Leaderboards of Pleasure – 7/25/11


If Matt Holliday hits awesomely near a stock photo of the woods, does anyone notice?

Generally speaking, the Leaderboards of Pleasure represent an attempt to isolate those qualities which most appeal to the learned baseballing fan and to identify which players, teams, etc. possess them most bountifully.

Specifically speaking, this weeks’s edition of the LOP proves three (if not more) points irrefutably:

Yes, Paul Swydan, the Angels are worth a damn.
After I submitted last week’s life-changing edition of Leaderboards of Pleasure, Power Rankings-er Paul Swydan had the temerity (that’s right, I said temerity) to question (via Twitter) the Angels’ relatively high ranking on the NERD charts. Besides informing him that my seconds will call on his seconds, I’d like to use this space to suggest, briefly, two reasons why the Angels might actually be watchable. For one, the Angels are only three games out of first place in the NL West AL West*. Accordingly, each of their games is more important — essentially, has a higher baseline Leverage Index — than games other teams are playing. For two, according to the Base Runs standings on my tiny, little computer here, the Angels have actually scored 22 fewer runs than one would generally expect given the number of total bases and home runs, etc., that they’ve had.

*Divisions, schmivisions.

Matt Holliday is maybe, somehow, underrated.*
Per wRC+, Matt Holliday — the same Matt Holliday who, for example, has a career line of .319/.389/.543 — is having the best offensive season of his career. Entering play Monday, Holliday has a 164 wRC+, to be precise — considerably better (given park and league environment) than his second-best season, 2007, when he slashed .340/.405/.607 for the Colorado Rockies. Yet, Holliday’s above-average defense doesn’t show up in fantasy-type stats. And his lack of steals, though having little bearing on his real-life value, might give the impression that he’s less valuable.

*In fact, our own Matt Klaassen made a similar point with different data this most recent May.

You can officially enjoy Dustin Ackley and Josh Reddick now.
Rookies Dustin Ackley and Josh Reddick crossed the 100-plate-appearance threshold this week, qualifying them for Position Player NERD — and both appear on this week’s top-20 list by that measure. Between them, the pair have been worth 3.1 WAR in just 209 PA. Also, they’re still young. And pretty fast. And make contact.

1. Team NERD Leaderboard
2. Underrated Player Leaderboard
3. Pitcher NERD Leaderboard
4. Player NERD Leaderboard

Team NERD Leaderboard
Like the NERD scores you’ll find below, this one represents an attempt to anticipate the “watchability” of each team. The first iteration appears in a heartfelt love letter to America, which anyone is free to read here. A shinier, better version — one adjusting, for example, for a team’s playoff chances — was introduced recently to an adoring public.


Teams NERD Age BAT HR/FB Spd BULL UZR Pay Luck POFF
Indians 10 1.83 0.10 0.63 -0.17 -0.23 0.41 1.08 0.00 30%
Brewers 9 0.00 0.59 1.17 0.14 1.27 -0.13 0.18 0.83 28%
Diamondbacks 9 0.93 -0.02 0.82 0.78 0.17 0.35 0.97 0.00 36%
Reds 9 0.75 0.23 0.72 -0.65 -0.26 1.57 0.41 0.00 22%
Angels 8 0.12 -0.10 -0.16 0.14 -0.50 -0.26 0.00 2.00 29%
Rangers 7 0.00 1.56 1.54 1.09 -0.50 2.73 0.02 0.00 75%
Pirates 7 0.21 -0.97 -0.85 0.14 0.17 -0.63 1.15 0.00 27%
Cardinals 7 0.00 1.38 1.20 -1.44 -0.50 -0.09 0.00 0.00 36%
Royals 6 2.01 -0.02 -0.46 1.25 -0.06 0.96 1.40 0.43 0%
Blue Jays 6 0.39 0.82 0.28 1.09 0.51 1.48 0.75 0.00 2%
Braves 5 0.00 -0.43 1.45 -1.91 2.08 0.46 0.15 0.00 70%
Yankees 5 0.00 1.79 1.38 1.57 0.24 -0.54 0.00 0.00 92%
Tigers 5 0.48 0.82 -0.01 -0.81 -1.53 -1.90 0.00 0.83 51%
White Sox 5 0.00 -0.83 -0.56 -1.91 1.37 -0.09 0.00 0.00 17%
Mets 5 0.00 0.83 -1.35 1.57 0.01 0.41 0.00 1.55 5%
Red Sox 5 0.00 2.46 1.61 0.30 0.54 -1.18 0.00 0.00 96%
Rays 5 0.39 0.17 -0.13 0.93 -1.80 0.57 1.25 0.31 5%
Giants 5 0.00 -1.30 -1.24 -0.81 1.98 0.70 0.00 0.99 71%
Rockies 5 0.75 -0.32 0.28 0.30 1.24 -0.31 0.12 0.02 3%
Astros 4 0.84 -0.32 -1.60 0.46 0.41 0.00 0.55 1.77 0%
Nationals 4 0.30 -0.85 0.63 0.62 -0.66 0.52 0.72 0.00 3%
Marlins 4 0.39 -0.42 0.14 -0.33 0.24 -0.04 0.89 0.80 1%
Padres 3 0.00 -1.09 -1.15 1.25 0.51 -0.04 1.16 0.38 1%
Orioles 3 0.03 0.05 0.55 -1.76 -0.09 -0.42 0.19 1.53 0%
Phillies 3 0.00 -0.15 -0.11 0.62 -1.00 0.31 0.00 0.00 98%
Dodgers 2 0.00 -0.74 -0.77 -0.17 0.04 -0.92 0.00 2.00 1%
Mariners 2 1.02 -1.93 -1.16 -0.17 -0.26 0.00 0.16 0.70 0%
Athletics 1 0.84 -1.15 -1.67 -0.65 0.01 -1.48 0.65 0.00 0%
Cubs 1 0.00 -0.49 0.04 -0.81 -1.03 -2.22 0.00 1.03 0%
Twins 0 0.00 -1.15 -1.21 -0.65 -2.36 -0.28 0.00 0.00 2%

