Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hall of Fame Candidates 2010

Hard to believe that time of year is coming soon when we discuss and rate our favorites to end up in Cooperstown, but it's coming very soon. In fact, by the end of the first week in January, we'll all know whether holdovers Dawson and Blylevin made the grade and whether first-timers McGriff and Larkin will make a dent in the voting.

For all those that like to look at numbers, check out of Rating the Hall of Fame Candidates 2010 page. There's a whole lot there to shake through, including PEVA Career Totals for the Regular Season, Postseason, PEVA-EQ stats, and where they'd stand among Hall of Famers already in if they make it, too.

But for now, we'll just ramble on and on about how we think about such things, and elaborate a bit as well.

First off, we're very stingy about who we think should make the Hall of Fame. It's a special place where only the best of the best should reside. Now, there are many already there who you could argue against inclusion, so it's probably not quite as exclusive a club as we'd like, but ... as they say, it is what it is. And it's great!

For Stat Geek Baseball and the baseballevaluation PEVA system, it's pretty apparent who should definitely get in. All players who have garnered 275.000 PEVA Ratings Points (PEVA-B or PEVA-T) or 285.000 including the postseason during their career, and eligible for the Hall, are in. So if any players on the current ballot has reached that Total, it's a no brainer. But nobody has. Now it gets tricky. When you get to a 200 PEVA level, about 75% get in, but you better be above 210 to have the best shot. There are 124 in that category (on the All Inclusive List) and 75 are in, and 16 not yet eligible.

But what about those 25% who are on the outside looking in, why are some included and some not. Well, for starters, many who are on the outside have lower PEVA per EQ year averages. This is the average PEVA value for a full season per the player's career. But there are some who have similar values and have not made it, while others have.

That's just the way the game is played. But for us this year, it comes down to the case of "are any of the players deserving" and "how many of the marginal to good candidates" should make it. We're of the opinion that every year should have at least one HOF inductee, with the perfect year 2, and the maximum three. For us, this is one year when we'd only choose 1.

Bert Blylevin has been toiling in this HOF voting for 14 years, and if he doesn't make it in 2010, he has only one more year on the writer's ballot to make it. He's getting punished for playing on bad teams that lost games, even though he did his darndest to prevent it. Bert won 287 games in his career with a 3.31 ERA. His Total PEVA score of 274.610 ranks #69 All-Time among all players and pitchers. Yes, his PEVA Per EQ average year is lower than we'd like at 13.075 when he should be around 15.000 and if there were other better options, we'd choose them. But this year, there just aren't, and it's time to elect Bert to the Hall of Fame.

For us, not too many others even deserve a mention. We'll get one out of the way before going any further. If Mark McGwire had not used or been involved in the PED allegation scandal, he'd be a lock to be in the Hall. But for us, we think his use added enough to his stats that without them, he'd be below the threshold for election. We're not saying that we'd never vote for anybody involved in this scandal; we're using the "if they hadn't used PEDs, would they still have made it" logic. We don't think Mark would have; Sammy and Rafael, too when they're on the ballot in the future.

Okay, so who are the other possible players we have considered. There are three that top our list, but fall just short of deserving inclusion. One holdover, Dale Murphy, and two newcomers, Edgar Martinez and Fred McGriff. For some reason, voters don't like Dale, preferring to toss votes more toward Andre Dawson or Tim Raines or Dave Parker last year. And he is similar to those players, but we think better. Murphy had 228.963 Total PEVA points in his career after hitting 398 HR, 1266 RBI, with a 0.265 AVE. Those numbers aren't quite good enough for us, but one number is, a 15.767 PEVA EQ. But for this year, our nod goes to Bert and leaves Dale behind. It's unlikely Murphy ever makes the Hall, and he may be just under our radar every year, too, in the future. But of the rest of the holdovers, we like Dale better than the rest.

McGriff and Martinez are interesting candidates to us. You could make the same case for Edgar that we just made for Murphy, Martinez with 227.901 Total PEVA Points and a 15.130 PEVA EQ. He had a higher AVE than Murphy, but was a DH most of his career, which will likely be counted against him. McGriff played on a ton of good teams and put up HR and RBI numbers that almost gets him to automatic inclusion (well at least past automatic inclusion), 493 HR and 1550 RBI. But his PEVA numbers were lower than those numbers suggest at 229.985, because he played on those teams and the PEVA EQ score of 13.319 does not quite cut it for us. (PEVA separates production with rate stats like OBP and SLG to segment some of the production that was dependent on teammates). We won't be surprised if McGriff actually makes the Hall someday, and that would be okay. But he'd be just on the outside looking in for us.

Well, that's about it for now, with the possible exception of not understanding why Lee Smith is thought so highly of, but that might be out penchant to undervalue the relief pitcher compared to the starter. Geez, just like we undervalue the pinch hitter versus the every day player. But that's a debate for another day.

All the best guys from Stat Geek Baseball.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Measuring the Halladay Deal

Okay, we'll get this right off our chest. We don't like the deal. Not that we don't think it could help the Phillies win a pennant or another World Series during the next two to four years, but because we just like prospects. As Phils fans, we enjoy watching the young guys develop into studs and rooting for our players from the minors to the pros. But are we wrong in that from a statistical standpoint? Is it stupid to hold onto such ideals? Should we be afraid that we'll be watching several years of great baseball, but followed by a mediocre team when the Halladays and his new teammates Rollins, Utley, and Howard age without the two talented minor league studs Michael Taylor and Kyle Drabek to help them?

Well here goes our analysis and it's gonna have a lot of conjecture in it to be sure.

Roy Halladay has been a three year PEVA RAVE average of 28.961 and a career PEVA per EQ year of 21.942. He'll be pitching those four years at 33-36 years of age. So we're going to assume some diminution is his performance, and for arguments sake, attribute his career average, not recent PEVA average, to those years.

21.942 x 4 = 87.768 PEVA.

For those not versed in PEVA, 21.942 per year is great, perhaps not Cy Young worthy, but definitely All-League.

But what about those young studs, the outfielder Taylor and the pitcher Drabek. What can we expect over their first 6 years of service before they hit Free Agency? Let's assume Michael Taylor can be Jason Werth ... and Kyle Drabek can mirror Zack Greinke. I know, a large assumption.

Werth, who started out slow in his career, had 21.823 total PEVA points in his first 6 seasons; Greinke for his first 6 seasons had 70.006 total PEVA rating points, including his stellar 2009 year.

That would mean that over 6 years, they would be worth 91.829 PEVA compared to 87.768 PEVA for Halladay. Yes, Halladay's numbers don't include the 4th option year on his new contract, or 6 seasons per the prospects, but they are a guaranteed club player prior to free agency while Halladay may not be.

But overall, you can see, that if the ifs come through, and you have Taylor/Drabek becoming some combination of Werth/Greinke, it's fairly even.

But here's where we have a problem with it. Halladay was only signed for one year prior to agreeing to Philadelphia's extension, and his value in Toronto was one year only. Combine that with the fact that Taylor/Drabek would cost you significantly less than the $75,000,000 that is due Halladay over the next four years, and that that savings could have been applied to other free agent players, and you can see how muddy the waters can be.

I wouldn't have done the trade; I like prospects. I even like contending for the playoffs better than winning a World Series then struggling afterwards. Yes, I wouldn't be a good Marlins fan. But this trade was a much larger gamble than most in the media seem to think, and it will be fascinating to see how it works out. I still think it will work out in the short term, but if Taylor/Drabek become perennial All-Stars, I'd likely choose that course, plus kept Cliff Lee for one year and two prospects ahead. But that's another story altogether.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

On Their Way Up

Up. Up. Up. Up the best ever lists for their respective franchises that is. 2009 saw a number of great performances by players like Pujols, Greinke, Prince Fielder, and others. But were they enough to crack the Top 20 Best Ever Years for the Cardinals, the Royals, or the Brewers. Were they the best ever, #1, for those franchises. We've just calculated the best ever lists for every franchise in baseball history and the new rankings are out.

