I loooooove winning!

Friday, July 15, 2011

All-Decade Seasons 11-20 - Catcher

So begins the second all-decade team. I will give 5 options for each position. If you would like to participate, please TC me with your candidate(s) and why they should be considered. First up - Catcher, in no particular order.

NOTE: Stats and Awards are only for Seasons 11-20

Phil Iwazaki

Awards - 2x All-Star, 3x Silver Slugger, 1 WS Ring
Stats - .275 BA, .843 OPS, 356 HR's and 1022 RBI's, .204 CS%

Clayton Mullin

Awards - 4x All-Star, 3x Silver Slugger
Stats - .305 BA, .881 OPS, 148 HR's and 571 RBI's, .235 CS%

Clinton Clifton

Awards - 10x All-Star, 10x Silver Slugger, 1 Gold Glove, 5x MVP
Stats - .306 BA, 1.049 OPS, 484 HR's, 1382 RBI's, .370 CS%

Tomas Lee

Awards - 2x All-Star, 1 Silver Slugger, 1 WS Ring
Stats - .298 BA, .902 OPS, 345 HR's 1018 RBI's, .257 CS%

Stew Sanders

Awards - 1 All-star, 3x Gold Glove
Stats - .240 BA and .699 OPS, 180 HR's, 603 RBI's, .359 CS%

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hall of Fame - Pitchers

I like OPS allowed as a stat to compare pitchers. It is the stat that they have the most control over. I took the candidates, compared them to the average pitcher that played in their league in their year for every year that they pitched, and came up with an "OPS Allowed Under Avereage Pitcher OPS Allowed". Here are the results.

SP's in the HOF
Rob Branson

OPS Allowed Under Average - .154

Candidates

Tim Mench

OPS Allowed Under Average - .091

Karl Greenberg

OPS Allowed Under Average - .090

Stephen Schourek

OPS Allowed Under Average - .082

I'm not sure that any belong, but if I had to vote for one, it would be Greenberg. He is by far the most decorated of the three. Additionally, there are so many pitchers better than tehse guys taht are just a couple of seasons from being eligible. I say keep the standards high.

HOF Position Players Cheat Sheet

Ranked by win shares

Jorge Ortiz - 5.02

Gary Thornton - 4.71

Alex Johnson - 4.64

George Bowie - 4.32

Thom Martin - 3.11

Juan Beltre - 2.96

Sparky McNamara - 2.93

Donne Vina - 2.52

Rogers Torrealba - 2.26

Sidney Allen - 2.05

Hall Of Fame - Position Players Part 2

So far we have -

Gary Thornton - 4.71

Rogers Torrealba - 2.26

Sparky McNamara - 2.93

Jorge Ortiz - 5.02

George Bowie - 4.32

Here are some more candidates mentioned in the world chat -

Sidney Allen

Win Shares Per Season - 2.05

A surprisingly low number for a big name. If you look at his ratings, though, he really wasn't elite. He's Harold Spradlin with better stamina and inferior vs. rhp. That being said, 600+ homers is hard to ignore.

Juan Beltre

Win Shares Per Season - 2.96

As a DH, Beltre may never get in. He batted an amazing .450 in season 7, a record that will never be broken. Still, he has two strikes against him - he's a DH and 2.96 may not be good enough

Donne Vina

Win Shares Per Season - 2.52

A good candidate but hurt by poor defense at SS.

Thom Martin

Win Shares Per Season - 3.11

A very good candidate that has no love in the vote. If the Hall lowers the WS threshhold to 3, he's got a chance.

Alex Johnson

Win Shares Per Season - 4.64

Johnson had a very good career at Catcher. He was average defensively, but outstanding at the plate with a career 1.030 OPS.

And, just for fun, 3 guys that have been talked about as sure-fire HOF'rs

Juan Johnson

Win Shares Per Season - 2.78

Wow! Juan is really hurt by the normalization. Can the hit king really be kept out?

Milton Simmons

Win Shares Per Season - 5.22

Sounds about right. Milton has been an amazing player for a long time. A lock for the HOF

Brent Sabel

Win Shares Per Season - 2.60

Another surprising number for a very good player. Hard to ignore all those awards.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hall of Fame - Positional Players Win Shares

Win Shares - Part 1

I'm not a numbers geek, but the concept is fairly straighforward. How many wins is a guy worth over the average player? To find out, you take the average statistical performance for a particular league in a particular season.

So for Sir Charles, for instance, I took the average player's stats from Seasons 1-9 and 13-16 from the NL, and 10-12 from the AL. Because that is exactly where and when he played.

This average player hit .272, hit doubles on .157 of at bats, triples on .024 of at bats, homers on .138 of at bats, and walks on .086 of at bats. I do this because now you are comparing Charles to a player from his league from his season. Each player is compared this way. Then you correct for positons (I just took the position that the player played the most)

One thing I added (and I'm not sure it is right to do so but it made sense to me) is to normalize the statistics to account for a "wins per season" metric. Should Charles' 214 at bats in season 17 count as a season? To account for this, I converted plate appearances to seasons. So, Sir Charles had 9,708 plate appearances. To convert this into seasons, I divided it by 648 (4 appearances per game x 162 games/year) to get how many "seasons" he played. I liked this beacuase a "win per plate appearance" sounds boring.

Thanks to WIS, plate appearances aren't readily available. I only got Sir Charles' because he is on teh all-time leaders list. Thankfully, so is Sir Eddie. I averaged their HBP/SF/SH and came up with the guess that each player will have .0175 more plate appearances than AB's plus BB's. Are we clear? Good.

Now to the good stuff.

