Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

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

Friday, December 23, 2011

Megdal: David Wright’s future should include the Hall of Fame, not the Colorado Rockies

After finally solving the troublesome Bob Aspromonte Hall Problem…the Mets want to do what?!

Among third basemen through age 28, David Wright is seventh all-time in OPS+ with 134. That’s not seventh all-time among Mets third basemen—that’s seventh among all third basemen in M.L.B. history. The only six ahead of him are Eddie Mathews, Frank (Home Run) Baker, Wade Boggs, George Brett, Chipper Jones and Mike Schmidt. That’s five Hall of Famers and in Jones, a clear sixth. The man just behind Wright, Ron Santo, just got elected to the Hall of Fame as well.

It’s often remarked that Wright is in some kind of premature decline. And sure, facts are facts: Wright was a star from 2004-2008, but in the past three years—since Citi Field opened—he’s been relatively pedestrian.

...Looking ahead, if Wright is to return to his 139 OPS+ levels of 2004-2008, he’ll be in extremely select company. Only Mike Schmidt, Alex Rodriguez (who famously moved from shortstop to third base for Derek Jeter), George Brett and Wade Boggs produced that well at third base from ages 29-32. In all four cases, they improved their production over what they’d posted through age 28, or in Brett’s case, simply maintained. In all four cases, that defies baseball’s aging curve.

Of the other three third basemen who’d been better than Wright, ever, Chipper Jones also improved from age 29-32 relative to his OPS+ through age 28. Frank Baker actually retired for a season after turning 28, came back after a year layoff, and was never the same. Only Eddie Mathews among these elite third basemen followed the typical aging curve, with an OPS+ of 153 through age 28, 138 from ages 29-32.

Repoz Posted: December 23, 2011 at 02:31 PM | 41 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, history, mets, projections, sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

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

   1. bobm Posted: December 23, 2011 at 03:23 PM (#4022607)
Megdal: David Wright’s future should include the Hall of Fame, not the Colorado Rockies

Those are not mutually exclusive futures.

Krieger: Only fair to give Rockies some props in Hall of Fame voting

See?
   2. billyshears Posted: December 23, 2011 at 03:37 PM (#4022614)
Do third basemen have distinct aging pattern from players at other positions? I can see agings patterns differing among clusters of positions that require similar skills (such as SS, 2b, CF in one cluster, 1b, 3b, LF and RF in another cluster, C in its own cluster), but is there any reason (other than the obvious) to compare Wright only to other 3b to get a sense of whether he can improve his OPS+ in ages 29 - 32?
   3. AROM Posted: December 23, 2011 at 03:52 PM (#4022626)
Through age 29, Nomah had the third highest OPS+ of any shortstop in history. Minimum 3000 PA, played 80 percent of his games at short.

Just sayin.
   4. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: December 23, 2011 at 03:54 PM (#4022629)
2Bmen age distinctly faster than other positions, IIRC. Though that may be skewed by the number of utility players who would technically be listed as 2Bmen. Every time I think of the 2B aging curve, Carlos Baerga comes to mind. Then again, Jeff Kent.
   5. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 23, 2011 at 04:20 PM (#4022641)
The article compares Wright only to those hitters who were better than him (plus Santo), not to a sample of players who were similar to him.

These are third basemen in the post-integration era with OPS+ 120-150 and PA 3700-5700:

George Brett
Mike Schmidt
Scott Rolen
Chipper Jones
David Wright
Jim Thome
Richie Hebner
Troy Glaus
Bobby Bonilla
Bob Horner

One thing that stands out is that a lot of guys who hit well and played a lot of 3B (not very well) in their 20s got shifted off the position later on. Wright's defense looks to be on that sort of path, which is really the biggest problem for his career projections.
   6. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 23, 2011 at 04:49 PM (#4022659)
And he ain't tall enough for first or rangy enough to be much of an outfielder.
   7. trtaylor6886 Posted: December 23, 2011 at 05:02 PM (#4022667)
Are you suggesting he cannot play anyplace other than 3rd? He is as tall as Keith Hernandez and has decent speed.
   8. The District Attorney Posted: December 23, 2011 at 05:09 PM (#4022674)
2Bmen age distinctly faster than other positions, IIRC. Though that may be skewed by the number of utility players who would technically be listed as 2Bmen. Every time I think of the 2B aging curve, Carlos Baerga comes to mind. Then again, Jeff Kent.
I don't think Megdal is suggesting that move anymore...
   9. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 23, 2011 at 05:25 PM (#4022684)
The rumor earlier this week was that Prado and Jurrjens were possible chits for Adam Jones.


