MVP Elections – 2017 AL

Dr. Doom here (via Doug) with our final 2017 awards-voting post.  I decided to “save the best for last,” as it were, so we could talk about what may be the most interesting and competitive race in the league.

The American League in 2017 was interesting in that there were only five winning teams in the league.  There was one good pennant race (the East) and two dominant, 100-win teams.  Oh, and the Twins scheduled their (formerly annual) playoff loss to the Yankees.

Before moving on to the other candidates, let’s all just bask in the glory of Mike Trout.  No, he didn’t play a full season.  But he mashed 33 HR and swiped 22 bags, one of only three 20-20 players (Altuve and Betts were the others).  Somehow, Trout scored 92 R in only 114 G, managed to walk 94 times – third in the league, and paced the junior circuit in OBP. SLG. OPS and OPS+.

Let’s look next to one of the most fun players in baseball today – Francisco Lindor. Lindor led the AL in plate appearances, banged out 44 doubles (tied for fourth in the league) and hit 33 HR… all while playing just about the best SS in the AL.  He also had the fourth-most TB in the AL with 329, only 14 behind league leader Jose Abreu.

Lindor’s partner on the left side of the infield was Jose Ramirez. Ramirez led the league with 56 doubles, while scoring 107 runs.  His 341 TB were second in the league, and he had the third-highest batting average (.318) AND slugging percentage (.583) in the league, the only player to finish in the top three in both categories.

Mookie Betts followed up last year’s MVP runner-up season with a second All-Star campaign, this one featuring totals of 46 doubles, 29 HR, 102 RBI and 77 walks. Besides being one of only three players with a 20-20 season, Betts was also one of only three players to both score and knock in 100 runs (Justin Upton and Aaron Judge were the others). Betts rounded out those offensive credentials with a second straight gold glove selection for the repeat division-winning Red Sox.

Remember this generation’s Mark Belanger, the great all-field, no-hit Andrelton Simmons?  Well… what do you have when he learns to hit?  Simmons set career highs in R, H, 2B, RBI, SB, BB  OBP, SLG and WAR in his first full season of a 100 OPS+. Simmons’ 7.1 WAR pushed his career total to 28.6, the 5th highest total by a shortstop over the first 6 seasons of a career (the top four are named Vaughan, Hornsby, Ripken and Banks).

World Series hero George Springer finished seventh in the league with 144 OPS+, slashed .283/.367/.522, blasted 34 HR, and scored 112 runs, the last ranking second in the league and tied with teammate Jose Altuve. For the second year in a row, 9 of Springer’s home runs came in the first inning as the leadoff batter, just the second player since 1950 with two such seasons – Quiz: who was the first player to do this?

Jose Altuve, of course, won the 2017 AL MVP as the league batting champion with a .346 average from 204 hits (1st), third place marks in OBP (.410), OPS (.957) and OPS+ (164), and a 6th best .547 SLG to join Mike Trout as the AL’s only .300/.400/.500 hitters. Oh, and he added 32 stolen bases (3rd, two behind leader Whit Merrifield). For the fourth straight year, Altuve logged 200 hits, 35 doubles and 30 stolen bases; no other player has as many such seasons in a career, consecutively or otherwise.

The last person we should discuss is rookie sensation, Aaron Judge.  Although the same age as Mike Trout, Judge just made it to the bigs full time this season, but did so about as well as anyone ever has.  Judge was second in OBP, SLG, OPS, and OPS+.  He led the league in R with 128, and his 127 walks were 23 more than anyone else.  Judge’s 114 RBI were second to Nelson Cruz.  And, of course, there have only been 11 seasons of 52+ HR by AL players from 1962 to the present; the most recent, and first ever by a rookie, belongs to Judge.

There were plenty of other interesting hitters in 2017; Lorenzo Cain (a personal favorite) was again excellent; Nelson Cruz was mashing all over the place; Jose Abreu keeps hitting like a boss; Marwin Gonzalez might have an MVP case… you know, if he weren’t the fourth-best player on his own team; and who knew that Justin Upton still had some pop left in that bat of his?  Plus, Byron Buxton took a really big step forward.

Now, since we already did the Cy Young, I’m not going to belabor the pitchers; please refer to that earlier post and read my nonsense and the insightful comments of our wonderful community to decide if and where they belong on your ballot.  Now get voting, so we can see who the HHS AL MVP for 2017 is!

DIRECTIONS:  Please list 10 players on your MVP ballot in a NEW comment below (ballots with fewer than 10 candidates will be thrown out; I ask for a new comment because it’s easy to lose one if it’s in a reply, especially since we got rid of numbered comments).  Ballots will be scored as per BBWAA scoring (14-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1).  Strategic voting is discouraged, though that’s unenforceable, so please just don’t do it, as the goal here is to (somewhat) mimic the BBWAA process.  The post will be live for about a week; I will comment shortly after the post goes live to tell you when ballots are due.  Please discuss and vote whenever you’d like, but there will be NO vote changes, so don’t vote until you’re sure you’re ready!

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115 Comments on "MVP Elections – 2017 AL"

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AJB
Guest

Jose Altuve
Mike Trout
George Springer
Jose Ramirez
Carlos Correa
Aaron Judge
Corey Kluber
Marwin Gonzalez
Chris Sale
Mookie Betts

Hartvig
Guest

Quiz:
Just a guess but I’d say Ricky Henderson

Dr. Doom
Guest

I’m going to guess Alfonso Soriano, just in case Hartvig is wrong.

Doug
Guest

It is Alfonso, who has done it 3 times.

Rickey holds the record for most career first inning homers from the leadoff spot.

Dr. Doom
Guest

Let’s give a full six days on this one. We’ll close the voting at 11:59:59 on Tuesday the 12th. Happy voting!

no statistician but
Guest
Qualifying injury gap seasons: Mantle 1962, Brett 1980, Trout 2017 PAs: M—502, B—515, T—505 oWAR: M— 7.6 (1st in AL); B—8.5 (1st); T—7.4 (2nd) BA: M—.321 (2nd); B—.390 (1st); T—.306 (6th) OBP: .M—486 (1st); B—.454 (1st); T—.442 (1st) SLG: M—.605 (1st); B—.664 (1st); T—.629 (1st) OPS: M—1.091 (1st); B—1.118 (1st); T—1.071 (1st) OPS+: M—195 (1st); B—203 (1st); T—187 (1st) Runs: M—96 (7th); B—87; T—92 RBIs: M—89; B—118 (2nd); T—72 HRs: M—30 (7th); B—24 (9th); T—33 (12th) BBs: M—122 (1st); B—58; T—94 (3rd) Runs Created: M—126 (2nd); B—135 (1st); T—121 (4th) Adj. Bat Runs: M—60 (1st); B—66 (1st); T—56 (2nd) Adj.… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest

Nice work, nsb. I’ve been looking for ground on which to get a clear fix on Trout’s season and this helps.

