FanGraphs 2014 Staff Predictions: American League

The 2014 Major League Baseball season kicks off for real on Monday — no, random days where the Dodgers play someone and it’s the only game of the day don’t count — and so, as a baseball site, we are compelled to offer our staff’s predictions for the upcoming season. We are compelled because you like to read our staff predictions, even though they are terrible. And boy are they terrible.

Among last year’s gems were things like Aaron Hicks, American League Rookie of the Year. Aaron Hicks did not get a single vote by any one voter on a Rookie of the Year ballot last year. We also had the Angels and Blue Jays making the playoffs. Predicting baseball is silly. Everyone is terrible at it, including us. But as long as you know that going in, it’s still kind of a fun exercise.

Okay, so, on to the picks. AL first, and then we’ll do the NL this afternoon.

Division Winners

West: Oakland (19), Anaheim (8), Texas (4), Seattle (0), Houston (0)
Central: Detroit (21), Cleveland (8), Kansas City (2), Minnesota (0), Chicago (0)
East: Boston (16), Tampa Bay (12), Baltimore (2), New York (1), Toronto (0)

The staff basically just goes with the status quo, with all three division winners from last year expected to repeat again in 2014. More than the consensus pick, though, I find the spread of the selections interesting. The A’s are considered nearly as strong a favorite as the Tigers, at least by the number of people selecting them as AL West champions, even though the forecasts on our site call that race a toss-up. The East was the only division where four teams got votes, but interestingly, the Blue Jays were not one of those four teams; apparently one bad season has convinced everyone on staff that we were truly and utterly wrong about them last year.

Wild Card Winners

Note: Consensus division winners are excluded, and the non-consensus winners have had their division title selections added to their Wild Card selections, so for the teams listed below, their placement is based upon their combined number of total predicted playoff appearances, either through WC or Divisional victory.

Tampa Bay (12 WC, 12 DIV)
Anaheim (4 WC, 8 DIV)
Cleveland (3 WC, 8 DIV)
Texas (4 WC, 4 DIV)
New York (7 WC, 1 DIV)
Kansas City (4 WC, 2 DIV)
Baltimore (2 WC, 2 DIV)
Seattle (1 WC, 0 DIV)

Total Predicted Playoff Appearances

This is the number of all authors who voted for each team to make the postseason, either through the division or the wild card.

Boston: 29
Oakland: 26
Detroit: 26
Tampa Bay: 24
Anaheim: 12
Cleveland: 11
Texas: 8
New York: 8
Kansas City: 6
Baltimore: 4
Seattle: 1
Toronto: 0
Minnesota: 0
Chicago: 0
Houston: 0

There’s pretty clearly a “big four”, in terms of the staff’s expectations of reaching the postseason. The Rays are easily seen as the best of the non-division winners, with the Angels, Indians, Rangers, and Yankees providing most of the competition for the second wild card spot. The Royals, Orioles, and Mariners aren’t considered hopeless, but are definitely not the favorites.

MVP

Mike Trout: 23
Miguel Cabrera: 2
Prince Fielder: 2
Evan Longoria: 2
Jason Kipnis: 2

Raise your hand if you expected Jason Kipnis to get two MVP votes from our staff. Me either. I like Kipnis, but I’ll take the under on him landing two first place votes in the final tally.

Cy Young

Yu Darvish: 9
Felix Hernandez: 6
Justin Verlander: 5
Chris Sale: 4
David Price: 4
Alex Cobb: 2
Max Scherzer: 1

The variety of pitchers you would expect, and Alex Cobb.

Rookie of the Year

Masahiro Tanaka: 12
Jose Abreu: 10
Xander Bogaerts: 7
Yordano Ventura: 2

We were very wrong about last year’s AL ROY, but I’ll be pretty surprised if one of these four doesn’t win the award. This seems like a very strong group of favorites.

For those interested, and for future mocking purposes, here is a table with each author’s selections.