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
Howie Kendrick 2.2 4.2 2.0 0.97 -0.43 0.02 -0.73 0.16
Ben Zobrist 2.1 5.0 2.9 0.00 0.02 1.52 0.48 0.41
Dustin Pedroia 1.9 5.7 3.8 0.90 0.32 1.61 0.35 1.52
Jose Bautista 1.7 7.0 5.3 1.90 3.02 2.44 1.69 -0.33
Shane Victorino 1.7 4.2 2.5 0.81 -0.28 0.77 -0.59 0.66
Matt Holliday 1.6 4.2 2.6 1.26 0.47 0.19 0.41 -0.95
Yunel Escobar 1.5 3.7 2.2 1.10 -0.28 0.69 -0.46 -0.58
Alex Rodriguez 1.4 4.1 2.7 0.77 0.32 0.52 0.48 -0.46
Matt Wieters 1.4 2.6 1.2 -0.29 -0.13 -0.56 -0.53 -0.83
Brett Gardner 1.4 3.8 2.4 0.45 -1.03 0.36 -1.67 2.89
Brendan Ryan 1.4 2.2 0.8 -0.22 -1.33 -0.81 -0.86 0.04
Troy Tulowitzki 1.4 4.5 3.1 0.26 1.22 0.19 1.49 -0.21
Jose Reyes 1.4 5.6 4.2 2.64 -1.03 2.19 -0.80 2.89
Ian Kinsler 1.4 4.4 3.0 -0.74 0.62 1.94 -0.53 1.40
Andrew McCutchen 1.3 4.6 3.3 0.29 0.47 0.69 0.95 0.91
Alexei Ramirez 1.3 3.2 1.9 -0.03 -0.28 0.61 -0.26 -0.46
Jamey Carroll 1.3 1.5 0.2 0.39 -1.63 -0.89 -2.47 -0.21
Alex Avila 1.3 2.6 1.3 0.20 -0.13 -1.39 0.08 -0.58
Alberto Callaspo 1.2 2.3 1.1 0.81 -1.18 -0.97 -0.80 -0.46
Casey Kotchman 1.2 2.1 0.9 1.77 -1.03 -1.81 -1.06 -0.83

