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Friday, April 25, 2014

Most Meritorious Player: 1954 Discussion

Most Meritorious Player: 1954 Discussion

The Giants sweep the Indians in a non-Yankee World Series. Vote for 10.

Player			SH WS		BBR WAR
Willie Mays		38.6		10.6
Eddie Mathews		32.7		7.8
Bob Avila		33.5		6.9
Minnie Minoso		31.5		8.3
Ted Williams		28.6		7.7
Yogi Berra		34.9		5.3
Stan Musial		30.5		6.9
Mickey Mantle		35.9		6.9
Duke Snider		38.3		8.4
Ted Kluszewski		32.9		7.9
Gil Hodges		28.9		6.2
Larry Doby		32.3		5.7
Richie Ashburn		24.8		7.0
Ch Carrasquel		24.4		5.4
Pee Wee Reese		26.0		6.0
Hank Sauer		22.1		3.5
Eddie Yost		22.5		4.3
Nellie Fox		25.8		5.1
Al Rosen		25.9		4.6
R Schoendienst		21.2		4.7
Gil McDougald		20.0		3.8
Hank Thompson		21.6		4.7
Ray Boone		22.1		4.4
Alvin Dark		23.6		3.6
Mickey Vernon		22.7		3.7
Al Smith		24.1		4.3
Smoky Burgess		14.8		3.9
Del Crandall		17.2		2.3

Pitcher 		SH WS		BBR WAR
Robin Roberts		30.5		8.6
John Antonelli		27.9		7.5
Steve Gromek		22.6		6.1
Bob Rush		16.1		5.9
Virgil Trucks		21.8		4.6
Warren Spahn		22.1		5.6
Frank Sullivan		15.7		4.4
Ruben Gomez		19.2		4.0
Sal Maglie		18.0		4.2
Early Wynn		25.3		5.4
Mike Garcia		25.4		4.5
Ned Garver		20.1		4.6
Harvey Haddix		16.5		4.4
Curt Simmons		20.2		4.5
Lew Burdette		18.5		4.3
Bob Lemon		24.0		4.8

Marv Grissom		17.0		4.0
Hoyt Wilhelm		15.1		3.1
Dave Jolly		13.5		4.2


DL from MN Posted: April 25, 2014 at 03:56 PM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: April 25, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4694357)
1954 by position

C - Berra
1B - Kluszewski
2B - Avila
SS - Carrasquel
3B - Mathews
LF - Minoso
CF - Mays
RF - Musial
SP - Antonelli, Roberts, Gromek, Rush
RP - Grissom
   2. bjhanke Posted: April 25, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4694402)
If I remember right, both Ted Williams and Bobby Avila were hurt for part of 1954. This cost Ted Williams some, but doesn't seem to have affected Avila much. Also, if I remember right, the Dodgers at this time had, essentially, an all-righty lineup except for Duke Snider. Junior Gilliam switch-hit. As a consequence, the Dodgers face an unusually high percentage of righty pitchers. There were comments at the time that Snider's stats were a bit inflated because of this.

Also, I made a comment last year about Junior Gilliam at third base. I forgot to add a detail, although that detail may have not applied to 1953. Apparently, Billy Cox, the starting third baseman, was actually an accomplished shortstop, although not quite as good as Pee Wee Reese. When Reese took off a day or got hurt, the Dodgers seem to have just moved Cox to SS and moved Gilliam or Jackie Robinson over to play third. This may be one reason why both Junior and Jackie have a certain amount of playing time at 3B. I'm not at all sure how often this happened. - Brock Hanke
   3. DL from MN Posted: April 25, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4694410)
Williams didn't play until May 15th and Avila missed 10 days in June.
   4. Qufini Posted: April 25, 2014 at 05:08 PM (#4694439)
The Giants sweep the Indians in a non-Yankee World Series.

As a reward, neither team would win a World Series for another 56 years (with the runner-up still waiting to break their streak).
   5. OCF Posted: April 25, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4694518)
I remember at one point noticing what fun the AL MVP vote had to have been, and the astounding ethnic diversity of plausible candidates. Suppose you start where the writers usually started, with the team W-L records. If Cleveland had THAT record, there must be some good reasons, right? But Cleveland's problem in the MVP vote was that they flooded the zone with plausible candidates: Wynn, Lemon, Garcia, Avila, Doby - which helps explain how Berra slipped through as the winner. Of course, it's not like Berra was a bad candidate.

