[Post Draft Review] --> kruker

[Post Draft Review] --> kruker

Postby FTN » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:32 pm

Philadelphia A's
Manager: Earl Weaver

C - Joe Mauer
1B - Jeff Bagwell
2B - Joe Morgan
3B - Evan Longoria
SS - Luke Appling
OF - Mickey Mantle
OF - Lance Berkman
OF - Hack Wilson

C - Ed Bailey
CI - Bill Terry
MI - Chuck Knoblauch
OF - Ryan Braun
OF - Daryl Strawberry

SP - Hal Newhouser
SP - Kevin Brown
SP - Brandon Webb
SP - Jimmy Key
SP - Ted Lyons

RP - Mariano Rivera
RP - Dennis Eckersley
RP - Mordecai Brown
RP - Rob Dibble
RP - Bobby Thigpen
RP - Al Holland
RP - Jeff Nelson
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Postby Werthless » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:21 pm

Eva!

It's a shame you had to use Brown as a RP.
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Postby kruker » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:42 pm

I'm going to post up my players' neutralized lines. I actually just had a huge post typed up for this and accidentally shut the tab, erasing about 40 minutes of work, so it'll be a little until I get that back up.

I'm going to start off where I was finishing my last post, with two quick points about my lineup.

First, without reservation, I can say I've got 2 of the top switch hitters of all time in Berkman and Mantle.

Secondly, it's tough to call someone like Mantle underrated, but his neutralized line stands up with anyone outside of Ruth, Williams, and Bonds. In fact, his neutralized line is 4th all time and currently tied with Albert Pujols. I think it's a safe bet that Albert's line will fall a bit before he retires, so that puts Mickey clearly in the 4 spot. The argument can be made then that Mantle should be considered among the top 5 hitters of all time. In our draft, I think he could have been picked as high as 6th, ahead of Musial, Aaron, and Mays. Considering he played CF, and won 3 GG's out there, he could have gone ahead of Gehrig as well.

This isn't just the case of Mantle not having as many career at bats. Consider top neutralized OPS seasons for the following:

Ty Cobb: 1.059
Stan Musial: 1.124
Aaron: 1.107
Mays: 1.060
Gehrig:1.239

Mantle: 1.251 in 1957.
He also topped Musial's best season in 1956, 1961, and 1962.

Of course this presupposes the validity of neutralized stats, so it's not an open and shut case.

As for RC/G, a stat that would help out Cobb since he was a base stealer the career lines are 9.3 to 8.8 in favor of Mantle. That's not a neutralized stat however, so it's probable that Cobb comes out ahead here. Still let's compare top season:12.8 RC/G for Cobb, 15.5 RC/G for Mantle. I'm not sure that difference is made up when neutralized. And again, this wasn't a fluke season, Mantle topped Cobb's best RC/G season 4 times in total.

So maybe it is possible to call Mantle a bit underrated. I'm not sure anyone here would put him in their argument for top 5 hitters of all time, but he certainly belongs.
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Postby FTN » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:56 pm

fyi, if you use firefox, you can "undo" a close tabs thing. Just right click on the tab bar, then click undo close tabs
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Postby kruker » Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:02 pm

FTN wrote:fyi, if you use firefox, you can "undo" a close tabs thing. Just right click on the tab bar, then click undo close tabs


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Postby kruker » Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:03 pm

So, I guess I'll just start by posting each player's neutralized 162 game averages and their RC/G career average.

C-Joe Mauer--.399/.454/.853--6.8 RC/G
1B-Jeff Bagwell--.412/.549/.961---8.1 RC/G
2B-Joe Morgan--.429/.475/.904--6.8 RC/G
3B-Evan Longoria--.348/.543/.891--6.6 RC/G
SS-Luke Appling--.389/.386/.775--5.9 RC/G
OF-Lance Berkman--.409/.553/.962--8.8 RC/G
OF-Mickey Mantle--.442/.590/1.032--9.3 RC/G
OF-Hack Wilson--.383/.523/.906--8 RC/G