The Orioles claim they turned down a deal for Prado+Jurrjens+two "prime" pitching prospects in return for Jones.

The Braves claim they called about Adam Jones and were told he wasn't available. Then the Orioles called back and said they'd deal Jones for the aforementioned package, at which point the Braves hung up the phone.

You may believe whichever version you like, but there's a reason the Orioles never moved Brian Roberts for anything useful.
   10. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: December 23, 2011 at 05:37 PM (#4022686)
You may believe whichever version you like, but there's a reason the Orioles never moved Brian Roberts for anything useful.

Peter Angelos. Yes.
   11. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 23, 2011 at 05:41 PM (#4022689)
This went to the wrong thread, obviously...
   12. Benji Posted: December 23, 2011 at 05:43 PM (#4022692)
Give Wright a break and trade him. He doesn't deserve to play on a team that may finish 40 games out.
   13. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 23, 2011 at 05:44 PM (#4022695)
Give Wright a break and trade him. He doesn't deserve to play on a team that may finish 40 games out.


Can he play LF? Do the Mets need starting pitching?
   14. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: December 23, 2011 at 05:50 PM (#4022701)
And he ain't tall enough for first or rangy enough to be much of an outfielder.

My post was in response to [2].
   15. jacjacatk Posted: December 23, 2011 at 05:59 PM (#4022709)
Among third basemen through age 28, David Wright is seventh all-time in OPS+ with 134.


I'm not sure how he got the list he used, but players with at least 50% of games at 3B, under 28, by OPS+ (OPS+ > 130)

Dick Allen
Matthews
Baker
Jim Thome
Boggs
Brett
Schmidt
Jones
Al Rosen
Evan Longoria
Wright
Bill Madlock
Santo
Bobby Bonilla
Bill Bradley

Adding Rosen, Allen, and Thome ahead of him makes his HOF angle only slightly weaker, but Bonilla and Madlock right behind is a different story. If you sort the guys on this list by WAR fielding though (through age 28 still), you get Bonilla and Thome -27 and -31, Wright at -57, and Madlock and Allen at -70 and -78. As post 5 points out, hitting like a HOF 3B is relatively easy compared to staying at the position long enough to become one.
   16. zachtoma Posted: December 23, 2011 at 06:32 PM (#4022728)
Do third basemen have distinct aging pattern from players at other positions? I can see agings patterns differing among clusters of positions that require similar skills (such as SS, 2b, CF in one cluster, 1b, 3b, LF and RF in another cluster, C in its own cluster), but is there any reason (other than the obvious) to compare Wright only to other 3b to get a sense of whether he can improve his OPS+ in ages 29 - 32?


Actually, there is a striking pattern of late peak-seasons among the list of greatest 3b-men.
   17. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: December 23, 2011 at 06:37 PM (#4022731)
I'm not sure how he got the list he used, but players with at least 50% of games at 3B, under 28, by OPS+ (OPS+ > 130)

Dick Allen
Matthews
Baker
Jim Thome
Boggs
Brett
Schmidt
Jones
Al Rosen
Evan Longoria
Wright
Bill Madlock
Santo
Bobby Bonilla
Bill Bradley


Longoria's not 28 yet (which means by the time he is, he'll likely be a lot higher than Wright, instead of only a little higher. He probably used a higher standard than 50% (fair cop), and Rosen by 28 played only 3 years, so there is likely some sort of playing time cutoff.

Still, it's pretty clear it's carefully crafted to make Wright look as good as possible. Otherwise, why mention Santo, when Madlock is closer to Wright?
   18. Walt Davis Posted: December 23, 2011 at 07:09 PM (#4022749)
As to different aging patterns for 3B ...

There sure seem to be given how many of these guys fall off a cliff. But cliff-diving 3B were much more common in older times. But now we've had Schmidt, Boggs, Brooks, Nettles, Chipper and maybe some others I've forgotten able to remain 3B into their late 30s so maybe it's just not the case.

