Thing You Might Like: Hall of Very Good
Noted baseballing analysts and gentle, gentle lovers Sky Kalkman and Marc Normandin have launched a Kickstarter page for to support an e-book project called The Hall of Very Good. The Hall of Very Good, in their words:
[I]s meant to celebrate the careers of those who are not celebrated. It’s not a book meant to reopen arguments about who does and does not deserve Hall of Fame enshrinement; rather, it’s meant to remember those who, failing entrance into Cooperstown, will unfairly be lost to history.
This is not a numbers-driven project (although our contributors lean analytical in their views). Our plan isn’t to be overbearing with numbers and spreadsheets to convince you that these players are worth remembering. What we want to do, instead, is accomplish that same task through stories.
Among the writers who have agreed to contribute, one finds Rob Neyer and Joe Posnanski and me. And Old Hoss Radbourn and Will Leitch and me. And Craig Calcaterra and Josh Wilker and me.
Per Szymborski, ZiPS is projected based on the AL having a 4.19 ERA and the NL having a 3.96 ERA. Using an equation supplied by noted sabermetrician and popular Bar Mitzvah DJ Tom Tango, that’s roughly equivalent to league wOBAs of .332 and .323, respectively.
The extent of the data is considerable. In the meantime, here are some entirely superficial observations:
• Florida Marlin Mike Stanton is very likely fantastic. No player — or, no player per ZiPS, at least — possesses his combination of youth and offensive ability. ZiPS projects Stanton to slash .267/.361/.549 with a 140 OPS+ as a 22-year-old. The next 22-or-under-er on the list is Eric Hosmer, at 123 OPS+.
• There are a number of interesting third basemen. Not interesting in terms of “they’ll definitely be good,” necessarily, but interesting in terms of “they’re likely more valuable than their reputations would suggest.” Juan Francisco (CIN, 104 OPS+), Vincent Catricala (SEA, 100), Taylor Green (MIL, 100), and James Darnell (SD, 99): those are all players (a) with whom you might not be entirely familiar and (b) profile as slightly above average, provided they play close to something like league-average defense. (Note: Chone Figgins is projected to posts a 77 OPS+.)
• Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos and prospects Gary Brown (San Francisco) and Starling Marte (Pittsburgh) are all cut from the same cloth. Metaphorically speaking. Literally speaking, they were all created via the phenomenon known as “human reproduction.”
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