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Thursday, August 02, 2012

BtBS: Gentile: Hanley Ramirez and Disappointing Primes

Or as we used to call it…The Murcernary Year(s).

By the time Hanley turned 25 he had amassed 22.2 WAR (per Baseball-Reference). In baseball’s history, only 57 position players have had that sort of exceptional start to their career and an astonishing 75% of those players have been inducted into the Hall of Fame (if eligible). So when Hanley’s age-26 season came to a close in October of 2010 with his final WAR tally at just 2.6, there was a clear, unmistakable sense of disappointment. Fans were perplexed; this was not simply a ‘slightly above-average’ shortstop, this was g.d. Hanley Ramirez!

...Is this planet-sized sense of disappointment in Hanley Ramirez justified? How often in baseball’s history have we seen such a promising young player rack up WAR totals so quickly and then utterly disintegrate with the coming of his so-called prime years?

I took all players from baseball’s past and present that had at least matched Hanley’s 22.3 WAR before their age-26 season and then compared the sum of their WAR from the subsequent 3 seasons.

...Similarly, Orlando Cepeda at #3 was hit hard with three years riddled with knee injuries at the ages of 27-29, amassing just -.3, .3, and 2.3 WAR in those seasons. He did manage to bounce back at the age of 29 with a strong 6.6 WAR, earning himself the MVP award which may have been the deciding factor in the Veteran’s Committee’s decision to elect Cepeda to the Hall of Fame in 1999.

That leaves David Wright with the third most disappointing prime which was not attributable to a significant loss of playing time—although injury is almost certain to have had an effect. Wright suffered a concussion in mid-August of the 2009 season which likely played a significant role in holding his WAR totals to just 2.9, 2.5, 1.9 through ages 26-28. Like Cepeda, however, he is currently rebounding as a 29 year-old to the tune of a 5.5 WAR in 2012.

Repoz Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:03 AM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, sabermetrics

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   1. bobm Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4198779)
Batters age 26-28 with fewest total WAR (min. 20 total WAR sub age 25), from B-R P-I:

                                  
Rk                 Player WAR/pos From   To   Age   G   PA
1           Evan Longoria     0.9 2012 2012 26-26  23   97
2          Grady Sizemore     1.5 2009 2011 26-28 210  938
3          Hanley Ramirez     3.3 2010 2012 26-28 335 1435
4          Ryan Zimmerman     3.8 2011 2012 26-27 189  830
5       Freddie Lindstrom     5.1 1932 1934 26-28 379 1639
6          Orlando Cepeda     6.5 1964 1966 26-28 317 1191
7          Stuffy McInnis     6.5 1917 1919 26-28 388 1596
8            Willie Davis     6.6 1966 1968 26-28 456 1949
9            David Wright     7.3 2009 2011 26-28 403 1735
10        Willie Randolph     8.3 1981 1983 26-28 341 1542
11           Cesar Cedeno     8.6 1977 1979 26-28 323 1356
12         Charlie Keller     8.6 1943 1945 26-28 185  814
13           Sherry Magee     8.6 1911 1913 26-28 391 1607
14            Ross Youngs     9.0 1923 1925 26-28 415 1885
15             Dick Allen     9.1 1968 1970 26-28 392 1644
16         Roberto Alomar     9.4 1994 1996 26-28 390 1731
17          Harlond Clift     9.4 1939 1941 26-28 455 1986
18            Ben Chapman     9.8 1935 1937 26-28 421 1901
19          Ryne Sandberg     9.8 1986 1988 26-28 441 1948
20             Donie Bush    10.0 1914 1916 26-28 457 2077
21              Joe Torre    10.0 1967 1969 26-28 409 1676
22         Travis Jackson    10.6 1930 1932 26-28 313 1286
23            Vada Pinson    11.1 1965 1967 26-28 473 2081
24        Johnny Callison    11.1 1965 1967 26-28 464 1988
25          Adrian Beltre    11.4 2005 2007 26-28 461 1970
Rk                 Player WAR/pos From   To   Age   G   PA
26             Will Clark    11.8 1990 1992 26-28 446 1901
27            Joe Medwick    12.3 1938 1940 26-28 439 1917
28            Derek Jeter    12.8 2000 2002 26-28 455 2095
29            Ted Simmons    13.6 1976 1978 26-28 452 1830
30           Sam Crawford    13.6 1906 1908 26-28 441 1896
31             Joe Cronin    13.8 1933 1935 26-28 423 1895
32   Shoeless Joe Jackson    14.0 1914 1916 26-28 405 1701
33            Bobby Grich    14.0 1975 1977 26-28 346 1495
34           Andruw Jones    14.0 2003 2005 26-28 470 1977
35           Joe DiMaggio    14.3 1941 1942 26-27 293 1302
36           Goose Goslin    14.7 1927 1929 26-28 428 1829
37             Cal Ripken    14.8 1987 1989 26-28 485 2118
38           Lou Boudreau    14.9 1944 1946 26-28 387 1654
39             Tim Raines    15.3 1986 1988 26-28 399 1779
40            Jim Fregosi    15.4 1968 1970 26-28 478 2059
41          Alan Trammell    15.5 1984 1986 26-28 439 1957
42           Frank Thomas    16.5 1994 1996 26-28 399 1813
43         Ivan Rodriguez    16.8 1998 2000 26-28 380 1636
44            Bobby Bonds    16.9 1972 1974 26-28 463 2105
45              Al Kaline    17.6 1961 1963 26-28 398 1733
46         Frankie Frisch    17.6 1925 1927 26-28 408 1824
47            Gary Carter    18.1 1980 1982 26-28 408 1689
48         Reggie Jackson    18.1 1972 1974 26-28 434 1806
49           Johnny Bench    18.6 1974 1976 26-28 437 1866
50           Arky Vaughan    19.4 1938 1940 26-28 456 2032
Rk                 Player WAR/pos From   To   Age   G   PA
51         Frank Robinson    20.3 1962 1964 26-28 458 1944
52           Ted Williams    20.3 1946 1947 27-28 306 1364
53                Mel Ott    20.5 1935 1937 26-28 453 1997
54       Rickey Henderson    20.6 1985 1987 26-28 391 1795
55          Mickey Mantle    20.9 1958 1960 26-28 447 1937
56           George Brett    20.9 1979 1981 26-28 360 1595
57          Eddie Mathews    21.2 1958 1960 26-28 450 2002
58                Ty Cobb    21.6 1913 1915 26-28 376 1615
59            Jimmie Foxx    22.4 1934 1936 26-28 452 1994
60            Robin Yount    23.1 1982 1984 26-28 465 2068
61            Stan Musial    24.1 1947 1949 26-28 461 2098
62         Alex Rodriguez    24.1 2002 2004 26-28 478 2138
63              Ron Santo    24.6 1966 1968 26-28 478 2051
64            Ken Griffey    24.7 1996 1998 26-28 458 2062
65           Tris Speaker    24.7 1914 1916 26-28 459 1967
66             Hank Aaron    24.9 1960 1962 26-28 464 2002
67             Lou Gehrig    25.0 1929 1931 26-28 463 2135
68            Willie Mays    25.4 1957 1959 26-28 455 2003
69          Albert Pujols    25.8 2006 2008 26-28 449 1954
70            Barry Bonds    26.2 1991 1993 26-28 452 1920
71          Eddie Collins    26.5 1913 1915 26-28 455 1989
72         Rogers Hornsby    28.7 1922 1924 26-28 404 1833
73              Babe Ruth    32.3 1921 1923 26-28 414 1886
   2. Walt Davis Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4198780)
Cedeno and Dunlap are really the only cases where a post-prime 'rebound' in a general sense did not occur.

