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   1. John DiFool2 Posted: June 15, 2011 at 02:40 PM (#3853897)
The good news is that if his average gets back up near .300 (and he starts hitting doubles again), his season would become even better. A .400 OBP in front of Gonzo would be awesome.
   2. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 15, 2011 at 02:44 PM (#3853905)
By some strange confluence of improved base-stealing, the above-mentioned awesome defense, a ton of walks, and a low-offense environment, it became clear that a diminished Pedroia was still the team’s best option at 2B. Not only that, but by the advanced metrics Pedroia was having… the best year of his career?
Just to put some numbers on the low-offense environment, Pedroia's 373/363 line would be equivalent to a 390/388 line in the 2007-2009 offensive environment.
   3. Darren Posted: June 15, 2011 at 02:46 PM (#3853907)
Even with that, though, it doesn't look like a 6-WAR year... at all.
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: June 15, 2011 at 02:50 PM (#3853910)
As long as we're extrapolating, I'd say his 2010 was his best year ever.
   5. Darren Posted: June 15, 2011 at 02:51 PM (#3853912)
But there's no way he's ever going to "finish" that year.
   6. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 15, 2011 at 02:51 PM (#3853913)
Well, the 6-WAR projection calls for a nearly +20 defensive season. If Pedroia just ends up at +10 or so, which I think is a more likely outcome, he's having more like a 5 WAR season.

It's still a lot better than I'd have thought, though. As you say, it's a lot of little things - offensive context, baserunning, defense, OBP-heavy OPS - that all add up in the right direction.
   7. Darren Posted: June 15, 2011 at 03:09 PM (#3853928)
It calls for him to continue his +15 rate. His past three years are, in reverse order:

+15
+20
+9

For BBRef, simple 3/2/1 puts him at about +16. Regressing him toward an average 2B with 3/2/1 while throwing in 2 years of average puts him at about +11. Those numbers are all per 135 games, so if we're talking about 150 or so and going with the latter, we're talking about taking off about 5 runs, and him ending up around 5.5 WAR. (/nitpick)
   8. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: June 15, 2011 at 03:23 PM (#3853936)
Am I missing something, though? Shutting down Pedroia earlier might have resulted in an eventual return of a non-hampered-by-injury guy who might be an MVP candidate, even if his likely replacement in the short-term is replacement-level.

*EDITed for clarity*
   9. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 15, 2011 at 03:56 PM (#3853960)
Am I missing something, though? Shutting down Pedroia earlier might have resulted in an eventual return of a non-hampered-by-injury guy who might be an MVP candidate, even if his likely replacement in the short-term is replacement-level.


If you believe that he's really a 6 WAR player as he is that may not be in the Sox' best interest. Just throwing some numbers at this;

Pedroia non-DL; 6 WAR

Pedroia DL; 5 WAR (lose 1 WAR for a lost month) + 0 WAR (Drew Sutton et al) = 5 WAR

If I'm doing this right (and I may not be) doesn't Pedroia need to be a LOT better for the second half to make up for that lost month? Also, and I have no numbers to support this, I think there is diminishing return at some point. Pedroia earning 6 WAR in 5 months is not worth as much as 6 WAR in 6 months because some of those extra "wins" are going to come in situations where the Sox already have the win. It would be the equivalent of a grand slam to make a 12-0 game 16-0, it's good for the numbers but not quite as practical as a more "perfect" distribution would be.

Or maybe I'm full of crap.
   10. Darren Posted: June 15, 2011 at 03:57 PM (#3853961)
@#8: Yes. The decision makers get the benefit of the doubt when the guy they keep playing is having an MVP-caliber year. Put another way, if they sat him down for 2 weeks (which no one seems to think would help anyways) Pedroia would have to play even better than a 5-6 WAR player the rest of the time to make up for that lost time.
   11. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: June 15, 2011 at 04:23 PM (#3853983)
Pedroia earning 6 WAR in 5 months is not worth as much as 6 WAR in 6 months because some of those extra "wins" are going to come in situations where the Sox already have the win.

