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Thursday, December 20, 2012

No matter how good the player, age will take its toll. | SportsonEarth.com : Joe Posnanski Article

If I were building a team from scratch (and I am in my sim league this year) I would take Hosmer and Perez. At least I would if my league’s setup wasn’t so geared to this year. :)

All of which brings us back to the original question: Who would you rather have in the middle of your lineup for the next five years—Pujols and Hamilton or Hosmer and Perez?

And I’ll just say it: I would take my chances with Hosmer and Perez. Hosmer had a terrible 22-year-old season, but he was terrific as a 21-year-old rookie, and it’s too easy to forget just how young a 22-year-old player really is. The player Hosmer reminds me of—Joey Votto—was in Double-A as a 22-year-old. Heck, Votto spent most of his age-23 season in Triple-A. I think Hosmer is going to be a masher.

And Salvy Perez? Superstar. Defensively he’s incredible—best catch-and-throw catcher in the American League right now, at 22. Offensively, he’s undisciplined, but he hit .301 with some power in a half-season—way ahead of where they thought he’d be. Sure, it’s insane to compare those meager accomplishments against two men with 630-plus homers and four MVPs and 14 All-Star appearances and ...

Jim Furtado Posted: December 20, 2012 at 10:42 AM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: albert pujols, angels, eric hosmer, josh hamilton, royals, sabermetrics, salvador perez

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   1. Suff Posted: December 20, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4329289)
This article actually made me feel better about the chance that Hosmer will bounce back and be good. I sort of had the feeling that no one who is as bad as he was last year has much of a chance to become a star.
   2. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 20, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4329311)
Hosmer I can kind of see. He has a great minor league track record and an equally excellent scouting pedigree. Salvador Perez of the 765 OPS in the Texas and Pacific Coast Leagues, though, not so much. 76 legitimately good games don't usually turn a mediocre prospect into a superstar.
   3. J.R. Wolf Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4329341)
Long-term contracts with players over 30 ought to have warning labels attached.
   4. Suff Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4329342)
But if Perez were doing his minor-league equivalancies at the same age in AA-AAA of what he was doing in the majors the last two years, he WOULD be considered a future star, especially with his defensive skills. As it is, he has already done it in the majors. It is a small sample size, sure, but just because he got called up before he broke out in the minors doesn't mean that his step forward isn't real. He's hitting close to .400 in winter ball right now.
   5. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4329349)
Salvador Perez is far from a mediocre prospect. He reminds me more than a little bit of Pablo Sandoval* in his skill set (but trading some power for contact) and development path.

(*Though it is possible I've fallen prey to the cognitive bias toward same-race comparisons.)
   6. attaboy Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4329351)
I think the Angels Duo will do enough damage in the next two years to distance themselves from two growing, learning prospects. I'd like to have the KC duo in years 3-5 but...I would feel better if a catcher wasn't the second KC player, catchers aren't so easily predictable.

And the examples used, Mantle was the last person to use in this kind of example, he killed his body from the time he was a teenager 'til it was too late. the players now have strong 'regimens' to help ward off some of the aging process. Of course, Hamilton could implode at any time for those very reasons.

Hosmer might very well be the best of all four of these players starting next year, that would be exciting!
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4329358)
If money is not an issue, I'm taking the 32 y.o. who put up a 141 OPS+ over the 22 y.o. who put up an 82.

In 5 years, I expect Pujols to still be a good hitter. In 5 years, Hosmer may be selling tires at Sears.
   8. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4329360)
In 5 years, I expect Pujols to still be a good hitter. In 5 years, Hosmer may be selling tires at Sears.


This is ridiculous.

Sears might not even exist in five years.
   9. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4329372)
This person is going to be seriously disappointed.
   10. Ron J2 Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4329377)
#7 An awful lot of really good hitters don't make it to 39. Very few players with Hosmer's minor league track record don't become really good major leaguers.

Sure Hosmer could be the next Mike Stenhouse but I don't think it would be a smart bet.

EDIT: Don't know how I got to 39 though. 37 is pretty safe for elite hitters (provided they stay healthy)
   11. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4329391)
Long-term contracts with players over 30 ought to have warning labels attached.