But the ethnic diversity I was talking about:

Anglo-American: Wynn, Lemon
Italian-American: Berra
Mexican-American: Garcia
African-American: Doby
Mexican: Avila
Cuban: Minoso

OK, in sabermetric retrospect, there were others who should have been considered, notably Williams. But it's not like Williams was repeating his 1946 season or anything.
   6. DL from MN Posted: April 25, 2014 at 07:46 PM (#4694542)
From wiki:

"On the first day of spring training in 1954, Williams broke his collarbone running after a line drive. Williams and Underwood p188"

I can't really see giving extra credit for that though I can see considering rate production as a tiebreaker

This one might be interesting though:

"Williams sat out the first month of the 1955 season due to a divorce settlement with his wife, Doris."
   7. Qufini Posted: April 26, 2014 at 10:11 AM (#4694682)
1954 Prelim Ballot

1. Willie Mays, CF, New York Giants- 1st in OPS+, 2nd in RC, an eye-popping +21 in centerfield
2. Duke Snider, CF, Brooklyn Dodgers- Duke's best offensive year though WAR prefers his overall game in '53; 3rd in OPS+ and 1st in RC
3. Ted Williams, LF, Boston Red Sox- an amazing 201 OPS+, easily first in the AL despite playing in only 117 games
4. Ted Klusewski, 1B, Cincinnati Reds- 167 OPS+ and 149 RC
5. Eddie Mathews, 3B, Milwaukee Braves- a nice follow-up to his breakthrough season, 2nd in OPS+ but only 138 games
6. Stan Musial, RF, St. Louis Cardinals- fourth in the NL in both OPS+ and RC
7. Johnny Antonelli, P, New York Giants- a MLB leading 178 ERA+ nudges him ahead of Roberts
8. Robin Roberts, P, Philadelphia Phillies- a MLB leading 336 innings pitched isn't quite enough to catch Antonelli
9. Minnie Minoso, LF, Chicago White Sox- 3rd in AL OPS+, 2nd in RC with another +16 fielding runs between left, right, center and third
10. Yogi Berra, C, New York Yankees- a top ten OPS+ and RC from a full-time catcher

11. Mickey Mantle, CF, New York Yankees
12. Gil Hodges, 1B, Brooklyn Dodgers
13. Bobby Avila, 2B, Cleveland Indians- the best player on the pennant winning team
14. Curt Simmons, P, Philadelphia Phillies
15. Early Wynn, P, Cleveland Indians- edges out Garcia as top pitcher in the junior circuit
16. Pee Wee Reese, SS, Brooklyn Dodgers
17. Mike Garcia, P, Cleveland Indians
18. Virgil Trucks, P, Detroit Tigers
19. Bob Lemon, P, Cleveland Indians
20. Steve Gromek, P, Detroit Tigers- not a lot to separate the better AL pitchers
   8. Qufini Posted: April 26, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4694688)
Quick correction: Trucks should be listed as a member of the White Sox.
   9. Qufini Posted: April 26, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4694694)
A few observations:

The relocation train picks up steam. It started the previous year when the Braves left Boston to the Red Sox and headed west to Milwaukee. This year, it's the funhouse mirror version as an AL team moves east instead of an NL team moving west. The Browns abandoned St. Louis for Baltimore and became the Orioles in the process.

MLB will lose another two-team town in '55 when the Athletics move from Philadelphia to Kansas City, leaving the Phillies as the only tenant in the City of Brotherly Love. Everything should settle down after that, right?

National League dominance is fully established. It's been noticeable for a few years. My top three ballot spots went to the National League in 1952 and 7 out of 10 in 1953. At this point, it's clear that this isn't a one-or-two season fluke or a few players standing out. 7 of my top 8 players this season are from the National League.

Johnny Antonelli is the best pitcher, and a great guy. I fully expected to see Robin Roberts lead the way again, especially since I put a lot of stock in innings pitched. But Antonelli's ERA+ advantage was simply too big. His 178 led Roberts by 42 and all of baseball by 34 (Curt Simmons was second with 144).

I met Antonelli at a SABR event this past January. He was a really nice guy and a good storyteller- though that didn't factor into my ranking.

Another good year for a mid-season trade. In 1953, I had two players make my extended ballot despite being traded mid-season. Ray Boone ranked 13th despite being traded from the Indians to the Tigers while Virgil Trucks was 14th while being traded from the Browns to the White Sox.

This year, two players made my consideration set after being traded for each other. The Pittsburgh Pirates traded outfielder Cal Abrams to the Baltimore Orioles for pitcher Dick Littlefield. Abrams finished 9th in the AL in OPS+ with 134, though his full season total was only 125. Meanwhile, Littlefield also improved in his new home, posting a top ten ERA+ of 116- though only 108 on the year.
   10. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 26, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4694837)

1) Willie Mays
2) Eddie Mathews
3) Duke Snider
4) Mickey Mantle
5) Larry Doby
6) Robin Roberts
7) Ted Williams
8) Ted Kluszewski
9) Yogi Berra
10) Tony Avila
   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 26, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4694851)
Prelim (Take 2):

1) Willie Mays
2) Eddie Mathews
3) Duke Snider
4) Mickey Mantle
5) Larry Doby
6) Ted Williams
7) Ted Kluszewski
8) Yogi Berra
9) Robin Roberts
10) Tony Avila
   12. Qufini Posted: April 26, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4694884)
It's Bobby Avila.
   13. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 26, 2014 at 06:11 PM (#4694916)
It's Bobby Avila.

