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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Kory: Why Bryce Harper’s season is impossible to project

Two players, Mantle and Ott, took big steps forward. Conigliaro hit more homers but his overall production fell off, and Cedeno dropped to a below-average offensive player. Playing major league baseball at age 19 is a tremendous accomplishment, but even that isn’t a gold ticket to immediate superstardom.

Even with the admittedly nebulous nature involved in projecting Harper, projection systems can help show us a range of possibilities. But while projection systems can cut through human biases, they can also miss specifics that a good scout will catch and take into account*.

Keith Law is a senior baseball analyst for ESPN in charge of scouting. He said he thinks Harper “will be an impact player in the middle of a lineup for a very long time, the kind of player who hits 40 homers in a few seasons, wins an MVP award or two, and at worst ends up garnering some Hall of Fame discussion.”

...The reason why, according to Law, is Harper’s “unusual combination of overall athleticism and baseball-specific skills.” It’s that package that makes Harper unique, or at minimum, extremely difficult to project. For his part, Law feels Harper is one of a kind. “Has there been a player like him specifically? No, I tend to think most high-end players like Harper or Mike Trout are unique. Stars tend to have very specific skill sets that we haven’t seen before.”                                                                       

People learn by experience. But when something comes along that we haven’t encountered before, it’s hard to know what to make of it. Harper represents those uncharted waters.

Thanks to Butch.

Repoz Posted: March 13, 2013 at 05:31 AM | 77 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: March 13, 2013 at 07:39 AM (#4387465)
Harper's comps from age 20 onward. Yikes.

How did Bob Kennedy get over 5,000 PA in the major leagues when he obviously wasn't any good? (In fact, he's seventh all-time on this list of shame.)
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: March 13, 2013 at 07:58 AM (#4387468)

That's catcher Terry Kennedy's father. He managed the Cubs from 1963-65 (he won the College of Coaches steel cage match) and the Athletics in 1968, and later was the Cubs GM.

and yes, he has the worst start to a career by a non-SS or C that just wouldn't be stopped (except by WW II) that I've seen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Kennedy

"In 1940, he became the first teenaged major leaguer since 1900 to play 150 games in a season.

In the 1948 midseason Kennedy was sent to Cleveland in the same trade that brought Pat Seerey to Chicago. Kennedy hit .301 the rest of the year and became a member of the last World Championship Indians team."



   3. bobm Posted: March 13, 2013 at 08:04 AM (#4387470)
For single seasons, From 1901 to 2012, For age 19, Played 50% of games at LF, CF or RF, (requiring Qualified for league batting title), sorted by greatest WAR Position Players

                                                                                  
Rk         Player WAR/pos OPS+ Year Age  Tm Lg   G  PA   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS     Pos
1    Bryce Harper     5.0  119 2012  19 WSN NL 139 597 .270 .340 .477 .817   *89/7
2         Mel Ott     3.7  139 1928  19 NYG NL 124 500 .322 .397 .524 .921 *9/4785
3     Ken Griffey     2.9  108 1989  19 SEA AL 127 506 .264 .329 .420 .748      *8
4         Ty Cobb     2.3  132 1906  19 DET AL  98 394 .316 .355 .394 .749    *897
5    Sherry Magee     1.2  122 1904  19 PHI NL  95 387 .277 .308 .409 .717  *97/83
6       Al Kaline     0.9   80 1954  19 DET AL 138 535 .276 .305 .347 .652      *9
   4. bobm Posted: March 13, 2013 at 08:08 AM (#4387472)
For single seasons, From 1901 to 2012, For age 19, (requiring Qualified for league batting title), sorted by greatest WAR Position Players

                                                                                       
Rk              Player WAR/pos OPS+ Year Age  Tm Lg   G  PA   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS     Pos
1         Bryce Harper     5.0  119 2012  19 WSN NL 139 597 .270 .340 .477 .817   *89/7
2              Mel Ott     3.7  139 1928  19 NYG NL 124 500 .322 .397 .524 .921 *9/4785
3          Ken Griffey     2.9  108 1989  19 SEA AL 127 506 .264 .329 .420 .748      *8
4              Ty Cobb     2.3  132 1906  19 DET AL  98 394 .316 .355 .394 .749    *897
5          Buddy Lewis     1.9   88 1936  19 WSH AL 143 657 .291 .347 .399 .746      *5
6         Sherry Magee     1.2  122 1904  19 PHI NL  95 387 .277 .308 .409 .717  *97/83
7            Al Kaline     0.9   80 1954  19 DET AL 138 535 .276 .305 .347 .652      *9
8          Sibby Sisti     0.7   88 1940  19 BSN NL 123 507 .251 .311 .353 .664     *54
9    Freddie Lindstrom     0.4   96 1925  19 NYG NL 104 385 .287 .332 .430 .761   *5/64
10         Rusty Staub     0.2   84 1963  19 HOU NL 150 585 .224 .309 .308 .617     *39
11         Robin Yount     0.1   90 1975  19 MIL AL 147 607 .267 .307 .367 .674      *6
12       Cass Michaels     0.1   78 1945  19 CHW AL 129 499 .245 .307 .299 .606    *6/4
13     Phil Cavarretta    -0.5   81 1936  19 CHC NL 124 486 .273 .306 .376 .682      *3
14         Bob Kennedy    -1.4   59 1940  19 CHW AL 154 655 .252 .301 .315 .616      *5