I think it is the exact opposite. While his replacement could be counted on for 0 WAR in that month, they won't be completely useless. Your statement is true if the alternative to Pedroia is literally no one at the plate and in the field. In that month, his replacement should be able to luck into a game-winning hit or RBI.
   12. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 15, 2011 at 04:31 PM (#3853991)
I think it is the exact opposite. While his replacement could be counted on for 0 WAR in that month, they won't be completely useless. Your statement is true if the alternative to Pedroia is literally no one at the plate and in the field. In that month, his replacement should be able to luck into a game-winning hit or RBI.


I think that's too optimistic a view. You're right that those positives will happen but the current "lesser" version of Pedroia is doing those things already. The replacements (Sutton, Lowrie) will also have situations where they can't field balls that Pedroia gets to and both are worse hitters than Pedroia even in his current state.

The other issue is that we are assuming a month of missed time and then a return to form. Injuries are tricky things and if Pedroia has a procedure it could be 6 weeks, not 4, and he may well come back diminished at the start because he has to get his timing back so the Sox could get a lesser form of Pedroia for a few weeks after a month of lesser players leaving about 6 weeks of the season for Pedroia to make it worthwhile.
   13. Darren Posted: June 15, 2011 at 04:35 PM (#3853998)
I think it is the exact opposite. While his replacement could be counted on for 0 WAR in that month, they won't be completely useless. Your statement is true if the alternative to Pedroia is literally no one at the plate and in the field. In that month, his replacement should be able to luck into a game-winning hit or RBI.


Jose assumes Pedroia's replacement will be replacement level--0 WAR. That is WAY above having "literally no one at the plate and in the field." Your argument assumes a player who will be above replacement level.
   14. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: June 15, 2011 at 04:36 PM (#3854000)
I agree with both of those points, Jose. For the sake of some baseline, I had to assume that he would miss a fixed amount of time and immediately return to previous levels of performance.
   15. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: June 15, 2011 at 04:37 PM (#3854001)
But a replacement-level guy is capable of a well-placed hit or RBI or something.
   16. Darren Posted: June 15, 2011 at 04:39 PM (#3854002)
But a replacement-level guy is capable of a well-placed hit or RBI or something.


And also is capable of a poorly timed error or GIDP. We shouldn't assume he will come out on the plus side in terms of luck.
   17. Darren Posted: June 15, 2011 at 04:44 PM (#3854007)
On the other hand, there is an argument to be made that the specific replacements in this scenario--Sutton/Lowrie/Scutaro--are above replacement. None, however, would be expected to come anywhere near what Pedroia can do, and therefore would similarly create a deficit for Pedroia to makeup when he returned.

For example, let's suppose that the replacements could be counted on for 1.5 WAR per season (low side of an average player). If Pedroia sits for a month, they lose 1 WAR from Pedroia and gain .25 WAR from the replacement. So now, rather than simply put up a 6.0 WAR rate for the season, Pedroia has to put up 5.75 WAR in 5 months, a rate of 6.9 WAR per season.
   18. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 15, 2011 at 05:09 PM (#3854036)
Is Sutton truly above replacement? Without looking at numbers (and his performances this year certainly fall under any sample size that would be meaningful) he seems to be the embodyment of "replacement level."
   19. Dale Sams Posted: June 15, 2011 at 05:13 PM (#3854040)
The eyeball test:

His defense is elite, despite that famous gaffe a few games back.

He's fouling off tons of pitchs enabling him to walk more.

Those are the positives, I haven't watched enough to focus on the negatives.
   20. Darren Posted: June 15, 2011 at 05:38 PM (#3854072)
Is Sutton truly above replacement?


Of course he is! He's been worth 0.2 WAR over his career.

