FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. Seth Smith just can’t hit lefties. If you strictly use him in a platoon role, he can be a very useful player, if not….well we see the results.

    I gotta admit that Seth Smith is pretty average as a name.

    Comment by Expos67 — November 2, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

  2. Seth Smith hasn’t really had many at bats against average LHP as the only ones he is allowed to face are relievers(180 Career at bats against LH starters) It would be nice to let Smith get a chance to face a LHP 2 or 3 times in a game before completely relagating him to a platoon.

    Comment by Awesome — November 2, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

  3. well, average isn’t bad. S squared was a pretty useful player at 1.9 WAR, and I’m not sure if we can totally rely on the negative UZR dragging him down, since he rated as above average in the field the last two years.

    Comment by dudley — November 2, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

  4. Can we look at the median players as well? Would it be any different?

    I imagine that the league is pretty bottom heavy in terms of talent distribution, so the median players would be significantly worse than the average players.

    Comment by Question — November 2, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

  5. Has anyone noticed that Uggla has the same good year/bad (relative) year
    that Aubry Huff has??

    Comment by Hurtlocker — November 2, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

  6. seth smith strikes fear in the hearts of lispers everywhere.

    Comment by joe bananas — November 2, 2011 @ 4:40 pm

  7. So does the word “lisp.” How cruel to name an affliction in such a way!

    Comment by Neuter Your Dogma — November 2, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

  8. I miss Nick Johnson. My brothers and I use to call him Mr. Average. Although, his ability to get injured is MVP-caliber.

    Comment by Ben — November 2, 2011 @ 7:26 pm

  9. I wonder if you need a different form of criteria that really captures average in contrast to best and worst… A guy that’s flatlined across the board with average “everything production”… Sort of just there not doing a whole lot of anything to help or hurt.

    A guy like Alcides is too special a fielder to be average, and Seth Smith is great in some respects, and awful with others. A guy with peaks and valleys, just amounts to an average overall result… not an averag-est player.

    Comment by baty — November 2, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

  10. Most Average Name: Matt Brown. (my name)

    Comment by Matty Brown — November 2, 2011 @ 11:46 pm

  11. the y adds some pizzazz.

    Comment by joey smith — November 3, 2011 @ 2:55 am

  12. It’s not really fair to credit Uggla with an honorable mention. He was really two outlier players in 2011, they just each performed as Uggla for roughly half a season.

    Comment by Brad Johnson — November 3, 2011 @ 7:37 am

  13. Kelly Johnson was -3.0 BRAA, -1.4 BBRAA, +2.5 FRAA, +2.1 Pos for a total of 0.3 RAA

    Comment by IvanGrushenko — November 3, 2011 @ 11:10 am

  14. Your wording is confusing, but I’m not sure how you manage to equate a player who was near average to one who was near the bottom.

    Comment by GiantHusker — November 3, 2011 @ 11:14 am

  15. Since Matt limited the field to players who had enough AB’s to qualify for the “batting” title, few of the vast number of inferior players would be included. While the median and mean would not likely be identical, the group of players near the middle would probably be similar.

    Comment by GiantHusker — November 3, 2011 @ 11:18 am

  16. When I first saw the title of the article, I expected something more like what you describe.
    That approach would be interesting.

    Comment by GiantHusker — November 3, 2011 @ 11:21 am

  17. Wow, does the most average player for the season also have to be the most consistently average over the course of the season?
    How do you find that guy!

    Comment by GiantHusker — November 3, 2011 @ 11:24 am

  18. As I was reading over this I was struck by how this article exemplifies the big weaknesses in WAR: it is too dependent on playing time and it doesn’t account enough for playing situations.

    Smith and Willingham are the best examples of this. Smith was a very good player this year. Any team would be happy to have him. However, because he was blocked for most of the year and has to sit against lefties even when “starting”, his playing time numbers will be decreased.

    Similarly, Willingham is a very good player who any team would be happy to have. However, he does get injured about once a year and he played last year in a hitting cavern.

    Comment by stan — November 3, 2011 @ 11:32 am

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