Plus it's very hard to pin down "regular" decline vs. positional decline because they are stuck in the middle of the offensive/defensive spectrum (similar to 2B and somewhat CF). Generally, in their prime, really good 3B hit about as well as an above-average to good corner OF/1B. For example, a 125 OPS+ through age 28 still puts you a respectable 40th all-time among 1B but, other than Palmeiro at 130, you're among a group that generally flamed out in their early 30s -- Glenn Davis, Jason Thompson, Richie Sexson, Lee May, etc. Meanwhile a regular 3B hits around a 100 OPS+.

So as the regular 3B ages, once either the bat or the defense slip substantially, he's pretty much done. There's nowhere to move him on the spectrum except possibly to the bench as a backup 1B/3B/LF. But even the excellent 3B is often stuck. If the offense declines to a 110-115 OPS+ and the defense declines to the point he needs to play 1B, you've got a pretty meh starting 1B on your hands.

So, for someone like Wright, who seems to be a below-average defensive 1B, it's not clear he should be projected much differently than a similarly-producing 1B or corner OF. His 134 OPS+ though does move him up into a somewhat more promising group. Delgado, Olerud, Hernandez and Palmeiro all aged pretty well. Even a substantially less mobile guy like Boog Powell lasted through 33 -- not promising for Wright's HoF chances but that's still 5 more years of good production that would be worth quite a lot. In fact I find it interesting that he's right in a group with Teixeira and AGonzalez who got massive contracts. The big difference there of course is that those two (and probably most of the others) had been posting well above-career OPS+ for ages 26-28 while Wright has been below his career numbers.

Wright is someone I've been rather leery of projecting the last couple of years because the shape of his production has been bouncing around all over the place -- big jump in Ks, BABIPs ranging from league average to ridiculously high, 80 point swings in ISO. But he's looking a little more stable as a 22% K rate, 10-12% BB rate, ISO around 170-180 and who knows on BABIP. Other than BABIP, 2011 was pretty much an average of 2009-10 so give him another 25 points of BA and let's call it 280/370/460, about a 120-125 OPS+. Seems a reasonable bet to sustain that for at least 3 seasons and that plays at either 1B or 3B. If he really has been as bad defensively as Chone's numbers show, you've got to think about moving him off 3B ... but then what do you do with Davis? He still has good stolen base numbers so maybe LF wouldn't be such a stretch.
   19. rlc Posted: December 23, 2011 at 07:24 PM (#4022758)
Only Eddie Mathews among these elite third basemen followed the typical aging curve


This certainly suggests either ignorance or willful misinterpretation.

Age OPS+
20  113
21  171
22  172
23  170
24  143
25  154
26  120
27  167
28  165
29  153
30  137
31  146
32  112
33  125
34  108
35  111
36   98 


That's typical?
   20. Walt Davis Posted: December 23, 2011 at 07:27 PM (#4022763)
Otherwise, why mention Santo, when Madlock is closer to Wright?

Likely a PA cutoff as Madlock is just under 3500. But then I don't see how you get Boggs onto the list. I don't think Howard "crafted" the list, he just used a particular reasonable set of PA and % at 3B cutoffs -- seems like 3000+ PA and 80% of games at 3B will capture Boggs but not Madlock as ages 27-28 are when SF had the brilliant idea of making him a 2B. Drop it to 70% and Madlock is on the list.

The 80% vs. 70% ends up making quite a big difference actually. At 80% the comparable names behind him are Rolen, Bando, Johnson and Evans -- Evans is in the HoM, Bando probably should be and Rolen certainly will be (although a lot of that is defense). 70% pulls up at least three more guys just below Wright -- Madlock, Horner, Perez -- and his long-term prospects don't look so good.

Given the limitations of P-I, it's defensible -- you want to try to limit yourself to guys who were still playing 3B at 28. Although you might still want to include Madlock (who went back to 3B at 29), guys like Thome, Perez and Allen weren't 3B at 28.
   21. adenzeno Posted: December 23, 2011 at 07:30 PM (#4022764)
Until Bowden left Wash, I kept hoping Omar would acquire Zimmerman to play 2nd base...Instead he acquired Castillo... Wright has not been the same since he was beaned, his swing has altered to where he now seems to try to lift the ball much more..I am sure someone has the FB/GB/LD splits somewhere...
   22. JoeC Posted: December 23, 2011 at 08:04 PM (#4022776)
Only Eddie Mathews among these elite third basemen followed the typical aging curve


This certainly suggests either ignorance or willful misinterpretation.