Paul E
Guest
nsb, I certainly remember Brett’s 1980 and all the attention he drew chasing .400 How about 24 HR’s and only 22 strikeouts that year and the first to homer (20 or more) as much as strikeout since Berra in 1957? Since then, Bonds in 2004 hit 45 HRs with only 41 K’s but, then again, i guess we all know how. If you neutralize these three to 4.25 R/G environment, their RC totals are: 138 Brett 111 Trout 108 Mantle However, due to all those walks for Mantle, their RC/27 looks like: 12.9 Mantle AIR 101 12.2 Brett AIR 99… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

200 hits, 35 doubles, 30 steals?
Certianly, Ty Cobb did that at least 4 times.
Nope.
Just thrice.
He was too busy hitting triples.

Altuve’s seasons actually all had at least 39 doubles.
And a minimum of 43 combined 2x and 3x.
So, looking at 200 H, 30 SB, and 40+ dub/trip:

4 … Altuve
7 … Cobb

Doug
Guest

But, if you make it 200 hits, 55 XBH and 30 steals, it’s back to Altuve 4, Cobb 3.

Mike L
Guest

To make an obvious point, we are lucky to be watching baseball at a time of so many younger stars. One thing that the Steroid Era did, possibly to baseball’s detriment, is to extend the effective playing careers of some of big names of the 1980’s into even the early 21st Century.

Paul E
Guest

Mike L
Among players with 2,000 or more PA’s from age 34 till retirement, 9 of the top 20 in OPS+ played those seasons after 1994. So, yeah, steroids enhance athletic performance

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Buxton was amazing at baserunning and defense.
(+35 Rbaser, Rdp, Rfield)
-6 Rbat on the season, however.
Though, he certainly figured something out…

First 78 games:
.195 / .272 / .280 / .552 (.280 babip)
Team 40-38

Final 62 games:
.314 / .359 / .553 / .912 (.399 babip)
Team 37-25

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Trout had 507 PA and 53 Rbat
Rbat leaders in seasons with fewer than 527 PA:

71.4 … Frank Thomas (juiced ball / strike)
66.5 … Bagwell (juiced ball / strike)
61.4 … Ted Williams ’54
60.5 … Brett ’80
59.4 … Albert Belle (juiced ball / strike)

59.1 … DiMaggio ’39
58.0 … Mantle ’62
54.1 … Hornsby ’23
53.3 … Manny ’02
53.1 … Speaker ’22

53.0 … Trout
51.5 … Ted WIlliams ’55 (416 PA)
51.3 … McGwire ’95 (422 PA)
49.9 … Ted Williams ’56
49.4 … Speaker ’25

no statistician but
Guest
Don’t know if the death of Dick Gernert is comment worthy on its own, but—Gernert was a big, lumbering first baseman for the Red Sox in the 1950s with some power. After starting in 1952-3 he lost the job to local favorite and former All-American footballer Harry Agganis and spent much of the next two years in the minors. Meanwhile Agganis, after a good but not spectacular rookie season, had to battle another rookie phenom, Norm Zauchin, for the starting position in the spring of 1955. Agganis’s tragic death from a heart embolism opened the door for Zauchin who belted… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

In his 30th ML game on 5-27-55 Zauchin drove in 10 runs. That’s the soonest in a career that a player drove in 10+ runs.

e pluribus munu
Guest
Some points on Richard’s post: 1) One of the great rewards of HHS is learning a guy whom I mostly remember as a face on a baseball card — one I noticed particularly when I’d arrange them all on the rug in alphabetical stacks — was actually special; 2) Zauchin collected his 10 RBI by the 5th inning; 3) A greater feat than Zauchin’s is Richard’s ability to toss us these tidbits on a moment’s notice. One point on nsb’s post: 1) It may not be the glamor role most Americans aspire to, but I think we should recognize nsb… Read more »
Doug
Guest
Zauchin is also notable as the player Boston traded (together with Albie Pearson) to acquire Pete Runnels (also born around the same time, in Jan 1928) from the Senators. Runnels played 5 seasons in Boston, all of them batting .310 or better with at least .395 OBP. With his two batting titles, the Red Sox featured the AL’s top batter 5 times in 7 years (1957-63). Runnels posted 125 OPS+ for the Red Sox, but only 95 for Washington and 84 for Houston. Among left-handed batters, Runnels’ OPS difference in Fenway vs. his overall mark is fourth highest among 15… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
Pearson’s worth a mention too. He was traded with Zauchin before his first MLB PA, and initially he probably made the Senators think they’d got the best of the deal, since he was an instant RoY. He tanked after that, but revived his career as an expansion draft pick of the Angels, and was a 5.5 WAR All-Star in ’63 (5.5 was Runnels’ WAR peak as well). I was a fan of both Runnels and Pearson: Runnels because I loved obscure batting champs, but Pearson for a special reason: he was as short on an MLB field as I was… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS198006200.shtml

e p m,
….you must have been doing cartwheels when the little guy went yard 3 x in this one at Fenway

e pluribus munu
Guest

Nice find, Paul. My athletic abilities being what they were and are, if I’d knocked myself out celebrating with cartwheels I’d have landed on my head and knocked myself out — and maybe I did, since all recollection of that game seems to have been knocked out of my head.

