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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

ZiPS Career Projections for Eric Davis, Darryl Strawberry, Cesar Cedeno, and Thurman Munson

A recent question was raised in a thread, how did Eric Davis’s career ZiPS projection look through the 1990 season?

For this exercise, I’m making the assumption that Davis stays with the Reds and as the park factors and league offense are known, unlike in most cases, I instructed ZiPS to convert the projections to the context of the year’s in question.

Update:  I’ve done the same thing with Darryl Strawberry at the request of @millerparkdrunk.  I have done the same for Cesar Cedeno.  The points of convergence for the two players are after 1991 and 1977, respectively.

Last update:  Filling a request for Thurman Munson.  I told ZiPS to move him to 1B/DH after 1980.

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Dan Szymborski Posted: August 18, 2009 at 01:16 PM | 81 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 18, 2009 at 01:56 PM (#3296322)
Looks like Carlos Beltran to me. Does he stay in CF the whole time? If so, is this a Hall of Famer?
   2. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: August 18, 2009 at 02:06 PM (#3296333)
Does he stay in CF the whole time? If so, is this a Hall of Famer?


If the first answer is yes, the second is absolutely. That career looks at least as valuable as Duke Snider.
   3. RJ in TO Posted: August 18, 2009 at 02:06 PM (#3296334)
I'd say no, mostly because of the lack of in-season durability. With a maximum of 135 games in a season, it's pretty hard to run up enough peak value in enough seasons.
   4. RJ in TO Posted: August 18, 2009 at 02:09 PM (#3296341)
That career looks at least as valuable as Duke Snider.


Duke Snider packed on another 200 games, with an OPS+ 10 points higher. He also had more games played in a season than even the projected Eric Davis did on 9 occasions, despite playing in a time where the season was 8 games shorter.
   5. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: August 18, 2009 at 02:15 PM (#3296347)
Duke Snider packed on another 200 games, with an OPS+ 10 points higher.


Davis was a fantastic defender. I don't know about Duke's rep, but Davis has to have him beat. 429/68 in the SB department, plus the implied non-SB baserunning value has to count for a lot of that OPS+ difference.

Plus, a lot, if not all of Duke's games played advantage seems to be in the form of PH appearances. BBREF has him with only 1918 games played in the field. In 1964 for example, he has 91 games, but only 189 PA, and only 43 games in the field. In 1962, 80 games, 39 in the field.

I'll stand by my off the cuff comparison.

Edit: The above projection has 7929 PA. Snider had 8237, less than half a season's worth of difference.
   6. Obama Bomaye Posted: August 18, 2009 at 02:15 PM (#3296348)
The year's what?

For those of us who don't have his actual numbers memorized, you demarcate where the projection takes over. (or add the years in addition to his ages.)

The people demand a Strasburg projection!
   7. DCA Posted: August 18, 2009 at 02:20 PM (#3296354)
Davis didn't really have a season with only 2 doubles, did he?

I think the 1990 age 28 season is real, and the projections pick up the next year. Just off the top of my head ... I played a lot with the 1990 Pursue the Pennant set.
   8. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 18, 2009 at 02:20 PM (#3296355)
DCA is correct.
   9. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: August 18, 2009 at 02:23 PM (#3296360)
Davis didn't really have a season with only 2 doubles, did he?


No, that should be 23.
   10. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 18, 2009 at 02:24 PM (#3296361)
Age 25 season should be 23 doubles.

I am on the fence on this projection being a HoFer. How many center fielders during that era actually put up numbers similar to ZIPS-Davis?

I was sad when Davis' career got derailed.
   11. Jeff K. Posted: August 18, 2009 at 02:24 PM (#3296362)
If you people are talking about "would" HOFer and not "should", are you ####### nuts?

400/400 by itself would take a strong argument to keep a guy out, and when that guy is an Eric Davis with his grace, natural talent, good defender in center, 1900 games of 130 OPS+, 1400 RBI, 1300 runs, and an 86% rate on those 400 steals? He'd be first ballot, and there would be barely a peep from the saber crowd about it.
   12. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 18, 2009 at 02:25 PM (#3296364)
More Coke to dispense. Sigh.