That's typical?


Agree. If Eduardo Mathias had come up from the Dominican in the 90s and had this career, it would be cited as ironclad proof that he was three years older than he claimed.
   23. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 23, 2011 at 08:07 PM (#4022779)
He is as tall as Keith Hernandez


There's a good comp.
   24. Walt Davis Posted: December 23, 2011 at 08:18 PM (#4022783)
Now, a less favorable comp list for Wright:

ages 26-28, 80% of games at 3B, min 1200 PA ...

His 124 OPS+ ranks tied for 23rd. Up above him you still have some pretty nice names -- Bando, Rolen, Evans, Cey, ARam are all in the low 130s. Right around him though is not very promising -- Glaus, Ventura, Matt Williams, DeCinces, Dave Hollins, Kelly Gruber and Carney Lansford are all within +/- 3 OPS+ points of him. Given the difference between 23rd and 12th equals the difference between 23rd and 43rd -- and you can probably guess how well the guys even further below Wright fared -- this is not a promising list for Wright to last past 33 much less make the HoF. (Note most of the guys on the list who lasted fielded the position very well -- Rolen, Ventura, Brooks, Bell.)

Of course the best name on this list is Edgar Martinez with his awe-inspiring 126 OPS+. :-)

The reason Howard's list is "slanted" is because it doesn't incorporate how "disappointing" Wright's prime has been -- he's taken a big step down while most of the guys in Howard's list took big steps up ages 26-28.

I think Howard's wrong to say that producing more ages 29-32 than your career average through 28 is the typical aging curve. For ages 29-32, most hitters (and this may be where 3B tend to differ) hit near their peak production while their average through 28 includes several mediocre years when they were young. Yes, from ages 29-32, Chipper put up numbers above his career through age 28; but he put up about 10 points below his age 26-28 OPS+. That sounds like the normal aging curve to me. Where Chipper defies the normal aging curve is from ages 33 on.

That's typical?

I'm not sure which way you're saying it's atypical. Certainly Mathews produced at a much lower rate after 30 than before which is typical. Alternatively you could view it as a guy who had a very rapid decline from elite 150 OPS+ to 115 in a couple of years which is atypical. Or you could be saying it's atypical because Mathews was still a good hitter through his mid-30s but that would be typical for a guy who was such a good hitter in his 20s.

If you're suggesting Mathews was a bit of a cliff-diver and aged faster than we'd expect, you've stumbled into a pet theory of mine.

10,000 PA is a long ML career. Through age 30, Mathews was already past 7,000. Now, granted, if you are going to have one of those super-long 12,000 PA careers, you probably need to be at 7,000 by the time you hit 30. But my pet theory is that young bodies still get used up and presumably at a faster rate in the majors than the minors. If you look at PA leaders through age 30, it's not generally a list of guys who aged incredibly well (given how good they generally were) ...

Ott, AROD, Yount (aged fine), Renteria, Pinson, Griffey, Foxx, Andruw, Cobb (he did OK :-), Kaline (fine), Aaron (wow), Mantle (ugh), Santo (double ugh), Mathews, Ripken (remained durable but), F Robinson (may have dropped off a bit early but that may have just been his desire to manage), Magee (don't know), Staub, Yost, Alomar, Maz, Beltre, Ashburn, Sierra, Pujols ...

and there's one of the few things that scares me about Pujols. At least he's only 25th.

If you look at the top 25 of post-30 PA, the only name that repeats is Aaron. Ripken pops up in the next 25 and I think that's it for those above 5000 PA. Robinson and Yount are over 4500, Kaline is over 4000 and Griffey just misses 4000 (his dad had more PA post-30). AROD is at 2900, Beltre at 1150, Andruw just 1100 (in 4 seasons), and Renteria at 1650 (4 seasons). Of course there are some guys who would have made the pre-31 top 25 if not for military service (Williams and Mays for sure) and lasted for many thousand PAs post-30 (Williams missing the better part of 2 seasons again) so it might be a bit more rosy.