Check them all @ Best Seasons Ever by Team index page.

But let's give you a preview of the new additions on that list.

1. Arizona Diamondbacks. Sure they're a relatively new franchise, making it a whole lot easier for a player to crack the best ever Top 20 season list. And this year, they got two players who made their case. Dan Haren jumped into the #11 spot in the pitching list with his 14-10 3.14 ERA season while Mark Reynolds now holds the same spot in the batting Top 20 for thsoe 44 HR, 102 RBI season.

2. Colorado Rockies. Now here's a new squad just looking for Top 20 Seasons, especially on the pitching side. And they've got a new #1. Ubaldo Jimenez and his 20.035 PEVA Rating now tops the pile or humidor hurlers in the rarified air of Colorado. And he had company, too. Jason Marquis joins at #3. Jorge de la Rosa at #11. And Huston Street at #14. We get the feeling that Mr. Tulowitski won't be satisfied with having the #9 spot on this list in years to come, but for now his 32 HR, 92 RBI, 0.297 AVE and stellar defensive season in 2009 will have to do. He had company in Todd Helton, too, who jumped into the #20 spot. That's the 8th time Helton appears on the list.

3. Detroit Tigers. Now it's not nearly as easy to jump into the list of Top 20 Pitchers for a club that's been in the American League since the early days, but that's just what Justin Verlander has done. Joining the likes of Hal Newhouser, Dizzy Trout, and Denny McLain, Verlander now occupies the #8 spot with his 2009 season of 19 wins and a 27.965 PEVA rating.

4. Florida Marlins. Okay. Another newbie. And another high ranking in the #4 spot of Josh Johnson. Hanley Ramirez. What more can you say. And if he stays a Marlin for much longer (and that's always in doubt with this franchise), he'll likely have more seasons on the list. For now, the 2009 year jumped him to the #4 spot.

5. Kansas City Royals. Yes, this is the spot for a Greinke siting and it's not too surprising that the Cy Young season of Mr. Zack has him landing in the #2 spot in Royals history behind the 1989 season of Bret Saberhagan. When you just hurled yourself in the #50 spot All-Time, that's pretty special, and his 16-8 record and 2.16 ERA garnered him the coveted runerup spot in KC pitching lore.

6. Milwaukee Brewers. It's not too easy for a relief pitcher to enter into the hallowed halls of a franchise's Top 20 list, but Trevor Hoffman has been doing that for years in a San Diego Padres uniform, and even at 42 years of age (end of season) he's not done yet for the Brewers. His 2009 season warrants a #17 spot. But the batters did a whole lot better than that with Prince Fielder coming in at #2. That's what you get with 46 HR, 141 RBI, and a 34.062 PEVA rating. Not far behind at #5 was Ryan Braun as well.

7. Minnesota Twins. We might be looking at one of the best hitting catchers to ever play the game and in 2009, Joe Mauer took his MVP award and 0.365 batting average to the #3 spot on their list, behind only Ed Delahanty in 1902 and Harmon Killebrew in 1969.

8. New York Yankees. Although it's a lot easier to join their Top 20 pitching list than the batting one (Babe has a lock on a lot of those spots), to pitch your way into the storied franchise best ever seasons countdown is no small feet. And nobody ever said that C.C. Sabathia was small. Count him big at #17 on the Yankee list, joining Guidry, Hunter, Ford, plus Spud Chandler and Jack Chesbro, too.

9. Seattle Mariners. I think most people, particularly on the East Coast, are unaware of the spectacular season that Felix Hernandez had. And at the age of 23, he joined the Mariners best ever list at #2 with his 19-5 2.49 ERA campaign. He almost took the top spot, too, just fractions of a point behind Randy Johnson and his 1995 season. And he may not be done climbing this list yet.

10. San Diego Padres. Another one of those guys whose name keeps coming up in trade, but there's really no good reason to get rid of the wonder named Adrian Gonzalez. While playing in a park better know for wide open spaces, Gonzalez in 2009 had the #2 hitting season in Padre history.

11. San Francisco Giants. There's a lot of names on this list that spark historic memories, from Carl Hubbell to Christy Mathewson to Juan Marichal, but after only two full seasons, Mr. Lincecum now has two spots in the top twenty, coming in at #7 this year.

12. St. Louis Cardinals. Carpenter #8. Wainwright #18. Right in there with Gibson and Dean. Pretty good company, don't you think. One of the best players in baseball history period through his 29th birthday, Albert Pujols now stands at #2 for his 2009 year in Cardinal history, with only the great Rogers Hornsby in 1922 standing in his way to the top. Albert already occupies 5 spots in the Top 20.

12. Tampa Bay Rays. This is the easiest list to crack, but the Rays of today are doing just that. James Shields in 2009 at #5 on the pitching list. Evan Longoria at #2, Ben Zobrist at #3, Carl Crawford at #11, Carlos Pena at #14, and Jason Bartlett at #16 on the hitting side.

13. Toronto Blue Jays. They tried to get rid of him most of the summer, but he refused to stop pitching his way into their record books. Roy Halladay took his 2009 season all the way to #6 on their All-Time Pitching Season list and now occupies 5 spots in the Top 20. Adam Lind is one of those players most baseball fans couldn't name, but should be near the top of most fantasy baseball lists in 2010. His 2009 season became the #15 best season in Blue Jay history and he can thank those 35 HR and 114 RBI and 0.305 AVE for most of that 18.508 PEVA rating that helped his join.

14. Washington Nationals. Becoming only the 2nd player to join the Top 20 since moving from Montreal, Ryan Zimmerman cracked the list at #15.

That's it, folks, but it sure was a fun ride. Now check out the other teams and seem where your favorites from the near or far past rank in their team's best ever lists in history.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2010

Hard to believe we're all starting to think in this direction already. It seems like the last game of the World Series was only yesterday. But here we are. It's time to think, at least in the first blush of winter, about Fantasy Baseball and where we should rank the players in 2010. Hard to do without knowing where some free agents will end up, but what the heck. That's never stopped anyone before.

Stat Geek Baseball's rankings rely on two things; 1) the previous year's PEVA rankings from baseballevaluation.com's player rating decision model, and 2) a three year relative average, called RAVE, of a player. RAVE uses a floating value system, giving 50% to 2009 stats, 30% to 2008 stats, and 20% to 2007 stats. Depends on how you think of things and trends, but for want of a better analysis. PEVA is for Current Thinkers. RAVE is for those that think more Long Term.

You can find both full lists (Top 400 Ranked) at Fantasy Baseball 2010 Cheatsheet (PEVA) and Fantasy Baseball 2010 Cheatsheet (RAVE). There's also a printable PDF available on those pages.

But lets' look at the Top Five players on those lists.

Stat Geek Baseball Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2010 (PEVA)








Rank Year Name First Team Lg Age PEVA-T
1 2009 Pujols Albert SLN NL 29 43.976
2 2009 Greinke Zack KCA AL 26 42.305
3 2009 Lincecum Tim SFN NL 25 37.546
4 2009 Carpenter Chris SLN NL 34 35.177
5 2009 Fielder Prince MIL NL 25 34.062

Stat Geek Baseball Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2010 (PEVA)
Rank Year Name First Team Lg Age PEVA-T RAVE Track
Quotient
1 2009 Pujols Albert SLN NL 29 43.976 29.797 47.59%
2 2009 Sabathia C.C. NYA AL 29 26.289 29.144 -9.80%
3 2009 Halladay Roy TOR AL 32 31.554 28.961 8.95%
4 2009 Haren Danny ARI NL 29 29.954 28.056 6.76%
5 2009 Lincecum Tim SFN NL 25 37.546 26.684 40.71%

No surprise that Albert Pujols tops both lists and would be the top player that most fantasy baseball players would like to pick almost every year. This is a player who you almost can't go wrong with, at least looking at the past. Durable. Spectacular. Even better this past year, by 47.59% than his RAVE average of the past 3 seasons.