C-Ed Bailey--.360/.435/.795--5.4 RC/G
CI-Bill Terry--.383/.491/.874--7.7 RC/G
MI-Chuck Knoblauch--.386/.416/.802--5.9 RC/G
OF-Ryan Braun--.341/.572/.913--7.3 RC/G
OF-Daryl Strawberry--.372/.530/.902--6.5 RC/G

Average line for my starting 8: .401/.509/.910

Average line for bench:.368/.489/.857

Average line for all hitters:.389/.501/.890
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Postby kruker » Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:13 pm

I posted this in the discussion thread:

kruker wrote:Ran the lineup analysis with Hal Newhouser as my pitcher. Using neutralized stats (the standard on BR), I'm getting:

Runs per game for my best lineup is 6.603 R/G (1998-2002 model)

That lineup goes (Morgan, Mantle, Mauer, Berkman, Bagwell, Longoria, Wilson, Newhouser, Appling)

Runs per game for my best lineup is 6.451 R/G (1959-2004 model)

That lineup goes (Morgan, Mantle, Wilson, Bagwell, Berkman, Mauer, Appling, Longoria, Newhouser)
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Postby kruker » Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:01 pm

Pitchers neutralized lines (stats in the write-ups are not neutralized):

Newhouser: 2.92 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 5.4 K/9, .39 HR/9

7 straight AS game appearances from 42-48. From 1944-1946 finished 1st, 1st, and 2nd in the MVP balloting. From 44-48, Hal won at least 20 games in each season, topped 300 innings-4 times, and pitched a minimum of 289 innings in each season. 207 career wins. Won the AL Pitching Triple Crown in 1945. Career ERA+ of 130. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992.

Interesting Hal Newhouser fact:
After retirement, Newhouser worked as a scout for the Houston Astros, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, and the Tigers: while with the Astros, Newhouser was credited with discovering Derek Jeter; however, the Astros passed on Jeter, taking Phil Nevin instead. He had also discovered, as a scout with the Orioles, a Detroit high schooler named Milt Pappas, who would win 209 games in his career—two more than Newhouser


He actually ended up resigning from the Astros organization after they failed to take his advice on drafting Jeter.

From the Hardball Times (Newhouser had the 29th most WSAB of all-time):

29. Hal Newhouser (176 WSAB/264 WS): Hal Newhouser had one goofy career. A hard throwing lefty, Newhouser could strike out lots of batters but only reached success when he found the strike zone (see the graph) in 1944. Kept out of the war because of a congenital heart defect, Newhouser went 9-11, 8-14 and 8-17 for the Tigers before finally blossoming (at the young age of 23; he first pitched in the majors when he was 18). He was lights out from that point on, even winning the MVP in both '44 and '45.


Kevin Brown: 3.19 ERA, 1.205 WHIP, 6.6 K/9, .56 HR/9

4 All Star appearances. 211-144 Career record. 127 ERA+. From the discussion thread:
kruker wrote:Using Floppy's exercise he ran with Santana and Maddux:

ERA+, best 5 year streak (min. 200+ IP)

Kevin Brown 1996-2000
Average 168.4 ERA+ in 1209.6 IP

Roger Clemens 1988-1992
Average 165 ERA+ in 1263.6 IP

*Johan Santana 2004-2008
Average 158.8 ERA+ in 1146.7 IP


Outside of Pedro, Maddux, and Johnson, Kevin Brown was as consistently dominant a pitcher as was seen during the "Steroid era". Arguably should have won the 1996 Cy Young over John Smoltz (216 ERA+ to 149, 1.89 ERA to 2.94). Smoltz pitched 20 additional innings and won 24 games to Brown's 17. Smoltz received 26 first place votes to Brown's 2. Should receive serious Hall of Fame consideration.

