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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Friday, January 08, 2021

Alex Rodriguez

Eligible 2022

DL from MN Posted: January 08, 2021 at 10:10 AM | 54 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: January 08, 2021 at 10:40 AM (#5998249)
The suspensions keep him out of the conversation for best SS for me. He ends up just ahead of Joe Morgan, Mike Schmidt and Cal Ripken in my rankings and behind Eddie Collins, Pop Lloyd, Lajoie and Rogers Hornsby. Well behind Honus Wagner.
   2. bachslunch Posted: January 08, 2021 at 10:50 AM (#5998251)
ARod would be top of my ballot, but I'm boycotting him for post-2005 PED use. He'll surely get in without my help, and on the numbers deservedly so.
   3. reech Posted: January 08, 2021 at 10:52 AM (#5998253)
Cheater
Liar
Bum

No thanks
   4. progrockfan Posted: January 08, 2021 at 12:54 PM (#5998325)
I don't like him either - but he's clearly #1 on the 2022 ballot, ahead of Easter for me.

By that time, I hope to have convinced you all of Big Luke's merits. Either my research will get published or I'll post it here, one of the two.

I have Easter as a much greater hitter than Ortiz. A-Rod's the complete package, though, and by my system takes the #1 slot with ease.
   5. kwarren Posted: January 08, 2021 at 04:29 PM (#5998411)
He ends up just ahead of Joe Morgan, Mike Schmidt and Cal Ripken in my rankings and behind Eddie Collins, Pop Lloyd, Lajoie and Rogers Hornsby. Well behind Honus Wagner.


In terms of WAR/600 PA, OPS+ he is behind the players you mentioned. He is ahead of Lajoie in JAWS &WAR;, by a fair margin. Here are the top 10 seasons along with total WAR for all the players you mentioned, other than Pop Lloyd.

Honus Wagner - 11.5, 10.2, 9.3, 9.2, 9.0, 8.2, 8.0, 7.7, 7.3, 7.1 - 131.0
Rogers Hornsby - 12.2. 10.8, 10.4, 10.2, 10.2, 10.0, 9.9, 9.6, 9.0, 6.7 - 127.1
Eddie Collins - 10.5, 9.7, 9.4, 9.1, 9.0, 8.8, 7.9, 7.0, 6.6, 6.3 - 123.9
Alex Rodriguez - 10.4, 9.4, 9.4, 9.4, 8.8, 8.5, 8.4, 8.3, 7.6, 6.8 - 119.4
Nap Lajoie - 10.9, 9.8, 8.6, 8.4, 8.0, 7.9, 7.6, 6.5, 5.3, 5.3 - 107.5
Mike Schmidt - 9.7, 8.9, 8.9, 8.0, 7.9, 7.7, 7.7, 7.4, 7.0, 6.9 - 106.9
Joe Morgan - 11.0, 9.6, 9.3, 9.3, 8.6, 5.8, 5.7, 5.6, 5.1, 5.0 - 100.6
Cal Ripken - 11.5, 10.0, 8.2, 7.5, 6.7, 6.6, 5.8, 5.6, 4.7, 4.1 - 97.0

   6. The Honorable Ardo Posted: January 08, 2021 at 08:57 PM (#5998486)
Who was better, Rodriguez or Wagner? It's a reasonable question when you compare their league quality. They're VERY similar players. Wagner had about two-thirds of his defensive games at SS (the rest sprinkled between RF, 1B, 3B); A-Rod, of course, is 55% SS/45% 3B.
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: January 08, 2021 at 10:47 PM (#5998524)
I will have A-Rod No. 1 for 2022, by miles, of course.

as others have noted, not sure where Ortiz will rank on my ballot.

and I have no quarrel with the "one-year boycott" option, at all.

A-Rod won't get a second vote, I presume, but likely Ortiz will.

works for me.
   8. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 08, 2021 at 11:44 PM (#5998541)
Ardo, it depends on what question you are asking! Are we putting the fetus of one of them into a time machine so they grow up under the same conditions as the other? Or are we putting their 18 year old selves in the time machine?