Author West Central East Wild Card Wild Card MVP Young Rookie
Alan Harrison Oakland Detroit Baltimore Boston Texas Cabrera Verlander Bogaerts
Bill Petti Oakland Detroit Boston Tampa Bay Anaheim Trout Darvish Tanaka
Blake Murphy Oakland Detroit Tampa Bay Boston Cleveland Trout Sale Ventura
Brad Johnson Anaheim Kansas City Boston Oakland Detroit Trout Price Abreu
Brett Talley Oakland Detroit Tampa Bay Boston Cleveland Trout Sale Abreu
Carson Cistulli Anaheim Detroit Boston Tampa Bay Cleveland Trout Cobb Bogaerts
Chris Cwik Oakland Detroit Tampa Bay Boston Anaheim Trout Darvish Abreu
Colin Zarzycki Texas Detroit Boston Tampa Bay New York Trout Verlander Tanaka
Dave Cameron Anaheim Detroit Boston Tampa Bay New York Trout Hernandez Tanaka
David G Temple Oakland Detroit Tampa Bay Boston Anaheim Longoria Price Bogaerts
David Laurila Oakland Detroit Tampa Bay Kansas City Baltimore Trout Verlander Bogaerts
David Wiers Oakland Detroit Boston Tampa Bay Texas Trout Hernandez Abreu
Eno Sarris Oakland Cleveland Tampa Bay Boston Kansas City Kipnis Price Abreu
Howard Bender Texas Cleveland New York Boston Kansas City Trout Darvish Abreu
Jason Collette Anaheim Detroit Tampa Bay Boston Oakland Trout Cobb Abreu
Jeff Sullivan Anaheim Detroit Boston Tampa Bay Oakland Trout Darvish Tanaka
Jeff Zimmerman Anaheim Detroit Boston Oakland Kansas City Cabrera Verlander Abreu
Jeremy Blachman Oakland Cleveland Tampa Bay Boston Anaheim Trout Sale Tanaka
John Paschal Texas Detroit Tampa Bay Boston Oakland Fielder Darvish Tanaka
Karl de Vries Oakland Cleveland Tampa Bay Boston New York Longoria Darvish Bogaerts
Marc Hulet Oakland Cleveland Boston New York Detroit Trout Scherzer Tanaka
Matt Klaassen Oakland Detroit Boston Tampa Bay New York Fielder Hernandez Tanaka
Matt Yaspan Texas Cleveland Baltimore Tampa Bay Oakland Kipnis Price Tanaka
Max Weinstein Oakland Kansas City Boston Tampa Bay Detroit Trout Darvish Abreu
Michael Barr Oakland Detroit Boston Tampa Bay Seattle Trout Verlander Tanaka
Mike Bates Anaheim Detroit Boston Tampa Bay Baltimore Trout Sale Tanaka
Mike Petriello Oakland Detroit Tampa Bay Boston Texas Trout Darvish Abreu
Patrick Dubuque Anaheim Detroit Tampa Bay Boston Oakland Trout Hernandez Bogaerts
Paul Swydan Oakland Cleveland Boston Texas Detroit Trout Hernandez Bogaerts
Wendy Thurm Oakland Cleveland Boston New York Detroit Trout Hernandez Ventura
Zach Sanders Oakland Detroit Boston Tampa Bay New York Trout Darvish Tanaka


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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Timeghoul
Guest
Timeghoul
2 years 6 months ago

8 people picked the Indians to win? That’s downright insane to me, third-order wins had them as basically 500 last year and they’ve only gotten worse from losing Kazmir/Jimenez and inexplicably installing Santana as their starting 3B.

Professor Ross Eforp
Member
Professor Ross Eforp
2 years 6 months ago

Santana only needs to post a WAR of 0.4 to improve upon Indians 3B production last year and is being replaced by Gomes who is (at a minimum) his polar opposite in terms of defense. I’m not sure how that makes it into your reasoning for why they won’t win the division.

Robert Hombre
Member
Robert Hombre
2 years 6 months ago

BP had their 3rd-order Record as 86.6-75.4. That’s not ‘basically .500,’ any more than the Cardinals, because they lost the WS, ‘basically didn’t make the playoffs.’

David Laurila
Member
2 years 6 months ago

I’m not among those who have the Indians in the playoffs this year, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they are. Their roster includes key players likely to improve on their 2013 performances.

While I admittedly made some clunker predictions a year ago, I did write an article saying the Indians could easily finish with a record comparable to that of the Reds. I liked their talent, and most of it returns.

Cory
Guest
Cory
2 years 6 months ago

Their roster also includes superhuman performances from Raburn/Gomes that have little to no chance of being repeated. There’s just as much chance for regression in a negative way on that team as regression in a positive way.