From fangraphs: Maddux, Clemens, Pedro.....Brown

All told, Brown finished his career with a 3.28 ERA and 3.33 FIP. Greg Maddux, assuming he retires this season, will end up with a 3.16 ERA and 3.26 FIP. Clemens, a 3.12 ERA and 3.08 FIP. And Johnson, a 3.26 ERA and 3.14 FIP. There are many more important statistics than ERA and FIP, and nobody is debating that Maddux, Clemens, Johnson, and Pedro (who, for the record, isn’t included here because he did not become a legit starter until 1994) are far superior to Brown, but looking at all the numbers really makes me wonder why such a gap seems to exist between Brown and the likes of Moose, Smoltz, Glavine, and Schilling.


Brandon Webb: 2.86 ERA, 1.147 WHIP, 7.3 K/9, .56 HR/9

143 ERA+. 87-62 career record. 5 consecutive 200 IP seasons, the lone exception in his career being his rookie season. 3 consecutive AS Game appearances from 2006-2008. In this same time span, Brandon has finished 1st, 2nd, 2nd in Cy Young finishes. In his 6 year career, he has never dropped below 60% in his ground ball rate (64.3% is his career number). For this decade, he is arguably behind only Johan Santana and Randy Johnson and in the running for the 3rd best pitcher of the decade with Clemens, Schilling, Oswalt, and Halladay. (I might be missing someone here, so feel free to add anyone, it actually might start a good discussion).

Jimmy Key: 3.28 ERA, 1.187 WHIP, 5.34 K/9, .85 HR/9

4 time All-Star. 3 finishes in the top 5 for the Cy Young award, including two 2nd place finishes. 186-117 career record. 8 seasons with at least 200 IP. Career 122 ERA+.

Ted Lyons: 3.14 ERA, 1.232 WHIP, 2.32 K/9, .44 HR/9

260-230 career record. 118 Career ERA+. Pitched for some of the worst teams in baseball history. In 21 seasons with the White Sox, he never once reached the post season. 356 career complete games ranks behind only Warren Spahn for non-dead ball era players (Pete Alexander and Walter Johnson both have more as well, but I'm counting them as purely dead ball guys for brevity/laziness). Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1955.

From: thebaseballpage.com:

Had Lyons been fortunate enough to pitch for the Yankees, Tigers, or even the Senators, he would have won 300 games in his career. As it was, he accumulated 260 for a club that played at a .459 clip in his 20 full seasons. Over his long career, Lyons won at a .531 pace, while the White Sox were .447 when someone else got the decision. That makes him 19% better than his team, which is a better rate than Hall of Fame pitchers Red Faber, Carl Hubbell, Herb Pennock, Burleigh Grimes, Waite Hoyt, Red Ruffing, Warren Spahn, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, and Steve Carlton.


From the Hardball Times (Lyons had the 24th most WSAB of all-time):

24. Ted Lyons (189 WSAB/312 WS): Ted Lyons may be the worst strikeout pitcher on this list—he averaged only 2.3 strikeouts a game. He also wasn't too shabby with the bat, hitting .311 in 1930.

In 1942, when Lyons was 41 years old, he only pitched for the White Sox every Sunday. He completed every game, went 14-6 and led the league with a 2.10 ERA. As Bill James pointed out in the new Historical Abstract, that was back in the day when teams played doubleheaders every Sunday. Remember doubleheaders?


This is an incredible fact on Lyons: from 1940-1942, Lyons started 64 games (with no relief appearances over this time period) and threw 56 complete games (meaning he finished 87.5% of his starts), 554 innings in total. There are 576 innings in 64 games. Over the course of 3 seasons, Lyons only left 22 innings to his bullpen (plus any extra innings). That's 96% of possible innings (again, excluding extra inning games). Can that possibly be topped by any other non dead ball era pitcher? That's an absolutely amazing stat.

For my starting pitchers I tried to take guys who kept the ball in the park and were workhorses. This went a bit to the way side with Jimmy Key, but he was always a personal favorite of mine, so I went with him anyway. Newhouser, Webb, and Brown all had stretches of dominance during their careers, while Key and Lyons were both consistently good if not particularly dominant.

Key and Lyons were two of the best control pitchers of their eras, as evidenced by their BB/9 rates. Lyons had 14 seasons in which he finished in the top 10 for lowest BB/9 rate, leading the league 4 times. Key finished in the top 10, 5 times, leading the league twice.

