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Thursday, November 01, 2007

USA Today: 2006-2007 Elias Final Rankings: National League

The American League rankings are here.

Enjoy.

1k5v3L Posted: November 01, 2007 at 01:14 AM | 69 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: general

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   1. nycfan Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:00 AM (#2602052)
damn, Luis Vizcaino just missed being an A. They really need to change how these rankings work when you have good starting pitchers as type B and average relievers as type A.
   2. Don Guillote (The Cheat) Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:03 AM (#2602056)
Free Agent CFers
Rowand - A
Hunter - A
Jones - B
Cameron - B
   3. BeanoCook Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:04 AM (#2602059)
Nice, Linebrink is an A. Now that trade doesn't feel so bad.
   4. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:07 AM (#2602063)
How the hell is Andruw Jones a B? The Elias rankings, as you all know, are dookie.
   5. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:10 AM (#2602065)
Andruw Jones is only a B - and Rowand is an A. Heh.

Edit - Beaten to the punch. Shouldn't be running background queries on 8 million line tables while posting.

-- MWE
   6. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:10 AM (#2602066)
I know it doesn't matter, but 200 IP, 122 ERA+ a Type B? Oh yeah, Matt Cain doesn't know how to win!
   7. nycfan Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:10 AM (#2602067)
Isn't this whole system pretty unfair to players in that it punishes them for doing well? I mean, for the superstars the lost draft pick probably won't change how much money they get, but when it's someone like Scott Linebrink it probably seriously affects a team's willingness to sign him.
   8. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:13 AM (#2602071)
Jones - B

Jones had an off year, but that's ####### insane. That guy could end up in Cooperstown, and he turns 30 in April.
   9. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:18 AM (#2602074)
Gagne is a B.
   10. BeanoCook Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:19 AM (#2602077)
It is as if the Elias ratings system uses 1980's baseball card backs as statistical reference.
   11. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:20 AM (#2602079)
Jones had an off year, but that's ####### insane. That guy could end up in Cooperstown, and he turns 30 in April.


Well, if Andruw ends up in Cooperstown it's because he became a major-league regular at age 20 and was arguably the best defensive centerfielder ever in his prime, neither of which are really all that relevant to his next free-agent contract. I also assume that the Elias rankings don't include defense, so Jones's Gold Gloves probably aren't helping him here (of course, Rowand's probably better defensively right now anyway, isn't he?)
   12. Darren Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:21 AM (#2602080)
Does this ranking come into play when a team signs two Type-A FAs? IOW, would a team signing ARod and Lowell have to give the Red Sox their first round pick and the Yanks their 2nd?
   13. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:21 AM (#2602081)
Curtis Granderson is a Type B, one spot behind Type A JD Drew.

Also, to be fair, Andruw Jones had a pretty awful year.
   14. Fat Al Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:22 AM (#2602084)
Isn't this whole system pretty unfair to players in that it punishes them for doing well? I mean, for the superstars the lost draft pick probably won't change how much money they get, but when it's someone like Scott Linebrink it probably seriously affects a team's willingness to sign him.


I think that's probably true. Someone like Brian Cashman, newly trying to hoard draft picks, would certainly look at that in deciding who to sign.
   15. Chris Needham Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:23 AM (#2602085)
Has anyone ever seen how they actually weight the stats?

As near as I can tell, they basically rank all eligible players in a group of categories (for 1B/OF, I think it's PA, OBP, HR, RBI and BA) and then figure out the percentage 'share' they have of the rankings. Are all rankings weighed equally? Do they weight certain things more?

I know it's junk in terms of actually evaluating players, but I'd be interested to see the man behind the curtain.
   16. AJMcCringleberry Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:24 AM (#2602088)
Mark DeRosa: A
Scott Rolen: B
   17. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:25 AM (#2602089)
Does this ranking come into play when a team signs two Type-A FAs? IOW, would a team signing ARod and Lowell have to give the Red Sox their first round pick and the Yanks their 2nd?

Yes.