Robert Hombre
Member
Robert Hombre
2 years 6 months ago

… as well as Asdrubal Cabrera’s worst season in the majors, Swisher/Bourn’s worst seasons since 2008 (the former largely due to a .270 BABIP), sub-replacement-level play from Mark Reynolds over 380 PAs, the collapsing bullpen stage in Chris Perez and Vinnie Pestano, Kluber’s ERA underperforming his xFIP by .75, and the abysmal BABIP numbers posted by Lonnie Chisenhall.

Gomes broke out and is a virtual lock for regression. Raburn’s walk rate was the only thing he hadn’t replicated previously in his career – unusual circumstances, certainly.

Cory
Guest
Cory
2 years 6 months ago

Good Call, Raburn will definitely OPS near 1.000 again.

Bourn just isn’t a very good hitter and is a speed guy over 30. Swisher will probably improve a little but not much. Cabrera simply isn’t that good either though he will certainly get better.

Oh yeah, they lost Smith, Kazmir, and Jimenez. And their team last year over-performed by about five games. They’re going to need absolutely everything to go right to match their team from last year.

Robert Hombre
Member
Robert Hombre
2 years 6 months ago

Obviously I’m not projecting Raburn to OPS 1.000. That would be insane. Worth noting: there are exactly 0 players in the majors ZiPS projects to OPS 1.000. So you budget regression for him as you do all players. But his biggest improvement was his walk rate – it’s not obvious one should regress that as aggressively one should HR/FB rate.

The meme that Bourn will age faster because his game is speed-based was discussed here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-slow-decline-of-speedy-outfielders/

Swisher had a 23% LD rate in contrast to a .288 BABIP – not exactly a stable equilibrium. Moreover, to say ‘Cabrera isn’t simply that good’ isn’t really borne out by anything other than 2013 results.

They lost Jimenez and Kazmir. I’m not sure who you’re talking to that’s under the impression that this in some way is a non-issue, but it’s certainly not me. But with Salazar assuming a full-time role in the rotation, that leaves only one hole to fill in the full-time rotation, in Carrasco – whom Eno et al. are high on.

Mike
Guest
Mike
2 years 5 months ago

I guess none of the other players in the Central are going to regress? People want to criticize Bourn because he’s a speed OF getting older, or say Raburn and Gomes won’t repeat last year….sure, I wouldn’t disagree with any of that.

But what about the competition? The Twins and White Sox are complete duds in the Central and would both be lucky to win within 20 games of the division winner, much less compete for it.

The Royals are constantly overrated on a year to year basis because they always have a hot prospect coming up or players developing.

The Tigers lost Fister, Peralta, and Fielder. Their bullpen wasn’t great last year, and got worse in some ways, losing Drew Smyly to the rotation and Rondon to injury. Nathan and Hunter are approaching 40. If you’re looking for a regression, maybe look at Max Scherzer? Verlander’s fastball velocity has decreased in 4 straight seasons. Cabrera is another year older and probably another 10-15 lbs heavier – how will he hit with Martinez protecting him instead of Fielder? And they essentially have nothing in LF and SS, with a complete unknown at 3B.

What I’m saying is, the division should be easier to win than last year. The top team is worse and the bottom 2 are just as bad as they were.

Mike
Guest
Mike
2 years 5 months ago

Or should I say, how much more will Cabrera be walked with Martinez behind him instead of Fielder. I would still expect a .310/30/120 season from Cabrera but I feel like expecting him to do what he’s done the last 4 years well into his 30s with a team around him that is worse than before is a little bullish.

soccrtiger13
Member
soccrtiger13
2 years 6 months ago

The Tigers are one more injury away from being in big trouble. If it’s Scherzer, Cabrera or Verlander they would be lucky to finish within 5 games of a wild card spot.
They don’t have a shortstop, they’ve lost their platoon in left, Rondon is out and they are putting a lot of faith in Drew Smyly to replace Doug Fister and a lot of faith in Joba Chamberlain to replace Drew Smyly AND Joaquin Benoit. And a lot of faith in Nick Castellanos to replace Prince Fielder. And a lot of faith in Ian Kinsler’s awesome home/road splits.

I’ll give you that Joe Nathan is better than whatever was closing for them last season.

Cory
Guest
Cory
2 years 6 months ago

If the Indians lose Santana, they’re done. If the Rays lose Price, they’re done. If the Rangers lose Beltre, they’re done.

Your comment is unbelievably idiotic. A major injury having a huge impact on a team?! You don’t say!

