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Introducing: Leaderboards of Pleasure

Posted By Carson Cistulli On June 27, 2011 @ 6:59 pm In Daily Graphings | 28 Comments


What’s the buzz? Tell me what’s a-happening.

As part of his ongoing efforts to bring light into the hearts of every man, woman, and child on this great and stupid planet, Mr. Paul Swydan submits to these pages each Monday the very able FanGraphs Power Rankings. Using a combination of calculations and spells, Swydan attempts to distill and render into electronic print the successes and failures of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams.

Swydan’s work is invaluable — both Boutros Boutros-Ghali and the Slap Chop guy agree. But here’s what people like: lists and rankings. And, after those lists and rankings are digested, what they like is more frigging lists and rankings. Which, that’s what I wanna talk about right now.

The attentive reader will know that I’ve made it my business to explore and attempt to understand what it is exactly about baseball that brings us, the learned fans, pleasure. Some less-than-generous readers might consider my efforts the byproduct of rampant hipsterdom. On the one hand, it’s possible those people are right. On the other, it’s also possible that they’re Jerkfaces from Jerkland.

In any case, one question I sometimes receive is — in the comments of the One Night Only pieces I submit here — one question I receive is, “Where does [Player Name X] rank on the NERD charts?”

In this post — which may or may not become a recurring feature here — I attempt to make this sort of thing clear for all the world to see.

Below, please find the leaderboards for the four fake stats I’ve accidentally invented: Most Underrated Player (MUP?), Pitcher NERD, Player NERD, and Team NERD.

All stats are current as of today.

Underrated Player Leaderboard
To determine the most underrated player, we look at each player’s WAR relative to a very fake version of WAR (called FANT, in this case) constructed only by the five most common fantasy categories. (Read more here.)


Name Diff WAR FANT AVG HR R RBI SB
Denard Span 2.1 2.7 0.6 0.78 -1.12 -0.39 -1.55 -0.33
Kurt Suzuki 1.4 1.0 -0.4 -1.40 -0.55 -1.29 -1.38 -0.64
Howie Kendrick 1.4 3.3 1.9 1.05 0.02 0.21 -0.65 0.31
Shane Victorino 1.4 3.8 2.4 0.69 0.02 1.10 -0.41 0.94
Dustin Pedroia 1.3 3.7 2.4 0.23 -0.36 0.90 0.00 1.42
Brendan Ryan 1.3 1.0 -0.3 -0.52 -1.50 -1.39 -0.81 -0.64
Jack Hannahan 1.3 0.9 -0.4 -1.64 -0.55 -1.09 -1.14 -0.64
Cameron Maybin 1.3 2.0 0.7 -0.34 -0.55 -0.39 -1.30 0.46
Ben Zobrist 1.3 3.7 2.4 -0.01 0.21 1.60 0.49 0.15
Brett Gardner 1.2 2.8 1.6 0.38 -0.74 0.31 -1.30 1.57
Peter Bourjos 1.2 1.5 0.3 -0.46 -0.93 -0.59 -1.55 0.31
Matt Wieters 1.2 1.8 0.6 -0.19 -0.17 -0.99 -0.08 -0.96
Dexter Fowler 1.1 0.9 -0.2 -0.92 -1.50 -0.29 -1.30 -0.64
Emilio Bonifacio 1.1 0.9 -0.2 -0.28 -1.31 -1.09 -1.79 -0.17
Andrew McCutchen 1.1 4.0 2.9 0.51 0.40 0.90 0.41 1.42
Alexei Ramirez 1.1 2.9 1.8 0.48 -0.36 1.00 0.08 -0.49
Alberto Callaspo 1.1 1.4 0.3 0.11 -0.93 -1.29 -0.41 -0.64
John Buck 1.1 1.0 -0.1 -1.52 0.02 -1.19 -0.57 -0.96
Ronny Cedeno 0.9 0.7 -0.2 -0.86 -1.12 -0.89 -1.06 -0.80
Omar Infante 0.9 0.8 -0.1 -0.28 -1.31 -1.49 -0.81 -0.49

Pitcher NERD Leaderboard
The idea with Pitcher NERD — as with the other NERDs — is to express with one number the likelihood that the learned fan might have interest in a certain player. (To read more about Pitcher NERD, click here.)


