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Friday, September 28, 2012

FanGraphs: Cameron: Yadier Molina is Having a Johnny Bench Season

The Dick Young doesn’t believe it!

Yadier Molina has always been an amazing defensive catcher, but like most amazing defensive catchers, he hasn’t always been a very good hitter. In fact, for the first three years of his career, he was a pretty terrible hitter, and then he spent four years as an average-ish hitter before his breakout season last year. Well, we thought last year was his breakout season anyway. This year is Breakout 2.0, as Molina has put himself among not just the elite hitting catchers in the game, but has produced at a level that is outstanding for any position. And in the process, he’s having one of the best all-around catcher seasons in baseball history.

There have always been catchers who can hit but can’t throw, and throw but can’t hit, but there haven’t been many who have hit and thrown like Molina has this year

...While invoking Bench’s name might seem like heresy, the reality is that Molina’s 2012 season fits perfectly into Bench’s peak.

Using the custom leaderboards here on the site, we can put all of Molina and Bench’s individual seasons together on one page, then sort as we see fit. Between them, they’ve played in 26 different seasons – Molina’s 2012 ranks 1st in BA, 2nd in OBP, 6th in SLG, 5th in wOBA, and 3rd in wRC+. While Molina can’t quite keep up with what Bench did in 1972 — it might be the best catcher season of all time — his overall performance is essentially a perfect match for any other season of Bench’s career. This year, Yadier Molina is basically performing at Johnny Bench’s normal levels during the prime of his career.

...I don’t have any problem with anyone deciding that they prefer Braun, McCutchen, or Posey for the MVP. They’re all great candidates. Let’s just not ignore the fact that we essentially have a modern day Johnny Bench this year, and Yadier Molina is a pretty great candidate himself.

Repoz Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:37 PM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals

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   1. GEB4000 Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4248194)
Johnny Bench was Johnny Bench when he was twenty. Molina is having a career year. He is also a completely different type of hitter. Nice that Molina learned how to hit well, but he's no Bench.
   2. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4248211)
molina has had a tremendous year and one could fault where he hits in the batting order, but i struggle to accept anyone as a top 3 mvp candidate who has ordinary counting stats when there are other candidates who have played more and helped put actual runs on the board versus 'estimated' runs.

it is also true that there have been many 'fluke' catcher hitting seasons. though i think this is less likely given what molina did just last year. makes for an interesting career path that's for sure.

he is certainly a tremendous defensive catcher.

i would list him around number 5 on the ballot. he would be the first cardinal.

   3. Ziggy Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4248213)
As far as I can tell, there's a four-way tie for the NL MVP. The WAR figures are close enough, and the defense hard enough to measure, that I wouldn't be confident ranking any of the candidate ahead of any of the others. In fact, since I suspect that they'll finish Posey, McCutchen, Molina, ..., Braun, I think I'd vote Braun, Molina, McCutchen, Posey, with the thought that that would be the thing to do that is most likely to produce a four-way tie.
   4. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4248220)
i think braun has been the better player wire to wire (lowest monthly ops is .941) but i will my irrelevant mvp ballot as:

andrew
ryan
buster
chase
yadier
   5. JJ1986 Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4248224)
Why are there 4 candidates for MVP when there are 5 guys in the same WAR neighborhood? It's not like Cutch or Braun is going to the playoffs.
   6. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4248225)
i like david wright very much. i know the war numbers. he's number 6
   7. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4248228)
for the record i think posey wins it. he's having a better numbers year than molina and it's a better narrative. the giants blew open the division when buster blew up at the plate
   8. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4248230)
Molina has thrown only 2 fewer runners than Posey despite having 45 fewer attempts against him. That's pretty amazing. Molina also has 12 SBs himself, which is a record for a Molina and a number high enough that it makes me strongly suspect that he was adopted.

Catcher defense is the thing that we're worst at measuring and it wouldn't at all surprise me if in reality Molina actually is the most valuable NL player by a decent margin. But we can't know or pretend to know that.

As far as I can tell, there's a four-way tie for the NL MVP. The WAR figures are close enough, and the defense hard enough to measure, that I wouldn't be confident ranking any of the candidate ahead of any of the others. In fact, since I suspect that they'll finish Posey, McCutchen, Molina, ..., Braun, I think I'd vote Braun, Molina, McCutchen, Posey, with the thought that that would be the thing to do that is most likely to produce a four-way tie.