James
Guest
James
2 years 6 months ago

Yeah, but… they’re the Tigers. Cabrera and money and stuff!

On a more serious note, it’s easy to see how some of these holes on the team (LF, SS, bullpen) could go drastically wrong. I just wouldn’t pick someone else to do it right now. But that’s why the preseason’s fun; no one really has much of an idea.

Michael
Guest
Michael
2 years 6 months ago

But all those things you said aren’t true. Except maybe Santana, because the Indians aren’t that good in the first place.

canOcorn
Guest
canOcorn
2 years 6 months ago

The Indians were 17-2 v the White Sox last year. That won’t happen again. CWS will finish ahead of the Indians this year.

Ken
Guest
Ken
2 years 6 months ago

And the Indians were 4-15 against the Tigers last year. Not likely to happen again either. Since the Tigers finished only 1 game better than the Tribe, that means that the Tribe actually way outperformed the Tigers against the rest of baseball. Against every team not named Detroit, the Tribe was 88 – 55 against the rest of baseball vs the Tigers 78-65. That means that the Tribe just plays the Tigers even this year, they can afford to give up lots of games against the rest of the league.

Matthew
Guest
Matthew
2 years 6 months ago

I really don’t understand how people aren’t giving Benoit credit for what he did in the closer’s role last year. Look at his performance compared to Nathan last year:

Nathan: 64.2 IP 10.16 K 3.06 BB 0.28 HR/9 .224 BABIP 87.2% LOB 2.26 FIP 3.27 xFIP

Benoit: 67.0 IP 9.81 K 2.96 BB 0.67 HR/9 .256 BABIP 87.3% LOB 2.87 FIP 3.16 xFIP

Not only did Benoit match Nathan nearly pitch for pitch all season long, Nathan’s BABIP and HR/9 are completely unsustainable compared to Benoit’s (even though they both probably will). Plus, Nathan is 39 compared to Benoit at 36, and Nathan is getting paid five million more over the same two years. The save counting stat is literally the only difference. And if you say that Benoit gave up some runs in the playoffs, need I bring up SSS?

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 6 months ago

yeah, if not for perennial whipping boy Dayton Moore, the Royals would be the popular pick this time around. The Royals should overtake the Tribe fairly comfortably this year.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
2 years 6 months ago

Really? Both total WAR and 2014 projected standings have Cleveland and KC being with 1 win of one another. Cleveland has a lot to be excited about in their rotation. I see how someone could prefer one team over another, but not comfortably.

I really don’t see how this has anything to do with Moore. KC’s farm system was hyped to high heaven. One would almost wonder if there was a pro-Royals bias. Now, many of those players have graduated and underperformed expectations a bit. What makes the Royals so much better than the Indians?

Anon21
Guest
Anon21
2 years 6 months ago

Your anti-braves bias is showing again. No one picking the Braves for the east, Freedie Freeman for MVP, or Julio Teheran for CY.

Suffering Twins Fan
Guest
Suffering Twins Fan
2 years 6 months ago

I must of been living under a rock, I hadn’t heard that the braves moved to the AL!!!!

m_pemulis
Guest
m_pemulis
2 years 6 months ago

I don’t know if you are living under a rock, but there’s certainly something over your head.

Well-Beered Englishman
Guest
Well-Beered Englishman
2 years 6 months ago

Okay this is hilarious.

tz
Guest
tz
2 years 6 months ago

No comment. I almost questioned your omission of Jenrry Mejia from the best hitters names. smh

Well-Beered Englishman
Guest
Well-Beered Englishman
2 years 6 months ago

Oh bollocks, I still need to do the relief pitchers.

chri521
Member
2 years 6 months ago

Best troll ever or most inbred comment today.

James
Guest
James
2 years 6 months ago

9/10, forgot to mention Andrelton Simmons somewhere.

Brad Johnson
Member
Member
2 years 6 months ago

The new Rhodium Glove given to any fielder who might have been better than Ozzie Smith.

tz
Guest
tz
2 years 6 months ago

Kipnis’s 2 votes.

Reason enough why you shouldn’t have let Cistulli add Kluber and Salazar to the FanGraphs staff.

RMD
Guest
RMD
2 years 6 months ago

Lol! A back-back playoff mirror has Never happened before. All three three division winners repeat… and Cleveland is one vote away from making it all five AL teams reprise their playoff appearances? These are some safe picks.