Heh. That's for my pointing out Ken Schaffenberger, right? :-D

For some reason, I combined him with Tony Oliva.
   14. DL from MN Posted: April 28, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4695704)
1954 Prelim

The writers did pretty well this year

1) Willie Mays - best season of the 1950s so far
2) Eddie Mathews
3) Johnny Antonelli - I agree, best pitcher
4) Bobby Avila
5) Minnie Minoso
6) Ted Williams - pretty good for missing a month
7) Yogi Berra
8) Robin Roberts
9) Stan Musial
10) Mickey Mantle

11-15) Duke Snider, Ted Kluszewski, Gil Hodges, Larry Doby, Richie Ashburn

Best AL pitcher is Gromek, Trucks, Sullivan
   15. Moeball Posted: April 29, 2014 at 09:28 PM (#4697135)
1954 - one of my favorite years - Willie Mays breaks through big time, the Indians, the Giants, the Yankees finally get booted out of the WS - what a great year!

My list:

1)Willie Mays - I just can't see anyone topping this - I think he should be unanimous for this season
2)Eddie Mathews - showed that 1953 was no fluke. Also showed how backwards the media was then - his season absolutely dwarfed Al Rosen's but TSN still picked Rosen as their Major League top third sacker (Rosen had a higher BA and a better defensive rep and was on the Indians).
3)Duke Snider - tremendous season for Dem Bums - look at his road stats here: .452 OBA, .683 SLG, so it wasn't all Ebbetts Field boosting his numbers - against RHP on the road he must have been absolutely murder! He led the league in Runs, Triples and OBA on the road (I believe he had a 213 OPS+).
4)Ted Williams - I know, it's only 117 games, so I may re-think this on the final ballot. RE: Minoso - Minnie had a .411 OBA and a .535 SLG, both tremendous. Ted lapped him by 100 points in both OBA and SLG and, yes, he was playing in Fenway, but it didn't make that much of a difference. A .513 OBA is difficult to beat. This is also the year that ultimately led to the changing of the rules on batting titles going from it being based on AB to being based on PA. Ted had less than 400 AB in 1954 so he didn't qualify for the title that was awarded to Avila although Ted had well over 500 PA. You actually got penalized for drawing walks in those days.
5)John Antonelli - yes, I know, Roberts pitched almost 80 more innings, but it was 80 more innings of ERA over 5. I think this time I have to give Antonelli the edge.
6)Robin Roberts - his durability was again exceptional and he was again in the conversation for MLB's best pitcher. Just an amazing run of seasons.
7)Yogi Berra - outstanding season at the plate and behind it and was clearly the leader of the Yankees at this point
8)Stan Musial - ho hum, just another mind boggling season for The Man. All this guy did was hit the holy heck out of a baseball.
9)Ted Kluszewski - ripped those sleeves off and ripped the ball for a tremendous season. 49 HRs, only 35 Ks. Think about that.
10)Bobby Avila - career year was a big reason for the Indians finally getting past the Yanks

Just missed - the Mick, Smokey Burgess, Minnie Minoso, Richie Ashburn, Bob Lemon, Steve Gromek, Early Wynn, Mike Garcia, Gil McDougald. Best AL pitcher - I guess I'm going with Gromek although the trio of Tribesmen were all outstanding. Yes, I've got 7 of my 10 top players all from the NL, too. I think the NL really was clearly the stronger league and maybe everyone shouldn't have been so surprised at the way the Giants beat the Indians.
   16. Moeball Posted: April 29, 2014 at 10:12 PM (#4697172)
Already re-thinking's prelim, take 2:

1)Willie Mays
2)Eddie Mathews
3)Duke Snider
4)Ted Williams
5)Minnie Minoso
6)John Antonelli
7)Robin Roberts
8)Yogi Berra
9)Stan Musial
10)Ted Kluszewski

Avila misses out now - should have had Minoso in there before. Also, on my "just missed" list, that should also include Larry Doby, of course. Don't know how I missed him before.
   17. DanG Posted: April 29, 2014 at 10:31 PM (#4697178)
Relief pitchers in 1954:

Rk          Player WAR ERASV    WPA  WHIP GF GS    IP Age  Tm Lg  G  W L  ERA   BA
1     Marv Grissom 4.2  174 19  3.348 1.226 36  3 122.1  36 NYG NL 56 10 7 2.35 .226
2       Dave Jolly 3.8  155 10  2.136 1.356 31  1 111.1  29 MLN NL 47 11 6 2.43 .216
3     Hoyt Wilhelm 3.4  194  7  2.847 1.159 30  0 111.1  31 NYG NL 57 12 4 2.10 .198
4        Don Mossi 3.3  191  7  3.123 1.022 18  5  93.0  25 CLE AL 40  6 1 1.94 .176
5      Frank Smith 3.0  158 20  1.456 1.099 43  0  81.0  26 CIN NL 50  5 8 2.67 .212
6     Ray Narleski 2.8  166 13  2.449 1.157 19  2  89.0  25 CLE AL 42  3 3 2.22 .188
7        Jim Davis 2.5  119  4  0.161 1.292 18 12 127.2  29 CHC NL 46 11 7 3.52 .247
8     Ellis Kinder 2.1  115 15  1.462 1.327 34  2 107.0  39 BOS AL 48  8 8 3.62 .260
9    Morrie Martin 2.1  109  5 
-0.338 1.239 20  8 122.2  31 TOT AL 48  7 8 3.52 .241
10   Ernie Johnson 2.0  134  2  0.159 1.117 13  4  99.1  30 MLN NL 40  5 2 2.81 .218
11      Jim Hughes 2.0  128 24  3.355 1.385 41  0  86.2  31 BRO NL 60  8 4 3.22 .239
12    Fritz Dorish 2.0  139  6  1.412 1.073 19  6 109.0  32 CHW AL 37  6 4 2.72 .227
13       Ray Crone 1.8  187  1  0.967 1.286  7  2  49.0  22 MLN NL 19  1 0 2.02 .247
14     Johnny Sain 1.5  110 22  1.680 1.052 39  0  77.0  36 NYY AL 45  6 6 3.16 .230
15    Moe Burtschy 1.4  103  4  0.562 1.405 30  0  94.2  32 PHA AL 46  5 4 3.80 .233 
   18. bjhanke Posted: May 02, 2014 at 04:09 AM (#4698686)
A combination of Tony Oliva and Bobby Avila would be one hell of a ballplayer. - Brock
   19. DL from MN Posted: May 02, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4698756)
Wiki cites a Richard Goldstein NYT article that Avila played this whole season with a broken thumb.

"He did it despite a broken thumb incurred in early June when the Yankees' Hank Bauer slid into him."

   20. MrC Posted: May 03, 2014 at 07:32 PM (#4699785)
1954 All Star Teams


C Smoky Burgess
1b Ted Kluszewski
2b Red Schoendienst
3b Eddie Mathews
SS Pee Wee Reese
OF Duke Snider
OF Willie Mays
OF Richie Ashburn

P Robin Roberts
P Johnny Antonelli
P Bob Rush
P Warren Spahn

RP Dave Jolly Note: Jolly started only one game that year and it was a 10 inning start giving up 1 earned run


C Yogi Berra
1b Mickey Vernon
2b Bobby Avila
3b Al Rosen
SS Chico Carrasquel
OF Ted Williams
OF Minnie Minoso
OF Mickey Mantle

P Steve Gromek
P Early Wynn
P Virgil Trucks
P Frank Sullivan

RP Ray Narleski

   21. MrC Posted: May 04, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4700064)
1954 Preliminary Ballot

Batters: start with RAA (using XR runs), adjust for park, position and defense (average of TZ, and DRA) Convert adjusted RAA to wins. Add 60% of normal Runs above replacement to get WARR (wins above reduced replacement)

Pitchers: start with RAA, adjust for quality of opposition, park, and team defense (average of TZ, DRA) Convert adjusted RAA to wins. Add 60% of normal runs above replacement to get WARR (wins above reduced replacement)

1. Willie Mays 10.27 WARR Outstanding all around season; epitomized by catch of Vic Wertz' drive in the World Series
2. Eddie Mathews 7.67 WARR
3. Ted Williams 7.60 WARR
4. Robin Roberts 7.23 WARR
5. Ted Kluszewski 7.16 WARR
6. Duke Snider 7.14 WARR
7. Minnie Minoso 7.03 WARR
8. Gil Hodges 6.76 WARR
9. Bobby Avila 6.58 WARR
10. Richie Ashburn 6.56 WARR

Rest of top 20
Stan Musial
Mickey Mantle
Johnny Antonelli
Yogi Berra
Larry Doby
Steve Gromek
Bob Rush
Pee Wee Reese
warren Spahn
Al Rosen
   22. DL from MN Posted: May 05, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4700494)
Looking at minor leaguers:

Herb Score pitched 251 innings for Indianapolis and was 22-5 with 330K. Sam Jethroe had a good year for Toronto. Colavito had 38 HR and still had to repeat AAA in 1955. Ken Boyer hit .319/.378/.506 for Houston. Willard Brown hit well but Bus Clarkson destroyed the Texas League hitting .324/.440/.602.
   23. DL from MN Posted: May 08, 2014 at 11:07 AM (#4702841)
1954 World Series stats

Player G  AB  R  H  2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  SO  BA  OBP  SLG  OPS  SB  CS  E
ADark 4  17  2  7  0  0  0  0  1  1  .412  .444  .412  .856  0  0  1  
WMays 4  14  4  4  1  0  0  3  4  1  .286  .444  .357  .802  1  0  0
Thompson 4  11  6  4  1  0  0  2  7  1  .364  .611  .455  1.066  0  0  0

Avila   4  15  1  2  0  0  0  0  2  1  .133  .235  .133  .369  0  0  0  
LDoby 4  16  0  2  0  0  0  0  2  4  .125  .222  .125  .347  0  0  0  
Rosen 3  12  0  3  0  0  0  0  1  0  .250  .308  .250  .558  0  0  0  
Smith 4  14  2  3  0  0  1  2  2  2  .214  .353  .429  .782  0  0  0

Pitcher G  GS  ERA  W  L  SV  CG  IP  H  R  ER  BB  SO  WHIP
Antonelli 2  1  0.84  1  0  1  1  10.2  8  1  1  7  12  1.406  
Gomez 1  1  2.45  1  0  0  0  7.1  4  2  2  3  2  0.955

EWynn 1  1  3.86  0  1  0  0  7.0  4  3  3  2  5  0.857
Garcia 2  1  5.40  0  1  0  0  5.0  6  4  3  4  4  2.000
Lemon 2  2  6.75  0  2  0  1  13.1  16  11  10  8  11  1.800  

Wynn also hit a double.
   24. DL from MN Posted: May 08, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4702847)
10-2/3 excellent innings from Antonelli help close the innings gap with Roberts. It also moves him to #2 on my ballot.

I think Mays made a pretty good catch too.
   25. DL from MN Posted: May 08, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4702857)
Anyone want to do an MLE for Score? He's a top 10 pitcher in 1955.
   26. bjhanke Posted: May 11, 2014 at 03:45 AM (#4704317)
I don't know about a MLE for Score. One of my opinions about MLEs is that they should not count unless you can clearly show that the team's manager should have known - in SPRING TRAINING - that the guy had thoroughly turned the corner. Generally, that means that the first MLE-worthy season doesn't count. What I would want to know is what Score's MLE was in 1953. If it was an obvious MLB-caliber MLE, for the team that had him in the minors (I mean, did the ML rotation have any room for Score?), then and only then can you make a case for using the NEXT year's MLE, which would be 1954. - Brock Hanke
   27. AndrewJ Posted: May 11, 2014 at 08:23 AM (#4704327)
1954 All Star Teams


OF Richie Ashburn

P Robin Roberts

The 1950s Phillies in a nutshell -- two Hall of Famers, several reliable minor stars (Ennis, Hamner, Simmons) and 20 nobodies.
   28. DL from MN Posted: May 11, 2014 at 11:02 AM (#4704390)
It is surprising to me that the Indians couldn't find a spot for Score anywhere on their pitching staff but I guess that's why they won 111 games. If a current team had a player like that they would at least make room in the bullpen for the pennant race. What they eventually did was move Feller to the bullpen to get Score into the rotation.
   29. SoCalDemon Posted: May 12, 2014 at 12:02 PM (#4704996)
To me, Score's 251 innings of 2.62 ERA in AAA doesn't even get you in the discussion, even if 1953 was good (It was a disaster. He had a 4.7 ERA with 12 BB/9 innings in 98 innings at single A). Roberts had a 2.97 ERA in 336 innings, Antonelli had a 2.30 ERA in 259 innings, Garcia had a 2.64 ERA in 259 innings, Lemon had a 2.72 in 258 innings, Wynn had a 2.73 in 271 innings, Gromek (who I've never heard of before ) had a 2.74 in 251 innings, Burdette had a 2.76 ERA in 238 innings, Trucks had a 2.79 in 265 innings, etc etc etc....there were a ton of guys who were putting up the line that Score did, except they were doing it in MLB, and he was doing it in triple A. He was really really good in 55 and 56, and is a great what-if story, but no way is he anywhere near the discussion for even top 15 pitcher in 1954. The 330 SO is pretty though.
   30. SoCalDemon Posted: May 12, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4705022)
And I don't think I would have called him up anytime in 1954, even in the bullpen. His lack of control would scare the #### out of me, and I would not want him anywhere near an important situation until he had proved over a full year that 1952-53 was a fluke (160 IP, 5.5 RA, 10.5 BB/9).