I'd bet that in a BBTF vote each of Braun, Molina, McCutchen, and Posey would get votes in every spot 1 through 4, and David Wright would be a near-unanimous #5.

EDIT:

i like david wright very much. i know the war numbers. he's number 6


Well, not that unanimous!
   9. RJ in TO Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4248231)
for the record i think posey wins it. he's having a better numbers year than molina and it's a better narrative. the giants blew open the division when buster blew up at the plate

And he also has the extra goodness in his story, given the incredibly successful comeback from that injury last year. It wouldn't be surprising in the slightest if he won, given all the things that work in his favor.
   10. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4248234)
i would be most amused if a bunch of guys all got first place votes while ryan braun was consistently 2/3 and snuck out the award based on consistency of voter rank than actual number 1 votes.

it's highly unlikely of course.
   11. bjhanke Posted: September 28, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4248248)
I think you can make a VERY good case for Molina, unless Posey has better defense than I think he has. He hasn't been adopted. He still can't run. But he has acquired the ability to see when a pitcher just has no pickoff move or has ignored him so he gets most of his SB standing up. And he's turned a certain number of his old ground balls to liners, and a certain number of his liners into homers. His place in the lineup has been whatever place somebody has been injured. He's batted second and 7th, both on merit. Essentially, the fewer power bats that the many injuries the Cards get allow the Cards to put up there, the lower Yadi bats in the lineup, because he's the slowest of the power guys. But he hits second when the low-power guys are hurt, even though he can't run, because he can get on base and he's not useless on the basepaths.

Yadi will probably finish with the fewest games played, because he's a veteran catcher. You have to decide whether to give him a catcher bonus. But, as Bill James has pointed out frequently, catchers often get that bonus because otherwise, no catcher would ever win the MVP.

To be clear, no, Yadi is no Johnny Bench, and has no chance of becoming Johnny Bench. But this one year, 2012, he has, indeed, turned in a year that would fit right into Bench's career.

Some voters may even give him a clubhouse leader bonus. When Albert Pujols and TLR both left, there were two leadership voids. One has been filled by a rookie manager with no previous managing experience. He's made some mistakes, though he's been better than I thought. But there was another leadership void, the one that keeps that Latin players and the caucasians from getting into factions. Yadi took over that Latin Leader role from Albert, rather than falling into an idea that he was now alone, and has provided an anchor for Carlos Beltran and Rafael Furcal, as well as good communication with Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter and Matt Holliday. I've been watching the clubhouse on TV, and it's clear that everyone is reasonably happy with everyone else, and that Molina and Holliday are the conduit through which all that flows. And therefore, the Cardinals play together, rather than dividing into factions that Mike Matheny would have real trouble stopping.

- Brock Hanke
   12. BDC Posted: September 28, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4248253)
I saw the headline and thought I was missing something. Looked it up, and I wasn't; Yadier Molina has 21 HR and 72 RBI. That's your basic bad year by Johnny Bench.

Now, of course, he's also hitting .320 and doing a lot of little things well (good SB%, few GDPs). But a much more serious comp than Johnny Bench would be Charles Johnson in 2000: gifted defensive catcher, late 20s, mostly holding his own with the bat over the years, and then suddenly everything goes right with him at the plate as well for a while. I wish Molina well in keeping this up for a few years, and if he does we can start comparing him to greater catchers than Charles Johnson.
   13. Spectral Posted: September 28, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4248266)
Brock - I just wanted to say that I enjoy your posts, and frequently learn something.
   14. cardsfanboy Posted: September 28, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4248273)
My ballot(with the admittedly Cardinal bias) goes
1. Posey
2. McCutchen
3. Yadier
4. Braun
5. Wright

as of right now. In my mind Yadier could easily leap frog to the top with 2 homeruns over the last 6 games (if both come in games Cardinals win by close margins) or any other great stretch performance. I know that war has Yadier ahead, but 20 points of ops+ is a big gap.....Well now that I look at it closer, I could see an argument for Molina....Posey has 20 points of ops+, but has 19 to 9 gidp disadvantage, a 1 to 12 sb disadvantage and has played 20 fewer games at catcher...