But the dilemma begins at number 2. Zach Grienke is a risk, with that one spectacular season, while Tim Lincecum now has two of them in a row. For us, that means Lincecum. But for those who favor an even longer term view, take C.C. Sabathia or Roy Halladay. If you don't have one of the top five picks in your draft, and want to start with a pitcher who has a pretty good shot at giving out good numbers, with durability and prime age in 2010, think Dan Haren. This is one of those consistently good pitchers that most people on the East Coast don't think of as in the category of the others listed, but just look at those last few years, all adding up to a RAVE rating over 28. It's not easy to have a RAVE over 25.000, folks, particularly when your team is an up and down lot.

Take a look at the rest of our list, and plan accordingly. It won't look like all the others, and take into account the defensive component for position players in the PEVA ranking, if, like most leagues, your league does not include defense in its scoring system, but the Stat Geek Baseball rankings might must help you improve your standings in 2010. Here's hoping they do!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

MVP and the PEVA Rankings

So the final two of the big four awards are now in, and while the winners were expected by almost anybody in Joe Mauer, AL MVP, and Albert Pujoks, NL MVP, just how did the votes come down below the winners and how well did the PEVA Rankings do in predicting the best of the best. Well, first off, not quite as well, as with the Cy Young race, although, it is understood that the MVP is about most valuable and not best, which is where PEVA might differ. But I digress. We did pretty well, predicting 7 of the top 10. Combined with the Cy Young Award, that makes us 17 for 20, or 85% correct in predicting the top five place finishers in each league for the four awards.

Yes, we predicted all four winners, and that 85%, but where were we wrong in the MVP races, you ask. Well, here is the Top five Actual, and Top five PEVA, for starters.

MVP Award Voting (AL) - Mauer, Teixeira, Jeter, MCabrera, KMorales
MVP Award Voting (NL) - Pujols, HRamirez, RHoward, PFielder, Tulowitski

PEVA Rankings (AL) - Mauer, Teixeira, Jeter, JBay, MCabrera
PEVA Rankings (NL) - Pujols, PFielder, AGonzales, HRamirez, RBraun

In the American League, we were only off by including Jason Bay and missing on Kendry Morales. Even if PEVA were not solely based on stats, it's debatable who was more important to their team, but we'll accept the miss there. In the National League, it got down to who the better player was, again which PEVA measures, and how voters would gauge a player who did not play for a good team. So the voters left out Adrian Gonzalez and Ryan Braun, which PEVA ranked more highly than RHoward or Tulowitski. Yes, they were more valuable in getting their teams to the playoffs.

Check out the Top 40 pitchers and Top 40 positions players in the PEVA Player Ratings for 2009.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cy Young Winners and PEVA Rankings

Well, the first two of the big four postseason awards are in, and Zach Greinke and Tim Lincecum are the winners of the awards from the BBWAA. But how did we do, the PEVA Player Rating system, in predicting who was the best. Well, we're two for two. Greinke topped the 2009 PEVA ranking with a Player Rating of 41.843 with Lincecum coming in second at 36.774. But it's not just who topped our list, but the rankings below them that show it's value.

Cy Young Award Voting (AL) - Grienke, FHernandez, JVerlander, CC Sabathia, Halladay
Cy Young Award Voting (NL) - Lincecum, Carpenter, Wainwright, Vazquez, Haren.

PEVA Rankings (AL) - Grienke, FHernandez, Halladay, JVerlander, CC Sabathia
PEVA Rankings (NL) - Lincecum, Carpenter, Vazquez, Haren, Wainwright.

That's 10 for 10 with slight variations in their rankings. So we'll pat our back on that one and check back to see just how well we do in the race for the MVP. Check out the Top 40 pitchers and Top 40 positions players in the PEVA Player Ratings for 2009.

PEVA ratings are preliminary number pending final data and park factors.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gold Gloves and Silver Mitts

Well, the Gold Glove Awards have been handed out, as well as our own Silver Mitts, and the debate goes on to just how valid the Gold Glove awards are, or whether they are tainted by the perception of how a player used to field versus how he fields today. Never was that way, or at least to this level. Prior to the debacles of Rafael Palmeiro winning the award for first base in a season (think that was 1999) when he DH'd almost all the time, and the year Bobby Abreu won the gold glove for the outfield. Just ask any Philadelphia Phillies fan who watched Bobby tiptoe his way thru the field in 2005 whether he even deserved to be listed in the top half of all outfielders and you'll get a ribald answer on that.

So this year we have the tried and true Gold Glove winners like Jeter and Torii Hunter and Ichiro who got a lot of votes on past glory, but some new and deserving winners, too, in Adam Jones and Ryan Zimmerman. But where do they all really rank, in our opinion of the stats, in reality, not perception. Well, let's just take a look for fun. Okay.

1B - Gold Glove winners Mark Texeira and Adrian Gonzelez. Both are good fielders, durable and skilled, although in 2009, there might have been better candidates. First, let's admit. First base is a difficult position to go on fielding numbers to determine who's the best. And it's the position people care less about fielding unless the player is completely hamhanded. Teixeria ranked #6 among full-time firstbasemen in the BE Field Value rankings at 1.19 FV (Out of 1.40). He was surehanded with a 0.997 Fielding %, and was durable. His range factor was low, however, at 8.774. Now this certainly had to do, somewhat, with the type of pitchers he played behind, but does indicate, one factor in determining whether he deserves the Gold Glove. We don't put a lot of stock in UZR due to its subjectivity, although that may be a failing in us. Take a look at the stats of Lyle Overbay or Paul Konerko. Would they have been better choices; you decide. As far as Gonzalez. While we think his bat is one of the most underrated in baseball, we think his glove was below the level of Todd Helton, Adam LaRoche, and Albert Pujols in 2009.

2B - Placido Polanco won both the Gold Glove and our Silver Mitt awards. Nuff said, there. Orlando Hudson has been a stellar fielder and we don't have a lot of arguments with the voters selected him, however, Kaz Matsui was our selection based on a higher Fielding Percentage and Range Factor.

3B - Too close to call really with Zimmerman and Longoria ranked #3 and #4 in our Ratings, so close behind the leaders that you'd be hard pressed to debate the number either way. One note, however, is with Melvin Mora, who topped our Field Value list. Mora, who has played all over the diamond during his career, may not be getting a lot of fielding love based on that past flexibility. He has turned himself into a fine third baseman.

SS - Derek Jeter is not one of the best fielding shortstops in baseball. #12 in our Field Value Rankings of Full-Time SS. He is solid, and gets on a highlight reel or two because of individual heady plays, but Jeter does not get to a whole lot of balls and there are better shortstops in the American League such as the youngster Erick Aybar. Jimmy Rollins, despite the perception, does not get to the greatest amount of balls, either, just slightly more than Jeter, but is one of the most surehanded fielders in baseball with the most accurate strong arm for a shortstop I've ever seen. No problem with his being given a Gold Glove, although the extra range of Troy Tulowitski merits our own Silver Mitt.