   5. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 13, 2013 at 08:10 AM (#4387475)
It would be interesting to know the rationale behind giving Kennedy an MVP vote in 1940, when he sported a .616 OPS and was 3/7 on the bases. He also made 33 errors at 3B, so its not like he was a glove whiz.
   6. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 13, 2013 at 08:11 AM (#4387476)
As for Harper, it wouldn't shock me if he won the MVP this year.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: March 13, 2013 at 08:55 AM (#4387496)
WAR is favorable to Harper thanks to defense and baserunning. By Rbat, single season, aged 19 or younger:

Ott 25
TonyC 20
Harper 15
Cobb 12
Cedeno 10 ...
Griffey 6

Harper had 97 more PA than Ott, 153 more than Tony C, 203 more than Cobb, 220 more than Cedeno and 91 more than Griffey. Adjusted for PA, Harper, Cobb and Cedeno are all about the same and they're well behind Ott and TonyC.

Harper had 18 steals, Cobb 23, Cedeno 17 and Griffey 16. He had the most Ks by a lot but also the most BBs (Ott and Griffey reasonably close). There's a 2 win difference on Rfield between Cedeno and Harper and 1 win between Griffey and Harper.

Given I think Cedeno's the most talented player I've ever seen and Griffey ain't too shabby and they represent the "downside" of Harper at 19 ... well, that's pretty promising. The closest I can come to a negative is that it took a huge Sept to make Harper's offense look elite for 19. But Sept still counts for 19 year olds.
   8. tfbg9 Posted: March 13, 2013 at 09:00 AM (#4387498)
Ladies and Gentleman, number 13 on your list, Phil "Just Throw Strikes, Gutless" Cavaretta."
   9. micker17 Posted: March 13, 2013 at 09:11 AM (#4387502)
I remember reading that Cedeno was actually 3 years older than listed.

I plan on going after Harper this Sunday in my draft. I project him to go .300-30-100-100-25 in 2013, with 50 hr a few years from now. I would not be shocked though if he hits his prime as early as this season. Subjectively, I see his comps as Griffey and Mantle.
   10. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: March 13, 2013 at 09:12 AM (#4387503)
For single seasons, From 1901 to 2012, For age 19, Played 50% of games at LF, CF or RF, (requiring Qualified for league batting title), sorted by greatest WAR Position Players


Rk Player WAR/pos OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Bryce Harper 5.0 119 2012 19 WSN NL 139 597 .270 .340 .477 .817 *89/7
2 Mel Ott 3.7 139 1928 19 NYG NL 124 500 .322 .397 .524 .921 *9/4785
3 Ken Griffey 2.9 108 1989 19 SEA AL 127 506 .264 .329 .420 .748 *8
4 Ty Cobb 2.3 132 1906 19 DET AL 98 394 .316 .355 .394 .749 *897
5 Sherry Magee 1.2 122 1904 19 PHI NL 95 387 .277 .308 .409 .717 *97/83
6 Al Kaline 0.9 80 1954 19 DET AL 138 535 .276 .305 .347 .652 *9


All of these guys won a batting or HR title at an early age. Cobb and Kaline at age 20, Ott at 23, Griffey at 24, and Magee at 25.
   11. Chris Needham Posted: March 13, 2013 at 09:28 AM (#4387510)
The closest I can come to a negative is that it took a huge Sept to make Harper's offense look elite for 19. But Sept still counts for 19 year olds.

And, to me, that's a huge positive actually. If you look at his July/August numbers, he was terrible. Basically it was that adapt-react thing with pitchers' patterns that killed him. He was so conscious of trying to get that outside pitch (since that's basically all he saw through June) that he couldn't touch anything on the inside. He kept getting jammed with fastballs in on the plate. It took him a little while to work through it, but basically September was the result of him figuring out how to use both sides of the plate, what to expect, and how to adapt. It's like he went through a micro sophomore slump right in the middle of the season.

I could see /.330/.475. I could see /.430/.550. That's what's so fun about this season.

The other thing that's nice about him is that he's clearly a SMART baseball player. He knows the game and knows how to take advantage of all the small things. Think of those popup doubles on loafing outfielders. (or his attempt last week at a 7-3 putout on a runner who rounded 1st too sharply) He's certainly too aggressive at times now... but, in general, once he reins that in, he'll retain those smarts. And that'll give him a little extra edge in value.
   12. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 13, 2013 at 10:16 AM (#4387533)

Harper had 97 more PA than Ott, 153 more than Tony C, 203 more than Cobb, 220 more than Cedeno and 91 more than Griffey. Adjusted for PA, Harper, Cobb and Cedeno are all about the same and they're well behind Ott and TonyC.


I think this is an important point: Nineteen-year-olds rarely get the chance to start for an entire season, for what ought to be obvious reasons. Harper played more than Ott or Cobb or Sherry Magee did at age 19, but it's hard to argue that he played better than they did. (Of course, being no better than Ott and Cobb is hardly a negative.)