I'd say it did occur for Cedeno. His age 29 season was a 147 OPS+ in 596 PA, good for 4.8 WAR. It was certainly a disappointment but he was a slightly above-average player from ages 27 on with that one excellent year. But that's a nitpick at best.
   3. bobm Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4198804)
Pitchers age 26-28 with fewest total WAR (min. 15 total WAR through age 25), from B-R P-I:

Rk                Player  WAR From   To   Age   G  GS     IP
1           Denny McLain -1.8 1970 1972 26-28  67  59  384.1
2       Dontrelle Willis -1.5 2008 2010 26-28  30  27  123.1
3           Scott Kazmir -1.4 2010 2011 26-27  29  29  151.2
4            Steve Busby -1.1 1976 1978 26-28  20  18   93.0
5           Pete Donohue -0.5 1927 1929 26-28  88  66  518.1
6              Babe Ruth -0.3 1921 1921 26-26   2   1    9.0
7       George McQuillan -0.2 1911 1913 26-28  44  21  218.2
8         Smoky Joe Wood  0.0 1917 1917 27-27   5   1   15.2
9           Noodles Hahn  0.0 1905 1906 26-27  19  14  119.0
10        Dick Ellsworth  1.1 1966 1968 26-28 101  86  590.2
11              Jim Shaw  1.1 1920 1921 26-27  53  37  276.2
12            John Danks  1.5 2011 2012 26-27  36  36  224.0
13            Jim Abbott  2.9 1994 1996 26-28  81  77  499.1
14             Mike Witt  2.9 1987 1989 26-28 103 103  716.2
15       Felix Hernandez  3.1 2012 2012 26-26  22  22  155.0
16           Mark Mulder  3.2 2004 2006 26-28  82  82  524.0
17         Dutch Leonard  3.7 1918 1920 26-28  73  71  534.1
18          Frank Tanana  4.1 1980 1982 26-28  86  84  539.2
19      Dennis Eckersley  4.2 1981 1983 26-28  84  84  554.2
20   Fernando Valenzuela  4.6 1987 1989 26-28  88  87  590.0
21         Willis Hudlin  4.7 1932 1934 26-28 103  64  524.0
22            Gary Nolan  5.0 1975 1976 27-28  66  66  450.0
23          Curt Simmons  5.1 1955 1957 26-28  90  78  540.0
24          Tim Lincecum  5.2 2010 2012 26-28  88  88  552.2
25       John Candelaria  5.3 1980 1982 26-28  72  70  448.2
Rk                Player  WAR From   To   Age   G  GS     IP
26         Larry Dierker  5.5 1973 1975 26-28  81  70  482.2
27             Van Mungo  5.5 1937 1939 26-28  63  49  371.2
28             Matt Cain  5.7 2011 2012 26-27  54  54  368.1
29         Ismael Valdez  5.9 2000 2002 26-28  79  78  466.2
30         George Mullin  6.0 1907 1909 26-28 125 107  951.2
31          Mark Gubicza  6.5 1989 1991 26-28  78  78  482.0
32          Ken Holtzman  6.9 1972 1974 26-28 118 115  818.0
33          Zack Greinke  7.2 2010 2012 26-28  83  83  521.2
34           Ed Reulbach  7.3 1909 1911 26-28  92  84  657.2
35         Andy Pettitte  7.6 1998 2000 26-28  96  95  612.2
36           Lon Warneke  7.6 1935 1937 26-28 118  92  740.2
37            Ned Garver  8.3 1952 1954 26-28  87  80  602.1
38          Rich Gossage  8.3 1978 1980 26-28 163   0  291.2
39             Jim Scott  8.3 1914 1916 26-28 123  89  715.0
40         Dwight Gooden  8.4 1991 1993 26-28  87  87  604.2
41           Milt Pappas  9.0 1965 1967 26-28 101  98  648.2
42            Mel Harder  9.2 1936 1938 26-28 112  89  698.1
43            Barry Zito  9.8 2004 2006 26-28 103 103  662.1
44       Bret Saberhagen  9.8 1990 1992 26-28  65  63  429.0
45       Carlos Zambrano 10.0 2007 2009 26-28  92  92  574.1
46           Jon Matlack 10.7 1976 1978 26-28  96  94  701.0
47           Jim Maloney 10.9 1966 1968 26-28  95  93  628.0
48            Waite Hoyt 11.5 1926 1928 26-28 118  91  747.0
49           Dean Chance 12.0 1967 1969 26-28 104  93  664.0
50            Jim Palmer 12.0 1972 1974 26-28 100  99  749.1
Rk                Player  WAR From   To   Age   G  GS     IP
51          Mark Buehrle 12.4 2005 2007 26-28  95  95  641.2
52            Dizzy Dean 13.3 1936 1938 26-28  91  69  587.0
53          Chief Bender 13.3 1910 1912 26-28  88  71  637.1
54         Bert Blyleven 13.4 1977 1979 26-28 101 101  715.2
55          Eddie Rommel 13.5 1924 1926 26-28 132  88  758.0
56            Dave Stieb 13.7 1984 1986 26-28 108 105  737.0
57           Lefty Gomez 14.0 1935 1937 26-28  99  94  713.0
58          Kevin Appier 14.2 1994 1996 26-28  86  86  567.2
59          Don Drysdale 14.2 1963 1965 26-28 126 124  945.0
60         Wilbur Cooper 14.2 1918 1920 26-28 117  98  887.0
61          Mike Mussina 14.3 1995 1997 26-28 101 101  689.2
62            Bob Feller 15.9 1945 1947 26-28  99  88  742.1
63             Vida Blue 16.1 1976 1978 26-28 110 110  836.0
64         Hal Newhouser 16.8 1947 1949 26-28 117 106  849.1
65         Steve Carlton 17.3 1971 1973 26-28 118 117  913.0
66            Addie Joss 17.8 1906 1908 26-28 118 104  945.2
67          Sam McDowell 17.9 1969 1971 26-28 113 108  804.2
68           Wes Ferrell 18.2 1934 1936 26-28 106  99  804.1
69           CC Sabathia 18.3 2007 2009 26-28 103 103  724.0
70         Johan Santana 18.9 2005 2007 26-28 100 100  684.1
71            Nap Rucker 20.4 1911 1913 26-28 134 100  873.1
72         Robin Roberts 21.9 1953 1955 26-28 130 117  988.1
73           Greg Maddux 22.7 1992 1994 26-28  96  96  737.0
74         Roger Clemens 23.3 1989 1991 26-28 101 101  753.0
75            Tom Seaver 24.9 1971 1973 26-28 107 106  838.1
Rk                Player  WAR From   To   Age   G  GS     IP
76     Christy Mathewson 26.9 1907 1909 26-28 134 113  981.0
77        Pedro Martinez 27.8 1998 2000 26-28  93  91  664.0
78        Walter Johnson 31.5 1914 1916 26-28 146 117 1078.0

