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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

The best player at every age, from 20 to 41

20: Wander Franco, SS, Rays
OK, so the MLB.com No. 1 overall prospect hasn’t taken the league entirely by storm since being called up, but this is clearly a superstar-in-waiting. It might be as early as this October…..

41: Albert Pujols, 1B, Dodgers
OK, Rich Hill is probably having a better year in aggregate. But Pujols’ OPS since joining the Dodgers is the highest it has been since 2016, and his career value puts him over the top. Runner-up: Rich Hill, LHP, Mets

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 04, 2021 at 09:10 AM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: age

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   1. Baldrick Posted: August 04, 2021 at 09:36 AM (#6032746)
Hill has been a full 1 WAR better than Pujols this year, but if we arbitrarily trim off the worst section of Pujols' season...he's still worse than Hill.
   2. Cooper Nielson Posted: August 04, 2021 at 10:18 AM (#6032755)
Ctrl-F, "trout," return... No results?

How did they forget him? Not even an explanation as to why he's not included? It says: "We’re accounting for this year’s success in this tally, of course, but we’re really trying to pick the best overall pick. What you’ve done up to this point in your career, particularly recently, factors in as well." Acuna and deGrom made the list, so injuries aren't strictly disqualifying.

Aaron Judge gets the call at age 29, Nick Castellanos and Kris Bryant are the runners-up.
   3. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: August 04, 2021 at 10:23 AM (#6032758)
I have defended Pujols to a lot of Angels fans who were really annoyed by his tenure in Anaheim. And I posited that the Angels' front office was mostly at fault for the way his exit was handled. But seeing Pujols embrace the same role in L.A. that he refused to be subjected to in Anaheim, and seeing him thrive in that role, it rankles a bit. This is exactly what the Angels wanted him to be this season, but he threw a fit when they asked him to accept less playing time.
   4. Rally Posted: August 04, 2021 at 11:12 AM (#6032769)
Trout is a big omission, and you can’t use his injury as an excuse, since Bellinger still ranks #1 for his age.

Pujols is hitting better than he had since 2016, but it’s still not good. 110 OPS+ with little OBP for the slowest man in the sport. He had no role for the Angels with Ohtani at DH and Walsh at first. They could have kept playing Walsh in the OF, but the defense was really hurting when they did that. In previous years they might have thought they needed Albert to DH when Ohtani pitches, or the day before and after. But Ohtani has shown he can swing the bat just fine on those days.

A .460 SLG is useful, but on net, Angels shouldn’t miss Pujols at all. I saw this now, I might feel otherwise this weekend when of course Pujols will have a 3 homer game just to spite the Angels.
   5. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 04, 2021 at 11:37 AM (#6032775)
The piece notes that Bellinger is having a "down year," which really understates things, since he's hitting .165 with an OPS+ of 51. Over the last two seasons, he's hitting .206/.301/.378. There must be a real paucity of decent 25-year-old players.
   6. Mefisto Posted: August 04, 2021 at 11:41 AM (#6032777)
Willie Mays is best at 90.
   7. salvomania Posted: August 04, 2021 at 11:53 AM (#6032781)
OK, so the MLB.com No. 1 overall prospect hasn’t taken the league entirely by storm since being called up

I feel as if everyone is acting as if Franco has been underwhelming, but at 20 years old, playing SS for a first-place club, he has an OPS+ of 101, and pro-rated full-season numbers of 5 WAR with 15 homers, 15 triples, and 10 steals.
   8. Ron J Posted: August 04, 2021 at 11:54 AM (#6032782)
#5 It's really odd. There's exactly one 25 year old position player in the top 100 WAR this year. And I wouldn't trade Bellinger for Willy Adames -- current reslts notwithstanding. and #2/3 are Ha-Seoung Kim and Austin Hayes.

There are some 25 year old pitchers doing well though. Freddy Peralta being the obvious standout.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 04, 2021 at 12:01 PM (#6032783)
The piece notes that Bellinger is having a "down year," which really understates things, since he's hitting .165 with an OPS+ of 51.

I don't think I've ever seen that bad a line from a good player, much less an excellent player. Is there any explanation? Injury?
   10. salvomania Posted: August 04, 2021 at 12:05 PM (#6032784)
He may have caught Allen Craig disease.
   11. sanny manguillen Posted: August 04, 2021 at 01:21 PM (#6032799)
Willie Mays is best at 90.


I wonder if there couldn't be someone in an over-80 league who caught up to Willie when they were both 85, and is now leaving him in the dust.
   12. Mefisto Posted: August 04, 2021 at 01:23 PM (#6032800)
He's the oldest living HoF'er, so a lesser player would have to be aging REALLY well in order to pass him
   13. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: August 04, 2021 at 02:06 PM (#6032809)
I don't think I've ever seen that bad a line from a good player, much less an excellent player. Is there any explanation? Injury?