C - Yadier Molina has received both GG and SM awards, which he richly deserves. Joe Mauer, who we love as a player, get the benefit of the doubt from some voters due to his prowess overall. Gerald Laird, however, is more deserving, to us, of the fielding merits. He led Mauer in all categories of FV. More IP. Higher FPCT. Better Range. Higher Caught Stealing Percentage. Nod should have gone to Laird.

OF - The National League pretty much got it right with Kemp, Bourn, and Victorino, even though there was a slight edge to Nate McLouth, as far as FV (Field Value) is concerned. Too close to call to quibble. But in the American League, with the exception of Adam Jones, there was a whole lot of legacy voting going on. Ichiro has been a great fielder and still performs well, but there are a good amount of younger outfielders who now field as well or better. Same true for Torii Hunter, although we've always thought he was overvalued as a fielder outside the highlight reel catches he's famous for. In 2009, Ichiro ranked #54 in OF Field Value, too far down to consider him Gold Glove caliber. Hunter ranked #24. Now we'll admit that players such as Jason Bay, whose stats are marginalized, and rightfully so in some cases, by playing in front of the Green Monster, but the stats of David DeJesus and Ryan Sweeney show that they should be considered Gold Glove worthy in the future.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

2009 Postseason Pitching

It's coming as somewhat of an expectation, although the outcome of his team was not the same as last, but a Philadelphia Phillies pitcher had the best postseason of any pitcher. Unfortunately for Cliff Lee, nobody else on the staff even came close. The only other staff that had three pitchers in the top five of the 2009 playoffs in pitching prowess were the Yankees, and with Sabathia, Pettite, and Rivera, were too tough to overcome.

Cliff Lee, with a postseason PEVA rating of 4.171 (41.709 Full) jumps into the Top 25 of postseason pitching performances all-time with his stellar 2009 campaign that saw him dominant through almost all of his starts (the final start probably cost him a spot in the Top Ten), but with a 4-0 record over 40.3 innings and an ERA of 1.56, Lee pushed himself into rare territory, as one of a select few pitchers with both a season, 2008 #21, and postseason, 2009 #25, that rank in the Top 25 All-Time. Add in stats like a 5.50 SO/W Ratio and 7.37 WHIP9, and oh, boy. Now if only Cole had been able to come close to his 2008 postseason, but that just wasn't to be.

And the reason for that had a lot to do with C.C. Sabathia and his postseason, too. With a Post PEVA rating of 2.410 (Full 24.096) and an ERA of 1.98 during his 36.3 IP and 3-1 record, Sabathia may not have reached the rarified air of the All-Time Top 40, but he does rank amongst the Top 20 of the decade. Combine that with the performance of the master reliever, Mariano Rivera (1.848 POST PEVA, 18.479 Full), whose ERA of 0.56 over 16 IP just boggles the mind when you consider he does this every postseason, and Game 6 starter Andy Pettite (1.636 POST PEVA, 16.361 Full), and you have a trifecta that couldn't be beat.

Rounding out the Top Five pitchers in postseason 2009 and you have to drop way down the PEVA list to A.J. Burnett and his 0.660 Post (6.604 Full), but he was a Yankee, too.

Que lastima for us Philly fans.

Note: Post PEVA 2009 reflects preliminary values subject to change due to Final Park Factors.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Playoff Predictions

Playoff predictions, and after the division series, we're 2-2. Well, what went right and what went wrong, that would be the question you, and, we are asking themselves. We did a very simple analysis in the first round. If a team had the higher total team PEVA (player rating) in our Team Power Ratings during the regular season, they got the nod. We didn't get into injuries and who was playing better at the end of the season. If your players were better over the long haul, we gave you the nod. So it was Phillies, Yankees, Red Sox, and Cardinals. That seemed to make sense. But something happened on the way to the stadium and as we look further into the PEVA numbers, we're starting to see just what that is.

The second index beyond the Team Power Ratings is our Best Management/Overachievement Index. To see both index, go here. And that is where we might have gone wrong. Both the Red Sox and Cardinals (especially the Cardinals) performed well below the capabilities of their opponent during the year compared to their stats. The Cardinals won 27 games less than they should have with the Pitching and Batting PEVA ratings their players got. That's a heck of a lot of games, by far the worst in baseball in 2009. We should have taken that into account.

Playoff Predictions (Only Using Team Power Rankings)
Colorado Rockies vs. Philadelphia Phillies


WIN (+4 PEVA)
Minnesota Twins vs. New York Yankees


WIN (+18 PEVA)
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
WIN (+6 PEVA)

Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels
of Anaheim
WIN (+8 PEVA)

And if we had taken that into account for all four division series, our predictions would have looked something like this, and we would have predicted all four series correctly. Of course, it's nothing like hindsight in predictions, so we're just pointing these things out.

Playoff Predictions (Only Team Power Rankings/BMO Index)

Colorado vs. Philadelphia (+1 PEVA/PRW) WIN
Minnesota vs. Yankees (+15 PEVA/PRW) WIN
St. Louis vs. LA Dodgers (+14 PEVA/PRW) WIN
Boston vs. LA Angels of Anaheim (+2 PEVA/PRW) WIN

But now it's time and we have to predict the League Championship Series. And we're going to use both index to do it. And it goes something like this.

American League
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. New York Yankees

The New York Yankees had a Team Power Rating of 223.453 PEVA during the regular season while the Angels came in at 160.009. This gives the Yankees a Power Rating advantage of 63. The Angels had a BMO index of +13 wins while the Yankees had a BMO index of -14 wins. This gives the Angels a 27 advantage. Overall this gives the nod to the Yankees at +36.

Stat Geek Baseball predicts a Yankee victory.

National League
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers had a Team Power Rating of
193.985 PEVA during the regular season while the Phils were slightly lower at 178.241. Advantage Dodgers at +15. In the BMO index, the Dodgers were -7 in wins while Philadelphia was -1. Advantage Philadelphia by +6. Overall this gives the nod to the Dodgers at +9. And we hope we are wrong since we're Phillies fans. And we think we're gonna be.

Stat Geek Baseball predicts a Dodgers victory.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Coming Up at Baseball Evaluation

There's a lot on the way at Baseball Evaluation this fall and offseason. We're working to incorporate postseason data and regular season data into the Salary Projection system, and of course, coming with the end of the regular season, will come our Regular Season Player Ratings, as well as the Free Agent Tracker 2010 Salary Projection updates, plus our long term project, the Stat Geek Baseball MySql database.

For an idea of what's coming and when ... with a bit of a concession that the dates are still in flux.

2009 Regular Season Player Ratings (Preliminary) - October 9
Free Agent Tracker 2010 SPRO Update - October 15
2009 Postseason Player Ratings - November 10
2009 Regular Season Player Ratings (Final) - November 15
Stat Geek Baseball 2010 - November 30
MySQL Stat Geek Baseball Database - January 1

There will be other things along the way. Updates to the Best Player Ever lists. Plus predictions, for all sorts of things.

Thanks for making the first year of baseballevaluation.com an eventful year. Stop on back and see what we have in store over the next year as well.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

PEVA EQ and the Best Batters Season

No stat is perfect. We'll start out there. But for the Best Player Per Average Season stat, it was a challenge. And one we didn't come up with ourselves. Thanks to those who made the challenge that went something like this. How can you count a season for a player that was a partial season? And then the counter challenge by us. How can you account for a season in years of differing games, maximum plate appearances, and innings pitched?

Well, it's called PEVA per EXPEQ year. What is PEVA, for those unfamiliar. This is the acronym for the Player Rating in each season that runs from a minimum of 0.200 to a maximum of 64.000. (No player has ever gotten the max figure for a full year.) EXPEQ, a stat used within the Salary Projection model, is our mathematical approximation of Major League Service Time, calculated using a percentage of the season played by use. It accounts for short seasons, and from a player's perspective, the amount of use or potential use he would have gotten considering Innings Pitched, Games Played, and Plate Appearances.