But as you say, given the relative qualities of play, and a one-race league in the 1900s, and higher variance among the best and worst players in that time, there is virtually no way that A-Rod isn’t a better player than Wagner.
   9. Mayor Blomberg Posted: January 09, 2021 at 12:08 AM (#5998546)
.
   10. Jaack Posted: January 09, 2021 at 12:17 PM (#5998593)
He ranks as the best shortstop since Wagner, and the best infield type in general since Rogers Hornsby, although it's a functional tie between him and Schmidt.

There's about as much space between him and the top of the backlog than there is between the top of the backlog and me, personally.
   11. progrockfan Posted: January 09, 2021 at 02:50 PM (#5998652)
The best infield type in general since Rogers Hornsby
I'd take Joe Morgan. But then, I have Morgan rated over Hornsby.
   12. cookiedabookie Posted: January 09, 2021 at 04:11 PM (#5998668)
Obviously the top player on the ballot unless you inact the one year boycott. 19th all time for me, between Josh Gibson and Nap Lajoie
   13. kwarren Posted: January 09, 2021 at 11:01 PM (#5998757)
The best infield type in general since Rogers Hornsby
I'd take Joe Morgan. But then, I have Morgan rated over Hornsby.
Would really be interested in seeing how you manage to do that !!

Here's a relative comparison for you with Hornsby's stat shown first:

WAR 127.1 to 100.5
JAWS 100.4 to 79.9
dWAR 13.9 to 3.8
WAR7 73.7 to 59.3
WAA 97.6 to 63.4
BA .358 to .271
OBP .434 to .392
OPS 1.010 to .819
OPS+ 175 to 132

Top 10 Seasons:

Rogers Hornsby - 12.2. 10.8, 10.4, 10.2, 10.2, 10.0, 9.9, 9.6, 9.0, 6.7 - 127.1
Joe Morgan - 11.0, 9.6, 9.3, 9.3, 8.6, 5.8, 5.7, 5.6, 5.1, 5.0 - 100.6

Seriously how can you possibly rate Morgan ahead of Hornsby and expect to have any credibility ? There isn't one phase of the game where Morgan was better and in total they are not even in the same time zone !!
   14. DL from MN Posted: January 09, 2021 at 11:11 PM (#5998758)
He is ahead of Lajoie in JAWS &WAR;, by a fair margin.


Here's one area where comparing 154 game and 162 game seasons can get you into trouble without any adjustment.
   15. John DiFool2 Posted: January 09, 2021 at 11:47 PM (#5998768)
Seriously how can you possibly rate Morgan ahead of Hornsby and expect to have any credibility ? There isn't one phase of the game where Morgan was better and in total they are not even in the same time zone !!


Timelining. The early 20's were a weird time, a bit hard to really analyze given how some players were way ahead of the power curve. Bring Hornsby into the modern era (yes, incl. nutrition/training and all that), and he isn't going to hit .400 for 5 years.

Plus Morgan was a better baserunner.
   16. Jaack Posted: January 10, 2021 at 12:06 AM (#5998771)
Even without timelining, I don't think it's too unreasonable to get Morgan and Hornsby at least close. Hornsby's Rfield looks pretty solid, but his reputation is pretty poor and it's not like Rfield is an indisputable authority for early play. We also don't have full base-running data for most of his career, but being right handed and not particularly fast, he probably loses value in double play avoidance at the very least.

Hornsby also had tougher competition at second base in his era despite the smaller segregated league, and he also played in a weaker NL, while the NL in Morgan's day was the stronger league.

Now I don't think that makes up the difference entirely. I'd need at least some overt timelining to get there. But accounting for all that it's relatively close.
   17. kwarren Posted: January 10, 2021 at 12:46 AM (#5998776)
Plus Morgan was a better baserunner.
WAR takes this into account

Bring Hornsby into the modern era (yes, incl. nutrition/training and all that), and he isn't going to hit .400 for 5 years.
Bring Babe Ruth into the modern era and Danny Tartabull would be better than him.