"Congratulations!* You have purchased the rights to an aging major leaguer!** He has been very successful the last few years and we're sure this will continue for the foreseeable future.***


(*In some cases, condolances are in order.)
(**In some Latin American cases, the age is approximate.)
(***You results may vary. One possible result is that you lose your job.)
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4329392)
Very few players with Hosmer's minor league track record don't become really good major leaguers.


Was his minor league track record that good? It was short. I can see the raw numbers, but I don't know the context of those parks/leagues.
   13. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4329395)
I think that Pujols will still be an excellent hitter over the next 5 years, but I also think he's going to start missing 20-30 games a year rather than 5-10. Hamilton's scary more because of his personal issues than anything else.

I've always been on the Hosmer train, dating back to wanting the Pirates to draft him instead of Pedro Alvarez. I still think he's going to be a good player, but in the sense of a Keith Hernandez-type of hitter, or maybe someone like John Olerud, a .300/.375/.475 type; I don't see him developing the type of power that, say, Adrian Gonzalez developed. I can't really think of a good comp for Perez, but I think it's going to be hard for him to sustain a .300 batting average while drawing a walk every 30 PAs. Eventually, I think, good pitchers are going to catch up with him.

Pujols is just so much better than the other guys, and is pretty likely IMO to stay there, that I would take the Angels' combination. The real question to me is whether Pujols will play long enough at a high enough level to take a run at 763. He'd have to play 10 more years and average 29 HR per year to get there. Anaheim might kill that.

-- MWE
   14. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4329398)
Was his minor league track record that good? It was short. I can see the raw numbers, but I don't know the context of those parks/leagues.


Hosmer had Lasik surgery after 2009, so you need to downplay the numbers through that season; it was pretty clear that the eyes were a major issue.

Wilmington is one of the worst parks for hitters in the minors; it really suppresses HR. NW Arkansas is a good hitters' park in a hitters' league; Omaha is a pitchers' park in a hitters' league. Overall, I'd say it was a good track record, with Wilmington in 2010 being by far the brightest spot, but I don't think it screams stardom. And that's coming from a Hosmer fan :)

-- MWE
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4329402)
Thanks.
   16. Dan Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4329406)
Was his minor league track record that good? It was short. I can see the raw numbers, but I don't know the context of those parks/leagues.


Fangraphs has wRC+ numbers for minor league stints in addition to major league seasons, so let's use those to get some context for Hosmer's mL stats:

In 2008 he had all of 25 PA in Rookie league ball, probably safe to ignore that.
In 2009 (age 19), he had 327 PA in A ball with a wRC+ of 109 and 107 PA in high A with a wRC+ of 65.
In 2010 (age 20), he had 88 PA in Rookie league (wRC+ of 49), 375 PA at high A with a wRC+ of 167, and 211 PA at AA with a wRC+ of 165.
In 2011 (age 21), he had 118 PA in AAA with a wRC+ of 187 on the strength of a .439 BA and a .500 BABIP, before being promoted to the major leagues where he had a wRC+ of 114 over 563 PA.
In 2012, we all know he strugged over 598 major league PA where he posted a wRC+ of 81.
   17. Ron J2 Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4329410)
#12 Well he didn't leave clear tracks at any level and to my mind that's always a positive. Only 98 AB at AAA (yeah, PCL but Omaha's not one of the extreme hitter's parks there)

He dominated AA at 20. Again only a half season. Not an extreme hitter's park.

I'm not bothering with MLEs. We're talking small number of PAs at AA and above.

He didn't play very well at 19. I'm not inclined to see that as terribly important.

The point is that after he turned 20 he was being advanced rapidly and on merit.
   18. Dan Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4329413)
I've always been on the Hosmer train, dating back to wanting the Pirates to draft him instead of Pedro Alvarez. I still think he's going to be a good player, but in the sense of a Keith Hernandez-type of hitter, or maybe someone like John Olerud, a .300/.375/.475 type; I don't see him developing the type of power that, say, Adrian Gonzalez developed.


I'm not sure I agree with this. Hosmer showed very good power in 2011 against RHP, he was just completely inept against LHP. His ISO against RHP was .216, while he only hit .237/.282/.303 against LHP. If he returns to being the player he was in 2011, or even progresses from there, he'll either start hitting lefties more like he hits righties or he'll end up benched against many LHP. Either way, his overall numbers should end up closer to his numbers against RHP.
   19. spycake Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4329420)
An awful lot of really good hitters don't make it to 39. Very few players with Hosmer's minor league track record don't become really good major leaguers.