You have the famed counting stats of course, Posey with the 100 rbi (while batting .353/.444/.532/.976 in 178 plate appearances with risp) vs Yadiers unclutch of .340/.415/.515/.929 in 125 pa with risp) Realistically speaking offensively after putting position adjustments into account, I can see them as pretty close. War sees it differently, but I'm not sure that it is too accurate, there is a large difference in the obp which is probably the primary advantage of Posey over Yadier offensively, but after that Yadier starts to gain ground.

Yadier .320/.377/.507/.885/140 12 sb, 3cs, 9 gidp, 130 games at catcher, 541 pa.
Posey .333/.405/.539/.944/168 1 sb, 1 cs, 19 gidp, 110 games at catcher, 28 games at first,3 games at dh. 592 pa.

Posey is the better hitter, no doubt about that, but even before accounting for the quality of the defense, you have to account for Yadier on the basepaths, that he isn't hitting into as many dps(which like the rbi is a result of opportunity not a reflection of any real performance difference) that Yadier has a positional advantage because of the number of games played at catcher (which arguably is wiped out by the more plate appearances of Posey, even if they all came at first base)

I still go with my ballot order, but it's really too close to call, and I was hoping that McCutchen would walk away with it.
   15. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 28, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4248278)
i think folks are giving voters too much credit in looking at games played at a position. they look at counting stats which by intuition relay to games played at his primary role

unless posey were really splitting time (half/half) between catcher and first this mix of games played will not matter.

posey is the cleanup hitter who plays a key defensive position for a division winner the crushed its competition once he began crushing the ball even though the team lost its other good hitter.

that's an easy story to tell and to believe
   16. cardsfanboy Posted: September 28, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4248280)
I saw the headline and thought I was missing something. Looked it up, and I wasn't; Yadier Molina has 21 HR and 72 RBI. That's your basic bad year by Johnny Bench.


The comparison to Bench is probably not fair, on the face of it, Bench had more power, etc. But the numbers you point out is not something that is taken seriously around here. homeruns and rbi is not a number to really hang your hat on.

Bench's career numbers .267/.342/.476/.817/126
Bench's career year... .270/.379/.541/.920/166..
Bench's next best year, which is what the article is claiming is a year that Yadier wouldn't look bad in comparison. .280/.363/.507/.870/143 since average is really not that important you are comparing Yadier's .377/.507/.885/140 line to Bench...while performing defensively on par with bench.
   17. cardsfanboy Posted: September 28, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4248282)
i think folks are giving voters too much credit in looking at games played at a position. they look at counting stats which by intuition relay to games played at his primary role


No we aren't giving the voters credit at all. We aren't trying to predict what the idiots will do, we are trying to argue for the guy we think should win it. As it stands Posey is going to win in a cake walk.
   18. AROM Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4248291)
Now, of course, he's also hitting .320 and doing a lot of little things well (good SB%, few GDPs). But a much more serious comp than Johnny Bench would be Charles Johnson in 2000: gifted defensive catcher, late 20s, mostly holding his own with the bat over the years, and then suddenly everything goes right with him at the plate as well for a while. I wish Molina well in keeping this up for a few years, and if he does we can start comparing him to greater catchers than Charles Johnson.


Obviously he did it for many more years, but the obvious comp to me would be Ivan Rodriguez.

andrew
ryan
buster
chase
yadier


Took me a few minutes to wonder why you would rate Utley's half season so highly before I thought of Headley.

Headley is a a good average, high OBP type hitting for good but not elite power, and he has 152 strikeouts. That used to be a territory only Schmidt, Reggie, and Kong would reach. Now it seems like everybody does it.

   19. PreservedFish Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4248293)
Oh, cardsfanboy. You are wanted here:

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/newsstand/discussion/nl_playoff_race_september_27_2012
   20. BDC Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4248300)
the numbers you point out is not something that is taken seriously around here. homeruns and rbi is not a number to really hang your hat on