I think we should be comparing players to their peers, not to people who played 100 years earlier or later. To compare players from different eras we compare their level of dominance, not by using an ambiguous reference to timelining.

If we look at sports where performance can be measured by times and or distance - track & field and swimming for example; we find the world's best in the 1920's would not even win a high school meet now. I think it is reasonable to assume the same would be true of baseball, football, and basketball players from the past. Babe Ruth of the 1920's would likely struggle to make a AAA team's roster.

So, yes, in that sense Joe Morgan is a much, much better player than Rogers Hornsby. But everybody knows that - so that is not what the Hall of Merit is attempting to measure. Relative dominance is what is interesting and challenging.
   18. progrockfan Posted: January 10, 2021 at 08:57 AM (#5998793)
Seriously how can you possibly rate Morgan ahead of Hornsby and expect to have any credibility ?
(sigh)

Posters here don't lack "credibility" because they happen to disagree with you.

How can I possibly rate Morgan over Hornsby? Let me count the ways:

* Defense. No comparison. Morgan mops the floor with Hornsby by any metric you care to name. Win Shares rates Hornsby as the worst of all second baseman with long careers, absolutely rock-bottom. Disagree with Win Shares if you wish, but there's no way to massage Hornsby's defense into anything remotely approaching Morgan's. And I tend to think up-the-middle defensive prowess is kind of important.

* Basepath speed. No comparison. Morgan stole 689 bases, the 11th highest total of all time, and succeeded at a phenomenal 81% rate. (He would've stolen more, too, if the Machine had batted him first instead of Rose.) Hornsby stole 159, below average for his era, and for the seasons for which we have CS records maintained an awful 51% rate.

* Longevity. Morgan played 390 more ganes than Hornsby, essentially two and a half full seasons more. Hornsby was finished as a full-time player at age 33, while Morgan posted a 104 OPS+ on 438 plate appearances at age 40.

* Plate discipline. Despite the fact that Hornsby played in an era where hitters' walks generally outnumbered their strikeouts, Morgan had far superior plate discipline, drawing 1865 walks to Hornsby's 1038 and posting a 1.84 BB/K ratio against Hornsby's 1.53. Not coincidentally, when walks and steals are factored in, Morgan took 6516 career bases to Hornsby's 5885.

* Double play avoidance. No comparison. Morgan hit into double plays at a witheringly miniscule rate of .0092 per plate appearance. We're missing data for most of Hornsby's career, but for the small slice for which we have data he posted a rate of .0292, or 317% more frequently than Morgan.

* Post-season performance. In his two World Series appearances Hornsby hit .245/.288/.327; in his four, Morgan hit .235/.347/.435 - not Reggie Jackson-brilliant, but good for a 167-point OPS advantage over Hornsby.

* Intangibles. It's the least of my points, but worth noting nonetheless. Morgan was an acknowledged team leader, and won the MVP for both of the two prime years of the Big Red Machine, 1975-1976. Hornsby, by contrast... Just because it's handy, let's quote Wikipedia: "He was notoriously difficult to get along with, a major reason he changed teams so frequently in the last decade of his career... His gambling was often a factor in his dismissal from a team... By most contemporary accounts, he was at least as mean and nasty as Cobb, who was known in his time for his aggressive attitude and dirty play." From Bill James: "The players designated Grady Hatton to go to the front office and complain about the fact that Hornsby insisted on urinating in the showers, even after being asked not to."

* Era and context. It's not just the timeline, though that counts too; Hornsby played in a smaller league, in a weaker league, in a higher offensive context, and in a wholly segregated era. Those fat .400 averages are much leaner when viewed in their proper context. All of these facts redound solidly to Morgan's benefit.