I had forgotten about Davis' actual, huge, age 34 season.
   13. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: August 18, 2009 at 02:25 PM (#3296365)
Does the typo in Davis's 1987 doubles line affect his projections going forward from 1990? It would obviously affect his career doubles total, slugging, and OPS/OPS+.
   14. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: August 18, 2009 at 02:27 PM (#3296369)
I admit, I didn't look closely at the seasonal games played, merely the bottom line. The in-season durability would give me pause, but I think that projection is still easily over the in/out line for me.
   15. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: August 18, 2009 at 02:30 PM (#3296374)
Does the typo in Davis's 1987 doubles line affect his projections going forward from 1990? It would obviously affect his career doubles total, slugging, and OPS/OPS+.


The seasonal OPS+ for 1987 is correct, but yeah, his career doubles total should be 309, not 288.
   16. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 18, 2009 at 02:33 PM (#3296380)
For my part, I was talking about whether WE would put him into the Hall, as opposed to the BBWAA. It's hard to say, but in their eyes, they might see a guy who didn't hit 500 HRs, didn't have 2000 hits, had only a .272 BA, never played a full season...I can see lots of arguments for them keeping him off their ballots.

As a result, I don't think he'd get in on the first ballot.
   17. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 18, 2009 at 02:38 PM (#3296384)
The projection was accurate, it just messed up the doubles total and a few points of SLG when it was totaled up. The OPS+ is calculated elsewhere and is unaffected.

I've uploaded a fixed version including an unrelated rounding issue.
   18. smileyy Posted: August 18, 2009 at 07:13 PM (#3296875)
Wow, Dan. Thanks for running this based on my idly speculating comment.
   19. Walt Davis Posted: August 18, 2009 at 07:37 PM (#3296908)
Well then where's my Cesar Cedeno post-77 projection! :-)
   20. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 18, 2009 at 07:59 PM (#3296933)
Updated.
   21. Moe Greene Posted: August 18, 2009 at 08:15 PM (#3296954)
Very interesting.

I want a Rich Rifkin post-2003 projection. To that point he was very prolific at this site and I had high hopes for him until he apparently stumbled off the face of the earth for a couple of years, a la Ozzie Smith on The Simpsons.

Or is that too meta?
   22. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 18, 2009 at 08:28 PM (#3296975)
Updated with Cedeno for Walt.
   23. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: August 18, 2009 at 08:48 PM (#3297016)
Now do Levi Meyerle and Tuck Turner.

No, no, don't do them.
   24. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 18, 2009 at 09:21 PM (#3297084)
It seems odd that the real Eric Davis would hit 37 homers at age 25 and 34 at age 27, but then never again hit as many as 30.
   25. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 18, 2009 at 09:35 PM (#3297100)
I see everyone is projected to be strike-proof...

Seriously, this is great. I'm surprised at how consistent a basethief theoretical Cedeno is.
   26. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: August 18, 2009 at 09:36 PM (#3297101)
556 homers with only a career .505 SLG? Weird. (Obviously hitting .263 is a big part of that.)
   27. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: August 18, 2009 at 09:40 PM (#3297107)
556 homers with only a career .505 SLG? Weird. (Obviously hitting .263 is a big part of that.)


Harmon Killebrew, 573 HR, .509 SLP.
   28. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: August 18, 2009 at 09:42 PM (#3297108)
Reggie was 563/ .490. Projected Strawberry pretty much had Reggie's career, with 900 fewer at bats.
   29. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 18, 2009 at 09:52 PM (#3297117)
Dammit! I didn't even consider the strikes.
   30. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 18, 2009 at 10:16 PM (#3297133)
Ok, one more update and then I'm done for the day.
   31. Moe Greene Posted: August 18, 2009 at 10:39 PM (#3297158)
I'm surprised to see Munson's career last so long. A catcher in his early-30's, whose OPS+ pattern was 125-121-101-95... I'd expect there's a decent chance he wouldn't last too much longer.
   32. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: August 18, 2009 at 10:43 PM (#3297162)
Yeah, I was going to say as well that I don't entirely buy the Munson projection. Weren't his knees shot by 1979?
   33. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 18, 2009 at 11:02 PM (#3297184)
I made the assumption that he would move to 1B/DH. As a C, his games drop off quicker, even considering the dropoff that ZiPS gives based on being below-average at 1B/DH.
   34. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: August 18, 2009 at 11:15 PM (#3297199)
With Munson coming back as a 1B/DH, the Yankees don't sign free agent Bob Watson. Joe Torre gets hired as GM in 1996 and runs the team into the ground. Nobody complains when the Yankees and Expos are contracted. Harry Bailey is never born.
   35. whoisalhedges Posted: August 19, 2009 at 12:36 AM (#3297366)
So, absent injury, Eric the Red, Straw, and Cedeno are HoFers, but Munson isn't.

