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Friday, November 08, 2019

Shaughnessy: Face it, Red Sox fans, you are overrating Mookie Betts a bit

But no baseball player is a sure thing after five or six seasons, and there is plenty of reason for the Sox to pause if Mookie wants anything in the area of $300 million over 10 seasons. Trout got $430 million for a 12-year deal, which averages out to $35.8 million per season. Bryce Harper signed with the Phillies for $330 million over 13 seasons ($25.4 million per).

Mookie and his agent are going to be reminded 330 million times that the Washington Nationals went on to win the World Series after they let Harper play out his contract.

Few players make good on these kinds of deals. One was Manny Ramirez, who was great for 7½ seasons of an eight-year, $160 million contract he signed with the Red Sox way back in 2001….

In my view, the best play is for the Sox to keep Betts in 2020, try to get another great year out of him, while still trying to sign him (unlikely) and hoping he will listen to reason. If he goes, you say, “Thank you very much,” and you take the draft pick. You do not take dimes on the dollar now, or in midsummer. No one is going to give you commensurate value for one season (or two months) of Mookie Betts.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 08, 2019 at 03:07 PM | 65 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mookie betts

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   1. karlmagnus Posted: November 08, 2019 at 03:56 PM (#5899816)
Don't usually like Shaughnessy, but he makes perfect sense here. Mookie should be signed long-term if it can be done for 8/200; that's about what he is worth. He is not a generational talent like Trout (and nor, apparently is Harper.) Pedroia gave the Sox a discount and according to WaR he's a near HoF'er, yet the back end of his contract is still a problem.

WaR overrates fielding, which is much easier to come by than elite hitting skills (so Bradley is untradeable at his WaR value of $11 million.) At 200/8, Betts stands a decent chance of being a good deal; at 10/350 he's an albatross waiting to happen. Given Boras's proclivities, Mookie is unlikely to give the Sox a discount, in which case, the Boras price will be a huge waste of money.
   2. jmurph Posted: November 08, 2019 at 04:04 PM (#5899820)
As always, ############################################## Shaughnessy.
   3. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 08, 2019 at 04:42 PM (#5899827)
Mookie and his agent are going to be reminded 330 million times that the Washington Nationals went on to win the World Series after they let Harper play out his contract.
Rating Betts as better than Harper but expecting him to sign for less seems to ignore basic economics. As for the comparison with the Nationals, do the Red Sox have an outfielder like Juan Soto? Will their top starters produce like Scherzer, Strasburg & Corbin this season? If so, I suppose they can let Betts go and hope to get lucky, but, IMHO, without Betts they wouldn’t seem to be comparably positioned to the Nationals.
   4. Moeball Posted: November 08, 2019 at 04:46 PM (#5899828)
I am not a Red Sox fan but I am willing to go out on a limb here and say they ought to do whatever it takes to keep Mookie. This guy is the real deal and a future HOFer. Sign him! Saying he's not as good as Trout is like saying Yaz wasn't as good as Mays. It's true, but it misses the point. This is one heckuva player and he's worth the price of admission to see him play.
   5. DanG Posted: November 08, 2019 at 04:51 PM (#5899830)
Position players with 20+ WAR 2016-19:

Player           WARWAAOPS+   PA   Age
Mike Trout       35.5 27.5  184 2396 24
-27
Mookie Betts     33.8 25.1  139 2762 23
-26
Nolan Arenado    25.0 16.7  130 2711 25
-28
Jose Altuve      24.6 16.2  146 2526 26
-29
Christian Yelich 24.3 16.5  149 2585 24
-27
Francisco Lindor 24.0 15.0  118 2806 22
-25
Jose Ramirez     22.1 13.6  130 2503 23
-26
Freddie Freeman  21.4 13.5  146 2606 26
-29
Alex Bregman     20.8 13.4  145 2238 22
-25
Anthony Rendon   20.4 12.7  134 2495 26
-29 
   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 08, 2019 at 05:14 PM (#5899835)
Mookie should be signed long-term if it can be done for 8/200; that's about what he is worth.
Betts is expected to make ~ $30M in arbitration for 2020. Expecting him to sign a long term contract for less than he made through arbitration is rather unrealistic.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: November 08, 2019 at 05:16 PM (#5899836)
The reason "most" of these deals "don't" work out is because they are signed when the guy is 30 or something. Mookie will be entering his age 28 season. Signing him for 8-9 seasons is not a major risk.

There is risk in that Mookie is not a great hitter. He however is a player who has pretty much all of the indicators of a player we expect to age well. Derek Jeter wasn't a great hitter and a terrible SS and put up 36 WAR for ages 28-36 on a negative dWAR. Molitor wasn't a great hitter and ended up spending most of his late career at DH (after a good stint at mostly 3B) and put up 42 WAR ages 28-36 with a negative dWAR. For ages 23-26, Brett is a very similar hitter as Mookie, had a massive age 27 season, then put up 38 WAR on a negative dWAR.

The only "negative" comps I've come up with for Mookie are Nomar and Wright who both were performing at HoF levels before they got hurt. The same could happen to Mookie of course ... or Trout ... or Machado or Soto or Acuna or ... if you're scared off by that sort of thing then I wish the Red Sox luck in replicating Tampa's model. After that, the worst comps are guys like Santo (25 WAR 28-36) and Grich (33 WAR). Not that he's an easy guy to comp but you're talking about 12-15 HoFers or HoF-worth players and a couple of guys who would be HoFers if they hadn't gotten hurt.

His BA is well above-average. His OBP is well above-average. His ISO is well above-average. His K-rate is minuscule by today's standards. He steals bases at a 5/1 ratio and is 8th in steals over the last 5 years. His defense is well above-average. And he's a damn fine bowler. A GM unwilling to spend big money on this guy should be fired immediately. ("Unable" is a different story.)

All that said, Mookie should probably prefer to stay in Boston -- the monster really helps the doubles total and BA.
   8. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: November 08, 2019 at 05:17 PM (#5899837)
Mookie Betts 33.8 25.1 139 2762 23-26


In half as many seasons, more than 3 times Bryce Harper's total (31.5). Geez.
   9. The Good Face Posted: November 08, 2019 at 05:22 PM (#5899839)
There is risk in that Mookie is not a great hitter. He however is a player who has pretty much all of the indicators of a player we expect to age well. Derek Jeter wasn't a great hitter and a terrible SS and put up 36 WAR for ages 28-36 on a negative dWAR. Molitor wasn't a great hitter and ended up spending most of his late career at DH (after a good stint at mostly 3B) and put up 42 WAR ages 28-36 with a negative dWAR. For ages 23-26, Brett is a very similar hitter as Mookie, had a massive age 27 season, then put up 38 WAR on a negative dWAR.