A big chunk of the credit for the value of his season goes to Davey Johnson, who has now managed (according to WAR) the two most vaulable 19-year-olds in history.
   13. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 10:22 AM (#4387536)
A big chunk of the credit for the value of his season goes to Davey Johnson, who has now managed (according to WAR) the two most vaulable 19-year-olds in history.


Does Johnson lose points for shredding Gooden's shoulder? I think it's a fair question.
   14. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 10:29 AM (#4387540)
Trivia questions. I don't know the answers:

1. Gooden went 17-9 in 1984 as a rookie with a 2.60 ERA (137 ERA+) and 276 K in 218 innings. He finished second in the Cy Young voting that year. Who finished first?

2. Gooden went 24-4 in 1985 with a 1.53 ERA (229 ERA+) and 268 K in 276 innings. He finished first in the Cy Young but only 4th in the MVP race. Which players beat him out for the MVP?

Also, a general question: Gooden struck out 11.4 batters per nine innings as a rookie, but then dropped to 8.7 K/9 the next year and then 7.2 K/9 the next year, averaging about 7.5-8 K/9 after his rookie year and before getting hurt. Is there precedent for a pitcher losing over 2.5 K/9 immediately following his rookie year, and never again getting back to the level he was at as a rookie?
   15. Esoteric Posted: March 13, 2013 at 10:33 AM (#4387546)
1. Gooden went 17-9 in 1984 as a rookie with a 2.60 ERA (137 ERA+) and 276 K in 218 innings. He finished second in the Cy Young voting that year. Who finished first?
Rick Sutcliffe beat him in 1984, and it wasn't close in the voting. He went 16-1 with a 2.69 ERA and an ERA+ of 144 so it wasn't necessarily a travesty, but he only pitched 150.1 innings compared to Gooden's 218.

As for MVP, Ryno won that year, with Keith Hernandez and Tony Gwynn coming behind him.

Obviously the writers were impressed with the Cubs finally having a good season. Their manager won MoY too, if I recall correctly.

EDIT: Oh, you were asking about MVP for 1985. Well, the others below beat me to it: Willie McGee.
   16. deputydrew Posted: March 13, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4387548)
Trivia-
1. Rick Sutcliffe, who was like 15-1 after coming to the Cubs from the Indians in a trade.
2. Willie McGee, who did NOT win the 1982 World Series MVP, though many people think he did. Who did? McGee has a somewhat strange note to accompany one of his better seasons. What is it?
   17. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 13, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4387549)
Pretty sure Sutcliffe won the Cy in '84, and Willie McGee of all people was the '85 MVP. No idea who was 2nd and 3rd.

I plan on going after Harper this Sunday in my draft. I project him to go .300-30-100-100-25 in 2013, with 50 hr a few years from now. I would not be shocked though if he hits his prime as early as this season. Subjectively, I see his comps as Griffey and Mantle.


I hope you're right--I grabbed him in the 4th round of a snake draft, figuring his floor is .280 with 20 HRs and 30 steals, and at worst will be a 2014 keeper.
   18. SoSH U at work Posted: March 13, 2013 at 10:36 AM (#4387551)
McGee has a somewhat strange note to accompany one of his better seasons. What is it?


Won the NL batting title while finishing the season in the AL? It's something like that.
   19. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 13, 2013 at 10:36 AM (#4387552)
Does Johnson lose points for shredding Gooden's shoulder? I think it's a fair question.


It is a fair question but one I would answer "no" to. While Gooden's career was a bit of a disappointment given the way it started he won nearly 200 games and pitched 2800 innings. It's not like Gooden went Mark Prior on us and won 42 games and flamed out before he really got rolling. Given the uncertain nature of pitchers I think you get while the gettin' is good with them and I think Johnson did pretty well to get what he could out of Gooden and that era of Met baseball.
   20. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 13, 2013 at 10:37 AM (#4387554)
McGee has a somewhat strange note to accompany one of his better seasons. What is it?


Winning the NL batting title while finishing out the season for Oakland? Either 1990 or '92, can't remember which.

EDIT: OK, I am way too slow this morning.
   21. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: March 13, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4387560)
And, to me, that's a huge positive actually. If you look at his July/August numbers, he was terrible. Basically it was that adapt-react thing with pitchers' patterns that killed him....The other thing that's nice about him is that he's clearly a SMART baseball player...


There was a wonderful example of this dynamic early in the season when the Nationals swept the Braves in Atlanta. Livan Hernandez struck out Harper earlier in the game with a couple of his ridiculous slow curves. Harper was so bad the PBP guy cracked that he "looked like Ichiro without the contact." Harper wasn't much better than a random high schooler in that at-bat.

Next AB, Hernandez throws the slow curve, Harper stays back for an eternity, puts a great swing on the ball and hits it about 700 feet for a home run. It was an impressive sequence.
   22. Mike Emeigh Posted: March 13, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4387561)
Willie McGee of all people was the '85 MVP. No idea who was 2nd and 3rd.


Dave Parker and Pedro Guerrero, respectively. Really, guys, this isn't that hard to find any more thanks to our friends at B-R.