I would guess that more players with Hosmer's minor league track record -- and especially his combined minors+major league track record so far -- have failed to become really good major leaguers, as compared to how many players with Pujols' track record failed to continue being really good major leaguers from ages 33-37.

Some of this might be a function of nobody sharing Pujols' track record, but I think there is a serious point in there too. Especially when you add Hosmer's major league performance thus far -- I see no reason to ignore Hosmer's age 22 season here.
   20. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 20, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4329434)
.300 batting average while drawing a walk every 30 PAs. Eventually, I think, good pitchers are going to catch up with him.


Certainly possible, but he doesn't strike out at all either. I can see him being the kind of hitter Randall Simon was from 1999-2002 (.305/.337/.455) which would be an AS performance for any catcher, let alone one with Perez'z defense. During that period Simon put up a 111 OPS+ with only 22.9PA/BB, but also only 12.3PA/K.

I'm not saying he's going to win batting titles or make the HOF, but he's awfully similar to Ernie Lomdardi. Huge man, wicked line drive stroke, few walks and Ks.
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4329515)
Fangraphs has wRC+ numbers for minor league stints in addition to major league seasons, so let's use those to get some context for Hosmer's mL stats:

In 2008 he had all of 25 PA in Rookie league ball, probably safe to ignore that.
In 2009 (age 19), he had 327 PA in A ball with a wRC+ of 109 and 107 PA in high A with a wRC+ of 65.
In 2010 (age 20), he had 88 PA in Rookie league (wRC+ of 49), 375 PA at high A with a wRC+ of 167, and 211 PA at AA with a wRC+ of 165.
In 2011 (age 21), he had 118 PA in AAA with a wRC+ of 187 on the strength of a .439 BA and a .500 BABIP, before being promoted to the major leagues where he had a wRC+ of 114 over 563 PA.
In 2012, we all know he strugged over 598 major league PA where he posted a wRC+ of 81.


Yeah, nut his ISO's and BB% are really underwhelming, except for AA ISO. That production is heavily driven by BA. He's shown no evidence of being able to hit .320 in the bigs. And, his GB% is terrible for a slow guy.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: December 20, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4329561)
Is Hosmer slow? He's got 27 SB (6 CS) and 5 triples. He's +5 in baserunning and +3 in Rdp (pretty rare for a LHB). That't not Mike Trout but that looks like above-average speed to me. Granted, maybe not "beat out a lot of infield singles" speed.

On Pujols and Hamilton: You can look back at posts during the Pujols debate. Basically, elite hitters don't age as hitters until maybe sometime around age 38. OK, let me rephrase -- they decline some but not a lot and remain elite hitters (say 150 OPS+). A "bad" outcome (in terms of quality) is Frank Thomas (33-39, 134 OPS+, 3000 PA). As with Thomas, the big risk is injury and playing time.

And, from my looks, that seemed to start to fall apart around a 150 OPS+ through age 30 (or so). Some of those guys maintained pretty well, some declined pretty quickly. Even if he was a more valuable player overall, ARod was always a bigger risk to decline as a hitter in his mid-30s than a true elite like Pujols (who still might decline in his mid-30s). Hamilton is not at that elite level, only has one season at that elite level. I don't consider him a risk because of the personal issues (maybe I should), but because OFs who hit for a 135 OPS+ through 32 aren't likely to maintain that production and even just 10-15% decline gets him down around average corner OF. Plus he's missed plenty of time over the last 3-4 seasons that an expectation of more missed time due to aging is pretty scary. Still, I suspect he'll hold it together well enough in the first 3-4 years of that contract that it won't be a disaster.

And your free Salvador Perez comp of the day is ... Manny Sanguillen. Manny got a much later start but hit 301/324/409 for a 105 OPS+ through age 30. 107 BB in 3348 PA. If you want a comp with more power, take the other Pirates' Latin C superstar Tony Pena (286/327/411, 104 through 29). Besides, with the sweetheart deal he gave the Royals, all he has to do is not suck. The Royals have him (with several options) through 2019, age 29, for a max of $21 M. The last 3 are option years so, if he does suck, they can cut bait. And what better time to have a buyout contract with a C end than after his age 29 season. He must have Evan Longoria's agent.
   23. jingoist Posted: December 20, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4329621)
Snapper's post #7: "In 5 years, I expect Pujols to still be a good hitter. In 5 years, Hosmer may be selling tires at Sears."
It made me think of Major League; and Lou Brown asking the Indians GM to hold the line while he finished selling a set of whitewalls to a customer.
Still my favorite baseball movie of all time.
   24. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 06:14 PM (#4329625)
Hosmer's 2012 was definitely disappointing. I'm interested to see how his 2013 goes; it's obviously too early to get too down about it.