Yeah, I'm okay with that.

(not that Munson wasn't awesome at his peak, for a decent defensive catcher; but ZiPS shows virtually no contribution from his decline phase)

Cesar's and Eric's SB numbers are amazing.
   36. MillerParkDrunk Posted: August 19, 2009 at 02:22 AM (#3297576)
556 home runs for Strawberry and that's not even including his inevitable steroid use in the mid-90s. Verdict? Cocaine ruins everything.
   37. Eugene Freedman Posted: August 19, 2009 at 03:47 AM (#3297665)
400/400 by itself would take a strong argument to keep a guy out, and when that guy is an Eric Davis with his grace, natural talent, good defender in center, 1900 games of 130 OPS+, 1400 RBI, 1300 runs, and an 86% rate on those 400 steals? He'd be first ballot, and there would be barely a peep from the saber crowd about it.

Andre Dawson anyone? 438/314 (not quite 400, but...)
grace - check
natural talent -check
good defender in center - check
2627 games of 119 OPS, but if you end his career with 2000 games it's 124
1591 RBI
1373 Runs
74% rate on those 314 steals

He'd not be an 8th ballot HOFer and you'd hear a hell of a lot of stuff from the sabr crowd about him not belonging in.
   38. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: August 19, 2009 at 04:47 AM (#3297694)
The only post-WWII player with 300 steals and fewer than Davis's projected 67 caught stealings is Eric Davis. The fewest CSes for any modern player with 400 steals is Roberto Alomar with 114 (474 SB.)
   39. alilisd Posted: August 19, 2009 at 05:36 AM (#3297719)
The only post-WWII player with 300 steals and fewer than Davis's projected 67 caught stealings is Eric Davis. The fewest CSes for any modern player with 400 steals is Roberto Alomar with 114 (474 SB.)



Interesting. Carlos Beltran will be there with 300 and fewer than 67 if he can just go 14 for his next 42. I really wonder how he will come back from this injury.
   40. Jeff K. Posted: August 19, 2009 at 06:27 AM (#3297734)
Eugene, you just named and glossed over key differences between the two. You can't then use Dawson as proof of anything for Davis. 400/314 is not 400/400. Davis was a better defender. Even if you stop after 2000 games, Dawson is 6 behind in OPS+. 1591 RBI and 1373 runs in 2600 games is nowhere equivalent to 1400 and 1281 in 1900 games, and 74% is break-even on steals, a margin above, while 86% is historically great.
   41. Walt Davis Posted: August 19, 2009 at 09:34 AM (#3297800)
Yeah, but let's focus on Cedeno. I should have had Dan project him after his age 22 season. :-)

Still, nearly 2900 games. 600 freaking doubles! 3000 hits.
   42. adenzeno Posted: August 19, 2009 at 11:43 AM (#3297821)
I have long wondered if Cedeno's listed age was correct-if he was actually 3-5 years older than he said, then his career makes more sense-I know he was injured some.
   43. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: August 19, 2009 at 12:04 PM (#3297825)
Still, nearly 2900 games. 600 freaking doubles! 3000 hits.

