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Friday, August 29, 2014

Most Meritorious Player: 1958 Discussion

Tables are turned and the Yankees beat the Braves in a rematch. Vote for 10.

Player			SH WS		BBR WAR
Mantle, Mickey		39.4		8.7
Mays, Willie		39.0		10.2
Banks, Ernie		31.4		9.5
Colavito, Rocky		30.9		6.0
Ashburn, Richie		28.3		7.1
Aaron, Henry		31.2		7.3
Boyer, Ken		25.5		6.0
Cerv, Bob		29.3		6.3
Jensen, Jackie		26.7		4.9
Runnels, Pete		25.5		5.5
Williams, Ted		24.7		4.0
Skinner, Bob		24.5		4.4
Kaline, Al		22.7		6.5
Sievers, Roy		26.5		3.7
Berra, Yogi		20.8		3.2
Lollar, Sherm		21.6		3.7
Howard, Elston		18.2		3.2
Crandall, Del		21.9		4.7
Bolling, Frank		20.2		3.7
Minoso, Minnie		24.4		4.9
Siebern, Norm		21.1		4.8
Mathews, Eddie		23.7		6.4
Musial, Stan		21.4		4.1
Power, Vic		22.9		4.8
Walls, Lee		19.6		4.5
Mazeroski, Bill		20.1		4.9
Temple, Johnny		21.2		3.5
Covington, Wes		17.1		3.3
Aparicio, Luis		18.7		4.2
Fox, Nellie		22.0		3.9
Spencer, Daryl		18.1		3.3
Groat, Dick		18.8		3.8
Robinson, Frank		19.6		4.3
Landis, Jim		21.8		3.1
Cepeda, Orlando		20.6		3.0

Pitcher 		SH WS		BBR WAR
Spahn, Warren		27.3		6.0
Jones, Sam		22.8		5.3
Roberts, Robin		19.6		6.5
Lary, Frank		21.5		6.7
Ford, Whitey		18.8		4.8
Harshman, Jack		21.3		5.3
Pierce, Billy		21.5		5.1
Witt, George		12.8		3.9
Pascual, Camilo		13.4		4.5
Burdette, Lew		22.3		4.2
Antonelli, John		17.2		4.0
O'Dell, Billy		20.2		4.1
Purkey, Bob		17.7		4.5
Turley, Bob		18.0		3.5		
Donovan, Dick		18.3		3.6
Foytack, Paul		15.9		4.0

Wilhelm, Hoyt		11.5		3.7
Hyde, Dick		18.7		4.5
Brosnan, Jim		15.2		3.6
DL from MN Posted: August 29, 2014 at 05:32 PM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. EricC Posted: September 02, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4783952)
Advanced data for NL ERA/ERA+ leader Stu Miller would be appreciated.
   2. DL from MN Posted: September 02, 2014 at 11:00 PM (#4784263)
Stu Miller - 5.0 WAR, 14.8 Win Shares
   3. EricC Posted: September 03, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4784440)
Thanks. Miller doesn't have enough to make my top 15.

1958 prelim; haven't looked at postseason yet:

1. Mays
2. Mantle
3. Banks
4. Aaron
5. Colavito
6. Crandall- C bonus
7. Cerv
8. Boyer- very close to Mathews; edges him because of WS
9. Jones, Sam - another not very good year for P; high uncertainty about the relative rankings of the pitchers
10. Mathews

11-15. Spahn, Lary (top AL pitcher), Ashburn, Ford, Roberts
   4. DL from MN Posted: September 03, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4784458)
Remember to not use 3 year rolling park data for the Dodgers this year
   5. DL from MN Posted: September 03, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4784467)
1958 by position

C - Sherm Lollar
1B - Musial
2B - Pete Runnels
SS - Banks
3B - Ken Boyer
LF - Bob Cerv (apologies to Aaron, Ashburn and Mays)
CF - Mantle
RF - Colavito
SP - Spahn, Sam Jones, Robin Roberts, Frank Lary, Whitey Ford
RP - Dick Hyde
   6. stanmvp48 Posted: September 03, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4784592)
I thought Jensen was one of the most incomprehensible MVP choices of all time.
   7. DL from MN Posted: September 03, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4784844)
1958 prelim

1) Mickey Mantle
2) Willie Mays
3) Ernie Banks
4) Rocky Colavito
5) Richie Ashburn
6) Henry Aaron
7) Ken Boyer
8) Bob Cerv
9) Jackie Jensen
10) Warren Spahn