Just to provide an objective review of his career in real time, here's what Baseball Prospectus has had to say about him:

After 2008: The Royals took a prep infielder with their top selection in the draft for the second straight year, grabbing Hosmer, the best high school hitter in the country, with the third overall selection... Some scouts grade Hosmer's power a perfect 80, and he's athletic enough to be above average on defense; while high school first basemen have historically been a bad bet in the draft, it looks like the Royals picked a winner.

After 2009: Hosmer had a disappointing, confusing full-season debut. Scouts viewed him as having perfect power and an above-average glove. Those things are still true, even though he showed nothing with the bat last year. After a slow start, he did start to pick it up a little at Burlington, but for some unknown reason the Royals promptly promoted him to Wilmington, where he struggled mightily. Hosmer lost over a week due to an inability to get the right prescription glasses and was eventually shut down for LASIK surgery to correct his vision, and all involved hope that this was the root of his struggles. It's too early to say that the Royals made another first-round error in spending the third overall pick of the 2008 draft on Hosmer, but the pressure will be on him to hit when he returns to Wilmington.

After 2010: As the third overall pick in the 2008 draft and one of the best high-school hitters in years, Hosmer's 2009 was one of the biggest disappointments in all of Prospectland. Post-season LASIK surgery seemed like a lame excuse at the time, but it might have turned out to be—literally—just what the doctor ordered. Hosmer hit for a high average all year, and once he escaped the cavernous park at Wilmington, his power showed up in the Texas League. Once again, he's looking like a potential stud, and he could be ready as soon as 2012...

I don't have his write-up post 2011, but of course his 2011 was fine.
   25. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 20, 2012 at 06:40 PM (#4329638)
But if Perez were doing his minor-league equivalancies at the same age in AA-AAA of what he was doing in the majors the last two years, he WOULD be considered a future star, especially with his defensive skills. As it is, he has already done it in the majors. It is a small sample size, sure, but just because he got called up before he broke out in the minors doesn't mean that his step forward isn't real. He's hitting close to .400 in winter ball right now.


Perez bothered me because eyeballing it, his MLB numbers have been a massive disconnect from his minor league numbers, but...

He is at the most likely age where if you are going to take a great leap forward...

And yes, if he spent 2011/12 in AA/AAA and hit the way he has in the majors (the reverse MLE so to speak)- he'd likely now be deemed the best catching prospect in all baseball.

Plus, .283/.329/.427 in the Texas League for a 21 year old is not bad, league was .265/.337/.410- and he hit as well as Wil Myers did there that year, .290/.322/.411 in Wilmington wasn't bad, of course Myers and Hosmer blew him away...

At 19 he was good in the Pioneer League and terrible in the Midwest

He's got over 400 very good MLB PAs, and he'll be 23, if that improvement is real, if he can post a 120 MLB OPS+ in a full year, yeah he'll be a star.

Hosmer was very good 2010-2011, he was not good in 2012, I think the preponderance of the evidence points to him being good- the player I'd worry about more is Moose Tacos- he was only really good in 2010, in AAA in 2011 he put up a .845 OPS against a league average of .807, and his MLB OPS+ is now 90 after nearly a 1000 PAs, yes he's still fairly young- but outside of 2010 he really has done nothing to suggest he's better than a 90 OPS+ hitter
   26. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: December 20, 2012 at 07:49 PM (#4329662)
Who "retired" with this line...

.276 .480 .565 1.045 169

At age 42?
   27. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 07:50 PM (#4329663)
#26, too easy. But I don't think even the scare quotes are accurate. He most certainly didn't retire, and I'm not sure he ever formally did.
   28. alilisd Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:01 PM (#4329665)
Basically, elite hitters don't age as hitters until maybe sometime around age 38. OK, let me rephrase -- they decline some but not a lot and remain elite hitters (say 150 OPS+). A "bad" outcome (in terms of quality) is Frank Thomas (33-39, 134 OPS+, 3000 PA). As with Thomas, the big risk is injury and playing time.