Average neutralized line for my starting pitchers:
3.09 ERA, 1.210 WHIP, 128 ERA+, 5.4 K/9, .56 HR/9
Last edited by kruker on Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:21 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby kruker » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:31 pm

Bullpen neutralized lines (stats in writeup are not neutralized):

Mariano Rivera: 2.03 ERA, .950 WHIP, 8.2 K/9, .46 HR/9

199 Career ERA+, highest of all time (1000 IP minimum). 5 top 5 finishes for the Cy Young Award. In his 14 year career, he has only twice had an era over 3.00 (5.51 in his rookie year, 3.15 in 2007). 22nd all time in K/9. 3rd all time in WHIP, behind two dead ball era pitchers. 2nd all time in saves (482). Probably didn't have to do this writeup.

thebaseballpage.com has Mariano rated as their best RP of all-time.

Dennis Eckersley: 3.43 ERA, 1.146 WHIP, 6.5 K/9, .92 HR/9

Stats as a reliever: 2.85 ERA, .999 WHIP, 8.8 K/9, .88 HR/9

116 Career ERA+. 5th all time in career saves (390). 174 Career ERA+ as a reliever. 4 finishes in the top 5 for Cy Young Award (1 win, 1 second place finish). 1992 AL MVP. 3 top 5 finishes for MVP. From 1988-1992, posted 5 consecutive seasons of a sub 1.0 WHIP. His 1990 season is perhaps the greatest ever for a relief pitcher (.61 ERA, 606 ERA+, .614 WHIP) and that wasn't the year he won his Cy Young (finished 5th). Elected to the HOF in 2004.

thebaseballpage.com has Eck rated as their 2nd best RP of all-time.

Mordecai Brown: 2.36 ERA, 1.166 WHIP, 3.9 K/9, .12 HR/9

Just barely counts as a reliever (69% of his appearances were starts). 239-130 career record. 138 career ERA+. 9 consecutive 200+ IP seasons from 03-11. 8th all time in career WHIP. 6th best career ERA (2.06). Led the NL in saves 4 consecutive seasons (1908-11 with 5,7,7,13 saves each). One of the greatest sinker-ballers of all-time. Elected to the HOF in 1949.

From the hardballtimes (13th all-time in WSAB):

13. Mordecai Brown (203 WSAB/296 WS): "Three Finger" Brown vs. Christy Mathewson may have been the greatest pitching rivalry in baseball history. The two faced each other 25 times, often with a pennant at stake, and Brown won 13 times, lost 11 and had one no decision. The rivalry reached its peak in that June 13, 1905 game, when Brown one-hit the Giants but lost to Mathewson, who no-hit the Cubs.

Brown was the Greg Maddux of his day. He didn't strike out many batters, but he also didn't walk many and benefited from perhaps the greatest fielding team of the 20th century, the Cubs of 1904-1910.


The baseballpage.com has him as the 18th best SP of all-time.
As a boy, Mordecai Brown caught his hand in a feed cutter and lost the top joint of his index finger and the use of his little finger. When his injured hand was still in a cast, he broke the other two fingers, which became permanently disfigured. With his crippled hand, Brown threw a natural sinker ball. He led the Cubs pitching staff that won four pennants in five years, including a record 116 victories in 1906.


Rob Dibble: 3.11 ERA, 1.232 WHIP, 12.1 K/9, .51 HR/9

128 Career ERA+. 2 time all-star. OPS against (RHB-.568, LHB-.602)

From wikipedia:

On June 4, 1989, Dibble struck out three batters on nine pitches in the eighth inning of a 5–3 win over the San Diego Padres. Dibble became the 14th National League pitcher and the 22nd pitcher in Major League history to accomplish the nine-strike/three-strikeout half-inning.

...

As a member of the Cincinnati Reds, the reliever recorded his 500th career strikeout in fewer innings - 368 - than any other pitcher in modern baseball history. Nolan Ryan, Bob Fellar, Sandy Koufax and Lee Smith all needed more than 500 innings to strike out 500 batters.