Well, I know that; I didn't log in here for the first time yesterday :) I just find the Bench comparison to be hyperbolic. Something about it doesn't ring right, and I'm not sure what it is: maybe it's just the "fit a career year by a good player into the awesome career of one of the very greatest players" topos. There's something suspect about that, which makes me prefer the comparison to breakout years by heretofore merely good players in their late 20s; I think it's more useful.
   21. AROM Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4248305)
I go more by style of play with comps, more than what the total value of the season is. Mike Napoli's career year was a Johnny Bench season. Yadier's is a Pudge season.
   22. BDC Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4248310)
I see that, AROM. Pudge had a steady slope up to his best years (1999-2000), and they were high-average, decent-power years like Molina's 2012. Molina had a high-average, modest-power year in 2011, so it seems as if this one is no fluke; it's just another quantum step up.
   23. PreservedFish Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4248311)
I just find the Bench comparison to be hyperbolic. Something about it doesn't ring right, and I'm not sure what it is: maybe it's just the "fit a career year by a good player into the awesome career of one of the very greatest players" topos.


Are you saying that Todd Hundley and Javier Lopez and Mickey Tettleton and Mike Stanley didn't also have Johnny Bench years? Pshaw.
   24. andrewberg Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4248316)
My NL MVP ballot, conceding that all are within the statistical margin of error:

1. Posey- Shouldering a heavy defensive load, also shouldering a lot of responsibility in a lineup that needs him badly.

2. McCutchen- No weaknesses, and he kept an otherwise impotent lineup afloat for longer than expected.

3. Braun- Hard to overlook the counting stats. Don't mind if those are what gets memorialized.

4. Molina- Fantastic year. This is not the forum for discussing how impressive it is that he's done it 2 years in a row.

5. Wright- Impressive bounce back, but team seemed like it sucked even when the record didn't say so.

6. Headley- I will join everyone else in ignoring the Padres.
   25. bjhanke Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4248333)
Bob says, "Well, I know that; I didn't log in here for the first time yesterday :) I just find the Bench comparison to be hyperbolic. Something about it doesn't ring right, and I'm not sure what it is: maybe it's just the "fit a career year by a good player into the awesome career of one of the very greatest players" topos. There's something suspect about that, which makes me prefer the comparison to breakout years by heretofore merely good players in their late 20s; I think it's more useful."

This would be absolutely true for almost any purpose except the one at hand - is Yadier Molina a legitimate candidate for the 2012 MVP? Probably what doesn't ring right is that you don't expect Yadi to keep up that level of play. I agree. But that's not the question at hand. It's just the one year. And, this one year, Yadi doesn't look silly next to Johnny Bench, unless you pick the very best Bench years. You can win a MVP with a year that doesn't match Bench's best, as long as it at least matches one that is close to best. My claim is that you can say that about this season for Yadi. I have nothing useful to say about comparing the two players' careers, since Bench will win no matter how you look at it.

As for Spectral - THANKS! THAT kind of compliment is in the "Make My Month" class! I'm remembering your handle. When I catch you posting something good and insightful, I have every intention of complimenting you. Thanks again! - Brock Hanke
   26. cardsfanboy Posted: September 28, 2012 at 05:04 PM (#4248337)
I just find the Bench comparison to be hyperbolic. Something about it doesn't ring right, and I'm not sure what it is: maybe it's just the "fit a career year by a good player into the awesome career of one of the very greatest players" topos.


Agreed. Just pointing out that the two handpicked numbers weren't really what people nowadays think about when comparing players. At least on any analytical website. Even batting average wouldn't be looked at in an analytical point of view. Mostly if you look at the ops+ of 140 with the gold glove defense you are looking at a "normal" Johnny Bench year. This is a step above a normal Ivan Rodriguez year which is closer to 120 ops+ with gold glove defense(which is what Yadier did last year)

Of course as mentioned this is arguably a career year. Even I, who have been championing Yadier as a true 100 ops+ player with gold glove defense for several years, don't think this is a new level of ability. Before this season I would say he is a 110 ops+ hitter having a great year, but I do think that he has improved his offense by improving his foot speed(he's not fast, but he can no longer be considered in the running for slowest man in baseball). The other teams defense can't play him as deep as they used to, and that allows him to squeak another hit or few a month. He's always hit the ball sharply, now with the defense not playing as deep, those plays where they ranged five feet to the outfield and threw him out by a step or two, aren't happening.