The only "negative" comps I've come up with for Mookie are Nomar and Wright who both were performing at HoF levels before they got hurt. The same could happen to Mookie of course ... or Trout ... or Machado or Soto or Acuna or ... if you're scared off by that sort of thing then I wish the Red Sox luck in replicating Tampa's model. After that, the worst comps are guys like Santo (25 WAR 28-36) and Grich (33 WAR). Not that he's an easy guy to comp but you're talking about 12-15 HoFers or HoF-worth players and a couple of guys who would be HoFers if they hadn't gotten hurt.


Carl Crawford perhaps? Betts is a better hitter than Crawford was, but he still fits the Crawford profile of a guy who generates a ton of his value through defense/baserunning.
   10. DCA Posted: November 08, 2019 at 05:23 PM (#5899840)
Rating Betts as better than Harper but expecting him to sign for less seems to ignore basic economics. As for the comparison with the Nationals, do the Red Sox have an outfielder like Juan Soto?

Yes, JDM. 9.7 WAR/5.4 WAA last two years compared to 7.6/4.1 for Soto.

Will their top starters produce like Scherzer, Strasburg & Corbin this season?

If Sale is healthy again, quite likely. Nats big three combined for 17.8 WAR/13.0 WAA last year. Price/Sale 2018 + E-Rod 2019: 18.2/12.3.

If so, I suppose they can let Betts go and hope to get lucky, but, IMHO, without Betts they wouldn’t seem to be comparably positioned to the Nationals.


Yeah, they've got a better bullpen, on account of the Nats being horrendously bad, otherwise the comp is pretty good. But banking on making a run from the wild card is not a good bet, even if the Nats managed to pull it off.
   11. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 08, 2019 at 05:31 PM (#5899841)

Yeah, focusing on Harper's annual salary doesn't make sense unless you're planning to offer Betts more than 10 years (i.e. taking him through the same age as Harper's contract).

Harper got $330 million for 13 years, essentially the rest of his career. The extra years on the back end are kind of meaningless, but the extra prime years (since Harper is 2 years younger) aren't. So maybe you start with $275M/10, or $240M/8, with Mookie to offer something comparable.

But then again Mookie is a better player and Harper got a full NTC, so if you don't plan to give that then you have to add something to the price or include an opt-out or something.
   12. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: November 08, 2019 at 05:33 PM (#5899842)
From a marketing standpoint, he's gold. I hate the Red Sox, and love Mookie.
   13. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: November 08, 2019 at 06:01 PM (#5899851)
In half as many seasons, more than 3 times Bryce Harper's total (31.5). Geez.


Well, that doesn't make any sense, does it? Make that, in half as many seasons, more than Bryce Harper's total. (The 3x actually applies to Harper's last 4 seasons -- 11.6 total WAR.)
   14. Hank Gillette Posted: November 08, 2019 at 06:24 PM (#5899857)
Since he has been in the majors (2014-2019), Betts has pretty clearly been the best player not named Trout. I don’t see how Boston can let him go
and still claim that they are trying to win.
                                                                                                                                                                         
Rk             Player WAR/pos WAA/pos From   To   Age   G   PA   AB   R    H  2B 3B  HR RBI  BB IBB  SO HBP SH SF GDP  SB CS   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS 
1          Mike Trout    52.5    39.8 2014 2019 22-27 863 3783 3069 645  925 179 29 223 556 617  86 813  64  0 32  40 114 24 .301 .425 .597 1.021
2        Mookie Betts    42.0    30.4 2014 2019 21-26 794 3629 3203 613  965 229 26 139 470 371  25 464  19  4 32  41 126 25 .301 .374 .519  .893
3      Josh Donaldson    35.9    24.5 2014 2019 28-33 791 3480 2956 528  803 172  9 185 515 465  16 702  33  4 22  69  29  5 .272 .374 .524  .898
4         Jose Altuve    35.5    22.4 2014 2019 24-29 887 3922 3562 564 1163 224 21 114 437 283  33 435  39 12 26 107 179 47 .327 .380 .497  .877
5       Nolan Arenado    34.9    23.0 2014 2019 23-28 898 3843 3450 577 1030 224 23 217 682 324  54 592  21  3 44  98  14 15 .299 .358 .566  .924
6    Paul Goldschmidt    32.1    20.2 2014 2019 26-31 900 3916 3300 593  969 204 15 179 574 554  82 897  27  0 25  72  90 23 .294 .397 .527  .924
7    Christian Yelich    31.9    20.6 2014 2019 22-27 858 3770 3301 553  998 197 23 135 484 417  31 766  30  3 18  77 114 24 .302 .384 .499  .882
8        Lorenzo Cain    30.1    18.7 2014 2019 28-33 820 3428 3104 463  912 164 18  66 316 267  11 590  37  0 19  84 144 33 .294 .355 .422  .777
10      Manny Machado    28.6    16.1 2014 2019 21-26 875 3823 3449 491  961 173  8 186 501 323  37 646  19  4 28 111  50 20 .279 .341 .495  .836

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/8/2019.
   15. filihok Posted: November 08, 2019 at 07:00 PM (#5899863)
At 200/8, Betts stands a decent chance of being a good deal; at 10/350 he's an albatross waiting to happen

200 year contract? Talk about setting your family up for generations to come.

What do you suppose $40,000 will buy in 2220?

   16. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: November 08, 2019 at 07:25 PM (#5899867)
Since he has been in the majors (2014-2019)


And 2014 was a call up - only 52 games, and most of those at a new position! He had played 49 games in the outfield split between AA & AAA, previously he was playing 2B. Maybe position switching is more common than I think (Harper certainly fits, he was a C in HS), but that is super impressive to me.
   17. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: November 08, 2019 at 09:17 PM (#5899880)
A mild curse on whoever broke the page.
   18. Hank Gillette Posted: November 08, 2019 at 09:45 PM (#5899885)
A mild curse on whoever broke the page.


I suppose that was me. I apologize, although a website should be able to an oversized post without breaking (although I know a lot of them don’t).