Bobby Thigpen: 3.37 ERA, 1.345 WHIP, 5.9 K/9, .87 HR/9

Career 119 ERA+. 1 AS Game. 1 top 5 MVP and Cy Young award finish. 2nd most saves in a single season (57 in 1990). 201 Career Saves--38th all time. OPS against (RHB-.680, LHB-.723).

Al Holland: 3.20 ERA, 1.295 WHIP, 7.1 K/9, .78 HR/9

Career 122 ERA+. 1 All Star Game. 1 finish each in the top 10 for MVP and Cy Young. Career OPS against (RHB-.656, LHB-.608).

Jeff Nelson: 3.01 ERA, 1.259 WHIP, 9.5 K/9, .6 HR/9

Career 132 ERA+. 1 All Star Game. OPS against (RHB-.597, LHB-.788).


Out of my 7 bullpen pitchers, 2 are current HOF'ers and 1, Mariano, is a guaranteed lock.

The back end of my 'pen is deadly with the two best relief pitchers of all-time. It's pretty safe to say, I'm playing a 7 inning game with Eck and Mariano.

Mordecai Brown would be my long man/spot starter and would get some appearances when a double play was necessary.

Dibble is dominant against both LHB and RHB. With his absurd K/9, he'd be my go to guy for any type of jam.

Al Holland is my only lefty. He's equally as effective against RHB's as he is against LHB's, so he's capable of working through a lineup rather than just getting spot appearances against lefties.

Nelson is another strikeout pitcher and he'd be my second option for any tough situation, but along with Thigpen, he'd primarily be used to match up against RHB's.

Average line for my bullpen (using Eck's reliever splits): 2.85 ERA, 1.178 WHIP, 7.9 K/9, .6 HR/9, 145 ERA+.
Last edited by kruker on Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby kruker » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:23 pm

It's freezing and a mess outside and my work engagements got canceled, so I might as well do a writeup for my hitters. Same story as for the pitchers, neutralized line by the name, all stats in the write up are actual numbers.

C-Joe Mauer--.399/.454/.853--6.8 RC/G

128 Career OPS+ in 4 full seasons. .371 wOBA. 2 AL Batting titles, 2 Silver Sluggers, 2 All-Star Games, 1 Gold Glove. Has thrown out 41% of runners in his career. Finished 2nd in WPA in the AL in 2008 and could/should have been the AL MVP.

From fangraphs:
For the umpteenth time, even though it will not deter people from claiming it, I am not saying that Dustin Pedroia is bad or that he didn’t have a great season. He isn’t and he did. I am saying he wasn’t the MVP by any reasonable (and even most unreasonable) criteria. Joe Mauer probably should have won and even though he wasn’t above his league to the extent that Albert Pujols was, that doesn’t put a damper on Pedroia being the wrong choice.


Led his HS football team to 2 straight state titles. From wiki:
Mauer was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year, Parade's and USA Today's Player of the Year and a Reebok/ESPN High School All-American. Mauer was also named "National High School Quarterback Of The Year" in 2000 by The National Quarterback Club.[6] He was also named to the All-State team during his final two years on Cretin-Derham's basketball team.


Turned down a football scholarship to FSU.

1B-Jeff Bagwell--.412/.549/.961---8.1 RC/G
149 Career OPS+. Career .406 wOBA. 1 NL MVP (unanimous selection), 3 top 5 finishes. 1 Gold Glove. 3 Silver Sluggers. 3-40 HR seasons, 9-30 HR seasons. 2, 30hr-30sb seasons. 1, 20hr-20sb season. 72% career SB%. Bill James ranked Bagwell as the 4th greatest 1B of all-time in his Historical Abstract.

2B-Joe Morgan--.429/.475/.904--6.8 RC/G

132 Career OPS+. Career wOBA (.382). 6 consecutive seasons with a wOBA> .400 (72-77) with a career high .473 in 1976. 2 time NL MVP (4 top 5 finishes). 10 time All Star. Led the league in walks and on base percentage 4 times. 5-50 SB seasons (81% career SB%). 5 Gold Gloves. Elected to the HOF in 1990.