   4. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4198822)
Rk                Player  WAR From   To   Age   G  GS     IP
1           Denny McLain 
-1.8 1970 1972 26-28  67  59  384.1
2       Dontrelle Willis 
-1.5 2008 2010 26-28  30  27  123.1 


Crash, meet burn.

And both Tigers, too!
   5. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4198837)
The first guy I though of was Carlos Baerga
through age 26: 19.4
age 27-29: -1.1
   6. depletion Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4198848)
The most diappointing prime must be 2.
   7. kthejoker Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4198856)
Same list as #1, sorted by WAR/PA (not really fair to ding Longoria that way). Original ranks preserved so you can (kind of) see the changes:

     Rk             Player WAR/pos    From      To     Age       G    PA     WAR/PA
       2    Grady Sizemore      1.5    2009    2011  26-28      210  938     0.0016
       3    Hanley Ramirez      3.3    2010    2012  26-28      335 1435     0.0023
       5 Freddie Lindstrom      5.1    1932    1934  26-28      379 1639     0.0031
       8      Willie Davis      6.6    1966    1968  26-28      456 1949     0.0034
       7    Stuffy McInnis      6.5    1917    1919  26-28      388 1596     0.0041
       9      David Wright      7.3    2009    2011  26-28      403 1735     0.0042
       4    Ryan Zimmerman      3.8    2011    2012  26-27      189  830     0.0046
      17     Harlond Clift      9.4    1939    1941  26-28      455 1986     0.0047
      14       Ross Youngs        9    1923    1925  26-28      415 1885     0.0048
      20        Donie Bush       10    1914    1916  26-28      457 2077     0.0048
      19     Ryne Sandberg      9.8    1986    1988  26-28      441 1948     0.0050
      18       Ben Chapman      9.8    1935    1937  26-28      421 1901     0.0052
      23       Vada Pinson     11.1    1965    1967  26-28      473 2081     0.0053
      13      Sherry Magee      8.6    1911    1913  26-28      391 1607     0.0054
      10   Willie Randolph      8.3    1981    1983  26-28      341 1542     0.0054
      16    Roberto Alomar      9.4    1994    1996  26-28      390 1731     0.0054
       6    Orlando Cepeda      6.5    1964    1966  26-28      317 1191     0.0055
      15        Dick Allen      9.1    1968    1970  26-28      392 1644     0.0055
      24   Johnny Callison     11.1    1965    1967  26-28      464 1988     0.0056
      25     Adrian Beltre     11.4    2005    2007  26-28      461 1970     0.0058
      21         Joe Torre       10    1967    1969  26-28      409 1676     0.0060
      28       Derek Jeter     12.8    2000    2002  26-28      455 2095     0.0061
      26        Will Clark     11.8    1990    1992  26-28      446 1901     0.0062
      11      Cesar Cedeno      8.6    1977    1979  26-28      323 1356     0.0063
      27       Joe Medwick     12.3    1938    1940  26-28      439 1917     0.0064
      37        Cal Ripken     14.8    1987    1989  26-28      485 2118     0.0070
      34      Andruw Jones       14    2003    2005  26-28      470 1977     0.0071
      30      Sam Crawford     13.6    1906    1908  26-28      441 1896     0.0072
      31        Joe Cronin     13.8    1933    1935  26-28      423 1895     0.0073
      29       Ted Simmons     13.6    1976    1978  26-28      452 1830     0.0074
      40       Jim Fregosi     15.4    1968    1970  26-28      478 2059     0.0075