I was just happy that I figured out a way to post a properly formatted table from BBRef.
   19. Jack Sommers Posted: November 08, 2019 at 11:27 PM (#5899901)
Back up the truck and make him a Red Sox for life. Through age 26 comps

Current search:
Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1901 to 2019, Younger than 27, (requiring Rbat>=120, Rbat<=180, Rfield>=40, Rfield<=160, ISO<=oWAR and At least 2000 plate appearances), sorted by greatest Adjusted OPS+


Player           OPS+  Rbat Rfield  ISO oWAR   PA    G   AB   R    H  2B 3B  HR RBI  BB IBB  SO GDP  SB CS   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
Barry Bonds       138 143.6  123.2 .216 27.1 3643  870 3111 563  837 184 31 142 453 484  81 521  36 212 64 .269 .367 .485 .852
Mookie Betts      134 156.8  112.0 .218 30.1 3629  794 3203 613  965 229 26 139 470 371  25 464  41 126 25 .301 .374 .519 .893
George Brett      130 129.3   47.5 .165 31.5 3815  885 3495 532 1082 211 73  74 461 261  42 223  51  96 55 .310 .356 .475 .831
Johnny Bench      130 150.2   51.6 .213 36.7 4588 1094 4065 612 1096 197 17 212 745 451  83 643 110  29 26 .270 .340 .483 .823
Cal Ripken Jr
.    125 136.1   56.4 .192 32.3 4279  992 3834 626 1084 211 23 160 570 394  10 494 130  14 18 .283 .348 .475 .823 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/8/2019.
   20. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: November 09, 2019 at 11:12 AM (#5899946)
Carl Crawford perhaps? Betts is a better hitter than Crawford was, but he still fits the Crawford profile of a guy who generates a ton of his value through defense/baserunning.
In Crawford's big outlier career year he had an OPS+ (135) that's basically the same as Mookie's career line (134). When the Sox signed Crawford his career OPS+ was 107. The hitting gap between them is too huge to make them good comps.
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 09, 2019 at 11:16 AM (#5899948)
Player WAR/ WAA/ OPS+ PA Age
Mike Trout 35.5 27.5 184 2396 24-27
Mookie Betts 33.8 25.1 139 2762 23-26


Anyone who thinks Betts is overrated isn't paying attention. I'd love it if the Sox let him go and the Yankees gave him 13/400.
   22. PreservedFish Posted: November 09, 2019 at 11:36 AM (#5899956)
On Fangraphs Mookie ranks as the 122nd best hitter ever by wRC+ for ages 23-26. Post-war players in the same neighborhood:

Kris Bryant, Mike Schmidt, George Brett, Ryan Braun, Bobby Abreu, Dave Parker, Jimmy Wynn, David Wright, Wade Boggs, John Olerud, Evan Longoria, Anthony Rizzo, Hanley Ramirez, Joe Mauer, Chet Lemon, Willie McCovey, Duke Snider, Wade Boggs, Jim Ray Hart, Buster Posey, Mark McGwire, Miguel Cabrera, Andrew McCutchen, Tim Raines, Nomar, Tim Salmon...

How about Chet Lemon as a realistic non-superhuman comp? Wynn is also an obvious comp. Both guys eventually totaled 55 WAR with plenty of good years after age 26 - how disappointing would that be for a $400M Betts contract?
   23. PreservedFish Posted: November 09, 2019 at 11:55 AM (#5899968)
Hitters within 10 wRC+ of Mookie Betts at ages 23-26 that also have roughly similar walk rates and K'd less than 14% of the time, minimum 2000 PAs:

Ron Santo, Bobby Murcer, Joe Torre, Vlad, Staub, Eddie Murray, Raines, Posey, Mauer, Lemon, Snider, Jim Ray Hart, Jack Clark, Yaz, Keith Hernandez, Mike Greenwell, Colavito, Maris, Fred Lynn!, Richie Hebner, Steve Kemp, Chipper Jones, Kaline, Helton, Bench, Reggie Smith, Jose Ramirez, Billy Williams, Roy White, Bill Madlock, Edgardo Alfonzo, Jason Kendall, Robbie Alomar.
   24. manchestermets Posted: November 09, 2019 at 01:50 PM (#5900014)
Rating Betts as better than Harper but expecting him to sign for less seems to ignore basic economics. As for the comparison with the Nationals, do the Red Sox have an outfielder like Juan Soto?

Yes, JDM. 9.7 WAR/5.4 WAA last two years compared to 7.6/4.1 for Soto.


Not so much, "Yes, JDM" as "Possibly, JDM". After all, if it looks like Mookie's not going to be around, that reduces the incentive for him not to opt out after next year. Especially since his salary reduces after 2020 per bb-ref.
   25. My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected Posted: November 09, 2019 at 03:45 PM (#5900067)
That, and Soto will be an All-Star for about a decade after Martinez retires...
   26. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: November 10, 2019 at 10:42 AM (#5900161)
Give Mookie ####### 10/400 and be done with it, you cowards.
   27. Blastin Posted: November 10, 2019 at 11:11 AM (#5900168)
Betts is freaking amazing.
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 10, 2019 at 11:54 AM (#5900186)
Give Mookie ####### 10/400 and be done with it, you cowards.

If you're going 10, he's signed through 37 anyway. Might as well make it 13 or 14 years, to reduce the luxury tax hit.
   29. cookiedabookie Posted: November 10, 2019 at 02:28 PM (#5900213)
Players with at least 3000 PA, 125-145 wRC+, .200+ ISO, 10+ BsR, and positive defense through age 26:

Barry Bonds: 136 wRC+, .216 ISO, 15.7 BsR, 93.1 Def, 6.9 fWAR/650 PA
Mookie Betts: 135 wRC+, .215 ISO, 42.8 BsR, 47.2 Def, 6.7 fWAR/650 PA
Grady Sizemore: 125 wRC+, .210 ISO, 34.7 BsR, 38.1 Def, 5.5 fWAR/650 PA

   30. bbmck Posted: November 10, 2019 at 02:33 PM (#5900214)
Since 1908, how many played their first 794 MLB games for same franchise, the criteria used in the article and all the players with OPS at least as high as Mookie:

38 - Giants: Willie Mays .992, Mel Ott .988, Bill Terry .894
38 - Pirates: Ralph Kiner .977, Paul Waner .961, Arky Vaughan .926
38 - Yankees: Lou Gehrig 1.056, Joe DiMaggio 1.037, Mickey Mantle .969, Charlie Keller .957, Don Mattingly .914, George Selkirk .898
36 - Red Sox: Ted Williams 1.129, Nomar Garciaparra .932, Mo Vaughn .918, Jim Rice .913, Wade Boggs .911, Fred Lynn .908, Mookie Betts .893
35 - Athletics: Jimmie Foxx 1.054, Al Simmons .963, Bob Johnson .924, Jason Giambi .920