Edit: excepting, of course, the first 15 picks, which are protected.
   18. Brian White Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:26 AM (#2602090)
Also, to be fair, Andruw Jones had a pretty awful year.

Yeah, but they're two year rankings, and Andruw had quite a good year the year before. Plus, a lot of these rankings are (or at least were) biased towards players with more playing time - counting stats meant a lot.

I'm utterly confused as to how Andruw Jones isn't a type A free agent.
   19. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:30 AM (#2602095)
I'm utterly confused as to how Andruw Jones isn't a type A free agent.


Are centerfielders lumped together with corner outfielders maybe? Either that or it's batting average-heavy.
   20. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:32 AM (#2602098)
I'm utterly confused as to how Andruw Jones isn't a type A free agent.

Fair enough... after all, Austin Kearns is a Type A. I would think that Batting Average is the culprit. Elias probably weighs it far too heavily.
   21. Brian White Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:35 AM (#2602103)
Are centerfielders lumped together with corner outfielders maybe? Either that or it's batting average-heavy.

Actually, probably both. Centerfielders are lumped in with corner outfielders AND first basemen.
   22. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:37 AM (#2602105)
Centerfielders are lumped in with corner outfielders AND first basemen.


In that case, I'm a lot more surprised that Aaron Rowand and Torii Hunter are A's.
   23. jyjjy Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:03 AM (#2602119)
5 Mike Lowell 84.857 A
6 Alex Rodriguez 84.000 A
   24. BeanoCook Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:06 AM (#2602120)
5 Mike Lowell 84.857 A
6 Alex Rodriguez 84.000 A


Wow, nice catch. This is criminal.

Are these the same people that run public schools?
   25. BeanoCook Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:08 AM (#2602122)
Seriously, 2007 (yes I realize rankings are 06-07) was the career year of the greatest hitting infielder in baseball history. Yet there he is behind M. Lowell and 2 teammates. There you have it, A-Rod, the 3rd best infielder on the Yankees. BOTTOM HALF!! At least he eeked out a win over PP. It goes without saying S Boras won't be using this data on behalf of his client.

1 Michael Young 89.286 A
2 Miguel Tejada 87.500 A
3 Robinson Cano 85.714 A
4 Derek Jeter 85.119 A
5 Mike Lowell 84.857 A
6 Alex Rodriguez 84.000 A
7 Placido Polanco 81.746 A
   26. Mike A Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:15 AM (#2602124)
Chuck 'HR' James - type A. Andruw Jones - type B. Cracks me up.

The Braves weren't going to offer Andruw arbitration anyways...but still. Heck, I'm almost happy to see him a type B because it makes missing out on the draft picks a little less painful.
   27. kthejoker Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:21 AM (#2602127)
Other strangeness:

22 Prince Fielder 72.000 A

What am I missing?
   28. Xander Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:28 AM (#2602129)
Heck, I'm almost happy to see him a type B because it makes missing out on the draft picks a little less painful.
They'll still get a sandwich pick for him.
   29. Rally Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:29 AM (#2602130)
I'm gonna try and summarize the free agent type A's.

AL
Hunter
Posada
Lowell
A-Rod
Schilling
Rivera

5 of the 6 possible 1st round picks would go to the twin beasts of the east. Good that MLB rolled back the compensation picks, but this is a good reason to just end comp picks entirely. Not only does it do nothing to help competitive balance it is anti competitive balance. Given recent free agent feeding frenzies its hard to say that its effective in deterring salaries either. MLB would be wise to do away with it entirely, and that would give them greater freedom to make changes (such as salary slotting) to the draft.

NL
Alou*
Rowand
Bonds
Bradley*
Barrett
Iguchi
Glavine
Maddux
Cordero

Hard to see anyone giving up a pick for Iguchi or Barrett, so they probably won't even be offered arbitration. The Mets just declined the 1 year option on Alou so there's no chance they'll offer him arb, and Bradley likley won't play until after next June's draft, so teams may save a pick by waiting until then to sign him.