From wikipedia:
In the New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, Bill James named Morgan the best second baseman in baseball history, ahead of #2 Eddie Collins and #3 Rogers Hornsby. He also named Morgan as the "greatest percentages player in baseball history," due to his strong fielding percentage, stolen base percentage, walk-to-strikeout ratio, and walks per plate appearance. That data was shown with the caveat that many players in baseball history could not be included in the formula due to lack of data.


3B-Evan Longoria--.348/.543/.891--6.6 RC/G
125 Career OPS+. Career .373 wOBA. Only one full season in the major leagues. 2008 AL Rookie of the Year (unanimous selection). 1 All Star game. Despite having not played a full season, the Rays have signed him to a deal with a potential worth of $44 million. Finished 6th in 2008 (+11) in Dewan's Plus/Minus rankings, despite playing in only 122 games.

SS-Luke Appling--.389/.386/.775--5.9 RC/G
Career 112 OPS+. Career .376 wOBA. 7 time All Star. 2 AL Batting titles. 2 top 5 MVP finishes. Elected to the HOF in 1964.

From baseball-reference wiki:
Appling was a good leadoff hitter who topped the .400 mark in OBP eight times (1933-1934, 1937, 1940, 1943, 1947) and drew over 100 walks three times (1935, 1939, 1949), though he often batted third due to a lack of offensive talent on the White Sox. Indeed, this lack of talent insured that Appling, who spent his entire 20-year career with the White Sox, never had a chance to play in a World Series.


From wikipedia:
At his retirement, Appling was the all-time leader for most games played and for double plays by a major league shortstop, and the all-time leader for putouts and assists by an American League shortstop. These records were later broken by Luis Aparicio, who also spent the majority of his career with the White Sox. He made 643 errors, and has the worst fielding percentage since 1910 of players with at least 1900 games.


and

Appling was well known for his ability to foul off pitches, leading to the story that he once fouled off 10 pitches in a row on purpose when ownership refused to give some baseballs to autograph because they were too expensive; he was supposedly never refused a ball again.


His defensive ability is not clear. By the number of putouts he recorded (5-300 putout seasons, Ozzie Smith topped 300 putouts in a season one time. I'm not sure that this holds up well across generations, but at the very least it shows the greater pressure on SS's who played in earlier eras). I'm inclined to believe that he had tremendous range and that this caused a fair number of the errors in his enormous error count. It's a matter of debate, but, my biased opinion, is that he probably got a ton of undeserved errors because of his ability to get to balls that not many others were getting to.

OF-Lance Berkman--.409/.553/.962--8.8 RC/G
148 Career OPS+. Career .410 wOBA. 5 time All Star. 2-40 HR seasons. 4 top 5 MVP finishes. 7 out of 9 full seasons with an OBP>.400. Streak of 8 consecutive seasons with 90+ BB's, which is still active. Holds the record for most doubles in a season by a switch hitter (55). Has spent significant time at all 3 OF positions and 1B.

From bleacherreport.com (from May 2008):

Berkman is only 32, but will likely reach 300 home runs before season's end. He will also be on the verge of 1,500 hits and 1,000 RBI. According to the Bill James Handbook, James has projected Berkman's final stats to resemble something to the effect of 2449/446/.293/.410 (H, HR, BA, OBP).

Only seven other players have ended their career with 2,400 hits, 400 home runs, and a .400+ OBP. These players are: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Jimmie Foxx, Stan Musial, and Mel Ott. Granted, Berkman is at the very bottom of this list in nearly every category. And these are only projections; Berkman's career is barely half over.


Fun fact from BR wiki:
Berkman shares with Lou Gehrig the obscure record for the most consecutive years hitting a home run on the same date. He has hit a home run on each 21 September from 2001 to 2007. Gehrig set the record on 8 June 1938.