Paul E
Guest
Doug, I hate to paraphrase James (Bill, not Henry or William), but, in one of his abstracts (mid-80’s ?) he made mention of the fact that despite the green monster providing cheap homers for RH batters, left-handed batters benefited even more from lazy, opposite-field fly balls that provided cheap doubles in lieu of outs. I imagine, that is one way to win a batting title. 🙁 IIRC, it had to be in one of his Wade Boggs breakdowns/analyses. He also thought the Red Sox should have called up Boggs a year or two earlier….. and Mike Stenhouse was going to… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

I remember that as well. He was calling Boggs the best player in the league. BTW, recently I found a letter I got from Bill James in the 1980s, after I wrote him to question one of his calculations (in hindsight, I can see I was wrong). He wasn’t subtle.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
A word of consideration for Gary Sanchez. Part of the consderation of “valuable” should involve a direct comparison to colleagues. Sanchez was far and away the Catcher who produced the most runs with the bat: Rbat, Catchers: 19.2 .. Gary Sanchez 11.2 .. Mike Zunino 9.6 … Alex Avila 9.4 … Robinson Chirinos 8.3 … Wellington Castillo 5.8 … Brian McCann 3.0 … Evan Gattis -0.4 .. Omar Navarez -0.5 .. Chris Giminez -1.3 .. James McCann -1.4 .. Wilson Ramos -1.9 .. Sal Perez -2.3 .. Russel Martin He was also one of only 5 Catchers to have 400… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Lindor’s defensive numbers were likely deflated by playing behind the pitching staff that led the league in SO:
Total chances, AL Shortstops:
755 … Elvis
685 … Simmons
685 … Escobar
611 … Lindor
588 … Tim Anderson
552 … Bogearts
538 … Iglesias
513 … Didi
507 … Polanco
475 … Beckham

Yet he still got to a plenty of balls, and led the league in DP.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
A note of support for Marwin Gonzalez. The Super-Utility player is a guy, who, when he produces above-replacement-level value, is actually earning every drop of that WAR. Because most 5th INF/OF types aren’t approaching anything that looks like a 149 ops+. … The Yanx all raved about the contribution that Ronald Torreyes made last year, filling in capably for Didi and Starlin when they were injured. Indeed. Good work. And he slashed this: .292 / .314 / .375 / .689 / 81 … It is a short list of utility players who are not zero-ish-WAR guys. Marwin played 5 positions,… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Trout? I feel like there’s an argument for a guy who played 114 games if he made a demonstrable difference in his team’s fortunes. Sure, it is hard to make the case that a player with a 1.071 OPS did not make his team better (Maybin hit to a .702 during his month in center) But here’s the Anaheimen’s records: 57-57 with Trout 23-25 without Trout … In comparison, 1980 George Brett: 74-43 with Brett 23-22 without Brett … 1962 Mickey Mantle: 74-43 with 22-23 without … 2002 Manny Ram: 70-48 with 23-21 without … 1939 Joe DiMaggio 78-38 with… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
Yeah, this has got me stumped. How can a player of Trout’s terrific quality make no difference to a .500 team? Makes no sense, especially since the Angels went 19-20 while Trout was injured, and faced .500+ teams in 23 of those 39 games, including 16 against teams that won 90+ games — the Angels went 10-6 in those games! (When Trout played in games against 90+-win teams, their record was 6-17, though the mix of teams was somewhat different.) And look at Pujols, with his -1.8 WAR: the Angels were 75-73 when he started, and 5-9 when he didn’t,… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
I think you’re both forgetting the NL MVP vote, in which the top two finishers, both here and in the official tally, were players on teams with far worse records than the Angels. What impact did Stanton and Votto have beyond keeping a bad team from being worse? Some interesting stats, at least to me: Marlins went 77-85 and matched their Pyth. The Reds were 68-94, down 2. The Angels were 80-82, down 1. The Marlins had 27.7 total WAR, the Reds 21.6, the Angels 30.9. Stanton had 7.6 WAR, Votto 7.5, Trout 6.7. The difference among the three teams,… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
You’re certainly right about the NL vote, nsb, but I’m not sure it bears on the issue of the mysterious way the Angels performed with/without Trout. Voomo is a “Most Valuable for the Pennant” type voter, so I like to argue that issue with him in principle. For me, it never gets old, like so many hobby horses I ride round and round here. But in terms of what the BBWAA voters believe, clearly many see the award as a “best player” designation, as was the case with the NL vote this year. This was true even in the initial… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

I’m not necessarily a Most Valuable for the Pennant Voter, at all.
Just throwing things out there for conversation, as there is no set definition of how to determine MVP.
In this case I’m saying that if we are going to consider a player who missed 50 games, team-performance-without-him exists as a contextual consideration.

e pluribus munu
Guest

My apologies, Voomo. I thought we’d had this same type of exchange in the past.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Vote: 1. Altuve 2. Aaron Judge 3. Marwin Gonzalez 4. Jose Ramirez 5. Andrelton Simmons 6. Lorenzo Cain 7. Mookie Betts 8. Francisco Lindor 9. Mike Trout 10. Gary Sanchez This was hard to limit to 10 players. Had to cut several guys whose names I wanted to type. And there was no room for any Pitchers. For MVP, I assign strong value to the up-the-middle defensive players, and a DH like Nelson Cruz has very little chance of making my ballot. I will also look hard at the easy-to-overlook skills of baserunning and defense. Hard to rate defense with… Read more »
ThickieDon
Guest

1. Altuve
2. Judge
3. Trout
4. Ramirez
5. Kluber
6. Sale
7. Betts
8. Correa
9. Simmons
10. Donaldson

Paul E
Guest
Altuve Judge Ramirez Springer Trout Lindor Verlander Kluber Sale Andrus I’ve got Springer 4th because the Astros were on fire and he was on pace for about 130 runs scored before getting hurt. I’ve got Verlander above the other pitchers since the Astros had slowed down and he helped pick them back up with some great starts at the end of the year. Lindor? I thought this guy was going to become Tony Fernandez. Looks more like Cal Ripken (30+ homers/70+ EBH/50 BBs)) Andrus? Him or Simmons…..take your pick. I took Elvino No Correa because there’s no room left at… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Lindor, Ripken, and Fernandez through their first 3 full seasons.
(this omits TF’s first half season, and takes him through age 25. It’s 23 for the other guys)

L … .293 / .349 / .474 / .823 / 114 / 12.4 oWAR / 15.8 WAR
R … .297 / .355 / .502 / .857 / 136 / 18.7 oWAR / 22.8 WAR
F … .307 / .352 / .416 / .768 / 105 / 11.7 oWAR / 13.9 WAR