That, in a nutshell, is how I can rate Morgan over Hornsby. But perhaps I lack "credibility."
   19. kwarren Posted: January 10, 2021 at 11:27 PM (#5998914)
* Defense. No comparison. Morgan mops the floor with Hornsby by any metric you care to name. Win Shares rates Hornsby as the worst of all second baseman with long careers, absolutely rock-bottom. Disagree with Win Shares if you wish, but there's no way to massage Hornsby's defense into anything remotely approaching Morgan's. And I tend to think up-the-middle defensive prowess is kind of important.
Defensive runs saved Hornsby 126.5 - Morgan 14.0

You have totally ignored all the traditional measures of value to mention a few items that you feel make your case.

Basepath speed, longevity, plate discipline, are all included in JAWS and WAR, so there is no need to isolate them an treat them separately. Intangibles are intangibles and are a good way for you to show your personal feelings for the player, which are not relevant to their value to their team.

And yes, the way you frame your arguments to reflect your disgust for Sosa & Hornsby does unfortunately reduce your credibility significantly. Might be best to use the generally accepted measures of overall player value that we have, rather than cherry pick the things that you feel you need to highlight build your case, which are already included in the traditional measuring sticks that you tend to not want to use.



   20. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 11, 2021 at 12:37 AM (#5998922)
Defensive runs saved Hornsby 126.5 - Morgan 14.0

What is the source for these numbers? They don't match the fielding numbers on either B-R or Fangraphs.
   21. progrockfan Posted: January 11, 2021 at 07:46 AM (#5998933)
Deleted by user request
   22. progrockfan Posted: January 11, 2021 at 07:48 AM (#5998934)
Deleted by user request
   23. progrockfan Posted: January 11, 2021 at 08:20 AM (#5998938)
Deleted by user request
   24. Howie Menckel Posted: January 11, 2021 at 08:22 AM (#5998939)
pass
   25. progrockfan Posted: January 11, 2021 at 08:57 AM (#5998944)
Deleted by user request
   26. bachslunch Posted: January 11, 2021 at 08:58 AM (#5998945)
@23: As someone who just got called out on another thread, I hear you. Believe me. And yes, it can be irritating. But eh — that’s part of the process. There are lots of ways of thinking around here.

The way I approach it is this. Take a look at the criticism dispassionately, see what if anything you can take from it, adjust as you see fit, then move on from it. If you’re out of step or somebody thinks you’re a schmuck, that’s the way it goes. In my case, I realize my thinking is neither mainstream nor popular and some folks may think it’s indefensible, but so be it. If my ballot gets disqualified, I’ll just leave. I enjoy participating, but I’ll live comfortably either way.
   27. DL from MN Posted: January 11, 2021 at 09:01 AM (#5998946)
He kept insulting me in the 2020 threads.


And you keep taking the bait and returning the insults. Please don't turn this forum into Twitter.
   28. progrockfan Posted: January 11, 2021 at 09:24 AM (#5998953)
He kept insulting me in the 2020 threads.
And you keep taking the bait and returning the insults. Please don't turn this forum into Twitter.
Actually, he insulted me, I dunno, 25 times before I first responded - but your basic point is sound, DL.

My partner, who reads most of what I write here, made an excellent point:
"He's just a typical Internet troll. He's baiting, not debating."
And her basic point is sound too.

I spent too long in civilized University debates, I think, and I've allowed my nose to be thrown out of joint by someone whose mind and opinions I don't even respect. Which is on me. So I'll take your advice, DL, and just ignore him completely. Thanks for the sage words.
   29. DL from MN Posted: January 11, 2021 at 09:41 AM (#5998958)
I think there are some valid points being made by several people here but they don't know how to discuss things in a way that will change someone else's mind. The first step is empathy. I am not going to be convinced by your point of view if you just ignore the way I have set things up and discuss solely from your point of view. For example - arguing that Player X had a spectacular peak is not going to change my mind, since I pretty much ignore peak. If you can find a player who I should like (strong wins above positional average) then I'm a lot more likely to listen.

I saw that someone was really impressed by Hilton Smith. I mentioned that I also used to be impressed by Hilton Smith but better data has come out and he's dropped a lot in my re-evaluation. Then I gave the person the data so they could do their own evaluation. This is part of why the ballot explanations are more important than the ballots.