So now we have PEVA per EQ Year (Regular Season), the Average Player Rating for a career considering the amount of seasons (EQ) played. And now for the interesting part. Who was the best batter using this dynamic? Drum roll please. It was Lou Gehrig.

For one of the few times in baseball history when you go through its batting stats, Babe Ruth does not lead in a category, coming in #2 on the list at 31.665 PEVA per EQ year vs. teammate Gehrig at 33.627. Now, of course, when you add in Ruth's prowess on the pitching mound, his value exceeds Lou's, adding about 2.500 points to the yearly tally, so this all has to be taken into context.

But does this mean that Gehrig was actually a better batter than Ruth? No. To us, looking at Total PEVA career, as well as PEVA Per EQ Year, should both be considered, as well as the circumstances at the end of a player's career. Ruth played until he was in his 40th year while Gehrig played into his 36th year. The last four years saw Ruth's Batting PEVA per EQ drop from 34.678 to 31.665. If Gehrig had been fortunate to play those years, his average season would like have been lower as well.

But PEVA per EQ is an interesting, if not perfect value. Just look at the player's who reside at the top of the list. Gehrig and Ruth are followed by Ted Williams, Barry Bonds, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Ty Cobb, Joe Jackson, Ross Barnes, and Tris Speaker, just to name the Top Ten. That's a mighty fine group of players, including Jackson and Barnes who often don't get listed in Top Tens due to Jackson's truncated playing career and the early days and short amount of seasons for Barnes. BTW. Isn't it time for the veterans committee to look into some of the early era's best and take into account the short seasons played? We know that Barnes' case is hurt by not only those counting stats, but also the fact that he played under 10 seasons. But anyone with a 0.359 career batting average deserves a bit of HOF love, don't you think?

How does PEVA per EQ season treat today's current players? Well, it should come as no surprise that the man of the year, decade, and era is Albert Pujols. If Pujols career stopped today, he would rank #5 on the list @ 28.443 PEVA per EQ. And this year isn't going to diminish that value at all. We're looking at one of the top players of all-time and only that time will tell how far up the career rankings list Pujols will end up at ten years from now.

Check out the full Top 20 list for All-Time Players and Top 5 list for Current Players.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lidge Expectation

What should have been expected after a perfect 2009 season, at least perfect from the sense of no blown saves and a World Series championship? Would 0 blown saves have been expected again? No. What was mathematically improbable in one year, particularly with the set of underlying stats that Lidge maintained in 2009, was even less probable for two years in a row. And when you take into account the up and down nature of Lidge's career to that point, one with All-Star level highs and two years prior of average performance, one would assume that the possibility of returning to average performance or All-Star level was likely about the same. But what would come was even less probable, but it has come. Brad Lidge was removed last night from a baseball game in the 9th inning, not because he had blown some saves or been an average pitcher for five months, it was because he was now performing at a level, had the Phillies not given him a 3 year deal worth over $37 million, that would get him into the Arizona Fall League.

And we say this with no pleasure, as the Philadephia Phillies are our favorite team, and we respect and appreciate the stellar season that Brad Lidge gave this town while helping lead them to only the second World Series Championship in team history. But it was not expectation that caused either case to be fulfilled; the wonderful season of 2008 and no blown saves or the season of 2009 when the closer could not find a consistent base at all. It may have been the lack of looking at all of the qualities of a pitcher, but wanting to see only those in the good years.

The 2009 season of Lidge was very good, no doubt about it. But a good deal of credit for that season has to be shared with Charlie Manuel, who used Lidge with perfection at almost every turn. Many of his saves began with more than a one run lead. If memory serves, almost none of them came when Lidge did not start an inning. That's important folks when you think about it. Lidge gives up hits and walks (even last year a WHIP of 1.229, good but not great), but comes through in the end with an unhittable slider when things are going good. This year they are not, giving up 1.816 WHIP and 2.0 HR per 9 inning pitched versus 0.3 HR last year. This all leads to an ERA of 7.11 through September 8 and a PEVA score near 1.000.

But how has Lidge trended throughout his career with his PEVA score (Regular Season).

2003 - 1 Save, 4.396 PEVA
2004 - 29 Saves, 15.433 PEVA
2005 - 42 Saves, 11.321 PEVA
2006 - 32 Saves, 3.112 PEVA
2007 - 19 Saves, 4.858 PEVA
2008 - 41 Saves, 10.887 PEVA

Lidge has been an average to slightly above average pitcher in half of his full seasons, while being an All-Star or slightly below All-Star pitcher in the other three. Expectation. Likely one or the other. And when you start to decipher the contract given in the middle of last year, extending Lidge for three seasons with a 4th year option @ a guaranteed number of $37.5 million,
you can see that the club was counting on the half of Lidge that was All-Star or slightly below.

But his PEVA Player Rating Stats and SPRO Salary Projection numbers indicated all along that you shouldn't count on only the half of Lidge that performs above average level, but consider both. Even after last year's perfect regular season and great playoff performance, SPRO concluded a salary projection for Lidge @ 3 years and $21,644,000. And if you count in this year's performance, it would drop to a 2 year contract and just north of $12,000,000.

And you know, they'd likely be worth it, because in one or two of the next couple years, Brad Lidge will likely rebound to that All-Star or nearly All-Star level closer he is half of the time. We're hoping he rebounds by the time this year's playoffs begin.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Postseason Bests of All-Time

Well, I know. We're getting tired of this guy heading all the lists, but whatcha gonna say, the Babe was just the best player of all-time, even without counting his pitching prowess, which actually does come into play here. In postseason ball, most players stick to what they do best. They either hit their way to notoriety in the World Series or playoffs or they pitch their way there. For the Babe, it was mostly his hitting, which would have been enough to land him in the top spot in the All Players Postseason Best List for a Career. At 28.065 POST PEVA, that batting number would have outdistanced him from the #2 man on the list, Yogi Berra, 22.935. However, when you add in the pitching, it raises Ruth to 30.139.

The list of All Player Postseason Career Best contains many of the players we all think of as great, even some who are not quite Hall of Fame worthy, although 24 of the Top 40 are already in the Hall of Fame, including two of this year's class, Joe Gordon at #31 and Rickey Henderson at #36. And when you include those who ten years from now will be inducted (Greg Maddux, Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Schilling, Smoltz, and Chipper Jones) and those who would be without some of their questions (Rose and Manny Ramirez) - Yes, we know Manny might make it anyway, and perhaps even Rose some day - that makes it 32 of 40. Not too shabby.

Now it's always a question to how highly you should rate a player's postseason ability when considering Hall of Fame worthiness. Players don't get an equal shot at World Series notoriety due to their team success or lack of it in the regular season. In the old-timers days, prior to 1903, postseasons were not an every year event, skipping the first decade of pro ball, the 1870s, and most of the 1890s. But there's no doubt that it raises their profile, and should be considered, in that discussion. As we can see, it certainly contains a good deal of the cream rising to the top 40 of this list.

The remainder of the Top Ten includes some of the best postseason players of the past generation, including Reggie Jackson at #6 and Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter at #8 and #9 respectively. One surprise to us was how highly Bernie Williams ranked, coming in at #10. Way to go Bernie.

So another list dominated by the Babe brings out some interesting notes on other players and reminds us of their World Series greatness through the years. Congratulations Postseason Top 40 guys; it is greatly deserved. Go to Top 40 All-Time Postseason Career Players for the list.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Relief Pitchers, Past and Present Bests

It's just amazing how this role has changed? Just look at the best relief pitching seasons of all-time and you'll see a wide range of pitching eras. From one generation ago when pitchers would hurl over 125 innings from the bullpen to today's closer with a plethora of saves, lots of games pitched, but few innings along the way, and even back to the far reaches of yesteryear, when the innings were high and the wins were high, too.