Seriously, though, he's had a .704 OPS (89 OPS+) for his MLB career, getting very sporadic playing time. He's got a career line of .276 .379 .430 at AAA, which translates to about the same. If he's a decent defender, that sounds somewhat above replacement level at 2B.
   21. Joel W Posted: June 15, 2011 at 05:56 PM (#3854091)
It certainly is looking to me like the day off last Thursday helped. Even last night he hit a ball damn hard to the warning track. Perhaps given his foot injury and the alignment troubles that those injuries can cause, the Red Sox should give him a day off before a rest day every other week or something. 2 days off in a row can do wonders.
   22. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 15, 2011 at 05:57 PM (#3854093)
Extrapolating over a full season, that would give him something like 6.0 WAR, well above the 5.2 WAR of his MVP 2008.
Further evidence that the MVP voters had an off year in 2008.
   23. Darren Posted: June 15, 2011 at 06:00 PM (#3854098)
You skipped the part about his Fangraphs WAR, didn't you?
   24. Darren Posted: June 15, 2011 at 06:01 PM (#3854102)
@21--Pedroia has said that rest doesn't really help him feel better. I think it might have done his head a lot of good to get checked out and know that he could go all out.
   25. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 15, 2011 at 07:23 PM (#3854179)
GO BRUINS!
   26. madvillain Posted: June 15, 2011 at 07:36 PM (#3854187)
I don't like using UZR data for 1/3 of a season, at all.
   27. Darren Posted: June 15, 2011 at 08:55 PM (#3854249)
How about the last 2.4 seasons of Total Zone? Because as I showed above, his TZ number over that period is about the same as what he's done this year.
   28. madvillain Posted: June 15, 2011 at 09:23 PM (#3854265)
How about the last 2.4 seasons of Total Zone? Because as I showed above, his TZ number over that period is about the same as what he's done this year.


Sounds good. The new offensive environment means any 2B with a .376 OBP is quite valuable obviously.
   29. konaforever Posted: June 15, 2011 at 09:26 PM (#3854266)
The eye test passes with Pedroia. He definitely makes a lot of nice plays.
   30. Mister High Standards Posted: June 16, 2011 at 08:45 PM (#3855070)
the thing this thread has taught me that TVerik has no concept of replacement level.
   31. ptodd Posted: June 17, 2011 at 08:23 AM (#3855601)
This is not Pedroias best year. If the numbers say so, something is wrong with them. Defensively it may be his best year though, but extrapolating less than 1/2 years UZR is supposed to be a no-no.

Also, given the lower run environment this year, SLG is more valuable than in higher run environment years, and OBP a bit less. Since Pedroias offensive drop is all in his SLG, the weights based on higher run environments would inflate his numbers.

It certainly is looking to me like the day off last Thursday helped.


He also received an injection of a lubricant for his knee that may be helping. Seems to be going the other way a bit more too.
Interleague play coming, so don't expect anymore days off for Pedroia until thye are over. He loves NL pitching for some reason, maybe because they do not scout AL players are thoroughly and he gets better pitches to hit.
   32. Something Other Posted: June 19, 2011 at 08:28 AM (#3857050)
With serious, ongoing injuries there always seems to me to be the risk that it hampers someone's performance long term. His doc might tell him otherwise, but what you do to compensate for that injury can cause injuries elsewhere. I don't think that just because Pedroia stays in the lineup until the end of the season it means he's home free after that.
   33. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: June 20, 2011 at 01:42 PM (#3857648)
Also, given the lower run environment this year, SLG is more valuable than in higher run environment years, and OBP a bit less. Since Pedroias offensive drop is all in his SLG, the weights based on higher run environments would inflate his numbers.
This might be true for the league in general, but OBP is still damn valuable when you've got Gonzalez/Youkilis/Ortiz hitting behind you.
   34. Joel W Posted: June 20, 2011 at 02:48 PM (#3857686)
Pedroia's OPS+ is now where it was in the 2009 season. It is really, really, weird adjusting to a .262/.377/.392 being equivalent to a .296/.371/.447