Chris Cobb and Dan R are two people who have changed my mind on a player based on a good explanation of why they liked them. Chris Cobb and I don't have the same ballot because we come at the question of "merit" from different angles but that's kind of the point of a wisdom of crowds experiment like this.
   30. progrockfan Posted: January 11, 2021 at 10:12 AM (#5998963)
...Yeah, I agree with all of that.
   31. Rally Posted: January 11, 2021 at 10:13 AM (#5998964)
There's got to be a way to ban spam from this forum - right? Call him spam, and throw him into the trash from whence he came.


There is a way. It's called the ignore button.
   32. Rally Posted: January 11, 2021 at 10:16 AM (#5998967)
He ends up just ahead of Joe Morgan, Mike Schmidt and Cal Ripken in my rankings and behind Eddie Collins, Pop Lloyd, Lajoie and Rogers Hornsby. Well behind Honus Wagner.


It does not pass the smell test for me to think that all of the best infielders played more than 100 years ago.
   33. Alan Didak Posted: January 11, 2021 at 10:19 AM (#5998970)
He kept insulting me in the 2020 threads

Your pants suck
   34. progrockfan Posted: January 11, 2021 at 10:20 AM (#5998971)
@Rally: I've had the ignore filter on for over a year - but it doesn't seem to work in this instance.

Thats okay though; I can apply my own personal ignore filter.
   35. progrockfan Posted: January 11, 2021 at 10:21 AM (#5998972)
@Alan Didak: It's not my pants that suck; it's what's inside them.
   36. progrockfan Posted: January 11, 2021 at 10:23 AM (#5998973)
...Can I please ask a mod to delete 21-22-23 and 25? The world revolves better without anger, I think.
   37. Rally Posted: January 11, 2021 at 11:49 AM (#5998996)
I've had the ignore filter on for over a year - but it doesn't seem to work in this instance.


Interesting. Looks like it doesn't work in Hall of Merit like it does on the main site.
   38. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: January 11, 2021 at 12:29 PM (#5999002)
What is the source for these numbers? They don't match the fielding numbers on either B-R or Fangraphs.


They don't, but B-R also likes Hornsby a lot better than Morgan. Rfield 54 to -48 and dWAR 13.9 to 3.8.
   39. Rally Posted: January 11, 2021 at 01:44 PM (#5999011)
Just thinking about timelining a bit. If it's a constant improvement over time (more or less, WW2 and expansion years change the picture a little) then whatever factor you use to timeline Hornsby, you'd have to timeline Morgan by half that amount.

Compared to a player who is at his peak age in 2021, born 1994, Morgan would be 50 years older and Hornsby 98 years older.

Hornsby was about the same age as Babe Ruth, born one year after him, so whatever factor you timeline Ruth, Hornsby would get the same. He was 30 points lower than Babe by OPS+.

If Ruth loses 40 points due to improvement over time and ends up at 166, then it's 0.4 OPS+/year:

(Note: I'm just picking out numbers that seem sort of reasonable, no evidence that this represents reality)

Hornsby 136
A-Rod 132
Schmidt 130
Morgan 112
Wagner 103
LaJoie 102
Collins 99

Chipper Jones also comes in at 132.
   40. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 11, 2021 at 01:55 PM (#5999014)
Just thinking about timelining a bit. If it's a constant improvement over time (more or less, WW2 and expansion years change the picture a little) then whatever factor you use to timeline Hornsby, you'd have to timeline Morgan by half that amount.

I don't see any particular reason to think that the timeline factor should be a constant over time. It would seem to be much steeper when there are identifiable reasons for the quality of play in MLB to increase, such as integration (which was after Hornsby and before Morgan), or the development of the farm system (still in progress during Hornsby's career).
   41. DL from MN Posted: January 11, 2021 at 03:07 PM (#5999031)
Dominican players started arriving in the 1960s but became a much larger part of the player pool in the 1990s. The international player pool has certainly increased since Joe Morgan started playing.
   42. kwarren Posted: January 11, 2021 at 05:04 PM (#5999069)
Defensive runs saved Hornsby 126.5 - Morgan 14.0

What is the source for these numbers? They don't match the fielding numbers on either B-R or Fangraphs.