918 stolen bases too, which is amazing. I only remember the second half of Cedeno's career - I was born in '75 - so my mental image of him is of a guy who wasn't exactly slow but also wasn't a terror on the basepaths. The idea that he could have been top three all time in steals...wow.
   44. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 19, 2009 at 12:50 PM (#3297839)
What's amazing with Cedeno is that even with his decline, injuries, and missing 6 seasons as a starter in his 30s, he still cleared 2000 hits and 500 stolen bases with room to spare. The ZiPS OPS+ of 125 is only 2 points more than his actual number of 123, so the main difference is just the result of him getting on the field.
   45. tjm1 Posted: August 19, 2009 at 12:54 PM (#3297842)
good defender in center - check


He was at the start of his career. He wasn't very good at all defensively, even in right, by the end, but the time his knees were shot.

Cesar's and Eric's SB numbers are amazing.


I've seen a couple of these long term ZIPS projections where the player continues stealing bases at a relatively high rate for a very long time (Pujols's was like this, too). Does this really jive with real players? Or is it the fact that each projection is based on the year before, so that it has not just a lot of uncertainty five years out, but some systematic effects? I think most of the numbers look relatively reasonable, but the steals seem out a bit to me.
   46. Quinton McCracken's BFF Posted: August 19, 2009 at 01:04 PM (#3297849)
Cesar's and Eric's SB numbers are amazing.


I've seen a couple of these long term ZIPS projections where the player continues stealing bases at a relatively high rate for a very long time (Pujols's was like this, too). Does this really jive with real players? Or is it the fact that each projection is based on the year before, so that it has not just a lot of uncertainty five years out, but some systematic effects? I think most of the numbers look relatively reasonable, but the steals seem out a bit to me.


Well there was a lot of base-stealing going on in the 80's so it's not unreasonable to expect Cesar to get green-lighted much more often then. So his offensive numbers shown there are being crushed by the Astrodome?

I'd love to see a Dickie Thon projection.
   47. tjm1 Posted: August 19, 2009 at 01:07 PM (#3297854)
Well there was a lot of base-stealing going on in the 80's so it's not unreasonable to expect Cesar to get green-lighted much more often then.


My surprise is that his speed seems to hold up so well. I guess the same is true of Brock and Henderson, but it wasn't of Raines or Cobb, just to name the first four guys I looked up.
   48. Posada Posse Posted: August 19, 2009 at 01:45 PM (#3297890)
I'd love to see a Dickie Thon projection.


That would be an interesting one. I know Bill James once wrote that it was not unreasonable to think of him as a Hall of Famer had he not gotten beaned.
   49. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 19, 2009 at 02:43 PM (#3297949)
Cedeno and Davis's SB/CS progression isn't typical - they were both excellent in real life. Cedeno was 175/70 during the downslope of his career with the injuries and loss of speed.
   50. JPWF13 Posted: August 19, 2009 at 03:08 PM (#3297985)
Does this really jive with real players?


Cedeno continued running well late... errr someone beat me to it...

Most players do not, but some of that I think is do to the fact that someone like Omar the Outmaker, a terrific basestealer but dreadful hitter, is just too awful a player to play everyday after turning 30...

Look at Lou Brock....
   51. tjm1 Posted: August 19, 2009 at 03:17 PM (#3298001)
I guess this is all probably right, and just that the errors on the stole base numbers can get really large without affecting whether a good player plays out his career (hence e.g., Raines and Cobb).
   52. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 19, 2009 at 03:44 PM (#3298027)
The main problem I see with Munson's projection is that his G/AB ratio pretty much stays the same the whole way through. I'm guessing he could have hung around as a backup catcher for awhile, and probably would have had more G and fewer AB in the 1981-85 range. I don't there's any way he would have played until 1988, as he was flying to spend more time with his family, etc.. Although, I guess he could have played for the Indians who sucked and could have used him.
   53. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 19, 2009 at 03:48 PM (#3298033)
"74% is break-even on steals"

Maybe in the 2008 environment, although it's still better than break even, even then.

In the 1980s, 74% is WAY ahead of break even, which was probably around 65%, especially in Olympic Stadium which was a pitcher's park in Dawson's prime.
   54. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 19, 2009 at 03:52 PM (#3298038)
The thing with the G/AB is because PA progression is part of my model while games is not.
   55. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 19, 2009 at 03:58 PM (#3298047)
Wouldn't that be pretty easy to borrow from Brock2? James had that worked in with a simple but effective system that reduced PA/G as performance dropped.