11-15) Pete Runnels, Sam Jones, Robin Roberts, Frank Lary, Whitey Ford
16-21) Sherm Lollar, Ted Williams, Bob Skinner, Jack Harsh, Al Kaline, Roy Sievers
   8. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 03, 2014 at 07:51 PM (#4784983)

1) Mays
2) Mantle
3) Colavito
4) Banks
5) Aaron
6) Spahn
7) Ashburn
8) Cerv
9) Jensen
10) Crandall
   9. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: September 03, 2014 at 09:51 PM (#4785037)
I was a srabid of a 6 turning 7 year old baseball fan as there could be in 1958, and I knew everyone on this list except George Witt. I looked him up, and even as Red Witt, he rang no bells. Talk about lightning in a bottle. He had a BB/9 of 5.0 that year, only 2 HRs in 106 innings. He was basically awful the rest of his career.
   10. MrC Posted: September 03, 2014 at 11:00 PM (#4785083)
1958 All Star Teams


C Del Crandall
1B Stan Musial
2B Bill Mazeroski
3B Ken Boyer
SS Ernie Banks
OF Hank Aaron
OF Willie Mays
OF Richie Ashburn
SP Warren Spahn. Lew Burdette, Robin Roberts, Sam Jones
RP Bill Henry (Jim Brosnan had better pitching numbers, but Henry is a better hitter) So no complaints if Brosnan is all star

C Sherm Lollar
1B Vic Power Power was a utility player, playing 5 different positions, but played first more than any other position
2B Pete Runnels
3B Andy Carey
SS Luis Aparicio
OF Bob Cerv
OF Mickey Mantle
OF Al Kaline
SP Frank Lary, Whitey Ford, Billy O'Dell, Dick Donovan
RP Dick Hyde
** Hoyt Wilhelm actually rated higher than either Donovan or Hyde but split his innings about equally between starting and relief so would have to make the all star team as a swing man.

   11. MrC Posted: September 03, 2014 at 11:45 PM (#4785111)
1958 Preliminary

There are very few teams in 1958 where play by play data is not available so I am going back to use value added runs.

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

Pitchers: Calculate RAA using a pitchers FIP and calculate RAA using a pitcher's value added runs.

Calculate RAA, using a blend of RA9 and FIP from above, adjust for quality of opposition and park. Convert adjusted RAA to wins. Add 60% of normal runs above replacement to get WARR (wins above reduced replacement). Add Hitter WAR for overall WARR.

1. Willie Mays 9.22 WARR
2. Mickey Mantle 8.07 WARR
3. Ernie Banks 7.61 WARR
4. Bob Cerv 7.26 WARR
5. Al Kaline 6.94 WARR
6. Richie Ashburn 6.30 WARR
7. Hank Aaron 5.49 WARR
8. Stan Musial 5.20 WARR
9. Warren Spahn 5.04 WARR
10. Rocky Colavito

Rest of the top 20
Jackie Jensen
Frank Lary
Ken Boyer
Sherm Lollar
Pete Runnels
Eddie Mathews
Walt Moryn
Norm Siebern
Bob Skinner
Del Crandall
   12. MrC Posted: September 03, 2014 at 11:47 PM (#4785112)
Should say that there are very few "games" in which play by play data is not available
   13. EricC Posted: September 04, 2014 at 11:16 AM (#4785298)
A small bonus for Spahn's peformance in the World Series (in spite of how things ended)
is enough to put him #9 on my revised prelim, as MMPi, ahead of 10. Jones, and knocks
Mathews out of the top 10.
   14. DL from MN Posted: September 04, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4785400)
I thought Jensen was one of the most incomprehensible MVP choices of all time.

Turley for CYA is pretty bad too.
   15. Moeball Posted: September 04, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4785646)
Fun weird stat tidbit for 1958: Don Drysdale.

In 1958 the Dodgers left Brooklyn and played in the L.A. Memorial Coliseum for the next few seasons while Dodger Stadium was under construction at Chavez Ravine.

For those of you who have ever seen a USC football game at the Coliseum – just looking at it makes me scratch my head wondering what made anyone think this would be a good place to turn into a baseball field. Because the playing area is a long oval, no matter how they set up the baseball diamond there was going to be a ridiculously short field somewhere and a really long one facing in a different direction. As it turned out, it was only 250 feet to the left field foul pole. Hmm…right handed pull hitters would have a field day under this kind of arrangement, so which pitchers would get hurt the most? That’s right, lefties.

As a result, opposing teams started rearranging their pitching rotations so as to make sure their lefties never had to pitch in L.A., similar to what happened for many decades re: Fenway Park. This led to some strange anomalies in the stats because things were so skewed.

