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Leaderboards of Pleasure – 8/8/11


Somebody’s getting to second base.

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.

As you look over this week’s edition of Leaderboards of Pleasure, prepare yourself for these shocking discoveries:

The Royals Are Young and Talented
For those fans whose interest is confined exclusively to the present season — and this is a totally legitimate way to enjoy the sport — then Kansas City, owners of a 0% chance of making the playoffs, are of minimal interest. However, for those fans who have some interest beyond wins and losses in 2011, then the Royals are very much a team to watch. Nor will the recent promotion of 23-year-old second baseman Johnny Giavotella — who slashed .338/.390/.481 (.367 BABIP) with a 8.0% BB and 11.3% K in 503 plate appearances at Triple-A Omaha — alter this for the worse.

Dustin Pedroia Is the League’s Most Underrated Player, Sort Of
Obviously, it depends on how one defines underrated; however, if the definition is something to the effect of “the degree to which a player has provided value beyond what his fantasy-type stats suggest,” then Pedroia really has been underrated more than any other player.

Dustin Ackley and Chase Utley Are Currently Engaged in a Handsome-Off
And everyone’s a winner.

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

See the full leaderboards via the magic of Google Docs.

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
Diamondbacks 9 0.51 -0.20 0.91 0.81 -0.13 2.24 0.97 0.00 49%
Indians 9 0.97 -0.06 0.68 -0.20 -0.23 -0.46 1.08 0.00 22%
Angels 8 0.00 -0.42 -0.47 0.47 -0.56 1.26 0.00 1.59 35%
Brewers 8 0.15 0.77 1.22 0.14 1.26 0.04 0.18 0.43 66%
Rangers 7 0.00 1.49 1.34 0.98 -0.46 0.73 0.02 0.00 66%
Cardinals 7 0.00 1.48 1.43 -1.55 -0.13 -0.92 0.00 0.00 44%
Royals 7 2.35 0.15 -0.38 0.64 -0.26 0.26 1.40 0.85 0%
Red Sox 7 0.00 2.34 1.51 0.47 0.47 1.79 0.00 0.13 99%
Yankees 6 0.00 1.98 1.42 1.66 0.50 0.61 0.00 0.00 99%
Giants 6 0.00 -1.62 -1.42 -1.05 1.69 0.50 0.00 1.77 53%
Marlins 6 1.43 -0.31 0.16 -0.37 0.44 -0.28 0.89 1.52 1%
Braves 5 0.15 -0.39 1.35 -2.06 2.09 -1.10 0.15 0.75 75%
Reds 5 0.00 0.24 0.65 -0.71 -0.29 1.84 0.41 0.00 5%
Tigers 5 0.24 0.76 -0.10 -0.88 -1.72 -0.55 0.00 1.09 65%
Mets 5 0.61 0.88 -1.37 1.15 0.24 -1.24 0.00 1.50 2%
Rays 5 0.42 0.26 0.02 0.98 -1.95 1.22 1.25 0.06 1%
Padres 5 0.51 -0.89 -0.97 1.66 0.50 0.10 1.16 0.00 1%
White Sox 5 0.00 -0.80 -0.38 -1.89 1.20 -0.19 0.00 0.00 12%
Blue Jays 5 0.24 0.54 0.25 0.64 0.60 -0.61 0.75 0.00 1%
Pirates 4 1.52 -1.16 -0.75 -0.20 -0.06 0.27 1.15 0.00 1%
Rockies 4 0.24 -0.37 0.10 0.47 1.36 0.02 0.12 0.00 1%
Dodgers 4 0.00 -0.74 -0.99 0.30 0.04 0.16 0.00 1.83 1%
Nationals 3 0.00 -0.66 0.62 0.47 -0.63 -0.25 0.72 0.21 0%
Astros 3 0.24 -0.57 -1.69 0.47 0.20 -1.54 0.55 1.99 0%
Phillies 3 0.00 0.03 0.07 0.81 -0.69 -0.67 0.00 0.00 100%
Orioles 3 0.24 -0.08 0.57 -1.72 0.20 -2.07 0.19 1.44 0%
Athletics 2 0.00 -0.58 -1.48 0.14 -0.09 -0.59 0.65 0.00 0%
Cubs 2 0.00 -0.47 0.16 -0.88 -0.92 -0.92 0.00 0.72 0%
Twins 2 1.06 -1.07 -1.06 -0.54 -2.48 0.20 0.00 0.00 0%
Mariners 1 0.00 -1.95 -1.39 -0.20 -0.19 -0.05 0.16 0.34 0%