Of this group I see potential picks changing hands for only Rowand, Cordero, and possibly Glavine.
   30. Rally Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:30 AM (#2602131)
They'll still get a sandwich pick for him.


Not if they don't offer arbitration.
   31. St.Philly Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:35 AM (#2602135)
Hard to see anyone giving up a pick for Iguchi or Barrett, so they probably won't even be offered arbitration. The Mets just declined the 1 year option on Alou so there's no chance they'll offer him arb,


Mets picked up Alou's option. Iguchi had it built into his contract that he could not be offered arbitration (must be something Japanese players can do) and thus can be signed without surrendering a pick.
   32. Famous Original Joe C Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:36 AM (#2602137)
5 Mike Lowell 84.857 A
6 Alex Rodriguez 84.000 A


A-Rod is 21st in fielding, and thus drops behind Lowell.

No, seriously.
   33. BeanoCook Posted: November 01, 2007 at 04:00 AM (#2602141)
5 Mike Lowell 84.857 A
6 Alex Rodriguez 84.000 A

A-Rod is 21st in fielding, and thus drops behind Lowell.

No, seriously.


Ok then, at least there is a "reason".

This brings me to my next question.....what happened to all of the SABR types that said defense was overrated and praised the early Billy Beane years because he found excellent OBP players without gloves and scattered them all over the field. Now I get the feeling that DEF is being given about a 50/50 share in player value, ie.. Ryan Braun v T Tulo ROY debate.

Where does this debate stand?
   34. Rally Posted: November 01, 2007 at 04:12 AM (#2602144)
The defense is overrated type A's fans had sit silently while the team tried pitching and defense, but now they see hope of Jack Cust playing outfield and Nick Swisher in center.

Why do we have to set a percent value on either? The better player between Braun/Tulo is the one who's combination of runs produced and runs saved is the greatest. B-Ref has Braun +33, Tulo +6 on offense. On defense, I've got Tulo +24 and Braun -24. So that's +9 and +30 before even considering a position adjustment, so you can probably guess who I'd vote for if given a chance.
   35. greenback used to say live and let live Posted: November 01, 2007 at 04:20 AM (#2602146)
It is as if the Elias ratings system uses 1980's baseball card backs as statistical reference.

They used to publish the components that fed the final number, maybe back in the early 1990's, and my recollection is that you can drop "as if".
   36. BeanoCook Posted: November 01, 2007 at 04:21 AM (#2602148)
Ok, I get this. We don't have to allocate share to Offense or DEF, but there are numbers and weight given to the formulas of RUNS SAVED and RUNS CREATED. At some point a human must make a decision on what variable to weight.

There was a time that it was thought that the gap between a poor defensive player and a good one was too small to erase any major differences in hitting. There was a time when crapping on DEF was praised. When, how did this change?
   37. Walt Davis Posted: November 01, 2007 at 04:37 AM (#2602155)
There was a time that it was thought that the gap between a poor defensive player and a good one was too small to erase any major differences in hitting. There was a time when crapping on DEF was praised. When, how did this change?

When UZR and other "sophisticated" defensive stats started coming out. With those numbers, it was simple addition to figure out who was better. :-)

I frankly think those stats give too much credit to the defense but I certainly don't have any evidence to counter it with so it's no more than "I don't really believe that." Also given that there's not a huge amount of agreement among the measures even within the same season and that the season-to-season correlation within measures isn't all that high (significant but not mind-blowing), there's still a lot more uncertainty around the defensive measures than the offensive. But yes, if Darrin Erstad really was worth 25-30 runs a year above average on defense in his prime, that was huge.

But most of the time it's still not enough to overcome major differences in hitting. The vast majority of defenders are within +/- 10 runs of average. It's generally only the extreme cases (Manny, Braun) where defense really destroys a player's value.

On Tulo vs. Braun, it's really too soon to judge (for longterm, I don't really care about ROY). Tulo probably isn't a "true" +24; Braun probably isn't (or will work to improve) a -24. Of course Braun probably isn't as good a hitter as his numbers this year either.
   38. sardonic Posted: November 01, 2007 at 04:59 AM (#2602167)
The defense is overrated type A's fans had sit silently while the team tried pitching and defense, but now they see hope of Jack Cust playing outfield and Nick Swisher in center.