Paul E
Guest
Voom, at 6’4″ and 200+ #, Ripken was a wee bit more physically mature than Lindor at this point in their careers. However, over the next 6 seasons, Ripken averaged only .265 / .344 / .436 and an OPS+ of 117. This is kind of shocking since you’d think these would be his best years. He had an unbelievably brilliant season at 30 (168 OPS+ / 11.5 WAR) – maybe the greatest SS season of all-time …. and then hit for an OPS+ of only 98 while not missing a game over the next 7 seasons. I thought Ripken was… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
It has become somewhat unfair to compare Shortstops of different eras, as it is only in the last 20 years that big dudes with offensive potential have been consistently groomed for the position. … OPS+ Leaders among SS, 1980-1989, min 1000 PA: 123 … Ripken 118 … Trammell 111 … Jody Reed 106 … Larkin 106 … Franco 103 … Thon 101 … Tony Fernandez 93 …. Ernie Riles 92 …. Rick Burleson 90 …. Ozzie … OPS+ Leaders among SS, 2008-2017, min 1000 PA: 138 … Correa 133 … Seager 124 … Hanley Ramirez 121 … Tulowitski 114 …… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
A short, speculative ramble: Players 5’6” in height or less: Albie Pearson has been mentioned and Freddie Patek, but these guys weren’t the best. In the HOF are Wee Willie Keeler, Rabbit Maranville, Joe Sewell, Hack Wilson, and Phil Rizzuto. None, of course, are among the all-time greats, although at one time Keeler was viewed that way. Rizzuto in the Hall? I’m one who doesn’t think he quite makes it, but when I see that he lost a year being held back because Crosetti had the Yankee SS position in a lock, and then lost three more prime years to… Read more »
Doug
Guest

Top 10 in career HR, players 5’6″ or shorter.
244 – Hack Wilson
84 – Jose Altuve
63 – Tommy Leach
49 – Joe Sewell
44 – Andy High
43 – Roy Weatherly
41 – Fred Patek
40 – Dummy Hoy, Billy Hamilton
38 – Phil Rizzuto

Doug
Guest

Tallest HOF position player is Dave Winfield at 6’6″.

Shortest HOF pitchers
– Pud Galvin and Mickey Welch at 5’8″
– modern era – Jack Chesbro at 5’9″
– live ball era – Burleigh Grimes and Whitey Ford at 5’10”

Shortest pitcher (min. 1000 IP)
– Larry Corcoran at 5’3″
– modern era – Bobby Shantz at 5’6″

Dr. Doom
Guest

Billy Wagner was listed at 5’10”, though he always looked smaller to me. Depending on how one values relievers, he’s a viable Hall candidate.

Richard Chester
Guest
Here’s my list: Judge Altuve Trout Cruz Correa Gonzalez Ramirez Kluber Donaldson Sanchez I have mentioned on another post that I like to also judge the players by percentage of runners driven in (RDI). My first method was to calculate this percentage after subtracting out all PA in which the batter received a BB or HBPwith runners on except for the bases loaded situation. For my second method I was prompted by a commenter, perhaps epm or nsb, to also count the batter himself to be a base runner. That is helpful to batters with a high number of HR.… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
OK. Here’s my unscientific ballot, except for the winner: 1) ALTUVE—like Kluber in the CY he outclasses the competition enough to deserve his name in caps. 2) Judge—by default, actually. Couldn’t think up an argument for someone else. 3) Ramirez—the Tribe 20 game winning streak corresponds to his pulling out of a slump. 4) Betts—Heart of the surprisingly weak BoSox offense that still won the division. 5) Trout. 6) Hosmer—overlooked man on an overlooked team. 7) Correa—Overlooked somehow in the official voting, probably because Altuve outshone him. 8) Cruz—when a DH leads the team in WAR there’s a reason. 9)… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
1. Jose Altuve 2. Mike Trout 3. Aaron Judge 4. Jose Ramirez 5. Corey Kluber 6. Mookie Betts 7. Francisco Lindor 8. Andrelton Simmons 9. Carlos Correa 10. Jonathan Schoop To my mind, Altuve has a lock on #1: most of my effort was devoted to juggling the next three slots. Correa inched onto the list, despite being a non-qualifier, through a version of arguments similar to some I’d use for Trout, and after looking at a range of borderline #10s, I chose Schoop because he has a good case and seems to have received too little attention. In these… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
Hot stove league news over the weekend: Stanton to Yanks? I wish they’d gotten some pitching instead of or in addition. Trammell and Morris in the HOF? A schizophrenic outcome according to stats guys, I’d guess. At the risk of seeming an idiot, I’ll admit that personally I don’t mind Morris getting the nod, because I think he was a pitcher for a different era who managed to succeed in an environment unfriendly to his talents and approach. His record resembles those of other, earlier, workhorse pitchers with long careers, only his ERA is higher than theirs and invariably unimpressive… Read more »
oneblankspace
Guest

The Veteran’s Committee Modern Era Subcommittee put a couple of the ’84 Tigers in the Hall — Alan Tram-m-mell and Jack Morris. I suspect we’ll see a post on them here soon.

Doug
Guest
Thumbs up on Alan, I kind of want to say thumbs down on Morris, but he had more value than his 105 ERA+ might suggest, completing one-third of his starts, logging 235+ innings eleven times, and winning 250+ games with a creditable .577 winning percentage. Bottom line – you could rely on him to go out there every fifth day, probably get you into the late innings and, more often than not, help you get a win. Morris posted 12 seasons with 14 wins and a winning record, something only 17 other modern era pitchers have done; if not for… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

I plan to gripe about Marvin Miller. A Hall with room enough for Bowie Kuhn….

no statistician but
Guest

What modern stats tend to do is to posit a norm of excellence, and even—or especially—positive performance that doesn’t lie within the parameters of the norm creates a conundrum that has people scrambling for explanations, mostly belittling ones. The nearest pitcher I can find to Morris in a short search is Early Wynn. Frankly, I’d take Jack four starts out of five.