The best sign that Pedroia is "right", whether it be a mental or physical correction, is that his contact rate is back to his absurd levels. In June he's struck out in just 10% of his at bats.
   35. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 21, 2011 at 11:25 AM (#3858454)
As long as Pedroia is healthy, I'm not worried. If he's banged up, I want him shut down until he's good.
   36. Darren Posted: July 10, 2011 at 11:24 PM (#3873857)
Pedroia is now at .284 .395 .442. That's just about his best OPS+ and very OBP-heavy. He's up around 4.3 WAR, on pace for almost 8. By far his best year and he'll be watching the All-Star game. Go figure.
   37. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 11, 2011 at 09:41 PM (#3874609)
He's doing it rather bizarrely. Both his walk rate and strikeout rate are way up. That seems really odd for a guy who did little of either in his first few years. Especially since his productivity hasn't suffered. His BABIP this season (.303) isn't high, nor is it completely out of line with his career rate.
   38. Darren Posted: July 13, 2011 at 10:46 PM (#3877013)
I just noticed that Pedroia's 2010 and 2011 add up to exactly 162 games. Here's his line:

162 games, 112 runs 184 hits 43 2B, 2 3B, 23 HR, 85 RBI 25 SB, 4 CS, 100 BB, 87 K, .286 BA, .382 OBP, .466 SLG, 128 OPS+, 8.1 BBWAR.

For comparison's sake, here's the best BBWAR seasons by some Red Sox greats:

Ortiz 6.0
Nomar 7.3
Manny 6.0 as a Red Sock, 8.0 overall
Rice 7.0
(Lynn and Yaz beat him.)

Here are the best BBWAR years by some other top middle infielders

Utley 7.7
Jeter 8.0
Kinsler 5.3
Cano 6.3
Tulo 6.8
Hanley 7.6
Reyes 5.9

It's been an amazing 2 years and ZIPS thinks Pedroia will finish the year about the same way he hit in 2010.
   39. tfbg9 Posted: July 13, 2011 at 11:10 PM (#3877041)
Poor Man's Joe Morgan?
   40. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 14, 2011 at 08:08 PM (#3877797)
More of a working man's Joe Morgan, if the gains from the past couple years can be sustained.
   41. Dan Posted: July 16, 2011 at 10:40 PM (#3879191)
Are Pedroia and Ellsbury both going to hit 20+ HR this season? I don't think even the biggest optimist would've hoped for that, especially considering how much offense is down around the game over the last few years.
   42. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: July 16, 2011 at 11:26 PM (#3879213)
I don't know, he may be an upper middle class man's Joe Morgan.
   43. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 17, 2011 at 02:19 AM (#3879291)
I'd say poor. This is Joe Morgan's peak converted to 2008 Fenway Park:

338/471/508
327/449/556
325/463/541
357/499/559
355/484/643

I mean, Dustin Pedroia is all kinds of awesome, but he's really not at all close to Joe Morgan.

For a comparison, I think he's basically Lou Whitaker. Not a poor man's or a rich man's version, just pretty much the actual Lou Whitaker. Whitaker did this for many years, hopefully Pedroia can, too.
   44. John DiFool2 Posted: July 17, 2011 at 02:38 AM (#3879295)
5 HRs in his last 7 games. I think he may be a legitimate 25 HR guy.
   45. Famous Original Joe C Posted: July 17, 2011 at 02:39 AM (#3879296)
338/471/508
327/449/556
325/463/541
357/499/559
355/484/643


!!!
   46. Famous Original Joe C Posted: July 17, 2011 at 02:52 AM (#3879309)
MC is right, obviously. But a poor man's Joe Morgan with a long enough career is still possibly a Hall of Famer.
   47. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: July 17, 2011 at 04:41 AM (#3879340)
I'd say poor. This is Joe Morgan's peak converted to 2008 Fenway Park:

338/471/508
327/449/556
325/463/541
357/499/559
355/484/643

I mean, Dustin Pedroia is all kinds of awesome, but he's really not at all close to Joe Morgan.