   27. TDF, situational idiot Posted: September 28, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4248351)
I just find the Bench comparison to be hyperbolic. Something about it doesn't ring right, and I'm not sure what it is
One thing: In the seasons that Molina "compares" to Bench, Bench had anywhere from 60-160 more PA (Molina's season isn't done yet, but he'll make up 25 or fewer of those PA). "Value" is a counting stat, so while Molina has comparable rate stats, Bench added as much as a quarter of a season's worth of extra value.

   28. BDC Posted: September 28, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4248363)
Totally fair point that Molina is an MVP candidate this year, Brock. But this wouldn't be BBTF if I didn't try to change the subject :)
   29. BDC Posted: September 28, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4248367)
And, good point too, TDF. So the 110 RBIs I'd want to see from a good Bench year (acknowledging again, as the fanboy says, that RBI are not our favorite stat around here) were not entirely the result of a handsome smile and Pete Rose on base … he was also hard to get out of the lineup.
   30. cardsfanboy Posted: September 28, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4248372)
Bench, like Posey and Mauer has an advantage of being able to play other positions than catcher. He averaged about 15 games started a year at other positions. Not a knock against him, as he still played 130+ games at catcher most years.
   31. Don Malcolm Posted: September 28, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4248444)
As Sean S. notes, the shape of a player's stats is part of how he gets identified, otherwise all is over-simply one number (WAR, OPS+, or whatnot). Yadi has absolutely NO shape components to his stats that match those of Bench, save for their CS%. You could say that Dave was getting sloppy (note to Repoz--cue up that Devo tune, dude!) but he was probably trying to use an example that was more storied than Pudge, since many folks may remember him as someone who just hung on and on and on--until it's hard to remember just how great he was at his peak.

Nobody thought of Bench as a "140 OPS+ hitter" at his best back in the day--they thought he was a cannon-armed catcher with terrific power who occasionally had bad years but was otherwise someone who drove in a ton of runs. That, his defense, and the fact that he was on a dynasty had a lot to do with him actually becoming a bit overrated.

In his two MVP years he led the league in both HRs and RBI. That's the bald truth, no matter when any of us first posted at this site.

Now as to the details of this discussion--Brock may be trying to be conceptual about Yadi's spot in the batting order...but the facts are that he's spent 95% of his time batting 5th or 6th this year. The 6th slot should have scored more runs for the Cards this year, but they've had a lot of problems in the #7 slot (in particular, a power drought--they are tied with the Padres for the fewest HRs in the slot, with just 9), which seems to have kept them from running away with the runs scored lead in the NL this year (they are currently 3rd).

It's possible that Yadi is getting forced out a lot by the batters behind him--we'd need some additional search options in the Play Index to easily confirm or deny that. But in general the decline in offense in the NL seems to be somewhat more pronounced at the bottom end of the lineup--scoring 66 runs in the sixth slot is 6th most in the league in '12, whereas it ranked 12th ten years ago.

Let's also note that Yadi's nine GIDPs this year looks like a career fluke; he's always been near the top of the list in GIDPs previously. So there are a lot of little things in the WAR system that break right for him this season. I see him being on the MVP ballot, but in the bottom half of it.

What would really be hilarious: if Posey and McCutchen slumped big-time in the last six games, and Braun went on a tear and HE won the Triple Crown instead of Cabrera...


   32. Walt Davis Posted: September 28, 2012 at 07:11 PM (#4248455)
I haven't dug into the detail but when things are this close I, gasp!, go with the guy who helped put his team in the playoffs which would make Posey my default candidate. I think he'll probably win it because the voters do seem to like the defensive positions when there's no obvious hitting candidate. Maybe especially Cs because I'm not sure I can think of a year when a C was a legit #1 candidate and he didn't win (except probably a Piazza year or two). I'm guessing Kimbrel finishes 4th or 5th, surely ahead of Headley. I also wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of Stargell-esque down-ballot votes for Chipper.
   33. cardsfanboy Posted: September 28, 2012 at 07:14 PM (#4248459)
Let's also note that Yadi's nine GIDPs this year looks like a career fluke; he's always been near the top of the list in GIDPs previously. So there are a lot of little things in the WAR system that break right for him this season. I see him being on the MVP ballot, but in the bottom half of it.


Bottom half? Really? I don't see it, best player on one of the best offenses in baseball, playing elite level defense. Yes Posey is going to win, Braun is going to get dinged (not that it's fair, but that will happen) because of his drug test, and McCutchen is getting dinged because of his teams final month of play. Posey will easily win, and then the next two spots will be Molina and McCutchen. Braun belongs in there but will get dinged as I mentioned, and Wright and Headley are getting dinged by the results of their team.

