FanGraphs Power Rankings – 7/11/11

In the past couple of weeks, commenters have pointed out that the Rockies have been ranked too high and the Pirates too low in the Power Rankings. This week, the readers proved ever-prescient, as the Rockies fall a Power Rankings-record seven spots, and for the first time, they landed outside of the top ten. The Pirates meanwhile, climbed out of the bottom five for the first time. That’s still likely too low for some reader’s tastes, as they were ranked 14th by ESPN this week. The Bucs have been one of the best feel-good stories of the first half, and seeing the electric atmosphere at PNC Park this weekend was a sight to behold. But outside of Andrew McCutchen, no Pirate finished the first half with a WAR higher than 1.7. Part of that is due to numerous injuries that have forced the team to look for contributions from a number of different players, but that’s certainly not all of it. None of that takes away from the fact that the Bucs are four games over .500 and have a legit shot at the playoffs, but it’s important that we temper expectations, even in July.

1. Boston: Last week – 2, WAR% – .682 (1), FAN% – .605 (1), TOTAL% – .648
At the break, three of the top seven position players in the game are Red Sox, and Kevin Youkilis isn’t far behind (tied for 22nd place). The quartet may need to keep up that pace if guys like Kyle Weiland end up being responsible for too many second-half starts.

2. New York Yankees: Last week – 1, WAR% – .668 (2), FAN% – .580 (2), TOTAL% – .628
A sincere congrats to Derek Jeter on joining the 3,000 hit club. Check our great looks at him here from Dave Allen and Steve Slowinski.

3. Philadelphia: Last week – 3, WAR% – .616 (3), FAN% – .556 (3), TOTAL% – .589
The Phillies have received some excellent pitching this year, but over his past four starts, it’s been hard to beat the work of Vance Worley.

4. Texas: Last week – 6, WAR% – .587 (4), FAN% – .525 (7), TOTAL% – .560
Walking more than he’s striking out for the first time in his Major League career — though he was close last year — Ian Kinsler has been the Rangers’ best player and could end up having a stealth career year.

5. Milwaukee: Last week – 5, WAR% – .571 (8), FAN% – .519 (9), TOTAL% – .548
It’s not that Rickie Weeks is a bad choice for the Home Run Derby — he’s 20th in the National League in ISO. It’s just that the reasoning for choosing him — that he’s Prince Fielder’s best friend — is a little lacking. Maybe I’m nitpicking, but it seems like a local guy like Justin Upton or Wily Mo Pena, or a guy who is a little more well known for mashing like Lance Berkman or Mike Stanton would have been a better pick.

6. St. Louis: Last week – 7, WAR% – .573 (7), FAN% – .512 (12), TOTAL% – .547
With a 133 wRC+, David Freese has been the best offensive third baseman in the NL when healthy. And when his power comes back — he’s only slugged .386 since he came back as opposed to .471 before his injury — he could get even better.

7. San Francisco: Last week – 8, WAR% – .567 (9), FAN% – .519 (9), TOTAL% – .546
The Giants have maintained their division lead despite receiving very little consistent play this season on the offensive side of the ledger, as the only qualified Giants so far are Miguel Tejada and Aubrey Huff, both of whom have negative WAR.

8. Tampa Bay: Last week – 9, WAR% – .547 (12), FAN% – .537 (5), TOTAL% – .543
It’s too bad David Price was the one who gave up Jeter’s 3,000th hit. It’s more fun when the answer to trivia questions like that are obscure pitchers who you would rarely — if ever — think of otherwise, like when Steve Trachsel allowed Mark McGwire’s 62nd homer.

9. Los Angeles of Anaheim: Last week – 14, WAR% – .581 (5), FAN% – .488 (19), TOTAL% – .540
While the rest of us celebrate Michael Trout’s arrival, Carson Cistulli is somewhere tropical, sipping a margarita, twirling his evil mustache and laughing at the fact that the rest of the public is unaware that it was really he who strained Peter Bourjos’ right hamstring.

10. Atlanta: Last week – 11, WAR% – .562 (10), FAN% – .506 (14), TOTAL% – .538
With hits in nine of his last 12 games, and extra base hits in six of them, Dan Uggla looks to finally be getting on track.

11. Colorado: Last week – 4, WAR% – .520 (17), FAN% – .556 (3), TOTAL% – .536
The Rockies have gone 13 straight road games without scoring more than four runs. In a related story, they have only won four of those games.

12. Cincinnati: Last week – 13, WAR% – .556 (11), FAN% – .494 (17), TOTAL% – .529
With a .390 wOBA and a 146 wRC+, Ramon Hernandez barely edged out Brian McCann as the best offensive catcher of the first half on a rate basis.