So with the PEVA Player Ratings System, you can see that era does not matter; it is outcome based on how much you dominated your time. And the top pitching seasons in a relief role goes to men who did that. No, not as much as a starting pitcher. Sorry, folks, they're just not as valuable. And both PEVA and payroll states that. There's no $22 million per year relief pitcher. $15 million seems to be the top of that line. But that does not mean not valuable, or that some seasons of these relief pitchers were not amazing. And the best of them all, #1, reaches back to that one generation ago when some of the best plied the trade, although this pitcher is sometimes a bit forgotten amongst the greats of the era such as Gossage, Sutter, and Fingers. It is 1983 and the best season of a relief pitcher in the history of baseball goes to Dan Quisenberry of the Kansas City Royals. And yes, the Royals were very good back then. Maybe someday they'll be very good again.

Rank Name
Year Team Lg W L SV IP ERA Age PEVA-P
1 Quisenberry Dan 1983 KCA AL 5 3 45 139.0 1.94 30 24.535
2 Gagne Eric 2003 LAN NL 2 3 55 82.3 1.20 27 23.161
3 McDaniel Lindy 1960 SLN NL 12 4 26 116.3 2.09 25 22.970
4 Moore Wilcy 1927 NYA AL 19 7 13 213.0 2.28 30 22.864
5 Hernandez Willie 1984 DET AL 9 3 32 140.3 1.92 30 21.765

For the rest of the Top Forty, go to Best Relief Pitching Seasons Ever.

With 45 saves and 5 wins, even today you'd think he performed well, but his 1.94 over 139 innings pitched really begins to tell the story of how a relief pitcher was used and just how valuable he could be. Imagine if today Mariano could perform his magic over twice the amount of innings. First, you'd get a really good pitcher going longer and not rely on the 11th or 12th best pitcher in your organization to pick up those extra frames with their 4.75 Earned Run Averages. Anybody sure the current model, what we're calling Model #3, is really the best one or just the one we've gotten used to. This all added up to a 24.535 PEVA Player Rating, a darn good number even for a starter.

But a different use in the role does not hurt your ability to shine in the best ever relief pitching seasons list. Just ask Eric Gagne, whose 23,161 PEVA in 2003 included 55 saves and a 1.20 ERA over just 82.3 innings, albeit almost perfect ones. This second place finish shows that relief pitchers can be as valuable in this era of limited use when they dominate the field in the 9th inning. And just behind Gagne sits Lindy McDaniel from 1960. This St. Louis Cardinals hurler from two generations past fits the older use model, Model #2, with his inning pitched above 100, but also bridges the gap back to Model #1, the Model T of relief pitching. That's where #4 in the rankings, Wilcy Moore, occupies the slot from 1927. This was a time when saves were not prevalent and starting pitchers went complete games as often as the current lot goes to the health food store. Moore, however, pitched over 200 innings in that era, won 19 games, and saved 13 more. He was a hybrid pitcher, for want of a better term, pitching all over the map for the Yankees in that stellar 1927 season, including 12 starts. And folks, just another couple tidbits reaching back to those days. Moore was in his rookie year in 1927 at the age of 30.

But where are all those other relief pitchers we've come to associate with greatness? Did they have some of the best seasons of all-time, too? Yes, they did. Mariano Rivera, probably the best relief pitcher overall of all-time, sits at #6 and #12, just to name a few. Bruce Sutter's best season, 1979, comes in at #8, and the Goose, Mr. Gossage, holds down the #19 spot, while Mr. Fingers comes in at #10, and Mr. Eckersley at #17.

And what about the most recent past, 2008, for example. Jonathan Papelbon holds down the #40 spot for last year's great relief pitching prowess. 41 saves and a 2.34 over 69.3 innings.

Will we ever see a season like that of Wilcy Moore again? I doubt it. Probably not anything close to that of Sutter, Gossage, Fingers, or Dan Quisenberry either. We're likely to keep going down the path of specialized innings pitched by role players in the relief core. And there will be great seasons among the low IP crowd, no doubt about it. But it would be interesting to see just how Model #1 or Model #2 would work in this Model #3 era. Would give those guys on Baseball Tonight something new to talk about.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Salary System and the Trade Deadline

For most baseball fans, the trade deadline is an exciting time. Sure was yesterday for the Phillies faithful, as they got last year's American League Cy Young Award winner, Cliff Lee, and a good young outfielder Ben Francisco to bolster their major league squad toward another World Series run. Same thing for Boston when they got Adam LaRoche. Will likely be for some other well-heeled club when they trade for Roy Halladay. But folks, is this REALLY good for baseball. As many as there are excited fans, there are other teams who have to trade their best talent for the hopes of catching lightning in the barrel with other team's prospects. And while we like to think of this as just another way to make a contending team, and it has worked in the past (i.e. the Florida Marlin strategy), it is that vagary known as the baseball salary structure that is causing all this consternation, whether all good, all bad, or somewhere in between. Geez, are the Pittsburgh Pirates trying to get rid of everybody who can play? Wasn't it just a couple minutes ago that most thought the Cleveland Indians were on the verge of making a big playoff push? And didn't even those Toronto Blue Jays start off this season with a bang, only to be hurt by injuries, and now to be dismantled due to payroll problems?

Of course, the main problem is contracts that some teams can not afford, but we're not going to complain about the top numbers. We all know that those top flight Free Agents, such as Santana, Teixera, CC Sabathia, and coming soon to a Free Agent pool near you, Roy Halladay, are going to end up on a New York or New England or left coast team with money to burn. Guess we should all get used to that. But that doesn't come until a player has six years of service time. But what we're getting now is pushing well below that, talk from the Super Two level through the rest of those arbitration years. Oakland got rid of Blanton and Haren when they had several years left until free agency. Pittsburgh is going that route with (yes the LaRoche's, Bay's, and Sanchez's with impending free agency on the horizon), but also with those like a McLouth. What that now means is you have to start worrying about whether you can afford to keep a player at Super Two time, meaning 1/3 of those players with more than 2 years of major league service time, but less than three, are on the clock.

Is this anyway to run an airline?

But it's not going to change. The players and owners have become comfortable with a system that causes the consternation, which leads to discussion, and we all know that it's that adage about no bad publicity that runs part of the show. Now not most of the show, I realize, that's still called money. Free agents will get theirs, even if the economy slows down the top numbers slightly. Arbitration eligibles will get theirs, although it would be nice if those arbitrators backed up a bit. Was there really a great reason to push Ryan Howard to the stratosphere that early? I know, special player, special arbitration award. So maybe that makes sense. But it does exacerbate the problem.

Geez, maybe it all makes sense. It's the new world order, don't you know. More than half the people in the USA work for the government now, too. So what if over half the free agents end up on a half dozen teams. It'll make for one great trading deadline for those six towns anyway. Just don't count the tears for the others as being eco-friendly.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Congratulations Rickey, Jim, and Joe

Yesterday, the Hall of Fame saw three new members inducted into its illustrious walls, and congratulations should go out to Rickey Henderson, Jim Rice, and Joe Gordon. We are not here to discuss the particular merits of each player. That has been done before. But we're here, perhaps, to put them into context of where they stand within the Hall of Fame, amongst the peers that are already there.