      41     Alan Trammell     15.5    1984    1986  26-28      439 1957     0.0079
      44       Bobby Bonds     16.9    1972    1974  26-28      463 2105     0.0080
      36      Goose Goslin     14.7    1927    1929  26-28      428 1829     0.0080
      32       Joe Jackson       14    1914    1916  26-28      405 1701     0.0082
      22    Travis Jackson     10.6    1930    1932  26-28      313 1286     0.0082
      39        Tim Raines     15.3    1986    1988  26-28      399 1779     0.0086
      38      Lou Boudreau     14.9    1944    1946  26-28      387 1654     0.0090
      42      Frank Thomas     16.5    1994    1996  26-28      399 1813     0.0091
       1     Evan Longoria      0.9    2012    2012  26-26       23   97     0.0093
      33       Bobby Grich       14    1975    1977  26-28      346 1495     0.0094
      50      Arky Vaughan     19.4    1938    1940  26-28      456 2032     0.0095
      46    Frankie Frisch     17.6    1925    1927  26-28      408 1824     0.0096
      49      Johnny Bench     18.6    1974    1976  26-28      437 1866     0.0100
      48    Reggie Jackson     18.1    1972    1974  26-28      434 1806     0.0100
      45         Al Kaline     17.6    1961    1963  26-28      398 1733     0.0102
      53           Mel Ott     20.5    1935    1937  26-28      453 1997     0.0103
      43    Ivan Rodriguez     16.8    1998    2000  26-28      380 1636     0.0103
      51    Frank Robinson     20.3    1962    1964  26-28      458 1944     0.0104
      12    Charlie Keller      8.6    1943    1945  26-28      185  814     0.0106
      57     Eddie Mathews     21.2    1958    1960  26-28      450 2002     0.0106
      47       Gary Carter     18.1    1980    1982  26-28      408 1689     0.0107
      55     Mickey Mantle     20.9    1958    1960  26-28      447 1937     0.0108
      35      Joe DiMaggio     14.3    1941    1942  26-27      293 1302     0.0110
      60       Robin Yount     23.1    1982    1984  26-28      465 2068     0.0112
      59       Jimmie Foxx     22.4    1934    1936  26-28      452 1994     0.0112
      62    Alex Rodriguez     24.1    2002    2004  26-28      478 2138     0.0113
      54  Rickey Henderson     20.6    1985    1987  26-28      391 1795     0.0115
      61       Stan Musial     24.1    1947    1949  26-28      461 2098     0.0115
      67        Lou Gehrig       25    1929    1931  26-28      463 2135     0.0117
      64       Ken Griffey     24.7    1996    1998  26-28      458 2062     0.0120
      63         Ron Santo     24.6    1966    1968  26-28      478 2051     0.0120
      66        Hank Aaron     24.9    1960    1962  26-28      464 2002     0.0124
      65      Tris Speaker     24.7    1914    1916  26-28      459 1967     0.0126
      68       Willie Mays     25.4    1957    1959  26-28      455 2003     0.0127
      56      George Brett     20.9    1979    1981  26-28      360 1595     0.0131
      69     Albert Pujols     25.8    2006    2008  26-28      449 1954     0.0132
      71     Eddie Collins     26.5    1913    1915  26-28      455 1989     0.0133
      58           Ty Cobb     21.6    1913    1915  26-28      376 1615     0.0134
      70       Barry Bonds     26.2    1991    1993  26-28      452 1920     0.0136
      52      Ted Williams     20.3    1946    1947  27-28      306 1364     0.0149
      72    Rogers Hornsby     28.7    1922    1924  26-28      404 1833     0.0157
      73         Babe Ruth     32.3    1921    1923  26-28      414 1886     0.0171 





