I have to say how little the subject matter of this post matters to me. As I’ve said before, batting average doesn’t super matter; we all know this. 1983 is before I was born. I have no emotional attachment or interest in any of the subjects of this post. And this took a tremendous amount of research.
But… all of that goes to show you that a good baseball story, is a good baseball story. Because I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning more about this race, a batting title chase for the ages among four players: Bill Madlock of Pittsburgh, Jose Cruz of Houston, and teammates Lonnie Smith and George Hendrick of St. Louis. (To be clear, I started this post the day before MLB.com decided to feature an article about the Cruz family; it’s just a happy coincidence that there’s something fun there to link while I was writing about the eldest in the family.)
“Replacement-level.” In certain corners of the baseball internet, it’s a dirty word. In other corners, it’s a given. But what does it mean, truly, to be a “replacement-level hitter” in 2020? Is “replacement-level” a provable concept? Do you need an advanced math degree? Are there real examples of such hitters? Read on to find out!
As I write this, it’s May 29th, 2020. 15 years ago today, Roy Halladay was nearly perfect; 10 years ago today, he was. Let’s check it out. (And FYI, I really didn’t have time to compose this, so it’s quite long. I might’ve done a better job editing if I hadn’t needed to pop it out the same day I wrote it in order for it to be relevant, so I’m sorry for the length of the piece.)
It’s been over a week since a new post went up here at HHS, so I’m going to lay one down today. Thanks to a suggestion from HHS reader John, it’s time to try to make Milt Pappas a Hall of Fame pitcher!
Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, I’m delighted to seize on Dr. Doom’s idea by making a HOF case for this player of whom I’m guessing many of you may not be aware. If you’re not familiar with Hines, he was a center-fielder from the earliest days of major league ball, enjoying his greatest success with the Providence Grays. More after the jump.
Let’s get it out of the way: batting average is not one of the five most important offensive stats. It’s not one of the ten most important. It might be in the top 20. But regardless, we all grew up knowing “.300 hitter=good,” and we still talk about the batting average leader as the “batting champion.” So even though it’s not “important,” batting average can still be fun and interesting. So I’ve been looking into some batting races to see if there’s anything “there” for me to post about. I’ve come up with a few that might be worth discussing.
But as is my wont, I feel a need to learn as much as possible about a topic before I’m ready to write about it. In this case, that meant analyzing batting races. So one of the questions that was burning in my mind was the counterpoint to which batting races were interesting: which batting races were the most lopsided in history?
One of the lesser known and seldom discussed offensive metrics is RE24, a measure for batters (or pitchers) of how much better or worse they were in improving their team’s run expectancy in their plate appearances. Last year’s league leading batters were Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon, and most often (but not always) the RE24 leaders are the same leading players as evaluated by other metrics. But, what RE24 provides that other metrics don’t is that each player is evaluated on how well he did in his own individual context. More after the jump.
Hey folks! Dr. Doom here. I’ve been given authorship privileges here so that Doug doesn’t have to keep doing all the hard work for me (or take the blame for my mistakes anymore) when I have an idea for a post. So thanks for putting up with my (very verbose) writing.
Sorry for being gone for so long. In my absence, Dr. Doom has written this post, with more to come. Enjoy!
Welcome to a new post series. I’m calling it, “Make Me
a Hall of Famer!’
In this series, what I’m going to do is take a player who is below 60 WAR, and turn him into a 60-WAR player. That’s pretty much the number that gets you in. Obviously, that’s not 100% accurate – there are plenty of guys above that who are out, and plenty below who are in. But I figure that gets you into the conversation.
Hello, HHS readers! Thanks for participating in this year’s award posts; it’s been fun reading your comments, and discussing the questions that have come up. We have just one more election to go, to choose the AL MVP. More after the jump.