Tom
Guest

The HOF has turned into the Rock N Roll HOF.

e pluribus munu
Guest
I’m ok with Morris’s membership in the Hall (Trammell should have been there long ago), but I’d have been ok if Morris hadn’t been elected, too. He’s a great example of a borderline case, and I think you have to be a Big Hall sort of person to feel entirely happy about his election. To my mind, the best discussion of the Morris case I’ve encountered is a blog post by Chris Bodig that is both detailed and impressively balanced (although it was, in the end, an advocacy piece). Bodig raises an issue that nsb points towards as well: the… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Next up for HOF consideration: Dennis Martinez and Bartolo Colon.

They got this wrong. Trammell and Whitaker should have gone in together.

Paul E
Guest

Most wins (1876-present) ages 40-43
68 Young
68 Spahn
62 Bartolo C.
60 P. Niekro

Dennis Martinez
1st 1873 IP
111-99 4.18 92 ERA+
Next 1874 IP
120-77 3.02 130 ERA+

I’m not feeling it for either one of them…..but, I’m surprised by Morris getting elected. So, who knows?

e pluribus munu
Guest

Can’t disagree with Voomo on Whitaker. As for Martinez and Colon (I’ve enjoyed Colon’s career), I wonder whether Voomo’s point is that the HoF is descending a ladder.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Those guys are 1 and 2 as Morris’ similarity scores. Dennis played in the same era, and measures up favorably, other than World Series wins. And yes, my point was that: if this guy, then these guys.

no statistician but
Guest
Voomo: To say that Martinez and Morris are similar is like saying that Mantle and Musial are similar. In other words, there might be some similarities, but the one thing they definitely have in common is that their last names begin with the letter M. Here are some of the things in their 162 game averages that aren’t similar, Morris first: W: 16, 13 L: 12, 10 GS: 33, 30 CG: 11, 7 IP: 242, 217 BB: 88, 63 SO: 157, 117 Notice that the closest similarity among these items is Games Started, where there’s a 9% difference. Otherwise the… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
nsb, I have to completely disagree vis-a-vis Martinez and Morris. They are very similar players. The W-L record is similar, the innings pitched are similar. True, Martinez pitched more seasons… but by averaging their stats as you did in your post, you make that a BAD thing, and I don’t think that’s fair to the fact that Martinez was a little more durable over time. Martinez led his league in complete games twice (Morris once). Martinez won an ERA title. They each led the league in innings pitched once. Martinez has a lower ERA, pitched more innings, has a marginally… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Interesting “pitching to the score” stat…
Morris and Martinez:

With 3-5 runs of support:
97-64, 3.54
94-59, 3.36

With 6+ runs of support:
137-9, 4.24
117-8, 4.26

no statistician but
Guest
OK, Doom, let’s say we pick a player named Stan and a player named Willie, both of whom played mostly left field and first base in long careers. Both end up with 475 career HRs. These are some similarities that can’t be denied, but are they similar players? Or take a pair of right fielders, Chuck and Tim. Chuck hit 300 HRs, Tim 299. Chuck played in more games, so his Runs and RBIs are proportionally higher, but his oWAR was 47.9 while Tim’s was 44.3, pretty close, and get this: dWAR-wise Chuck registered -11.9 and Tim -11.6. Does this… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

WAR, age 22-32
36.1 … Morris
10.1 … Martinez

WAR, age 33-:
7.8 …. Morris
39.4 .. Martinez
________________

When Martinez ripped off a 5.7 WAR season in 1995, that was, at the time, the 2nd highest WAR season age 41+ (of course, WAR didn’t exist in 1995, but you know what I mean):

9.6 … Cy Young
5.7 … Dennis Martinez
5.6 … Spahn
5.2 … Nolan Ryan
5.1 … Nolan Ryan
5.0 … Jack Quinn
4.7 … Ted Lyons
4.6 … Phil Neikro
4.0 … Spahn

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Still tied for 3rd all-time:

7.8 … Clemens
5.7 … Randy Johnson

Dr. Doom
Guest
The thing is, I don’t think anyone was suggesting they were IDENTICAL. What people are suggesting is that they’re SIMILAR. I think it would be difficult to find two pitchers with 3000+ innings who are MORE similar than those two, who played in the same era and wound up with ludicrously similar totals. I mean, you’re not wrong that there are differences, and many of them. But if Morris and Martinez aren’t similar, is your contention that NO two players in the history of baseball can be described as “similar” to one another? I think you’d have to be using… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
Responding to Doom’s challenge to nsb, I want to express my ideal of what constitutes “similarity.” Although B-R does not list either as similar to the other, I believe Eddie Joost and Eddie Yost actually should be credited with a Similarity Score of 1001 (after deductions). Joost was a shortstop and Yost a third baseman — not the same, but not that different. Joost had seasons of 100 PA or more over the years 1939-1955, Yost: 1947-62, so they are rough contemporaries. Joost played the bulk of his career for the Philadelphia A’s in their twilight years; Yost for the… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Joost got a boost (couldn’t resist that) in 1947 when he started to wear eyeglasses upon joining the A’s. From 1937-1945 (he did not play in the ML in 1946) his OPS+ was 74 and never got more than 80 BB in a season. From 1947-1955 his OPS+ jumped to 113 and received 100+ BB for 6 consecutive seasons. Unimportant factoid: when he died on 4-12-2011 he was the last living player to have played in the Baker Bowl.

Paul E
Guest
I might be a little late with this and sorry I didn’t catch this thread sooner but, supposedly, at one point relatively late in their careers, Frank Thomas and Jeff Bagwell were the two of the most similar players ever per the James similarity score. And, these guys were born on the same day, no less. They both played 1B, hit for average, hit with power, and took a walk. Bagwell had a better glove and ran better, however, Thomas was a much better hitter. Thomas was a much better player from the start of his career and was doing… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest

Bravo, epm.