   8. Eddo Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4198868)
sorted by WAR/PA (not really fair to ding Longoria that way)

I get why you would do this, but if Longoria's age 26-28 seasons are marred by injury, they surely would be considered a huge disappointment.

WAR/years would be better. Longoria is still only 26, so he's only had one of the three possible seasons to accrue value.
   9. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4198885)
I here I thought with was going to be about 17, 23, and 41.
   10. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4198894)
I here I thought with was going to be about 17, 23, and 41.

17 certainly never lived up to its potential
   11. Mike Emeigh Posted: August 02, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4198902)
Lindstrom is an interesting comp. At age 25, coming off his best season with the bat, he was moved off 3B by John McGraw. There isn't a lot of information as to "why" McGraw chose to do this, but from the information that was available I think McGraw was looking for a defensive upgrade at 3B. Johnny Vergez, who replaced Lindstrom at 3B, was apparently a stellar defender and he did get a couple of mentions on that season's MVP ballot. Lindstrom, meanwhile, was injured in July and missed most of the rest of the season. In 1932, he fell off drastically and was traded to Pittsburgh at the end of the season (reportedly because he thought he was going to get the managing job when McGraw retired, and was miffed when it went to Bill Terry instead). Lindstrom had a minor resurgence in Pittsburgh in 1933, but then got hurt again the following season and couldn't come back from that one.

Hanley hasn't been hurt, I don't think, but otherwise I see some parallels between his career to this point and Lindstrom's, especially if (as I assume from the evidence) Lindstrom was in fact moved because he was defensively challenged at his primary position.

-- MWE
   12. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 02, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4198915)
When I think "great young shortstop who cratered", the go-to guy for me is Garry Templeton (his name comes up a fair bit as a "worst-case" scenario for Starlin Castro). He just misses the criteria for the list in #1 (and #7) because he only had 18.0 WAR through age 25, but his drop-off was notable: OPS+ by age (21 - 28): 110, 91, 112, 108, 98, 79, 77, 79. His 18.0 WAR through age 25 was followed by 3.9 WAR from age 26 - 28, a bit of a bounceback at 29 (OPS+ of 99, 2.5 WAR), and then nothing (career WAR of 0.1 from age 30 on). Garry Templeton v. Hanley Ramirez by age (thru 2011 for Hanley).
   13. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: August 02, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4198923)
I immediately thought of Jeter. Granted, he didn't crater, but after '98 and '99 I expected more. There was a thread a few years ago where someone looked into it (and maybe it was an article) and the conclusion was while we typically think of the aging curve as this thing where guys progress until their prime years, plateau for a bit, then taper, this usually does not apply to guys who are really good, really young. A lot of times, those guys never get better and, in fact, get worse. Or something like that, I may be misremembering/making this all up. It doesn't make what's happened to Hanley any less disappointing, but maybe we shouldn't have expected as much as we did.
   14. depletion Posted: August 02, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4198928)
I here I thought with was going to be about 17, 23, and 41.