Pedroia right now looks to be around a 130ish OPS+ type hitter, in his age 27 season. Outside of Morgan's incredible 5 year peak, from age 28-32, that's basically a good Morgan season. He finished with a career 132 OPS+. Now I'm obviously not picking Pedroia to have that kind of peak, but I do think the comparison sells him a little short.
   48. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 17, 2011 at 10:39 AM (#3879364)
I don't think it sells him short at all. If you have to remove the first player's five best seasons in order to make the comparison work, it's not "selling short" the second player to say that the first player was way, way better.

A hypothetical Joe Morgan who never won two MVPs would look rather like Lou Whitaker, which was my first comparison. (And, of course, both of them kept up this level of performance for a long time. Most second basemen crash out at some point a lot earlier.)
   49. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: July 17, 2011 at 01:40 PM (#3879384)
I don't think it sells him short at all. If you have to remove the first player's five best seasons in order to make the comparison work, it's not "selling short" the second player to say that the first player was way, way better.

The part you're ignoring is that you are comparing a 27 year old to somebody with a full career. Joe Morgan through age 27: 121 OPS+. Dusitin Pedroia: 116 OPS+, and will likely add a few points by the time his age 27 season is done. Morgan's best WAR season: 5.5. Pedroia: 5.2, a number he should shatter this season, he's allready at 4.7.

Now I'm obviously not predicting Pedroia to have the insane peak Morgan did, but I'm also not willing to completely rule out the fact that he might have some peakage left in him. I mean would anybody really be surprised if he put up a few seasons in the 140's? Hell, he'd probably be over 150 this season, if he hadn't forgotten which end to hold the bat with for 6 weeks...

You're also of course completely ignoring defense. All the evidence I have seen suggests Morgan was at best average, while Pedroia is very good.
   50. chris p Posted: July 17, 2011 at 01:58 PM (#3879389)
neither whitaker or morgan make any sense as comps for pedroia. whitaker had 15 seasons with 100 games and ops+ over 100 while playing a position that correlates with short careers. pedroia has 3. iow, it isn't whitaker's peak that makes him great, it's his longevity, and obviously pedroia doesn't haave that (yet?). as for morgan, beyond the obvious difference between pedroia and morgan--morgan's insane 5 year peak, morgan always got his value with huge secondary averages (and efficient base stealing), while pedroia gets his from his crazy contact ability.
   51. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 17, 2011 at 02:37 PM (#3879400)
What made Joe Morgan be Joe Morgan is his five year peak. A player who is similar to Joe Morgan outside of his peak is a player who is not similar to Joe Morgan.

A player who put up a season similar to Pedro's 2004 or 1996 is not similar to Pedro Martinez.
   52. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 17, 2011 at 02:46 PM (#3879404)
Offensive WAR on BBREF:
Youkilis 3.9
Pedroia 3.8
Gonzalez 3.7
Ellsbury 3.6

Close race.
   53. tfbg9 Posted: July 17, 2011 at 02:56 PM (#3879414)
The Sox lost the 7th game of the '75 series by one run on a two-out, 9th inning, bloop single to center by Peak Joe Morgan.
   54. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 17, 2011 at 03:00 PM (#3879419)
while pedroia gets his from his crazy contact ability.


Which has largely gone away this year, if the whiffs are any indication.

A player who put up a season similar to Pedro's 2004 or 1996 is not similar to Pedro Martinez.


If their insane player comps are any indication, BP disagrees.
   55. tfbg9 Posted: July 17, 2011 at 03:20 PM (#3879424)
Peak Joe Morgan. The little man averaged over 10 BBWAR per season from 1972-1976...so, when Darren pointed-out that our very own Bivenesque 2nd sacker had hung-up 8.1 over a 162 game span, I thought of "PMJM".
   56. John DiFool2 Posted: July 17, 2011 at 03:45 PM (#3879435)
Which has largely gone away this year, if the whiffs are any indication.