This seems about right, but keep in mind Pujols has already slipped below that 150 OPS+ level in each of the past two seasons.

Even if he was a more valuable player overall, ARod was always a bigger risk to decline as a hitter in his mid-30s than a true elite like Pujols (who still might decline in his mid-30s).


It sure looks like Pujols has already begun his decline. One season you could chalk up as a fluke, but it's now been two full seasons. His 2011 to 2012 are still great seasons by any other standard, but they are significantly below his established level and lower than even his Rookie and Sophomore campaigns. He was still below the Mendoza line as of May 14, 2012 and his OPS was .510! It wasn't until June 9, 2012 he got his BA above .250 and that was 60 games into the season. He experienced similar difficulties at the beginning of 2011. Although as you pointed out above, he's not likely to continue to slide, he certainly does appear to be in decline.
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:13 PM (#4329670)
(24) Ray, the problem with Hosmer is that he's never shown this "80 power" in pro ball. He has a 50%reputable GB rate and his ISOs are well below 200. That's not the profile of an elite power prospect.
   30. PerroX Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:17 PM (#4329674)
I remember Pujols minor league stats never blew anybody away, and even after his rookie season, some questioned it as a standard going forward. The Angels' problem is the Royals have better pitching.
   31. valuearbitrageur Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:23 PM (#4329681)
A guy so slow he only has an 80% steal rate will never hit .320 despite hitting .293 as a 21 year old. OK.
   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:42 PM (#4329696)
He's a shitty defensive 1B with a 50% GB rate and mediocre power. He could improve and be great, but I wouldn't bet on.
   33. valuearbitrageur Posted: December 20, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4329729)
22 year olds generally improve, even defensively.

ARod was always a bigger risk to decline as a hitter in his mid-30s than a true elite like Pujols


I was surprised to read this perspective on a player who averaged over 8 WAR a year for 13 years straight, but looking at him again his OPS+ was only 150, it was his defense, base running and positional value that made him elite, not his hitting.
   34. valuearbitrageur Posted: December 20, 2012 at 09:48 PM (#4329742)
Homer and Sosa have identical age 22 ISOs, except that Sammy's OPS+ and SLG were substantially lower, and Hosmer has a slightly higher HR rate over very similar PAs.
   35. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4329805)
I remember Pujols minor league stats never blew anybody away, and even after his rookie season, some questioned it as a standard going forward.


It's hard to tell; he didn't really have any PAs above A+ ball. Just 15.

Again, not that Baseball Prospectus is gospel or anything, but they do provide a good reasonable and contemporaneous record of how Pujols was viewed by at least some in the stathead community before his rookie year. And here is what they wrote after his only season in the minors at age 20 (I assume that was his actual age), i.e., after the year 2000:

Albert Pujols is a very promising third-base prospect. It's probably early to call him grade-A, but he has one great year under his belt, a .324/.389/.585 performance at Peoria followed by a brief stint at Potomac in which he wasn't overmatched. He finished the season with three games in Memphis and will likely start the 2001 season at Double-A Arkansas. Pujols is not going to be a fast guy; he's already big at 205 pounds and has the frame of a power hitter. His defense is good enough that he can probably avoid the dreaded corner migration from third base to first base. This is someone to watch; he could be starting at a Cardinal corner sooner than anyone realizes.


And after his rookie year of 2001:

He's older than advertised, by at least three years according to some estimates. It was apparently a not-so-open secret in his college program, but the party line is that he “graduated early” from high school in the Dominican Republic. From a practical standpoint, who really cares? His age is most germane to issues such as his likely career totals, not whether he can help the Cardinals. Pujols can mash the ball and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future. If he plays third base, he'll be the best third baseman in the National League in 2002.


   36. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4329808)
I was surprised to read this perspective on a player who averaged over 8 WAR a year for 13 years straight, but looking at him again his OPS+ was only 150, it was his defense, base running and positional value that made him elite, not his hitting.


Exactly. ARod was never an inner circle HOF-type hitter based on pure hitting - a point I made several times over the years. Oh, sure, his offense is HOF quality, obviously, but not inner circle.

His hitting was always overrated.
   37. Walt Davis Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:40 AM (#4329855)
This seems about right, but keep in mind Pujols has already slipped below that 150 OPS+ level in each of the past two seasons.