-- MWE
   23. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 10:50 AM (#4387563)
Really, guys, this isn't that hard to find any more thanks to our friends at B-R.


Yes, I've heard of B-R, thanks Mike :-) I was posting it for the fun of seeing if anyone could get it off the top of their head.
   24. Ron J2 Posted: March 13, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4387567)
#13 Remember to an extent this was encouraged by Mel Stottlemyre.

To answer your general question, I think you'll find any number of pitchers whose K rate dropped following an injury. But Gooden was pretty healthy in this time frame.

The first (healthy) guy that came to mind for me was Al Downing, but the transition was far slower than I'd recalled and nowhere near as dramatic as Gooden's.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: March 13, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4387574)
Yes, I've heard of B-R, thanks Mike :-) I was posting it for the fun of seeing if anyone could get it off the top of their head.


I thought that was pretty obvious. A trivia question kind of loses its appeal if we all just sprint off to BBRef.

Willie McGee, who did NOT win the 1982 World Series MVP, though many people think he did.


I guess two homers in one game could leave a big impression during the Whitey era, but he really didn't have much of a series otherwise.
   26. salvomania Posted: March 13, 2013 at 11:42 AM (#4387602)
I guess two homers in one game could leave a big impression during the Whitey era, but he really didn't have much of a series otherwise.


He made a couple of spectacular catches, too, including one over the CF wall to rob a home run.

I think Darrell Porter was the World Series MVP that year.
   27. Worrierking Posted: March 13, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4387605)
Didn't Darrell Porter win the WS MVP in '82 (not checking B-R to find out).
   28. Perry Posted: March 13, 2013 at 11:50 AM (#4387609)
I guess two homers in one game could leave a big impression during the Whitey era, but he really didn't have much of a series otherwise.


He also stole a Gorman Thomas homer with a leaping catch at the wall in the 9th inning of that game, but you're right, he didn't do much outside of that game.
   29. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4387627)
For fun, the first round of the 1982 draft:

Year   Rnd DT OvPck                                             Tm Pos  WAR    G   AB
1982        1     1                  Cubs  Shawon Dunston 
(minors)  SS  9.1 1814 5927
1982        1     2             Blue Jays   Augie Schmidt 
(minors)                 SS
1982        1     3                Padres     Jimmy Jones 
(minorsRHP -2.6  159  193
1982        1     4                 Twins   Bryan Oelkers 
(minorsLHP -1.0   45    0
1982        1     5                  Mets   Dwight Gooden 
(minorsRHP 50.1  434  741
1982        1     6              Mariners      Spike Owen 
(minors)  SS 10.3 1544 4930
1982        1     7               Pirates     Sam Khalifa 
(minors)  SS  0.6  164  488
1982        1     8                Angels      Bob Kipper 
(minorsLHP -1.7  274   95
1982        1     9                Braves      Duane Ward 
(minorsRHP  9.5  462    1
1982        1    10                Royals     John Morris 
(minors)  OF -0.9  402  614
1982        1    11                Giants  Steve Stanicek 
(minors)  1B -0.1   13   16
1982        1    12               Indians     Mark Snyder 
(minors)                RHP
1982        1    13              Phillies    John Russell 
(minors)   -3.7  448 1087
1982        1    14             White Sox   Ron Karkovice 
(minors)   C 13.3  939 2597
1982        1    15                Astros     Steve Swain 
(minors)                 OF
1982        1    16   Red Sox via Rangers       
*Sam Horn (minors)  1B  1.9  389 1040
1982        1    17        Cubs via Expos     
*Tony Woods (minors)                 SS
1982        1    18               Red Sox     Bob Parkins 
(minors)                RHP
1982        1    19               Dodgers Franklin Stubbs 
(minors)  1B  1.7  945 2591
1982        1    20                Tigers Rich Monteleone 
(minorsRHP  2.2  210    3
1982        1    21             Cardinals    Todd Worrell 
(minorsRHP 10.1  617   27
1982        1    22      Reds via Yankees    
*Scott Jones (minors)                LHP
1982        1    23                  Reds    Billy Hawley 
(minors)                RHP
1982        1    24               Orioles   Joe Kucharski 
(minors)                RHP
1982        1    25               Brewers      Dale Sveum 
(minors)  SS -3.5  862 2526
1982        1    26 Red Sox via Athletics 
*Jeff Ledbetter (minors)                 1B
1982       1s    27                  Cubs  
*Stan Boderick (minors)                 OF
1982       1s    28                  Reds   
*Robert Jones (minors)                 1B 

   30. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4387634)
For fun, the first round of the 1982 draft:

Wow, shitty draft. How many #2 picks don't even get a PA or IP?
   31. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4387638)
2nd round, 1982. This one's more fun:

Year   OvPck                                              Tm Pos   WAR    G   AB HR   W SV Type
1982      29             Red Sox      
*Kevin Romine (minors)  OF  -1.6  331  630         5  4Yr
1982      30           Blue Jays        David Wells 
(minorsLHP  49.2  660  178  0 239 13   HS
1982      31              Padres      Joseph Plesac 
(minors)                           RHP  4Yr
1982      32               Twins     Allan Anderson 
(minorsLHP   7.6  150    1  0  49  0   HS
1982      33                Mets      Floyd Youmans 
(minorsRHP   6.2   94  173  2  30  0   HS
1982      34            Mariners Michael Wishnevski 
(minors)                            OF  4Yr
1982      35             Pirates           Jim Opie 
(minors)                            3B  4Yr
1982      36 Yankees via Pirates       
*Tim Birtsas (minorsLHP   0.5  138   18  1  14  1  4Yr
1982      37              Braves        Joe Johnson 
(minorsRHP   0.9   62   49  0  20  0  4Yr
1982      38              Royals        Joe Szekely 
(minors)                             C  4Yr
1982      39              Giants        Barry Bonds 
(minors)  OF 158.1 2986 9847       762   HS
1982      40             Indians         Jim Wilson 
(minors)  1B  -0.2    9   22         0  4Yr
1982      41            Phillies    Lance McCullers 
(minorsRHP   4.7  312   48  0  28 39   HS
1982      42           White Sox       Rolando Pino 
(minors)                            3B   HS
1982      43              Astros      Louie Meadows 
(minors)  1B  -0.8  102  127         5  4Yr
1982      44             Rangers         Mike Rubel 
(minors)                            1B  4Yr
1982      45               Expos        John Dopson 
(minorsRHP   4.3  144   55  0  30  1   HS
1982      46             Red Sox   Steve Jongewaard 
(minors)                            SS   HS
1982      47             Dodgers     Richard Flores 
(minors)                            SS   HS
1982      48              Tigers  Scott Kamieniecki 
(minorsRHP   7.9  250    2  0  53  5   HS
1982      49           Cardinals    Timothy Wallace 
(minors)                             C  4Yr
1982      50             Yankees         Bo Jackson 
(minors)  SS   7.2  694 2393       141   HS
1982      51                Reds       Barry Larkin 
(minors)  SS  67.1 2180 7937       198   HS
1982      52             Orioles          Dave Otto 
(minorsLHP   0.3  109   20  0  10  0   HS
1982      53             Brewers     Bryan Duquette 
(minors)                           LHP  4Yr
1982      54           Athletics    Steve Ontiveros 
(minorsRHP   7.7  211   12  0  34 19  4Yr 

   32. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4387642)
What was the read on Bonds coming out of ASU?
   33. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: March 13, 2013 at 12:58 PM (#4387658)
For fun, the first round of the 1982 draft:

Wow, shitty draft. How many #2 picks don't even get a PA or IP?

2nd round, 1982. This one's more fun:


3rd round had 3 players better than every non Gooden first rounder.

4th round had Randy Johnson and Will Clark (though neither signed)

5th round had 2 more, though B J Surhoff Surhoff didn't sign

Later rounds had Alvin Davis, Terry Pendleton, Mark Maclemore, Tom Browning, Jose Canseco, Bret Saberhagen (hm, both 1985 CYA winners, drafted 18 rounds apart), plus Raffy Palmeiro and Walt Weiss who went to college instead.

All together, there were 14 played drafted and signed in 1982 who had a career WAR of 14 or higher, and only one of them from the first round.
   34. John Northey Posted: March 13, 2013 at 01:04 PM (#4387666)
The Jays were horrid in the 80's for drafting in the 1st round...
From 1980 to 1989 picks with more than 2 WAR...
John Cerutti 5.6
Ed Sprague 3.1

Then in the 90's you get over 2 WAR...
Steve Karsay 10.3
Shawn Green 31
Shannon Stewart 22.8
Chris Carpenter 31.9
Roy Halladay 62.3
Billy Koch 4.9
Vernon Wells 25.7 (he was good once)
Felipe Lopez 6.0
Alex Rios 23.3

Quite the shift. From 2 decent players to 6 with 20+ WAR including a likely HOF'er plus 2 more decent guys. Yet somehow the 80's/early 90's were championship calibre while the late 90's and 00's were mediocre land. You can draft well but you gotta keep the right ones and add as needed.
   35. jobu Posted: March 13, 2013 at 01:09 PM (#4387669)
What was the read on Bonds coming out of ASU?

Very strong. He was drafted #6 overall by the Pirates in 1985. The draft above is his HS draft (1982).

The top of the 1985 draft is much stronger: Surhoff, W. Clark, B. Witt, Larkin, [Kurt Brown], Bonds.
   36. AROM Posted: March 13, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4387682)
I was posting it for the fun of seeing if anyone could get it off the top of their head.


I appreciate that Ray. Trivia is a little too easy with BBref, but still fun. I didn't remember Parker, but knew McGee and guessed Guerrero.

It stuck in my mind that Guerrero led the league in OBP and SLG in 1985. Did that in a tough park, too. I forgot just how awesome he was at hitting, which needs context to really be apparent. By raw numbers he's not that different from the best year of say, Bobby Higginson. But that 1985 year was worth a 182 OPS+. That's better than Miguel Cabrera last season (though only slightly ahead of Miggy's 2010-2011.)

And Guerrero lost the MVP vote to a speedy, gold glove winning center fielder. Where was the outrage?
   37. cardsfanboy Posted: March 13, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4387703)
And, to me, that's a huge positive actually.