First a look at who is in -

1. Sir Charles Lawrence

Sir Charles is the gold standard. He played 17 seasons and won 8 MVP's

Win Shares Per Season - 6.38

2. Rollie Walker

The catcher by which all others are measured (at least until Clifton makes it in)

Win Shares Per Season - 4.51

3. Eddie Reese

Ah, the good old days with Eddie batting clean-up for yours truly.

Win Shares Per Season - 4.48

4. Adam Lansing

The original Hangover and, some may say, the one that started the dynasty.

Win Shares Per Season - 4.34

OK, so you can see that, aside from Sir Freak, all HOF'rs are worth around 4.3-4.5 wins per season. This, I believe, is the barrier to entry for the Hall.

Now, to the Candidates

Gary Thornton

Win Shares Per Season - 4.71

Wow! Who would have thunk it? Take one look at his season 1 ratings - he was a special player. But he only played the equivalent of 6 ML seasons.

Rogers Torrealba

Win Shares Per Season - 2.26

He had a lot of support last season, and he is an 8-time all-star and one time MVP. If you belive in win shares, Torreabla is not HOF worthy.

Sparky McNamara

Win Shares Per Season - 2.93

Sparky was a plus defender that was integral to the Hangover dynasty. He has two rings to show for his trouble.

Jorge Ortiz

Win Shares Per Season - 5.02

Ortiz is in the same boat as Thornton - should someone with just the equivalent of just 7 seasons played be in the HOF? Win shares says yes, league has said a resounding "no" so far.

George Bowie

Win Shares Per Season - 4.97

Bowie appeared in only 3 all-star games, which seems to indicate that he doesn't have much of a chance for the Hall. However, win shares really likes him, and he is HOF-worthy.

Free Agency Analysis

What a week. Here are the top contracts for SP's.

1. Jeff Woods, 5 yrs $91 million

2. Luis Azocar, 5 years $80 million

3. Bill Elster, 5 yrs $79 million

4. Richard Aoki, 5 yrs $54 million

5. Otto Podsednik, 5 yrs $30 million

And here are the top ones for position players

1. Zach Page 5 yrs, $103 million

2. Rafael Soriano 5 yrs, $100 million

3. Clinton Clifton 4 yrs, $62 million

4. Keith Roosevelt 5 yrs, $60 million

5. Bingo O'Donnell 5 yrs, $30 million

These are all very good players, but some signings are better than others. The ones I like, in order - Clifton, Elster, O'Donnell. However, these were not the only good moves. Here are some more:

Victor Pichardo 4 yrs, $20 million

Bob Blum 3 yrs, $22 million

Carl Peterman 3 yrs, $15 million

Daniel Reitsma 3 yrs, $15 million

In the end, it's a very subjective and incomplete list. Subjective because I value qualities others may not, and incomplete becuase some of the best moves are yet to happen. This is the time when the best teams get tremendous value as salary demands plummet. With that said, here are my top off-season movers and why I like what they did -

1. Dover

SHOTGUN signed 7 guys this offseason - 2 SP's, 3 RP's, and a LF, RF, and SS. All three position players should start, with Bingo O'Donnell a major upgrade. On the pitching side, Otto Podsednik was good value in a very expensive SP market. Henry Green should replace Peterman as his Closer.

2. Memphis

It is hard to ignore the major moves of bencap. He signed a future HOF'r in Clifton, a solid top of the rotation guy in Azocar, and a nice bullpen piece in Acosta. Did he spend too much? Yes, but his budget is huge so who cares? He had a strategy and executed it.

3. San Antonio

While others were going nuts on the 79+ rated SP's, teacherjt quitely signed three solid 2,3,4 SP's in Junior Lopez, Jonathan Eiland, and Wilkin Santana. Maddie's really likes Lopez. Well done.

Finally, if I may, I will describe my Free Agent odyssey. Every year, the day before Free Agency begins, I plug the top 150 players and the top 150 pitchers into Maddie's Team Management. While not perfect, Maddie's helps me make sense of the enormous volume of guys on the market. It gives me an overall rating, an offensive rating, and a defensive rating for players, and a pitching rating for pitchers. It also allows for me to sort quicker than the free agency page. Most of all, it allows for me to track when players salaries drop, which indicates that a player has no offers on the table.

I was set for the season on the pitching side, but needed a catcher, 1B, and LF. I had budgeted enough money for a run at one of the top guys, and I quickly targeted Page and Roosevelt. Both of these guys are plus hitters, and I could have made myself much better defensively with their addition. I first offered Roosevelt, and led for much of the time. I think that once one of the top SP's signed, Salem moved on to him and I couldn't compete. At that point, I offered Page and quickly realized that I didn't have the firepower.

So I went to Plan B. Maddie's really liked two guys that were not being pursued by anyone - Aurelio Alvarez and Max Marin. I offered their demands and they both accepted.

Then, I went back to my board and watched. I had my eye on 4 players: Victor Pichardo, Ramiro Colon, Clayton Mullin, and a pleyer that is still a FA and won't be named - in that order. I lost out on Pichardo because I didn't give him another year, and in hindsight I would have signed him for the same contract that he ended up signing with Montreal. I offered Colon and Mullin once Pichardo signed and they immediately accepted. Mullin will start at Catcher and Colon will start vs. lefties and backup 2B, 1B, DH, LF, and RF. Plus, I took him from division rival Boston.

If I could do it all over, I would have not signed Alvarez and Marin so early. One good strategy is to set your targets before FA starts and not check in until Day 3. This keeps you fron overspending. If I had done this, I would have likely signed Pichardo, Mullin, and Bingo O'Donnell, a player that had no interest despite being an MVP candidate (I remember voting with him on the list at least twice). Interestingly, his demands didn't drop until recently, which is unusual.

So there you have it. There are still some very good deals out there for those sitting on the sidelines.