I agree with your reliance on how well people have played rather than how famous they are, but I believe one should take into account a whole year of data – since the beginning of last July (or even earlier if one’s at the park voting earlier in the process). Two months of data is just too noisy – and people who have fantastic second halves should be recognized for them.
having looked at Granderson’s page again, I can’t believe what a bad defender UZR thinks he is. I mean he isn’t great, but he looks at least average to the eye test. Maybe he takes a couple bad routes, but he has great speed to make up for it. Yet UZR has him at about a -30 UZR/150 pace. He cannot be nearly that bad.
So what was the methodology for choosing? Was it based on an objective metric like WAR (ie, picking the guys with the highest WAR at each position, with some modifications to ensure every team is represented), or were there other factors considered? I have no problem with you doing it either way, but it would be helpful to get some kind of thought process here (if there was one). Considering it’s a “stat nerd” roster, it would be useful to know which stats were used.
There was no strict formula. It was a combination performance (as evaluated as a whole, not just straight WAR sorting), talent, and interest in seeing them, with the first one being weighed the most heavily.
Obviously Granderson’s defensive abilities aren’t measured accurately by UZR (because no one’s are). However, as someone who watches the Yankees, Granderson is not a great defender. He isn’t the worst, but he isn’t good. He breaks late or wrong on most balls hit right at him. He is a classic example of a player reacting to the swing and not the path of the ball. I think that, because his instincts are bad, he’d be better off taking a second to judge the path of the ball rather than reacting immediately when balls are hit right at him. There are lots of instances of him taking two steps in or back before wildly turning around and sprinting back only to have a ball go over his head or land in front of him.
But the Yankees were correct for not moving Jeter to accommodate Arod. They were similar defenders at the time, but now it is not even conceivable that Arod could handle shortstop. Further, this was a pretty predictable trajectory given their differences in body type.
Because of their correct decision the Yankees have had almost perfect stability on the left side of the infield for 8 years (except for the times when Arod has not been able to play because of the breakdown of his body). At any rate, they are almost certainly the most productive 3B/SS pairing during that time.
I agree with U-God on De Aza, although I’ll defend the Seth Smith apology.
Smith’s got a 132 WRC+ among AL OF; every other AL OF with a higher WRC+ with the exception of Matt Joyce made Dave’s all star team. Coliseum hurts his offensive stats.
WAR-wise, he’s harmed by Melvin keeping him in a VERY strict platoon with Gomes (who should never ever play the OF) until Cowgill got hurt and Cespedes’ was relegated to the DL and then DHing due to hamstring injuries.
Until then, he was regularly DHing when his glove isn’t bad enough to DH (thus getting the DH penalty),
You’re right, Plouffe should have gotten a mention. However, I don’t think he’s been a markedly better player than Seager this year; I think they’ve actually performed at roughly equal levels.
They’ve both been unlucky on batted balls, though Seager is historically a higher-BABIP hitter than Plouffe. Of course, Plouffe’s ridiculous .234 BABIP deserves a mention, since it’s remarkable that he’s got a wRC+ above 100 with a BABIP like that… but his ISO is .291, literally double what he did last year. Seager’s ISO might be sustainable but Plouffe’s is certainly not. Kyle’s a year and a half younger and has a slightly better infield glove, though he loses points for not playing the outfield. Plouffe won’t sustain his current HR/FB and thus his counting stats, but Seager will.
I actually see them performing at very similar levels this season and (potentially) going forward. Plouffe probably does merit a mention, but Seager’s stats are in no way “vastly inferior”.
Comment by ThirteenOfTwo — June 27, 2012 @ 4:14 pm
Encarnacion has started over 40 games as DH, wouldn’t he be more of a fit in the DH role. either way I applaud you for including him since there’s no chance he gets there as a 1b or DH unless the manager picks him.
Fan voting always results in egregious oversights.
“But the Yankees were correct for not moving Jeter to accommodate Arod.”
I believe Arod was considered the better defender when acquired using most any defensive metric and/or the eye test. You are correct in that his body hasn’t held up nearly as well as El Capitan over time.
“At any rate, they are almost certainly the most productive 3B/SS pairing during that time.”
At the plate, very likely so, as much because few if any teams have had similar continuity over eight years or so from both positions. However their fielding leaves has and continues to leave much to be desired (which they have generally more than made up for at the dish).