13. Detroit: Last week – 10, WAR% – .538 (13), FAN% – .512 (12), TOTAL% – .5271
Everyone who thought that Jhonny Peralta would have a higher WAR at the break than Miguel Cabrera, raise your hand.

14. Arizona: Last week – 12, WAR% – .575 (6), FAN% – .463 (25), TOTAL% – .5267
As the baseball world turns its eyes to Arizona this week, they will see a team that has a starter with at least a 93 wRC+ at every position and pitchers with a 3.66 FIP or better at four of the five spots in its rotation. For a team that lost 97 games last year, that’s a pretty nice turnaround.

15. New York Mets: Last week – 15, WAR% – .524 (15), FAN% – .519 (9), TOTAL% – .521
Until this past week, Ruben Tejada had only walked more than once in a game three times in 120 Major League games. Then he did so three times this past week. Progress, blind luck, or the vagaries of hitting in the eight-hole?

16. Chicago White Sox: Last week – 16, WAR% – .531 (14), FAN% – .488 (19), TOTAL% – .512
Now in the midst of his third straight season of improvement, Edwin Jackson finished the first half as a top-25 pitcher.

17. Florida: Last week – 19, WAR% – .4927 (20), FAN% – .525 (7), TOTAL% – .5067
This past week’s BABIP’er of the Week goes to Emilio Bonifacio, who clocked in at .625 for the week.

18. Toronto: Last week – t-17, WAR% – .521 (16), FAN% – .488 (19), TOTAL% – .5065
There was a time in late June when Jose Bautista — who is now only 0.3 WAR short of his banner 2010 season — was coming back to the pack in terms of overall WAR. That time has passed.

19. Los Angeles Dodgers: Last week – t-17, WAR% – .510 (19), FAN% – .488 (19), TOTAL% – .500
“The Dodgers haven’t had an opportunity to rebuild at the trade deadline since… since they traded Pedro Martinez for Delino DeShields.” Priceless.

20. Chicago Cubs: Last week – 20, WAR% – .4926 (21), FAN% – .506 (14), TOTAL% – .498
Remember when people were excited to watch Kerry Wood pitch?

21. Cleveland: Last week – 22, WAR% – .515 (18), FAN% – .451 (27), TOTAL% – .486
Carlos Santana wasn’t exactly having a bad season before July started, but he has really picked it up since the month started. Hopefully for Indians fans, he doesn’t cool off during the All-Star break.

22. San Diego: Last week – 21, WAR% – .471 (25), FAN% – .494 (17), TOTAL% – .481
Edward Mujica and Ryan Webb have combined for 0.4 WAR this season. Cameron Maybin? 2.3. Advantage — Padres.

23. Minnesota: Last week – 23, WAR% – .422 (30), FAN% – .537 (5), TOTAL% – .474
Denard Span hasn’t played in over a month, but he has still been more than a half-win better than any other Twins position player.

24. Washington: Last week – 24, WAR% – .486 (24), FAN% – .457 (26), TOTAL% – .473
If he were to look at the FanGraphs rookie leaderboard, Nats GM Mike Rizzo would be pleased to see that number one and two on the list are Danny Espinosa and Wilson Ramos.

25. Pittsburgh: Last week – 29, WAR% – .4873 (22), FAN% – .438 (28), TOTAL% – .466
Alex Presley had put together a .378 BABIP in Triple-A this season. If you said he couldn’t keep that up, you’d be right — he kicked it up a notch, to the tune of a .419 BABIP so far with the Pirates.

26. Seattle: Last week – 25, WAR% – .452 (26), FAN% – .469 (24), TOTAL% – .460
When the Mariners brought Chone Figgins aboard, it was with the hope that he would be an All-Star. And they weren’t wrong.

27. Baltimore: Last week – 26, WAR% – .424 (29), FAN% – .500 (16), TOTAL% – .459
After posting a 75 wRC+ against lefties in 2009 and a ghastly 44 against them last season, Matt Wieters hit them to the tune of a 170 wRC+ in the first half, 15th best among qualified position players. It’s still just 79 plate appearances, but it’s a nice development nonetheless.

28. Kansas City: Last week – 28, WAR% – .4872 (23), FAN% – .420 (29), TOTAL% – .4577
Melky Cabrera has been as valuable this season as he was in the past five.

29. Oakland: Last week – 27, WAR% – .439 (27), FAN% – .481 (23), TOTAL% – .4576
The A’s are falling in the rankings faster than Timmy O’Toole fell down the well.

30. Houston: Last week – 30, WAR% – .430 (28), FAN% – .370 (30), TOTAL% – .404
Congratulations to the Astros for getting to 60 losses six games faster than their next closest “competitor.”