EDIT: With substantially worse control in 53 than in 52.
   31. DL from MN Posted: May 13, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4705892)
I agree that Score can't get into my top 10 ballot but he might fit into that pitcher list above.
   32. bjhanke Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4706451)
Oh, wow. I forgot . This is THAT Indian team. They really did not have room for Herb Score in their rotation. Their #5 starter was Bob Feller, who has to be the best #5 starter in history. Now, I REALLY want to know what the MLE for 1953 was. How much notice did the Tribe get that Score was coming? Ah, SoCalDemon has the numbers. The Indians did NOT know that HERB SCORE was coming. The probably expected him to put in a year in AA ball trying to locate the strike zone (12 BB / 9 IP in 1953 in A BALL?). I think a MLE for 1954 for Score is interesting, but should not be applied to the MMP, because there was no way the Indians could have been expected to have him on the roster in '54. He needed innings to learn control. You do that in the minors, not on the ML bench, unless the ML team just plain needs anyone they can get to eat middle relief innings. That's what the minors are for, and the Tribe were anything but desperate. - Brock Hanke
   33. SoCalDemon Posted: May 15, 2014 at 04:39 PM (#4707726)
Re 32: Yeah, I can't emphasize enough how terrible his control was in 53. In the Eastern League that year, 5 pitchers had over 100 BBs (Herb Score had 126, the leader had 134). The other 4 pitchers had between 218 and 238 innings, so your run of the mill "meh" control guys....Score had 126 BBs in 98 innings. The next highest total by a pitcher with under 100 innings pitched was by a Jerome Labanz, with 67 (in 80 innings pitched, or a measly 7.5 BBs/inning).
   34. SoCalDemon Posted: May 15, 2014 at 04:40 PM (#4707727)
Re 31: I am curious how Herb Score would fit in the list above. Once you account for the lower talent level of AAA, his stats seem a distinct cut below all of those pitchers. He had superficially similar stats (and otherworldly strikeouts), but against distinctly inferior competition. I don't see it.
   35. SoCalDemon Posted: May 15, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4707734)
Not to belabor the point, but Score was clearly terrible in 53, vastly improved in 54 (but how much is the question), had a 3.29 FIP in 1955 (league-leading SO/9, but also 6.1 BB/9), 2.77 FIP in 56 (cut the BB/9 to 4.7), and 2.54 FIP (looks driven by not giving up a hR in 36 innings, as his BBs were back to 1954 levels) in 57 before getting injured. This looks like the trajectory of a pitcher who was still improving to me, suggesting that his 54, if in the major leagues, would probably have been decent, but not near the level he was at in 55. He was still putting the pieces together.
   36. DL from MN Posted: May 15, 2014 at 05:10 PM (#4707747)
Assuming a neutral park you may be correct, but I have no idea if Indianapolis was a neutral environment.
   37. SoCalDemon Posted: May 15, 2014 at 06:13 PM (#4707788)
Well, I don't think we have park effects for minor league parks from that long ago (do we?), but from eye-balling the league stats, it doesn't look like it was a crazy park one way or the other. Indianapolis had the best record in the league, 95-57. The league averaged 4.57 R/G. Indy averaged 4.66 R/G and 3.95 RA/G. They had a .737 OPS in a .740 league. The top OPS was a .790, last place was way behind at .652 (last place Charleston), every other team was between .737 and .761.

On the pitching side, Indy lead with a 3.95 RA, but Louisville was right behind at 3.99. Then a big gap, and then 6 teams between 4.42 and 4.85 RA, then Kansas City at 5.28. If anything, this suggests that Indy was a slight pitchers park (hard to be a first place team with a [slightly] below average offense), but maybe they just had terrible hitters. However, it doesn't look like it. 20 year old Rocky Colavito had a .924 OPS for them, and they had a bunch of future major leaguers.
   38. MrC Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:28 PM (#4707921)
i don't have the skill (or knowledge) to create MLEs for Score, but the top row of numbers below give Clay Davenport's Translations, which are his attempt to convert minor league stats to major league equivalents. If nothing else it certainly gives us a starting point to compare Score's numbers to other major league pitchers.

The second row of numbers are his actual minor league numbers.