35 - Dodgers: Babe Herman .959, Jackie Robinson .900
35 - Twins: Harmon Killebrew .898, Goose Goslin .893
34 - Cardinals: Albert Pujols 1.039, Stan Musial .975, Joe Medwick .939, Chick Hafey .937, Jim Bottomley .919
31 - Indians: Manny Ramirez .960, Jim Thome .958, Albert Belle .944, Earl Averill .936, Hal Trosky .928, Al Rosen .913, Larry Doby .905
30 - Braves: Eddie Mathews .945, Hank Aaron .927, Chipper Jones .921, Wally Berger .903, Rico Carty .896

29 - White Sox: Frank Thomas 1.043
28 - Tigers: Hank Greenberg 1.035, Rudy York .914
27 - Phillies: Chuck Klein 1.053, Ryan Howard .948, Dick Allen .943, Chase Utley .910, Mike Schmidt .893
27 - Reds: Joey Votto .967, Frank Robinson .929, Adam Dunn .901
21 - Orioles: Harlond Clift .895

18 - Cubs: Ernie Banks .904
16 - Astros: Lance Berkman .971, Jeff Bagwell .925
16 - Blue Jays: Carlos Delgado .944
16 - Brewers: Ryan Braun .941, Prince Fielder .925
15 - Angels: Mike Trout .962, Tim Salmon .919

14 - Nationals: Vladimir Guerrero .965, Bryce Harper .905
14 - Rangers: none, Juan Gonzalez .890
14 - Royals: none, Mike Sweeney .880
12 - Mets: David Wright .914
9 - Mariners: Ken Griffey Jr .913, Edgar Martinez .898

6 - Padres: none, Tony Gwynn .831
5 - Rays: none, Evan Longoria .868
5 - Rockies: Todd Helton 1.034
3 - Diamondbacks: Paul Goldschmidt .923
3 - Marlins: Giancarlo Stanton .899

648 played their first 794 games for the same franchise or 35% of the 1855 players who debuted since 1908 and played at least that many games.
   31. Mefisto Posted: November 10, 2019 at 04:20 PM (#5900225)
Given the time spans involved, you should re-do #30 using OPS+.
   32. Darren Posted: November 10, 2019 at 04:23 PM (#5900226)
The downside for Betts is pretty obvious: Cesar Cedeno and Vada Pinson. Both were excellent OF who were good at everything through their mid-20s, then didn't do much the rest of their careers. Not saying they are the best comps, just that if you're looking for the downside, these are the guys.
   33. Darren Posted: November 10, 2019 at 04:24 PM (#5900227)
Someone with keys, please fix post #14.
   34. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: November 10, 2019 at 04:51 PM (#5900228)
If you're going 10, he's signed through 37 anyway. Might as well make it 13 or 14 years, to reduce the luxury tax hit.

Yeah, cots has him estimated at 27.5m next season. If you get him to sign for 14/400, you only increase the LT hit by about 1m.
   35. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 10, 2019 at 05:48 PM (#5900232)
If you get him to sign for 14/400,


Why would he accept less AAV then Machado? IMHO there is no way he does that, it'll take 10/365, 12/410 type of thing to get it done.
   36. bbmck Posted: November 10, 2019 at 07:50 PM (#5900250)
Can't do OPS+ and Game Finder. 3500-3750 PA through Age 26 season eliminating the Top 2: Joe DiMaggio 160 OPS+ and Eddie Collins 156 OPS+ and 119 OPS+ (Jose Altuve, Lou Boudreau and Joe Cronin) and lower. Jose Canseco is 3rd with 141 OPS+, Betts is T8th with 134 OPS+.

OPS+ and oWAR for rest of Career (so far):

200 OPS+ - Barry Bonds 116.6 oWAR
158 - Harry Heilmann 54.5
145 - Duke Snider 42.8
139 - Boog Powell 24.5
130 - Prince Fielder 15

128 - David Wright 21.1
126 - Joe Torre 30.5
125 - Jose Canseco 19.6
125 - Greg Luzinski 15.2
120 - Jeff Burroughs 11.5

120 - Ross Youngs 8
116 - Ed Konetchy 20.1
113 - Vern Stephens 18.4
112 - Derek Jeter 63.6
111 - Ryan Zimmerman 13.3

107 - Del Ennis 13.9
104 - Billy Butler 1
104 - Eric Chavez 10.7
102 - Bill Dahlen 39.1
85 - Grady Sizemore 1.3
27 - Tony Conigliaro -0.7
   37. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 10, 2019 at 08:29 PM (#5900252)
Why would he accept less AAV then Machado? IMHO there is no way he does that, it'll take 10/365, 12/410 type of thing to get it done.

He'd accept it because he knows he's likely to be out of baseball by the last 3 years of a 14 year deal. It's deferred money.

If he wants the record breaking total number, he's not getting the best AAV.
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 10, 2019 at 08:31 PM (#5900253)
OPS+ and oWAR for rest of Career (so far):

200 OPS+ - Barry Bonds 116.6 oWAR
158 - Harry Heilmann 54.5
145 - Duke Snider 42.8
139 - Boog Powell 24.5
130 - Prince Fielder 15

128 - David Wright 21.1
126 - Joe Torre 30.5
125 - Jose Canseco 19.6
125 - Greg Luzinski 15.2
120 - Jeff Burroughs 11.5

120 - Ross Youngs 8
116 - Ed Konetchy 20.1
113 - Vern Stephens 18.4
112 - Derek Jeter 63.6
111 - Ryan Zimmerman 13.3

107 - Del Ennis 13.9
104 - Billy Butler 1
104 - Eric Chavez 10.7
102 - Bill Dahlen 39.1
85 - Grady Sizemore 1.3
27 - Tony Conigliaro -0.7


That's a really bad set of comps, and by bad I mean inapt. Heilmann, Powell, Fielder, Torre, Luzinski, and Billy Butler are about as far physically and defensively from Betts as one major leaguer can be from another.
   39. DanG Posted: November 10, 2019 at 09:00 PM (#5900256)
Here's a set of comps for Mookie. For ages 21-26, this is mid-defensive-spectrum players (OF or 3B) with positive Fielding Runs, OPS+ 120-154, 30+ WAR, in the past hundred years.