Those are the only legitimate candidates, so at worse Molina finishes sixth, but in reality, as long as the Cardinals make it to game 163, he will finish top three.
   34. Walt Davis Posted: September 28, 2012 at 07:20 PM (#4248466)
On Bench-Yadier, the problem is the comp is all rate stats with no adjustment for PT. In 1974, Bench had 708 PA. For a catcher. 129 starts at C, 30 at 3B. Bench had 7 straight seasons of 590+ PA; Molina will set his career high this year with about 560. Granted, part of Molina's "low" total is batting order position (e.g. IRod had more PAs not so much because of DH starts -- he didn't get many actually -- but betting 2nd a lot).

Anyway, I know nobody here or the author is saying they think Molina is the new Bench, it just irks me when folks compare rate stats only.
   35. cardsfanboy Posted: September 28, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4248476)
Anyway, I know nobody here or the author is saying they think Molina is the new Bench, it just irks me when folks compare rate stats only.


Me too, most of the time. The only real point of the article was to highlight the season that Molina is having and by using the Bench comparison it's to show that it's a really good season. In some respects it's also designed to show how great Bench was, in that out of the 12 seasons listed 4 of them belonged to Bench.

The article did include a counting component, wRC+ in his initial chart. This was a list of catchers who have 140 wRC+ and greater than 45% cs. It's selective endpoints of course, but considering that the top name on the list only had 156 wRC+, that qualifier isn't too far off from the highest.

This is a Fangraphs article, they aren't going to focus on traditional stats, and there is no reason they should.
   36. alilisd Posted: September 28, 2012 at 07:36 PM (#4248486)
@ 18: AROM, in Petco Chase is showing elite power.
   37. Walt Davis Posted: September 28, 2012 at 08:07 PM (#4248509)
wRC+ is a rate stat. Bench's 2nd and 3rd best seasons are 21 and 17 wRC ahead of Molina.
   38. cardsfanboy Posted: September 28, 2012 at 08:15 PM (#4248517)
wRC+ is a rate stat. Bench's 2nd and 3rd best seasons are 21 and 17 wRC ahead of Molina.


Really? I think of a rate stat as something like average etc. runs created is a cumulative stat based upon rate performance. wRc+ is a cumulative stat to me.

A rate stat is something you can do no matter the number of plate appearances(with the exception of the limits of math), you can put up a .400 obp in only 5 plate appearances, you cannot put up 140wRC+ in only 5 plate appearances.

wRC+ is a rate stat. Bench's 2nd and 3rd best seasons are 21 and 17 wRC ahead of Molina.


On that chart it's not the case.
   39. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 29, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4248898)
Do you thin Dave Cameron ever gets tired of being wrong about stuff?
   40. SoCalDemon Posted: September 29, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4248957)
Re 38: wRC+ is absolutely a rate stat, and you can have (approximately) a 140+ in 5 plate appearances. 1 for 4 with a double and a walk = .250/.400/.500, which is about a 140+.
   41. JH (in DC) Posted: September 29, 2012 at 06:52 PM (#4249011)
It seems odd to me that neither of the teams with the best record in baseball (Washington or Cincinnati) has a candidate in MVP contention. I guess Votto would be Cincinnati's if not for the 6 weeks he missed with injury. He still leads them in WAR, barely over Cueto, and significantly over any position player.

As for Washington, it's just a very even team. The most likely candidates would be Adam LaRoche's 30-100 season, or Ian Desmond's 20-20 season hitting nearly .300. No one in the lineup walks a lot, which is an OBP-killer (the only guy who does, Werth, missed several months). If Ryan Zimmerman had a full season like he did in the second half (.326/.389/.571!), he'd be an obvious candidate, but he did next to nothing until July.
   42. BDC Posted: September 29, 2012 at 08:45 PM (#4249045)
Thanks to those who elaborated my incoherent point infinitely better than I could :)
   43. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: September 29, 2012 at 09:15 PM (#4249057)
Do you thin Dave Cameron ever gets tired of being wrong about stuff?

never knew you were Hispanic, Vlad

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