How does Mike Aviles get no love at SS? I’ll grant the fact his OBP is very ugly and definitely has his deficiencies in the field. However, among AL shortstops check some of his rankings:
1st in RBIs (41)
T-1st in Doubles (18)
2nd in Slugging% (.419)
T-2nd in HRs (9)
3rd in WAR (1.8)
For the most part, I agree with everything you said. My real point was that it is unfair to criticize either the Yankees or Jeter for switching Arod to third. In hindsight, we can be pretty sure the Yankees made the correct decision (unless you believe Arod would have somehow broken down less playing the more demanding position). For some reason, the idea that the Yankees are stupid for keeping Jeter at short and moving Arod to third is a persistent meme. Its not fair, because no matter what their reasoning, the Yankees got it right, and they won a lot of games with their chosen configuration.
Kind of what I figured, which is why the format of the article surprised me.
I thought there would have been some sorting of stats, or some compound stat work a la the NERD watchability rating, and then a simple table at the end showing who should be all-stars by position. With weighting for 1st-half-2012 vs. career as you like.
Something needs to be said, and this seems as appropriate a place for it. What are we to make of the fairly large discrepancy between Lawrie’s bWAR value and his fWAR value?
I would agree that he’s not a worthy all-star representative for the AL (apologies really should be to Canada), but bWAR has him pegged as the most valuable player in all of baseball – stemming largely from his defensive value. Using DRS, he’s on pace to have what they peg as the most valuable defensive season (by no small margin) since the specific metric was introduced by Baseball Info Solutions in 2003.
I’m not sure what to even make of the stat when in one metric he’s the most valuable player in baseball, while in the other he’s not an all-star.
I agree that Wilhelmsen has been terrific and certainly is a deserving choice for the All-Star game if you need/want relief pitching. But he is not the “most deserving member of the Mariners roster”. That still belongs to Felix.
Not to mention the LOB%, which destroys Perez and Wilhelmsen. I frankly have no clue why Wilhelmsen is on this list over Frieri, apart from the former being a Mariner and the latter being an Angel. Ernesto was terrific in San Diego, and hasn’t given up a single run since joining the Angels.
WAIT. Jim Johnson doesn’t make the cut? I know he’s due to regress, but really?
Comment by Eugene Jacket — June 28, 2012 @ 2:25 am
Not a fan of the a-hole but A.J. Pierzynski deserves a spot on the team as recognition of his career season at the age of 35. Even with his recent cold streak he is still the top rated C in the AL. From a fantasy perspective, being that he was likely a late round steal, he’s been even that much more valuable.
Zobrist over Kinsler? Really? I get that Kinsler has slumped in June – but Zobrist was putrid for April/May and has played 2/3 of his games in the OF. How is he a UT guy. He can’t play SS or 3B. Shouldn’t be on the team.
Oh, there’s a few possibilities. Say he works for HP. Do you really think that the company uses the entire 126.96.36.199/8 (Class A, in old school) allocation it has? 16,777,216 addresses does seem a bit much for the one company’s needs. Same for MIT, Ford, Apple, Computer Sciences Corporation, or a host of others with nice legacy allocations.
Of course, he may not have access, but nice try commenting while making an assumption.
I’m not necessarily disagreeing with you, I just don’t think you’ve really compared the two’s stats yet. Once you look more into it you’ll see that putting Zobrist ahead of Kinsler is not that ridiculous. Zobrist gets on base more and has a higher wRC+.
And he definitely is a utility man, and he can play 3B.
The main reason why I don’t think he should be considered the top two AL second basemen (as of now) is his defense, which has been for some reason sloppy at second this year. Both Kipnis and Cano are obviously better this season, and as for Kinsler, well, that’s debatable.
For his career, UZR considers Granderson an average to marginally above-average CF. I’d assume that’s a more realistic assessment of his defense than less than half a season worth of a statistic with significant measurement variability, that takes three years or so to properly stabilize…
By rule, the Mariners–like every other team in the AL–must have one representative. You could try to slot Saunders in the OF, or Seager at third, but they would be taking the place of much better players.
Wilhelmsen over Frieri is less of a jump in my opinion than the other two. He still strikes out 11/9, and walks less than Frieri. And WIlhelmsen is not being aided by Frieri’s .133 BABIP since he began pitching in the AL.
I’m not saying Wilhelmsen’s necessarily better, but if a Mariner has to be there, that’s the spot to put him.
If you smartasses can find a 100% fair way of giving one man/one vote that can’t be gamed, please state what it is.
Even the federal/state election systems are subject to cheating.
These network administrators can perform the same cheating now if they want to badly enough.
Give me an alternative proposal or shut the *()__)( up!