Count me out of that one. Assuming Denorfia is healthy, I think they should go with him in CF, Swisher and Buck at the corners, Cust at DH and Barton at 1B.

Really, the only guy pushing Denorfia or a good CF out of the lineup is Dan Johnson, and as much respect as I have for Dan Szym and ZiPS, I just can't see him being an asset.
   39. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: November 01, 2007 at 05:07 AM (#2602169)
Seriously, 2007 (yes I realize rankings are 06-07) was the career year of the greatest hitting infielder in baseball history.


What? Are first basemen not infielders anymore?

Even if you meant middle infielder, there's Rogers Hornsby.
   40. BeanoCook Posted: November 01, 2007 at 06:54 AM (#2602210)
What? Are first basemen not infielders anymore?

Even if you meant middle infielder, there's Rogers Hornsby.


Only one 1st basemen, Lou Gerhig, could compete with A-Rod and I would have A-Rod over Hornsby as well, but of course it is well worth the argument.
   41. BeanoCook Posted: November 01, 2007 at 06:57 AM (#2602211)
But most of the time it's still not enough to overcome major differences in hitting. The vast majority of defenders are within +/- 10 runs of average. It's generally only the extreme cases (Manny, Braun) where defense really destroys a player's value.


If Manny's value was "destroyed" then how did the Sox win the World Series so easily? I watched him hammer Rockies pitching and I also watched him misplay several balls and fail to catch others.

Count me on the side that DEF is overrated right now, but I have little to prove this. Of course this doesn't mean I think DEF should be ignored.
   42. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: November 01, 2007 at 07:11 AM (#2602213)
Only one 1st basemen, Lou Gerhig, could compete with A-Rod and I would have A-Rod over Hornsby as well, but of course it is well worth the argument.


I personally don't see any way that A-Rod is as good a hitter as - let alone better than - Lou Gehrig, Frank Thomas, Rogers Hornsby, Albert Pujols, Jimmie Foxx, Mark McGwire, Hank Greenberg, Johnny Mize, or Dick Allen, unless you go by counting stats. Mike Schmidt may be better (lower BA but played in an era of low standard deviation and dominated his league as a hitter much more than A-Rod). Joe Morgan had 8 or 9 years as an A-Rod quality hitter (130+ OPS+, around or above 150 in 5 of those) and was an even more impressive basestealer than A-Rod.

I think I would give A-Rod the edge over the last two, and maybe even could be convinced that he's better than Greenberg or Mize, but the others? No chance, IMO.
   43. mgl Posted: November 01, 2007 at 09:19 AM (#2602231)
We don't use sample numbers for defense the same way we don't (shouldn't) use sample numbers for offense either. However, offensive numbers (say, lwts) are more reliable than defensive ones (given the same number of opps) for a variety of reasons, so for one year, a -20 defensive and +20 offensive player is likely better than a 0,0 player. However, if we regress each player's numbers properly, then we simply add them them up as others have said in this thread. And DON'T forget to include positional adjustments! Or, as Tango likes to say and do, the defensive run values, like UZR, should be position neutral. Technically, you can't add a +10 UZR which is "as compared to a player at the same defensive position" with a +5 offensive lwts, which is "as compared to all players." That is like adding feet and inches together. You gotta either get the offensive number "as compared to the average player at that defensive position (which is essentially a positional adjustment) or you gotta translate the defensive metric like UZR into a position neutral one (e.g., a first baseman with a UZR of 10 might be zero defesively, position neutral).