OF-Mickey Mantle--.442/.590/1.032--9.3 RC/G

172 Career OPS+. Career wOBA of .431. 16 time All Star. 3 time AL MVP, 9 top 5 finishes. Won the Triple Crown in 1956. 2-50 HR seasons, 4-40 HR seasons. Most career HR's for a switch hitter and most single season HR's for a switch hitter. 6 time AL OPS leader, 3 time OBP leader. Gold Glove winner. 536 career HR's. 18 career WS HR's, most ever. Career 80% SB%. Elected to the HOF in 1974.

And here comes the Bill James figures on Mantle (love fest warning):
-Ranked third all time in Win Shares for a players 3 best seasons.
-Ranked fifth best of all time for Win Shares in 5 consecutive seasons.
-Ranked fourth best of all time in Win Shares per season behind Ruth, Williams, and Cobb.
-From the Historical Abstract in comparison to Ty Cobb:
Now, I'll tell you this: If I was starting a major league team today, and I could choose either Ty Cobb or Mickey Mantle to build my team around, I would choose Mickey Mantle in a New York minute.

...

Mantle ranks higher because his peak years are so good, and because he came along 45 years later when (in my opinion) the quality of the competition was tougher

-James ranked Mantle as his 6th best player of all-time, behind Ruth, Wanger, Mays, Charleston, and Cobb.

And my favorite quotes about Mickey:
"We never thought we could lose as long as Mickey was playing. The point was, we had Mickey and the other team didn't." - Tom Tresh


"I never saw anybody hit the ball so hard. When he swings the bat, you just have to stop and watch." - Phil Rizzuto


Maybe a bit overboard with the Mickey stuff, but he was always one of my favorite players (he was one of my grandfather's favorites and he'd talk about him nonstop if you got him started).

OF-Hack Wilson--.383/.523/.906--8 RC/G
Career 144 OPS+. Career wOBA of .423. Led the NL in HR's 4 times. Holds the record for most RBI in a single season, 191 in 1930. Tied for most HR's in a season by a CF with 56 in 1930. Led the leage in BB's, twice. Elected to the HOF in 1974.

From lesterslegends.com:
Hack Wilson’s numbers are very similar to Chuck Klein’s. He had an amazing five-year stretch, that was headlined by record-setting 1930 season. From 1926-1930 Hack averaged 117 Runs, 34 HRs, 142 RBI while hitting .331. He had one more big year in 1932 when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers and drove in 123 Runs. He may have been short in stature (5′6″), but he was stong as a bull. Hack’s numbers would have been even better if he hadn’t had such a problem with the bottle. His 191 RBIs in 1930 have never even been seriously challenged. His 56 HRs that same year were the standard in the National League for nearly 70 years, and not until the heart of the steroids era. I know he had an unbelievable stretch, but is he HOF material. I say yes. He put together 6 great seasons and has a record that hasn’t even been challenged even as the game has become more hitter-friendly over the years.


Out of my starting 8, 4 are current HOF'ers. Jeff Bagwell is a lock. Berkman has set himself up as a strong candidate. Way too early to discus Mauer and Longoria.

I'm happy with my lineup. I tried to emphasize OBP more than any other hitting statistic (.401 avg for the 8 starters). I think the lineup has very good balance with two LHB's, 2 switch hitters, and 4 RHB's. It's also a lineup with some real speed, Morgan is one of the great SB threats of all time, Bagwell was exceptional for a first baseman, and Mantle was Mantle (the Commerce Comet, supposedly he could round the bases in 13 seconds and could go home to first in 3). What power Appling and Mauer lack is made up with their OBP and the collective power of the middle of the lineup (4 guys with 40 hr power, not counting Evan Longoria who is projected by Bill James as a 37 hr guy for the 2009 season).

I also tried to take defense into consideration, other than Berkman and Longoria, everyone on my team who played while Gold Gloves were awarded has at least 1. And Longoria is a good bet to get a couple of those before he's done and Berkman might snag himself one at 1B (finished 4th in Plus/Minus in 2008 at +18 only 6 behind the leader). All three of my OF'ers played some CF.