Los
Guest
Los
2 years 6 months ago

My favorite thing about last year is no one voting for the Red Sox to make the playoffs. H/T to Paul for calling the McCutchen MVP though as he was my front runner going into the season (small bias from living in Pittsburgh).

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 6 months ago

the best has to be more CY votes for Alex Cobb than Max Scherzer.

Paul Sporer
Member
Member
2 years 6 months ago

ZERO mention of the Marlins and Giancarlo Stanton here. Deplorable.

TheGrandslamwich
Member
TheGrandslamwich
2 years 6 months ago

Anon21 beat you to the stupid-troll punch.

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 6 months ago

wow, can’t believe no one has NYY, DET, ANA plus KC and BALT. In fact, I can’t believe how few picked the Yankees, O’s and Royals to get in.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 6 months ago

Why?

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 6 months ago

what were the projections for the Red Sox a year ago coming off a 69 win season? I don’t see all things going right for them again, do you? No Ellsbury. No Drew. No Dempster. I see regression coming. Relying on too may players 34 or more.

As far as Balt, the same people said they were frauds a yr ago bc of how many 1 run games they won in ’12, etc. But they have the same solid core back again and with a better supporting cast.

Geez, the love affair for some of these saber-leaning teams has biased a lot of predictions. The A’s pitching staff looks as decimated as the Braves and yet 26 out of 31 staff are still picking them to win the division?

TheGrandslamwich
Member
TheGrandslamwich
2 years 6 months ago

Only 19 of the staff have the A’s winning the division. And having 1 starter out for the season and 1 starter out for under a month is not the same as the Braves situation.

Catoblepas
Guest
Catoblepas
2 years 6 months ago

well yeah, they also play in a division where their main challengers are the rangers and angels, neither of whom have had a particularly healthy spring training either. want to talk about rangers opening day starter tanner scheppers, coincidentally also making his first start ever? or angels opening day starter jered weaver?
also yeah, definitely pro-sabermetric bias responsible for the red sox getting more votes than tampa bay. but you were talking about the yankees, so maybe when you said pro-sabermetric you meant pro-teams with an infield expected to produce more than 8 WAR.

Frankly
Guest
Frankly
2 years 6 months ago

@Catoblepas What about the Angels injuries?

If you look at the projections, the AL West looks like it’s the hardest division to win. 19 of staff picking the A’s is a bit absurd (not that I can really be mad at one particular person).

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 6 months ago

meant 26 out of 31 have picked them to make the playoffs.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 6 months ago

“Relying on too may players 34 or more.”

Coming from a Yankees fan, that. is. RICH.

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 6 months ago

I hate the Yankees.

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 6 months ago

and this is when the vitriol comes out… whenever someone dares to deviate from the proper f/g outlook the takeout at the knees ensues.

Catoblepas
Guest
Catoblepas
2 years 6 months ago

what vitriol would that be exactly? what i see are reasoned critiques of your arguments, and one joke about the yankees being old (which they for sure are), and that criticizing the authors for not picking the yankees because of another team’s age is somewhat funny. i’d say this is when the strawmen start coming out from the people who don’t want to hear critiques of their points.

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 6 months ago

oh idk, the “Coming from a Yankee Fan. That’s rich” comment is a pretty blatant attempt to slam me. Funny thing is that it couldn’t be more wrong.

That and a bunch of neg votes. It’s pretty typical tho, even for something as benign as I wrote.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
2 years 6 months ago

The first hostile comment came from you bro:

Geez, the love affair for some of these saber-leaning teams has biased a lot of predictions.

Accusations of bias are almost always a huge waste of everyone’s time. How in the world could you possibly discern a legitimate belief in the team’s process and players for one that is based only on unsubstantiated bias? You can’t. Leave accusation of bias for Buster Olney’s twitter feed.

The Red Sox were the best team in baseball last year, and the A’s are two-time division winners. You are free to argue that those teams will be less successful this year, but accusations of bias that are impossible to defend only piss people off.

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

wait, so there’s no bias by this community against Brian Sabean, Dayton Moore, Ned Colletti, Kevin Towers, RAJ and Mike Rizzo… and for Billy Beane, Theo Epstein, AA, Jon Daniels, Andrew Friedman, & Ben Cherington? ok whatever you say.

grant
Guest
grant
2 years 6 months ago

Interesting that the fangraphs writer votes don’t match projected WAR on a lot of the team picks, like Balt > Tor and Cleve > KC.