Agreed. His strong September might have been helped a little by the expanded rosters, but more importantly it indicates his ability to adjust, which is what is one of the more important skills.

Won the NL batting title while finishing the season in the AL? It's something like that.


And I believe that Pedro Guerrero actually had the best batting average in baseball for the year, but didn't win a batting title.

I guess two homers in one game could leave a big impression during the Whitey era, but he really didn't have much of a series otherwise.


Not sure if you watched the series, but it was more than his homers, his probably should have won the series MVP ala Brooks Robinson, strictly off of his defense. That is probably an exaggeration, but his defense was a major contributor for the series.

   38. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: March 13, 2013 at 02:14 PM (#4387718)
And I believe that Pedro Guerrero actually had the best batting average in baseball for the year, but didn't win a batting title.


Eddie Murray.
   39. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 02:15 PM (#4387720)
And I believe that Pedro Guerrero actually had the best batting average in baseball for the year, but didn't win a batting title.


McGwire did this with the home runs.
   40. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: March 13, 2013 at 02:18 PM (#4387722)
And Guerrero lost the MVP vote to a speedy, gold glove winning center fielder. Where was the outrage?


No outrage. He had only 87 RBI. He was lucky to finish as high as he did.
   41. cardsfanboy Posted: March 13, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4387743)
Eddie Murray.


Thank you(didn't want to look it up) I remembered it was a Dodger player, just had the wrong year(1990 was the year that happened)
   42. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 13, 2013 at 02:57 PM (#4387767)
On Harper, take the over.
   43. vivaelpujols Posted: March 13, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4387795)
A big chunk of the credit for the value of his season goes to Davey Johnson, who has now managed (according to WAR) the two most vaulable 19-year-olds in history.


Wow two 19 year olds? That's like one of those correlation thingys, huh?
   44. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: March 13, 2013 at 03:39 PM (#4387804)
The '85 NL MVP was the first award I remember caring about, because I couldn't understand how David Parker didn't win with 125 RBIs. Of course, I was 8 at the time.

Just noticed that McGee received zero MVP votes for all seasons outside of '85. That has to be pretty rare.
   45. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: March 13, 2013 at 03:43 PM (#4387808)
By WAR, Ron Karkovice was the second most valuable player in that first round. Gooden had more WAR with a couple of months left in his age 20 season than Karkovice had in his career.
   46. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: March 13, 2013 at 04:14 PM (#4387831)
Just noticed that McGee received zero MVP votes for all seasons outside of '85. That has to be pretty rare.


Ken Caminiti too

edit: and of course Willie Hernandez
   47. Walt Davis Posted: March 13, 2013 at 04:49 PM (#4387846)
it's hard to argue that he played better than they did

Not really. It's hard to argue Harper hit better than those guys due to extra playing time. But add good CF defense and baserunning and you can make an argument he was better than Ott. It's a little odd that b-r doesn't like the defense of Cedeno, Griffey and Cobb very much at 19 but tends to like them later so, given the variability of defense from year to year, I am a bit wary of declaring him more talented than those guys but am willing to grant that he played better at 19.

On his Sept ... yes, of course it could be his adjustment. Or it could be a big fluke. 330/400/643 almost certainly has a big chunk of fluke in it. Of course the 619 OPS in July is equally a fluke.

Anyway, keep an eye on the K-rate. It's hard (but not impossible) to hit 300 with that rate. At this K-rate I'll guesstimate 270/350/500 but of course a 19-year-old could see a big improvement in K-rate.

As to the draft, I'm kinda stunned that Spike Owen has more career WAR than Dunston. I also see there's a second Shawon now in the Cubs system -- his son I assume. I'd say I'm old but I'm getting used to this sort of thing.
   48. Spahn Insane Posted: March 13, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4387848)
As for MVP, Ryno won that year, with Keith Hernandez and Tony Gwynn coming behind him.

Obviously the writers were impressed with the Cubs finally having a good season.


Yep--and the Cubs also had the 4th and 5th place finishers in the MVP race (Sutcliffe and Matthews).
   49. bobm Posted: March 13, 2013 at 07:21 PM (#4387922)
Just noticed that McGee received zero MVP votes for all seasons outside of '85. That has to be pretty rare.

Same with Jake Peavy and the Cy Young IIRC
   50. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 07:26 PM (#4387925)

McGwire did this with the home runs.

Sabathia did it with IP, complete games and shutouts in 2008.
   51. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 07:28 PM (#4387927)
And Randy Johnson with Ks in 1998.

And of course, to bring it back to an earlier topic of conversation, Rick Sutcliffe did it with wins in 1984, the year he stole the Cy Young award from Dwight Gooden.
   52. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: March 13, 2013 at 07:37 PM (#4387933)
Denny McLain didn't get any Cy Young votes outside of the two years he won it. He did get MVP votes in another year, but that was before there were two Cy Youngs.
   53. Sweatpants Posted: March 13, 2013 at 07:47 PM (#4387935)
Sabathia did it with IP, complete games and shutouts in 2008.
This is true for IP and CG, but, with regard to shutouts, Sabathia accomplished the even rarer feat of leading both the NL and the AL.
   54. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 07:57 PM (#4387940)
This is true for IP and CG, but, with regard to shutouts, Sabathia accomplished the even rarer feat of leading both the NL and the AL.