The precise parameters: Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1914 to 2019, From Age 21 to 26, Played at least 25% of games at 3B, LF, CF or RF, (requiring WAR/pos>=30.0, OPS+>=119.5, OPS+<=154.5, Rfield>=0 and At least 2500 plate appearances).

Player           WAROPSRfield   PA From   To  HR  SB   BA
Rickey Henderson 45.0  141   74.2 3744 1980 1985  74 540 .298 H
Mookie Betts     42.0  134  112.0 3629 2014 2019 139 126 .301
Barry Bonds      41.3  138  123.2 3643 1986 1991 142 212 .269
Frank Robinson   39.6  151   36.0 3824 1957 1962 203  91 .312 H
George Brett     36.4  131   45.3 3774 1974 1979  74  96 .312 H
Cesar Cedeno     36.3  139   19.5 3698 1972 1977 118 337 .295
Al Kaline        35.5  131   91.5 3824 1956 1961 127  68 .308 H
Ron Santo        35.0  132    6.6 4083 1961 1966 158  22 .286 H
Vada Pinson      33.5  124   20.0 4140 1960 1965 126 137 .301
Joe Medwick      33.5  148   22.0 3931 1933 1938 129  19 .338 H 
   40. PreservedFish Posted: November 10, 2019 at 09:57 PM (#5900260)
I don't love using WAR as the primary comparison for Mookie. I don't trust the defensive numbers when compared across eras.

Betts is playing in a different defensive scorekeeping era and it seems like he has an opportunity to rack up numbers that players from the pre-ZR time didn't have. He has already nearly equalled or surpassed the peak career dWAR of players like Roberto Clemente, Curt Flood, and Jesse Barfield. He racks up dWAR as only the truly all-time super-elites like Devon White and Paul Blair ever were able to. Betts is averaging 2 dWAR per season, which basically matches Willie Mays' career high. Come on.

I have no doubt that Betts is a superlative fielder, and that he could be a terrific CF, but I'm not yet buying him as one of the handful of greatest defensive outfielders in the history of the game.

This isn't unique to Betts. Brett Gardner, Jason Heyward, Lorenzo Cain, Kevin Keirmaier, Carlos Gomez, even part-timers Juan Lagares and Jarrod Dyson, are at or above the 10 dWAR mark today. Meanwhile, Yaz peaked at 6. Kaline at 10. Dewey peaked at 7. Larry Walker at 4. Grissom at 8. Van Slyke at 3. Dawson at 9. Geronimo at 6. These are their *peaks*, cherry-picked to be as flattering as possible. Come on.

I don't think we can take it for granted that his speed and fielding ability puts him on equal footing as a player as, say, the 26-year old Frank Robinson, who was the 2nd best hitter in baseball (to Mantle) and a fine fielder to boot, or as Rickey Henderson, who was faster (duh) and apparently a better hitter and also a fine fielder himself.
   41. Mefisto Posted: November 10, 2019 at 10:10 PM (#5900262)
DanG's list looks pretty good as comps. Even if his downside is Al Kaline, that's impressive.

Thanks bbmck. I didn't realize OPS+ wasn't available for Game Finder.
   42. Howie Menckel Posted: November 10, 2019 at 10:56 PM (#5900266)
I don't love using WAR as the primary comparison for Mookie. I don't trust the defensive numbers when compared across eras.

SEIZE HIM!

but you're right. slavish devotion to any numbers would be a mistake.

of course this applies to no one at BBTF ever, but "other" people who mock those who worshiped at the altar of RBI
(avoids wide screen)
only to worship another measure are not terribly self-aware.

and "but WAR is better" is not enough. sure it is. but better is not dispositive.
   43. bbmck Posted: November 10, 2019 at 11:47 PM (#5900273)
Eight players debuted in the integration era and had exactly one season qualified for the batting title with both 140+ and 170+ OPS through their Age 26 seasons:

Age 22: Bryce Harper 198 OPS+
Age 24: John Olerud 186, Rocky Colavito 180
Age 25: Mookie Betts 188, Aaron Judge 171, Buster Posey 171
Age 26: Matt Kemp 172, Norm Cash 201

In their entire careers (so far) they also reached 140 OPS+:

Age 27: Rocky Colavito 157, Buster Posey 143
Age 29: Matt Kemp 140, John Olerud 163
Age 30: Norm Cash 148
Age 31: Rocky Colavito 140
Age 33: John Olerud 140
Age 36: Norm Cash 149

If you make it exactly one of 150+ and 170+ you also get Reggie Jackson and Jeff Bagwell who continued to hit really well and Joe Mauer who is more similar to the five known careers above.

Betts' hitting profile is pretty unusual even with the current cluster, it's not really a prediction, just a guess if Betts is previewing an elite hitting career or just had one more dying quail a week in what will end up being by far his best hitting season. As elaborated on in [40] when even Andruw Jones is ancient history in the annals of "modern" defensive metrics it's even more of a guess how Betts' defense will hold up.
   44. Sunday silence Posted: November 11, 2019 at 03:39 AM (#5900286)

Betts is playing in a different defensive scorekeeping era and it seems like he has an opportunity to rack up numbers that players from the pre-ZR time didn't have.


BUt isnt that because the baseball ref people are using Total Zone numbers for the older eras and the newer system for the newer guys? TZ uses some sort of regression system that simply squashes the tail ends of the normal distribution so the worse/best players are no more than +/- about 10 runs from the average. That makes no sense to me as you can simply count the number of excellent defensive plays made during the playoffs and get a rough measure. If a great OF prevents at least one single and one extra base hit PER WEEK, he should be able to get to at least +26 runs on the season, which I think is close to what an extreme value would be. I would think SS would be somewhat higher.

Otherwise you might as well field a team of Greg LUzinskis or Dale Berra's or something if you believe TZ.

BUt the pt. is that while its clear that there are two different systems being used; its not so obvious that the older one being used is closer to reality.
   45. PreservedFish Posted: November 11, 2019 at 08:15 AM (#5900289)
BUt the pt. is that while its clear that there are two different systems being used; its not so obvious that the older one being used is closer to reality.


I agree. The point isn't that the WAR numbers for older players are closer to reality. Today's numbers are likely more accurate. It's just that the cross-era comparison is flawed, and seems like it might be biased in favor of today's good outfielders.
   46. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 11, 2019 at 08:59 AM (#5900291)
I don't love using WAR as the primary comparison for Mookie. I don't trust the defensive numbers when compared across eras.