So how does this bring us to Don Drysdale? Well, despite being a regular pitcher in the Dodgers rotation all year, Drysdale only had 5 games and only 6 AB vs. LHP all season long, largely because he rarely saw any lefties at home, although it looks like he didn’t see too many on the road, either. Here’s how his splits show he hit against lefties in 1958:

AB:6 H:5 no doubles, no triples, but 4 Home Runs (plus a couple of walks).

4 HR in only 6 AB. Wowwwww! There were regular everyday players who faced lefties fairly regularly all season long who didn’t hit 4 HRs against them that season.

At home – I had to look at the PBP for all his games to find this – in LA it looks like he had 5 PA vs. LHP. Results: 1 BB, 1 single, 3 HR. That’s a 1.000 BA and a 1.000 OBA. Oh, yeah, and a SLG of 3.250 for a 4.250 OPS!

It may have been the flukiest fluke of flukes to get these kinds of numbers, but they’re what actually happened. A pitcher hit 4 HR in 6 AB vs. LHP.

On to my MMP picks for 1958:

1)Willie the aMaysing, barely coming out on top. Great all-around season. What do you want? He hit for a career-high .347 BA. Walked 78 times, too, for a .419 OBA. All kinds of power and speed: 33 2B, 11 3B, 29 HRs. Led the league in runs scored with 121 and in SB with 31, while being caught only 6 times. Plus he was absolutely brilliant in CF. The whole package. By the way, as further evidence of how sweet it was for visiting righty batters at the Coliseum in 1958, Willie put up a .980 SLG there that season. And yet…

2)…Ernie Banks barely finishes behind him. It’s really difficult to find true shortstops that can really play the position well defensively and still hit like this. Led the league in HRs, RBI, TB and SLG. All this from a SS. No wonder he won the MVP despite the Cubs poor record. This is just a phenomenal season!

3)Mickey Mantle. Top player in AL again, although he had set such high standards in ’56-’57 that this season seemed like a letdown by comparison. He actually got booed quite a bit by the Yankee faithful this year. Gee, I think I could put up with a season where a guy leads the league in R, HR, BB, TB, and OPS+! Oh, and steals 18 bases while being caught only 3 times! He was at his best against the best teams – against teams with winning records he put up a 1.080 OPS! And people thought this was a bad year?

4)Richie Ashburn – when a prototypical leadoff guy hits for a league-leading .350 BA – and then walks 97 times on top of that – for a league-leading .440 OBA – he should lead the league in runs scored, right? How is it possible that Ashburn got on base 316 times and yet only scored 98 runs? Because the rest of the Phillies lineup clearly wasn’t up to his level, to say the least. But Ashburn had an outstanding season here and added excellent defense in CF to his offensive exploits. Also led the league in triples.

5)Hank Aaron – after spending close to half of the 1957 season in CF and handling it quite capably, spent about a quarter of the 1958 season playing CF and not doing too well there, either defensively or at the plate. He wouldn’t be seen in CF much after this. Still, as a RF he was absolutely outstanding and won his first GG. Funny how the number 44 kept showing up in the stats for #44. Guess how many Rbat he had?

6)Rocky Colavito – breakout season had career highs in OBA and SLG; latter led the league. Oddly, this righty slugger hit much better against RHP than LHP.

7)Al Kaline – had one of the all-time great seasons defensively as well as another solid year with the bat. This was typical Kaline; never necessarily the best player but always in the conversation.

8)Bob Cerv – veteran had always been platooned or hurt, finally put it together in one of those “where the heck did this performance come from?” seasons.

9)Frank Lary, Yankee Killer – was 7-1 with a 1.86 ERA against league champs. Led AL in CG and IP; in a season where Detroit had almost a 106 PF he still put up a 2.90 ERA (a career best). AL’s best pitcher in my book.

10)Ken Boyer – Cardinals third sacker moved into cleanup spot in lineup and made it his. Outstanding defensively, racked up first of 5 GGs. Offensively – his OPS increased with the pressure – his low-leverage, medium and high-leverage OPS came in at .825, .852, .889. In extra innings he had a whopping 1.896 OPS! With the game on the line, he was at his best. Yet another righty whose best road numbers came at the Coliseum.

Just missed – Pete Runnels, Eddie Mathews, Sam Jones (top NL pitcher), Robin Roberts, Jack Harshman, Whitey Ford, Warren Spahn.
   16. toratoratora Posted: September 06, 2014 at 09:06 PM (#4786882)
1958 Prelim.
The usual blend of WAR systems. 10 points for finishing first, 9 for second and so on. No positional adjustments.