Name NERD xFIP SwStrk Strk Velo Luck Age KN
Zack Greinke 10 3.13 2.23 1.23 0.64 2.00 0.16 0.00
Clayton Kershaw 10 1.78 1.63 0.49 0.99 0.20 1.18 0.00
Michael Pineda 10 0.74 2.45 2.10 1.74 0.00 1.44 0.00
Roy Halladay 10 2.28 1.41 2.30 0.48 0.00 0.00 0.00
Matt Garza 10 1.54 1.73 0.28 0.99 1.22 0.16 0.00
Cole Hamels 10 2.01 1.95 0.95 0.56 0.00 0.16 0.00
Justin Verlander 10 1.46 1.52 1.14 1.78 0.00 0.00 0.00
David Price 10 1.39 0.26 0.68 1.59 0.52 0.67 0.00
Brandon Morrow 10 0.88 1.95 0.27 1.15 1.57 0.42 0.00
Cliff Lee 10 1.84 0.86 2.29 0.32 0.18 0.00 0.00
Madison Bumgarner 9 0.95 0.42 1.44 0.60 0.56 1.69 0.00
Jordan Lyles 9 0.85 0.69 0.84 0.00 0.85 1.95 0.00
Rubby De La Rosa 9 0.45 0.48 -2.41 2.18 1.65 1.44 0.00
Brandon Beachy 9 1.30 1.57 0.47 0.40 0.17 0.93 0.00
Felipe Paulino 9 0.74 1.30 -0.02 1.78 0.93 0.16 0.00
Anibal Sanchez 9 1.48 2.06 0.86 0.40 0.00 0.16 0.00
James Shields 9 1.54 2.23 1.16 0.20 0.00 0.00 0.00
Jaime Garcia 9 1.37 1.73 0.67 0.00 0.06 0.93 0.00
Tim Lincecum 9 1.56 1.46 -0.54 0.79 0.28 0.16 0.00
Felix Hernandez 8 1.24 0.48 0.21 1.15 0.10 0.67 0.00

Player NERD Leaderboard
Very similar to Pitcher NERD, except for position players. (Read more here.)


Name NERD Age WAR xBABIP HR/FB Spd K%
Matt Kemp 10 0.76 2.30 -0.28 2.54 1.08 -0.73
Ryan Braun 10 0.51 1.62 0.09 1.46 1.48 0.40
Jose Reyes 10 0.27 2.23 0.00 -1.12 2.35 1.76
Jose Bautista 10 0.00 2.79 -0.18 2.70 -0.09 0.18
Shane Victorino 10 0.00 2.48 -0.46 -0.06 2.24 1.13
Troy Tulowitzki 9 0.76 1.33 0.24 0.73 0.26 1.48
Elvis Andrus 9 1.75 0.70 0.33 -0.51 1.53 0.84
Asdrubal Cabrera 9 1.01 0.98 0.03 0.74 1.53 0.34
Curtis Granderson 9 0.00 1.99 -0.06 1.81 1.89 -1.12
Albert Pujols 9 0.00 0.71 0.48 1.44 0.21 1.61
Andrew McCutchen 9 1.25 2.02 -0.04 0.38 0.87 -0.09
Evan Longoria 9 1.01 2.05 0.60 1.01 -0.60 0.25
Robinson Cano 9 0.27 0.55 0.18 1.69 0.87 0.75
Howie Kendrick 9 0.51 1.97 0.05 1.16 0.87 -0.30
Danny Espinosa 9 1.25 1.31 -0.23 1.16 1.48 -0.84
Prince Fielder 9 0.51 1.90 0.00 2.28 -1.16 0.55
Starlin Castro 8 2.00 0.36 0.00 -1.14 1.38 1.30
Ian Kinsler 8 0.02 0.98 0.41 -0.35 1.43 1.16
Justin Upton 8 1.50 1.46 -0.73 0.48 1.02 -0.12
Brett Gardner 8 0.51 1.70 -0.36 -0.09 1.84 0.01