I would think that is it but he wasn't exactly great last year (.239/.333/.455) and while he was still great at the end of the 2019 season August and September were his two worst months by OPS (.918 and .891 so y'know, don't get TOO worked up). But yeah this is strange. He got hurt 4 games into the season, it's hard not to think he's hurt and playing through it.
   14. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: August 04, 2021 at 02:10 PM (#6032810)
I was going to say 24 years old was wrong because it isn't Jonathan India, but, Devers, yeah, he is better.
   15. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: August 04, 2021 at 02:11 PM (#6032811)
I don't think I've ever seen that bad a line from a good player, much less an excellent player.


Worst seasons by a Hall of Famer by WAR. Any season from the players 3rd to 10th season in MLB, minimum 75 games. Tony Perez at -0.5 in 1966 (his 3rd year) is the worst. Bellinger is -0.5 right now.
   16. Rally Posted: August 04, 2021 at 02:35 PM (#6032814)
Bellinger is certainly worse than anyone on that list. His batting average is 100 points lower than Perez that year. Sure, BA isn’t everything, but it’s not like Bellinger is making up for it with power this year.
   17. Dr. Pooks Posted: August 04, 2021 at 03:09 PM (#6032829)
But seeing Pujols embrace the same role in L.A. that he refused to be subjected to in Anaheim, and seeing him thrive in that role, it rankles a bit. This is exactly what the Angels wanted him to be this season, but he threw a fit when they asked him to accept less playing time.


A similar thing happened with the Jays and Tulowitzki in the 2018-2019 offseason.

There was lots of rumbling how realistic it was to expect a 34-year-old Tulowitzki to man shortstop everyday for the Jays after not having played for 18 months going into 2019 and a fast rising Bo Bichette scheduled to start the year in AAA for service time reasons.

When asked about moving off short, Tulowitzki was more-or-less quoted as saying "I'm a shortstop. If I can't be a starting SS in the majors, just tell me and I'll take my glove and go home".

And the Jays soon obliged, paying him 38 million to go away preferring to pay Freddy Galvis an extra 4 million to man the job until July.

It seemed that Tulowitzki's tune changed instantly though when the Yankees came calling later that spring to invite him to camp to fill-in for an injured Didi Gregorius with a tryout as a utility man.

Suddenly Tulo was fine playing anywhere in the infield in ST because it was the Yankees.

There was also much gloating when Tulo hit a HR in his first ST game against the Jays.

Of course, the Jays were right in the end as Tulo's Yankee utility man career lasted all of 5 games.
   18. Jay Seaver Posted: August 04, 2021 at 04:09 PM (#6032845)
But seeing Pujols embrace the same role in L.A. that he refused to be subjected to in Anaheim, and seeing him thrive in that role, it rankles a bit. This is exactly what the Angels wanted him to be this season, but he threw a fit when they asked him to accept less playing time.


Huh, I remember Angels fans saying at the time he was released that he'd been a pretty good teammate at the time of his release despite how he'd wound up sidelined, not making any noise, getting a lot of "it's like having an extra hitting coach in the dugout" from the rest of the team. Have people started changing their stories now that they don't have to share a clubhouse with him?
   19. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: August 04, 2021 at 04:36 PM (#6032852)
Huh, I remember Angels fans saying at the time he was released that he'd been a pretty good teammate at the time of his release despite how he'd wound up sidelined, not making any noise, getting a lot of "it's like having an extra hitting coach in the dugout" from the rest of the team. Have people started changing their stories now that they don't have to share a clubhouse with him?


I'm not sure which Angel fans you're referring to. I'm sure there were some, but most I interact with didn't think much of Pujols in the clubhouse or on the field. I've defended him somewhat, since whatever you think of his play, he always seemed to do his best to be on the field. And there are plenty of stories of him being a good mentor to young Angels players. However, when this came out, I thought both sides handled it poorly, but was willing to give Pujols a little more benefit of the doubt since the higher ups in the Angels front office have made numerous tone-deaf mistakes in the Arte Moreno era.

What I'm saying now is that I'm no longer willing to give him the benefit of the doubt from a fan's perspective on how Pujols handled this transaction. I still think both sides handled it poorly, but Pujols could have been a lot more graceful about it. I have no idea what the players might think or if it's any different now than when he left.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: August 04, 2021 at 06:00 PM (#6032870)
I thought everybody had decided Pujols is 47.

I've always thought Bellinger was a bit over-rated as a hitter. A very fine player overall -- good hitter, good defense -- but never convinced he was a top hitter. He of course was unstoppable for the first half of 2019 but as somebody above notes, the 2nd half of 2019 was very good not great (259/366/555). That was 310 PAs and his last 445 PAs are at 206/301/378, 85 OPS+. In that 2019, Rfield also loved his defense -- 1.6 dWAR -- while in the rest of his career they've put him at 0 (which is very good for a 1B/LF/RF and about average for a CF).

So 2017-18 ... very good corner player
2019 (esp 1st half) ... superstar
2020 ... very good but more in a Steve Finley way
2021 ... ugh

Until this year he was sort of a slower version of Mookie. Mookie's got the huge hitting 2018 but is still at "just" a 135 OPS+ overall (Bellinger 133) and 2018 is his only full season over 140. Mookie's Rbat is 30 per 650, before this year Bellinger was at 30 per 650. Mookie though has added a whopping 24 runs/650 via speed/defense while Bellinger has produced "only" 12 per 650 prior to this year.

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