One thing that manager Earl Weaver would have to accomplish is to keep Wilson and Mantle away from each other and the bottle. Coupled with Strawberry, the team has the potential to break into a month long bender at any minute.

Average line for my starting 8: .401/.509/.910
138.75 Average Career OPS+.
.397 Average Career wOBA.
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Postby kruker » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:03 pm

C-Ed Bailey--.360/.435/.795--5.4 RC/G

110 Career OPS+. Career .346 wOBA. 5 time All Star. Left handed hitting catcher. Threw out 39% of runners in his career. Career BB% of 13.2%. Bill James said Bailey was one of the best catchers he's ever seen at blocking the plate.

Like my other catcher Mauer, Bailey was also a football star. He attended the University of Tennessee on a football scholarship, but left school after 5 quarters to sign with the Reds. Formed one of the few brother-brother catcher battery's in MLB history when he caught his brother in 1959 for the Reds.

CI-Bill Terry--.383/.491/.874--7.7 RC/G

136 Career OPS+. Career .408 wOBA. 3x All Star. 3 top 5 MVP finishes. Was the player-manager of the World Champion 1933 NY Giants. The last NL player to hit .400. Career .341 batting average. Considered to be one of the great defensive first baseman of his era. Ranked #59 overall on the The Sporting News list of the 100 greatest players, published in 1999. Elected to the HOF in 1954.

MI-Chuck Knoblauch--.386/.416/.802--5.9 RC/G

106 Career OPS+. Career .357 wOBA. Rookie of the Year. 4x All Star. 1 Gold Glove. 2 Silver Sluggers. 407 career SB's (78% SB%). Chuck's 1996 OPS and RC/G (.965 and 9.6), top the output of any of Craig Biggio's top seasons. Knoblauch and Biggio's top OPS+ season were both 143.

OF-Ryan Braun--.341/.572/.913--7.3 RC/G

139 Career OPS+. Career .396 wOBA. Rookie of the Year. 1 All Star game. 1 Silver Slugger. 1 top 5 MVP finish (3rd). Brewers signed him to an 8 year contract in May 2008 with a possible value of $51 million. Career 1.144 OPS against LHP, .873 against RHP.

OF-Darryl Strawberry--.372/.530/.902--6.5 RC/G

138 Career OPS+. Career .373 wOBA. Rookie of the Year. 8x All Star. 2 Silver Sluggers. 2 top 5 MVP finishes. 1-30hr/30sb season, 5-20hr/20sb seasons. Career .914 OPS against RHP, .763 OPS against LHP.

For my bench, I've got 3 LHB's and 2 RHB's. Knoblauch is the only guy off the bench without legit power. Knoblauch, Strawberry, and Braun can all steal a base if necessary. Braun would be the first man off the bench against LHP's, Straw or Terry would see first action against RHP's. My bench doesn't have a stellar defensive guy, for the MI or OF, but I don't think my team is pulling anyone because of their defense.

Average line for bench:.368/.489/.857
125.8 OPS+
.376 wOBA


Average line for all hitters:.389/.501/.890
133.8 OPS+
.389 wOBA
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Postby kruker » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:08 pm

Werthless says his team has the highest average OPS+ (136.6), so I can't imagine that my team's (133.8) wouldn't be in the top 3-5.
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Postby Werthless » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:39 pm

kruker wrote:Werthless says his team has the highest average OPS+ (136.6), so I can't imagine that my team's (133.8) wouldn't be in the top 3-5.

I meant to say lineup. I don't know about the full team. I didn't want to weight the bench players as heavily, since they aren't going to get as many ABs. I did some weighting, like weighting by ABs or IP to see how my team looked, but I didnt do those computations for the whole league. I simply did a linear average for each team's starting 8 because I was curious. My team averaged 145.5. Sorry for the confusion. Your starters ranked 4th by OPS+, FYI.
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Postby kruker » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:45 pm

Cool thanks.
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Postby Warszawa » Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:36 pm

wow why is there so many comments already on this team?
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Postby kruker » Sat Jan 31, 2009 12:53 pm

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