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.