Obvioulsy these Elias rankings care almost nothing for the intrinsic value of being able to play each of the defensive positions. It appears that almost all of the top players are 1B and corner outfielders. Of course all of the defensive positions should be randomly distributed among the list (unless some positions happen to be exceptionally good or bad in any given year, which is not unlikely).
   44. BeanoCook Posted: November 01, 2007 at 09:22 AM (#2602233)
I personally don't see any way that A-Rod is as good a hitter as - let alone better than - Lou Gehrig, Frank Thomas, Rogers Hornsby, Albert Pujols, Jimmie Foxx, Mark McGwire, Hank Greenberg, Johnny Mize, or Dick Allen, unless you go by counting stats. Mike Schmidt may be better (lower BA but played in an era of low standard deviation and dominated his league as a hitter much more than A-Rod). Joe Morgan had 8 or 9 years as an A-Rod quality hitter (130+ OPS+, around or above 150 in 5 of those) and was an even more impressive basestealer than A-Rod.


Yea, "take away" A-Rod's counting stats, he was a slouch.

Why is Frank Thomas even on your list? We are talking infielders. 56/44 is the DH/1b ratio for Thomas.

Then to say "I don't see any way A-Rod is as good - let alone better than...." and list players like J Mize and D Allen. Geez. I know you think these guys got screwed in the annals of baseball history, but please.

To think I once got savaged on here for suggesting R Maris was no better than J Burnitz. I have to think I was closer with my comparison than yours, esp considering the strong language you lead off with.
   45. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 01, 2007 at 11:17 AM (#2602256)
Guys, this isn't that complicated:

1. Divide players up by league. Then divide them into one of five positions: C, SP, RP, 2B/3B/SS, 1B/DH/OF.

2. Calculate their two-year stats.

3. Rank those two year stats in each of five categories. (The categories differ by the position of the players being ranked. I can't find the specific categories for each in front of me right now -- indeed, they've changed over time -- but they include PA/AVG/HR/SB/RBI for batters, I think FLD% for the 2b/3b/ss group, W/ERA/K/GS/IP for starters, and saves for relievers.) A majority of the stats are raw numbers, not rate stats, so playing a lot is more important than playing well.

4. Give one point based on the ordinal ranking of a player in each category. In other words, if you lead the 1B/DH/OF category in HRs, you get 1 point; if you're 50th, you get 50 points. (Actually, they flip the score around nowadays so that higher is better, but the same methodology applies.)

Note that all that matters is ordinal rank, not actual performance. If the #2 batter in your category has hit 80 HRs over the past two seasons, then whether you hit 81 or 120 is irrelevant; you end up with the same first place rank in that category.

5. Average each player's points across the categories.

6. Sort list of players.

7. Publish.

8. Listen to people talk about how stupid the rankings are.


The old classifications were Type A: Top 30, B: 31-50, C: 51-60, Other
The current classifications are Type A: Top 20, B: 21-40, Other.
   46. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 01, 2007 at 11:32 AM (#2602259)
Then to say "I don't see any way A-Rod is as good - let alone better than...." and list players like J Mize and D Allen. Geez. I know you think these guys got screwed in the annals of baseball history, but please.
Nice Dowdifying of his quote. He did not say what you falsely quoted him as saying, even though you could have truthfully done it simply by cutting and pasting. What he said was that he doesn't "see any way that A-Rod is as good a hitter as - let alone better than..." that list of people.
To think I once got savaged on here for suggesting R Maris was no better than J Burnitz. I have to think I was closer with my comparison than yours, esp considering the strong language you lead off with.
You got savaged because your claim was ridiculous, failing to take into account league offensive levels when they played.
   47. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: November 01, 2007 at 12:28 PM (#2602275)
In what universe is Jon Garland more betterer than Mark Buehrle? Besides the wacky Elias universe, that is.
   48. Rally Posted: November 01, 2007 at 01:14 PM (#2602304)
On Tulo vs. Braun, it's really too soon to judge (for longterm, I don't really care about ROY). Tulo probably isn't a "true" +24; Braun probably isn't (or will work to improve) a -24. Of course Braun probably isn't as good a hitter as his numbers this year either.