You could just use it to make the projections look cosmetically better, without changing the underlying totals, right?
   56. bjhanke Posted: August 19, 2009 at 06:13 PM (#3298226)
First, thanks to Dan for doing this work.

Second, back when I was doing the Big Bad Baseball Annuals, I had a multi-year mention of a group of three players whom I called "overbodybuilt." These were guys who were downright scrawny in the minors, but went to the workout room - or something - and, IMO, put too much muscle on their bodies for their skeletons to handle, and so had their careers collapse from injury to bones and joints. They may have gotten power out of all that muscle (remembering that Ted Williams was called the Splendid Splinter, so thin guys can crank it, too), but the cost was short careers. The three players? Jose Canseco, Darryl Strawberry, and Eric Davis.

Given recent revelations about Canseco, I think you can speculate that, just perhaps, the three got all that bulky muscle from the "or something" of steroids. That would imply that at least those three players actually LOST career value from juicing because the bad side effects overwhelmed the good ones. I don't know that I actually believe this, except for Canseco, but the list is odd and all three ballplayers did have the type of career I projected. But, then, so did Barry Larkin, who was thin all his playing time.

Also, I would offer up that the very high SB rates and totals for Davis and Cedeno were due to the playing conditions of the 1970s and 80s (big parks with turf to run on in a lower-scoring environment) and so would not have held up after 1994. I might note that Cedeno had his Zips career here during the very best period for stealing that there ever has been. Someone named Henderson might agree with me if I stipulated that his own totals were not in question.

- Brock Hanke
   57. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: August 19, 2009 at 06:21 PM (#3298240)
I'd like to see the projection on Dickie Thon, too - though I think James' opinion of him as a potential HOFer was based at least as much on the character he showed in coming back from the beaning, as from his actual #s at the time.
   58. Damon Rutherford Posted: August 19, 2009 at 09:08 PM (#3298467)
Suggestion for future -- real-life career totals also included at the bottom of the table, enabling an easy comparison to ZiPS career total.
   59. tjm1 Posted: August 20, 2009 at 08:26 AM (#3299114)
hey may have gotten power out of all that muscle (remembering that Ted Williams was called the Splendid Splinter, so thin guys can crank it, too), but the cost was short careers. The three players? Jose Canseco, Darryl Strawberry, and Eric Davis.


When I think of overbuilt players of that generation, I think Ruben Sierra first. He was a superstar at 23, and was basically done as a productive player at 26, but managed to stick around until he was 40. I never thought of Davis being that muscle-bound.

That would imply that at least those three players actually LOST career value from juicing because the bad side effects overwhelmed the good ones. I don't know that I actually believe this, except for Canseco, but the list is odd and all three ballplayers did have the type of career I projected.


Canseco has admitted he started taking steroids in AA ball, and that he thinks he would never have even made the majors without them. I don't know about that. He made it to AA ball by age 20, and most guys who manage that at least manage to stay on a big league roster long enough to collect a pension. But he also did have much better numbers at age 20 splitting his time between AA and AAA than he had had at age 19 in high A ball. This kind of development of a player is uncommon, but not unheard of.

Strawberry and Davis both had cancer, and Strawberry had a variety of other substance abuse problems. It could also be that the kind of chemotherapy used to treat colon cancer has some long lasting effects that, while not as bad as untreated cancer, harm a ballplayer's future health. Or it could be that when you pick three players, you get random effects being very important.

Anyways, I have no doubts that there were significant numbers of steroid users in the 1980's, and perhaps even in the 1970's and earlier. I just think it's a bit reckless to guess at which guys they were from their stats, especially when both enhanced performance late in one's career or injuries late in one's career can be attributed to steroid usage. Even from their physiques, you could get a lot wrong -- if you look at what some "clean" body builders look like, they're much more pumped up than any ballplayer.
   60. sunnyday2 Posted: August 20, 2009 at 11:08 AM (#3299129)
So, absent injury, Eric the Red, Straw, and Cedeno are HoFers, but Munson isn't.