He's gone deeper into counts, trading some base hits for walks. In any event that's no longer the case, as since June 1st he's only K'd 12 times while walking 28 times in 172 PA (oh, he also has a 1.112 OPS over that time span).

I'll defer any historical analysis of his season until it is over-who knows when or even if he'll cool off...
   57. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 17, 2011 at 04:26 PM (#3879448)
In any event that's no longer the case, as since June 1st he's only K'd 12 times while walking 28 times in 172 PA (oh, he also has a 1.112 OPS over that time span).
Yup. And if you draw the line at June 9th, when Pedroia got his knee checked out in Boston, the K-rate split is 14.2% before, 7.0% after. He's maintained the same walk rate while striking out half as often.

Can't say if this is anything other than variation. Strikeout rate does normalize pretty quickly for what that's worth.
   58. Darren Posted: July 17, 2011 at 06:03 PM (#3879473)
neither whitaker or morgan make any sense as comps for pedroia.



Exactly. He's more like Jerry Remy or David Eckstein.

Seriously, though I agree Mr. Lowercase that the thing that made Whitaker Whitaker was that he was good for a long, long time. Will Pedroia last that long? Is his transformation over the past two years from a high-BA/low power guy to a walking power hitter an adaptation that will help him or the early onset of old-player skills (to match his hairline)?

I also agree with MCOA that Pedroia is not even close to Morgan right now. Morgan has multiple Yaz 67 years. He was, by the numbers, insanely good--an inner circle HOF based on both peak and career achievements.


With his increased steals and lower BA, Pedroia is starting to look more like a better Ray Durham. Knoblauch (power surge and 8.8 WAR at age 27) isn't a bad comp either right now. Yikes on the latter.
   59. Darren Posted: July 17, 2011 at 06:05 PM (#3879475)
Alomar too!
   60. Famous Original Joe C Posted: July 19, 2011 at 02:24 PM (#3881212)
If Pedroia just ends up at +10 or so, which I think is a more likely outcome, he's having more like a 5 WAR season.

Amazing that July still has nearly two more weeks and he's already got those 5 WAR.
   61. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: July 19, 2011 at 03:04 PM (#3881265)
Offensively he looks a lot like Jose Vidro through the same age, though Vidro never had Pedroia's glove. Hopefully that athleticism helps him age better. This high walk version also looks a bit like peak-Biggio with fewer steals.
   62. Darren Posted: July 19, 2011 at 07:54 PM (#3881527)
Pedroia's tacked on .8 WAR in the 9 days since my July 10 post. Oh, there was an All-Star break in there too.
   63. Darren Posted: July 29, 2011 at 12:14 AM (#3888000)
.900 OPS, pushing 6 WAR. What a year he is having.
   64. Darren Posted: July 29, 2011 at 12:30 AM (#3888006)
I guess he won't get a .900 OPS:

Old Thread on Pedrioa
   65. chris p Posted: July 29, 2011 at 12:57 AM (#3888017)
I guess he won't get a .900 OPS:

Old Thread on Pedrioa


he'll need a few more points of obp.
   66. chris p Posted: July 29, 2011 at 12:58 AM (#3888018)
darren, while you're digging up old threads, see if you can find one where people were comparing ellsbury's power potential to juan pierre.
   67. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: July 29, 2011 at 01:54 AM (#3888038)
And speaking of Ellsbury...wow. His 2011 is killing Johnny Damon's best seasons.
   68. chris p Posted: July 29, 2011 at 02:25 AM (#3888045)
And speaking of Ellsbury...wow. His 2011 is killing Johnny Damon's best seasons.

he's going to get close to grady sizemore's best season (bref has sizemore at 7.3 WAR in '06).
   69. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: July 29, 2011 at 02:51 AM (#3888049)
he's going to get close to grady sizemore's best season (bref has sizemore at 7.3 WAR in '06).