Print This Post



Paul Swydan is the managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for Boston.com. He has written for The Boston Globe, ESPN MLB Insider and ESPN the Magazine, among others. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Thomas
Guest
Thomas
5 years 2 months ago

save yourself some time

How can the ____________________ be ranked ahead of the ___________________ these rankings clearly lose all their credibility because _______________ is higher than _______________ despite having a worse record. This formula cannot be correct.

Neuter Your Dogma
Guest
Neuter Your Dogma
5 years 2 months ago

I thought the purpose, or fun part, of this series was to foster lively debate and interaction among the readers to this site. Otherwise, why have a comment section at all?

Phillie697
Guest
Phillie697
5 years 2 months ago

His template above would not be my idea of a “lively debate.” It would be just whining. Sadly, it’s what most people say to “back up” their argument.

john
Guest
john
5 years 2 months ago

Dodgers and Indians.

Peter
Guest
Peter
5 years 2 months ago

Why is FAN% used?

Bob
Guest
Bob
5 years 2 months ago

Because they are who we thought they were

Peter
Guest
Peter
5 years 2 months ago

Does the FAN% become less influential on the rankings as the season progresses?

Adam
Guest
Adam
5 years 2 months ago

Yes.

J Hey
Guest
J Hey
5 years 2 months ago

That is great. Did you all hear Herm talking to the rookies?

At 12 o clock yall better be gettin ready to get up out of the club.

Matt
Guest
Matt
5 years 2 months ago

“Everyone who thought that Jhonny Peralta would have a higher WAR at the break than Miguel Cabrera, raise your hand. ”

How bout everyone that thought Absrubal Cabrera would be the Cabrera with the most WAR and that Melky Cabrera would virtually be tied with Miguel in WAR raise their hand?

Michael
Guest
Michael
5 years 2 months ago

Don’t look now, but the Indians lead the league in Cabreras! What’s the stat for that again, CAB%?

Aaron
Guest
Aaron
5 years 2 months ago

The description of Carson Cistulli re: Mike Trout vs. Peter Bourjos was perfect.

west
Guest
west
5 years 2 months ago

Edwin Jackson is a mental midget, there’s a reason he consistantly underperforms his FIP.

Phillie697
Guest
Phillie697
5 years 2 months ago

Ahm, he outperformed his FIP just two years ago, and the year before that. Exactly how does that spell consistency?

MikeS
Guest
MikeS
5 years 2 months ago

As a White Sox fan, it is painful to watch him pitch. The anti-Buehrle.

Eminor3rd
Member
Eminor3rd
5 years 2 months ago

He is the most extreme pitcher I’ve ever seen. What I mean by that is on any given start, he is either utterly dominant or sub-replacement. And there’s only one factor that decides it everytime: command of his slider. If he has it, he will stirke out 9-12 and throw a 4-hit shutout. If he does not, he’ll walk 9-12 and last 4 2/3 giving up 6 runs on 8 hits.You can always tell which day it is in the first inning, and it works out to be about a 50% chance that either outing occurs. His numbers are the baseball embodiment of the old joke, “If one of your feet is in icy water, and the other is in boiling water, a statistician would tell you that, on average, you’re comfortable.”

The only thing that is consistent between starts for Edwin Jackson is that he WILL throw 120+ pitches no matter how far into the game he gets.

Ari Collins
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

I’m too lazy to look it up, but I believe there’s actually an advantage to streakiness. You get more sure wins, as opposed to consistent mediocrity.

Antonio Bananas
Guest
Antonio Bananas
5 years 2 months ago

Art, I think it depends on the streaks. If you have a streak of absolute insane dominance, and then are sub-replacement the rest, it’s probably for the worse. If you compare that guy to a guy consistently a little bit above average, I’d think he’d be better in the long run.

Iunno, I really wish we would look at variance more though. Like a hitters 10 day average variance, maybe a pitcher’s monthly variance. A position I REALLY think it’d help would be relievers. I say that because, if you come in and just don’t have your shit together and you give up 3 runs and get no outs, it takes forever to get your stats back to a decent level.

David K
Guest
David K
5 years 2 months ago

I’d say it depends on the team he’s playing for. If he’s on a team with a good offense, then being consistently mediocre gives him a greater chance of winning more games than if he’s on a team with a bad offense.

David K
Guest
David K
5 years 2 months ago

Also, look at the trades Jackson has been involved in recently. I forget who was involved in the trade from LA to Tampa, but when he went from Tampa to Detroit, the Rays got a pretty good player in return (Matt Joyce). Then in the Det to AZ trade, the Dbacks gave up Scherzer, which I thought was a big mistake for the Dbacks. But I felt they undid the damage when they traded him to the White Sox for Daniel Hudson.

So there have been some pretty good players sent in the opposite direction in trades involving Jackson.

Eric
Guest
Eric
5 years 2 months ago

Re: Kinsler. In spite of the season he’s having, callers to post game shows and some local sports talk focuses on his batting average to argue that the Rangers would be better off without him. Many of us are glad the Rangers front office knows better – and are glad Wash has him batting leadoff rather than Elvis.