This is Hornsby


Season Team G PA HR R RBI SB BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ EV BsR Off Def WAR

Total - - - 2259 9475 301 1579 1584 135 11.0% 7.2% .218 .365 .358 .434 .577 .459 173 -1.8 862.1 126.5 130.3
Standard


This is Morgan


Season Team G PA HR R RBI SB BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ EV BsR Off Def WAR

Total - - - 2649 11329 268 1650 1133 689 16.5% 9.0% .156 .278 .271 .392 .427 .372 135 79.0 525.4 14.0 98.8


This is Fan Graphs defensive runs saved. Not sure why this is so hard to find. Two people have said it's not Fangraphs. I hope I'm not looking at the wrong numbers.

This is the link for Joe Morgan - https://www.fangraphs.com/players/joe-morgan/1009179/stats?position=2B

And this is for Rogers Hornsby - https://www.fangraphs.com/players/rogers-hornsby/1006030/stats?position=2B
   43. kwarren Posted: January 11, 2021 at 05:05 PM (#5999070)
126.5
   44. Mefisto Posted: January 11, 2021 at 05:23 PM (#5999079)
@41: There were Dominican players in the '50s.
   45. kwarren Posted: January 11, 2021 at 06:16 PM (#5999091)
He ends up just ahead of Joe Morgan, Mike Schmidt and Cal Ripken in my rankings and behind Eddie Collins, Pop Lloyd, Lajoie and Rogers Hornsby. Well behind Honus Wagner.


It does not pass the smell test for me to think that all of the best infielders played more than 100 years ago.


This is a very cogent observation which I had never noticed before. Is there some logical reason why JAWS/WAR shows this. This trend doesn't appear for outfielders, 1B, or 3B, catchers

JAWS leaders - Second Base

Rogers Hornsby - 100.4 1915-1937
Eddie Collins - 94.1 1906-1930
Nap Lajoie - 83.8 1896-1916
Joe Morgan - 79.9 1963-1984
C. Gehringer - 68.1 1924-1942

Shortstop

Honus Wagner - 98.1 1897-1917
Alex Rodriguez - 90.9 1994-2016
Cal Ripken - 76.1 1981-2001
Arky Vaughan - 65.8 1932-1948 (career cut short by war)
George Davis - 64.6 1890-1909

Third Base

Top 12 are Eddie Mathews or later - 1952-1968 and 19 of top 20

Left Field

Pretty evenly spread - top five are Ted Williams or later
then six of the next nine are Al Simmons or earlier

Right Field

Two of the top eight are Mel Ott 1926-1947 & Babe Ruth 1914-1935, the rest are Stan Musial or later
Four of the next five are Paul Waner 1926-1945 or earlier

Centre Field

Two of the top six are Ty Cobb (1905-1928) & Tris Speaker (1907-1928)
The rest are Willie Mays (1951-1973) or later
All of the next seven are Joe DiMaggio (1936-1951) or later.

Catchers

Top seven are Yogi Berra (1946-1965) or later
Four of the next seven are Bill Dickey 1928-1946 or later

Pitchers

Six of the top 7 are Lefty Grove 1925-1941 or earlier
Two of next nine are John Clarkson & Tim Keefe 1880-1894
The other seven Bob Gibson 1959-1975 or later

Question for Rally - does the fact that six of the top seven pitchers started their careers before 1926 pass the smell test ?

There seems to be a lot of comments saying that pitchers before 1890 are over-rated because the rules were different and defense was so much more impactful and actual pitching skill was less important. And yet there is not one pitcher who pitched even one inning before 1890 in the top 10. So, they can't be that over rated !!