My personal experience with 23 has been very good, every since I noticed that the large wheel of chance at the St. Bernard's School Christmas fair in 1967 was biased toward 23. I picked up Hello Goodbye, Expressway to Your Heart and People Are Strange. When a number is good to you, you have to have its back in public forums.
   15. jyjjy Posted: August 02, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4198973)
I get why you would do this, but if Longoria's age 26-28 seasons are marred by injury, they surely would be considered a huge disappointment.

Well... of course, and at that point he would belong on the list. How is a future possibility an objection to the way he made the list at this point?
   16. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: August 02, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4198981)
"Hanley Ramirez and (the) Disappointing Primes" sounds like it should be the title of one of the books in a boys' adventure series.

Hanley Ramirez and the Disappointing Primes, Hanley Ramirez and the Uncertain Moose, Hanley Ramirez and the Cyclopean Masonry ...
   17. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: August 02, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4199009)
Hanley Ramirez and (the) Disappointing Primes


I have a couple of LPs by those guys, I'm pretty sure.
   18. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 02, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4199038)
BBTF and the Disappointing Primer
   19. Swoboda is freedom Posted: August 02, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4199040)
sorted by WAR/PA (not really fair to ding Longoria that way)

You should really take out Zimmerman then too.
   20. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 02, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4199067)

Middle infielders seem to have a tendency to peak early and fall off a cliff pretty quickly. Hanley (although the book isn't closed on him yet), the aforementioned Baerga...Edgardo Alfonzo had 28 WAR through age 28 and -1.5 thereafter. Maybe I just notice it more at the middle infield positions but I thought I one read a study to that effect.

Hanley's age 26 season (2010) was a bit of a disappointment but I don't think it was a big one, in part because a large part of the dropoff was his negative defensive value and most people don't put much faith in single-season defensive WAR. His .300/21/76 slash line with a 126 OPS+ was still pretty damn good for a shortstop, and I am pretty sure he was still a consensus #2 or 3 fantasy baseball pick going into 2011. It was the following season where he really dropped off.
   21. Eddo Posted: August 02, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4199071)
Well... of course, and at that point he would belong on the list. How is a future possibility an objection to the way he made the list at this point?

Dividing by PA boosts players with very few PA, but the lack of PA itself is a problem.

Neither way is great. The original way penalizes Longoria too much; the revised way is a bit too lenient.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: August 02, 2012 at 06:18 PM (#4199221)
I've pointed this out a couple of times but how disappointing Hanley's been depends on which set of WAR you use:

b-r ages 26-28: 3.5 WAR, .5 WAR 2011-12
fan ages 26-28: 7.5 WAR, 2.9 WAR 2011-12 (in 816 PA makes him a bit above-average)

And it's not just defense (first is b-r):

bat 18 28
base 6 5
def -43 -20
pos 11 11
rep 40 48
   23. thok Posted: August 02, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4199224)
I here I thought with was going to be about 17, 23, and 41.


41 is an awesome prime. It's got the n^2+n+41 is prime from 0 to 39 thing going for it (which has some fairly deep math going on behind it).
   24. Matt Welch Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:08 PM (#4199419)
I ran similar numbers once, looking for players who were better at 23-26 than 27-29, and came up with Darin Erstad, Strawberry, Baerga, & a lot of leg-injury types (Bobby Tolan and whatnot).
   25. Monty Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:22 PM (#4199426)
I here I thought with was going to be about 17, 23, and 41.


Yeah, that movie stunk.
   26. bjhanke Posted: August 03, 2012 at 06:44 AM (#4199506)
thok - Many years ago, in college, a professor told my class that, in the Middle Ages, the formula you cite was believed to be an absolute prime number generator - for about 300 years. It took that long for someone to realize that it won't generate primes for any multiple of 41 itself. Medieval math was apparently mostly geometry (some of it very very good geometry); the word "algebra" comes from the arabic "al gebra", and didn't really enter European consciousness until the Renaissance, when it really took off for Europeans. Just another awesome notch in 41's belt. - Brock Hanke

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