Matthew
Guest
Matthew
2 years 6 months ago

The Indians are projected on this site to be one game better than the Royals. You are correct on Toronto over Baltimore.

Catoblepas
Guest
Catoblepas
2 years 6 months ago

yeah, but higher projected WAR doesn’t necessarily mean better playoff odds. consider a team full of established regulars expected to clock in right around 30 WAR — little chance to make the playoffs, and presumably not a lot of variation around that number. consider as well an extremely young team, something like the astros in 2016 — totally unproven, most likely to put up like 25 WAR (so that’s where they’re projected) but with a totally possible upside case of 40 WAR. the second team probably has better playof odds with worse projected WAR. obviously this is a hypothetical, but it’s an illustrative one.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 6 months ago

The Yankees will have the AL East wrapped up with a week to go. Jeter plays the entire season and is once again the best hitting shortstop in the AL.

Compton
Guest
Compton
2 years 6 months ago

DNA+ hahaha

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 6 months ago

Well, stranger things have happened. ….since my prediction describes almost every year for the past twenty.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 6 months ago

Yep, Jeter hitting at age 68 (give or take a couple!) is definitely a good bet to repeat what he did at say, age 25 or 28.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 6 months ago

To be fair, he was the best hitting shortstop in the AL his last full season. So, again, it wouldn’t be entirely shocking.

Catoblepas
Guest
Catoblepas
2 years 6 months ago

that season was 2 years ago, he turns 40 this season, and xander bogaerts is a thing. so yeah, it would be surprising. also, can we really call him a shortstop anymore? a 117 wrc+ (assuming he does repeat 2012) is a lot less impressive from a dh, or a shortstop with the range of a dh.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 6 months ago

Xander Bogaerts is at least as much of a crap shoot as Derek Jeter! How many rookies have a rough adjustment period, or never actually become viable big leaguers? Would you really be shocked if Bogaerts is back at triple A in two months?

Tim
Guest
Tim
2 years 6 months ago

“To be fair, he was the best hitting shortstop in the AL his last full season.”

So was Honus Wagner, and I kinda doubt he’ll be any good this year either.

Jon L.
Guest
Jon L.
2 years 5 months ago

Wagner showed up for spring training as bowlegged as ever and bench-pressing 400 pounds. I wouldn’t bet against him.

KCDaveInLA
Guest
KCDaveInLA
2 years 6 months ago

Honestly, I’ve been wondering they haven’t make Jeter a full-time DH for probably about the past 6 years.

KCDaveInLA
Guest
KCDaveInLA
2 years 6 months ago

*made

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 6 months ago

Probably because he was more valuable as a shortstop?

pinch
Guest
pinch
2 years 6 months ago

hahahahahahahaha

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 6 months ago

…but it is actually true. According to FanGraphs, he even has multiple seasons with positive defensive value in the past 6 years because he plays shortstop. I get that hating Jeter is considered the cool thing, but we shouldn’t abandon reality to do it.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
2 years 6 months ago

@pinch: The difference in positional adjustment between DH and shortstop is so great that a player would have be SOO bad at shortstop in order to actually be more valuable as a DH.

Jeter is more valuable at SS than at DH assuming the Yankees don’t have a much better defensive shortstop, or that they have a much better fit for DH. Jeter is not a good shortstop, but he’s not so bad that he is unplayable there.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 6 months ago

Jeter was valuable enough as a shortstop during the period where he apparently sucked at shortstop that almost no teams in baseball got more value out of their shortstops than did the Yankees.

Plucky
Guest
Plucky
2 years 6 months ago

“shortstop” is a strong word for Jeter

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 6 months ago

Again, I get that it is cool to hate Jeter, but according to Fan Graphs, Jeter actually has been the most valuable AL shortstop over the past 6 years.

http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=ss&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2013&month=0&season1=2008&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 6 months ago

Because there have been lots of guys playing SS for a full six years in the AL only!

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 6 months ago

OK, then during the past six years, during the twilight of Jeter’s career, there are only three shortstops in all of baseball that are clearly better.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
2 years 6 months ago

No one has ever argued that Jeter isn’t an all-time great offensive shortstop. However, his main achievement at the position of shortstop is building a reputation that makes it very difficult to move him off the position.

When people make fun of Jeter for being a “shortstop”, they are talking about his defense, and that is a totally accurate criticism of Jeter.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 6 months ago

Actually, when people make fun of Jeter for being a shortstop it is because they don’t understand that a run scored is as good as a run saved, and Jeter is much better at producing runs than the others are at saving them.