And somewhere, kevin is saying, "I told you so."
   70. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 29, 2011 at 03:09 AM (#3888052)
If the Red Sox continue to mash at the pace they have all season, he will be part of one of the best 1-through-5's in baseball history. When was the last time a team had five guys with OPS+'s above 140? Then you add the defense of Gonzalez and Pedroia, the speed of Ellsbury and Pedroia, the fact it's two righties and three lefties, the fact that three of them are from the farm system...it's a pretty crazy situation.
   71. Darren Posted: July 29, 2011 at 04:07 AM (#3888063)
I think the point was that him turning into Pierre would have been a darn good outcome--a decent starter on a good team.

Here a link, though:

I say he's Lofton


(BTW, Lofton's best year was 94, when he hit: .349 .412 .536, good for a 144 OPS+. Ells right now:.325 .383 .528, for a 146 OPS+. Lofton did have 60 SB and 12 CS in that strike-shortened year).
   72. Darren Posted: July 29, 2011 at 01:42 PM (#3888154)
Fangraphs and Baseball Reference both have Pedroia as worth 61 runs above replacement right now. However, Fangraphs says that's worth 6.5 WAR and BBRef says 5.9. Is Fangraphs adjusting for the lower scoring environment while BBref is not (maybe that's something does at the end of the year?)?
   73. Darren Posted: July 29, 2011 at 01:46 PM (#3888157)
On Pedroia's defense, they're pretty close as well:

DRS: +11 runs
TZ: +12 runs
UZR: +12.6 runs

He's staying in that +15 to +20 range discussed earlier in the thread.
   74. Darren Posted: July 29, 2011 at 02:08 PM (#3888167)
Fangraphs also has Pedroia as very close to Bautista (6.8) in WAR. If it weren't for Bautista's 2.1-run advantage in baserunning, it'd be even closer.
   75. Joel W Posted: July 29, 2011 at 02:14 PM (#3888168)
The top 5 almost has to be one of the best ever given that the lineup as a whole is pretty damn elite, and it certainly is not because of the balanced lineup.
   76. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 29, 2011 at 03:37 PM (#3888231)
The top 5 almost has to be one of the best ever given that the lineup as a whole is pretty damn elite, and it certainly is not because of the balanced lineup.
ooh, fun!

The team I immediately thought of was the Big Red Machine - they had two inner circle HoFers at their peaks, plus a couple other HoFers and HoVGers. The problem there appears to be that Joe Morgan was just too great, so the team is top-heavy purely by virtue of Joe Morgan being on it. Morgan's 12(!) WAR were more than double the wins above replacement provided by Dave Parker (5.6), who was fifth in the league. Jesus. So you have

Morgan (1st, 12.0)
Bench (3rd, 6.5)
Foster (8th, 4.8)
Rose (13th, 4.4)
Concepcion (21st, 3.4)
Geronimo (21st, 3.4)

Sox have

Pedroia (2nd, 5.9)
Ellsbury (3rd, 5.1)
Gonzalez (4th, 4.9)
Youkilis (9th, 3.8)
Ortiz (29th, 2.5)
   77. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 29, 2011 at 04:03 PM (#3888250)
ooh, fun!

The team I immediately thought of was the Big Red Machine - they had two inner circle HoFers at their peaks, plus a couple other HoFers and HoVGers. The problem there appears to be that Joe Morgan was just too great, so the team is top-heavy purely by virtue of Joe Morgan being on it. Morgan's 12(!) WAR were more than double the wins above replacement provided by Dave Parker (5.6), who was fifth in the league. Jesus. So you have

Morgan (1st, 12.0)
Bench (3rd, 6.5)
Foster (8th, 4.8)
Rose (13th, 4.4)
Concepcion (21st, 3.4)
Geronimo (21st, 3.4)

Sox have

Pedroia (2nd, 5.9)
Ellsbury (3rd, 5.1)
Gonzalez (4th, 4.9)
Youkilis (9th, 3.8)
Ortiz (29th, 2.5)


The problem here is you're comparing their top 5 players against our top 5 players. That includes defense, which isn't really relevant to the Optimist's question of where our Top 5 of the lineup stacks up historically.