Anyway, given 7000 PAs through 30, Mathews probably should have been recognized as a guy who would decline pretty sharply. Obviously he had a long way to fall so he continued to hit well for a 3B and therefore lasted (3000 PA of 121 OPS+) but that ain't what you're hoping for after a 152 OPS+ and 399 HR through age 30.
   25. Sam M. Posted: December 23, 2011 at 09:27 PM (#4022804)
So apparently there is now a rumor of a Dominic Brown/David Wright deal.

Let's just take that as if it has some truth to it for a minute. Forget any baseball analysis of -- forget the merits of it.

The Mets really don't want to sell any tickets next year, do they?
   26. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 23, 2011 at 09:38 PM (#4022807)
Were they going to sell a lot of tickets WITH David Wright?
   27. Sam M. Posted: December 23, 2011 at 09:44 PM (#4022810)
Were they going to sell a lot of tickets WITH David Wright?


There's a difference between a sad town that's lost 75% of its population, and a complete and total ghost town.
   28. Guapo Posted: December 23, 2011 at 09:50 PM (#4022812)
David Wright straight up for Hanley Ramirez. CHALLENGE TRADE
   29. Ron J Posted: December 23, 2011 at 09:51 PM (#4022813)
#4 They age the second worst -- behind catchers.

Pretty much the same reason as catchers. Though the injury problems aren't nearly as severe for second-basemen as for catchers, they're worse than any other position.
   30. Downtown Bookie Posted: December 23, 2011 at 11:14 PM (#4022833)
That's typical?

I'm not sure which way you're saying it's atypical.


Speaking not for rlc but for myself, it seems atypical for a player to have his career-best MLB seasons at the ages of 21-22-23.

As JoeC alludes to in #22, a more typical pattern would be seen by adding about three-five years to those ages (that is, making Mathews' best years occur in his mid-to-late twenties, rather than when he was still young enough to be in college).

At least, as I understand a typical MLB hitter's aging pattern.

DB

EDITED for clarity.
   31. trtaylor6886 Posted: December 23, 2011 at 11:27 PM (#4022837)
@ 23- not suggesting Hernandez is a good comp for Wright defensively. I just do not agree with the "Too Short" for first base comment.
   32. Sam M. Posted: December 23, 2011 at 11:40 PM (#4022843)
I think Mathews' very atypical aging pattern is useful to make an important point: it is very possible that any single player's career will depart in entirely unpredictable ways from the "typical aging pattern." It's typical only because it reflects the aggregate of what happens to extremely large numbers of players. Small sample sizes of players are going to depart from those positional averages; individual cases are the ultimate in "small" sample sizes.

If David Wright falls off a cliff at age 29, that would be atypical, and it certainly could happen. Maybe he breaks his wrist in spring training this year and just never recovers any power whatsoever, and it affects his throwing even more profoundly so his defense goes in the crapper even more than it has the past few years. Or maybe it'll be because that broken back had lingering effects on his ability to get loose, turn on pitches, etc. Perhaps no one will make the connection, at least not with 100% certainty (this is the Mets' training staff, after all . . .), but that'll be it.

Or maybe he comes out of his Citi Field funk by responding favorably to the fences moving in, goes nuts for a year or two, and has a new and somewhat later peak than is "typical." That could happen, too.

No one should really be surprised by either of these things if one of them happens to David Wright. Individual departures from the norm are just not surprising. It is difficult, if not impossible, to predict which players will depart from the norm. But it is entirely predictable that some will. Talk about typical aging patterns all you want -- but apply them to individual players with care.
   33. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 24, 2011 at 12:45 AM (#4022860)
Maybe he breaks his wrist in spring training this year and just never recovers any power whatsoever, and it affects his throwing even more profoundly so his defense goes in the crapper even more than it has the past few years. Or maybe it'll be because that broken back had lingering effects on his ability to get loose, turn on pitches, etc.


STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT!
   34. Benji Posted: December 24, 2011 at 05:01 AM (#4022914)
Sam, that Wright-Domonic Brown deal could be the move that costs me my Met fandom. 50 years of seeing them dump every favorite player I had, seeing them be the laughing stock of baseball 4 times (62-67, 77-81, 91-95 and now) and having GMs that were outclassed by every other team never chased me away, but this move could. Brown is going to go down as the 21st century Clint Hartung, an absolute bust. For a more contemporary look-play alike, think Dan Norman. Making that deal would cement them as absolutely beyond help clueless.
   35. Walt Davis Posted: December 24, 2011 at 05:47 AM (#4022925)
On Brown-Wright, not only would it be shipping out Wright, it would be shipping him to the Phillies -- a double-whammy on attendance.