Braun was every bit as bad as -24 last year. He may have the ability to do better, but for just last year he was awful. Tulo may not have been a real +24, but using a +10 positional difference between 3rd and short, if he's even average at SS he passes Braun overall.

Longterm, or if the question is "who do you take starting a team form scratch" I can see going with Braun because in that situation a negative defense/position adjustment should have a -15 floor, which is that of a DH.
   49. sunnyday2 Posted: November 01, 2007 at 01:18 PM (#2602309)
>Isn't this whole system pretty unfair to players in that it punishes them for doing well? I mean, for the superstars the lost draft pick probably won't change how much money they get, but when it's someone like Scott Linebrink it probably seriously affects a team's willingness to sign him.

That's a good point. It's sort of a throwback to the idea that the team he's with today OWNS his ass and deserves to get something for him even after his contract runs out.
   50. Mike Green Posted: November 01, 2007 at 01:32 PM (#2602324)
Elias has 25 type A relievers and 17 type A starters in the AL. I mean, I love Scott Downs and all, but...
   51. Honkie Kong Posted: November 01, 2007 at 01:50 PM (#2602352)
8. Listen to people talk about how stupid the rankings are.

And are you saying it is unjustified? And it is not just 1 or 2 arbitrary cases. This is as bad as ( as good as? ) those ESPN player rankings.
So in what world is Andruw Jones a worse CF than Rowand over the past 2 years? And don't gimme defence..Rowand actually does worse than Andruw plau/minus and CHONE I think. And anecdotally, he struggles in reaching shallow flies/low line drives.
He just has a knack for the spectacular.
   52. BeanoCook Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:46 PM (#2602462)
To think I once got savaged on here for suggesting R Maris was no better than J Burnitz. I have to think I was closer with my comparison than yours, esp considering the strong language you lead off with.

You got savaged because your claim was ridiculous, failing to take into account league offensive levels when they played.


I stand by my position that Burnitz and Maris are the same players. Burnitz was better on DEFENSE!! Maris just had the 3 best peak years. Sorry, but Maris is the only player that does not belong on the 60 hr list.
   53. Rally Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:51 PM (#2602470)
So in what world is Andruw Jones a worse CF than Rowand over the past 2 years?


A world where batting average is king.
   54. Rally Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:55 PM (#2602474)
Good thing B-ref now calculates linear weights batter runs and wins, a better measure than OPS+.

Maris 18.7
Burnitz 8.7
   55. BeanoCook Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:59 PM (#2602482)
Good thing B-ref now calculates linear weights batter runs and wins, a better measure than OPS+.

Maris 18.7
Burnitz 8.7


See, I was right, they are the same......

Maris.....8.7
Burnitz 8.7

Maureen Dowd
   56. JPWF13 Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:59 PM (#2602485)
Joe Morgan had 8 or 9 years as an A-Rod quality hitter (130+ OPS+, around or above 150 in 5 of those) and was an even more impressive basestealer than A-Rod.



For some reason AROD "detractors" have this habit of referring to AROD as a 130 level hitter (Or a Scott Rolen level hitter)

AROD's ten best years by ops+
177, 73, 62, 60, 60, 58, 47, 36, 34, 34
Morgan's:
187, 69, 59, 54, 49, 45, 38, 36, 32, 31
Rolen's:
157, 39, 38, 29, 27, 26, 21, 19, (89),

Morgan's the best 2B of all time
Rolen's simply not in the discussion, he had one spike year that could be characterized as ARodlike, that's it... his best seasons overlap with ARod's worst seasons. big deal.
   57. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:11 PM (#2602500)
Burnitz was better on DEFENSE!!

Because you say so? Maris was an excellent defensive outfielder. He played centerfield for a good chunk of 1964 when Mantle's legs were shot. I'm not saying Burnitz wasn't good with the glove and arm, but what's the evidence that he was any better than Maris?