Evan
Guest
Evan
5 years 2 months ago

Poor Houston. I wonder if they will field a competent team in the next 3-4 years.

Bill
Guest
Bill
5 years 2 months ago

They seem to be set up for a long run of bad teams. Wade built the Phillies, so he should be able to rebuild the Astros. His biggest problem is that he is a miserable judge of major league talent. It’s good that they are as bad as they are because now even Wade can’t deny they need to rebuild.

elooie
Guest
elooie
5 years 2 months ago

My favorite part of these rankings is finding where Colorado is.

boat
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

How come no Ackley on the rookie leaderboard yet?

Michael
Guest
Michael
5 years 2 months ago

Plate appearances

BabyGoatEater
Guest
BabyGoatEater
5 years 2 months ago

What is your opinions of the Braves ranking? Justified?

Thomas
Guest
Thomas
5 years 2 months ago

I did some power rankings by ranking teams on WAR%, winning percentage against teams above .500, an average of SOS and expected winning percentage, and winning percentage and averaged them all out in one stat, i gave each of the stat’s weights, like since WAR% is the most important, it’s worth 40%, average of SOS and expected winning percentage is worth 30%, winning percentage against teams >.500 is 20%, and winning percentage is 10%, these are the rankings
1.Boston Red Sox
2.New York Yankees
3.Philadelphia Phillies
4.Los Angeles Angels
5.Texas Rangers
6.Tampa Bay Rays
7.Arizona Diamondbacks
8.San Francisco Giants
9.Cleveland Indians
10.Atlanta Braves
11.Cincinnati Reds
12.St. Louis Cardinals
13.Milwaukee Brewers
14.Detroit Tigers
15.Colorado Rockies
16.New York Mets
17.Toronto Blue Jays
18.Washington Nationals
19.Pittsburgh Pirates
20.Florida Marlins
21.Chicago White Sox
22.Los Angeles Dodgers
23.Seattle Mariners
24.Chicago Cubs
25.Kansas City Royals
26.Oakland Athletics
27.Minnesota Twins
28.Baltimore Orioles
29.San Diego Padres
30.Houston Astros
New York Yankees
Philadelphia Phillies
Los Angeles Angels
Texas Rangers
Tampa Bay Rays
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Francisco Giants
Cleveland Indians
Atlanta Braves
Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis Cardinals
Milwaukee Brewers
Detroit Tigers
Colorado Rockies
New York Mets
Toronto Blue Jays
Washington Nationals
Pittsburgh Pirates
Florida Marlins
Chicago White Sox
Los Angeles Dodgers
Seattle Mariners
Chicago Cubs
Kansas City Royals
Oakland Athletics
Minnesota Twins
Baltimore Orioles
San Diego Padres
Houston Astros

Thomas
Guest
Thomas
5 years 2 months ago

oops, the part at the end was a typo, I accidently posted the teams again, nothing to do with the post

Thomas
Guest
Thomas
5 years 2 months ago

actually, i had a copying error with the win% VS >.500 teams here are the real rankings
1.Boston Red Sox
2.New York Yankees
3.Philadelphia Phillies
4.San Francisco Giants
5.Texas Rangers
6.Los Angeles Angels
7.Tampa Bay Rays
8.Arizona Diamondbacks
9.Atlanta Braves
10.Milwaukee Brewers
11.St. Louis Cardinals
12.New York Mets
13.Cincinnati Reds
14.Chicago White Sox
15.Cleveland Indians
16.Colorado Rockies
17.Detroit Tigers
18.Toronto Blue Jays
19.Washington Nationals
20.Pittsburgh Pirates
21.Los Angeles Dodgers
22.Florida Marlins
23.San Diego Padres
24.Seattle Mariners
25.Chicago Cubs
26.Kansas City Royals
27.Oakland Athletics
28.Minnesota Twins
29.Baltimore Orioles
30.Houston Astros

Michael
Guest
Michael
5 years 2 months ago

Nice work! Interesting to note that the White Sox are slated to win the central with these rankings, they’d be a smart pick for a second-half surge.

John DiFool
Guest
John DiFool
5 years 2 months ago

“The quartet may need to keep up that pace if guys like Kyle Weiland end up being responsible for too many second-half starts.”

Ah, so just because his first ML start was unsuccessful he’s doomed to pitch like crap from here on out. Gotcha.

juan pierre's mustache
Guest
juan pierre's mustache
5 years 2 months ago

no, they MAY need to keep up that pace because he MAY most likely be really not very good at all

Judy
Guest
Judy
5 years 2 months ago

That line says quite a bit more about Mr. Swydan’s character than it does about Mr. Weiland’s pitching talent.

wpDiscuz