The irony of which is that Munson is the only one of the four for whom you could make a HoF argument just based on the real career.
   61. NBarnes Posted: August 21, 2009 at 06:48 AM (#3300489)

Canseco has admitted he started taking steroids in AA ball, and that he thinks he would never have even made the majors without them.


I'm not really convinced that this is the case. Canseco was a real athlete when he came up, and PEDs or not, he showed a good batting eye and strikezone judgement. It seems likely that he'd have made it to the majors, even if he didn't have that crazy age 23 season.
   62. bookbook Posted: August 21, 2009 at 07:24 AM (#3300491)
I'd like to see a career projection for Cal Ripken after his age 23 season. I bet his HOF chances would be all right.
   63. whoisalhedges Posted: August 21, 2009 at 01:35 PM (#3300553)
So, absent injury, Eric the Red, Straw, and Cedeno are HoFers, but Munson isn't.


The irony of which is that Munson is the only one of the four for whom you could make a HoF argument just based on the real career.

True enough.

I wouldn't vote for him, but his actual performance at least merits more discussion than what Davis, Cedeno, and Strawberry produced IRL.
   64. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: August 23, 2009 at 04:42 AM (#3302328)
For some reason Ijust love these type of argument, something romantic about asking "what if.."
   65. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 23, 2009 at 05:40 AM (#3302340)
You can make a reasonable argument for Cesar Cedeno on peak value.

- 5 gold gloves in centerfield
- Good percentage basestealer and 550 of 'em
- 123 OPS+ in >8000 PA
- 8 superstar-level seasons, all of them while in center

In fact, one can argue (and I do) that Cedeno was a better player than Jim Rice both at their peaks and over their careers.

Each of their five-best seasons ranked by WARP3

Cedeno 1972: 10.4
Rice 1978: 8.4
Cedeno 1980: 7.8
Cedeno 1974: 7.5
Cedeno 1976: 7.1
Rice 1979: 7.1
Cedeno 1973: 7.1
Rice 1986: 5.5
Rice 1977: 5.5
Rice 1981: 4.7

Cedeno was done as a star by the time he turned 30 and he still can be argued as a borderline Hall of Famer.
   66. tjm1 Posted: August 23, 2009 at 06:18 AM (#3302347)
Cedeno was done as a star by the time he turned 30 and he still can be argued as a borderline Hall of Famer.


Like Tim Raines, only not as good.
   67. bjhanke Posted: August 23, 2009 at 09:19 AM (#3302362)
Dan says, "In fact, one can argue (and I do) that Cedeno was a better player than Jim Rice both at their peaks and over their careers."

Very true and absolutely hilarious, as are any number of comparisons to Rice. However, Cedeno had actual defensive value, which Rice supporters, in a fit of illogic, will actually hold against him, claiming that too much of his sabermetric value is tied up in that for his ranking to be reliable. I've found it more fun to confront Rice supporters with Greg Luzinski. The only argument you can make for Jim is career length. And Rice supporters are NOT willing to admit that Greg is even in the same galaxy as Rice. They fume and rant. Great fun.
- Brock Hanke
   68. tjm1 Posted: August 23, 2009 at 09:51 AM (#3302363)
I've found it more fun to confront Rice supporters with Greg Luzinski. The only argument you can make for Jim is career length.


Let's not go that far. They were about equal as hitters. Rice was a much better outfielder. He DH'ed a lot at various points in his career because the Red Sox at that time had a ton of OF/1B types, many of whom were very good defensively, rather than just average. Rice played the Wall well, and threw very well for a left-fielder, and he wasn't terribly slow or anything. Luzinski played in the outfield in the NL because they didn't have the DH rule, but he was awful.
   69. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 23, 2009 at 11:32 AM (#3302371)
Let's not go that far. They were about equal as hitters. Rice was a much better outfielder. He DH'ed a lot at various points in his career because the Red Sox at that time had a ton of OF/1B types, many of whom were very good defensively, rather than just average. Rice played the Wall well, and threw very well for a left-fielder, and he wasn't terribly slow or anything. Luzinski played in the outfield in the NL because they didn't have the DH rule, but he was awful.
Rice DHed because a 37-year old Yaz was such a good fielder? Somehow I don't think so.
   70. tjm1 Posted: August 23, 2009 at 12:08 PM (#3302374)
Rice DHed because a 37-year old Yaz was such a good fielder? Somehow I don't think so.