Wow, you're right. He also led the NL in complete games.
   55. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 13, 2013 at 08:01 PM (#4387942)
Harper is a great story, but I missed some of the details of his career. Obviously the Nats did well to bring him to the big club in 2012, but after he moved from A ball to AA in 2011 his stats plummeted, and his AAA start to the 2012 season was very poor, with an OPS of .690. His MLE's must have suggested a worse than replacement level hitter at that point.

What was it about his game that made the Nats so certain that he was ready for the bigs so early in 2012?
   56. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 13, 2013 at 08:13 PM (#4387947)
#55

The ability to hit 500 foot homers at the age of 16 had something to do with it.
   57. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 13, 2013 at 08:53 PM (#4387966)
Tell that to Jeff malm.
   58. John DiFool2 Posted: March 13, 2013 at 09:17 PM (#4387977)
I can't believe 1984 was almost 30 years ago now. Seems like yesterday...
   59. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: March 13, 2013 at 09:23 PM (#4387979)
Denny McLain didn't get any Cy Young votes outside of the two years he won it. He did get MVP votes in another year, but that was before there were two Cy Youngs.


Roger Maris got 2 firsts and a T-25 in the only 3 years he got MVP votes.
   60. cardsfanboy Posted: March 13, 2013 at 09:27 PM (#4387983)
I can't believe 1984 was almost 30 years ago now. Seems like yesterday...


Someone posted on my facebook today, "I still think 1990 was 10 years ago". I know how that feels.
   61. Bourbon Samurai Posted: March 14, 2013 at 12:54 AM (#4388074)
It blows my mind that Spike Owen had more career WAR than Shawon Dunston
   62. Sunday silence Posted: March 14, 2013 at 01:25 AM (#4388082)
Harper's upcoming season...?

"That's a clown question, bro."
   63. Steve Treder Posted: March 14, 2013 at 01:37 AM (#4388086)
Someone posted on my facebook today, "I still think 1990 was 10 years ago". I know how that feels.

Sh!t, I still think 1970 was 10 years ago.
   64. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 14, 2013 at 01:54 AM (#4388090)
Same with Jake Peavy and the Cy Young IIRC


The following pitchers have done this (won a Cy Young, and received no Cy Young votes in any other season):
* = still active

Jake Peavy *
R.A. Dickey *
Mark Davis
John Denny
Mike McCormick
Jim Lonborg
Bob Turley
Don Newcombe
Early Wynn
Vern Law
Don Drysdale
Dean Chance
Steve Stone
Willie Hernandez
Barry Zito *
Zack Greinke *
   65. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 14, 2013 at 02:38 AM (#4388097)

The 80s feel like they were 30 years ago. The 90s feel like they were 20 years ago. Things from that time period look and sound like they are dated (which isn't to say they are bad).

But stuff from 5-10 years ago, which is about the time I began to lose touch with pop culture, often surprises me. I think of Daniel Craig as the "new" Bond even though he's played the role for 7 years now. Stuff like that.
   66. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 14, 2013 at 06:52 AM (#4388118)
It's not the time so much as the perception of stuff that boggles my brain. The idea that a kid today looks at Seinfeld the way I looked at Bewitched or that Nirvana is older than the "oldies" my mother used to listen to on Saturday nights kills me.
   67. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 14, 2013 at 08:58 AM (#4388147)
Also, a general question: Gooden struck out 11.4 batters per nine innings as a rookie, but then dropped to 8.7 K/9 the next year and then 7.2 K/9 the next year, averaging about 7.5-8 K/9 after his rookie year and before getting hurt. Is there precedent for a pitcher losing over 2.5 K/9 immediately following his rookie year, and never again getting back to the level he was at as a rookie?


Tom Griffin comes to mind, although I don't know if his drop in K-rate was the result of an injury. He K'd 9.6/9 as a rookie in 1969 (the K rate was second only to Koufax and McDowell at that point), striking out 200 in 188 IP. The next year he dropped to 5.8, and never again got higher than 7.9.
   68. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: March 14, 2013 at 09:54 AM (#4388179)
Nirvana is older than the "oldies" my mother used to listen to on Saturday nights

I'm not sure if I can put this into words properly, so this may ramble on a bit. When I was a teenager in the mid-80's, there were pop stations (B96), rock stations (The Loop, WCKG), and Oldies stations (um... I can't remember which). The oldies station played 30 year old songs and my parents listened to them. I never really liked oldies that much, and no other teenagers did. Some teenagers listened to pop and some listened to rock, but of course, the rock was Zeppelin and stuff, so only 10-15 years old. I don't really recall The Loop playing too much then-current rock (Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams) except from established artists like Tom Petty, Styx, and the like. Maybe they did a little, but not much. And WCKG had a policy, I think, that they wouldn't play anything less than 5 years old.

So even though my parents played the oldies on the radio, nobody I knew was really into it. That's not to say that it was bad or intolerable to teenage ears, but it clearly wasn't a favorite.