1-Mantle: 42 HR, 129 BB, .304/.443/.592/1.035, 188 OPS+, 2 HR, 7 BB, 1.003 WS OPS

2-Mays: 29 HR, 31 SB, .347/.419/.583/ 1.002, 165 OPS+, +15 rField

3-Banks: 47 HR, .313/.366/.614/.980, 155 OPS+, 11 3b from a guy I don’t tend to think of as fleet of foot. Add in 1.9 DWar, 154 games played at SS and those offensive numbers and that’s one heckuva year.

4-Aaron: 30 HR, .326/.386/.546/.931, 152 OPS+. Plus Baserunner, plus fielder. Hit .333 in the WS. Just Hank being Hank. By decades end I’m gonna be bored placing him around here.

5-Colavito: 41 HR, .303/.405/.620/1.024, 180 OPS+. Poor baserunner, slightly less than average fielder (but the arm gets him a tied for career best 14 assists). He even pitched 3 hitless innings.

6-Ashburn: 215 Hits (176 singles), 97 BB, 30 SB, hit .350 with a sweet .440 OBP, making for a 136 OPS+

7-Spahn: The player most likely to be left off my final ballot. Nice season, pretty much the usual Spahn, his value aided immensely by 290 IP. But he’s 21st in ERA+. That’s going to cause issues. Ford pitched 71 innings less but gave up 44 less runs which doesn’t make a ton of extra value for Spahn.

8-Cerv: The best season in KC A’s history. 38 HR, .305/.371/.592/.963, all good for a 159 OPS+. He even has +11 rField as the Yankee castoff comes up with what’s far and away the best year of his life and the “Where did that come from?’ season of 58.

9-Kaline: 26 rField and a typical Kaline offensive year (16 HR, .313, 130 OPS+) = a nifty player

10-Jensen: 35 HR, 99 BB, .286/.396/.535/.931 good for a 148 OPS+. A year away from retiring due to fear of flying. In 58 though, it’s a wonderful life playing in Fenway (106 multi-year PF) hitting behind Ted Williams and Pete Runnels.

Best of the rest, in order: Lary, Burdette, Ford, Matthews, Roberts
   17. neilsen Posted: September 07, 2014 at 10:37 PM (#4787326)
1958 prelim

1. Willie Mays - Great year in front of new and less than enthusiastic hometown fans. Lead the MLB in steals for 3rd year in a row. Lead league in OPS + and RC and combined with GG defense.
2. Ernie Banks - 47 HR and very good defense.
3. Mickey Mantle - Career year for most players but a small comedown from the huge heights of 56-57.
4. Hank Aaron- well deserved GG playing in right field
5. Richie Ashburn -
6. Robin Roberts
7. Al Kaline
8. Rocky Colavito
9. Eddie Mathews
10. Stan Musial
   18. DavidFoss Posted: September 07, 2014 at 11:35 PM (#4787360)
Here's the 1958 ballpark comparison page:

The 251 down the LF line at the Coliseum is pretty bad but with the 42 foot screen its about the same as the Polo grounds was the year before. The 320 in LCF is incredibly short though. The Polo Grounds went straight out to 447 in LCF.

Anyhow, the page is great for comparing dimensions.

bb-ref has platoon splits by stadium:

RHB/LAD has the largest SLG but LHB/STL has the largest OPS. Maybe the batting average in the coliseum was surprised by the foul territory?
   19. bjhanke Posted: September 11, 2014 at 04:50 AM (#4789695)
As mentioned above, Jensen won the MVP because he hit cleanup behind Williams and Runnels. LOTS of RBI.

Boyer would hold onto the cleanup spot until Solly Hemus finally gave in and allowed Bill White to play full time at 1B. White didn't walk much, but had as much power as Boyer. In Hemus' defense (which I almost never raise), he did have a problem. Stan Musial turned 37 in 1958 here (Hemus would become manager in 1959), and Joe Cunningham, a walk-taking OBP factory who was too slow to play the outfield (and should have hit leadoff), was playing VERY well. Then White showed up, and the Cards had a logjam at 1B. The obvious answer was to return Musial to the outfield, but Hemus wasn't having any, and then Stan got a little hurt, so.... Hemus' most obvious mistake was moving Curt Flood from the CF job to the bench, so he could try White, who could run but not judge fly balls, in center. An outfield of Cunningham in RF and White in CF was just plain ugly. Flood on the bench was absurd.

Also, Aaron lost the CF job to Billy Bruton, who, in all fairness, was a better glove than even the young Hank. Bruton would have been a GG candidate except for Mays and Flood. Stiff competition. The most interesting feature of the Braves in 1958 was the huge year by Wes Covington. Covington was probably platooned, which helped. But NL pitchers would quickly figure out that Wes had too much power to play around with, but also had no idea at all of where the strike zone might be. Covington's bat dropped like a stone, although he remained a reasonable starter for some years.