But this hardly seems a big need for the Phils so I've got my doubts.

On Mathews' "odd" youth -- I dunno. He was the greatest-hitting 3B ever. To be the greatest-hitting X ever, you often come out like gangbusters. And it's no weirder than Schmidt's prime being 30-36 (which is Sam's point). And it doesn't seem to be Howard's point about a "typical aging curve" as Howard was clearly talking about players declining in their 30s, not suggesting that Mathews' entire career fit the standard aging curve.

[2B] age the second worst -- behind catchers.

If I recall from when I looked at this, that's true for playing time but not for playing seasons. Catchers hang on for a long time as back-ups. If you look at, for example, C seasons of 30+ games, aged 36 or later, you get 280 seasons; do that for 2B and you get just 141 and looks like maybe 15% of those are guys who were mainly SS when younger. In 2011, you had 4 such catchers (plus Posada) but only 2 such 2B. Certainly the 2B played much more (Cabrera and Carroll).

2B fall off cliffs, catchers fade away.

Granted, part of the issue here is backup MI playing multiple positions but there really aren't that many with 10+ games at 2B/3B or 2B/SS -- or at least P-I isn't finding them.

EDIT: Also still the standard problem of aging in the middle of the defensive spectrum. Once you've aged to the point you can't play a decent 2B anymore, that generally means you can't play a decent 3B and are atrocious at SS. So now you have to play a corner which is going to be rare. And if you can't play SS, even your value as a utility IF is pretty limited.

To be honest, I'm starting to doubt this notion of moving down the defensive spectrum as you age (i.e. not including moves made early in the career). It happens occasionally (and the DH helps it happen more) but it really only happens (or happened) as LF/RF moving to 1B or the occasional SS moving to 2B/3B. It's pretty rare for somebody to hit well enough to move down the defensive spectrum post-prime and remain a starter.
   36. HowardMegdal Posted: December 24, 2011 at 01:34 PM (#4022958)
Briefly, I used 80% at 3B and 600 games, not with the intent of knocking Bill Madlock off the list, but in pursuit of where Wright sits. Didn't enter it with a predetermined conclusion- the age 29-32 rally of his similars actually came as a surprise to me, and changed my ultimate conclusion.
And obviously, Mathews had an atypical age-21 season, but I made the point that his production fell off 29-32 relative to his production through age 28. And I don't know where the idea attributed to me in this this thread, that hitters typically hit better at age 29-32 came from. I simply pointed out that among the group of 3B who have hit like David Wright, this has been disproportionately true, arguing against the conclusion (but not discrediting it) that Wright is on an inevitable decline from his 26-28 decline.
   37. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 24, 2011 at 01:49 PM (#4022959)
Didn't enter it with a predetermined conclusion- the age 29-32 rally of his similars actually came as a surprise to me, and changed my ultimate conclusion.


The fact that Wright hit so well early in his career and so much less so from 26-28 makes comparisons to both groups pretty dubious - groups based on his career OPS+ (because he's declined when they didn't); and groups based on his more recent OPS+ (because they never showed the ability Wright showed pre-Citi, pre-beaning). If I had to guess, I'd say the 140 OPS+ player is gone for good, but to Sam's point, you never know.
   38. HowardMegdal Posted: December 24, 2011 at 02:28 PM (#4022964)
The fact that Wright hit so well early in his career and so much less so from 26-28 makes comparisons to both groups pretty dubious - groups based on his career OPS+ (because he's declined when they didn't); and groups based on his more recent OPS+ (because they never showed the ability Wright showed pre-Citi, pre-beaning). If I had to guess, I'd say the 140 OPS+ player is gone for good, but to Sam's point, you never know.

To be clear, that's why I also separated out his age 26-28, and compared him to those players.
   39. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 24, 2011 at 02:49 PM (#4022968)
Right, what I'm saying is that's of limited usefulness too.
   40. Something Other Posted: December 24, 2011 at 03:03 PM (#4022972)
@35: Is that the main thesis, though, that players move down the spectrum AND remain starters? I recall its being the former, not necessarily the latter.