James
Guest
James
2 years 6 months ago

I don’t recognize about half of the names of FG staff. Admittedly, I only read the stuff under the Fangraphs banner on the left (only so much time to read BB-related stuff and not interested in fantasy). Do a lot of them contribute to other areas of the site, are they only occasional contributors, or something else I haven’t thought of?

BTW, I do love Eno’s chats. I just read after the fact and scroll right through anything that has h2h, otteneau, 5×5, roto, etc. in the question without reading it.

Tom
Guest
Tom
2 years 6 months ago

Your predictions were awful last year, I expect more of the same for 2014, please stop calling yourselves experts. A monkey with a dart could have done just as well.

TheGrandslamwich
Member
TheGrandslamwich
2 years 6 months ago

You seem like a very jolly and enjoyable person.

Reade King
Guest
2 years 6 months ago

I really dislike it when people take the time to snark about the expertness of people who put up a free blog.

You want to bitch about ‘experts’ who are off the mark, go visit ESPN or even mlb.com.

Yan Fucking Gomes
Guest
Yan Fucking Gomes
2 years 6 months ago

Take this with a grain of salt, because there are only, like, four or five Fangraphs “staff” whose opinions actually matter.

Yan Fucking Gomes
Guest
Yan Fucking Gomes
2 years 6 months ago

Dave Cameron, Jeff Sullivan, uh…..Carson, hey, is that Blengino guy on staff?

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 6 months ago

Don’t be an ass. For one, Wendy’s takes on the business side of the game are hands-down awesome.

And secondly, they all might not be as prolific, but each has a contribution to make. You don’t start out just as a super-kick-ass writer from day one.

Good thing no one walked into your office after you were on the job three months and said dismissively, “let’s get rid of these *peasants* who haven’t been here for 20 years, obviously they’re worthless.” *condescending sniff*

But hey, internets. Let’s shit all over the work of people we’ve never met.

My echo and bunnymen
Guest
My echo and bunnymen
2 years 6 months ago

Raise your hand if you read Jason Kipnis as Jason Kubel several times and then felt silly realizing your failure.

Radivel
Guest
Radivel
2 years 6 months ago

Given the way this went last year, the WS is wrapped up for the Jays in 2014.

pj
Guest
pj
2 years 6 months ago

Angels are always overrated. I think this year, Seattle finishes in 2nd in that division. Also think Rookie of the year is not currently in MLB yet.

Ruki Motomiya
Member
Ruki Motomiya
2 years 6 months ago

AL East Winner: Tampa Bay Rays
AL Central Winner: Detroit Tigers
AL West Winner: Oakland Athletics
AL Wildcard 1: Kansas City Royals
AL Wildcard 2: Cleveland Indians

(Hardest descision was leaving the Red Sox off here, but I don’t think the projection systems are factoring in enough regression…but still, they were only about 1-2 wins off from the wild cards, so feel free to substitute them in for whoever and it’s about just as valid.)

AL MVP: Mike Trout
AL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez
AL Rookie of the Year: Masahiro Tanaka

Since we’re crowdsourcing in another part and these are fun, I figured I’d throw mine out there for judgment.

reillocity
Guest
reillocity
2 years 6 months ago

How about Sonny Gray as an under-the-radar Cy Young candidate? Sure he’ll likely be subject to inning restrictions, but some starting pitcher has to benefit from and contribute to all those wins that the FanGraphsers are projecting for that club.

Winston
Guest
Winston
2 years 6 months ago

Craziest stat for me: two people picked Baltimore to win the AL East outright. I think a best case/everything goes right scenario for Baltimore ends up with them in third this year, and realistically they’re probably going to struggle to finish 4th.

Nostradamus
Guest
Nostradamus
2 years 25 days ago

Nice try.

worstfan_NA
Guest
worstfan_NA
2 years 12 days ago

cue up the sad trombone.

not only did they clinch the east by 12+ games, but they did it without Machado for a lot of the year, Wieters for most of the year, and a bad Chris Davis.

womp womp womp womp wommmmmmp

aphenry
Member
aphenry
2 years 6 months ago

My thoughts:”Who the hell would pick Cobb for Cy- Oh. Cistulli did. That sounds like him. But who on Earth who choose Kipnis for MV- Oh. Eno did. I expect that much from him.”

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