Here are the oWar numbers for 75 Reds (it was pretty much a wash against 76, but I used 75 because the Reds were better and it includes the HoFer instead of the HoVger) vs. the Sox (extrapolated, loosely based on 2/3 of the season being gone). And even using oWar is questionable since it brings position into the mix, but screw it, too late now.

Rose 5.5
Griffey 3.7
Morgan 10.3
Bench 5.6
Perez 2.4
Total 27.5

vs.
Ellsbury 6.1
Pedroia 7.2
Gonzalez 6.0
Youkilis 5.7
Ortiz 3.6
Total 28.6
   78. Darren Posted: July 29, 2011 at 04:10 PM (#3888256)
But you didn't account for the fact that Pedroia decided in June that he was going to get 12.1 WAR this year. Things look better now, don't they?
   79. Darren Posted: July 29, 2011 at 04:18 PM (#3888260)
@77, the position adjustments cancel out except for Ortiz vs. Bench. Of course, that's a 3-WAR swing in favor of Bench, so it puts the Sox behind by a couple.

Edit: It actually helps the Sox if we're just talking about sheer offensive prowess.
   80. Darren Posted: July 29, 2011 at 04:29 PM (#3888269)
94 Indians oWAR, adjusted for full season:

Belle: 10.5
Lofton: 9.5
Baerga: 3.9
Thome: 3.5
S Alomar: 3.3
Total: 30.7

99 Indians:
Manny 7.8
R Alomar 7.2
Vizquel 5.1
Thome 4.9
Lofton 4.6
Total: 29.6
   81. Joel W Posted: July 29, 2011 at 04:46 PM (#3888285)
Using Fangraphs I've got the Sox top 5 at 205 batting runs above average prorated to a full season. Obviously there will be some regression, but yeah, it's right up there.

99 Indians at 185.
75 Reds at 184.4
82 Brewers at 183.
   82. Darren Posted: July 29, 2011 at 05:02 PM (#3888308)
It's hard for me to wrap my head around this core being better than Manny/Thome/Lofton/Alomar/Vizquel. But I guess it's got a lot to do with the context.
   83. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 29, 2011 at 05:21 PM (#3888332)
When was the last time a team had five guys with OPS+'s above 140?


So I did the Play Index search on this and with a 300 PA minimum it has never happened. Five teams have had four players;

2011 Red Sox (so far)
2003 Red Sox
1976 Reds
1968 Tigers (Ray Oyler juuuuuust missed the cut)
1963 Giants
   84. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 29, 2011 at 06:48 PM (#3888448)
1993 Blue Jays:
Some combination of 5 of the following:
(oWAR from bbref)

Rickey Henderson (6.1)
Devon White (4.2)
Roberto Alomar (6.8)
Joe Carter (2.0)
John Olerud (7.7)
Paul Molitor (5.8)

That was the first 6 batters to start the first game of the 1993 World Series.
It's funny that series hero Carter is the hole in that lineup.
   85. Rusty Priske Posted: July 29, 2011 at 07:04 PM (#3888460)
I just checked Win Shares today. I know not everybody likes them but I think they are a good measure of actualy performance for the team.

According to Win Shares the Most Valuable Red Sox player so far has been Jacoby Ellsbury, with Dustin Pedroia second and Adrian Gonzalez third.


(Just for trivia's sake, AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera, NL MVP: Ryan Braun, AL CY: Jared Weaver, NL CY: Roy Halladay. The only one that was a big surprise for me was Braun...)
   86. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 29, 2011 at 09:45 PM (#3888597)
1968 Tigers (Ray Oyler juuuuuust missed the cut)

Heh, you confused me for a bit. I thought to myself "wait, wasn't Oyler a really terrible hitter?"
   87. Darren Posted: August 04, 2011 at 02:24 AM (#3892338)
The Sox look like they could end up with one of the best 1-2 hitter combos ever.

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