- Brock Hanke
   20. DL from MN Posted: September 11, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4789922)
1958 World Series

Player G  AB  R  H  2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  SO  BA  OBP  SLG  OPS  SB  CS  E
Berra 7  27  3  6  3  0  0  2  1  0  .222  .241  .333  .575  0  0  0
Mantle 7  24  4  6  0  1  2  3  7  4  .250  .419  .583  1.003  0  0  0
Siebern 3  8  1  1  0  0  0  0  3  2  .125  .364  .125  .489  0  0  0
WFord 3  4  1  0  0  0  0  0  2  2  .000  .333  .000  .333  0  0  0  
Turley 4  5  0  1  0  0  0  2  0  1  .200  .200  .200  .400  0  0  0

Aaron 7  27  3  9  2  0  0  2  4  6  .333  .419  .407  .827  0  0  0
Covington 7  26  2  7  0  0  0  4  2  4  .269  .310  .269  .580  0  0  0
Crandell 7  25  4  6  0  0  1  3  3  10  .240  .310  .360  .670  0  0  0
Mathews 7  25  3  4  2  0  0  3  6  11  .160  .323  .240  .563  1  0  1
Burdette 3  9  1  1  0  0  1  3  0  3  .111  .111  .444  .556  0  0  0
Spahn 3  12  0  4  0  0  0  3  0  6  .333  .333  .333  .667  0  0  0  

Pitcher G  GS  ERA  W  L  SV  CG  IP  H  R  ER  BB  SO  WHIP
WFord 3  3  4.11  0  1  0  0  15.1  19  8  7  5  16  1.565
Turley 4  2  2.76  2  1  1  1  16.1  10  5  5  7  13  1.041  

Burdette 3  3  5.64  1  2  0  1  22.1  22  17  14  4  12  1.164  
Spahn 3  3  2.20  2  1  0  2  28.2  19  7  7  8  18  0.942  
   21. DL from MN Posted: September 11, 2014 at 12:45 PM (#4789933)
Updated "best seasons of the 50s"

Mantle 57
Mantle 56
Mantle 58
Mays 54
Banks 59 (I peeked)
Mays 55
Robinson 51
Musial 51
Williams 57
Mays 58
Mantle 55
Roberts 53
Rosen 53
   22. DL from MN Posted: September 11, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4789945)
That's a nearly 10% boost in innings for Spahn and he already threw 290 IP in the regular season. High quality performance against the Yankees and 4-12 at the plate too. Mantle was excellent but he was already #1 on my ballot. Aaron does well, so does Turley.
   23. Qufini Posted: September 11, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4790196)
1958 Prelim Ballot

1. Willie Mays, CF, San Francisco Giants: Mays wins a very close three-way race for the top spot thanks to a 165 OPS+ and +15 fielding
2. Ernie Banks, SS, Chicago Cubs: 2nd in OPS+ and RC to Mays, plus +10 fielding at shortstop
3. Mickey Mantle, CF, New York Yankees: poor defensive play drags Mantle down a bit; still a great hitter with league leading numbers in OPS+ (188) and RC (147)
4. Hank Aaron, RF/CF, Milwaukee Braves: 152 OPS+ and good enough defensively to play a quarter of his games in center field
5. Rocky Colavito, RF, Cleveland Indians: an outstanding 180 OPS+ but only -1 in right field
6. Whitey Ford, P, New York Yankees: light on innings pitched at only 219 but his 177 ERA+ is best in the majors by 22
7. Richie Ashburn, CF, Philadelphia Phillies: I really had no idea that Ashburn was this good but he keeps making the second half of my ballot year after year
8. Bob Cerv, LF, Kansas City Athletics: 159 OPS+ and +11 fielding
9. Stu Miller, RP/SP, San Francisco Giants: it's hard to place the swing-man Miller (20 starts, 21 relief appearances) but his league-leading ERA+ and WAR per IP make him the best pitcher in the NL
10. Ted Williams, LF, Boston Red Sox: Teddy Ballgame could have used some time at DH; his -17 fielding is brutal and detracts from his still impressive 179 OPS+

11. Sam Jones, P, St. Louis Cardinals- the best starting pitcher in the senior circuit
12. Jackie Jensen, RF, Boston Red Sox
13. Pete Runnels, 2B/1B, Boston Red Sox- he would have been higher if he had played 2B full-time
14. Warren Spahn, P, Milwaukee Braves
15. Ken Boyer, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals

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