Betts is playing in a different defensive scorekeeping era and it seems like he has an opportunity to rack up numbers that players from the pre-ZR time didn't have. He has already nearly equalled or surpassed the peak career dWAR of players like Roberto Clemente, Curt Flood, and Jesse Barfield. He racks up dWAR as only the truly all-time super-elites like Devon White and Paul Blair ever were able to. Betts is averaging 2 dWAR per season, which basically matches Willie Mays' career high. Come on.

I have no doubt that Betts is a superlative fielder, and that he could be a terrific CF, but I'm not yet buying him as one of the handful of greatest defensive outfielders in the history of the game.

This isn't unique to Betts. Brett Gardner, Jason Heyward, Lorenzo Cain, Kevin Keirmaier, Carlos Gomez, even part-timers Juan Lagares and Jarrod Dyson, are at or above the 10 dWAR mark today. Meanwhile, Yaz peaked at 6. Kaline at 10. Dewey peaked at 7. Larry Walker at 4. Grissom at 8. Van Slyke at 3. Dawson at 9. Geronimo at 6. These are their *peaks*, cherry-picked to be as flattering as possible. Come on.

I don't think we can take it for granted that his speed and fielding ability puts him on equal footing as a player as, say, the 26-year old Frank Robinson, who was the 2nd best hitter in baseball (to Mantle) and a fine fielder to boot, or as Rickey Henderson, who was faster (duh) and apparently a better hitter and also a fine fielder himself.


This is an excellent point.

We should probably knock 10 runs a year off Betts' fielding. I don't believe those +30 seasons either. Heck, knock 15 runs off.

That still means he averaged 6.5 WAR over the last 5 years, which is a superlative player.
   47. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 11, 2019 at 09:22 AM (#5900294)
The defensive spectrum has also changed over time according to WAR. Someone could confirm this but anecdotally it appears that there's less of a penalty for corner OF and more credit given to CF (as well as some changes in the infield). Basically this gives OF today an opportunity to accumulate more dWAR than they used to be able to. Since it's a zero-sum system, either they are losing it elsewhere or it is coming from other positions where there is no longer as much of a defensive premium (which appears to be the case at 2B, haven't looked at other positions).
   48. Mefisto Posted: November 11, 2019 at 10:26 AM (#5900306)
It makes sense to me that game conditions have changed compared to 50-60 years ago, such that OF are getting more credit. That just means we need to be careful how we compare today's players to those back then. It wouldn't affect the relative value of contemporaries, and by that standard Betts is a terrific player even if we think he might fall short of, say, Roberto Clemente when all is said and done.
   49. bbmck Posted: November 11, 2019 at 03:18 PM (#5900375)
https://www.baseball-reference.com/about/war_explained_position.shtml

LF and RF were Rpos -10 in 1871 and -7 in 2017.

Age 21-26, how many PA per Fielding Run, min 994 PA (Brett Gardner). Using this as a proxy for innings played which isn't searchable:

Debut since Andruw Jones in 1996:

16.2 - Kevin Kiermaier 1313 PA, 81 Rfield
18.4 - Brett Gardner 994, 54
18.9 - Andrelton Simmons 2482, 131
21.0 - Franklin Gutierrez 1513, 72
23.6 - Jake Marisnick 1297, 55

23.9 - Juan Lagares 1338, 56
24.4 - Matt Chapman 1612, 66
26.0 - Andruw Jones 4050, 155.8
29.1 - Nolan Arenado 3022, 104
30.2 - Orlando Hudson 1279, 42.4

31.2 - Jason Heyward 3398, 109
31.4 - Chase Utley 1067, 34
31.8 - Byron Buxton 1369, 43
32.4 - Mookie Betts 3629, 112
33.0 - Addison Russell 2212, 67

33.4 - Ender Inciarte 2304, 69
33.6 - Darwin Barney 1244, 37
33.8 - Gerardo Parra 2470, 73
35.7 - Starling Marte 1926, 54
36.6 - Peter Bourjos 1136, 31

37.0 - Shane Victorino 1074, 29
38.9 - Josh Reddick 1517, 39
39.5 - Evan Longoria 2726, 69
39.7 - Troy Tulowitzki 2974, 75
39.7 - Leonys Martin 1151, 29

41.5 - Matt Olson 1451, 35
41.9 - Bobby Abreu 2165, 51.7
42.1 - Alex Rios 2188, 52
42.9 - Sean Rodriguez 1030, 24
43.8 - Darin Erstad 2811, 64.2

44.9 - Cody Bellinger 1841, 41
45.3 - Carlos Gomez 2130, 47
45.5 - Yadier Molina 2458, 54
45.8 - Jackie Bradley Jr 1421, 31
46.4 - Billy Hamilton 2180, 47

47.5 - Mark Ellis 1026, 21.6
47.5 - DJ LeMahieu 1901, 40
47.6 - JD Drew 1896, 39.8
49.2 - Casey Kotchman 1871, 38

Debut since Willie Mays in 1951 but before Andruw, 6 debuts in the 1950s, 11 in the 60s, 9 in the 70s, 11 in the 80s, 9 in the 90s:

25.6 - Clete Boyer 2363, 92.2
26.7 - Willie Wilson 2731, 102.1
27.4 - Mike Cameron 1581, 57.7
28.9 - Graig Nettles 1671, 57.8
29.6 - Barry Bonds 3643, 123.2

30.3 - Devon White 1926, 63.5
31.7 - Paul Blair 3053, 96.4
32.9 - Ozzie Guillen 3489, 106.1
34.0 - Jesse Barfield 2609, 76.7
34.0 - Luis Gonzalez 2025, 59.5

34.1 - Charles Johnson 1809, 53
34.4 - Scott Fletcher 1247, 36.3
35.8 - Ron Hansen 2683, 74.9
35.8 - Kenny Lofton 1387, 38.7
35.9 - Bobby Knoop 1051, 29.3

36.7 - Mark Belanger 1879, 51.2
36.8 - Mike Anderson 1445, 39.3
38.2 - Bobby Grich 2729, 71.5
38.7 - Omar Vizquel 2355, 60.8
39.6 - Jerry Kenney 1439, 36.3

39.8 - Tony Armas 1619, 40.7
39.9 - Ivan Rodriguez 3391, 85
40.7 - Dwight Evans 2720, 66.8
41.8 - Al Kaline 3824, 91.5
42.3 - Rey Sanchez 998, 23.6

