Again, as ever, all charts herein are sortable by category.
I did forget to mention that the “Market” numbers refer to a teams position within the entire league, not just the teams considered in this “study” — but that might have been obvious.
|Tampa Bay Rays||2011||2008||2010||2||0.464||28||33||33.5||41|
|Chicago White Sox||2008||2005||2008||3||0.522||10||27||38||38.5|
|LA Angels of A||2009||2002||2009||7||0.561||5||49||24||30.5|
|New York Yankees||2011||2009||2011||7||0.602||1||29||30.5||16|
The Orioles place at the top of this chart shouldn’t surprise anyone. Despite the fact they have just the third “sweetest” hitter and a negligible pitcher entry, they come out “ahead” based on the fact that they’ve had one of the worst winning percentages of any team in the league, not just the remaining postseason contenders that I looked at for this “study.” They haven’t been to the World Series since 1983, and they certainly haven’t won a playoff series in the last decade. Plus, no argument about it, they have the awesomest cap in MLB.
Since I posted the intro to this series on Monday, many people whose teams are “out of it” have commented that they are adopting the Oakland A’s as their team. I myself am torn between the O’s and the A’s. It was less than ten years ago than Billy Beane put together an 100-win team, and they have a decent regular season record despite a lack of playoff success. Their second-place finish here is bolstered by the fact that the have the second-worst media market of any team in the Majors, and that they have exciting, young players as the base of this surprise contender. Oh, and they themselves have a sweet visual aesthetic.
Surprise! Mike Trout leads this group. Who would have guessed?! Yoenis “The Human” Cespedes and Adam Jones follow him, just a couple of more reasons to be excited about the A’s and O’s. The hype that surrounded Cespedes’s entry into the U.S. and MLB, and the fact that he’s lived up to that hype (posting a .373 wOBA so far) gain him some major “Misc.” points here, which helped him to catapult past Adam Jones. Cespedes would have been third even without those points.
I liked Jeter as a bounceback guy (currently posting his highest wOBA since 2007). In terms of face-of-the-franchise players, he can’t be beat, and I actually gave him credit for his age in stead of penalizing him. Those things got him to the middle of the board.
Prince Fielder signed a huge contract (which is why I chose him over Miguel Cabrera), and is having an excellent season, but his lack of speed, lack of pitches taken, and lack of defensive value hurt him here — not to mention his relatively low ISO.
It would have been easy to go with Wei-Yin Chen here for the O’s, as he’s been consistent and has the bland glamor of being an international signee, but to me Tillman is more interesting. Acquired in the same deal that brought Adam Jones to to Baltimore, it’s taken him a bit longer than Mr. Jones to develop. This year, he got his control under control at the AAA level while also posting an excellent walk rate, and since a July 4th season debut in the Majors, has been respectable with flashes of…something more.
Zack Greinke was an easy choice to represent the Angels, as he was one of the biggest mid-season acquisitions by a contending club. Surprisingly, he finishes very lowly, here.
Yu Darvish’s lead over Chris Sale at the top of this chart is bolstered by his “Misc.” total, but even if you take away that bonus, Yu still wins handily on the strength of his K%, SwStr%, and solid Clutch score. That was not enough to boost the Rangers in the overall standings, however.
Conclusions and a Suggestion
At the beginning of the season, virtually no one would have thought that both the A’s and the Orioles could make the playoffs, let alone one of them. There’s really no reason to root for any of the other teams, in my opinion, and according to this very objective “study” that I just did. Unless, of course, you are a fan of one of those teams to begin with. Then it’s okay.