Yaz was perceived to be a good fielder even then. He definitely played the Wall in left better than anyone. He rated well according to fielding runs, even though his team had only one left-handed starter.

Anyways, the point is not whether Rice was a better fielder than a 37-year old Yaz. It's whether he was a better fielder than Luzinski, a much lower standard.
   71. tjm1 Posted: August 23, 2009 at 02:56 PM (#3302434)
Plus, Yaz did win the Gold Glove in 1977. Whether he deserved it is another story, but it's rather easy to justify the idea that Rice was a pretty good defensive outfielder who was asked to DH because his manager, like the rest of the league thought Yastrzemski was a bit better for the job.
   72. Quinton McCracken's BFF Posted: August 23, 2009 at 04:35 PM (#3302479)
...“His hit record will endure for a long, long time,” Posnanski says. “It could last 50 or 100 years; Ty Cobb’s record lasted more than 50 years. Think about it: To get to 4,256 hits you have to average 203 hits for 21 years. I don’t think anyone is getting there any time soon.”


This is taken from another thread (Pete Rose legacy thread), but it got me to thinking, is there a projection somewhere of what Ichiro's career would look like had he started out his ML career earlier, using the longer MLB schedule and possibly converting his Nippon stats to MLB? Somebody out there must've done this already. Ichiro's only 35 right now. Just going by gut, I'd say Ichiro would've had a decent shot at 4K, and certainly the best shot of anyone since Rose.
   73. Urkel's Boner Posted: August 23, 2009 at 05:18 PM (#3302507)
This is taken from another thread (Pete Rose legacy thread), but it got me to thinking, is there a projection somewhere of what Ichiro's career would look like had he started out his ML career earlier, using the longer MLB schedule and possibly converting his Nippon stats to MLB? Somebody out there must've done this already. Ichiro's only 35 right now. Just going by gut, I'd say Ichiro would've had a decent shot at 4K, and certainly the best shot of anyone since Rose.


Without a doubt. He'd be past 3,000 by now or at least very near it depending on what age you think he would have come up here (he was 20 when he played his first full season in Japan). And looking forward there's no reason to doubt he'll get another 1,000 before he retires. He doesn't get hurt and he has yet to show any signs of decline. I can see him playing well into his early 40s.
   74. tjm1 Posted: August 23, 2009 at 05:21 PM (#3302510)
This is taken from another thread (Pete Rose legacy thread), but it got me to thinking, is there a projection somewhere of what Ichiro's career would look like had he started out his ML career earlier, using the longer MLB schedule and possibly converting his Nippon stats to MLB? Somebody out there must've done this already. Ichiro's only 35 right now. Just going by gut, I'd say Ichiro would've had a decent shot at 4K, and certainly the best shot of anyone since Rose.


Ichiro has about 150 more hits in his age 27-35 period than Rose did in Rose's. I think the answer to your question would depend to quite a large extent on whether you think Ichiro would have made the majors at 20 or 22 or 24. If you include all his seasons in Japan for the conversion, then I think you'd find he'd be a shoe-in for 4000 hits, and have an outside chance at 5000 hits, since he already had 9 seasons in Japan before coming to Seattle.
   75. Quinton McCracken's BFF Posted: August 23, 2009 at 05:40 PM (#3302544)
If you include all his seasons in Japan for the conversion


This would be assuming Japan = MLB, i.e. conversion factor of 1.000. It might be closer to 1.000 than I think since you account for the longer MLB schedule. We'd have to assume he played at the Kingdome for all those years too, surrounded by Griffey, Arod, Randy, Edgar, Buhner... so many factors!
   76. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 23, 2009 at 08:42 PM (#3302737)
So, absent injury, Eric the Red, Straw, and Cedeno are HoFers, but Munson isn't.