   46. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 11, 2021 at 06:46 PM (#5999098)
This is Fan Graphs defensive runs saved. Not sure why this is so hard to find. Two people have said it's not Fangraphs. I hope I'm not looking at the wrong numbers.

If you hover over the DEF column header on Fangraphs, it says "Fielding and positional adjustment combined (above average)". Which is not the same as pure fielding performance compared to positional average.

For what it's worth, Fangraphs appears to have the positional adjustments as a constant based on modern values, while B-R adjusts them as context changes. This doesn't make a huge difference for Hornsby vs. Morgan because the 2B position adjustment on B-R is similar for both of their eras, but it does matter a little because Morgan's career was longer. Fangraphs gives Hornsby the edge in raw position adjustment (because he played some shortstop in his younger years); B-R gives it to Morgan (because their adjustment for 2B is a bit bigger and Morgan stuck there for several extra seasons).

All that being said, the overall point that the current WAR systems regard Hornsby as the better fielder of the two of them is true. (I'm not 100% sold on that position, just because Hornsby's reputation was SO bad and defensive metrics from Hornsby's time are SO shaky. But it is what the numbers say.)
   47. DL from MN Posted: January 11, 2021 at 07:07 PM (#5999103)
45 - Part of what you are seeing is the defensive spectrum shift from 2B to 3B over time. As bunts fell and double plays rose the defensive spectrum changed. Hornsby may have been better wrt his peers but Morgan was probably the better defender.
   48. Rally Posted: January 11, 2021 at 08:03 PM (#5999116)
Question for Rally - does the fact that six of the top seven pitchers started their careers before 1926 pass the smell test ?


That only happens because pitcher workloads have changed so much. For position players it really hasn’t changed. You bat 500-600 times a year and field your position. You can’t expect a guy pitching 200 innings a year to catch up to the greats of the past who threw 350 innings in a value stat.
   49. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 11, 2021 at 08:08 PM (#5999118)
45 - Part of what you are seeing is the defensive spectrum shift from 2B to 3B over time. As bunts fell and double plays rose the defensive spectrum changed. Hornsby may have been better wrt his peers but Morgan was probably the better defender.

bWAR actually has most of that shift taking place very early in Hornsby's career; the position adjustment for 2B climbs from 0 in 1916 to +5 in 1923 and stays there until the mid '30s (when it climbs even higher).
   50. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 11, 2021 at 10:53 PM (#5999159)
To be fair to Hornsby, he started out as a SS and played there several years. It’s unlikely he wasn’t athletic or that he would have been a bad defender at 2B. He’s no Laughing Larry Doyle, one of the great DHes in the pre-1973 era....
   51. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 11, 2021 at 11:04 PM (#5999163)
My partner, who reads most of what I write here,


Yeah. This either isn't true or your partner needs to find somebody else to spend their time with.
   52. progrockfan Posted: January 12, 2021 at 07:49 AM (#5999184)
My partner, who reads most of what I write here,
Yeah. This either isn't true or your partner needs to find somebody else to spend their time with.
...Both, actually.
   53. Carl Goetz Posted: January 12, 2021 at 03:13 PM (#5999306)
"To be fair to Hornsby, he started out as a SS and played there several years. It’s unlikely he wasn’t athletic or that he would have been a bad defender at 2B. He’s no Laughing Larry Doyle, one of the great DHes in the pre-1973 era..."
I like DRA for the older players. DRA rates Hornsby a little above average at 2B (+10) and Morgan as a poor fielder (-124 Runs)
   54. kcgard2 Posted: January 16, 2021 at 08:49 AM (#6000079)
The Morgan vs Hornsby discussion is interesting.

I have ARod 15th all-time, almost a perfect tie with Eddie Collins at 14th.

Hornsby, Wagner, Collins, ARod, (Schmidt), Lajoie, Morgan. As others have mentioned, ARod was undoubtedly a far superior baseball-playing specimen than the turn of the century guys, but I'm not trying to do any timelining adjustments for my HOM rankings. Morgan is very likely superior as well.

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