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Thursday, February 03, 2022

Hurley McNair and Bill Pettus

McNair eligible 1942
Pettus eligible 1928

DL from MN Posted: February 03, 2022 at 08:10 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: February 04, 2022 at 06:30 PM (#6063882)
A thread for some players who have been receiving consideration but didn't have a previous thread
   2. Chris Cobb Posted: February 05, 2022 at 12:13 PM (#6063927)
Thanks! I hope to have some things ready to post in this space soon.
   3. progrockfan Posted: February 05, 2022 at 02:05 PM (#6063932)
Hurley McNair:

Led 1922 NNL with 50 BB and .466 OBP
Led 1923 NNL with 98 G (tied with Heavy Johnson), 439 PA, and 49 BB

Bill Pettus:

Led 1911 WES with 202 OPS+
Led 1912 EAS with 14 R and 4 SH
Led 1913 EAS with 2 3B (tied with 4 others), 2 HR (tied with Cannonball Redding), and 32 TB
Led 1915 EAS with 38 G (tied with Sam Mongin), 14 2B, and 3 HR (tied with 2 others)
Led 1916 EAS with 12 2B (tied with Louis Santop)
Led 1917 EAS with 3 3B (tied with 3 others) and 4 HR (tied with Jules Thomas)
Led 1918 EAS with 39 H (tied with Jules Thomas), 4 3B (tied with Julio Rojo), 2 HR (tied with 3 others), 57 TB, .424 BA, .480 OBP, .620 SLG, 1.100 OPS, and 208 OPS+
Led 1921 EAS with 68 G, 294 PA, 6 HR, 49 RBI, 112 TB, and 5 HBP
Led 1922 IND with 23 BB
   4. Chris Cobb Posted: February 11, 2022 at 11:44 AM (#6064911)
In evaluating Bill Pettus, there are five major obstacles to establishing the extent of his accomplishments:

(1) Small number of recorded games. On average, we have records of about 27 games per season in his 15 year career.
(2) Uncertainty about quality of competition. Dr. Chaleeko has argued (and I believe has implemented for his MLEs) a steeper competition adjustment for 1910-19 Black Baseball than the standard competition adjustment for the organized Negro-League period of 1920-48. I think he is engaged in a larger study on this issue. I don't know what the outcome will be, but it's likely that some greater discount would be requisite.
(3) The use of DRA as the system for calculating fielding value in the Seamheads data creates a discrepancy between the relative value of hitting and field in comparison to the white majors' WAR numbers from the period. Pettus' career fielding rate was 14 runs/162 games, which is about twice the rate achieved by the two best-fielding ML first basemen of the 1900-1925 period, Fred Tenney and Wally Pipp, whose career rate was 7 runs/162 games.
(4) During several of what appear to be Pettus' top seasons by rate, his playing time is divided up among many teams (4 teams in 1917 and 5 teams in 1918), and those teams played a highly variable number of games. This situation makes it difficult to project Pettus's playing time for these key seasons. Dr. Chaleeko's MLEs project him as having quite limited playing time for these two seasons, and that contributes to Pettus's MLEs making him look like a much less viable candidate than his rate stats suggest. I suspect that Pettus's highly fragmented play during these seasons has been impossible for a quantitative system of projecting playing time to handle accurately.
(5) Because Pettus died in 1924, just a year after his playing career ended, his legacy in the lore of the Negro Leagues is scanty. If he had lived another 20-40 years and become more a part of the NeL's oral history, we'd probably have more to go on with respect to reputation than we do.

Of these five problems, nothing can be done about (5), except to acknowledge that Pettus's lack of reputation is affected by his early death. I am working on ways to deal with (3) and (4), which I'll be writing about soon. We may have additional insight on (2) at some point soon, and in the mean time it is possible to make multiple estimates using different competition levels. (1) can also be addressed to some extent through the appropriate application of regression analysis. I lack the expertise to devise and implement a plan in this area, but I hope from discussion to establish a suitable way on incorporating regression into constructions of Pettus's value.

I'll be writing up and posting some initial views of Pettus vs. Taylor over the weekend, but I thought I'd lay out these issues of interpretation first to set the context for the numbers to come.

As Progrockfan's post shows, Pettus was definitely a leading offensive player in the East for most of his documented career, so it's worthwhile to develop an in-depth analysis of his play.

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