand why that's so hard to figure out.
   210. EddieA Posted: January 19, 2018 at 09:36 PM (#5609916)
As good as thread as any for this - but I was wondering why (in terms of b-ref fielding runs) Willie Davis had such a slump between 1966-1968 inclusive? More K's? More ground balls? Was he slower those years? Just wondering if it was skill decline those years or due to pitching.
   211. Howie Menckel Posted: January 19, 2018 at 09:56 PM (#5609923)
A lost team like the Marlins should consider going for cheap groundball pitchers, cheap (thus weak-hitting) good-fielding infielders, and the cheapest power lummoxes they can find for the OF - even CF.

not that I think it would work, but would be fun to see what happens
   212. Sunday silence Posted: January 20, 2018 at 02:45 AM (#5609980)
looking at statcast data shown here:

THe leader among OFers in OAA (outs above average) was 24 in 2016 and 25 in 2017. Those are going to be on the periphery of a guys range and if say 75% of them are possible extra base hits, (assuming 25% to his left, 25 to his right, 25 behind him etc that should work out to about 21 weighted runs on defense. Or say 20+..

ALso interesting at the other end of the curve, Kemp was worst both years. at -17 and -25. The left hand tail (worst OFers) skews perhaps a little more below average as the right hand skews above average. The top 5 both years are at +16 and over; while the bottom 5 in 2017 are -9 and lower; in 2017 its above the same.

Chris Dial himself seems to say here that Zone Rating does not include discretionary chances (see post no. 13)

Chris Dial has weighed in on two other BTF threads, I havent sifted through all of it. These are the sum total of googling Chris Dial + discreationary chances, if there is any more suggestion by Dial that's its distorting anyone's value I dont see it...
   213. Rally Posted: January 20, 2018 at 04:47 PM (#5610174)
THe leader among OFers in OAA (outs above average) was 24 in 2016 and 25 in 2017. Those are going to be on the periphery of a guys range and if say 75% of them are possible extra base hits, (assuming 25% to his left, 25 to his right, 25 behind him etc that should work out to about 21 weighted runs on defense. Or say 20+

Keep in mind the comparison is the average among all outfielders. Center fielders as a group are better than the average outfielder. To convert this into something that can be compared to UZR/DRS/TZ you have to make that adjustment. Maybe the top guys are +20 plays compared to the average CF, and something like +17 runs.
Page 3 of 3 pages  < 1 2 3

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.



<< Back to main


All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF


Thanks to
Phil Birnbaum
for his generous support.


You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT - NBA Thread (2018-19 season kickoff edition)
(2471 - 11:43pm, Nov 16)
Last: Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean

NewsblogSale of Baseball Prospectus
(318 - 11:34pm, Nov 16)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

NewsblogMichael Wilbon Weighs In On Jacob deGrom With Worst Baseball Take Of Year | MLB |
(8 - 10:45pm, Nov 16)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

Sox TherapyLet’s Get Off-Seasoning!
(5 - 10:40pm, Nov 16)
Last: Jay Seaver

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (November 2018)
(433 - 10:09pm, Nov 16)
Last: Morty Causa

NewsblogMarlins get rid of orange, cite South Florida cultures with new look
(28 - 8:57pm, Nov 16)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)

NewsblogHow Kevin Brown Became Baseball's First $100 Million Man
(9 - 8:46pm, Nov 16)
Last: TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky"

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-16-2018
(10 - 8:30pm, Nov 16)
Last: crict

NewsblogIndians' Trevor Bauer pleads his own Cy Young case using a spreadsheet on Twitter
(24 - 8:01pm, Nov 16)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

NewsblogFox Sports inks multi-year rights agreement with Major League Baseball
(30 - 8:00pm, Nov 16)
Last: QLE

NewsblogJoe Mauer Retires After 15 Seasons
(84 - 6:44pm, Nov 16)
Last: Never Give an Inge (Dave)

NewsblogOT: Soccer Thread (2018-19 season begins!)
(1216 - 5:35pm, Nov 16)
Last: AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther

NewsblogYelich, Betts Win MVPs
(54 - 5:28pm, Nov 16)
Last: The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott)

NewsblogHow Mets, deGrom could get their contract extension done
(4 - 5:18pm, Nov 16)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogAL Central Offseason Preview
(16 - 4:51pm, Nov 16)
Last: Walt Davis

Page rendered in 0.2797 seconds
46 querie(s) executed