2B fall off cliffs only in comparison to Cs because everyone expects to carry two catchers--its a function of roster size and composition as much--I think--as it is the demands of the position. Expand rosters to 27 guys and the careers of 2Bmen are going to look more like the careers of catchers. Its easy to tinker with a catchers career as he ages. The backup catcher plays more, even takes over the primary role. The catcher gets some games at 1B, or at DH. There are less frequently similar outlets for declining 2Bmen (plus no one wants to platoon in the middle of a DP combo), so it's much more a sink or swim situation for them.

edit: if the Mets trade Wright for Brown it will be at least as tone deaf as anything the Wilpons ever did through Minaya or Phillips. I can't believe its more than unsubstantiated rumor.
   41. Something Other Posted: December 24, 2011 at 03:40 PM (#4022981)
@37: Agreed, that Howard's methodology isn't perhaps the best. I'd be much more interested in hitterswith Wright's track record (great start, three years of decline from that), than 3Bmen in his age/performance range. You'd get a much larger sample, and I don't see playing third as the key element in this analysis; it's just not a compelling reason to exclude a hitter from the survey. In fact, what percentage of hitters with strong starts to their careers ever come back from three down years? Granted Citi clouds the issue some, but I'm having a hard time thinking of literally anyone who had three down years** the way Wright has who then resumed an illustrious career.

The injuries worry me, as does the likelihood that Wright won't be able to stay at 3B much longer. Before 2011 I thought it was possible Wright would stabilize, leave the Mets at the end of his current deal, then wander off to the desert of Pittsburgh and toil away for a decade as a .280-80-20-80 hitter and sneak in the back door of Cooperstown as a 3B/compiler. Not going to happen.

**something else that interests me is how the drop in offense across the majors makes Wright's decline look worse than it is, and how 2011 changes the narrative of 2009 and 2010 without changing a single plate appearance in those years.

A year to year OPS+ of 139, 133, 149, 141, 124, 131 (Wright as a full time player through 2010) hardly illustrates clearly a player going to hell at the plate. The 124 could easily have been the function of bad luck, a drop say in BABIP and nothing more, followed by a rebound to a thoroughly unsuspicious 131. Perhaps what's more remarkable than Wright's decline is how little he in fact declined despite the sudden jump in K's, the nosedive in HRs, and the move to the vast wasteland of Citi (though those three things could of course be highly interrelated).

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Rough Carrigan
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogAP sources: Umpires, MLB reach 5-year agreement
(3 - 5:48am, Dec 21)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogThe 2015 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo!
(155 - 4:58am, Dec 21)
Last: toratoratora

NewsblogAngels, Red Sox discontinue pension plans for non-uniformed personnel - LA Times
(23 - 4:00am, Dec 21)
Last: The TVerik of Lordly Might

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - December 2014
(762 - 3:19am, Dec 21)
Last: Win Big Stein's Money

NewsblogThe Jeff Jacobs HOF Ballot: Keep The Voting Serious And Fair
(18 - 3:12am, Dec 21)
Last: Cargo Cultist

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(9189 - 1:38am, Dec 21)
Last: AuntBea

NewsblogThe right — and wrong — way for Mets to get Tulowitzki | New York Post
(12 - 1:09am, Dec 21)
Last: Cargo Cultist

NewsblogOT: Politics - December 2014: Baseball & Politics Collide in New Thriller
(5140 - 1:05am, Dec 21)
Last: GordonShumway

NewsblogGiants acquire McGehee to fill third-base spot
(4 - 1:03am, Dec 21)
Last: Cargo Cultist

Newsblog2014 Disabled List Information and So Much More – The Hardball Times
(4 - 12:59am, Dec 21)
Last: Batman

NewsblogDodgers biggest spenders in payroll
(7 - 12:42am, Dec 21)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)

NewsblogRuben Amaro Jr. says it would be best if Phillies move on from Ryan Howard
(35 - 12:16am, Dec 21)
Last: John Northey

Hall of Merit2015 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(105 - 11:14pm, Dec 20)
Last: Dr. Chaleeko

NewsblogTrading Justin Upton means the Braves are in full rebuilding mode | Mark Bradley blog
(94 - 10:35pm, Dec 20)
Last: greenback calls it soccer

NewsblogThe Yankees’ plan in case A-Rod can’t play at all
(11 - 9:31pm, Dec 20)
Last: Walt Davis

Page rendered in 0.4490 seconds
48 querie(s) executed