Daily Notes: Concerning the Legendary Careers of Puig and Ruf

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.

1. The Legendary Careers of Puig and Ruf
2. Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

The Legendary Careers of Puig and Ruf
Were one to have inspected a FanGraphs batting leaderboard last night of every player ever’s career stats sorted by park-adjusted offense relative to league average (i.e. wRC+), with the minimum plate appearances set to 50, one would have been passing his evening in a surprisingly similar way to the present author.

One would have also encountered figures not entirely unlike those which are contained in the following table:

Rank Name Team G PA AVG OBP SLG BABIP wRC+
1 Babe Ruth - – - 2503 10616 .342 .474 .690 .340 197
2 Ted Williams Red Sox 2292 9791 .344 .482 .634 .328 188
3 Yasiel Puig Dodgers 41 170 .369 .400 .581 .455 176
4 Lou Gehrig Yankees 2164 9660 .340 .447 .632 .332 173
5 Rogers Hornsby - – - 2259 9475 .358 .434 .577 .365 172
6 Barry Bonds - – - 2976 12606 .298 .444 .607 .285 172
7 Mickey Mantle Yankees 2401 9909 .298 .421 .557 .318 169
8 Darin Ruf Phillies 23 81 .314 .383 .643 .436 169
9 Ty Cobb - – - 3035 13072 .366 .433 .512 .378 165
10 Joe Jackson - – - 1332 5690 .356 .423 .517 .351 165

Seven of the players here, one finds — Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Rogers Hornsby, Barry Bonds, Mickey Mantle, and Ty Cobb — recorded more than 100 wins over the course of their respective careers. An eighth, Joe Jackson, accounted for another 60 of them (i.e. wins) through his age-30 season before his expulsion from major-league baseball by the literally iron-fisted Kenesaw Mountain Landis. The other two players are Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig and Phillies also rookie Darin Ruf.

“This is merely a function of small sample sizes!” the reader announces. “Puig’s and Ruf’s performances are hardly sustainable!” To both of which comments, the author is likely to respond: “Probably, you’re right.” However, much like a rare photograph of Marlon Brando attempting to procreate with a pan of lasagna, this table cannot be unseen. Accordingly, one is compelled to make observations of some sort.

Observations such as these:

• With the exception of Barry Bonds, none of the players here was active after 1968 (Mickey Mantle‘s final season with the Yankees). Or, phrased differently: only one of the eight best hitters ever (by this measure) has played in the last 45 years. In point of fact, that parenthetical is important: it is very likely that the amount of total variance in hitting ability has decreased. As such, it’s possible that the standard deviation for park-adjusted offense has also decreased.

• While different in terms of overall baseballing ability, Puig and Ruf have both demonstrated a trait that would seem to render their career achievements to date very difficult — namely, a lack of contact. Puig has recorded a 64.9% contact rate thus far; Ruf, a 71.2% mark. League average, meanwhile, is around 79-80%. In light of this, it’s not surprising to find that both players have strikeout rates more than 20 percentage points higher than their respective walk rates.

• Ruf’s and Puig’s BABIP figures are quite high — but so are those of mostly every other player on this list. Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby both recorded career BABIPs of .365 or better. Nor does that appear to be merely a function of the era: the league-average BABIP during Hornsby’s career, for example, remained withing a range of .275-.312.

Credit to citizen of the internet Ely Sussman for originally making this particular leaderboard observation.

Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
Philadelphia at St. Louis | 20:15 ET
Jonathan Pettibone (90.1 IP, 111 xFIP-, 0.6 WAR) faces Shelby Miller (104.2 IP, 89 xFIP-, 2.0 WAR). Idle question: how does the latter’s season compare to other young and talented right-hander Matt Harvey‘s? Answer in the form a of a table:

Name Team IP K% BB% GB% BABIP xFIP- FIP- ERA- RA9-WAR WAR
Matt Harvey Mets 137.0 29.9% 5.3% 45.6% .262 68 57 62 4.8 4.6
Shelby Miller Cardinals 104.2 26.4% 6.8% 36.7% .289 89 83 80 2.4 2.0

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Cardinals Radio.

Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 5.1.

Note: the following table is entirely sortable.


Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Tony Cingrani CIN 8 2 6 6 6 SF Eric Surkamp* 19:05
Gerrit Cole PIT 9 7 6 2 5 WAS Taylor Jordan 19:05
Greg Reynolds* CIN 5 2 3 6 1 SF Barry Zito TBD
Chris Capuano LAN 6 3 5 6 4 TOR T. Redmond* 19:07
Kris Medlen ATL 5 8 6 6 6 NYN Carlos Torres* 19:10
Rob. Hernandez TB 7 10 7 8 5 BOS Jon Lester 19:10
Phil Hughes NYA 5 3 4 3 3 TEX Alexi Ogando 20:05
Jason Hammel BAL 3 8 4 7 3 KC Bruce Chen* 20:10
Rick Porcello DET 9 7 6 1 5 CHA H. Santiago 20:10
Jarrod Parker OAK 3 6 5 3 7 HOU Jarred Cosart* 20:10
Tyson Ross* SD 4 6 4 4 4 MIL Don. Hand* 20:10
Jon. Pettibone PHI 5 1 6 4 9 STL Shelby Miller 20:15
Jose Fernandez MIA 10 1 6 8 4 COL Jhoulys Chacin 20:40
Travis Wood CHN 4 5 6 2 9 AZ Patrick Corbin 21:40
Kyle Gibson MIN 2 2 2 7 1 LAA Tommy Hanson 22:05
Zach McAllister CLE 3 7 5 6 6 SEA Er. Ramirez* 22:10

To learn how Pitcher and Team NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.




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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.


17 Responses to “Daily Notes: Concerning the Legendary Careers of Puig and Ruf”

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  1. Triple R says:

    “…a rare photograph of Marlon Brando attempting to procreate with a pan of lasagna…”
    whaaaaaaaaaat

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Well-Beered Englishman says:

    Puig & Ruf, Attorneys at Law

    Coming soon on Comedy Central.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. FeslenR says:

    that has got to be one of the funniest lines ever written in a baseball article.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Matty Brown says:

    I thought Jonathon Papelbon was starting for the Phillies.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Steven says:

    LOL @ both their babips compared to the rest. Oh man. Regression 101 folks.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Alexander Nevermind says:

    Is the photo of Young Marlon Brando or old/fat Marlon Brando? I’m turned on either way, but I would like clarification.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. When that day comes that Dear Author sits among his grown children, amongst the latest crop of insolent Fangraph interns, when the nurse arrives to drain his lungs and change his diapers, on that day, Dear Author, the idle king, will think

    By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
    Matched with an agèd wife, I mete and dole
    Unequal laws unto a savage race,
    That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.

    And then he will know that he has savagely insulted Bruce Chen, Barry Zito, and Tommy Hanson with these unequal Nerd Scores. Yes, these men are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven but that which they are, they are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will and guile and intangibles and nibbling offspeed junk.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. DA says:

    I’m at the top of my 12 team 5×5 keeper but need SP and RP help to stay there.

    I have an offer for Lee, Kimbrel, and either Cashner or Ryu for my 2014 2nd pick, Teixeira, and Puig. I have Puig as a keeper in the 20th and Teixeira in the 16th. I would get to keep Lee/Kimbrel/Cashner at about the 10th for the next 3 years.

    After writing it out, I like it a lot, but want to make sure I’m not crazy. I think Puig will be messy ROS. I could keep him for 3 years in the 20th otherwise.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. BurleighGrimes says:

    We live in a weird world where spot starter Carlos Torres has a NERD score of 6.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. The triumphant return of Bruce Chen.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. DC says:

    Two > 160 wRC+ rookies… And yet who got all the press? East Coast bias my ass.

    Oh right, Puig’s a better hitter because his batting average is nearly 50 higher. Forgot about that, thanks ESPN.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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