no statistician but
Guest
Similarity scores: Dennis Martinez/Jack Morris 903. BUT Martinez/Jerry Reuss 917. And Morris and Reuss don’t make each other’s top tens. Besides that, Jerry Reuss/ Mickey Lolich 933. Lolich and Martinez don’t make each other’s top tens. Mickey Lolich/Jim Bunning 942. Aha! Now we seem to have a pair of truly similar pitchers, Bunning listed first: W: 224/ 217 L: 184/191 G: 591/586 GS:519/496 ShO: 40/41 IP: 3760/3638 H: 3433/3366 R: 1527/1537 ER: 1366/1390 HR: 372/347 BB: 1000/1099 SO: 2855/ 2832 FIP: 3.22/3.20 But wait a minute: Bunning ERA+ 115, pWAR 60.3 Lolich EAR+ 104, pWAR 48.8 What pitching similarity scores… Read more »
Mike L
Guest
NSB, Doom, and Voomo, I love this argument Just wanted to throw in. 1. Martinez’ ‘pathetic years” probably came from his drinking, which came to a head in early 1984 after a drunk driving arrest and rehab. 2. Martinez lasted parts of two more seasons with Baltimore, then, still lousy, was traded to Montreal mid season. The following year Martinez was substantially a new man and he stayed that way.Maybe it was the new team and stadium–I looked at his home and away stats and he stunk up the joint at home–you wonder if it wasn’t easier drinking there, or… Read more »
Doug
Guest

Here are some other comps for Morris: 3000+ IP, 5.5+ SO/9, BB/9 under 3.5, ERA+ of 100-110. The most similar are probably the two flanking Morris on the list, especially Welch since he is basically an exact contemporary.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
I’m advocating here that Judge and Stanton bat at the top the lineup next year. Common wisdom to put your sluggers in the 3-4 hole, yes. But how about those extra plate appearances the leadoff and 2-hole guys get, eh? Most PA in a 50-homer season: 732 … Alex Rod (tied for 114th most PA in a season) 728 … Luis Gonzalez 725 … Alex Rod 722 … Sosa 720 … Griffey … Most PA in a season: 778 … Jimmy Rollins 773 … Lenny Dykstra 771 … Pete Rose 766 … Dave Cash 765 … Jose Reyes … Last… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

It’s probably best to place your HR hitters in the number 3 and 4 spots because those are the spots with the most runners on base. Here’s an old post of mine which shows the number of ROB per batting order position for the 2015 season.

BOP…….ROB
1……….331
2……….392
3……….431
4……….468
5……….440
6……….402
7……….389
8……….382
9……….373

Hartvig
Guest

Bill James once wrote that virtually all of the “best” leadoff hitters- measured, I believe, in terms of getting on-base and on-base in scoring position- were middle-of-the-order types like Teddy Ballgame, Mantle, Ruth, Cobb, et. al.
Of course, that often either leaves you with a singles-hitter or someone highly proficient in 2 of the three-true-outcomes to drive them in so there is that.

e pluribus munu
Guest
If you put power hitters in the 1 and 2 slots, you’re making a trade-off between increased PA and decreased ROB for them (as Richard’s post illustrates). One response to that would be to put your ordinary 1-2 hitters in the 8-9 slots, since some of the low ROB counts for current 1-2 hitters is not due to their batting order position per se, but to the low OBP of typical 8-9 hitters. But if you were to move the 1-2 hitters to the end of the order, you would be sacrificing their PA counts, while boosting the PA counts… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
I see the value of every side of the argument. The reason I’m advocating trying big bats at the top is for those 40+ games when the lineup turns around and it never gets to the 3-4 hitters. How many of those games are close? Down by 1? A long ball makes the difference? I don’t know. A few, maybe. Perhaps it makes a difference of a win or two. And what about at the other end, at the beginning of the game? Pitcher has got those first batter butterflies, and all he wants to do is establish his fastball… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest

“The reason I’m advocating trying big bats at the top is for those 40+ games when the lineup turns around and it never gets to the 3-4 hitters.”

Cap Anson used to get around that by waiting until he saw if one of the first two batters got on base before he decided if he was going to bat 3rd or 4th that particular day.

Richard Chester
Guest
Just for fun I did an analysis switching around the #1 and #4 batters for a particular team to see the effect on RBIs. I looked for a recent first-baseman with all of his PA in the #4 position, played in all of his team’s games and had a high number of RBIs. And such a player was Prince Fielder on the 2009 Brewers. He played in all 162 games and had 719 of the 720 PA for the #4 hitter. His 141 RBI and 46 HR left him with 95 runners driven in (RDI). He came to bat with… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

I love this. Not sure I’m smart enough at the moment to juggle all the math in my head, but I do have a question…
Prince clocked in at a .412 OBP
The Crew’s leadoff hitters were .357
Certianly flipping their batting order positons would change something.
____
(and, I wouldn’t advocate the bashers-at-the-top approach for the ’09 Brewers, by the way. For one, Fielder was a slow runner. And Wisconsin had a black hole at the bottom of their lineup of Kendall, Hardy, and the Pitcher. The 2018 NYA team should have no such weakness)

Doug
Guest

The Braves of Mathews and Aaron had those two batting 2nd and 3rd, which might be the way to go for the Yankees. Unfortunately, the Yankees’ big bats are all righties – would be nice for them to break up Judge, Sanchez and Stanton with a power lefty batter. Casey always said never bat two righty power hitters back to back because the double plays will kill you; but, that is much less a problem today with all the strikeouts and the power hitters grooving their swings to hit everything in the air.

Dr. Doom
Guest
Not to bring all the discussion to a grinding halt, but… it’s our last day of voting; don’t forget to get your ballots in! And here’s mine: 1. Jose Altuve – What else do you say? He was the best. 2. Mike Trout – If you look at some of the advanced numbers (RE24, WPA, WPA/LI, REW), Trout was the best hitter in the AL, and those are counting stats. He had the best slash line in the AL. Plus, I don’t know… it feels weird to leave him OUT of the top-two, so here he is. 3. Aaron Judge… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
Earlier in this thread, Voomo made an interesting comment in the course of a discussion with Paul about Francisco Lindor: It has become somewhat unfair to compare Shortstops of different eras, as it is only in the last 20 years that big dudes with offensive potential have been consistently groomed for the position. I’m picking Voomo’s comment back up here because it resonates with the discussion we’ve had about Jack Morris and the criteria by which he should be judged. I’m going to start with Morris and get back to Lindor, after I’m pretty sure everyone’s asleep. . . .… Read more »
Paul E
Guest
e p m, Yes, I imagine 3B and SS have ‘evolved’ more than the other positions. From age 25-28, Mugsy McGraw had the 2nd or 3rd highest OPS+, all-time, among 3B. At 5’7″ and 155# , I don’t think he could carry Scott Rolen’s jock, but he was, what he was, when he was. And, there’s nothing we can do to change that. All the debate about this guy versus that guy from differing eras, is what this site is about; however, who really knows? I think it’s safe to say that Albert Pujols would probably put up stats equal… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
Your 2017 AL MVP results: Much like the BBWAA vote, I was expecting a tight one , and we wound up with a landslide. After the player’s name are his vote points, then his first-place votes in parentheses. Tiebreakers are as such: 1st, number of ballots named; 2nd, highest placement on a single ballot; 3rd, remove most recent ballot(s) until the tie(s) are broken. 1. Jose Altuve, 107 (7) 2. Aaron Judge, 71 (1) 3. Mike Trout, 57 4. Jose Ramirez, 55 5. Corey Kluber, 28 6. Mookie Betts, 26 7. Carlos Correa, 23 8. Marwin Gonzalez, 20 9. George… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest

Thanks for devising these posts, Doc! They’ve been a great success and a good warmup for the annual CoG frenzy soon to follow.

Dr. Doom
Guest

I’m VERY excited for COG voting, especially since in anticipating at least 5, and maybe 6, rounds of voting!

Hartvig
Guest
You’re more optimistic than I. I’m extremely confident in 3 (Hoffman, Guerrero, C. Jones) & think that Thome has maybe a slightly less than 50:50 chance of being #4. I wouldn’t be stunned if Edgar made it #5 but I think his best chance is next year, his final year of eligibility and that even then he’ll still probably come up short. I can’t even think of who #6 would be unless there’s been a big shift on Bonds & Clemens. And sorry about missing the vote. I somehow got it in my head that the deadline was Friday &… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

The thing likeliest too change in this election (other than some WAY down-ballot stuff) was the Trout-Ramirez battle for third.

By five rounds, I’m expecting four new electees, and I believe we’re due for a redemption round, which makes five. Six would mean getting lucky with a run-off or a shocking fifth elected player. I’m not confident in that, just hopeful!

Hartvig
Guest

I think that the redemption rounds have to fit the available slots, meaning that if the BBWAA select 4 we would have at least 1 for our newest eligible birth year (anyone remember what we’re up to now? 1973?) with the remaining 3 divvied up in some fashion. Most likely at least 2 of them would be redemption rounds and possibly all 3.

Mike L
Guest

I think the doors are opening for the PED Era players, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there were high totals on Bonds and Clemens, even if they don’t make 75%. That’s going to draw some votes from other players who might qualify. There were seven players last year who made it to at least 45%. Add Chipper and Thome that makes for 9. Rolen is new, he will get some votes, that’s 10 viable candidates. I’ll bet Andruw gets votes, and some of the other holdovers who haven’t drawn huge numbers–Walker,Manny, McGriff, Wagner.
Very crowded ballot.

Hartvig
Guest
I’ve been somewhat heartened by the recent tendency of the BBWAA to at least occasionally recognize the glaringly obvious. As crowded as the ballot is now it’s not near as bad as it was just a few years ago when you had Maddux, Glavine, F Thomas, Biggio, Piazza, Bagwell, Raines, Clemens, Bonds, E Martinez, Schilling, Trammell, Mussina, Walker plus Kent, McGriff, Palmeiro, McGwire, Sosa & Mattingly and Jack Morris and Lee Smith picking up significant numbers of votes. By my count that’s 14 no-brainers plus another 4 or 5 that you could at least make a reasonable case for. It’s… Read more »
Mike L
Guest
If I had a vote I wouldn’t have voted for the most notorious of the juicers, or at least the juicers who spent the majority of their careers using when there were hard rules on this (not just a wink). So, I would have contributed to the backlog. But I also don’t understand the “first ballot” bull either. If you are conflicted on someone, don’t vote for him. But someone who clearly meets any objective criteria should be in, period. Finally, I think it’s wrong to have shout-out votes. Last couple of years, Tim Wakefield, Jason Varitek, Edgar Renteria, David… Read more »
Paul E
Guest
Mike L “….Finally, I think it’s wrong to have shout-out votes. Last couple of years, Tim Wakefield, Jason Varitek, Edgar Renteria, David Eckstein, and Mike Sweeney got votes. That’s just intellectually dishonest.” AGREED ! It’s, no kidding, probably some sportswriters just giving “good guys” a nod and a thank you for being gentleman and submitting themselves for interviews when they were staring at deadlines. Now Sweeney and Eckstein can tell their grand kids they got HoF votes. Then again, I there are some guys who see a ballot and they are allowed to vote for 10 and they fill the… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest

I’m missing out on something obviously, since I didn’t realize how close Hoffman came to enshrinement last year, But could someone explain why he is such a hot number? His save total, of course, but otherwise, his stats don’t overwhelm, and Rivera, the guy with more saves, also had twice the WAR. I’m not suggesting he doesn’t belong in the Hall; I just don’t get the early enthusiasm.

Mike L
Guest

I’m not sure I get it either. How much different is Hoffman from John Franco?

Hartvig
Guest

I’m not understanding all the love for Hoffman either. I mean I’m fine with Mariano and even Wilhelm & Eckersley. Hell, even Gossage. But a 1-inning wonder like Hoffman? I don’t get it.

Dr. Doom
Guest

I just went back to check the last COG post to see who was returning to the next round. Coming back will be:
Luis Tiant, Dick Allen, Kevin Brown, Dave Winfield, Bill Dahlen, Manny Ramirez, Richie Ashburn, Graig Nettles, and Bobby Wallace. They will be joined by the 1973 birth-year crop, which includes Todd Helton, Johnny Damon, Mike Cameron, Nomar Garciaparra, and, in a first for the COG, not one but TWO active players: Bartolo Colon and Ichiro Suzuki. Looking forward to it!

Hub Kid
Guest

Hmm…shouldn’t Andy Pettitte still be on the ballot when it comes up, too? 3 votes out of 26 voters, I think…

Dr. Doom
Guest

Right you are, Hub Kid.

Hartvig
Guest
I know the voting is over but someone- unfortunately I don’t remember who it was- brought up an article that Bill James had written regarding some of his perceived problems with how WAR is calculated. To the best of my recollection, how I understood it was that WAR is essentially calculated based on a teams Pythagorean W-L% or at least makes no adjustments based on a teams actual W-L record. As someone (sorry, again I’m not certain who it was- nsb maybe?) already pointed out, Judge did no perform particularly well in many high leverage situations. Does this mean that… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest

I think I’m your forgettable poster, Hartvig, and, as I understand it, the answer to your question would be yes.