42.9 - Jim Sundberg 2018, 47
43.0 - Sammy Sosa 2936, 68.3
43.8 - Brooks Robinson 3572, 81.6
44.1 - Ken Berry 1593, 36.1
44.8 - Rico Petrocelli 2586, 57.7

45.2 - Willie Davis 3501, 77.5
45.9 - Rick Wilkins 1009, 22
46.3 - Roberto Clemente 3292, 71.1
46.5 - Cesar Geronimo 1311, 28.2
46.6 - Johnny Ray 1435, 30.8

48.0 - Luis Aparicio 3183, 66.3
48.1 - Gene Alley 2068, 43
48.5 - Bill North 1435, 29.6
48.8 - Tom Poquette 1010, 20.7
48.8 - Terry Pendleton 2178, 44.6

49.1 - Jim Edmonds 1488, 30.3
49.2 - Larry Walker 2238, 45.5
49.3 - Ken Griffey Jr 3386, 68.7
49.3 - Rich Dauer 1390, 28.2
49.3 - Tommie Agee 2332, 47.3
49.9 - Rondell White 2111, 42.3

...
57.2 - Willie Mays 2775, 48.5

Mays is 68th from his debut to before Andruw's debut and 123rd since his debut so in 23 years of debuts there have been 55 players who have been rated as young Mays or better defenders relative to their positional average.
   50. Moeball Posted: November 11, 2019 at 03:37 PM (#5900379)
I don't think it would be incorrect to say positional adjustments have changed over the decades, would it? For example, back in the 60s Maury Wills and Dick Groat won MVP awards with numbers that would be laughable by today's standards, and Luis Aparicio was voted into the HOF by the writers, not the VC. But the 80s brought Ripken and Yount and Trammell, followed by A-Rod, Jeter and Nomar in the 90s. No SS from the 60s and 70s put up offensive numbers anywhere close to these guys. A similar shift was happening at 2B as well with players like Sandberg, Alomar, Biggio, Kent, etc.. So I would think there was a gradual decrease in the positive positional adjustment for middle infielders over the years. Wouldn't it make sense if there was also a gradual reduction of the negative positional adjustments for outfielders if their offensive numbers no longer dwarfed that of infielders to such a large degree?
   51. Moeball Posted: November 11, 2019 at 03:42 PM (#5900381)
Couldnt that impact DEAR calculations?
   52. Moeball Posted: November 11, 2019 at 03:45 PM (#5900382)
that's supposed to be dWAR calculations I absolutely LOATHE autocorrect...
   53. PreservedFish Posted: November 11, 2019 at 03:50 PM (#5900386)
Thank you #49 bbmck, I believe that proves my point. It's not credible that there are 7 fielders today that are all better than the greatest fielders of the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s. Particularly not as strikeout rates have increased so significantly, reducing balls in play.
   54. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 11, 2019 at 04:08 PM (#5900392)
Thank you #49 bbmck, I believe that proves my point. It's not credible that there are 7 fielders today that are all better than the greatest fielders of the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s. Particularly not as strikeout rates have increased so significantly, reducing balls in play.

You're correct. Either the regression of the old stats is underrating Mays et. al., or the current system is overrating current good fielders.

I would guess it's a little of both. Chris Dial wrote about modern systems overrating rangy outfielders over a decade ago. It had to do with them stealing discretionary catches from other OF and IF that looked very difficult for them, but were 99.9%-ile catches for the other guy.

i.e. if Kevin Kiermaier runs all the way into RF to catch a ball the RF was comfortably standing under waiting, he's done something really impressive, but added no value to his team.
   55. Mefisto Posted: November 11, 2019 at 05:07 PM (#5900408)
I can believe that OF today might be seen as more valuable than OF in the 1950s-1990s. There's a lot more emphasis today on power and avoiding GB/DP. Today's OF might well be making a higher percentage of PO on BIP. But that's a change in game conditions, not a statement about individual ability, any more than the fact that Sandy Koufax threw 300 innings/year and Clayton Kershaw doesn't would be.

snapper, my recollection is that Chris was referring specifically to Andruw Jones. Do you think he meant it more generally?
   56. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: November 11, 2019 at 05:31 PM (#5900413)
I would guess it's a little of both. Chris Dial wrote about modern systems overrating rangy outfielders over a decade ago. It had to do with them stealing discretionary catches from other OF and IF that looked very difficult for them, but were 99.9%-ile catches for the other guy.

I don't believe that is the way modern metrics calculate fielding value. My understanding is that catch probability for a play is purely dependant on the location of the hit ball, and not the fielder making the play. I.e. If a ball is hit into a bucket where the RF (or more accurately any fielder, but typically the RF) makes the catch 99.9 % of the time, and the CF ranges over and calls him off, the CF still only gets credit for 0.1% of a play above average. No matter how far the CF had to go to make the play.
   57. bbmck Posted: November 11, 2019 at 07:23 PM (#5900433)
What if they were as good defensively as Betts?

Age 21-26, debut since 1951, 70%+ of games in OF, 125+ OPS+ and 20+ Rfield. Then modify their Rfield to Mookie's rate (112/3629*PA); then PA divided by the sum of modified Rfield, Rbaser/dp and Rbat; then find the ratio to Mookie 11.77864/previous sum. % after name is same process but using their actual Rfield:

132% - Willie Mays 116%
122% - Hank Aaron 99%
122% - Rickey Henderson 109%
115% - Ken Griffey Jr 103%
114% - Frank Robinson 89%

108% - Aaron Judge 92%
100% - Mookie Betts 100%
99% - Vladimir Guerrero 74%
96% - Reggie Jackson 69%
95% - Giancarlo Stanton 69%

93% - Bobby Abreu 85%
91% - Barry Bonds 94%
90% - Al Kaline 82%
89% - Christian Yelich 61%
86% - Roger Maris 61%

84% - Dave Parker 68%
82% - Raul Mondesi 60%
81% - Jimmie Hall 67%
78% - Johnny Callison 57%
78% - Rocky Colavito 55%

78% - Tony Gwynn 61%
74% - Chet Lemon 51%
71% - Yasiel Puig 52%
70% - Jesse Barfield 68%
68% - Carl Yastrzemski 50%

Mookie has the second highest rate of Rbaser/DP runs to Rickey!, second highest rate of Rfield runs to Barry and 11th best rate of Rbat runs barely ahead of Dave Parker and trailing Bobby Abreu.