Rickey Henderson. This first ballot Hall of Famer is better than most people think, and most people think he was really good. There are 21 leftfielders inducted at Cooperstown, including the likes of Ted Williams, Billy Williams, and Ralph Kiner. Henderson ranks fifth in Total Regular Season PEVA amongst that 21, behind only Ted, Stan the Man Musial, Ed Delahanty, and Carl Yaztremski. With 331.490 PEVA (Career Player Rating), he ranks at #27 among all position players in history, sandwiched between Frank Thomas and Jim O'Rourke. Yes, Frank will be joining him five years or so from now. He may not have had the highest per season PEVA value @ 13.260, some of which occurred because he hung around the game for a few more years after his peak than most, but that still ranks him #12 out of the #21 leftfielders in the HOF. He was also #26 all-time in Postseason Career ranking, and had one of the Top 4 Batting Postseasons in history in 1989. Congratulations, Rickey, ... well deserved.

Jim Rice. A leftfielder as well as Mr. Henderson, Jim ranked a bit lower on the All-Time lists at #13 (224.084 PEVA Regular Season) of the #21 HOF members, although his per season PEVA average of 14.005 was higher at #10. Ranked amongst all position players for his career, Jim comes in at #93, accounting for the 15 years of waiting for Rice to be inducted. We won't belabor the point here, but there are players in this area that are in and out of the Hall. From a postseason standpoint, Rice had only 2 opportunities to shine, and didn't fare that well at #350 on the list, but it was his steadfast and consistent play near the peak of his era that eventually led to his deserved induction. Well played, Mr. Rice. Welcome to the Hall.

Joe Gordon. It took Mr. Gordon a long time to be inducted by the Veterans Committee this year, and although we're not a big fan of Veterans Committee selections over the years, the player shouldn't be given short shrift amongst today's baseball fan. Joe Gordon was a 2nd Baseman in the Yankee heydey and now sits amongst the #18 2nd sackers in the Hall of Fame. While Gordon is not near the top of the list with 127.893 PEVA Player Rating (Regular Season), ranking him #15, his per season performance raises him to #7. Joe missed two full seasons during World War II. With the addition of those War Years, his overall ranking would have pushed his total ranking to the middle of the pack. That's pretty darn good, and explains a top reason why the Veterans Committee decided that Joe should make it. Being a Yankee in that era, Gordon had a lot of opportunities to showcase his talent in the Fall Classic as well, six times in fact, ranking #23 in All-Time Postseason PEVA with 10.642. Overall, his postseason performance didn't overwhelm, but surely added to his candidacy. Great going, Joe, and congratulations on your induction.

Best Postseason Batters 2000s

It's not over yet, but we're 90% through, and the list of best performances of the postseason include the same potential problems of the late 1980s. Yes, PED use and what effect it might have had. But if you look a little further down the list, you start to see the name which will go forward, not only into future postseasons, but into the Hall of Fame prior to the others; Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols. And at the end of this year of 2009, we'll get to see just who else has joined the list.

Rk Year Name Team Lg G HR RBI Ave PEVA
1 2002 Bonds Barry SFN NL 17 8 16 0.356 60.380
2 2003 Rodriguez Ivan FLO NL 17 3 17 0.313 53.829
3 2000 Piazza Mike NYN NL 14 4 8 0.302 49.615
4 2004 Beltran Carlos HOU NL 12 8 14 0.435 47.219
5 2000 Jeter Derek NYA AL 16 4 9 0.317 46.858
6 2004 Pujols Albert SLN NL 15 6 14 0.414 39.515
7 2005 Berkman Lance HOU NL 14 2 14 0.333 38.818
8 2007 Ramirez Manny BOS AL 14 4 16 0.348 38.517
9 2004 Ortiz David BOS AL 14 5 19 0.400 36.660
10 2007 Ortiz David BOS AL 14 3 10 0.370 34.699

Monday, July 20, 2009

Best Postseason Batters 1990s

Yes, this was the sneak peak decade, and it's a bit of an odd one to us. While player such as Molitor, Puckett, and likely Chipper Jones are Hall of Fame types, the others on the list don't quite rise to that level. Good players, in the case of Bernie Williams, and players who would believe to get the taint of the end of the decade and its reliance or use of performance enhancing drugs.

Name, Year, Team - HR, RBI, AVE/OBP/SLG - PEVA
1. Paul Molitor, 1993, TOR - 3, 13, 0.447/0.527/0.851 - 51.398
2. Billy Hatcher, 1990, CIN - 1, 4, 0.519/0.567/0.889 - 48.270
3. Bernie Williams, 1996, NYA - 6, 15, 0.345/0.435/0.707 - 44.716
4. Scott Brosius, 1998, NYA - 4, 15, 0.383/0.400/0.660 - 43.197
5. Chris Sabo, 1990, CIN - 3, 8, 0.368/0.405/0.632 - 43.443
6. Javy Lopez, 1996, ATL - 3, 8, 0.365/0.443/0.635 - 38.068
7. Lenny Dykstra, 1993, PHI - 6, 10, 0.313/0.450/0.729 - 36.399
8. Gary Sheffield, 1997, FLO - 3, 7, 0.320/0.521/0.540 - 35.476
9. Kirby Puckett, 1991, MIN - 4, 9, 0.333/0.396/0.667 - 34.611
10. Chipper Jones, 1995, ATL - 3, 8, 0.364/0.446/0.618 - 29.148

Postseason Best Batters 1940s

It was a decade of war, and some of the best players losing seasons to service, allowing some of the remaining players to rise to the top of a leader board in postseason play that perhaps that wouldn't have otherwise topped. But the decade of the 1940s saw the emergence of some of the greatest players in baseball history, including Hank Greenberg, and World Series history, the second baseman for the Yankees who will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame, by the vote of the Veterans Committee, in 2009, Joe Gordon.

Rk Year Name Team Lg G HR RBI Ave PEVA
1 1944 McQuinn George SLA AL 6 1 5 0.438 55.103
2 1948 Elliott Bob BSN NL 6 2 5 0.333 50.216
3 1941 Keller Charlie NYA AL 5 0 5 0.389 49.450
4 1945 Greenberg Hank DET AL 7 2 7 0.304 48.038
5 1945 Cavarretta Phil CHN NL 7 1 5 0.423 39.955
6 1941 Gordon Joe NYA AL 5 1 5 0.500 39.391
7 1947 Lindell Johnny NYA AL 6 0 7 0.500 38.878
8 1949 Brown Bobby NYA AL 4 0 5 0.500 35.957
9 1946 York Rudy BOS AL 7 2 5 0.261 35.709
10 1943 Dickey Bill NYA AL 5 1 4 0.278 29.418

Coming Next: Postseason Best Batters 2000s

Postseason Best Batters 1930s

After the stock market crashed in 1929, the next decade was a time of trial and tribulation in American cities. In many ways, it was only inside the ballparks of the sixteen major league teams that the trills of everyday occurred, culminating each year in the fall classic, the World Series.

Rk Year Name Team Lg G HR RBI Ave. PEVA
1 1932 GehrigLou NYA AL 4 3 8 0.529 64.000
2 1933 Ott Mel NY1 NL 5 2 4 0.389 62.642
3 1939 Keller CharlieNYA AL 4 3 6 0.438 60.460
4 1930 Simmons Al PHA AL 6 2 4 0.364 56.665
5 1931 Martin Pepper SLN NL 7 1 5 0.500 56.065
6 1931 Simmons Al PHA AL 7 2 8 0.333 53.555
7 1930 Cochrane Mickey PHA AL 6 2 4 0.222 48.284
8 1936 Powell Jake NYA AL 6 1 5 0.455 46.763
9 1938 Gordon Joe NYA AL 4 1 6 0.400 37.632
10 1939 Dickey Bill NYA AL 4 2 5 0.267 37.019

Coming Next: Postseason Batting Best 1990s

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

NL and the All-Star Game

Com'n guys. This is getting ridiculous. Not since 1996 have you won an All-Star game. And apparently not since 1996 have you taken a pitch when needing one runner to work his way around the bases since the second inning and score a run. I know. I know. This is the new millennium. We don't play small ball anymore. Don't you know we're all stars. We hit the home run. Hey, guys, haven't you noticed, but this is not steroid ball anymore. All you guys are doing is making outs. And quick outs to boot. Yes, there were planes to catch. Yes, there was the post game meals and interviews. But would it be too much to ask if you thought about taking a walk, bunting the guy to second or stealing a base, then getting a single to push the tying or winning run across. This might be the best reason to get rid of the home run derby. Everybody thinks they're a home run hitter, but hey, NL batters, look at the boxscore. You had 5 hits. You batted under the Mendoza line. Ryan Zimmerman. You saw 3 pitches in 2 ABs. Miguel Tejada. You saw 4 in 2 at bats. Stop the madness. Take a walk. Take a pitch. Win a game.