Really? Munson's projection looks like a slam-dunk Hall of Famer to me. Any other catchers with over 2300 career hits and 109 OPS+ not in the Hall of Fame?
   77. jayjaffe Posted: August 24, 2009 at 03:40 AM (#3303055)
Joe - Ted Simmons (2472 hits, 118 OPS+) and Joe Torre (2342 hits, 128 OPS+) both fit the bill, though whether you want to consider the latter a catcher given that he spent a plurality but not a majority of his time behind the dish is another story.
   78. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: August 24, 2009 at 03:47 AM (#3303056)
Really? Munson's projection looks like a slam-dunk Hall of Famer to me. Any other catchers with over 2300 career hits and 109 OPS+ not in the Hall of Fame?

Joe - Ted Simmons (2472 hits, 118 OPS+) and Joe Torre (2342 hits, 128 OPS+) both fit the bill, though whether you want to consider the latter a catcher given that he spent a plurality but not a majority of his time behind the dish is another story.


Dan said upthread that Munson's projection was based on him becoming a 1B/DH after 1979.
   79. jayjaffe Posted: August 24, 2009 at 04:07 AM (#3303064)
Dan said upthread that Munson's projection was based on him becoming a 1B/DH after 1979.


Yes, but most people would still considered him a catcher when it came to evaluating his Hall of Fame case and comparing him to other catchers - like Yogi Berra, Johnny Bench and Gary Carter, all of whom played two or three hundred games at other positions as well.
   80. An Athletic in Powderhorn™ Posted: August 24, 2009 at 04:25 AM (#3303067)
is there a projection somewhere of what Ichiro's career would look like had he started out his ML career earlier, using the longer MLB schedule and possibly converting his Nippon stats to MLB?“


I did an NPB translation a while back. This is a modified version. I took out Ichiro's age 18 and 19 years because they don't have any value and the rate stats translate poorly enough that I doubt he'd be in the majors with that kind of line. '94 and '95 are strike-adjusted.

Year    G       PA      AB    H      2b  3b  HR    BB    K    SB    CS    Avg    OBP    Slg
1994    114    524    479    175    39    4    6    32    46    25    6    .365    .395    .501
1995    144    656    580    175    28    4   15    54    58    54    10    .301    .349    .441
1996    162    745    675    224    33    5   11    50    71    44    4    .332    .368    .444
1997    162    718    643    206    41    5   11    54    43    47    5    .320    .362    .451
1998    162    659    607    204    48    4    9    37    42    13    5    .336    .366    .473
1999    124    547    493    148    36    2   14    39    55    14    1    .300    .342    .438
2000    126    544    474    172    29    1    8    47    43    25    1    .363    .403    .479
2001    157    738    692    242    34    8    8    30    53    56    14    .350    .381    .457
2002    157    728    647    208    27    8    8    68    62    31    15    .321    .388    .425
2003    159    725    679    212    29    8   13    36    69    34    8    .312    .352    .436
2004    161    762    704    262    24    5    8    49    63    36    11    .372    .414    .455
2005    162    739    679    206    21   12   15    48    66    33    8    .303    .350    .436
2006    161    752    695    224    20    9    9    49    71    45    2    .322    .370    .416
2007    161    736    678    238    22    7    6    49    77    37    8    .351    .396    .431
2008    162    749    686    213    20    7    6    51    65    43    4    .310    .361    .386
2009    115    538    509    183    26    3    8    24    52    24    8    .360    .390    .470
          2389 10860  9920  3292  477  92  155 717  936   561  110 .332   .376    .445 


There was a recent THT article that did this too.

Edit: If anyone has any advice about how to make tables that aren't as ugly as this one, I'm all ears.
   81. baric Posted: August 24, 2009 at 05:24 AM (#3303082)
Here's an article I wrote about Jimmy Wynn almost 9 years ago: http://astrosdaily.com/hall/Wynn_Jim.html
Long story short: it was an analysis of Wynn's value, mainly as an Astro, but it also pointed out that both he and Cedeno were easily the two best centerfielders not in the HOF.

A lot of people don't realize that Wynn's career was ended abruptly in LA by an arm injury, and that he was a regular CF until Cedeno showed up. He returned back to CF in LA.

A projection for him might be interesting to see. He was arguably more valuable than Cedeno.

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