Presumably the defense of Betts, Judge, Stanton, Yelich and Puig is accurately compared. Since young Barfield and Barry especially managed to rate so highly by Rfield in the 80s they would presumably deserve an upward adjustment with Kaline and Abreu being a considerable step down by Rfield from the Top 3 and Griffey, Rickey! and Hall being another considerable step down in 6th-8th.
   58. PreservedFish Posted: November 11, 2019 at 09:25 PM (#5900465)
I can believe that OF today might be seen as more valuable than OF in the 1950s-1990s. There's a lot more emphasis today on power and avoiding GB/DP. Today's OF might well be making a higher percentage of PO on BIP.


Yes, there is more emphasis now placed on GB avoidance. But balls-in-play are severely down across the board. Even the "launch angle revolution" has likely deemphasized outfield defense, because the ideal launch angle hit is often going to be a routine out if it doesn't go over the fence- the whole idea is to forget about line drives and to go for big lofted fly balls.

Anyway, this is easy to look at. Putouts and range factor may not be great judges of defensive quality, but they are a great way of looking at how fly balls make it into the outfield.
   59. Mefisto Posted: November 11, 2019 at 09:52 PM (#5900479)
I'm not sure which effect is stronger, but I do expect OF to gain in value relative to IF.
   60. PreservedFish Posted: November 11, 2019 at 10:19 PM (#5900492)
OK, so for qualified CFs, here are the range factors by year:

1959 2.68
1960 2.59
1961 2.57
1962 2.51
1963 2.49
1964 2.44
1965 2.33
1966 2.46
1967 2.36
1968 2.40
1969 2.32
1970 2.40
1971 2.56
1972 2.60
1973 2.62
1974 2.81
1975 2.68
1976 2.93
1977 2.70
1978 2.83
1979 2.83
1980 2.87
1981 2.85
1982 2.71
1983 2.84
1984 2.88
1985 2.79
1986 2.70
1987 2.62
1988 2.76
1989 2.71
1990 2.68
1991 2.64
1992 2.84
1993 2.73
1994 2.66
1995 2.61
1996 2.58
1997 2.54
1998 2.53
1999 2.60
2000 2.63
2001 2.62
2002 2.58
2003 2.65
2004 2.55
2005 2.50
2006 2.57
2007 2.65
2008 2.65
2009 2.56
2010 2.63
2011 2.51
2012 2.45
2013 2.49
2014 2.52
2015 2.52
2016 2.34
2017 2.40
2018 2.40
2019 2.34

This isn't necessarily a perfect proxy for fly ball chances, but it's decent.

I'm not surprised to see that there were many, many more CF putouts in the 70s and 80s. I'm not surprised that there's been a meaningful decrease just in the last decade. But I am surprised that there are still just as many OF chances as there were in the 60s.
   61. PreservedFish Posted: November 11, 2019 at 10:32 PM (#5900496)
As a contrast, this is range factor (maybe? I did A + PO + E - DP) for starting shortstops:

1959 4.63
1960 4.55
1961 4.44
1962 4.53
1963 4.41
1964 4.50
1965 4.50
1966 4.50
1967 4.39
1968 4.62
1969 4.59
1970 4.52
1971 4.61
1972 4.59
1973 4.55
1974 4.53
1975 4.58
1976 4.61
1977 4.56
1978 4.49
1979 4.60
1980 4.56
1981 4.64
1982 4.58
1983 4.38
1984 4.44
1985 4.22
1986 4.19
1987 4.13
1988 4.25
1989 4.31
1990 4.19
1991 4.30
1992 4.23
1993 4.13
1994 4.09
1995 4.06
1996 4.14
1997 4.02
1998 4.14
1999 4.06
2000 4.05
2001 3.95
2002 4.04
2003 4.00
2004 4.02
2005 4.03
2006 3.95
2007 3.99
2008 3.87
2009 3.88
2010 3.93
2011 3.99
2012 3.93
2013 3.81
2014 3.68
2015 3.85
2016 3.69
2017 3.67
2018 3.53
2019 3.48

Much bigger difference.
   62. Howie Menckel Posted: November 11, 2019 at 10:40 PM (#5900498)
any chance of this "wide screen" being fixed anytime in the next century?
   63. Mefisto Posted: November 11, 2019 at 11:19 PM (#5900502)
I'm sure that K represent part of the drop off in BIP (seems pretty obvious). What I think from 60 and 61 is that OF has taken enough chances from IF to stay relatively even. The consequence should be that middle IF defense is less valuable today.
   64. Sunday silence Posted: November 11, 2019 at 11:26 PM (#5900503)

I'm not surprised to see that there were many, many more CF putouts in the 70s and 80s. I'm not surprised that there's been a meaningful decrease just in the last decade. But I am surprised that there are still just as many OF chances as there were in the 60s


But Im thinking that arent the 1960s also a low ball-in-play era? Owing to the high KO rate. I could be misremembering and I dont recall anyone specifically making that pt. but it would stand to reason if KO rates were up, but I dunno if that's just cause starting pitchers were throwing so many inn.
   65. Sunday silence Posted: November 11, 2019 at 11:38 PM (#5900504)
. Chris Dial wrote about modern systems overrating rangy outfielders over a decade ago. It had to do with them stealing discretionary catches from other OF and IF that looked very difficult for them, but were 99.9%-ile catches for the other guy.


You keep quoting Chris Dial everytime this discussion comes up and yet:

a. DIal hasnt written anything that I can find in at least 10 years. Either here or elsewhere on the web.

b. I cant even find his article on discretionary chances.

Can you either link to his work or find an article with some current relevantness?

I think the overall pt. is correct, there are some discretionary chances that will muck this up for a few. If you look at stat cast numbers for Outs above avg or whatever it is, it seems that the maximum positive contribution for an OF should be about +26-28. Just look at Kiermair and a few others. It seems that Undruh Jones and Richie Ashburn's numbers are too much over that and likely some sort of discretionary effect is happening there. Possibly also Tris Speaker.

How many times during a season do you think that's happening? I wanted to make a check list for discretionary chances during the playoffs, as a proxy for the entire season. Just like counting the number of great plays Rendon or Robles made during 3 weeks of the regular season to show you that +26 or +28 def runs saved is certainly achievable for stellar central defender. But I didnt get the chance.


I dont think discretionary chances are more than 1 every 10 or 12 games. Do you see these more often than me?

*****
I also didnt get to keep a checklist for:

[ ] Opposite field HR.
..[ ] Player with less than 20 HR on season.

Did you know that opposite field HRs were up like 50% over their usual rate? It was insane. Was Kendrick's game winning HR to the opposite field?

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