And I'm pretty sure that Roger was a better football player, too.
   58. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:17 PM (#2602508)
And are you saying it is unjustified?
Yes, because people who criticize them are using the rankings in completely inappropriate ways. That your chainsaw does a bad job of cutting hair does not mean that it is justified to criticize the utility of chainsaws. The only purpose of the ranking is to divide players up into A/B/unrestricted. Paying attention to any finer gradations than that is just a misuse of the tool. (This means that it is fair to criticize the media who report on the specific rankings, because they're using it in a way it was simply never designed to be used.) I am not saying that it's the way I'd have designed the formula, but it's adequate for the task, and adding more complexity would serve little purpose.

So in what world is Andruw Jones a worse CF than Rowand over the past 2 years? And don't gimme defence..Rowand actually does worse than Andruw plau/minus and CHONE I think. And anecdotally, he struggles in reaching shallow flies/low line drives.
Oh, and as for Rowand/Jones, Jones almost certainly ranks as low as he does because of his poor batting average. Flawed? Yes. But for the overall comparison, have you looked at Jones' 2007? It was pretty bad. By a quick and dirty look, it seems to me that Rowand's OPS+ the last two years combined is a tad bit better than Jones'.
   59. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 01, 2007 at 03:20 PM (#2602511)
I stand by my position that Burnitz and Maris are the same players. Burnitz was better on DEFENSE!! Maris just had the 3 best peak years. Sorry, but Maris is the only player that does not belong on the 60 hr list.
And I stand by my position -- as well as the position of every single other person on that thread -- that your argument is the Dave Littlefield of arguments. Clueless on a good day.
   60. stealfirstbase Posted: November 01, 2007 at 10:30 PM (#2602844)
There's something terribly wrong with a system that ranks MARK BUEHRLE as a B free agent. WTF? I ask you again, W.T.F? A 120+ ERA for 220 innings pitched, which is a standard Buehrle year, is worth a B free agent tag? Ted Lilly, Barry Zito, Jeff Francis, Doug Davis, Dontrelle Willis, and Chuck James are ranked as A free agents, and that's only among inferior left handed pitchers from the NL.

Well, at least Eric Gagne is ranked a B. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Red Sox fans.

EDIT: Ah, I see from the comments that these rankings are highly inaccurate, even more highly inaccurate than I had suspected, and there's likely just no good reason that Doug Davis is ranked ahead of Mark Buehrle. Very well then, carry on.
   61. PreservedFish Posted: November 01, 2007 at 10:53 PM (#2602853)
what happened to all of the SABR types that said defense was overrated and praised the early Billy Beane years because he found excellent OBP players without gloves and scattered them all over the field. Now I get the feeling that DEF is being given about a 50/50 share in player value, ie.. Ryan Braun v T Tulo R


I sort of miss these days.

Remember this line of debate? "If scoring runs is 50% of the game, and preventing runs is 50%, and pitching is 90% of preventing runs, then defense is only 5% of the game. You're damn straight I don't care if Matt Stairs is a crappy fielder."
   62. BeanoCook Posted: November 01, 2007 at 11:51 PM (#2602889)
I stand by my position that Burnitz and Maris are the same players. Burnitz was better on DEFENSE!! Maris just had the 3 best peak years. Sorry, but Maris is the only player that does not belong on the 60 hr list.

And I stand by my position -- as well as the position of every single other person on that thread -- that your argument is the Dave Littlefield of arguments. Clueless on a good day.


Wow, this guy can't tell the difference between a serious argument and an entertaining one. Are you a lawyer or something?

Ha!
   63. Walt Davis Posted: November 02, 2007 at 08:56 AM (#2603165)
Remember this line of debate? "If scoring runs is 50% of the game, and preventing runs is 50%, and pitching is 90% of preventing runs, then defense is only 5% of the game. You're damn straight I don't care if Matt Stairs is a crappy fielder."

But right now we're at "defense is 1/3 of run prevention" which would make it 15% of the game compared to hitting's 50%. And that 15% is measured with a lot of uncertainty. So hitting should still absolutely dominate.

Yet we supposedly get guys saving 20-30 runs a year above average on defense. That doesn't seem possible with the 15% criteria -- though these are measured at different levels of aggregation which is always dicey.