And Charlie. You are the manager of my favorite team, and I know from the interviews you wanted to win this game. But Albert Pujols does not come out of the game until you actually win. Don't tell anyone, but he's on pace to be one of the top five players of All-Time. And Chase Utley does not come out of the game, because he's head and shoulders above the ability of the player behind him. Let's win a game. National League. Then worry about the feelings of everyone on the team. And I know you were probably as frustrated by some of the poor at bats by those reserves you stuck in the game, and it's really hard for an All-Star manager to install some discipline on players not on your own team. But some day, somehow, some National League owner, player, or fan is going to take hold of this festival that used to be a great, great game, and install a little discipline and focus on the players. It's time to win a game. It's time to play it to win. It's time to limit the team back to 25 players who are actually stars of the game. (Geez, if a regular team can exist with a 25 man roster for 162 games, why does a one game All-Star fest need 33). It's time, long past time, for the National League to win.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Best Postseason Batters 1980s

It would take until the last year of the decade, but it would happen. A perfect PEVA score in the multi playoff round era, ... by Rickey Henderson. The Oakland speedster would produce 20 runs in 9 games, have an OPS of 1.509, and steal 11 bags.

Rk Team Name Team Lg G HR RBI Ave. PEVA
1 1989 Henderson Rickey OAK AL 9 3 8 0.441 64.000
2 1983 Matthews Gary PHI NL 9 4 9 0.333 60.342
3 1985 Brett George KCA AL 14 3 6 0.360 52.225
4 1981 Garvey Steve LAN NL 16 3 6 0.359 47.466
5 1984 Trammell Alan DET AL 8 3 9 0.419 46.577
6 1989 Clark Will SFN NL 9 2 8 0.472 44.640
7 1981 Carter Gary MON NL 10 2 6 0.429 43.353
8 1984 Gibson Kirk DET AL 8 3 9 0.367 37.620
9 1980 Aikens Willie KCA AL 9 4 10 0.387 34.232
10 1988 Hatcher Mickey LAN NL 11 2 8 0.300 33.856

Best Postseason Batters 1920s

Let's try to imagine to thrill baseball fans got when the live ball era began. There was now the chance for a slugfest instead of a pitcher's duel. And while we actually like a pitcher's duel alot, the variety that the long ball era allowed, made the game more exciting and diverse, until steroids came into play and turned some parks into video game galleries.

Now let's try to imagine witnessing the slugging prowess of the Babe in his heyday and the House that Ruth Built, Yankee Stadium, now gone. Try to contain yourself when you're calculating how many home runs Babe would hit in the current new Yankee stadium. Katy, bar the door. Not unlike his dominance over the course of the regular seasons during the Yankee decade, Babe Ruth takes the top four spots in the best World Series of the decade of the 1920s as well.

Rk Year Name Team Lg G HR RBI Ave PEVA
1 1926 Ruth Babe NYA AL 7 4 5 0.300 62.088
2 1923 Ruth Babe NYA AL 6 3 3 0.368 61.557
3 1927 Ruth Babe NYA AL 4 2 7 0.400 60.021
4 1928 Ruth Babe NYA AL 4 3 4 0.625 59.503
5 1928 Gehrig Lou NYA AL 4 4 9 0.545 57.470
6 1925 Harris Joe WS1 AL 7 3 6 0.440 46.667
7 1927 KoenigMark NYA AL 4 0 2 0.500 44.321
8 1920 SpeakerTris CLE AL 7 0 1 0.320 43.495
9 1922 Groh Heinie NY1 NL 5 0 0 0.474 36.327
10 1924 Goslin Goose WS1 AL 7 3 7 0.344 32.752

Coming Next: Postseason Best Batters 1980s

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Now fully engrossed in a two round playoff system, the best postseasons of the decade of the 1970s came during a time prior to steroid ball, and saw a whole lot of great pitchers battling the batters for supremacy. And there was one player who epitomized that battle from the batter's box more than any other each October, so much so, that he would grab the top two spots in PEVA postseason scores, and be named, long before that honor, as Mr. October. Yes, we're talking Mr. Jackson here, Reggie to you and me. And although he wouldn't be named after a month, Johnny Bench proved, once and for all, that he deserved to be mentioned among the best, if not the best, catchers in history, with two great postseasons during the decade of the Big Red Machine.

Rk Year Name Team Lg G HR RBI Ave PEVA
1 1978 Jackson Reggie NYA AL 10 4 14 0.417 53.527
2 1977 Jackson Reggie NYA AL 11 5 9 0.306 53.085
3 1972 Bench Johnny CIN NL 12 2 3 0.293 50.909
4 1970 Robinson Brooks BAL AL 8 2 8 0.485 49.434
5 1974 Garvey Steve LAN NL 9 2 6 0.385 44.304
6 1973 Staub Rusty NYN NL 11 4 11 0.341 43.309
7 1973 Campaneris Bert OAK AL 12 3 6 0.308 43.006
8 1976 Bench Johnny CIN NL 7 3 7 0.444 42.608
9 1970 Powell Boog BAL AL 8 3 11 0.355 40.833
10 1971 Robertson Bob PIT NL 11 6 11 0.317 40.364


Postseason Best Batters 1910s

Once 1910 rolled around, the ball began to fly. Not like it would one decade later, but home runs were hit. And for the first time, a player reaches the maximum PEVA number of 64.000, a number never achieved in the regular season, but would be achieved three more times through 2008 for a postseason batter. Hank Gowdy, a Catcher, had a spectacular postseason, not only batting 0.545, but with an OPS (OBP+SLG) of 1.963. And while it's true that he achieved it in only four games and sixteen at bats, it's still a heck of an achievement. Once the advent of the multiple round playoff format would come into play in 1969, it would become much more difficult to achieve a perfect score, but still possible. See 1989 for the last perfect PEVA score in postseason batting history. It became especially difficult after the current three round format began in 1995. There has yet to be a perfect postseason batting score since.

Rk Year Name Team Lg G HR RBI Ave PEVA
1 1914 Gowdy Hank BSN NL 4 1 3 0.545 64.000
2 1915 Hooper Harry BOS AL 5 2 3 0.350 62.837
3 1915 Lewis Duffy BOS AL 5 1 5 0.444 61.085
4 1911 Baker Frank PHA AL 6 2 5 0.375 60.480
5 1913 Collins Eddie PHA AL 5 0 3 0.421 56.762
6 1913 Baker Frank PHA AL 5 1 7 0.450 51.709
7 1915 Luderus Fred PHI NL 5 1 6 0.438 50.662
8 1914 Evers Johnny BSN NL 4 0 2 0.438 34.849
9 1916 Hooper Harry BOS AL 5 0 1 0.333 34.628
10 1913 Schang Wally PHA AL 4 1 7 0.357 34.310


Coming Next: Postseason Batting Bests 1970s.