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
Dustin Pedroia 2.5 6.7 4.2 1.27 0.37 1.53 0.57 1.47
Shane Victorino 2.3 5.3 3.0 1.14 -0.17 1.08 -0.64 0.69
Matt Holliday 2.2 5.5 3.3 1.50 0.78 0.78 0.69 -0.86
Howie Kendrick 2.2 4.4 2.2 1.01 -0.59 0.26 -0.88 0.25
Ben Zobrist 2.1 5.6 3.5 0.23 0.37 1.68 0.81 0.36
Andrew McCutchen 2.0 5.2 3.2 0.04 0.37 0.56 0.81 0.91
Yunel Escobar 1.9 4.2 2.3 1.01 -0.31 0.63 -0.58 -0.64
Peter Bourjos 1.9 3.0 1.1 -0.15 -1.13 -0.78 -1.66 0.69
Troy Tulowitzki 1.9 5.6 3.7 0.92 1.20 0.33 1.65 -0.09
Jose Bautista 1.9 6.9 5.0 1.44 2.84 2.13 1.53 -0.42
Alex Avila 1.6 3.4 1.8 0.56 0.10 -1.23 0.14 -0.64
Brendan Ryan 1.5 2.4 0.9 -0.25 -1.41 -0.86 -1.00 -0.09
Alexei Ramirez 1.5 3.6 2.1 -0.09 -0.17 0.71 -0.22 -0.53
Evan Longoria 1.5 2.9 1.4 -1.49 0.51 -0.71 0.44 -0.86
Ian Kinsler 1.5 4.5 3.0 -1.10 0.51 1.75 -0.34 1.36
Jose Reyes 1.5 5.6 4.1 2.12 -1.00 2.05 -0.82 2.80
Brett Gardner 1.4 4.2 2.8 0.36 -1.00 0.71 -1.36 2.91
Alberto Callaspo 1.3 2.3 1.0 0.53 -1.27 -1.16 -1.00 -0.42
John Buck 1.3 1.7 0.4 -1.39 -0.17 -1.68 -0.70 -0.97
Casey Kotchman 1.3 2.7 1.4 2.12 -0.86 -1.53 -1.00 -0.86

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 2.76 1.51 0.32 0.75 1.91 0.19 0.00
Clayton Kershaw 10 1.97 1.73 0.31 1.05 0.00 1.20 0.00
Roy Halladay 10 2.31 1.51 2.20 0.56 0.00 0.00 0.00
Brandon Morrow 10 1.25 2.12 0.50 1.24 1.27 0.44 0.00
Madison Bumgarner 10 1.44 0.52 1.48 0.56 0.59 1.70 0.00
Cliff Lee 10 2.13 0.96 2.38 0.41 0.27 0.00 0.00
Michael Pineda 10 0.78 2.34 1.39 1.69 0.00 1.45 0.00
Justin Verlander 10 1.68 1.40 1.29 1.73 0.00 0.00 0.00
Cory Luebke 10 1.82 1.90 1.49 0.34 0.18 0.44 0.00
Cole Hamels 10 1.87 1.90 1.29 0.53 0.00 0.19 0.00
David Price 10 1.31 0.46 0.34 1.62 0.69 0.69 0.00
CC Sabathia 10 1.52 1.73 1.53 1.17 0.00 0.00 0.00
Matt Garza 10 1.39 1.68 0.43 1.13 0.63 0.19 0.00
Anibal Sanchez 9 1.50 1.79 0.77 0.49 0.65 0.19 0.00
Juan Nicasio 9 1.07 0.35 -0.08 1.36 0.79 0.94 0.00
Jonathon Niese 9 1.31 0.24 1.26 0.04 0.92 0.94 0.00
Felipe Paulino 9 0.94 1.29 0.12 1.69 0.76 0.19 0.00
Felix Hernandez 9 1.44 0.41 0.13 1.09 0.19 0.69 0.00
R.A. Dickey 9 0.33 0.02 1.29 0.00 0.00 0.00 3.80
Rubby De La Rosa 9 0.84 0.30 -1.32 2.07 0.22 1.45 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%
Ryan Braun 10 0.51 1.87 -0.08 1.69 1.24 0.56
Jose Reyes 10 0.27 2.07 0.00 -0.96 2.36 1.97
Jacoby Ellsbury 10 0.51 1.93 -0.04 1.27 1.09 0.74
Jose Bautista 10 0.00 2.78 -0.23 2.71 -0.38 0.47
Shane Victorino 10 0.00 2.46 -0.46 0.07 1.96 1.31
Albert Pujols 10 0.00 1.06 0.48 1.90 0.23 1.60
Matt Kemp 10 0.75 1.86 -0.16 2.15 1.14 -0.54
Dustin Ackley 10 1.47 1.83 -0.17 0.10 0.99 0.89
Dustin Pedroia 10 0.51 2.25 -0.16 0.46 0.63 1.28
Justin Upton 9 1.47 1.71 -0.43 1.09 1.04 -0.05
Chase Utley 9 0.00 2.10 -0.38 -0.09 1.70 1.43
Troy Tulowitzki 9 0.75 1.99 -0.21 0.95 -0.03 1.23
Curtis Granderson 9 0.00 1.56 -0.03 1.99 2.16 -1.04
Ian Kinsler 9 0.03 1.31 0.50 0.05 1.40 1.33
Andrew McCutchen 9 1.23 1.74 0.15 0.39 0.74 0.29
Robinson Cano 9 0.27 0.89 0.07 1.31 1.14 0.78
Mike Napoli 9 0.03 2.27 0.03 2.62 -0.59 -0.03
Jesus Guzman 9 0.51 2.24 -0.81 1.11 1.09 0.19
Asdrubal Cabrera 9 0.99 1.03 -0.03 1.02 1.09 0.19
Lance Berkman 9 0.00 1.31 0.34 2.96 -0.79 0.44