Oh, absolutely, which is not promising for Pujols. A lot of that though is his bizarre drop in BB rate. A lot of that is intentional walks but it's still odd. But I'm not gonna start really worrying until the K-rate starts to climb (unless it's matched with walks and power).

But ... these guys don't exactly "decline" it seems. They kinda take a step down but maintain. Frank Thomas is an odd one -- he was looking pretty toasty after age 34 -- but put up OPS+s of 146, 156, 131, 140 from 35 to 39. That doesn't look so much like "decline" as random bouncing around 145 or so.

Frank Robinson from 32 to 38: 153, 165, 151, 153, 127, 151, 141

Aaron essentially never declined of course. Neither did Manny until age 38-39 (he may have had help :-). Mays didn't really drop down until age 35 when he put up "only" a 149 OPS+. He put up a 158 OPS+ at age 40 and averaged 143 from 35 to 40.

McCovey was more erratic but put up OPS+s in the 160s at 35-36 and 132 at 39. Bagwell was looking Thomas-esque until the injury brought it all to an end.

So I'm not counting Pujols out yet. I won't be surprised by a "return" to 150-160 OPS+ this year and for a while going forward and I don't really expect him to drop below this 140ish level over the next 5 years or so. I know all the games count but he's still a guy who, once they dumped Hatcher, hit 312/374/589 last year -- about a 170 OPS+. I'm guessing there's life left in those 40-year-old bones of his. :-)
   38. Walt Davis Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:41 AM (#4329856)
He's older than advertised, by at least three years according to some estimates.

Ah, the days when BPro was so desperate to show they really were insiders that they'd say any ol' damn thing.
   39. J.R. Wolf Posted: December 21, 2012 at 02:03 AM (#4329883)
@walt: ouch!
   40. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 21, 2012 at 06:50 AM (#4329908)
I'm still waiting for that Pete Rose reinstatement. Any day now...
   41. alilisd Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4330171)
I was surprised to read this perspective on a player who averaged over 8 WAR a year for 13 years straight, but looking at him again his OPS+ was only 150, it was his defense, base running and positional value that made him elite, not his hitting.


Yes, that really caught my eye, too! Very interesting to look at his hitting in isolation. I disagree with Ray that he wasn't an inner circle type hitter though. A guy who, before he turns 30, has led the league in runs and HR four times, total bases three times, slugging twice and doubles, RBI, OPS, OPS+ and BA once each is well on his way to inner circle. Then add in counting stats like 1,245 runs, 1,901 hits, 338 doubles, 429 HR and 1,226 RBI and I don't see how you can think he's not inner circle as a hitter. Only 13 players in MLB history have more Rbat, 440, by the time they are 29 than Rodriguez, and Bonds isn't one of them, nor is Mays (though he might have been had he not missed time for military service). Every other name on the list is absolutely an inner circle hitter.
   42. alilisd Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4330181)
A lot of that though is his bizarre drop in BB rate. A lot of that is intentional walks but it's still odd.


That is the most striking thing to me as well. I'm very curious as to why this has happened. Eyesight? Reflexes? It's bizarre alright!

But ... these guys don't exactly "decline" it seems.


Yes, I know what you're saying and I agree. We're still predicting, but it seems likely Pujols will "just" be around a 140 to 150 OPS+ hitter for a while rather than a 170 to 190 OPS+ hitter.
   43. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 22, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4331066)
Pujols has taken the step down earlier than a lot of Hall of Famers, though, which makes me wonder if we're going to see him take another step down soon rather than hang out at 145 for five to seven years.

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NewsblogBob Melvin calls Athletics 'pathetic' after Angels sweep four-game set
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NewsblogAstros Fire Bo Porter
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NewsblogBackman named PCL’s top manager
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NewsblogSherman: How Reds react to second-half swoon will be major factor in offseason
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NewsblogRoyals Walk Off; Ned Yost Complains About Attendance
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NewsblogExtreme Moneyball: The Houston Astros Go All In on Data Analysis
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Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1957 Ballot
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NewsblogAthletics Acquire Adam Dunn
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NewsblogTigers' Miguel Cabrera appears to re-injure ankle, leaves game
(11 - 10:16am, Sep 01)
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NewsblogJesus Montero gets heckled by Mariners cross checker during rehab stint
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NewsblogBlue Jays Acquire Mayberry Jr.
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