I think James’ reasoning would be that the “wins” in Judge’s WAR were partly imaginary, since WAR calculations, unlike “Win Share” calculations, basically gave Yankee players 100 wins to divvy up when there were, in real life, only 91. The phantomic nature of the missing nine runs, he seems to argue, is, upon analysis, disproportionately attributable to Judge’s pattern of productivity/failure in the context of situational leverage.

Hartvig
Guest
I know that a 10% swing in W-L% vs. the expected W-L% CAN simply be explained by chance but it does appear in this case that there’s at least an argument to be made that it’s partly- or even largely- due to underperformance by Judge in high-leverage/impact situations. Which itself could be explained by chance/luck as well. But I do think it brings into question the valuation WAR places on at least some players during particular seasons and possibly, in extreme cases, for their entire careers. A few years ago I looked at the managerial career of Gene Mauch and… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Here’s a few examples. The 1949-1957 White Sox under-performed their Pythagorean W-L% every year from 1949-1957 with players such as Minoso, Fox, and Pierce. There was also the 1988-1996 Brewers with Greg Vaughn and B. J. Surhoff, and also the 1973-1983 Mets with John Stearns and Ron Hodges. I have named the players who were with those teams for most of the years in the streak.

Richard Chester
Guest

Minoso had 11 qualifying years in the ML, 9 with the White Sox and 2 with the Indians. His teams under-performed in 9 of those years.

e pluribus munu
Guest

Actually, the post whose author you forgot also included a long diatribe challenging the appropriateness of explaining batting outcomes by invoking the concept of chance, rather than viewing the outcomes as the product of the skill-performances of the pitcher, batter, and fielders. Most likely, it was the tedium of that rant that erased your memory of the author. To avoid any risk of broad spectrum memory loss, I won’t reiterate.

e pluribus munu
Guest
As with lots of stats, I think with the pythagorean calculation it pays to explore in detail individual cases. While the trends that the pythagorean approach identifies may tend to correspond to real-world situations, sometimes they may be distortions. Blow-out wins and losses, when they are not balanced over the course of a season, are a source of that kind of distortion. For example, the 2007 Rangers underperformed their pythagorean expectation by four games: they were 75-87, but would have been expected to be 79-83 on the basis runs scored/runs allowed. But you’ll remember that on August 22, the Rangers… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
I’m writing a reply to my own reply because the more I think about it, the more whole pythagorean praise/blame business seems irrational to me. The purpose of the pythagorean calculation is based on a factual observation: a formula close to this: Runs Scored^1.83/(Runs Scored^1.83 + Runs Allowed^1.83) is in fact the optimum predictor of W-L percentage. It will not invariably be right, but it will be quite close for most teams, and no other formula will get closer. I have no problem with that: I understand it to be true. However, it says nothing about whether a team should… Read more »
Paul E
Guest
e p m, I guess it’s relatively simple: players create runs in an effort to help their teams reach their goal of winning games. So, i guess James has a real point in using team victories in lieu of Pythagorean. I am kind of biased toward Win Shares since I don’t believe it over values defense while WAR, I believe, has some serious flaws in the defensive calculations. I agree some defensive positions are more important than others and, certainly, some fielders superior to their peers at those positions. However, if Andrelton Simmons makes a ridiculous play with one out… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
I like Win Shares, Paul. But it has certain limits even in calculating offense. To illustrate with a theoretical extreme: supernaturally good rookie Kid X plays for Team Z, which has sold every good player and other good prospect to bail its owner out of bankruptcy. The Kid homers at every at bat except for one line drive caught at the wall, but he only homers once a game because opposing manager catch on, so he is walked every other PA. None of his teammates can get on or drive him in, and the team finishes 0-162. Kid’s traditional line… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

E p m,
If it gets to that point, it literally becomes, “I can’t believe my eyes”. But, yeah, I get your point. In the interim, isn’t it a judgmental call whether that was a superlative play or not? You know, bad positioning, etc….making the routine appear difficult? I. E. That jump throw in the hole Jeter makes that Tulo and Ripken made flat-footed with ease?

e pluribus munu
Guest
Yes, I agree, Paul . . . in the interim. But I think the interim is almost past. Statcast would now track the speed Jeter moves and distance he covers, and with the ball speed/angle information, generate a degree of difficulty measure. All we’re missing in that regard, I think, is available aggregated data (and, naturally, we can expect the assumptions on which Statcast in based to be modified as experience is added). As for good/poor positioning, I’m not sure that will be something that can be evaluated in the near term . . . it would depend on the… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

So all those Chuckie Carr and Jim Edmonds circus catches will be re-evaluated in due time?
So, theoretically, a Golden Glove can be quantified as easy as a Silver Slugger award?

e pluribus munu
Guest
I don’t expect Statcast technology can work from video, but perhaps I’m wrong, or will be wrong in the future. Is there a quantitative standard for Silver Slugger Awards? I thought voters could interpret slash data flexibly. I do think fielding data will become comparable in specificity to batting data now that we have new tools (and that batting data will change, with greater emphasis on batted ball characteristics and less on base-hit/out outcomes), but I expect it will be a long time before there’s agreement on the parameters on which data interpretations are based. I don’t know how transparent… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
What you talk like, epm, is someone who wants to quantify the mystery and uncertainty of life out of existence. Be careful what you wish for. The future for baseball you seem to be projecting with so much anticipation is a statistician’s dream, but it may be a death knell for players or fans who just want to enjoy the game, meaning a severe drop in its popularity. Arthur Conan Doyle via Sherlock Holmes points out in several of the stories that once Holmes’s skills at observation and interpretation are explained, people are inclined to say, “Oh, so that’s all… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest

OK. Had a few minutes free, so here’s an unsolicited and unacceptable 2018 HOF ballot from someone with no biases except his own:

Guerrero
Martinez
Schilling
Ramirez
Walker
C. Jones

Mussina I took a pass on for now, simply because the six listed are, to my mind, all on an approximate par, given their various strengths and weaknesses, and Mussina falls somewhat below that.

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