Note: the NERA column is RA, not ERA

Herb_Score 21 1954 IND AA 33 32 252.7 177 101 22 146 293 -31 3.58 17 11 0 DT
Herb_Score 21 1954 IND AA 33 32 251 140 73 13 140 330 -33 2.73 22 5 0 Real
   39. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 16, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4708192)
Herb_Score 21 1954 IND AA 33 32 252.7 177 101 22 146 293 -31 3.58 17 11 0 DT

Nice, but that wouldn't be enough to make my MMP ballot.
   40. DL from MN Posted: May 16, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4708264)
It's not too far off from Frank Sullivan but probably just off the list
   41. SoCalDemon Posted: May 16, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4708299)
That looks fair enough, though I am skeptical of the innings, but Sullivan sounds about right. I am not going to rank him for the same reason bjhanke has said, but that seems like a reasonable comparison for those who would (to be fair, this might be the hardest rotation in history to break in to)
   42. bjhanke Posted: May 17, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4708679)
I did get to see Score pitch, for just a couple of years, and if I'd had him on my team, I'd have been looking to for up a rotation spot too, by the end of 1954. But the 1950s and early 1960s are full of guys who could throw absurdly hard, but who spent 2-3 years trying to find the strike zone. Because of the bonus baby rules of the time, some of these guys (Bob Gibson) had to do that as innings-eaters at the ML level. Of course, Gibson was so good that, even with bad control, he certainly belonged in the rotation, but even as pitcher as great as Gibby took a while to find out WHERE to fire that bullet. The bullpens of the time are just littered with guys who had Gibby's control problems, but not quite his level of pure stuff. Score was one of the few who could match Gibson fastball for fastball. That's why he was so famous, and held his rep long enough, after he lost his career, to become an icon. Actually, Score is a lot like Dizzy Dean, except that Dizzy had had a few more years to establish that he really was that good. It's this phenomenon that has Dizzy in the Hall of Fame. He was Herb-Score-good for enough years that it was obvious that, absent the injury, he really WOULD have been truly great. - Brock
   43. Mike Emeigh Posted: May 17, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4708804)
I would have liked to see what would have happened had the Yankees managed to pull this one out. 1954 was clearly a transitional year for NY - and they still won 103 games. Andy Carey grabbed the 3B job early, Bill Skowron took a good chunk of the 1B job, Raschi was gone in the spring, and Casey started easing Lopat and Reynolds out and guys like Bob Grim and Tom Morgan in. The trend accelerated in 1955 after the blockbuster with Baltimore that brought in Turley, Larsen, and Billy Hunter (who took SS from Rizzuto), and by 1956 the transition to the next generation was complete, with no over-30 regular pitchers and only Berra and Bauer over 30 among the regular players.

-- MWE
   44. bjhanke Posted: May 18, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4709064)
My guess is that, if the Yanks had seemed to be in very serious danger of pulling it out real late in the season, that the Indians would have had Herb Score out there for more IP. That late, that close, they would have realized that they needed to change SOMETHING, and Herb Score was the obvious thing to try first. - Brock Hanke
   45. lieiam Posted: May 18, 2014 at 05:04 PM (#4709212)
1954 Prelim:
my usual assortment of systems (of which Willie Mays is 1st in each of them).
no postseason consideration.
10% catcher bonus given.

1 Mays, Willie 10000
2 Snider, Duke 8289
3 Mathews, Eddie 7922
4 Roberts, Robin 7747
5 Minoso, Minnie 7681
6 Mantle, Mickey 7676
7 Berra, Yogi 7500
8 Williams, Ted 7391
9 Kluszewski, Ted 7367
10 Avila, Bobby 7331

11 Musial, Stan 7067
12 Antonelli, Johnny 6942
13 Hodges, Gil 6579
14 Doby, Larry 6272
15 Ashburn, Richie 5993
   46. Mike Emeigh Posted: May 18, 2014 at 08:54 PM (#4709289)
My guess is that, if the Yanks had seemed to be in very serious danger of pulling it out real late in the season, that the Indians would have had Herb Score out there for more IP.

I doubt it. Who could Score have taken innings from?

The Indians were up only 3 1/2 games with 21 games remaining after dropping two of three to the Yankees at the beginning of September; it was hardly a done deal for Cleveland. Basically, what happened to the Yankees after that series was simple; the Indians refused to lose, winning 13 of 14 and allowing more than three runs only twice in that span. It didn't help that the Yankees were scrambling for starting pitching beyond Ford by then, either.

-- MWE
   47. DL from MN Posted: May 20, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4710165)
1954 in music - good jazz albums by Sinatra, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Big Joe Turner puts out Shake, Rattle and Roll and Bill Haley turns it into a hit by cleaning up the lyrics. Elvis Presley makes his first recordings.
   48. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: May 20, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4710174)
1954 Prelim:

I use a combination of WAR systems to get an average WAR for each player. I use that number to get a Dan R-style salary estimation. I divide that salary by $1 million and add 3 times the average WAR to that dividend. I use a 20% bonus for catchers and do not credit postseason except as a tiebreaker.