Fast forward to now. I have kids ranging from 8-14. They listed to current pop, of course. But they also love Bon Jovi. They can all sing Come Sail Away. My 12-year old daughter asks me to stop switching channels when Free Fallin comes on. Don't Stop Believin is in the top 5 most played on my iTunes account because my 14-year old listens to it all the time.

Now, clearly some of this is my influence because I'm not really into the early classic rock of the 70's. My wheelhouse is in the 80's when I was 12-16 years old (go figure, right?). I gravitated toward the rock music of the time. I fully admit that I like my rock tinged with pop (Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Bryan Adams, Journey, Styx). But there's plenty of stuff I listen to that they make me turn off. So I don't think it's purely exposure.

I guess I'm saying that I always assumed that in the grand tradition of hating everything your parents like, that my kids wouldn't like my music. But they do. Anyway, not sure what my point is...
   69. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 14, 2013 at 09:57 AM (#4388181)
The following pitchers have done this (won a Cy Young, and received no Cy Young votes in any other season):


This is a little unfair to the older pitchers, since voters only listed one name on their ballot until 1970. Don Drysdale, for example, was fifth in the MVP voting in 1965, but got no Cy Young votes because Koufax was a unanimous selection.
   70. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 14, 2013 at 10:02 AM (#4388183)
When I was a teenager in the mid-80's, there were pop stations (B96), rock stations (The Loop, WCKG), and Oldies stations (um... I can't remember which).


Magic 104. I spent an entire summer in college listening to Magic 104. Where else were you going to hear "Don't Sleep in the Subway"?
   71. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: March 14, 2013 at 10:09 AM (#4388188)
This is a little unfair to the older pitchers, since voters only listed one name on their ballot until 1970. Don Drysdale, for example, was fifth in the MVP voting in 1965, but got no Cy Young votes because Koufax was a unanimous selection.


And only 1 pitcher per league until 1967. In 1966, Jim Kaat led the AL in wins (by 5), and innings (by 40), and didn't get a single vote because the guy in the NL got them all.
   72. cardsfanboy Posted: March 14, 2013 at 10:10 AM (#4388192)
Fast forward to now. I have kids ranging from 8-14. They listed to current pop, of course. But they also love Bon Jovi. They can all sing Come Sail Away. My 12-year old daughter asks me to stop switching channels when Free Fallin comes on. Don't Stop Believin is in the top 5 most played on my iTunes account because my 14-year old listens to it all the time.


I think that the radio stations have done a better job(outside of strictly pop stations) of playing older music within the genre of their station, than they used to in the past. In St Louis we have only one alternative station and they play a wide age range of alternative music. We have only one real rock radio and yes they play too much old ####(Boston is one of their most played bands...I don't even think the city of Boston plays Boston as much we get in St Louis) but they have no problems playing the new stuff either.

Although my teenage niece has stated she knows 70's music more than she knows 80s-90's music(me and her mom were arguing about the lifespan and quality of the different decades, I consider the 70's to be the weakest decade for rock music, she thinks it's the strongest, with 1976(?) being the single best year in music history) I also have a job that involves travelling(and no satellite radio, and I hate listening to cd's in the car unless I have to) and many cities have stations that do a fairly good job of mixing music regardless of age. Yes you still get overplay of the new popular of their genre, but they mix it up a lot more(one of my favorite stations was in Kansas, that in a 5 song mix, played 5 songs from 5 different decades...they didn't say they were doing something like that, it's just something we noticed, they rarely played two songs from the same decade back to back)
   73. Chris Needham Posted: March 14, 2013 at 10:38 AM (#4388209)
[55] What was it about his game that made the Nats so certain that he was ready for the bigs so early in 2012?

They didn't plan to. They were hoping to get him half a season or so in the minors -- some arb-related, some development-related. But Mike Morse was out, and the left fielders they had (Xavier Nady, primarily) were utterly terrible. When Ryan Zimmerman went down, they felt they needed another bat, so they gave him a shot, figuring that he'd be an upgrade over what they had in left. I think the plan was to give him a few weeks while Zimmerman recovered, then send him down. But he hit so well, and played so audaciously, that they kept him up.
   74. SoSH U at work Posted: March 14, 2013 at 10:53 AM (#4388222)
This is true for IP and CG, but, with regard to shutouts, Sabathia accomplished the even rarer feat of leading both the NL and the AL.


Has anyone else ever led the same category in both leagues in the same season (hell, has anyone ever led two different categories in different leagues in the same season)? I would have to guess CC's got himself a feat that may genuinely never be duplicated.

   75. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 14, 2013 at 11:14 AM (#4388235)
I think that the radio stations have done a better job(outside of strictly pop stations) of playing older music within the genre of their station, than they used to in the past.

I'd argue that they do a worse job of playing new music, myself. Radio ain't for the kids like it used to be...
   76. cardsfanboy Posted: March 14, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4388241)
I'd argue that they do a worse job of playing new music, myself. Radio ain't for the kids like it used to be...


I can see that.
   77. Austin Posted: March 14, 2013 at 01:42 PM (#4388336)
This is true for IP and CG, but, with regard to shutouts, Sabathia accomplished the even rarer feat of leading both the NL and the AL.

This is one of the coolest statistical tidbits I've ever heard.

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