Team NERD Leaderboard
Again, like the other NERD scores, this one represents an attempt to anticipate the “watchability” of each team. (Read more here. Also: note that the three baserunning stats have been consolidated in Speed Score.)


Teams NERD AGE BAT HR/FB SPD BULL UZR PAY LUCK
Royals 10 2.16 0.24 -0.22 1.38 -0.42 0.97 1.40 0.72
Diamondbacks 10 0.94 0.23 0.89 0.78 0.55 1.48 0.97 0.00
Indians 10 1.72 0.44 0.63 0.33 -0.24 1.04 1.08 0.00
Rangers 9 0.00 0.87 1.36 1.08 -1.03 2.62 0.02 0.09
Blue Jays 8 0.50 0.62 0.27 0.93 0.33 1.02 0.75 0.00
Yankees 8 0.00 2.10 2.17 0.93 -0.15 -0.69 0.00 0.00
Brewers 7 0.00 0.77 1.36 0.33 0.94 -0.28 0.18 0.66
Red Sox 7 0.00 2.42 1.19 0.48 0.45 -0.74 0.00 0.00
Rockies 7 0.76 -0.37 0.58 0.33 1.61 0.00 0.12 0.00
Reds 7 0.76 0.33 0.28 -0.13 -0.73 1.41 0.41 0.00
Nationals 6 0.24 -0.86 0.74 0.63 -0.24 0.65 0.72 0.00
Braves 5 0.00 -0.62 1.37 -2.38 2.55 0.28 0.15 0.47
Astros 5 0.68 -0.12 -1.53 0.93 0.52 -0.74 0.55 0.85
Rays 5 0.50 -0.05 -0.21 0.63 -1.43 0.51 1.25 0.00
Padres 5 0.00 -1.06 -0.88 0.78 0.97 -0.44 1.16 0.75
Angels 5 0.15 -0.22 -0.68 0.18 -0.45 0.00 0.00 2.00
Mets 5 0.00 0.24 -1.37 1.53 0.30 0.37 0.00 0.03
Cardinals 4 0.00 1.61 0.92 -0.43 -1.03 -0.21 0.00 0.00
Orioles 3 0.33 -0.03 -0.04 -1.78 0.12 -0.74 0.19 1.38
Phillies 3 0.00 -0.39 -0.09 0.78 -1.09 0.37 0.00 0.08
Giants 3 0.00 -1.50 -1.21 -1.03 1.61 0.67 0.00 1.05
Pirates 3 0.15 -1.20 -0.59 -0.28 0.33 -0.25 1.15 0.00
Marlins 3 0.24 -0.70 -0.04 -1.48 0.33 -1.16 0.89 1.14
Dodgers 3 0.00 -0.32 -0.39 -0.43 -0.49 -0.90 0.00 1.49
Tigers 2 0.50 0.88 0.07 -0.73 -0.67 -1.90 0.00 0.24
Mariners 2 0.76 -1.65 -1.01 -0.28 0.15 -0.21 0.16 0.00
Athletics 2 0.85 -1.23 -1.88 0.18 0.27 -1.57 0.65 0.00
White Sox 1 0.00 -0.24 -0.05 -1.93 0.24 -0.67 0.00 0.00
Cubs 1 0.00 -0.52 -0.19 -0.73 -0.76 -1.44 0.00 0.71
Twins 0 0.00 -1.35 -1.45 -0.58 -2.55 0.32 0.00 0.00


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