Maybe it's pitching we over-rate.

Technically, you can't add a +10 UZR which is "as compared to a player at the same defensive position" with a +5 offensive lwts, which is "as compared to all players."

Sorry, I don't see why not. I think it makes more sense to do it the other way. Position doesn't matter in terms of offense -- a hitter is worth the same number of runs whether he's at 1B or SS. His position matters on defense. If you wanted to know how good a team was expected to be, you'd add up their runs above average as hitters and runs above average on defense and the latter should be relative to position. [note, I can see when it comes to valuing a contract you either want both relative to position or both neutral]

Also I think position neutral defense is just a silly notion. The most obvious reason is that lefty throwers can't play 3B, SS or 2B (or C for all intents and purposes). The second reason is I think there's a huge difference between how good a LF Julio Lugo would be (pretty good but probably no better than 40 runs above Manny) and how good a SS Manny would be (about 5,000 runs worse than Lugo).

What next, pitcher neutral pitching stats? :-)
   64. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 02, 2007 at 09:25 AM (#2603167)
Technically, you can't add a +10 UZR which is "as compared to a player at the same defensive position" with a +5 offensive lwts, which is "as compared to all players."

Sorry, I don't see why not. I think it makes more sense to do it the other way. Position doesn't matter in terms of offense -- a hitter is worth the same number of runs whether he's at 1B or SS.
Walt, as I read what you're saying, if you have a 120 OPS+ shortstop and a 120 OPS+ DH, and the shortstop is an average fielder, you'd conclude that they had identical value. After all, compared to the league they're equal offensively, so you'd say that their offense was the same, and compared to their positions they're equal defensively. Does that make sense?
   65. Meatwad Posted: November 02, 2007 at 04:39 PM (#2603563)
i cant believe that kendall is a type B
   66. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: November 02, 2007 at 08:17 PM (#2603886)

For some reason AROD "detractors" have this habit of referring to AROD as a 130 level hitter (Or a Scott Rolen level hitter)

AROD's ten best years by ops+
177, 73, 62, 60, 60, 58, 47, 36, 34, 34
Morgan's:
187, 69, 59, 54, 49, 45, 38, 36, 32, 31


I'm anything but an A-Rod detractor, I'm actually a big fan of him. Your averages there come to 154 for A-Rod and 150 for Morgan. That's pretty friggin' close. And considering that Morgan's was more weighted to OBP than A-Rod's, I don't think my claim is inaccurate. I think you're underrating Morgan as a hitter. He was a lot better than Scott Rolen, and I'm a Cardinals fan.
   67. JPWF13 Posted: November 02, 2007 at 08:34 PM (#2603918)
I think you're underrating Morgan as a hitter.


?????

I said

Morgan's the best 2B of all time
Rolen's simply not in the discussion


The reference I was responding to was the one that referred to Morgan (and ARod) as 130 level hitters (which both were clearly better than at their peaks).
   68. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: November 02, 2007 at 08:46 PM (#2603931)
Oh, I didn't mean to say they were 130 OPS+ hitters, just qualifying that even Morgan's non-monster years as a hitter lined up with A-Rod's. i.e., even though Morgan had some seasons where he was "only" a 130 OPS+ hitter, so did A-Rod, so their descending OPS+ years line up very closely all the same. Sorry for the confusion.
   69. Sparkles Peterson Posted: November 02, 2007 at 09:06 PM (#2603951)
For some reason AROD "detractors" have this habit of referring to AROD as a 130 level hitter (Or a Scott Rolen level hitter)


For some reason AROD "supporters" have this habit of mischaracterizing the positions of others in support of someone who is not deserving of their support.

I countered all of this "A-Rod is the best player on the planet" idiocy with a mention that his park-neutral offensive stats have been similar to a healthy Scott Rolen's in past years. He has played at that offensive level more often than anything even approaching "best player" status in recent years.

Quoting his bet OPS+ years does nothing but confirm that you weren't capable of following the argument.

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