1. Willie Mays (62.76)
2. Robin Roberts (48.14) – top ML Pitcher
3. Minnie Minoso (46.80) – AL MMP
4. Eddie Mathews (42.80)
5. Ted Williams (40.37)
6. Duke Snider (40.12)
7. Bobby Avila (38.79)
8. Yogi Berra (37.27)
9. Stan Musial (35.42)
10. Mickey Mantle (35.38)

11-20. Antonelli, Kluszewski, Ashburn, Hodges, Reese, Spahn, Doby, Rosen, Gromek (top AL pitcher), Wynn.

Coincidentally, the names in my #2, 4, 6, 8, and 9 ballot spots are the exact same from my 1953 ballot.
   49. SoCalDemon Posted: May 20, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4710184)
Re 44: Cleveland's batters "only" had a 102 OPS+ (109 OPS+ if you exclude the pitchers). But they had a 133 ERA+ from their pitchers. Their 5 main starters (147 of 156 starts) had ERA+s of 140, 136, 135, 120, and 110, and the guy who had 5 of the 9 remaining starts, Don Mossi, had an overall 191 ERA+ (in his rookie year, so clearly he is the guy who Cleveland trusted in their minor leagues, NOT Herb Score). Mossi was trusted with that role from the middle of June on, with a start on June 16th where he had 7 innings with 1 run given up, July 5th, 10.1 IP, 1 R (lost 1-0), July 24th, 6.2 IP, 3, August 3rd (weird, only pitched one scoreless inning, then pitched in relief 2 days later, so doesnt look like he was injured), and September 22nd, 9 IP CG, 1 R. He also pitched 6 innings in relief on May 10th (gave up 2) and 7 scoreless innings in relief on July 20th. They got exactly 36 and a third innings from pitchers with below 110 ERA+s; they really, really did not need Herb Score, and what rookie help they did need they got, in spades, from Don Mossi (and Ray Narleski, who had a 166 ERA+ and started 2 games); combined, they had 179 innings of 2.11 ERA. What they needed was hitting (especially in RF, but Rocky COlavito was probably just a little too young to bring up), but I guess when you are winning 72% of your games you don't want to tinker too much.

   50. toratoratora Posted: May 31, 2014 at 10:16 AM (#4716505)
The usual blend of WAR systems. No adjustments, no postseason

1-Mays-Mays comes of age. All world defense, .345 BA, 41 HR,Led league in 3b, Slg, OPS and OPS+. Say Hey indeed.
2-Snider-Per OPS+ the Best Season of His Life (BSoHL). Another NL'er going 40/.340/.423/.647/1.071
3-Williams-That 201 OPS+ (At 35) almost equals out the 117 games played. 20 more games and TFBG might have won this.
4-Klu-Hits like Mays and Snider, good fielder (+6 Rfield), neutral runner, great biceps
5-Matthews-At 22 tosses up a 40 hr.290/.423/.603/1.026,172 OPS+, with good Defense and neutral running.
6-Roberts-Best Pitcher. Only a 136 ERA+ but 336 IP are 53 more than 2nd place and that's a lot of value.
7-Minoso-Winner of the Best Name MVP (Saturnino Orestes Armas (Arrieta) Minoso), outstanding fielder (16rField), all around hitter.320 BA, 29 2b, 18 3b, 19 HR, led league in TB and, taking one for the team, HBP. The 18 SB are countered by 11 CS (% wise, Minoso is an awful stealer with only one season over 66% success rate)
8-Mantle-.300/.408/.525/.933,158 OPS+.
9-Musial-Yawn. Another MMP vote. Another Musial showing. All The Man did was walk 103 times, hit 35 HR to go with a sweet .330/.428/.607/1.036,167 OPS+
10-Avila-BSoHL, terrific year from the second sacker, .341/.402/.477/.880, 139 OPS+. Good Baserunner, good fielder, prime position. Me like.

The best of the rest (In order)
(Garcia is my top AL pitcher)
   51. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: May 31, 2014 at 09:19 PM (#4716696)
Prelim ballot, no postseason credit but a small bonus for playing on Pennant contender
1. Mays
2. Snider
3. Kluszewski--I'd love to see more discussion of Kluszewski who, physically, looks like he'd be a Three True Outcomes player but his HR/K ratio is similar to Mattingly's but with more HRs
4. Willians
5. Minoso--long overdue HOFer, hope to see this rectified by Golden Era Committee in December!
6. Mathews
7. Antonelli
8. Doby--waited way too long to get in HOF
9. Avila

Just missing--Roberts & Hodges
Top AL pitcher--Mike Garcia

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