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 2.80 1.68 0.59 0.75 2.00 0.18 0.00
Clayton Kershaw 10 2.09 1.94 0.41 1.02 0.10 1.18 0.00
Roy Halladay 10 2.23 1.51 2.27 0.53 0.02 0.00 0.00
Madison Bumgarner 10 1.42 0.50 1.49 0.64 0.51 1.68 0.00
Michael Pineda 10 0.73 2.26 1.58 1.70 0.14 1.43 0.00
Justin Verlander 10 1.64 1.57 1.23 1.74 0.00 0.00 0.00
David Price 10 1.45 0.44 0.52 1.63 0.64 0.68 0.00
Felipe Paulino 10 1.08 1.62 0.12 1.70 1.27 0.18 0.00
Brandon Morrow 10 1.12 1.84 0.13 1.25 1.09 0.43 0.00
Cole Hamels 10 1.84 1.94 1.12 0.53 0.00 0.18 0.00
Cory Luebke 10 1.78 2.00 1.07 0.34 0.00 0.43 0.00
Matt Garza 10 1.42 1.57 0.36 1.13 0.67 0.18 0.00
Cliff Lee 10 1.89 0.82 2.28 0.37 0.08 0.00 0.00
Anibal Sanchez 9 1.45 1.89 0.83 0.49 0.57 0.18 0.00
Rubby De La Rosa 9 0.96 0.50 -1.14 2.05 0.38 1.43 0.00
CC Sabathia 9 1.30 1.46 1.37 1.13 0.00 0.00 0.00
Felix Hernandez 9 1.32 0.28 0.18 1.10 0.35 0.68 0.00
Tommy Hanson 9 1.49 1.09 0.10 0.30 0.05 0.93 0.00
R.A. Dickey 9 0.14 0.02 1.27 0.00 0.00 0.00 3.84
James Shields 9 1.50 2.05 1.01 0.22 0.00 0.00 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%
Jose Bautista 10 0.00 3.19 -0.29 3.03 -0.17 0.60
Ryan Braun 10 0.53 1.87 -0.01 1.88 1.24 0.57
Endy Chavez 10 0.00 2.27 -0.33 0.65 1.70 1.68
Jose Reyes 10 0.29 2.36 0.00 -0.97 2.36 1.85
Josh Reddick 10 1.24 2.85 -0.47 0.60 1.04 0.40
Jacoby Ellsbury 10 0.53 1.95 -0.05 1.19 1.24 0.79
Matt Kemp 10 0.77 1.84 -0.10 2.31 1.19 -0.68
Curtis Granderson 10 0.00 1.77 0.10 2.26 2.10 -1.11
Troy Tulowitzki 10 0.77 1.70 0.11 1.01 0.08 1.39
Shane Victorino 10 0.00 2.21 -0.48 -0.01 2.00 1.32
Albert Pujols 10 0.00 0.91 0.50 1.76 0.08 1.71
Elvis Andrus 9 1.72 0.88 0.47 -0.65 1.45 1.01
Dustin Pedroia 9 0.53 2.11 -0.10 0.53 0.64 1.16
Dustin Ackley 9 1.48 1.88 -0.41 0.19 0.99 0.69
Andrew McCutchen 9 1.24 1.71 0.08 0.56 0.99 0.23
Ian Kinsler 9 0.05 1.47 0.36 0.15 1.40 1.36
Chase Utley 9 0.00 2.04 -0.37 -0.15 1.65 1.51
Lance Berkman 9 0.00 1.29 0.55 3.42 -1.08 0.47
Robinson Cano 9 0.29 0.92 0.08 1.26 1.14 0.87
Asdrubal Cabrera 9 1.01 1.05 -0.02 1.03 1.09 0.20




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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.


14 Responses to “Leaderboards of Pleasure – 7/25/11”

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  1. James says:

    I couldn’t help but noticing none of these use SIERA, so now I’m doubting how useful these Pitcher NERD scores really are….

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  2. Resolution says:

    Matt Holliday will always remain underrated for 2 reasons

    1. He played in Colorado so people were quick to look at his road stats and say ‘meh’ he’s benefiting from Coors (look at those road stats now – they’re better than his time in CO).

    2. He bats behind Albert Pujols.

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  3. PatsNats28 says:

    The Angels play in the AL West, not the NL West.

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  4. herve houchoua says:

    evolutions Team / nerd ( depuis le 19 juillet )

    …………………………………………………………….

    CLEVELAND 9 @ 10
    CIN REDS 8 @ 9

    …………………………………………………………….

    MILW 10 @ 9

    les autres equipes sont stables

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  5. herve houchoua says:

    additif au post precedent

    ………………………………

    TAMPA RAYS 6 @ 5
    DETROIT 6 @ 5

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. herve houchoua says:

    Evolutions pitch / nerd

    …………………………..

    C HAMELS ( phi ) 9 @ 10

    LEE ( phi ) 9 @ 10……………..tres mauvais vs SDP le 7/25

    DE LA ROSA ( lad ) 8 @ 9

    HANSON ( atl ) 7 @ 8 @ 9

    DICKEY ( nym ) 7 @ 8 @ 9

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  7. Shaun Catron says:

    Matt Holliday is just so boring in real life and in fantasy. Easy to overlook him and his statistics.

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  8. Trotter76 says:

    “Yet, Holliday’s above-average defense doesn’t show up in fantasy-type stats.”

    I used to watch Holliday play a lot when he was here in Colorado, but I don’t get to see too many STL games these days. Has something radical changed in his defense, because he was a TERRIBLE defender last I looked. Bad routes, bad glove. Consider me UZR-skeptical.

    Also, I find it hard to believe Jose Bautista is the 4th most UNDERRATED player in MLB. How can you be considered the most feared hitter in baseball and still be underrated?

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